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Scientists Find Traces of Sea Plankton On ISS Surface

wierd_w Re:not hard cosmic radiation (94 comments)

Yes and no-- Depends on what the ISS's orbit is. If it has a circumpolar orbit, (crosses the polar region), then it will pass through the magnetic field lines that funnel cosmic particles into the atmosphere that cause the northern lights. EG-- it would get beamed pretty intensely with concentrated cosmic particles.

If it does not have that kind of orbit, and instead stays around the equator, then no so much. Mostly radiation free, compared to outside the magnetosphere.

What we need to do, is send a lander to the moon loaded with some microbial and planktonic colonies, where it can get beamed by high intensity, raw solar wind radiation, (And more importantly, where we can keep close tabs on it easily) and measure how the colonies do over time.

Last I checked, we have pretty much definitively determined that the moon is devoid of native flora or fauna. "Contamination" of the moon is a silly prospect.

If we decide not to land the experiment ON the moon, we could just as easily place it in orbit around the moon, and still conduct the experiment. the moon just provides a nice stable gravity well to moor the experiment so we dont have to send oodles of fuel to keep station, which is conveniently close by, and outside the magnetosphere of the planet.

I am actually surprised that there are so few experiments geared at empirically testing terrestrial microorganisms against the "Inhospitable environment" of space.

I strongly suspect it has more to do with the politics of not having to contemplate panspermia as a probable/reasonable factor in scientific debate than anything else.

yesterday
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Watch a Cat Video, Get Hacked: the Death of Clear-Text

wierd_w Re:All the more reason-- (166 comments)

That would work too, but getting your hands on CF cards is getting harder and harder, and so is the likelihood that end users will have a card reader capable of using them.

Chromebooks dont use CF.

This does throw a nasty little wrinkle in.
we would need a custom SD card ASIC that purposefully does not accept writes, and does not have any code inside its firmware to facilitate writes.

That's gonna make it significantly more expensive though.

there's a possible alternative though, but it still requires custom hardware fab. A filter sleeve.
It does a man-in-the-middle between the actual sdcard and the sdcard slot. it allows read requests through, but denies write packets. It instead lies, and says a write was denied, emulating the behavior of the write protect notch on the sdcard logically to the controller, while actively also prohibiting the write from getting through at all. The ideal form factor here is in the "SDHC to microSDHC adapter sleeve" format. Sits inside a real SDHC slot, accepts microSDHC, but strictly enforces write protection.

3 days ago
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Watch a Cat Video, Get Hacked: the Death of Clear-Text

wierd_w All the more reason-- (166 comments)

Really, revelations like this are all the more reason to run a fully rom based OS for anything touching the internet.

Before somebody says something absurd, this is basically what a thin client does anyway. The difference is that you keep the system image inside the thin client itself, rather than pulling it from the network. A modified chromebook would work just fine. An sdcard slot that is hardware designed to be electronically incapable of raising its line voltages to write-enable levels, while still being physically accessible by the owner, would round out the package for where to store the system image.

Everything else is stored exclusively in RAM, and blanks completely on power off.

If the user WANTS persistent data, they can use external media. it comes in quite acceptable sizes these days.

This could very easily be done with a chromebook with some simple modifications. Instead of doing google chrome, pack it with a squashfs knoppix image.

watch all the seditious cat videos you want.

4 days ago
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Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

wierd_w Re:Because "How dare he" (417 comments)

There-in lies the rub.

Politicians are expert liars and manipulators. They have agendas. they arent always good, and almost always have some kind of barb in them. Positions of power attract those who hunger for power, and that hunger is insatiable.

What is "War for what I want" to the politician, he spins as "War to prevent $atrocity" to his citizenry.

As voltaire pointed out, those who believe absurdities, can be made to commit atrocities.

The absurdity is that there is a justification for war to begin with-- a "right reason." To the politician, that just means he needs to push that "right reason" button, and you will go to war for him, and he will get what he wants.

Be it "Spreading freedom" or "assisting a revolt" or whatever.

Think about what war actually *IS*.

"I disagree with you, so strongly, that I feel compelled to use lethal violence against you to either eliminate you, or force you to adopt my position in this argument."

When you look at war that way, all pretext of "right reasons" dissolves.

As I pointed out earlier, "War is necessary because war exists(elsewhere)!" is a tautology. That is what "Violence in the name of self-defense" is. "My violence is necessary because there is violence (elsewhere)!"

4 days ago
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Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

wierd_w Re:Because "How dare he" (417 comments)

The issue, is that you have governments that dont know the meaning of a peaceful "no."

You know, like,

"Hey bro-- I see you have lots of untapped oil resources. Would you please make some backroom deals with me so I can get some of it real cheap? I'll give you all the stuff to get it out of the ground for a reasonable bait and switch arrangement..."

"no, your deal is clearly not in our best interests. Seek your oil elsewhere."

"Oh, sorry to hear you say that..." (Turns around, spreads propoganda in his own country to rile up the 'For the right reasons' crowd) "For FREEDOM!(tm)"

(censored)
[sounds of killing and horrors of war of scene]

[new scene, completely different person is now in charge of the other country.]

"Thanks so much for putting me in power! Now, how can I help you?"

"yes, about that oil...."

THIS is why we must not allow people to be moved by speeches about "right reasons" for war. There would never have been a war without them. That's the point.

The argument in favor of 'For the right reasons' revolves around war being inevitable and necessary. It is a logical tautology.

"War is needed, because war exists(elsewhere)"

4 days ago
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Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

wierd_w Re:Because "How dare he" (417 comments)

Little problem there, pal.

If EVERYONE did this, then there would be a scarce few idiots to join in behind dangerous, power-mad people, like the ones you mentioned.

Why? Because they would know that what that guy wanted, would lead to war, and know exactly what it is.

What REALLY contributes to those kinds of atrocities you cited, are people who think war is OK for "the right reasons".

Those people can be made to commit atrocities.

http://www.goodreads.com/quote...

4 days ago
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Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched

wierd_w Re:flash/disk/tape ratios still stand (183 comments)

This is a little short sighted. Video files are not th eonly kinds of file that have grown demonstrably larger over time, due to "hey, everyone has the spaces these days, let's fill it! It's CHEAP!" being a development consideration.

Be it audio files (FLAAC vs MP3), Images (jpg vs png vs bmp vs RAW), Documents (RTF vs DOC vs DOCX) 3D object files (OBJ vs MAX vs BLEND) and of course, application files (I've seen 10mb and larger DLLs and other libraries become commonplace these days, where previously they were a few kilobytes to meg or two, with 5mb being 'large')

What you mean to say, is that 1TB is more than enough for anyone, "right now."

4 years from now, not so much.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Online Job Applications So Badly Designed?

wierd_w Re:HR? What HR? (274 comments)

Perhaps, perhaps not.

As the AC that also responded pointed out, you know nothing of how they spend their own time. Your argument can be boiled down to a version of the broken window fallacy, in which you are a glazier, and thus value broken windows, regardless of the outcome.

You are discounting how your business can benefit by the more efficient utilization of the time and energy of people who do not get your blessing to become your employee; The coder you dont hire, that develops the next big thing in cryptography, because he misspelled something. The musical genius that produces the next major record hit, that powers the recording studio you have as a client that ends up paying your bills. Etc.

How many of THEIR minutes are you accounting for in your value determination? How many minutes do you waste, which result in economy-wide changes in potential, because of your own laziness?

Have you ever contemplated it before?

Realistically, the best solution is one which wastes the least amount of time on both sides of the equation because it results in the greatest potential in both your own direct market potential, and your indirect market potential. Your insistence on not seeing this only demonstrates that you do not understand the real value of time as a monetary metric.

The more time people spend engaged in producing and engaging in the marketplace, and the less time they spend trying to win the lottery by being the lucky one person who gets the job, directly correlates to lost income for you. You are just too blind to see it. This is ESPECIALLY true when there are HUGE disparities in the time expended on each side of the equation.

If you have 10,000 applicants, and your laziness costs them an extra half hour PER APPLICANT, you just wasted 5000 man-hours of market potential.

If your system is adopted by other hiring directors, the number only gets bigger.

Since the applicants engaging in the process represent some semi-random slice of the total market population, you can arrive at an estimation of the lost market activity you are directly causing.

The question is, after doing so, is your time REALLY more valuable than the sum loss you have incurred?

(Or is it really just a fairytale that you tell yourself at night?)

about a week ago
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Injecting Liquid Metal Into Blood Vessels Could Help Kill Tumors

wierd_w Re:Ketonic diet (111 comments)

Did you have reduced liver or renal function?

Here's a little tip:

Ketonic diets make excessive use of liver function to produce the ketone bodies that get substituted in cellular metabolism for glucose.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K...

While in normal, healthy people the levels of produced acetone and other biproducts of ketosis are well within the body's ability to safely process and eliminate, renal failure restricts the body's ability to eliminate even normal waste products, such as urea, from the blood. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R...

Engaging in a diet that is known to increase the production rate of these compounds, while suffering from a disorder that either 1) affects the liver's ability to even create these bodies as an energy source to begin with, or 2) affects the body's ability to dispose of the resulting reactive waste compounds, is a no-brainer for being a bad idea.

In the first, you can starve to death while eating lots of fat, and in the second you pickle yourself and can severely damage already chronically affected vital organs. (Acetone, one of the metabolites of ketosis, is known to damage kidney function in high concentrations. Reduced renal function results in higher than normal syrum concentrations of metabolites, which would include the acetone produced during ketosis. Many people with impaired renal function are not aware of it.)

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfa...
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medline...

Since you may feel perfectly healthy, and have impaired renal function and not even know it, (especially when one considers the risks associated with being obese in relation to renal disorders-- http://jasn.asnjournals.org/co... -- when coupled with the reason why one would engage in a ketogenic diet to begin with) you could very well be making a hidden but malignant condition worse.

Besides, asking your health care provider before doing *ANYTHING* extreme is simply good medicine.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Online Job Applications So Badly Designed?

wierd_w Re:HR? What HR? (274 comments)

What I find distasteful, is the inherent duplicity involved with "My time is valuable" when uttered in this context.

For every minute you "avoid wasting", you force how many other people to waste how many of their minutes? How much MORE valuable is YOUR time, to THEIRS?

How do you justify this disparity?

More poignantly, how do you justify this, when parsing technology exists in such a fashion as to allow automatic population of your presented high-level form that YOU read, without forcibly requiring your applicants to MANUALLY populate redundant entries on your application forms?

The option that wastes the least amount of time total, is to implement it correctly, so that information is asked for once, and populates it in many places automatically, so that no matter where the reviewer chooses to look preferentially, they will find the exact same data.

But that clearly makes too much sense; Everyone is too lazy to do it the demonstrably correct way, and as long as any one side of the issue can claim an advantage to leverage in doing the least amount of work, the issue will always persist.

Efficiency extends beyond just "It makes MY job easier!" It extends to the whole system, and what most improves useful results. There is a terrible problem with managerial myopia in this respect; Managers dont like being told that their policies are demonstrably poor-- Even more, they find ways to fire people that can actually prove it.

What I am getting at here, is that the root of this whole problem, is the idea that "I am the manager, and thus my will is of the highest impact, no other considerations matter" is in force. I'm sorry your majesty, but you have no clothes on.

about a week ago
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Injecting Liquid Metal Into Blood Vessels Could Help Kill Tumors

wierd_w Re:Ketonic diet (111 comments)

Unless the cancer is in your liver or renal system.

Then switching to a ketonic diet will poison you in a matter of days.

Always consult a health professional before doing ANYTHING radical with your body. :D

about a week ago
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About Half of Kids' Learning Ability Is In Their DNA

wierd_w Re:And what they did not publish (227 comments)

It would be trivial to get this information:

The human genome project aims to map distributions of known gene alleles across the entire genomic space of the human species; and there are many studies that track individual and sets of alleles across geographic and ethnic group boundries.

This study focuses on a single regional and ethnic group, but narrows action of a set of alleles.

Comparing both data sets to each other, will give you the difference in distribution of those alleles across the regional and ethnic domain.

I am not weighing in on either side of this sordid argument; just saying that studies specific to the mindset of "Nu uh! I want to see your studies SPECIFICALLY TRACKING these genes, or you are WRONG! WRONG I SAY, WRONG!" are not necessary.

You can get that data without bias from the statistical data already collected from the human genome project, once you have a set of target genes to cross reference, which this recent study provides.

about a week ago
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Why the "NASA Tested Space Drive" Is Bad Science

wierd_w Re:Is it really "impossible"? (315 comments)

This is probably very wrong. (yes. declarative.)

The way I understood the quantum vacuum, was that it spontaneously produces particle and antiparticle pairs, that exist for a very tiny amount of time, recombine, and then disappear. The energy needed to create these particle pairs from "nothing" is not elaborated on well; it is a matter of some controversy as I understand. However, the existence of these particles has been experimentally verified, as they produce real, measurable effects.

Likewise, a high energy photon has a certain probability of degrading into a pair of antiparticles with low mass, (electron positron pair), which then also recombines back into a high energy photon. This happens in the presence of matter, according to wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... Even the very best made EMDrive is going to have SOME gas inside the chamber, so "Check".

Since the virtual particles have charge, and the electron-positron pair have charge, a charge interaction is possible. Since the quantum vacuum is random, this means that light will suffer some small dispersion from the interaction even in deep space (which also has diffuse hydrogen atoms). The question that makes many scientists so angry, is that when this "real particle pair interacting with a not-real particle pair" happens, the vector of motion of the real particle pair can be altered slightly, as will the not-real pair. That seems to be the explanation for EMDrive. However, the not-real pair will vanish from existence, and the real particles will turn back into a photon.

Energy is exchanged via the interaction, but the energy vanishes on one side of the interaction as the non-particles vanish into the quantum soup again.

A device like the EMDrive tries to manipulate the probabilities of these interactions so that light, and electromagnetic fields in the device create additional interactions.

When both the light and the virtual particle pairs emerge into "Being", they exhibit some electrical charge characteristics. This means that an ambient magnetic field (which will be induced by the cavity resonating with high energy microwaves) will also interact with this exchange. Some of the "momentum" will be conferred to the field, which will then push on the field's source-- the cavity walls.

This means that the interactions going on inside the chamber, if you can cause a statistically relevant change in how the interactions proceed, can produce a net push against the cavity wall which will cause pushing against "light" trapped inside the cavity (the microwaves, as expressed as an antiparticle pair), and the virtual particle plasma that exists only for small moments of time before vanishing.

This appears to violate conservation of momentum, because the other half of the equation literally disappears with the disappearing virtual particles.

it is possible that the kinetic energy imparted to the vacuum particles does not actually vanish, but instead may manifest as a local increase in virtual particle density at the aft end of the device. This could be measured as an increase in the casimir force, if you wanted to check. That's a wildly unfounded idea mind, but I would be curious enough to look if I had the nanotech casimir force detection equipment to do it, and an EMdrive to test against.

about two weeks ago
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Snowden Granted 3 More Years of Russian Residency

wierd_w Re:Meanwhile ... (266 comments)

Somebody is mis-remembering the controversy.

1) Snowden releases a controlled release, which starts the manhunt to collect him for prosecution.

2) NSA, CIA, and pals all BLATANTLY LIE to congress. Congress eats it up like fudge.

3) Snowden releases MORE information, catching NSA, CIA, and pals in their blatant lie.

4) NSA, CIA, and pals whine about how unamerican snowden is, and how cowardly he is to have fled the country where they cant capture him and interrogate/punish him in secret. Lie some more to congress. Congress eats it up like fudge.

5) Snowden releases MORE information...

Rinse, repeat.

This has happened about 4 times now, with the NSA and CIA heads being caught lying EACH AND EVERY TIME.

Without snowden releasing the information he has released, there would have been no proof that the NSA and CIA had been lying to congress in a blatant fashion.

He didnt just release it all at once, bradley/chelsey manning style. He released it as it was NECESSARY to have it released, to prevent the NSA and CIA from continuing to operate as they had been previously.

Your argument is absurd.

about two weeks ago
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Ancient Skulls Show Civilization Rose As Testosterone Fell

wierd_w Re:correlation, causation (387 comments)

More along the lines of "High T people, with their greater rest-energy requirements, spent more of their time working for food to sock away to avoid starvation, where their Low T peers required less, for the same effort invested, and could carry a larger surplus, and thus provide better for offspring.

If you also make some wild leaps (not advisable, but meh), you could see how a society transitioning away from hunter-gatherer toward agrarian would have the "strong providers" leaving the settlement every day to go and hunt, leaving the beanpoles behind. This places the beanpoles at a greater opportunity for reproductive activity.

The agricultural advance enables this to happen; nature does the rest.

about two weeks ago
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Extracting Audio From Visual Information

wierd_w Re:Not surprising (142 comments)

Seems to me that a very high frequency lightsource in the room (WAAY faster than the 60-120hz fluorescent type) would totally bork this system, especially if there were multiple light sources in the room that were not in good phase agreement.

The camera takes images at 5000 frames per second, or there abouts. So, we need to degrade the camera's ability to take good images by screwing with the light levels at a higher speed, which will then introduce noise into the images captured. A normal human in the room would not notice that there was anything special about the light-- The photopigments in the retina have a much longer acrive duration than the light pulse frequency, so the light would appear to be "ON", not flickering.

At the very least ,that would make reconstruction of audio from video serveilence with a high speed camera radically more compuationally expensive.

Just for reference, I am imagining lighting from a recessed vaulted light system. The phase of the light pulses generated by this 360 degree illumination source has incident light happening at 90 degree angles, and at a frequency that randomly modulates between 5000 and 10000 hz. To the POV of the highspeed camera, it will look like "rave party meets disco fever" lighting is going on in there. To the human occupants, the lights are just on. This can be further enhanced by using color mixed LED lighting bars that are designed to produce discrete Red Green and Blue signals that flash so quickly that the human eye sees only white light. The high speed camera however, will see psychodelic colors in randomly mixed patterns.

Seeing as the SNR is already kinda low even in the lab conditions, increasing the noise in the channel will render this approach untenable.
"LED high speed 'rave lights'" would do exactly that.

about two weeks ago
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Ancient Skulls Show Civilization Rose As Testosterone Fell

wierd_w Re:correlation, causation (387 comments)

It's probably an "energy" issue.

Testosterone is linked with increased muscle mass, and thus with increased rest metabolism. A civilization that has lots of "Adonis" look-a-likes sitting around in the winter will not survive as well as a civilization with lots of beanpoles sitting around in the winter, because the beanpoles require less food per person per winter, and as such, the society will have more energy available to invest in improvements in technology and culture.

So, while increased testosterone is more sexually attractive, lower testosterone would have conferred a large survival advantage in ancient human history.

Some experiments could be devised to test this idea in fact--

Screen the population for a threshold of testosterone production, with a good distribution over ages, (so not all the low T people are 65+ and under 12) divide into two groups of 100, one with low T, and one with high T, pay them to live in isolation in a nice little log cabin up in the mountains, then just monitor their food consumption. According to the theory, the higher T population should consume more food doing the same rest activities as the lower T group. The experiment should determine a rough baseline for the difference, from which a (dangerous) extrapolation could be made.

about two weeks ago
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The Milky Way Is Much Less Massive Than Previous Thought

wierd_w Re:What about the supermassive black hole? (119 comments)

I am more interested in radical ideas, like anti-mass, being at work.

Say you have a large aggregation of mass that is orbiting a large, semistationary singularity-- like, a galaxy does.

Outside this rather bumpy gravity well, you have a diffuse cloud of antimass, which then pushes on, and chases the mass as it rotates around the central mass. This pushing cancels out the centripetal force.

It's an interesting idea, as it was recently postulated that there is no real compelling reason for antimass to not exist-- it is a perfectly valid solution in some circumtances-- meaning that the stuff may very well exist.

It would be interesting to see a reinterpretation of the data of for "dark matter maps" of the universe, with antimass pressure substituted for mystery gravity application-- even if the math doesnt add up.

about three weeks ago
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Reglue: Opening Up the World To Deserving Kids With Linux Computers

wierd_w Re:Local recycling is the best way to go. (91 comments)

I can't prove it, (and it is highly inflammatory to say), but I would hazard the following guess as to why:

Corporations have intellectual blinders on. They are far too focused on "Beating the other guys" (financially, economically, technologically, legally, and otherwise) that the very concept of enlightened self interest-- Helping others, to promote a better environment, which they also stand to profit from-- is not given proper attention.

Note, the company you work for only considered this charitable solution after it was discovered to be cheaper and with fewer regulatory hurdles than actual electronic waste disposal. (even though these devices will eventually get there, regardless. nothing lasts forever.) Ultimately, the allure of such initiatives at the corporate level has nothing to do whatsoever with improving the community, and everything to do with foisting a cost center onto somebody else. (Disposal fees for the ewaste now are the concern of the charities that repurpose the waste, and of the people who accept the repurposed waste, when those devices actually do catastrophically fail. Granted, this can be after many years of service-- however, they WILL eventually fail, and they WILL require proper disposal at that time. The people paying for the disposal will be the new owners. Not the company you work for.)

The concept of "enlightened self interest" is far too long term for modern corporate culture to even come close to comprehending-- It uses forces that mature over several decades, often at human-generation timescales. That's where the payoffs on recycling like this REALLY happen-- you increase availability of an essential resource, increasing the possible labor pool in 20 to 30 years, as a consequence of the increased availability of the raw equipment needed to foster competency and skill.

Corporations dont like to think this way. They want to think about how they can cheat the system to increase their profits THIS QUARTER; not how they will get competent workers in 20 years. For the latter, they tend to suckle the teat of modern 'free market capitalism' philosophies, and expect to just magically get what they need, without actually investing in the competencies they are going to need later on.

You see this rapaciously happening in the US-- Our BS with H1B visa abuses, massive over-use of foreign workforce, short-sighted erosion of regulatory laws, and so much more. All have the central theme though: Get the money, get it quick before anyone else can, crowd out everyone else-- the market will always provide, it will be OK.

In a sense, what you have done by revealing this to your employer is highly pathological, when taken in this context-- You have enabled them to circumvent a regulatory compliance directive aimed at ensuring proper disposal of their e-waste, by allowing them to redirect that waste flow into the public commons.

Having been discovered and exploited, I would forecast the following, in this order:

1) This will be suddenly become INSANELY popular. Other companies will follow suit.

2) There will be a glut of viable e-waste in the charity network, far outstripping demand. the real nature of e-waste as refuse will rear its head.

3) This glut of ewaste at the charity level will prompt a less savory secondary market, which appropriates these low cost assets and resells them abroad, or in other municipalities-- for a time.

4) regulators, (sadly, often captured by the companies they are supposed to be regulating) will step in, and impose new regulations prohibiting the disposal of ewaste in this fashion. This is because the e-waste is not being disposed of properly/disposal fees cannot be realistically charged to the new endpoint of the refuse chain. Supply to charities will dry up.

5) Ultimately, after an initial boom, there will be less overall availability of perfectly usable recycled electronics than before.

[obligatory: 6) profit]

There is an alternate pathway, of course, depending on how the regulatory agency(ies) of your country react to the sudden increase in "Domestically sourced E-waste".

4a) Regulators, captured by those they regulate, create regulations that exempt domestic e-waste from the same levels of scrutiny that corporate or business generated e-waste are subject to, to ensure that this loophole remains open at the detriment of the environment, which is against their mandate. (See for instance, how the US's EPA handles domestic ewaste.) To keep this loophole to themselves, new barriers to entry to the "Charity" side get enacted, to restrict the number of recycling charities, which are then controlled via exclusive sourcing/supply contracts. This ensures that "early adopters" continue getting the gravy, while new contenders in the marketplace are left in the cold.

5a) The restriction against spontaneous formation of new charities to service genuine public needs results in a net loss for the society, coupled with the environmental ills of poorly regulated e-waste disposal. (landfills full of refined rare earth elements, toxic byproducts of epoxy decomposition entering ground water, etc.)

[6) profit]

What *REALLY* needs to happen, but which TOTALLY WONT HAPPEN, is this:

4b) Regulatory agencies allow for corporations and businesses to make such "Charitable donations", but still require those corporations and businesses to pick up the tab for proper disposal of that waste later on, using a registration authority.

5b) this allows e-waste to still enter the charity network, leaves the charity network unfettered in its service of the public, and actually facilitates the operation of the charities in question-- ensuring the best possible operation of those charities-- but also makes this "disposal method" less desirable, or possibly equally desirable to direct disposal. (the costs of future disposal may be difficult to predict, but the current cost of disposal is well known.) This ensures that a large percentage of the commercial ewaste stream is properly handled and treated, reducing environmental impact, while still allowing this waste to be "recycled."

[6) profit]

The reason this method will NOT be considered:

It forces commercial producers of ewaste to still be legally responsible for that waste's proper disposal later, which places these producers of waste in a compromising situation; unless they can get some other kickback for contributing to the charity, (such as a tax break) that more than makes up for the amortized risks now associated with the action, it makes the donation of ewaste a non-starter. (This is by design, however-- it prevents the massive glut of ewaste into the charity network.)

As a consequence of the above, "Free market" pundits will decry it as being of the devil, and will actively seek the prevention of such a solution; they favor the initially stated flow of outcomes, because it results in the greatest amount of "market activity", and things like the environment are just "externalities."

Corrupt government officials favor the second stated flow of outcomes, because it ensures a profit stream for early adopters, (which they can be, if they invest early, THEN impose the regs. See how US senators and congresscritters make their fortunes.)

This leaves this much more socially responsible 3rd option out in the cold, as usual.

Getting back to why corporations don't initially "SEE" these things-- they are focused on making the most money they can, as quickly as they can, and externalizing as many costs as they can. Fearing the possibility of my 3rd option (and in addition, other factors such as data security and secure disposal requirements that require complete shredding of the waste) , they shy away from donating ewaste. The actual societal benefits of recycled ewaste in the form of increased domestic labor efficiency are too long term-- and the short term exploitative tactics they are beholden to actually makes their widespread use of this option deleterious to the social good. (a little medicine is good, but too much is toxic. Same here.)

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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ask slashdot: how should I handle this IP agreement?

wierd_w wierd_w writes  |  about 5 months ago

wierd_w (1375923) writes "Today I was presented with yet another agreement from my employer, as many if not all of us have been faced with in the past. This one however, strikes as as being the closest thing to pure evil I have ever encountered.

having read, and re-read the text of the agreement, i do not see any prohibitions on public discussion of the terms provided there-in, and so I thought I would make mention of the most eggregious sections, and seek feedback on if I should find new employment or suck it up and sign this faustian rag. (I fully understand that any members involved in the legal profession must protect themselves, and regardless of the outcome, will not hold any legally responsible for the contributions they may make.)

now, down to the dirtiness at hand.

aside from the normal language where they claim ownership of every idea and skill i posess, they also make several claims that in my (very much) unprofessional opinion are serious red flags telling me to run as fast as I can. ....
6) Miscellaneous.
        a) A breach of this Agreement will result in irreparable harm to the Company for which there is no adequate remedy at law, and the Company is entitled to injunctive relief and specific performance. The Company need not post a bond or other security to enforce its rights under this Agreement.

  b) This agreement may not be modified, or terminated except in a writing signed by me, and a company officer. A waiver of breach of any provision of this Agreement will not operate as a waiver of any subsequent breach.

  c) The unenforcability of any provision of this agreement will not limit any other provision's enforcability. If any provision is held unenforcable, that provision will be limited or construed to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable.

  d) My obligations under this agreement continue after my employment ends.

e) This is not an employment contract. My employment is at-will.

f) This agreement will be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Washington, without reference to conflicts of law rules. ...

a) and d) especially scare the shit out of me.

the former uses loaded language that I feel should be illegal, because it presupposes a matter of fact that I personally do not find truth in; a cursory examination of civil contract law for the state of washington shows that there is no limit on the possible awarded damages for statutory compensation. My employer could pull a doctor evil, and hold me hostage for a hundred bazillion-million dollars, and be within existing legal remedy as far as I am able to determine. While i do agree that irreparable harm could come from unapproved disclosure of intellectual properties or secrets, i dispute that the available legal remedies are "not adequate." If any of you are more knowlegable about washington contract law, i would love to hear your informal opinions. As-is, i don't believe that this agreement is possible for me, since i simply do not agree with the language of that section of article 6, and cannot fathom how "unlimited statutory damages" cannot service suitable compensation, and why they feel that special injunctive relief and and specific performance are necessary. for any of our lawyer friends here that might shed some light on this, my eyes are peeled!

then there is section d) of the same article, which, when taken in context of e) (at will employment, and not a promise of continued employment) appears to amount to an agreement in purpetuity for a service rendered (at will employment) that by its very nature is decidedly temporal. perhaps they think that i will be exposed to industry secrets that require purpetual protection, but that is not rational, considering that *I* would be creating those "secrets", and the wording of the main body of the contract explicitly states that my "know-how" is included in the agreement. That would mean that my already extensive skillset prior to working here is on the table in this contract, and this agreement would essentially bar me from in any way disclosing anything i know to any unauthorized person, if a very strict interpretation was followed. I could accept a sunset with an absurd term, say 25 years, but not "infinity". Theoretically, i would have to acquire a completely new knowledgebase and find a completely different career if I accept this agreement then seek new employment, as best I comprehend it.

My current thought on a course of action is to seek a modified contract per section b), with a sunset provision, and a statement asserting "fullest extent possible by law" instead of the existing section a) of article 6, as I am actually capable of agreeing with those terms, and should provide more than enough protection to my employer, as I have no interests in stealing or proliferating any of their intelectual properties-- along with some kind of sunset provision for section d).

for the record, this is a fortune 500 company dealing in physical manufacture of aerospace components, but the language of the agreement covers *everything*, including computer code, sketches, diagrams, algorithms, et. al., including my "know-how". (it is specifically mentioned.) I also no not live in the state of washington, nor is the company headquartered there.

Should I bother with seeking to get an agreement I can actually sign in good faith, or should I just start looking for a new job?"

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"investigate Chris Dodd" petition reaches over 25,

wierd_w wierd_w writes  |  more than 2 years ago

wierd_w (1375923) writes "The situation with the whitehouse.gov internet petition concerning the investigation of former senator, and current MPAA CEO Chris Dodd has gotten a little more interesting. In just under 3 days, the petition has exceeded 25,000 signatures, meeting the requirements for an official policy statement from the executive branch. Just how many signatures the petition will receive before the deadline of February 22 remains to be seen, but the official reply should be 'interesting' considering the impending elections."
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Ellsberg supports wikileaks

wierd_w wierd_w writes  |  more than 3 years ago

wierd_w (1375923) writes "Daniel Ellsberg: “EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”

Due to the recent debates over the pros and cons between the wikileaks releases and those of the historic "Pentagon papers", Journalist Daniel Ellsberg, who released the pentagon papers in 1971, has written an editorial on the subject declaring that he rejects the mantra of “Pentagon Papers good; WikiLeaks material bad", and that further “That’s just a cover for people who don’t want to admit that they oppose any and all exposure of even the most misguided, secretive foreign policy. The truth is that EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”"

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