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Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

goodmanj Russia wants a lot of things. (312 comments)

Russia's manned space program basically consists of announcing plans to do amazing things, which come to nothing as they keeping on doing the same stuff they were doing in the 1980s. As opposed to the U.S. manned space program, which consists of making plans to get back to the stuff they were doing in the 1980s, which come to nothing.

(Unmanned is another story.)

4 days ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

goodmanj Headline is a misquote (578 comments)

The headline misquotes Bloomberg. He didn't say you *can't* teach a coal miner to code, he said you won't. And he's right. While it's certainly *possible* for some older adults to radically change their career paths into tech jobs, the majority of us lack the motivation and mental flexibility, and society doesn't want to spend the money to help us make the switch. It's just not going to happen. Bloomberg's overall point is dead on: we need to come up with ways to allow people to gently move into new careers that make the most of their talents, rather than just firing them, throwing a Javascript for Dummies book at them, and expecting them to become the next Zuckerberg.

That said, Bloomberg's got a pretty 19th century view of what coal mining is. Since it's all done with heavy machinery and robots these days, it's a pretty technically demanding job.

about a week ago
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FWD.us Wants More H-1B Visas, But 50% Go To Offshore Firms

goodmanj Wrong question (325 comments)

Ask not, "why are the lion's share of visa quotas going to offshore companies?" Ask, "why are there visa quotas?"

America's rise to become a great nation was driven by unlimited immigration. Let everybody in. Everybody.

about two weeks ago
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Getting Misogyny, Racism and Homophobia Out of Gaming

goodmanj Comments read as expected. (704 comments)

"Oh look," I said to myself, "an article on sexist and homophobic game culture. On Slashdot. I bet 90% of the comments are going to be 'we like our disgusting frat house the way it is' by sociopathic morons, and the other 10% will be self-professed 'nice guys' explaining to women how they're doing feminism wrong."

But I was wrong. It's 100% sociopathic morons.

about a month ago
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The Tangled Tale of Mt. Gox's Missing Millions

goodmanj Re:Bit coin is highly misunderstood by many (191 comments)

Agree. The ratio of people talking about Bitcoin to people who know *anything* about how it works is astounding.

More informed slashdotters explained that those "expired" blocks have been purged from most miners.

When I first read the details of the Bitcoin system, this is the point at which I got a gigantic sinking feeling in my chest.
The documentation said, "Look, we keep a distributed record of all bitcoin transactions!", and I said,
"Well that does make it vulnerable to law enforcement, but that means it can't be stolen which is awesome." And then it said,
"And then after a while we throw those records out."
"...so all I've got to do is conceal my theft until the records get purged?"
"Pretty much!"
"..."

about a month ago
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The Tangled Tale of Mt. Gox's Missing Millions

goodmanj Turns out bankers aren't worthless. (191 comments)

Turns out those evil corporate bankers with their evil statist money turn out to have some useful skills. Like, they know how to prevent the theft of a good chunk of all the money in their world. Apparently it involves boring stuff like spreadsheets and regulations and corporate hierarchy rather than algorithms, so that's kind of a drag, but so it goes.

about a month ago
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NASA Wants To Go To Europa

goodmanj Re:No they don't. (216 comments)

yeah those idiots at NASA that landed a buggy-sized nuclear powered rover on mars. they have a pretty good track record. i tend to put more credence in what NASA has to say than you. nice analogy though.

You're missing the point. NASA is not one thing. The NASA scientists and genius engineers who actually build all the cool stuff say it'll cost $2 billion. Administrator Bolden, the political appointee who's in charge of figuring out how to pay for it all, says he doesn't want to budget more than $1 billion. I guarantee you he has no good ideas about how to make the mission fit into a $1b budget: he himself says "that may or may not be possible."

http://www.spacenews.com/artic...

about a month and a half ago
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Massachusetts Court Says 'Upskirt' Photos Are Legal

goodmanj Re:Given that interpretation of what the law says. (519 comments)

Just to emphasize your point: the judge in this case is not trying to let the accused off the hook: he/she is pointing out a hole in Massachusetts law.

I'm totally not a lawyer, but I live in Massachusetts and spent some time reading the law today so that makes me an expert. As far as I can tell, upskirt doesn't fall within any of the following Mass sexual crimes:

Rape: Rape in Mass requires penetration.
Indecent assault and battery: Requires physical contact.
Sexual harassment: is specific to the workplace.
Peeping tom: requires that the victim be partly undressed.
Criminal harassment: must be repeated on three occasions.
Unnatural and lascivious acts: applies to sexual acts in public.

It really does seem to me that as far as criminal law goes, upskirting really does fall between the cracks of Massachusetts law.

about a month and a half ago
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NASA Wants To Go To Europa

goodmanj Re:No they don't. (216 comments)

I'm a huge fan of SpaceX, but I'd have a lot of trouble getting behind the idea of putting a 20-year flagship mission project on a rocket that exists only on Youtube. But if NASA and congress screw around much longer, SpaceX will be there when they're needed. Or maybe there'll be a smoking crater where their launch site used to be, who knows.

As for ESA, they already had a joint mission agreement with us, where they'd launch a Jupiter system spacecraft focused on Ganymede and we'd launch a Europa orbiter, to carry out joint observations as a team. We fell down on our end of the deal, so they're going on to Jupiter without us, and they are *not* in the mood to get screwed again.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...

about a month and a half ago
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NASA Wants To Go To Europa

goodmanj No they don't. (216 comments)

What NASA Headquarters is proposing is not a mission, it's a recipe for failure. They want to spend no more than $1 billion on a mission we planetary scientists have told them costs $2 billion.

Suppose you're planning a trip for two to New Zealand. You've got the budget all worked out: airfare costs about half of the total, even during the off-season, and you're skimping on hotels and meals and skipping the helicopter tour to save money. Then your spouse comes along and says you can only spend half as much. You can't make the plane tickets any cheaper, so unless you consider sleeping in the Auckland airport a vacation, she's saying you're not going to New Zealand at all.

It costs a billion dollars to send a bucket of bricks to Europa. Doing science once you get there is extra.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Anti-Camera Device For Use In a Small Bus?

goodmanj Nope (478 comments)

Cameras work on the same principles, and at the same wavelengths, as the human eye. Anything that disables a camera will blind a human.

about a month ago
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Obama To Ask For $1 Billion Climate Change Fund

goodmanj Re:I'm with the conservatives on this one... (410 comments)

Oh no, I mean 20% *more*. And I'd tax coal and gas too. Actually I want to do a 1% tax increase per year up to 100%, but nobody takes me seriously when I say that.

about 2 months ago
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Obama To Ask For $1 Billion Climate Change Fund

goodmanj Re:Just say "No" (410 comments)

Industry is accountable to the law, idiot.

He said that industry *was* unaccountable in the '70s, because there were no environmental laws to hold them to account. So we created some, and an agency called the EPA to administer them.

You're absolutely right, industry is accountable to the law. So we'd better keep the law around!

about 2 months ago
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Obama To Ask For $1 Billion Climate Change Fund

goodmanj I'm with the conservatives on this one... (410 comments)

I'm with the conservatives on this one: we can't use deficit spending for a major climate mitigation program like this, it has to be paid for.

With a 20% fossil fuel tax.

Oh wait, did I lose you guys there?

about 2 months ago
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Financing College With a Tax On All Graduates

goodmanj Startup problem (597 comments)

Great idea, but you can't get it started without a big pile of cash. Nobody will be willing to pay full price for college and then have to pay the taxes too, so you're going to have to subsidize college until you've got enough tax-paying graduates. Social Security had the same startup problem, but that was back when the government was flush with cash.

There's an old Tom Stoppard play called Albert's Bridge, in which a couple of guys constantly work to repaint a bridge. It takes four years to paint it, and the paint lasts four years, so all is well. But then they come out with a new 8-year paint, so the managers fire one of the painters and let the other guy do it alone on an 8-year cycle. After 4 years, the bridge is only half painted, and it eventually collapses.

about 2 months ago
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FBI Has Tor Mail's Entire Email Database

goodmanj Well there's your problem. (195 comments)

"the TorMail e-mail server"

The server. Singular. Did TorMail's creators and users skip class the day they explained how Tor worked?

about 3 months ago
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The Whole Story Behind Low AP CS Exam Stats

goodmanj Re:Do all schools even offer CS classes? (325 comments)

Good for you. How many of your classmates drove BMWs to school? Sorry I'm not trying to be catty, but that much attention to AP only happens at well-funded schools with prosperous, college-focused students. Not so much rich, just "adequate", which is rare in rural America.

about 3 months ago
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The Whole Story Behind Low AP CS Exam Stats

goodmanj You don't get it. (325 comments)

I went to a large, fairly rural high school in a not-particularly-poor area. We had AP U.S. history and AP English. That's it.

Many of you (especially those of you who read and write the New York Times) come from adequately-funded suburban schools, and while you've watched The Wire and think you know what urban schools are like, you have no idea how weak the educational programs at rural high schools are.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Often-Run Piece of Code -- Ever?

goodmanj Car engine computer? (533 comments)

Possibly a small piece of sensor code in a major automaker's engine computers. These are very conservatively built -- probably there are large chunks of code that haven't changed since engine computers appeared in 1980 or so. They're very common -- probably hundreds of millions have been built. And they run the same code constantly over and over, every moment the car is running.

The main reason I might be wrong is that the clock speeds for these engine computers are presumably pretty slow.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Forging DNA evidence: a how-to guide

goodmanj goodmanj writes  |  more than 4 years ago

goodmanj writes "Looking to commit the perfect crime and pin it on your enemy? The New York Times explains how to fabricate DNA evidence, as demonstrated by an Israeli biotech firm. Grab a sample of your enemy's hair, amplify the DNA in it, mix it in with a sample of DNA-free blood, and sprinkle it around the crime scene. If you can't get a strand of hair, you can just use the DNA profile data routinely collected by various government agencies. The perfect frame job!"
Link to Original Source

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