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When Drones Fall From the Sky

formfeed Very funny (97 comments)

Big deal. I'm sure the ones soon to be used by businesses and local law enforcement will be much more safe & reliable, because they will be produced in a competitive market environment (instead of by government contract) by 3D printers.

Oh gosh, it took me a second to detect the sarcasm in that statement. At first I thought, "no way - local law enforcement and safe. - LAPD drones???" But then there was that bold marker for pure sarcasm: competitive market environment hehehehe

about 3 months ago

When Drones Fall From the Sky

formfeed or... (97 comments)

They either need to be designed to not fail (triple redundant, etc) or designed so that when they fail that they are not a hazard to innocent bystanders.

Or when they fail, they could access a map of insurgents living close by.

Drone engine failure, crashing in 2 minutes, list of possible crash sites:
playground: -100
unoccupied garage of elderly lady: 0
vegetable garden: -10
guy who posted anti-NSA stuff on slashdot: +20

about 3 months ago

Hackers Ransom European Domino's Customer Data (including Favourite Toppings)

formfeed Rex mundi? (100 comments)

The king of the world? Jesus Christ?
Just FYI: Ave Maria

about 3 months ago

Hackers Ransom European Domino's Customer Data (including Favourite Toppings)

formfeed Interesting.. (100 comments)

I wonder if choice of toppings correlates to voting history.
And if so, could it be circular? I.e. interesting people in more non-traditional toppings could influence their views on non-traditional topics...?

about 3 months ago

Ikea Sends IkeaHackers Blog a C&D Order

formfeed Re:Kind of see their point... (207 comments)

In what way was it "wrong?" The C&D likely came from a legal firm hired to police their trademarks, without any prior knowledge of IKEA.



Large corporation that still thinks that the press office does press releases, the ad agency makes your brand popular, and you let lawyers run after everyone else. Guess what? No.

about 3 months ago

Virginia DMV Cracks Down On Uber, Lyft

formfeed oh dang! (260 comments)

With the evil govu'ment cracking down on Uber, I now won't even have to try my newest idea:

If you have a screw driver and a wire cutter in your car you can register online and if you are near someone who needs an electrician you can fix it for them.
I was gonna call it Park'n'Spark but I'm sure the gavu'ment would find some weasel regulatory claim to kill it.

about 3 months ago

Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work

formfeed Re:What he's really saying is (422 comments)

"I don't know how to use spread sheets properly."

No. He doesn't:

I will happily use a spreadsheet to compute the grades of my students, to estimate my retirement savings, to compute how much tax I paid last year but I will not use Microsoft Excel to run a bank or to compute the trajectory of the space shuttle.

What he is saying is: It is fine to use spreadsheets as spreadsheets.
But there are people who can't use statistical analysis tools who use spreadsheets instead.
People who can't program who use spreadsheets filled with little code snippets to do what a program should do.
And in general people who make a mess with spreadsheets getting results that are hard to audit.

In short, business majors should take statistics classes and learn mathlab, or opt out of it by signing a form promising never to publish any paper that deals with statistical analysis of market factors.

about 4 months ago

Efforts To Turn Elephants Into Woolly Mammoths Are Already Underway

formfeed Can't wait (147 comments)

For the first pot head to show up in a home-spun woolly mammoth sweater.

about 4 months ago

The Linux Foundation and edX Team Up for Intoduction to Linux Class

formfeed Linux taught by Linus (74 comments)

Shouldn't his name be Gnu-Linus?

Just saying.

about 4 months ago

You've Got Male: Amazon's Growth Impacting Seattle Dating Scene

formfeed Re:Not bad comparatively... (315 comments)

I'll take that ratio any day over my time in the Navy, where the ratio on a ship was about 50:1 male to female.

... And that 1 wasn't really female, just happened to be named Jessie.

about 4 months ago

Can Google Influence Elections?

formfeed Yes! (I googled it) (138 comments)

I just googled "Can Google Influence Elections?" -
Four of the top five hits are certain that it can (the other one is slashdot).

That's alarming. I didn't know that before I googled it.

about 4 months ago

Hulu Blocks VPN Users

formfeed Re:Not their fault - oh yes!! (259 comments)

Oh I'm sure they think it's just as senseless, but if they don't restrict it, then Hollywood won't let them use their IP as cheaply as otherwise

No. Hulu is Hollywood. Fox, NBC, Disney (a.k.a.NewsCorp, Comcast, ABC, MSNBC,..)

They are a resale platform for slightly used content:
1. Let people re-watch recent shows. (Probably to create additional ad-revenue, stop downloads, and competition.)
2. Create an on-line show/movie portal to stop independent offers (Netflix, and Blockbuster in the past).
3. Find new income sources. (Older episodes only on Hulu plus. Media centers, android, or anything convenient only on Hulu plus.)

Not their fault? These are the people responsible for DVD regions. Think Murdoch wants to lose markets? To maximize profits, it is essentially to restrict the usage of media (and information in general) to localized markets. You don't want a movie to hit the regional market before the population is hyped for it and your merchandise is ready. And in order to control the pundit circuit and the news "outlets", you don't want a significant percentage of the population access outside sources.

about 5 months ago

FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

formfeed Re:Didn't you get the memo? Drones are for killing (218 comments)

The government wants to be the only group with drones and they like to use them for spying and killing rather than saving lives.

That might actually work.
Instead of calling it a "Search and Rescue Drone" call it an unmanned aerial surveillance vehicle that could be used by small units to safely scan unaccessible terrain. Then tell your local senator that you are a small start-up military contractor who needs help cutting some federal red tape to do real life testing of your beta model by using it in cooperation with local law enforcement.

(Be sure to pronounce "vehicle" as Vee-Hee-Kal and the word "federal" always with some disgust in your voice.)

about 5 months ago

Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

formfeed But what about... (581 comments)

... the coal miner's daughter?

about 5 months ago

Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

formfeed Re:He's right! (581 comments)

Yes. Unfortunately there are two messages implied in Bloomberg's statement:

1. When there is a major structural change in the industry, some people will get stranded. And retraining/reeducation will not solve all the problems. As a society we should 'have some compassion to do it gently.' Simply suggesting that everyone learns to code is idiotic and could only come from someone like the Zuck.

2. Coal miners are manual labor class beta minus. You can't teach them intellectual things.

Had he simply said "You can't teach every coal miner to code", he could have avoided stepping in #2

(I on the other hand enjoy dealing with intelligent people who do manual labor jobs. It is nice to have a HVAC contractor, who understands physics. If you watch something like ThisOldHouse, you can see what a difference a brain makes in a so called "manual labor" job. )

about 5 months ago

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Unix Admins

formfeed Beard (136 comments)

You really need to have a beard to get it. Do you have a beard? You don't sound like you have a proper beard.

Ehhh, of course you need a beard. But the article also says, to be successful you should remove spaghetti once in a while:

Habit 7: Make time for yourself
[... ]Taking care of yourself is an important part of doing a good job."

about 5 months ago

Fruit Flies, Fighter Jets Use Similar Evasive Tactics When Attacked

formfeed Re:Anyone (65 comments)

Anyone who has ever had these little bastards in their house ...

.. like in Virginia Beach?

about 5 months ago

Fruit Flies, Fighter Jets Use Similar Evasive Tactics When Attacked

formfeed Don't paint your house yellow (65 comments)

It will attract fighter jets.

about 5 months ago

Heartbleed coder: bug in OpenSSL was an honest mistake

formfeed An honest mistake? - Even better (1 comments)

The linked Sydney Morning Herald goes on:
"Despite denying he put the bug into the code intentionally, he said it was entirely possible intelligence agencies had been making use of it over the past two years."

One can assume said intelligence agencies would run their own software review and routinely check the source code of critical security software for obvious flaws. And if some agency even states Internet security as one of their goals, one can be certain they audit new patches.

It is very, very likely that they knew about this bug and used it to access servers outside their jurisdiction, where they couldn't simply access it with a letter in their hand. It being just an honest mistakes makes it even a sweeter deal, perfect deniability.

(And no, open source doesn't make a difference, if you wear the right colored tie, you can get any source code.)

about 5 months ago



Social influence and the wisdom of crowd effect

formfeed formfeed writes  |  more than 3 years ago

formfeed (703859) writes "A lot has been written lately on the crowd effect and the wisdom of crowds. But for those of us doubtful of the masses, PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science) came up with a study showing how masses can become dumber:
Social influence.

While previous studies show how groups of people can come up with remarkably accurate results, it seems " that even mild social influence can undermine the wisdom of crowd effect in simple estimation tasks." Social influence "diminishes the diversity of the crowd without improvements of its collective error".

In short, crowd intelligence only works in cases where the opinion of others is hidden. So, slashdot moderation good, American pundit-democracy bad?"

Link to Original Source

Fukushima Meltdown: Earthquake not Tsunami

formfeed formfeed writes  |  more than 3 years ago

formfeed (703859) writes "As the data from the Fukushima reactor is being reviewed it looks like the meltdown happened much earlier: "the fuel rods in the No. 1 reactor were completely exposed to the air and rapidly heating five hours after the quake."

Apparently, the earthquake had caused a crack in the containment vessel. Which means, that even without the generators failing, the meltdown might still have happened.

With this new data, it seems a similar incident could happen in an earthquake zone even without a tsunami."

Link to Original Source

Wikileaks took advice from media outlets

formfeed formfeed writes  |  more than 3 years ago

formfeed (703859) writes "According to the AP (through Google News), Wikileaks isn't just sitting on the recent material so they can release it bit by bit to the press, as many people implied. On the contrary, it's quite the other way around: "only after considering advice from five news organizations with which it chose to share all of the material" are they releasing it themselves. These Newspapers "have been advising WikiLeaks on which documents to release publicly and what redactions to make to those documents"

AP questions whether Wikileaks will follow these redactions, but nevertheless seems quite impressed by this "extraordinary collaboration between some of the world's most respected media outlets and the WikiLeaks organization""

Link to Original Source

Ubuntu moving to rolling releases

formfeed formfeed writes  |  more than 3 years ago

formfeed (703859) writes "The register claims that "Ubuntu is moving away from its established six-month-cycle and potentially to a future where software updates land on a daily basis."
While this sounds like a sudden change, it is apparently more of a long-term thought. The Register quotes Shuttleworth:

"Today we have a six-month release cycle," Shuttleworth said. "In an internet-oriented world, we need to be able to release something every day. "That's an area we will put a lot of work into in the next five years. The small steps we are putting in to the Software Center today, they will go further and caster than people might have envisioned in the past."

But given that many of Shuttleworth's thoughts became decisions later on, it might be interesting to see, where this one leads.

Interestingly enough, 5 years is about the time, when Ubuntu will run out of letters."

Link to Original Source


How to become an old white guy and move to Canada

formfeed formfeed writes  |  more than 3 years ago

formfeed (703859) writes "The Toronto Star has a story how a young man from Hong Kong disguised himself as an old white guy, so he could get on a flight to Canada, where he asked for Asylum.

Not only did he wear a — really believable — silicone mask, he apparently had also studied his role pretty well. Don' t know how he did it, but since he didn't wear a plaid shirt, his character can' t be based on the Red Green show."

Link to Original Source

Oh nos: Hole in linux kernel exploited in the wild

formfeed formfeed writes  |  about 4 years ago

formfeed (703859) writes "Heise ( reports about a new hole in the linux kernel, that allows a local user to get root access. A proof of concept exploit is available. The hole has apparently been fixed years ago, but reopened recently. Hmmm.."

Mom charged for son's dry ice experiment.

formfeed formfeed writes  |  more than 4 years ago

formfeed (703859) writes "This just in from the you-must-be-kidding-me department:

Police was called to a house in Omaha where a 14 year old made some "dry ice bombs" ( dry ice in soda bottles).

Since the mom knew about it, she is now facing felony charges for child abuse and possession of a destructive device."

Link to Original Source


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