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Earth In the Midst of Sixth Mass Extinction: the 'Anthropocene Defaunation'

fishbowl Solar midlife crisis (342 comments)

Our solar system has a foot in the grave anyway. Why should we care about anything?

about 2 months ago
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New SSL Server Rules Go Into Effect Nov. 1

fishbowl Re: Why? (92 comments)

Many situations require the encryption of SSL without necessarily requiring the authentication of SSL. This is the case when the risk is more from something like accidentally or casually disclosing sensitive information and there is little or no risk of intentional attack, but where there are liabilities for routine exposure. This scenario isn't really a job for SSL, but what else do we have to work with?

about 2 months ago
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Today In Year-based Computer Errors: Draft Notices Sent To Men Born In the 1800s

fishbowl Re:What might have happened. (205 comments)

It would not surprise me to learn that in some form, software developed in the 1960s is still in use today.
This is coming from someone who had to hack Fortran code as recently as 2009.
Wouldn't surprise me one bit.

about 2 months ago
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Today In Year-based Computer Errors: Draft Notices Sent To Men Born In the 1800s

fishbowl Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (205 comments)

A draft is possible, and I believe would be somewhat automatic if war were declared. Certain types of rationing would be.

The thing that stops the draft is the reality of the fact that military organizations have no means of dealing with large numbers of people who *really* don't want to be there. In the '60s, the military system had a distinct benefit with the fact that the primary opposition to the draft was a counterculture which was relatively unified in a commitment to non-violent protest.

The age bracket in question is, today, decidedly not non-violent. Opposition to a draft today might not take the form of "flower power" and "sit ins." More likely, it would provoke the militia movement into actual violence.

about 2 months ago
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Today In Year-based Computer Errors: Draft Notices Sent To Men Born In the 1800s

fishbowl Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (205 comments)

It's much easier to imagine a draft than it is to imagine some of the other things that would happen in a declared war.

For example, rationing of commodities. Compulsory conversion of industrial production from civilian to war efforts. Seizure of raw materials.
Requirements for businesses to take compensation in the form of interest-bearing bonds which are not redeemable during the conflict.

All things that my parents were subjected to...

I can't imagine the post "greed is good" generation or the "corporate personhood" set to accept any of this, or even to believe that it happened within living memory.

about 2 months ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

fishbowl First and most important question: (502 comments)

Are you a consumer of audio, or are you producing it?

The requirements and objectives of these two groups are wildly different. These discussions generally divide consumers into groups, instead of dividing consumers ("audiophiles" and "casual listeners") from producers ("recording" and "synthesizing").

I don't know if the people from the "consumers" group can understand just how important my "sound cards" are (a good old Delta 1010 and a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20), and my system would probably be a royal pain for someone whose objective is A/V theatre, gaming, or music listening.

It's good that some of the consumer gear has been converging on pro gear, because it means that for playback at least, we now have inexpensive systems with audio fidelity beyond the threshold of human perception. Awesome as that is, other things are important to people who are producing audio, and not all of us have "audio production budgets."

about 2 months ago
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Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

fishbowl Re:Lazy mechanic (865 comments)

There are plenty of places where any "good " is not available for any price. Stuff that could and should be maintained, gets replaced with considerably more time and cost efficiency.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

fishbowl Re:Just say it isn't about your age (274 comments)

Nobody is paying me enough to spend a weekend in Tahoe.
Seriously. My rate for something like that starts in the $250/hr range. It's just plain not happening.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

fishbowl Re:You can still do dinner with the family (274 comments)

"Crunch time" is nearly always a sign that someone in the supply chain of money that feeds your paycheck, is running out of it. I always see the introduction of "crunch time" as a warning that it is time for the best and brightest to quit.

about 4 months ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

fishbowl Miners? (581 comments)

I couldn't even teach science postdocs to code.

about 5 months ago
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What Happens To Your Files When a Cloud Service Shuts Down?

fishbowl Re:I just read the full indictment (592 comments)

If you do what the parent did and actually read and understand the indictment, you will learn that they are accused of far more serious crimes than just violating US copyright law. Some of the things they allegedly did would be crimes even without the copyright element.

more than 2 years ago
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What Happens To Your Files When a Cloud Service Shuts Down?

fishbowl Re:Fortunately, we've already discussed this probl (592 comments)

People are lazy enough to use a service like MU and not be driven towards something that delivers true anonymity, freedom, resilience against controls, etc. People are also greedy enough to create a service like MU that is obviously driven by massive profit. Stuff like MU has an opportunity cost and does serious cultural damage because it serves to hide the need for anonymity, true encryption, disconnection from currency, etc. I'm a free speech and copyright reform activist, and even I support the indictment against MU (although the asset forfeiture and some of the damage claims are excessive, the racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering, and tax evasion charges are spot on.)

more than 2 years ago
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What Happens To Your Files When a Cloud Service Shuts Down?

fishbowl Re:Question (592 comments)

I don't get the impression that very many people are aware of all the charges against MU. A few of them relate to copyright infringement, but there are much more serious charges in the indictment. They are accused of doing things that would still be crimes even without the copyright aspect.

more than 2 years ago
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What Happens To Your Files When a Cloud Service Shuts Down?

fishbowl Re:Is it an interesting question... (592 comments)

Funny you should mention that, because streaming to our LTO-4 is way faster than rsync to our SAN. We wouldn't be able to meet our 24hour backup SLA without tape.

more than 2 years ago
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What Happens To Your Files When a Cloud Service Shuts Down?

fishbowl Re:Is it an interesting question... (592 comments)

If you had a binding contract with MU, then it may still be a positive value proposition now that they are in breach. But you don't have a contract with them, do you?

more than 2 years ago
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What Happens To Your Files When a Cloud Service Shuts Down?

fishbowl Re:Evidence (592 comments)

It deprives you of *rights*. Copyrights are rights. Copyright laws defend rights. There are major differences between rights and property, and of course rights and property intersect in some ways.

Money is property though, and most of the MegaUpload indictment is about money and illegal things that were done with money. There's more to the indictment than copyright infringement, and I wish more people would read it and understand this, and then form opinions.

more than 2 years ago
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What Happens To Your Files When a Cloud Service Shuts Down?

fishbowl Re:Evidence (592 comments)

If you outsourced your company's data storage to MegaUpload, I'm going to go ahead and say you were pretty much asking for it. If you honestly managed to avoid being aware that this was an incredibly risky proposition, I feel sorry for you. It also occurs to me that the copyright infringement elements of the case against MU are just one small part of a long list of crimes in the indictment, some of which would still be serious crimes even if they were selling milk or adopting out puppies. They are being accused of much more serious things than copyright infringement.

Seriously, who ever discovered MegaUpload and decided that it would be a great business decision to use it for corporate data storage? I have mixed feelings about the whole thing, being a copyright reform activist myself, but it is quite clear that the Mega folks made some monumentally bad choices.

I ask that everyone please read and understand the actual indictment before taking an activist position on any side of the MU matter. It's not anywhere near as simple as the press and the bloggers make it out to be.

more than 2 years ago
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Megaupload.com Shut Down, Founder Charged With Piracy

fishbowl Re:Ban the use of faucets! (1005 comments)

In the indictment, if you bother to read it, you will find that this was directly tested, with respect to a specific server in Virginia, which contained certain specific files. The company agreed to remove them, and did not. That's one of the many charges in the indictment. I think a lot of people don't quite understand the nature of the charges against MU though. The racketeering charges are much more serious than the copyright infringement, and many of those would be valid regardless of the nature of the business.

more than 2 years ago
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Megaupload.com Shut Down, Founder Charged With Piracy

fishbowl Re:Ban the use of faucets! (1005 comments)

What can be killed by boiling for 20 minutes that isn't dead in one minute?

more than 2 years ago

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