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The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

JeffOwl Too broad, and safe for what? (495 comments)

If a scientist literally said "GMO crops are safe." I would not trust that scientist. That is too broad a question. If a scientist said "These specific crops are safe" or "Crops with these types of gene modifications are safe" then I would be more inclined to believe it. And then the next question is "safe for what?" Human consumption is one thing, the environment is another, the health of the agriculture industry is another, the health and diversity of food crops in general is another.

2 days ago
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Fark's Drew Curtis Running For Governor of Kentucky

JeffOwl Re: He'll win in a landslide (120 comments)

Fraud by ineligeable voters is a ridiculously inefficient and costly way to rig an election.

You sound like you think that either party would consider that a reason not to do something.

about a week ago
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Innocent Adults Are Easy To Convince They Committed a Serious Crime

JeffOwl Re:The (in)justice system (291 comments)

That scenario sounds ripe for the proliferation of injustice.

On that point I think most of us agree.

about two weeks ago
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Innocent Adults Are Easy To Convince They Committed a Serious Crime

JeffOwl Re:The (in)justice system (291 comments)

Ask yourself which makes more money for a lawyer - handling several plea bargains a day, or one long case that he is likely to lose for a client that will have no income?

You realize that many, if not most, of these plea bargains are between public defenders and the DA's office. You realize that neither group is raking in huge cash based on case volume. It isn't about making money, it is about a case load that they could not possibly handle if they had to take every one to court. Besides, the court system couldn't deal with the volume either.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Ends Mainstream Support For Windows 7

JeffOwl Re:Nostalgic for Windows 7? (640 comments)

(consider that Winrot means an image dump every 9 months or so on average, while I've had a PowerMac that ran for 3 years on 10.3 then 4 more on 10.5, and no OS reinstalls.)

What in the world are your users doing? That's nuts. I've had a Win7 PC at work for two years on the original install. I know of only a couple of people, out of dozens, that have had to have the PC re-imaged. I've had a Win 7 PC at home for 4 years on the original install and am only now retiring it to a secondary role.

about three weeks ago
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Chicago E-Learning Scheme Embraces Virtual Badges For Public Schoolers

JeffOwl You get what you measure (46 comments)

But you need to be sure that you are measuring the right things. Teaching to the test is not necessarily the best approach. Hopefully this will work out better than some of our professional certs for predicting job performance, but I doubt it. What is the problem that they are trying to solve, other than employers are lazy and don't want to look at resumes and transcripts?

about three weeks ago
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Bill Would Ban Paid Prioritization By ISPs

JeffOwl Re:Fuck the libs! (216 comments)

Not sure where you were going with that, but the bridge to nowhere was sponsored by Republicans.

about three weeks ago
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Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

JeffOwl Re:Like it or not, this was flamebait. (681 comments)

I agree that his goal was to get people up in arms. His job is to stay i the public eye. Those offended aren't his audience anyway. Now people are talking about him.

about a month ago
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Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

JeffOwl Why do they care what he thinks? (681 comments)

For those that know of him, they probably already know he is an atheist. For those that don't, a little internet searching on his name will lead to that conclusion. I know I don't care what most people think about religious stuff one way or the other. It doesn't bother me that they think that way, only when they try to get laws and such changed based solely on their religious beliefs does it bother me. Sure, he goes out of his way to keep his name in the public eye, but I don't think this tweet was intended as a lobbying effort, so who cares? If you don't like what he says just ignore him and pray for his soul; be sure to send him a note that you are doing so.

about a month ago
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Economist: US Congress Should Hack Digital Millennium Copyright Act

JeffOwl Re:Already lost the "complete freedom" argument... (129 comments)

... but when we're starting to talk about hacking automobile electronics that other drivers and pedestrians depend upon for their own safety...you can probably see where we're developing a slippery slope.

And yet I can take the stock brakes off my car and install after market, or even home built custom components to alter the performance of one of the most safety critical systems on the vehicle. I can even custom build an entire vehicle if I want to. (Well, I probably shouldn't).

I would suggest that the skill/coordination/attention/mental stability of the driver is by orders of magnitude a larger risk than anyone tinkering with the ECU or other electronic systems on the vehicle today.

about 2 months ago
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Displaced IT Workers Being Silenced

JeffOwl Re:Is it legally binding (398 comments)

This is typical. They will offer you a choice, something like: 2 weeks of severance pay and you don't have to sign anything, or 4 weeks + 2 weeks per year of employment and you sign the agreement. The agreements often say you will stay quiet about the company and you give up your right to sue over the termination.

about 2 months ago
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Chinese CEO Says "Free" Is the Right Price For Mobile Software

JeffOwl Free Chinese stuff? (133 comments)

I don't know about spyware, but with apps at least you don't have to worry about lead or melamine.

about 2 months ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

JeffOwl Re:Flip Argument (1128 comments)

All the facts given by the guy who was assigned to prosecute the officer. He made a point of saying he was going to present ALL the evidence he had.

about 2 months ago
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Bidding In Government Auction of Airwaves Reaches $34 Billion

JeffOwl Ts and Cs (85 comments)

I wonder what provisions the government put on the license. Perhaps something about infrastructure to aid in surveillance?

/Tinfoil?

about 2 months ago
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Number of Coders In Congress To Triple (From One To Three)

JeffOwl Re:Dumb question? (163 comments)

A congressional coder takes requirements from lobbyists and translates them into a design and set of instructions that aren't readable by the average person but can be executed by a large bureaucratic machine. Note that the machine is subject to frequent single event upsets and has an executive that is prone to write it's own instructions.

about 2 months ago
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The Downside to Low Gas Prices

JeffOwl Re:Stupid, trucks cause the problem (554 comments)

You miss the point entirely that one of the main drivers of highway construction is congestion, which is largely caused by passenger vehicles. Building more lanes has a cost. Maintaining more lanes has a cost.

about 3 months ago
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Overbilled Customer Sues Time Warner Cable For False Advertising

JeffOwl Re:TWC are (surprise, surprise) crooks and thieves (223 comments)

How about a compromise? Make the last mile providers utilities and require them to allow other ISPs to sell on their infrastructure. Since the infrastructure in many areas was a government granted monopoly when it was put in, regulate the rates that they can charge ISPs, but let the ISPs compete on prices, speeds and features. I remember when DSL was this way and I thought it worked pretty well.

about 3 months ago
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Overbilled Customer Sues Time Warner Cable For False Advertising

JeffOwl Re:Comcast tried to steal $50 from me (223 comments)

Never attribute to malice what could be explained by stupidity. Eg they could unintentionally be profitting millions and they have no clue why because they never audit the department managing the cash card offers.

They know not to ask questions to which they do not want to know the answers.

about 3 months ago
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U.S. and China Make Landmark Climate Deal

JeffOwl Re:Quite the poker player (285 comments)

Yes, but if you look at the second derivative of each curve it doesn't look so lopsided.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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USB flash drives used in robbery of ATMs

JeffOwl JeffOwl writes  |  about a year ago

JeffOwl (2858633) writes "BBC is reporting that thieves are infecting ATMs with malware using USB sticks. The malware creates a backdoor that can be accessed at the front panel. The thieves are damaging the ATM to access a USB port then patching it back up to avoid notice. This indicates that the crew is highly familiar with the ATMs in question. Once the ATM is infected, the thieves use a 12 digit code to bring up the alternate interface. The thieves, not wanting their crew to go rogue, have built a challenge-response access control into their software and must call another member who can generate the response for them. Maybe they believe in the saying "no honor among thieves.""
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