19 posts • joined Friday 13th March 2009 17:10 GMT
The assumptions/claims the NSA/GCHQ use to justify their excesses:
- there is an unlimited number of terrorists out there.
- surveillance has already stopped a huge number of attacks.
But, what if they are wrong? What if just about all the people who would perform a successful terrorist attack have already done so? What if they have all been caught?
The few "terrorists" caught in sting operations may have done nothing unless spurred on by the police sponsors. Grumpy folks who have a grievance that would, if not supported by a police informer, simply fizzle out.
So, few actual terrorists, none of whom have actually been caught before the fact.
Can we admit we cannot prevent most attacks but can catch the guys who do it and just dump all this NSA/GCHQ surveillance of the world?
Our heroic world leaders are simply terrified by the NSA/GCHQ boggyman threats. World leaders? Nah. Timid children, afraid of the dark.
It has been shown that the very complex system has never produced a result other than that which the first past the post system would have produced. That is, if you ignore all but the first choice, you would get exactly the same result.
However, if people think it is providing better representation, then it may well be better.
Bootnote: It is possible that the combination of the preference system and the requirement to vote with the very high resulting participation is why the results are the same as first past the post. Perhaps in a low turnout situation - the rest of the world - the Australian voting system would make more of a difference.
The geographically focused results do not arise because of server location, they arise because google chooses those results most relevant to your location, independent of the server which it happens to use.
I think, but I could be wrong, that all servers are being continuously updated to the same content, with some getting the updates sooner than others.
Inept analogies abound - an entire ecosystem of them
To select just one - "But far more dramatic changes in the climate have been experienced within the past 20,000 years, Lilley contends, with humans able to draw on far more primitive technological resources, and yet survive."
Back then we had nomadic hunter gatherers. When it got cold, which it did gradually, people moved to warmer areas. When the local animals died or were killed, the people moved to the next valley or died. Many must have died - those who did not decide to move south.
With a lightly populated planet and far more animals (food) than people, it was an entirely different problem.
Today, without imported food, most of the northern parts of the planet would soon die of starvation. Any argument based on conditions 20,000 years ago is simply too stupid to be considered. Any writer who repeats it meets the same assessment.
And, yes, when I read the title on the splash page, I did guess that it was by Orlowski.
What is the point?
Additional hard facts can be used to change the climate models - that is a good thing.
With this new parameter value past observations of climate can used to better understand the rest of the model - what other parameters must be adjusted to bring the model results into conformity with observations.
Those changes to the model may even decrease the importance of these flares. If the flares contain almost twice as much energy, perhaps the adjustment is to cut the contribution of those flares in half with a net zero change to the model.
We don't yet know how the 10% probable maunder minimum will affect the climate. We do know how increased CO2 affects the climate.
The article appears to be putting its faith in the unknown result of a one in ten chance rather than start to deal with an absolute certainty.
The number of people who are crazy about ipads, a device that I am it looks like most people responding to this column hate, continues to amaze me. However, I am also amazed by the number of people who think the cameras on phones are worth using. Or who can watch a video on an iphone.
As the article states, there will be several ipads around the house and only us nerds will be using a keyboard and a mouse to generate content. The rest will find that 140 characters is the upper bound on their creativity and will be happy with iphones and ipads.
What if the biggest customer cannot afford the planes
The article suggests hopefully - "if the F-35 programme survives at all, the plane will surely be sold in large numbers and that will eventually drive costs down."
By far the largest current customer is the US of Bankrupt. If they cannot afford the thousands of these planes they think they will buy, then the price will sky rocket. No stealth there - it will be blatantly obvious.
Can a country that is running 1.5 trillion dollar deficits but still refuses to tax half of the wealth in the country realistically be expected to have a viable economy in 5 years? Not going to happen.
The Royal Navy should buy a few F-18Fs and dump the whole F-35 program.
Rolling over for Liberman
That both of these companies, along with PayPal, rolled over when a US Senator demanded action does not work for me.
The Wall Street arm of the US financial serial offender nearly bankrupts the US and most of the rest of the world and they are still everyone's best friend.
The Credit Card arm of the US financial serial offender cuts off access when ordered to by a US Senator and they are still everyone's best friend.
It seems to me that the rest of the world ought to have a say in how its financial institutions are run that is independent of the US financial serial offender.
With all the dire warnings of deaths that would result from Wikileaks, what has actually happened?
A lot of politicians outed for their private remarks.
Have any of the chicken littles apologized for use of scare tactics?
The alternative - infect 100% of users
From Panda - "the use of cloud-based architectures is needed in order to stand any chance of keeping the growing volume of malware producers by cybercrooks and mischief-makers in check"
Which means, when the hackers inevitably hack the cloud, every single user is infected.
Chrome blocks trackers
Seems there is some confusion here. Chrome blocks this (recent versions) but Firefox does not. It cannot be a Google demand of Mozilla that has resulted in the refusal to block trackers. Who is getting to Mozilla?
Boycott paypal and amazon
Show your support for wikileaks by cancelling your paypal account, letting them know that you will renew when they stop rolling over to threats from individuals. The US is still a nation of laws and threats from people like Lieberman must not be enough to affect any company's policies.
The day after I cancelled my paypal account I actually was on ebay and could not buy something because the merchant only accepted paypal.
Small price to pay.
As for Amazon, there are lots of other places that sell books. Perhaps not as convenient, but again small price to pay.
MS drops support for 1 year old OS
I bought an Acer Aspire One 6 months ago which came with XP installed. So MS is dropping support for an OS they sold 6 months ago. Not that I use IE, having using FF since it replaced Mozilla. The MS argument that the new IE must use Direct2D that must use the GPU makes as much sense as their original argument that the OS must have IE. It is a lie. The number of changes in IE required to work without Direct2D would certainly be within the capability of MS. Marketing made this decision.
This is one scout that won't be coming back
We could all be fooled of course by a massive increase in capacity and an accompanying improvement in voice recognition. If my phone would reliably hold my 62GB of files (not counting the other few TBs I have semi-archived) and give me keyboard and mouse type access to that information on a 22" monitor, I would switch in a second. If it all cost less than $500 of course. Sounds to me like this guy is like one of those Roman scouts who went off in some weird direction and was never seen again.
Dumb pipes want to be paid for doing nothing
The telcos have yet to add value so they want to be paid for what Google does.
Absent google the net would have far less traffic than it does. Absent google people would not be able to find anything on the net. They would be using email and perhaps a few newspaper sites. The telcos would be providing 56K dialup to most of the world because most of the world would find nothing of interest on the net.
Instead of trying to leech off the google money tree, telcos should starting trying to innovate on their own. Absent telco innovation, google will walk around them to the customer within 10 years and they will be getting nothing but their extortionate cell phone charges.
Then google will start after that.
Get on with it
Lawyers are professionals - if there is a standard they must follow it. If the standard is updated over time, they have to adjust to that. They made the move from hand written to type written!
I wonder if there is a fee issue here. Are they paid at least partly by the page for paper documents? Are they not paid by the page if delivered on a disc?
Are they afraid that a client will not think they should pay as much for content on a disc as for FIVE inches of documents? The disc looks a lot less impressive.
Are they afraid that someone might dedup the machine readable copy and find that 4.99" is filler?
At the bottom you can bet it comes down to money.
Chrome is worth a try
I tried chrome recently because FF was not rendering a website correctly. Chrome starts up in a couple of seconds, imported almost all my FF stuff, renders much faster than FF. All in all, pretty good. I keep it open on the desktop for certain sites. FF is still my main browser - better password control, better cross machine sync of bookmarks and passwords, better address bar suggestions from history. It is slower and uses 3 times the pages that chrome uses - so chrome on the netbook for sure. IE - not in the last 5 years except for occasional checks to verify that - yes, it still sucks.
GM today, MS in 10 years unless
Like many of the other people commenting here, almost no one I know uses more computing than would apparently be available with the Google OS. Most would be very happy to not have to worry about all the crap on the MS machine. This includes both adults outside the computing environment (regular people) and people in their working lives. Most use just a couple of applications and use a very small percentage of the features in those applications. Having a WORD compatible program that was simple would suit them much better than the hodge podge of stuff in MS Word.
I think this Google OS, if they do it half well is the beginning of the end of the MS OS. It will take time, but people outside offices will move first, then people inside offices with lower requirements will move next. Enough will move that there are too few remaining power users to justify the monster MS OS churning and that process will gradually die.
GM today, MS in 10 years, unless they get their head around that people really don't need or want the SUV of OSes.
RIM comes to mind
The law around this makes little sense. RIM lost a long infringement battle even though all of the patents on which the battle was contested were found - before the end of the appeal - to be invalid. At the time of the original case they were valid, so RIM paid $600+ million.
Ran a test
Downloaded the new IE 8 and initialized it with most options turned off - the plain browser. Got the biggest web page to which I have ready access - about 6.6MB - in a disk file, loaded it in both IE8 and FF3.07, then timed refreshing the page in Offline mode (neither should try to look to the net). FF3.07 took 2.3 seconds, IE8 took 3.4 (average time over few runs to reduce effect of operator timing error). FF never took more than 2.5 seconds, IE8 never less than 3.2 seconds. I like to keep IE on my machine to check the occasional page the FF seems to be handling strangely - but otherwise use FF all the time.
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