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Comments

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Fascinating Rosetta Image Captures Philae's Comet Bounce

Mathinker Re:Fucking disaster (69 comments)

> But when you're paid to represent someone else

Obviously, then, whoever hired this guy failed utterly. Just kidding. I find it much more likely that whoever hired him, didn't hire him based on the "15 minutes" of public representation he'd end up making at the end of the mission.

And therefore, whoever decided, not that long ago, that he should be the one to be a public representative, failed. It was probably some PHB who doesn't know any of the technical staff well enough to know that this guy needed to be carefully managed in this particular regard.

> and not an attention-seeking douchenozzle

Do you know him personally? Because my guess is that he's probably one of those technically adept, socially inadept people we often meet in our line of work. Especially since I saw a headline that he broke down and cried when he apologized? You'd think that "an attention-seeking douchenozzle" would have just used the apology for... more exposure. Of course, it could have been an act, I guess.

5 days ago
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Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

Mathinker Re:Have it your way (260 comments)

> You're just really not on your A game today, are you?

Ad hominem and/or irrelevant.

> Or, perhaps, you really want to Oracle to lose, but can't think of any better reason than because "I don't like Oracle".

I actually have not stated, in this particular discussion, a preference for whether I think API's are or should be protected, nor have I stated any particular aversion to Oracle.

> I don't like Oracle either,

Oh, there you go again --- assuming things which don't follow from the previous discourse. I wonder if you'll do it again in your next reply?

> but that's a really crapy way to set national policy, policy that will affect many, many other situations.

Have to agree totally with you there.

about two weeks ago
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Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

Mathinker Re:I explicitly stated otherwise TWICE (260 comments)

Yes, I saw that you stated that, which made it stick out even more when you immediately turn around and assume what you've just questioned, without qualification.

Judging by your reaction, I don't even think you did it intentionally. A pity, really. In my eyes, the language of the last paragraph would be wonderfully disingenuous, if it had been an intentional attempt to attain its actual impact.

about two weeks ago
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Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

Mathinker Re:correct, sort of. Claim that it's nothing (260 comments)

> If I want my valuable property to be protected from unlawful taking,

Wow, very nice. I don't manage to identify the exact logical fallacies you've invoked. However, it is obvious that you're implicitly assuming the claim in question: whether or not an API is "property", i.e., protected by copyright. In addition, you also appear to be making the bad analogy between copyright infringement and theft (of physical property), but you manage to be a bit ambiguous about it, so that the phrasing can set off a deep emotional reaction without being absolutely incorrect.

Masterful, indeed.

about two weeks ago
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Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

Mathinker Re:If IP then unaffected by 230 (260 comments)

> So if "intellectual property" is a meaningless term

The poster you're arguing with did not claim it is a "meaningless term", he claimed that (practically) no legal argument can cite "intellectual property" as being its basis, since the diverse branches of IP law are... diverse. He didn't mean "intellectual property" in the sense of that clause, just like he wouldn't preclude discussing the fact that a defendant had taken a course in "IP law" as a justification that infringement by said defendant was flagrant or intentional.

He meant that no lawyer would (or rather, should) say "we are owed money because the other party infringed on our intellectual property" without specifying exactly what specific types of IP were infringed upon and how.

about two weeks ago
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Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

Mathinker Re:As any developer worth their salt knows (260 comments)

> Think designing an easy to use API is trrivial? ...

Yes, good point. Designing a good API can be difficult and creative. Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with whether it currently is protected by copyright (cf. creating a good recipe, or a fashion design), nor does it shed light on whether it would benefit society if were protected.

about two weeks ago
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Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

Mathinker Re:API was worth taking, risking (260 comments)

> So clearly the API was worth a lot to Google.

Which has nothing to do if it should be eligible for protection by copyright.

about two weeks ago
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Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

Mathinker Re: As any developer worth their salt knows (260 comments)

> It's simple to make an API. It's actually rather difficult to make a good one.

A good point, but totally off-topic with respect to whether it deserves protection under copyright. Lots of things which are difficult and creative are not protected, and there is no good evidence that protecting them would benefit society.

about two weeks ago
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Is Public Debate of Trade Agreements Against the Public Interest?

Mathinker Re:Misleading summary (219 comments)

> In a shocking turn of events, this has led to a collapse in the public's level of informedness

No, I rather think you're blaming only one side of a two-sided coin. The American public, themselves, fail totally at critical thinking, a skill which would enable them to piece together quite a bit more "informedness" from all of the diverse and biased information sources they currently have.

The fact that they were "OK" when the digested results of critical thinking was spoon-fed to them doesn't absolve them from sharing responsibility. Even the fact that the education system, as it is currently designed, discourages critical thinking, is not an excuse.

about three weeks ago
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Is Public Debate of Trade Agreements Against the Public Interest?

Mathinker Re:Misleading summary (219 comments)

I just said that most of the problems the American people have with American democracy are the fault of the American people.

Yes.

We don't agree on jack-squat.

No. That's not the problem of the American people which is reflected in our government.

because otherwise one of them would be admitting defeat.

Ah, this is the problem... the American people, as a whole, just aren't intellectually sophisticated enough to understand that compromise isn't defeat. I'd guess that about 0% of them know what a "false dichotomy" is. Well maybe a bit more, but very little, compared with the number who "know" that the stuff they see on television is scary, or know all the gory details about the Kardashians (or other celebs). A previous poster said it before me:

Until the voter develops the strength to resist the propaganda

I think what he meant was critical thinking skills. Funny how those skills aren't a required part of the curriculum in schools, or even for that matter, at the undergraduate level in most universities.

about three weeks ago
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Jedi-ism Becomes a Serious Religion

Mathinker Re:Spiritual Needs (268 comments)

I believe that you think narcc's post is stupid.

Actually, I get the strong impression that you yourself believed that narcc actually meant what he posted. (I don't believe, though, that either of these are examples of something believed "in the face of evidence to the contrary". That kind of belief is more displayed by, for example, battered partners and their ilk, and is rarer. One could make a case that since our beliefs shape the way our mind builds our reality from our sensory input, it's probably quite common that "evidence to the contrary" just gets rejected by the individual until it reaches some kind of critical threshold, whereas others seeing the same evidence see it as "evidence to the contrary" long before.)

Most, if not all, reasoning we make about others' "state of mind" is mere belief. (Maybe in the far future we'll be able to MRI the brains of the people we interact with, in real time --- flash of memory of L. Frank Baum(?) story which included a similar plot device...)

about a month ago
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Jedi-ism Becomes a Serious Religion

Mathinker Re:Spiritual Needs (268 comments)

I believe what you just posted. Enjoy!

about a month ago
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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.

about a month 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 month 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 a month 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 a month 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 a month and a half 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 a month and a half 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 a month and a half 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 a month and a half 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  |  about 9 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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