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The Hacking of NASDAQ

qwijibo Re:Recording all data to and from a machine (76 comments)

That would require basically infinite storage and run very, very slowly. In effect, the disk (which is the slowest of CPU/memory/network/disk) becomes the bottleneck preventing any of the others from being well utilized.

There are much better ways to track what happens on critical systems, but they introduce costs that most organizations consider excessive or unnecessary, right until after a breech where they realize how the alternative can be orders of magnitude more expensive.

about a month ago
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Gun Rights Groups Say They Don't Oppose Smart Guns, Just Mandates

qwijibo Re:Yes! No more mandates! (584 comments)

Great idea, we should all do our part to collect old guns. There's no reason to let guns sit in warehouses or gun stores for longer than the lifespan of a cell phone.

I was looking at some that were on sale yesterday and was thinking I can probably take 3, maybe 4 of them off the streets myself.

about 3 months ago
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Gun Rights Groups Say They Don't Oppose Smart Guns, Just Mandates

qwijibo Re:Yes! No more mandates! (584 comments)

The drop&discharge issue that was cited is addressed with the firing pin safety. When I said "improvements", I meant there's more than one way to implement that feature.

In order to get a discharge, the gun must be dropped at a fairly specific angle onto a hard surface while the hammer is down to allow the force of hitting the ground to drive the firing pin forward. CA's safety tests were developed specifically to cause rare, specific failures.

The 1911 is a good whipping boy for arguments like this because the original 1911 can be cited as having a specific problem, even if it's difficult or impossible to go out and buy a 1911 that exhibits the specific issue today.

about 3 months ago
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Gun Rights Groups Say They Don't Oppose Smart Guns, Just Mandates

qwijibo Re:Yes! No more mandates! (584 comments)

The state of CA is not a good example of safety evaluation. They require each model of gun to go through an expensive(IIRC, ~$25,000 per) "testing" process. A gun made in 5 different calibers and 5 different colors or finishes requires the manufacturer to pay 25 times the fee to be able to sell in CA. This process has little to do with safety. It's about income for the state and discouraging gun manufacturers from selling in their state.

Do car manufacturers need to have each color of their cars to be "safety tested" before they can be allowed to sell them? If a new color is introduced, is it inherently illegal to sell until it has gone through the testing process?

In fairness to your point, the 1911 design does lack some improvements that have been developed in the last 100 years. During that time, it was a standard sidearm of our military and used by law enforcement agencies. It may not be a perfect design, but it's clearly not inherently unsafe. The hypothetical situation you describe is due to unsafe handling practices.

about 3 months ago
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Interviews: Ask Former Director of JPL Edward Stone About Space Exploration

qwijibo Re:Oblig.. (58 comments)

If that's what aliens came light years to probe, there's gotta be something if immense scientific interest there.

about 3 months ago
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A Look at Smart Gun Technology

qwijibo Solution without a problem (765 comments)

This topic keeps coming up, but there isn't a market for this product. Are the target audience also people who want:

Bicycles for fish
Mouse traps that don't kill mice, but embarrass them into moving next door
Any item advertised via spam

about 3 months ago
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First Transistors Made Entirely of 2-D Materials

qwijibo Re: To all who say it's not two-dimensional (137 comments)

That's just crazy, creating paper spheroids to throw into a cylindrical object? This is the fault of the paper and waste basket manufacturers who should all use a single standard form factor to maximize rubbish density.

about 4 months ago
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Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs

qwijibo Re:State government sponsored killing (1198 comments)

Capital punishment is a way for society to collectively say "we will no longer be needing your services."

In this case, the replacement for the previous drugs (which are less available to the US due to their use in the death penalty) turned out not to work as expected. Considering the severity of the crimes committed, there's not many people with empathy for the criminal. However, the state did the right thing by acknowledging the failure of the method and not proceeding with another inmate that was already scheduled.

about 4 months ago
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Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs

qwijibo Re:What's the problem (1198 comments)

I've always wondered if heroin overdose would be a good option. For those who don't want to live in prison the rest of their lives, that seems like an option some would take voluntarily.

about 4 months ago
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White House Worried About Discrimination Through Analytics

qwijibo Re:Oxymoron (231 comments)

Why aren't there more asian basketball or football players?

Some jobs need people with specific skill sets. Developing those skills is not encouraged equally among every culture.

Under representation of blacks in the senate may suggest that being a bunch of backstabbing bullshitters while smiling and saying jesus wants them to win may not be something that's important to many blacks. Then again, I don't think any culture has a lot of respect for these parasites, so maybe it's just that political donors are a bunch of racists.

about 3 months ago
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American Judge Claims Jurisdiction Over Data Stored In Other Countries

qwijibo Trend of Anti-Americanism by US government (226 comments)

Looks like the court is saying that US companies have to spin off separate companies to exist in markets that require that sensitive data stay within the country/region.

Combine this with actively subverting security of US based products and it sounds like internet based companies need to be run and hosted outside the US.

Apparently our government is entirely staffed by people who completely missed the point of King Solomon's cut the baby in half ruling.

about 4 months ago
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Previously Unknown Warhol Works Recovered From '80s Amiga Disks

qwijibo Re:Amiga Floppies (171 comments)

Of course you could still hammer nails with it, but can you plug it in and *type* on it?

I used to know people who would carefully disassemble their old IBM keyboards, run the parts through a dishwasher and reassemble them, fully functional.

These days, I'm not sure if some keyboards could stand up to the compressed air in a can cleaning.

about 4 months ago
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The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper

qwijibo Re:Nuh-uh! (183 comments)

By the time it fails, that's 15 jobs ago for the management. They already got their bonus for short term cost savings and are doing the same thing to bigger and better projects now. There's a reason job hopping is so common in senior management levels.

about 4 months ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

qwijibo Why only a sample size of 1000? (467 comments)

Where did they get the 1000 responses? Did some management magazine offer free subscriptions to managers who stood over their employees as they filled in their responses to the survey? The data suggests this happened at least 98% of the time.

about 4 months ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

qwijibo Re:Attn: americans (1633 comments)

It's the legal foundation our country is built upon. If there were sufficient agreement that the second amendment is detrimental, it could be eliminated through the amendment process.

Why does everything need a federal law anyway? There are state and local laws that could be used to address the concerns of people in high population density areas, and if there's enough benefit from those, the support for a federal law would bubble up from there.

Do you think people in the Bible Belt and California want to be governed by the same laws? There's no reason that different cultures should not be permitted to have laws appropriate to their communities.

about 4 months ago
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Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?

qwijibo Re:Where do you draw the line? (650 comments)

Rainbows are just an illusion created by the different refraction angles of sunlight coming through rain drops. Do you realize how large those pony farts would have to be to create rainbows? That's the kind of science that would win you an ig nobel award.

*I* have alternatives to running XP, but I'm also a Unix admin and programmer. I think it's fair to say the average person doesn't really get much choice once they get locked in to proprietary drivers, hardware, etc. The "don't buy it" argument is like the idea of original sin. By the time you have a choice, it's already been made for you. There are those who can and will rise above, but those people aren't in the bottom 99% of computer users.

about 5 months ago
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Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?

qwijibo Re:Where do you draw the line? (650 comments)

That may be a good idea for things like medical or aviation related devices where people can die if they fail. There are regulations in these fields for exactly this reason, and that's why it's such an expensive and long, drawn out process to bring new products to markets in highly regulated industries like these.

However, putting that burden on every industry would just move all technology jobs to countries without such regulations. Then what would you do to stop people from buying crappy, poorly supported products from those countries? Moving production doesn't help solve the underlying problem.

For software, it should be sufficient for them to release the code and let someone else take over the market they've given up on. Culturally, we only recognize the profit oriented side of business, and ignore the benefit to society that could come with allowing that intellectual property to go into the public domain once it's no longer commercially viable.

about 5 months ago
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Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?

qwijibo Re:Where do you draw the line? (650 comments)

With software, and by extension the hardware it requires, the lifespan is incredibly short compared with almost every other product out there. I'd like to see more companies release the software, code, etc. to the public domain as a formal way of walking away from it, but leaving customers with something more than "gee, must suck to be you" for support.

Borland released old versions of tools like Turbo C when it was no longer relevant commercially. Even though I paid for those tools when they were commercially relevant, I always liked the spirit of giving away old software. There's no cost to releasing it to the public domain. There are plenty of third world countries learning on and using technology that we throw away. There's a benefit to those people having software and learning technology but there's absolutely no money in it.

There are fringe cases where ongoing support is needed for really old systems. For example, I've been in machine shops with computers that drive CNC machines that run on 386's under DOS. As long as the machines keep working, it's a valuable part of running their business. Today it's nearly impossible to find replacement parts, but smarter shop owners bought extra pieces when they were disappearing from the market long ago. If something breaks, these people are willing to pay a premium to people who can help them. They know it's not a great situation, but it's much better than spending hundreds of thousands to replace everything that depends on old systems.

Proprietary interfaces, boards and drivers that integrate machinery with computers are the legacy components that makes it hard to replace these old systems. If they used an RS232 interface for low bandwidth data and Ethernet for higher bandwidth, it wouldn't be hard to reverse engineer what's going on and write software that runs on modern systems that could serve as a replacement. But a proprietary interface that requires an ISA slot and custom cables means there is no way to modernize that doesn't require new custom hardware.

The space shuttle is another good example of what happens when something is decades into its service life, but has components that were never expected to live that long. NASA can't just load everything on an iPad and hope each crew member bringing their own is enough fault tolerance and stands up to the extreme environment of space.

XP isn't all that old, as evidenced by the number of users who don't want to get off of it. It makes sense that Microsoft wants to get rid of it - there's no price for a support contract that would make it mutually beneficial to keep tech support trained on it and developers dedicated to working on it. But at the same time, Microsoft is not the kind of company that is likely to release it to the public domain either. The last thing they would want is an open source community picking it up, keeping it current with security patches and making it work on new hardware. That's the antithesis of the forced upgrade model.

about 5 months ago
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Will Living On Mars Drive Us Crazy?

qwijibo Re:The irony of ethics. (150 comments)

Great, so there would be people who left earth forever only to get voted off of mars.

about 5 months ago
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If Ridesharing Is Banned, What About Ride-Trading?

qwijibo Re:It's a barter transaction (353 comments)

Anything the brings it down to buying something makes all of it look like commercial transactions. Instead of trying to fit into a loophole, it would be better if it fell under a different classification entirely.

Instead of miles, what if it were karma points and managed by a registered 501C3 religious institution? One person could contribute to society by driving for others, another can donate time to charity, etc. Each person gets and gives intangible religious benefit from the arrangement.

Would you have a problem giving a ride to someone and getting nothing in return, knowing that they are helping others too, such as:
Charity workers (e.g., soup kitchen)
Boy/Girl scout leaders/helpers
Volunteer for kids weekend sports

I carpool to work frequently. A coworker gave me rides to work for a couple months when I broke my hand. I've been driving the carpool for a couple of years since then. I get to use the carpool lane, collectively we create less pollution by leaving his truck behind, and I'm coming to work anyway. It's been a win-win arrangement for us.

about 5 months ago

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