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Worldwide Night Sky Stitched Together In 5 Gigapixel Image

SpeedyDX Traveled the world!! (118 comments)

The world, consisting of Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Colorado, California and Oregon. To be fair, he also went to South Africa twice, but really, "traveled the world" seems to be a slight embellishment.

The accomplishment is nonetheless pretty damn impressive. I wonder how long it took to stitch all those photos together.

more than 2 years ago
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A Court's Weak Argument For Blocking IP Subpoenas

SpeedyDX Re:You're STILL wrong, Bennett. (220 comments)

You are making the argument that the judge is wrong, you have provided no case law to back it up, and yet you are demanding others provide it?

Come now.

more than 2 years ago
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A Court's Weak Argument For Blocking IP Subpoenas

SpeedyDX You're STILL wrong, Bennett. (220 comments)

Let me point out the problem. You are talking about pointing out specific laws, by which I assume you mean statutes. In the common law system, law consists of statutes and case law. This is very elementary, and yet you can't seem to figure this out. You cannot insist on someone pointing out specific statutes that say X or Y. Because X and Y are usually NOT in encoded in statutes. The vast majority of law in the common law system consists of case law. You cannot simply look at one case in isolation, then look at the associated statute, and make an analysis.

That's just NOT how the law works! You have no understanding of this. Or at least you may openly claim to understand it, but you really don't. You are not qualified to comment because you no understanding of the elementary bases of the common law system.

Please stop.

more than 2 years ago
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A Court's Weak Argument For Blocking IP Subpoenas

SpeedyDX Ah, Bennett ... (220 comments)

I keep reading your articles and I get more frustrated every time I do. Someone is wrong on the internet! It just grinds on me for no good reason. I really shouldn't give you the time of day because you have shown time and again that you have no clue what you're talking about when it comes to law.

First of all, please don't redefine "logic" just because you feel like it. A logical error in an argument is one where the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premises. That's it. Because that's what logic is. It has nothing to do with voting or whatever the hell bullshit system you can come up with. Something is either a logical error or not as a matter of logic.

Second, YOU ADMITTED THE JUDGE WAS RIGHT about the car rental liability case. You explicitly said that there are circumstances where the rental agency may be a legitimate potential defendant, yet you just cast that aside and ignored it for the rest of your argument. THIS is a logical error: You have certain premises, and you ignore them to the effect that your conclusion does not necessarily follow from your premises.

Third, I hope that you phrased the public/not public question wrong. If you phrased it right, then the judge is arguing that there is a disanalogy precisely because information was made publicly available. That's why it is relevant when the information is not made public - it's not made public vs it was made public. That is the very thing being argued, I don't know how you can't see the relevance. That's like saying a label like "WARNING: This chair can only support up to 200 lbs of weight." is not relevant for those who weigh over 200 lbs because they weren't explicitly mentioned. Disingenuous at best.

I could go on, but I don't have as much time as you do. If you want to be taken seriously by people, you should get some legal training before you comment. Even if you want to argue that legal training is not required to make comments on legal cases, you STILL need to get legal training to understand WHY it's not required in order to make a coherent argument for your case. That's just a long way of saying that you're full of shit.

more than 2 years ago
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Is Science Just a Matter of Faith?

SpeedyDX Circular demonstration is no demonstration at all (1486 comments)

Eh ... The point of the GP is that Science can only demonstrate its claim via scientific principles, leading in a circular "demonstration" of its truth.

The three most vulnerable pillars of science are:

1. All events have causes.
This assumes determinism is the case. What's interesting about this is that the scientific community itself is attacking this pillar. I'm no quantum physics expert, but from what I understand there are certain events (spontaneous particle creation/annihilation, e.g.) that have no causes. Without this pillar, however, the scientific project is meaningless. The very project of scientific experimentation is to find the causes of events.

2. Inductive reasoning.
Inductive reasoning is not logically valid. That is, it does not necessarily preserve truth. To be logically valid, a logical move MUST preserve truth.
Classic example:
premise. All swans that we've seen are white.
conclusion. All swans are white.
It's clear that the conclusion can be false even if the premise is true. But these are exactly the types of claims that scientific research and inquiry make. They take the results of their study/research and make a broad, general claim through inductive reasoning. Without this, however, the scientific project is, again, meaningless. You want to be able to take the results of your study and have it apply generally. It's kind of pointless to simply study test group after test group if there's no impact on anything outside of the test group.

3. The future will be like the past.
This is where most of the circularity of science lies. Science assumes the premise that the future will be like the past, in that we can (somewhat) predict future events based on past experimentation. But this premise of science cannot be proven without appealing to circular reasoning:
premise. In the past, the future was like the past. (i.e., past predictions based on previous scientific studies have proven true)
conclusion. Therefore, in the future, the future will be like the past. (i.e., future predictions based on scientific studies will also prove true)
This is a logically invalid argument. You need a second premise in there to make it logically valid.
premise 1. In the past, the future was like the past.
premise 2. The future will be like the past.
conclusion. The future will be like the past, in that the future was like the past.
This is truth preserving. However, it's obviously a circular argument and clearly won't cut it if we wanted to logically justify science independently of itself or its premises.

This is what the GP means. Science cannot be demonstrated but by science itself. And that provides little independent, objective justification of any worth. It is only when we accept as truth all of the assumptions that science makes that science can be demonstrated to be true. This is why science IS a faith. It is a faith that the premises that are hidden within the scientific method are true, and IF they are true, then we can use the scientific method to show other truths about the world.

The issue that TFA raises is more a practical one. We HAVE to trust experts. We can't do everything ourselves. I trust experts to design my CPU. I trust experts to assemble my car. I trust experts to make my clothes. But that is not to say that I leave all of those things to faith. It's not a fundamental questioning of the truth of those things. I don't need to fully understand any of it for it to be true.

But what the GP is pointing at is that we should question science at a fundamental level. And when we dive deeper and deeper into what the scientific method is, what it relies on, and what it assumes, we find that the scientific method is not on as solid a footing as we first thought. This is a much more gripping and fundamental issue that merely whether or not we should trust experts.

about 3 years ago
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Why Dumbphones Still Dominate, For Now

SpeedyDX Re:Smart people (618 comments)

I switched from a smart phone plan to a "dumb phone" plan because I found it too distracting to be connected all the time. To each their own, however.

Incidentally, I've found social interactions (particularly lunch, coffee, or interactions that take a while) with people who don't have smart phones to be more pleasant. Not to say anything about inherent social personalities of smart phone and dumb phone users, but dumb phone users simply don't check their phones as much. It's nice to be able to talk to someone at lunch without them constantly checking their email or twitbook each time there's a natural lull in the flow of conversation. It breaks attention and train of thought. Their social facial and body cues are sometimes missing from the conversation, so it makes the other party feel like they're disengaged.

more than 3 years ago
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1Gbps Wi-Fi Coming Soon To a Billion Devices

SpeedyDX Four years (202 comments)

Tech products go out of style, whether you like it or not.

And really, 4 years is a long, LONG time in the tech world. The iPhone and iPod touch weren't even introduced 4 years ago. The last Pentium 4 chip (Cedar Mill) was replaced by the Core 2 (Conroe) only 4 and a half years ago. The top-of-the-line nVidia video card 4 years ago, the GeForce 8800GTX, had 281M transistors. The GTX 480 has 3.2B. Netbooks? Tablets? What?

Considering how many devices each of us has, and with a 4 year time frame, I don't think buying a billion wifi enabled products is out of the question. In fact, it might even be low-balling it.

more than 3 years ago
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Is Setting Up an Offshore IT Help Desk Ethical?

SpeedyDX The Ethicist is (mostly) right (826 comments)

I think the position that all human beings have the same moral value and thus ought to receive the same moral consideration is a widespread position in modern ethics. If you accept that position, then setting up an offshore operation that provides for similar or superior standard of living to the same or greater amount of workers cannot be said to be unethical according to most modern ethical theories.

The only potentially ethically relevant detail I see is that people living in a foreign country may benefit over people living in the same country as you. The only way that is ethically relevant is if you subscribe to some form of, as Cohen puts it, tribalism. OR if those people who are losing their jobs are your friends or family or someone in whom you have some increased ethical interest. Many modern ethical theories allow for you to put more moral consideration towards friends, family, etc. So if that's the case, then he did the right thing in refusing. Otherwise, I don't think that where people reside is ethically relevant. However, it may be economically relevant. If you subscribe to a more protectionist economic viewpoint, then you may want to keep the jobs locally.

At the end of the day, I don't think that this is really much of an ethics problem. It's more of an economics problem. But I know a lot of people (like the parent) will disagree, because people are inherently (biologically?) tribal to some degree.

more than 3 years ago
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Usage Based Billing In Canada To Be Rescinded

SpeedyDX The situation is much more complicated than that (364 comments)

Most Canadians who are up in arms over this are missing the point. The ministry is missing the point. Bandwidth caps are GOOD. They provide the proper incentive structure for both consumer and ISP. On the consumer side, you can pick an appropriate plan that allows for only the amount of bandwidth that you need, resulting in more effective market segregation. This means low-use consumers don't need to subsidize high-use consumers. On the ISP side, the incentive is to provide as fast a connection as possible to encourage usage and excess usage.

A little publicized fact about the recent CRTC rulings is that bandwidth caps are classified as an economic Internet Traffic Management Practice (ITMP). Throttling, DPI, etc, are classified as technical ITMPs. The CRTC is trying to encourage economic ITMPs and discourage technical ITMPs so that consumers know what they are paying for.

Imagine these two situations:
1) You pay $40/month for an unlimited 10Mbps connection, but can only get 10Mbps at 2-4am in the morning. Other times, because of high network usage, you get an unstable connection that goes 3-5Mbps, or even slower during peak times.
2) You pay $40/month for a 10Mbps connection with a 100GB limit. Most of the time, your connection speed is around 10Mbps, but you just need to watch how much you download. There is a tool provided for you by the ISP to check your usage, updated daily.

I would much, MUCH rather go for the second option. I am paying for a certain service. I know the terms of that service. I'm getting exactly what I'm paying for.

The problem that most Canadians have (and rightly so) is that the caps were set way too low. The reasons are complicated, but I'll try to summarize them. In Canada, the Bell companies own the last mile infrastructure. However, they are mandated to lease their last mile infrastructure to third-party ISPs at a reasonable wholesale rate that allows for competitive plans and pricing. This has been working well for a while, as third-party ISPs were able to provide similar plans at lower cost. HOWEVER, the Bell companies recently started to roll out VDSL service. They argued that they should be able to sell VDSL service exclusively for a limited time to "recuperate investment costs", and the CRTC agreed. So third-party ISPs cannot currently sell VDSL service, only ADSL service. Then the Bell and cable companies argued for UBB, which was granted. When they were allowed to use UBB, the Bell companies purposely gutted their own ADSL plans, putting strict bandwidth limits and high overage costs. This meant that the wholesale plans that they sold to the third-party ISPs were impacted in the same way.

All of that builds up to this: The third-party ADSL rates ARE competitive with respect to the Bell companies' ADSL services. However, since the Bell companies can sell VDSL services exclusively, they used that leverage to put in place anti-competitive practices.

THIS is where the problem is. The problem is not UBB, but rather the slimy business practices executed by these Bell companies. To solve this situation, the government should NOT be repealing the UBB decision. Instead, they should either allow third-party ISPs to sell VDSL services, or mandate reasonable minimum bandwidth caps and reasonable maximum overage charges.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Hints At Near-Field Payments System In Next-Gen iPhone, iPad

SpeedyDX TFSite (164 comments)

The site is incredibly obnoxious. Ads pop up over the content from time to time. Avoid if possible. Hope someone can find an article on this on another site.

more than 3 years ago
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Breaching an AUP a Crime In Western Australia

SpeedyDX Re:Malicious or stupid. Or both. (121 comments)

Then read the title of TFA!!! Or actually read TFA!!! Is TFA sensationally*** misrepresenting TFA too?!

I hope for the sake of your country that you do not vote. Stubborn people like you who spout off whatever the hell you believe, despite obvious and irrefutable proof of the contrary, are a cancer amidst society.

more than 3 years ago
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Breaching an AUP a Crime In Western Australia

SpeedyDX Malicious or stupid. Or both. (121 comments)

TFA says right off the bat that in the case in question, Giles v Douglas, was charged under a CRIMINAL statute. Giles was granted special permission under certain specific conditions to use the police database. She did not adhere to those conditions and thus her use of the database was impermissible. Impermissible use of the database is a criminal offence (instance of s440). There's nothing special about this case.

Breaching the AUP is not a crime. Breaching the AUP in a manner that leads to committing a crime is also not a crime. BUT COMMITTING A CRIME IS A CRIME! It just so happens that an AUP is involved in the details of this case.

more than 3 years ago
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Being Too Clean Can Make People Sick

SpeedyDX Two completely different claims (333 comments)

One claim is that being too clean makes people unhealthy. The other is that triclosan and BPA make people unhealthy. Those are two very distinct and different claims. The latter claim is what this study seems to prove, while the former claim seems completely unsubstantiated by this study according to TFA.

If those antibacterial products could have been made with a compound other than triclosan, would cleanliness still have a negative impact on health?

Further, the closing comment on the article makes another good point:

"It is possible, for example, that individuals who have an allergy are more hygienic because of their condition, and that the relationship we observed is, therefore, not causal or is an example of reverse causation," Aiello said.

So really, there seems to be NOTHING in support of the claim that being too clean makes people unhealthy.

This is either another case of journalistic ignorance or journalistic sensationalism. But seeing as the journal is called Medical Daily, you'd expect them to have at least a minimum amount of knowledge and insight.

more than 3 years ago
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Porn Maker Sues 7,000+ For Copyright Infringement

SpeedyDX Re:I agree (374 comments)

Yeah! Those pirates are going down! They better look for legal protection and make sure their defence doesn't have any holes. Simply arguing that someone took advantage and had backdoor access to your wifi won't cut it. Braun is acting as a missionary for the rest of the porn industry to spread the seeds of change and finally rid it of piracy.

more than 3 years ago
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In Praise of Procrastination

SpeedyDX Professor Mark Kingwell (118 comments)

Mark Kingwell was one of my philosophy professors at the University of Toronto. I admire his work and think that he is an amazing lecturer. He's published a lot of books on happiness and better living through a philosophical perspective.

He's in his late-40s I think, and he's pretty in touch with current issues. The article doesn't do him and his views enough justice. If you want to learn more about his views, there's a list of his books on his entry on Wikipedia.

For what it's worth, I think what he's trying to get at here is that we all try to assign some normative value to our actions and goals. But at some deeper level, we might believe that there really is no objective normative value to our actions, and that is reflected by our constant need to procrastinate. Of course, his view is much more nuanced than that and it's more ideal to read his books for the full story.

more than 3 years ago
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How to Heartlessly Arbitrage Used Books With a PDA

SpeedyDX Re:Information asymmetry (445 comments)

That's a little disingenuous I think. Sure, a free market is an ideal that is not manifest in real-life practice, but that doesn't take away from its usefulness. We use such ideal constructs in our everyday lives, but we learn to correct for their impracticality through various means. In this case, we recognize that the practice of book scanning is a practical obstacle to the information-symmetric free market of book trading. So we correct for that by applying specific limits on that particular market.

It's kind of like, I presume, engineering a processor. On an ideal level, things behave in a certain way and the processor would never deviate from that behaviour. However, in real-life situations, leakage and other physical obstacles get in the way of how the processor should ideally behave. So we have to correct for that by adding into the processor design some element that corrects for such deviations. But to say that it's useless to think about how the processor should ideally behave is, to be blunt, kind of stupid. We have to know what the ideal is in order to come up with appropriate solutions. Same goes with the free market.

more than 3 years ago
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How to Heartlessly Arbitrage Used Books With a PDA

SpeedyDX Information asymmetry (445 comments)

A completely free market works best when there is no information asymmetry between the parties involved in a transaction. If the buyer knows exactly what the seller knows and vice versa. Scanning books like this creates information asymmetry by giving information to the buyer that is unavailable* to the seller. The seller corrects this by placing limits on the marketplace in order to maintain as good an information balance as possible.

This is exactly how textbook capitalism is supposed to work. Of course, it's ideal if the party placing limits on the marketplace is not a party involved in the transaction in order to avoid bias towards one side or another. That's how governments become involved in regulating the market. Of course, in practice, there are a lot more variables that have an effect on information symmetry and party bias. But something as simple as this is easily explained by basic free market principles.

* Of course, the information is available to the seller, but it's just that the seller is unwilling to procure that information for one reason or another. The seller finds that correcting the information balance by limiting information access to the buyer is easier than correcting it by having to access that information themselves.

more than 3 years ago
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United Nations Names Ambassador To Aliens

SpeedyDX Re:The wrong man (306 comments)

That's exactly what I'm talking about. That kind of stupidity will get you eaten alive. Aren't you glad they didn't choose me?

more than 3 years ago
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United Nations Names Ambassador To Aliens

SpeedyDX Re:The wrong man (306 comments)

I personally think a man like him is the perfect one for the job. Maybe he'll be able to amuse the aliens with our meager understanding of rudimentary physics, prompting them to keep us alive as their cute pets or even just live historical specimens instead of just eating us all or something.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Idaho Courthouse Guard To Woman: Take Off Your Bra

SpeedyDX SpeedyDX writes  |  more than 6 years ago

SpeedyDX writes "From the article: "Security guards refused to allow a woman into a federal courthouse in Idaho until she removed a bra that triggered a metal detector. Patrick McDonald, the U-S Marshal in Boise, says appropriate security protocols were followed in the September 20 matter and guards suggested she simply remove the bra in her car outside, or find a restaurant bathroom. Plato says she was parked on a busy street and wasn't familiar with downtown Coeur d'Alene businesses. So her husband held up his coat to shield her from the rest of the people in the courthouse lobby while she removed her bra underneath her shirt.""
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