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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

anwyn 5 for roofing (271 comments)

5 employees, after Microsoft transforms itself into a roofing company. They will do less damage that way.

3 days ago
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When Beliefs and Facts Collide

anwyn What are the selection effects Scientific Method (725 comments)

What are the selection effects of the Scientific Method?

If science were to admit that the scientific method itself had significant selection effects, when applied to certain questions, then science would have to admit that science can not resolve certain questions.

One of those questions might be "Is the Universe a machine?" Or if one wants to take quantum into account "Is the Universe a machine with a gazillion true hardware random number generators attached?"

If the Universe is a machine, then the scientific method preference for repeatable results is justified. If the Universe is a quantum machine, or statistically unbiased machine (i.e. a machine with a gazillion TRNGs attached), then the scientific method's preference for repeatable statistical results is justified.

But what if the Universe is not any kind of machine? What if the Universe is a living being as Eastern religion and philosophy assert? What if the Universe is adjusting itself to the questions and presuppositions of science? What if the Universe is like a child being questioned by a biased investigator alleging sexual abuse? What if the Universe is giving the answers that it thinks the investigator wants to hear?

It seems to me that the scientific method can not resolve such claims. In order to prove an answer, one would have to prove that the scientific method had no selection effects, which one could not prove with knowing the answer to the question a priori . In other words the question is hopelessly circular.

This means that one of the key assumptions of scientism , can not to be proved by the scientific method.

about two weeks ago
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European Commission Spokesman: Google Removing Link Was "not a Good Judgement"

anwyn Europeans should use DuckDuckGo! (210 comments)

It is an american Corporation with no assets in Europe! In the United States it is protected by the Speech Act! Europe can not corerce DuckDuckGo! It has a policy about not recording your searches!

about two weeks ago
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A Physicist Says He Can Tornado-Proof the Midwest With 1,000-Foot Walls

anwyn build fake trailer parks around cities divert (501 comments)

Instead we could build fake trailor parks around cities to divert the tornados away! They always go for the trailer parks.

It worked against the Germans in WWII.

:-)

about a month ago
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Thousands of Europeans Petition For Their 'Right To Be Forgotten'

anwyn This could promote search engine diversity! (224 comments)

Google probably has to attempt to comply with this law. It has extensive operations in Europe. That will probably result in a lot of information that people would like to have being unavailable through Google. This will probably include a lot of legitimate info, as misusers learn how to game the system.

On the other hand, DuckDuckGo, appears to be a US only operation. Because of the SPEECH Act, DuckDuckGo could probably ignore European demands. A judgement against DuckDuckGo would be difficult to enforce. (I am not a lawyer, get your own. This is political, social analysis, not legal advise.)

Who knows what DuckDuckGo will decide? But if DuckDuckGo does not some other US search engine will. European advertisers would have to pay in advance.

The end result could be some a migration away from google's search engine.

about 2 months ago
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The US Vs. Europe: Freedom of Expression Vs. Privacy

anwyn Only problem is that google has assets in Europe. (278 comments)

If google had no assets in Europe, it could shoot Europe the big finger, because of the SPEECH Act. But because google does have assets in Europe, it will have to comply or move its assets out of Europe.

Google is too subject to international pressure. It is time for those interested in truth to move to a search engine that has no assets in Europe.

What about Duck Duck Go, does it have assets in Europe? What about other search engines?

about 2 months ago
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The Upcoming Windows 8.1 Apocalypse

anwyn give your broken computer to me. (293 comments)

When your computer stops working on May 8, give it to me. I will install GNU/Linux on it and I won't have any problem at all.

about 2 months ago
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Google Blocking Asus's Android-Windows "Duet"?

anwyn We need to run debian directly on phones! (194 comments)

We need to get rid of both android and microsoft on our phones. We should be able to run any package in debian's massive repositories. Down with app stores. Up with repositories.

We need to circumvent any charming little backdoors on the modem like the replicant people just discovered. We need to run end-to-end encryption on our phones, without fear of backdoors and NSLs!

A free operating system like GNU/Linux on our phones is our only hope for security.

about 4 months ago
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Mathematician: Is Our Universe a Simulation?

anwyn An analogous religious paradox. (745 comments)

Many people believe that the universe was created by a creator who was omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.

I do not believe this, but many people do, so let us take this as an hypothesis and see where it goes.

Such a creator would have had to had a perfect understanding of each alternate universe that he declined to create. The creator would understand the complete history of all beings and objects down to the minutest quantum detail. This is required by the creator's omniscience. The creator would consider all universes which are internally consistent, that is all universes that seem to obey their own laws without flaw. The hypothetical creatures of these internally consistent universes would have no way of determining that they were in an alternate, not chosen for creation universe. This is because of the perfection of the creator's understanding, or if you want to put it that way, the perfection of the creator's "simulation" of alternate universes in the creator's perfect thought.

So the bottom line: you may believe that God created a perfect Universe, but you have no way of knowing that you are in the perfect Universe that God created. For all you know, you are a part of a alternate turd universe that God declined to create.

Of course it is absurd, but refute it if you can, I won't. Many would argue it no more absurd that the original hypothesis.

about 5 months ago
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No Longer "Noble"; Argon Compound Found In Space

anwyn Re:Just Stuck Up. (110 comments)

That is not Nobel, its just Stuck Up.

about 7 months ago
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Raspberry Pi Hits the 2 Million Mark

anwyn Re:My PI serves random numbers on my lan. (246 comments)

From the builtin hardware random number generator. Enabled by adding "bcm2708_rng" to /etc/modules. Standard rng-tools to add entropy from this device to pool.

about 8 months ago
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Raspberry Pi Hits the 2 Million Mark

anwyn My PI serves random numbers on my lan. (246 comments)

Some computers much more expensive than the PI do not have a Hardware RNG built in. Both my intel desktop and my laptop don't have a hardware RNG. If you try to generate a key, these computers will stop while gathering entropy. But not any more. I use my pi to dump random numbers into the entropy pools for all my computers that don't have an RNG.

There are other hardware RNGs available, but none as inexpensive as a PI. Also because the PI has an RJ45 connection, it can be plugged into my router where it can serve random numbers for all computers on my lan.

about 8 months ago
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First Lab Demonstration That the Ability To Evolve Can Itself Evolve

anwyn Evolveablity could be a disadvantage! (72 comments)

It is easy to imagine a scenario where evolveablity is a long term selective disadvantage. Imagine a species with certain traits that allow it to survive a catastrophe that occurs infrequently. However these traits are dead weight during the good times (=most of the time). If the creature evolves to fast, it will lose all its catastrophe surviving traits during the good times and and get wiped out during a catastrophe. However if it evolves slowly these traits will survive the catastrophe and culling during the catastrophes will insure it keeps its catastrophe surviving traits. And perhaps the characteristic of slow evolution.

about 8 months ago
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Anonymous Source Claims Feds Demand Private SSL Keys From Web Services

anwyn Snowden Assange WikiLeaks CA (276 comments)

They should set up their own CA in some country immune to US pressure. They would not have to do the actual signing. (Probably difficult due the current fishbowl they live in.) They could hire the people set policies put their logo on it. They could set it up so actual signing occurs anonymously in some unknown country.

Probably the only CA I would trust.

about a year ago
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NSA Backdoors In Open Source and Open Standards: What Are the Odds?

anwyn Re:IF... because. (407 comments)

The govenment can not admit that it has access to encrypted material. If it did the method would become useless.

1 year,19 days
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NSA Backdoors In Open Source and Open Standards: What Are the Odds?

anwyn Coventry logic (407 comments)

I think that ordinary people using crypto for ordinary purposes, the NSA's crypto abilities are irrelevant. Ordinary people are protected by "Coventry logic". Yes, I am aware there is a controversy concerning whether the Coventry story actually happened. It does not matter. "Coventry logic" remains valid.

If an important commonly used crypto program like gpg or ssl were broken by the NSA's mathematicians, it would be a secret of the highest order. Any use of the secret tends to reveal the secret. Therefore the secret can only be used for national business of the highest importance. Most people's secrets are just not that important, even if they involve matters that the federal government does not like. Thus most ordinary people are protected as free riders. This is "Coventry logic".

It is for this reason that the NSA's abilities should not be probed. If some investigative people probed the NSA's abilities, with fake messages about fake plots and that scheme worked, it could remove the "coventry logic" protection that millions of people now currently enjoy. If an important secret were forced out, then why not use the secret? Thus it is in no one's interest, other than the genuine malefactors, that this type of secret be probed. Everyone else has an interest in strategic ambiguity.

1 year,19 days
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No Transmitting Aliens Detected In Kepler SETI Search

anwyn compression, spread spectrum (197 comments)

The more a signal is compressed, the more it looks like random noise. The only way you know the difference between a signal and random noise is redundancies. But redundancies represent an opportunity to save power and bandwidth, by adding compression.

The typical alien civilization has had hundreds of thousands of years to work out compression algorithms.

On top of this, spread spectrum might be used.

So what makes anyone think that SETI or anyone else would be capable of recognizing an alien signal if they saw one?

The fact that people are trying to draw conclusions from this failure, is a sign only of colossal human arrogance.

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft Embraces Git For Development Tools

anwyn GPL Breaks this process. (227 comments)

The GPL restricts the "Extend" step so that Discontinue step is impossible.

Any derived work of something, like git, which is GPLed, must be GPLed. That means that if you fork, the main branch, the main branch is free to use your extensions. This makes it difficult for replacement to work.

Furthermore, if you try discontinue step, others are free to fork and continue. So discontinue does not work.

The GPL completely breaks the "Embrace. Step 2: Extend. Step 3: Replace. Step 4: Discontinue." process. Which is why it is hated.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Install Their Software Themselves?

anwyn Packaging is an arcane art! (288 comments)

Deveopers should do what they are good at, developing.

Testers should do the testing.

Packagers should do the packaging.

Sysadmins should do installations.

Requiring devopers to know everything in the Debian Policy manual would be too much.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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John Gilmore analyzes NSA obstruction of crypto in IPSPEC.

anwyn anwyn writes  |  about 10 months ago

anwyn (266338) writes "Long time civil libertarian and free software entrepreneur, In a recent article postend on the cryptography mailing list, long time civil libertarian and free software entrepreneur, John Gilmore has analyzed possible NSA obstruction of cryptography in IPSPEC.

He suggest that packet processing in the Linux kernel had been obstructed by one kernel developer. Gilmore suggests that the NSA has been plotting against strong cryptography on mobile phones:"

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