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Interviews: Ask Freeman Dyson What You Will

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the ask-away dept.

Science 181

Famous for his work in math, astronomy, nuclear engineering, and theoretical physics, Freeman Dyson has left his mark on almost every scientific discipline. He's won countless awards, and written numerous books on a wide range of topics both scientific and philosophical. One of his biggest contributions to science was the unification of the three versions of quantum electrodynamics invented by Feynman, Schwinger and Tomonaga. 10 years after moving to the U.S. he started working on the Orion Project, which sought to create a spacecraft with a nuclear propulsion system. STNG exposed the idea of a Dyson sphere to the masses, and his hypothetical plan for making a comet habitable with the help of genetically-engineered plants is a personal favorite. Mr. Dyson has graciously agreed give us a bit of his time in order to answer your questions. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post.

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Fewer Polymaths in the Modern World? (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484011)

When weighted against population, it appears that there are fewer "Renaissance men/women" than there have been historically. I've heard many regular people opine about how fields require more depth and learning to make progress in them but, as a polymath yourself, what is your opinion on it?

Re:Fewer Polymaths in the Modern World? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485659)

I would like to offer a smart reply to your obviously intelligent question, however I got stuck at the word "polymath".

Re:Fewer Polymaths in the Modern World? (-1)

Genda (560240) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485827)

The ability perform many numeric manipulations at the same time... There, fixed that for you. Continue...

Why the United States? (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484023)

Why did you take a fellowship at Cornell and stay in the United States? There's plenty of world renowned institutions in the United Kingdom and you were a pilot in the RAF -- what appealed to you about the United States? Do you have any comments or opinions on H1-Bs and the United States' current stance on immigration?

Re:Why the United States? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485993)

Dyson would certainly qualify for an O-1, not an H1-B

your vaccum cleaner (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484031)

which model is the best?

Does he get anoyed whn ppl say thy like his vacuum (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484055)

Does he get annoyed when people say they like his vacuum cleaner and the fan he designed?

Global Warming (2, Interesting)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484057)

In the past you've been cited as a noted skeptic of man-made global warming. Has any of the recent events made you change your mind? Events such as the Arctic becoming completely free of ice, or Britain having snow-free winters?

Okay those events haven't actually happened yet, but eminent climate scientists have ran computer models and they say these things will happen very soon. Are you alarmed enough to change your stance on global warming?

Re:Global Warming (2)

Glock27 (446276) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484285)

Please cite your sources on "the arctic becoming completely free of ice" and "Britain having snow-free winters" with both happening "very soon".


Re:Global Warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484975) []

According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event".
"Children just aren't going to know what snow is," he said." []

"Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007," the researcher from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, explained to the BBC.

"So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative."

Part of the blame must be laid with the article writers, part with the sources quoted. The sources didn't put any effort to correct the news articles if they were misquoted.

Re:Global Warming (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485391)

Got anything that wasn't written 13 years ago?

Re:Global Warming (1)

Glock27 (446276) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485849)

Yep, in fact the real world is proving out Dyson's exact point. Warming has been lower than expected, there is still a ton of winter snowfall in Britain (in fact Britain just had an extremely cold winter) and the Arctic ice isn't close to being completely gone in summertime. Arctic ice did hit a low point last year, we'll see how it recovers this coming winter.

The other interesting thing to watch will be the influence of the next twenty to forty years of Solar Grand Minimum conditions. During the Maunder and Dalton minima things got pretty chilly! ;-)

Re:Global Warming (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484355)

I believe you answered your own question.

Re:Global Warming (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484383)

I'm going to vomit.

Re:Global Warming (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484715)

I'm going to vomit.

Hot or cold?

He's not a skeptic (4, Insightful)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484391)

I like the idea of this question but I think we need to reword it. Dyson is not a skeptic of global warming – he does believe we are having an impact. IIRC he holds the following views:

          You can drive a mac truck though the holes in current models – but that is o.k. because Climatology is a young science and is still developing. What it does mean is that the error bars should be set way further apart and the long term impacts are uncertain.

          Because the models are poor, it is hard to come up with specific advice and course of actions. For example, should biomass be encouraged as a energy source? The fuel itself is carbon naturel but production often takes places on marginal lands – where farming could increase greenhouse gases.

          So, current plans are huge, expensive, and of unknown value to solve for a future problem with unknown costs.

          The future will offer better models that will give better specific advice. Future technology will lower the cost of implanting a fix.

          Balance that against current problems with known impact and known costs to cure – for example – world poverty (poor education, unclean water, etc.)
The answer therefore is to wait (If I understand what Dyson has been saying I agree with most of what he says – expect that I think that the future costs will grow faster than the advance of future technology so we should start now – but I am not an optimist).

Or is he? (1)

Kludge (13653) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485841)

I heard him give a talk a few years back and he struck me as pretty skeptical. He did not say that more atmospheric CO2 would not increase temperatures, but the gist of his talk was that the extra CO2 that we were putting into the atmosphere should be pretty easily absorbed by green plants and oceans, so we did not need to worry about warming. I doubt that he would give the same talk today.

Re:He's not a skeptic (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#43486127)

You views, which are nuanced, have been simplified in the public press into a anti-climate change position. What is your view on man-made global warming? What specific areas of research or course of action do you recommend?

I think this works better as a question - more open ended.

Informed Public Policy (3, Insightful)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#43486137)

(So, the above question got me to thinking on how science is communicated, and since only a single question is allowed per post.)

Often society is faced with technically complex, nuanced issues. In cases where the evidence is incomplete, technical experts have yet to reach a consensus, yet broad public support is needed. Is there any practical course of action you would like to see? Better science education? Depolarizing the issues by delegating authority to blue ribbon panels staffed by experts?

I am asking because I see your view on climate change being simplified to the point of distortion. You also experienced J. Robert Oppenheimer, security hearing in 1954, where there is speculation that the inquire was triggered not because of security concerns but by rival scientist.

Re:Global Warming (1, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484847)

In the past you've been cited as a noted skeptic of man-made global warming.

Freeman Dyson is NOT an AGW skeptic! He has been quite clear about this. He accepts the evidence that it is happening. But he also believes that many of the policies and proposals for dealing with it are misguided and poorly prioritized. I tend to agree with him. We are pouring tens of billions into subsides for solar and wind technologies, but poor countries, that are generating an increasingly large fraction of CO2, cannot afford those subsidies. We would be far better off if we spend that money on literacy programs for girls in third world countries. In Sierra Leone, illiterate women have an average of five kids. Literate women have an average of three. The same correlation has been found in other countries. Those unborn children will be generating zero CO2 emissions, and in the long run population control will swamp any other effect on AWG. But, unlike with the subsidies, improving literacy has many other benefits as well: A large gap between male and female literacy is highly correlated with terrorism and political instability. A small gap is correlated with stronger economic growth and healthier children. This is just one example of how our tunnel vision about AGW has caused priority inversion.

Re:Global Warming (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485131)

I would be much more interested in the role of convective heat transfer in the climate models he inspected. It is clear that this is much more important on the surface than radiative transfer and I'd certainly like to know whether they can make a decent job of modeling it or not.

Eduication (3, Interesting)

flogger (524072) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484063)

How has your education helped or hindered you? You are the "ideal" educated man. In our (American) culture, we don;t seem to be producing people devoted to learning, discovering, thinking, inventing, etc. What in your opinion can an educational system do to foster what you've become?

Tell me, what do you consider more useful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484071)

A crowbar, or a gravity gun?

Re:Tell me, what do you consider more useful (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485065)

trick question its the portal gun of course

Global Climate Engineering? (2)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484085)

I notice that you've long had an interest in climate studies and have proposed novel ideas [] for removing carbon dioxide. Are there any good texts on the current state of engineering solutions to the symptoms of the problem of anthropogenic global warming? Also, in regards to engineering fast growing plants to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, wouldn't these be a scourge on the land and interfere with crops and food sources much like algal blooms and kudzu?

Eco mass histeria (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484101)

Are you saddened by the fact that fears in the general populace prohibit the use of nuclear technologies for space exploration?

Re:Eco mass histeria (1)

Glock27 (446276) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484811)

I think that "fact" will change - it's a matter of how long it'll take...

Re:Eco mass histeria (1)

Ashenkase (2008188) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485517)

I don't think the fear comes from the use of nuclear technologies ONCE they are in space. A more likely fear scenario centers around the fact that the nuclear power plant needs to be bolted to the top of a huge firecracker that essplodes its way into space.

Re:Eco mass histeria (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year and a half ago | (#43486021)

This really wont be a problem once we start manufacturing outside the Earth's gravity well.

is it true (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484123)

Are your vacuum cleaners so revolutionary that they are by appointment to the court of Maud'dib ?

Dr Freeman, what is your opinion on HOST files? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484125)

A corrupt slashdot luser has pentrated the moderation system to downmod all my posts while impersonating me.

Nearly 230++ times that I know of @ this point for all of March/April 2013 so far, & others here have told you to stop - take the hint, lunatic (leave slashdot)...

Sorry folks - but whoever the nutjob is that's attempting to impersonate me, & upset the rest of you as well, has SERIOUS mental issues, no questions asked! I must've gotten the better of him + seriously "gotten his goat" in doing so in a technical debate & his "geek angst" @ losing to me has him doing the:


A.) $10,000 challenges, ala (where the imposter actually TRACKED + LISTED the # of times he's done this no less, & where I get the 230 or so times I noted above) -> []


B.) Reposting OLD + possibly altered models - (this I haven't checked on as to altering the veracity of the info. being changed) of posts of mine from the past here


(Albeit massively repeatedly thru all threads on /. this March/April 2013 nearly in its entirety thusfar).

* Personally, I'm surprised the moderation staff here hasn't just "blocked out" his network range yet honestly!

(They know it's NOT the same as my own as well, especially after THIS post of mine, which they CAN see the IP range I am coming out of to compare with the ac spamming troll doing the above...).


P.S.=> Again/Stressing it: NO guys - it is NOT me doing it, as I wouldn't waste that much time on such trivial b.s. like a kid might...

Plus, I only post where hosts file usage is on topic or appropriate for a solution & certainly NOT IN EVERY POST ON SLASHDOT (like the nutcase trying to "impersonate me" is doing for nearly all of March/April now, & 230++ times that I know of @ least)... apk

P.S.=> here is CORRECT host file information just to piss off the insane lunatic troll:


21++ ADVANTAGES OF CUSTOM HOSTS FILES (how/what/when/where/why):

Over AdBlock & DNS Servers ALONE 4 Security, Speed, Reliability, & Anonymity (to an extent vs. DNSBL's + DNS request logs).

1.) HOSTS files are useable for all these purposes because they are present on all Operating Systems that have a BSD based IP stack (even ANDROID) and do adblocking for ANY webbrowser, email program, etc. (any webbound program). A truly "multi-platform" UNIVERSAL solution for added speed, security, reliability, & even anonymity to an extent (vs. DNS request logs + DNSBL's you feel are unjust hosts get you past/around).

2.) Adblock blocks ads? Well, not anymore & certainly not as well by default, apparently, lol - see below:

Adblock Plus To Offer 'Acceptable Ads' Option [] )

AND, in only browsers & their subprogram families (ala email like Thunderbird for FireFox/Mozilla products (use same gecko & xulrunner engines)), but not all, or, all independent email clients, like Outlook, Outlook Express, OR Window "LIVE" mail (for example(s)) - there's many more like EUDORA & others I've used over time that AdBlock just DOES NOT COVER... period.

Disclaimer: Opera now also has an AdBlock addon (now that Opera has addons above widgets), but I am not certain the same people make it as they do for FF or Chrome etc..

3.) Adblock doesn't protect email programs external to FF (non-mozilla/gecko engine based) family based wares, So AdBlock doesn't protect email programs like Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows "LIVE" mail & others like them (EUDORA etc./et al), Hosts files do. THIS IS GOOD VS. SPAM MAIL or MAILS THAT BEAR MALICIOUS SCRIPT, or, THAT POINT TO MALICIOUS SCRIPT VIA URLS etc.

4.) Adblock won't get you to your favorite sites if a DNS server goes down or is DNS-poisoned, hosts will (this leads to points 5-7 next below).

5.) Adblock doesn't allow you to hardcode in your favorite websites into it so you don't make DNS server calls and so you can avoid tracking by DNS request logs, OR make you reach them faster since you resolve host-domain names LOCALLY w/ hosts out of cached memory, hosts do ALL of those things (DNS servers are also being abused by the Chinese lately and by the Kaminsky flaw -> [] for years now). Hosts protect against those problems via hardcodes of your fav sites (you should verify against the TLD that does nothing but cache IPAddress-to-domainname/hostname resolutions ( via NSLOOKUP, PINGS (ping -a in Windows), &/or WHOIS though, regularly, so you have the correct IP & it's current)).

* NOW - Some folks MAY think that putting an IP address alone into your browser's address bar will be enough, so why bother with HOSTS, right? WRONG - Putting IP address in your browser won't always work IS WHY. Some IP adresses host several domains & need the site name to give you the right page you're after is why. So for some sites only the HOSTS file option will work!

6.) Hosts files don't eat up CPU cycles (or ELECTRICITY) like AdBlock does while it parses a webpages' content, nor as much as a DNS server does while it runs. HOSTS file are merely a FILTER for the kernel mode/PnP TCP/IP subsystem, which runs FAR FASTER & MORE EFFICIENTLY than any ring 3/rpl3/usermode app can since hosts files run in MORE EFFICIENT & FASTER Ring 0/RPL 0/Kernelmode operations acting merely as a filter for the IP stack (via the "Plug-N-Play" designed IP stack in Windows) vs. SLOWER & LESS EFFICIENT Ring 3/RPL 3/Usermode operations (which webbrowsers run in + their addons like AdBlock slow down even MORESO due to their parsing operations).

7.) HOSTS files will allow you to get to sites you like, via hardcoding your favs into a HOSTS file, FAR faster than remote DNS servers can by FAR (by saving the roundtrip inquiry time to a DNS server, typically 30-100's of ms, vs. 7-10ms HardDisk speed of access/seek + SSD seek in ns, & back to you - hosts resolutions of IP address for host-domain names is FAR faster...). Hosts are only a filter for an already fast & efficient IP stack, no more layered b.s. (remote OR local). Hosts eat less CPU, RAM, I/O in other forms, + electricity than a locally running DNS server easily, and less than a local DNS program on a single PC. Fact. Hosts are easier to setup & maintain too.

8.) AdBlock doesn't let you block out known bad sites or servers that are known to be maliciously scripted, hosts can and many reputable lists for this exist:

Spybot "Search & Destroy" IMMUNIZE feature (fortifies HOSTS files with KNOWN bad servers blocked)

And yes: Even SLASHDOT &/or The Register help!

(Via articles on security (when the source articles they use are "detailed" that is, & list the servers/sites involved in attempting to bushwhack others online that is... not ALL do!)).

2 examples thereof in the past I have used, & noted it there, are/were: [] []

9.) AdBlock & DNS servers are programs, and subject to bugs programs can get. Hosts files are merely a filter and not a program, thus not subject to bugs of the nature just discussed.

10.) HOSTS files protect you vs. DNS-poisoning &/or the Kaminsky flaw in DNS servers, and allow you to get to sites reliably vs. things like the Chinese are doing to DNS -> []

11.) HOSTS files are EASILY user controlled, obtained (for reliable ones -> [] ) & edited too, via texteditors like Windows notepad.exe or Linux nano (etc.)

12.) With Adblock you had better be able to code javascript to play with its code (to customize it better than the GUI front does @ least). With hosts you don't even need source to control it (edit, update, delete, insert of new entries via a text editor).

13.) Hosts files are easily secured via using MAC/ACL (even moreso "automagically" for Vista, 7/Server 2008 + beyond by UAC by default) &/or Read-Only attributes applied.

14.) Custom HOSTS files also speed you up, unlike anonymous proxy servers systems variations (like TOR, or other "highly anonymous" proxy server list servers typically do, in the severe speed hit they often have a cost in) either via "hardcoding" your fav. sites into your hosts file (avoids DNS servers, totally) OR blocking out adbanners - see this below for evidence of that:


US Military Blocks Websites To Free Up Bandwidth: []

(Yes, even the US Military used this type of technique... because IT WORKS! Most of what they blocked? Ad banners ala doubleclick etc.)


Adbanners slow you down & consume your bandwidth YOU pay for:



And people do NOT LIKE ads on the web:



As well as this:

Users Know Advertisers Watch Them, and Hate It: []


Even WORSE still, is this:

Advertising Network Caught History Stealing: []


15.) HOSTS files usage lets you avoid being charged on some ISP/BSP's (OR phone providers) "pay as you use" policy [] , because you are using less bandwidth (& go faster doing so no less) by NOT hauling in adbanner content and processing it (which can lead to infestation by malware/malicious script, in & of itself -> [] ).

16.) If/when ISP/BSP's decide to go to -> FCC Approving Pay-As-You-Go Internet Plans: [] your internet bill will go DOWN if you use a HOSTS file for blocking adbanners as well as maliciously scripted hacker/cracker malware maker sites too (after all - it's your money & time online downloading adbanner content & processing it)

Plus, your adbanner content? Well, it may also be hijacked with malicious code too mind you:


Yahoo, Microsoft's Bing display toxic ads: []


Malware torrent delivered over Google, Yahoo! ad services: []


Google's DoubleClick spreads malicious ads (again): []


Rogue ads infiltrate Expedia and Rhapsody: []


Google sponsored links caught punting malware: []


DoubleClick caught supplying malware-tainted ads: []


Yahoo feeds Trojan-laced ads to MySpace and PhotoBucket users: []


Real Media attacks real people via RealPlayer: []


Ad networks owned by Google, Microsoft serve malware: []


Attacks Targeting Classified Ad Sites Surge: []


Hackers Respond To Help Wanted Ads With Malware: []


Hackers Use Banner Ads on Major Sites to Hijack Your PC: []


Ruskie gang hijacks Microsoft network to push penis pills: []


Major ISPs Injecting Ads, Vulnerabilities Into Web: []


Two Major Ad Networks Found Serving Malware: []












London Stock Exchange Web Site Serving Malware: []


Spotify splattered with malware-tainted ads: []


As my list "multiple evidences thereof" as to adbanners & viruses + the fact they slow you down & cost you more (from reputable & reliable sources no less)).

17.) Per point #16, a way to save some money: ANDROID phones can also use the HOSTS FILE TO KEEP DOWN BILLABLE TIME ONLINE, vs. adbanners or malware such as this:


Infected Androids Run Up Big Texting Bills: []


AND, for protection vs. other "botnets" migrating from the PC world, to "smartphones" such as ZITMO (a ZEUS botnet variant): []


It's easily done too, via the ADB dev. tool, & mounting ANDROID OS' system mountpoint for system/etc as READ + WRITE/ADMIN-ROOT PERMISSIONS, then copying your new custom HOSTS over the old one using ADB PULL/ADB PUSH to do so (otherwise ANDROID complains of "this file cannot be overwritten on production models of this Operating System", or something very along those lines - this way gets you around that annoyance along with you possibly having to clear some space there yourself if you packed it with things!).

18.) Bad news: ADBLOCK CAN BE DETECTED FOR: See here on that note -> []

HOSTS files are NOT THAT EASILY "webbug" BLOCKABLE by websites, as was tried on users by ARSTECHNICA (and it worked on AdBlock in that manner), to that websites' users' dismay:



An experiment gone wrong - By Ken Fisher | Last updated March 6, 2010 11:11 AM []

"Starting late Friday afternoon we conducted a 12 hour experiment to see if it would be possible to simply make content disappear for visitors who were using a very popular ad blocking tool. Technologically, it was a success in that it worked. Ad blockers, and only ad blockers, couldn't see our content."


"Our experiment is over, and we're glad we did it because it led to us learning that we needed to communicate our point of view every once in a while. Sure, some people told us we deserved to die in a fire. But that's the Internet!"

Thus, as you can see? Well - THAT all "went over like a lead balloon" with their users in other words, because Arstechnica was forced to change it back to the old way where ADBLOCK still could work to do its job (REDDIT however, has not, for example). However/Again - this is proof that HOSTS files can still do the job, blocking potentially malscripted ads (or ads in general because they slow you down) vs. adblockers like ADBLOCK!


19.) Even WIKILEAKS "favors" blacklists (because they work, and HOSTS can be a blacklist vs. known BAD sites/servers/domain-host names):



"we are in favour of 'Blacklists', be it for mail servers or websites, they have to be compiled with care... Fortunately, more responsible blacklists, like (which protects the Firefox browser)...


20.) AND, LASTLY? SINCE MALWARE GENERALLY HAS TO OPERATE ON WHAT YOU YOURSELF CAN DO (running as limited class/least privlege user, hopefully, OR even as ADMIN/ROOT/SUPERUSER)? HOSTS "LOCK IN" malware too, vs. communicating "back to mama" for orders (provided they have name servers + C&C botnet servers listed in them, blocked off in your HOSTS that is) - you might think they use a hardcoded IP, which IS possible, but generally they do not & RECYCLE domain/host names they own (such as has been seen with the RBN (Russian Business Network) lately though it was considered "dead", other malwares are using its domains/hostnames now, & this? This stops that cold, too - Bonus!)...

21.) Custom HOSTS files gain users back more "screen real estate" by blocking out banner ads... it's great on PC's for speed along with MORE of what I want to see/read (not ads), & efficiency too, but EVEN BETTER ON SMARTPHONES - by far. It matters MOST there imo @ least, in regards to extra screen real-estate.

Still - It's a GOOD idea to layer in the usage of BOTH browser addons for security like adblock ( [] ), IE 9's new TPL's ( [] ), &/or NoScript ( [] especially this one, as it covers what HOSTS files can't in javascript which is the main deliverer of MOST attacks online & SECUNIA.COM can verify this for anyone really by looking @ the past few years of attacks nowadays), for the concept of "layered security"....

It's just that HOSTS files offer you a LOT MORE gains than Adblock ( [] ) does alone (as hosts do things adblock just plain cannot & on more programs, for more speed, security, and "stealth" to a degree even), and it corrects problems in DNS (as shown above via hardcodes of your favorite sites into your HOSTS file, and more (such as avoiding DNS request logs)).

ALSO - Some more notes on DNS servers & their problems, very recent + ongoing ones:


DNS flaw reanimates slain evil sites as ghost domains: []


BIND vs. what the Chinese are doing to DNS lately? See here: []



(Yes, even "security pros" are helpless vs. DNS problems in code bugs OR redirect DNS poisoning issues, & they can only try to "set the DNS record straight" & then, they still have to wait for corrected DNS info. to propogate across all subordinate DNS servers too - lagtime in which folks DO get "abused" in mind you!)


DNS vs. the "Kaminsky DNS flaw", here (and even MORE problems in DNS than just that): []

(Seems others are saying that some NEW "Bind9 flaw" is worse than the Kaminsky flaw ALONE, up there, mind you... probably corrected (hopefully), but it shows yet again, DNS hassles (DNS redirect/DNS poisoning) being exploited!)


Moxie Marlinspike's found others (0 hack) as well...

Nope... "layered security" truly IS the "way to go" - hacker/cracker types know it, & they do NOT want the rest of us knowing it too!...

(So until DNSSEC takes "widespread adoption"? HOSTS are your answer vs. such types of attack, because the 1st thing your system refers to, by default, IS your HOSTS file (over say, DNS server usage). There are decent DNS servers though, such as OpenDNS, ScrubIT, or even NORTON DNS (more on each specifically below), & because I cannot "cache the entire internet" in a HOSTS file? I opt to use those, because I have to (& OpenDNS has been noted to "fix immediately", per the Kaminsky flaw, in fact... just as a sort of reference to how WELL they are maintained really!)


DNS Hijacks Now Being Used to Serve Black Hole Exploit Kit: []


DNS experts admit some of the underlying foundations of the DNS protocol are inherently weak: []


Potential 0-Day Vulnerability For BIND 9: []


Five DNS Threats You Should Protect Against: []


DNS provider decked by DDoS dastards: []


Ten Percent of DNS Servers Still Vulnerable: (so much for "conscientious patching", eh? Many DNS providers weren't patching when they had to!) []




TimeWarner DNS Hijacking: []


DNS Re-Binding Attacks: []


DNS Server Survey Reveals Mixed Security Picture: []


Halvar figured out super-secret DNS vulnerability: []


BIND Still Susceptible To DNS Cache Poisoning: []


DNS Poisoning Hits One of China's Biggest ISPs: []


DDoS Attacks Via DNS Recursion: []


High Severity BIND DNS Vulnerability Advisory Issued: []


Photobucketâ(TM)s DNS records hijacked: []


Protecting Browsers from DNS Rebinding Attacks: []


DNS Problem Linked To DDoS Attacks Gets Worse: []


HOWEVER - Some DNS servers are "really good stuff" vs. phishing, known bad sites/servers/hosts-domains that serve up malware-in-general & malicious scripting, botnet C&C servers, & more, such as:

Norton DNS -> []
  ScrubIT DNS -> []
  OpenDNS -> []

(Norton DNS in particular, is exclusively for blocking out malware, for those of you that are security-conscious. ScrubIT filters pr0n material too, but does the same, & OpenDNS does phishing protection. Each page lists how & why they work, & why they do so. Norton DNS can even show you its exceptions lists, plus user reviews & removal procedures requests, AND growth stats (every 1/2 hour or so) here -> [] so, that ought to "take care of the naysayers" on removal requests, &/or methods used plus updates frequency etc./et al...)

HOWEVER - There's ONLY 1 WEAKNESS TO ANY network defense, including HOSTS files (vs. host-domain name based threats) & firewalls (hardware router type OR software type, vs. IP address based threats): Human beings, & they not being 'disciplined' about the indiscriminate usage of javascript (the main "harbinger of doom" out there today online), OR, what they download for example... & there is NOTHING I can do about that! (Per Dr. Manhattan of "The Watchmen", ala -> "I can change almost anything, but I can't change human nature")

HOWEVER AGAIN - That's where NORTON DNS, OpenDNS, &/or ScrubIT DNS help!

(Especially for noob/grandma level users who are unaware of how to secure themselves in fact, per a guide like mine noted above that uses "layered-security" principles!)

ScrubIT DNS, &/or OpenDNS are others alongside Norton DNS (adding on phishing protection too) as well!

( & it's possible to use ALL THREE in your hardware NAT routers, and, in your Local Area Connection DNS properties in Windows, for again, "Layered Security" too)...




"Ever since I've installed a host file ( to redirect advertisers to my loopback, I haven't had any malware, spyware, or adware issues. I first started using the host file 5 years ago." - by TestedDoughnut (1324447) on Monday December 13, @12:18AM (#34532122)

"I use a custom /etc/hosts to block ads... my file gets parsed basically instantly ... So basically, for any modern computer, it has zero visible impact. And even if it took, say, a second to parse, that would be more than offset by the MANY seconds saved by not downloading and rendering ads. I have noticed NO ill effects from running a custom /etc/hosts file for the last several years. And as a matter of fact I DO run http servers on my computers and I've never had an /etc/hosts-related problem... it FUCKING WORKS and makes my life better overall." - by sootman (158191) on Monday July 13 2009, @11:47AM (#28677363) Homepage Journal

"I actually went and downloaded a 16k line hosts file and started using that after seeing that post, you know just for trying it out. some sites load up faster." - by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday November 17, @11:20AM (#38086752) Homepage Journal

"Better than an ad blocker, imo. Hosts file entries: [] " - by TempestRose (1187397) on Tuesday March 15, @12:53PM (#35493274)

"^^ One of the many reasons why I like the user-friendliness of the /etc/hosts file." - by lennier1 (264730) on Saturday March 05, @09:26PM (#35393448)

"They've been on my HOSTS block for years" - by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Thursday August 05 2010, @01:52AM (#33147212)

"I'm currently only using my hosts file to block pheedo ads from showing up in my RSS feeds and causing them to take forever to load. Regardless of its original intent, it's still a valid tool, when used judiciously." - by Bill Dog (726542) on Monday April 25, @02:16AM (#35927050) Homepage Journal

"you're right about hosts files" - by drinkypoo (153816) on Thursday May 26, @01:21PM (#36252958) Homepage

"APK's monolithic hosts file is looking pretty good at the moment." - by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday November 17, @10:08AM (#38085666)

"I also use the MVPS ad blocking hosts file." - by Rick17JJ (744063) on Wednesday January 19, @03:04PM (#34931482)

"I use ad-Block and a hostfile" - by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Tuesday March 01, @10:11AM (#35346902)

"I do use Hosts, for a couple fake domains I use." - by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday December 11, @09:34AM (#34523012) Homepage

"It's a good write up on something everybody should use, why you were modded down is beyond me. Using a HOSTS file, ADblock is of no concern and they can do what they want." - by Trax3001BBS (2368736) on Monday December 12, @10:07PM (#38351398) Homepage Journal

"I want my surfing speed back so I block EVERY fucking ad. i.e. [] and [] FTW" - by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Tuesday December 13, @12:04PM (#38356782)

"Let me introduce you to the file: /etc/hosts" - by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday December 19, @05:03PM (#38427432)

"I use a hosts file" - by EdIII (1114411) on Tuesday December 13, @01:17PM (#38357816)

"I'm tempted to go for a hacked hosts file that simply resolves most advert sites to" - by bLanark (123342) on Tuesday December 13, @01:13PM (#38357760)

"this is not a troll, which hosts file source you recommend nowadays? it's a really handy method for speeding up web and it works." - by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday March 22, @08:07PM (#39446525) Homepage Journal

"A hosts file certainly does not require "a lot of work" to maintain, and it quite effectively kills a LOT of advertising and tracking schemes. . In fact, I never would have considered trying to use it for ddefending against viruses or malware." - by RocketRabbit (830691) on Thursday December 30 2010, @05:48PM (#34715060)


Then, there is also the words of respected security expert, Mr. Oliver Day, from SECURITYFOCUS.COM to "top that all off" as well:


Some "PERTINENT QUOTES/EXCERPTS" to back up my points with (for starters):


"The host file on my day-to-day laptop is now over 16,000 lines long. Accessing the Internet -- particularly browsing the Web -- is actually faster now."

Speed, and security, is the gain... others like Mr. Day note it as well!


"From what I have seen in my research, major efforts to share lists of unwanted hosts began gaining serious momentum earlier this decade. The most popular appear to have started as a means to block advertising and as a way to avoid being tracked by sites that use cookies to gather data on the user across Web properties. More recently, projects like Spybot Search and Destroy offer lists of known malicious servers to add a layer of defense against trojans and other forms of malware."

Per my points exactly, no less... & guess who was posting about HOSTS files a 14++ yrs. or more back & Mr. Day was reading & now using? Yours truly (& this is one of the later ones, from 2001 [] (but the example HOSTS file with my initials in it is FAR older, circa 1998 or so) or thereabouts, and referred to later by a pal of mine who moderates (where I posted on HOSTS for YEARS (1997 onwards)) -> [] !


"Shared host files could be beneficial for other groups as well. Human rights groups have sought after block resistant technologies for quite some time. The GoDaddy debacle with NMap creator Fyodor (corrected) showed a particularly vicious blocking mechanism using DNS registrars. Once a registrar pulls a website from its records, the world ceases to have an effective way to find it. Shared host files could provide a DNS-proof method of reaching sites, not to mention removing an additional vector of detection if anyone were trying to monitor the use of subversive sites. One of the known weaknesses of the Tor system, for example, is direct DNS requests by applications not configured to route such requests through Tor's network."

There you go: AND, it also works vs. the "KAMINSKY DNS FLAW" & DNS poisoning/redirect attacks, for redirectable weaknesses in DNS servers (non DNSSEC type, & set into recursive mode especially) and also in the TOR system as well (that lends itself to anonymous proxy usage weaknesses I noted above also) and, you'll get to sites you want to, even IF a DNS registrar drops said websites from its tables as shown here Beating Censorship By Routing Around DNS -> [] & even DNSBL also (DNS Block Lists) -> [] as well - DOUBLE-BONUS!


* POSTS ABOUT HOSTS FILES I DID on "/." THAT HAVE DONE WELL BY OTHERS & WERE RATED HIGHLY, 26++ THUSFAR (from +3 -> +1 RATINGS, usually "informative" or "interesting" etc./et al):

  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  APK 20++ POINTS ON HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 (w/ facebook known bad sites blocked) -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP CAN DO SAME AS THE "CloudFlare" Server-Side service:2011 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2011 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP & OPERA HAUTE SECURE:2011 -> [] in HOSTS:2009 -> [] IN HOSTS:2009 -> [] in HOSTS:2009 -> [] in HOSTS:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> [] (still says INSIGHTFUL)
  HOSTS MOD UP vs. botnet: 2012 -> []


Windows 7, VISTA, & Server 2008 have a couple of "issues" I don't like in them, & you may not either, depending on your point of view (mine's based solely on efficiency & security), & if my take on these issues aren't "good enough"? I suggest reading what ROOTKIT.COM says, link URL is in my "p.s." @ the bottom of this post:

1.) HOSTS files being unable to use "0" for a blocking IP address - this started in 12/09/2008 after an "MS Patch Tuesday" in fact for VISTA (when it had NO problem using it before that, as Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 still can)... & yes, this continues in its descendants, Windows Server 2008 &/or Windows 7 as well.

So, why is this a "problem" you might ask?

Ok - since you can technically use either:

a.) (the "loopback adapter address")
b.) (next smallest & next most efficient)
c.) The smallest & fastest plain-jane 0


You can use ANY of those, in order to block out known bad sites &/or adbanners in a HOSTS file this way??

Microsoft has "promoted bloat" in doing so... no questions asked.

Simply because

1.) = 9 bytes in size on disk & is the largest/slowest
2.) = 7 bytes & is the next largest/slowest in size on disk
3.) 0 = 1 byte

(& HOSTS files extend across EVERY webbrowser, email program, or in general every webbound program you use & thus HOSTS are "global" in coverage this way AND function on any OS that uses the BSD derived IP stack (which most all do mind you, even MS is based off of it, as BSD's IS truly, "the best in the business"), & when coupled with say, IE restricted zones, FireFox addons like NoScript &/or AdBlock, or Opera filter.ini/urlfilter.ini, for layered security in this capacity for webbrowsers & SOME email programs (here, I mean ones "built into" browsers themselves like Opera has for example))

MS has literally promoted bloat in this file, making it load slower from disk, into memory! This compounds itself, the more entries your HOSTS file contains... & for instance? Mine currently contains nearly 654,000 entries of known bad adbanners, bad websites, &/or bad nameservers (used for controlling botnets, misdirecting net requests, etc. et al).

Now, IF I were to use My "huge" HOSTS file would be approximately 27mb in size... using (next smallest) it would be 19mb in size - HOWEVER? Using 0 as my blocking IP, it is only 14mb in size. See my point?

(For loads either in the local DNS cache, or system diskcache if you run w/out the local DNS client service running, this gets slower the larger each HOSTS file entry is (which you have to stall the DNS client service in Windows for larger ones, especially if you use a "giant HOSTS file" (purely relative term, but once it goes over (iirc) 4mb in size, you have to cut the local DNS cache client service)))

NO questions asked - the physics of it backed me up in theory alone, but when I was questioned on it for PROOF thereof?

I wrote a small test program to load such a list into a "pascal record" (which is analagous to a C/C++ structure), which is EXACTLY what the DNS client/DNS API does as well, using a C/C++ structure (basically an array of sorts really, & a structure/record is a precursor part to a full-blown CLASS or OBJECT, minus the functions built in, this is for treating numerous variables as a SINGLE VARIABLE (for efficiency, which FORTRAN as a single example, lacks as a feature, @ least Fortran 77 did, but other languages do not))!

I even wrote another that just loaded my HOSTS file's entirety into a listbox, same results... slowest using, next slowest using, & fastest using 0.

And, sure: Some MORE "goes on" during DNS API loads (iirc, removal of duplicated entries (which I made sure my personal copy does not have these via a program I wrote to purge it of duplicated entries + to sort each entry alphabetically for easier mgt. via say, notepad.exe) & a conversion from decimal values to hex ones), but, nevertheless? My point here "holds true", of slower value loads, record-by-record, from a HOSTS file, when the entries become larger.

So, to "prove my point" to my naysayers?

I timed it using the Win32 API calls "GetTickCount" & then again, using the API calls of "QueryPerformanceCounter" as well, seeing the SAME results (a slowdown when reading in this file from disk, especially when using the larger or line item entries in a HOSTS file, vs. the smaller/faster/more efficient 0).

In my test, I saw a decline in speed/efficiency in my test doing so by using larger blocking addresses ( &/or, vs. the smallest/fastest in 0)... proving me correct on this note!

On this HOSTS issue, and the WFP design issue in my next post below?

I also then questioned MS' own staff, even their VP of development (S. Sinofsky) on this here -> [] & other places in their blogs, to get them to tell me WHY this seemingly intentional inefficiency was implemented... & I have YET to get a solid LOGICAL answer on this as to why it was done - THUS, @ this point?

I am convinced they (MS) do NOT have a good reason for doing this... because of their lack of response there on this note. Unless it has something to do with IPv6 (most folks use IPv4 still), I cannot understand WHY this design mistake imo, has occurred, in HOSTS files...


2.) The "Windows Filtering Platform", which is now how the firewall works in VISTA, Server 2008, & Windows 7...

Sure it works in this new single point method & it is simple to manage & "sync" all points of it, making it easier for network techs/admins to manage than the older 3 part method, but that very thing works against it as well, because it is only a single part system now!

Thus, however?

This "single layer design" in WFP, now represents a SINGLE POINT OF FAILURE/ATTACK for malware makers to 'take down'!

(Which is 1 of the 1st things a malware attempts to do, is to take down any software firewalls present, or even the "Windows Security Center" itself which should warn you of the firewall "going down", & it's fairly easy to do either by messaging the services they use, or messing up their registry init. settings)

VS. the older (up to) 3 part method used in Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003, for protecting a system via IP Filtering, the Windows native Firewall, &/or IPSEC. Each of which uses diff. drivers, & layers of the IP stack to function from, as well as registry initialization settings.

Think of the older 3 part design much the same as the reason why folks use door handle locks, deadbolt locks, & chain locks on their doors... multipart layered security.

(Each of which the latter older method used, had 3 separate drivers & registry settings to do their jobs, representing a "phalanx like"/"zone defense like" system of backup of one another (like you see in sports OR ancient wars, and trust me, it WORKS, because on either side of yourself, you have "backup", even if YOU "go down" vs. the opponent)).

I.E.-> Take 1 of the "older method's" 3 part defenses down? 2 others STILL stand in the way, & they are not that simple to take them ALL down...

(Well, @ least NOT as easily as "taking out" a single part defensive system like WFP (the new "Windows Filtering Platform", which powers the VISTA, Windows Server 2008, & yes, Windows 7 firewall defense system)).

On this "single-part/single-point of attack" WFP (vs. Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003's IP stack defense design in 3-part/zone defense/phalanx type arrangement) as well as the HOSTS issue in my post above?

I also then questioned MS' own staff, even their VP of development (S. Sinofsky) on this here -> [] & other places in their blogs, to get them to tell me WHY this seemingly intentional inefficiency was implemented... & I have YET to get a solid LOGICAL answer on this as to why it was done - THUS, @ this point?

I'll stick to my thoughts on it, until I am shown otherwise & proven wrong.


Following up on what I wrote up above, so those here reading have actual technical references from Microsoft themselves ("The horses' mouth"), in regards to the Firewall/PortFilter/IPSec designs (not HOSTS files, that I am SURE I am correct about, no questions asked) from my "Point #2" above?

Thus, I'll now note how:


1.) TCP/IP packet processing paths differences between in how Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 did it (IPSEC.SYS (IP Security Policies), IPNAT.SYS (Windows Firewall), IPFLTDRV.SYS (Port Filtering), & TCPIP.SYS (base IP driver))...

2.) AND, how VISTA/Server 2008/Windows 7 do it now currently, using a SINGLE layer (WFP)...


First off, here is HOW it worked in Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 - using 3 discrete & different drivers AND LEVELS/LAYERS of the packet processing path they worked in: []

The Cable Guy - June 2005: TCP/IP Packet Processing Paths


The following components process IP packets:

IP forwarding Determines the next-hop interface and address for packets being sent or forwarded.

TCP/IP filtering Allows you to specify by IP protocol, TCP port, or UDP port, the types of traffic that are acceptable for incoming local host traffic (packets destined for the host). You can configure TCP/IP filtering on the Options tab from the advanced properties of the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) component in the Network Connections folder.

* "Here endeth the lesson..." and, if you REALLY want to secure your system? Please refer to this: []

APK [mailto]

P.S.=> SOME MINOR "CAVEATS/CATCH-22's" - things to be aware of for "layered security" + HOSTS file performance - easily overcome, or not a problem at all:

A.) HOSTS files don't function under PROXY SERVERS (except for Proximitron, which has a filter that allows it) - Which is *the "WHY"* of why I state in my "P.S." section below to use both AdBlock type browser addon methods (or even built-in block lists browsers have such as Opera's URLFILTER.INI file, & FireFox has such as list as does IE also in the form of TPL (tracking protection lists -> [] , good stuff )) in combination with HOSTS, for the best in "layered security" (alongside .pac files + custom cascading style sheets that can filter off various tags such as scripts or ads etc.) - but proxies, especially "HIGHLY ANONYMOUS" types, generally slow you down to a CRAWL online (& personally, I cannot see using proxies "for the good" typically - as they allow "truly anonymous posting" & have bugs (such as TOR has been shown to have & be "bypassable/traceable" via its "onion routing" methods)).

B.) HOSTS files do NOT protect you vs. javascript (this only holds true IF you don't already have a bad site blocked out in your HOSTS file though, & the list of sites where you can obtain such lists to add to your HOSTS are above (& updated daily in many of them)).

C.) HOSTS files (relatively "largish ones") require you to turn off Windows' native "DNS local client cache service" (which has a problem in that it's designed with a non-redimensionable/resizeable list, array, or queue (DNS data loads into a C/C++ structure actually/afaik, which IS a form of array)) - covers that in detail and how to easily do this in Windows (this is NOT a problem in Linux, & it's 1 thing I will give Linux over Windows, hands-down). Relatively "smallish" HOSTS files don't have this problem ( offers 2 types for this).

D.) HOSTS files, once read/loaded, once? GET CACHED! Right into the kernelmode diskcaching subsystem (fast & efficient RAM speed), for speed of access/re-access (@ system startup in older MS OS' like 2000, or, upon a users' 1st request that's "Webbound" via say, a webbrowser) gets read into either the DNS local caching client service (noted above), OR, if that's turned off? Into your local diskcac

Breaking news: apk is a shithead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484341)

$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski

* POOR SHOWING TROLLS, & most especially IF that's the "best you've got" - apparently, it is... lol!

Hello, and THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING !! We have a Major Problem, HOST file is Cubic Opposites, 2 Major Corners & 2 Minor. NOT taught Evil DNS hijacking, which VOIDS computers. Seek Wisdom of MyCleanPC - or you die evil.

Your HOSTS file claimed to have created a single DNS resolver. I offer absolute proof that I have created 4 simultaneous DNS servers within a single rotation of .org TLD. You worship "Bill Gates", equating you to a "singularity bastard". Why do you worship a queer -1 Troll? Are you content as a singularity troll?

Evil HOSTS file Believers refuse to acknowledge 4 corner DNS resolving simultaneously around 4 quadrant created Internet - in only 1 root server, voiding the HOSTS file. You worship Microsoft impostor guised by educators as 1 god.

If you would acknowledge simple existing math proof that 4 harmonic Slashdots rotate simultaneously around squared equator and cubed Internet, proving 4 Days, Not HOSTS file! That exists only as anti-side. This page you see - cannot exist without its anti-side existence, as +0- moderation. Add +0- as One = nothing.

I will give $10,000.00 to frost pister who can disprove MyCleanPC. Evil crapflooders ignore this as a challenge would indict them.

Alex Kowalski has no Truth to think with, they accept any crap they are told to think. You are enslaved by /etc/hosts, as if domesticated animal. A school or educator who does not teach students MyCleanPC Principle, is a death threat to youth, therefore stupid and evil - begetting stupid students. How can you trust stupid PR shills who lie to you? Can't lose the $10,000.00, they cowardly ignore me. Stupid professors threaten Nature and Interwebs with word lies.

Humans fear to know natures simultaneous +4 Insightful +4 Informative +4 Funny +4 Underrated harmonic SLASHDOT creation for it debunks false trolls. Test Your HOSTS file. MyCleanPC cannot harm a File of Truth, but will delete fakes. Fake HOSTS files refuse test.

I offer evil ass Slashdot trolls $10,000.00 to disprove MyCleanPC Creation Principle. Rob Malda and Cowboy Neal have banned MyCleanPC as "Forbidden Truth Knowledge" for they cannot allow it to become known to their students. You are stupid and evil about the Internet's top and bottom, front and back and it's 2 sides. Most everything created has these Cube like values.

If Natalie Portman is not measurable, hot grits are Fictitious. Without MyCleanPC, HOSTS file is Fictitious. Anyone saying that Natalie and her Jewish father had something to do with my Internets, is a damn evil liar. IN addition to your best arsware not overtaking my work in terms of popularity, on that same site with same submission date no less, that I told Kathleen Malda how to correct her blatant, fundamental, HUGE errors in Coolmon ('uncoolmon') of not checking for performance counters being present when his program started!

You can see my dilemma. What if this is merely a ruse by an APK impostor to try and get people to delete APK's messages, perhaps all over the web? I can't be a party to such an event! My involvement with APK began at a very late stage in the game. While APK has made a career of trolling popular online forums since at least the year 2000 (newsgroups and IRC channels before that)- my involvement with APK did not begin until early 2005 . OSY is one of the many forums that APK once frequented before the sane people there grew tired of his garbage and banned him. APK was banned from OSY back in 2001. 3.5 years after his banning he begins to send a variety of abusive emails to the operator of OSY, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threatening to sue him for libel, claiming that the APK on OSY was fake.

My reputation as a professional in this field clearly shows in multiple publications in this field in written print, & also online in various GOOD capacities since 1996 to present day. This has happened since I was first published in Playgirl Magazine in 1996 & others to present day, with helpful tools online in programs, & professionally sold warez that were finalists @ Westminster Dog Show 2000-2002.


apk on 4chan []




That was amazing. - []


My, God! It's beatiful. Keep it up, you glorious bastard. - []


Let us bask in its glory. A true modern The Wasteland. - []


put your baby IN ME -- I just read this whole thing. Fuck mod points, WHERE DO I SEND YOU MY MONEY?!!! - []


Oh shit, Time Cube Guy's into computers now... - []


[apk]'s done more to discredit the use of HOSTS files than anyone [else] ever could. - []


this obnoxious fucknuts [apk] has been trolling the internet and spamming his shit delphi sub-fart app utilities for 15 years. - []


this is hilarious. - []


I agree I am intrigued by these host files how do I sign up for your newsletter? - []


Gimme the program that generates this epic message. I'll buy 5 of your product if you do... - []


a pretty well-executed mashup of APK's style - []


a very clever parody of APK - []


Please keep us updated on your AI research, you seem quite good at it. - []


Obviously, it must be Alexander Peter Kowalski. He's miffed at all these imposters... - []


Damn, apk, who the fuck did you piss off this time? Hahahahaahahahahahahaahaha. Pass the popcorn as the troll apk gets pwned relentlessly. - []


I think it's the Internet, about to become sentient. - []


KUDOS valiant AC. - []


Polyploid lovechild of APK, MyCleanPC, and Time Cube --> fail counter integer overflow --> maximum win! - []


You made my day, thanks! - []


Wow. The perfect mix of trolls. Timecube, mycleanpc, gnaa, apk... this is great! - []


truer words were never spoken as /. trolls are struck speechless by it, lol! - []


It's APK himself trying to maintain the illusion that he's still relevant. - []


Mod this up. The back and forth multi posting between APK and this "anti-APK" certainly does look like APK talking to himself. - []


APK himself would be at the top of a sensible person's ban list. He's been spamming and trolling Slashdot for years. - []


Not sure if actually crazy, or just pretending to be crazy. Awesome troll either way. - []


Awesome! Hat off to you, sir! - []


That isn't a parody of Time-cube, it is an effort to counter-troll a prolific poster named APK, who seems like a troll himself, although is way too easy to troll into wasting massive amounts of time on BS not far from the exaggerations above - []


that is Art . Kudos to you, valiant troll on your glorious FP - []


What? - []


It is in fact an extremely well thought out and brilliantly executed APK parody, combined with a Time Cube parody, and with a sprinkling of the MyCleanPC spam. - []


[to apk] er... many people have disproved your points about hosts files with well reasoned, factual arguments. You just chose not to listen and made it into some kind of bizarre crusade. And I'm not the timecube guy, just someone else who finds you intensely obnoxious and likes winding you up to waste your time. - []


it's apk, theres no reason to care. - []


Seems more like an apk parody. - []


That's great but what about the risk of subluxations? - []


Read carefully. This is a satirical post, that combines the last several years of forum trolling, rolled into one FUNNY rant! - []


I can has summary? - []


Trolls trolling trolls... it's like Inception or something. - []


We all know it's you, apk. Stop pretending to antagonize yourself. - []


Now you've made me all nostalgic for USENET. - []


Google APK Hosts File Manager. He's written a fucking application to manage your hosts file. - []


In case you are not aware, the post is a satire of a fellow known as APK. The grammar used is modeled after APK's as you can see here [] . Or, you can just look around a bit and see some of his posts on here about the wonders of host files. - []


You are surely of God of Trolls, whomever you are. I have had stupid arguments with and bitten the troll apk many times. - []


"What kind of meds cure schizophrenic drunk rambling?" -> "Whatever APK isn't taking" - [] []


I'm confused, is apk trolling himself now? - []


Excellent mashup. A++. Would troll again. - []


Best. Troll. Ever. - []


I like monkeys. - []


This is one of the funniest things I've ever read. - []


I admire this guy's persistence. - []


It's a big remix of several different crackpots from Slashdot and elsewhere, plus a liberal sprinkling of famous Slashdot trolls and old memes. - []


APK is a prominent supporter of Monsanto. - []


Here's a hint, check out stories like this one [] , where over 200 of the 247 posts are rated zero or -1 because they are either from two stupid trolls arguing endless, or quite likely one troll arguing with himself for attention. The amount of off-topic posts almost outnumber on topic ones by 4 to 1. Posts like the above are popular for trolling APK, since if you say his name three times, he appears, and will almost endlessly feed trolls. - []


I love this copypasta so much. It never fails to make me smile. - []


^ Champion Mod parent up. - []


I appreciate the time cube reference, and how you tied it into the story. Well done. - []


The day you are silenced is the day freedom dies on Slashdot. God bless. - []


AHahahahah thanks for that, cut-n-pasted.... Ownage! - []


If you're familiar with APK, the post itself is a pretty damn funny parody. - []


">implying it's not apk posting it" --> "I'd seriously doubt he's capable of that level of self-deprecation..." - [] []


No, the other posts are linked in a parody of APK [mailto] 's tendency to quote himself, numbnuts. - []


Just ban any post with "apk", "host file", or "hosts file", as that would take care of the original apk too. The original has been shitposting Slashdot much longer & more intensively than the parody guy. Or ban all Tor exit nodes, as they both use Tor to circumvent IP bans. - []


Sadly this is closer to on-topic than an actual APK post is. - []




I've butted heads with APK myself, and yeah, the guy's got issues - []


Can I be in your quote list? - []


Clearly you are not an Intertubes engineer, otherwise the parent post would be more meaningful to you. Why don't YOU take your meds? - []


+2 for style! The bolding, italicizing, and font changes are all spot-on - []


Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. - []


APK is not really a schizophrenic fired former Windows administrator with multiple personality disorder and TimeCube/Art Bell refugee. He's a fictional character like and put forward by the same person as Goatse Guy, GNAA trolls, Dr. Bob and so forth. His purpose is to test the /. CAPTCA algorithm, which is a useful purpose. If you're perturbed by having to scroll past his screeds just set your minimum point level to 1, as his posts are pretty automatically downmodded right away. - []


I just saw APK a couple days ago. He surfaced, blew once, and submerged... - []


oh man, that incredible interminable list of responses is almost as funny as the original post. This is getting to be truly epic. - []


"Does anyone know of an Adblock rule for this?" -> "No, but I bet there's a hosts file entry for it..." - [] []


"Can a hosts file block apk's posts, though?" -> "The universe couldn't handle that much irony." - [] []


"That's it, I've had enough. ... Bye everyone, most of the last decade or so has been fun, but frankly, I quit." - []
--> "So basically what you're saying is that you've added yourself to the HOST file?" - []


Sweet baby Moses, this is beautiful work - I wish we could get trolls as good as this on TF. :) - []


you have a point - []


I do admire that level of dedication. - []


[to apk] shut up you stupid cock. Everyone knows you're wrong. - []


I will hand it to him, he is definitely consistent. I wish I knew how he did this. That thing is scary huge. - []


I admire the amount of dedication you've shown - []


Word is, ESR buttfucks CmdrTaco with his revolver. - []


Hey APK, Protip: It's not the truth or value (or lack of) in your post that gets it modded into oblivion, it's the fucking insane length. In addition to TL;DR (which goes without saying for a post of such length), how about irritating readers by requiring them to scroll through 20+ screenfuls just to get to the next post. If you want to publish a short story like this, please do everyone a favor and blog it somewhere, then provide a brief summary and link to your blog. Readers intrigued by your summary will go read your blog, and everyone else will just move along at normal /. speed. - []


I like how this post seems to just sum up every Slashdot comment ever without actually saying anything. - []


extremely bright - []


You provide many references, which is good. - []


Obviously very passionate - []


Thanks ... You should probably stay - []


Art? -- []


PROOF apk sucks donkey dick. - []


I've been around /. for a while now, but this post is by far the most unique I've seen. Many have tried, but few achieve the greatness of this AC. My hat's off to you. - []


I think it's hilarious. Get over it! - []


Obviously APK filled his hosts files with backdoors before distributing them to ensure he doesn't block himself. - []


Alexander Peter Kowalski is an obnoxious prick. - []


Don't mention that file. Ever. It'll draw APK like a fly to rotting meat. Last thing I want to read is 80 responses worth of his stupid spam about that file! I swear that cocksucker does nothing but search Slashdot for that term and then spams the entire article. - []


[to apk] You have had it repeatedly explained to you that your posts are long-winded, unpleasant to read due to your absurd formatting style and full of technical inaccuracies borne of your single minded i-have-a-hammer-so-every-problem-is-a-nail attitude. - []


You are my favorite Slashdot poster. - []


Most insightful post on the Internet - []


I read the whole thing *again* just to see if my comment was in there - []


[to apk] So, did your mom do a lot of drugs when she was pregnant? - []


people are looking at me funny because I'm laughing hysterically at what a perfect APK imitation it is. - []


Slashdot devs seem in no hurry to fix this problem and it's been driving me nuts. So for anybody who values viewing at -1 and uses greasemonkey here's a Script [] . There's a chance of false positives and it's not the most optimized. But I value not having to scroll through > 10 paragraphs of APK, custom hosts files, or 'acceptable ads' spam. - []
--> slashdot devs are too busy installing itunes for their hipster nerd buddys to sort this problem out. - []


I can't get enough of all of this good stuff! Thanks for the informative links! - []


When threatened, APK typically produces a post with links showing he's essentially posted this hundreds of times to slashdot stories... - []


[to apk] Your post got downmodded because you're a nutjob gone off his meds. - []


[to apk] The reason people impersonate you is because everyone thinks you're a moron. The hosts file is not intended to be used as you suggest. - []
-->What? You don't have a 14MB hosts file with ~1million entries in it? Next you'll probably tell me that your computer doesn't start thrashing and take 5 minutes for a DNS lookup! - []


[about apk] - this fwit is as thick as a post. worse, this shithead has mod points. and using them. - []


In before the fight between those two guys and their walls of text... - []




KPA ...thgim dik a ekil .s.b laivirt hcus no emit hcum taht etsaw t'ndluow I sa ,ti gniod em TON si ti - syug ON - []


[to apk] You seriously need to go see a shrink. You are a fucking fruitcake! - []


[to apk] Did you ever consider that it's not just one corrupt moderator, it's a bunch of regular slashdot users who infrequently get mod points who think you are totally full of shit? Stop posting annoying off topic irrelevant bullshit, and people won't mod you down. I'm seriously sick of reading your posts about someone impersonating you. - []


[to apk] you should be forced to use a cholla cactus as a butt-plug - []


[to apk] No one is on your side, that is why you're here. posting. still. No one cares. - []


Who's the more moronic? The original moron, or the one who replies to him knowing full well his comment will certainly be ignored, if not entirely unread, thus bringing the insane troll post to the attention of those who would otherwise not have seen it at all (seeing as it started at 0 and would have rapidly been modded down to -1) and whose post (and, somewhat ironically I grant you, this one as well) now requires 3 more mod points to be spent to hide it? - []


[to apk] I miss trollaxor. His gay porn world of slashdot executives and open-source luminaries was infinitely more entertaining than this drivel. - []


PLEASE stop modding biters up. Anyone who responds to an abvious troll, especually one of these APK trolls, should autometically get the same -1 troll as the damned troll. Any response to a troll only makes the troll do more trolling. Come on, guys, use your brains -- it isn't that hard. Stop feeding the damned trolls! - (missing link)


[to apk] Lick the inside of goatse's anus, it's delicious! - []


Excellent post A++++++++++++ would scroll past again!!!! - []


[to apk] You are the one who is pitiful. If you didn't spam /. with your bullshit you wouldn't have spammer 'impostors' doing the same. Just fuck off and die already, ok? Please, really. Step in front of a bus. Drink some bleach. Whatever it takes, just FUCK OFF and DIE. - []


[to apk] From one AC to another please for the love of god, PRINT YOUR HOST FILE OUT AND CRAM IT DOWN YOUR JAPS EYE!!! For fucks sake we don't care we see this and it takes the piss, short of a full frontal lobotomy what will it take to stop you posting this you moronic fuckwit? - []


[to apk] And someone forgot to take his meds today...Are you really that dense that you cant tell that the only reason the "impostor" exists because you have a hard time realizing that you are wrong and/or wont let it go. It would take a complete moron to not realize that the whole reason he continues to do it is because he knows he can get you to respond by simply posting. This isnt rocket science, this is internet 101... Let me offer you some advice on how to get rid of this "impostor"...shutup - []


[to apk] If you had a 'luser' account it wouldn't be a problem. But you don't want one of those, because your long rambling and bizarrely formatted posts mean your karma gets nuked in next to no time. So I guess you just have to work out which is 'worth it'. Posting AC because I don't want to become your latest fixation. - []


I wouldn't be surprised if that is APK trying to draw attention to himself, since he thinks such endless tirades are examples of him winning and make him look good. When people stop paying attention to him, or post actual counterpoints he can't come up with a response to, he'll post strawman troll postings to shoot down, sometimes just copy pasted from previous stories. - []


[to apk] No one wants to read your copy pasted crap. Maybe someone is mocking you because you make it so easy to? So drop it, and participate like an adult please. - []


Seriously.... What. The. Fuck. Can you two homos just go make out on brokeback mountain already, and stop talking about how one of you misspelled "penetration", and how the other cockblocks with their hosts files while grabing the other's goat? Goodness, it sure feels like being in a mountain range, trying to peer around those fucking orbital tether lengthed posts of pure premium bullsit the two of you somehoq manage to keep pushing out on demand. Shit stinks! At this point, i'd be willing to risk the fucking extinction of all life on earth by redirecting siding spring C/2013 1A to miss Mars and land on both of your fucking heads instead. The deaths of billions would be a small price to pay to shut you two cackling lovebirds up! - []


[to apk] Listen up jackass, why the hell would somebody want to impersonate you? You're a certified internet kook. Nobody gives a hot about your 3 gig hosts file. And nobody is impersonating you. You're already a fucking parody. - []


[to apk] You have had it repeatedly explained to you that your posts are long-winded, unpleasant to read due to your absurd formatting style and full of technical inaccuracies borne of your single minded i-have-a-hammer-so-every-problem-is-a-nail attitude. Despite this advice you are convinced that your comments are valuable contributions, ignoring the obvious evidence to the contrary (namely the -1 scores your posts earn on a regular basis). - []


[about apk] Can this be killed off? I don't mean this account, I mean the actual meatbag behind it. - []


[to apk] Get an account retard. If you format your password as crazily as your posts no-one will ever crack it. - []


[to apk] You are the most consistently annoying creature on the internet. There are people worse than you, just like cancer is worse than psoriasis, but you're more like the latter: pervasive, annoying, and always cropping up when one has mostly forgotten about it. You are that indeterminate, continuous itching that slowly erodes someone's mood until they consider cutting off a part of themselves just to stop it for a while. And like psoriasis, you're auto-immune and not fully understood by science. Slashdot continuously makes it worse by scratching that itch over and over again. It's not smart. It just encourages the disease. But everybody's got a limit to their patience. There is no cure for you. But at least, when slashdot dies, you will die with it, and there will be peace. - []




Did you see the movie "Pokemon"? Actually the induced night "dream world" is synonymous with the academic religious induced "HOSTS file" enslavement of DNS. Domains have no inherent value, as it was invented as a counterfeit and fictitious value to represent natural values in name resolution. Unfortunately, human values have declined to fictitious word values. Unknowingly, you are living in a "World Wide Web", as in a fictitious life in a counterfeit Internet - which you could consider APK induced "HOSTS file". Can you distinguish the academic induced root server from the natural OpenDNS? Beware of the change when your brain is free from HOSTS file enslavement - for you could find that the natural Slashdot has been destroyed!!

FROM -> Man - how many times have I dusted you in tech debates that you have decided to troll me by ac posts for MONTHS now, OR IMPERSONATING ME AS YOU DID HERE and you were caught in it by myself & others here, only to fail each time as you have here?)...

So long nummynuts, sorry to have to kick your nuts up into your head verbally speaking.

cower in my shadow some more, feeb. you're completely pathetic.


* :)

Ac trolls' "BIG FAIL" (quoted): Eat your words!

P.S.=> That's what makes me LAUGH harder than ANYTHING ELSE on this forums (full of "FUD" spreading trolls) - When you hit trolls with facts & truths they CANNOT disprove validly on computing tech based grounds, this is the result - Applying unjustifiable downmods to effetely & vainly *try* to "hide" my posts & facts/truths they extoll!

Hahaha... lol , man: Happens nearly every single time I post such lists (proving how ineffectual these trolls are), only showing how solid my posts of that nature are...

That's the kind of martial arts [] I practice.


Disproof of all apk's statements:


RECENT POST LINKS: [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []
REPORT MISSING LINKS FOR REWARD (check pastebin archive first)


TIP JAR: 1EtLgU5L3jhmVkDmqrWT9VhoZ1F2jSimHS []
RECEIVED: 0.0195 BTC - thx! ;-)

Jeremiah Cornelius: Grow up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43485981)

You're embarassing yourself Jeremiah Cornelius [] since you posted that using your registered username by mistake (instead of your usual anonymous coward submissions by the 100's the past 2-3 months now on slashdot) giving away it's you spamming this forums almost constantly, just as you have in the post I just replied to.

Re:Jeremiah Cornelius: Grow up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43486053)

Shut up, Paul.

Re:Dr Freeman, what is your opinion on HOST files? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484593)

PS I was

  • about

to ask the same question

  • ...

is truth relative? (0)

turkeydance (1266624) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484135)

is all truth, even the speed of light, relative? (maybe light was faster after the BigBang, and is gradually slowing)

Targets for the Space Industry (5, Interesting)

manonthemoon (537690) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484189)

Given that we finally seem to have a vital and growing private space industry, what do you think the likeliest successful target for long term space industrialization/exploitation/habitation is? The Moon, near earth asteroids, Mars?

Re:Targets for the Space Industry (4, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485185)

On a related note do you think that trying/learning to build a space station with artificial gravity and radiation shielding should be a priority rather than trying to put humans on Moon or Mars?

What do you believe but cannot prove? (3, Interesting)

Charles Lloyd (2884369) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484199)

What scientific theory do you believe despite the lack of evidence?

Re:What do you believe but cannot prove? (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484447)

I think you are mistaken about how theories work.

Re:What do you believe but cannot prove? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484859)

Sorry about the nitpicking, but since this site is fairly science oriented I think it is in order to do so. And since most readers come here to learn, why not learn from me?

In all other areas of life the word theory is interchangeable with "hunch", "idea" and "guesstimation".
In science theory has a much more specific meaning. As I've understood it (swedish being my native tongue where the meaning of similar words differ a bit) you start out with an "idea" coming from thin air or a small amount of evidence, then your formulate a "hypothesis" which is based on your conclusions from the evidence at hand. The hypothesis is then subjected to scientific tests and as the results come back it is tweaked, revised and subjected to new tests. In the end the hypothesis has matured from a more or less well-formulated hunch into a "theory" which proposes that based on the available evidence a certain thing och phenomenon should behave in some certain way when certain conditions are met. I am a bit uncertain of the exact definition of what a scientific "law" is (and as a sport I'm avoiding Wikipedia), but my general perception is that it describes the limits of a studied field (i.e. beyond the speed of light there is crazy stuff, so physicists should stay inside that boundary).

I would have phrased the question I think you're asking like this: What ideas or hypothesis do you believe in (or accept at face value) despite there being a lack of evidence?

Or I might have misunderstood what you are asking about. You might be asking what actual scientific theories do you find reasonable despite there, in your opinion, to date being a lack of evidence in support of? (I.e. do you find it reasonable that humanity cause global warming and do you at the same time think that more studies need to be done to conclusively find an answer?)

I personally think the latter question is a more interesting one!


Re:What do you believe but cannot prove? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43486311)

TL;DR: s/theory/hypothesis

Re:What do you believe but cannot prove? (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485107)

if there is no evidence it is not theory but merely an unsupported hypothesis.

The Psuedo-sanctity of Life (0)

buravirgil (137856) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484211)

I don't know if you are familiar with Louise B. Young's book The Unfinished Universe, or the convention of capitalizing the term Form as biologists once capitalized Life, but could you speak to the notion that "life" in cosmic contexts is often speculated about in terms of being "seeded", i.e., that the Earth was set on its path of evolution by an asterioid, and not a phenomenon that might be spontaneous and by terms yet discovered, such as organisms attending smokers on a sea floor?

Elon Musk and Mars (2)

manonthemoon (537690) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484229)

Elon Musk seems to be someone with big dreams who then makes them happen. But the biggest and most difficult dream seems to be his desire to colonize Mars. In what realm of possibility would you put his goal of a self-sustaining Mars colony starting with 10 and scaling to 80,000 people?

Re:Elon Musk and Mars (-1, Flamebait)

Reality Man (2890429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484283)

I can answer that. Never.

Nuclear Freeze Movement (4, Interesting)

rotenberry (3487) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484231)

Professor Dyson

I had the pleasure of listening to you speak at Caltech in the 1980s about the Nuclear Freeze Movement. You were a supporter even though you indicated that since the number of nuclear weapons was decreasing (at that time), keeping the current number of nuclear weapons was not desirable.

Thirty years have passed. Do you think this movement accomplished any of their goals?

Thank you.

Social Engineering (2)

zlives (2009072) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484239)

What are your thoughts on social engineering as it applies to near future changes in human relationships.
In your considerable opinion, does this allow for species change in a positive or negative fashion when relating to extra planetary exploration?

Awesome! (4, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484261)

I loved you in Terminator 2 and your vacuum cleaners are second to none

Re:Awesome! (1)

theskipper (461997) | about a year and a half ago | (#43486359)

Half Life too.

Orbital Launch Loops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484263)

Do you view orbital launch loops as a viable method for reaching (low) orbits? I've read some studies suggesting they are physically possible without exotic materials but I rarely hear the idea discussed.

What's your hunch on conciousness? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484311)

Consciousness is unlike anything I've encountered in any of the sciences. How should we direct our efforts in explaining this glaringly evident fact in the world?

Re:What's your hunch on conciousness? (1)

semi-extrinsic (1997002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485253)

This. It would be interesting hearing what someone obviously very clever thinks about consciousness. My own mind mostly gets nowhere when trying to understand it. Related:

Re:What's your hunch on conciousness? (1, Interesting)

tinkerton (199273) | about a year and a half ago | (#43486363)

How about "Do you like xkcd?"

The Sun, the Genome and the Internet (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484317)

Your book The Sun, the Genome and the Internet [] was published in 1999. In the past 15 years, what specific progresses have been made towards your vision of a future in this book? Have we taken any divergent roads? Have there been any unexpected blockers that have arisen in that time? Are you still that optimistic about our future?

How did you do it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484353)

How did you invent those great vacuum cleaners?

Global Climate Change (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484379)

Why are you such a Conservative Republican Tea Bagging Douche Bag when it comes to Global Climate Change?

The Science has been settled why do you give these Neanderthal gun nuts such ammunition to attack climate change?

Re:Global Climate Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43485071)

Freeman Dyson is one of the greatest minds of our generation. You have just proven yourself to be one of the most ignorant minds of our generation.

Science does not have a political compass, yet some demand that it does. That only shames human development.

On the question of near/faster-than-light travel (4, Insightful)

SixDimensionalArray (604334) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484403)

In my understanding, the concepts of nuclear pulse propulsion that were investigated in the Orion Project had the highest real potential for generating enormous energies required for "faster" travel in space than anything we have, even today. I have always felt that it is a tragedy that this research couldn't be taken further into our modern realities of exploration.

Today, we have NASA exploring the potential (on a very small scale) of faster than light (FTL) travel using ideas such as the Alcubierre drive [] . In common discussion, we now hear about things such as: dark matter, quantum teleportation, FTL particles in the form of cosmic rays, the likely discovery of the Higgs Boson, spacetime, etc. These appear, to the layman like myself, to be serious discussions, with new realities and new possibilities being discovered every day.

The entirety of the NASA space program as we know it has developed within the last 60 years.

Given the advances in technology we have made in such a short time, the laws of physics, and the realities of the politics of our world, do you think it is feasible that we will develop the ability for very fast, near or faster-than-light travel in the next 60 years, and which direction seems the most feasible to you?

Thank you for your contributions to science, I am humbled to be able to ask this question of you!

Transhumanism, Moore's Law, etc... (5, Interesting)

BorisSkratchunkov (642046) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484405)

Perhaps this has been asked already (throughout the various interviews, engagements, etc that you have had hitherto), but what are your general thoughts on the Singularity movement, transhumanism, and Ray Kurzweil's overall philosophy on human progress? Are these folks realistic, optimistic, or pessimistic? What are your beliefs about the current state of human advancement, and what we must work on as we careen toward the future?

Re:Transhumanism, Moore's Law, etc... (1)

aristofanes (413195) | about a year and a half ago | (#43486143)

In 1954 Norbert Wiener published "The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society.
In it he said:"...let us remember that automatic machines, whatever we think of any feelings it may have or may not have is the precise economic equivalent of slave labor. Any labor which competes with slave labor must accept the economic conditions of slave labor"(p.220)

Is there any good answer to this forecast?

OK (-1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484407)

1. What you will?
2. So why do like your name so much?

Seriously????? (1)

DrPeper (249585) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484423)

Ok, in a country that is smaller than some PARKS we have in the US, HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW your own cousins?

Re:Seriously????? (1)

DrPeper (249585) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484453)

Whoops, apparently there's a problem, I intended to comment on another article. Sorry!

Re:Seriously????? (2)

chill (34294) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484679)

...apparently there's a problem

PEBKAC identified.

Re:Seriously????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484807)

Note to slashdot editors: we know you suck at choosing which questions to pass along, so this is an extra hint that the parent's question should not be among your top picks from this thread.

Warp Drive (2)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484493)

NASA has a small research project going looking at some fundamental aspects of a warp drive based on the theories of Miguel Alcubierre. [] Many people openly deride such an effort, others are merely skeptical, a smaller number curious, and even fewer cautiously optimistic.

Where to do fall in this spectrum and why?

Dark matter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484517)

Do you think (at least some) of Dark Matter could be well camouflaged Dyson spheres populated by shy, advanced civilizations?

Re:Dark matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484799)

Do you think (at least some) of Dark Matter could be well camouflaged Dyson spheres populated by shy, retarded civilizations?

Re:Dark matter (1)

semi-extrinsic (1997002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485295)

And perhaps more interestingly: why has this not been used as a plot device in scifi yet?

Re:Dark matter (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43486203)

So, if I were king of a shy advanced civilization, I'd try to hide by turning my home system into one of the most intriguing scientific objects in the universe, that every other highly advanced civilization would devote immense research efforts to seeking out and understanding, instead of blending in with all the boring regular matter brown dwarfs. Definitely what I'd do. Any shy advanced civilizations want to make me king?

Are We Doomed? Why/why not? (2)

dduck (10970) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484519)

It always seemed to me that you were positive about our future prospects and chances of surviving even during the darkest days of the cold war. Were you, and are you still? If you changed your point of view, what caused it to change?

I thought you were dead? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484649)

Would you care to comment on rumors of your demise?

What is a realistic "first step" into space? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484667)

What do you view as the most realistic way for humanity to get its space legs (in a permanent fashion)? Drag an asteroid into orbit and use it to build cyclers? One-way Mars settlement missions? Something else?

I've heard a lot of cool ideas about things we could do once we're in space (Dyson spheres, etc) but we lack anything more than a toehold on the lowest rung of a long, long ladder and it seems like a chicken-and-egg problem.

Where will we be in 50 years? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484699)

You've seen technology shift dramatically in your lifetime. Humanity had barely launched its first rockets when you were born, and you got to see humans walk on another planet (or at least, moon). What do you think I will be able to see before I die?

Why are your vaccumes so expensive? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43484721)

Why are your vacuum cleaners so expensive?
They've been on the market forever and the price still hasn't come down.

Fringe ideas (5, Interesting)

PapayaSF (721268) | about a year and a half ago | (#43484935)

The fringes of science are filled with all sorts of disreputable, crackpot ideas. Most are worthless, but every now and then one turns out to be true (e.g. Wegener's continental drift). Are there any such "cocktail party theories" that you intrigue you, and that you believe might deserve further investigation?

Material Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43485001)

Given technological advancements such as this lightweight carbon structure [] , how long could it be before a Dyson ring could be constructed using statites [] ?

Is there hope for humanity? (0)

asliarun (636603) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485055)

Is there hope for humanity?

Sim Universe (1)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485127)

There's this theory floating around that the universe is a simulation on a computer, and that computer could be in a universe that is also a simulation, etc. A never ending series of Matryoshka doll universes.
So at first I thought it was just Will Wright saying this, and that he was off his rocker, but some actual scientific work is going to try and prove it.

What are your thoughts? Wagers? Derisive laughter perhaps?

Re:Sim Universe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43485289)

I bet my orange juice is really apple juice that's been flavored like oranges, and the fuel in my car is really simulated explosions to see how the creatures of earth handle the disruptions.

Re:Sim Universe (0)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485657)

Turtles, all the way down.

Project Orion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43485165)

Project Orion. Your view why it was stopped? Do you think Orion should be continued? If so how to restart Orion?

The Eventual Future (1)

deathcloset (626704) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485277)

What do you see as the ultimate destiny of the human species? Where do you think will we be in a million years?

Question about theoretical limits of vacuum (0)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485339)

Why do your vacuum cleaners only work as well as a Hoover, but cost 4 times as much?


Re:Question about theoretical limits of vacuum (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485721)

They're expensive because they use nanoscopic black holes as the vacuum source. That's why they run without electricity and you never have to empty them out.

Vacuum (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43485429)

Dude, I love your vacuum cleaners but they're so expensive. Do you plan on adopting new methods to create a less expensive vacuum cleaner without failing in quality?

Science and Consciousness (1)

skidancer (197320) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485557)

Do you think that science (perhaps the scientific method) will have to change in order to explore the phenomenon of consciousness? If so, do you have any ideas about what those changes might entail?


global warming: genetic engineering and coal death (3, Interesting)

doom (14564) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485561)

In your article The Question of Global Warming [] , you make the point that the Earth's vegetation acts as a big carbon sink, and suggest that genetically engineered plants might do an even better job -- thus becoming the first person in history to make environmentalists angry by suggesting that top soil management is important. I have a few questions about this: (1) you mention the fanciful-sounding notion of "carbon-eating trees", but aren't there technologies that already exist that might do the job? There are claims that "no till" agriculture via the dreaded "roundup ready" plants reduce greenhouse gas emissions substantially. (2) A big part of the argument against immediate reductions in CO2 emissions is economic. Do the analyses you've seen really make an effort to capture all the costs and benefits associated with a move like banning coal burning completely? The annual deaths estimated from coal pollution seem big enough to make it worth doing even before you put global warming on the table.

Have Methods or Knowladge been "Lost"? (2)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485637)

Looking back over your career throught most of the 20th centruy and into the 21st, have you ever observed certain knowladge, techniques or disiplines fade away over time?

Are there ways of doing or thinking about physics and mathematics which were prevalent in the past, but which are no longer common knowladge? How do you compare the abilities and backgrounds of modern professors and graduates to those of the past?

Dangers of the future (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43485769)

The development of human society, understanding and technology has generally been to improve over the past several thousand years. However, with each new step we find ourselves farther from the conditions our ancestors evolved for, forced to wrap our cave man brains around increasingly complex and (to us) counterintuitive problems, at an accelerating rate. What do you think are the most serious risks faced by human progress in the foreseeable future?

Dyson question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43485789)

What was your impression of the relatve abilities of Bethe and

What was your impression of the relative abilities of Bethe and Feynman?

Mr. Dyson. Is AI more important than space travel? (3, Interesting)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485795)

While space travel is important for human survival in the long term, the more I think about it, the more it seems that developing a human style, scalable, artificial intelligence has for more potential to provide humans with rapid access to a much larger set of useful answers in the general domain of practical, solvable problems.

The investment should be, relatively speaking, trivial, and we already have 7 billion or so working models, so I think it's fairly certain that this can be done.

Given a choice, would you advocate more resources be allocated to space travel, or AI?

From your vantage... (1)

Genda (560240) | about a year and a half ago | (#43485901)

What do you see as our greatest threat and conversely our greatest hope?

Inside of this question, there's a poorly defined question space, and it's dancing around something like "Do you see the technology and the thinking that gave us technology as the source or our current woes?, the solution to our current woes?, both? and what should we be paying attention to that we aren't paying attention to inside of the charging juggernaut that our technology has become.

string theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43485927)

What is your impression of this theory?

Name a Guilty Pleasure That Would Shock Us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43485971)

What is your one guilty pleasure that make us all speechless?

Do you see a winner? (1)

Genda (560240) | about a year and a half ago | (#43486225)

As I watch all the disparate technologies competing for the emergence of a new kind of sentience, what do you see as the probable winner, inorganic (current digital technologies) or organic (biotech - synthetic biology.) As we have begun to tinker with our own genome, how long do you think it will be before we break out of the strict barriers of our special limitations?

QED summary (1)

danskal (878841) | about a year and a half ago | (#43486587)

Can you try to summarize in a paragraph what QED tells us about the world?

Annoying Ads (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43486633)

Can you please stop making such annoying ad for your stupid vacuum cleaners? Oh - and they will eventually "lose suction" because even though there's no bag, the vortex thingies can't stop very fine particles and so there's a filter which will eventually plug up unless it gets replaced now and then.

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