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Cracking Atlanta Subway's Poorly-Encrypted RFID Smart Cards Is a Breeze, Part II

OwnedByTwoCats Re:The REAL value of the transit system (170 comments)

Roadways are also hugely subsidized. Fuel taxes and tolls only pay about a quarter of the cost of driving. Roads never break even. All of them subsidize their costs with taxes. Many of them even take money from federal and state programs because communities cannot afford to build them without money from the federal and state governments.

Why do you insist that mass transit not be subsidized while roadways are?

about a month ago
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How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?

OwnedByTwoCats Re:Democrats held the Senate (305 comments)

The Republicans held the Senate long enough in 2001 (with a 50-50 tie broken by war criminal Dick Cheney) to ram through their tax cuts on simple majority votes. Then Jim Jeffords switched his affiliation from Republican to Independent, and began caucusing with the Democrats.

about a month ago
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How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?

OwnedByTwoCats Re:Political/Moral (305 comments)

The problem is the bankers already received their golden payouts. It's a big "Oh, well! Better luck next time" to them.

about a month ago
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How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?

OwnedByTwoCats Re:Some things I've noticed (305 comments)

Trickle Down/Supply Side as a 20th and 21st century record of failure. Keynesian Economics, not so much.

about a month ago
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Doctors "Fire" Vaccine Refusers

OwnedByTwoCats Re:It is about time (1271 comments)

There may be proportionally more Anti-Vaxers who are liberal than are conservatives. But the anti-vaxers are nearly unrepresented in the ranks of Liberal/Democratic elected leaders. As opposed to the anti-global-warming-ists or anti-evolutionists who are leading the Republican party in the US.

more than 2 years ago
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Doctors "Fire" Vaccine Refusers

OwnedByTwoCats Re:New Sign in the Doctors Office... (1271 comments)

Flu is dangerous. 20 to 40 million deaths in 1918-1919. annual deaths 250,000-500,000, more in pandemic years. US deaths averaged 40,000/year from 1979 to 2001 (by one measure).

It is true that immunity from the flu vaccine is not 100%. But reducing ones chance of contracting the disease after exposure by 2/3rds is worth it. I've gotten a flu shot every year since I last had the flu (1994).

more than 2 years ago
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Most Mac Owners Also Own a Windows PC, But Not Vice Versa

OwnedByTwoCats Re:Freeware has a lot to do with it (814 comments)

I own a mac, and have three obsolete macs in my "museum". I own a Pentium IV computer, but it runs Linux. Work provides me with a PC. But that's only for work.

more than 4 years ago
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Eolas To Sue Apple, Google, and 21 Others

OwnedByTwoCats Re:Fuck Eolas (252 comments)

Microsoft is a corporation that knew exactly how far across the legal line it could go before it would be punished. How many times were investigations into its business practices settled with "we promise we won't do it again", which they then did?

more than 4 years ago
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What Belongs In a High School Sci-Fi/Fantasy Lit Class?

OwnedByTwoCats Re:Fahrenheit 451 (1021 comments)

The critique of "Cold Equations" on the web is also useful.

more than 4 years ago
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What Belongs In a High School Sci-Fi/Fantasy Lit Class?

OwnedByTwoCats Re:Movies (1021 comments)

I was in High School when Star Wars came out. The first one, before it got retitled "A New Hope" and "Episode 4".

Joseph Campbell's _The_Hero_With_a_Thousand_Faces_ or the PBS Series (with its accompanying book) The Power of Myth both talk about the archtype Epic. Read wikipedia for more.

I saw the Dune movie before I read the book. It worked for me.
 

more than 4 years ago
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What Belongs In a High School Sci-Fi/Fantasy Lit Class?

OwnedByTwoCats Re:Where was this class for me? (1021 comments)

I am quite fond of Roger Zelazny's short story "The Game of Blood and Dust". It didn't resonate at all with my daughter, who never really lived under the threat of nuclear annihilation. It's included in _The_Last_Defender_of_Camelot_, and only 5 pages long.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Files Suits Against "Malvertisers"

OwnedByTwoCats Re:Brain... locking... up... (205 comments)

I don't believe you can run an .exe file on Linux or MacOSX. You can only do that in Windows.

MacOSX tells me whenever I ask it to run a file downloaded from the net for the first time. The OS needs to get in the user's face a little, because downloaded executables carry risks that executables installed from local media do not.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Files Suits Against "Malvertisers"

OwnedByTwoCats Re:Brain... locking... up... (205 comments)

No, the voters chose Gore over Bush. Even in Florida. Somehow, the greater evil took power anyway.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Files Suits Against "Malvertisers"

OwnedByTwoCats Re:Brain... locking... up... (205 comments)

Incorrect on so many points.

Malware does not go where the users are in other environments, it goes where the ease of exploiting vulnerabilities and the size of the market make it worthwhile. Apache is more popular than IIS, yet IIS has more discovered and exploited vulnerabilities.

A secure OS would make sure that all code downloaded from the net is identified to the user as code downloaded from the net and its source/publisher, and a secure OS does not allow the downloaded code to execute until after the user has acknowledged that it is a downloaded program and given explicit permission.

If you exclude all malware/exploits on Microsoft operating systems, Microsoft makes the most secure operating systems, because there are, by definition, no malware/exploits.

more than 4 years ago
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China Considering Cuts In Rare-Earth Metal Exports

OwnedByTwoCats Re:Not a Great Analogy (456 comments)

US Oil production peaked in 1970, at around 9 1/2 million barrels per day. Current US Oil production is down to 5 million barrels per day, and is dropping at an average around 150,000 barrels per day per year. Ten years out, if we're lucky, the US will produce 3 1/5 million barrels per day. Oh, and US demand for oil is at 10 million barrels per day and rising.

more than 4 years ago
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Relativistic Navigation Needed For Solar Sails

OwnedByTwoCats Re:Computers? (185 comments)

That's what I get for posting before whipping out the calculator. The acceleration needed to go 200 AUs in 2.5 years is only 9.5 E-3 meters/second. Or around .001g. I don't trust my calculus any more, but integrating the acceleration over that time is in the ballpark.

more than 4 years ago
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Relativistic Navigation Needed For Solar Sails

OwnedByTwoCats Re:Computers? (185 comments)

The article sounds like it's extrapolating the peak 0.6g acceleration for the entire length of the flight. Seems to me that acceleration is proportional to the light flux trapped and/or reflected by the sail, which will fall off with the square of the distance from the sun. So you can't get to the Oort cloud in just a couple of years.

What am I missing?

more than 4 years ago
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Fatal Explosion At Russian Hydroelectric Dam

OwnedByTwoCats Re:It is not the volts (336 comments)

I was fixing the lights in my basement. Circuit was live, switch was open, and I still got a "tickle" when working on the socket. Pulled the breaker, and found out that the home handyman who wired that part of the basement had put the switch on the white (return) wire. Grrrrr!

Now, do I pay an electrician to find out all the places where the wiring is screwed up? Or just double-check when I need to work on a circuit?

more than 4 years ago
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Fatal Explosion At Russian Hydroelectric Dam

OwnedByTwoCats Re:Olde News? (336 comments)

The neighbors can recover damages if the company has any assets left.

Many firms polluted, and then went belly up. Nobody to sue. Many of the former executives, of course, were richly compensated in spite of their failure.

more than 4 years ago
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Behind Menuet, an OS Written Entirely In Assembly

OwnedByTwoCats Re:Not the best choice of languages (419 comments)

Also, in high level languages, the developer has easy access to powerful abstractions with well-tested implementations. If I know I'm going to need access to a lot of data, it's trivial to say "Map myMap = new HashMap(); while ( ...) { ... ; myMap.add( key, value); }" It's a lot more work to build the structures in assembly language to do the same thing. So the developer takes a shortcut and writes a simple linked list. In cases like these, high-level implementations that use the appropriate algorithms will beat the pants off assembly-language implementations that use simpler algorithms because coding the complex algorithm is not practical.

more than 4 years ago

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