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Solar System's Water Is Older Than the Sun

DRJlaw Re:Of course it does. (173 comments)

For anything in the solar system to be YOUNGER than the sun, it would have to be MADE by the sun, or as a byproduct of the sun achieving fusion. Our planet is younger than the sun itself, but the elements that comprise it are much, much older.

That only applies to atoms, not molecules. I can point to oodles of molecules that in a "most recent step" sense were made by the sun (e.g., through UV radiation or 'solar bleaching') and oodles of molecules that in that same sense were not (e.g., plastics).

TFA is referring to molecules of water and whether they tended to form during planetary disk formation and consolidation:

[Shielding from cosmic radiation] makes it quite hard for these regions in the disk to synthesize any new molecules. This was an 'aha' moment for us -- without any new water creation the only place these ices could have come from was the chemically rich interstellar gas out of which the solar system formed originally."

There is still active debate over when and where the typical water molecule arose in the course of events leading to the formation of water-bearing planets. See this article, for example. If verified, this theory tends to favor interstellar formation.

about three weeks ago

3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

DRJlaw Re:my solution is the gym (819 comments)

I win more times than not and the jackass in front of me gets a sore back for their troubles.

I'll be the jackass complaining to the flight attendant in the sweetest manner possible that the passenger behind me is intentionally burying his knees into the seatback.

With your attitude, you'll be the jackass having a conversation with the air marshalls after backtalking the flight attendant while desperately trying to explain why your knees absolutely must be placed right there.


about a month and a half ago

Facebook Blamed For Driving Up Cellphone Bills, But It's Not Alone

DRJlaw Misleading wording. This is not autoplay. (131 comments)

What the article is referring to as "autoplay" is actually preloading.

Odd... because FaceBook calls it "auto-play." Right in the obscure setting in their own app that admittedly allows it to be turned off or set to Wi-Fi only.

The video is not playing on its own, it's just being cached in case you want to click on it.

Odd... because the videos in the newsfeed will play without anyone clicking on them. You merely have to scroll through the newsfeed and land near a video.

This could certainly be a problem for people on limited data plans.

Which are the majority... it's well known that you have to have truly worked to keep a grandfathered unlimited data plan since the 3G-4G transition.

It is not nearly the same kind of awfulness as genuine autoplay, where the video starts up without asking permission.

Since you appear to have no actual experience with the FaceBook mobile app, you'll forgive me for telling you to STFU concerning the relative awfulness of your fictional app versus the actual app. I mean really... you were so certain of how the current app functions that you thought nobody who actually used it would call you out on these 'minor' discrepancies?

about a month and a half ago

Appeals Court Clears Yelp of Extortion Claims

DRJlaw Re:The obvious solution... (63 comments)

That's different. That's open-and-shut libel, which yelp is liable for publishing.

...which yelp is not liable for publishing, since the very summary that you supposedly read points out that "Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) protects online service providers from liability and lawsuits over user-generated content, except in very narrow circumstances where the providers created or developed content themselves."

(Not a lawyer, though).

Which explains why your conclusion is exactly the opposite of the one required by 47 U.S.C. 230. You'll note that the plaintiffs in this case claimed that Yelp authored or co-authored the reviews instead of merely publishing the reviews. That's because claiming Yelp was liable for simple selection and publishing would be so wrong that it'd likely draw a sanction by the court.

about a month and a half ago

Chromium 37 Launches With Major Security Fixes, 64-bit Windows Support

DRJlaw Re:Hello, it is 2014 (113 comments)

For devices that will never have more than 2 GB of RAM, it makes sense to save a little bit of memory by using the 32 bit version when it is all that is needed.

If that is your sole metric, perhaps. But x64 mode provides other features such as additional registers, a larger address space for ASLR, etc. Much of the speed increase Google is touting is due simply to the ability of the compiler to use x64 mode code.

about 2 months ago

Illinois University Restricts Access To Social Media, Online Political Content

DRJlaw Re:Turn it around: (130 comments)

The right to free speech does not mean a university has to provide the publishing infrastructure to make that speech.

No, but it does mean that a public university (note: NIU is a public university, i.e., an institution established by the State of Illinois) which decides to provide a publishing infrastructure cannot the restrict use of that infrastructure based upon the content of what is published without having a compelling interest and using the least restrictive means necessary to achieve that interest.

Your post would be relevant if NIU was debating whether to roll out internet access. Since it has already done so, it does not get to withdraw that publishing infrastructure simply because it views the content as being controversial, political, or somehow less worthy than "approved projects."


about 2 months ago

The Billion-Dollar Website

DRJlaw Re:in other words (194 comments)

If you have a small population of people, say 500, and the rest of humanity disappears, what 'rights' do they have? Does one person have the right to live in peace, without one of the other 499 attacking him/her? There is no such right in the natural world where lions attack zebras or hornets attack bears. Do people have that right? Personally I don't believe they do...

Now let's say that one of the 500 is a general practitioner, and has the knowledge needed to treat common conditions the group will face. What if he doesn't want to do so? If he decides he wants to be alone to contemplate his own beliefs for a while, in light of the disappearance of the rest of humanity, does the rest of the group have the right to force him to be their doctor? If he wants to move away, start a small farm to raise vegetables and forget all his medical knowledge, does the group have the right to force him to train someone as an apprentice/replacement? If he will agree to see some people but not others, for whatever reason, do the others have a right to force him to see them as well? Do they have the right to follow him around begging for his attention? Do they have the right to force him into their hut to care of their ailing mate? If he refuses to do so, and fights his way free of such an action, is he to be punished for hurting the person accosting him?

In response to all those questions, my answer would be that the person with knowledge that may be essential for the survival of the group does not have the obligation to act on or dispense that knowledge. Or, in terms of rights, the group does not have the right to force the (former) doctor to do something he is not willing to do anymore. They don't have the right to violate his rights of not being attacked, personal beliefs, or privacy.

So, in conclusion, no I don't think people have a 'right to healthcare'.

That's odd. Because based upon the premise of your argument, people do have a right to healthcare (assuming that the doctor does not wish to die).

Yes, if you strip everything back to the law of nature (Locke-world), and create your own positve law, you can eliminate a right to healthcare. Or, you can enact a positive law creating a right to healthcare. That's the thing about positive law - it is whatever you construct it to be.

But don't argue that there is no natural law right to healthcare. The moment you rely purely upon natural law, there's a right to anything that the stongest dictates, because the strongest (the one with the most power at that instant) can attach that to the only right that matters in that system -- the right to exercise force to obtain what one wants.

Consider this an object lesson in a 'philosophy fail.'

about 2 months ago

Online Tool Flagged Ebola Outbreak Before Formal WHO Announcement

DRJlaw Only if the criteria for "flagged" are nonspecific (35 comments)

Go to the site. Click to the head of the timeline. Look:

Samples sent to Senegal and France for further tests

So, if you label the "mystery hemorrhagic fever" as ebola, after the fact or without waiting for confirmatory tests, you too can beat the WHO by 9 days.
If you ignore that the WHO's detection regime is the one that has doctors and hospitals sending samples laboratories for confirmatory testing, you too can beat the WHO by 9 days.
If your algorithm identifies dengue fever as ebola based upon "tens of thousands of social media sites, local news, government websites, infectious-disease physicians' social networks and other sources," keep quiet about the fact. Announce your success four months after everyone is sure that it is what you think it is to avoid embarrassing press releases.

This does not appear to be early epidemiological detection by connecting the social-media-dots. This is jumping-the-gun based on early reporting of the processes of an existing early detection program.

about 2 months ago

Hack an Oscilloscope, Get a DMCA Take-Down Notice From Tektronix

DRJlaw Re:This is Danaher Corp (273 comments)

I do believe that based on limited number of colors, one should not be able to trademark or block merely the color.

Well, the interesting thing about the "rule of law" is that your individual opinion concerning whether one should be able to trademark a color is just that -- your individual opinion.

Meanwhile, the law says that Fluke can do that, and the USPTO has said that Fluke can do that, and a court has said that Fluke can do that, and US Customs listens to those entities.

BTW: GP was wrong. The registration is for a trademark. Whether you choose to call it trade dress because it relates to packaging/construction and separately consider a trademark to be symbols and other abstract graphics does not matter, it's all the same under the trademark act. 15 U.S.C. sec. 1052; Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Samara Bros., 529 U.S. 205, 209-210, 54 USPQ2d 1065, 1065-66 (2000).

about 2 months ago

Airbnb Partners With Cities For Disaster Preparedness

DRJlaw Re:O RLY? (55 comments)

I wonder what other services the government might want to shut down that could be helpful in a disaster ::cough::quadcopter drones::cough::?

Or me, with my handy-dandy M60 machine gun, ready to volunteer to keep law and order and suppress the roaming post-apocalyptic mobs!!

The mere fact that you can think of a use for a resource in an emergency does not mean that you throw-out all non-emergency regulations.

My house would be useful for housing refugees. That doesn't mean that you want me running it as a 24/7 alternative to the Quality Inn. Especially when I'm in the middle of your residential neighborhood.

about 3 months ago

"ExamSoft" Bar Exam Software Fails Law Grads

DRJlaw Re: Really? (100 comments)

[Computer programmers] are not necessary to maintain [computer programs]. They are useful only when [a computer program] is written by and presided over by other [programmers], for [programmers].

That is, they are a solution to a problem they create.

The same critique applies to the the general sort reading this site. You can look back at just about every society for most of human history and find that they're unnecessary... right?

If you want to create complex systems to automate data processing and other tasks, you're going to have specialist programmers. If you want to create complex regulations to prevent pollution, unsafe products, financial fraud, etc. you're going to have specialists enforcing those regulations and specialists advising how to comply with the regulations. In either case, you do not simply have lay persons making it up as they go along, with little or no documentation concerning what is happening so that very few people know what to expect.

The more complicated the scope of human activity, the more complicated the regulations, and the more you need specialists to deal with the. Ad hoc rules and ad hoc exceptions to the rules are the definition of "mob rule," at least so long as you prefer a putative democracy to a putative dictatorship -- if not, simply substitute "strongman rule."

about 3 months ago

Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

DRJlaw Re:child casualties (868 comments)

Can someone explain what is happening in that video? I see some children, and an old guy ducking down below then, and someone setting up some piece of equipment I don't recognize. Call me naive, call me stupid, whatever: but seriously, please explain.

The kindhearted individual in the front at 0:08 drops a sizable mortar down a mortar tube and runs for the hills. The next :20 consist of the children and old guy waiting for the mortar to drop the length of the tube and the time delay fuse to expire. At 0:28 the mortar fires, apparently correctly, launching the mortar in the general direction of the kindhearted individual's target.

Of course, if the mortar fired incorrectly or exploded within the tube, that clearly visible collection of children would likely be within the shrapnel zone. Funny how the old guy appears to be keeping them there.

Also of course, if you want to destory the mortar, you're faced the with small problem that you have children gathered within the blast radius of your tank shell, opposing mortar, guided demolition unit (a.k.a air-dropped bomb), or the like.

So that would be what's happening in that video.

The set up and take-down time for that mortar system are also substantially longer than the recorded :30.

about 3 months ago

Verizon Now Throttling Top 'Unlimited' Subscribers On 4G LTE

DRJlaw Re:1 or 1 million (274 comments)

Unlimited bandwidth is not possible. You can make it illegal all you want. It doesn't trump physics.

Nobody sane claimed that Verizon was offering unlimited bandwidth. Bandwidth was quite obviously limited to 3G speeds, and then subsequently LTE speeds.

Verizon offered unlimited "data," as in no artificial limit on the amount of data that you could download using that bandwidth. Verizon subsequently imposed artificial limits on the amount of data that users could download per month on other plans. Verizon is now limiting bandwidth based upon the amount of data one has downloaded combined with a somewhat arbitrary measure of congestion -- they don't bother to specify what utilization threshold a cell base station has to cross to be considered "congested" so as to trigger the limitation.

Physics has nothing to do with that limitation. Physics does not dictate that a shared resource be preferentially allocated to those not on an "unlimited" plan because the provider quite badly wants to push users onto pay-per-quantity plans without taking the PR hit necessary to actually terminate the now month-to-month unlimited contracts.

about 3 months ago

Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

DRJlaw Re:not likely (200 comments)

You're missing the fact that revek is part of a microISP which serves a county that has a population of about 20,000, out of a county seat with a population of about 10,000.

Netflix is somehow responsible for his cost issues with buying bandwidth from a real telecommunications company, and his lack of scale sufficient to justify co-locating a content server to serve such a small population.

about 3 months ago

Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

DRJlaw Re:not likely (200 comments)

They are dreaming. We are thinking about throttling them here right now. Why should we let all those other sites suffer due to one service using nearly 75% of our bandwidth. Let them fix their busted streaming model to include some caching ability.

They colocate content servers with telecommunications providers. Just not with podunk microISPs who boast that they host seven whole websites.

Throttle Netflix and you can kiss your residential customers (if you have any substantial number) goodbye. You don't have the scale or technology required to create a virtual monopoly around your customers. They'll drop you in a heartbeat in favor of the next service to offer DSL or point-to-point wirless.

about 3 months ago

Ars Editor Learns Feds Have His Old IP Addresses, Full Credit Card Numbers

DRJlaw Re:PCI-DSS (217 comments)

Who says they're holding the PAN in plaintext? They can decrypt it to send it to the Feds as needed without keeping it in plaintext in their systems.

So your argument is that they're reconstructing the PAN within the remarks section of the PNR by inserting decrypted credit card information back into the record?

I was most surprised to see my credit card detailsâ"full card number and expiration dateâ"published unredacted and in the clear. Fortunately, that credit card number has long expired, but I was nonetheless appalled to see it out there. American Airlines, which had created that particular PNR in 2005, did not immediately respond to my request for comment on how or why such detailed personal information would show up here. (In other instances, the majority of the number was Xâ(TM)d out.)

And they're doing it voluntarily...

Line 4 revealed my long-expired and since changed credit card number, in full. As a security precaution, we've redacted it here.

[Cannot link directly to first PNR graphic in TFA, but look at lines 4 and 5] And they're doing it in a field/line that looks like it cannot be differentiated from the immediately following name information...

Pull the other leg.

about 3 months ago

Can the Multiverse Be Tested Scientifically?

DRJlaw Re:String theory is not science (147 comments)

No, it's a computer model. A compute model is often (in engineering for example) a conceptual representation of real entities. However in many cases the model is more a conceptual representation of the biases and assumptions of the people who made it, being unreal in that sense. It isn't science and math isn't science either.

But it is. Both.

You've confusing hypothesis with observation. This does not purport to be observation. This is an element of the hypothesis -- identifying what sort of tests and observations might be performed, so that the tests can be performed and/or the observations scheduled. Actual tests. Actual observations. Outside of the computer model.

I.e., this is a computer-assistend Gendankenexperiment, similar to other more simple ones which came before which came before.

From TFA:

"Weâ(TM)re trying to find out what the testable predictions of (the multiverse) would be, and then going out and looking for them," said Matthew Johnson of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

"We start with a multiverse that has two bubbles in it, we collide the bubbles on a computer to figure out what happens, and then we stick a virtual observer in various places and ask what that observer would see from there," said Johnson.

So yes, it is science. The fact that you cannot invest 5 minutes of your time to understand it is your flaw, not theirs.

about 2 months ago

$10 Million Lawsuit Against Wikipedia Editors "Stragetically" Withdrawn

DRJlaw Post is being withdrawn (51 comments)

This page has been marked for speedy delete due to WP:NOR and WP:NPOV violations.

Please take all discussion to the Talk page.

about 3 months ago

Google To Stop Describing Games With In-App Purchases As 'Free'

DRJlaw Re:Really people? (139 comments)

They're free for you the end user.

So you agree that they're free in the sense that everyone in the discussion has been using the word "free."

So no, those things you listed aren't free.

I'm confused. You admitted that they're free "for you." Who has been arguing that they are costless for all? Who has defined "free" as costless for all? How do you reconcile costless for all with "free for you?"

Actually, I'm not confused at all. You've constructed a pseudo-syllogism using a false proposition in an attempt to belittle the GP while making yourself feel authoritative and smart.

Free doesn't mean what you think it means. You're not even a pedant, you're simply wrong. Go away.

about 3 months ago

DC Entertainment Won't Allow Superman Logo On Murdered Child's Memorial Statue

DRJlaw Re:What (249 comments)

You do realize that a logo is a trademark issue, not copyright, and trademarks don't expire as long as they are in use?

You do realize that trademark law concerns the exchange of goods and services, not the appearance of symbols on sculptural works constructed as permanent momuments to the dead, don't you?

Copyright is one of the few things that DC Comics could plausibly assert if this is a one off produced by an artist -- i.e., the logo does not attempt to designate a good, service, or source of such goods and services.

You'll notice that the summary takes a shot in saying that the logo "should be public domain," not that it is, and that DC does not actually claim that trademark law is involved. Thanks for offering the trademark theory, if only because it provides an opportunity to show non-lawyers that trademarks are not equivalent to never-expiring copyrights.

about 3 months ago


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