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The Most Popular Passwords Are Still "123456" and "password"

Millennium Re:Shadow? (197 comments)

Maybe not with that exact filename, but I can't help but wonder if some people hear that "shadow passwords are more secure" and think this means that changing your password to "shadow" helps.

I mean, why that particular word? Is there another explanation for how it could be that popular? Other than hedgehogs with guns, I mean?

about a week ago
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The Most Popular Passwords Are Still "123456" and "password"

Millennium Shadow? (197 comments)

18 shadow (Unchanged)

Please, please don't tell me that this word's popularity is an ill-conceived response to /etc/shadow. I may have to weep for humanity.

about two weeks ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

Millennium Re:This guy hasn't done his research. (647 comments)

I'm really confused as to how this works: at least if I understand what you're saying correctly, that certainly would break the principle of least astonishment. Is there a more thorough explanation of the topic that I could look through?

about two weeks ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

Millennium Re:This guy hasn't done his research. (647 comments)

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Are you talking about switching the values of two variables? Python can do that in one line: "a,b = b,a" (no quotes).

Or is this some kind of syntactical thing where you're asking to write "b = a" and having it mean "a = b"? I don't think Python can do that, but I don't know how you do it in VB either.

about two weeks ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

Millennium Re:This guy hasn't done his research. (647 comments)

I'd love to see *any* "complex construct" that C can do, that Python cannot do in a general computer science/algorithm sense.

More to the point, I'd love to see any "complex construct" that VB can do, that Python cannot.

about two weeks ago
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Best current live-action TV show based on comics?

Millennium Re:Can I have four? (148 comments)

Constantine

I had no idea this was a comic book thing, I just figured it was a TV adaptation of the horrible Keanu Reeves movie. I'll consider checking it out later.

The horrible Keanu Reeves movie was an "adaptation" (albeit a very, very loose one) of the comic. It may help to think of the series as what the movie could have been if it were actually done right.

There is a story arc at one point in the comics where the title character has to deal with a demon created from himself. It's my personal opinion that if the TV show ever does this arc, they should try to get Keanu Reeves to play the demon. It breaks from the comics a bit (since the comic book version of the demon looks exactly like his progenitor), but the fandom-troll would be epic.

about two weeks ago
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Best current live-action TV show based on comics?

Millennium Re:Can I have four? (148 comments)

NBC has been frustratingly ambiguous concerning whether or not Constantine has been cancelled. They refuse to state it one way or the other. They failed to order the back nine episodes for Season 1 (obviously a bad sign), but since that deadline passed, they've gone so far as to give it a much better time slot (obviously a good sign).

The conspiracy theorist in me can't help but wonder if this is some kind of marketing ploy: if they never intended to cancel it, but kept things ambiguous solely to whip up the fanbase.

about two weeks ago
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How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

Millennium Re:selling your vote versus the secret ballot (480 comments)

And continue to be exploited. You left out that piece.

Really? I thought I had that covered by "have long been exploited, and that genie is not going back in the bottle."

My question back is, "Why is secrecy more important than accuracy?"

Because the harm done by vote-forcing and vote-buying far outweighs the harm done by all but the most egregiously inaccurate counts. It takes little more than a cursory glance at modern societies facing these problems to see that.

For a stable society, no "other party" cares enough to force people to vote a particular way. It just doesn't happen...

At best, that assumption is extremely naive. Even in places that practice secret ballots, attempts at vote-selling and coercive schemes are common. In places with a free press, they make the news all the time.

They don't tend to get very far, of course. But that's largely because it's impossible to verify that any given person actually voted in a particular way. There is no point in attempting to coerce someone to do something when all you have to verify that they've done what you wanted. There is no sense in buying votes when there is no way to verify that you've actually gotten the service you paid for. But for this to work, there must well and truly be no way to get that information.

Legal and procedural safeguards are not enough. It must be actually impossible to get this information: in other words, the secret ballot. There is a tradeoff involved, in that counts become marginally less accurate, but given the alternative, this price is worth paying.

about two weeks ago
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How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

Millennium Re:selling your vote versus the secret ballot (480 comments)

So the first 100 years of the USA was a dystopian regime?

It was a heck of a lot closer to one than it is now; that much is certain. And even if it were not, nostalgia for a bygone historical era is irrelevant in the face of current practice. The holes in non-secret ballots have long been exploited, and that genie is not going to go back into the bottle.

Besides which, you have still failed to state why non-secret ballots are any better. What purpose do they serve, other than to make it possible to pressure people to vote the way that some other party wants them to?

about two weeks ago
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How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

Millennium Re:selling your vote versus the secret ballot (480 comments)

Care to elaborate? Open voting in the modern age tends to be practiced by dystopian regimes, as a means of asserting control over the voter base. How is that even remotely better than a secret ballot?

about two weeks ago
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NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode

Millennium Re:utf-32/ucs-4 (165 comments)

Even in the real world, a surprising number of languages contain characters that still have no single-point normalized forms. But the most widely-known case of multi-point characters doesn't correspond to any real-world language at all: look up "Zalgo" for more information on this.

about two weeks ago
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Donald Knuth Worried About the "Dumbing Down" of Computer Science History

Millennium Re:Knuth is right. (149 comments)

Electronics are only the substrate on which we (currently) perform (most) computing, not the computer itself. They're not even the first substrate that we've ever used for such things: ENIAC is widely credited as the first all-electric computer, but hybrid electronic-mechanical devices had been in use for several decades before then. Pure mechanical devices have also been used in limited capacities, even if we discount the works of Charles Babbage (since his Analytical Engine was never actually built).

But even mechanical devices are not the only substrate that can be used for computing. For example, fluidics (which replace electronics with flowing fluids of various sorts) see limited application on the macro-scale, but are a growing area of nanotechnology research. We've probably all seen examples of toy "computers" using marbles or billiard balls, and if you haven't then a quick YouTube search can provide some. These aren't fast enough to do many things on a practical time scale (by human standards), but they compute nonetheless.

That's why we say that mathematics defines computing. The actual process can be carried out in a multitude of ways, but the underlying processes are the same, and they are defined by the math of computing.

about 1 month ago
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Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

Millennium Re:tonight at 11 (681 comments)

To be fair, though, that's the date Newton would have understood and recognized. England didn't adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752, and Newton had been dead for several decades by then.

about 1 month ago
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Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

Millennium Re: No group "owns" any day on the calendar. (681 comments)

And a good thing, too. I don't think I could take more than one day of all those drummers drumming, especially while also having to figure out the logistics of where to put my new artisan pear orchard.

about 1 month ago
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Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

Millennium Re:Only people offended (681 comments)

My wife was offended, and she's not even Christian. I am, but I wasn't offended. It's almost like you can't paint people who think differently from you with a broad brush.

about 1 month ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

Millennium Re:freedom 2 b a moron (1051 comments)

Not wrong. Many if not most faiths include a strong element of extra-scriptural traditions of one form or another. Within Christianity, this was one of the original issues behind the schism between Protestantism and Catholicism, though nowadays many Protestant faiths have added on to their scriptural interpretations with tradition-based de facto doctrines of their own. Similar phenomena can be seen in most other faiths, and the scripture+tradition-based sects tend strongly toward being more popular than the scripture-only sects.

Why does this matter? Because for faiths like these, pointing out that there aren't find any anti-vaccination passages in scripture isn't a very compelling argument. They already get their doctrine partly (if not entirely) from other sources too, so there's plenty of room for antivax crap to slip in.

about a month and a half ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

Millennium Re:Time for another Big Project (1051 comments)

The problem is you are dealing with people who already refuse to participate in logical discussions.

I'm aware of that. I'm proposing a project like this precisely because we're dealing with people who refuse to use abstract logic. Give them something concrete -"we know X doesn't cause autism, because we know Y causes autism"- and most of them should cave. Even most fundamentalists will admit that the sky is not green, when you can take them outside and show them with their own eyes that it's blue.

about a month and a half ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

Millennium Re:freedom 2 b a moron (1051 comments)

Feel free to cite any anti-vaccine scripture. Let me save you some time. It doesn't exist.

Indeed not, but that argument only works for faiths that hold their scriptures to be the the valid source of doctrine. Most faiths don't do that.

about a month and a half ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

Millennium Re:freedom 2 b a moron (1051 comments)

Fraudulent, eh?

Tell that to the parent of a dead child.

OK. Find me the parent of a child they claim died from the effects of a vaccine, and I'll tell them. I'll even say it to their face, if it can be arranged.

I don't think most antivaxxers are deliberately lying. I don't even think most of them are stupid or crazy (though their chosen spokesfolk certainly are). But they are mistaken: the sane ones have been duped, and the crazy ones are, well crazy. Even that wouldn't be so bad, except that it is leading them down a path that is beginning to constitute a clear and present threat to the public health. This cannot be ignored.

about a month and a half ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

Millennium Re:freedom 2 b a moron (1051 comments)

I don't believe it is controversial to consider vaccination 14 shots at 2 years old extreme.

Why? Excluding religion, there is no reason to believe that vaccines cause any harm: literally every study attempting to find otherwise has either failed or been proven fraudulent.

about a month and a half ago

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