* Posts by Scott Herter

23 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Mar 2008

Hero police robot back on duty after 'unstable man' blasts it with shotgun

Scott Herter

Re: Question

Depends, was the manufacturer an idiot and decide "Hey, I can just connect the ground wire to the chassis, done!" or did they take electrical shielding in to to account.

Anonymous, LulzSec go legit with PayPal boycott

Scott Herter

So let me get this straight...

You want us to stop using PayPal to support people who tried to forcibly prevent us from using paypal.

NATO members warned over Anonymous threat

Scott Herter
Black Helicopters

Standard Stuff Really

Governments have three stages of response to perceived threats.

1) You are irritating but mostly harmless: Do nothing, occasional vague threat.

2) You are really irritating and potentially hamful: Organize committee's make lots of threats, mobalize resources, but don't really accomplish much.

3) You are a clear and present danger: Looks a lot like 2, but people start ending up dead. Think war on terror but without drone missle strikes in Milan.

Right now Anonymous seems to have managed to reach stage 2. If Anonymous doesn't do anything that is perceived as beeing too damaging that is where they will stay and can continue being irritating and only having to deal with the occasional arrest and show trial. If they cool it for a while they can probably get back to stage 1 where they are mostly ignored. Heaven help them if they do something to make it to stage 3.

Nikon D7000 DSLR camera

Scott Herter

It's not for final production

It is more for testing the image before heading home. Black & White and sepia type affects highlight the contrast in a scene by getting rid of the color. Scenes that look great in color often look boring and drab in black and white. By the same token scenes that look drab and boring in color can look spectacular in black & white. I use this often on my camera to check out how the affect might look so I can alter settings, change position, wait for different lighting, etc. before going home, using photo shop, and finding out the original image does not work so well once altered.

I did a series of shots on an overcast winter day where all the colors were washed out by nature. Produced un-interesting color pictures but using black & white along with a number of other affects produced some spectacular pictures. I made good use of the cameras ability to convert the images so I could re-try shots if they didn't come out right the first time. Without that I would not have known when some pictures needed to be re-taken with different settings.

Illinois scrubs death penalty

Scott Herter

Not quite right

The real tough part was who could he shake down for the most money. You see, there have only been four state governers sent to prison in the entire history of the United States (you Brits stop laughing about the entire history bit) and three of them are from Illinois. And if we can get Blogo convicted some time soon, we can have 4 out of 5!

Heck, if we can get Blogo sent to prison soon, we can have two governers in prison at the same time, one republican and one democrat. Who you gonna vote for now!

I'll get me coat...

Apple shareholders demand CEO succession plan

Scott Herter

The share price will drop...

The only question is when and how much. If they start talking about it now, the share price will drop, but not a huge amount. As time goes on it will recover somewhat. When Steve Jobs leaves, no matter how, it will drop. The amount it drops will depend on how scared everyone is. If they have a public succession plan, then it won't drop by a disasterous amount and should recover in a moderate amount of time. If there is no known succession plan then it will drop a lot and if the board looks like it doesn't know what to do, it will drop a disasterous amount and may never recover. Not only that, but if it drops enough, it would be a very tempting take over target for a lot of larger companies.

The smart thing to do is to start talking about it now, publicly, to calm fears. Unfortunately this involves long term planning and risk mitigation, something we americans are very, very poor at. Most companies can't plan or think more then three months ahead, let alone years.

Hanlon's Razor

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

It seems particularly appropriate in this situation.

Power grid scare stories a 'bunch of hooey'

Scott Herter

We don't need no stinking physics!

I live in the mid-western US and between the tornadoes, lightening strikes, and the occasional blizzard the US would never have electricity if the doom and gloomers were right. We lose substations, switching stations, power lines and various other bits of infrastructure on a fairly regular basis. If splatting one of these took the entire grid down, there would be no grid.

Once again reality gets in the way of a good funding, er, scare tactic.

This also helps explain why the mid-west is so sparsely populated compared to the coasts. Of course you get the earthquakes on the west coast and hurricanes on the east coast. Come to think of it, it is amazing the US has survived at all. According to all these "scientists" running around, the US should have been knocked back to the Stone Age and everyone killed decades ago.

Feds seize $143m worth of bogus networking gear

Scott Herter

Minor text repair

... or, worse, riddled with backdoors that aren't ours.

There, fixed that for you.

I'll get me coat.

Newspaper story commenter to lose mask for teasing politico's son

Scott Herter

I think you are missing some context...

Not too long ago there was an incident where an adult led on and then trashed a teen online. The teen committed suicide over the on-line abuse. The adult who did it was aquited since "being mean" and such wasn't a crime. Since then a number of laws were enacted to make sure that if something like this happend again there would be some recourse in the law to stop it or punish those involved.

As usual, whenever hasty laws are enacted to "protect the children" they tend to be ripe for abuse.

US researchers demand cell phone safety tax

Scott Herter

Here we go again...

I remember a big stink in the US back in the 70's and 80's about power lines causing cancer. It got louder and louder and more and more "studies" were cited that even I began to think maybe there was something to it. Then a number of rigorous studies were done and found no correlation between power lines and cancer and the whole thing died away. You can still find people to this day who believe it was all a big conspiracy and that power lines do cause cancer.

Not too long ago there were people claiming that WiFi hotspots caused problems. That didn’t go too far since the power levels were so low compared to, say, power lines. They then came up with some story about how some people were sensitive to EM and it was causing these special people problems, giving them headaches and stuff. They then took a bunch of these people and put them in a room turning low level EM emissions on and off and having them say when they were being affected. Not one of the test subjects managed to have symptoms matching the EM turn on at a rate higher then random guessing would indicate.

I am inclined to believe that cell phone cancer scares will follow the same pattern.

Gamers gun down Half-Life

Scott Herter

Tears of jow

That is the coolest thing EVER!!!

Now, where is the sniper mod...

Wasted billions of government IT spending exposed

Scott Herter

A waste... Really?

"The massive increase in government IT spending under New Labour has had no impact on the productivity of the public sector, a new analysis reveals."

What do you mean "no impact on productivity"? The new IT infrastructure has allowed the government to lose more data more quickly then ever before! They can get bad data in to the system and in to your credit report before you know it. How the heck are they measuring productivity?

"Work by Jerry Fishenden, who was until recently Microsoft's national technology officer for the UK and is now a visiting senior fellow at the London School of Economics, shows that for all the billions thrown into IT, the UK economy has not benefited at all."

Oh, well, yeah, it has done nothing for the economy. Not that it was supposed to or anything.

Mines the one with the WiFi indicator on it...

US senators demand boycott of Iran 'snoop' firms

Scott Herter
Black Helicopters


Um, then there won't be any country or company I can buy things from...

US brain-computer interface gets live human trials

Scott Herter

Am I the only one

Whos first thought was "Ghost in the Shell"? Oh to be a section 9 agent...

Airline pilots told to switch off mobile phones

Scott Herter

The real reason...

Mythbusters did an episode on mobile phones and airplanes. They found that some old phones did interfere with some old equipment. This resulted in the FAA ban. Theoretically, the newer phones and newer flight systems should not be a problem. The FAA's position is "prove it". They will be more then happy to allow cell phones on planes when someone proves to them that it will be OK by testing their equipment with all currently active filght systems in use and showing there is no problem. Quite simply, that is too expensive for the handset manufacturers to do. Handsets come and go so quickly that it simply isn't worth it to them. The FAA won't relent because at one time some cell phones did interfere with some equipment and no one wants to take a chance that dropping the ban will have some airplanes fall out of the sky.

Aussie air zealot savages prêt-à-porter stealth fighter

Scott Herter

Re: Why do the Aussies need even the F35?

Kangaroos with shoulder fire missles are a reality! It was in a demo once so it must be true!

Of course the demo in question is used as a re-use cautionary tale amongst programmers, but you can't expect managers to know the difference between reality and a demo with some programing bugs.


IAEA calls for mutated supercrops to feed world's hungry

Scott Herter

By any other name...

Isn't this just a fancy version of cross-breeding? You know, that thing we have been doing for over 10,000 years. The only difference is they are upping the environmental stress artificially to try and increase the rate of mutation. You don't even need radiation for this, just some specially designed hot houses to simulate the climate you want to adjust for.

Qinetiq trumpets midsummer robo solar-plane 'record'

Scott Herter


Because it is the only way they can convince the investors to keep giving until it hurts.

American ISP flashes phantom bandwidth cap

Scott Herter

This is great!

Just think, all those botnets out there would only work until 5 minutes after midnight on the first day of the month!

Court cheers warrantless snooping of e-mail

Scott Herter

@ Kevin Fayle

Point conceded, I did miss the distinction between a court order and a warrant.

Scott Herter

They had a warrent...

"The court issuing the order in this case determined that notice to Warshak would put the investigation at risk, so it directed the government to delay notice to Warshak by 90 days. The court also sealed the orders, however, so the government waited until the court unsealed the orders to actually give Warshak notice of the release. Warshak finally received the word that the government had searched his emails roughly one year after the first order came down."

They had a warrent, this has nothing to do with warrentless searches. The problem was that he wasn't notified until 1 year instead of 90 days after the search was conducted. This truely is procedural in issue, not a constitutional issue for warrentless searches.

The terror dam of doom that looms over Boise, Idaho

Scott Herter


The biggest problem with this is their primary assumption, that terrorists choose targets rationally for maximum physical damage. First, they are not rational, if they were they wouldn't be terrorists, and second, they choose targets to maximize terror, after all, they *are* terrorists.

No matter how easy it is, wiping Boise Idaho off the map will generate a resounding "Huh? Where's that?" from most U.S. citizens and most of the world for that matter. It may cause more damage and result in more loss of life then the Word Trade Center attack, but the WTC generated more terror and more press then destroying Boise ever could.

I can just see the headlines "And this just in, Boise Idaho was destroyed by some damn failure. Hmm, wonder what failed. Oh well, back to our two hour coverage of Dancing with the Stars!"

Royalties are the admission price, Microsoft tells freetards

Scott Herter

They can't throw away their defence

Unfortunately they can't just license their patents in a royalty free open way because it would throw away their defense against other claimants of patent infringement. This is the way it works, Company A claims Company B infringes some patent(s). Company B then searches through their patent portfolio and comes up with some list of patents that Company A infringes. Then the negotiations begin. 9 times out of 10 it ends in a cross licensing deal. Sometimes if one company is infringing a much larger number of patents then the other company, a payment is made.

If Microsoft does what the Open Source community wants, it would be defenseless against a company claiming patent infringement since ALL of Microsoft’s patents are open to be used, they have nothing to hit back with and will be forced to pay for everyone that comes after them with a claim. While many would love to see Microsoft devoured in such a feeding frenzy, it would be criminally stupid to set your own publicly held company up for such a fate.

The main reason Microsoft is rattling the saber at the Open Source community is indeed FUD. It is also certain that the Open Source community is infringing at least some patents Microsoft has. They don’t do anything other then talk because there is no money they can actually get from a law suit and the public relations hit would be far worse then any benefit they could possibly hope to get in the courts.

Patents in software are a lot like nukes, they are more of a deterrent against others using their patents against you.