Re: I must be part if Will Wheaton's minority
I'm taking bets that asteroid Wheaton gets knocked out of Orbit somehow, and ends up destroying all intelligent life on Earth.
That assumes intelligent life here in the first place. . .
109 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Feb 2008
Let's hope so. Impact might bend the microwave framework, but unless you melt it AND the onboard chips, data and design can be reverse engineered (I did radar engineering ~20 years ago, and worked on an earlier, towed decoy. . .we thought about that issue back then, and incorporated a destruct mechanism. . . )
Likewise, I've had offers. . . but the risks of working there far outweigh the benefits.
Plus, last time I was offered, it wasn't THAT much of a premium over .us pay, and their government had just announced that they had hired Blackwater (in their current incarnation, think it's "Xe". . . ) to raise an 800-1000 man counter-insurgency force. If they have THAT much of a problem, decided I wanted to be nowhere NEAR that cross-fire. . .
Air miles ? I know they didn't get Frequent Flier Miles: they didn't have upgrades available until nearly 12 years after Apollo 11. . .
Besides, less than half a million miles, official round-trip distance. A free trip to Mars requires at LEAST 50 million frequent-flier miles. . . and that's in Coach. . .
. . . when, thanks to data-driven operations of all sorts, every individual can be almost completely tracked on any number of variables. Especially now, when virtual "friends" and connections seem to be almost wholly disconnected from physical situations. . .and online "tribes" don't often map well to either physical or economic situations, especially outside the metropolitan corridors. .
Probably because SpaceX has been 3D-printing most of their "SuperDraco" engine for the Falcon-class launchers.
Seen one of those SpaceX boosters land under power ? SuperDraco engines.
So, HP's "incredible innovation" is routine production for SpaceX. . .
I'm guessing (no, no background in neuroscience. . . ) that IF a brain is revived and brought back to functioning, that the best you'd get was what was in long-term memory: I'm thinking, as others have suggested, that neuro-electric activity is akin to RAM, whereas other processes write long-term memory to tissue.
The real question is, will the re-started electrical activity be able to READ the old memory, or might the "key" be lost ??
Pascal Monett noted:
Let America show what its educational system can do. Stop importing intelligence from abroad, use your own.
And therein lies the problem. PARTS of the American Educational system are outstanding (our "elite" tech schools, for instance).
The problem is, their output is limited. A good chunk of the REST of the system are utter and complete crap.
Case in point: a decade ago, I went back to get a Master's Degree in MIS (OK, I was checking off a box for HR so I could get promoted to the next level).
And I found two distinctly separate types of students.
The first were older students returning for grad work. Typically 30+, typically had nearly a decade, if not more, of "operational" experience in IT. And a surprising number of deployed soldiers (this was an online program). All were professional and competent in basic skills, and whatever their current specialty was. . .
The second, were people who had just gotten their undergrad degrees, and were continuing on to get a Masters. Not only did they lack tech skills, but could not write or argue coherently, and often could not even get basic grammar and spelling right, much less argue from evidence.
I remember, in particular, one student whose argument was that she FELT that her proposition was correct, and therefore we had to accept her statement at face value, despite a plethora of evidence pointing in another, almost completely opposite, direction. . .
I also see a lack of basic skills across the board in entry-level hires at work. . . but they have GREAT self-esteem.
And then I see SOME (ok, a few) of the H1b hires. Solid talent, solid skills. Just wish we had more American candidates like them. . .
Also Sprach Robert Helpmann: I had a similar setup at a place I worked a few years back. The problem there was more direct, though: our boss would come in and attack the switches like a howler monkey on amphetamines that had just seen its young threatened by the wiring closet. Every label now documented the way it used to be; we had no idea of the actual state of affairs as our boss updating documentation would have been too much like right. I left soon after I observed him pulling a clock down onto some fiber, breaking a handful off at the switch, and then walking away without letting anyone know things were about to go south.
I was lucky. We were pretty much as mission critical as it got, so we were configuration-controlled to an almost anal-retentive level, and our Physical Plant guy had to PERSONALLY sign off on any changes to wiring, etc. We built out that facility from scratch, and actually put in extra work to make SURE it was done right, the first time.
Then our entire crew got laid off (apparently, we were too expensive, and yet not old enough to be protected by the consent order that kept them from laying off anyone 52 or older. . .)
The PFYs who replaced us. . . were apparently like your boss. Which is why they wanted the team back, they were paying massive fines for not maintaining uptime.
Too bad, so sad. . . .
Labels ? A Shop I worked for, ~8 years ago, had that beat.
Each end of the cable was labeled. Cables followed a specific color-code, maintained across the data-center. And there was a database, that not only listed each specific cable, but what rack, slot, and interface it went to, plus color and length, searchable by ANY of those parameters.
Then the guy who maintained both the cable plant AND the database got laid off (I got laid off in that round as well. . . . ). And things slowly degraded from there.
A year later, they called ALL of us, asking if we wanted our jobs back. We smiled. and quoted a figure. They balked. We continued on in our new jobs.
Two weeks later, they called back. They'd pay what we asked. Too bad, that price expired, and the new price was 10% more. They balked again.
Week after that, call three. No idea how it worked out, I let it go to voicemail. As did pretty much everyone else.
No idea how it turned out. . .
. . . .and, of course, all driven by Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy:
Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people":
First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.
Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.
The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.
. . . .that poverty, corruption, infrastructure, et cetera have been solved, so HM Government is now concentration on file-sharing.
Of course, it's just as crazy here in the States: we're arguing about who can use which bathroom.
The Zombie Apocalypse, Killer Pandemic Asian Bird Flu, or the Sweet Meteor of Death can't come soon enough: the gene pool needs some SERIOUS chlorine. . .
. . . .try being one of us 21 million Yanks who had our entire security files hacked, and allegedly in the hands of the Chinese. I work cleared stuff (and frankly, it's a bit boring) and have to do a rather comprehensive data dump every 5 years, **but*** my wife and kids ALSO got affected. So I suspect the details of the families of the 831 ALSO got compromised.
And, Gee, Uncle Sam gave each of us a bargain-basement identity-watching service for a few years as compensation. No remediation, mind you, just notification. . . on a once-a-month basis. . .
1998. I'm deploying a system to HQ NATO outside Brussels. And the HP printer we shipped in turns out to only have a North America power supply. So, talk to HP, find the local vendor, buy correct kit ?
Not that easy. Vendor wants a meeting first. A week from day we called them. Fine, didn't need the printer immediately, continued deploying the rest of the gear. Show up for meeting (at their offices, they wouldn't come to us. . .). They find that we're not registered as a HP Belgium customer, " . . . could you fill out these forms, and we'll get you approved in a few weeks. . . ."
I look at them like they're from Mars. I pull out my AmEx Corporate Card, telling them I simply wanted to purchase a printer, why couldn't we do that, right there, right then ? "We have procedures".
Fine, I had approval to spend up to a quarter million Belgian Francs on the spot. . .and they told me to wait a few weeks ?
So, I go back to the deploy site, grab a copy of the local Yellow Pages, and call up computer stores.
5 of them say they can get me the printer I want, so I ask them to fax me a bid by COB the next day.
One faxes me a bid in about 30 minutes. Radio silence from the rest. COB next day hits, I call the guy who responded, give him the credit card, and arrange delivery for the following Monday (this is a Thursday afternoon).
Monday morning, printer arrives, we unbox, install, all is good. Then a second bid comes in (this is ~Monday, 1:30PM), followed immediately by a phone call, asking what we thought of their bid. They were shocked that we went with someone else (who, BTW, was cheaper), and they were actually surprised that we thought a deadline for submission was actually a deadline, and they promised to complain to NATO Purchasing (That didn't bother us, as the program was run out of, and paid for, by an office in the Pentagon. . . ).
Even funnier, was that a day before the team flew back to the States, the "official" HP vendor we had originally talked to, called to ask when they could expect our application to become a customer. . . .
. . . .I finally got to use my limited knowledge of invective in French. . . . (grin)
. . . .and we started getting indications every Friday night, 10PM or so, about some malware transmission attempts. To the same IP. And only late on Friday nights.
After 3 weeks of this (week three, we were waiting for it. . .), we captured everything going to that IP. First two pics were serious jail time material. At that point, we just let it spool to the directory and called the cops.
Cops show up 10 minutes later, look at the evidence, and ask us to burn it to DVD. The FOLLOWING week, the cops were down in the SOC with us, waiting. As soon as it started, cop speaks into the radio, they arrest the guy. . . in mid download.
But the best part was, I got invited to go up to the ground floor and see the scuzbucket walked out in cuffs. . .
. . . .that refuse me access while I'm running an ad-blocker.
I then go to a different site. The fact that most of these "major media sites" have been shown to be, at least occasionally, serving malware embedded in their ads, is why I refuse to lift my blocker. . .
. . . . NOBODY is not going to use their strong points. From what I've read, a young, talented cracker in China is cultivated and recruited to high-end private and government hacking teams.
Whereas Cyber Command in the US won't touch a guy (at least publicly) if they have a hacking conviction. Can't speak to Europe, but I suspect GCHQ and all the rest are at least SOMEWHAT similar. . . .
Locking your best talent out early is never a smart move. . .
. . . it does nothing for older editions of Office installed out there. After all, for basic functionality, ANY edition of Office will work for the vast majority of users. And there's really no incentive for general users to upgrade: hell, we use Office 2007 at home, and are fine with it.
Secondly, Group Policy ? REALLY ? So this is a fix aimed PURELY at Corporate users, with sufficient IT support to (1) HAVE Group Policies, and (2) have admins sufficiently clueful to correctly enable and configure the policy. And Group Policy requires a Domain and at least the Professional edition of Windows: Home versions don't support GPOs. . . So, again, Corporate love, but the heck with the rest of the users out there. . .
Lastly, was there EVER a good reason to embed macro functionality into documents ? I've been doing IT for 25+ years, and I have yet to see one . . .
. . . especially when generic plastic is dirt-cheap on Ebay and other auction sites, and systems to extrude filament from it have been around for years.
I can even see a niche for small businesses making custom-color filament, just like inkjet cartridge and laser refill businesses filled. . .
And HP's model for the Multi-Fusion seems un-necessarily complex, with "fusing agents" and "detailing agents", as well as what appears, at least from descriptions, to be a thermo-plastic ink, instead of the usual filament.