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Obama Says He May Or May Not Let the NSA Exploit the Next Heartbleed

rnturn Re:Well, yeah (134 comments)

The NSA's job is not to spy on Americans regardless of whether they have a warrant or not. Spying on Americans is the FBI's job.

2 days ago
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New French Law Prohibits After-Hours Work Emails

rnturn Re:At least someone appreciates work-life balance (475 comments)

Exactly. My equipment, my use rules. If someone from work wants to call me on my smartphone, fine. Let's face it, there are times when we might need to be reached after hours. But I'm not going to use it as an extension of the company's infrastructure. If the company wants to invest in a dedicated smartphone that is tied to their infrastructure, that's fine, too. But we're going to be negotiating about comp time.

5 days ago
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It's Time To Plug the Loopholes In Pipeline Regulation

rnturn Re:Elderly? (163 comments)

``Because everyone but the courts seems to understand that there is value in a familiatr place just because it is familiar''

The homeowners will likely do well in the lower courts where their peers will likely see things in the same light as the victims. Unfortunately, once the appeals begin, the homeowners no longer have access to juries of their peers. If it gets all the ways to the Supremes, well, the results are heavily skewed in favor of the corporations. Something like 80+% of all cases are found in favor of corporations.

Solutions? Perhaps eliminating being able to appeal a court decision because you don't like the size of the monetary damages. Appeals need to be about -- and only about -- actual misuse of the law or blatant mistakes in the court proceedings, etc. And you get one appeal; no more. Of course, bringing back the corporate death penalty would do wonders to improve corporate behavior so that these incidents might be fewer and farther between. Of course, IANAL so I can't predict whether any of this is possible but something tells me that none of this would ever happen as it would serve to reduce the number of legal proceedings and all the billing that those bring. The laws seem to be written to benefit lawyers not the average person.

about two weeks ago
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It's Time To Plug the Loopholes In Pipeline Regulation

rnturn Re:Money money money (163 comments)

Just consider the amount of money that will be required to excavate one of the homeowner's lawn to remove the contaminated soil, replace the soil, grade it properly, and replant the grass. That could easily exceed $10K/lawn. And they're offering the homeowners a breakfast burrito and a few bucks for their trouble?

This is the third pipeline leak that I've heard of in as many (or fewer) weeks. Just where is the pipeline safety track record that these industry spokesweasels refer to?

On a somewhat-related note (well, "oil + pipelines" so close enough): Imagine what sort of damage will be done by a leak of the proposed oil sands pipeline if that corrosive gunk finds its way into the aquifer used by the majority of the Midwest and the huge amount of farming that occurs there. A leak of that proposed pipeline would cause damage that could never be repaired. Plus say goodbye to a good chunk of the food supply when that water is unusable.

about two weeks ago
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Linux Developers Consider On-Screen QR Codes For Kernel Panics

rnturn Re:Good idea (175 comments)

``Hardly a crash dump, but easily enough to get across the essentials.''

Here's a crazy idea: instead of working on displaying cutesy graphics images that need to be decoded using a smart phone and a web site, what about actually generating a freakin' crash dump? Is there a technical reason that Linux is unable to do this? If crash dumps are really not possible, how about a plain 'ol text file in the root directory containing the reason for the crash/panic?

about two weeks ago
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The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

rnturn Re:Don't bother. (509 comments)

Take a look at the authors of those papers. The same names keep showing up in paper after paper after paper. Looks pretty fishy. Makes you wonder just who the "peers" are who are reviewing those papers.

about two weeks ago
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Judge Overrules Samsung Objection To Jury Instructional Video

rnturn Re:Bad law... (232 comments)

If Samsung loses this decision, anyone want to guess what the basis of their appeal will be?

Was it not possible to come up with an instructional video that used fictional companies, inventions, etc. to instruct the viewers? Using Apple products -- or any other well-known vendor's produts -- as examples was not terribly bright.

about two weeks ago
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More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

rnturn Re:It's the conversation, (367 comments)

``... or having passengers talking to you cause accidents.''

I avoided talking to the driver altogether when that driver was my father-in-law. An ex-salesman, he had the extremely annoying habit of wanting to look you in the eye when he was talking to you while driving... even if you were sitting in the back seat. Eventually, I insisted on driving when we went anywhere. I was afraid he'd run us into a utility pole.

``Semi truck drivers use a CB heavily and also dont.''

But those are professional drivers and are far more likely to be taking their driving a lot more seriously than the average driver. I find truck drivers -- at least the ones I encounter on the interstates -- to be among the most courteous and careful drivers around. (OTOH, local delivery truck drivers are some of the worst).

Talking on handhelds while driving is supposed to be illegal in Illinois yet I continue to see people yakking on their cellphone while trying to make left turns in heavy traffic.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Posts Source Code For MS-DOS and Word For Windows

rnturn Who cares? (224 comments)

Microsoft: "Hey! Look what we found in the back of the closet! Anyone want it?"

Great gesture, eh? MS is at least 10 -- and more like 20 -- years too late in doing this. Just why do they think anyone is going to want this code nowadays? One doubts that it really has any value to anyone -- which I'm certain is why they're doing it -- but it doesn't have much in the way of PR value either.

about three weeks ago
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Some Sites That Blue Coat Blocks Under "Pornography"

rnturn Who knew... (119 comments)

... that the photos from the annual awards banquet and the monthly meeting minutes from the Rotary Club could be NSFW?

Years ago, the web site for a local IT group -- who'd nominated our CIO for an industry award -- was being blocked by the corporate web filters that were marking it as "tasteless".

Why do these vendors even try if they're going to fail so spectacularly?

about three weeks ago
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Your Car Will Soon Sense If You're Tired Or Not Paying Attention

rnturn Re:Wrong (178 comments)

``Keep what in mind, then? That they used to own Volvo and Jaguar? I'm not sure how that is relevant.''

Wasn't it a Ford exec that admitted that their autos' sensors knew when drivers exceeded the speed limit?

(Though I'd guess they meant every time someone drives faster than 55MPH. An outdated limit now, at least in Illinois, as we have 70MPH speed limits away from populous areas.)

about a month ago
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1GB of Google Drive Storage Now Costs Only $0.02 Per Month

rnturn So the disk space is not that expensive... (335 comments)

... but for a lot of people, moving the data to and from the storage is what's really going to be costly. It'll be interesting to see how much of that disk space ends up going unused when word gets around about how much users get clobbered with data overage charges by AT&T, et al trying to use the cheap disk space.

about a month ago
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Top U.S. Scientific Misconduct Official Quits In Frustration With Bureaucracy

rnturn Re:get your mental back-light fixed (172 comments)

I very nearly gave up on it when I saw "ORI". Shouldn't that "R" have been "S"? Or did the OP, all of a sudden, start talking about a different government office?

about a month ago
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Top U.S. Scientific Misconduct Official Quits In Frustration With Bureaucracy

rnturn Re:Been Here Too . . . (172 comments)

I actually heard some stuffed shirt in the government who decided to sit in on a project meeting (I think he'd been invited as he was new to the department) state that our having completed a project ahead of schedule and under budget indicated poor project planning. Apparently, for some government bureaucrats, you should not build in any time to deal with problems that are likely to crop up. A schedule and/or budget overrun seems to be preferable because more meetings! (To justify, I guess, Mr. Stuffedshirt's existence on the government payroll.) Anyway... the actual government project manager gave him a look that -- if looks could kill -- would have gotten him twenty-to-life.

about a month ago
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Environmentalists Propose $50 Billion Buyout of Coal Industry - To Shut It Down

rnturn Re:Contracts (712 comments)

Recently read an article a few days ago (can't find the link... sorry) that was an interview with a former NG industry insider -- former geologist, if memory serves -- who described how NG reserves are nowhere nearly as plentiful as is being touted (at least not in the U.S.). The "vast reserves" stories are out there merely to entice investors. There are some people saying that we've hit peak oil. Maybe we've actually hit "peak gas", too.

about a month ago
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Calif. Court Orders Preservation of Disputed NSA Phone Records

rnturn Re:Custody of the Data (28 comments)

Thumbs up to that idea. (Though I wonder how much dirt the NSA might already have on the CA judge -- heck, on all judges -- to hold against him should something like that come about?)

about a month ago
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Environmentalists Propose $50 Billion Buyout of Coal Industry - To Shut It Down

rnturn Re:This is more than a little bit naive. (712 comments)

``Article is ignorant of how the coal industry works.''

I suspect the authors are totally aware of how the coal industry works. That's what they're trying to fix. Like you, I didn't take the time to read the whole article (maybe later) but I was appalled when I had to fly over West Virgina years ago and saw the damage to the forests (take the trip in a small plane so you can see the effects close up) that acid rain and the beginnings of mountaintop removal was causing. It makes you sick to see it and it's only gotten worse. I have to wonder if the metallurgical need for coal couldn't be satisfied by some of the extraction methods that are less destructive to the environment. Mining will always be messy but is something like mountaintop removal really necessary? If we think it's okay to take a huge area and render it uninhabitable by human beings -- like what's happening to parts of Appalachia -- then I guess we'll all get what we deserve. All in the name of cheap power. (And I don't know about you but my electric power rates go up -- never down -- every year regardless of the amount of coal that we're clawing out of the ground.) Then do we use the $50B to relocate all the people in Appalachia to other parts of the country where they won't be poisoned? That won't work either.

Personally, I'd like to see coal powered plants disappear as fast as humanly possible. Unfortunately, until we can create a critical mass of renewable power that can be intelligently shuffled around to meet local demands, we're kind of stuck with it. Unless we can work up the political will to take the first (and second) steps. The coal industry would like that to never happen.

about a month ago
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First Mathematical Model of 13th Century 'Big Bang' Cosmology

rnturn Pretty amazing stuff... (60 comments)

.. and had me wondering why this fellow isn't more widely known. Then you remember that he came up these ideas in the days when going public with them would likely get you burned at the stake (or worse).

about a month ago
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How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

rnturn Multiple eSATA cabinets and rsync? (983 comments)

With 2TB and even 3TB spindles being pretty commonplace these days, why not fill up an external drive cabinet, make the entire thing into a RAID5 device and backup using rsync? May be a little pricey but how much time and effort went into creating a 20TB collection of data? I have a friend who did something like that (but using smaller Buffalo devices) for his small business by having several systems shuffle files around using rsync. In the event of one computer's storage failing there'd still be 2-3 others on the network with a copy of the data. And, if memory serves, he had one system that had a couple of arrays that would be rotated in/out and one of them kept offsite just in case.

I'm still trying to figure out how much time it would take ripping CDs and converting from WAV to wind up with 20TB of MP3 files. Based on what Amarok is telling me about my music collection, a quick calculation tells me that that 20TB would amount to about 30 years worth of continuous music playback. I'd better get that ripping and converting started now if I want to have that much music for my great grandkids to listen to; it's probably already too late to get that done for my kids or even grandkids to enjoy.

about a month ago

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