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Comments

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Boo! The House Majority PAC Is Watching You

arth1 Re:Whichever party bothers us the least... (149 comments)

Snowden won't be eligible to run until the 2020 election.

He won't ever be eligible.
All the man has to do is get him convicted for something in absentia, and he loses his right to run for office as well as his right to vote. Or toss him in jail as soon as he sets foot on US soil, and he'd also become ineligible.

It's nice when you have a system where you can weed out unwanted political figures that easily.
Not very democratic, though. Which is why voting and running for election are inalienable rights in most democracies.

2 hours ago
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Boo! The House Majority PAC Is Watching You

arth1 Re:Here's why (149 comments)

There is no evidence for that. In fact, it's pretty clear that the primary concern of politicians is pleasing their voters.

Which country is this?
Here in the US, their main concern appears to be pleasing the corporations that contributed money so they could fund their smear campaigns and vote buying.
They want to please the shepherds, not the sheep.

2 hours ago
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Boo! The House Majority PAC Is Watching You

arth1 Re:West Virginia too (149 comments)

The problem is that with the US system, you cannot vote blank. In the past, you could at least make a deliberate misvote, e.g. by punching way too many holes or making way too many stamps, but with electronic voting this is no longer an option. That makes it a problem, because the only way to vote "none of the above" is then to not go to the polls.

But then again, the US system has enough problems with its election system already, with the requirement to have to register beforehand or be turned down at election day no matter how much of a citizen you are, and an even bigger problem with large scale disenfranchisement. I can think of a couple of other countries where civil disobedience can land you in jail and cause you to lose your right to vote or run for office, but those countries are ones the US really don't want to be compared with.
Combined with the two-party system where the two parties are both on the far far right from a global point of view, it's a true farce.

2 hours ago
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Suspected Ebola carriers in the U.S. ...

arth1 Re:How about... (278 comments)

People can and do bleed for reasons other than disease.

I am not a doctor, but the way I understand it is that the virus lives inside white blood cells, using the cell to replicate itself. Only when the virus has replicated so much that the cell dies, will it release the virus. Meaning,if I understand it correctly, blood too isn't as dangerous in the early stages as it is later.

4 hours ago
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Suspected Ebola carriers in the U.S. ...

arth1 Re:How about... (278 comments)

No, not shoot. Lives should be ended in a compassionate and non-violent way. Not so much for the sake of the person whose life ends, but for the sake of those who end it.

11 hours ago
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MPAA Bans Google Glass In Theaters

arth1 Re:No sympathy for either side (320 comments)

Who the fuck expects a "reasonable expectation of privacy" in public?

Everybody who isn't a fucking American or Brit who doesn't understand the word "reasonable".
If you sit on a bench and write a letter to someone, you have a reasonable expectation of privacy that someone won't walk up behind you and read what you write.
If you whisper into someone's ear in private, you have a reasonable expectation of privacy and that no-one uses a high sensitive directional mic to capture what you say.
If you wear a skirt in public, you have a reasonable expectation of privacy that no one looks up under your skirt. No laws are needed to explicitly prohibit it, because it's already a reasonable expectation of privacy.

11 hours ago
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Most Planets In the Universe Are Homeless

arth1 Re:Drake equation (200 comments)

If you have less planets that previously assumed, it follows that there would be less planets that contain civilizations, and less civilizations.

Fewer. Not less.
And no, it doesn't follow. Having a million times as many gas giants won't increase the chance of civilizations noticeably. And in this case, we're talking mostly super-Jupiters, consisting almost entirely of hydrogen and helium.

What Drake's equation counts isn't planets, but "the average number of planets that can potentially support life".
Life as we understand it can't exist in a ball of gas and liquid hydrogen and helium. We cannot rule out that such life exists, but it would be an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary evidence.

13 hours ago
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MPAA Bans Google Glass In Theaters

arth1 Re:No sympathy for either side (320 comments)

The THEATER ITSELF surreptitiously records you. Your ATM records you, most business record you. You are surreptitiously recorded all the time, what is your beef with personal recording?

You appear to think that people think other surveillance is okay. To many of us, it isn't, and we treasure having a "reasonable expectation of privacy". In most of the world except USA and UK, that includes in public places.

Freedom without privacy is a hollow freedom. Cameras restrict the individual as much as batons do.

13 hours ago
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Suspected Ebola carriers in the U.S. ...

arth1 Re: How? (278 comments)

i don't think you have the right to cause a panic even if you say you're not endangering others.

The people who display panic reactions are the ones who have caused panic.
Don't blame what or who they have irrational fears of. The spiders you see aren't responsible for your arachnophobia.

13 hours ago
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Suspected Ebola carriers in the U.S. ...

arth1 Re:How about... (278 comments)

I'm also more likely to die at the hands of a cop than from a private citizen lawfully carrying a firearm. But that doesn't stop people from trying to heavily restrict firearms.

Oh, I'm all for taking the guns away from the rabid testosterone-crazed goons. When cops don't have guns, far fewer criminals will carry too, and the risk of being shot by either drops.

Actually, I'd like to take the life away from anyone who thinks that shooting another person is justifiable. Long before they have a chance to become killers or procreate. Mandatory psych testing in junior high, then decimation, retiring the 10% who show the most violent tendencies.

13 hours ago
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Suspected Ebola carriers in the U.S. ...

arth1 Re:How about... (278 comments)

It takes a while to become symptomatic you dolt, so yes, they are "potential carriers" for up to 21 days after they last were in contact with a patient.

We don't curtail individuals' freedom based on potential. You're a potential rapist and murderer, but we don't lock you up for that.

Given that even if they have contracted the virus, they won't be spreading it until the disease has taken hold and caused blood vessels to rupture so the virus from the white blood cells get into other body fluids, there's no reason to isolate them. It's not like they suddenly become contagious within minutes, and can infect others.

13 hours ago
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Most Planets In the Universe Are Homeless

arth1 Re:so how did they form? (200 comments)

Yes, a boatoad of these "planets" are failed stars - too little mass to start the fusion process.
We're not talking Earth-like planets here, but gas giants like Jupiter - up to the size of brown dwarf stars.
And they are likely not alone, but have their own satellites.

Then there are Oort cloud objects around stars - ice objects too small and far away from a star to form water planets like Uranus and Neptune.

yesterday
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YouTube Considering an Ad-Free, Subscription-Based Version

arth1 Re:pay money for youtube? (224 comments)

Wait, YouTube has ads? I didn't even know.

2 days ago
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Antares Rocket Explodes On Launch

arth1 Re:Horrible track record (442 comments)

Shows what you know about satellite payload insurance and how it applies to the vehicles made by Orbital Science.

It isn't half of the launches that have failed either... that was a statistic made up out of the GP's hind end and not based upon facts.

Shows how little you know about insurance. The smaller the risk pool and higher the standard deviation and smaller the confidence rate, the larger margin is needed, and the higher the premium is going to be. A guess at ~50% was based on a much lower failure rate.

In reality, it would surprise me if most of the cargo was insured. For the government owned parts of the payload, no, as the government is its own insurer.

2 days ago
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Antares Rocket Explodes On Launch

arth1 Re:Horrible track record (442 comments)

Which is why you buy launch insurance in the first place.

Given the track record, the insurance premium must be in the vicinity of 50% of the payload cost.

But even if you have insurance, you can't get the missed window back. And in the case of manned launches, the humans.

3 days ago
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Antares Rocket Explodes On Launch

arth1 Re:Horrible track record (442 comments)

It's even worse when you notice that their tagline is "Innovation You Can Count On."

One two boom four boom boom seven eight nine boom...

3 days ago
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Preferred smartphone screen size?

arth1 Re:Phones getting too big .. (258 comments)

Read the conclusion on the link you posted;

Results
The array design based on the computational model was evaluated with measurements which showed excellent conformity. The results revealed that compared to the standard free-field array, the headset array yielded better low-frequency performance. This is because of the near-field (proximity) effect. At higher frequencies, the headset arrayâ(TM)s performance level was below that of the free-field array.

Oh, and they also assume that your head is a solid sphere. Yours might be; mine is not.

When you have a beard, it gets even worse. Little or no sound goes through both your cheek and beard, except the bass that gets cut by the high-pass filter. To get heard, I have to hold my other hand in front of my mouth so the sound can reflect back to the mic. No matter what modern cell phone I use, people tell me to speak up. Something that never happens with headsets or receivers.

3 days ago
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Preferred smartphone screen size?

arth1 Re: Phones getting too big .. (258 comments)

I disagree. Old analog phones had amazing call quality.

I can't be the only one old enough to remember numbers that were playing music non-stop, and telephones with a line out that you plugged into your stereo rack's preamplifier. Worked great for a party if you wanted other songs than those you had records for.

3 days ago
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Law Lets IRS Seize Accounts On Suspicion, No Crime Required

arth1 Re:Time for a revolution (424 comments)

You appear to be in error about the etymology of "money laundering".
That Al Capone operated laundromats appear to be coincidental, and not the basis for using the term money laundering to make dirty money appear clean.

5 days ago
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Preferred smartphone screen size?

arth1 Re:Phones getting too big .. (258 comments)

More like this, but preferably slider (like the Nokia 8110) or flip, so it can easily fit in a shirt or jacket pocket.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Blog pioneer WELL close to closing

arth1 arth1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

arth1 (260657) writes "One of the first Internet communities outside Usenet, The WELL (Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link) is in dire waters. The owners, Salon, have laid off the entire staff, and are looking for buyers.

The WELL started out as a BBS-like entity, and proceeded through telnet to also support web and e-mail. Its web interface may seem dated by today's standards, but it works quite WELL, and was an influence on many later online communities, including Slashdot.

Subscribers received an e-mail from Salon Media Group's CEO Cindy Jeffers, stating:
"[....]as part of the company’s review of its strategic objectives, we have determined that The WELL no longer aligns with our business plans and accordingly we are exploring transferring The WELL to new management."

This came as a surprise to the employees. Gail Williams, one of the (former) employees wrote in a newsletter:

"On May 30, 2012, the community department at Salon was disbanded, and the three employees who had been working from 30% to 100% on running The WELL were laid off. We were shocked, of course."

Now is the time to make an offer to save this historic landmark on the Internet."

Link to Original Source
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arth1 arth1 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

arth1 (260657) writes "From the Bay City news wire:

"A friend of Nina Reiser, an Oakland woman police believe was murdered, has helped set up an education fund for her two young children.

Ellen Doren said people who want to contribute to the fund should make out checks to "Education Fund for Rory and Nio Reiser" and send them to Education Fund for Rory and Nio Reiser, 6114 LaSalle Ave #127,Oakland, CA 94611."


Sounds like a good idea; orphan kids are stuff that matter."

Journals

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Letter frequencies in URLs

arth1 arth1 writes  |  about a year ago

Doing some maintenance on a few squid cache servers, I decided to look into the letter frequency distributions for URLs, and how it matches normal written text.
Four caches were scanned for the URLs of currently cached content only, constituting around 1.5 million URLs.

In short, the results have some of the same characteristics as normal text, but with notable exceptions. You don't get an etaoin shrdlu; there are a lot of h, t, p, colons and slashes in URLs which skew the results. I'm also surprised that w scored so low, given all the URLs that start with www.

If anyone else finds a use for this, here is the data. Each character in the URL is followed by the number of times it was used in each cache, plus the total for all four caches.

/: 83198 130244 3028097 2929538 6171077
t: 73026 99729 2727455 2641930 5542140
e: 52801 95537 1746624 1753865 3648827
.: 35317 60175 1478231 1467006 3040729
o: 40941 86873 1423124 1448453 2999391
a: 43075 72450 1408451 1384211 2908187
c: 36078 64921 1308435 1295986 2705420
s: 41946 76684 1251987 1278493 2649110
p: 28248 44907 1214805 1190698 2478658
m: 29609 45768 1168769 1195505 2439651
h: 22543 41992 1029463 1019494 2113492
i: 37846 58586 974977 994693 2066102
n: 30006 51596 815477 795344 1692423
r: 26958 53239 801514 774606 1656317
g: 23689 57734 666533 790131 1538087
d: 23304 36637 746244 697523 1503708
:: 15442 27059 639115 649013 1330629
w: 25563 41061 622672 629215 1318511
1: 9697 12580 577523 561429 1161229
l: 21855 32824 560110 542960 1157749
2: 9890 13516 492565 514385 1030356
u: 11878 15246 440808 431176 899108
0: 10333 13106 404229 445998 873666
v: 7450 8415 328991 292590 637446
b: 9980 26743 280533 285767 603023
3: 6296 6905 299391 272352 584944
f: 9866 25830 265685 266037 567418
4: 4738 5931 273161 244104 527934
k: 4202 5641 235501 230456 475800
5: 5957 6920 212941 235172 460990
7: 6497 7333 230677 200956 445463
9: 4327 5215 206613 195295 411450
8: 5363 6697 210689 178565 401314
6: 5761 6487 209092 175203 396543
x: 3853 5755 168401 144265 322274
-: 3516 11325 124398 133481 272720
y: 4348 5272 114803 96971 221394
_: 2301 2683 87749 80901 173634
j: 4436 5058 89043 72567 171104
=: 1555 1437 37342 35214 75548
q: 1494 1538 32910 37861 73803
z: 741 907 29563 30037 61248
,: 3282 2848 21099 14688 41917
&: 493 413 12558 9222 22686
%: 220 460 9640 11420 21740
;: 2878 2254 8281 8281 21694
?: 322 294 4796 9264 14676
+: 45 35 1333 1758 3171
~: 31 7 996 735 1769
$: 0 0 425 670 1095
^: 6 0 420 228 654
*: 27 10 187 188 412
!: 0 2 282 122 406
[: 0 0 292 23 315
]: 0 0 272 23 295
|: 8 8 77 167 260
@: 10 0 113 38 161
(: 0 0 75 55 130
): 0 0 69 55 124
{: 0 0 75 0 75
\: 0 0 6 4 10
': 0 0 1 1 2

Does it have any practical use?
Perhaps. In proxy.pac files, a common method of load balancing based on URLs, known as the Sharp Superproxy script, is to sum the ASCII values of the cache entries, and mod it by the number of servers, to pick a server to use. .pac files are javascript, and javascript does not have an easy method to return the ascii value for a character. So what's generally used is a function like:

function atoi(charstring) {
    if (charstring=="a") return 0x61; if (charstring=="b") return 0x62;
    if (charstring=="c") return 0x63; if (charstring=="d") return 0x64;
//.....
}

This can be speeded up by ordering the list in the order of frequency, starting with "/", "t", "e", ".", "o", "a" - just moving those few to the front, reduces the latency of the script significantly.

Also, hashing in URL history handling can be sped up if the most prevalent buckets are created. This could also be useful for other URL collections, like AV software URL matching. I am unaware of any that work directly with character based lookups, but it is certainly one way to do it.

Other uses?
In pen testing, having a frequency table like this can greatly aid in URL discovery speed.

But all in all, it was a fun exercise. Note that the variations may be great, especially for the bottom half of the list. Also note that the low count for the letter 'x' in the URLs might not match your users.

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Slashdot clandestinely scanning its users

arth1 arth1 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I just discovered something I'm not sure I like.

Whenever I post something to slashdot, slashdot connects back to port 80 on the machine I post from, looking for an open proxy on port 80.
This isn't behavior I really like to see. It's unsolicited, and more to the point, it takes advantage of a local firewall possibly being temporarily open for traffic FROM an address for a short while after connecting TO it.
There might be a "good cause", like collecting a list of open proxies for the poor guy behind the Great Firewall of China or something similar, but it's still unsolicted, clandestine and not documented.

Here are a couple of web log entries showing this:
216.34.181.45 - - [10/Sep/2008:15:47:47 -0400] "GET http://news.slashdot.org/ok.txt HTTP/1.0" 404 271 "-" "libwww-perl/5.812"
216.34.181.45 - - [10/Sep/2008:20:32:18 -0400] "GET http://mobile.slashdot.org/ok.txt HTTP/1.0" 404 273 "-" "libwww-perl/5.812"

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