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Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

WoOS Re:Not going to happen again any time soon (200 comments)

Leaving aside all the froth-mouthed name-calling there is an important detail the author does not write in

> This guy says in an interview:

Namely that the interview was to Al-Jazeera, the premier Muslim news channel.
Normally politicians (and the NASA chief definitely counts as that) try to tell something nice to foreigners they talk to.
You know, I can't remember the huge outcry of "Lies!", "Pampering Foreigners!", "Forgets his U.S. values and heritage!" when Kennedy said "Ich bin ein Berliner.".

To come back to "News for Nerds" it should also be noted that the statement about Muslim contributions to science, math and engineering is definitely true. There is a reason the numbers we are using are called "Arabic Numbers".

2 days ago

WikiLeaks Publishes Secret International Trade Agreement

WoOS Re:Signed On? (222 comments)

The final text will be made available a debated when, and if, the countries involved vote on it.

Care to explain how much "debating" will go on on the - as you point out - final text? After all, the standard argument will be that "this has already been negatioated and cannot be changed".

And one of the main difference of these trade agreements nowadays to other treaties is that they try to change a huge set of existing laws along the way. Without discussion. And add extra-judical avenues for corporations to sue for compensation against existing laws, which basically annuls the whole legislative and judicative system.

about a month ago

Water Cannons Used Against Peaceful Anti-TTIP Protestors: the Next ACTA Revolt?

WoOS Re:Protests were Illegal. (142 comments)

Actually it is Dutch and means Police. Belgium is half french-speaking half dutch-speaking.

about 2 months ago

Water Cannons Used Against Peaceful Anti-TTIP Protestors: the Next ACTA Revolt?

WoOS Re:Protests were Illegal (and last Thursday) (142 comments)

Yes, if you look at the first video on around 0:20 you will see in the background a protestor holding out his hand to get it tight. Looks to me extremely civilized from both side. I don't see any overreaction. And if - possibly - the protest was unauthorized, participants might be offered a trip to the next police station for IDing. Civil disobidience has its price.

And now before the US side claims that there is no freedom in Europe if protests need to be authorized: If authorization is denied, you can sue against it on a quick track. That's the reason why even the extreme right, which most people would like to deny protesting rights, can do it again and again.

So TTIP might be bad and all but exagerating things just to prolong the attention (Protest was already last Thursday) is not the way to go.

about 2 months ago

Discrete Logarithm Problem Partly Solved -- Time To Drop Some Crypto Methods?

WoOS Hold the horses (114 comments)

Even though I didn't really understood the math, two important points stick out from their description:

  1. a) Complexity is still n^O(log(n)). This is better than O(e^n) but still worse than O(n^c) for any fixed c.
  2. b) It is a heuristic and I couldn't find in their paper a statement how well this heuristics work, i.e. in how many cases it will find its (optimal/only) result and in how many not or only in a much more time.

As far as I understood they empirically showed their approach to work on one example. A study showing the general feasibility of the heuristics would be more convincing (yeah, that's the engineer speaking not the mathematician).

It should also be noted that the authors themselves write in their conclusion:
"Compared to existing approaches, and in particular to the line of recent works [15,10], the practical relevance of our algorithm is not clear, and will be explored by further work."

So, before running to conclusions maybe we should wait for the "further work".

about 2 months ago

Discrete Logarithm Problem Partly Solved -- Time To Drop Some Crypto Methods?

WoOS Re:It's still NP. (114 comments)

Please note that the algortihm is not O(n^log(n)) but n^O(log(n)). This puts the constant factor in the exponent which is a bit worse.

about 2 months ago

Gen. Keith Alexander On Metadata, Snowden, and the NSA: "We're At Greater Risk"

WoOS Re:Fear, uncertainty, and doubt: (238 comments)

The three main weapons in the arsenal against freedom.

And I always thought the three main weapons were: Surprise, fear, and ruthless efficiency.
Could we get Mr. Alexander maybe join a reenaction of Monthy Phyton. It seems to fit quite well to the NSA.

about 2 months ago

Single Gene Can Boost IQ By Six Points

WoOS So what is the downside? (199 comments)

If all this gene achieved was less cardiovascular diseases and higher intelligence, we would (nearly) all have it by now due to selection. So the question is, what else does it do which counterweights this?

about 2 months ago

Male Scent Molecules May Be Compromising Biomedical Research

WoOS Actually MORE stressed. (274 comments)

The summary writes:
The rodents are also less stressed out.

The article writes:
The male aroma ramped up their stress levels, which deadened the hurt.

Was this the daily "Find the inconsistency" test on slashdot? Did I win something?

about 3 months ago

Google May Be $1 Billion Behind In Tax Payments To France

WoOS Re:How they get away with it (for now) (199 comments)

But a revenue tax would stop all manners of shady profit shifting and hiding.

There is already a tax on revenue. It is called VAT and has its own tax evasion problems.

Doing a revenue tax in any other way than as a value added tax will immediatly give you massive vertical integration in the industry as companies not producing their own intermediate goods indirectly have to pay "revenue" tax on them with no way of deducing it from their own revenue tax. Thus you end up with more "too big to fail" companies.

about 3 months ago

This Chip Can Tell If You've Been Poisoned

WoOS Re:Put on cans? (36 comments)

From the article on botulism it appears that commercially canned goods are safe (and even terrorist would have a problem to get the toxin into the can after sealing and cooking which destroys spores and toxin). And on home-made goods it might be a bit difficult to enforce attachment of a chip on every glass of canned fruits.

The analyzed attack vectors seem to be (according to the German wikipedia entry on the toxin, the english one is too occupied with medical use) milk, water and air. All of them do not lend well to chip attachment.

Actually the chip talked about is for analyzing a patient's blood sample (see TFA) to detect he has been poisoned, not for detecting it in food.

about 3 months ago

This Chip Can Tell If You've Been Poisoned

WoOS Re:Seriously, terrorists? (36 comments)

Their hope had been that everyone would stay home sick from the local elections, so they'd be able to vote in their preferred candidate.

Sounds to me like a different form of gerrymandering of a group not privy to change the voting districts. Not terrorism as it does not aim at creating terror, so does not count as example. Not legal either, obviously, in contrast to the actual gerrymandering.

about 3 months ago

German Wikipedia Has Problems With Paid Editing — and Threats of Violence

WoOS Re:The "threat" (55 comments)

> Are you "Giftzwerg 88"? Because your furious spluttering reminds me of him.

No, I am not. But would you be so kind to explain the inconsistency of that comment above (refering to a German commentor on Wikipedia) and
> I don't read German

I find it ironic that someone posting news on slashdot about an article about conflicts of interest does not reveal that he himself has one as coauthor of the mentioned article. And defends quoting out of context by bashing people pointing it out as "nitpickers".

about 3 months ago

German Wikipedia Has Problems With Paid Editing — and Threats of Violence

WoOS The "threat" (55 comments)

First, metasonix, as you get so agitated about this and looking at your posting history, can we assume you are Marvin Oppong himself.

Second, as has been pointed out here as well as in the comments to the article you cite for the threat (which only gives your ... uh ... Marvin's shortening of the threat instead of the full line), the full line in question is

"Ein geistiger Tiefflieger, er soll aufpassen, dass er nicht mit dem Kinn am Borstein hängen bleibt."
Translation (thanks to an AC) "A mental low-flyer (i.e., low-flying plane), he has to take care that his chin doesn't snag the curb".

Being German I understand the second part - as others have - as amplifying the - admittedly - insult of the first part, but definitely not a threat of violence. And you seem to understand it the same, because why else would you cite the second part out of context?

Also, the whole comment from giftzwerg (in German) ending in the insult seems to criticize not the publication of the misuse but your proposal to solve it (independent supervision council without editing rights) as non working (due to the lack of admin rights). I.e. he seems to criticize you as too weak. Does not sound at all like a paid shill threatining you after his exposure as you make it sound.

So while you might have a point with some Wikipedian authors following commercial interest, trying to exagerate the case it by makeing up a threat IMHO weakens it serverly.

about 3 months ago

WikiLeaks Cables Foreshadow Russian Instigation of Ukrainian Military Action

WoOS Re:NATO expansion. It's all that simple (479 comments)

> Kremlin had no other choices left with Ukraine.
Really? Like peaceful coexistance?

Putin is wagering it all. If he does not get at least Crimea from this (or even the whole SE of the Ukraine) he has a major defeat on his hands: Confidence in Russia fulfilling its contracts (they guaranteed Ukraine's teritorial integrity for getting back USSR nuclear weapons) will be severly damaged (also damaging their natural gas trade), the Ukraine will make life a hell for the Russian fleet in Sewastopol by subtle sabotage and the Ukraine now will definitely want to get into NATO as soon as possible.

With such high stakes he must be very sure, he can win this.

about 5 months ago

RF Safe-Stop Shuts Down Car Engines With Radio Pulse

WoOS Re:This disrupts the CAN bus. (549 comments)

I think the switch off experienced *are* the safety systems cutting in. The EMI will cause deviations in the electronics (be they a blocked CAN, corrupted sensor input or miscalculations in the MCUs) which the safety mechanisms will react to by switching apparently malfunctioning systems off. This would explain the dashboard warning lights.

Obviously relying on the safety systems to switch the car off is a dangerous approach. Those systems are designed to detect e.g. 99% of all errors in time. With a low electronic failure to start with, this leads to a reliable car as the very majority of the few errors happening is caught by the safety system and the remaing (we talk about e.g. 10^-8 per hour here) failures of one system might still be handable by the driver supported by the other electronic systems in the car.

This device - if used widely - inreases the basic error rate significantly and supresses all electronics. There might be a reason they tried it only with a car driving 24 km/h.

about 8 months ago

U.S. Government: Sorry, We're Closed

WoOS Voting rights reform! (1532 comments)

> Fucking idiots
Want to get rid of them? Go from a majority voting system to a proportional voting system (with a minimum percentage threshold). Gets you new parties in no time and rid of the old, clogged ones.

It is interesting that the U.S., which is so in favor of capitalistic competition, allowed their politicians to form a duopol preventing actual competition in the political field.

about 10 months ago

Insider Steals Data of 2 Million Vodafone Germany Customers

WoOS Re:So browsing history is 'saved'? (40 comments)

they can write a check or automated payment in your name.

No cheques anymore in Germany (and the rest of Europe) for decades. We use bank transfers for which you either need login credetials for the internet access to the account or a somewhat similar looking signature for a written transfer form. And a scapegoat whose account you can use as the target account. So the GP is right. Not enough information to withdraw money or transfer it. Maybe the US is a bit behind in this ;-)

about 10 months ago

Lower Thermal Radiation Input Needed To Trigger Planetary 'Runaway Greenhouse'

WoOS Earth also has the potential (137 comments)

At least according to the abstract of the research paper (couldn't read the paper itself) if Earth is brought into the hot moist athmosphere state, that state would maintain itself. From the abstract (emphasis mine):

Therefore, a steam atmosphere induced by such a runaway greenhouse may be a stable state for a planet receiving a similar amount of solar radiation as Earth today. Avoiding a runaway greenhouse on Earth requires that the atmosphere is subsaturated with water, and that the albedo effect of clouds exceeds their greenhouse effect. A runaway greenhouse could in theory be triggered by increased greenhouse forcing, but anthropogenic emissions are probably insufficient.

So we will probably not manage to terraform Earth into Venus just by continuing CO2 emissions. But maybe if the Vogons help a bit ....

about a year ago


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