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Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?

A beautiful mind Here is a list of things he deserves (822 comments)

Let's see:

  • A full, immediate pardon. (as a legal mechanism, not because he committed any crimes by being a whistleblower).
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • A serious discussion and legislative effort about surveillance and how surveillance was allowed to reach clearly illegal levels
  • A continous whistleblower award for the rest of his life, so that he doesn't have to work ever again. He put everything on the line for his beliefs, did more than the vast majority of people. The SEC and other groups already give out multimillion dollar whistleblowing awards for mere white collar crime, exposing the surveillance programs ought to rate higher.

about 8 months ago

Airline Pilots Rely Too Much On Automation, Says Safety Panel

A beautiful mind nt (270 comments)

Pilots either need more control or we should admit that they're just safety technicians in case something goes wrong and train them accordingly - an air marshall for the plane itself who doesn't do anything under normal circumstances.

about 9 months ago

Firefox's Blocked-By-Default Java Isn't Going Down Well

A beautiful mind Finally (362 comments)

Not only a security problem, that's just the surface, but the smothering care of Oracle plus the whole 1999 feeling makes for a combination that made this step necessary years ago.

about a year ago

New Zealand ISP Offers "Global Mode" So Users Can Circumvent Geo-Restrictions

A beautiful mind What is global mode? (126 comments)

Is it some proxy? Is it a weirdly labeled block of IPv4 addresses? Is it some DNS level trickery?

about a year ago

Node.js and MongoDB Turning JavaScript Into a Full-Stack Language

A beautiful mind No, node.js and mongodb are cancer (354 comments)

The real thing that's turning javascript into the lingua franca of the web are really three things:

  1. JS is already supported by all major browsers, modern ones with JIT
  1. asm.js - which turns anything from a LLVM intermediate representation into javascript code that runs around 2x the speed of native c/c++ code in supported browsers and as fast as any other piece of JS code in all the other browsers
  1. HTML5, WebRTC

It's an inside-out stack.

about a year ago

Google Advocates 7-Day Deadline For Vulnerability Disclosure

A beautiful mind Insecure throughout the year (94 comments)

If we ask the question: "for how many days in a year is a specific browser/application vulnerable to an unpatched exploit?", then we get awful numbers. There are plenty of applications used by millions of people where that number is more than half of the year.

The 7 day limit is probably a compromise between trying to get the vendor to fix the vulnerability that is actively being exploited and disclosing the information and thus increasing the pool of people who'd use the exploit.

For vulnerabilities where there is no known active exploitation, we should assume that there is. 30/60day delays are unforgivable.

about a year ago

Mozilla Introduces Experimental Open Payment System For Firefox OS

A beautiful mind We need to pay for content creation (68 comments)

The current mostly advertisement supported model that's dominant on the internet is warping how we interact with each other and how we use services - reminds me of a bad mix of Orwell's 1984 and The Matrix (the part where humans are used as batteries).

I'd gladly pay for a lot of content on the internet, but currently I either don't have the option or the pricing is outrageous - scientific articles and newspaper subscription comes to mind as being way overpriced. We need microtransactions and the first step is building the infrastructure to make it possible. Things like instead of surveillance supported services like facebook are the step in the right direction.

about a year and a half ago

Hidden Viral Gene Discovered In GMO Crops

A beautiful mind Re:Debunked (391 comments)

No. You must be new here. :)

about a year and a half ago

Hidden Viral Gene Discovered In GMO Crops

A beautiful mind Re:Debunked (391 comments)

What part of...

No relevant similarity was identified between the putative peptides and known allergens and toxins, using different databases.

...don't you understand from the original paper?

about a year and a half ago

Hidden Viral Gene Discovered In GMO Crops

A beautiful mind Debunked (391 comments)

I'll just link to this post that explains what the news reports misunderstood. It contains quotes from the original authors of the study whose results are misrepresented here.

about a year and a half ago

How Much Beef Is In Your Burger?

A beautiful mind Re:UK only. (709 comments)

I believe the article was referring to the UK. I don't know what the laws are there, but here in the U.S., a company would be closed down quickly if it were found the meat had been adulterated like that.

Oh boy, you're in for a shock then. Meat (and in general, food) safety in the US is way behind most of the EU countries. Eric Schlossers' excellent book - Fast Food Nation - details the US meat packing industry (from wikipedia's summary):

In his examination of the meat packing industry, Schlosser finds that it is now dominated by casual, easily exploited immigrant labor and that levels of injury are among the highest of any occupation in the United States. Schlosser discusses his findings on meat packing companies IBP, Inc. and on Kenny Dobbins. Schlosser also recounts the steps involved in meat processing and reveals several hazardous practices unknown to many consumers, such as the practice of rendering dead pigs and horses and chicken manure into cattle feed. Schlosser notes that practices like these were responsible for the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, aka Mad Cow Disease, p. 202-3), as well as for introducing harmful bacteria into the food supply, such as E. coli O157:H7 (ch. 9, "What's In The Meat"). A later section of the book discusses the fast food industry's role in globalization, linking increased obesity in China and Japan with the arrival of fast food. The book also includes a summary of the McLibel Case.

There is much more material, but this should suffice as a quick summary. The book is a decade old, the problems are current however.

about a year ago

Fukushima's Fallout of Fear

A beautiful mind Re:Low-dose radiation isn't a big deal (124 comments)

I'm going to undo a bunch of mod points with this post, but I wanted to point out that the blog post you cite is flat out wrong.

I'd like to say that I'm for building more nuclear plants of 4th or later generation design and that even with the LNT model, the maximum number of deaths from Fukushima might be on the level of a single bus accident. That said, the blogpost is incredibly misleading. It took me a while to track down the original source that the post claims to cite from UNSCEAR and it's this paragraph:

In general, increases in the incidence of health effects in populations cannot be attributed reliably to chronic exposure to radiation at levels that are typical of the global average background levels of radiation. This is because of the uncertainties associated with the assessment of risks at low doses, the current absence of radiation-specific biomarkers for health effects and the insufficient statistical power of epidemiological studies. Therefore, the Scientific Committee does not recommend multiplying very low doses by large numbers of individuals to estimate numbers of radiation-induced health effects within a population exposed to incremental doses at levels equivalent to or lower than natural background levels;

What they are saying in short is that the statistical uncertainty is strong enough at low levels of radiation doses WRT cancer risk is that it's not possible to tell whether the LNT model is true or not and THEREFOR it shouldn't be used to say "this many people will die from this much low level radiation". They aren't saying that LNT is wrong. They aren't saying that LNT is right. They are saying we don't know.

The quote from the report is from here. It's from the latest report to the general assembly, page 16.

about a year and a half ago

Smartphones: Life's Remote Control

A beautiful mind Re:Link doesn't work (121 comments)

This is exactly what I wanted for my home: to measure temperature/light/humidity with 4-5 various sensors placed around the house that transmit data wirelessly to a base station which is capable of logging / exporting / graphing the data in fairly standard ways, without the proprietary junk.

I was considering this controller with some sensors, but at $150 each, it's a tad expensive. I could probably build it myself from some raspberry pi derivative, however I'd rather not reinvent everything from scratch.

I was really surprised not to find a much less expensive solution and an open source ecosystem that provides this kind of home monitoring solution (with the possibility to base some home automation on this)

about a year and a half ago

Independent Labs To Verify High-Profile Research Papers

A beautiful mind Re:Dumb racket (74 comments)

This is why we need mandatory trial registration, so that we have a paper trail for abandoned trials and trials which fail to confirm an effect.

more than 2 years ago

Companies Advise Tighter Security After Honan Hack

A beautiful mind Feels like post-911 (99 comments)

In the name of security Google has been pestering for my phone number for years, while their motives are much less about my security and more about their business reasons.

more than 2 years ago

Why Valve Wants To Port Games To Linux: Because Windows 8 Is a Catastrophe

A beautiful mind Re:He's Right (880 comments)

For 1-2$ tops, sure. Without a keyboard and mouse, who's going to pay dozens of dollars for a game?

more than 2 years ago

Japanese Parliament: Fukushima a Man-Made Disaster

A beautiful mind Re:Hysterical hyperbole. (134 comments)

You can always do better, especially with the advantage of hindsight. Worrying about Fukushima's failure in retrospect is however the equivalent of picking faults in the security of a garden gate when there is no fence around the property at all.

If it was irresponsible to build a power plant without higher flood protection and keep the old design running for as long as they did, how much more irresponsible was neglecting tsunami protection for the half million people in the area that resulted in more than 15k deaths and 340k people getting displaced?. The parliamentary inquiry should have been focused on that, not driven by the people's irrational and overblown fear of the word "nuclear".

more than 2 years ago

Japanese Parliament: Fukushima a Man-Made Disaster

A beautiful mind Hysterical hyperbole. (134 comments)

There has been a tsunami that killed over 10000 people and demolished multiple cities and dozens of chemical plants and factories. If this was a man-made disaster where the fuck was the planning to prevent it? Why are we still talking about the nuclear plant, where at most a couple of dozen people will die in the next hundred years?

Sure, we could have done more to prevent the damage in Fukushima, like build units from a newer generation (fukushima daichi's sister plant survived the same tsunami, but was slightly younger and thus had much less problems), have better oversight, regulation, emergency response etc. However, that is like asking what could have been done better about shark deaths in Nevada ("noone expected it to happen", "zomg, sharks!"), and totally ignoring deaths by drugs abuse, cancer, transportation accidents and cardiovascular causes in the meantime.

The point is, reinforcing Fukushima would have been a waste of money and effort, money and effort that would have been better spent on building better flood barriers to protect places where people actually live.

more than 2 years ago



WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Site

A beautiful mind A beautiful mind writes  |  more than 3 years ago

A beautiful mind (821714) writes "WikiLeaks is asking for hosting space on unix-based servers. The replication is implemented by a rsync+ssh based push that copies static files to a known path, authenticated via the private half of this public key. The complete website is a few GB in size, making it feasible to replicate on a large scale. The mirror list will be published when the number of independent mirrors reaches 50."
Link to Original Source

Firefox Memory Hogging Is Due to Fragmentation

A beautiful mind A beautiful mind writes  |  more than 6 years ago

A beautiful mind (821714) writes "It has been long claimed by users that Firefox leaks memory, and on the other hand the developers claimed the number of leaks are minimal. It turns out both groups were right. Stuart Parmenter, one of the authors of the RAMBack extension started investigating and found out that the issue is memory fragmentation. He discovered that while loading about:blank uses 12,589,696 bytes of memory in the test he performed (image), after exercising Firefox with different websites and then clearing the caches with the help of the RAMBack extension the picture is wholly different: "Our heap is now 29,999,872 bytes! 16,118,072 of that is used (up 4,634,208 bytes from before... which caches am I forgetting to clear?). The rest, a whopping 13,881,800 bytes, is in free blocks!""
Link to Original Source

A beautiful mind A beautiful mind writes  |  more than 7 years ago

A beautiful mind (821714) writes "A new study by John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health says that an estimated 655,000 of Iraqis have died since 2003 due to the US invasion. The full report and it's appendix tells of the statistical methodology they used. The survey is to be published in a UK medical journal, the Lancet, on Thursday. Lancet's Richard Horton emphasises that the study has been peer reviewed by four experts and has been recommended with relatively minor revisions."


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