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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

bhiestand Re:Yep it is a scam (661 comments)

But with global warming you don't necessarily get warmer weather. That's because "warming" is a misnomer. What's actually going on is the total amount of kinetic energy in the atmosphere is going up.

By definition, doesn't that mean it's actually not a misnomer? I mean, I know what you're saying, and I agree with you... but 'the global climate' is going to get warmer. There will be more thermal energy. So can't we find a word better than misnomer that means "technically true jargon that conflicts with the popular usage/misunderstanding of the term"?

Honest question. I think we need a word for that, and it bothers me that I can't think of one.

2 days ago

Google Thinks the Insurance Industry May Be Ripe For Disruption

bhiestand Re:Health Insurance (237 comments)

How can I trust the rest of your post when this is such a blatant fabrication?

The greatest cost in healthcare is the paperwork and liability insurance due to our LEGAL system. You'd cut costs in half (or more) making a couple simple changes

4 days ago

Norse Security IDs 6, Including Ex-Employee, As Sony Hack Perpetrators

bhiestand Re:lemme guess (158 comments)

There are some cloud rendering solutions out there, but most studios have their own render farms in-house... and a lot of the companies you think are studios are mainly just production companies that outsource most of the heavy lifting to specialized shops (who work on multiple projects simultaneously and have no problem keeping a render farm busy).

about three weeks ago

6 Terabyte Hard Drive Round-Up: WD Red, WD Green and Seagate Enterprise 6TB

bhiestand Re:Who cares about rotational speed these days? (190 comments)

~20 replies, and yours was the only one that mentioned workload?

Agreed. Seen plenty of PB+ systems with no SSD caching. Granted, also seeing increasing use of SSDs for metadata/journaling in highly sequential environments.

about three weeks ago

TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords

bhiestand Re:And how many were terrorists? Oh, right, zero. (276 comments)


But pressurizing and then shooting holes in the walls and windows is simple enough to test, pressure drop/time shows everything you need to know.

Then they would blow it up for boredom's sake as teaching science to idiots is dull and repetitive.

I didn't watch the episode (or think explosion from depressurization is the primary concern of bullets on airplanes), but... just tell me Myth Busters actually took a plane to altitude and did this? Because I don't think testing at ground level, not moving, in much hotter air, is valid. And from the comments here, that is the impression I am getting of their test.

Personally, I'm much more worried that stray bullets will take out electrical systems, hydraulics/control surfaces, lead to fires, or somehow damage bleed air systems. And any of these can set the conditions for a crew to react inappropriately.

about a month ago

North Korean Internet Is Down

bhiestand Re:Who will get (360 comments)

It is refreshing to know some people understand the situation there and understand the use of American troops as tripwires.

That said, I think it's important to make the distinction that American bases in ROK are more than just a tripwire. "Speed bump" means that they are supposed to slow the enemy advance to buy time for other assets to be put to use. They also have the tertiary purpose of maintaining the vast supplies needed to fight that war.

about a month ago

Is Enterprise IT More Difficult To Manage Now Than Ever?

bhiestand Re:My take on this... (241 comments)

While I get your broader point... $150k for 450 TB of higher tier storage? Properly replicated, regularly backed up, with enough IOPS and networking for a busy Exchange server? $150k is low. Very low. And don't forget you'll need a second one for that DR site.

about a month ago

Seagate Bulks Up With New 8 Terabyte 'Archive' Hard Drive

bhiestand Re:Just in time. (219 comments)

I'm still looking at low single digit failure rates for WD Enterprise drives. Maybe I've just been lucky? Quantity in the 200-500 range.

about a month and a half ago

Microsoft Files a Copyright Infringement Lawsuit For Activating Pirated Software

bhiestand Re:Creators wishing to control their creations... (268 comments)

And I honestly don't think Microsoft are trying to control what you do with their software... All the licensing stuff is about proving you actually did buy it...That said, as a 20+ year user of their products I've had to call for a license activation precisely once and it took maybe 60 seconds. I can live with that.

Then it's fairly safe to assume that you have been using Microsoft software the way they want you to: only reinstalling a couple times (at most) per device, or purchasing systems that include Microsoft's software.

You are almost certainly not doing any of the following:
- reinstalling Windows daily for fun
- regularly moving Windows installs between machines
- renting workstations that include Windows, but must be wiped and reimaged every every rental
- deploying and destroying large quantities of 2012 R2 servers in dev environments

I am not a Windows admin, so I could be ignorant on some solutions to the above, but MS makes all of these scenarios very difficult for paying customers.

about a month and a half ago

Washington Dancers Sue To Prevent Identity Disclosure

bhiestand Re:Yes, but the real problem is being ignored. (461 comments)

Assuming that a stripper will engage in drug use or prostitution is a violation of one of the fundamental principles of American law, "Innocent until proven guilty." And don't give me any bullshit about "It's only a correlation, we're not actually assuming they'll misbehave", because the state assumes misbehavior. If the state actually takes any action based on the simple act of being a stripper, it will quickly become harassment.

It's none of the state's damn business. any more than sugary carbonated beverages or nose-picking.

Isn't that a bit like saying placing a meter in a taxi violates "innocent until proven guilty"?

It is a screening or preventive measure, not an assumption of guilt.

That said, I think this one is stupid. Even if the goal is just to stop underage girls from stripping.

about 2 months ago

Joey Hess Resigns From Debian

bhiestand Re:DebianNoob (450 comments)

open source doesn't as much need phb's as much as it attracts them.

can't code, want to contribute? become a phb! if someone calls you out on it when you try to make some decision or another so that you can have your name on some decision or another, just call them toxic and quote some club rule!

Is that really what has been happening?

I have never worked with a large open source project (beyond bug reports), but I always suspected they had a real need for project managers, technical writers/documenters, and various other support personnel.

about 3 months ago

NSA Director Says Agency Shares Most, But Not All, Bugs It Finds

bhiestand Re:President (170 comments)

The fact that a POTUS would even understand what a software vulnerability is speaks volumes.

I can't even imagine what this conversation would have sounded like with the two previous presidents.

I don't know, I can imagine a few dozen ways Dubya would have mispronounced "vulnerabilities"

about 3 months ago

Physicists Identify Possible New Particle Behind Dark Matter

bhiestand Re:My house of cards, taller than your house of ca (103 comments)

Wasn't there an article years ago about a theoretical test that only required a particle accelerator the size of Mars' orbit?

TBF, I think that would still qualify as "testable, just not with current technology".

about 3 months ago

Study: Past Climate Change Was Caused by Ocean, Not Just the Atmosphere

bhiestand Re:OK.. (185 comments)

Doesn't matter: Based on the summary this isn't new information. If the story matches the summary, then it beats me why anyone would bother to mention it.

Well, given all that, do you think it's more likely that: a) the submitter oversimplified their summary or b) an article in Science both has the intellectual value of "derp" and was accurately summarized on Slashdot?

about 3 months ago

iFixit Tears Apart Apple's Shiny New Retina iMac

bhiestand Re:how do SSD's compare to HD's? (109 comments)

I read it three times and I still don't understand your point. I know plenty of people in the media industry who are going to love the new 5K iMac. It looks plenty powerful to produce content.

You know a good portion of Hollywood is still running on cheese grater Mac Pros, right?

about 3 months ago

NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

bhiestand Re:Compelling, but a mix still better... (399 comments)

IIRC, astronauts need to do a lot of exercise to counteract the effects of zero g. Wouldn't being legless make this much more difficult?

I imagine a good deal of their exercise equipment requires legs. I'm not saying this is an insurmountable problem, just that I suspect it would be a problem.

about 3 months ago

OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

bhiestand Re:First taste of Mac OS X (305 comments)

...you definitely want ... sublime text. Best ... text editor

:O WHAT?! Ok, it's pretty good, but still... textmate deserves a mention as well.

about 3 months ago

Oxytocin Regulates Sociosexual Behavior In Female Mice

bhiestand Re:Help for women with no sex drive? (216 comments)

And honestly, who cares what lead to it's discovery?

Me me me me me me me!!!! And anyone else who is interested in making more discoveries.

No, that's how discovery works. People are mucking about doing something and notice something else happening. "Hmm, that's interesting". The science part is often narrowing down a) What's happening, b) what's causing it, c) how to get it to happen by itself.

True, but I think the point is that it could work differently. If we had a more thorough understanding of neurology, we could pinpoint the precise electro-chemical reactions that need to take place. Then we could follow these pathways and determine precisely what was preventing them. Then we would search for the type of chemical/drug/gene that would have the desired effect, AND we would have a pretty damned good idea what other side effects that treatment should have (or how to prevent them).

I'm not saying biology is there yet. Just that I hope to see that in my lifetime.

about 3 months ago

Apple Fixes Shellshock In OS X

bhiestand Re:The patch is irrelevant (174 comments)

So what is your point? That there are still 'Mac OS X' server oses around? Or do you really want to claim that there are morons using Mac OS X Server editions to run CGI bash scripts from an Apache web server?

What's YOUR point? Yes, there ARE OS X servers running publicly accessible, vulnerable software. I am not only claiming it but stating I personally know this to be true. And no, I'm sure as hell not going to name names or give you more details than that.

Running shell scripts by a web server as CGI scripts is simply retarded, regardless what flaws the shell might have.

I already said the developers (and companies still using OS X Server) were being stupid. That is irrelevant.

So picking on Apple because a fix is a day later than the hot debian or ubuntu distro is just brain dead.

Apple was too slow. Being days late matters. This isn't kindergarten, and nobody is "picking on Apple". We do need to be honest and critical. And anyone with half a brain should interpret this as one more piece of evidence that Apple is lackadaisical about servers.

about 3 months ago


bhiestand hasn't submitted any stories.



The Iraq Death Toll is not a good benchmark

bhiestand bhiestand writes  |  about 8 years ago

Disclaimer: I am not advocating a political pro- or anti-war position. This entry is purely about the use of the daily Death Toll by politicians and the media.

Every time I watch television or read a news story about the war in Iraq I am given an update on the current death toll. This shocks me, but not because of the number of people who have died. It shocks me because the death toll is not a good objective indicator of the effectiveness of strategy, the justness of the war in Iraq, or any reasonable cost/benefit analysis of the war.

Fact: The war is either just or unjust.
Fact: The war is either in the interests of the American public or against.

Those are both issues that should be openly debated by the public. Those should be the only two issues that really matter to politicians. The death toll, in this context, does not affect either issue.

If the war is just, the death toll could reach 1,000,000 and still be worth it. Certainly WWII and similar wars were, from our perspective, right, regardless of the death toll, because there are certain things which, for the sake of humankind, can not be allowed to happen.

If the war is in the best interests of the American public, it can be calculated as such. For any method of determining the value of a war, a number of casualties or deaths would have to be determined to be at a level that outweighs the benefits of the war. I'll discuss this later, but an incremental daily death toll clearly has no bearing on this. A simple "We have reached the magical number of casualties which outweigh the benefits of this war" would suffice.

If the war is unjust OR against our best interests, the death toll doesn't matter at all. Even if no American were to die, it'd be wrong to fight an unjust war, or to fight a war against our own best interests.

Logically, then, the death toll DOES NOT MATTER. It is an appeal to emotion, not a logical argument. A logical argument might be made based on the reduced GDP associated with the deaths of a certain number of soldiers compared to the value gained of a certain number of barrels per oil produced per year, or any of thousands of other calculations. Although this does include the number of deaths in its calculations, it doesn't require a daily, incremental update. There would simply be a calculated point of, say, 128,952 casualties, at which the war would be counterproductive. As previously stated, the war doesn't become just or unjust at a certain number of deaths, and there is no need to argue beyond proving "this war is unjust" or "this war is against our own interests".

If the motivation to constantly bring up the death toll was due to sympathy for the soldiers rather than political gain and maneuvering, the logical topic to discuss next would be methods of reducing the death toll (better body armor, medical research) or ways to alleviate the suffering of the families (improved VA benefits for their survivors and better medical/social/economic treatment for wounded soldiers). This is not the case in current political discussions or debates. This is not the case in current news broadcasts. Leftists/Liberals/Anti-War proponents immediately follow with another appeal to emotion such as "Bush Sucks!" or a proposal that we either: A) Bring our troops home, B) Increase the number of troops in Iraq, or C) Stay the course. These can be emotionally reworded as either A) Vote Democrat in 2008, B) Kill More Troops, C) Keep Killing the Same Number of Troops. Essentially, it is nothing more than an attempt to sidestep the actual issues and encourage people to act and make decisions based on their emotions.

So please, everybody, stop getting yourselves worked into an orgiastic fervor every time the new "Death Toll" is announced. The death toll from this war (on the American side) may be eligible for long-term military study across the world because it is so incredibly low, but that does not affect the the morality of the war, which should be the real issue. If it affects military strategy, such strategy changes will be made within the military, and are best left not decided by politicians or the general public to begin with. I don't remember there being a public debate about whether to invade at Normandy or Pas de Calais.

If you are genuinely concerned for the welfare of soldiers, do what you can to help them. There are hundreds of reputable organizations which provide care packages, additional military equipment that is not regularly issued, assistance for wounded troops, scholarships for the children of fallen soldiers, and even some very powerful lobbying activity on behalf of soldiers within Washington D.C. But please, for the good of all, do not use the death toll as a political lever which appeals to emotion and is only designed to benefit from an increasing number of soldiers.

I know this is slashdot, and it's unlikely anyone has read through my rant, but any comments or logical arguments showing why I'm wrong would be appreciated.

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