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Former NATO Nuclear Bunker Now an 'Airless' Unmanned Data Center

Frobnicator Re:How is maintenance performed? (147 comments)

I can see a good BOHF episode answering this question.

The episodes have addressed it many times. In fact, both the article AND THE /. story talk about it: "We developed a solution that reduces the oxygen content in the air, so that even matches go out..."

The answer is easy enough: Halon satisfies their requirements, as do Halon substitutes. They work well for cooling and suppress fires. Halon discharges are a BOFH staple.

2 days ago

Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade

Frobnicator Re:Only for the first year (570 comments)

I think the key question is what happens after the first year? How much does it cost after year 1? If you don't pay will it brick your PC or just stop providing updates?

Either way, I predict a massive revolt about 365 days after the upgrade is released.

I also predict a massive PR push by various Linux groups starting about 300 days in.

about two weeks ago

FBI Seeks To Legally Hack You If You're Connected To TOR Or a VPN

Frobnicator Re:Even Better (382 comments)

Wait till your infrastructure dies because the FBI or some other three letter agency is poking around in your systems trying to install a backdoor or exploit.

Seems like you missed the news on that.

Last May, as part of Glenn Greenwald's book, the NSA's process of supply-chain interdiction was exposed. They would intercept shipments of Cisco hardware, install the back doors, replace factory seals, and put it back into the shipping chain. One story. And another.

Cisco's response was somewhat curious. It wasn't outrage. It wasn't a lawsuit. It wasn't an emotional response. It was a calm, publicly released letter addressed to President Obama about trust and confidence. Nowhere in their public statements do they say anything about surprise, or about lack of knowledge that it was happening, or that they were not complicit.

Nope, it is an open letter asking the government to restore trust and confidence. It reads like the company was asking "please don't let these secrets go public again."

It is widely believed -- and documented -- that government agencies have already inserted various backdoors into Cisco corporate security products. It is also likely that the companies know full well about their products being intercepted and modified by the government, and that Cisco and others are helping the various agencies by tagging the products to be modified.

about two weeks ago

IEEE: New H-1B Bill Will "Help Destroy" US Tech Workforce

Frobnicator Re:H1-B Tech workers are NOT paid less! (484 comments)

Sources for all these magical wages? Wherever I've been I don't see the tech giant directly hiring the H1Bs. Instead they hire a contracting firm, and the contracting firm brings in an army from India and China.

And as for some of the companies on the list like Microsoft, they beg and plead for more H1B workers, but last year in July, September, and October they laid off a combined total of over 25,000 Americans with a corporate ban to not rehire any of them.

Somehow those 25,000 workers cannot do the job despite many of them having stellar backgrounds, yet they tell Congress in September that they cannot find any qualified workers and so they are opening up offices in other nations..

Most of us see this for what it is: a corporate money grab. The numbers you gave (without citation) do not paint the real picture. Those numbers may be what the companies publicly state when they are pleading for their desperate need for tech workers, but they do not match the reality of the layoffs, the people training their H1-B replacements, the office closures, and the creation of cheaper foreign offices. I cannot fault the companies in their desire to maximize profits, that is the nature of the beast. But please don't fall for and recite their well-spun lies about H1-B workers not displacing American workers.

about two weeks ago

IEEE: New H-1B Bill Will "Help Destroy" US Tech Workforce

Frobnicator Re:ah so both parties f-d us (484 comments)

Well, voting for Obama solidly makes you part of the problem

BOTH PARTIES contribute to the problem. This is not a party-line issue. This story body and TFA point that out: bipartisan bill.

Given the political parties in power there is no good way an American can vote to fix the problem. Both parties listen to the money from businesses who like the cheap slave labor H1-B provides. Who wouldn't want to hire workers for 1/4 the money that cannot leave for another company that pays better?

As a resident of one of the states mentioned in the story I've written my senator in the past about not raising the limits, and just seconds ago wrote again, including my own sad story of a layoff after training my own H1-B replacement in 2012 and learning that he was being paid about 1/4 of my salary, below the poverty line. Not that writing to the senator will do much good as I've written in several times before and only get a form letter "Thank you for mentioned your concerns. They are important. I will now ignore them. Signed, Senator Moneywhore."

about two weeks ago

FBI Access To NSA Surveillance Data Expands In Recent Years

Frobnicator Re:Scope creep ... (52 comments)

It's worse than "papers please" ... I'm very sure we are all guilty of something. Prosecution therefore, is selective and can be used to target anyone getting in the way of people with power and three letter agencies.

As a history buff, one of the recurring themes of revolution, both as a cause of the revolution and as a key result, is the opportunity to wipe the slate of the old laws.

It is very rare for an old empire to survive more than a few hundred years without either a revolution that resets the legal slate, or some serious reformation work to clean up all the accumulated cruft. The few old empires with old established law (like the UK) have had many major rewrites of the legal infrastructure.

The US is rapidly approaching the critical mass for such an event, either a major reformation and reduction in laws or people getting upset enough to hit the big "reset the government" button.

about three weeks ago

Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

Frobnicator Re:Not just self-employed.. (450 comments)

Your fake incredulity notwithstanding, most people do not have the cash for that. They have to pay bills.

Investment income does not necessarily mean having a fortune in assets.

Your personal bank account pays dividends and the government will tax it. Even my kids who maintain a balance of under $100 in their accounts earn a few cents of "investment income" each year.

about three weeks ago

Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

Frobnicator Re:Just hire a CPA (450 comments)

If you're self-employed, have investment income, or asset depreciation, you probably already do your taxes with a real CPA. If you aren't, you probably should.

Not necessarily. If you've already got your home and other items paid for, you can be self employed and live off a fairly meager self-employed income. Or alternatively, if you have a lot of investments you can survive quite well with no direct income. Just because you have some wealth or are self employed does not mean you have a lot of discretionary funds, nor that you want to spend those funds on a tax professional.

A quick search of Google for tax prep costs for an 1040 with an itemized schedule A, plus Schedule C, Schedule D, and Schedule SE (which are the ones I personally file for my own home business), plus the similar state tax forms, have a starting cost around $400.

The big tie-in for Intuit is if you use their accounting software (Quicken for individuals, QuickBooks for small business and personal mixed funds) and properly mark your transactions then TurboTax will automatically do all the hard parts of the taxes for you, almost zero data entry was required. It would automatically itemize everything based on all the details you enter for every transaction over the year. You end up paying about $150 per year in software, but it makes accounting a little bit easier.

They could have done this with much less backlash with a little bit of additional communication. Maybe announce two years in advance that the prices will be going up, making it visible as part of the annoying ads they have built into both products in recent years. It is still cheaper than hiring someone to do it, but it is an unexpected cost they didn't mention until the last minute.

about three weeks ago

EFF: Apple's Dev Agreement Means No EFF Mobile App For iOS

Frobnicator Re:Principles vs Practicality (220 comments)

Well, I'm sorry for the EFF, then, but everyone knows what the terms are to get an app in the iOS App Store.

Yes, of course everyone knows.

The headline and other content is all old news, only perhaps a first exposure to anyone who hasn't read much about the Apple development process. The linked article is from March 2010 , almost five years ago.

EFF announced a new app for Android, so the first two sentences of the /. post are great and newsworthy. Everything else in this submission is just inflammatory clickbait.

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Are Progressive Glasses a Mistake For Computer Users?

Frobnicator Re:Resist bifocals/trifocals and progressive lense (464 comments)

Polarized lenses often don't play well with LCDs.

Yes. Many types of displays are subject to it. LCDs and OLCD displays are always subject to it because of the way the crystals twist in a polarized way. Other display technologies have better or worse interaction with polarized light. A common intentional use of it are the polarized light 3D displays like the 3D IMAX movies.

I have polarized sunglasses in my car to help cut through glare and my frequently-dirty windshield. Sometimes they do not play well with display screens.

When I refuel the vehicle I need to take them off, since the display screens on the fuel station usually don't play well with polarized light. On many fueling station displays I can turn the glasses and make the display go from being clear to being fully invisible.

Many cell phones and tablets have screens that don't work with polarized lenses. Ideally if the screen is subject to polarization they are polarized at a 45 degree angle so both common orientations show the screen. Some screens are more subject to polarization than others, depending on the manufacturing details. But today, nearly all of their stronger-polarized screen result in some common angles that give a bright and clear display while the other orientation is completely invisible. YouTube example.

The same effect can happen on computer monitors depending on the details of the display.

Think twice about asking for polarized prescription lenses rather than as a clip. While they may be easier on your eyes when spending a day on the lake and more convenient than clipped-on polarizing sunglasses, they should not be your only pair.

about a month ago

US Army Could Waive Combat Training For Hackers

Frobnicator Re:It would do them good. (223 comments)

They are trying to attract good hackers. If a good hacker is out of shape and you make him go though pre-basic, then basic, he just must decide its not worth it and get a job somewhere else. After all if his skills are that good he has lots of options.

So what you're saying is there are not enough qualified American tech workers are willing to invest the time and effort to satisfy the long list of requirements. So clearly more H1B's are needed. :-)

about 1 month ago

TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords

Frobnicator Re:And how many were terrorists? Oh, right, zero. (276 comments)

Source: Am airline pilot.

That is not authoritative on the subject. If you were an aircraft engineer designing cabin fuselage for Boeing, that would be different.

While in pilot training I'm sure you learned a lot of things about air pressure and air flow over the wings, I seriously doubt you are an expert on the exact changes involved for bullet holes in the fuselage. Flight school won't have you spending time memorizing the material properties of the compounds used in the fuselage, won't have you studying the formulas for airflow through tiny holes and the stresses it places on them. Flight school certainly won't have you analyzing assorted styles of bullet-hole punctures to see how it affects metal fatigue and stress.

And as for maintaining pressurization, as a pilot you should already know that ECS compressors are running all the time. Some of the air exits through an outflow valve, but quite a lot is constantly escaping through small leaks all over the fuselage. While the design attempts to build an air-tight fuselage, in practice there are many small holes and air escaping everywhere. Yet the aircraft doesn't explosively decompress from those small holes. "Miraculously" everything from a small Cesna to a jumbo jet remain intact despite the pressure differences and small leaks around the craft.

about a month ago

Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

Frobnicator Re:I'm shocked. (191 comments)

i'd be surprised if apple didn't win the case.

At the jury level this is expected. The appeal was expected either way. And in the longer term this may turn out differently.

Anti-trust concerns usually do benefit the consumer in the short term. And as the article points out, the jury specifically wrote that the features have an immediate benefit to the consumer.

Usually anti-trust problems are not immediately bad for the consumer. In the short term the consumer sees a lower price, easier access, and other conveniences.

In the long term the market ends up with monopolies and oligopolies, a loss of vibrancy, a slowdown in innovation, less desire to follow expensive advances, and worse customer experiences. Think of your local telco and cable companies as prime examples.

I expect that like so many other technical cases the jury's verdict will be overturned on appeal because juries in the US rarely understand the actual law. While criminal law is usually pretty straightforward for a lay jury, things like IP law and business law are often miscommunicated or misunderstood when handed to a jury of random citizens.

about a month and a half ago

Congress Passes Bill Allowing Warrantless Forfeiture of Private Communications

Frobnicator Re: PRIVATE encryption of everything just became.. (379 comments)

But cloud is great, right? They told me cloud is great!

Yes, cloud is great as a convenience for you.

It is also great as a convenience for NSA and other agencies. The text of the bill allows that anything that was encrypted can be kept indefinitely. If your web site says HTTPS then it is fair game for permanent governmental storage.

Also, they can retain it forever for a number of reasons:

From the bill now on its way to the President's desk: "(3)(B) A covered communication shall not be retained in excess of 5 years unless ... (ii) the communication is reasonably believed to constitute evidence of a crime ... (iii) the communication is enciphered or reasonably believed to have a secret meaning; (iv) all parties to the communication are reasonably believed to be non-United States persons;"

#2 should be troubling. Does your communication (which is not limited to just email, but also includes web pages and any other data) have any evidence of a crime? Evidence that you downloaded a movie or software from a warez site, or looked at porn as a minor, or violated any of the policy-made-crimes that even the federal government has declared they are not countable? With an estimate of over 300,000 'regulations-turned-crime', plus laws that incorporate foreign laws (the Lacey Act's criminalization of anything done "in violation of State or foreign law"), pretty much anything you do probably violates some law somewhere in the world. Better preserve it just in case somebody eventually wants to prosecute you for that crime someday.

#3 refers back to a vague definition of "enciphered" that does not just mean encryption. The "secret meaning" could be as simple as data inside a protocol, Who is to say that the seemingly random bytes "d6 0d 9a 5f 26 71 dd a7 04 31..." used as part of a data stream are really not an encrypted message? Better record it just in case.

And of course #4, the law has a careful wording about communications between "non-United States persons". Considering the "internet of things", all those devices talking to other devices are not communications between United States persons. It was your camera (a non-United States person) communicating with a data warehouse (a non-United States person), so better exempt that from the 5-year retention policy as well.

about a month and a half ago

Congress Passes Bill Allowing Warrantless Forfeiture of Private Communications

Frobnicator Re:PRIVATE encryption of everything just became... (379 comments)

PRIVATE encryption of everything just became mandatory.

Go look back at the bill, start at page 22.

Observe that unencrypted communications can be retained for five years. But any encrypted communications can be kept indefinitely.

Also note that the law doesn't say anything about who enciphered it nor about if they are able to decipher it. If it was encrypted at any point along the journey it qualifies for unlimited retention.

about a month and a half ago

Should IT Professionals Be Exempt From Overtime Regulations?

Frobnicator Re:No (545 comments)

The last company I worked for gave us comp time in lieu of OT.

That is another classic way to skirt the law, and is often done innocently as a lack of understanding.

Employers can use comp time in some circumstances, but it must be at the overtime rate. That is, if you were at the 1.5x rate they need to compensate you 1.5x the hours, if you were at the 2.0x rate they need to compensate you 2.0x the hours.

Many employers will compensate the hours 1:1. They cannot simply shift the hours from one week to the next and tell you "don't show up for x hours". It needs to be "don't show up for (1.5*x) hours" or whatever your proper overtime rate is.

about 2 months ago

Should IT Professionals Be Exempt From Overtime Regulations?

Frobnicator Re:No (545 comments)

For programmers in CA, normally they are non-exempt, although I'm sure many skirt around it. My understanding is if you want a favorable equity package, you'll accept exempt status. If you want an hourly wage and a life, you declare non-exempt.

Both the Department of Labor and the courts disagree with your assessment.

The actual job duties themselves, not the job title, not the method of payment (hourly vs salary), and not the contract, determine if an individual worker is exempt from overtime rules.

This has been challenged time and time again in the courts. The concept of a "working foreman" is often mentioned since management is exempt from overtime. If the individual can show that at least half the time is spent on non-management tasks they are not exempt. If you spend 49% of your time or less doing management tasks you are not exempt. Even if your job title is "Managing Director", even if your contract calls you an exempt worker.

Other companies frequently fight it claiming that since they pay on an annual salary basis rather than an hourly basis they don't track it and therefore don't have to pay. These arguments lose.

Many companies like to skirt around the law since it saves money. Many companies (wrongly) claim that workers on an annual salary are exempt from overtime. Many companies (wrongly) specify that a position is exempt from overtime when legally it should not be. Even if you are paid on a regular salary instead of hourly the company is still obligated by FLSA overtime regulations.

If in doubt, make a phone call to the department of labor or whatever your state's equivalent is. They can ask a few questions and determine your status. Businesses violating the law are generally forced to pay back wages to the individuals and back taxes to the government. Since government really hates to miss tax money they tend to enforce this whenever discovered.

about 2 months ago

18th Century Law Dredged Up To Force Decryption of Devices

Frobnicator Re:Then demanding decryption will not be "reasonab (446 comments)

Google and Apple can help them by making the encryption breakable.

Nope, that battle has already been fought. That would constitute compelled speech.

They can compel the company to provide information (such as source code) for their current data. Subpoenas have been doing that for decades.

They can compel the company to help them perform certain research.

They can even use NSLs to compel the company to intercept certain communications.

But at least so far, they cannot compel the company to modify their product to become defective.They still need to do that themselves, commonly by intercepting shipments or less commonly modifying chips inside the supply chain. Note that both routes are considered clandestine, they don't compel the business to intentionally release a faulty product, instead they just sabotage the results.

about 2 months ago

FBI: Wiper Malware Has Korean Language Packs, Hard Coded Targets

Frobnicator Re:Sony chose to wage war against North Korea (81 comments)

... well-known Hollywood UBER-zionist specifically designed as a psy-op against North Korea and its leadership. ... Sony was ONLY allowed to buy its way into Hollywood when its Japanese supremo's agreed to allow Israel-friendly managers ... their desired propaganda directions ... Japan has been a servant state to Israel ... was FORCED to introduce sanctions ... Saudi Arabia and Egypt (powers in the US sphere of control) ... Sony's vicious attack against North Korea ... serve their zionist masters on their knees. ... Sony is still loathed for daring to think it has a place in Hollywood. ... Most first class cyber-attacks emanate from Israel ... What you 'earn' while you remain ON YOUR KNEES is worthless- a lesson Japan is going to learn the hard way

You started the troll so well with your first paragraph.

At least the remaining portion was fun to read. I'm not quite sure how Sony would need to sell out to Isreal before joining Hollywood, that one is confusing. The claims that the NSA is secretly beholden to Israeli Military was fun. The claim that Saudi Arabia and Egypt are under US control made me especially laugh.

Thanks for the entertainment.

about 2 months ago

Music Publishers Sue Cox Communications Over Piracy

Frobnicator Re:The real reason? (187 comments)

Common Carrier.

Nope, they have fought for decades to avoid that label. The were given the label "Information Service" and that makes all the difference in the world. That enables them to issue poison packets when they suspect things they don't like, to cancel services to people, to double-dip and sometimes triple-dip for communications as seen in cases like Netflix, and more. It has helped them evade lawsuits about discriminatory service on the basis of customers potentially being slightly more expensive, and being able to evade regulation time and time again.

Even as recently as this spring, declaring that since they are not common carriers they can discriminate allowing ISPs to charge Netflix on one side plus also charging customers on the other side.

Reclassification from "Information Service" to "Common Carrier" would be a transformative step for the net neutrality debate, dramatically forwarding the movement. But it would also come with an enormous amount of regulation and the industry really does not want that.

about 2 months ago


Frobnicator hasn't submitted any stories.



From an article about the degradation of the Internet

Frobnicator Frobnicator writes  |  more than 11 years ago

You sell a simpler box where security is the primary factor. A lot of grandmas and older people might go for something that only does AOL, mail, web browsing and maybe printing and digital photos.

That might solve part of the problem (consumer side) but not the issue that the article was about. It does not solve the real issue.

Making a grandma-friendly, secure, e-mail and download-only box would not do what the article suggests is happening. It might keep grandma from getting infected with the latest worm, but she will still get progressively less useful bandwidth from her modem. Grandma might have a 256Kbps DSL modem. She might even be fairly lucky and after dropping the malformed packets and garbage already out there, get a 200Kbps rate right now. But next year it might be 150Kbps, then 100Kbps as a few million script-kiddies are scanning for the next generation of BackOrafice trojans. Then she'll go buy a faster connection, because her Internet connection is slower than she wants. Her new connection will give her more visible speed, but would still be dropping a majority of the packets.

I've seen the issue first hand. I'm with a small business, where we have a shared T1 line. Our upstream provider performs some packet filtering, but not much. After we pay for the data through our T1, we filter it. We drop malformed packets, packets from reserved and unassigned addresses, source-routed packets, and so on. We detect and block portscans and other obvious attacks at that point as well. We average a 7-10% packet loss through that filter daily. Next, we run SpamAssassin at a high filter level (15) along with attachment and virus blocking of emails, which collectively drop thousands of e-mail messages daily. Additionally our computers are running ad-filtering programs that save us a lot of bandwidth, but ads still slip through.

If we were to assume that all the ads also got through, that is about 20-25% of our bandwidth wasted in complete junk, and that percentage has been increasing for the past two years that I have been watching it. Next we have a bunch of legitimate, but unwanted, traffic. That includes file sharing and trojan ports, incoming http, mail, telnet, DNS, ftp, rpc, and other assorted ports. We get a few hundred of these each day, and the number is always growing. Some might be people in the company trying to use NetMeeting or something, even though it is against policy. Some may be legitimate errors, while the remaining others are probably probing for systems to attack.

The article says that the problem is this growing collection of junk -- currently about a quarter of our bandwidth -- which will quickly kill the Internet unless there is a change.

Unfortunately, I agree with the author of the article; unless we see some fundamental changes, it will become unusable. There are a number of good ideas already out there as to what that may be.

One idea that I like is to remove the anonymity of end-to-end, while preserving the end-to-end functionality. Every handler of every packet signs the packet, and drops packets from sources they do not trust or with invalid signatures. The sender cannot deny sending the message, each handler signs the packets and cannot deny that they handled it, each handler can state that they directly know who they received it from, and that all end-points can verify the sources. That allows any message not properly signed and not properly addressed to be dropped, and allow for law enforcement or system admins to find out who the attackers are, or exactly which machines have been compromised.

The only significant drawbacks to that system are the resources involved in all the digital signatures and the loss of anonymity. I can only see a few reasons for anonymous speech (whistle-blowers, victims of crime, etc.) but there are other anonymous outlets for them. Online, I think non-repudiation should be built in, so long as you have encryption tools available. Your boss/government/police/mafia could know that you said something, but not know what it was.

Until that level of fundamental infrastructure change spreads across the Internet, making a grandma-friendly Internet console isn't enough. The DDoS attacks on everything from spam blacklists, litigous companies like RIAA and SCO, honest mistakes like U. Wisconson's time servers, and script-kiddie behavior will continue to degrade the Internet. The spammers clogging up mailboxes and usenet will degrade the Internet. Tomorrows worms, along with todays worms on unpached systems, will continue to degrade the Internet. More people with cable-modems downloading movies will degrade Internet performance. In short, continuing our course will be just a little worse until we hit a very-near critical threshold. Then our performance will be like a figher jet slamming into a wall of jello. We need to change course, or face some serious performance losses.



Musings about a Corpus of Truth

Frobnicator Frobnicator writes  |  more than 11 years ago This is just some ramblings based on views.

I've had a problem with the corpus of facts that people are willing to allow in their arguments lately. These in turn lead to stupid arguments, that lead to my compliants. So here are the complaints.

The first is:

Mankind has been wrong about science for all of recorded history, why are some people assuming that the newest theory is the absolute, final, last word?

Science is a progressive refinement of ideas. There was a time when the public believed that that maggots came from rotting meat and that frogs came from mud around lakes and streams or that they came from rain. Given the corpus of facts that they could work with, those were perfect, scientific beliefs.

The corpus of truth, or the accepted facts at that time [through Europe, at least] included only what could be viewed by the naked eye, and what was accepted by the Church. Since the Church probably didn't have much to say about maggots and rotting meat, it was a simple observation that (1) you had rotting meat, (2) maggots appeard, therefore maggots came from rotting meat. Similarly, (1) While at a pond there were no frogs, (2) It started raining, (3) the area got muddy, (4) frogs appeared. Sure, modern science has pretty much cleared up the origin of maggots and frogs, but it doesn't stop there.

Newtonian physics was around for quite some time, and they have been succeeded by similar equations based on Relativity. These are being further refined today. But these refined models will probably be succeeded in a few decades by yet another model that more accurately describes the Universe, and our current views will be considered 'Wrong'. But that won't mean that Newtonian models will suddenly stop working, or that the Einstienien models will stop working, just that there are more accurate models that can be used.

The point is that our current scientific views should never be taken as the absolute fact of the thing, but just as another iteration that is better than what was there before. Each of these 'facts' is added to our corpus of truth, which helps us better understand the things around us.

This leads to my second complaint,

Some people claim "Religion cannot be demonstrated by Science". That is a stupid argument.

This comes back to the corpus of truth. What are you willing to give me in my corpus? If you give me only the things I can observe with my naked eye and bare hands, I'll prove that maggots come from rotting meat and frogs come from either rain or mud. But with only my bare hands and my naked eyes, I cannot prove cellular theory, or astronomy, or even how reproduction works. If you give me only what can be observed with the naked eye and manipulated with bare hands, it becomes difficult to prove religion.

If you take one simple thing from a mathematician's corpus of truth, let's say the definition of equality or the definitions of addition and subtraction, they will lose all ability to operate. Sure, it is possible to prove addition and subtraction with advanced math, but that math cannot be proven without addition and subtraction. Similarly, if I require proof that a number is always equal to itself, but I refuse to allow any definition of equality, I can destroy all of mathematics.

The point here is that all science is based on postulates. Things that cannot be proven for whatever reason but are accepted as fact anyway. For most people, things that can be directly observed are postulates -- you cannot prove that what you saw is actually what happened, or even that you observed it, but you accept that it is what you observed, and that it is correct.

If you give just enough postulates, those can be expanded to a corpus of truth that can demonstrate the existance of a higher power.

Finally, there are the people who never accept into their corpus of truth anything that contradicts their world-view.

These are the people I most feel sorry for. Yes, there are many things out there that I may disagree with, but I am willing to accept as a theory into my corpus of truth. I may not accept it as a fact, but at the least, I will accept that you accept it. But as is the way with science, contradictions in your corpus of truth must be resolved, or at least marked as 'further research required' before being accepted as fact. When enough evidence is collected to resolve the things to fact, Science is content.

So to the people who assert that Aliens are near Earth, that Alien UFO's abduct people and return them after performing whatever experiments they had in mind, I look at the body of observations that counter them. Air traffic controllers around the world would likely detect such a vessel. Millitaries and governments would quite likely have seen them. Their motion would be seen by astronomers of all kinds, those paid for by governments, by corporations, and by schools, the students and private researchers, and arm-chair scientists. Anything trying to cover it up would be improbable (not impossible).

Of course, I DO beleve in UFO's. They are simply that -- unidentified flying objects. Individuals cannot identify them. Governments deny them, and often for good reason. Many people saw classified aircraft and the governments denied their existance until they unveiled them publically. These were UFO's. Many people have been exposed to (in many cases illigal) radition tests or toxicity tests or other experiments that governments have denied, only to admit to decades later. Yet other things are not easily explained by governments, but by bizzare acts of nature. Lakes turn over, and can even explode. Mists of a dense fog, carbon dioxide, can form naturally and flood towns with death.

While these things may not be easily explained, theories can be developed, and they can be enterered into the Corpus of Truth, to be later accepted or denied.

But now I have looked at my watch, and looked at the time. I don't want to accept the consequences that my Corpus of Truth says I will likely face if I spend more time on this article, so I am finished now.



Frobnicator Frobnicator writes  |  more than 12 years ago This is here so I have a journal entry.

For anyone interested, the nick "Frobnicator" is a derivative of "frobnicate", which I haven't heard before. I started using the nick in 2000. I take it to mean 'one who frobnicates'. Here is the dictionary.com definition:


/frob'ni-kayt/ (Possibly from frobnitz, and usually abbreviated to frob, but "frobnicate" is recognised as the official full form). To manipulate or adjust, to tweak. One frequently frobs bits or other 2-state devices. Thus: "Please frob the light switch" (that is, flip it), but also "Stop frobbing that clasp; you'll break it". One also sees the construction "to frob a frob".

Usage: frob, twiddle, and tweak sometimes connote points along a continuum. "Frob" connotes aimless manipulation; "twiddle" connotes gross manipulation, often a coarse search for a proper setting; "tweak" connotes fine-tuning. If someone is turning a knob on an oscilloscope, then if he's carefully adjusting it, he is probably tweaking it; if he is just turning it but looking at the screen, he is probably twiddling it; but if he's just doing it because turning a knob is fun, he's frobbing it. The variant "frobnosticate" has also been reported.

Between '95 and 2000 I used the nick "Ixion" based on the Greek mythological king who did some pretty nasty things, incluing try to bed a god, and was punished.

Before that I went by "Zug", which I got from my older brother, but had to stop when Warcraft II came out and used "Zugzug" as a quote from one of their characters.

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