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

grantspassalan Re:Bush Vetoed this, apparently (630 comments)

It does not really make any more difference whether a candidate is a Democrat or Republican. What is really important in the next election is to vote against whoever is in office currently and vote for their opponent most likely to throw them out. This will send the message loud and clear that the people are fed up with the status quo. Sooner or later (most likely sooner) the newcomers will also turn corrupt, but it will take them a while to establish their connections with the corrupting influences of the thousands of professional lobbyists infesting Washington DC. Meanwhile we can hope that for a while at least they will represent the people that voted them into office rather than the money bags of special interest groups.

4 days ago
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Illustrating the Socioeconomic Divide With iOS and Android

grantspassalan Trading time for money (161 comments)

Most people in this world have to trade their time for money in order to pay their bills. This includes people who spend their time writing programs for phones and computers. Why is it so surprising that people that can afford Apple products are also able to spend more money?

It does not cost significantly less to make the hardware of phones and tablets from one company to the next. What costs a lot of money is making good software to run on this hardware. It is mostly because the software on Android is "free" that makes these devices cheaper than Apple products. This is also the reason why Android customers expect their apps to be free also. Android however is not really free for the same reason that over the air broadcast television is not free. For Google and broadcasters the users are the product and the advertisers are the customers. Both are selling the user's time. In the case of Google, the users private information as well as their time is sold to the advertisers. Besides huge profits, Google is using a large fraction of their substantial pile of money to provide "free" software to deliver more of their product (eyeballs and information) to their customers the advertisers.

about two weeks ago
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Vint Cerf: CS Programs Must Change To Adapt To Internet of Things

grantspassalan Internet of things--a novelty (163 comments)

No one has ever made a safe or lock that could not be broken and no one will ever make a software system that cannot be hacked. The battle between good and evil will never end. This has been the battle of humanity since the beginning. The best we can hope for is to limit the evil of hacking to a dull roar. A hacked Internet connected freezer can spoil hundreds of dollars worth of food or a hacked clothes dryer may set somebody's house on fire. Up until now, only a tiny number of hacks have caused real physical damage. Until the possibility of real physical damage is eliminated for all practical purposes, the so-called "Internet of Things" will be a novelty for the vast majority of people.

about two weeks ago
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Can Science Ever Be "Settled?"

grantspassalan Re:settled != True (497 comments)

"science is unconcerned with Truth, perhaps even actively opposed to it"

That statement is accepted by many today, but that was not how the pioneers that laid the foundation of our modern science understood their scientific pursuits in their lifetimes. Most of the early scientists, indeed most people at that time, believed that there was an absolute truth because they believed in the God of truth. They believed that they could discover these unchanging truths of nature because they believed that these truths were put there by an unchanging Creator God. Many scientific units of measurement are still named after these early pioneer scientists.

about a month and a half ago
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Can Science Ever Be "Settled?"

grantspassalan Re:i interpret it to mean (497 comments)

Faith begins where science helpless. It means believing someone you trust to tell you the truth. If I tell you I like the colors blue and yellow, there is no scientific way of testing this objectively. All you can do is either believe I am telling you the truth or disbelieve and accuse me of lying or ignorance.

about a month and a half ago
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'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

grantspassalan Re:Ya think so? (606 comments)

Why can't companies like Google who deal mostly in goods that get shipped over the Internet give their employees a fast Internet connection and let them live wherever they want to or can afford to? They already have data centers in places like Prineville, Oregon which is in the middle of nowhere. Some of their employees, other than the ones that work in the data center, might want to live on a 10 acre property with a nice modern house on it.

about 2 months ago
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'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

grantspassalan Re:Business decisions should not be altruistic (606 comments)

The truth is that only a very tiny minority cares about the social responsibility of the business when they do their shopping. The overwhelming majority cares only about whether they get the best deal for their money. People shop at places like Walmart not because they like the idea that Walmart invests a smidgen of their profit in the local community, but because they have lowest prices most of the time.

about 2 months ago
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Apple SSL Bug In iOS Also Affects OS X

grantspassalan Re:Lets see how far back... (140 comments)

I just checked with https://www.imperialviolet.org... And I got the message "Safari can't open that page because Safari can't established a secure connection to the server". I am running Mac OS 10.8.4 so does that mean I am safe?

about 2 months ago
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Mathematician: Is Our Universe a Simulation?

grantspassalan Re:Some possible ways (745 comments)

If someone would show you evidence for anything, in the end you would still have to believe the evidence by faith. That is how our court system works. The judge or jury has to ultimately believe or disbelieve whatever evidence is presented. This belief is more often than not based on the integrity of whoever it is that is presenting the evidence plus some well-established knowledge about the believability of certain evidence according to prior knowledge of the judge, jury or society as a whole. In earlier times, before we learned about DNA, juries often had to hear conflicting testimony as to establishing paternity. This has now become rather cut and dried because science has pretty well established the validity of DNA testing. An expert in DNA testing is more likely to be listened to than 10 so-called "witnesses" testifying contrary to the DNA evidence. Ultimately it comes down to WHOM you believe rather than WHAT you believe. The same can be said for belief in God and what he communicated in this book, the Bible. In the end you have to choose what your limited intellect and/or a large group of "scientists" give as "evidence" or you have to believe One who claims to have created the universe from nothing and chose to reveal this to us. When someone reveals something to you, it is often impossible to test such revelation objectively by any means available to us humans. All you can do is choose to believe or disbelieve.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Fix Bugs They Cause On Their Own Time?

grantspassalan Re:Bad Analogy (716 comments)

..."Because software is just this crazy complex beyond human comprehension thing we can't make rules about because its all voodoo and chaos theory."

It is not so much that software is crazy and complex, although it is, but the fact that computers are dumb machines that somewhere along the line have to be told every little step along the way.

Humans are not like that and even small children learn from their mistakes. In information science, terms like artificial intelligence and machine learning are often bandied about. The problem is that computers don't really "learn" the way people do and fix their own mistakes. That was illustrated to me some years ago by watching my son-in-law, who is a skilled software engineer, train his firstborn son how to walk. He simply helped the little tyke to stand up and then moved back a step or two, holding his arms wide and let the little one take a step or two and then of course fall down. Daddy helped him stand up again and repeat the procedure. Pretty soon the little fellow was taking three or four steps before falling.

This procedure is far different from programming a computer, in that nowhere did the father make an attempt to teach the boy how to move his leg muscles to maintain his balance. The kid learned that all on his own, but no computer is capable of learning a thing, unless first instructed in the minutest steps. The little boy did not need to be instructed in the details of which muscles to move when and how and what the response to the signals from the balance sensors in the ear should be. Computers are complex yet unbelievably dumb machines that have to be told every little detail of a procedure to achieve a given goal. Humans are not nearly as detail oriented, therefore we often miss communicating the minute details that computers must have. As they say, the devil is in the details and that is especially true when it comes to instructing computers how to accomplish something useful.

about 2 months ago
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Paul Vixie On the Unevenly Distributed Intelligence of Internet Infrastructure

grantspassalan It is largely humans these days (96 comments)

that are the cause of breaches and insecurities of the Internet. Long ago that was not the case, because simply connecting a computer to the Internet would get it infected with malware. Computer and browser makers have learned how to largely avoid this, but no one has yet figured out a way to prevent trusting or stupid human beings from giving permission to install programs that subsequently are able to do severe damage. This is part of human nature and will never change.

about 2 months ago
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GPUs Dropping Dead In 2011 MacBook Pro Models

grantspassalan Re:Warranty Shouldn't Matter (359 comments)

This is just another example of politicians legislating on environmental issues when they are pressured by special interest groups. With the old-fashioned lead-containing 60/40 solder that used to be standard, such problems did not exist. Yes, old electronics eventually ends up in a landfill, but with misguided politicians legislating on engineering issues, there are more equipment failures and and then that equipment ends up in a landfill much sooner than it otherwise would. That makes a total pollution go up rather than down.

about 3 months ago
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Man Jailed For Refusing To Reveal USB Password

grantspassalan Re:So the USA is all libertard? (374 comments)

Therefore if I threatened to take away something from you and then change my mind I have given it back? No human being has ever given life to another. Parents have been given the awesome responsibility to PASS ON life, but they are not the originators thereof.

about 3 months ago
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Man Jailed For Refusing To Reveal USB Password

grantspassalan Re:Cry me a fucking river... (374 comments)

But your honor, I don't know the password, because I had it written down on a Post-it note under the keyboard. When the cops took the computer and everything else away, they must have overlooked and lost it. Sorry! Now what can any judge say to that?

about 3 months ago
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Man Jailed For Refusing To Reveal USB Password

grantspassalan Re:So the USA is all libertard? (374 comments)

There are certain rights that no human can GIVE to some other human but only TAKE away. That is because no human can give life to another, but only take it. The ultimate right is the right to life. There is no government on earth that has ever GIVEN any right, but has only TAKEN rights away that people already had. The U.S. Constitution was written to reduce or limit that human tendency to take rights away from each other.

about 3 months ago
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Tech Leaders Push Back Against Obama's Efforts To Divert Discussion From NSA

grantspassalan Hypocrites (312 comments)

It is true and has always been that the best way to get the attention of large megacorporations, technological or otherwise, is to hit them in the pocketbook. Until Mr. Snowden came along, most of these tech companies willingly, some of them enthusiastically, cooperated with the government spies who were going to pay them considerable amounts of money. Phone companies even set aside special rooms and equipment to facilitate the spy agencies desires to scarf up terabytes of data. Now that all this has come to light, these tech giants stand to lose a fortune as others who do not wish to be spied on take their business elsewhere. How will common ordinary people ever know whether big government and big business are NOT under the same blanket, telling monstrous lies whenever it suits their agendas? Thank you Mr. Snowden!

about 4 months ago
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Australia Spied On Indonesian President

grantspassalan Governments have always spied on each other (213 comments)

Since ancient times, governments have always spied on one another with varying effectiveness. It's just in our modern times, with the advent of the Internet, governments not only spy on each other but on as many others as they possibly can. Unlike governments of course most people don't have such deep dark secrets and their communications with one another are almost always quite boring. Would it not be nice if all the spies got bored to death by all the mundane things we have to say to one another?

about 5 months ago
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Most Sensitive Detector Yet Fails To Find Any Signs of Dark Matter

grantspassalan Re:Maybe (293 comments)

Don't you think that your phrase "we assume facts" is contradictory? Facts are facts and when you assume something you believe it and don't know it but are guessing. We know that mass gives rise to gravity, and that the Higgs boson is somehow involved with mass, but we really have not figured out yet what about mass makes gravity. Also, there is no experiment you can do that can differentiate gravity from acceleration.

about 6 months ago
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Most Sensitive Detector Yet Fails To Find Any Signs of Dark Matter

grantspassalan Re:Maybe (293 comments)

The evidence we have is that the galaxies don't move according to our understanding of the laws of gravity. Does that not assume that gravity is the only force controlling the motion of those galaxies? What if there is another force that also controls the motion of galaxies in addition to gravity? Is gravity the only force we know about that can act over great distances? Compared to other forces in the universe, gravity is extremely weak. It would not take much of a component from the electric force to augment the effects of gravity to the extent that it corrects for and explains the observed motion.

The electric force is 10^39 times stronger than gravity, so it would not take much of a differential electric field to make the electric force dominant over gravity. We know there must be enormous electric fields over vast distances, because the Earth is constantly bombarded by charged particles with energies far greater than any human accelerator has ever achieved. Only electric fields can accelerate particles to such energies as we observe. If there are enormous electrical potentials between different parts of galaxies or between galaxies, could those account for some of the observed motion?

about 6 months ago
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Ten Steps You Can Take Against Internet Surveillance

grantspassalan Re:Can't vote against all incumbents (234 comments)

Some states have an initiative process that voters can use force such laws down the throat of recalcitrant & bribed politicians. Voters used that process while we were still living in California to the reign in overzealous tax collectors and beat politicians into submission with the famous proposition 13 way back when. Oregon voters did the same thing with measure 5 not too long after that.

about 6 months ago

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