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Multivitamin Researchers Say 'Case Is Closed' As Studies Find No Health Benefits

The1stImmortal Re:supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults (554 comments)

Fun is subjective.

I can't stand cooking for myself or my wife and I. It's the most boring thing I've ever done - I'd literally rather stand facing a blank white wall for an hour than cook. I'll go to great lengths to avoid cooking, and when I was single I just never did, unless I was so broke there was no other option (and I'd go without food for a couple of days before it got to that point)

However, I will cook for my son (about a year and a half old), because he really needs all the good fresh food I can provide him, and his diet is (partly) my responsibility. Somehow I exercise much more care and patience cooking for him than I ever have for myself. I still don't enjoy it but I tolerate it for him in much the same way as I tolerate changing nappies - it needs doing so it just gets done.

Thankfully my wife is an absolute wizard in the kitchen so I don't have to cook often!

about 9 months ago

Harvard Bomb Hoax Perpetrator Caught Despite Tor Use

The1stImmortal Re:"because it originated from the wireless networ (547 comments)

Not neccessarily. His access to Tor via the campus wifi matched the timing of the emails enough to get him in a room, and then he confessed. Without the confession there'd be a lot less certainty of conviction, as the presumption of innocence would probably compel a jury, in the absence of any other compelling evidence, to find him not guilty.

Moral of the story: Don't talk to cops.

(also, don't make false bomb threats. They're stupid)

about 9 months ago

GNUstep Kickstarter Campaign Launched

The1stImmortal Re:Why bother? (131 comments)

While OSX is "certified UNIX", there's a lot of proprietary APIs and libraries layered on top of that to produce the GUI environment most OSX users interact with.

So the "With some care" you speak of to make "applications [...] easily be made to compilable on multiple Linux distros" includes a working implementation of those proprietary APIs and libraries. GNUStep is that, though it's currently more like OSX ancestor NeXTSTEP than it is like modern OSX

Hence the kickstarter

about a year ago

Inside the Decision To Shut Down Silent Mail

The1stImmortal Re:The Government Wins (182 comments)

I think the blame on companies is rooted in the idea that big business will spend insane amounts of effort on avoiding taxation, or lobbying to make legal conditions more favorable to them, but then appears to resist very little when government agencies attempt to intrude on their customers (or users') privacy.

Of course, it kinda makes sense. Whilst a government might be actively hostile towards its people, big business tends to view customers/consumers/users more like cattle - dispassionately and as disposable.

In that light, companies that do tend to try to fight for their users (eg, a certain micro-blogging company) seem even more virtuous by comparison.

about a year ago

Rupert Murdoch Wants To Destroy Australia's National Broadband Network

The1stImmortal Re:Labor Lie (327 comments)

Seriously? The coalition's plan is "Let's take the Labor Party's plan, and shave a couple percent off the price by dropping the most important bit of the project!" (ie, converting from FTTH to FTTN and leaving everyone stuck with telstra's awful ancient copper system connecting to a large and unsightly roadside active cabinet)

If the NBN is going to get done, lets get it done properly, instead of doing some half-hearted poor job of it.

about a year ago

NTSB Calls For Wireless Tech To Enable Vehicles To Talk To Each Other

The1stImmortal Re:"Hey, can I cut into your lane?" (153 comments)

Dunno about the laws in the various US states, but at least in NSW, an indicator is just an indication of intent, and doesn't give anyone the right to change lanes. Unless it's a zip merge (where two lanes become one without a line indicating who gives way - and which doesn't require indication anyway), then someone changing lanes technically has to give way to everybody else. Obviously in practice people tend to let people in, but if these things were in Australia, and obeyed the road rules, many cars would get stuck in near-impossible give-way situations...

about a year ago

Robotic Kiosk Stores Digital Copies of Physical Keys

The1stImmortal "Expectation of Privacy" (192 comments)

I wonder - does providing a third party with a digital copy of your key remove the "expectation of privacy" for law enforcement in the same way as using a digital messaging service (ie, email) does?

That is, I wonder if this will open the doorway to police in the US saying "Oh, well the defendant left their key readout with this company, which as a third party destroys their expectation of privacy to their locks, therefore we had the right to subpoena the key and then search the premises it unlocks".

about a year ago

Transgendered Folks Encountering Document/Database ID Hassles

The1stImmortal Re:The real question is, (814 comments)

Have you not been following the news? We ALL live in Big Brother land nowadays...

about a year ago

NSA WhistleBlower Outs Himself

The1stImmortal Re:thanks mr legal expert (860 comments)

So it was advising you that it was a crime. The paperwork still didn't make it so in and of itself.

It's the "agreeing to" bit that's bothering me. If you're authorized to receive classified info it's either a crime to give it to unauthorized persons or it's not. Not something you get to agree to or not.

Perhaps I'm being pedantic... I'll just read "agree to" as "accept that you understand"

about a year ago

Your License Is Your Interface

The1stImmortal Re:Real danger (356 comments)

Let's say the contractor compiles the software into binary code, and just gives the binary to the aircraft company. Now, depending on the license, the aircraft company probably has no notice of the license, and thus cannot be bound to it. And of course, the passengers, the nuclear power company, the poor residents living nearby, wouldn't have seen or known about your fancy license either.

Except in practice it doesn't work that way for Copyright. For starters, your disclaimer works as far as the person who broke the chain. By handing over the code without that disclaimer, the contractor assumes liability. Not to mention that without a valid license, the aircraft company is in violation of copyright law by posessing/using the copy (sort of - it's complex and varies by jurisdiction here, but suffice to say the copy is illegal). There's no difference here to receiving a pirated copy of a movie - you're still in posession of a pirated copy even though if you received it in a way you thought "legitimate" from a pirate.

about a year ago

NSA WhistleBlower Outs Himself

The1stImmortal Re:thanks mr legal expert (860 comments)

Surely a contract can't create a crime as such? It might have said that was a likely consequence, but contract breach is usually a civil matter in and of itself, even with the government. On the other hand, legislation (which would normally be needed create the crime) would technically apply whether you signed the paperwork or not.

about a year ago

Fear of Death Makes People Into Believers (of Science)

The1stImmortal Re:Bible: word of God (434 comments)

I'm feeding a troll I'm sure - but I'm in a weird mood. So stuff it.

I love the circular reasoning in "The bible is the proven word of God. You really don't need any more proof than that." - so it's proven by the fact that it is proven. Hm. Rightio then.

Then there's a no-true-scotsman fallacy of if you've read it and don't believe it, then you've not really read it. Hm. Rightio then.

I'd love to understand why Bible believers think that, for non-believers, the Bible in particular is special?
Seriously - for someone who already doesn't believe in god(s), what would make them believe the Bible over the Torah, the Qur'an, the I Ching, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Principia Discordia or "There and Back Again" as a text of divine inspiration?

Finally - I have read the Bible several times. Fascinating read really (till you get to all the post-gospel stuff near the end to the new testament - I really don't care about early christians' "How are you doing over there then?" letters for example...)
But enlightenment did not come. Instead, the more I read the Bible the more I find it's just a curious collection of old folk tales and legends (old testament) combined with a dogma assembled by committee (new testament).
And Christians rarely live their lives strictly according to scripture btw. The average christian violates an awful lot of it whilst handwaving huge chunks as being "irrelevant" in the modern church (!). Which is fine if you accept that you're not living strictly according to the book. But don't pretend you are.

Finally - frankly, if it were written today the Bible would have a very rough time with censors. It's seriously lurid in parts. Incest, rape, slavery (both labour-based and sexual), extremely graphic violence, inciting racial hatreds... Much of which is presented as a good thing! It would probably be banned these days. I certainly will consider carefully when my son will be ready to understand the adult themes in the Bible for sure. I don't want to give him nightmares.

about a year ago

Fear of Death Makes People Into Believers (of Science)

The1stImmortal Re:Science works (434 comments)

I don't think that's strictly true.

To believe in science (and to disbelieve in religion), one needs to believe that the elements needed to create the big bang came into existence of their own accord and that the laws of physics decided to invent themselves.

Science is great up to a point; it can tell us what happened and how it happened. But when you go back far enough, it does requires the belief that everything which set off the chain of events somehow came into being without an intelligent creator.

I don't believe in scientific results. I believe in science as a process (in the same way that I can say I believe in Democracy as a process [for better or for worse!])

I would hope many scientists would hold a similar view, but I cannot speak for them.

In terms of cosmology - science attempts to unravel the chain of causality that resulted in the world we see today. To do this, it is assumed the universe works today much like it always has (and tries to determine the edge conditions that define that). It is also assumed that there is a point beyond which causality can no longer be followed (or that it loops back on itself or whatever. That there is a beginning, anyway - that' it's not just "turtles all the way down"). Now admittedly they're big assumptions but they seem to hold up so far, and without those assumtions the questions become meaningless in the first place.

So what happens then is that you work backwards, until a point is found for which there are multiple possible explanations. Then evidence is gathered based on experimentation and observation about which of the options seems most likely. As part of this process new options might get introduced.

What you end up with is the most likely set of explanations for the way the universe came to be the way it is, based on what we know today and what we can observe today.

It's not a presented as fact, but rather what is termed a "theory" for science, based on probability. Note that in this case the word "Theory" avoids presenting something as absolute fact whilst providing the implication of a comprehensive and somewhat tested framework, and still leaving the door open for testing and even disproving. It doesn't mean "Guess".

As for "believing" that " the elements needed to create the big bang came into existence of their own accord and that the laws of physics decided to invent themselves." - this isn't a belief per se, but part of the assumption that the chain of causality ends somewhere. If something "caused" the big bang (er - other than the big bang itself), then by definition the big bang wasn't the start of the universe, but we have to go back further. So if you assume it started somewhere then you have to assume that "before" that was unknowable, as it cannot be traced back.

In this regard - if there was a "creator" - it is/was either one that can interact with/affect the observable universe or not. If it is, then we can push the start of the universe back to be the "start" of the creator. But if not then the issue is meaningless from a scientific standpoint.

about a year ago

Fear of Death Makes People Into Believers (of Science)

The1stImmortal Re:Science works (434 comments)

One could argue however that thanks to nuclear weapons research (including this example) - we've not had a major worldwide conflict in nearly 70 years, after having two in 30 years. We also understand a lot more about fundamental physics thanks to the side benefits of weapons research and that helps medicine, the energy industry, and may help the space industry down the track...

Bad stuff happens. We move on and in some way usually learn from it. That's life

about a year ago

Fear of Death Makes People Into Believers (of Science)

The1stImmortal Re:Science works (434 comments)

Doctors are human and there are still big holes in our knowledge of disease and of human biology, so yeah it's entirely possible that a given doctor's advice may not be the best way to actually go for a given persons' case/illness. Doctors give advice based on the best knowledge available at the time (to them. No one person can know all of modern medicine and still have time to consult!).
Changing techniques based on empirical evidence is very scientific.
I'd imagine that doctor was/is very interested in the mechanisms of how the alternate approach worked and investigated it (or wrote up the case to allow others to investigate)
So you've actually given a brilliant example of why science works.

And glad to hear she lasted longer than usual and sorry to hear that ended btw

about a year ago

Australian Intelligence HQ Blueprints Hacked

The1stImmortal Re:how long will this behavior be tolerated... (180 comments)

Fair point, however in this particular case it's unlikely to be US interests (eg, CIA) performing the intrusion. Given the Australian "relationship" with US security agencies, I wouldn't be surprised if we'd already volunteered all the conceivable data on the new ASIO HQ to the US, sent in triplicate. They probably use ASIO sensitive documents as scrap paper at CIA headquarters. There's little information AU doesn't willingly and happily hand over to the US (sadly)

about a year ago

Australian Govt Forces Apple, Adobe, Microsoft To Explain Price Hikes

The1stImmortal Re:Because they can (371 comments)

Exactly this

As long as governments create and enforce a monopoly on the creation of these kinds of goods through copyright and laws permitting import control of copyrighted goods, then the government has the right and responsibility to interfere when those that monopoly is abused by unfair market manipulation.

On the other hand, if the government explicitly required grey market imports to be considered as legitimate as the white market, then pricing can set as the publishers please, since they'll always have to compete against their own pricing in other regions

basically yeah - globalism and international trade is a two way street - they can't have their cake and eat it too

about a year and a half ago

Parcel Sensor Knows When Your Delivery Has Been Dropped

The1stImmortal Re:Sooo (145 comments)

Our distributor for most stuff at work (one of the big guys in AU) has the irritating tendency to send an oversized box... with no packing material.

For example, I have literally opened boxes with a single sheet of paper in them - that are on the order of a cubic metre.

Not so big a deal for paper of course (just bewildering) but when you get components shipped the same way (often with one, completely insufficient, plastic airbag pack in the box too, rattling around with the part) it makes you wonder what they guys in the warehouse are thinking, and whether their management is happy with what that must be costing in unnecessary shipping and return costs (we pay the same in shipping for a given item regardless of the size of the box it was packed in, but if the boxes are oversized, then less fit on a truck and that has to affect the pricing or contract with their logistics company)

about a year and a half ago


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