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Comments

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Apple Denies Systems Breach In Photo Leak

Sara Chan Five reasons to blame Apple (311 comments)

There is a good article "Five reasons to blame Apple in nude celebrity photo leak", in The Hamilton Spectator. Here are the key points (read the article for elaborations).

1. The vulnerability is Security 101 stuff (even a good password, like “D0nM@tt1ngly!”, was still vulnerable).
2. The vulnerability was publicly known since May.
3. Apple defaults users into the cloud (and Apple makes it very hard to not store in the cloud).
4. Apple does not encourage two-factor authentication (it discourages this).
5. Two-factor authentication wouldn't have worked anyway (it is not actually enforced on iCloud).

about two weeks ago
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Big Bang Breakthrough Team Back-Pedals On Major Result

Sara Chan Re:New scientist story leaves out a lot (127 comments)

BICEP2 were a bunch of young upstarts

You got that right. And the tender egos of the Planck team got hurt by the "young upstarts" outdoing them. Awww, how sad.

Fact is, the BICEP2 team got the result and published in a leading journal. The team hardly backtracked at all. For more on this, see the blog post by Lubos Motl: "BICEP2 gets published in PRL".

It is pathetic how established scientists try to protect their egos from "young upstarts".

about 3 months ago
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Battlefield 4 Banned In China

Sara Chan Re:Americans surrendered in Vietnam (380 comments)

Their civilian resistance effort also went down in legend

Indeed, “legend” is the correct term. Many of the most active members of the French Resistance were Jewish, who therefore had little to lose. Their names were changed from obviously-Jewish ones to more French ones, when the history was later written.

about 9 months ago
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Object Lessons: Evan Booth's Post-Checkpoint Airport Weapons

Sara Chan Re:Crap (208 comments)

the [shoe bomber] was totally set up to fail from the very beginning and his 'bomb' was virtually fake

Do you have references for that?

about 10 months ago
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Largest and Most Intense Tropical Cyclone On Record Hits the Philippines

Sara Chan Typhoon Ida (1958) was more intense (160 comments)

Typhoon Ida (1958) had sustained winds of 200mph. That means that the energy in its winds was about 5% greater than the energy in the 195mph winds of Typhoon Haiyan (squaring speed to get approximate wind energy).

about 10 months ago
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The Mile Markers of Moore's Law Are Meaningless

Sara Chan Moore's law has been superseded by Koomey's law (156 comments)

Moore's law has been superseded by Koomey's law:
the number of computations per joule of energy dissipated has been doubling approximately every 1.6 years.
Koomey's law seems to hold well.

about a year ago
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Tennessee Official: Water Complaints Could be "Act of Terrorism"

Sara Chan Re:Scare tactics (407 comments)

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety)....”
—H.L. Mencken

about a year ago
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NASA Scientist: Heat Waves Really Are From Global Warming

Sara Chan Re:Hansen is delusional (605 comments)

Moderators, I am the author of the above comment that has been moderated "Troll"; the moderation was apparently done on the basis of replying comments. I ask you to check what my comment said, before moderating it as troll.

Here is what the Slashdot summary said.

the paper says, that scientists can claim with near certainty that events like the Texas heat wave last year, the Russian heat wave of 2010 and the European heat wave of 2003 would not have happened without the planetary warming caused by the human release of greenhouse gases.

It ought to be clear from this that the Russian heat wave, in particular, is being blamed on putative global warming. Now, check the three links in my comment to confirm that they do indeed say exactly what my comment claims. The second link requires a password or subscription; here is an alternative link, from the American Geophysical Union (which publishes the journal):
http://www.agu.org/news/press/jhighlight_archives/2011/2011-04-13.shtml#five
You can confirm that the quote supplied in my comment is taken from that link.

The real trolls are the commenters who claimed that I was misquoting or misrepresenting. My comment is not a troll, and it should be moderated fairly.

I think that it says something about the current global warming debate that an accurate critical comment such as mine is moderated troll while blatantly false criticisms of my comment get moderated up to 5.

more than 2 years ago
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NASA Scientist: Heat Waves Really Are From Global Warming

Sara Chan Hansen is delusional (605 comments)

Yet more scaremongering from the statistically-incompetent Jim Hansen. Regarding the heat wave in Russia, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a press release entitled "Natural Variability Main Culprit of Deadly Russian Heat Wave That Killed Thousands"; the press release is based on a paper that was published in Geophysical Research Letters. Another paper, published in the same journal, concluded that "the heat wave falls within the realm of natural variability ... [and] appears not to be the product of long-term climate changes". Also, some researchers in Germany analyzed the data and published a paper, entitled "Large scale flow and the long-lasting blocking high over Russia", which says that the heat wave "appears as a result of natural atmospheric variability".

In short, the claim about Russia is false. The claim about the European summer of 2003 is also debunked. (I am not familiar with Texas.) And why does Hansen not mention extreme cold recently in Alaska?—is that also due to global warming? Bad weather has always existed.

more than 2 years ago
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Erasing Details Of Bad Memories

Sara Chan Re:Midazolam (135 comments)

Suicides in the military are most commonly due to domestic personal matters: the soldier's spouse being unfaithful back home.

more than 2 years ago
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Why Bad Jobs (or No Jobs) Happen To Good Workers

Sara Chan Not hiring the unemployed (1201 comments)

a lot of employers won’t accept applications from people who are currently unemployed

That was the most startling part of the article, for me. Why are employers so strong in that? How should employers be persuaded to change?

more than 2 years ago
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Nokia Faces Class-Action Suit Over Windows Phone Deal

Sara Chan Microsoft had a reason to destroy Nokia (257 comments)

Microsoft had a great reason to fear, and to conquer, Nokia: the Nokia N900. The N900 was arguably the best device ever: a full computer in a mobile form factor. It just needed some polishing of the user interface. Had the polishing been done, Nokia could have been on top of the smartphone market.

With the planned successors to the N900, people would no longer need separate phones and computers. They would just have their Nokia N900-successor, carrying that with them all the time. At home, or in the office, they would attach a keyboard wirelessly and plug in a screen--and there is their computer. This would have led to a revolution in the way both computers and phones are considered.

The N900 ran Linux. So the N900 was a vector for getting rid of Windows. Microsoft saw the threat, presumably, and moved to destroy it.

more than 2 years ago
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Quantum Random Numbers

Sara Chan Little need now (167 comments)

Some way to generate random numbers is really important, for certain applications. Intel's next generation of CPUs, based on Ivy Bridge and due out within a month, addresses that. The CPUs support a new instruction: RdRand. RdRand generates random numbers based on noise in the hardware. For almost all purposes, it should be adequate.

more than 2 years ago
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NATO Awards Largest Cyber-Security Contract To Date

Sara Chan Re:Yes... (45 comments)

We don't know it's a bullshit contract until we have the name of the contractor to research some background (please include those details in the summary in future). I'm admitting that I haven't RTFA, but as soon as I read headlines like these I want to research the contractor.

I am the story submitter. The contractors are Finmeccanica and Northrop Grumman. Some research background is given in the last link in the summary.

more than 2 years ago
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Doctorow: the Coming War On General-Purpose Computing

Sara Chan The third great war (439 comments)

The first half of the twentieth century was dominated by the war against fascism. The second half of the twentieth century was dominated by the war against communism. We are now engaged in a third great war: where governments try to gain total monitoring capabilities—where everything everyone does and says is monitored.

The goal will be to have everything tracked and recorded. The technology will certainly exist, and governments will certainly try to deploy it. And most people will acquiesce. Because the governments are doing it "to protect the children", or "to stop terrorism". Or maybe it will be done just for convenience (e.g. portions of the Internet now require a Google account—and having a Google account now requires giving Google your phone number). Just remember, "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear".

This war will last decades, like the first two. The outcome is anyone's guess.

more than 2 years ago
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America's Turn From Science, a Danger For Democracy

Sara Chan Re:Here we go again with the "Climate Deniers" (900 comments)

Quoting the grandparent:

"Over and over, we read of hidden, manipulated, and cherry-picked data, refusals to abide with having outsiders vet their work, and allowing naked advocacy into the IPCC reports on climate change as if they were peer-reviewed science. "

Yes indeed. And anyone who claims otherwise--such as the parent--is either ignorant or dishonest. Here are some sources, but it feels unfair to only list these few.

The Hockey Stick Illusion (book about the "hockey stick")
The Delinquent Teenager (book about IPCC being infiltrated by extreme advocates)
"Understanding Climategate's hidden decline" (article about "hide the decline")
Watts Up With That? (leading blog)
Letter to the Science and Technology Committee (on fraud)

Etc. Etc.

more than 2 years ago
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"World's Most Relaxing Music" Composed

Sara Chan Re:Download link (239 comments)

Thanks for this!

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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NSA was the sole editor of ISO crypto-PRNG standard

Sara Chan Sara Chan writes  |  about a month and a half ago

Sara Chan (138144) writes "A Congressman, Alan Grayson, has sent a letter to the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. The letter asks several questions, in particular, this one: "How did the NSA become the sole editor of the ISO 18031 specification?" ISO 18031 specifies a model for a pseudorandom number generator that is suitable for cryptography. Thus, according to the letter, the NSA was the sole editor of an ISO cryptographic standard. The letter will probably not do much, though, given Clapper's prior perjury."
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Serious blow to dark matter theory

Sara Chan Sara Chan writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Sara Chan (138144) writes "The most accurate study so far of the motions of stars in the Milky Way has found no evidence for dark matter in a large volume around the Sun. According to widely accepted theories, the solar neighborhood was expected to be filled with dark matter, a mysterious invisible substance that can only be detected indirectly by the gravitational force it exerts. But a new study by a team of astronomers in Chile has found that these theories just do not fit the observational facts. The research, led by Christian Moni Bidin, is currently in press with The Astrophysical Journal. Story at Phys.org and Scienceagogo and Science Daily."
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NATO awards largest cyber-security contract to date

Sara Chan Sara Chan writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Sara Chan (138144) writes "NATO has awarded its largest cyber-security contract to date, in a move that is expected to prompt member states to augment their own cyber-security capabilities. The contract, for €58 million ($76 million), is to design and implement NATO's Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC). NCIRC will enable NATO to monitor computer networks from its headquarters in Brussels and detect and respond to cyber threats and vulnerabilities at about 50 NATO sites in 28 countries. The project is intended to meet the requirements of a declaration by NATO Head of States at the Lisbon Summit, in November 2010, which called for the achievement of NCIRC Full Operational Capability by end of 2012."
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Statistics against global warming

Sara Chan Sara Chan writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Sara Chan (138144) writes "A British mathematician, Douglas Keenan, is claiming that the change in global temperatures over the past 130 years is probably not due to people, but instead natural random fluctuations. He says that previous analyses got their statistics wrong and the IPCC has been seriously incompetent. The Wall Street Journal has a full-page article about this, only behind a paywall. The story is on Keenan's site."
Link to Original Source
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Is Climate Science Mathematically Correct?

Sara Chan Sara Chan writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Sara Chan (138144) writes "A British mathematician says that the statistical basis of global warming is incorrect, and so the calculations used to determine whether Earth is significantly warming are wrong. According to him, the statistics show that the apparent increase in global temperatures would be better explained by random chance than by other forces. The Wall Street Journal has the story (free version on author's site)."
Link to Original Source
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Google REQUIRES your phone number

Sara Chan Sara Chan writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Sara Chan (138144) writes "I just went to sign on to youtube. The system said that I could no longer sign on unless I had a google account, and it advised me to sign up to google. When I tried to open a google account, it REQUIRED me to enter my phone number: it will then text the password to my phone. So much for anonymous browsing! This is the epitome of evil."
Link to Original Source
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Chinese military developing drone ducks

Sara Chan Sara Chan writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Sara Chan (138144) writes "The Wall Street Journal has a story about how China's military is developing unmanned aerial vehicles, i.e. drones. Some of the latest models are quite sophisticated. The story tells that "One model under development ... is about the size of a large duck and has flapping wings. It is designed primarily for carrying out reconnaissance behind enemy lines.""
Link to Original Source
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UK to track all browsing, email, phone calls

Sara Chan Sara Chan writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Sara Chan (138144) writes "The UK government plans to introduce legislation that will allow the police to track every phone call, email, text message and website visit made by the public. The information will include who is contacting whom, when and where and which websites are visited, but not the content of the conversations or messages. Every communications provider will be required to store the information for at least a year. Full story in The Telegraph."
Link to Original Source
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UK university researchers must make data available

Sara Chan Sara Chan writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Sara Chan (138144) writes "In a landmark ruling, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office has decided that researchers at a university must make all their data available to the public. The decision follows from a three-year battle by a mathematician, who wants the data to do his own analysis on it. The university researchers have had the data for many years, and have published several papers using the data, but had refused to make the data available. The data in this case pertains to global warming, but the decision is believed to apply to any field: scientists at universities, which are all public in the UK, can now not claim data from publicly-funded research as their private property. Full story in The Times; more at the BBC, Nature Climate Feedback, and here."
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Is Google deleting Climategate from auto-suggest?

Sara Chan Sara Chan writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Sara Chan (138144) writes "Google has an auto-suggest feature: type in the first few letters, and it suggests the rest of the word. So for example, if you type "clim", it suggests climate, climax, climbing, etc. But it does NOT suggest climategate. Searching for "climategate" finds over 30 million hits—a huge number; so why is climategate not in the auto-suggest list? In fact, it was in the list, even at the top of the list, until December 1st. Now it is not in the list even if you type "climategat". Talking About The Weather checked with Google CEO Eric Schmidt and got some lame answers. Could it be that Google is censoring auto-suggest to support global-warming political action? There is certainly lots to hide, for anyone supporting the politics. E-mails demonstrate attempts to avoid Freedom-of-Information requests; ESR claims the code shows clear evidence of fraud; data from a single tree in Siberia underlies much research showing warming; and now universities at Albany and Belfast are claimed to be part of the affair."
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The Economist on the cable cuts

Sara Chan Sara Chan writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Sara Chan (138144) writes "The Economist has a story about the undersea cables being cut. The story even mentions Slashdot, and quotes a comment by bigdavex—without realizing that the comment was modded Funny and later explicitly stated by bigdavex as being intended that way. The story argues that the conspiracy theories are all nonsense. But it uses the misconstrued comment of bigdavex as evidence, and moreover was written before the fifth cable disruption. Additionally, the story tells that “Egypt's transport ministry said it had studied video footage of the sea lanes where the [first two cut] cables had been, and no ships had crossed the line of the breakage for 12 hours before and after the accident”; so the official explanation of a ship's anchor cutting those two cables seems impossible."
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Leading climatologist accused of fraud

Sara Chan Sara Chan writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Sara Chan (138144) writes "A climatologist at the State University of New York, Dr.Wei-Chyung Wang, has been accused of fabricating data in his research on global warming. The full story [1MB pdf] has been published, by Canadian mathematician Douglas Keenan; more here, and some in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Wang has authored over 100 research papers and he was the chief scientist of the Chinese-American Carbon Dioxide Research Program. It is in his work on Chinese station data that fraud allegedly occurred. There is also an article in Neue Zurcher Zeitung."
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Major fraud in climate research

Sara Chan Sara Chan writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Sara Chan (138144) writes "The European Science Foundation has just held the first World Conference on Research Integrity. A major conference topic was the fraud allegation against SUNY professor Wei-Chyung Wang. Wang's research has been crucial evidence that urbanization effects are insignificant in global warming studies (and Wang's research was relied upon in the latest report from the IPCC). Now it has been alleged that Wang's research was fabricated. The Daily Tech has the story. The allegation was made by mathematician Douglas Keenan, whose report is clear and disturbing. Wang's university has begun an investigation."
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Sara Chan Sara Chan writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Sara Chan (138144) writes "A recent Slashdot story asked if global warming had been debunked. A short paper to appear in the January issue of Theoretical and Applied Climatology raises a similar question: it harshly critiques some prominent research published in Nature. The paper is technical, but the author of the paper (who is a Knuth check recipient) discusses it bluntly on his site, stating that there is “evidence of scientific fraud”. The author says that he is disinterested in global warming per se, but wanted to illustrate the poor quality of publications that support it. There is also discussion at ClimateAudit."
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Sara Chan Sara Chan writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Sara Chan (138144) writes "How much trust should there be in the science behind global warming? A recent Slashdot story asked if global warming had been debunked. A short paper to appear in the January issue of Theoretical and Applied Climatology emphasizes the question: it critiques some prominent research published in Nature, showing that the work could not have had any checking prior to publication—not even by a non-scientist. The author of the paper (who is a Knuth check recipient) talks about this on his site. It's incredible to see how bad things can be. The author claims that problems like this are common; he says that he is disinterested in global warming per se, but wanted to illustrate the poor quality of publications that support it. There is also discussion at ClimateAudit."

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