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Chinese Moon Rover Says an Early Goodnight

coyote_oww Re:Dark side of the moon? (284 comments)

I take "Dark side of the moon" to be a colloquialism about the side of the moon facing away from the Earth, rather than literally being dark. It is used all the time in artistic works with exactly that meaning. I guess Sheldon Cooper would disagree vehemently, but everyone else knows what it means.

about 9 months ago
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How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

coyote_oww memorization (715 comments)

Nothing wrong with it at all. It's the only way you can do history. Very useful to have a few poems memorized for impressing the opposite sex. Very useful to have a few nursery rhymes memorized in order to impress and please your kids. Formulas, theorems, knowledge of your craft, all involve some degree of memorization. If you have to solve every problem from scratch, you're going to be an inefficient at everything.

And yes, everyone should have addition and multiplication tables memorized, because it's so damn useful.

You come off as someone jealous of the kid(s) that could memorize easily, and having to find a way (mentally) to make yourself out to be smarter, and well, better than they are.

about 9 months ago
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Oregon Signs Up Just 44 People For Obamacare Despite Spending $300 Million

coyote_oww Re:News for Nerds? (586 comments)

$300 million failed IT project is tech news. That it is politically sensitive is a problem from the standpoint of trying to figure out why so we can do better next time. You'd think the hangout for a bunch of geeks might be exactly the place to discuss this with descending into the politics of the project, but... judging from the rest of the comments, we'll have to leave technical project management to political shills and robber baron types.

about 10 months ago
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Employee Morale Is Suffering At the NSA

coyote_oww Re:Meh; clearly haven't talked to security workers (841 comments)

Wikipedia claims it is an old Russian proverb, and that Reagan was coached in its use by one of his speechwriters. Lenin apparently liked it as well, but not enough to verify what Stalin was doing. Or something...

Anyhow, Reagan and Lenin probably both ate carrots too.

The more serious issue is that the allied countries may host populations that are not friendly. Specifically, the Hamburg cell (Mohamed Atta's group) were operating out of, duh, Hamburg, Germany. Presumably, if you wanted to have a chance to intercept guys like this, you'd have to listen in on private German conversations. Also presumably, German authorities might not see plotting to do nefarious things in other countries as a problem they needed to be concerned about - see the Munich Olympics aftermath:

(from Wikipedia)
An article in 2012 in a front-page story of the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported that much of the information pertaining to the mishandling of the massacre was covered up by the German authorities for the past decades. For twenty years, Germany refused to release any information about the attack and did not accept responsibility for the results. The magazine reported that the government had been hiding 3,808 files, which contained tens of thousands of documents. Der Spiegel said it obtained secret reports by authorities, embassy cables, and minutes of cabinet meetings that demonstrate the lack of professionalism of the German officials in handling the massacre. The newspaper also wrote that the German authorities were told that Palestinians were planning an "incident" at the Olympics three weeks before the massacre, but failed to take the necessary security measures, and these facts are missing from the official documentation of the German government.

Relying on Germany to tell you that you are about to be attacked by people living in Germany seems to be a policy of questionable intelligence. Maybe every other country is better, but I doubt it.

If it makes you feel better, the US had a hard time tracking/suppressing IRA support back in the day. I would expect there were UK operatives in the US at the time, trying to do the work the US was unwilling/unable to do. So, yeah, "allies" will spy on each other to some degree. Being allies doesn't mean everyone that lives in your ally's country is friendly.

about 10 months ago
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App Detects Neo-Nazis Using Their Music

coyote_oww Re:First not most in amendments (392 comments)

Agreed. I wouldn't mind seeing every amendment written to, as a secondary clause, reaffirm #1.

about 10 months ago
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App Detects Neo-Nazis Using Their Music

coyote_oww First not most in amendments (392 comments)

Doesn't work that way...

The nature of amendments is that the LAST one has most primacy. If it were not that way, you couldn't change the law. Say you passed an amendment banning alcohol. Then you passed another one making it legal. Which one should we follow?? The most recent, or highest numbered amendment.

So, ironically, the first amendment should logically be interpreted AFTER any other amendment. If tomorrow we pass an amendment banning talk about decreasing taxes, that would take precedence over the first amendment, and tax reduction talk would be illegal.

about a year ago
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App Detects Neo-Nazis Using Their Music

coyote_oww Maybe not (392 comments)

This site (http://www.solargeneral.com/jeffs-archive/hate-crimes/blacks-more-likely-to-be-arrested-for-hate-crimes/) seems to suggest that this is not the case.

Further, that Florida preacher was arrested because he loaded his Korans into his trailer, then doused them fuel THEN drove to the site where he was going to actually torch them. This is a hazard, and he was properly stopped.

Would have been more interesting if he had transported the fuel in a safe fashion, and conducted his burn safely. I don't think they could have charged him.

about a year ago
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App Detects Neo-Nazis Using Their Music

coyote_oww wargamers (392 comments)

all know about Finland being on the wrong side, due to no one else being willing/able to cross Russia. Most Western countries were pretty understanding, other than stuff like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_Volunteer_Battalion_of_the_Waffen-SS. Most Western allies had small contingents of Nazis or Nazi admirers themselves, albeit not full-blown military formations participating as part of the German war machine.

about a year ago
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Anonymous Member Sentenced For Joining DDoS Attack For One Minute

coyote_oww Similar actual argument (562 comments)

Not really in a courtroom, but Winston Moseley, killer of Kitty Genovese, rapist of another unnamed woman during an unsuccessful prison attempt had this to say about his sentence:

"For a victim outside, it's a one-time or one-hour or one-minute affair, but for the person who's caught, it's forever."

about a year ago
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Anonymous Member Sentenced For Joining DDoS Attack For One Minute

coyote_oww joint and several liability (562 comments)

From Wikipedia:

Under joint and several liability or all sums, a claimant may pursue an obligation against any one party as if they were jointly liable and it becomes the responsibility of the defendants to sort out their respective proportions of liability and payment. This means that if the claimant pursues one defendant and receives payment, that defendant must then pursue the other obligors for a contribution to their share of the liability.

Joint and several liability is most relevant in tort claims, whereby a plaintiff may recover all the damages from any of the defendants regardless of their individual share of the liability. The rule is often applied in negligence cases, though it is sometimes invoked in other areas of law.

about a year ago
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Art Makes Students Smart

coyote_oww what are you measuring? (187 comments)

That's the real problem. Per the abstract the measure was not really cognitive ability per say. The kids "demonstrated significantly stronger critical thinking skills when analyzing a new painting". So, a guided tour of an art museum gives/refreshes your knowledge of art terminology and the sense that art docents have of how art should be looked at. They didn't demonstrate math, reading, writing or IQ improvement in this experiment.

about a year ago
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Art Makes Students Smart

coyote_oww Really? (187 comments)

Challenge: take a belief you have and prove it. You get to design the experiment, collect the data and publish your results.

Unless you try to fail, you won't, you'll "prove" exactly what you set out to prove. As noted above, can independent researchers reproduce the result. That is, people that are doubtful that art will magically fix kids.

about a year ago
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Sen. Chuck Schumer Seeks To Extend Ban On 'Undetectable' 3D-Printed Guns

coyote_oww Re:Futility of certain laws (550 comments)

Its so you can charge your perp with one more thing when you finally catch him.

about a year ago
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Tesla Model S Can Hit (At Least) 132 MPH On the Autobahn

coyote_oww Re:huh? (410 comments)

http://fastestlaps.com/comparisons/ford_mustang_gt_420_hp-vs-tesla_model_s_performance_model.html

Not quite as fast as a ~$30,000 car even. And you might be able to find cheaper cars yet that could match it.

about a year ago
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Ars: Cross-Platform Malware Communicates With Sound

coyote_oww Re:Hoax (245 comments)

So once again, Terminator shows us the way. Defeat the malware by stationing dogs near all computers to listen for the telltale hyper frequency comms emitted by the machines.

about a year ago
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U.S. Will Not Provide Financing For New International Coal-Fired Power Plants

coyote_oww Re:Loan rationale (329 comments)

I did not mean to suggest that GE's business should be subsidized, just clarifying how this works. I think that I suggested that the loans would still happen without government assistance.

The general pattern is that governments want to give the appearance of aiding developing countries. If you just give another country money, they might buy from another country than yours. So, governments (including all developed countries) generally tie aid to purchases from the aiding country. An easy way to do this is to subsidize the loan. It winds up providing a competitive advantage for corporations that can talk their governments into doing it.

Whether it is good or bad depends on your beliefs about aid, corporate welfare, and the rules of international business competition. If everyone is doing it but you, you're going to lose business. I generally see all countries promising to not subsidize loans for purchases from their corporations as an improvement in the competitive environment. I also tend to see government aid as minimally or counter productive, so we're on the same side there.

about a year ago
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U.S. Will Not Provide Financing For New International Coal-Fired Power Plants

coyote_oww Loan rationale (329 comments)

You loan people X, they pay you back X plus interest. If the "plus interest" part is more than you could make putting your money to other uses (and the risk/reward calculus is acceptable), you make the loan. That it is international is a minor consideration - it gets factored in as an increase in the risk that you won't get paid back.

The government subsidizes loans to third world countries as a form of aid. Removal of the subsidy will not stop the loans. GE, for example, started as a manufacturer, but became a bank because they started loaning money to their customers to buy their products. The commercial loan business outgrew the manufacturing arm.

So, stopping the loans may hurt the US more than it helps, in strictly financial terms. We aren't building power plants at the rate the developing world is. If you want that business, you need to be prepared make deals that include financing.

about a year ago
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Why Can't Big Government Launch a Website?

coyote_oww Pre-existing conditions (786 comments)

I am a transplant patient. I have had a liver-kidney transplant as the culmination of a genetic condition. I have, obviously, had the condition my whole life. When I got out of college into a job with medical insurance, there were no "pre-existing condition" questions at all. As a salaried employee, I was immediately eligible for benefits on day 1. I was told this by an HR rep, and so it proved to be.

When I got the transplant (years later), I did get a letter from the insurance company - but they were checking to see if there was someone they could sue for the expense (there wasn't). A little seedy, but not refusing to pay.

The stories I've heard of insurance companies refusing to pay after years generally have 2 criteria: Not part of a group plan and failing to disclose a condition upon initial application. The deal is, if they give you a questionaire, the rates are dependent on your answers. So, if you say your perfectly healthy, you get a lower rate. If they then find out that you weren't perfectly healthy, and you knew that, then you're going to be in trouble. Group plans typically don't have the questionaire - I've only ever been asked if I smoke, for example. If I did smoke, and lied about it to get a lower rate, I should expect that to catch up to me when I get lung cancer.

about a year ago
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What If the "Sharing Economy" Organized a Strike, and Nobody Came?

coyote_oww Re:cutting drivers pay can end up badly (139 comments)

As a motorcyclist -
Rain and cold are doable (for ever so slightly more money, for cold weather gear).
Snow is not, just not enough people with the equipment and skill to do it safely.
Large deliveries are doable, with mild modifications to the bike. My bike has a luggage mount that could be fitted with a cage that could hold 8-12 pies or so. You could fit 15lbs or so of stuff on the tail, and use a tank bag for transaction material. Most bikes could reasonably handle 150lbs of cargo, which is way more than you need for pizza delivery. If Domino's provided the bikes, it wouldn't be a big deal to fit them with a rack specially designed for pizza.

It would take a change in mind set on the part of Domino's. Realistically they'd have to provide the motorcycles. That is never going to happen for an entirely separate reason - you couldn't insure the operation. The extra insurance money would eat the fuel savings many times over. Also finding riders would be harder than finding drivers - although with reasonable benefits I'd seriously consider changing careers. Riding around all day beats sitting in a cube, hands down.

In CA, you'd probably get faster delivery too, due to lane sharing.

about a year ago

Submissions

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ComputerWorld suggests MS embrace cannibalization

coyote_oww coyote_oww writes  |  about a year ago

coyote_oww (749758) writes "ComputerWorld analysis article suggests that MS should stop worrying about one product cutting into another product's sales, and concentrate on putting their best foot foward regardless of the impact on product lines. And the big impact would be the price of Windows: "... suggesting that Microsoft must... sell devices based on lower prices. And the only significant component ...that can be cut further...is the Windows license." It's wordy, the ... covers lots of tech-reader unnecessary verbiage. Still possible they could sell Windows version at different rates for different devices, but that could get hard to justify to consumers over the long haul."
Link to Original Source
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Ad grabs attention by being _under_ everything...

coyote_oww coyote_oww writes  |  more than 5 years ago

coyote_oww writes "Checking the SF Chronicle's website this morning, I was suprised by their new background. Suprised enough to actually look at it and figure out what was going on. What's going on is that one of the ads on their front page involves someone surfing on a wave, and they used the rest of the wave picture _underneath_ the main webpage. It rather striking. If this is the future of "how to get peoples attention" I like it, it's relatively unobtrusive (no flashing, screen grabbing, or popping up), rather pleasant to look at, and actually got my attention. Except I still have no clue what they were actually advertising..."
Link to Original Source
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Arrest from facial recognition software

coyote_oww coyote_oww writes  |  more than 5 years ago

coyote_oww writes "Nevada DMV detected a guy trying to use his dead brother's name for new documentation. The article mentions this is the third time this has happened already. I hadn't realized that they were doing comparisons on everything that comes in — though I personally think this is a good thing. It makes me wonder though about how it works. They have a new photo but what do they compare against? Past license issues? Police mugshots? And I thought the state of the art at this point would still produce too many false positives to be useful."
Link to Original Source

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