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Comments

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Chemists Grow Soil Fungus On Cheerios, Discover New Antifungal Compounds

Mathinker Depends (77 comments)

> it just makes things that are not water soluble, soluble in the water-soap solution

Like... cell membranes? Lots of surfactants have antiseptic properties: for example, cocamidopropyl betaine. In fact, I'd guess that most surfactants are at least mild antiseptics.

5 days ago
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Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux

Mathinker Re:The language in the old west (387 comments)

> bet my life on no-one with a six-shooter

You missed the parent poster's

>> (and no one will rat on the shooter)

or just ignored it. My understanding of his point was that alienating the majority of your human contacts, then, was dangerous, if not fatal. You changed it into alienating anyone. Not the same thing. I'd guess that in his model of those times, if a particular enemy murdered you, assuming you weren't alienated from society as a whole, your murder would be likely to be avenged.

about a week ago
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Z Machine Makes Progress Toward Nuclear Fusion

Mathinker Re: I just hope (151 comments)

Uh, no. The containment is only going to rupture from the excess pressure long before the pressure is even close enough to, itself, produce fusion (no material known to man, or likely to exist at room temperature and pressure, is strong enough to contain the pressures necessary to produce fusion).

I'm certain you'd be better off just using the electical power from your Mr. Fusion to produce chemical explosives (see my other post).

about two weeks ago
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Z Machine Makes Progress Toward Nuclear Fusion

Mathinker Re: I just hope (151 comments)

> at least for a fraction of a second you get conditions for fusing a large amount of deuterium

You didn't read, or understand, my post. It could very well be possible that the amount of fuel the reactor can fuse is proportional to the size of the reactor --- just because you have a tiny amount of very hot plasma doesn't mean you can use it to fuse more fuel than that. If it were that simple, we'd have had viable fusion power long ago.

> it is explosive in the same way as classical explosives

Yes, with a bit of knowledge, you could (slowly) store the energy generated by the fusion in chemical explosives. But this isn't much scarier than the availability of chemical explosives today.

> If you WANT to control it.

If you were right, we'd have had fusion power long ago. It's much more difficult than you are claiming.

about two weeks ago
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ChromeOS Will No Longer Support Ext2/3/4 On External Drives/SD Cards

Mathinker Re:One huge customer - schools (345 comments)

> Google apologists will deny (2), but Google is a business.

Except for the name-calling, this is an interesting point. Like almost anything, using Google has both risks and advantages.

Another poster has already pointed out that their business model is built around exclusive access to private information. Another cogent business reason why Google would prefer not to sell or reveal private information is that some people will stop using its services if they believe they have less privacy. For example, you seem to be someone who has already been lost to Google as an endpoint for its targeted advertising, even at the current level of its protection of privacy. The less privacy people think they have, the less likely they will use the service, at least in a way which is beneficial to Google (I, for example, encrypt most personal files which I store in my Google Drive).

about two weeks ago
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Z Machine Makes Progress Toward Nuclear Fusion

Mathinker Re:I just hope (151 comments)

> The initial release of energy and burst of gamma rays

If we manage to get to aneutronic fusion (much more difficult than most of the fusion reactions being examined currently), then the reactor theoretically could run for a very long time without having to have parts replaced. Lawrenceville Plasma Physics is trying to attain proton-boron fusion in a dense plasma focus machine, but most people think they're being a bit optimistic. I'm rooting for them, nevertheless.

My impression was that the major problem with fusion which produces neutrons isn't the radioactive waste products themselves (at least compared with fission), it's that the nuclear reactions with the neutrons undermines the structural integrity of the reactor, requiring frequent part replacement.

about two weeks ago
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Z Machine Makes Progress Toward Nuclear Fusion

Mathinker Re: I just hope (151 comments)

> Let's just hope that fusion turns out to be really, really hard to achive (meaning ITER), not a table-top experiment.
> Or else we are doomed.

I'm not sure what fallacy you've invoked, but certainly you should be able to imagine that the amount of substance fused per unit time could be proportional to the volume of the device used to produced said fusion, with a small-enough proportionality constant that we'd all still be safe, no?

Or were you still joking? Sorry if my detector got confused...

about two weeks ago
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Intel Drops Gamasutra Sponsorship Over Controversial Editorials

Mathinker Re:gtfo (724 comments)

Penn and Teller put it pretty well in their first episode of Bullshit. To call someone a moron or an idiot is slander and you're open to lawsuits. To call someone an asshole or a motherf***er is expressing an opinion, and you're pretty much in the clear.

Did they claim to have consulted a legal expert on these issues? Because this sounds pretty strange to me. AFAIK, slander and libel are based on the actual intended meaning of the allegedly infringing communication. This was a key issue in the Simon Singh libel trial. P&T's statement strikes me as more like "the legal doctrine is to take the worst possible meaning" (i.e., "moron" and "idiot" being factual statements about a person's IQ, rather than being oblique commentary on what they stated), but even that doesn't fit, since under that standard, "motherfucker" should then be interpreted as a factual statement about incestuous sexual relations.

Teachers, for example, may have a cause to start a lawsuit since along with the label "faggot" (homosexual) is an implied "pedophile".

First of all, in an age where sitcoms dealing with homosexuality have become "old hat", I would disagree that there is any extra implication of pedophilia. This, of course, depends on the cultural context (which is my point). Secondly, for the reasons I state above, I rather doubt that calling someone a "faggot" would be actionable as libel/slander (because in all likelihood, the intended meaning was not a factual statement about homosexuality). Thirdly, even if the statement was meant to "out" a teacher as a homosexual and to cause him to lose his job, I think he'd have a better case for tortious interference than libel/slander. (IANAL)

It's interesting that as homosexuality becomes more and more accepted by society, falsely accusing someone of being homosexual becomes less and less actionable. Never thought about that...

about two weeks ago
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Stanford Promises Not To Use Google Money For Privacy Research

Mathinker More facts at the Laboratorium (54 comments)

See Grimmelmann's post about the real situation at his blog, The Laboratorium.

I am sorry that I commented based on a reporter’s description of the filing rather than asking to see it myself.

about 1 month ago
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Microsoft Kills Off Its Trustworthy Computing Group

Mathinker Re:Good (99 comments)

I always thought that he should have made it a $5.38 wrench, instead...

about a month ago
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Court Rules the "Google" Trademark Isn't Generic

Mathinker Re:If there was only one viable choice ... (159 comments)

> I switched away when they made the up and down arrow keys...

Didn't notice that yet. What's putting me on the verge of switching is Google's phasing out (or appearance thereof) of any kind of "hard" searching. Unfortunately, I haven't found any good alternatives with better "hard" search capability.

about a month ago
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New Details About NSA's Exhaustive Search of Edward Snowden's Emails

Mathinker Re:issue | Snowden (200 comments)

"issue | Snowden" ? What does the "issue" command output to stdout, Polonium-210?

about a month ago
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New Details About NSA's Exhaustive Search of Edward Snowden's Emails

Mathinker Re:Who fucking cares? (200 comments)

> Who fucking cares?

I agree with the title but for a totally different reason, namely, that no official connected with the NSA who would have reviewed any such "concerns", who has also commented about the affair (and there have been several, already), has said that they would have done anything whatsoever (possibly except, of course, something about that suspicious/PIA Snowden character).

about a month ago
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New Details About NSA's Exhaustive Search of Edward Snowden's Emails

Mathinker Re:NSA scorecard on on truth? (200 comments)

Wow, the whole first comment thread and no pro-NSA anti-Snowden posters. What happened, did the NSA budget for Slashdot dry up? Or is this a sign that even the NSA has given up on Slashdot and has moved on to other alternatives?

about a month ago
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Why Munich Will Stick With Linux

Mathinker Re:At home too (185 comments)

> and loaded Ubuntu on VirtualBox for my Linux stuff

"My Linux stuff"? If you were loading Linux as a native OS in the first place, what "other stuff" were you planning on doing with the laptop? Was the original plan to run Windows in a VM?

Ah, from other posts I guess you were planning on dual-booting... sorry, please ignore...

about a month and a half ago
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Why Munich Will Stick With Linux

Mathinker Re:At home too (185 comments)

> With the amount of troubleshooting and driver research I had to do I could have
> purchased 10 copies of Windows 7.

Or, simply, a computer with Linux already installed, from the various vendors who sell such devices...

It's a tribute to how far Linux has come that you originally thought you didn't have to do that. Or, possibly, it shows a considerable amount of personal hubris. Without knowing you personally, I can't really tell...

about a month and a half ago
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Why Munich Will Stick With Linux

Mathinker Re:At home too (185 comments)

Thank you for the anecdotal report. At least from your other comments I see that you're not like that poster years ago who kept on whining about Ubuntu not installing on a second internal hard drive and erasing his files (the details have, wonderfully, been erased from my mind).

It's a pity that there is no way to evaluate how significant your report is versus the question at hand. What percentage of experienced Windows users burn 20 hours trying to get Windows to work exactly the way they want (or work at all)? What percentage of Linux users? How dependent is this on the particular user (I know that I personally burn up lots of time being pedantic about any OS I use)?

> and loaded Ubuntu on VirtualBox for my Linux stuff

"My Linux stuff"? If you were loading Linux as a native OS in the first place, what "other stuff" were you planning on doing with the laptop? Was the original plan to run Windows in a VM?

about a month and a half ago
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Google To Build Quantum Information Processors

Mathinker High temp superconductivity (72 comments)

People have already forgotten that the high-temperature superconductors were discovered, not by the power industry, but by IBM.

about 2 months ago
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Raspberry Pi Gets a Brand New Browser

Mathinker Lame name change (107 comments)

It's no longer called "Epiphany". In what seems like an epiphany, the GNOME developers decided that it's much, much, easier to search for help for a browser called "Web". Great idea, there, guys. Was this intentional, to prevent intelligible bug reports from less sophisticated users?

One wonders whether they actually "eat their own dog food", or if they do, if they understand that the average user of GNOME isn't a GNOME developer.

about 2 months ago
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Raspberry Pi Gets a Brand New Browser

Mathinker Lame name change (107 comments)

It's no longer called "Epiphany". In what seems like an epiphany, the GNOME developers decided that it's much, much, easier to search for help for a browser called "Web". Great idea, there, guys. Was this intentional, to prevent intelligible bug reports from less sophisticated users?

One wonders whether they actually "eat their own dog food", or if they do, if they understand that the average user of GNOME isn't a GNOME developer.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Intrusion at Fedora infrastructure, no damage done

Mathinker Mathinker writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Mathinker (909784) writes "From www.h-online.com :

The Fedora Project has confirmed that there was an intrusion into its infrastructure on the 22nd, but investigations have shown "no impact on product integrity".

The mailing list announcement (Coral Cache URL) makes one think it wasn't a very professional job, the first action which was taken by the intruder set off an email notification."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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I am NOT anonymous

Mathinker Mathinker writes  |  more than 3 years ago

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2319574&cid=36745572

% echo -n "I am Mathinker, my salt is UAeqTvlu" | md5sum
efb98ed34ba58ecd29b07b1909d21da3 -

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No, I'm not mathinker@twitter, either

Mathinker Mathinker writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I actually use the moniker "mathinker" in very few places.

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2008: Linux privilege escalation bugs

Mathinker Mathinker writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Just want to store this research somewhere where I can link to it easily. (Original post).

If one analyzes the 10 Linux privilege escalation bugs reported for 2008 at Secunia one finds:

Of those, 5 were in proprietary software packages for Linux: Acrobat Reader, MaxDB, Avaya, SSH Tectia Client, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Not interesting for ordinary desktop users.

Of the other 5, 1 was in KDE, so that wouldn't affect 100% of Linux users, let's be generous (the most popular free distros use Gnome) and say that's 50% of users.

Of the other 4, 1 seems to work on general Linux systems (sys_remap_file_pages() bug).

Of the other 3, 1 requires the USBLCD driver to be used or only gives group privilege escalation, 1 requires Intel G33 series or newer chipset, and 1 requires that the kernel is running as VMI guest on a x86 system. How many boxes does that cover? Not many, except perhaps for the Intel chipsets --- let's say another 50% (because I have no idea what market share Intel has).

So that's something like 2, maybe 2.5 bugs in all of 2008. Is that "many"? Matter of opinion.

So, in summary, between 10% and 25% of the reported bugs were really mainstream.

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Mathinker Mathinker writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Just in case you wondered.

I'm not studying to be a CFA either... nor am I mathinker@rareaviation.com

In fact, if a "mathinker" is trying to sell or buy from you, it's not me...

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