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Comments

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

artor3 Re:Bush Vetoed this, apparently (582 comments)

A majority of Republicans voted for it as well. The real question is who added this particular provision, and are they still in office? I'm not sure how to dig up that crucial bit of info.

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

artor3 Re:This happened to my wife (582 comments)

FYI, they've cancelled the policy and are encouraging people targeted by it to contact them for a refund.

yesterday
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Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

artor3 Re:Recycling Personalities (445 comments)

At the same time, you should understand that you can't "inherit" a deficit. The idea is poppycock. The budget for each year stands fresh on its own.

Absolute nonsense. How many wounded veterans are we paying for thanks to Bush? Shall Obama just throw them out on the streets? Even the healthy veterans will cost us a fortune for the next half-century or so. And how much money have we given away under Bush's tax cuts and Medicare Part D? Obama had to fight like hell for years to get rid of even a portion of the the tax cuts.

Obama's not a dictator. He can't just "change a massive deficit to a surplus in a single year just by adjusting the numbers in [the] budget." Blaming him for the Bush deficit is dishonest in the extreme.

3 days ago
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Wi-Fi Problems Dog Apple-Samsung Trial

artor3 Re:Apple Products never play nice with WIFI (80 comments)

The patent is probably a tad more specific than "fingerprint scanner". It's easy to imagine all sorts of novel developments in fingerprint scanning technology that would absolutely deserve to be patentable. Not saying that's the case here. I'm not familiar with the case, and don't particularly care. But I see this on Slashdot all the time -- people simplifying a patent down to a single phrase, and then declaring it to be obvious.

4 days ago
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Crowd Wisdom Better At Predictions Than Top CIA Analysts

artor3 Re:Luck resets every time you guess. (136 comments)

Fuck off. That font is hideous and unreadable, and I shouldn't need to go digging in any settings to fix the mess you created.

You don't even seem to understand why a fixed-width font would be useful. It "mucks with your text the least"? You realize that you're writing in paragraphs, right? And that not everyone in the world is going to have their browser window at the same width?

You're just trying to be a special snowflake and show everyone how smart and techy you are.

4 days ago
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Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

artor3 Re:Level of public funding ? (289 comments)

When the mine gets low, people will shift their investments back to basic research, and start looking for new mines.

That's already happening. The transistor was game changing, and drove several decades of the most rapid advancement in human history. Now that we're getting near the end of what silicon can do, people are performing serious research in things like graphene.

5 days ago
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Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

artor3 Re:Level of public funding ? (289 comments)

I happen to own a book that contains all the secrets of the universe. Everything you could ever want to know is within its covers. The only catch is that you can't read it. No one can, and no one ever will. Is my book worth anything?

Information in and of itself is worthless. Knowledge that's never put to use is worthless. That doesn't mean basic research is worthless -- we just don't know the applications yet. But the eventual applications are what ultimately brings value. Understanding for understanding's sake is just an amusement. If that's all you want, you may as well study some high school witchcraft book. If you never try to put it to use, what's the difference?

5 days ago
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Comcast PAC Gave Money To Every Senator Examining Time Warner Cable Merger

artor3 Re:This is how America ceases to be great (133 comments)

do you think that a country like the US with the vast, vast, vast natural resources it contains, its economic power, and the amount of extremely bright people that call it their home should not have 10x the standard of living of a small country in Europe with next to no natural resources, much fewer inhabitants, and an industry that was basically razed to the ground a generation ago?

No, I don't think the US should have 10x the standard of living of a small European country. Why would you expect such a thing? We don't have 10x the resources per capita, and even if we did, there's the question of diminishing returns. Additionally, we're still people, with all the murder and rape and greed that entails. You have these absurdly high expectations, and then get all upset when we can't live up to them.

For what its worth, I think you and I are very alike in our politics. I agree with pretty much all your points, just not the conclusion you draw from them. For all its faults, America is still pretty great. I'm certainly glad I was born here, and all of the immigrants I know are extremely thankful to have been able to come here. It could be better, and we should strive to make it better, but acting like its some horrible place doesn't help. It only leads to people giving up.

5 days ago
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Comcast PAC Gave Money To Every Senator Examining Time Warner Cable Merger

artor3 Re:This is how America ceases to be great (133 comments)

it seems to me that the US standards of living should've been 10x what the rest of the world had ... I don't see life in the US being 10x better

Has it occurred to you that maybe you just had unrealistic expectations?

5 days ago
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Comcast PAC Gave Money To Every Senator Examining Time Warner Cable Merger

artor3 Re:This is how America ceases to be great (133 comments)

America was and is great. How can you judge a country's greatness, if not by the quality of life it affords to its people? And the average person born in the US has a significantly higher quality of life than at least 80% of the world's population.

The US could certainly be a lot better, but to say it isn't and never was great smacks of knee-jerk cynicism masquerading as wisdom.

5 days ago
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Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

artor3 Re:Level of public funding ? (289 comments)

Science funding as a percentage of GDP has actually been remarkably consistent at around 2.5% going back several decades. Note that that is total funding. The split between industry and public funding used to be fairly even, but in the last 20 years the balance has shifted sharply towards industry. And industry, of course, prefers to spend on things that will be profitable in the next few years. So we see great advancements in consumer electronics, medicine, etc., but not so much in basic understanding of the universe.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. Science is worthless if we don't use it in practical applications. But if we're looking for reasons why less basic research is getting done, this could play a role.

5 days ago
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Ties of the Matrix: An Exercise in Combinatorics

artor3 Started something (51 comments)

The Matrix Reloaded started something when 'The Merovingian' wore a number of very flashy ties.

Did it?

about two weeks ago
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Why No Executive Order To Stop NSA Metadata Collection?

artor3 Re:No Law (312 comments)

The executive branch has the authority to delay implementation of laws in order to make those laws work better. This has been done THOUSANDS of times in the past, and has been upheld by the courts whenever challenged. It is absolutely a routine part of how the American government works.

Republicans are strategically howling about this, just like they did when he appointed "czars" to manage certain departments (a practice started by Nixon). It's just a tactic. A trick, to make the uneducated masses think Obama is doing something bad. You fell for it, because you're gullible.

about two weeks ago
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A Rock Paper Scissors Brainteaser

artor3 Re:50% paper and 50% rock ? (167 comments)

How would the opponent overguess you? You can delay your strategy switch for as little or as much time as you like, since their best strategy only breaks even.

If they don't know what you're doing, you could rack up more wins by exploiting flaws in their strategy, and rack up even more wins when they "wise up" and try to counter you. I guess the difference between our answers is that I'm treating this as an actual game against another person, whereas you're looking for more a game theoretical optimum.

Now, if your opponent does have perfect knowledge of your strategy, then randomly alternating between the strategies would be the best approach, which is effectively the same as your 1/3 rock, 2/3 paper idea. By the way, I ran some sims in matlab just now, and I'm getting the optimum to be bang on 1/3-2/3, so the math might not be so interesting after all :-(

There are only two degrees of freedom: the probability that we pick paper (assume we pick rock the rest of the time -- picking scissors should never make sense); and the probability that our opponent picks scissors when they have the choice. I'm assuming that our opponent never intentionally chooses rock. That seems fair since our plan involves throwing paper more often than not.

Making a meshgrid of those two probabilities in 1% increments, running 100k games at each point, and then taking the minimum along the axis of our opponent's choice (i.e. assuming they always pick the best strategy), I find a peak at 68% with us having a 16% advantage, which is about 1-in-6. So it looks like your initial guess in the other post was correct.

about two weeks ago
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A Rock Paper Scissors Brainteaser

artor3 Re:50% paper and 50% rock ? (167 comments)

I think you have an error in there. His best strategy in your example would be to always use paper, in which case he's doing the exact same thing as you are, and so the odds are even.

I think your best strategy would have to involve reacting to his. Start with 100% paper until you see what he's throwing when he's not throwing rock. This gives you at least even odds regardless of what he does.

He'll probably start throwing scissors, at which point you switch to you switch to 50% rock 50% paper. This will have you win 2/4, lose 1/4, draw 1/4.

He should respond by starting to throw paper. so you just go back to 100% paper and win half the time. If he switches back to scissors, you start throwing rock again.

The goal is to use long stretches of paper to for him into 50R:50S (which only breaks even at best), and then switch to 50R:50P to pick up some wins until he switches back 50R:50P (again, he'll only be able to break even). So when he's properly countering you, he can only break even, and every time you switch strategies you should pick up some extra wins. If he tries to go for a midpoint (50:25:25) he'll lose to either of your two strategies.

about two weeks ago
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The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

artor3 Re:Blame the rise of dominionism in fundamentalist (509 comments)

You're so close to the truth, you even tripped over it and didn't notice.

They want nothing to do with science and they're spending amazing amounts of money electing people who are willing to espouse their causes - anything to get elected.

Where are they getting that money? It ain't coming from the church collection dish.

This isn't about religion. This is about the robber barons trying to squeeze the last few drops of life blood out of this country before they retire to their private paradise. The country, even when it was at its most religious, was not anti-science in the past. People loved science in the 50s. They only became anti-science when certain very rich individuals realized they could become richer by spreading anti-intellectual propaganda.

about two weeks ago
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The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

artor3 Re:Don't bother. (509 comments)

Somehow we need to find a way to promote science as a way of thinking and do so without hurting the feelings of the religious right.

No, see, that's the problem. You're aiming at the wrong group. These congressmen aren't ignorant because they're religious. They're ignorant because certain entrenched interests pay them ENORMOUS SUMS OF MONEY to remain ignorant. You can never, ever compete with that. No education, no promotion of science, will ever make a dent.

If you want it to get better, you need to get serious campaign finance reform. And that can't happen until you get rid of the current SCOTUS. Which means that our one and only chance to fix this is in the next presidential election, since the winner might, maybe get to replace a conservative justice. If we get a Republican president, Scalia and Kennedy will retire, and we will be damned to another 20 years of oligarchy.

If we manage to get a Democratic president, Scalia and Kennedy will try to hold on as long as they can.

Absolute best case scenario (barring a miracle heart attack), we might be able to start fixing this around 2025.

It will probably be too late by then.

about two weeks ago
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Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

artor3 Re:nope! (496 comments)

And with the cameras, you could move them, rather than moving your head.

My hands are busy when I'm driving, as are my feet. So how am I going to move these cameras, and how is it going to be easier than slightly tilting my head? 'Cause tilting my head is really, really easy. I mastered that shit when I was like, six months old.

I think they should replace the rear-view mirror with a 180 degree "mirror" that's a real-time composite of around the car

Which exactly matches with what I said, that "the engineers will need to find a way to cover all of the necessary angles without taking up too much space on the dashboard". (Seriously, did you read past the first sentence of my post? It wasn't that long!) A 180 degree view could work, but they need to find a way to make it fit into the dashboard without taking up too much space, and without making the display too small, and without making it ruin people's night vision. As I said, it's a solvable problem. But it's not a trivial one.

about two weeks ago
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Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

artor3 Re:nope! (496 comments)

If I think there might be something just out of my field of view in a mirror, I can lean slightly to change the angle. That doesn't work with cameras. Not necessarily a problem, but the engineers will need to find a way to cover all of the necessary angles without taking up too much space on the dashboard. I absolutely do not want to hit any buttons to pan the camera while driving.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Netflix Now Largest Media Provider in US

artor3 artor3 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

artor3 (1344997) writes "Netflix now has more subscribers than any other video provider in the United States, with 22.8 million. Comcast, now in second place, also has approximately 22.8 million subscribers, but is expected to fall further behind as Netflix continues to add around a million members each month.

Given the rapid rise of online video streaming, and the fact that traditional distributors still control access to the medium, it is increasingly likely that companies like Comcast will fight back by limiting consumers' access."

Link to Original Source
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HBGary planned to sabotage Wikileaks, Other Groups

artor3 artor3 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

artor3 (1344997) writes "As you may recall, some hackers recently infiltrated the networks of HBGary Federal, after the security firm had sought to expose participants in Anonymous' DDoS of sites that had come out against Wikileaks. The emails they obtained show that HBGary had proposed several nefarious plots to undermine Wikileaks, as well as some liberal organizations, on behalf of Bank of America and the US Chamber of Commerce. One plan was to submit fake stories to Wikileaks, and then expose the fraud, hoping to cast doubt on their other material. Another scheme, ironically, proposed identifying and exploiting security flaws in the networks of liberal groups opposing the US Chamber.

Predictably, BoA and the Chamber are denying all knowledge."

Link to Original Source

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