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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

Etherwalk Actually... (449 comments)

This is how things are supposed to be. The legal system was designed for individuals "to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects."

Like many countries, we inherited a strange and somewhat muddled legal system from England. That bit got added along the way.


US Military Aware Only Belatedly of Chinese Attacks Against Transport Contractors

Etherwalk Punishment Tricky (13 comments)

The problem with punishing companies with bad security is that it discourages self-reporting. We *want* companies to report and rectify the problems.

What we should do is penalize it, but not if it is promptly reported.


Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Etherwalk Old News (898 comments)

This argument has been around at least since the Victorian era. Basically, when you give up the certainty of Romanticism and Religion, you need to fill the void with something in order to give life meaning and direction, or else there'll be this big empty spot where your heart used to be.

Seriously, just read through the Norton Anthology from the era. Doesn't take that long.

5 days ago

Harvard's CompSci Intro Course Boasts Record-Breaking Enrollment

Etherwalk Women in CS (135 comments)

I (a man) would be welcome with open arms to a crocheting class. Women are not treated as equals in a CS course. Source: I taught CS classes.

They are in many CS classes. My undergrad found significantly more retention of women in CS when women were also teaching the class.

5 days ago

Curiosity Rover Arrives At Long-Term Destination

Etherwalk 2 years and nine kilometers... (33 comments)

So the rover is driving 2.8 miles per year.

Obviously used to DC Traffic.

about a week ago

Turning the Tables On "Phone Tech Support" Scammers

Etherwalk Re:What Microsoft could do (208 comments)

M$ won't care, it's more money for them when your computer gets screwed up and you have to (a) call M$ tech support (b) buy a new PC (c) buy another M$ license (d) take your pc to a repair shop.

I am going to go ahead and make an educated guess that Microsoft has done more to improve computer security for gullible people than you have.

I'm not saying it's perfect--but it's a lot more secure than it used to be, and they want it to be secure, and they spend a lot of money on making machines secure.

about a week ago

Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Etherwalk Re:Separate hardware from software (418 comments)

If you actually knew an oscilloscope from your ass from a hole in the ground, you'd be able to spell "Tektronix".

PROTIP: It's written on the front of all the Tektronix oscilloscopes that you've CLEARLY NEVER SEEN.

Now back under your bridge, troll.

Don't be mean.

about a week ago

Device Boots Drones, Google Glass Off Wi-Fi

Etherwalk Breaking the Law... (184 comments)

This is arguably a violation of 47 U.S.C. Section 333 (2012), prohibiting willful or malicious interference with radio communications.

about two weeks ago

UN Study Shows Record-High Increases For Atmospheric CO2 In 2013

Etherwalk Make a difference--kill your yard. (427 comments)

So let's do something useful.

Anyone with a grass yard should be planting a small forest of actual trees. Carbon sinks. Much better for the environment, also because there is much less energy spent maintaining them.

about two weeks ago

Home Depot Confirms Breach of Its Payment Systems

Etherwalk These are new systems... (111 comments)

Home Depot deployed new card readers at all their stores (of the ones I saw at least) almost overnight shortly after the target breach. I had guessed it was in response to the breach to beef up security...

But it looks like it was the new ones that were compromised... (or else it was coincidental).

about two weeks ago

BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

Etherwalk Scaled property rights (362 comments)

The old saying "The Emperor has no clothes" applies here. Copyright law is a distorted abomination. The terms of copyright are outrageous, a work created today will not enter the public domain in my lifetime because the length of protection is so corrupted. Since I will die before Alien (1979) enters the public domain then that means copyright is effectively unlimited. "Expiry" is a lie. Sane copyright law would see works enter the public domain after a reasonable amount of time such as 14 (original term) to 20 years (what would be acceptable). Not only would those works then be able to be freely shared but also new works, with new sane protection terms, would be able to be created in those universes. A new Alien movie which does not need the blessing of the old creators. 20 years is long enough, long enough for Terminator 2 to now be public domain and Skynet to be a free literary construct. When it comes to copyright laws another saying applies "unjust laws serve to bring all laws into contempt." A primer on the subject can be found here as a freely downloadable PDF: The Public Domain.

Yes and no. A starving artist who makes nothing from his work should continue to receive his small royalty, if he gets any; a project that hasn't earned back its costs should have copyright extended for a *long* time--maybe 40 years or the lifetime of the artist, whichever is longer. But a project that has made its producers hundreds of millions should enter the public domain within five to ten years. There is no justification for copyright beyond that term when a project has been enormously successful.

about two weeks ago

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

Etherwalk Re:Wages (527 comments)

I think $200k top salary including bonuses far exceeds what many CEO's need for living a basic high quality life. Any more than that would just be wasted on blow and hookers.

Really just ignorantly untrue. Nice houses, second homes, good services, retirement portfolio, helping worse-off relatives, donations to charitable causes--there are many expenses that wealthy people have (or choose to have) which are perfectly legitimate and can easily go past the $200K/year mark.

about two weeks ago

How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

Etherwalk Scientific Consensus can be challenged (770 comments)

Scientific consensus is like "you cannot exceed the speed of light." If you happen to demonstrate that you exceeded the speed of light, you want to be careful about how you present it--e.g. "we have this interesting result and can someone help show what we did wrong?"--but the community will take notice if you actually show that the consensus is wrong. The more consensus there is, the better the evidence you need to posit the question, but the community still listens.

about two weeks ago

How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

Etherwalk Re:Worse than that... (770 comments)

I'm sorry, I got my negatives in the wrong place. It does say exactly what you're objecting to, doesn't it?

Well... shoot. I'm not going to defend what I said that was incorrect. But the intent is defending the frequency of causative studies in psychology.

That's fair. These are problems I've seen in a majority or at least large minority of the studies I've seen and that I have seen referenced, but I do not work in the field so may suffer from sample bias. :)

about two weeks ago

How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

Etherwalk Re:Worse than that... (770 comments)

Many studies in psychology and sociology do study correlation. There's nothing wrong with it, it just creates a limitation that it is difficult to reliably develop clinical tools from. You can call the studies "preliminary" if you want, but that doesn't make them invalid.

There are also causative experiments that are interesting and useful. They do not suffer from the same limitation, although others (e.g. common experimental populations) apply.

about two weeks ago

How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

Etherwalk Re:Worse than that... (770 comments)

Correlation or causation depends on the design of the study. When it comes to surveys, those would be correlational studies. When it comes to studying animal behavior, those would be causation.

Absolutely. Most of the studies I have seen discussed or come across in psychology have been correlation-based. While many people are good at saying they don't know for sure what the study means, most people looking at it interpret it to have meaning that fits with their preexisting biases.


Any study's results are only generalizable to the population from which the sample was derived. Thus if the sample was taken from a population of Ohio State university students, those results are only generalizable to that population.

Yes, hence the problem with conducting so many experiments on college students.

Your complaint is with the media and how they report the results no the study's principle investigator.

Not only them. You also see a lot of the same problems in psychology textbooks, for example, and among psychologists. Psychologists are not immune to the problems which plague non-psychologists looking at the research.

I have no problem with any study's principal investigator. I may have problems with their conclusions, but prefer to read a study before I critique it. A broad statement that I have seen certain problems in a field or two does not invalidate the work of any particular person, or even the field as a whole--it simply says that I have seen an issue that the field needs to work on. And it does, to some extent--while psychology is still bad at questioning some underlying tenets, it is much more focused on, for example, cross-cultural research than it was twenty years ago.

about two weeks ago

How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

Etherwalk Worse than that... (770 comments)

It's actually much worse than that.

Studies in economics and psychology tend to suffer from certain problems which limit their real-world application and the likelihood that they actually mean what people think they mean.

First, they are often based on correlation rather than causation. This is especially true with psychology studies, and readily allows confirmation bias, incorrect interpretations of data, and interpretations of data which are heavily influenced by the perspective of the researcher.

Second, they are often done on western college students. This tends not to yield rules of general applicability.

Third, most economics (and psychology of economics) experiments are advertising experiments. They are done by corporations for financial gain and the results are generally kept secret because they are part of a company's IP and help the company sell its products, and because it simply saves the company money to not bother publishing.

about two weeks ago

Getting Into College the Old Fashioned Way: With Money

Etherwalk Smart People (161 comments)

Would you rather be surrounded by smart people or by normal people?

Better schools give you smarter peer groups, and you learn from and with smarter peer groups.

about two weeks ago

Invasion of Ukraine Continues As Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Sabre Rattling

Etherwalk Not the end... (789 comments)

1) Putin is just posturing re: tactical nukes.

2) If Russia used tactical nukes, at least against NATO troops, it would go *very* badly for Russia. We're talking collapse-their-economy bad at the absolute minimum.

about two weeks ago

Hidden Obstacles For Delivery Drones

Etherwalk Power Lines (215 comments)

I just don't want to have to listen to drones buzzing by for any reason. The convenience factor is not worth the loss of quality of life for everyone.

Power lines make communities much, much uglier if you actually stop to look at them. Convenience almost always trumps annoying the reticent.

about two weeks ago



China Criticizes US For Making Weapons Plans Stealable, Alleges Attacks.

Etherwalk Etherwalk writes  |  about a year ago

Etherwalk (681268) writes "Huang Chengqing, director of the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team/Coordination Center of China, alleged that United States cyber-attacks on China have been as serious as those on the United States. In response to the recent hacks of United States military designs, he replied with an observation whose obviousness is worthy of Captain Hammer: "Even following the general principle of secret-keeping, it should not have been linked to the Internet.""
Link to Original Source

Manhattan, 1984

Etherwalk Etherwalk writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Etherwalk writes "The New York Times (and the usual suspects) are reporting on developments in the quest to charge driving fees for all vehicles headed below 86th Street in Manhattan. Notably absent from any part of the discussion? A record is made of every car or truck that enters, together with the vehicle ownership information and the date and time of travel — either as part of EZ-Pass or in license-plate photos taken for subsequent billing."

Etherwalk Etherwalk writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Etherwalk writes "NY's Mayor Bloomberg announced today a series of green initiatives to reduce pollution in New York City, notably planting 1 million new trees and adding an $8 fee for all cars and $21 for commercial trucks driving below 86th Street from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM on weekdays, the fee to be levied via EZ-Pass and license photos. The system's implementation effectively would make it a crime to enter lower Manhattan in your own vehicle without creating a record of your driving habits for the state."


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