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Moore's Law is a never in fact stated principle that Gordon Moore said would guide electronics development -- that the transistor count on a chip would double every year (later updated to every two years.)

Gordon, however, never actually stated this as a law.

That's probably because he didn't fail arithmetic in middle school.

He also didn't, however, speak out and refute it.  That might be because he co-founded Intel, and believed that a chips arms race would benefit his company (he was right in that regard) and he'd be gone before the wall was hit (right again.)

Exponential functions can never continue indefinitely as physical limits eventually intrude and force cessation of the series.  Before that happens, however, costs usually get you -- so the actual "limit" that arithmetic gives us is never achieved.

In the case of transistors the physical limit is defined by the width of an atom or molecule of material; you cannot make a logic cell smaller than the physical building block of matter, so packing things more-tightly is impossible.  You can cheat by layering things (and manufacturers have) but then you run into another problem which is the dissipation of heat; since no circuit is 100% efficient and thus some of the energy it consumes must be rejected as heat and drawn away from the chip or it will melt.

But before you reach that point cost ramps out of control and makes further development non-economic.

We could learn something about this when it comes to debt and market manipulation if we bothered to, especially considering the number of people who believed that Moore's Law would never end.

Arithmetic cannot be cheated folks, and neither can physics.

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Naw, really?

Today’s frenzy of hospital mergers and physician practice acquisitions is giving hospital systems even greater leverage to inflate opaque “charge-master” medical bills that even hospitals are sometimes unable to itemize sensibly. With no mechanism to allow free-market forces to keep prices in check, this translates into higher health-insurance deductibles and copays for insured Americans, and in the case of Medicare and Medicaid, higher taxes.

What free market forces existed before Obamacare to put a stop this sort of crap?  None!

See, that's the problem -- you can't take your car into a shop without the mechanic providing you a binding estimate before work begins.  This doesn't mean that he can't find other things he thinks you should do, but it does mean he can't do them and bill you for it without your consent.

General consumer protection laws prohibit this practice, which used to be very common.  It was not that long ago that it was relatively common to take your car in for an oil change and come out with a $500 bill for a bunch of other stuff you never agreed to before the fact, and have the mechanic demand the money before you got your car back.

This was stopped by government agencies and consumer protection laws across the land because it was an outrageous practice that amounted to extortion -- and thus it was made illegal.

Well?  How come this goes on now in hospitals?  How come everyone involved in doing it, including Dr. Mackary, isn't sitting in the dock right now facing felony consumer fraud charges?

As Dr. Makary notes the medical industry is one fifth of our economy.  But what he doesn't mention is how it got to be 1/5th of our economy instead of 3-5%, which it formerly was before hospitals, drug companies and physicians started with this sort of crap like chargemaster pricing, refusing to provide a price at all, "balance billing" and even billing for services not requested after a price was given or even billing for services that weren't performed!

I say that until every one of the individuals and firms involved in this crap is staring down indictments for that blatantly outrageous behavior and both the individuals and firms are forced to disgorge all of their previous payments made under such schemes, the prosecution of which would return medicine to the former 3-5% of the economy and thus dramatically improve the personal balance sheets of Americans generally, people like Dr. Makary can go stuff their complaints about Obamacare where the sun doesn't shine.

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I've gotten a bit of attention with my rants about S/MIME and BlackBerry, so let me add a bit of color and backstory to it.

Nobody gives a damn about privacy and security, except BlackBerry.  That's a fact folks.  Apple claims they're not "focused" on using your data for advertising purposes, but they then force all the data through their systems for things like iMessage.  And by the way, that's neither seamless or painless either; I just watched someone with an iPhone lose all of the MMS images in their device, permanently.  It is apparently a relatively common bug to run into in iMessage and if it bites you then you're just plain screwed.

As for Google and Android they don't try to hide their intent at all.  Google wants your data, as much of it as it can get, for the purpose of selling advertising.  That's their business model, for good or bad, and when you use an Android device that's what you're giving to them.

In this context is it surprising that Android's email application, even in the 5.x branches of Android doesn't support secure transmission (e.g. S/MIME)?  Not at all; how could Google scan your email and use it to sell you things if it was encrypted?  They couldn't, but they both can and do exactly that right now.  You may be ok with it but a lot of people aren't and nobody should be, because it's one small step from there to using that data for more-nefarious purposes than advertising.

So with this in mind consider that BlackBerry's BB10 devices have always supported secure email.  Now their support is broken in a couple of critical ways, but 10.3.2, which is coming (the next firmware update) does allow it for non-BES devices provided you have an Exchange connection to your email server.

Well, theoretically it does anyway.  In practice it's not quite so clean.  For example, Outlook.Com, Microsoft's free email service, doesn't work properly when enrolled through BES even though the protocol is Exchange.  This strongly implies that 10.3.2 won't work through either, and it's probably not BlackBerry's fault that it doesn't -- it's probably Microsoft intentionally crippling it, perhaps for the same reason Google doesn't support it.

What I can tell you with certainty though is this -- when BlackBerry fixes the MIME problem they currently have, and I have to assume they will fix it, you'll have one full-featured, no-nonsense option for a mobile device that can and does do encrypted and signed email available to you and it won't be from the Fruit Company.

It is for this reason that I am "on" about BlackBerry doing things like requiring Exchange for it to work, however.  It is not, as is frequently proposed, because IMAP is a "lesser" protocol.  It's not; DoveCot among others is an extremely high-performance and secure enterprise-grade email system.  And yes, I fully understand that most large businesses have an Exchange infrastructure irrespective of whether Microsoft produces crap or beauty; it doesn't matter, what's installed for business reasons just is.

But you, as a consumer or small business person, might not have access to an Exchange hosted email system of any sort at all and the "free" or "free sorta" ones probably won't work sufficiently transparently for S/MIME to interoperate.  

And you, as a consumer or small businessperson should care if for no other reason than the fact that there is utterly no reason to expose your email, which almost always contains some sort of private correspondence, to random people who have utterly no legitimate purpose in looking at it.

It is here that it matters, and this is why BlackBerry needs to extend S/MIME support to IMAP mail exchange; simply put even a Gmail account, and virtually all third-party mail hosting systems, can be accessed via IMAP.

There is no technical reason for this not to function as expected.  There are only short-sighted excuses and BlackBerry, with it's BB10 devices and 10.3.x Android compatibility, has a market opportunity that is both unique and unfilled at present by any of their competitors.

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The story here is not that Virginia de-certified and removed these electronic voting machines.

The story is how did they get into use and circulation in the first place?

It is blatantly obvious that there was utterly no security review done on these devices before they were purchased and approved.  Zip, zero, nada.  Not only were they configured to have wireless access enabled, not only was that wireless access configured with WEP for "security" (which is known weak) but in addition the password was trivially discoverable.

But it only begins there; in addition the password on the administrator account was set to the default ("admin") and what's worse is that the filesystem shares were left exported over Windows Networking, which means that anyone who could break into the insecure WiFi connection could also trivially mount and then modify the filesystem on them!

Is there any way to know whether this actually happened during an election?  No, because with administrative access you can also erase any audit trail of the event itself.  We therefore have no way to know whether they were compromised in actual use.

But -- what we do know is that they could be, and from a reasonable distance too; physical tampering is not required (although the audit showed that's possible as well!) due to the wireless connection availability.

Again, the story here is not that this was found at this late date.  No, the story is how these devices got purchased in the first place and who within the State Elections process approved them without any sort of real security audit.

That happened, and then these machines were used for multiple elections.

Someone (or more likely, lots of someones) need to hang for this folks -- high, long and dry.

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This is curious statement....

“It’s urgent,” Draghi told reporters in Washington on Saturday during meetings of the International Monetary Fund. “We all want Greece to succeed. The answer is in the hands of the Greek government.”

Urgent for.... exactly who?

See, here's the ugly little ditty -- Greece's debt is sitting somewhere, and I bet a lot of the "somewhere" went through the LTROs.

That means that in some form or fashion the ECB is sitting on it either directly or indirectly.

Of course Jack Lew (our Treasury Secretary) doesn't like this either, because should Greece tell everyone to go stick it where the sun doesn't shine (and they should, by the way) the next obvious question is "why should anyone allow the US Government, or anyone else for that matter, to borrow at what amounts to a below-market-cost structure?"

The answer is "nobody should" and then there's a wee problem that arises among those who think that writing hot checks is a good idea.

Here's my recommendation for Greece: Start buying up rope, boiling it, and earmarking lampposts.

Officially and with the auspices of (Greek) law, of course.

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