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Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague

forand Hope they think about it... (360 comments)

As others have stated most of the information doesn't seem to be any more harmful than a copy of The Cookbook. With regards to biological weapons: one would hope that whomever thought of this would keep on thinking to realize that poorer nations always fare worse when it comes to communicable diseases. They have fewer resources, longer response times, denser populations, etc.. If the biological isn't communicable it still doesn't make too much sense without some industrial scale dispersal methods which are generally easy to detect.

3 days ago

German Intelligence Spying On Allies, Recorded Kerry, Clinton, and Kofi Annan

forand Re:Germany not responsible for call recordings (170 comments)

Redundant system for what exactly are you referring to? If the US isn't recording important calls made by their Secretary of State's then there is something wrong.

about two weeks ago

Hackers Steal Data Of 4.5 Million US Hospital Patients

forand Re:why internet connected? (111 comments)

Why can't they us a VPN AT LEAST? The GP is not ignorant but perhaps too idealistic. Personally while I don't think it is a good idea to have health records available on the internet I think it is far worse that our electrical system REQUIRES internet access and communication between various points. This is a horrible national security risk while private health records are rather difficult to either monetize or use (financial records excluded).

about two weeks ago

The Cost of Caring For Elderly Nuclear Plants Expected To Rise

forand Re:Failure of the 20th-Century Environmental Movem (249 comments)

I agree that there was a great failure in the US to build out newer nuclear plants in the latter years of the 20th century. Unfortunately it isn't as clear as you state. Energy produces were spreading mis-information if not lies about nuclear power while the Environmental people were crying about the waste. Nuclear power is NOT without its drawbacks. I remember vividly having a PG&E rep come into our class and go through her whole spiel which included numerous falsehoods. When I called her on it she was literally dumbfounded that anyone would know enough to question her falsehoods. It took me YEARS to realize that while PG&E wasn't being trustworthy about nuclear power the other options where worse (generally). So the energy companies themselves hold some of the responsibility for the failure to build new generation nuclear reactors. People do not like being lied to or mislead and often will assume your goals are suspect because of it.

about two weeks ago

Online Tool Flagged Ebola Outbreak Before Formal WHO Announcement

forand WHO reports verified outbreaks (35 comments)

This App reports on symptoms and could be very useful to the WHO to determine where they need to look for outbreaks. It do NOT verify , as the WHO, does that a particular disease or strain.

about three weeks ago

Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

forand Actions speak louder than words (200 comments)

This might be reasonable if it was coming from a group who hadn't spent huge sums of money fighting to stop legislation that would have made it illegal for either netflix or comcast to charge for the specific route. That being said if Comcast, Time Warner, etc. make Netflix pay to be inside their networks now and in the future Netflix turns around and says "if you don't pay us to stay we will remove our servers from your networks and your customers will have to get Netflix through standard routing" then I have no sympathy for them but they may be right in worrying.

about a month ago

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

forand Re:You have this backwards. (749 comments)

I agree with everything you have stated. However, the situation is not one of Microsoft being required to produce their own documents, they are being required to produce other's documents. So the analogy would be that Microsoft has a rental storage facility in Ireland and the US wants them to riffle through a unit and send some documents they find. That is far less reasonable and clear cut as your summary.

about a month and a half ago

In 2012, Facebook Altered Content To Tweak Readers' Emotions

forand Ethical Responsibility (130 comments)

This is quite interesting research that should never have been done. I am rather surprised that the National Academy published the results of a study which violated multiple ethical guidelines put in place to protect human subjects. Did Facebook track the number of suicides in the 700,000 sample? Was the rate of those given a sadder than average stream have a higher or lower rate? Do the Facebook researchers address the ethical questions posed by performing such an experiment at all?

about 2 months ago

Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

forand Bad summary/Theory Conflicts with data (347 comments)

The summary (and linked article) do a poor job of explaining the process and imply some change in the speed of light (there isn't one). The problem with the article ( is that it ignores a bunch of more relevant data: Fermi-LAT observed photons from the same GRB over a very wide energy range placing an extremely good limit on effects like this proposed in the article (

Furthermore this is NOT new; the original article was posted in 2011 and only recently published in the "New Journal of Physics" which has apparently only published 16 volumes and I believe has had its email permanently redirected to my spam box.

Finally why do people link to Medium and not the actual article for physic related news items? We have demanded open, free access to all our papers since the birth of the internet (I speak as a physicist). Do everyone a favor and find the arxiv link and include it in your summary when submitting physics stories to Slashdot.

about 2 months ago

Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

forand Very short time window (686 comments)

We have had the ability to send out communications to the cosmos roughly the same amount of time we have had weapons capable of killing us all if used improperly. What are the odds that we will have sent something to someone listening before we either kill ourselves or are thrown back into the stone ages by some natural event? Basically I do not find it hard to believe that intelligent life, over time, may not be so great at propagating itself for the time needed to communicate with other civilizations.

about 3 months ago

Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Earns One Million Dollars In Less Than a Day

forand Re: Two Problems (164 comments)

Thanks to you both for being good reasonable people. Props to you both.

about 3 months ago

The Major Theoretical Blunders That Held Back Progress In Modern Astronomy

forand Re:scientific consensus! (129 comments)

What is described in both the summary and article are not scientific consensus. Scientific consensus is NOT the "merely mobbing using peer reviews and grant committees." Scientific consensus is just that, you look at what researchers are concluding in their studies and you see if there is a mountain of evidence pointing to a similar conclusion: e.g. virtually everyone who throws up something sees it fall back down points to gravity. But there is almost always someone who sees something really odd: e.g. one person threw up something that floated away and never saw it again like a helium balloon. We, as scientists, do not conclude that gravity has a problem from this but that perhaps helium balloons are special. My point is that scientific consensus is an emergent phenomena: it appears when conditions are right from apparent randomness (like statistical mechanics). Peer reviewers do not get to kill papers because they don't like them, in fact they DO NOT GET TO KILL PAPERS. They get to criticize the work and ask for more evidence and clarification and the authors get to respond. So if your work is rejected it is generally for one of two reason: not good enough to warrant publication in the journal you chose (not everything is published in Science) or you failed to make your work compelling enough in the face of criticism.

about 3 months ago

How Nest and FitBit Might Spy On You For Cash

forand Nest not selling data (93 comments)

The article is very misleading. Nest is working with some power companies which offer their customers financial incentives to allow the power company to dial back their AC units during high load times. Pepco in DC offers the same service but you have to pay for their thermostat. This isn't selling user information this is letting the power companies access their customers' thermostats if and only if that customer allows it. Nothing in the article says anything else is happening than this but states it in a very deceptive way. If the article actually had some evidence of something more nefarious it would be fine but as it is just doesn't stand up.

This is a link to the Nest program:

about 4 months ago

Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

forand Poor comments (673 comments)

The comments on this thread are saddening. People seem to have neither read nor understood even the short summary:

  • Google isn't paying students but paying teachers to encourage female students to use the Khan Academy web class.
  • Discrimination is not, not paying for someone else. Google is doing this as a charity. Should charities that focus on small immigrant communities be forced to spend their resources outside of their mandate?

about 5 months ago

Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

forand Re:If ur not coding because you like it . . . (673 comments)

They are not bribing people to code. They are paying teachers to enlighten girls to resources that are available to them to learn to code. Finally I have a question for you: Is a well paid engineer being bribed to do their job? Paying someone to do something for you or for society is pretty far from a bribe.

about 5 months ago

How Engineers Are Building a Power Station At the South Pole

forand Re:The answer? (108 comments)

One cannot put a nuclear reactor on Antarctica at this point by international treaty: you can neither store nor dispose of waste there and taking it offsite costs too much.

about 6 months ago

Ancient Pompeii Diet Consisted of Giraffe and Other "Exotic'" Delicacies

forand Re:exotic (172 comments)

Sea urchins are very common on the coast of Northern California. It is pretty much only eaten by fishermen and at Japanese restaurants though. Regardless, I suspect that the point of the article was that sea urchins aren't native to the sea immediately surrounding Pompeii. While it is likely Giraffes were walked from Africa, taking a barrel of sea water and sea urchins even 100 miles in a ox cart would still be considered just as exotic.

about 8 months ago

Google: Our Robot Cars Are Better Drivers Than You

forand Re:What is the use of being better Driver? (722 comments)

If I could buy and used a 150k robot car now I would. I would get my neighbors together and buy 10 for the block. Sell all our other cars and close the road in front of our houses to all traffic aside from the robotic cars. We would save money and have a huge area we could convert to a park for the large number of young kids we have on our block. Or we could wait till someone actually makes a production model for 75k and do it all then.

about 10 months ago

Hillary Clinton: "We Need To Talk Sensibly About Spying"

forand Re:"what is necessary to be done" (461 comments)

Excellent argument for why one should vote for a third party candidate in their representative or pretty much any local election. Not so much for voting for the US President. The person elected will be from one of the two major parties. That person will have a significant amount of power over the political activities for the next four years. I often find that, while I actively like neither side, I often loath the stated goals of one side. Thus for a US Presidential election it makes no sense to vote for a 3rd party candidate who will not win when my vote could go against the candidate I loath. This is far from ideal and not something I think is good but it is the result of our system. Give me proportional voting or some way to pick who I WANT above who I like marginally more than the candidate I loath and I (and I think you) would be happy.

about a year ago

Scientific American In Blog Removal Controversy

forand Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (254 comments)

It should also be noted that the blog with the offensive editor is a business partner of Sci-AM so they are not an innocent bystander. This blog has a screen shot of Sci-AM's "Partner Network" before it was edited. Furthermore, her Sci-AM blog IS her blog. As others have pointed out, Sci-AM is being inconsistent at best in their actions.

about a year ago



Netflix removing 'Add to DVD Queue'

forand forand writes  |  more than 3 years ago

forand (530402) writes "Netflix is removing the 'Add to DVD Queue' from streaming devices. Does this indicate a push towards a streaming only Netflix? Influence from the content owners? A poor business decision?"
Link to Original Source

News Corp. Shuts off Hulu Access in Cable dispute.

forand forand writes  |  more than 3 years ago

forand (530402) writes "News Corp. has provided an excellent example of what can go wrong when corporations leverage their power in one market to affect another. By cutting off access to Hulu to Cablevision internet subscribers, News Corp. is making it clear to the market they they will use any means to get their desired outcome. In particular this brings up many questions relevant to net neutrality: is this evidence for the need for legal regulation? would regulation lead to a more dysfunctional marketplace? what recourse do consumers have when not offered any other providers of internet access nor traditional cable content?"
Link to Original Source

US Calls for Investigation Into Google Intrusion

forand forand writes  |  more than 4 years ago

forand (530402) writes "US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, has called for China to initiate a 'thorough' and 'transparent' investigation into the recent attacks on Google and other US companies."
Link to Original Source

Google attackers identified

forand forand writes  |  more than 4 years ago

forand (530402) writes "Researchers, examining the attacks on Google and over 20 other companies in December, have determined "the source IPs and drop server of the attack correspond to a single foreign entity consisting either of agents of the Chinese state or proxies thereof.""
Link to Original Source

Copyright as National Security

forand forand writes  |  more than 5 years ago

forand (530402) writes "Both Arstechnica and Wired have called the Obama administrations recent dubbing of the specifics of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement as a 'National Security' issue, for what it is: the same old shenanigans. Wired's David Kravets further points out: "The national security claim is stunning, given that the treaty negotiations have included the 27 member states of the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Switzerland and New Zealand, all of whom presumably have access to the "classified" information.""
Link to Original Source


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