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Comments

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FTC Sues AT&T For Throttling 'Unlimited' Data Plan Customers Up To 90%

jeffmeden Re:Meet somewhere in the middle (173 comments)

They can do that - but not if they say UNLIMITED.

The word unlimited means NO LIMITS. None. Zero. Nada. Without any restraints.

You can't advertise something as 'no peanuts' and then put peanuts in it. Similarly, you can't advertise something, or worse, put sell a contract for unlimited and then put limits on it.

The basic problem is false advertising here. The providers wanted the right to lie.

That is against the law. They deserve to be punished, and punished severely.

But could you advertise something as having "unlimited peanuts" and then have peanuts plus something else (really slow peanuts) in it? You are never going to really be able to eat an infinite amount of peanuts so the upper bound is meaningless.

See why that's a bad example? The problem isn't the unlimited part, plenty of services offered unlimited dialup; where are your posts decrying the absurdity of only being able to download at 52kbps despite the unlimited service? The problem is the "4g" (or even "3g") part of it that they are basically taking away at an arbitrary point.

It is mildly interesting to note that at 100kbps (the throttled speed, I believe) is still fast enough to download 31GB over the course of a month, so you are still getting a lot of gigs per dollar for your plan (compared to paying the new price for a 30GB/mo plan), albeit slowly.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Unlimited Data Plan For Seniors?

jeffmeden Re:Why not a wifi extender? (170 comments)

Get a good wifi extender and attach it to the "free wifi" there and have it re broadcast to her room. A decent AP that can do it with external antennas and a high gain patch antenna should do the trick.

If it were that easy, yes a few well configured OpenWRT devices (bought on ebay for $30-50 and plugged in inconspicuously above the drop ceiling) would solve the issue. I have a feeling whoever is railing those seniors for $80/mo connections has some sway over the facility management though (how else could they get away with shit like that??) and would quash the idea.

2 days ago
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Black Swan Author: Genetically Modified Organisms Risk Global Ruin

jeffmeden Re:QUestion on dietary restrictions (403 comments)

For example, if something, say corn, is genetically modified to have DNA from a non-kosher animal in it does that food item also become non-kosher? The same could be asked of if the restriction was vegetarian or vegan. How exactly would that work out?

If you manage to engineer bacon-corn, you will face far more risk from the hordes beating their way to your door demanding the seeds than you will from the Kosher observers who protest.

3 days ago
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Black Swan Author: Genetically Modified Organisms Risk Global Ruin

jeffmeden Re:Nonsense. Again. (403 comments)

And we've been comparing apples to oranges for just as long.

Actually, before there were apples and oranges, there were some people cultivating a variety of bushes with barely edible fruit and wondering if there was any way to get them to ripen larger, taste better, and spoil slower. 500+ years later, here we are, comparing apples to oranges (neither of which existed in its current form back then).

Or, were you trying to make a joke?

3 days ago
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Black Swan Author: Genetically Modified Organisms Risk Global Ruin

jeffmeden oooh GMO is to oscary u guys! (403 comments)

What they don't bother to put in TFS is that the 85% of corn and 90% of soybeans currently running modified genes are only modified to make them immune to glyphosate (aka "Roundup-ready"). There only real risk is that maybe by some huge stroke of bad luck, some other plant (a weed, say) picks up glyphosate resistance from these genes. The thing about that fear tactic is that it's not too unlikely that pest plants will eventually pick up glyphosate resistance anyway, and it's not really a scary prospect since glyphosate is only relied on for farming, and if it stops working they can move on to a different herbicide for us to debate over.

Making glyphosate resistant corn? Probably going to have 0 repercussions, and the worst-case scenario is not unlike the chemical resistance issues we face in almost every other area of biology (i.e. penicillin resistant bacteria). Making a corn-tomato-hemp hybrid that grows a foot a day and re-roots itself whenever it's cut down? OK maybe we should talk that one through a little more. Scare mongering with the "GMO will make our planet a Mad-Max wasteland of anarchy" is really unproductive.

3 days ago
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US Army May Relax Physical Requirements To Recruit Cyber Warriors

jeffmeden Re:Good luck with that (307 comments)

Sometimes I wonder if it would be cheaper if we awarded two companies the contract to write the same module with a bonus to the winner, just to get the competition.

See all the money that was thrown at the Joint Strike Fighter "competition" for a good example of how even a simple idea like that can end up completely FUBAR at the hands of the DoD.

3 days ago
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Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

jeffmeden Re:Mo-tiv-a-tion (582 comments)

Yeah, and it could also accidentally terminate its main() loop. Or disable subroutines for performing visual object recognition. The programming of AI tends to be built around layers of abstractions. Self modifying code wouldn't help to achieve that.

You have the physical ability to mess with your programming, but I don't see you cutting open your skull and messing with bits.

And again, if you're putting it into a smarter category, and it would understand its own design somehow, it would also have to be motivated to change its motivation. Why?

What most people deeply involved in AI consider to be the central tenet of AI is the ability to "feed forward", which is to take some outcome of present data and completely change the way it acts in the future as opposed to just adding to data that it acts on from the past. While this sounds like a very simple and unexciting prospect, when done completely it would necessarily result a program (if that is the best word for it) that will be motivated to change. I suppose using current terminology, this could take the form of virtual machines running copies of the AI inhabiting a single piece of hardware, allowing destructive modifications (or any other anomaly) to terminate and let well-running versions continue on.

Why? Because writing programs that don't change themselves has gotten rather predictable.

3 days ago
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Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

jeffmeden Re:By yourself you know others (582 comments)

All that this means is that deep down, Elon Musk doesn't have any faith in kindness and goodness and altruism

No, it means that Elon Musk doesn't have faith in the competence and foresight of those designing and building AIs. And frankly, given how the computing/IT/Internet industry has progressed so far, I think his is the only rational position an informed person could take.

I mean, his electric car can *barely* drive itself for chrissakes...

3 days ago
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Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

jeffmeden Re:Um (218 comments)

What the hell am I reading?

>Disaster preppers have a saying, "two is one and one is none," which might also apply to 24x7 base load energy sources that could sustain us beyond the age of fossil fuel.
How does a non-nonsensical saying apply to energy? Explain yourself.

A saying like "Ai = MTBF/(MTBF+MTTR)" just doesn't have that same ring to it. Preppers aren't known for a keen embrace of statistics.

about two weeks ago
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Python-LMDB In a High-Performance Environment

jeffmeden Re:Wikipedia article deleted (98 comments)

If Wikipedia was a person I would smack it upside the head for shit like this. There is absolutely no reason not to have an article on LMDB, and deleting a perfectly good article for no reason is evidence of a mental disorder. It's not like they have to spend an extra penny for a piece of paper to hold the article, possibly making the book too thick. Wake up.

Yeah, I'm FAR from a Wikipedia hater, but when it pulls shit like this it reveals its stupidity.

Wikipedia has a pretty standard bar for articles it should curate (which is decidedly not free) and that is, does the subject have any sort of peer-reviewed literature available (and source code comments, howtos, etc don't count)? This goes directly to the "no original research" policy, which basically asserts that Wikipedia editors (including the one that created the page) should not be writing the article based on their original work, since Wikipedia is not the place for peer review to happen. Long story short, the author/editor should do his peer review somewhere else (preferrably not some other wiki site) and then submit that work as a source. They do this to keep the amount of edit wars/debates/flame-fests to a minimum (and there are still plenty, even when sources are available). Wikipedia is trying quite frantically to focus on its core competency as editors walk away due to political/moral/religious squabbles, and this is one way to do that.

about two weeks ago
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Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

jeffmeden Re:Too bad... (610 comments)

Your average modern car has dozens of processors and up to 100 million lines of code - that's a lot of IP.

A modern wind turbine is a long way from your great-grandpa's old windmill but its not really that complicated; and if you think it's more complicated than a car, you're smoking some seriously bad crack.

If you think it's easy to read wind speed, direction, and grid demand (from potentially dozens of different sensors) and come up with blade pitch, turbine heading, and generator engagement on the fly to optimize efficiency and still work in concert with 500 similar and dissimilar devices on the grid and in your nearby airspace, AND have the wherewithal to manage 1 to 100mph wind conditions without falling over or spinning apart, you fucking try it. Until then get over how fancy you think cars are, they are just gas burning stereos with recliners crammed inside.

about two weeks ago
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Navy Tests Unpowered Exoskeleton

jeffmeden Re:Snipers love it (79 comments)

This is meant to be used inside bases. How many Americans have been killed by snipers while inside their bases recently?

Even more specifically, it seems ideal for someone working in/on the hull of a Navy ship where heavy welding, cutting/grinding, and riveting equipment is common. They tend not to build navy ships in conflict areas, and it seems like a very impractical device for combat zone use unless the weight it was intended for was body armor, making the sniper point moot yet again.

about two weeks ago
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Navy Tests Unpowered Exoskeleton

jeffmeden Re:Snipers love it (79 comments)

Do we count Fort Hood or not?

Nidal Hasan and Ivan Lopez were not snipers, so, sure go ahead and count Fort Hood...

about two weeks ago
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Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

jeffmeden Re:Oh great (549 comments)

> asserting that a single point of ultimate failure is the most important technology

Yeah, it's important all right. Critical, even.

We're being awfully slow about teaching people to adopt passphrases. Simple, no number no symbol nonsense.

"rrrybgdts" is a nursery rhyme. It doesn't even have to be written on a sticky.

9 alphas in lower case counts as sufficiently complex? That's like 42 bits. How about "r^3ybgdts,m^4libad". Still a nursery rhyme, eh?

about two weeks ago
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Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

jeffmeden Re:symbols, caps, numbers (549 comments)

And yet this exact 'verification' was a way to steal control of accounts a while back.

Basically, apple asked for the first four digits of your CC for secure verification, Amazon asked for the last four. Each were happy to give the four digits at the opposite end of your account and, worse, Amazon would let you add a new CC to your account, verify yourself with that credit card, then provide the other four digits of your other card. This was used, successfully, to attack a person's Icloud account. I am not sure about now, but I really hope both companies have changed their policies, particularly in regards to phone support and scripted replied to requests for control of accounts.

http://www.wired.com/2012/08/a...

Apple was doing something pretty stupid; the first six digits of a credit card number are assigned to the issuing bank so it would be pretty easy to guess ANYONEs first 4 digits if you have on hand a few big bank CC prefixes.

about two weeks ago
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Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

jeffmeden Re:Too bad... (610 comments)

*note to pedants, I said "square acre" to indicate that the acre was laid out with equal lengths on each side, not to suggest that an acre is not already a unit of area.

about two weeks ago
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Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

jeffmeden Re:Too bad... (610 comments)

If you assume 1 acre per windmill that's a square 11 miles on a side filled with windmills.

This is a bit of a ridiculous assumption. A square acre is 208 feet on each side... a 213 foot tip-tip wind turbine could RUN INTO the one next to it for fucks sake. Placing a wind turbine close to another one (even if they don't touch) results in very little output since wind gets slowed dramatically by a large turbine generating power. Actual projects spread them at about 60 acres EACH to maintain effectiveness. So going back to the math, 10 windmills per square mile means 8,000 square miles to power Germany, or an area 90mi x 90mi. Germany does have 137,000 sq miles in its borders, but it would probably rather not use them all (or even 6% of them) for windmills.

about two weeks ago
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Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

jeffmeden Re:Too bad... (610 comments)

Modern wind turbines (even at only 30% capacity) will run more like 1000-2000 homes each.

80,000 wind turbines sounds like a lot, but it's not really. Cars are much more complex machines than wind turbines, yet Germany churns out 6 million cars *every single year*. BMW alone probably builds 1 million cars a year in Germany.

This is patently false and a bit ridiculous. A single wind turbine costs over a million dollars to buy and install, not because it costs a lot to rent a crane (it does) but because it is a seriously fucking complicated device. 3 giant blades, a hub that can synchronously pitch the blades between 0 and 90 degrees, a shaft that not only holds up 3 huge, heavy blades but also transfers up to 2,000,000W of power (that's 2,600 horsepower, how much does a fucking BMW have?) I could go on and on. Wind turbines are so hard to design and build, most of them are imported (only a handful of firms can do it well). The IP surrounding wind turbine design is coveted as closely as military secrets (and stolen like military secrets, via state/state espionage and other clandestine acts.)

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Can't Google Block Spam In Gmail?

jeffmeden Re:WTF? (265 comments)

Maybe it shouldn't delete it but maybe more than one folder or putting a confidence level might be nice.
It has multiple categories for the inbox now, why not multiple categories for spam? There is spam and
then there is SPAM. My spam folder on google is full of stuff like viagra, russian bride, nigeria scams,
emails written in chinese I can't even read and other 110% obvious SPAM. There are also a few emails
or newsletters from companies with mediocre records. If my spam was split into 2 categories, my
guess is that 100% of the messages that occasionally get misplaced in my spam folder are in this
questionable category not the blatantly obvious category.

You mean you don't have the option to use a "Promotions" folder in Gmail where commercial email will go automatically? What are you using, the free version? Chuckle.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Can't Google Block Spam In Gmail?

jeffmeden Re:WTF? (265 comments)

Spam folder in my Gmail catches 99.9% of all spam I receive.

As a bonus: it's also excellent about learning what I mark as spam, and dealing with false positives.

Exactly. Even without much training, my gmail inbox is as clean as clean can be. Soliciting emails that I want to see (stores I frequent, etc) are properly shunted into "promotions". It has been at least a year or two since I have seen anything resembling a 419 email. I would posit one of two things is going on; either the submitter has done a good job of confusing the filter by moving/marking the wrong items out of the spam folder, or there really is a Nigerian prince looking to strike a deal to get his vast fortune out of Africa.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Motorola sticks to guns on locking down Android

jeffmeden jeffmeden writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jeffmeden (135043) writes ""These aren't the droids you're looking for" proclaims Motorola, maker of the popular Android smartphones such as the Droid 2 and Droid X. At least, not if you have any intention of loading a customized operating system, according to Motorola's own Youtube channel used to show off upcoming products. Motorola:"@tdcrooks if you want to do custom roms, then buy elsewhere, we'll continue with our strategy that is working thanks." The strategy they are referring to is a feature Motorola pioneered called "e-fuse", the ability for the phone's CPU to stop working if it detects unauthorized software running. More information available via a story at Android blog site AndroidCentral"
Link to Original Source
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Hosting Provider The Planet offers 500 free hosts

jeffmeden jeffmeden writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jeffmeden (135043) writes "The folks over at The Planet are into recycling, but are giving it quite a twist by putting 500 retired servers back into use for the first 500 developers to come to them with a worthy idea. A nice server and 10mbit of bandwidth are up for grabs, apparently perpetually (or at least, we would hope, until the idea starts turning a profit). Data Center Knowledge describes it this way: "The program, known as Sand Castle, was conceived by Chairman and CEO Doug Erwin of The Planet. The company has a stockpile of recycled servers that are no longer being used by its dedicated and managed hosting customers, but still have useful life." Additional info available directly from The Planet."
Link to Original Source
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Smartphones receive holy blessing

jeffmeden jeffmeden writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jeffmeden (135043) writes "Plow Monday is normally for blessing laborers and their tools; as the name suggests it is aimed at those that work the land. A church service in London, England Monday decided to go after a more modern audience: office workers and their modern communication gadgets. From the Times article: "The congregation at St Lawrence Jewry in the City of London raised their mobiles and iPods above their heads and Canon Parrott raised his voice to the heavens to address the Lord God of all Creation. 'May our tongues be gentle, our e-mails be simple and our websites be accessible,' he said.""
Link to Original Source
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Microsoft order to pay $388 million in patent case

jeffmeden jeffmeden writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jeffmeden (135043) writes "BusinessWeek reports today that Microsoft suffered a loss in federal court Monday. The judge rendering the verdict ordered Microsoft to pay $388 Million in damages for violating a patent held by Uniloc, a California maker of software that prevents people from illegally installing software on multiple computers. Uniloc claims Microsoft's Windows XP and some Office programs infringe on a related patent they hold. It's hard to take sides on this one but one thing is certain, should the verdict hold up it will be heavily ironic if the extra copies of XP and Office sold due to crafty copy protection end up not being worth $388 million."
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AMD semiconductor sales fell 22% for 2007

jeffmeden jeffmeden writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jeffmeden (135043) writes "TGDaily is reporting that the new numbers from the semiconductor industry are in, and AMD has dropped 22% in sales for 2007, ranking them #11 worldwide. This is likely the result of a major push by competitor and #1 ranked semiconductor supplier Intel, which has been aggressively producing dual and quad core chips. This is a major turnaround for AMD, who up until now had been making steady progress in winning market share away from Intel."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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-1 overrated

jeffmeden jeffmeden writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Last week a few of my extremely accurate and well on-topic posts relating to the X-box got moderated, from the 1 which i post at, to 0, due to a -1 overrated. What tool motherfucker mods a comment at 1 'overrated'??? for extremely valid posts??? if you have something against me you better say it, hiding behind mod points will get you nowhere (i can post way more than you can mod, i guarantee). that's all.

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