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How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

PineHall Re:It happened before (167 comments)

The solar storm of 1859, also known as the Carrington Event, wrecked havoc telegraph systems. This solar storm would have been very nasty if it happened today with all our electronics. This storm 2 years ago would have been of similar size if it had hit earth.

4 hours ago
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New Snowden Leak: of 160000 Intercepted Messages, Only 10% From Official Targets

PineHall The U.S. President (201 comments)

Some of them border on the absurd, using titles that could apply to only one man. A “minimized U.S. president-elect” begins to appear in the files in early 2009, and references to the current “minimized U.S. president” appear 1,227 times in the following four years.

So the President was not the intended surveillance target but his correspondence was unintentionally caught up in their surveillance net as they target terrorists. And they save the President's correspondence. If I was the President I would be very upset.

about three weeks ago
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Gen. Keith Alexander On Metadata, Snowden, and the NSA: "We're At Greater Risk"

PineHall To be even Safer ... (238 comments)

I propose that we put at least 2 cameras in every room. This way we can catch everyone committing a crime and reduce dramatically the risk of crime in the USA. I propose that the NSA, who has the expertise, would expand its role and electronically monitor the cameras. The computers would flag potential crimes happening for the NSA experts to look at. They would maintain the database and rules would be in place to prevent any abuse by the NSA professionals. Oversight of this NSA operation will be by a secret court that will punish those breaking the rules. All proceedings and transcripts of the court will remain secret to protect the work of the NSA and not increase the risk of crime.

Without the exaggeration of "at least 2 cameras in every room", I feel this is what is happening right now around the world. By upping the surveillance we would be safer but our quality of life would be less without any privacy, and the potential for abuse would be very great. There is no significant oversight and transparency happening at the NSA. This needs to change and people's rights (including non-Americans) need to be respected. Knowing human nature, abuse is happening and the database is being misused. The NSA needs to be reigned in and its operations limited. We may end up being at a very slight larger risk for a terrorist attack but people's lives and rights would be respected.

about 2 months ago
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Talking To the Public: the Biggest Enemy To Reducing Greenhouse Emissions

PineHall We Understand But ... (324 comments)

The majority of Americans believe that human caused global warming is happening. The majority believe we need to do something about it, but they believe that whatever actions are taken should not negatively impact their lifestyle. This means anything that would cause increased costs for them is not acceptable. This means that changing the way they go about doing things is not going to happen. That is the problem.

about 3 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

PineHall Unintended Consequences (1746 comments)

I wonder what the fallout will be for Mozilla. The definition of marriage varies through out the world. How will Mozilla and Firefox be viewed in parts of the world with a different marriage definition now that Eich was forced to resign? I believe there will be unintended consequences, some negative consequences for Mozilla and Firefox in the developing world.

about 4 months ago
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OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

PineHall Define Marriage (1482 comments)

How do you define marriage? That seems to be the issue. The definition in the USA is changing, but it varies through out the world. Is marriage defined as

Between one man and one woman who are both adults
Between to two consenting adults
Between one man and up to four women
Between one man and many women
Between a man and a girl entering puberty
Between a boy and a girl as dictated by the families
Or something else that is less common than the above

What determines what is acceptable? Is it trampling on one's human rights if you disagree with some of the above options? How will Mozilla and Firefox be view in parts of the world with a different marriage definition if Eich is forced to resign? There are likely unintended consequences if Eich is forced to resign. Is this the best way to advance gay rights?

about 4 months ago
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NSA General Counsel Insists US Companies Assisted In Data Collection

PineHall Weasel Words (103 comments)

After the hearing, De added that service providers also know and receive legal compulsions surrounding NSA’s harvesting of communications data not from companies but directly in transit across the internet under 702 authority.

And

De and his administration colleagues were quick to answer the board that companies were aware of the government’s collection of data under 702, which Robert Litt, general counsel for the director of national intelligence, told the board was “one of the most valuable collection tools that we have.”

But what was not said was

Neither De nor any other US official discussed data taken from the internet under different legal authorities. Different documents Snowden disclosed, published by the Washington Post, indicated that NSA takes data as it transits between Yahoo and Google data centers, an activity reportedly conducted not under Section 702 but under a seminal executive order known as 12333.

So they did not lie but they did not tell the whole truth either.

about 4 months ago
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How the NSA Plans To Infect 'Millions' of Computers With Malware

PineHall The destruction of the Internet? (234 comments)

“Hacking routers has been good business for us and our 5-eyes partners for some time,” notes one NSA analyst in a top-secret document dated December 2012. “But it is becoming more apparent that other nation states are honing their skillz [sic] and joining the scene.”

This is the really scary part. Other nations are doing it and soon criminal organizations will be doing it, if not already. They are destroying the internet as we know it. Purchase something online and have your money routed to elsewhere or have your credit balance jump to new heights as others use your credit information. Here is a possible senario: "You charged me for 10 widgets." "No sir, we charged you for one and you received it. We did not receive money for 10 but only for the one."

about 4 months ago
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GCHQ Intercepted Webcam Images of Millions of Yahoo Users

PineHall Re:WebRTC Solution (137 comments)

I am just looking into WebRTC now so I don't know much but I think it should be possible. Right now I am looking at Muaz Khan's library RTCMultiConnection.js and maybe you could do it with that.

about 5 months ago
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GCHQ Intercepted Webcam Images of Millions of Yahoo Users

PineHall WebRTC Solution (137 comments)

WebRTC seems to be the best way now to communicate and avoid all the spying. It is supported by Firefox, Chrome, and Opera browsers. It does audio, video, text and file transfers. The media streams are all encrypted and once connected the media streams from browser to browser with no middle man/web site.

about 5 months ago
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Asteroids Scarred By Solar System's Violent Youth

PineHall Confusing but ... (31 comments)

It does make sense. The summary confuses things and the article is not much better. But if you start with the very last sentence of the article it starts to make some sense.

"Asteroids’ compositions tell us about where they formed. Where they are today tells us the whole evolution of where they’ve gone since," DeMeo said.

The composition of an asteroid tell us where it was formed. The old theory was that asteriods can be found close to where they were formed and there was some evidence of that, however with a larger sample the theory is found lacking and things are more complicated. At least that is how I read it.

about 6 months ago
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Mozilla Backtracks On Third-Party Cookie Blocking

PineHall Third Party Cookies and Safari (173 comments)

Apple's Safari already blocks third party cookies by default, and it is the number one browser on mobile devices. So why is the advertising industry is fighting hard to prevent Mozilla from blocking third party cookies by default while keeping quiet about Apple's Safari browser? Something is wrong here!

about 9 months ago
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Citizen Eavesdrops On Former NSA Director Michael Hayden's Phone Call

PineHall Brin's Transparent Society (390 comments)

I think we are moving toward a transparent society where privacy for all is minimal. Right now it is pretty one sided but I think openness and transparency for the government and large corporations will also happen. Technology will force them to open up. David Brin wrote a book called The Transparent Society that talks about this.

about 9 months ago
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Study: Our 3D Universe Could Have Originated From a 4D Black Hole

PineHall Branes versus String Theory (337 comments)

What is the difference between Branes and String Theory? String Theory seems to have about 10 dimensions or so. Do theories with Branes have only 4 dimensions (3 spacial, 1 time)? I thought they were related. I realize this is all mathematical speculation but I wonder.

about 10 months ago
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Dishwasher-Size, 25kW Fuel Cell In Development

PineHall It is NOT Diverse Energy! (379 comments)

The company is Redox Power Systems, not Diverse Energy. Diverse Energy's fuel cell uses ammonia as a fuel source, not natural gas. The summary is mixing up 2 different fuel cell technologies. (I know broke the rules and read the articles.)

about a year ago
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EFF Sues NSA, Justice Department, FBI

PineHall Easy to Abuse (333 comments)

My big concern is how easy it is to abuse this information in big ways.

"Mr President, we have information from an anonymous source (wink, wink) that you opponent is talking to Joe Smith. Now we know (wink, wink) that Joe has some connections to some shady characters. Your official reelection campaign does not need to worry about this. I am going to pass on this information to some of your supporters and they will break the news with some attack ads."

That temptation is use this information to gain an advantage is great. The argument that it will only be used to fight terrorism assumes that those with access will always work for the good of all and ignore any personal advantage they could gain. We all are by nature selfish and will usually act to our advantage. That bunch of good old boys that will not always do the right thing, especially since they operate in secrecy with minimal checks. It is too easy to abuse this information.

1 year,8 days
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Firefox Advances Do-Not-Track Technology

PineHall All on one site, faster download (148 comments)

Too many times I have to wait for the ads to load on a web page. If the ads and cookies were hosted on the parent web site, I think pages would load faster. Mozilla doing this, I believe, does not solve the tracking problem but it may speed things up. Mozilla should also include same domain ads with the cookies.

about a year ago
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Main US Weather Satellite Fails As Hurricane Season Looms

PineHall More Information (235 comments)

The satellite blog at University of Wisconsin has more information including some images from GOES 14, now turned on.

about a year ago
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NWS Announces Big Computer Upgrade

PineHall Reasons why this is important (161 comments)

Cliff Mass, University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences Professor, has been arguing for an upgrade for a long time. He sees great potential for this new system if used right. The reasons for the upgrade boil down to having "huge economic and safety benefits" with better forecasting, and he says these benefits are within our reach.

about a year ago
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97% of Climate Science Papers Agree Global Warming Is Man-made

PineHall Better Article (1105 comments)

Some the concerns raised here were addressed in the survey. Check out this quote from this Arstechnica article.

About 33 percent of abstracts were categorized as endorsing the consensus, with 0.7 percent rejecting it. The remainder made no statement discernible as either. So among the abstracts with a clearly-stated position, 97.1 percent backed the consensus.

But what about the others? Did those abstracts not state a position because the consensus is so well-accepted as to make doing so unnecessary? Or was the human impact on climate often presented as uncertain in these papers? To answer this question (and further verify the ratings of the other abstracts) the group sent a survey to the authors whose email addresses were listed with the papers—over 8,500 in total. The survey was completed by 1,200 of them, who rated their own abstracts using the same criteria as the research group.

Of the abstracts that the research group had rated as not expressing a position the authors rated more than half of the papers as endorsing the consensus. Overall, 62.7 percent were self-rated as endorsing the consensus, 1.8 percent as rejecting the consensus, and 35.5 percent as having given no position.

So of those that expressed a position, 97.2 percent endorsed the consensus and 2.8 percent rejected it according to the authors of those papers.

I see it as pretty clear that the scientific consesus is that anthropogenic global warming is occurring. There is not considerable disagreement among climate scientists.

about a year ago

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