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Comments

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Google Switching to SSL By Default For Logged-In Users

kabloom Re:Refreshing (133 comments)

And I should point out (since the GP doesn't know about referers, he probably needs more than a one word answer) that the Referer is a field in your HTTP request that's automatically sent by your browser telling it the address of the website that you came from. Since Google (and other search engines) put the query string in the URL of the search results page (like they should), the website can read the results out of the URL and know what your search terms were.

Google didn't invent this as a way to invade your privacy -- it's been a feature of the web since the early days.

more than 2 years ago
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Canadian Court Finds Website Scraping Infringes Copyright

kabloom Not copyrightable in the US (147 comments)

IANAL, but in the United States these real estate ads would not be copyrightable because they amount to a collection of facts.

more than 2 years ago
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Oracle May 'Fork Itself' With MySQL Moves

kabloom Re:Pushing to look at alternatives, really? (137 comments)

You probably want support for applications that were developed against MySQL alone, and only work in MySQL's dialect of SQL. Not all DB apps are DBMS agnostic.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Calculators With 1-2-3 Number Pads?

kabloom Re:Don't you have anything better to do? (393 comments)

vi uses your muscle memory much better than the MacOS does. You need hand-eye coordination to click a menu, or select a window, and if you move the window, you lose the ability to take advantage of muscle memory anyway. In vi, the keys are always in the same place. (Unless someone plays a prank on you and remaps your keyboard to AZERTY.)

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Calculators With 1-2-3 Number Pads?

kabloom Re:OCD Much? (393 comments)

Youngster. I learned to use a phone back when phone dials were circular.

more than 2 years ago
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Russian Resupply Crash Could Mean Leaving ISS Empty

kabloom Russia vs US spaceflight (291 comments)

Russia has had fewer astronaut fatailities than the United States, and all of the fatalities Russia has had have been less recent than any of the US's fatalities (those occurring in space, not on the ground). Although it would certainly be a tragedy if people died on a Russian spacecraft, please remember that the reason we now rely on Russian spacecraft is because people died on American spacecraft, and NASA responded by retiring all of the spacecraft involved in the human space program (without developing replacements).

more than 2 years ago
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Russian Supply Vehicle To ISS Burns

kabloom Re:Second loss in a week (184 comments)

I could think of a worse PR disaster: American astronauts getting killed on an American spacecraft. Russia has had fewer astronaut fatailities than the United States, and all of the fatalities Russia has had have been less recent than any of the US's fatalities (those occurring in space, not on the ground). Although it would certainly be a tragedy if people died on a Russian spacecraft, please remember that the reason we now rely on Russian spacecraft is because people died on American spacecraft, and NASA responded by retiring all of the spacecraft involved in the human space program (without developing replacements).

more than 2 years ago
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Do You Want Best Buy Opening Your New Laptop?

kabloom Why... (543 comments)

is this news?

more than 2 years ago
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The Rise of Git

kabloom Re:Bazaar (442 comments)

Bazaar allows more different types of workflows than git does (like the Subversion workflow, as you mention). My main problem with bazaar is that when I wanted to convert the SVN repository that holds my whole home directory about 5 years ago to bazaar, bazaar choked and git didn't. Now I'm using git, and even if they fixed my problem (or more likely the problem is moot), I see no reason to change.

more than 2 years ago
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The Rise of Git

kabloom Re:Data, Images, Binary builds etc. (442 comments)

You could use rsync to send your releases over the VPN. (And if you're compressing them, you can use gzip --rsyncable first). But if git does what you want, then by all means...

more than 2 years ago
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Cornell Software Fingers Fake Online Reviews

kabloom Link to the paper (122 comments)

I think you want the link for the paper, rather than the slides.

more than 2 years ago
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Why IT Won't Like Mac OS X Lion Server

kabloom Re:learn how to use the command line (341 comments)

The truth is that many system administrators prefer the command line, because you can come up with a bunch of repeatable commands that can be put into a script file and replayed on lots of machines, and because you can more efficiently work with a command-line over a remote access protocol like SSH (becuase less data needs to be sent across the network). Of course, the GP's attitude doesn't really help people appreciate the power and utility of the command line, and I certainly admit that crippling or removing the GUI tools could be a hard sell for some of MacOS X's intended audience if they don't have an appreciation of the command line.

more than 2 years ago
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Facebook Helps Israel Blacklist Air Travellers

kabloom Re:Oh, big wow. (478 comments)

This is not surprisingly restrained behavior from the Israeli government. Israel has always been much more restrained in this regard then her neighbors (for example Syria and Egypt) are. Do you know why? Because Israel is actually a functioning democracy, not like her totalitarian neighbors (Iran comes to mind) who just put on a democratic front sometimes when it's convenient.

about 3 years ago
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Google+ Runs Out of Disk Space, Swamps Users With Notifications

kabloom Re:Define many (321 comments)

Maybe you were the only one who didn't get spammed.

about 3 years ago
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Court on Video Games: Less Cleavage, More Carnage

kabloom To overturn free speech about sexuality (397 comments)

The opinion quoted Ginsberg v. New York because it's prior precedent, and did not overturn Ginsberg because it was an inappropriate case to do so. An appropriate case to overturn Ginsberg would be one that dealt with sexual material (not violent material), and expanding this case to cover sexual material would have been judicial activism in the technical sense of the word.

about 3 years ago
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Does Quantum Theory Explain Consciousness?

kabloom Re:Recently? (729 comments)

You have two other alternatives to the idea that quantum mechanics causes consciousness and/or free will. (Again, both of these are hypotheses, and need to be proven somehow)

1. Consciousness and/or free will can be simulated on a Turing machine. This would imply that "true" artificial intelligence is possible.
2. Consciousness cannot be simulated on a Turing machine. It needs something more powerful, but that's OK since the human brain is more powerful than a Turing machine (at least in certain respects).

more than 3 years ago
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Does Quantum Theory Explain Consciousness?

kabloom Re:Recently? (729 comments)

Well, I think it's plausible to actually define a model that explains how quantum mechanics would cause consciousness, and then we can look at what we would need to research in order to prove it. Here's a set of hypotheses that would qualify:

1. The brain, absent quantum-mechanical effects, is Turing complete, and is no more powerful than a Turing machine.
2. Consciousness cannot be simulated on a Turing machine. (It needs something more powerful.)
3. Consciousness could be simulated on a Turing machine where some input was provided by a "consiousness oracle".
4. A person's neurons are sensitive to random quantum-mechanical effects. (i.e. the quantum-mechanical effects serve the function of the "consiousness oracle" in hypothesis #3). I think that this is actually Penrose's hypothesis.

This should be sufficient to prove that consciousness is a quantum-mechanical effect, but I'm not sure what it would say about free will.

To prove that humans have free will requires an additional hypothesis: Posit the existance of a soul that provides free will. Posit that the soul communicates with the brain and controls the body by causing quantum-mechanical effects inside the brain. Posit that the soul is not observable in any way, except through its quantum mechanical effects on the brain. We now can have two hypotheses about how this may work:

1. The ordinarily random quantum-mechanical effects we see outside the brain are actually quite ordered inside the brain. (i.e. though we can't explain what causes a particular quantum fluctuation to occurs, we would see a definite pattern if we put some kind of probe into a living brain -- the quantum-mechanical effects would no longer look random to us.)
2. The random quantum-mechanical effects we see outside the brain are actually only pesudo-random. They're random enough to fool the analytical methods we've developed for investigating how quantum mechanics works, but the brain has an algorithm for decoding them that's computationally more powerful than any of our analytical methods. (For a brief introduction to the field of pesudorandomness in theoretical computer science, see the April 2011 issue of Communications of the ACM, or see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudorandomness. This subfield of computer science field has not yet advanced nearly enough to prove this hypothesis.)

more than 3 years ago
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Marking 125 Years Since the Great Gauge Change

kabloom Re:And still shortsighted (426 comments)

It could still aid rail car manufacturing, which is an international industry with orders for trains in one country from companies in a different country.

more than 3 years ago
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AF 447 Flight Recorder Found In the Atlantic

kabloom Now they're looking for the voice recorder? (218 comments)

Why don't they put the voice recorder in the same box, that way if you find one you find them both? For that matter, why don't they put two identical black boxes in the plane, that way searchers have a higher chance of finding at least one of them?

more than 3 years ago
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Share Your iPhone Location Data Like You Mean It

kabloom De-anonymization (94 comments)

Even though I trust their claims that they'll anonymize the data, I suspect that this data could be very easily de-anonymized (like they discovered was possible with the NetFlix data set), and would not contribute my data to this project.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Universal offers infringement notice tool

kabloom kabloom writes  |  more than 5 years ago

kabloom writes "Universial Studios has developed "an open source, royalty free system that universities, ISP's, or anyone that handles large volumes of copyright notices can implement on their network to increase the efficiency and reduce the costs of responding to [copyright infringement] notices." Personally, I want to know why they couldn't increase the efficiency and reduce the costs of responding by just not sending out copyright infringement notices in the first place."

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