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Comments

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Where Intel Processors Fail At Math (Again)

Loki_1929 Inaccurate headline (239 comments)

The headline is quite inaccurate. The processors are doing what they're designed to do; approximate the results of certain operations to a "good enough" value to achieve an optimal result:work ratio. Sort of like how the NFL measures first-downs with a stick, a chain, and some eyeballs rather than bringing in a research team armed with scanning electron microscopes to tell us how many Planck lengths short of the first down they were.

This is a documentation failure. They're fixing the documentation. For anyone who would actually care about perfect accuracy in these kinds of operations, there are any number of different solutions to achieve the desired, more accurate result. The headline and the summary make it seem as though there's a problem with the processor which is simply incorrect.

about two weeks ago
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Tesla Announces Dual Motors, 'Autopilot' For the Model S

Loki_1929 Re:Awesome (283 comments)

Financing can be cheaper than cash depending on the rate and the rate of inflation.

about two weeks ago
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Fortune.com: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

Loki_1929 Re:Bullshit. (342 comments)

But these 716 women who had made it past all that shit and were working in the tech sector found that once you get there, it sucks to be in a job where you're treated poorly because you're a woman, or you feel isolated because everybody else is a guy.

There are exceptions. My sister is a successful electronics engineer. But she works in a big company where she's not the only woman. She might have left the industry too if she had worked her first job in a smaller company where it was all men except her.

So.... the problem is still in the pipeline? If suddenly, tomorrow, there were twice as many women as men in the tech pipeline and that continued for a decade, which of the things these 716 women identified as problems in the industry would continue? Being the only woman? Rarely. Being treated poorly because you're a woman? Unlikely when more of them are working there. Your sister is actually the counter-example to the Forbes article: put more women into play and suddenly the culture is no longer an issue.

about three weeks ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

Loki_1929 Re:uhh (549 comments)

Granted, but it's twice he's taken on a "there's no way, guy's a joke for even trying!" kind of challenge and succeeded really beyond anyone's wildest expectations.

It may turn out that this endeavor is simply beyond the ability of humanity in its present state of development, but that's a far cry from Musk being a snake oil salesman. Again, you can accuse him of having a reach exceeding his grasp, but he's demonstrably capable of accomplishing far more than anyone imagined when he first made his ambitious claims. There are a lot of steps between where we are today and a human being stepping onto the Martian surface and Musk appears to be taking some very practical approaches to taking each of those steps. He may not make it all the way there, but he obviously isn't insincere in his efforts.

about three weeks ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

Loki_1929 Re:uhh (549 comments)

You left out privately building space ships delivering stuff to the International Space Station with more reliability and for a fraction of the cost of anything NASA's done.

So there's that.

about three weeks ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

Loki_1929 Re:Creating a Mars magnetosphere (549 comments)

Sounds like we need a Dyson Sphere.

about three weeks ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

Loki_1929 Re:uhh (549 comments)

When Musk claimed he was going to start a new and successful American car manufacturing company when nobody else has managed to do so in the past half century or so and American manufacturing was considered a sick and dying animal, it was easy to label him a snake oil salesman. When Musk claimed he was going to start building rocket ships and launch stuff into space and make deliveries to the ISS at a fraction of the cost of anything done by NASA, it was easy to label him a snake oil salesman. But he just went ahead and did those things, successfully, at great personal risk because he's both driven and incredibly capable.

If there's one lesson we should all have learned by now, it's not to bet against Elon Musk. He's a risk taker with dreams greater than just about anyone alive, but I think the worst you can claim about him at this point is that his reach exceeds his grasp. Calling him a snake oil salesman is demonstrably unfair. All the other crazy things he's set about doing are happening before our eyes. Creating a self-sustaining colony on another planet may seem beyond our will our even beyond our capability at this point, but Musk's view that it must be done for the survival of humanity is a view shared by Stephen Hawking and many others. If there's anyone alive today who can make it happen, it's Musk.

about three weeks ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

Loki_1929 Re:Profitable, if self-contradictory (549 comments)

I think you'll find that your first argument is a misunderstanding of the term "universe" and actually only applies to the observable universe. Otherwise, one gets into quite interesting arguments about what the universe is expanding into and whether that is infinite and what its laws are. As for matter following the laws of thermodynamics, you'll quickly find that quantum mechanics strongly disagrees with that. The reality is that at small scales, matter (being just one form of energy) follows the laws of chance, and merely has a weighted average toward thermodynamics at larger scales.

The universe is not so simple.

about three weeks ago
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Forest Service Wants To Require Permits For Photography

Loki_1929 Re:Bogus justification (299 comments)

In other words, if you're Brian Williams and you'd like to film a news story there, you have every right to do so. If you're Michael Bay and you want to film a movie there, somebody probably needs to step in and put a stop to it before the forest is obliterated by a multi-kiloton series of non-nuclear explosions and scantily clad women running around between them.

about a month ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Loki_1929 Re:Great one more fail (600 comments)

The US Constitution was an open declaration of treason against the Crown, which at the time controlled the most powerful military the world had ever seen. It was signed by farmers, lawyers, and doctors who had little in the way of protection against that army and little chance of surviving the fight. To say it was anything less than a suicide pact is absurd. The fact that few alive in this country today have their intestinal fortitude speaks volumes to why we're in decline. They had balls. Somewhere along the way, we lost them.

And if you don't think voting leads to people dying, you aren't paying attention.

about a month ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Loki_1929 Re:Great one more fail (600 comments)

what does that tell you about the Second Amendment absolutists

As opposed to voting rights absolutists? Fifth Amendment absolutists? Rights aren't rights when you're only allowed to exercise them in a place and manner dictated by the government.

about a month ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Loki_1929 Re:Great one more fail (600 comments)

According to the CDC, defensive gun uses number about 1 - 2 million per year.

So several times more crimes prevented with guns than committed with them.

about a month ago
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Lionsgate Sues Limetorrents, Played.to, and Others Over Expendables 3 Leak

Loki_1929 Re:The DHS Is On The Case (207 comments)

No the process should be augmented by the district attorney's office who has the resources to protect the public.

Or, alternately, the resources to railroad members of the public into prison cells at the behest of politically connected corporate leaders.

No, The appropriate response is if for the government to appoint a lawyer to advocate for the parent in court. Just the same way the district attorney advocates for victims of crime.

The district attorney doesn't advocate for victims of crime. The district attorney is an advocate for the state prosecuting people accused of committing crimes. That's a critical distinction when you consider that the victims often have little or no say in whether or how the accused is charged and tried.

about 3 months ago
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Lionsgate Sues Limetorrents, Played.to, and Others Over Expendables 3 Leak

Loki_1929 Re: The Double Standard (207 comments)

Nobody stole the movie. The studio still has it. What someone did was copy the movie without the permission of the copyright holder, thereby committing copyright infringement, which is a civil matter. Or at least it would be if our government weren't the enforcement wing of its benevolent corporate benefactors.

about 3 months ago
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San Francisco Airport Testing Beacon System For Blind Travelers

Loki_1929 Re:ADA?? (61 comments)

Yes, as I stated, if you have enough money, you can escape the NHS. I would argue that more people would get better care if they weren't being taxed so heavily to pay for the NHS, particularly if they aren't using it ("double payers"). The existence of a private system pinpoints a painful but obvious truth: that the NHS and systems like it are not the panacea of healthcare they're often hailed as being. For those who would otherwise have nothing available, systems like the NHS provide a safety net that ensures they get at least some level of care, eventually. For everyone else, it can mean long lines, denied care, and other challenges.

US health outcome numbers are skewed by a variety of factors such as gang violence, drug problems, a high rate of imprisonment, a higher percentage of rural communities where access to the latest and greatest healthcare tools isn't readily available, the fact that many low income individuals under 65 don't have regular access to medical care, overuse of defensive medicine, and a number of other things. It's the same sort of challenges you find when comparing any stats between very different countries. If you control for those differences, you'll find that some of the best care on Earth is available in the US, but it's an imperfect system.

Our system leaves some people without access to much care. The NHS leaves some people on a waiting list for years on end and drives others to head to other parts of Europe, India, Malaysia, and even the US for care. Each system has its issues; nobody has completely figured out healthcare just yet. The only way to realistically do so is to so cold and uncaring that even an economist might feel a twinge of moral concern. Nobody wants to pull the plug on grandma, and that's just step one to making a system that can provide a reasonable level of care to all. Step two is kids.

about 3 months ago
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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant Dismantling Will Cost $4.4 Billion, Take 20 Years

Loki_1929 Re:CLEAN, SAFE, (343 comments)

NIMBY has made it all but impossible to actually construct a nuclear reactor in the US. On top of that, the ban on reprocessing fuel makes them vastly less efficient and cost effective than they would be if we had any sense.

about 3 months ago
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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant Dismantling Will Cost $4.4 Billion, Take 20 Years

Loki_1929 Re:CLEAN, SAFE, (343 comments)

The UK has immense areas available for offshore wind.

Except they keep shutting them down because they're always finding some bird (red-throated diver being the latest) or other wildlife that might be affected by them. The ones that actually do manage to get built are often shut down temporarily due to storm activity.

about 3 months ago
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San Francisco Airport Testing Beacon System For Blind Travelers

Loki_1929 Non-technical solutions (61 comments)

This really seems like an over-hyped, massively expensive technical solution to a problem that could easily be fixed with some volunteer organizations providing guides on an as-needed basis. Here's a thought: require all public high school students to provide X number of hours (start with 200) of public service as a requirement for graduation. Do something similar with college students receiving Federal student aid. Oh look, suddenly volunteers everywhere! And these volunteers can actually adapt to the needs of individuals and don't cost a fortune to implement, update, and maintain!

about 3 months ago
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San Francisco Airport Testing Beacon System For Blind Travelers

Loki_1929 Re:ADA?? (61 comments)

In light of this understanding, it does make me wonder why your country doesn't have a National Health Service favoured by many civilized countries.

My guess is because we don't like paying vastly higher taxes, waiting in seemingly endless (up to two years for an operation during certain periods) lines for care (well, unless you're rich of course, in which case you don't bother with the public system in countries like the UK or Canada), being denied newer and better treatments because a committee decided against it (here coverage is determined by the insurance company and you can choose your insurance provider and plan based on your specific needs, such as necessary coverage for specific medications), facing a "post code lottery" where your quality of care depends on what side of an imaginary line you live on, higher heart disease mortality (36% higher in the UK over the US, which is bad considering how much we abuse our hearts over here), not being able to find a doctor or dentist at all (70% of dentists in Quebec opt out of the public system), and on and on and on.

The system we have is imperfect, but it has clear benefits over the ones in Canada and the UK. I've never waited more than a week to have anything treated and I almost always get treatment the same day or the next day for any issue I have. Of the two operations I've had, one was scheduled on my schedule - I picked the date and time to fit well with my work schedule about a week after it was determined to be necessary - and the other was on an emergency basis where my doctor met me at the hospital and had me on the operating table within about 30 minutes. Any testing I need can be done same-day. A quick glance at my doctor's availability (that office has a mobile app for scheduling appointments) shows I could have a 15 or 30 minute appointment with her tomorrow or up to 45 minutes the day after.

I'm not rich; I work for a living. Yet I don't wait for anything. I don't wait to be seen by a doctor. I don't wait to get any testing I need. I don't wait to get any procedures I need. I don't wait for medications. It all happens on my schedule and as quickly as I'd like it. I pay $15 to see the doctor and $50 if I end up in the hospital for something serious. Anything paid out of pocket gets taken care of with untaxed money, meaning it's at a huge discount to me. And it isn't just me (nor is it just about me); everyone I know who has a job has great healthcare coverage. Is it a perfect system? No. Does every single person have perfect access to outstanding care? No. But we're improving all the time and it isn't (at least as of yet) coming at everyone else's expense.

To me, it's an argument of most people getting great care versus everyone getting mediocre to poor care (see also: the VA medical system). Quite similar to the classic market system argument of capitalism versus socialism. You can either give everyone the chance to get rich (with some ending up poor and most somewhere in the middle) or ensure everyone is equally poor. If the people in the UK, Canada, France, etc are happy with their system, great! I don't begrudge their happiness. However, I don't think the benefits of moving to such systems outweigh the drawbacks in the minds of most Americans. Rather than pretend either system is perfect, I think it best to recognize that each has its pros and cons and that the priorities and sensibilities of the people in a given country drive their decisions on how to achieve the greatest good.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Green deaths: The forgotten dangers of solar panel

Loki_1929 Loki_1929 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Loki_1929 (550940) writes "Often lost in the ideologically driven debates over which source or sources best fit humanity's needs for clean, safe power moving forward are the hazards of implementing each proposed solution in scales large enough to make a difference. This writeup covers the dangers inherent to solar panel deployments for rooftops and speaks to how that scales in a country like the United States."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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A few items of interest, you probably will want to read on..

Loki_1929 Loki_1929 writes  |  more than 10 years ago

So I was reading about slashdot's little subscription-as-a-gift thing, and I was thinking that I might randomly select a few individuals from my fans list for a gift subscription. I was going to do the whole bunch, but then I pulled out my calculator and figured out that ~100 fans times $5 is really freakin' expensive. I really don't love you all that much - really. Anyway; I'm pondering how to do it exactly, but I'm thinking I'll probably do it Christmas morning and announce the nicknames of the lucky few in my journal. Please stay tuned for more.

Also, for those of you who were asking about the bootable CD I mentioned before, please stay tuned and I'll give you more info about what's on it and how to set it up for yourself once I have the time and inclination (probably within a week). I'll try to post replies to everyone who asked about it, but by the time I get into it, the discussion could very well be archived. One more reason to check my journal every so often.

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RIAA RICO defense...

Loki_1929 Loki_1929 writes  |  about 11 years ago

This was from a previous Slashdot posting of mine, but I wanted the discussion to continue if possible. Post is reposted below:

"The suit ... charges that the RIAA's program is deceptive and fraudulent business practice."

Which brings us one step closer to my idea. If there are any real lawyers here, could you please tell me why no one has bothered to attack the RIAA's charges using the Federal RICO Act? The RIAA and member organizations have engaged in a pattern of corrupt business practices for over 50 years, and are now using the law to intimidate individuals, companies, and universities to further their interests.

From my (admittedly limited) understanding of RICO, you must prove that the organization has engaged in a pattern of criminal activity, and is using illegal means, especially under cover of authority (court actions, copyright law, etc) to further their interests. Now, the ongoing illegal activity is really two-fold. That being, the RIAA's member companies have illegally maintained an effective distribution monopoly by engaging in anti-competitive acts, and have conspired to defraud consumers with a massive price-fixing scheme which caused consumers to be overcharged by more than $480 million (USD) since 1997 alone, according to the former head of the FTC. This scheme was labled "Minimum-Advertised Pricing", or MAP by the Attorneys General who investigated and eventually brought about a settlement. With regard to the anti-competitive acts, the RIAA and member companies have engaged in such practices as "payola", in which radio stations were paid money in order to ensure that music not controlled by the RIAA's members was never played, and therefore never heard by the public at large. Thus, their only competition, the independent artist/label, continues to struggle to get by, while the RIAA monopoly takes in billions each year.

So I ask again, why is it that no one has attacked the RIAA on RICO grounds. A corrupt organization cannot use the legal system to facilitate its illegal activities. The lack of legal online modes of music distribution is but more evidence of the RIAA's desperate struggle to maintain its distribution monopoly with an iron fist. It would seem to me that showing these lawsuits to be nothing more than tactics designed to further the interests of a corrupt organization is a far better defense than, "my client didn't know it was illegal".

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The New America

Loki_1929 Loki_1929 writes  |  more than 11 years ago

---

DISCLAIMER: What I write below is in no way meant to incite any sort of violent action on anyone's part. Violence is never the only way, and a truly strong person will accomplish his or her goals through peaceful means regardless of how much more difficult it makes things. What comes below is specifically designed to provoke thought and a response; nothing more. Please, do NOT go out and do something stupid because of anything that comes from this thread.

---

So I started thinking about things a bit after starting this thread which has 18 replies thus far. Someone said that the US government isn't fucked up past the point of no return, yet. That got me thinking about what happens once it is. Should all freedom-loving people move somewhere else? Where? There is no "New World" left on planet Earth where we can set up our own government and our own way of life. What else is there then? Revolt? Not exactly a viable option when the police in this country could easily crush most any revolt. Then factor in the FBI, CIA, Army, Navy, Marines, etc, etc.

So I'm left thinking that we can do one of three things. Option one is to sit on our hands and see what happens. Maybe things get turned around in 20 years or so. Maybe it goes back to being good ole' America before we're dead. Or perhaps we resign ourselves to telling our granchildren about what it was like to be able to go anywhere you want or say anything you want without being taken away by government agents.

Option two is a full out revolt. "Great idea", except everyone who joined in would be dead or jailed within days if not hours. Even if it somehow succeeded, the cost would be too high. To win a war in modern times, you pretty much have to obliterate the place of conflict. The result? Our homes, our businesses, everything we own is destroyed. In the War of 1812, this pretty much happened. The English burned the White House to the ground, along with much of the rest of our country. In the end, it worked out well for most of them, but something like that has massive potential to be a Pyrrhic victory. Ultimately, I think this option is ridiculous, unworkable, and undesirable.

The thid option, and the one I'd suggest as the only sane alternative to option one is to fashion a new government, with a new Constitution which draws on all the knowledge we've gained from more than 200 years with our original US Constitution and to prepare to put this government in place if the time comes that our current government is beyond redemption. This differs from a revolt in that it requires broad support from the citizens of this country as well as the police and the military. The idea is that if the police, the military, and most citizens support the new government, the old government becomes irrelevent with no one left to enforce its decrees. Hence, a peaceful transition to a new and (hopefully) improved government.

Now, if we are to entertain the possibility of a new government (assuming it one day becomes necessary, and no I don't think we're anywhere near there yet - as in at least 5 or 10 years away), we'd need several things. One: a formal declaration of the rights and powers of the government, its structure, and its limitations. Two: a method of trasition (ie. how do we get from gov A to gov B without violence?). And thirdly: a list of potential people to head up the new government. Personally, I think the formal declaration should be based on the US Constitution; specifically a constitution of enumerated powers for the government, broad by its very nature, but taking into account instances where it's failed over the last 200 years. Think McCarthyism; think Japanese internment camps; think dept of Homeland Security; think indecision 2000; think DMCA. Lastly: We need a specific, yet somewhat vague list of absolute rights and privilages of all citizens, as well as those visiting, etc. Think Geneva convention; think basic human rights; think Amendments to the US Constitution. The difference here is that these would be more thoroughly explained (without being too specific as to preclude allowances for not-yet-imagined technologies and ideas), and completely absolute with some sort of fail-safe mechanism to prevent any loopholes or lapses.

Please post comments, thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. All constructive posts are welcome, even if they're controversial in nature.

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M2 (MetaModeration

Loki_1929 Loki_1929 writes  |  about 12 years ago

"Have you Meta Moderated recently?"

I'm seeing this quite often lately. Then again, I just started moderating not too terribly long ago, so maybe it's normal to answer that question with "yeah, about 4 hours ago". Then again, I haven't gone more than two days in a row without answering the call to M2, so I suppose I'm a prime target for the asking. I've found plenty of M1's I didn't agree with, but only a handful that I could honestly say were 'unfair'. I suppose using the unfair M2 sparingly is the best way to go, as I wouldn't want to deny anyone M1 simply because I think it was a little "off". That being said, I've been leaving alone the ones where I can't make a strong decision either way, which amounts to an average of 2 or 3 per 10 M2's. If anyone has been M2'ing a bit longer, feel free to share any advice you might have, as the guidlines for M2 are (probably necessarily) a might bit vague.

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First journal entry, so I'll start in the complaints dept.

Loki_1929 Loki_1929 writes  |  about 12 years ago

* 2002-02-26 07:29:41 The Register Invades US (articles,announce) (rejected)
        * 2002-03-12 00:01:32 Creative to aquire 3d Labs (articles,announce) (rejected)
        * 2002-04-06 01:19:53 Comcast.net users blocked from google (articles,news) (rejected)
        * 2002-04-29 15:29:57 Hollings' new bill just as bad as the last one (articles,news) (rejected)
        * 2002-06-11 15:10:32 US Citizen to be held indefinitely without counsel (articles,news) (rejected)
        * 2002-07-29 17:39:05 "Pre-Crime" may become a reality (articles,news) (rejected)
        * 2002-09-13 01:36:28 The future of computing - CDS (articles,news) (rejected)
        * 2002-10-03 03:29:28 Mitnick's laptop for sale on Ebay (articles,news) (rejected)

Of the 8 stories I've submitted since I started doing that, I believe 7 were good, solid stories, with at least 4 well-deserving front-page shots. 3 were posted several hours or days after I submitted. I'm not so much complaining about the rejected stories, as I'm asking whether or not I should continue taking the time to submit them.

Are there just so many people submitting stories that I need not bother?

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