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Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

gclef Re:8X cost increase up front (516 comments)

I've often wondered about the possibility of not re-burying the trench: make the trench shallower, cover it with a walkable grate, and just leave it that way. Sure, the grate will get covered by leaves, and the trench will fill with water (have to have a way to drain that), but those seem like minor problems. The cable would be shielded from the vast majority of problems (falling branches, cars hitting poles, squirrels). And since it's just a grate covering, it's just as easy to find problems & service as if they were on a pole. I'm sure I'm missing some reason why this isn't feasible, though...

about three weeks ago
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Philae's Batteries Have Drained; Comet Lander Sleeps

gclef Re:"Science data" (337 comments)

"Science data" as opposed to "telemetry data". It's a bit of a jargon term, but makes sense to me.

about a month ago
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After Negative User Response, ChromeOS To Re-Introduce Support For Ext{2,3,4}

gclef Re:Quite the opposite. Acer, Samsung, HP - all unl (183 comments)

This is true with one big caveat: the kernel still comes from the cromeOS partition, not the linux partition. I learned this the hard way with my chromebook....I could never get it to a 2.6 Kernel (never mind 3.x) because the system had actually booted the kernel from the chromeOS partition, but the rest of linux from my ubuntu partition.

about 2 months ago
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Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

gclef Re:I call BS on this one.... (575 comments)

I'm beginning to think that the lack of difference between the party policies isn't that they're the same party...I think the institutional attitudes of various agencies doesn't change with government rotation because most of the employees of the agencies don't change. That can be as good (if the party you disagree with is in power, it's hard for them to gut an agency they don't like), and it can be bad (an out of control agency can almost do whatever the hell they like, since they know they can outwait any mangement they disagree with).

I'm not sure how to solve this one, though...if you clean out the entire upper echelon of an agency at administration rollover, then you risk seriously politicising even the most bland agencies. On the other hand, some of these agencies clearly need an attitude adjustment, and I really do think the attitude problem is endemic to the entire culture of the agency, not just their leadership.

Maybe a max term for any federal employee that they can't work for any one agency for more than 10 years?

about 3 months ago
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Back To the Moon — In Four Years

gclef Re:Yeah, too bad there's no real reason to do so.. (292 comments)

Agree. The moon's dust problem alone makes it problematic. I'd argue for L4 or L5 before the moon. There's still some dust at L4 & L5, but the sheer amount of it is much lower, and the gravity well to get there (and leave again) is much lower. It's not as inpsiring to say "we're on L4!", but it's also a first-person-gets-it kinda situation...you can have multiple moon bases, but really only one at L4 or L5.

about 9 months ago
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Why Are There More Old Songs On iTunes Than Old eBooks?

gclef Re:It's not legal issues, it's production issues (77 comments)

The difference, which the summary alludes to, but doesn't call out, is that it's very typical for book contracts to contain a clause that reverts all copyrights back to the author after the book falls out of print for some period of time. Music contracts very rarely have that. Music contracts may or may not have covered the right to distribute the works digitally, but the music publishers still have *some* rights to old works, where the book publishers will have none.

about 9 months ago
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Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

gclef Re:If Comcast were Exxon (520 comments)

It's not quite that simple. The GP post is correct that Cogent has a horrible reputation in the industry. Here's a synopsis of the most common Cogent dispute:

1) User in New York on ISP A requests data from Server in San Francisco on Cogent.
2) ISP A and Cogent interconnect in San Francisco and New York.
3) ISP A wants Cogent to carry the traffic to New York and drop it onto the ISP's network as close a possible to the customer (cold-potato routing), Cogent wants it off their network as soon as possible so they drop it onto the ISP A San Francisco interconnect (hot potato routing).

The question boils down to: which one of them is going to have to build a bigger national backbone to handle the extra traffic from the user in New York? Neither one wants to, and wants to force the other one to do it.

As to why ISPs are not blacklisting Cogent: they are. That's what all these bandwidth problems with Netflix are about: ISPs are playing chicken with Cogent, trying to force Cogent's customers to bully them into upgrading their network. ISPs aren't limiting Netflix: they're refusing to upgrade interconnects with Cogent until Cogent starts using cold-potato routing.

In this case, one of Cogent's customers blinked before Cogent did, and side-stepped the problem.

about 10 months ago
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HTML5 App For Panasonic TVs Rejected - JQuery Is a "Hack"

gclef Does it support unicode... (573 comments)

now? Let's find out:
Piñata
Mötley Crüe
  €

about 10 months ago
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An Animated, Open Letter To J.J. Abrams About Star Wars

gclef Re:Please ruin it like you did Star Trek (376 comments)

Star Trek was "serious scifi"? Since when?

The original series had hot babes in filmy, barely-there outfits and paper-thin allegories about the cold war, but very little science. The next generation had morality plays, and tried (and failed) to do science by changing of the polarization of the deflector dish (or whatever "insert sciency bit here" they did that week). The others I didn't bother to watch (though I hear there's an episode where a character is "evolved" into a lizard and then back again.....really?).

Star Trek has always been terrible at the "serious" sci-fi. It's just terrible at serious scifi in a very different way than Star Wars is.

about a year ago
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Verizon's Plan To Turn the Web Into Pay-Per-View

gclef Re:The author is either a shill or a pawn of Googl (332 comments)

If you run an ISP and still don't understand that you're not the interesting part of the internet, then you have never understood your place on the 'net. ISPs exist for one reason, and one reason only: to allow people to access content. Period. The "Economic Balance" isn't "tipping towards content companies"...the content companies *are* *the* *things* *your* *customers* *want*. The only thing they want from you is to get to those companies (or each other). You are a conduit, a tube, even. Nothing more.

The regulations prohibit ISPs from charging more when content providers waste bandwidth

If your users want the traffic, then the content providers aren't "wasting" it...your customers (who are already paying you for those bits, I should point out) are using what they've paid for. Saying that content providers are wasting bandwidth is basically complaining that your users are actually *using* what you sold them...which is really not a winning argument.

about a year ago
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After Lavabit Shut-Down, Dotcom's Mega Promises Secure Mail

gclef Re:Privacy in 2 years (158 comments)

Spam was and still is an enormous economic incentive to replace SMTP....and yet, after a decade of avalanches of spam, we haven't replaced SMTP with something that addresses any of the aspects of SMTP that permit spam to happen. This situation isn't even on the same order of magnitude of economic burden as spam is every single day. So, yes, the current situation *economically* is exactly like it was the last decade: we're paying for the design decisions of SMTP, and will continue to do so until something shinier comes along that people move to. That migration will happen slowly, over years, and SMTP will slowly wither away as the migration happens.

about a year ago
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After Lavabit Shut-Down, Dotcom's Mega Promises Secure Mail

gclef Re:Privacy in 2 years (158 comments)

I'm even hearing rumors about replacing SMTP altogether with a more secure protocol.

There have been "rumors" and "proposals" to replace SMTP for almost a decade. It'll never happen. SMTP will die slowly, the same way NNTP is slowly dying. And that will only happen when there's a way to communicate that surpasses it. Web discussion boards basically killed NNTP. I don't think there's anything out there yet to kill SMTP.

Also, encrypting your mail misses the point. Groups like the NSA can still do traffic analysis on the SMTP envelope to know who you're talking with even without reading the contents of the email. The fact that you're in regular communication with a "target" is enough to make you interesting. If the "target" is subject to an full-on investigation (not the browsing that they appear to be doing), then being in regular contact with that target, would be sufficient grounds to apply for (and probably get) a court order to put a keylogger put on your machine.

Expect a lot of wailing and gnashing-of-teeth from the government, proposals to make this or that protocol "illegal" or to require government backdoor access, but in the end it will come down to simple economics.

There won't be much public wailing...they've got the laws they need. Just like what happened with Lavabit, they don't need to ban anything anymore, they'll just show up at any provider & say "give us all of the data you have on person . If you don't have any, start collecting it. Now."

Also, moving data out of the US (to Germany, for example), just means that the NSA has to ask the local spy agency (like the BND in germany) for the information. The Western governmental spy agencies seem to have no problem providing it. In fact, the NSA spying on data overseas would be *less* unconstitutional than what they're doing now....they'd love that.

Face it, the only way forward is something like freenet. The problem is, freenet withered on the vine.

about a year ago
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Home Automation Kit Includes Arduino, RasPi Dev Boards

gclef yet another g'damn cloud service (49 comments)

While I find the idea interesting, I'm annoyed at the fact that it's useless without WigWam's cloud service. I've been burned too many times already, so I'm not particularly willing to build a complex home automation setup just to have the whole thing turned to a set of bricks because WigWam got bought by Yahoo (who seem to shut down every startup they buy), or just ran out of money.

about a year and a half ago
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Edward Snowden is ...

gclef Re:Wrong by law (601 comments)

What I don't get is why Snowden chose to go public with his identity when and in the manner that he did. If his aim was to expose the massive levels of surveillance that are going on, regardless of whether or not most educated people suspected as much, then why turn it into a media circus centred on the latest episode of "Where's Edward?" instead of allowing the press to focus on the core issue?

One presumes because he knew (working for a spy agency and all) that they'd find him eventually, and going *very* public first makes it harder to quietly arrest & try him.

about a year and a half ago
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Snowden Is Lying, Say House Intelligence Committee Leaders

gclef Re:Of course. (749 comments)

criminal:

n
1. (Law) a person charged with and convicted of crime
2. a person who commits crimes for a living

Until he's charged and convicted, he's not a criminal.

about a year and a half ago
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Real World Stats Show Chromebooks Are Struggling

gclef Re:Wait... what? (250 comments)

I think both stats could be right: people are buying them, and then wiping them to install something useful. It's not the chromebook that's failing...it's chromeOS that people don't want.

about a year and a half ago
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Real World Stats Show Chromebooks Are Struggling

gclef Re:I quite like mine. (250 comments)

Thirded...installing chrUbuntu takes it from a google-leashed mostly-useless toy into a really reasonable, cheap minilaptop. I'm quite happy with mine...as long as it's running linux, not chromeOS.

about a year and a half ago
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California Law Would Require Companies To Disclose All Consumer Data Collected

gclef Re:Next step: identify the companies (119 comments)

That list is just companies that trade in financial information (credit scores, loan companies, etc). Notice that google doesn't show up in that list at all, but google *definitely* has information about me (whether I like it or not). So, your list is woefully incomplete. I suspect the full list of companies that collect personal information doesn't exist. That's kinda my point. Is the tacit expectation of this law that people will have to find out (somehow...) which companies *might* have information on them, and then blanket-mail all of them demanding to see their info? That isn't as big a step forward as one might think.

about a year and a half ago
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California Law Would Require Companies To Disclose All Consumer Data Collected

gclef Next step: identify the companies (119 comments)

Interesting side problem: how do you know which corporations have data about you? The big companies like Google are known, but there's alot of other data brokers around...how can I demand data from a company I don't know about?

about a year and a half ago
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Worldwide IPv6 Adoption: Where Do We Stand Today?

gclef Re:IP6 addresses are a pain (327 comments)

Multicast DNS for the win.

...Added complexity for the lose.

That's the entire point: adding another layer of complexity makes troubleshooting and management harder and more likely to fail in new and surprising ways. Making that new layer different (multicast DNS rather than unicast) does not solve the problem, it just moves it somewhere else. This is not better.

I have no problem with servers *using* multcast DNS, dynamic DNS, etc. I have a problem with *relying* on DNS as the only way to connect to a server. DNS fails. So does multicast DNS, and dynamic DNS. In each of those cases I should still be able to connect to my servers.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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GAO says Homeland Security should take over 'net

gclef gclef writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gclef (96311) writes "Under the guise of responding to potential Internet congestion in the case of a pandemic flu, the US Government Account Office is recommending that Homeland Security should be planning to take over the Internet. Some of their recommendations include turning off high-traffic sites and telling ISPs to re-prioritize their traffic to either force everyone to slower speeds or only preferring traffic from certain users. MSNBC has a story on it but the full GAO report is where the real fun is. Of special note is the appendix where DHS basically says that this isn't their job or their problem."
Link to Original Source
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Open Source study included in US stimulus package

gclef gclef writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gclef (96311) writes "Buried deep in the stimulus package details is an interesting provision that might go a long way to helping Open Source software break into the medical area. It says that the Secretary of Health and Human Services should study the availability of open source health technology systems, compare their TCO against proprietary systems and report, no later than Oct 1, 2010 on what they find. For the actual verbage, see page 488 of the second pdf. (Slashdotters may also be interested in the language that starts on page 553 of that pdf to see just what the final package says about broadband.)"
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MD-5 SSL Certificates forged

gclef gclef writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gclef (96311) writes "A method for forging trusted intermediate SSL certificates was just announced at the CCC. Apparently a few of the trusted CA's were still using MD-5 to sign issued certificates, and the attackers managed to get the CA to sign a cert with a collision. The root issuers are supposedly all moving off MD-5 for certs now...anyone else wonder how long till this all happens again with SHA-1?"
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gclef gclef writes  |  more than 7 years ago

gclef (96311) writes "Speakeasy announced recently that they're being bought by BestBuy. Despite all the promises to the contrary, I suspect my ability to host servers in my home is going away soon. Does anyone in the Slashdot crowd have hints as to where I get reasonable co-lo space or reasonable virtual hosting? I don't want to outsource the management of my domains entirely, nor will 'webhosting' be good enough...I like having control of my own stuff (and like running my own DNS, IMAPS, etc servers). I just want somewhere that will give me a blank box with an unfiltered connection to the net. Anyone have good/bad experiences with the various places doing this?"

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