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Stuxnet Worm May Have Targeted Iranian Reactor

brasselv Re:Oh Noes! (322 comments)

I can't believe nobody in this thread is welcoming our new radioactive worm overlords. Clearly /. isn't anymore what it used to be.

more than 4 years ago

Electronic Voting Researcher Arrested In India

brasselv Re:Get a grip. (188 comments)

"Occasionally the tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants."
— Thomas Jefferson

It's a popular sport to pull the Founding Fathers out of context, to prove a point.

King George could not be voted out of his seat. I dare say that Thomas Jefferson, if he were to live today, would advocate peaceful means to oust anyone from power in the US.

To be sure: I am not saying that Parent is saying otherwise, I know he is just offering a quote.

However, the general mood of this thread is something like "tyranny demands exceptional means to be used". Which is fine, but if you live anywhere in the Western world today, you have no moral justification for violence against the system.

Because the system is far from perfect, but is far better than a tyranny.

more than 4 years ago

Electronic Voting Researcher Arrested In India

brasselv Re:Disgusting Moderation (188 comments)

You're living in the waning times of the US government, it has been going down hill ever since it was founded.

Wait a second. Maybe there were some good moments and some bad ones, in the last two centuries.

But in many key dimensions it has indeed become a more perfect Union over time.

(Unless of course you consider a "white males club" to be your ideal government, I believe you don't.)

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Reboots Two Classic PC Games

brasselv Re:A company with plenty of truly innovative ideas (275 comments)

The innocence of youth :-)
The post above was wrongly moderated as troll, I suspect because someone thought it was meant to be serious (it's not)
I guess not everybody was around when MS came out with the lovely crap called Bob 1.0

Bob received the 7th place in PC World Magazine's list of the 25 worst products of all time, a spot in Time Magazine's list of the 50 Worst Inventions and number ten worst product of the decade by CNET.com.

(After that, not even Steve Ballmer at the top of desperation would think of resurrecting any "Bob 2.0")

more than 4 years ago

Old (unused) mobile phones I've got hanging around ...

brasselv Re:They should ban the production of low-end phone (307 comments)

Godwin's law at its best...
But seriously, do you really hear anyone "defending Stalin"? In which country?

I may be wrong, but I hear in your tone some rather shallow anti-intellectual rhetoric that has more to do with "the world as some FOX-news audience thinks it is", rather than with the real world itself...

I seriously doubt that any sane person, effete or not, would question the evilness of both Hitler and Stalin.

Now I turn the evil-o-meter off.

more than 4 years ago

From Slaying Dragons To Dictators

brasselv Re:So let's talk abou it. (233 comments)

My point was that if talking about the system makes it less useful, then it is not very secure to begin with.

You are thinking in terms of computer security, and there 100% correct.

The larger point, however, is that there may be other 'security' reasons not to talk about it.
For example, more people involved in the project may find themselves in the spotlight. People have a physical life, and their actions can be spied - or worse.

Unfortunately, there is no 'by design' security protection against a bullet. Overall, as long as the thing does not make too many headlines, it seems we are better off - no matter how much the system is inherently secure from a strictly IT point of view.

more than 4 years ago

Sell Someone Else's Book On Lulu!

brasselv Re:Copyright infringement, anyone? (260 comments)

You still miss the most relevant part of it: ...
6. Retire in disgrace, with $50 Million Severance Package as a punishment.

more than 4 years ago

Scottish Scientists Develop Whisky Biofuel

brasselv The "Pizza-baking truck" phenomenon? (172 comments)

Am I the only one noticing a pattern here.

        1. Reputable scientists publish research "X".
                --> e.g.: "On some possible applications of AI-blabla to improve car safety"
        2. Same scientists explain X to mainstream journalists, and in the process they simplify the message (sometimes in good faith, sometimes to get PRs).
                --> e.g: "Cars will become more intelligent in the next 5 years"
        3. Mainstream journalists write articles where X is further stretched.
                --> e.g: "May be cars will drive themselves in the next 5 years"
        4. Headline of such articles go a further mile in stretching X.
                --> e.g.: "Are drivers obsolete?"
        5. by the time X morphs on /. it has totally become Y.
                --> e.g. "Scientists claim that uber-intelligent robotic cars have made drivers redundant. And my home-assembled truck overlord is also baking pizzas. It runs Linux."

more than 4 years ago

Ray Kurzweil Does Not Understand the Brain

brasselv Re:Sounds reasonable (830 comments)

From the number on neurons in the human brain, considering how many interconnections there are and how fast the neurons can fire, I think a machine with one million processing cores at 1 GHz would have approximately the same data handling capacity as a human brain.

We are not sure yet whether the equation :

  "human brain" = "some current technology" * "some large number"
has merit or not.

I wish we were there, but the vast majority of neuroscientists currently think this NOT to be the case. There is likely some qualitative difference that we still fail to understand. Assuming the equation above to be true, is largely responsible for the clear failure of AI of the last few dozens of years.

PS: to avoid misunderstandings - this does NOT mean that there is something mystique about our brain. We have simply not fully understood how it works, yet - but we are making very fast progress in this area, especially in the last 15 years or so. It's still a long road ahead, though.

more than 4 years ago

Ray Kurzweil Does Not Understand the Brain

brasselv Re:Infinite complexity? (830 comments)

You are assuming 1 neuron = 1 "byte" of data.
It's much more complex than that. We are barely starting to understanding it now.

I agree with you, though, if you are implying that the brain is a physical entity with a physical size and physical limits. We just don't quite know yet what those limits are.

more than 4 years ago

Convicted NY Drunk Drivers Need Ignition Interlocks

brasselv Re:Wait... (911 comments)

MADD won years ago. They should change their name to Mothers Against Drinking to more accurately reflect their policy recommendations.

This is actually more or less the opinion of the MADD founder

Lightner stated that MADD "has become far moreneo-prohibitionistthan I had ever wanted or envisioned I didn't start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving"

more than 4 years ago

Google and Verizon In Talks To Prioritize Traffic (Updated)

brasselv Re:Get ready to Bend over America (410 comments)

Google has enough market power to effectively set the rules.

Despite its market power, Google does NOT control the food chain.
If 10 major ISPs decide tomorrow to do a "little favor" to Bing (God forbid), this would immediately and effectively hurt Google - massively.

It is certainly unlikely, but not impossible.

more than 4 years ago

WikiLeaks 'a Clear and Present Danger,' Says WaPo

brasselv Not again (837 comments)

I firmly believe (and hope), that the current administration has read enough history to avoid dumb blunders.

more than 4 years ago

Why Bad 3D, Not 3D Glasses, Gives You Headaches

brasselv Re:Make the 3D fad go away (255 comments)

Mate, I'm afraid you may not be the average person.

Tell a random guy in a shop to spend 300+ bucks for "additional format compatibility" - good luck with that :-)

Then try: "with this, you can watch Avatar as in a movie theater". Which one do you think sells better..?

more than 4 years ago

Why Bad 3D, Not 3D Glasses, Gives You Headaches

brasselv Re:Make the 3D fad go away (255 comments)

Why do the movie companies believe that we want 3D?

Because otherwise you have no reason to upgrade your Blue-Ray player.

more than 4 years ago

Tor Developer Detained At US Border, Pressed On Wikileaks

brasselv Re:What IS The Law? (637 comments)

Just a remark:
--> if you say "mother f*cker" to an officer, you give them a reason to actually arrest you, even if they had no reason before.
Best case, you'll be charged with one of those generic "disorderly conduct" violations.

You are much better off staying calm and cool.

more than 4 years ago

Tor Developer Detained At US Border, Pressed On Wikileaks

brasselv Re:Well, good (637 comments)

While I largely disagree with the two posts above, they don't fit my definition of trolling.

Starting a moderation fight based on different opinions, does not bring anyone much further with the debate. Nor with anything else.

more than 4 years ago

Hubble Accuracy Surpassed By Earthbound Telescope

brasselv Re:What a testament to the HST... (87 comments)

AFAIK, adaptive optics is of no use in space.
On top, sending a telescope of this size on a rocket, would probably require TNG level technology. (TOS level only if Scotty is around with some duct tape)

more than 4 years ago


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