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Comments

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Snowden Queries Putin On Live TV Regarding Russian Internet Surveillance

chihowa Re:Useful Idiot (391 comments)

It's likely that staying anonymous was his original plan.

There was a lag between the leaks and his taking credit for them. Perhaps it became clear after he leaked that he wouldn't be able to continue to hide and so becoming a public figure was the safest choice.

3 days ago
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Steam's Most Popular Games

chihowa Re:Hours Played is a bad metric. (117 comments)

I've sold the cards just so they go away and stop showing up as unread messages. Which has made me curious. Who is it that is actually buying them?

4 days ago
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

chihowa Re:Over 18 (630 comments)

Reading back through the thread, it looks like most everyone is thinking the same thing but disagreeing because of different terminology. The key misunderstanding in this thread relates to the situation where the liabilities are equal to, or larger than, the assets and the heirs-to-be want some of the assets.

You and Cyberax are calling the situation "inheriting debt", whereas I think it's more realistically described as accruing new debt in exchange for certain assets otherwise owed to the creditors. If you choose not to accrue this new debt to retain the estate's collateral, there's no way the estate's debt would pass on to you. The debt belongs solely to the estate and can't be inherited.

5 days ago
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

chihowa Re:Over 18 (630 comments)

Nursing care debts are only passed on if (and because) the descendants sign as guarantors or cosigners when the parent begins to accrue that particular debt. That's more common with end-of-life services, but it's contractual and not statutory. In this particular case, the debt isn't inherited so much as it was shared with the children from the start.

Again, you're confusing "estate" with "heirs". All (most) debts are settled from the estate before any assets pass on to the heirs. In the US, if the assets of an estate are exhausted before the liabilities are satisfied then the remaining creditors and the heirs get nothing. The slate is then wiped clean.

5 days ago
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

chihowa Re:Over 18 (630 comments)

The estate is the remaining assets and liabilities of the deceased. Once assets are inherited, they no longer belong to the deceased's estate (as the estate, a legal construct, ceases to exist once liabilities are settled and assets are transferred).

In the US, at least, the only time you have the appearance of inheriting debt is if you inherit property that is collateral for a debt (eg, a house with a mortgage). The bank could take the collateral from the estate, as it is entitled to do, but can let you keep the collateral in exchange for continuing to pay down the debt. Is that what you are talking about?

5 days ago
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Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

chihowa Re:Sum up... (313 comments)

Both of which use closed-source clients and infrastructure (with a couple of open components), so you're really only basing your security assessment on their word. Not what I'd consider savvy...

Remember that Dropbox said similarly positive things about their security at one time.

about a week ago
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LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

chihowa Re:Nobody should be constantly monitored (322 comments)

Oh, I wasn't including them in my "we". I was referring to conscientious non-psychopathic humans!

about two weeks ago
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LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

chihowa Re:Nobody should be constantly monitored (322 comments)

So, like we already have with prison rape, you suggest further decoupling sentences from justice?

We're trying to make the world a less corrupt and barbaric place. Hyperbole and hysteria don't further that cause.

about two weeks ago
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LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

chihowa Re:Easy fix (322 comments)

Are you seriously comparing most people's "imperfections" with "accessory after the fact" and "conspiracy to X", where X is bribery, battery, murder and the like?

Covering up for fellow officers' crimes is not even in the same ballgame as promising to take out the garbage and forgetting.

about two weeks ago
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Study: Video Gamer Aggression Result of Game Experience, Not Violent Content

chihowa Re:Here we go again (179 comments)

Your scenario is even more obnoxious on awful PC ports (way too many recently) of console games where you're sitting in front of over a hundred buttons and every action possible is mapped to 'E'. Paired with fuzzy interpretation of inputs from your hyper-precise mouse and keyboard, you're constantly fighting the game engine instead of the game.

This isn't a new phenomenon, either. Many Nintendo hard games of yore required input precision greater than the controller was capable of predictably providing. In fact, Nintendo hard is a prime example of what TFS is describing. There was a lot of video game provoked aggression back then (the controllers probably took the brunt of it, but they were pretty hardy things).

about two weeks ago
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Windows 8.1 Update Released, With Improvements For Non-Touch Hardware

chihowa Re:It's a start (294 comments)

Windows gadgets were essentially borderless IE windows that ran in the local zone. This means they could CreateObject(...) ActiveX libraries via scripting that could do, well, anything to your system. The sandbox didn't matter at that point.

Well, that seems like a pretty easy thing to fix. Why ditch them entirely?

about two weeks ago
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It's Time To Bring Pseudoscience Into the Science Classroom

chihowa Re:Pseudo-science in the Survey! (470 comments)

Good call on the de Broglie wavelength correction. I had misremembered it and if I'd given it a little more thought, it would have seemed obviously wrong.

It does serve to highlight how you're stating this incorrectly, though. The wavefunction doesn't represent the "size" of a particle in any meaningful way. If anything, psi squared describes the probability of finding a particle at a particular location. Analogously, if I describe your location as somewhere within the 1200 block of Broad St, it doesn't make sense to interpret that statement as saying you are actually the size of a city block. The QM wave description of matter has nothing to do with size (in any distinct and meaningful sense) and everything to do with location.

Quantum mechanics describes particle interactions in terms of waves, but it is not a statement that the wave-particle duality doesn't exist. Any actual interaction between particles requires decoherence and a collapse of the wavefunction to a more classical-like particle.

about two weeks ago
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It's Time To Bring Pseudoscience Into the Science Classroom

chihowa Re:Pseudo-science in the Survey! (470 comments)

What you're describing here are pedantic objections, though, of which there will always be some to any question that isn't qualified to absurdity.

For your example, the rest mass of an electron is smaller than the mass of any atom, so the wavefunction of any electron will be smaller than that of any atom at the same velocity (de Broglie wavelength) and in the same environment (the "state" you describe is a function of being part of an atom, it doesn't apply to free electrons). Or simply, since an electron is a component of an atom, any constituent electron will be smaller than the atom it inhabits.

If you contrive a complex and unreasonable enough scenario, you can change the answer to most any question (e.g., is an electron smaller than the Earth). For most exams, reasonable assumptions are expected unless otherwise stated: at standard temperature and pressure, in the ground state, etc.

The correct answer to the question is that, yes, an electron is smaller than an atom.

about two weeks ago
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Google Project Ara Design Will Use Electro-Permanent Magnets To Lock In Modules

chihowa Re:They talk very big (62 comments)

Modern magnetometers in phones are pretty robust. After calibration, the one in my phone works fine right next to a 500 MHz NMR (~12 T [for reference the earth's magnetic field is around 50 uT]). The magnetic locks won't be moving around much, so the field it sees from them will be pretty static.

about two weeks ago
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Ad Tracking: Is Anything Being Done?

chihowa Re:Here's a thought (303 comments)

In that same line of thinking, I'm surprised that advertising to children (specifically, as in ads designed for children) is legal.

It's hard to think of a team of trained psychologists, armed with extensive market research and determined to manipulate minors for their own profit, as anything but despicably evil.

about two weeks ago
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Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds

chihowa Re:If you take the profits (179 comments)

Are you saying that in cases of radioactive potassium, the body has a way of just shutting it down?

Which radioactive isotopes from Fukushima are you talking about that bioaccumulate?

about two weeks ago
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Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds

chihowa Re:If you take the profits (179 comments)

So "low and constant" radiation from potassium is ok (because it's "natural", right, like botulism and being eaten by a bear?), but vague and unspecified Fukushima radiation is bad because it bioaccumulates (which is actually not the case for most of the released isotopes: Cs, for example is treated the same as your well-regarded potassium by animal tissue)? Many of the elements that bioaccumulate are more chemically toxic by virtue of being heavy metals than by being radioactive.

You don't understand your basic and crucial facts very well, either. There are enough real dangers in dealing with radioisotopes; you don't need to keep adding your own hysteria-based ones to the mix.

about two weeks ago
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The Connected Home's Battle of the Bulbs

chihowa Re:If only.. (176 comments)

That's a pretty lame reason, actually. What use case (that's big enough to support an entire industry of "smart lightbulbs") involves:

o light fixtures that don't already have switches installed,

o users who are not industrious enough to move the lightswitch themselves,

o users who are too cheap to just have an electrician move it (this is shockingly inexpensive, by the way... typically cheaper than one of these bulbs),

o users who are fine with accidentally flipping the wall switch and making the whole thing inoperative or covering the switch with tape or something cheesy like that to keep people from switching it (or are industrious enough to rewire the switch and install an ugly blank panel but can't move the switch),

o and users who can afford (or rationalize) spending $60 or up on a light bulb?

I guess the intersection of most of that is gadget-addicted renters. Is that really a very lucrative market?

about three weeks ago
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Intel Upgrades MinnowBoard: Baytrail CPU, Nearly Halves Price To $99

chihowa Re:Beaglebone Black (92 comments)

It does, but there are some legitimate uses for a modern embedded x86 board.

about three weeks ago
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The Highest-Flying Wind Turbine

chihowa Re:About to break a world record! (143 comments)

Orbit is just an extreme example of ballistic flight, so you could say that the ISS is flying.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Catblock finally becomes a reality

chihowa chihowa writes  |  about 2 years ago

chihowa (366380) writes "First seen as an April Fool's gag from the author of ChromeAdblock, Catblock can now be a permanent part of your Chrome or Safari browsing experience. Replacing ads with pictures of adorable cats, Catblock allows you to avoid ads (while seeing how full of ads most websites are!) while getting your needed daily dose of cat."
Link to Original Source
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Is Siri competitor, Vlingo, a DHS spy app?

chihowa chihowa writes  |  more than 2 years ago

chihowa (366380) writes "This morning I finally decided to give Vlingo, a competitor of Apple's Siri, a try on my iPhone 3GS. When I hit the "Listen" button, though, the app attempted to connect to system32.dhs.gov. I blocked this connection (using Firewall iP) and the app no longer works, complaining "Oops... Can't connect to server."

Is Vlingo some sort of spy app collecting voices of citizens or something? Can anyone else confirm this?"

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