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The Milky Way Is Much Less Massive Than Previous Thought

grantspassalan Re:Dark? (119 comments)

“What if we've missed something?”

The electric force is 10^36 times greater than gravity. Most humans, including physicists cannot really visualize a number with 36 zeros behind it. Because charges can either attract or repel, the electric forces in the universe ALMOST but not quite in some instances cancel each other. It is the ignoring of this tiny imbalance which is not being accounted for in the motion of the galaxies that causes astrophysicists to suggest the existence of dark matter, dark energy and black holes. None of these strictly mathematical constructs have ever been discovered to actually exist.

yesterday
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UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys

grantspassalan Re:What if he forgot it? (353 comments)

Like many people, this guy could have written his too long to remember password down on a note taped to the bottom of the keyboard. The police in their hurry to confiscate the computer lost the note. How would anybody ever prove or disprove that this scenario did not happen?

about three weeks ago
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UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys

grantspassalan Re:Seems appropriate (353 comments)

The poor guy probably had the password written down on a Post-it note underneath the keyboard because it was too long and complicated to reasonably remember. The police in their hurry, when they confiscated the computer, lost that little note. How can anyone prove that this was not so. How can anyone prove that the guy does indeed not remember the password? After all, humans are forgetful creatures. I suppose being forgetful can land you in jail in the UK.

about three weeks ago
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Studies: Wildfires Worse Due To Global Warming

grantspassalan Re:I thought weather was not climate... (379 comments)

Warmer air can hold more moisture than colder air. Therefore if the overall temperature of the earth rises, there will be more average moisture in the atmosphere which will also result in more moisture precipitating out of the atmosphere. That increased moisture will still not be distributed more evenly than now.

Where do people think all that carbon was, before it was sequestered underground a long time ago? We call this stuff we burn “fossil fuel” because it was once part of living organisms, mostly plants. Where do plants get their carbon? Climate like most things in nature comes in cycles. It is natural and people have absolutely nothing to do with it. They never did in the past and they don’t now. AGW is a modern myth, a fairytale designed to control people and make someone lots of money.

about 2 months ago
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New Zero-Day Flash Bug Affects Windows, OS X, and Linux Computers

grantspassalan Re:I never installed flash ... (178 comments)

Just for fun I tried to watch a video on Hulu with Safari and sure enough they told me I had to have Flash installed in order to watch their stuff. Then I told Safari to lie to them and tell them that I am using an iPad. Low and behold the videos worked like a charm. Why do sites like Hulu and others still require that people have this malware vector installed on their systems?

about 3 months ago
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New Zero-Day Flash Bug Affects Windows, OS X, and Linux Computers

grantspassalan Re:flash is dead (178 comments)

Here is a serious answer -> All iPads, iPhones and newer Macs don’t use Flash. You don’t even need a browser, but can download hundreds of games, many of them for free. Most of those free ones are far better than anything using Flash. Many of those games even work without an Internet connection, which none of the Flash-based games do.

about 3 months ago
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New Zero-Day Flash Bug Affects Windows, OS X, and Linux Computers

grantspassalan Re:Parent SHOULD NOT be modded flamebait (178 comments)

There is nothing that Flash can do on the millions of iPads, iPhones and modern Macs, because it won’t run on any of them. On the rest of the devices out there, such as Android and Windows, Flash can be and often has been a fabulous way for malware writers to infiltrate your device.

about 3 months ago
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New Zero-Day Flash Bug Affects Windows, OS X, and Linux Computers

grantspassalan Re:Long story short (178 comments)

More often than not you can fool most websites by telling them that you are using an iPad. That site will then happily show you the video. This works especially well on YouTube.

about 3 months ago
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New Zero-Day Flash Bug Affects Windows, OS X, and Linux Computers

grantspassalan Re:Long story short (178 comments)

Apple for good reason does not allow Flash on any of their devices. I can still download it from Adobe for my Mac if I first change a setting in the control panel that by default prevents this. So far I have resisted the temptation. What do instead is fool the Flash infested websites, mostly videos, that I am using an iPad and then like magic the video usually works just fine. There are many YouTube videos that behave this way. I don’t play games, so Flash might as well not exist.

about 3 months ago
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Venus' Crust Heals Too Fast For Plate Tectonics

grantspassalan I wonder what assumptions they are making? (135 comments)

Since nobody was around billions of years ago, many assumptions have to be made about conditions on earth at that time. This is true even more so about Venus. About the only thing these “scientists” can say for sure is that the mathematics and programming of their computer models are likely correct. That is certainly not true about the original assumptions used as a starting point. As the saying goes: “garbage in, garbage out”.

about 3 months ago
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

grantspassalan Re:Bush Vetoed this, apparently (632 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.

about 4 months 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 4 months 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 4 months 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 5 months 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 5 months 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 6 months ago

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