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IEEE Spectrum Digs Into the Future of Money

Failed Physicist Re:Freedom (292 comments)

But look at the benefits! No one will be able to counterfeit money (except the banks, of course)!

more than 2 years ago
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News Corp's The Daily Is Doomed

Failed Physicist Re:failure path (246 comments)

It's called RSS. On android I have Newsrob, a RSS reader that syncs with my GReader feeds, filled with feeds ranging from geopolitical news aggregators to single-author travelblogs. I've got it configured to retrieve full html versions of the pages linked of which it caches locally the 1000 most recent. It has made me go through a massive paradigm shift about information retrieval, one which I would now have a hard time living without. I wouldn't know why iOS wouldn't have similar apps, except of course if apps are restricted in their use of local storage, which I think is true...

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Changes Stance On Water Damage Policy

Failed Physicist Re:I'm a cellphone tech at one of the US Big 4 (155 comments)

Hell, depending on the area, Canada knows between 1 and 3 months of -20C or colder temperatures... It is indeed "normal" operating conditions (ok, maybe only occasional) for large swathes of the globe.

more than 3 years ago
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When Should I Buy an Android Tablet?

Failed Physicist Re:Here's what I'd do (396 comments)

Kiva is an evil machination in order to draw more and more poor people everywhere in the world into the gravitational pull of credit-based consumer economies. Plus, Kiva might not pay you back any interests on the money you so freely share, but the microfinance organisations they loan it to do charge loan-shark rates, which often go from 12.5% to 25%+. All it takes to draw more consumer-addicts in and suck them dry before the corruption of credit-based economies becomes obvious even to the most remote uneducated pigmy.
I'd use the 1000$ to buy silver and have 1250-1500$ in 6 months.

more than 3 years ago
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Internet Downloading Costs To Rise In Canada

Failed Physicist Re:Don't worry (433 comments)

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle

more than 3 years ago
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4chan Has Been DDOSed

Failed Physicist Re:As apprehended.... (710 comments)

What about those users of LOIC who understand the technicals behind the system, yet chooses to use it anyway? Because a distributed network of people donating their own connection to obstruct a target is no different from a sit-in or protest, which are both legitimate forms of civil disobedience. "Hiding in the mob" per say, you are still "physically" present on the scene in order to pass a certain message, and could of course be prosecuted. But you rely on the fact that the police/courts/black helicopters would have to come down on tens/hundreds of thousands of people who feel the same way that you do to know it won't happen, in the opposite case of which the enormity of the overreaction would still reach your goal of waking people up to the truth of how far down the rabbit hole we are.

more than 3 years ago
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In Canada, Criminal Libel Charges Laid For Criticizing Police

Failed Physicist Re:Canada always gets its way (383 comments)

Not to mention that the authorities that be have clearly laid bare their contempt for individual sovereignty and the Charter during this summer's G20 (That's the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for you, rest of the world). We may or may not have lived under a police state for a long time, but I think post-G20 is the first time where the affirmation that Canada isn't a police state cannot be defended at all.

The last 2 years, I've been trying to ring the alarm for my friends and relatives, to (what seems to be) no avail. But the lack of indignation about the G20 events have told me all I needed to know; we've been (apparently successfully) sheeple'd just like the Americans and the English. I'm out; my plane is leaving in a few days.

more than 4 years ago
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Apple Relaxes iOS Development Tool Restrictions

Failed Physicist Re:Opening it up will just prove Apples point (347 comments)

After the disaster that has been flash on Andoid so far

I like people that make absurd generalisations. Tells me they're probably too stupid to hold a more complex thoughts or that they might merely have crafted their opinions by briefly skimming a couple articles in the interblags.
Self-deprecating cynism aside, I'm a google N1 user. I've had flash on it ever since 2.2 was released (what, more than a month ago?) and since then, I've only had 2 crappy websites that had flash which wouldn't want to load. So I reloaded them without asking to activate flash (it's a whitelist a la noscript) and had to surf it flashless like any iOS user would. On the other 95% of sites with flash it worked flawlessly and I had all of the "value added".
Some pretentious blogging heads tried to make a huge story out of this, but reality is that it is not a disaster and works quite well, notwithstanding any flaws that you might expect Flash to have.

more than 4 years ago
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Samsung Galaxy Tablet Coming In September

Failed Physicist Re:oh goody (202 comments)

Lol. Seems you're so deep into your case of fanboyitis that you wouldn't recognize reality if it hit you with a clue stick in the face. Android has been sustaining about a 100% growth PER QUARTER for the last year. While Apple were touching themselves for selling 1.4 million iphone 4 handsets a week after their launch event, android was silently sustaining 160k+ activations per day, the equivalent of a launch event every week!

Moreover, that you think it is not designed as a device shows you have no clue what you are talking about. Android is just as much an appliance as iOS is. With over 100k apps in Android's market and growing faster than iOS's, the app count e-peen wars are just as obsolete as the p&s megapixel wars. Many thousands of great apps, and many more shitty, on both sides.

Show the average consumer what they have to do to get there music onto a galaxy s phone and they'll look at you dumbfounded and just use their iPod.

Yeah right. Plug your generic usb cable in and drag'n'drop as if onto a usb stick. Or use any media manager you might be using to sync playlists and the songs within. On the iPod? Locked into crappy iTunes, and god forbid you'd want to add that one song from a friend's computer you haven't synced from? Yeah, it'll wipe your iOS's whole app and music library, which you'll have to go through the hassle of re-syncing when you get back to your home pc. Pure win, right?

more than 4 years ago
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Canon Unveils 120-Megapixel Camera Sensor

Failed Physicist Re:some daguerretypes have gigapixel resolution (289 comments)

pinhole cameras (from maybe f54 and going even higher than f1000) have essentially infinite depth of field, leading to perfect focus anywhere.
Diffraction got really bad over f200 though, but larger "film sizes" tend to counter this. Daguerrotypes are essentially the glass pane on which the image is projected, so they had a lot of magnification potential.

more than 4 years ago
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Canon Unveils 120-Megapixel Camera Sensor

Failed Physicist Re:Sorry, still somewhat lame (289 comments)

Yes, a 120 megapixel, 35mm (24x36) chip. That is, by the way, about 14 000 lines per inch. 59.7 of those sensors would be needed to fill a 8"x10" frame. So at this pixel density, what you thought was a "mere 120 megapixel" actually becomes a 7.168 gigapixel image.

That is an absurdly high number; printing at 300 dpi, (assuming square image for lazyness), that would make a print 24 feet across.

But who looks at a billboard with a magnifier?

Only use I can conceive (though there are, of course, probably more) is using a surveillance camera with, say, a 106 degree FOV (16 mm lens) and crop 440x into it for a 500 mm FOV (5 degrees) with an end result close to a modern camera - 16 mp. But this would require lenses far above and beyond current top of the line, professional lenses: current pixel densities in DX cameras (that are much more dense than 35mm) are already able to resolve more than even the center (which is the part with the best resolution) of modern lenses can show. Measurements go around 2000-2500 lines per inch for golden-ring Nikon and Canon L series, a number which, by the way, fits perfectly well with current pixel densities (Canon is already pushing it a little at 24 mp, and next-gen 40mp will already need a refresh of the L series to perform optimally). Referring back to the 14k lines per inch for the sensor above, you can see how much would be wasted without any currently existing lens that can resolve that much.

For the record, I shoot with a 12mp D700. Not as good low-light as a D3s (which is about 2 stops better) yet I am still amazed that I can shoot handheld after sundown without any noise or even by moonlight in the dead of night if I'm ready to compromise a little bit on noise (6400-12800 iso). I can't understand people who want more pixels than that; reducing noise in low-light situations is my main priority and more pixels are directly counter to that.

more than 4 years ago
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Look For AI, Not Aliens

Failed Physicist Re:Look for astronomic size artifacts, not just ra (452 comments)

Many such interesting scenarii have been explored in different SF books in the last couple of dozen years.
Artifacts that we could look for include Dyson Spheres (or its computational equivalent, Matrioshka Brains), which would present themselves as orbiting rings/clouds of satellites designed to harvest as much electromagnetic energy from their star as possible. Their presence can be inferred from massive shifts into the infrared from all the harvested energy that is then re-emmitted as waste heat. This is a major thread in the excellent (and creative-commons licensed!) exploration of the Singularity concept, Accelerando by Charles Stross. Accelerando also introduces such head asploding concepts as timing channel attacks on the quantum structure of the universe in order to determine whether the universe is a simulation or not.
For possible galactic-scale civilisations, we'd have to look for even weirder phenomena, that we can barely conceive as plausible. Stephen Baxter explores a far-future in the Xeelee Sequence (best hard science fiction series that I have ever read) in which humanity is fighting against extinction by an exponentially more advanced race. They didn't even consider humans flies until they tried to appropriate Xeelee technology, but they don't really have time to wipe us out as they are busy manipulating galactic clusters (i.e. the Grand Attractor) to try and reverse-engineer the spacetime structure by creating naked singularities. We could eventually notice this once/if we get better at detecting gravitational waves/pulses.

A much more scifi-noob friendly novel in the same veins is Larry Niven's Ringworld. Sadly, while being very interesting, the world that he created is actually physically impossible. Too bad.

more than 4 years ago
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Julian Assange Faces Rape Investigation In Sweden — Updated

Failed Physicist Re:This just in (1017 comments)

Same way Terry Childs "was just doing his job".

Well, he was doing his job. That his superiors didn't understand what his job was has no actual weight regarding this.

more than 4 years ago
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Julian Assange Faces Rape Investigation In Sweden — Updated

Failed Physicist Re:This just in (1017 comments)

Occam's Razor doesn't cut it when it is plausible that the intelligence community is involved.

more than 4 years ago
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Supercomputing, There's an App For That

Failed Physicist Re:FEMM for android. (66 comments)

My stock Nexus One running Froyo (Android 2.2) gets an effective 34 MFlops on linpack (and I didn't even kill the background tasks).
This is better than 1969's top supercomputer (theoritical peak of 36 MFlops, effective ~10) and equivalent to 1974's top supercomputer CDC STAR-100 that had a theoritical peak of 100 MFlops but which had much lower realworld performance.
The nexus one cost me 600 with tax and shipping. The CDC 7600, which is easily beaten, cost 5 millions in 1970's dollars.

Run-of-the-mill modern desktops are much more impressive; a 300$ nVidia GPU can easily push a 800$ desktop (total) over 1 TFlop, something which supercomputers only achieved back in 1997 with Intel's ASCI Red 9632.

Oh and btw Android already runs a very nice app called Tricorder. It's already here ;)

more than 4 years ago
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Google's CEO Warns Kids Will Have to Change Names to Escape "Cyber Past"

Failed Physicist Re:Name change won't work (706 comments)

all of these can be changed, erased or dropped without changing who you are. Somewhat hard, but not much of a sacrifice involved.

On the other hand... Browsing patterns? Favorite geolocations? Depth of knowledge in differing fields, education, type of belief system, likes and dislikes in music, movies, sports, arts, philosophy, politics, rhetorical style, general attitude and personality that can be inferred from shyness, aggressiveness, type of humor, and so on and so forth? Most of these can already be cross-correlated to some extent (and the correlation algorithms/analytical engines will only keep getting better at it), and will draw a portrait of you that you will not be able to evade lest you sacrifice a significant part of who you actually are.

My personal take about this is one of general powerlessness, as justified by the history of how I used the intertubes. I started using the net when I was really young (10 years old, 1996) and left a huge real-name trail of info that squirmed and shifted through the years, yet always followed me. I began forming a deep understanding about the nature of internet quite too late (maybe around 1999), way back when I started lurking on slashdot, and then I had on-off phases of differing commitment to privacy, but I could always see that the trail had not dissipated behind me.

So I joined facebook and accepted that information wants to be free. I've found it easier and easier ever since, as I began ascribing to the motto, "if you don't think it, don't say it, if you don't believe it's right, don't do it". Thus I can be quite revealing online yet don't feel the slightest unease, even when I get into deep political/economical/philosophical/etc arguments. Sure, maybe some bible-thumper or political radical or such will get offended sometime, and try to give me trouble for it, but at that time I'll be happy to defend myself as I am proud of who I am and where I am going. So should some bureaucrat ever be offended at my omnipresent anti-fascist, anti-MIC rhetoric, well bring it on.

As E. E. Cummings once said, "to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight, and never stop fighting".

more than 4 years ago
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Google's CEO Warns Kids Will Have to Change Names to Escape "Cyber Past"

Failed Physicist Re:Scary (706 comments)

Well, it's not necessarily creepy.
For instance, I have the habit of checking my favorite webcomics in a sequential bunch.
I open chrome (or take an existing window) and ctrl-t about 5 times, type xkcd, ctrl-tab to the next tab, type cad- (comic.com gets suggested), ctrl-tab, type pen (ny-arcade gets suggested), ctrl-tab, type dil (bert.com is suggested)...
So what if, when I opened five news tabs all at once, and started to type xkcd, chrome would recognize (locally) my pattern and fill in the other 4 tabs with the url of my favorite webcomics?
I wouldn't consider that intrusive, assuming the pattern recognition was wholly local and opt-in.

more than 4 years ago
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Wikileaks To Publish Remaining Afghan Documents

Failed Physicist Re: save lives by exposing military tactics.... (711 comments)

So far as I can tell, this is only the release of day to day operations material, and not something detailing corruption or war crimes.

Unless your day to day operations commonly entail corruption and war crimes.

more than 4 years ago
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Wikileaks To Publish Remaining Afghan Documents

Failed Physicist Re:save lives by exposing military tactics.... (711 comments)

Btw, if you care to look at the history of Afghanistan, the disaster that it is now started with a leftist Soviet sponsored coup in 1978.

[...]

So it's a reasonable argument that it was the Soviet Union that caused Taliban to come to power and that the US role was incidental.

Hmmm, no. Zbigniew Brzezinski, a major american geostrategist that served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981 (and then to various very influential neoconservative thinktanks) boasted himself that he enticed the Soviets into Afghanistan as a way to pull them into a quagmire, weakening their empire. (Many more links of similar interviews with him are available if you look, he was quite open about his strategies a decade and two later)

Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs [From the Shadows], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

B: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Also, here's a more recent interview with the man himself, that reveals depths of geostrategy that you might not even have dreamed of.

more than 4 years ago
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Wikileaks To Publish Remaining Afghan Documents

Failed Physicist Re:save lives by exposing military tactics.... (711 comments)

Under customary international law, it is a war crime to wage a war of aggression, where a war of aggression is defined as a war without the justification of self-defense.

Dozen of post-WWII US wars have tried to skirt around this by either twisting the definition of a war (oh, this isn't a war, this is "police action" or some other BS) or trying to define self-defense extremely broadly (oh, look, a couple of private citizens have done an act of terrorism against our citizens, and it seems they might have some ill-defined link with an ill-defined group that's currently working, among other places, in Afghanistan, so lets go at war against Afghanistan. But lets call it a war against terror so they don't think it's personal...) Same rhetoric for the war against Iraq (Hussein must've got weapons of mass destruction, we still got the old receipts, so let's wage war against his country under the pretense that he could somehow decide to hit us at some time, even though that would be clearly against any of his interests... that rhetoric could as well be used to justify a war against Canada, since canadians might think about burning the white house, because they've already done it once)

Anyhow, both the Iraq and Afghanistan war clearly fall under the umbrella of War of Aggression.

more than 4 years ago

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Finally made an account

Failed Physicist Failed Physicist writes  |  more than 6 years ago Well well well. After lurking in those forums since I was 15 years old, that is nearly 7 years ago, I decided to finally join up with every other non-anon member here. I was being typically lazy and never signed up when I started reading it, and a couple years later when I thought about finally making an account to reply to a particularly interesting comment, I thought to myself, "Why bother, anyways you could have had under 100 000 (or some such) and now all you'll get is a measly 600 000", might as well simply post anon... Then a couple years later, I began the same procedure for an even more interesting article, ending with telling myself the same thing, except with the number being 1,000 000. And now for no particular reason I realised I should either make one now or forget about it altogether. So here I am. Now, to start getting some posting history, I got 7 years of somewhat insightful questions, informative answers or disappointing posts history to make up for.

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