Re: SEASONEDMOTH ?
Yes, they do. Acronyms and initialisms are SOP for the US DoD. For one thing, it reduces chatter. For another, as another poster noted, it makes textual communication more precise. Both objectives are militarily significant.
4302 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009
Yes, they do. Acronyms and initialisms are SOP for the US DoD. For one thing, it reduces chatter. For another, as another poster noted, it makes textual communication more precise. Both objectives are militarily significant.
""I can't consider a government to be properly democratic when they build sophisticated and comprehensive interception into the web...." All you are doing is demonstrating that you do not understand what democratic means - it is not a government that reflects the views and actions you alone feel right but the will of the majority, nothing to do with "interception". And it is very clear from the article they are not building interception "into the Web" but into a very small and targeted set of individuals. Try READING the article before bleating."
ANY government made by man will, because of human instinct, repress SOMEONE by virtue of some concentration of power. Even a pure democracy introduces "tyranny of the majority". And as we've seen, republics and other representative governments limit the number of people powerful interests need to corrupt to get things done. Smaller oligarchies magnify that issue, and for a government of one...well, Machiavelli wrote a lot about that. In fact, a lack of government (anarchy) would inevitably result in a "survival of the fittest" scenario: itself repressive.
"".....The people need to have some idea of what's going on so they can choose alternatives....." What you just can't get your noodle round is that your fantasy viewpoint is firmly in the tiny minority, otherwise the irate mobs would be storming Number 10 and Whitehall and demanding GCHQ was burnt to the ground. And as for "some idea of what's going on", the fact is there were plenty of us with a clue (so not including you) that found Snowden's "revelations" as just mildly interesting, having seen plenty of evidence over the years. It's not my fault if you lived with your head in the sand."
Ever heard the phrase "bread and circuses". Sure, some of us are onto the idea, but NOT ENOUGH. It's one smart vote vs. ten dumb votes. The average person lacks the kind of mind capable of CARING about the loss of their own liberties and so on.
"".....this interception is a kind of power and this power will be subverted from 'finding terrorists' to 'finding violent criminals and peedos' to ''finding domestic criminals' to 'trawling for potential criminal behaviour' to 'trawling for political dissent'....." Really? Except the "interceptions" (mainly just metadata collection, actually, not interceptions) have been going on for YEARS and there has not been one single incident of what you are insisting (based solely on your shrieking paranoia) should have been well evident by now. The reason it's not evident is because it only exists in the dim and dark recesses of the tiny minds of easily-led sheeple like you."
Have you ever read 1984? Ever thought that when they want you gone, it won't be a public arrest in the street but rather you just vanish and become among the untold numbers simply "missing"?
"....BTW that's what will happen in our & other western countries...." And your evidence for this is.... Oh, what a surprise, you have SFA evidence to back up that piece of fear-induced fantasy. Get a grip, get a clue, and get over yourself, you're simply not of any interest to ANYONE.
Name ONE country that has maintained the same governmental structure and stability for more than 500 years (no changeovers of power between groups, no dynasty changes or the like). The United States is too young to qualify, England had a brief time without a kind almost 400 years ago, and Russia and China had Communist revolutions just in the last century. Inevitably, the gravitation of power combined with human instinct causes things to tip past the comfort zone. If it tips pretty early, you end up with minor upheavals that require reforms and the like to fix; on the outside, you may end up with something like a regime change. If the discontent builds too high, though, you either collapse into totalitarian regimes that squelch rebellion quick as a rule or breakups and shakeups that result in multiple new lands that split the power and start the cycle again.
There's predatory pricing (better known as loss-leading) and then there's dumping (bleeding so as to make your competition bleed itself out). Dumping IS NOT allowed under anti-competition laws AND the SEC already has AT&T under scrutiny because they disapproved of them buying out T-Mobile. If T-Mobile cries foul (especially since THEY were the target of the failed buyout), there's a pretty good chance the SEC would then put AT&T under the microscope for potential anti-competition violations.
Thing is, couldn't that be construed as dumping: selling at a big loss so as to drive out competition? If so, AT&T can't keep the promo up for too long before either they lose too much to keep it up or the SEC starts asking questions (and remember, AT&T already has a strike against it with the SEC for the hand-smack they got for trying to buy out T-Mobile). In either case, T-Mobile need only weather the storm for a short time. T-Mobile's current plans have a longer reach and are paying off already; furthermore, they're playing the image card against AT&T, which can make this "incentive" backfire if it makes AT&T look desperate.
I was once with AT&T (through Cingular), but their rates have never been acceptable for me (not even prepaid). I was happy with T-Mobile for two years, then went to a T-Mobile-based MVNO that gives me unlimited talk and text and 1GB of high-speed data (which is more than enough for me, plus EDGE data is free) for $45 after taxes. I may switch back to T-Mobile if they can present a nice plan that includes Visual Voicemail (plus they properly support short codes), but for now I can wait.
The house gets a good charge since I'm talking putting this concentrator over a solar collector installed on the roof of a house and tied to the house's grid, NOT the car, which could instead tap into a lead coming FROM that collector.
"Reasonable quality fresnel lenses will go around a hundred bucks for a 10" x 10" so for an average car port of around 15 square metres of roof you will be looking at about $30.000 just for the concentrator, add the price of the horrible hybrid and then try to figure an ROI!"
Are we talking glass or polycarbonate? Linear beam or spot beam? We may also have to allow for quality variances. I mean, it doesn't have to be perfect. Most of the lenses I've been seeing in my research do achieve at least an 8x rating even with minor imperfections. A large linear fresnel lens with a 8-9x power isn't likely to be as expensive as you describe, making it more viable.
I think scale's the big problem. Trying to scale down the D-E train tech down to a car's frame seems to reduce its power too much. Most cars have only two axles whereas the average locomotive has four or six, plus most cars only power one axle (more power axles = more power at the expense of needing more space for the motors). The shape of the car would help determine if you could do two direct-driven power axles as well as how big you can make them (larger motors allow more electromagnetic force, equaling more power).
And that's assuming axle motors (which is what trains use). Individual wheel motors change the math such that you can't rely on train tech as an analogue.
The problem is that distribution can itself be inefficient. Plus it introduces the points of failure and failure cascades that our current centralized system can bring. The idea behind solar-panel houses is to DEcentralize the grid and allow each unit to be capable of powering itself if need be, plus if any one unit fails, none of the others have to rely on that one, helping to prevent a failure cascade.
Not just a car, but a house, too. In such a scenario when the basic goal is 100% power coverage throughout the day (a fully self-powered house, IOW), the primary design philosophy would be, "Plan for the worst." In other words, plan conservative and base your situation on the worst-case scenario.
In that case, the worst case would be a blizzard on the winter solstice (shortest day of the year and most oblique sunlight which is in turn obscured by thick clouds and lots of snow, some of which is bound to cover the panels) plus one adjacent day. If the combination of solar collector and battery storage tech can handle that scenario, than any other scenario it encounters is likely to be easier, making the entire system viable long-term.
"You run the panels to the usual battery, which not only turbo-powers your house because your PVs are producing something 2-3X the usual W on average, but can also charge your car at night."
The problem with that is there is NO such thing as "the usual battery" when it comes to powering a whole house for say 16 hours at a time (dead of winter in northern latitudes = reduced sun hours, and those sun hours are oblique and weak by comparison). Current tech is either too risky (Lithium-based batteries run the risk of spontaneous combustion, lead-acid ones can distort and/or leak, and NiMHs suffer memory) or too bulky (again, the lead-acid situation). And since compact, safe, powerful solid-state storage has been in demand since the invention of the laptop computer, there's been no shortage of attempts to build a better battery: with only incremental steps to show for it when a giant leap is needed now to make powering a house without a generator practical.
I imagine, for one thing, that would require larger and more expensive panels instead of employing physics to make do with less raw materials. Then again, perhaps take both ideas: put a large collector on the roof AND place a Fresnel concentrator on top. Nice thing is, since this is a fixed installation, you can make sure it's optimally oriented for a given location and allow one or both to track the sun through the day.
Having said that, has anyone got news of progress of handling the big problem of NIGHT operations?
Interesting idea of moving the car as needed to optimize the collection, but what if your driveway is oriented north/south, meaning the car can't move to keep up with the concentrator?
That's why such a simple thing as snowshoes work. So the feet need to have a better ground surface area; that could be arranged.
I still stand by my statement. In a tank vs. ground attack plane fight, the ground attack plane has the edge. The Allies showed this quite effectively following D-Day. The thing is, the battlefield can get complicated. Sure, a ground-attack plane can easily deal with a tank, but it has problems dealing with a pure dogfighter (that's what happened in the Battle of Britain). But deal with that shortcoming, and yes, ground attack aircraft can give ANY tank commander the willies (it was aircraft that Panzer commanders feared most, if you went by their testimonials--NOT Allied tanks).
"Most of the armor is towards the front, which under ideal conditions, you want to be pointed towards the bad guys. Turning sideways gives the enemy a much larger target to engage, the armor isn't all that thick, except on that beautiful Chobham armor on the turret and the skirts of an M1 family (mileage may vary on the Challenger II or the Leo family). Yes, the armor on top is weak."
I didn't say TURN sideways. I said MOVE sidewars: as in LATERALLY, moving to one side while STILL facing forward. Humans can readily sidestep, and we've learned to use sidestepping to our advantage: to dodge attacks and to flank defenses.
See, what I'm thinking about is a Large AGILE Target. That's why maneuverability rules the skies and why we're designing missiles that swerve as they approach and so on: we're moving more towards creating agile weapons that respond to threats by being able to change directions quickly. We already do that in the air. Imagine such a thing on the ground.
"Also, tanks place their armor in a thick belt around the low sides while letting the big flat top and bottom go almost unarmoured."
And that's exactly why tanks have their limitations, too. When the THIRD dimension (as in combat aircraft) became commonplace, tanks became a lot less dominant on the battlefield.
Perhaps that's why humanoid bipeds keep invoking the imagination: because bipedal motion allows for otherwise-unusual forms of locomotion. For example, moving SIDEWAYS (one particularly effective way to evade an incoming projectile is to move perpendicular to its trajectory). Going back to the air, this is the reason helicopters, despite their relative difficulty to control, are still too useful to ignore: unlike aircraft, helicopters can (to a point) arbitrarily maneuver through the three dimensions.
So perhaps bipedal locomotion in a machine isn't quite ready for prime time yet, but SOME means to move along the ground at arbitrary angles without having to turn would make for an excellent combat mobility advantage.
And they spent tons of money and came up with a WORKING stealth fighter AND kept it under wraps for at least two decades. They also put men (even a couple vehicles) on the moon, something no other nation has duplicated for well over 40 years. Can work both ways.
And in a world where ANYONE can be a threat?
Don't think in terms of individual threats but in terms of collective threats. It's like with plane crashes. Sure, they're rare, but when they go wrong, they tend to go wrong BADLY. Now scale this up to an entire country. It may be rare, but if it does, it's pretty much "Game Over." Like I said, the enabling tech is becoming easier to acquire since controls are looser now, and since we are entering an age of information, you can't put the genie back in the bottle anymore. Furthermore, it may not be a basement nuke like "The Sum of All Fears" but perhaps the subversion/hacking of an existing device: probably one already in the US to pretty much cut the time to react below the practical threshold.
Or are you basically saying that such an event, should it be conceived, would be closer to an asteroid impact: inevitable, in which case we better start praying?
"Back here in the real world, we're asking is it really likely?"
More so BECAUSE the Cold War has ended and its tech has started to scatter.
"Who would do such a thing and why?"
Someone who believes the world or humanity is unworthy. someone who wishes for religious reasons to spur on Armageddon or the like, there are a few justifications.
"We lived through the cold war in constant fear of such a thing."
Thankfully, both sides of the war were rational players. That's what made things like Mutual Assured Destruction work: a rational player balks at a suicide play. Trouble is, with the tech scattering, the odds are increasing of it falling into the hands of an IRRATIONAL player: one who would view MAD as a WINNING scenario.
"These days, everyone is the enemy."
Pretty much. And since Oklahoma City proved terror can come from WITHIN (McVeigh and company IIRC were all natural Americans), we're just about in DTA mode.
"Like I said, countries need to protect themselves, but the paranoia exhibited by the NSA and GCHQ at the moment is scarier than the unlikely alternative."
I don't know. A nuke outta nowhere, a superplague, or a vast EMP blast may just be SO scary we can't imagine it: the THOUGHT is scarier than mundane slavery because the reality would make DEATH seem a better alternative. And that's not even going into divine cataclysm like a big asteroid impact.
But now I ask, what if your opposition has the potential for an act of such devastating magnitude that it can in itself threaten a nation, if not human civilization or the entire world? And note that this is NOT entirely theoretical. One powerful atomic explosion about 50 miles over South Dakota would probably create an EM pulse that knocks out the entire US, lots of Canada, and probably a chunk of Mexico as well, suddenly and near-completely. Even military tech would be hard-pressed to handle it (you CAN overwhelm a Faraday cage with a strong enough burst). And this is just one scenario.
So the USA, indeed just about every industrialized nation faces significant potential for an EXISTENTIAL threat, and in an existential threat, basically anything goes.
Perhaps I can put it like this: If it was down to a choice between global slavery and global destruction, with no third option (including abstaining), which would it be?
Besides, what if THIS was a cover story to throw people off the idea the NSA ALREADY have the tech (as a black project) and are hiding it say in Utah and are ALREADY churning away? Remember, black projects can be that way because they are so far ahead of known tech that they can be game-changers (like a working stealth fighter).
But didn't someone else design a cross-check system to help defend against Thompson's scenario? All you'd need is one known-safe compiler (still possible by using old or unusual hardware) and you could then vet the rest of them.
And that's assuming none of the HARDware you acquire has been bugged by the NSA or some counterpart elsewhere.
The thing is, we're already working pretty hard on chaff-filtering and finding ways to distinguish the output of a machine from that of a human. IOW, we're making the Turing Test more difficult.
But perhaps an alternative solution. Suppose everyone pools assorted bits of identity (it can be their own stuff but need not be; they can make stuff up), THEN use those bits randomly to fill out identity forms. Since each bit comes from a human, it'll be more difficult to differentiate, yet because they're all shuffled around, they're essentially worthless.
Two problems I see. One is that matter of trust again. To alter existing identities (which we'd need to create constant churn to make the identities worthless), we'd need to be able to trust the randomizer with access to our accounts. Second, the site owners can begin verifications. Financial sites already do thus, usually by law, by requiring official identity documents and/or correspondence sent to physical addresses.
Thing is, what if the government you describe gets overthrown and the new leader(s) simply say, "Unlock everything or your family will have never existed." The main problem with your system is that it has to rely on perfect trust. Once the trust is broken, anywhere along the line, it's in the open again.
That's always been the big problem with encryption. At some point, for the data to be usable, it has to be DEcrypted. and that's where you're most vulnerable, because THIS is where trust comes in.
Thing is, we're just about at a point where you can't trust ANYONE. Which means it can all boil down two one of two scenario. Either we go into total paranoia, and all socialization will cease because we can't trust anyone, or we surrender to the inevitable result of a world where trust cannot be guaranteed: sooner or later (usually sooner), no secret will be safe and pray that civilization doesn't hinge on a secret.
Trouble is, what if BOTH sides claim ownership? Then it's big guy vs. little guy again, and the big guy has all the lawyers. They can come up with the legally-verifiable claims of ownership, real or made-up. Plus they may even be able to subvert the legal system itself. It's just straight out bullying, and he has your lunch, a bat, AND a posse. Anything YOU can assert, THEY can assert with more force (and even if you strip rights from businesses, what's to stop them creating a "designee"?).
Three words: Vendor Lock-In.
The SoC makers DON'T WANT to use a common design. Their designs are basically trade secrets and are under no pressure from the phone makers to open up since integration is the buzzword in that market.
Thing is, the homebrew coders are still behind the 8-ball because of the driver blobs (which the chipmakers will never release since they're trade secrets), and the hacks that are used to get around them are either grafted blobs or imperfect attempts to duplicate the functions.
As for your (B), considering this is happening with ALL the phone makers apart from Apple (who could care less because they ALSO own the market where the older phones get their apps), your statement basically precludes anyone EVER getting another phone ever again.
1) Actually, they do. The UI is one of the FEW ways a phone maker can produce a lock-in. With stock Android, people can jump to another phone maker and not lose anything. That's why EACH of the big phone makers have custom UIs, be they Sense, TouchWiz, or whatever. Even Google's default UI, the one they use for the Nexus devices, has a heavy Google bias with Google Now and so on baked in. And since a lot of the UI components require low-level (think root-level) operations (such as access to some of the hardware), it MUST be baked in. Besides, they don't want anyone ripping the UI out.
2) It's not just the chipsets (which does have a factor--each carrier can have different frequency requirements, especially in the US--and they can't necessarily be reset by drivers; sometimes they need a whole other set of chips). And note that the onus is on the handset maker because if the carrier disagrees with the finished product, they can cancel their purchase contract, meaning the phone maker is out big money; it's in their interest to make sure the carrier completes the contract--so they get PAID.
It also works because Apple controls BOTH ends of the iPhone experience: the phone AND the software. Since they BOTH make the phones AND run the app markets, they get paid either way. Old phones still need apps, so Apple can milk old phones for app revenues. That option isn't available to the Android handset makers because Google runs that market. The ONLY revenue stream available to the handset makers comes from the handsets themselves.
"Other then a few top sellers the carriers just don't care. Is upgrading the phones people already have on contract going to make them more money today?"
Heck yeah! They ALREADY got their money from the carrier (and if you upgrade early, the carrier will get you back either with a termination fee or a higher upgrade price, depending on the terms). More phone churn = more revenues to the phone makers.
"I currently use a Nexus 4 and will never buy another phone from a mobile operator. They can stuff their custom apps and services!"
Show me a Nexus with an SDXC slot and a removable battery and I'll consider it. Until then, I don't consider Google any better than the other big boys.
It's gonna take a long time. Don't forget that they can recycle the old phones to help get materials for the new ones.
"its clear that if HTC buy a million of X component, will make sure have access to the driver source code."
But typically under NDAs; the chipmakers aren't stupid. It's one thing for a chip manufacturer to share trade secrets with a major partner, but implying this should cause the code to be released before all and sundry is too far of a stretch.
The manufacturers DON'T WANT open interfaces. For them, it's vendor lock-in, and since the phone market relies heavily on integration (SoCs, etc.), the "roll your own" element that helps drive open standards isn't there. So the manufacturers will jealously guard their trade secrets, much as nVidia and AMD keep their cutting-edge GPU driver code in blobs (so as to prevent sneaking peeks).
And how pray tell do they do that when NONE of the other handset makers maintain an exclusive app market? It's the App Market that allows Apple to milk since even old phones need apps, and every app the old phones buy means they take a cut.
"Even within the Android ecosystem manufacturers can create brand loyalty. Samsung owners will buy newer Samsung devices if they think they will get better support than HTC and vice versa. It's harder to do, but it still worth the effort."
Not when brand loyalty is too mercurial. Put it this way. One bad story and plenty of once-loyal customers will jump ship. Then there are people like me who have NO brand loyalty. I jumped from HTC to Samsung,but only on a consideration of features at the time. Should I need a new phone, the process will repeat. Since Google provides the common ground for Android, there's little need to stick with a particular brand unless you REALLY like their specific offerings (and no, I don't--I junked TouchWiz and installed a custom ROM pretty quick).
At least Apple has the closest we have to a captive market. If you wanna keep your apps and so on, you MUST stick with Apple. Plus since Apple controls BOTH the hardware AND the software, they can afford to milk their older phones with the app revenues. Since (IMBW) none of the handset makers run their own app markets, milking isn't an option.
And THAT'S exactly what they want to tap into if you read the article.
"Well sure, unknowns can kill you, but until it has presented itself it is a mere possibility, not an actual threat. You can't prepare, or even begin to prepare, for possibilities, for unknowns, you simply don't know how. By attempting the impossible you are reducing the effect of your defensive resources."
Two words: contingency planning. Learn to expect the unexpected.
"The other type of existential threat is the kind on which you have no input or control. In your Cold War example there was precisely zero you could do about that. Nothing."
That's assuming helplessness, but we can't think that way. Because, while the threat exists, it's hard to tell whether or not we CAN or CANNOT influence the threat. Indeed, in the Cold War, many times the actions of each side caused reactions on the OTHER side, giving concrete evidence of having an influence.
Ever heard the phrase, "What you DON'T know can kill you"? Just because you don't know of a threat doesn't remove it as a threat. A snake in the grass, a hidden hole in the ground, a sniper on the roof. If it can hurt or kill you, it's a threat regardless of your knowledge of it. And think about how the Cold War played out: two superpowers each staring at an existential threat in the opponent. Existential threats trip human instinct and there's basically no way we know to defuse that.
"You defend against the known and maintain agility and extra capacity to deal with unknowns. Defending against and unknown is the height of folly, cause it's unknown you know..."
The trouble is, what if every threat against you, known AND unknown, is EXISTENTIAL? The one threat that's no holds barred is the existential threat: deal with it or die, no exceptions.
""Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Thing is, when you do the same thing over and over and ACTUALLY GET a different result, you're praised for your persistence.
But the firewalls were all relative and based on a level of trust. What happens when no one trusts each other anymore because everyone has a chip on someone else?
"You kept up with everyone else, so there was a balance. You also knew who could be trusted with sensitive information and who could be relied on to gossip to anyone who would listen. You had a reasonable expectation of privacy."
But when the community is small enough or connected enough, then it's hard to hide things from ANYONE because SOMEONE with loose lips will notice and spread the word. The very FACT you were trying to cover things up DREW attention to you. Before it was the rumor mill, then it was the tabloids, now it's the Internet.
Not necessarily. A dock that can connect a phone to an HDTV can just as easily hook you up to a mouse and keyboard. That's how laptop docks work, and with a little polish, the same can be done with smartphones. The main obstacle is a standardized way of doing this breakout, as most phones only have the one USB port, and AFAIK you can't do MHL, USB OTG, AND recharging simultaneously on the one port, so an alternative is needed. Perhaps using wireless display casting and Bluetooth for the mouse and keyboard, leaving the port free for charging (perhaps use that as a triggering mechanism), and this is just one idea.
I think the article was hinting at a Janus approach: phone in your hand, computer in a dock (and the dock would provide the necessary breakouts for attaching mice, keyboards, etc.). The phone and the dock tech isn't mature enough just yet, but it's tantalizingly close.
For me, the escape has been Xubuntu. For its spate of quirks, XFCE for me provides a nice middle ground: functional but not too demanding.
"To be crystal clear about my point - no one in the world give a slightest damn about Linux desktops, let alone their sandpit wars. Get over it and buy a Mac if you can't stand Windows."
And if I hate Windows AND Mac AND routinely work in graphics so need a GUI no matter what?
Didn't the article mention docks as a possible way for mobile devices to bridge the gap and become PCs (complete with mice and keyboards) one they become powerful enough (almost there IMO--more and more full-fat retail games are appearing on Android).
But unlike Microsoft, Linux desktop users may be a dying breed. Seems to me like this is a leap of faith with nothing else left to lose (either they get thrown under the bus or they fall to attrition in any event).