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More Quantum Strangeness: Particles Separated From Their Properties

bill_mcgonigle Re:Quantum mechanics is real, like it or not. (99 comments)

The macro universe is also how the universe really works.

Only when it doesn't disagree with the quantum result.

People used to think that the Earth was the center of the universe, then some allowed that maybe the Sun might be the center of the universe, but really it was always about, and still is, the "me" being the center of the universe.

The approximations of reality that we sense with our ape-minds is really useful, but far from anything True(tm) or objective. What we feel to be "intuitive" is just a collection of rubrics that happen to work well to keep higher order animals alive. That we can even explore QED is a freaking miracle.

"Oh, but those entangled particles must be separate entities because they look like they are separate in our perception of space" is one of those. "But I have a ruler!"

10 hours ago

The Problems With Drug Testing

bill_mcgonigle Ten Million (121 comments)

That's how many people (mostly children) have died of malaria since the investigators knew they had a working vaccine in the mid-90's.

That vaccine might actually see the light of day this year, but the regulators are hinting that they might deny approval because it's not tremendously effective in infants.

Because, you know, IN FUCKING THEORY, somebody might get injured from the vaccine.

I'm sorry, the blood of ten million mostly-children on the hands of regulators gets me a bit worked up. And now they're staring at their naval because an investigator might also have a drinking problem? Oh, man, I better hit submit before I say something I might regret.

10 hours ago

Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

bill_mcgonigle Re:Please have GM do the right thing... (286 comments)

completely and utterly fuck over the RIAA and record labels in their war against the people.

In my dream world they go after these morons for barratry, baseless prosecution, and everything else they can find, get them all disbarred with the Copyright Office, and burn down their houses.

Well, no, in my dream world there's none of this "imaginary property" crap that tries to shackle real property, but as far as a happy medium, we could even negotiate the part about burning down their houses (always open bold).


Comcast Confessions

bill_mcgonigle Re:Every single day (223 comments)

So, pray tell, if writing your representative is worse than useless, what's the action that would actually work?

Working to obsolete that system.

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

- R. Buckminster Fuller

Politics is an enormous opportunity cost that ought to be left to people who cannot participate in society in a more meaningful way. e.g. Libertarianism is an abject failure by every conceivable measure. Intent isn't important, it's results, and things have *not* gotten better. Yeah, 1 out of 10 battles are won, but any General can tell you how that war will go.


Ask Slashdot: Is Running Mission-Critical Servers Without a Firewall Common?

bill_mcgonigle Re:Common? (323 comments)

Right. See if it meets PCI requirements (you need to at least be able to reference them if you're in this line of work). If so, leave a note with the employer as to what might (will) happen and move on.

If every port on the VLAN is 802.1x certificate-authenticated you might not need to actually worry. Hahahaha, yeah, I'm sure it is....


The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

bill_mcgonigle Re:Such a Waste (146 comments)

sold out to the suits at Warner Brothers

That's not going to turn out well for them. After the first steaming pile, the subsequent two aren't even on my list. Even if the next two were great, what were we going to do, show our kids only the last half of the story (well, with other random crap thrown in)? It's not like they were going to go back and fix the first one.

Once the copyright fully expires, somebody will make a great TV miniseries of The Hobbit. The folks doing Pratchet's stories would do a good job, for instance.

Oh, and Jackson has blown his cred with everybody. Hope the contract with WB was airtight on this trilogy because that payment's gonna have to last for quite a while.


35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

bill_mcgonigle Re:Is it a legitimate collection? (514 comments)

Yeah, it should be higher. People are so afraid of a credit rating problem these days that they will often pay off a "bad debt" that is fraudulent to get their score "fixed".

Creditors know this and are abusive because of it. I tell them to go suck a big one if they pull that crap. It's better to pay cash anyway, but I've actually had very few try to report bogus charges I refused to pay (90% or so are just bluffing).

Frankly I'd trust somebody with 'very good' credit more than somebody with 'perfect credit'.


Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

bill_mcgonigle Re:Erlang is overrated crap (306 comments)

We rewrote this 9 months of Erlang development in 3 weeks (!) using one senior Java developer. it worked like a charm and still runs flawlessly in production today.

Then your project was a very poor fit for Erlang in the first place.

2 days ago

Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

bill_mcgonigle Re:What a surprise. (566 comments)

US Government: "Russia caught attacking another country - the nerve!"

World responds with skeptical glances from all corners.

3 days ago

SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

bill_mcgonigle Re:perfect solution. Bureaucrats won't find ways t (114 comments)

Like they say: "The first rule of economics is that everything depends on scarcity. The first rule of politics is to ignore the first rule of economics."

3 days ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space?

bill_mcgonigle Re:tor exit node (206 comments)

Yeah, 10 Meg isn't tremendous, so a Tor exit is probably as good as you can get. It's too small for a mirror host or a torrent seeder.

I'm assuming you're unwilling to incur 95th percentile charges on your burstable. Tor allows easy bandwidth limiting right in the .conf.

Still, that's only one machine - 10 meg is easy to saturate.

3 days ago

Nasty Business: How To Drain Competitors' Google AdWords Budgets

bill_mcgonigle Re:Simple, block all ads (96 comments)

So much competition, but I'll second the motion.

3 days ago

Bad "Buss Duct" Causes Week-long Closure of 5,000 Employee Federal Complex

bill_mcgonigle Re: Well, the GSA could start firing the contracto (124 comments)

You're right - advocates of privitization have always claimed that no private person will ever screw up. Wait, no. So, better to hire somebody who cannot be fired ... because they'll never screw up? Are you sure this story isn't proving the opposite of what you think if does?

4 days ago

Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

bill_mcgonigle Re: Alternative explanation (394 comments)

If there are many paths to a node their system should be choosing the fastest path.Verizon obviously is not doing that and deliberately allowing congestion.

And Netflix would happily give them OpenConnect appliances too, to avoid _their_ bandwidth costs as well. But Netflix competes with Verizon's VoD services - this isn't hard to figure out.

There are at least three underlying problems for the congestion issue - one is the DMCA and related copyright laws that prevent any sort of sane caching, the general fear of multicast that everybody on the Internet still seems to have (half a million unicast streams of the same show is insane - where are the global warming people on this?), and the grants of monopolies and/or prohibitions on competition that prevent local competition.

Label me shocked if the Netflix app on mobile devices does not have a P2P mode working in the lab right now, as a workaround for us running a sub-par Internet.

4 days ago

SLS Project Coming Up $400 Million Short

bill_mcgonigle Re:SLS and comparing to spacex (132 comments)

The SLS is not a deep space vehicle. It's a vehicle to divert tax payer money into the pocket of private enterprises that give a share to politicians. Assuming it ever takes off, it'll be an outdated overpriced piece of shit.

Understanding this provides predictive capability - that there's basically zero chance that the project will be canceled or defunded, for the reasons you stated.

5 days ago

New SSL Server Rules Go Into Effect Nov. 1

bill_mcgonigle So, split DNS then? (91 comments)

What a junk article - no explanation of what's actually going on and no link to a standard.

It sounds like what they're inferring is that you need, not server.local or server.somemadeupcrap.

I think most of us cleaned up that cruft when BIND 9 came out with views support.
    This shouldn't impact anybody who hasn't been dragging their heels on fixing their infrastructure for more than a decade.

5 days ago

Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress

bill_mcgonigle Re:Wikipedia Never Bans Vandals? (165 comments)

Looking into this, this ip address has been vandalising Wikipedia for over 4 years now...

C'mon, we're working hard enough to undo the "an IP address is a person" myth, to keep the government from smashing people who have shared wifi/tor exits/etc., without perpetuating it ourselves.

You'll notice a few helpful edits from staffers too - only most of them on Capitol Hill are psychopaths, not all of them. Probably the good editors already have accounts, though.

5 days ago

Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

bill_mcgonigle Re:I will invest in that. (168 comments)

But amazon has been telling "screw you" to investors ever since it went public in 1998. How long is their long term plan? The only reason investors are tolerating this is because the stock price has gone up as apparently there is no shortage of people who think that huge profits are just around the corner.

It's not quite that simple - there are profits at Amazon - they are just in certain divisions that are then funding the money-losing divisions.

Amazon takes a profitable business (remember when they sold BOOKS?) and makes it profitable, but takes those profits to invest in something crazy (like NOT BOOKS, or Kindle, or Prime) and then those divisions get profitable and the cycle repeats.

If Amazon ever wanted to stop growing as a company it could kill off the non-profitable divisions and show a dividend in short order. This is why the stock has value. Perhaps too much, but the entire market is in a bubble, so it's hard to dice which part of the stock price is which. In some ways stock prices are relative with an absurd floor.

Investors who have no appetite for such companies can - :gasp: - invest in other companies.

5 days ago

Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

bill_mcgonigle Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

unless you really though insurance costs would not skyrocket for the new services they provide

Competition lowers costs, not monopolies.

about a week ago



Snowden NSA Claims Partially Confirmed

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  about a year ago

bill_mcgonigle (4333) writes "Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D NY) disclosed that NSA analysts eavesdrop on Americans' domestic telephone calls without court orders during a House Judiciary hearing. After clearing with FBI director Robert Mueller that the information was not classified, Nadler revealed that during a closed-door briefing to Congress, the Legislature was informed that the spying organization had implemented and uses this capability. This appears to confirm Edward Snowden's claim that he could, in his position at the NSA, "wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president." Declan McCullagh writes, "Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, Nadler's disclosure indicates the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval." The executive branch has defended its general warrants, claiming that "the president had the constitutional authority, no matter what the law actually says, to order domestic spying without [constitutional] warrants", while Kurt Opsahl, senior staff attorney at EFF claims such government activity "epitomizes the problem of secret laws.""

World's First Bitcoin ATM

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  about a year and a half ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "I just bought bitcoins from the World's first Bitcoin ATM at Liberty Forum. I created an account using an Android Bitcoin client, held up its QR code to the Raspberry Pi-based device's optical scanner, fed in a $20 Federal Reserve Note, and got back a confirmation QR code on its display (which I then scanned and checked the third-party confirmation URL). The machine can function on any wireless network and will soon be available for purchase by merchants, who can make a commission on customers' Bitcoin purchases."
Link to Original Source

Intel to Attempt A-la-carte Television over Internet

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  about a year and a half ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "Updating the previous story, Forbes and Gigaom are now reporting that Intel is running an internal startup aimed at offering a Internet-connected set top box with a-la-carte 'cable' channel subscriptions. They also apparently plan to record everything and offer all content on-demand. While some are skeptical that content providers will give up their cable cash cow, perhaps the economic effects of cord-cutters are finally making this business model viable."
Link to Original Source

Amazon Data Center Outage Takes Out Netflix & Others

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  about a year and a half ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "Many families sat down this evening to watch a Christmas Eve tale on their favorite streaming service to find a Grinch in their cloud computing service as both Netflix and Amazon Video services were unavailable (with error messages saying that their Internet connection was bad). It turns out that Amazon's East Coast data center is having yet another outage, causing a loss of service on several platforms. Other AWS-based sites are affected as well."
Link to Original Source

Capitalists Who Fear Change

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "In his essay, Capitalists Who Fear Change, author Jeffrey Tucker takes on "wimps who don’t want to improve." From DMCA take-downs on 3D printing files to the constant refrain that every new form of music recording will "kill music", Mr. Tucker observes: "Through our long history of improvement, every upgrade and every shift from old to new inspired panic. The biggest panic typically comes from the producers themselves who resent the way the market process destabilizes their business model" and analyzes how the markets move the march of technology ever forward. He takes on patents, copyrights, tariffs, and protectionism of entrenched interests in general, with guarded optimism: "The promise of the future is nothing short of spectacular — provided that those who lack the imagination to see the potential here don’t get their way.""
Link to Original Source

NASA Laptop Stolen With Space Station Command Codes

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "A year ago, NASA had an unencrypted laptop stolen, containing "algorithms used to command and control the International Space Station," according to NASA’s inspector general, Paul K. Martin. Also stolen were devices with "Social Security numbers and sensitive data on NASA’s Constellation and Orion programs." Since then, NASA has encrypted 1% of its mobile devices. Martin tells Congress, "Until NASA fully implements an Agency-wide data encryption solution, sensitive data on its mobile computing and portable data storage devices will remain at high risk for loss or theft.""
Link to Original Source

Deterministic Multithreading Solves Race Condition

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "Researchers at Columbia Engineering School have developed PEREGRINE, a system that promises to improve the reliability and security of multi-threaded programs by addressing what they claim is the root cause of data race conditions in multi-threaded programs: non-determinism. Peregrine works with existing languages and "can make threads deterministic in an efficient and stable way. Peregrine can compute a plan for allowing when and where a thread can 'change lanes' and can then place barriers between the lanes, allowing threads to change lanes only at fixed locations, following a fixed order. This prevents the random collisions that can occur in a nondeterministic system.""
Link to Original Source

Cause of Redbox Price Increase? - Congress

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "Following up on the previous story story about the Redbox price increases, Redbox's third-quarter earnings announcement ends the speculation. Redbox explains, "The change is primarily due to the increase in operating expenses, including the recent increase in debit card interchange fees as a result of the Durbin Amendment." The Durbin Amendment creates a 'debit interchange fee floor', which increases costs on small transactions made with debit cards — estimated to be an additional ten cents per Redbox transaction."
Link to Original Source

Netflix dumps Qwikster, keeps DVD service on netfl

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "In a sudden fit of sanity, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has announced that Netflix will not be splitting its DVD service into a separate website.

He writes, "It is clear that for many of our members two websites would make things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs. This means no change: one website, one account, one password in other words, no Qwikster." He forgot, "one queue, one recommendation engine preference set."

Netflix had previously detailed plans to split its DVD-by-mail business into a separate business, Qwikster."

Link to Original Source

Wired Releases Full Manning/Lamo Chat Logs

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  about 3 years ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "After more than a year, Wired has finally released the (nearly) full chat logs between Adrian Lamo and Bradley Manning. Glen Greenwald provides analysis of what Wired previously left out. Greenwald writes:

Lamo lied to and manipulated Manning by promising him the legal protections of a journalist-source and priest-penitent relationship, and independently assured him that their discussions were "never to be published" and were not "for print." Knowing this, Wired hid from the public this part of their exchange, published the chat in violation of Lamo's clear not-for-publication pledges, allowed Lamo to be quoted repeatedly in the media over the next year as some sort of credible and trustworthy source driving reporting on the Manning case

. Slashdot has previously covered the controversy (here, and here.)"
Link to Original Source


Controversy over Zappos Advertising with the TSA

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bill_mcgonigle writes "A blog post from Amazon's Zappos unit talking about its advertising on TSA collection trays has recently caught the attention of TSA critics and its customers. Zappos writes, "Since the airports that have the sponsored security bins don't have to put the money/time/energy into those efforts anymore, TSA can spend the money hiring/training more agents." Do customers really make a connection between Zappos's advertising and reduced wait times for security screenings, or is this an example of hamfisted marketing to a privacy-conscious online customer base?"
Link to Original Source



Idle Friends Purge

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I'm removing non-fan friends who haven't posted in two years since I'm at my limit and I use friends to game the scoring system to see more interesting posts.

Any of you who have been discontinued - send me a note if you start posting again and I'd be happy to re-friend you.


iPod Shuffle Clone Shown at CeBit

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 9 years ago

An outfit out of Taiwan, Luxpro, has introduced a digital music player, the Super Shuffle, that's a no-tradedress-barred physical clone of the iPod Shuffle. Available in .5 and 1GB models, it lacks AAC but adds WMA, FM Radio, and Voice Recording. Playlist has the story.


Atlantic Mega-Tusnami to Hit North America

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 9 years ago Scientists at the Benfield Hazard Research Center have determined that a Mega-tsunami will hit the coast of North America when the Cumbre Vieja Volcano and part of the Island of La Palma in the Canary Islands collapse into the sea. The wave hitting North America will be up to 50 meters (164 feet) high and surge up to 20km (12.4 miles) inland while Brazil will see 40 meter waves with up to 100 meter waves on the West Saharan shore (ILM Rendition). Insurance losses are estimated to be in the multi-trillions, yet the landslide has been completely unmonitored since 1997. The BBC has an FAQ on the Mega-tsunami.

[edit: rejected by Slashdot 2004-12-28 17:22:50]


Massive Solar Flare Headed Straight For Earth

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 10 years ago

At 1110 UT this morning, the third largest solar flare on record erupted from the Sun, sending a coronal mass ejection directly towards Earth at 5 Million MPH (picture, animation), and starting a solar radiation storm. We may see bright auroral activity tonight. Passengers on high-altitude airplane flights may receive chest-x-ray-level dosages of radiation.


You're In A Political Party's Database

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 10 years ago

The Democratic and Republican parties have 158 and 165 Million voters in their databases, "DataMart" and "Voter Vault", respectively. They track how you vote, what issues you're concerned about, demographics about your home and family, and who you associate with. From it they mount door-to-door, telemarketing, spam, and junk mail campaigns offering customized versions of the political party to appeal to your passions, while avoiding issues that might offend you.


W32.Blaster linked to Blackout

bill_mcgonigle bill_mcgonigle writes  |  more than 10 years ago The first of the problems that eventually cascaded into the blackout began at 1 p.m on August 14th. "The inability of critical control data to be exchanged quickly across the grid could have hampered the operators' ability to prevent the cascading effect of the blackout," said Gary Seifert, of DOE's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. "It didn't affect the [control] systems internally, but it most certainly affected the timeliness of the data they were receiving from other networks. A former Bush administration adviser who has consulted with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on the power grid issue said the Blaster worm also hampered the ability of utilities in the New York region to restore power in a more timely manner because some of those companies were running Windows-based control systems with Port 135 open. The control systems ... are often based on Windows 2000 or XP operating systems and rely on commercial data links, including the Internet and wireless systems, for exchanging information.

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