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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 two weeks ago

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 two weeks ago

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.


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 a month ago

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 a month ago

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 2 months ago

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 2 months ago

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 3 months ago

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 5 months ago

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 6 months ago

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 7 months ago

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 8 months ago

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.

about 9 months ago

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 10 months ago

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

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

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

What's Actually Wrong With DRM In HTML5?

PineHall Use the object tag (447 comments)

If you want DRM use the object tag. It is already supported. There is nothing stopping media companies today from from creating html5 web pages/apps to display DRM encombered video. They can use their proprietary, platform-specific browser plug-ins already with the object tag. If you are going to require DRM, I don't see a big difference between using the video tag and the object tag.

about a year ago

Creationist Bets $10k In Proposed Literal Interpretation of Genesis Debate

PineHall Re:Not so trivial. (1121 comments)

Somehow you still manage to miss the point. Today with modern technology you can make exact copy. There is no such thing as exact translation on the other hand. I speak several foreign languages and I can easily think of several sentences in each that can not be translated into say English. You can write an entire page explaining the original, but the English speaker is still going to be robbed of something without actually learning the original language.

Yes, I see we are talking pass each other. I agree that translation to English one can miss out on the meaning. English has one word for love. Greek has 4 words for the English love (maybe more if you count the "I love pizza" definition). I have learned the meanings of those 4 words. I know that agape is the predominate love word of the Bible. That is why there are seminaries for ministers to learn Biblical Greek and Hebrew and there have been tons of theses over the centuries digging into the meaning of the texts. I don't know Greek so when I dig deep into a passage I read from several different translations and read commentaries on the passage. I believe I am getting the meaning of the text.

So, back to your point about "original" Greek text. You can claim the translation is 97% correct, what ever that means, but how correct is the Greek text the translation is based on? How removed from the actual first bible is it? When you actually take a look at that you will see that "original" Greek is actually centuries from the first copy ever written. And the first copy does not exist any more so nothing to compare it with.

The oldest complete Bible is roughly 300 years after the original texts, however there are 7 incomplete manuscripts before 200AD and 41 before 300AD. (It is from the answer in question 7.) The oldest fragment (from the Gospel of John) could be less that 30 years after the original writing. There are also the many writings of the Church Fathers that quote the scriptures. I would surmise that you would say this is not enough evidence to convince you that the New Testment we have today is not corrupt. Correct? If you say that, what you do is say that there is not enough evidence for any ancient document. The New Testament has by far the most and oldest (relative to the originals) manuscripts.

So having a 100% correct copy of corrupt oldest now available copy is a useless metric. Besides all that, we know bible is full allegory (compelling case can be made that entire Jesus myth is allegory taken literally and later embellished by trying to insert it into history. See for example http://rationalrevolution.net/articles/jesus_myth_history.htm), so taking allegory literally is just idiotic.

This is where we really differ. You see the story of Jesus as a myth set in an historical setting. Correct? I see it as historical story, because it is in a historical setting and the known geography. And I guess that you would discount any miracles as impossible because they violate the laws of nature. Am I correct? Whereas I see the miracles of Jesus and him rising from the dead as God outside of this universe reaching into the universe to demonstrate his love and concern for us. This seems to me to be the big difference between us (if I am correct in what you believe).

1 year,18 days

Creationist Bets $10k In Proposed Literal Interpretation of Genesis Debate

PineHall Re:Not so trivial. (1121 comments)

I had heard that there was over a 99% certainty of the New Testament and I had to search to find the original source, which I think I have found as Aland et al’s Greek Translation of the New Testament. This is the Greek text that is used for most of our modern translations. Aland et al’s Greek Translation of the New Testament puts an estimate on the certainty of the "translation" Here is an explanation:

Q: Why does the percentage of variants listed (97%), differ from another number of 99.5%?
A: The Aland et al’s Greek Translation of the New Testament, besides giving manuscript variations, gives an estimate of the certainty of the translation. In the fourth edition p.3, the letters mean:
A - "indicates that the text is certain"
B - "indicates that the text is almost certain"
C - "indicates that the Committee had difficulty in deciding which variant to place in the text."
D - "which occurs only rarely, indicates that the Committee had great difficulty in arriving at a decision."
Note that in the 3rd edition on p.xii-xiii, the letters have slightly different meanings.
A - "virtually certain"
B - "some degree of doubt"
C - "considerable degree of doubt"
D - "very high degree of doubt"
You arrive at close to the 97% figure by including all categories, and the 99.5% figure by only including the C and D categories. The 99.5% figure does not include, for example, many Greek textual variants that were the primary choices the Biblical scholars who translated the NKJV, including the longer ending of Mark, and the pericope of the adulteress. As for myself, rather than try to say which set of scholars is right, I simply want to report where trustworthy scholars are not certain or disagree. That is why I included in the 97% number instead of the 99.5% number. The 97% number includes all variants except those with very obvious conclusions.

So the committee that put together the current Greek text used in modern translations gave a 97% or the 99.5% estimate of certainity depending on how you count.

That does not say anything about the Genesis creation texts. What I said before is that the Hebrew texts have remained the same with only a few minor changes over the centuries when comparing to the Dead Sea scrolls and other ancient manuscripts. This whole bet is foolishness that will not prove anything.

1 year,19 days

Creationist Bets $10k In Proposed Literal Interpretation of Genesis Debate

PineHall Not so trivial. (1121 comments)

That argument of the many different versions of the Bible therefore you can not trust it is not a good one. No other ancient document has anywhere as close to as many copies as the New Testament. With so many early copies spread all over ther Roman world errors in the writings can be tracted. Scholars believe the Greek text used for the modern translations is very close to the original text. There is quite the science and research involved in this. The majority of of those different versions have simply typos. Being a religious text means the scribes were extra careful in copying. And because of the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls, it has been shown that even though there are not many old copies of the Old Testament in Hebrew, the Old Testament was accurately copied except for a few minor changes that crept in. So this "fallible text" is actually very likely close to the original text.

1 year,20 days


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