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Comments

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Algorithm Challenge: Burning Man Vehicle Exodus

gewalker Re:Doesn't solve fundamental problem (273 comments)

As is often the case, the real answer is the monetize the solution. Charge for parking access / egress priority rights. Those in first class pay more, but get to exit first. The money problem solves how you get the resource for parking attendants, etc. needed to enforce the rules.

Now, you may even collect enough funds to make it worthwhile to improves the access to the local highways to increase flow rates significantly via additional lanes, etc.

A bunch of hippies won't like this solution, but they are probably used to it by now.

about two weeks ago
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.NET Native Compilation Preview Released

gewalker Re:or just use c++ in the first place (217 comments)

Used to do a lot of C++ coding, one man and teams. When doing C++, would have problem apps that the c++ expert (often me) had to debug because of crashes, memory leaks, etc. When doing similar things in c#, these problems largely go away. C# is hardly unique in this aspect (Java, etc.)

Though I love me some c/c++, I also know that most programmers will find C# and other higher languages less troublesome in the real world. Deny it if you want, but it my experience there is no contest.

IMO C# is really of nice language, too bad it is effectively MS only -- Mono is not really mainstream, and appears unlikely to ever get this unless a miracle occurs.

about two weeks ago
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Scientists Solve the Mystery of Why Zebras Have Stripes

gewalker Re:Terrible summary (190 comments)

Hello ... stripes are thinning. First you get a few females with stripes, guys prefer them -- breeding takes over stripes everywhere.

Lest you think this is jest. Consider the standard evolutionary advantage explanation of peacock plumage as sexual preference based on the appearance. In fact, the literature abounds with appearance based sexual preferences as explanatory.

The real question is why did Zebras evolve "fashion sense"

Flies avoiding stripes, just happened to be a side benefit.

about two weeks ago
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London Council Dumping Windows For Chromebooks To Save £400,000

gewalker Or they could just hire some kids to load Linux (193 comments)

Or they could just hire some kids to load Linux -- I could load Linux on a lot of old computers with a locked down linux and browser. The Chromebooks will be $200 per.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft: Start Menu Returns, Windows Free For Small Device OEMs, Cortana Beta

gewalker Re:Digital Assistant software (387 comments)

Actually, this is the one thing I actually care about. A little competition in the digital assistant marketplace can only be a good this. The number of deep pockets able to compete here must be pretty limited, and the state of the art can definitely use some improvement. Matters not if MS version is better or not as long as it is decent it will be some additional competition.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft: Start Menu Returns, Windows Free For Small Device OEMs, Cortana Beta

gewalker Re:April Fools was yesterday (387 comments)

I thought it more laughable the parent suggested that MS listened to slashdotters

about two weeks ago
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Introducing a Calendar System For the Information Age

gewalker Re:Interesting effort (224 comments)

Due to tidal drag the Earth's day is lengthening around 2 ms/day per century. Morlocks are about 8000 centuries in the future. Changing the mean solar day from 86400 seconds to 86416 will not dramatically affect the design of a calendar -- you just tweak how often leap years occur.

As a troglodytic race Morlocks really don't have to do anything about calendars or clocks.

about three weeks ago
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Introducing a Calendar System For the Information Age

gewalker Re:Interesting effort (224 comments)

And I predict the US will cease to exist, and be long forgotten before this new calendar is adopted.

The Morlocks might be early adopters of the this new-fangled calendar system.

about three weeks ago
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Target and Trustwave Sued Over Credit Card Breach

gewalker Re:Banks are responsible too (87 comments)

Unfortunately, the way the credit card companies work, most of the damage is externalized onto the merchants (via reversed charges) and ultimately the consumers -- via higher prices & fees. Of course, this is hardly accidental. Target is certainly guilty of lots of stupidity, but the real players won't change their ways until they really feel the pain -- the whole system is far too easy for the black players to game. Some much business is depending on CC transactions, most businesses have little choice but to play the game.

This pain could be regulatory, financial losses, etc. But, no pain, no improvement.

about three weeks ago
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Fluke Donates Multimeters To SparkFun As Goodwill Gesture

gewalker Re:So, they're sending like, 6 multimeters? (250 comments)

Unless you are getting multi-meters that "fell off the back of the truck" I don't think anyone is going to confuse a $3000 MM with a cheap knockoff. It's not like buying a fake Rolex, people don't drop 3 large for a MM unless they have very specific requirements, like drop-proof, water-proof, dust-proof, etc. for use in a heavy industrial environment. Most of Fluke's MM's can be purchased for a few hundred USD (depending on your definition of few).

I checked Fluke-Direct.com and there are 2 models over 1000 USD, an industrial strength RED one for $1500, and a bench model for 1065 USD. They had dozens of models less than 500 USD. Lowest price 130 USD.

about a month ago
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It Was the Worst Industrial Disaster In US History, and We Learned Nothing

gewalker Re:There real reason ... (290 comments)

I've read a number of different estimates for deaths related to coal pollution, 10-15K annually in the US, 150-300K globally. Even if those estimates are 10 time actual, it is hard to beat coal pollution as the top killer for industrial activity. Disasters like collapses of mines, dams, coal ash pond get a lot more attention.

Turning off every coal plant today would be a much bigger disaster -- people freezing, starving, diseases, etc. would be far worse, but hey, I am all for replacing coal with safer nukes, etc. All major systems will results in accidents and deaths, it is kind of the way it is. Even today, $/kwh from coal is generally cheaper than the viable alternatives. Arguably, a new generation of nuclear power could be cheaper than coal (fuel costs on the order of 15-25% of coal), but this is certainly not guaranteed.

You still need transportation fuels (hard to replace jet planes with battery operated or nuclear).,

about a month ago
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Diamond Suggests Presence of Water Deep Within Earth

gewalker Re:God did it (48 comments)

Bad plan, everyone knows I won't care about watering my lawn post-rapture. Not that there is ever going to be a rapture, or is even mentioned in the Bible rapturists claim to follow.

about a month ago
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Diamond Suggests Presence of Water Deep Within Earth

gewalker Re:This should be amusing. (48 comments)

The predominant theory among creationists is that the water of the flood is mostly most in the oceans -- The elevations of the continental masses where raised, allowing the water to flow to the oceans. This is kind of the same as the scientific opinion except for the timeframe of months vs. millions of years. Well, that and the scientific opinion that there was no world-wide flood/

about a month ago
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Top E-commerce Sites Fail To Protect Users From Stupid Passwords

gewalker Re:30 years later. This isn't that hard. (162 comments)

While an admirable attempt, the password "nicht schiessen" reports a crack time of centuries, yet it is a simple phrase seen in many movies -- It is german, meaning Don't shoot (using ss for the ß character). Using ß is reported as having more entropy, even though logically it would be a simply dictionany pair.

"don't shoot me now" claims 4 years to crack

I use a similar approach on websites I control, but there is really not a simple algorithm that prevents all human stupidity in terms of password selection. My point is not "don't try to test for entropy" but rather know that your test will no be perfect.

about a month ago
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Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience

gewalker Re:Why single out Whole Foods? (794 comments)

The special taste in sea salt is the trace fish poop. What else could it be?

about a month and a half ago
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Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience

gewalker Re:God (794 comments)

Well, not really. Ex 20 is the delivery of the 10 command, literally a few weeks later at most, we have the Israelites making a golden calf to worship while Moses is back on the mountain communing with God.

The thing is, they still believe in Jehovah (Yahweh) as God. They just wanted something a little more concrete. You see this throughout Jewish history up until the time of Babylonian captivity. They just love their idols too. It is really surprising to the modern reader, but even many of the great reformers praised for their god-fearing ways do not really give up the idols completely, they allow them to co-exist.

They were not very good monotheists. Jehovah took a dim view of this of course.

Archaeologists digging up Palestine find idols everywhere until the time of Babylonian captivity and then they stop very suddenly

about a month and a half ago
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Your Next Car's Electronics Will Likely Be Connected By Ethernet

gewalker Re:What?? (180 comments)

I suppose, from a quantum mechanics viewpoint, cars cans be considered very large packets indeed. But quantum mechanics will still screw you over and fix your broken framitz if they think they can get away with it.

about a month and a half ago
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Your Next Car's Electronics Will Likely Be Connected By Ethernet

gewalker Re:Huh? (180 comments)

Phhtt, the packet to turn off Justin Bieber should have the highest priority, forget the collision avoid avoidance system, the Bieber avoidance system is more important. You do not want to have to explain to God that, yeah, in my dying moment I was listening to Bieber.

about a month and a half ago
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3D Maps Reveal a Lead-Laced Ocean

gewalker Re:leaded gas (266 comments)

If you don't use lead, you have to raise octane in ways that are more expensive, more highly refined gas and more expensive octane raising additives are your options, both are more expensive than using lead.

Back in the 70's, there was an additional factor. Existing infrastructure used lead to raise octane rating -- there were transition costs and some scarcity during the transition away from lead. And of course, as a new product, you can generally charge that otherwise.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Major Data Brokers hacked by ID Theft Service

gewalker gewalker writes  |  about 7 months ago

gewalker (57809) writes "Have we reached the point where it is time to admit that the ID thieves are winning and will continue to win as long as their incentives are sufficient to make it lucrative for them? According to Krebs On Security a breach in 25 data brokers has been identified including the heavyweights Dun and Bradstreet and LexusNexus. The truly telling quote is

“We could well be witnessing the death of knowledge-based authentication, and it’s as it should be,” Litan said. “The problem is that right now there are no good alternatives that are as easy to implement. There isn’t a good software-based alternative. Everybody in the industry knows that KBA is nearing its end of usefulness, but it’s not like you can instantly roll out biometric identifiers to the entire US population. We’re just not there yet. It’s years away. If ever.”

"
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Microsoft restores transfer rights to Office 2013

gewalker gewalker writes  |  about a year ago

gewalker writes "Bowing to significant unfriendly customer feedback regarding its new "no transfer" license for Office 2013, Microsoft recants and allows Office 2013 licenses to be transferred between computers. Actual license language will not be reflected for a few months for shipped products, but Microsoft will allow transfer of license effective immediately. Calls to customer support will be necessary as the activation servers won't be updated for a few months."
Link to Original Source
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First evidence of gravity waves

gewalker gewalker writes  |  about a year and a half ago

gewalker writes "This is supposed to be published soon in "The Astrophysical Journal Letters", but in short researchers claim they have detected gravity waves from the husks of 2 stars 3000 light years away. They are losing energy and circling each other faster over time as the gravity waves remove energy from the orbits of the pair. This energy loss agrees with the prediction of general relativity — not a direct observation of gravity waves."
Link to Original Source

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