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I do my best coding after...

Romancer Re:Beer is for gaming (222 comments)

The juice of sapho.

"It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning. It is by will alone I set my mind in motion."

more than 3 years ago

News Corp. and Apple Unveil The Daily

Romancer Re:Evil reaches the iPad (249 comments)

They are the gatekeepers for the masses. If Google were altering search results for Egypt because of its political beliefs and a large portion of the population were thus kept ignorant of facts or at a minimum, oblivious of opposing opinions because of the filtering; the damage caused could be much more wide spread and dangerous than the incidents themselves. Remember, the slow steady changes are hardest to guard against. The tides of public knowledge and opinion can be diverted slowly to great effect and with horrible consequences. I think that it's a fair warning that if news organizations are not the greatest threat of evil today, then they have too much control of what we are allowed to see without any regulation of real content or mandate to provide the not-so-often fair and balanced reporting that almost all claim.

more than 3 years ago

What Exactly Is a Galaxy?

Romancer Defined by Monty Python (225 comments)

Our galaxy itself contains 100 billion stars
It's 100,000 light-years side-to-side ...

And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe

more than 3 years ago

What Exactly Is a Galaxy?

Romancer Re:Use the Carl Sagan Scale (225 comments)


From a 2004 estimate article:

Astronomers estimate there are about 100 thousand million stars in the Milky Way alone. Outside that, there are millions upon millions of other galaxies also!
Hipparcos mapped millions of stars in our galaxy... ...For the Universe, the galaxies are our small representative volumes, and there are something like 10to the 11th to 10 to the 12th stars in our galaxy, and there are perhaps something like 10 to the 11th or 10 to the 12th galaxies.

With this simple calculation you get something like 10to the 22nd to 10 to the 24th stars in the Universe. This is only a rough number, as obviously not all galaxies are the same, just like on a beach the depth of sand will not be the same in different places.

That's about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the universe, which is (I think) called 1 billion trillion?

more than 3 years ago

Encrypt Your Smartphone — Or Else

Romancer Re:How about... (304 comments)

I'm not talking about plans for room temp superconducting intel chipsets, but things that the company has said are proprietary and they would not like to have public or in the hands of their competitors. This could be something as simple as a demographic response report of a new product design. Something that's not earth shattering and needs every protection but that you could have the responsibility to protect. Then do you tell the employer that it's now a matter of police record? It's all about balance here, everything isn't so important as to need a dual key, voiceprint and retna unlocking self destruct verification system but it may be under a contract to keep trade or process secrets, secret. Get it?

I don't think top secret data is given to most companies and the last place you would see it is a portable device. You could have companies most secret data and the cops would still have a right to look at that if it was significant.

The problem is that even though they have the right under a certain law, maybe that law isn't just. Or necessary, or narrow enough to actually do more good than harm to our rights. This isn't even taking to issue that I don't want my personal data out there even if it wouldn't ruin my life, I may just not care to have it viewed by others, and keeping it under a basic encryption set and taking care not to lose it should be enouogh protection for not "top secret" but personal information. At least in the land of the free.

more than 3 years ago

Encrypt Your Smartphone — Or Else

Romancer Re:How about... (304 comments)

And since we are not all perfect, don't work for the brightest company bosses, and even the US government is still trying to work out a good process of handling sensitive material that needs to be transported by the user masses...

What happens when a business or government employee (ours or theirs) travels through one of these nations or states that have enacted a search process that allows them to take and make copies of data stored therein? Even if they're not in the limited class of people traveling with diplomatic immunity they should be given some measure of protection to the data they carry with them without having to do the almost impossible task of completely encrypting all data and making impenetrable any possible methods of gaining access by unauthorized peoples.

Even if they had a perfect system, they need to get to the data while traveling so they would have to have a method of accessing the data.
If traveling through the airports (and now we're one step away if arrested), then they can request the password to encrypted files. So the basic question stands...

If you have signed an NDA and have the unfortunate set of circumstances put upon you, do you have any option that would not land up with you breaking at a minimum a contract, and at worst the law?

more than 3 years ago

Encrypt Your Smartphone — Or Else

Romancer Re:How about... (304 comments)

How about you have data required to do your job on a device supplied by your employer that also happened to have you sign a NDA?

How would this play out with a cellphone or a laptop now that you have two distinct laws you have to abide by.

Should the govt be able to request your password for information stored on your (or a company) device that you have signed contracts to keep secret?

more than 3 years ago

Free IPv4 Pool Now Down To Seven /8s

Romancer Re:The most surprising turn of events (460 comments)

You missed the point; we all have to agree on dates to communicate so you should get your facts straight.

You said that:

That being the case, we as a culture have also decided that decades start a year x0, centuries start at x00, and millenniums start at x000.

This is factually incorrect as centuries END in that format. The last year in x00 is the end of that century, not the beginning.

Then you state:

Beyond your lack of education on how the language you are using works, you seem to think that there is something concrete about what dates are what. As stated earlier, our dates are simply an arbitrary way for a bunch of people to agree on time.

This is incorrect in itself because it claims
A: setting dates is an arbitrary way for a bunch of people to agree on time, against the claim B: that there is not "something concrete about what dates are what". I would ask you to point to your sources for that claim and find an example of people not using their calendar and matching it with different calendars from other cultures and having them all match up to form a cohesive timeline with whatever reference each culture has set. This is accepted as standard and there is no arbitrary old or new method of referring to dates just what calendar you choose to reference. Please show authoritative examples if you disagree. Just because uneducated people think something doesn't mean that they change scientific fact or change the accepted method of referencing or calculating things by people in the field who have the education to make claims about the proper way to do something in that field.

To address your original claim: please reference this site to understand the year 1 issue:

If you have another viewpoint please cite examples.

You don't want to be, as you say:
a pseudo-intellectual halfway thinking through a subject, making a mistake, thinking they have found an "ah-ha" idea, and then refusing to re-evaluate when it is pointed out that they are wrong.

about 4 years ago

Going Faster Than the Wind In a Wind-Powered Cart

Romancer Re:store and release energy? (315 comments)

Even confused a former science fiction writer and current Makezine author into making the following statement:

"I have never denied that a vehicle may be designed that will move into a headwind if the propeller is geared appropriately. What I do not believe is that this vehicle can start from rest with the wind behind it, accelerate until it is moving at the same speed as the wind, and then continue to accelerate faster than the wind, i.e. into a net headwind, without any fluctuations in wind speed, and without any gear-shifting along the way. That is what the original video from Florida purported to demonstrate, and is where all the arguments began. I have always suspected that the Florida video was faked.

I know very little about Rick Cavallaro's cart, and am not very interested, partly because Rick has been extremely abusive, obnoxious, and condescending to me, and partly because, as I say above, I am quite willing to believe that his vehicle can move into a headwind. Indeed, the very primitive cart that I built for my original MAKE article did succeed in edging forward into a strong blast from a large fan. Again, what I do not believe is that his vehicle or any other can start with a steady wind behind it, accelerate to a speed equal to that of the wind, and then continue to accelerate so that it is moving faster than the wind, in one uninterrupted process.

I have repeated myself in an effort to make this clear. -- Charles Platt"

He does not acknowledge the existence of this video:


more than 4 years ago

Time To Rethink the School Desk?

Romancer Re:Hmmm (405 comments)

This is BS, get the metalshop and woodshop to build and maintain the desks. They'll learn to build things to survive the worst and if they have to sit in them anyway they'll make them comfortable too. The higher schools can build for the lower where they don't have the facilities and give it to them at cost since they're learning, kinda like the hair stylist and cooking schools.

more than 4 years ago

The Push For Colbert's "Restoring Truthiness" Rally

Romancer Re:Count me in (703 comments)

I suggest you read over your comment again and see if you can spot the hate in your own posts before commenting again. You are making it too easy to show what the problem is.

Here's the wiki:
A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.[1] To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

Here's the specific types:
1.Presenting a misrepresentation of the opponent's position and then refuting it, thus giving the appearance that the opponent's actual position has been refuted.[1]
2.Quoting an opponent's words out of context - i.e. choosing quotations that misrepresent the opponent's actual intentions (see contextomy and quote mining).[2]
3.Presenting someone who defends a position poorly as the defender, then refuting that person's arguments - thus giving the appearance that every upholder of that position (and thus the position itself) has been defeated.[1]
4.Inventing a fictitious persona with actions or beliefs which are then criticized, implying that the person represents a group of whom the speaker is critical.
5.Oversimplifying an opponent's argument, then attacking this oversimplified version.

Without asking for details on why the poster used an adjective that's not a completely factual representation of "some kind of dental infection" you go off about how he/she has committed "what I'd call a hateful attack" and use that logic to condemn a group of people by generalizing a post or posts into a representation of the group which you disparage in a conclusion of "proof that it's not the right that are the "hate mongers", but the left." Finally using the name calling that you are supposedly denouncing.

Try reading this:

Strange that every time I see an argument against (group A), it is almost always based on how hateful (Group A) is.

See any similarities between your own (generalized) statement and what you are trying to prove in your posts?

By your own words you were participating and instigating that process. You based your post on how hateful a group is and used an example of someone using an adjective to give visual power to their opinion without asking or participating in a discussion based on facts, You purposly misconstrue it to suit your own hatefull indignation.

Now you're in a bad spot because you have to avoid the recursion of having the original poster and yourself on the same path of having called the other side names. To leave your straw man misrepresentation a straight example: Do you think that by describing shows or people on one side as having "festering mouth(s)" is more accurately about claiming that they had a "dental infection" or that they were "spouting disease", as in hate or fear mongering? Now compare that to your own finger pointing and name calling and see how much better you and your side are for not spreading hatred without waiting for or wanting the facts or a discussion thereof.

more than 4 years ago

The Push For Colbert's "Restoring Truthiness" Rally

Romancer Re:Count me in (703 comments)

Cannot contain the laughter...

That was the perfect Colbert immitation of cyclical fallacy based arguments!

Build a strawman, name it hatred, claim "literal" hatred, denounce the made up statement, over-generalize and claim as proof.
The last line though, was absolute perfection. Projecting your own hatred in a statement about projection.

Classic Colbert.

more than 4 years ago

PowerPoint Rant Costs Colonel His Job

Romancer Re:see power point can cost you your job (194 comments)

I think you're missing the point (pun intended).

He's talking about just relying on powerpoint to give information. To actually have the slideshow mean something without giving it any real information to start with.

Crap in = crap out. (with pretty graphs and moving icons)

He complains that just having a powerpoint presentation every 12 hours is not the same as having an actual breifing and discussion of information. It's not that you couldn't use powerpoint to do it, but that you have to have, as a goal, the need to actually accomplish something besides presenting a slideshow. Presenting the slideshow not a goal in itself as he claims that it is treated. He mentions that the slides don't even change. Now that would be a hell I would try and avoid.

more than 4 years ago

PowerPoint Rant Costs Colonel His Job

Romancer Re:see power point can cost you your job (194 comments)

For headquarters staff, war consists largely of the endless tinkering with PowerPoint slides to conform with the idiosyncrasies of cognitively challenged generals in order to spoon-feed them information. Even one tiny flaw in a slide can halt a general's thought processes as abruptly as a computer system's blue screen of death.

Sounds like he agrees.

And DAMN, that's gotta hurt. No wonder he's in trouble, he presented the shit outta that. :)

more than 4 years ago

Fire and Explosion At Hydrogen Station Near Rochester Airport

Romancer Re:What is the idea (357 comments)


Try again.
The "logic" is that petroleum based products are made from a source that we find, separate, treat, and distribute. Compared to hydrogen which we separate and concentrate from naturally replenishing sources. We won't run out in our timescale. And not just for the abundance but for how we are using it. Look up a fuel cell and compare it with an ICE. Different methods are used for the extraction of energy. One is a storage system like a rechargeable battery; the other is a one way rapid oxidation. The battery is actually the hydrogen itself, not the tank. You invest in concentrating the hydrogen and compressing it.

more than 4 years ago

Does the GOP Pay Friendly Bloggers?

Romancer Re:lol (759 comments)

To the cowardly asshat SOB MOD who gave that parent comment a "troll".

You go to hell and you die! Hear me?

more than 4 years ago

Russia's Unmanned Capsule Misses Space Station

Romancer Re:Right... (224 comments)

Pretty much:

Known in Russia as Progress M-06M, the new Progress 38 spacecraft is packed with nearly 2.5 tons of fresh food, clothes, equipment and other supplies for the space station's six-person crew.

Packed aboard the spacecraft are 1,918 pounds (nearly 870 kilograms) of propellant for the station, 110 pounds (nearly 50 kilogram) of oxygen, 220 pounds (100 kilograms) of water and 2,667 pounds (1,209 kilograms) pounds of dry cargo including spare parts, science equipment and other supplies.

About 213 pounds (97 kilograms) of the delivery ship's cargo is earmarked as items for the station crew. Astronauts always look forward to fresh fruit and other foods that arrive on Progress spacecraft, NASA officials have said.

Some personal treats for the station astronauts are sometimes included, but NASA officials kept mum on anything unique riding on Progress 38. "Anything that would be of interest is probably a surprise," NASA spokesperson Kelly Humphries told Space.com from the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

more than 4 years ago

Google Releases Wi-Fi Sniffing Audit

Romancer Re:don't broadcast that stuff (198 comments)

I second the motion.

There are lots of comparisons out there.

One of the equations I see is that not everybody is a lawyer and has the time/inclination to study law, yet we all are responsible for our own actions if we break them. I don't know the detailed ins and outs of legally selling guns but if I wanted to start a business I sure as hell would look into it or at least ask a knowledgeable person in the respective fields.

Same thing with cars (yes the slashdot car example) you get behind the wheel, you better know what you're doing. You even have to be certified that you're not a total idiot at least one time when taking the driving test. To use the tech you must have to have a base understanding of what you're doing. Same thing with computers. Except that there's no laws saying you have to. You just get screwed if you don't you have to take the responsibility if you pick up a knife to not cut yourself and there's no laws about juggling steak knives.

So now we can all have the equivalent of amateur radio broadcasting stations and we try and make excuses for people who don't know what they're doing even when the quickstart manual says to secure the signal or people will be able to get to your stuff.

Com on. Step up and take some responsibility.

more than 4 years ago



Selling GPL Software (With No Physical Goods)

Romancer Romancer writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Romancer writes "On ebay right now there are people selling GPL and GNU licensed software for their own profit. They are not selling the media or reference books or any physical goods what so ever. They are simply letting you download it. One auction states: "Note to eBay: No copyrights have been violated with this auction. We are authorisedand licenced to distribute this product under a GPL licence. This auction complies with all eBay rules." and yet also states this directly above it: "You will not receive a CD. This auction is for a download of this program." Another auction for a digital download of a zip file claims to be authorized to distribute it for $2.97 by openoffice.org and then refers complainers to cdrom@openoffice.org. How is this legal?"


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