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DARPA Issues $2mil Cyber Grand Challenge

twisteddk Re:Two million? (67 comments)

I'm more along the line of: How much time do I have to make this ? But It looks like unless you make it it through a qualifying round, you need an invitation to join. and I have been unable to find anything that resembles information about a due date.

Even given that I can get enough of my programming friends to go along with the idea, and we can find a design we can work with, it will take maybe 5-10 manpower years to get something this size going (look at the requirements). Winning becomes mandatory, if 10 people are to take a year of from work to do this. Ofcourse, it could be a good way to start up as independant again, but frankly, it's too much of a hassle. My guess is some young company that already HAS a similar tech will just adapt theirs to fit the requirements, and win while doing their jobs. I'd love to be on that team though.

1 year,1 day
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Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't There More Public Outrage About NSA Revelations?

twisteddk Re:Naw, not really (610 comments)

I disagree. Firstly, the spying is only going to stop seditious acts, and may grant an advantage to either side in an armed conflict. But to say that no conflict will ever happen again, that I doubt.
The question merely becomes: What will it take for one of the armed eight to attack one of the others ?

China may become aggressive when it runs out of resources for its population. With 1.4 billion people all striving to become middleclass, that could potentially happen soon.
Pakistan is a very unstable regime, and tensions with India often flares up. it only takes one bad choice to escalate a conflict.
Maybe Iran or the Peoples democratic republic of korea (or however they title themselves) will get pushed to a point where someone will want to flatten them, and their allies will step in.
Perhaps the xenophobia in the UK will go overboard and start a new conflict with France, Brazil or somewhere else ?
Israel could get attacked badly enough that they want to employ their nuclear arsenal. The Syrian regime is currently being disarmed, have anyone wondered where the chemical weapons are going ? I'm sure they have.

The fact that YOU personally may live in what is deemed a "safe" part of the world, does not mean that large scale conflicts will never happen again, and even though the number of big players are relatively low presently, that does not mean that larger conflicts will not happen. But I agree, the acruement of wealth is currently holding many nations in check. So it will be intresting to see what happens, if the US has to declare bankrupcy when the credit limit has been reached and payment on foreign credits and bonds stop. Greece 2 ?!?

1 year,9 days
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Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't There More Public Outrage About NSA Revelations?

twisteddk Re:Deep down.. (610 comments)

No intelligence agencies had much success at trying to infiltrate Al Qaeda, and most of them were only making a half assed effort to do so at best anyway. Hence the need for more resources.

Untrue. It's just the Americans who have had a hard time keeping up, because they never saw the full potential of the threat untill 9/11... and surprisingly so, seeing as there have been so many assassinations, attacks and similar against American citizens, soldiers and embassies in the past.
But in truth European, Israeli and middleeastern intelligences have been infiltrating these terror cells for years. Some may have started after the '72 olympics, some after the Lockerbie incident in the late 80'ies, some earlier or later, but no country in THIS part of the world is without spies among the terror networks. Although I have no first hand knowledge of currently operating spies, there are countless of examples in the past that shows us this, and I have no reason to believe this practice has stopped.

The Americans knows this too, and I'm sure they are stepping up their intelligence efforts, which this latest NSA attrocity shows us. Meanwhile America has used foreign operatives to help its cause, locals in the areas, foreign intelligence assets of allied nations etc.... Look at who found/identified the terrorist leaders in the past 5-6 years.

America is playing catch up, hence the NSA spendings on internal monitoring, and if a nation believes it better to loose a little freedom to gain a little security.... Well, you all know the old saying.

1 year,9 days
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Ask Slashdot: Are 'Rock Star' Developers a Necessity?

twisteddk So I'm a rock star (356 comments)

I never really looked at myself in this way before, but if the definition of a rock star developer is someone who can do the work of several average joes, who is more trusted by colleagues than others and has the ability to visualize design instantly, then I guess I fit that description. I've never been paid the same as the many people I can (in theory) replace, but then again neither has anyone else whom I've met who fits the bill.

In my mind, being the "rock star" is about more than just a little skill. Everyone can develop skill, it's also about work ethics. good memory (or good organizational skills), education, commitment and confidence.
Admittedly, there may be one or two of these confident types who are a bit much. but a strong confidence, coupled with knowledge and skill tends to breed arrogance (and how can it be arrogance, if you're right ?)

I've never considered myself invaluable though. But I also know that those who work with me, are very happy that they have me instead of someone whom may not be as good at getting things done. So I would agree that invaluable is a wrong term to use. But undervalued or underappreaciated might better fit the bill. Indispensable then ? Hardly. I always see my highest goal to make myself totally superfluous. If my boss ever finds me with my feet up, he will know that everything is in perfect working order. Maybe that is the real difference between the "rock stars" and the average developer: I dont care about my job, only my work..

about a year ago
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Seagate's Shingled Magnetic Recording Tech Boosts HDD Capacities to 5TB and Up

twisteddk think outside the box (195 comments)

You are ofcourse correct in that current methods of manufacturing is geared towards miniturization. But think outside the box for a minute, or rather, think INSIDE the box. Given the size available in a 5 1/4", you can easily fit say, 6-8 2,5" drives. Give a little room for some NAND chips and a raidcontroller, and you can actually have a pretty decent piece of storage tech available in a single 5 1/4" unit.

IMO, I think the reason for NOT doing this is the fact that the market for this type of technology is too small. Desktop sales are at an all time low, and tablets are all flash memory. External drives are usually 3,5", and laptops exclusively 2,5". High end servers and businesses are using SAN, which makes your identifiable market small servers and high end home PCs. The first is dying due to virtualization, and the second is probably not large enough to warrant a new development.

As your last paragraph pretty much points out, the technology just doesnt have sufficient lifespan to warrant production.

And given that same knowledge, that size will increase regardless of this new SMR technology, I predict this technology wont live long.....

about a year ago
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Is 'Fair Use' Unfair To Humans?

twisteddk True, but not the only way (259 comments)

I agree that society, and culture will proceed to develop new works of art and fiction, for as long as it is profitable to so. Profit being measured in both cash AND enjoyment. Most authors would be much less productive if they did not get some sort of payment from their work. I agree totally with this.

However, payment to the authors doesn't NEED to come from licensing. In fact I can cite examples in which the owners of a work dont WANT the fees (eg in Russia where the licensing fees are set forth by law, not by the author, which is why half the globe banned perfectly legal Russian MP3 sites a while ago). But lets agree that they want something.

the problem I see is greed. The distributors are protecting their investment, because they see any other source of creation as a threat to their business. However, here in my country, we have a "fair use" law, which means that when I buy a blank media, a piece of blank paper, or toner for my photocopier, I pay a tax which goes into a fund, which then distributes monies to the authors of the "presently most reproduced pieces of work"
Libraries does the same, pay royalties to the authors based on how much their books, movies or music is being used.
Admittedly, noone is getting fat of this system, and certainly the distributors are getting shafted, if I can just go grab a book or a piece of music for free at the library. but I dont see the failing of a business model as being a good reason for endorsing the status quo.

The rest of the world is adapting to global trade.... attempting to enforce a single point of view on copyright or fair use is doomed to fail. Coonsumers WILL move to where their product is, regardless.

about a year ago
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US IT Worker Files Hiring Lawsuit Against Infosys, Class Action Proposed

twisteddk Abuse, not discrimitation (684 comments)

It sounds to me like you're pretty much arguing that the work visa a a really cool business model. WHEN IT'S BEING USED CORRECTLY.

My "saga":I have a few years ago worked for a very large American company. And in my country, admittedly, there are about 50 times the number of IT jobs available compared to the amount of unemployed IT people (Bachelor degree equivalent or higher education).
this puts (and still does) a higher price on talent. And i've benefitted from that, certainly. I wont deny that. But I've ALSO been taking paycuts to finance improving working conditions, re-educating obsolete talent and a few other things.

So I was appauled when I found out that MY company, whom I had worked for for over 10 years, had started, not only "importing" foreign labor, but underpaying them, AND lying about it to the government (otherwise they couldn't get a visa, if the salary officially wasn't high enough), AND forcing the hirees to pay a "deposit" of roughly 2 years salary, payable to the company should the hirees, for ANY REASON be dismissed from their work within the first 2 years of their employment. downright blackmail.... They underpaid, they lied and cheated the government and their own employees. I immediately handed in my resignation and found a new job. Sure the new place didn't have the benefits I had fought for over the last 10 years, but at least the new place was honest about it.

And the new place also hired foreign talent, but did it according to the rules, and only because staffing was a pain, and took forever.

Bottom line: There are liars and cheats out there who will do anything for a buck, but there are also businesses who will act morally, legally and ethically correct. The trick is to be able to tell them apart. And I believe that if the OOP is in the a situation where someone else was hired under the rules, at his/her expense, then that's just tough luck. If that person was hired, bending the rules, then it's abuse of power, not discrimination. I see many problems with this type of hiring, but I do not see a discrimination suit being won...

about a year ago
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Court Upholds Ruling On Dish Network's 'Hopper'

twisteddk What about ACE ? (248 comments)

First of all, someone has already patented a method of preventing the use of a commercial ad skip feature....

However, some 10 years ago (I think.... it's been a while), back when the TIVO was a new piece of technology, someone developed ACE - Automatic Commercial Elimination.
This was made possible by a single piece of "technology" that ALL TV and radio stations MUST use. And that is a signal to determine the beginning and end of commercial blocks.
Sure, they can just remove that, but then the feds will come running and complain about non-compliance, and the maximum number of permitted commercials etc. Yes, most countries actually HAVE a limit on the amount of commercials per hour. And determining if a station adheres to the rules is done by measuring the gaps between these signals.

Admittedly, this is based on knowledge and knowhow that's about 15 years old. I haven't been to the states since, but I cannot imagine that things have changed that much.

about a year ago
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Copyright Drama Reaches 3D Printing World

twisteddk More like knitting designs (258 comments)

I dont really see the legal issue here.
There are already lots of precedences. Knitting designs are one. Even though the pattern may be reproduced (the "program" that tells you how to make the sweater), actually reproducing a patented work is still not legal, regardless of how you obtained the means to reproduce it.

While I'm not a US patent lawyer, I'm quite certain that infringement has nothing to do with the METHOD used to infringe on a patent or trademark. And lets face it, 3D printing is just a tool.

Sure, there may be some IP associated with the program running on the printer (well, not here, as the author has decided to give the program away), but that doesn't exempt the resulting work from copyright law....

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Deliver a Print Magazine Online, While Avoiding Piracy?

twisteddk Terms of service (298 comments)

It's called terms of service.
Simply put in the terms of service, that if you distribute your copy to more than 2-3 people or computers or whatever (or however many seems reasonable to share with), then this invalidates your terms of service, which will be cancelled, unless you want to pay for these extra copies. This is pretty common practice many places I've seen, and can often lead to added sales for legit users

about a year ago
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NASA Wants To Bring Back Hunks of Mars In Future Unmanned Mission

twisteddk Re:Gravity well (82 comments)

Comparatively, Mars is much smaller than earth. A mere 40% of the gravity (or so). Admittedly, that's more than double the moons gravity, but certainly a lot easier to do than escaping earths gravity twice....

Technically, this type of return trip has been worked out for years, but not been implemented yet: The majority of a spaceship is the booster rocket. By using a lander (some sort of VTOL device, similar to the moon lander) module, no (or only a small) booster would be required for the take off from mars. However, if we're to slingshot using gravity only, then the return trip would likely take a decade or more. which means a powered trip would be advisable, if we want results. But space exploration doesn' t have to be fast, so we COULD percievably just let gravity do most of the work. However, if we wanted to do a manned mission, time would be of the essence. This means that the lander module would have to pick up fuel along the way, or that the primary ship would have to. Sending a rocket in advance with the technology to proces fuel on the surface of mars would be one way to go, but certainly not the only one..... It just sounds easy ;)

about a year ago
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Major Advance Towards a Proof of the Twin Prime Conjecture

twisteddk Re:Open set it is! (248 comments)

From a purely mathematical point of view you are incorrect.

The proof isn't that there's less than 70million units between each prime (like there's a lot of primes with a gap of two units eg 29 and 31, 41 and 43 etc). the proof is that there's in infinite number of prime pairs with a maximum of 70 million units between them.
You can still find gaps significantly larger. Those gaps are present between numbers that are NOT prime pairs.

eg: 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 39 40 41 42 43 44
Here there is a prime pair with a 2 unit gap between them (41 and 43), however the number 37 has a larger gap on either side, because it is not a part of a "prime pair". In your thinking you are excluding the primes that are NOT paried, and the gaps between where one pair ends and another begins. Each of which, according to the proof still has the ability to exceed 70 million units.

Disclaimer: I did not fully read the proof posted in annals of mathematics, but I'm pretty certain that this is the gist of it

about a year and a half ago
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Major Advance Towards a Proof of the Twin Prime Conjecture

twisteddk Re:Gaps between numbers... (248 comments)

Given that the only "real use" for large primes is cryptography, I was in my nerd mindset thinking that this means that there will now be a near finite amount of processing power required to break algorithms.

However, I keep comming back to xkcd aswell: http://xkcd.com/538/

about a year and a half ago
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Hands-Free Or Voice-Activated Texting Not Safer

twisteddk Re:Type of Study (157 comments)

Well, I can add that here in the EU, we have many different laws, so we can actually measure the difference, and have many road safety studies done also regarding cellphone usage.

And one of the remarkable things was a Swedish study (in Sweden there is no hands-free driving laws) some years ago that showed that the act of conversing over a phone was what distracted you, not the fact that you held the phone in your hands.Thus pretty much shooting a big hole in the "hands-free lobby"s argumentation. As far as I remember it, they did however allow for police to make a judgement call and ticket drivers talking on the phone while driving, if it is determined that the driver is driving not driving responsibly due to use of the phone.

Here in my country, the cops just fine you for talking on a hand held phone, but handsfree and texting (which is proven equally bad, or texting which is probably worse) is for some reason OK. Even the cops I talk to sometimes apologize for handing out a ticket for something they think shouldn't be a ticket-able offense.

My take on things is that the laws dont keep up with the science and the people using it, if we keep making laws that tell us what NOT to do.

about a year and a half ago
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Omnidirectional Treadmill: The Ultimate FPS Input Device?

twisteddk Re:Agreed, lean and strafe are missing (292 comments)

You may be correct.
I also noted another post later which indicated that maybe the point of the controller was not to actually mimic real life, but to allow the player control his avatar better. And in that respect this type of controller will definitely fail.
But the idea of putting your "mouse aim" in a headset, and your movement on a treadmill, allowing you to "only" have to control a much smaller number of functions would seem beneficial, in that the human computer you mention will also be better able to cope with "running, turning your head and pressing a button" than actual hand-eye coordination deciding which 6 buttons to press instead. If the controller allows for more accurate movement controls (and I'm sure later versions will), and we present people with an option to actually get some exercise while playing, I'm all for that. I'd venture a guess that the jumping and movement of the WII controller was a large part of why parents (like myself) allowed their kids to play with these types of consoles: It provides a false impression that your kid is actually playing something "real".

about a year and a half ago
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Omnidirectional Treadmill: The Ultimate FPS Input Device?

twisteddk Agreed, lean and strafe are missing (292 comments)

As are kneeling, crawling, zooming, jumping. backpedaling, activating stuff (opening doors etc.) and other functions. I would also venture a guess that rotation gets done a lot quicker on the PC than on a treadmill as I didn't notice the kid moving much more than 40-60 degrees in any direction in a hurry. I'm guessing because the system is slow or inaccurate in response to this type of movement.
And I'm sure I can "easily" win using these techniques, when fighting someone who hasn't got those options.

While it may just be a matter of integrating these functions into the controller (possibly in the gun), these are lacking, and often used functions. I also see some limitations in that it would probably be difficult to integrate this into tank/airplane/helo movement, for vehicles, and chutes, ropes, ladders and ziplines in other games. But for a customized game this would be nice. Unfortunately I have seen too many controllers that only support a few games die because they lack the option to be used in other games. Light guns, VR goggles, the 360 orb, the gaming glove and a few others spring to mind (Yes, I have spent far too much cash on gaming, I know)

I'd love to back the development though, and will definitely sign up for the kickstarter when it goes public. I'd also love to buy one of these eventually.... But I doubt my GF would let me keep it....

about a year and a half ago
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Omnidirectional Treadmill: The Ultimate FPS Input Device?

twisteddk Re:Dream on. (292 comments)

Paintball is expensive..

and i'm sure this kind of tech is just something that will be given away ;)

about a year and a half ago
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Google Gets Consumer Service Ultimatum From German Consumer Groups

twisteddk Pirating again (351 comments)

Fine, then why should I not just go pirate the latest [insert name of big US recording star here] if I am only violating US law and I am not a US citizen ?

We happen to live in a global world, Globalization is a fact that business will have to deal with. This includes American businesses aswell as Chinese, German and everyone else.

Agreed, court orders, mandates etc. will be difficult to enforce across national borders. that doesn't mean that a company doing business in a country wont comply with local laws there just the same. No one needs the aggravation of fighting legal battles, getting a bad reputation etc. Sometimes it's a lot easier to comply than to complain.

about a year and a half ago
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Australian PM Targets Imported IT Workers

twisteddk Re:Import the workers or offshore the jobs... (224 comments)

Yes, or.... Which has been the debate over here, the hired labor costs maybe underbidding the local labor costs. Thus displacing local talent because of the cost. Most businesses doesn't run on philanthropy after all, which makes it a legislation issue to protect local jobs (albeit fighting globalization would seem futile)

We've had examples of companies (well at least one that got some press) where they show one contract to immigration services that shows the foreign IT hires as getting at least minimum wages. but the local hires also had another contract stating how much they would ACTUALLY get and that they'd be fired or fined if they did not lie about their salary to immigrations.

I was appalled, and quit the company shortly after. I continue to be amazed at the lengths people will go to turn a profit.Professional businesses should be able to see the huge impact illegal or immoral activities can have on their sales, brand or reputation in the market.and no secret is safe enough that it will never become public knowledge.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Would You Convince Someone To Give Up an Old System?

twisteddk Teach him (379 comments)

While the OP did say "old dog new tricks" and all that. I'd also consider maybe asking Bob, as the creator of the system, to maybe learn a new technology, and compare it to his own, to make a side-by-side comparison of the features and possiblities of a new vs old system. Maybe even ask him to port a few of the documents to show feasibility of doing this. Then have him present his findings to the rest of the team. If he's a professional, he'll either come up with a whole new set of changes he wants on the old system (because I'll bet any new system has a lot fo smart features his hasn't being 10 years old and all), or he'll see that the new system is a good way to store stuff, and clean up the old documents at the same time.

If Bob has the gatekeeper syndrome, then putting him in charge of the transition, will simply make him the gatekeeper of a new and improoved system. Which if he can see the benefits of the transition, would make him feel even more appreciated.

In my view: The important part is to not criticise his system, but let him do it himself. He KNOWS the flaws of the old system. Getting him to admit them will make it easier for him to see why the system needs to be updated.

about 2 years ago

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