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Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

Chrontius Re:Uh... They're not required to go to that school (323 comments)

If the kids have nothing to hide, then release it. If not, pull the kids from the school. They're not obligated to go, and they're certainly not obligated to be abusive assholes either. We don't need more enabling of bullying and peer enforced sociopathy.

Actually, I'm pretty sure they are obligated to go, and in some states parents' drivers licenses can be revoked if their kids are truant.

about two weeks ago
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Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

Chrontius Re:Uh... They're not required to go to that school (323 comments)

if it wasn't a public school? Sure. Don't go snooping around my shit. Even if i've got nothing to hide I have a lot to be embarrassed about or just don't want people to know about.

What if the accused bully has entirely unrelated facts to hide? Say, closeted gay?

I suspect that knock-on effects mean this won't actually reduce bullying all that much, just spread the fun around. Also, to run with that theory, there's a reason kids tend to stay in the closet until they're out of their parents' house. In extremis, to avoid child abuse. In milder cases, they may otherwise end up sent by well-meaning parents to some hellhole of a "pray the gay away" camp or boarding school. Further, there are laws on the books protecting children in some states from having to disclose certain medical conditions to their parents - abortions, and in certain proposals I haven't heard about having gone anywhere (but I haven't heard go away) contraceptive implants may be added to that. I wonder which law will have an exception carved into it for the other's footprint?

Second point - why are public schools different?

about two weeks ago
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Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

Chrontius Re:Uh... They're not required to go to that school (323 comments)

Because it IS a public school? Yes. The rules are and should be different.

Why? How can your rights magically vanish by virtue of the fact that you attend public school? Especially your rights regarding your life OUTSIDE of school.

So only people who have enough money to attend private school have civil rights?

... Actually, that explains a lot.

about two weeks ago
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Paris Terror Spurs Plan For Military Zones Around Nuclear Plants

Chrontius Re:Safe nuclear energy? (148 comments)

I'm not even going to try to calculate the size of the ash pond, but here's what we have for the mountain of coalâ¦

I used the Embalse nuclear plant as a baseline, because it was the first thing I found on Wikipedia.

A coal-fired power plant producing the same 2109 MWt output would burn 2,463,620,940 kilograms of coal per year, for a fuel stockpile on site of 24,636,209,400 kilograms. If you prefer tons, Wolfram says that's 27,160,000. - 27 megatons and change. Since uranium in the core is the form it is used in, we shall assume this is powdered coal magically prevented from blowing away, perhaps with a water mist, or plastic sheeting.

The specific energy of coal is 24 MJ/kg; of TNT, a mere 4.6 - a 5.2-fold difference.

Allowing for this, the coal pile contains 141 megatons worth of energy.

While it might be infeasible to efficiently detonate this mountain of coal, odds are once a fire starts, it would be impossible to put out, forming a firestorm effect which may aerosolize enough powdered coal to cause a thermobaric explosion.

Even failing that, the result would approximate a particularly bad coal seam fire, and the surface area involved in combustion, as well as the open-air nature of the fire, would expose the local population to a manmade âoeevil windâ - substantial portions of the coal's mass would be released in the form of CO2 and other combustion gases, asphyxiating anyone unfortunate to be downwind of it. Assuming only 10 million tons of the coal is released in the form of CO2, the result is 3.932 cubic kilometers of heavier-than-air gas rushing downhill from the fire. This will not be released all at once, but instead will sustain the event, perhaps long enough to kill even the vegetation that isn't incinerated by the firestorm or simple radiant heat from an unexpectedly well-behaved fire that doesn't spark secondary blazes - which is a rather likely eventuality.

Granted that storing ten years of coal on-site at a powerplant is vanishingly unlikely, but when apples-to-apples comparisons are made the law of large numbers suggests that any calamity at a fuel dump of this magnitude - of any kind - is likely to be severe, if not a mass-casualty event.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia_mine_fire

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania#Mine_fire

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazuku

My math, for verification:

27 kJ / gram for bituminous coal

0.027 mJ/g

80620 kJ / gram for uranium

80.62 mJ/g

2109 MWt for the Embalse nuclear power plant

2986 times denser power

3.154Ã--107 seconds per year

31,540,000

2109/.027 = 78,111 grams per second

78111*31540000

2,463,620,940 kilograms of coal per year

P.S.: You're an ass.

about two weeks ago
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Paris Terror Spurs Plan For Military Zones Around Nuclear Plants

Chrontius Re:Safe nuclear energy? (148 comments)

A coal plant with ten years worth of coal stockpiled on site, plus a similarly sized ash pond, would be just as juicy a target.

We just don't have the technology to detect the toxins released by that remotely - except in so far as the coal ash is itself startlingly radioactive.

about two weeks ago
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Drug Company CEO Blames Drug Industry For Increased Drug Resistance

Chrontius Re:Hypocrisy (136 comments)

Or, perhaps, the doctor guessing wrong about antibiotics' necessity - we can either bitch about over-testing, or about doctors guessing wrong when it's not the most likely culprit, but not both without becoming hypocrites.

Also, when the testing involves allowing a disease to become more advanced while waiting for confirmation, that's a Bad Thing. When the test involves biopsying your testicles, that's also a Bad Thing. :-p

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Options For a Standalone Offline Printing Station?

Chrontius Re:My phone isn't this crippled (190 comments)

From what I'm told, malvertizements are the most common vector these days.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Options For a Standalone Offline Printing Station?

Chrontius Re:Two options (190 comments)

You may have missed the part about how he has no internet connection save for the Chromebook's integral LTE modem.

If not for that little hiccup, your solution would be quite adequate. If you do that this way, you run the risk of having to courier all of your father's print jobs to him. :p

about a month ago
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How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us To Greater Harm

Chrontius Re:Not all consumers... (116 comments)

I'm going to go on record that the real zombie apocalypse will probably happen when someone's prank accidentally infects everyone with a consumer-grade neural interface implant, and only the technical elite will be running NoScript on their hindbrains when it goes down.

:P

about a month ago
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How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us To Greater Harm

Chrontius Re:Irreversable? (116 comments)

There's already lethal exploits for implanted insulin pumps that can be delivered wirelessly. How much do you want to bet that there's similar for pacemakers that I haven't yet read about?

Medical device scarcity is terrifyingly bad right now.

about a month ago
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How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us To Greater Harm

Chrontius On that note... (116 comments)

I'm pretty sure that's the business model embraced by Lowe's store-brand home automation gear.

about a month ago
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How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us To Greater Harm

Chrontius Re:"If we outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns (116 comments)

A key component you're missing - we aren't the owners or operators of /.

A better analogy would be if /. could prevent us from typing those HTML tags into our browser anywhere once we've visited the page once.

Imagine the kind of software necessary to enforce such a measure upon end users' computers against their will, and you're a lot closer to understanding Doctorow's point.

about a month ago
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Genes Don't Just Predict Intelligence, But Also How Well You Do In School

Chrontius Re:If the genes predict it, why bother with change (154 comments)

I think that it's grounds for writing a grant proposal, in order to study gene therapy to tweak these things.

bonus points if you can kickstart my metabolism, while you're at it.

about 4 months ago
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Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?

Chrontius Re:Haves and Have-Nots (652 comments)

I absolutely do not.

However, I have every intention of raising my standard of efficiency.

about 4 months ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

Chrontius Re:I Agree (533 comments)

I will be expected to try to help my grandfather with his computer over RDP. His "broadband" gives approximately 1 heavily-compressed frame per second or second and a half.

While I might be okay using VIM under such conditions I am expected to give instruction on the latest GUI-driven office suites.

Welcome to the new normal.

about 5 months ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

Chrontius Re:Not Enough (533 comments)

Try using Back to My Mac to RDP into an aging grandfather's computer and help them from home without making a day trip of it on 1Mbps up.

Hope you know how to use a mouse on a slide show.

about 5 months ago
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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

Chrontius Re:As much as I hate Apple (187 comments)

I think that Apple has done much more for the security of their end users than Microsoft lately. There is evidence in Slashdot's headlines that they respond to concerns much more readily. When Greenpeace called them out, they admitted that while good, their environmental record could be better - so they made all the obvious improvements. They hold their contractors to account on safety concerns. While we might consider Foxconn pretty dismal, it stands head and shoulders and belly-button over the sweatshops that give China its reputation for cheap labor.

I don't love the company, but I must respect their drive for continuous improvement. And their customer service. And their hardware's reliability, as reported by Consumer Reports - literally half as many malfunctions as the second-best brand, and many of the other brands are closer to tenfold more prone to malfunction.

Also, my buddy the IT manager totally just bought a loaded Macbook Pro as a Windows machine after concluding it was better than any other PC laptop on the market with a high-resolution screen, and cheaper than the second-best choice. (Razer Blade Pro, I believe?)

Apple makes good stuff. Macs aren't for everyone (the gaming tower market most especially), but they do what's needful and stay out of the way better than many other computers for a whole lot of users. Astroturf? Nah, just sick of maintaining and securing a Windows PC under conditions of heavy use, and appalled by the way Windows has a Venn diagram of poorly-documented control panels sprayed around the OS.

about 4 months ago
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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

Chrontius Re: As much as I hate Apple (187 comments)

Apple's profit margin is also their R&D budget. In my opinion, the coolest features tend to come out of Cupertino, not Mountain View.

about 4 months ago
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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

Chrontius Re:As much as I hate Apple (187 comments)

It's worth pointing out that the portion of the smartphone market that's growing most rapidly is the sub-$100 chunk, which could be less-than-charitably described as "crap". Granted, any phone is better than no phone, and any internet access is better than none, but my Asha 501 lacks GPS, even though it has a mapping app. Multitouch is capped at two fingers. There's no flash on the camera, and a minimal amount of the other kind of flash (storage) since they know you won't take too many photos. The headphone wiring is either proprietary, or OMAP. All my headphones are CTIA, and I can't find an OMAP compatible replacement cable for sale anywhere.

We just covered a $35 Firefox OS smartphone. You know what? It's cheaper than the dumbphones my mother and grandfather use. Comparing them to iPhones, the Galaxy S series, and the HTC One series is somewhat disingenuous.

about 4 months ago

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