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Mathematical Proof That the Cosmos Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing

causality Re:If you make this a proof of God... (594 comments)

What if your concept of absolute determinism as implied here is actually not absolute and has limitations?

Then it wouldn't be Conway's Game of Life, would it?

A person or two mentioned Conway's Game of Life. Unless I specifically say so, I am not binding myself to only mentioning that one thing and never moving on to any related ideas which happen to be outside its scope. And I didn't specifically say so. Therefore I see no value in pointing that out.

yesterday
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Click Like? You May Have Given Up the Right To Sue

causality Re:This isn't news... (194 comments)

This is probably more than just shit-slinging. The more reasons they have to create more paperwork and more time in court for an individual plaintiff, the more money it costs on both sides in legal fees. How much would it cost in legal fees to fight the validity of just this point of the EULA? They don't care if they lose the individual battle, they have much deeper pockets for legal fees than an individual, or even a class in a class-action lawsuit, so delaying and/or running the plaintiff out of money means winning the war.

Am I the only one who thinks the entire notion of a "class-action lawsuit" was a bad idea?

If a company materially harms 250,000 individuals, let them defend against 250,000 individual lawsuits. That would be a massive disincentive against harming people. Having to pay lawyers for that many separate lawsuits would be a lot more like the predicament (during a standard isolated case) of the one individual trying to have a legal battle against a huge multination corporation. Seems fair to me.

Plus in many class-action lawsuits, only the lawyers really win. The former customers might get a $10 coupon or something like that.

yesterday
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Click Like? You May Have Given Up the Right To Sue

causality Re:so? (194 comments)

They're different. You're actually signing (or clicking through) something with them. This sounds like they're trying to say if you like them on Facebook (no EULA pops up when you like something) that you can never sue them. This will never stand up in court.

Is there any chance that the lawyers who knowingly and intentionally come up with such ideas and try to implement them could be disbarred? Few measures would more effectively discourage the practice.

yesterday
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Click Like? You May Have Given Up the Right To Sue

causality Re:The power of EULAs only goes so far (194 comments)

It's no less trifling than the average Slashdot user obsessing over what operating system/software people choose to use.

The difference being, there is some chance the Slashdot user was actually involved in producing that software (or has enough expertise to competently discuss its merits and faults). There's also a chance they're responding to people who chose to use shoddy software when better alternatives were available, and are now complaining about the results.

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

causality Re:Drop Dropbox (446 comments)

A personal file server doesn't offer anything in the way of backup.

That depends on where it's located.

If you took it upon yourself to assume "right next to the machine being backed up" or "running on the same machine to be backed up" then don't ascribe to me your own assumption. It was no accident or omission that I said no such things.

It's also impractical for someone who doesn't have a system that runs 24/7.

Right, just like a pilot's license is useless to someone with no access to an aircraft. Personally I deal with that by running the file server 24/7. When you enable various power management options and have a clue about SSH and your favorite shell, it's really not a problem. If that doesn't describe you, find another solution. Simple and much more productive than complaining that there is no Final Ultimate Answer that is 100% suitable for all people at all times.

yesterday
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Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

causality Re:ARM is the new Intel (109 comments)

Intel-powered Android tablets can run almost all Android-ARM apps. Those that are native ARM apps are handled through binary translation. It works very well. I've used a Dell Venue 8 (Intel CloverTrail+ Android) and did not find any apps that wouldn't run just fine.

Is that done in hardware? Is there a performance penalty?

A related question about the programs you tried: were these computationally intensive games, or things like office apps and file managers?

2 days ago
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Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

causality Re:Drop Dropbox (446 comments)

Try SpiderOak. Free 2 GB, zero-knowledge, secure. Works on a load of OSs and devices. I'm a completely satisfied customer.

Or ... get a free dynamic DNS hostname (there are still plenty available) and take a few minutes to learn about SSH/SFTP (and SSHGuard if you are using passwords) and set up your own personal file server. It doesn't have to allow shell access.

Now the companies can do whatever they want because you did the little bit of learning it took not to care.

about a week ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Cosmos Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing

causality Re:If you make this a proof of God... (594 comments)

Not if he gave them free willl, meaning even the ability to do things that were "outside" of the creator's will/temperament.

Can you explain what that means within the context of "THE DETERMINISTIC APPLICATION OF RULES", please? Because otherwise you are making zero sense whatsoever.

It makes perfect sense. What if your concept of absolute determinism as implied here is actually not absolute and has limitations? That's what he was saying, at least as I understood it. That would mean that some subset of everything would be steady, regular, unpredictable, and unsurprising. The rest wouldn't.

An analogy could be a program that takes certain actions based on the output of a high-quality random number generator of some kind. The compiled program code itself is completely deterministic, behaving as designed each time it is run. The randomness adds an unpredictable element; it determines which of the predetermined (that is, available or achievable) outcomes actually ends up happening. You can't break fundamental rules of physics but plenty of other things could play out in myriad ways.

about a week ago
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Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

causality Re:Doesn't seem to be on purpose (445 comments)

The only people surprised by Snowden's leaks were people who had a false sense of security.

... caused by a false belief in an inherent benevolence of government, compounded by this denial-apathy thing concerning the casual lies coming from every major institution and corporation on a regular basis.

If you imagine for a moment that there were aliens observing the earth, you could not blame them for refusing to initiate first contact.

about a week ago
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Snowden: NSA Spied On Human Rights Workers

causality Re:Well that's not very headline worthy (230 comments)

I fall into that category. In fact, I'm quite proud to be part of the white noise NSA has to filter out to get at the good stuff - as long as my only foibles are those which NSA doesn't really care about, that is...

... and as long as that never changes in the future, and nothing you do today that is considered harmless enough is later perceived to be suspicious.

about two weeks ago
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Slashdot Asks: Will You Need the Windows XP Black Market?

causality Re:Apple v. Psystar (245 comments)

It wouldn't be possible to provide only a binary patch that contains just the modifications to said files? That would also infringe copyright?

That depends on how a particular judge decides to apply precedents related to Apple v. Psystar.

Considering how *ahem* clear and reasonable copyright law has always been, perhaps I can understand why someone might not be eager to do this...

about two weeks ago
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Slashdot Asks: Will You Need the Windows XP Black Market?

causality Re:second editor fail in less than 24 hours (245 comments)

You don't pay for a subscription to reward the editors. You do it because occasionally someone will say something so insightful you want to review everything else he's ever written here.

But your payment does reward the company and its staff. There is no way around that. They don't deserve it, their shoddy work hasn't earned it, and no fringe benefit of extra database access is enough to convince me otherwise.

Your value system may vary. I for one was speaking for myself.

about two weeks ago
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Slashdot Asks: Will You Need the Windows XP Black Market?

causality Re:Updates more likely to infringe than drivers, A (245 comments)

How would [providing third-party updates to Windows XP components] be different from (i.e. less legitimate than) publishing a device driver, AV suite, or other system-level software?

Device drivers, antivirus suites, and the like don't need to replace Windows system files with fixed versions of the same code to function. Windows updates do. And because they'd be providing versions of the same (Microsoft) code without the permission of the owner of copyright in that code, they would likely infringe* Microsoft's copyright.

* Slashdot posts aren't Legal Advice(tm).

It wouldn't be possible to provide only a binary patch that contains just the modifications to said files? That would also infringe copyright?

about two weeks ago
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Slashdot Asks: Will You Need the Windows XP Black Market?

causality Re:second editor fail in less than 24 hours (245 comments)

"As Whoever57 pointed out, there are some who will still get support for Microsoft Windows XP pointed out, there are some who will still get support for Microsoft Windows XP — the 'haves'

what on earth does that sentence mean? this is even worse than Timothy's earlier oversight of re-running the same article less than a week after its first run. we know slashdot doesn't pay editors to edit, but could they at least show enough pride in their job to read what they post?

This kind of poor quality work is what long ago dissuaded me from ever paying for a Slashdot subscription. I block ads, too, since before my karma level gave me the option of having Slashdot do it for me. That was all before Malda sold out to Dice Holdings. It's not improved since.

about two weeks ago
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Slashdot Asks: Will You Need the Windows XP Black Market?

causality Re:Editing? Anyone? (245 comments)

Seriously? Nobody even bothered to read the first sentence of the submission?

Apparently lots of people did and are also griping about it. Are Slashdot "editors" capable of feeling embarassment?

Back to the discussion...

Since Microsoft clearly intends to create a disparity, there will certainly be those who defy it. What will Microsoft do to prevent bootleg patches of XP from being sold to the unwashed masses? How will they stop China from supporting 100 million bootleg XP users? And how easily will it be to crack Microsoft's controls? How big will the Windows XP patch market be?

Unless these third-party patch vendors are claiming to be Microsoft then they're not in any way "bootleg". If Microsoft no longer wants to do this but someone else does, what's the problem? How would this be different from (i.e. less legitimate than) publishing a device driver, AV suite, or other system-level software?

Do the submitter and "editor" not understand what the word "bootleg" means, or is there a real problem here I'm just not seeing?

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

causality Re:No Law (312 comments)

Of course Obama has pushed EOs further then any of his predecessors. He has directly modified obamacare without any legal basis. Gonna suck for the Ds when the shoe is on the other foot.

Yes I am sure they'll put on a nice show and make a phony speech or two against it. Truth is, the corporate sponsors, bankers, and financiers who own both parties will be pleased and they're the ones who matter.

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

causality Re:Is it not obvious? They have dirt on him! (312 comments)

Substitute "blacks", "gays", or "Jews" for "Libertarians" and you will understand the way you sound.

It's the typical pattern. Hate someone for being different from yourself, then go back and act like every one of them harmed you in some way that justifies it.

about two weeks ago
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Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future

causality Re:Because you think Google is any better? (218 comments)

Sometimes an issue raised by a single company is bigger than that one company.

There are lots and lots of privacy concerns on the Internet.

about two weeks ago
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Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future

causality Re:Because you think Google is any better? (218 comments)

There's plenty of sites that require you to give them CC info even when they're (supposedly) not charging you for anything. Often claimed to be a form of adult verification (and thus unsurprisingly mostly a tactic of adult sites) which is absolutely stupid since you can get a CC well before 18 in many jurisdictions so on top of being invasive and probably untrustworthy, it couldn't possibly even accomplish the claimed purpose.

I'm ignorant about the back-end of credit card systems, so this raises a couple of questions for me.

While you can get a CC under the age of 18, doesn't the credit card issuer have information like your date of birth? Can merchants request this information if they can uniquely identify the account (by the CC number and expiration date, say)?

Or is the whole thing complete bullshit?

about two weeks ago
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Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future

causality Re:Because you think Google is any better? (218 comments)

Your seething hated of Google is noted. And noted. And noted...

This article is about Facebook. Quit trying to change the subject.

It often happens in a conversation about one thing, particularly a complex and nuanced thing, that it will bring up other similar things because they are related in some way. The resistance of some to this natural conversational process never made much sense.

I could speculate that you have a loyalty to Google that you cannot realistically expect them to reciprocate (you do know that, right?), except I've seen lots of people display this tendency who obviously had no such motivation. Some people just like to complain.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Scientists Create Artificial Life

causality causality writes  |  more than 3 years ago

causality (777677) writes ""Craig Venter and his team have built the genome of a bacterium from scratch and incorporated it into a cell to make what they call the world's first synthetic life form. Scientists have created the world's first synthetic life form in a landmark experiment that paves the way for designer organisms that are built rather than evolved. The controversial feat, which has occupied 20 scientists for more than 10 years at an estimated cost of $40m, was described by one researcher as "a defining moment in biology". Craig Venter, the pioneering US geneticist behind the experiment, said the achievement heralds the dawn of a new era in which new life is made to benefit humanity, starting with bacteria that churn out biofuels, soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and even manufacture vaccines. However critics, including some religious groups, condemned the work, with one organisation warning that artificial organisms could escape into the wild and cause environmental havoc or be turned into biological weapons. Others said Venter was playing God." A video is also available here and an alternate news source here. What could possibly go wrong?"
Link to Original Source
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Majority of Americans Doubt Accuracy of News Media

causality causality writes  |  more than 4 years ago

causality writes "According to a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, "nearly two-thirds of Americans think the news stories they read, hear and watch are frequently inaccurate". The survey found "that 63 percent of the respondents thought the information they get from the media was often off base. In Pew Research's previous survey, in 2007, 53 percent of the people expressed that doubt about accuracy." The article notes that "the highest level of skepticism recorded since 1985, when this study of public perceptions of the media was first done. " The explanation given for this is mostly financial in nature: "Newspaper ad sales plunged by 29 percent, or nearly $5.5 billion, during the first half of this year, according to the Newspaper Association of America. TV ad revenue on broadcast stations dropped by 12 percent, or nearly $3 billion, during the same period, according to the Television Bureau of Advertising. Radio advertising fell by 23 percent, or $2.3 billion, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau." According to Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times, the budget crunch "means facts don't get checked as carefully as they should." Not surprisingly, "internet bloggers" are also blamed. Personally, I believe the recent financial difficulties only explain why this phenomenon is getting worse; it does not explain why the news media in general is not a more trustworthy institution."
Link to Original Source

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