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Comments

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Ubuntu "Memberships" Questioned

gr8scot Re:Let me translate (210 comments)

Good point about the Starship Troopers movie. It's one thing to omit some events for the unofficial two-hour limit, but that thing was really untrue to the essence of the book whose title, plot and characters it lifted for a contrary theme and message (or absence of any, which is also contrary to the book's intent).

Good use of the book as analogy, too. Rights logically imply responsibilities. What's the problem?

more than 4 years ago
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NSA Is Building a New Datacenter In San Antonio

gr8scot Re:Well, gee... (119 comments)

Using the incompetence of George Walker Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, almost everybody is talented enough to suspect these losers are cheating us. Surveillance is just one possible means. Handing auto workers', and everybody else's income who works for a living, directly to their cronies at AIG and Citi is another, and the latter is a documented fact. Suspicion of other, similar pursuits of the same agenda via other agencies is not paranoia, it's true intelligence. As opposed to the euphemistic language invoked to describe the same incompetents' failure to apprehend terrorists who took flight lessons and skipped landing, more than one month after George Walker Bush was delivered a CIA document titled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike US" and describing the plan to steer airplanes into buildings.

more than 5 years ago
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Apple Sued Over iPhone Browser

gr8scot Citation needed (225 comments)

The general bias of this board seems to be anti-process patent. But with a great amount US GDP currently being derived from services and intellectual properties which include such processes, is there no benefit from awarding inventors if the only aspect of their invention is algorithmic in nature?

The general opinion of this board, as I see it, is that process patents retard production, especially but not only innovative production, more than they advance it. Can you quantify the "great amount of US GDP currently derived from services and intellectual properties which include such processes"? Once you have, can you honestly claim that taking all those patent-enforced methodological [I will not call this farce "intellectual"] monopolies off the open market really reduces GDP?

more than 5 years ago
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Worm Attack Prompts DoD To Ban Use of External Media

gr8scot Re:When you put something in a locked box (295 comments)

When you try to protect a secret by putting in in a locked box, do you put it in a steel box with a good combination lock? Or do you put it in a cheap transparent plastic box with a lock that can be picked by a safety pin and hundreds of holes and little doors that can be opened even more easily?

The answer really depends on what kind of other security measures you're placing on the box, and how accessible it is. If the transparent plastic box with a lock that can be picked with a safety pin is floating on a rock island in the middle of the caldera of an active volcano...

It isn't. Somebody obviously got in, either by socially engineering a soldier or by being a double agent.

The military networks are most certainly hardened against intrusion.

Hardened? Is this about placing the aforementioned plastic box into a steel vault?

With proper security measures installed, and with decent firewalls and traffic monitoring on both the outbound and the inbound, and with intelligent account restrictions in place,

... including prohibiting external storage devices,

... then Windows can be made just as secure as any other OS.

more than 5 years ago
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Secure OS Gets Highest NSA Rating, Goes Commercial

gr8scot Re:I already funded the development, as a taxpayer (352 comments)

So because its been used in military applications, you've constructed this elaborate fantasy scenario rather than just researching its actual history?

Not close.

It was developed years ago as a commercial product primarily for the embedded systems market. Military aircraft are just an example of the applications it's been used for after it was already a mature commercial product.

Provide one other "example of the applications it's been used for after it was already a mature commercial product," shit-for-brain. It was developed for my military, after it received a contract from my military. I own it, bitch.

more than 5 years ago
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Feds Can Locate Cell Phones Without Telcos

gr8scot Re:Just one question (199 comments)

Less finesse? Bush has been caught, repeatedly, and for much worse than Watergate. He has not been prosecuted, not because he has skillfully evaded detection but because his crimes are so terrifying, and his accomplices [Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Perle, PNAC, Sauds] are so shady. Is that what you consider "finesse"?

more than 5 years ago
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Secure OS Gets Highest NSA Rating, Goes Commercial

gr8scot Re:I already funded the development, as a taxpayer (352 comments)

... used in the B1B bomber and other military aircraft...

Now, do you suppose it was given to my military, as a xmas gift? Do you suppose development even began before a no-bid, cost+plus contract was signed? Like I said, I funded the development as a taxpayer already. I own that. Hand it over.

more than 5 years ago
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Propitiatory Software is Actually Half FOSS???

gr8scot probably not copied, though identical (1 comments)

Given the dual constraints of (1) programming language & (2) action to perform, one "right way" exists, defined by loads on processor, memory/cache/'page file' & [rarely] storage. This means that MegaCorp. programmers are half right, not that they plagiarize half their work. Corollary: "software" & "patent" are inherently antithetical concepts [because only one "right way" exists to write "software" for any given task, and therefore no useful solution is ever novel, nor non-obvious].

more than 5 years ago
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Study Shows People Ditch Vista in Six Months.

gr8scot Good. (1 comments)

Programmers, CS students, know that software is a necessity, a prerequisite for computer hardware to be useful. It is not a "value add" but the MegaCorp. MBA dufi have fallen for that sales pitch, and inflated the market for the rest of us so that we pay extras for ... what Microsoft sells!?! WTF? Every programmer / CS student knows their software is shit.

more than 5 years ago
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White House Email Powned.

gr8scot Good news, but I don't want to register on FT (1 comments)

Did this exploit originate in a Chinese Free Enterprise Zone, ie, is it possible for US citizens to buy information about our own government? Our government and our "free" press certainly aren't giving us what we want! I have to pay for Elite Cable Package 2 to get any believable news.

more than 5 years ago
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The Neurological Basis of Con Games

gr8scot Absolutely wrong. (218 comments)

From the summary:

'The key to a con is not that you trust the con man, but that he shows he trusts you. Con men ply their trade by appearing fragile or needing help, by seeming vulnerable,' writes Zak. 'Because of THOMAS, the human brain makes us feel good when we help others -- this is the basis for attachment to family and friends and cooperation with strangers.'

We all experience greed, but knowing that everybody else does too, we are naturally suspicious of "something for nothing," especially if offered by another human. Plants and animals we expect to be able to eat. Thus, the survival advantage of action based on reciprocal trust. Social conventions complex enough to turn this mechanism to any individual's disadvantage are relatively recent in homo sapiens' time on Earth, thus the yet-unsolved problem of con people.

more than 5 years ago
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Why the Widening Gender Gap In Computer Science?

gr8scot Because it's boring? (1563 comments)

As a female professor of mine put it, CS is about "using the computer in order to use the computer." Women ask "How long until we do something useful?" Boys ask "How long until we get to video games?" which are less popular among females, last I checked.

more than 5 years ago
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How Indiana Schools Saved Tens of Millions with GNU/Linux

gr8scot Fantastic! (2 comments)

Any news about re-purposing used computers for similar purposes here [United States] instead of dumping them in Asian landfills?

more than 5 years ago
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New Generator Boosts Wind Turbine Efficiency 50%

gr8scot Mod down, Disinformative (315 comments)

This article is about staying close to the ~59% theoretical maximum predicted by Betz' Law over a wide range of incoming wind speeds, not magically eclipsing it. Save your sarcasm until you really know what you're talking about.

http://www.windpower.org/en/tour/wres/betz.htm

more than 5 years ago
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How many browser tabs do you have open right now?

gr8scot mod up Informative (521 comments)

Or Funny, or Insightful [sig]

I have been using Chrome since it was announced on /. whenever I'm stuck on Windows [usu. briefly] but I did not know that. Kewl.

more than 5 years ago
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Secure OS Gets Highest NSA Rating, Goes Commercial

gr8scot I already funded the development, as a taxpayer (352 comments)

Now, they want to sell me the "release version," as if they're suddenly a legitimate, privately funded dot-com startup of yore? I was born at night, but it was not last night. We citizens already own that product. Turn it over.

more than 5 years ago
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Be Part of the 2008 Presidential Youth Debate

gr8scot Liar. (513 comments)

You lie:

Take, for example, the Fannie/Freddie debacle. Consider that Obama had 2 corrupt former CEOs of Fannie as economic advisors, one of which was the head of his VP search committee.

The truth is that although Jim Johnson was a CEO at Fannie Mae before becoming a leader of Barack Obama's VP search committee, he has not been convicted of any crime, but Obama accepted Johnson's resignation from the Presidential campaign anyway. In June, you hypocrite. Jim Johnson has also not been even accused of any crimes, just smeared for being associated with a corporation which operated in the lawless environment introduced by Gramm-Leach-Biley. Compare to Carly Fiorina, who was personally responsible for making a mess out of Hewlett-Packard. Johnson didn't sign Gramm-Leach-Biley into law. Measured by stock price, Fiorina was, in the eyes of the investors with enough previous financial success to determine stock prices, personally responsible for Hewlett-Packard's problems. If we're going to spend $700 Billion bailing out the country's wealthiest investors, we had better trust their judgment enough to uphold their verdict on Carleton S. Fiorina: as toxic as a portfolio full of foreclosed mortgages.

Former Fannie Mae executive Jim Johnson, who was a leader of the vice presidential search committee for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, resigned from that unpaid position today amid criticisms that Johnson represented a world of influence and special interests that stood in stark contrast with what Obama's campaign purports to stand for.
...
"We don't need any lectures from a campaign that waited fifteen months to purge the lobbyists from their staff, and only did so because they said it was a 'perception problem,'" said Obama campaign spokesperson Bill Burton.

And Franklin Raines was never any kind of adviser to Obama at all.

The Obama campaign issued a statement by Raines on Thursday night insisting, "I am not an advisor to Barack Obama, nor have I provided his campaign with advice on housing or economic matters." Obama spokesman Bill Burton went a little further, saying in an e-mail that the campaign had "neither sought nor received" advice from Raines "on any matter."

[If Raines offered Obama advice that was not sought, a lying sack of excrement might argue that Obama nevertheless "received" that advice, but unless that advice was the basis of subsequent action, we use the colloquialism that the advice was not "taken," thus anybody describing Raines as an advisor to Obama is a lying sack of excrement.]

Unless you have proof that Raines' statement above is a lie, you committed libel by asserting that he had ever been one of Barack Obama's "economic advisors."

So what evidence does the McCain campaign have for the supposed Obama-Raines connection? It is pretty flimsy, but it is not made up completely out of whole cloth.

99% cloth, but not completely whole cloth. The "supposed Obama-Raines connection" is not quite pure fabrication by the same standard that the statement "you are a violin" has a basis in fact, when addressed to a person calling itself "Stradivarius." The only connection to fact is extremely tenuous, and we all know that the statement "you are a violin" is a falsehood. Your accusation is no more honest, just less humorous.

McCain spokesman Brian Rogers points to three items in the Washington Post in July and August. It turns out that the three items (including an editorial) all rely on the same single conversation, between Raines and a Washington Post business reporter, Anita Huslin, who wrote a profile of the discredited Fannie Mae boss that appeared July 16. The profile reported that Raines, who retired from Fannie Mae four years ago, had "taken calls from Barack Obama's presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters."

Since this has now become a campaign issue, I asked Huslin to provide the exact circumstances of that passage. She said that she was chatting with Raines during the photo shoot, and asked "if he was engaged at all with the Democrats' quest for the White House. He said that he had gotten a couple of calls from the Obama campaign. I asked him about what, and he said, 'Oh, general housing, economy issues.' ('Not mortgage/foreclosure meltdown or Fannie-specific?' I asked, and he said 'no.')"

By Raines's own account, he took a couple of calls from someone on the Obama campaign, and he or she had general discussions about economic issues. I have asked both Raines and the Obama people for more details on these calls.

THE PINOCCHIO TEST

The McCain campaign is clearly exaggerating wildly in attempting to depict Raines as a close adviser to Obama on "housing and mortgage policy." If we are to believe Raines, he did have a couple of telephone conversations with someone in the Obama campaign. But that hardly makes him an adviser to the candidate himself -- and certainly not in the way depicted in the McCain video release.

ONE PINOCCHIO: Some shading of the facts; TWO PINOCCHIOS: Significant omissions or exaggerations; THREE PINOCCHIOS: Significant factual errors; FOUR PINOCCHIOS: Real whoppers; THE GEPPETTO CHECK MARK: Statements and claims contain the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Two Pinocchios, and counting.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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What would Gates say under oath about H1B pay?

gr8scot gr8scot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gr8scot (1172435) writes "Bill Gates claims, again, that he can't find good help in the United States labor market and that the H1B 'program has strong wage protections for U.S. workers.' Jon Stokes of Ars Technica has unfortunately (for Bill) done his homework, and caught him in a lie about the salaries of his H1B workers: 'Salaries for these jobs at Microsoft start at about $100,000 a year.' In light of his direct appeal to our elected representatives in the Washington Post article, 'I urge them' to invite William Gates III to a televised chat, preferably under oath, to present a detailed account of exactly how the national problem of high-tech jobs with no skilled American applicants has affected his company. From Gates' Op-Ed in the Washington Post:

Last year, reform on this issue stalled as Congress struggled to address border security and undocumented immigration. As lawmakers grapple with those important issues once again, I urge them to support changes to the H-1B visa program that allow American businesses to hire foreign-born scientists and engineers when they can't find the homegrown talent they need. This program has strong wage protections for U.S. workers: Like other companies, Microsoft pays H-1B and U.S. employees the same high levels — levels that exceed the government's prevailing wage.
He asked for the attention of Congress, and I hope they listen very carefully to what he tells them. I also hope they, and all of Microsoft's customers, will note the 'disconnect' between what he tells them in this context and what his marketing department tries to tell us all about their wonderful conferencing and collaboration software. That he needs foreign workers in this country but his software does what he says it does cannot both be true."
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Pentagon: US spy satellite to hit Earth by March

gr8scot gr8scot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gr8scot (1172435) writes "It probably won't do any harm, but it is certainly expensive. 'Hydrazine is harmful to the human central nervous system and can be fatal in big doses. However, it breaks down quickly in heat and ultra-violet light, the French security agency Ineris said in a report. Specialists cited in the New York Times said the hydrazine would burn off if the fuel tank breaks, as is likely, when re-entering the atmosphere.' And, among all those other satellites, why isn't there one for maintenance, or at least with a grappling hook to put the broken ones in a stable, unpowered orbit until repairs can be done? Article: 'The United States has a thick web of billion-dollar satellites monitoring the Earth, some including high-powered telescopes or radars, with the capability to zoom in and help launch precision strikes on enemy targets.' And, not one to zero in on the other satellites, when they become 'enemy targets'? Geniuses! I realize it's space, distances are great, and "thick web" is a relative term. '"Since we've been in the business of doing that, for 50 years or so, there have been more than 17,000 man-made objects that have re-entered the Earth atmosphere."' But, in light of the fact that 17,000 satellites — most of them owned and/or put there at the expense of the United States — have re-entered the atmosphere, I estimate that "web" is thick enough for maintenance to be as reasonable as putting them into orbit in the first place, for long-term cost efficiency alone."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Put Bill Gates under oath and ask about H1B salaries

gr8scot gr8scot writes  |  more than 6 years ago Bill Gates claims, again, that he can't find good help in the United States labor market and Jon Stokes of Ars Technica catches him in a lie about the salaries of foreign workers. In light of his direct appeal to our elected representatives in the Washington Post article, "I urge them" to invite William Gates III to a televised chat, preferably under oath, to present a detailed account of how the national problem of high-tech jobs with no skilled American applicants has affected his company.

Last year, reform on this issue stalled as Congress struggled to address border security and undocumented immigration. As lawmakers grapple with those important issues once again, I urge them to support changes to the H-1B visa program that allow American businesses to hire foreign-born scientists and engineers when they can't find the homegrown talent they need. This program has strong wage protections for U.S. workers: Like other companies, Microsoft pays H-1B and U.S. employees the same high levels -- levels that exceed the government's prevailing wage.

He asked for the attention of Congress, and I hope they listen very carefully to what he tells them.

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gr8scot gr8scot writes  |  more than 6 years ago http://lists.essential.org/pipermail/corp-focus/2008/000272.html

I see a lot of interesting topics in twitter's Journal, but I'm not sure this one is as relevant as the numbers imply. I think people knowingly waste their time replying to polls only if they feel relatively strongly about the topic, which is a type of [self-]selection bias. George F. Will has said much the same thing about voter turnout, in support of his thesis that it's no big deal that 50% +1 of eligible US voters don't, and in fact that only means they believe they will be OK whoever is elected. I'm not enthusiastic about that explanation either, but it might be right, at least for some of the ~50% of cases of not voting. Maybe I shouldn't cite him as a source in support of my speculation, especially because I can't remember the title & copyright date. Oh well, if he wants proper attribution, he can open his own account!

Anyway, 99% of people don't understand statistics, so accurate measurements of their stupid opinions by qualified statisticians really is a quantifiable but unquantified, probably enormous, waste of valuable time which has instead been expended negating value.

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