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Supreme Court: Affordable Care Act Is Constitutional

Riventree Re:First dissent (2416 comments)

False. See above.

more than 2 years ago

Supreme Court: Affordable Care Act Is Constitutional

Riventree Re:First dissent (2416 comments)

You'll be subsidized if you can't afford it. Otherwise, it's pretty much like car insurance, so was the game already over decades ago?

False. Prior car insurance (related) legislation allowed for carrying a bond instead, which could be obtained (or self funded) in any number of ways You were not required to have insurance (or even someone else's bond) so long as you could provide proof that you had the means to pay the minimum coverage. This did NOT require purchasing car insurance.

The "Affordable" Health Care Act has no such provisions.

If you liked Public Housing, the Public Post, and Public Schools, you're going to LOVE Public Health Care.

more than 2 years ago

US-CERT Discloses Security Flaw In 64-Bit Intel Chips

Riventree Re:Besides MS and Intel... (181 comments)

Also, in the above list, how does OpenBSD do?

OpenBSD is unaffected. They put in a return-address sanity check way back in 2004.

more than 2 years ago

US-CERT Discloses Security Flaw In 64-Bit Intel Chips

Riventree OpenBSD, virtualization, etc. (181 comments)

or maybe the reason is that OpenBSD does not include any virtualisation, rather than it being robust?

Virtualization is irrelevant in this case. Just as Linux fixed this bug in 2006 (CVE-2006-0744) OpenBSD had added a check 2 years earlier, in 2004. Indeed, this is a great example of the "silly security facists slowing down the kernel with unnecessary sanity checks" paying off in spades. (This message was written on Ubuntu 12.0.4 on an AMD64, but will pass through an OpenBSD x86 firewall before getting to /.)

more than 2 years ago

Tetris In 140 Bytes

Riventree Re:Dear /. Overlords (215 comments)

+1 The difference between there they're and their, it's and its, etc., isn't rocket science. They teach it (successfully) in elementary school.

about 2 years ago

Female Passengers Say They Were Targeted For TSA Body Scanners

Riventree Re:"Passenger advocates" (572 comments)

The problem: A hugely expensive and virtually value-free arm of the government is causing trouble.

The solution: Grow the government by forming a new department to look after the old one.

Somehow "Fire the bastards and shut down the TSA" doesn't seem to occur to people in congress. (D- or R- types)

more than 2 years ago

House of Commons Finds No Evidence of Tampering In Climate E-mails

Riventree VERY good summary (650 comments)

Of course, this post will instantly get you labelled "denier", but I think you have made your case simply and well.

more than 4 years ago

Math Skills For Programmers — Necessary Or Not?

Riventree Mathematics for Programmers (609 comments)

Like the above poster says: math comes in flavors. Choose the right ones I've worked at small niche-tech companies, and big companies including Google and Amazon. In my experience, calculus and statistics are of *minor* use, but discrete mathematics, combinatorics, graph theory, big-O, etc are *ESSENTIAL* to being a top-tier contributor as a programmer. My degree required 3 semesters of calculus and 2 of statistics. They have been of almost no value at all on a month-to-month basis. I took 3 semesters of "elective" math in other areas (discrete/linear-A/combinatorics) which have helped me on a DAILY or HOURLY basis as a programmer. I'm confident that most of my peers would agree.

more than 4 years ago

Most powerful wizard?

Riventree Hmmmm (1646 comments)

OK, I was all set to say 'Gandalf', but then saw another possibility. But let's run em down: Merlin: He's a pantywaste. No, really. The only reason he made the headlines is that he was the only wizard around at the time that could actually do magic. he could only do what little he did because of his bloodline. (half demon) The original tales all show him as a remnant of an older age: senile and unreliable. Low marks across the board except in a completely magic-deprived environment. Trapped in the end by an unremarkable elf maiden (Nimh/Nimue) while pursuing her with lust on his mind. Gandalf: Personally sent by a major power as a member of a team of 5 whose mission was to thwart the largest evil power remaining in the universe. His council was considered worthwhile by Galadriel, the oldest being on the shores of Middle Earth save possibly Bombadil. At the height of his power, summoned and dismissed the his defrocked superior by sheer force of will, even though his opponent was still technically on his home turf. Personally stood in for the gates of Gondor against the entrance of the Witch King when the gates had been thrown down. A pyrric victory against a balrog is still a *victory* against a *balrog*. Gargamel: Never heard of him. Ipso facto: not a biggie. [Looked him up: Some Smurf-related villain. Points for me for never having heard of him. Clearly not a real contender, even against Rincewind] Elminster: OK, big and bad, but come on... one of many many powerful wizards in the world of Greyhawk. Not even clearly the most powerful ever in that world. Consider briefly an Elminster v Gandalf steel-cage deathmatch: Elminster casts, Gandalf saves. Elminster casts, Gandalf saves. Elminster casts, Gandalf saves. Repeat until all of Elminster's memorized spells are cast and his staff of the Archmage is out of charges. Gandalf breaks out Glamdring and cleaves Elminster in two while Elminster is still complaining that magic users can only use daggers. Potter: Not bad. Clearly a standout on the planet: he can resist (even with help) the uncounterable death spell and summon a protective spirit essentially untrained. A human mage whose long term potential we do not really know yet. I kinda doubt we'll get something like I-died-and-was-personally-sent-back-by-God-to-fini sh-my-work though. Rincewind: Full marks for having luck. Luck trumps a lot. Forty two ranks in Mastery of Cowardice. Fleeing a lot doesn't hurt in avoiding checks in the "L" column. Doesn't actually end up with any in the "W" column, either. Rincewind's score vs all other wizards: 0 wins, 0 losses, 6 byes. Ged: Well dang. IMO an actual contender for Gandalf. Done the personal-purification-by-fire thing too. Conversation considered worthwhile by Orm Embar, the rough equivalent of Ancalagon the Black, possibly even Illuvatar. Has Gandalf talked to Illuvatar or Ancalagon? I don't *think* so. One wouldn't give him the time of day, the other would consider him a light snack. On the other hand, Ged at his zenith was still beat down by a bunch of invisible evil spirits, albeit in their own temple. So he fails the Gandalf-summons-Saruman comparison. Excel: Well, for sheer diabloic evil, Microsoft gets their toe in the door, and for being the greater evil force, trumps both Merlin (who was only half-demon) and Gargamel (who is evil by virtue of contact by smurfs). You can't run or hide from Microsoft either, so put a 'W' in the column 'v Rincewind'. But as Ged said: It is light that repels the dark! Light! Heavy, convincing losses against Gandalf, Elminster and Ged. Eventually driven Sauron-style out of Redmond by the Open Council, and relegated to History Channel documentaries. ---- I think the Ged v Gandalf fight would be the best match: I imagine it taking out one heck of a lot of real estate before it was done. Nothing short of a Covenant-style ritual of desecration is going to completely overthrow either one. Definitely worth $50 for the Pay-Per-View of that fight, particularly if they could get Madden and Miller to co-commentate: Madden: Whoa! That had to hurt! Slobberknocker magic doesn't get any better than this! Miller: Yeah the dwomercraft is really at a high pitch down there. As the sumerian god Enki once said to his consort Innana, just before he released the curse of Babel...

more than 9 years ago


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