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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

laird Re:From Jack Brennan's response (769 comments)

So are you arguing that the US is less secure now than it was in 1774? Back when we had almost nothing, fighting the globe-spanning England, we rejected torture as being against our principles. Now that we're the richest, most powerful country on the planet, "threatened" by terrorists (i.e. fighters without even the backing of a country) we're willing to give up our principles?

2 days ago
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3D Printer?

laird Re:Won't be printing at home that soon (173 comments)

It's still a maturing industry, like 2D printing back when those printers were hundreds to thousands of dollars. But it's rapidly transitioning to a consumer-friendly technology. Every generation is better than the previous one, and the rate of advance is impressive. For example, the auto-leveling printers eliminate the primary cause of print failures. And the software is better and easier every year. Of course, it requires training and skill to design 3d objects, but that's true of good 2d products as well. The answer in 3D, just as it was in 2D, was for skilled people to create templates, so that novices could tweak and personalize even if they can't (or don't want to) do a ground-up design.

about a week ago
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3D Printer?

laird Re:Missing option: CNC Router (173 comments)

I think you got PLA and ABS backwards. PLA as a wide range of "glass transition" that starts to turn soft at 60c but melts around 160 c, ABS has a much narrower glass transition range (and the same melting temp) so it can take much higher temperatures without getting soft. Nylon can take higher temperatures, and Polycarbonate even higher.

about a week ago
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3D Printer?

laird Re:Currently 3D printing my own 3D printer (173 comments)

The goal of RepRap is to make manufacturing (with plastic) cheap and universally available. You still need some non-plastic parts, like the hot end, electronics, and stepper motors. But they've got the electronics in 3D printers down to commodity stuff that's relatively cheaply available, so you can make a 3D printer for $200 or so of electronics, plus getting a friend to print a set of the printable parts.

It'll be a while until you can 3D print 100% of the device - it's hard to imagine being able to 3D print a controller, for example. But since they're dirt cheap, that's not a huge issue.

about a week ago
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3D Printer?

laird Re:Durable parts. (173 comments)

The most useful part I've printed is probably a repair part for a dishwasher. It was a plastic clip, and the manufacturer only wanted to sell the complete drawer assembly for $400 per drawer, so a little measuring and CAD saved me $800.

Whoever's saying that 3D printed parts can't be durable is out of date. Old-school PLA was pretty fragile, but modern PLA is much more durable, ABS is quite durable, and Nylon is effectively indestructible. Of course, bonded layers won't be as strong as injection molding, or CNC milling from a solid piece, but these days 3D printed parts from consumer printers are highly usable. Within the realm of what can be done with extruded plastic, of course. Some things you need to CNC mill from steel. That's fun, too.

about a week ago
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Last Three Years the Quietest For Tornadoes Ever

laird Re:Time to openly admit... (187 comments)

If you observe a several hundred year trend in global climate, which has dips up and down for years and even decades, a few years of a dip doesn't disprove the long-term trend.

Let's compare it to the stock market. It's been going up as a general trend for decades, making stocks a generally very good investment with great long-term returns. There were certainly years where stocks went down, and certainly many individual stocks that collapsed, but that doesn't mean that stocks don't go up, or won't go up, just that some years and specific stocks deviated from the long-term trend.

about a week ago
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Last Three Years the Quietest For Tornadoes Ever

laird Re:Where are hurricanes? The other side of the wor (187 comments)

You're missing the point, perhaps intentionally.

Global Climate Change is a change in the global climate, with is a broad, long-term change. The impact on a specific region or time period isn't global climate, it's regional weather, which is only very loosely correlated to the global climate.

Arguing that the weather recently in the east coast of the US is fine, so you don't care about global climate change, is like arguing that your chair is comfortable so you don't care that the house is on fire. Sure, you're fine right now where you are, but it's not going to stay that way forever. And ignoring what's going on around you is a bad long-term plan.

about a week ago
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Are the TSA's New Electronic Device Screenings Necessary?

laird Re:Betteridge says (184 comments)

"People complain about the security procedures but if someone was able to hijack or blowup a plane the very same complainers would be howling about not having enough security"

People aren't complaining about security, they're complaining about things that don't improve security, but which do make travel an absurd hassle. Taking our shoes off, not carrying liquids, etc., don't prevent any significant threats. Both measures would detect attempted attacks that were both detected and stopped other ways when they were attempted, and both of which would have failed even if they'd not been stopped - the "liquid explosives" take hours to process during which time the attacker would have to be locked in the bathroom doing chemistry with the liquids, and the shoe bomb and the underwear bomb would have badly injured the attacker but not destroyed the plane.

Things that really improve security are measures that countries that take air travel security seriously take, with Israel the obvious example. A good start would be actually putting an Air Marshall on every flight, and to actually understand who the fliers are and interrogate anyone suspicious, which require real effort - they'd have to train tens of thousands of agents to put one on each flight daily. They likely have under 5,000 now, to cover 87K flights a day, so odds are there's no Air Marshal on any given flight. And there aren't trained detectives talking to fliers to pick out suspicious people - there are checklists given to "lowest cost bid" contractors. But they'd rather talk about security than do anything difficult or expensive, so Air Marshals are out. And, amazingly enough, they've been _cutting_ the number of Air Marshals.

So instead they funnel money into expensive equipment of marginal value (but profits for vendors, and lowest-cost-bid "agents" can operate them). So we get no security, but we get hassles.

The most absurd part is that the people working in "security" are all following orders, and appear to think that what they're doing improves security somehow.

about a week ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

laird Re:From Jack Brennan's response (769 comments)

The United States was formed specifically not to be just another country, but to hold itself to a higher standard. And it did so. When the US was just an idea, and our soldiers were fighting the most powerful country on the planet, we didn't justify torture.

“Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner]. . . I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country.” - George Washington, charge to the Northern Expeditionary Force, Sept. 14, 1775

If our current leadership has lost sight of the point of forming the United States, they need to be held to a higher standard, and replaced by leaders who respect the principles of the country.

about two weeks ago
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Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?

laird Re:Make providers publish their prices. (135 comments)

The fundamental problem is that they're over-billing, the problem is that they've got a monopoly on a utility, generally with extremely weak oversight. So, as happens for hundreds of years, they use their control to extract money from everyone else. That's why it's a terrible idea to run utilities as unregulated, for-profit corporations. That's why whenever monopoly utilities are deregulated the prices go up while quality of service goes down. Competition only works if there is real competition.

about a month ago
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Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?

laird Re:Government is evil! (135 comments)

Competition doesn't magically solve everything - that's why there should be both competition and legally defined minimum standards.

Compare it to food safety. Back before there was an FDA, food companies would often sell unsafe and even deadly food, because it was profitable to do so. And competition didn't stop them. What was effective is laws making it illegal to use unsafe practices in food production, combined with audits and penalties. And competition serves to improve things above that level, so that some food companies do better than the legally mandated minimum for food safety. Of course, it's not perfect, but it's far, far better than the horrors of the pre-FDA food supply. So now people have a right to know what's in the food they eat, and that there's basic minimum level of safety in food production. And those had to be made laws because food manufacturers didn't do either of those things, even with the magic of competition.

Similarly, the Net Neutrality is a law that says that when you buy an internet connection you can get to the whole internet and your ISP won't corrupt your network connection to increase their profits. That seems pretty obviously a good thing, which I suspect is why pretty much every major technology company supports it.

about a month ago
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Amazon's Echo: a $200, Multi-Function, Audio-Centric Device

laird Re:It looks a lot like Ivee (129 comments)

Sorry, you're right. Ivee was $149 on Kickstarter, which is less than the $199 Echo. But now it's retailing for $199, same as Echo, My bad.

about a month ago
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Amazon's Echo: a $200, Multi-Function, Audio-Centric Device

laird Re:It looks a lot like Ivee (129 comments)

Funny, but not true - they actually shipped the units, and they work well.

about a month ago
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Amazon's Echo: a $200, Multi-Function, Audio-Centric Device

laird It looks a lot like Ivee (129 comments)

It looks a lot like Ivee (http://www.helloivee.com) which was Kickstarted a while back. Ivee costs much less, and integrates with home automation gear (Hue, Nest, etc.), which is useful. It doesn't stream internet audio, though. So it'll be interesting to see how they compete.

about a month and a half ago
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In this year's US mid-term elections ...

laird Re:no dimocrats (551 comments)

The white house had hundreds of meetings with Republicans, spent a year negotiating with them, and hundreds of Republican amendments were adopted during the committee mark-up process that was passed. They were negotiating with Republicans right up until the actual vote, because the whole time there were Republicans saying that they might vote for the ACA if only they added X or Y to it. Remember the "The Cornhusker Kickback" that Nelson negotiated for?

Yes, since they threw a tantrum and walked out at the last minute, so in theory Democrats could have ripped all of that cost and complexity out, but then that would have been a reset to the whole process, and might have resulted in nothing getting done. And because they needed every single Democratic vote, they could only pass what the worst of the Senate (Lieberman) would vote for. And since he was owned by the insurance companies, he made sure that the ACA was great for the insurance companies.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Single Sign-On To Link Google Apps and Active Directory?

laird Re:LDAP won't work? (168 comments)

If you run AD, you should probably run ADFS. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-u...

It runs on top of AD, and provides standards-based SSO for users. It works nicely with Google Apps.

It's a bit complex to set up, but there are articles like http://www.huggill.com/2012/01... . Basically, ADFS is a SAML Identity Provider and Google Apps is a SAML Service Provider. So when users go to log into Google using your domain, they are redirected to ADFS to log in, which validates them against AD, then redirects them back to Google. Then when they access any other service that you have SSO with, the user doesn't have to re-authenticate.

You can do the same thing with Ping Federate. If nothing else, you can get quotes from both. But if you get educational pricing from MS, ADFS is likely cheaper. ADFS doesn't cost anything (other than paying for the servers and OS) - the expensive part is buying the AD CALs for everyone doing SSO, which you already have.

about a month and a half ago
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Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

laird Re:Camps mixed up (739 comments)

Exactly. A watered down, overpriced reform is still better than how things were.

If it helps, that's how the UK got the NHS - they were forced by the Doctors to "stuff their mouths with gold" to overcome their objections. And the result is much more effective than the US healthcare system.

about a month and a half ago
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Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

laird Re:Camps mixed up (739 comments)

As to your theory that Republicans never wanted to implemented it federally, luckily there's documented history. In his book published in early 2010, Romney, after reviewing the success of health care in Massachusetts, wrote, “We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country.” A few years later, in the paperback, the line had been deleted.

"obamacare is failing by every measure except for enrollment (which doesnt mean jack shit in reality)" - more BS. First, Republicans were claiming for a year that the gauge of success of Obamacare was enrollment, and that if fewer than 7m people enrolled the plan would collapse. Once 10m people enrolled, suddenly the claims of the previous year "doesnt mean jack shit in reality"?! Really?

If you want some more metrics, how about 37m more people covered (kids, working poor, etc.), $billions refunded to consumers who had been getting ripped off by insurance companies (whose waste level is now capped at 20%). And healthcare costs are going up at only 2-3% annually, compared to 7-9% annually for decades before this. And insurance companies can no longer bankrupt people by throwing them off the plans that they've been paying for, just because they need the coverage.

So really, if it "fucking sucks" what would you prefer, that could have passed over united Republican opposition? Single Payer, while clearly better in every way, wasn't an option as long as Lieberman's vote was needed to pass health care reform. And if you're proposing going back to how things were - tell me how you're going to cover the $1.5 trillion higher cost? And explain why in return for massively higher costs, we'd get worse coverage, and 37M people losing coverage completely.

about a month and a half ago
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Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

laird Re:Camps mixed up (739 comments)

Republicans were the ones doing the negotiating. Remember, they held out the promise of votes until the end, which is why the Democrats were negotiating with them, implemented dozens of Republican proposals, etc. Nothing was hidden from Republicans - they were the ones in the middle of the negotiations.

What Pelosi said was that the bill was still being negotiated, and that until negotiations were done we wouldn't know what the result of the negotiations was. Too complex for you?

about a month and a half ago
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In this year's US mid-term elections ...

laird Re:no dimocrats (551 comments)

The requirements are already implemented.

Based on Massachusetts, we should expect to see that the coverage will continue to expand, and healthcare costs continue to grow much more slowly than they were before. That's certainly what we're seeing so far.

Given that, going back to the way things were will (based on CBO analysis) not only throw 37m people off of insurance (kids, working poor, etc.) it'll increase healthcare costs dramatically. So how do you plan on paying so much more? And why do you think people would support a strategy of making healthcare worse while spending far more for it?

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Prosthetists Meet Printers: Mainstreaming Open-Source 3D printed Prosthetics

laird laird writes  |  about 4 months ago

laird (2705) writes "Prosthetists Meet Printers: Mainstreaming Open-Source 3D printed Prosthetics for Underserved Populations

Crowd-sourced collaborative innovation is changing the face of modern medicine. e-NABLE, a global online community of humanitarian volunteers is leading the way by designing, building and disseminating inexpensive 3D printed prosthetics. Come join the e-NABLE organization and thought leaders in medicine, industry and public policy for a ground-breaking, industry-defining event at Johns Hopkins Hospital that will include the delivery of donated prothetic hands to children with upper limb differences.

We will unveil the new e-NABLE 2.0 hand, developed by Ivan Owen, Peter Binkley and Frankie Flood – the world’s first crowd-sourced, crowd-developed prosthetic that incorporates the collective intelligence, learning and experiences of e-NABLE’s online global community, parents and children who are using the devices themselves.

Anyone is welcome to attend.

Come learn about the future of 3D printing technology and the medical field, why the prosthetics industry should welcome this technology and get more information on policy issues and the upcoming FDA regulatory workshops in October.

You will have the opportunity to learn how to create a device, meet vendors and get information on various 3D printers and will get to witness children receiving their first 3D printed hand devices created just for them by our e-NABLE volunteers.

We are making history and changing lives. We invite you to join us!"

Link to Original Source
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$1B of public domain research released to public!

laird laird writes  |  more than 5 years ago

laird writes "Wikileaks has released nearly a billion dollars worth of quasi-secret reports commissioned by the United States Congress. The 6,780 reports, current as of this month, comprise over 127,000 pages of material on some of the most contentious issues in the nation, from the U.S. relationship with Israel to abortion legislation. Nearly 2,300 of the reports were updated in the last 12 months, while the oldest report goes back to 1990. The release represents the total output of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) electronically available to Congressional offices. The CRS is Congress's analytical agency and has a budget in excess of $100M per year.

Although all CRS reports are legally in the public domain, they are quasi-secret because the CRS, as a matter of policy, makes the reports available only to members of Congress, Congressional committees and select sister agencies such as the GAO. Members of Congress are free to selectively release CRS reports to the public but are only motivated to do so when they feel the results would assist them politically. Universally embarrassing reports are kept quiet."

Link to Original Source
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Are Content Delivery Clouds the next step of CDNs?

laird laird writes  |  more than 6 years ago

laird writes "Is the Content Delivery Cloud model the next step after CDN's? "A Content Delivery Cloud is a system of computers networked together across the internet that are orchestrated transparently to deliver content to end users, most often for the purposes of improving performance, scalabaility and cost efficiency. Extending the model of a traditional Content Delivery Network, a Content Delivery Cloud may utilize the resources of multiple CDN networks as well as end-user computers ("the cloud") to assist in the delivery of content." With coverage, research and commercial services emerging, is the Content Delivery Cloud coming sooner rather than later?"
Link to Original Source
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http://www.wired.com/software/webservices/news/200

laird laird writes  |  more than 7 years ago

laird writes "Faced with a surge in network usage, internet service providers are grumbling about rising traffic levels. ISPs say the looming growth of true peer-to-peer applications threatens to overwhelm them. Some ISPs have even started sniffing out P2P traffic on their networks and curbing it, either slowing file sharing to a trickle or bringing it to a halt.

Responding to this adversarial relationship, some P2P companies are adopting a posture of engagement with ISPs, and have formed a new industry working group to help broker relationships that, they say, will enable ISPs to better manage and distribute traffic loads on their networks.

The P4P Working Group consists of content-distribution-technology providers like BitTorrent, Pando Networks, LimeWire and VeriSign's Kontiki, as well as broadband companies like Verizon and AT&T, and hardware makers like Cisco Systems. There are close to a dozen members so far. The P4P operates under the guidance of the Distributed Computing Industry Association, a group that wants to foster legal peer-to-peer content distribution.

P4P's plan: Get ISPs and P2P-technology providers working together, to ensure that P2P traffic continues to flow and that users of P2P technologies don't overload ISPs' networks with too much sharing."

Link to Original Source
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laird laird writes  |  more than 8 years ago

laird writes "The principle of voting in the United States is that votes are cast in secret but tallied in public.

This principle is incompatible with the current practice of using voting systems whose inner workings are trade secrets owned by the voting-machine vendors. Those same vendors pay for their systems to be tested, and the results of those tests are also trade secrets — you guessed it — owned by the vendors.

Full article at http://www.paloaltoonline.com/weekly/story.php?sto ry_id=3234 ."
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laird laird writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Laird Popkin writes "Pando Networks, known for integrating BitTorrent into email with a slick little, consumer-friendly client (and tons of very fast Linux servers), has extended its software to support web and RSS publishing of large files. TechCrunch has a nice writeup. There's more technical information about Pando at Pando's tech site."

Journals

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Just found journal

laird laird writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I just found the journal system here on Slashdot. Is it clever or over-reaching? Given that people build reputations on Slashdot, it kinda makes sense. Though if you host your life on Slashdot, well, I guess that says something too...

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