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Comments

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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

arth1 Re:vote GOP and your student loans will come out o (575 comments)

Who said anything about a conspiracy?

The two "parties" grow close in an effort to please their funders and voters (in that order), and their grandstanding and partisanship is because the need to differentiate themselves is stronger the closer they get.
No conspiracy, just idiocy.

9 hours ago
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

arth1 Re:vote GOP and your student loans will come out o (575 comments)

at best you could call this one of the last examples of the two parties working together...

What two parties?
Here in the US, we have one ultra-conservative party owned by corporations, with two wings who are badmouthing each other like two football teams. It's posturing and arguing over trifles - the closer they get, the more they posture and badmouth each other, to make the masses believe there is a real difference.
And the astonishing thing is that the American public buys it, wholesale, apart from some even scarier people on the extreme right wing.

yesterday
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

arth1 Re:Why do people listen to her? (575 comments)

Ignorance may not be genetically inherited, but there can be selection for it.
The less educated someone is, the more likely they are to have many children; who will most likely also be ignorant.

But up until recently, those children would have a greatly reduced chance of reaching adulthood. But due to things like vaccination programs, safe playgrounds and school healthcare, we skew the statistics in favor of the less fit, who now survive at a much higher rate.
Personally, I don't think this risk reduction is a good thing. It may be for individuals, but not for society, long term. If there's no genetic disadvantage to being stupid, stupidity will flourish.

yesterday
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

arth1 Re:Why we vaccinate (575 comments)

Actually it does lead to that. That is EXACTLY why we vaccinate. We vaccinate because it saves lives, reduces medical costs (more expensive to treat than prevent), reduces suffering and enables a greater realization of human potential.

You're begging the question at least twice here, using your belief that life should be saved and suffering avoided at all costs as justification for saving life and avoiding suffering through vaccination.

For costs, do you think I favor treatment when I don't favor vaccination? Let the weak die. It's the low cost solution. Spend that money on something that has long term value, like physics.

As for realization of human potential, sorry, you're wrong. As the weak die, they get replaced with other individuals who can realize their human potential. The higher the mortality, the higher the birth rate can (and will) be. It's a zero sum game.
If your kids die, change partners to try to make better ones, or adopt some poor but healthier 3rd world kids. No potential lost.

You really are cold blooded aren't you?

I care a lot - about humanity, and our far future, and far less about individuals who live today. Does that make me callous? Perhaps. I think that's needed, as a reaction to the kum-ba-yah society of today where everyone are indoctrinated to cuddle and care about their own culture, and not give a fuck about the future or those with different complexion.

The saying goes that one person dead is a tragedy, a hundred dead is news, and a million dead is statistics. I think it should be the other way around. Let hundreds die now to save millions in the future, and don't spend a second worrying about individuals dying. Individuals are a renewable resource, humanity is not.

yesterday
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

arth1 Re:The vessel matters (575 comments)

On average, we lose more of those who are less able.

If the ability you refer to is the ability to survive exposure to certain illnesses without vaccination, why is it worth developing? We've got that covered with the vaccines.

No, what I refer to is that predators and illnesses tend to reap the weakest, increasing the average health of the herd. Inoculation protects the weak as much as the strong, leading to a herd that's on average less healthy than herds subject to predation.

yesterday
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

arth1 Re:The vessel matters (575 comments)

I note that you have pointedly NOT replied to the post going step-by-step from "[t]he flu can kill" to " therefore, we should vaccinate".

It was answered to a post by a non-AC.
In short, it's not an acceptable chain because it relies on the unsubstantiated belief that death is inherently bad. I cannot accept that on face value. Back it up with something that doesn't beg the question.

yesterday
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

arth1 Re:The vessel matters (575 comments)

Suppose we decide that all human life isn't precious. (Not based on religious beliefs, but based on simple human decency.) Are some human lives more valuable than others? According to your logic, we should just let people get measles and if they die they die. What if they have a certain knowledge or talent that many people find useful? Perhaps they are a beloved author or a celebrated scientist who keeps making great discoveries. Maybe the person is a master at getting warring regions to sign even-handed peace treaties or helps the needy. Whatever they do, let's suppose their contributions to society are very important. Do we save them?

If not, we've lost some huge contributions to society. If so, we're headed down a path where people dictate which people are more important (and thus will be saved) and which people aren't (and thus will die). That's a scary path to go down.

But that's exactly the path we're on now, where we dictate that those with money or socialized medicine are more important and thus will be saved. If we ban vaccinations, we don't dictate who are more important. It's not our decision anymore then.

Yes, I say, let people die. We lose some geniuses, but we also lose some bible thumpers. On average, we lose more of those who are less able. That's how culling works.

yesterday
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

arth1 Re:The vessel matters (575 comments)

Go take a look at pictures of little kids with polio, then come back and tell the rest of us that we should not vaccinate against it.

When did "think of the children!" become a valid argument on /.?

2 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

arth1 Re:The vessel matters (575 comments)

Is culling of the herd necessarily a bad thing for humanity in the long perspective?

You first.

Culling != suicide.
I've survived the cullings so far. I survived measles, influenza, climbing trees and navigating traffic. In a while, I'll be old and more of an encumberance than asset to the herd, and I'll be picked off. That's fine with me.

2 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

arth1 Re:The vessel matters (575 comments)

Faith is not necessary in order to hold all human life to be precious. As an agnositc-almost-atheist (in that you cannot prove a negative) I am actually rather offended at the suggestion.

What's your logical foundation for your belief that all human life is precious?
It is pure faith, ingrained in you by societal pressure, and that's precisely why you're offended. If it was based on logic, why would you feel offended?
I don't feel offended if people tell me that Bernoulli forces is all that holds a plane up in the air - I think they're wrong, and can argue it. But offended? No, that requires trampling on a belief.

Atheists can have faith too. They just don't have faith in deities. But they are usually quite burdened with cultural beliefs that have little rational reasoning behind them, but are taken on faith. Like taboos, and indeed the belief that death is evil.

2 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

arth1 Re:McCarthy the Playmate? (575 comments)

If you can tell me how one anti-vaxxer can be wrong while another is not when they hold the same opinion, I would like to be your apprentice.

It's the reason for the opinion that matters.

If someone says vaccinations are bad because a small number of vaccinations leads to complications, or bad because vaccines could be better, I'd say the reasoning is flawed.

If someone says vaccinations are bad because representatives of an imaginary deity says so, I'd say the reasoning isn't just flawed, but completely lacking.

However, I have a very hard time dismissing the argument that the belief that "all deaths are evil" should be dismissed from the equation as much as any other faith, and that evolution would work faster and lead to an improved species in the long run if we allowed culling of the herd and didn't seek to increase life spans, and that the enormous sums of money spent on medical research and treatments would have more impact for humanity if spent on other sciences.

2 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

arth1 Re:The vessel matters (575 comments)

The measles can kill. The flu can kill. Polio can be severely debilitating.

Yes, but that does not lead to "... therefore, we should vaccinate".

If taking faith out of the equation, namely the belief that "all deaths are bad", the picture becomes less clear.

Is culling of the herd necessarily a bad thing for humanity in the long perspective?
Is there a plus for humanity to increasing lifespans, or will that slow down evolution?
Would humanity be better off if we put half of the money that goes to medical science and practice into other sciences?

2 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

arth1 Re:Brace yourselves. (575 comments)

Anti-vax zealots are coming.

I think you mean anti-wax zealots.
HTH, HAND.

2 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

arth1 Re:McCarthy the Playmate? (575 comments)

It doesn't matter if she used to be a Playboy model, or if she used to build skyscrapers, or if she used to be a circus performer: the only thing that's relevant is that she's not and never has been a medical professional. She's just as wrong as any other anti-vaxxer

And that all "anti-vaxxers" are wrong is your professional medical experience talking, or are you holding her to standards you don't hold yourself too?

2 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

arth1 Re:Why do people listen to her? (575 comments)

I agree. People who get their medical advice, especially for their kids, from celebrities are destined to have Darwin knock at their door sooner or later.

What celebrity did this Jenny person get medical advice from?

2 days ago
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Linux 3.15 Will Suspend & Resume Much Faster

arth1 Re:Coupled with systemd and LinuxBios (116 comments)

Modern UEFI BIOS implementations, even when booted to CSM mode, tend to spend an extremely short amount of time doing work pre-boot.

I admin several UEFI booting servers, and they can take several minutes probing and verifying hadware and firmware before the boot commences.
The switch from BIOS to UEFI has not helped one bit - rather the opposite, as the drive containing the UEFI boot binaries has to be enumerated and verified before the binaries can be loaded.

Keep in mind that the kernel needs to not only work with PCs, but servers and embedded devices (where there's neither BIOS nor UEFI). Making things work well for 80% and to hell with the 20%, like some New Programmers advocate, is not viable for universal software like the LInux kernel.

2 days ago
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Linux 3.15 Will Suspend & Resume Much Faster

arth1 Re:Caution (116 comments)

But what system with dozens of hard drives in it would be entering and exiting S3 constantly anyway?

It doesn't have to be constantly. Once is enough.

And you don't even need dozens of hard drives. Workstations with RAID 10 aren't all that uncommon. Being able to not have all drives spin up all at the same time would be beneficial, especially as the power supply gets older - even after as little as a year of constant use, the ability to handle high loads can easily be half or less of what it was when new.

While a motherboard BIOS will take care of spinning up drives sequentially at boot, it won't help for suspend.
So yes, having the ability to limit how much can be woken up at a time by the kernel would be beneficial.

3 days ago
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Linux 3.15 Will Suspend & Resume Much Faster

arth1 Caution (116 comments)

There's a reason why RAID controllers tend to wake up drives sequentially. The power load of waking up 20 hard drives at the same time can be tremendous compared to the load when they're all spinning and purring. So you don't do that.

So I hope that power draw is taken into account, and that there will be options to limit the number of devices woken up simultaneously.

3 days ago
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LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

arth1 Re:Easy fix (322 comments)

the Police involved should be charged with crimes for such just like any other citizen would be.

I think you mean "should be". In reality, they may get beaten up, charged with resisting and interfering when all they did was piss off a policeman, or even planted drugs on.

The police needs to be held to a higher standard than the rest of us.

about a week ago
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LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

arth1 Re:Should be punished (322 comments)

There's also the unintended consequence of overly-severe penalties, one of which may be over-reporting potential damage due to the risks of not reporting it. The last thing you want is half the cars in a sector sitting in the motor pool and the officers unavailable for calls because they don't know if their widgets are broken.

No, that's not the last thing you want. The last thing you want are responders who beat up people based on whether they like them, or lie about what suspects said and ruin lives.

I think this can be remedied by having them test the gear every time they enter active status. Not "potential damage", but actual testing.
If pilots have to check their gear before flying, I don't think it's too much to ask that armed officers do the same. They are responsible for people's lives too.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Blog pioneer WELL close to closing

arth1 arth1 writes  |  about 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 10 months 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 5 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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