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Researcher Finds Tor Exit Node Adding Malware To Downloads

benjfowler Evil (126 comments)

... but amazed it hasn't happened sooner.

5 days ago
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Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

benjfowler Re:Sounds like a discussion from yesterday (712 comments)

You have totally nailed it.

What the nerds (mostly of libertarian leanings, I notice) who frequent this site forget, is that there are lots of people out there are simply not that bright and haven't had access to the opportunities that they have; and that by structuring everything in society such that thick people can't make an honest living, then we are storing up massive trouble for ourselves. It's an arrogant and naive point of view to just assume that thick people are morally defective for being unemployed or on minimum wage, IMHO.

In the face of automation and cheap competition, we have a huge problem. On one hand, human civilization won't survive billions of people living in absolute squalor; we need economic development and productivity increases to get those societies up and beyond the demographic transition; OTOH, we don't want our own societies to turn into a dystopian hell, because the bottom 70% of society has become -- quite literally -- economically useless.

Closing the borders won't help; if you're not competing with an immigrant here, you're competing with them elsewhere (factor price equalization). And it's politically nearly impossible to consider radical options like a basic income when you see the absolute fucking travesty that America is so inept, that it can't even manage to give everyone a decent health plan, despite being the richest and most powerful nation on Earth.

I suppose we can conclude that productivity increases are required for the human race to survive the next 100 years; but niceties like meaningful employment are simply going to have to disappear. That in itself is a form of "poverty", albeit, not a material one.

5 days ago
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Incapacitating Chemical Agents: Coming Soon To Local Law Enforcement?

benjfowler Re:Bad Russians... baaaaad (152 comments)

Actually, probably not. The Americans are too slick to charge in with heavy weapons or poison gas like the Russians would.

And if we get unlucky, we may yet see how.

about a week ago
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Incapacitating Chemical Agents: Coming Soon To Local Law Enforcement?

benjfowler Re:Fentanyl (152 comments)

It was a tough call. They had to use a high enough dose to make sure the women wired to the claymores would be knocked out sufficiently fast that they didn't time to set off their explosives.

Incredibly gutsy call to make. I'd hate to face the families of the innocents who died from gas poisoning.

about a week ago
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Incapacitating Chemical Agents: Coming Soon To Local Law Enforcement?

benjfowler Re:die by taser or gas? (152 comments)

Libertarian basement-dweller crap.

Barely anybody apart from violent radical Muslims are getting explicitly labelled as terrorists, and you know it. It's dishonest and frankly stupid to attempt to claim otherwise.

But never mind me. I shouldn't interrupt the clueless internet-libertarian circlejerk here.

about a week ago
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

benjfowler Re:Crazy man (288 comments)

You're welcome.

If you want a libertarian Utopia, fuck off to Somalia. You'll be allowed to play with your guns there.

about a week ago
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

benjfowler Crazy man (288 comments)

That nutter must've dropped too far out of the headlines. Maybe he's worried the cops will barge into the Ecuadorian Embassy now?

Anybody who does a regular spot on RT (basically Putin's Dr Goebbels), alongside other quislings and traitors like 'Gorgeous' George Galloway, and Yvonne Ridley (tellingly, Muslim converts), is basically telling the world what he thinks of his own people.

I wouldn't trust the guy as far as I could throw a bacon sarnie.

about a week ago
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White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

benjfowler Re:Baby steps (352 comments)

Insightful. Wish I had mod points. Dumping all that waste heat is nontrivial at best.

about two weeks ago
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Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

benjfowler ISIS (376 comments)

I could imagine the US being keen not to openly advertise the presence of these horrible weapons to the terrorists overrunning the place.

The reasons for wanting to keep it quiet are very pragmatic and sensible.

Iraq is already in a bad situation, with us having to wipe the arabs' stupid, corrupt and inept backsides for them as it is, without having to worry about additional complication of ISIS getting any more ideas, and trying to get their hands on Sarin and mustard gas.

The evil motherfuckers have already been experimenting with chemical and germ agents. Why push our luck any further?

Common sense, really.

about two weeks ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

benjfowler Re:Not New information (571 comments)

Did they fuck up their units in that article?

They're talking about 100mW prototypes. I think they meant 100 _MW_...

Science reporting... huh.

about two weeks ago
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Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

benjfowler Re:Awesome! (774 comments)

Or a mail client and newsreader ;-)

about three weeks ago
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The Single Vigilante Behind Facebook's 'Real Name' Crackdown

benjfowler Re:What an asshole (305 comments)

Because Jesus.

about three weeks ago
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Exxon and Russian Operation Discovers Oil Field Larger Than the Gulf of Mexico

benjfowler Re:Time for a new date (201 comments)

It looks like the date for "peak cheap oil" just pushed out awhile, again.

FTFY.

about a month ago
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Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

benjfowler Dumb idea (385 comments)

If people end up with too much food waste; they'll find other ways of disposing of it. Like fly-tipping it.

about a month ago
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jQuery.com Compromised To Serve Malware

benjfowler Re:The key piece of info that you need to know (103 comments)

Probably not that dumb. If it's a watering-hole attack to go after developers rather than end-users to steal IP or go after high-volume websites in a less-indiscriminate way, then that would make sense.

about a month ago
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

benjfowler Re:Pretty Much Sums it Up (795 comments)

"high priests"

I read that phrase to mean, "I am too fucking lazy or stupid to get myself a cheap and easily-accessible" science education". It's a crank's version of sour grapes.

about a month ago
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

benjfowler Re:Pretty Much Sums it Up (795 comments)

It doesn't matter. There is no such thing as absolute truth; only increasingly (and sometimes, as in the case of QM, extremely) accurate approximations of the truth. "Truth" is the ability of an idea to explain or predict. Now the meaning of the models concerns philosophy, not science, and has little bearing on how (say), the band gap in a transistor works. Here, we're discussing science, not philosophy. Let the philosophers wank themselves in public about the various interpretations of QM, as they have been for the last 50 years. It does *NOT* invalidate science, as weirdos and cranks would have us all believe.

Our best guess of how QM works, is that the world is inherently nondeterministic and random; it *doesn't* mean that the large-scale statistical behaviour of QM systems can't be modelled very, very accurately. So are far as we're concerned, it's "true", in the sense it's our best guess about how the real world works.

about a month ago
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

benjfowler Re:bullshit alert (795 comments)

If recent news is anything to go by, religion has taught me that most religious people are cunts, and best serve the world by being turned into cheap fertilizer.

about a month ago
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

benjfowler Re:Pretty Much Sums it Up (795 comments)

Not every opinion is of equal worth. Not every opinion is informed. Not every opinion is distinguishable from a feeling or hunch.

Democracy pertains to politics, where there is no objective reality -- only competing sets of values and subjective opinion.

In more objective areas of life, you live and die based on whether or not your ideas are objectively defensible. Science is a way of knowing: and the worth of an idea is usually based on its ability to explain or predict. That's the key ingredient that most people don't understand.

about a month ago
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ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

benjfowler Re: they will defeat themselves (981 comments)

Then explain how white colonies in Africa became rich after settling with nothing but the clothes on their backs -- before Africans kicked them out penniless?

And explain how Spain ended up an impoverished basketcase for centuries, only a few short years after the colossal amount of gold and silver they looted from South America ran out?

Explain how Japan is so rich, despite having no natural resources, and despite being left utterly penniless and broken after WW2?

No -- you can't -- because you can't admit even to yourself that culture matters, and that our worth as human beings hinges on our culture and education, or lack thereof. CULTURE is real wealth. Money and resources are a fleeting, insignificant thing in comparison.

about a month and a half ago

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