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Comments

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An Automated Cat Litter Box With DRM

PvtVoid Your cat thinks you're a moron (56 comments)

Your cat thinks your a moron, and is going to poop in your headphones.

2 hours ago
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In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

PvtVoid About Fucking Time (430 comments)

Long overdue. Time for cigars and mojitos all around!

5 days ago
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The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

PvtVoid Re:Have Both (567 comments)

Oh, come on. Somebody mod parent "funny".

about two weeks ago
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Study of Massive Preprint Archive Hints At the Geography of Plagiarism

PvtVoid Re:who cares about plagiarism (53 comments)

So you are saying that the only reason that people do anything is for recognition or money?

Are you?

No, I am saying that the people who have an interest in assigning credit for work are the people who provide funding and jobs, because they don't want to provide either funding or jobs to people who are not actually creating new ideas. These are also the people who pay for journal subscriptions, fund conferences and professional societies, and confer degrees.

As far as the people who do the research are concerned, very few of them would be able to continue doing research in the absence of funding. Do you think lab equipment, office space, and staff are free?

about two weeks ago
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Study of Massive Preprint Archive Hints At the Geography of Plagiarism

PvtVoid Re:who cares about plagiarism (53 comments)

Why does anyone need 'credit' for ideas?

Because it allows funding agencies, university tenure committees, etc. to determine which people are contributing useful new science to the world, and which people are dead wood sucking at the teat of an academic salary without creating anything useful to anybody.

about two weeks ago
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The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

PvtVoid Have Both (567 comments)

I have two monitors: one landscape, one next to it flipped into portrait mode. It's not fucking rocket science.

about two weeks ago
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Court Orders Uber To Shut Down In Spain

PvtVoid Re:How's This: (280 comments)

Or is that a phenomenally stupid idea for some glaringly obvious reasons?

It's a phenomenally stupid idea for glaringly obvious reasons.

about two weeks ago
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Neglecting the Lessons of Cypherpunk History

PvtVoid Re:fud? (103 comments)

this is the first time i've heard this claim. reference? i know of the hand wringing about if we can trust the h/w, but i didn't see any evidence that it was broken.

Ars Technica
New York Times
rt.com

about two weeks ago
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Neglecting the Lessons of Cypherpunk History

PvtVoid Re:TFA Misunderstands the History (103 comments)

It's not that cryptography has failed to bring us security, it's that the people have failed to make use of the available cryptography in the first place.

It's worse than that. As an artist friend of mine told me recently: "Ten years ago I used to wonder how people would respond to the massive loss of privacy represented by social media. Now we know: the only thing people actually worry about is that nobody is watching."

about two weeks ago
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Neglecting the Lessons of Cypherpunk History

PvtVoid TFA Misunderstands the History (103 comments)

TFA is correct that simply thinking that, because there is a zillion-bit crypto algorithm thrown into the communication stream, that everything is good and security is guaranteed. There are many, many attack channels that do not involve brute-forcing the crypto. Keyloggers, for example.

But this is silly:

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, a group of encryption mavens known as cypherpunks sought to protect individual privacy by making "strong" encryption available to everyone. To this end they successfully spread their tools far and wide such that there were those in the cypherpunk crowd who declared victory. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we know how this story actually turned out. The NSA embarked on a clandestine, industry-spanning, program of mass subversion that weakened protocols and inserted covert backdoors into a myriad of products.

In actuality, the crypto implementations promoted by cypherpunks were exactly those that made it difficult or impossible for such a program of mass subversion to take place. Remember that the height of the cypherpunk movement was when the Clinton administration was pushing hard, really hard, for the NSA-sponsored Clipper Chip, which was, in a nutshell, crypto subverted by design and mandated by law. We now know that when the spooks found that was politically impossible, they went ahead and did it anyway, in secret. But the cypherpunk tools, most notably PGP (and later GPG, when PGP sold out and went corporate). Hell, even look at /dev/random: when it was revealed that the NSA had actually, and pretty amazingly, undermined hardware random number generators on widely available chips, /dev/random was still just fine, because it treats all sources of entropy as potentially untrustworthy, including the chip.

The first lesson we should learn from the history of the cypherpunks is that trusting your crypto to a closed product is always, always a bad idea. That was the lesson then, and it is still the lesson now.

The second lesson is that crypto, like any security, is all about the threat model. In that light, should we reject the widespread adoption of end-to-end crypto in commercial products? Of course not. If Apple and Google implement crypto by default, it will make efforts to dragnet information exponentially harder, even if the crypto is imperfect. This is why the spooks are beating the drum against it: it closes off that one particular threat model, which they have come to rely on. It doesn't close off other kinds of attack, but so what?

The third lesson is that crypto, by itself, is not a panacea. Nobody ever said it was. The cypherpunk message was not that we can write PGP, declare victory, and walk away. The message was that privacy changes the relationship between the citizen and the state in beneficial ways, and that, in a technological society, we need to embrace technological means of increasing our privacy, in ways that cannot be controlled by the state.

about two weeks ago
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NASA's Orion Capsule Reaches Orbit

PvtVoid Re:Waste of money and resources (140 comments)

Well actually there is, the earth will be destroyed by our sun. So going to mars will be the only way humanity will continue on.

The Earth will be destroyed by the sun five billion years from now, which is a span of deep time longer than it took single-celled organisms to evolve into us. What makes you think that the human race will be in existence for even a tiny fraction of that time? Even if we don't go extinct outright (which is the most probable outcome), our descendants will probably bear no resemblance to us whatsoever. If technological progress continues at anything near the current rate, they will be godlike beings in comparison to us. Why would they give a fuck about living on Mars?

about two weeks ago
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NASA's Orion Capsule Reaches Orbit

PvtVoid Re:Spare me NASA's PR Hype (140 comments)

Walter Cronkite's live description of the launch ofApollo 4: "...our building's shaking here. Our building's shaking! Oh it's terrific, the building's shaking! This big blast window is shaking! We're holding it with our hands! Look at that rocket go into the clouds at 3000 feet!...you can see it...you can see it...oh the roar is terrific!...".

about two weeks ago
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A Backhanded Defense of Las Vegas' Taxi Regulation

PvtVoid Re:We've already seen the alternative to regulatio (93 comments)

If the regulation sucks, reform the regulations. Don't throw a huge hissy fit and shit the bed out of spite.

If I couldn't see your user ID, I would think that you must be new here.

about three weeks ago
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The Moment of Truth For BICEP2

PvtVoid Re:How detached from reality is astrophysics? (52 comments)

You might say "this is how science works," but the people at BICEP2 and the faster-than-light neutrino people should have know better than to make such a big announcement so prematurely. The press aren't technically competent so scientists need to self-police about what makes it to the top of the CNN science segment.

On both counts you mention, I guess I disagree. The faster-than-light neutrino people were very clear that they expected it to eventually be resolved by something mundane, which it of course eventually was. The jury is still out on BICEP2, although it sure isn't looking good. If you believe the tweets, Planck puts an upper limit on tensors that would be strongly incompatible with the BICEP2 claim.

In any case, isn't it a good thing for the press to show scientists getting really excited about a potential new discovery, and then eventually finding out that it was a false alarm? This gives a much better picture of how science actually progresses than portraying it as an unbroken series of perfect truths. And if the scientists themselves are a little vain, a little hungry for fame, a little fractious with one another, that reflects the fact that science is done by actual people, and manages to arrive at the truth despite that. I wish more science reporting made the sausage making more evident to the general public. I think scientists tend to be a little too afraid that if scientists as a group are portrayed as anything less than heroic examples of a detached and objective stereotype, that somehow public perception of science will suffer, when in reality what that does is project a false image and create unrealistic expectations.

about three weeks ago
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The Moment of Truth For BICEP2

PvtVoid Re:Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proo (52 comments)

All scientists outside the massively politicized field of climatology know this.

Climatology has only been politicized by people who aren't climatologists. The actual scientists get along just fine.

about three weeks ago
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The Moment of Truth For BICEP2

PvtVoid Re:How detached from reality is astrophysics? (52 comments)

They reason they're no longer trusted is because they make big announcements of amazing results and then... later have to admit that they were wrong. Or, worse, they don't admit they're wrong, and we have to wait for someone else to retry the experiment and find that out for themselves.

What you're describing as the "reason they're no longer trusted" is called the scientific method: science is trustworthy precisely because when people are wrong, they admit it. Either that, somebody else proves them wrong.

Do you expect this shit to sprout from the head of Zeus or something?

about three weeks ago
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The Moment of Truth For BICEP2

PvtVoid December 22 (52 comments)

The funny thing is that there is a meeting in Italy this week to discuss the Planck polarization result. Except that the Planck team doesn't have the result ready yet, for reasons they are not explaining. To make matters worse, there is no internet access at the venue, so the rest of the world is hearing about it primarily through Twitter feeds. The Planck team should be seriously embarrassed to cock up a major announcement as badly as they have.

Regardles, Planck is releasing its polarization measurements in three weeks, on December 22. Get back to us then.

about three weeks ago
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The Moment of Truth For BICEP2

PvtVoid Re:How detached from reality is astrophysics? (52 comments)

Whenever I read articles about astrophysics, it always sounds very detached from reality. This work usually ends up making big assumptions based on radio waves that were supposedly detected in some way. We aren't talking about ones that are visible to humans, either, like light from stars. Then there's often talk about how it's the "remnants of the Big Bang" or something vague like that. And then they start throwing around numbers that we couldn't possibly be sure that we're measuring correctly. Even after reading into this subject in depth, and even taking college courses on it back in the day, it's still almost a religion in many ways.

That's right. All those fancy-pants "scientists" are actually idiots and frauds. Nothing they say can be trusted.

about three weeks ago
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Firefox Will Soon Offer One-Click Buttons For Your Search Engines

PvtVoid Oh, great. (101 comments)

More fucking popup menus.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Chris Kluwe Posts Epic Takedown of #Gamergate

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about 2 months ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "Call it a troll submission if you wish. Fuck that. This is a must-read.

Thus, when I see an article titled “Gamers are dead,” referring to the death of the popular trope of a pasty young man in a dimly lit room, it fills me with joy, because it means WE FUCKING WON. So many people are playing games now that they are popular culture. They are not going away. All sorts of cool things, that I like, are now things that a whole bunch of other people like! There’s enough space now for people to make games that are strange and disturbing and maybe highlight a different perspective of the world, because gaming is no longer a niche activity, it’s something that everybody does. There is room for art in video games. That’s awesome!

You slopebrowed weaseldicks with zero reading comprehension and even less critical thinking skills who think an article claiming “Gamers are dead” is something bad? Fuck me sideways with a sandblaster.

Read on for more that ain't from Bennett."
Link to Original Source

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iPhone 6 rollout makes $23 billion in Apple market cap evaporate

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about 3 months ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "Apple's stock has now dropped below $100 per share, wiping out more than $23 billion dollars in market capitalization since the botched release of the iPhone 6.

'Despite the iOS 8 bugs and bent iPhones that have cost Apple approximately $23 billion, the company’s stocks are still up this year by over 20 percent, leading the race ahead of Standard & Poor’s 500’s general gain of seven percent. But a market slump just days after a crucial new product release is a major blow for any company. The iPhone, Apple’s most widely recognized and critical product, accounts for over half its stock value. With such serious problems hovering over its new release, this drastic change in stocks comes as little surprise.'

Does it make sense that a messy software update and some bent cases should be responsible for that much value disappearing? Is there too much market cap tied to a single consumer product to begin with?"

Link to Original Source
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Washington Post covers #gamergate

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about 3 months ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "Rape threats. A hacking attempt on her Web site. The online publication of personal information, including her phone number and home address. Countless comments on her Tumblr calling her a “slut” and worse, including one that read: “Are you reading this? Of course you are. I will kill you.”

This is what indie video game developer Zoe Quinn has been dealing with for the past month, ever since an ex-boyfriend wrote a blog post implying that she had traded sex for positive reviews. The post sparked a virulent campaign against Quinn and an all-out online war about the future of the video-game industry."

Link to Original Source
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WSJ Reports Boeing to beat SpaceX for manned taxi to ISS

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about 3 months ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "The Wall Street Journal reports (paywalled) that NASA is poised to award a key contract for manned transport to the International Space Station to Boeing over rival SpaceX:

Recent signals from the Obama administration, according to the officials, indicate that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's leadership has concluded on a preliminary basis that Boeing's proposed capsule offers the least risky option, as well as the one most likely to be ready to transport U.S. crews to the international space station within three years. The officials cautioned that a last-minute shift by NASA chief Charles Bolden, who must vet the decision, could change the result of the closely watched competition.

Here is a non-paywalled link to an article at CNET"
Link to Original Source

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The National Review has had it with nerd chic.

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about 5 months ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "One part insecure hipsterism, one part unwarranted condescension, the two defining characteristics of self-professed nerds are (a) the belief that one can discover all of the secrets of human experience through differential equations and (b) the unlovely tendency to presume themselves to be smarter than everybody else in the world. Prominent examples include MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, Rachel Maddow, Steve Kornacki, and Chris Hayes; Vox’s Ezra Klein, Dylan Matthews, and Matt Yglesias; the sabermetrician Nate Silver; the economist Paul Krugman; the atheist Richard Dawkins; former vice president Al Gore; celebrity scientist Bill Nye; and, really, anybody who conforms to the Left’s social and moral precepts while wearing glasses and babbling about statistics.

The pose is, of course, little more than a ruse — our professional “nerds” being, like Mrs. Doubtfire, stereotypical facsimiles of the real thing. They have the patois but not the passion; the clothes but not the style; the posture but not the imprimatur. Theirs is the nerd-dom of Star Wars, not Star Trek; of Mario Kart and not World of Warcraft; of the latest X-Men movie rather than the comics themselves."

Link to Original Source
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Gofor: Uber for Drones

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about 5 months ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "Gofor claims to be developing an app that summons a drone on demand using your smartphone or tablet. From the web site: "Drones are summoned much like taxis in other popular service apps. Your desired task is either noted at the outset using presets, or customized using voice commands. Once the drone arrives, your phone's flashlight is used to pair your device with the drone. From there, it depends on the task, the object-based UI is very easy to understand. ""
Link to Original Source
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NSF Researcher Suspended for Mining Bitcoin

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about 6 months ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "In the semiannual report to Congress by the NSF Office of Inspector General, the organization said it received reports of a researcher who was using NSF-funded supercomputers at two universities to mine bitcoin. The computationally intensive mining took up about $150,000 worth of NSF-supported computer use at the two universities to generate bitcoins worth about $8,000 to $10,000, according to the report. It did not name the researcher or the universities."
Link to Original Source
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Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about 7 months ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "Jeopardy champion Arthur Chu pens a heartfelt takedown of misogyny in nerd culture:

What the fuck is wrong with us?

How much longer are we going to be in denial that there’s a thing called “rape culture” and we ought to do something about it?

[...]

To paraphrase the great John Oliver, listen up, fellow self-pitying nerd boys—we are not the victims here. We are not the underdogs. We are not the ones who have our ownership over our bodies and our emotions stepped on constantly by other people’s entitlement. We’re not the ones where one out of six of us will have someone violently attempt to take control of our bodies in our lifetimes.

"
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Julie Ann Horvath Quits GitHub, Citing Harrassment

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  about 9 months ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "From TechCrunch: The exit of engineer Julie Ann Horvath from programming network GitHub has sparked yet another conversation concerning women in technology and startups. Her claims that she faced a sexist internal culture at GitHub came as a surprise to some, given her former defense of the startup and her internal work at the company to promote women in technology."
Link to Original Source
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Biologist fits sharks with lasers

PvtVoid PvtVoid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "Marine biologist Luke Tipple mounts 50 milliwatt S3 Krypton lasers to lemon sharks to study shark movements in the water. "Tipple said that clipping the laser onto the dorsal fin and flipping on the laser was easy, although the shark didn’t like it when Tipple first attached the clamp. He said a few seconds later 'it returned to normal behavior.'""
Link to Original Source

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