CIA Accused: Sen. Feinstein Sees Torture Probe Meddling
Can't remember who said it but it went something like:
"Yes, there is a club. No, you(*) are not a member."
Something to keep in mind.
(*) - Meaning: folks like us.
The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery
Yeah... Iridium. (Does it not suck now?) Yeah, the FAA says it can be used for aircraft communications though I'd bet they were thinking about voice communications. I rather doubt it'll be all that useful for emergencies unless the planes manage to keep the satellites in view while they're crashing. Doable, I suppose, if you had antennas on multiple points on the plane and a means of figuring out which one is "up" and can reach an Iridium satellite. (Maybe that's why the cost is $100K/plane.) A coworker was required to take an Iridium phone with him once while on travel to N. Canada -- where coverage is supposed to be great. For whatever reason, calls were limited to a window of availability and got dropped more than once. So aircraft dynamics and maybe the Iridium system itself could cause the data to be lost. A brief outage that would minimally affect voice communications would be a disaster if it occurred in the middle of the data stream containing all the crap that's going on while a plane is going down. Whoops! There's probably not going to be a second chance when the plane's in trouble so "poof" there goes that emergency data. Better not rip out all those black boxes just yet.
BTW, it looks like my mistake was to take the OP literally: that the data was going to be transmitted to the ground. (Note to self: don't submit a reply to a post and hit Return while you're still reading the crappy article linked to; over-caffeinated ACs will totally lose it.)
The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery
How many of the ground stations that are supposed to be receiving this data will be reachable while flying over the open seas? Has the global network of receiving stations already been installed and merely awaiting the airlines to get off the dime and install the transmitters in the planes? Oh, maybe the airliners simply just switch to transmitting to satellites when they're over an ocean. Are those SVs in place yet? I don't think this system has been very well thought out yet. This proposal is a major, major overhaul to worldwide air travel and is going to cost a heck of a lot more than just $100K/commercial airliner.
Mozilla Is Investigating Why Dell Is Charging To Install Firefox
$27.16 for a Firefox install is a nice cash cow. After the initial download (the slowest part, at least it is for me) installing a new version of Firefox might take me two minutes to copy the tar archive onto a system, uncompress it, untar, and clean up. That comes to about $815/hour for that "service". Most lawyers don't charge that much. Dell ought to be a little ashamed of themselves.
RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores
Hear, hear. Every switch I've ever bought at Radio Trash has had the plated connectors corrode in no time making them useless. Their other components are too expensive to even consider unless it's an emergency (though it's been a long, long time since I've had an emergency that required me running out for resistors, capacitors, etc.). To be fair to RS, they do, or at least did, sell audio/video cabling that were priced far less than the ridiculous prices that the local Best Buy was charging for the Monster brand -- the only kind they were selling at the time. (If memory serves, BB once wanted to charge me $10/foot or more for Monster cables.) On the other hand, I walked out of the local Radio Trash in disgust while looking for a replacement USB cable for my daughter's MP3 player. For the price they were asking I could have very nearly bought her a brand new player which, of course, would have included the cable.
Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft
``Is it more likely that the people running these things have failed at security and actually been ripped off?''
What if the people running these things haven't failed at security but have been using security tools that have been compromised (by you know who) and that have been bypassed by the ``thieves''? As to who might want these operations to fail? Some would say ``governments'' but I'm thinking more along the lines of major banks (working in conjunction with governments). Now we might just have the makings of a nifty conspiracy theory.
The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"
Brew the pot of coffee, fill up your travel mug, and put the rest in a thermos. You can take it to work to share with a co-worker or have a second or third cup yourself. I found that the coffee I brewed myself and took to the office always tasted better than the drek they sold for an extortionate price down in the cafeteria. Even worse, they switched to Starbucks. [gag]
Sorry, Keurig... I've tried your coffee and didn't like it. Didn't care for the non-biodegradable waste, either.
Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?
... when I kept an emergency DOS boot floppy I would have included a smallish text editor like 'edlin' and a hex editor (for editing binaries, screwed up wordperfect files, etc.). Later on I replaced 'edlin' with 'point', a nifty editor that came with Logitech's mice that could edit files of any size that would fit in memory. Probably not exactly what the OP was asking about but those were my go-to tools back in those days.
Nowadays, I try and install Emacs (yes, vi is everywhere but I started out with the Perfect suite on DOS and then microemacs on Coherent so Emacs key bindings are permanently burned into my brain and if I'm going to be working on something all day, I find Emacs to be more useful), PostgreSQL, a slew of Perl modules, rcs, make, and R. Yeah, yeah... a C compiler is required for the Perl modules so I'll want that on at least one system. If I have the space I'll toss TeX (and a couple of closely related -- for me at least -- tools like ps2pdf, etc.) on my primary system so I can pound out documentation, especially for things that change fairly often (MS Office and LibreOffice drive me crazy). I use rcs for tracking changes in those .tex files; don't need anything heavier than that. Even if I'm stuck on a Windows system, I'll be downloading Cygwin and including those tools.
Now let the flames begin!
Tim Cook: If You Don't Like Our Energy Policies, Don't Buy Apple Stock
I will likely never buy an Apple product, I would like to shake Cook's hand for the way he pushed back against the NCPPR. It's about time these "Profits Uber Alles!" twits got their behinds handed to them.
Of course, who wants to bet on how long it is before the NCPPR begins pushing for a shareholder proposal to have Cook removed as CEO? "How dare he waste money that we could be squirreling away in our offshore accounts on that dirty, hippie stuff like Green Initiatives?"
Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page
have over the content of a web page not hosted on a Canadian server?
``She received a letter from the language office telling her to translate everything posted on her store's Facebook page into French.''
Or else what? Are they going to revoke her business license?
Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass
``This physical level of hostility is unusual, but discomfort with Glass is common, especially among those who don't understand how it works. Given that much more hidden spy cameras are available for far less than the $1500 cost of Glass, what will it take for general acceptance to finally take hold?''
Discomfort is common because people are damned sick and tired of being filmed everywhere they go. I'm not all that familiar with Glass (not even remotely interested in owning something like that, especially since I already wear glasses and can't see how the device would even work for someone who needs corrective lenses) but if it doesn't have a bright red LED blinking whenever the camera is on it ought to. Glass owners might appreciate that, too, so that they can (hopefully) avoid getting punched out when wearing their expensive toy.
BTW, the way that final question was worded makes it sound like there's some discrimination against Google Glass wearers that us philistines who don't want to be on camera 24x7 have to get over. The vast, vast majority of people on the street, in bars, in stores, etc are not celebrities, politicians, or other public figures and should be afforded privacy. Filming or photographing strangers in public used to require a model release form. (If it no longer does, I can easily see laws reinstating that requirement being passed soon.) You don't give up your right to some privacy just because you step out of your house just because a CEO from an Internet company says so.
Now... let the flames from the Google Glass fanboyz begin...
Supreme Court Ruling Relaxes Warrant Requirements For Home Searches
... is now complete. Or is there anything else the government thinks they need? If so, surely they won't have any trouble getting Scalia and company to make up something else they think they see in the Constitution.
Exxon Mobile CEO Sues To Stop Fracking Near His Texas Ranch
Oh yeah, I trust Forbes to be completely unbiased in all aspects of this story. How long to you think a story that featured the anti-fracking aspect of this situation would last in an editorial meeting? Forbes has advertisers that would be on the phone and screaming bloody murder within a microsecond of such a story appearing.
TSA: Confiscating Aluminum Foil and Watching Out For Solar Powered Bombs
... decision-makers had an IQ that was right around room temperature.
As it turns out I wasn't specific enough. I meant Celsius and not Fahrenheit.
Report: Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) Scans Your DNS History
It wouldn't, for example, prevent anyone from cheating by doing some browsing at the local coffee shop to find the cheats and then coming home to play games on the desktop system at home.
South Carolina Woman Jailed After Failing To Return Movie Rented Nine Years Ago
Are you suggesting that the reason that the video store went under was because its patrons were unable to rent Monster-In-Law? (Part of me thinks the failure to return that video was a public service.)
'The Color Run' Violates Agreement With College Photographer, Then Sues Him
Yeah... I think a lot of people are overlooking that exchange in the email where CR would provide attribution of his photos, etc. Having failed to do that, they (CR) may not be in violation of Jackson's copyright but it seems to me (as a non-lawyer) that there's still a clear contractual violation in the way CR chose to use his photos.
I think Color Run needs to admit they screwed up and, at the very least, pull all of their marketing materials and replace them with versions that provide the byline that Jackson was asking for. Failure to do that just makes CR look really, really dickish. And as a runner, I'd never toe up to any starting line that they had anything to do with.
Financing College With a Tax On All Graduates
Who decides which degree has more value to society? It sounds like you think some board should decide which degrees are going to be subsidized by the tax. But later on you mention The Market which, frankly, has sucked as a mechanism for steering people into the kinds of study that are supposedly needed. Part of your argument reminds me a lot of what I used to hear from people who no longer have kids in the school system complaining about their property taxes going up because a new school was needed. I support the local schools with my taxes because I don't want a bunch of kids growing up in our town with no future. I support the arts because they make society a better place to live. Geez... just imagine... an engineer having to support the education of a non-engineer? The horror! If you want to earmark funds to help educate the next generation of engineers, create a scholarship fund at your alma mater for a deserving undergraduate engineering student.
At one time, a college education was, or was almost, free. How did we do it? Well, for one we taxed corporations far higher than we do now. We also had an income tax rate was much higher at the higher income levels, we didn't have to waste money supporting a gigantic military that we used to police the entire planet. (Imagine what could be done with the $100B/year that's being thrown down the rat hole that is Afghanistan?) I'm willing to bet that the writer at Forbes never had to worry about how to pay for his higher education nor did he have to defer buying a house, or having children, because he was saddled with years of college loan payments. Or a tax on his post-gradate income. It's easy to suggest that new graduates pay an extra tax for their education when you've never had to do it yourself. The whole concept reminds me of another argument for people to "have more skin in the game" for whatever reason the staff at Forbes thinks will save those more well off from having pay higher taxes.
And don't get me started on why using colleges and universities as vocational training grounds for corporations is the wrong way to be using higher education. I just visited a college book store this past weekend and took a look at what texts were being used for the CS courses. It looked like the school thought that a CS education meant Microsoft Office and developer training. I should take a closer look at their web site; maybe their CS degree comes with a Microsoft certification. Thank $DIETY my daughters aren't interesting in CS; I'd likely forbid them from attending any school that thought teaching students how to use the latest Office and Visual tools constitutes a college-level computer science education and steer them to a local community college's computer curriculum if all they wanted was to learn something that makes them employable for a few years.
Amazon: We Can Ship Items Before Customers Order
I can see why they might be concerned about the returns costs even if that's what they're doing.
I ordered an IT book a couple of months ago and Amazon keeps sending me emails about other stuff I might be interested. I shudder to think how in the world they think that shipping another book on object oriented assembly language (kidding... that's not what I ordered) to the local shipping depot is going to be all that good for Amazon even if there was someone in my immediate vicinity that wanted to order such an item. Same goes for the CD I ordered from them a while back. It was from an artist that's rather obscure and I can't imagine too many others who'd be ordering the same music. (Though it be nice to know there were like-minded music listeners nearby. But please dear $DIETY, let's not get Amazon into the business of disseminating that sort of information; we all have enough trouble maintaining what little privacy we still have.)
For the things I might order from Amazon, I can't see how this shipping practice is going to keep me from going out and buying it at a local shop. Amazon's already killed off 99% of the local bookstores and music stores making Amazon the only place to order those items. As for the expensive items like big screen TVs and the like... why on earth, given the videos we've all seen with delivery drivers tossing electronics over fences and damaging them, would anyone buy something like that from any place other than a local store that delivers it themselves?
Amazon: We Can Ship Items Before Customers Order
``Of course, Amazon's algorithms might sometimes err, prompting costly returns.''
Has the law changed? At one time, if a company sent you something you didn't order, is was within your rights to merely keep it.
I will be charging Amazon a ``handling'' charge if they want to insist on me returning an item they shipped to me that I didn't order. My time and fuel costs for driving the item to a UPS store for the return are going to be compensated for.
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