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Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

istartedi Re:inert gas (367 comments)

Too much of a fire hazard. I don't see any local fire marshal wanting to sign off on such a thing. I'd go with a gas detector that sounds an alarm and releases CO2 into the chamber. It would rapidly displace whatever they managed to pump in. The cold steam hissing out of the box would also give them one heck of a startle.

2 days ago
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One In Five Developers Now Works On IoT Projects

istartedi Re:What's more irritating? (251 comments)

Internet of Things has actually managed to surpass my hatred of "The Cloud"

You need to put the two together... for synergy.

2 days ago
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Anonymous Asks Activists To Fight Pedophiles In 'Operation Deatheaters'

istartedi Re:Think of the children! (408 comments)

You don't follow my logic because it isn't what I said. It's not my logic. It's just something you inferred. "When the economy is bad, communism starts to look better", is not the same as "The economy is bad. Communism will be better. Join the Party with me".

4 days ago
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Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

istartedi Re:Regulation? (339 comments)

Not only is that obvious on its face, you can see it in the statistics: the more "statist" and regulatory governments have been, the less well economies have done and the more income inequality we've seen.

That's an awful lot of un-quantified stuff. You can have fun measuring these things in oh-so many ways. I propose to measure oppression in Stalins per acre, and economic outcome in chickens per pot. Fair enough? Let's get some real analysis started now...

4 days ago
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"Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

istartedi East coast storms are notorious (397 comments)

East coast snow storms are notoriously difficult to predict. I'm not surprised that even with modern technology they still can't get it perfect. In addition to the dynamic nature of the low-pressure circulation interacting with the coast and the gulf stream (like a hurricane) you've got the all-important freezing temperature line. It's even worse than "a line that might shift" though, because if the cold air intrudes under the warm you get freezing rain, not snow.

I grew up in that region (DC area) and it was always like this. I have no envy for those forecasters.

One of my fondest memories is of the 1978 storm. Hit in the afternoon, 2" predicted. 6PM, forecast increased 6-8". Next morning? Most of us had 24", some hit 36". I wonder if modern tech could have done better.

More often than not though, it seemed like DC always got cheated out of snow when I was a kid. Rain, sleet, snow that got rained on and turned into a soggy mess. Beautiful snow that you could play in on your day off was just all too rare.

4 days ago
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Anonymous Asks Activists To Fight Pedophiles In 'Operation Deatheaters'

istartedi Re:Think of the children! (408 comments)

Going to cause a lot of collateral damage to start doxxing people who may or may not be pedobears

Call me when anonymous starts busting down doors without warning at 3 AM and kills occupants. Call me when they snag people rolling through town who just took out cash to buy a car, and confiscate the money. Call me when they drag people through the court for years, ruining their good name with no real conviction. Call me when they just shoot you on the street even though you're un-armed.

Those are all things the "real cops" have been doing. When the authorities aren't doing their job, alternatives start to look better.

5 days ago
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Bomb Threats Via Twitter Partly Shut Down Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport

istartedi Re:What is there on a fighter that could help? (110 comments)

Unless the pilot has X-ray vision, his eyeballs ain't gonna help. Fighter Pilot: Yes, confirmed it's a plane that hasn't been hijacked and may or may not have a bomb on board. Commercial Pilot: Told you so.

about a week ago
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Bomb Threats Via Twitter Partly Shut Down Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport

istartedi What is there on a fighter that could help? (110 comments)

What is there on a fighter jet that could possibly help? It's a bomb threat. Fighters have... bombs, guns and missiles. Well, since we already don't want an explosion at the airport, bombs don't help. Missiles, pretty much the same deal except there's a nice WhhoooooOOOSH before it hits something. Seems bombs and missiles would only make matters worse. That leaves guns, typically used air-to-air or for strafing. Since they aren't under threat of air attack, strafing seems to be the most likely course of action, should the fighters actually engage.

That doesn't make a lot of sense though. A device, if found, will typically be removed and detonated or detonated in place after the area has been cleared.

Maybe, just maybe... the logic is something like, "Hey, can we strafe the bomb this time?". CO: "No, EOD is going to follow procedure". Pilot: "Damned EOD. Maybe we'll strafe the bomb next time".

about a week ago
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Winklevoss Twins Plan Regulated Bitcoin Exchange

istartedi So like regular money (79 comments)

So like regular money, only fun. But wait... nothing in the park accepts Itchy and Scratchy money...

about a week ago
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Lost Beagle2 Probe Found 'Intact' On Mars

istartedi Knowing what failed is valuable (130 comments)

Knowing what failed is valuable. Now instead of engineers looking at rockets and/or parachutes, they can concentrate on the panel deployment system. Maybe they overlooked something and it was more easily fouled by dust than they thought.

about two weeks ago
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Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

istartedi Re:Times have changed. (784 comments)

Scrolled down for this. Walking to school with Mommie was a kindergarden thing for me in the 70s. From 1st grade on, I walked to school or the bus stop all by my ittle bitty sef!

Oh and yes, no cel phone of course. If you were in real trouble you could find some parent who was out in their garden, and ask to use the phone.

about two weeks ago
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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

istartedi The best teachers aren't afraid of that (388 comments)

The best teachers aren't afraid of students who know something they don't. Teaching teachers all the knowledge is impossible. Teaching teachers humility is possible, though seldom seen.

about three weeks ago
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Little-Known Programming Languages That Actually Pay

istartedi ASN.1? (242 comments)

I thought ASN.1 was just a data representation, not a programming language. Went and googled a bit...um,.... seems to be right; but I only skimmed the Wiki. Of course you could represent code in any good data representation language; but why? I've heard people say that data is passed using ASN.1, but never "I wrote that application in ASN.1". That just sounds wrong.

about three weeks ago
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Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets

istartedi Make something worth fixing (840 comments)

Trouble is, a lot of today's appliances aren't worth fixing. I junked a blender recently. Problem? plastic coupling between the motor and the blades. What's that you say? Machine a new one out of metal? OK maybe... if the motor didn't already spark and smell like ozone when making one smoothie. No, crushing ice was not pushing this thing. It was specifically advertised as being OK with that. It was just. A piece. Of crap. Now a BlendTec, that'd be worth servicing... but even the consumer version is $400.00. Many of us can't afford that, or we rationalize the 5-year disposable $40 blender as potentially cheaper even though trashing things is somehow less satisfying. There is no pride in ownership when there's no pride in manufacturing. This is by design. The companies don't want people fixing things. Everybody knows it.

Maybe that's why the younger generation is more interested in making. If companies won't put pride in manufacturing, maybe individuals will.

about a month ago
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Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

istartedi Re:Encapsulation (303 comments)

It sounds like you might be somebody who learned to program someplace other than a CS degree, or who got a CS degree and forgot some academic stuff that you haven't used in your day-to-day work.

You've run afoul of the "functional" doesn't mean "uses function calls a lot" problem and some chest-pounders here are slamming you for that. As an EE who only had a few undergrad CS courses, I've had similar problems. Somewhere out there is a USENET thread in which I'm assuming that "side effects" are "bad side effects" as opposed to manageable outcomes of calling non-pure functions. Thus, I can empathize with you.

Chances are you're a fine programmer who just never studied functional programming. Forget the pedants, and google Lisp, Haskell, "pure function", "functional programming", etc. I'll wager you won't want to write programs in those languages but will find it interesting. You'll also be less likely to bring pedants out of the wood work once you're familiar with the terminology.

about a month ago
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Texas Instruments Builds New Energy Technology For the Internet of Things

istartedi Re:Millivolts "power"? (54 comments)

When you see "Internet of Things" you know everything that comes after is usually pure idiocy anyway.

about a month ago
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Cuba Says the Internet Now a Priority

istartedi Re: Tiny Island (115 comments)

Holy crap, that's the last place I'd expect a cable. It sounds like the only reason they did that is politics because of Chavez. The latency will suck. Why couldn't they get to Mexico? If the relationship with the USA progresses, a cable from the Keys is a no-brainer. You'll get much better round-trips to Miami which a lot of Cubans will want for VOIP, video, etc.

about a month ago
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What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

istartedi What should happen (628 comments)

What should happen is a graceful transition from the scarcity-driven model to a virtually non-scarce model. We could start by issuing shares in public companies to the poor (financed by taxes), with the restraint that they aren't allowed to sell shares. They would receive dividends each month in addition to welfare. Eventually they might receive enough so that traditional welfare isn't required. As robots replaced workers, more and more people would end up on this kind of "dole" but it would be less and less onerous, and less and less of a stigma.

Eventually, you end up with almost everybody living off investment income. You still have a free market since there are no restrictions on *buying* new shares--you are only barred from selling your dole account. It's just that the market employment become less important.

That's just the financial aspect of the transition, with a very simple sort of social justice thrown in. It could be lousy or great, depending on a lot of societal factors. I think it's just important to realize that a gradual transition is possible without going to war over words like "socialism", "communism", "libertarianism", "fascism" or whatever -ism du jour is getting blow-hard pundit panties in a bunch.

about a month and a half ago

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istartedi istartedi writes  |  about 3 years ago

Stop Obama's plan to sell FNMA foreclosures to private investors in bulk. These properties should be made available to all regardless of political or social affiliation.

It's understood that putting the properties on the market en masse could have negative impacts due to supply/demand fundemantals.

Here is a suggested course of action that addresses that issue FAIRLY:

1. Charter a corporation to hold, repair, and rent the properties, with the understanding that they will not be sold into the market for a fixed period of time, and thereafter only a fixed percentage per annum may be sold (e.g., 5 years of holding and no more than 5% of holdings per year sold thereafter).

2. The corporation must be publicly traded so that it will be subject to the full transparency required of any other corporation, and so that anyone who wishes may invest, regardless of who they know or donated to.

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The Microsoft Antivirus

istartedi istartedi writes  |  more than 12 years ago

This article is a continuation of a thread that played out rather long, and was in danger of being archived before I was done with it.

Ogerman's words appear with emphasis, and mine in regular text.

I'm sorry, but you're way off here. I would consider myself one of the so-called 'zealots' that you refer to. However, my vision is not some imaginary socialist utopia where everybody blindly works for the good of all and is magically rewarded. GPL is a tool to ensure that control of the technology we embrace remains in our hands rather than being controlled primarily by business interests. Retaining control allows us (developers) to operate in a market with few barriers--a purely capitalist market.

That is one of the great myths of the Free Software movement. Copylefting software actually gives developers *less* control not more. How? Because developers no longer have money, and as people on /. love to point out, "he who has the gold makes the rules". So what if Linux is GPL'd? The suits at RedHat and IBM are still going to make most of the decisions about what areas of development get funded. At it's very best, the GPL does nothing to break the grip of the suits. If we get to the point where code under non-copylefted licenses is not available, it will be impossible for anyone to override the status quo, and the people who are most likely to do that are small developers in the garage, not the suits.

OK, lets assume that happens--for example, the Open Source community comes up with a beautifully written office suite that effectively drives all proprietary ones out of the market. How is this bad? All it means is the wheel will never again need re-invented and perhaps finally a true industry standard will emerge. There's still plenty of room for innovation--new features to the existing codebase.. contributed by anyone who pleases. Where is this scenario bad? It's sure as heck a more optimal outcome for thepublic interest. And if you've really got that great of an idea on how to re-think the whole concept of an "office suite" then sure, it's your right to go proprietary.

The harm to consumers would be similar to the harm done by any other type of monopoly--the lack of choice. It isn't necessary to standardize the software; only the file format. What happens if a customer doesn't like the one-size-fits-all look and feel of this office suite? Very few customers are capable of making code changes, and at the consumer level nobody can afford to hire a programmer. They will simply have to wait for someone in the community to make the change. I'm happy to see you saying "it's your right to go proprietary" in the last sentance. There's hope yet. However, consider the huge barrier now faced by someone who wishes to topple a GPL'd monopoly.

Toppling MSFT would be far easier. In fact, Be Inc. might have had a chance of toppling MSFT were it not for Free Software. Apple competes with MSFT by verticly integrating hardware and software. MSFT is not nearly as impregnable as people make it out to be.

To topple a proprietary monopoly, you can start by providing an inferior product at a lower price. Then, you can feed the revenue back into R&D until your product matches or exceeds the monopolist product in quality and/or price. Yes, nobody has done this in direct competition with MSFT. OS/2 had a shot. I think OS/2 was doomed by crappy marketing for the most part. Back in Win3.x and '95 days, I remember seeing OS/2 ads and coming away not really knowing what it was. OS/2 Warp? That sounded like some kind of ad-on that I didn't really need. If only IBM had said "run 32-bit Windows and DOS applications for half the price of Windows95". If only there had been an "OS/2 compatable" sticker on software boxes (maybe there was) I might have been sold.

However, to topple a GPL'd monopoly is entirely different. You have to either verticly integrate to subsidize the software (like the Intel compiler) or keep plowing massive ammounts of money into your R&D until you have a better product. Nobody will pay for the inferior early versions. If you do get to the point where you have a better product, you have to charge more for it to recoup development costs. That's why the Intel compiler is several hundred dollars; and that's even with a subsidy from chip sales. Can you imagine something as good as the Intel compiler being written by a pure software company?

As stated earlier, I would not take it to that extreme--outlawing proprietary. But on the other hand, if Open Source wins by nature and market forces, then so be it.

Good to know. FWIW, I don't think most people in the OSS/FS movements want to outlaw proprietary; it's just a core group of RMS et.al. that worry me. A /. poll on this might yield interesting results.

Nothing you have said thus far suggests any way in which copylefted software could cause social problems, but if you can provide a solid example, I'm all ears. Decreasing the size of the software industry due to increased efficiency of open development does not count, however, because this type of change is seen throughout all history and in all industries and is not a social problem. (compare: robotics replacing factory workers, etc.)

Of course I can't cite an example in software because like I said, the industry and the FS movement are both just babies. I see parallels to the communist revolution, and less extremely, to the public school system. If copyleft wins in a free market, I see poor people waiting for new features, while the rich pay premiums for software that already has the desired features. If copyleft wins by legal coup, I see a black market for proprietary software, with mafia coders moving in to add features and threatening to break your leg if you tell anybody.

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