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Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

linuxrocks123 Re:There is a difference. (580 comments)

I'd take those odds.

You'd be an idiot to take those odds for 2 hours of entertainment. A 0.5% chance of getting killed each day would mean you'd probably be dead within the year.

Risk/reward-wise, it would be better to knowingly have unprotected sex with an HIV-positive partner than to watch a movie where you have a 0.5% chance of getting killed. There's (supposedly) a 1% chance or so that AIDS gets transmitted through heterosexual unprotected sex per act. I imagine you'd get more entertainment out of the sex than the movie. And, even if you do get HIV, you'd still have a decade or so of good life left before the AIDS gets you. Blown up movie theater = dead right away.

If you're going to use statistics, make sure you know how to use them at least mostly correctly...

2 days ago
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The GPLv2 Goes To Court

linuxrocks123 Re:Why not ask the authors of the GPL Ver.2? (173 comments)

There's a law review article I read somewhere arguing that unless federal courts narrow the scope of that law, it will eventually be found void for vagueness. It is very poorly written.

5 days ago
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The GPLv2 Goes To Court

linuxrocks123 Re:Why not ask the authors of the GPL Ver.2? (173 comments)

So, it may upset you, but the foundation of the legal system is more or less until a judge rules on it, and until there is a legal precedent ... you don't really know if it holds water or not.

Bullshit. The entire point of having a legal system based on written law is so that people know what the law is without having to just try things and then see if the executive arrests them. There are places in the law that are rough and where you really don't know what a judge will do -- "new areas of the law" -- but, in most cases, you do know what a judge will do, because of statute and precedent in similar cases. This certainty is what gives the law its value.

The GPL is a fairly simple document. It's pretty clear what it means, so we really don't need a judge to tell us. This court case might clear up a few corner cases about the consequences of infringement (forced relicensing or simple injunction + damages), but it is effectively impossible the entire document will be held null and void. There's enough precedent that it is possible to conditionally license a copyrighted work that the GPL's general validity is not in doubt.

5 days ago
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Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

linuxrocks123 Couldn't Find Parts (269 comments)

Some people over on Apple.com forums are claiming that the hard disk that went into the iPod classic isn't being made anymore and that Apple therefore was essentially was forced to discontinue the product, because they couldn't find parts for it. Obviously they could try to find another supplier, make the hard drives themselves, etc., etc., but I guess the ROI wasn't there for them to bend over backwards to keep it going.

about a week ago
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Study Explains Why Women Miscarry More Males During Tough Times

linuxrocks123 Re:You are not in control (113 comments)

No it doesn't. If a trait provides a reproductive benefit, and it is monotonically marginally beneficial, then life will almost always find a way to evolve it.

You're basically asserting without evidence that there's an invisible hand of evolution. There's not. Some mutations happen much more frequently than others, and, if a trait can only be expressed with a sequence of very rare mutations, it might take a very, very long time (as in, "will never happen in a trillion trillion years") for evolution to be expected to get there. Others sort of just happen, and not for any real reason or anything, at least as far as we can tell. Evolution will only destroy a mutation if it's significantly maladaptive. If a trait is only marginally maladaptive where it's present (example: blue eyes, much more maladaptive in very sunny places than in the north), it might randomly be carried forward, at least for ~100,000 years or so.

about a week ago
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Study Explains Why Women Miscarry More Males During Tough Times

linuxrocks123 Re:You are not in control (113 comments)

I've got another just-so story:

Deer will also disproportionally abort female fetuses during harsh winters. Offspring born after hard times are likely to be stunted and inferior. Even if they are disadvantaged, a male offspring is still more likely to reproduce, because the male reproductive system is simpler and therefore less likely to be affected by fetal malnutrition. So carrying a disadvantaged daughter to term, when she is likely to be less fertile, is a waste of resources.

The implications for reasoning with just-so stories is left as an exercise for the reader.

about a week ago
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Peter Sunde: the Pirate Bay Should Stay Down

linuxrocks123 Re:Still up. (251 comments)

You can search and browse torrents and it will look like it's working, but if you actually try to download anything, it'll ask for money.

about two weeks ago
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Peter Sunde: the Pirate Bay Should Stay Down

linuxrocks123 Re:Still up. (251 comments)

Those are fakes.

about two weeks ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

linuxrocks123 Re:C is very relevant in 2014, (641 comments)

Bullshit. VLSI code is almost always verified by finite models, and many processors are verified down to the level of mathematical axiom.

Bullshit on your bullshit, no it's not, and no they're not, not even close. Hardware companies have a fetish for formally verifying floating point stacks because, 20 years ago, the fickle and vacuous mainstream press people decided one particular piece of errata in one particular processor -- the Pentium FDIV bug from 1994 -- was important for some reason, even though every processor ever made and used has errata. AMD took advantage of Intel's bad publicity to formally verify their own FDIV instruction -- JUST the FDIV instruction, mind you -- and then doing formal verification with floating point stacks became something of a thing. There's nothing more going on than that.

Take a look here, in the section "Errata": http://download.intel.com/desi...

Doesn't look like the "proved" that VLSI very well to me, although they doubtless subjected it to a fuckton of simulation hours. Which is what they should be doing; theorem proving software or silicon is, usually, a ton of effort for little gain. Simulation hours cost much less than developer time. Our processors would likely be 486 level today if the designers had to prove everything correct. If that.

Provably correct software code exists in small amounts, and it's emergence is inevitable.

Said the formal verification researchers, for 30 years or so now.

about two weeks ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

linuxrocks123 Re:C is very relevant in 2014, (641 comments)

Impressive. But they verified about 9000 lines of C code, and, by their own admission, it's a brittle verification (meaning if they change anything substantial they have to do a lot of work to re-prove it). The specifically say, in one instance, that it took one man-year to verify a change to 5% of the code base. That's ~500 lines of code.

A year. To change 500 lines of code. imo verifying software is still more a gimmick than anything. We've been writing reliable airline software without formally proving it for over 30 years. It takes a ton of effort, but so does formal verification.

But thanks for the link, that's an interesting pig they made fly.

about two weeks ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

linuxrocks123 Re:C is very relevant in 2014, (641 comments)

Look at IR in the LLVM project which has allowed an explosion of languages that can enjoy most of the same compiler optimizations that the C family enjoy using this principle.

Umm ... LLVM is a fairly conventional, if well-designed, compiler, and its backends certainly do have to have a model of the processor, and know how to generate assembly from the IR, and all that. GP is right: you can't get away with no one knowing how the processor works.

And provably correct code is still a pipe dream.

about two weeks ago
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New Effort To Grant Legal Rights To Chimpanzees Fails

linuxrocks123 Re:good (341 comments)

What you describe isn't hypocritical. Lab B is not rewarding Lab A for doing animal testing; its consumers are not supporting Lab A's research in any way. In fact, Lab B is undermining Lab A by competing with it, reducing the rewards Company A gets from its R&D department and reducing the incentives Company A has to continue financing Lab A.

about two weeks ago
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New Effort To Grant Legal Rights To Chimpanzees Fails

linuxrocks123 Re: good (341 comments)

That's not what "fruit of the poisonous tree" means.

Yours is the ethical argument against using Mengele's research, and it's even weaker here than it was there. In fact, it makes no sense at all here. The companies doing the research get no money from their cruelty-free competitors. The consumers of cruelty-free cosmetics are not incentivizing the animal-testing cosmetic companies to do additional research in any way. If anything, the price competition from cruelty-free cosmetics companies will make the companies that do experiments on animals have less R&D money to do additional experiments.

The argument works to the extent it does with Mengele because a Mengele researcher might be doing work for the good of humanity, in his own twisted way, rather than financial reward, and will do unethical experiments just for the sake of advancing the state of science. Unless you think there are altruistic scientists working on lipstick, your argument makes no sense at all.

about two weeks ago
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New Effort To Grant Legal Rights To Chimpanzees Fails

linuxrocks123 Re:good (341 comments)

So testing a hydrogen bomb is engineering, but testing cosmetics is science? First, you're wrong; second, you're splitting hairs trying to evade acknowledging the fact that what you said was absurd.

But whatever. Here's another example. Why don't we send probes to Venus? That would be science. We're not doing that science. We totally could. The USSR did. We don't, because it's not worth the cost, because Venus is a shit environment for our probes, so it would cost more to send them there. And don't say we're doing "better science instead", because we have enough money to send probes to Venus in addition to all the other science we're doing. We choose to make Hollywood movies, or build cars, or do other non-science stuff instead. Because doing the science isn't always the right answer.

This is the last time I will engage you on this point. Grow up, acknowledge what you said was stupid, or don't.

And finally, that doesn't we don't do the science in the way that causes the least damage.

http://t.qkme.me/3lcd.jpg

about two weeks ago
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New Effort To Grant Legal Rights To Chimpanzees Fails

linuxrocks123 Re:Agree with court (341 comments)

I suggest we handcuff all airline passengers before they get on the plane. To, you know, fight terrorism and stuff. They'll be unhandcuffed when they get off the plane and it's totally their choice to put the handcuffs on or to not fly. No restriction on liberty.

They should also be stripped nude and hosed down before they're allowed on the plane. Cause they might have lice or something. They can totally refuse to go through this and just not fly if they don't like it. No restriction on liberty.

Oh, and I think everyone should have to have a microchip implanted in their hands that tracks where they go at all times and can be used by the government to deliver disabling electric shocks to anyone resisting arrest. It would totally improve public safety. But it won't restrict liberty cause you only have to have it implanted if you drive a car, ride a bike, take the bus or a taxi, have a bank account, receive Social Security or Medicare, or apply for a government ID of any kind.

So it's optional. So it won't restrict liberty.

about two weeks ago
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New Effort To Grant Legal Rights To Chimpanzees Fails

linuxrocks123 Re:Action and Interaction (341 comments)

Strongly disagree here. You're correct that rights only make sense in the context of society (there's no need for free speech if there's no one to talk to), but group interactions don't completely dominate the world. Or do you never listen to music by yourself, never read a book, never whittle (carve wood), program, sew, keep a diary, or engage in another solitary hobby, and never just sit by yourself and think about life and the universe? If that is all true for you, then you are an unusual individual. Most people's lives are not completely dominated by their interactions with others: they have internal worlds. It has nothing to do with "special snowflake syndrome" (did you just make that up?).

about two weeks ago
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New Effort To Grant Legal Rights To Chimpanzees Fails

linuxrocks123 Re:good (341 comments)

Cosmetics aren't going anywhere so they have to be tested.

Nonsense. The FDA could outlaw any new, untested cosmetics, not have a procedure for testing/approving them, and no one would even blink except some wacko libertarian whiners. We've got plenty of cosmetics and we really don't as a society need anymore. Will companies keep making new ones if we let them? Yeah, of course, why not? It's a market based on monopolistic competition, meaning, essentially, that companies compete on variety and are eternally try to find and develop niches.

Will there be an underground cosmetics market like the illegal drug market if we outlaw potentially unsafe new chemicals in cosmetics and don't allow them to be tested? No, silly, of course not. Unlike, say, the underground heroin market, black market cosmetics would have to compete with a fully-developed legal market which can operate without the substantial costs of smuggling product into the country from inside desperate and impoverished people's asses. The legal market also has the substantial advertising advantage of, "Guaranteed by the FDA not to melt your face off!". Only a supreme idiot would buy black-market cosmetics, assuming the legal market retained at least its current diversity of products. There are probably a few such supreme idiots, but not enough.*

Don't believe me? Look at how regulated alcohol is, or tobacco is, and consider that the legal markets still rule. A significant argument for legal marijuana is, after all, to be able to regulate the product while shutting down the black market. If all regulation automatically resulting in the formation of a black market, this would be a silly argument. Given the recent experiences in Colorado and other states, it is not a silly argument at all.

*I expect a few supreme idiots, in such a world, would talk to each other on the Internet, concoct dangerous schemes involving amateur chemistry to produce cosmetics for their personal use, and proceed to melt their faces off. I expect this happens now, occasionally, anyway.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Horrid Ruling in Oracle v. Google: APIs Are Copyrightable

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  about 7 months ago

linuxrocks123 (905424) writes "This is an absolutely horrible ruling. If APIs are copyrightable, every Windows program could be held to infringe Microsoft's copyright. Every program written in Java needs permission from Oracle to be distributed. Video game console emulators are right out. And you can kiss things like third-party printer cartridges goodbye.

The only way it could be worse would be if they ruled that what Google did isn't fair use as a matter of law. If you read the decision, they almost did that, but didn't. I hope this is reheard en-banc or the Supreme Court takes the case. This is a nightmare.

I have very little respect for the Federal Circuit. They seem to cause many more problems than they solve. And, here, they took Ninth Circuit precedent and twisted it to say the opposite of what it meant. The Ninth Circuit gives interoperability concerns serious consideration; this decision gives them much less consideration than they deserve.

For Google's particular case, there looks to me to be an easy way out. All Google has to do is distribute its work under the GPL, since Java, including the APIs in question, is under the GPL anyway. The "Classpath exception" was Sun's explicit consent to use the APIs in Java without needing the work to be GPL as well. So, as long as Google distributes its work as a "modified version of OpenJDK", they should be good. I'm not sure why they haven't done this already, or didn't do it to begin with, actually. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I can't see what.

But this goes way beyond Android and Java. This ruling, if it's not overturned, could chill software development, promote extreme forms of vendor lock-in, and otherwise cause mayhem and misery."

Link to Original Source
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An OSS Solution to the Cold Boot Attack

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

linuxrocks123 writes "I am a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and I've solved the cold boot attack, discussed on Slashdot back when the original paper on it was published. There have been some other attempts at solving this, but as far as I can tell, mine is the only one currently available with actual working code, OSS or otherwise. It comes with a small performance price (read the paper), but I've been using this on my machines for months and I really haven't noticed a significant slowdown in system performance. Get the code and paper from the university. Instructions for using the code on my blog."
Link to Original Source
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An OSS Solution to the Cold Boot Attack

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

linuxrocks123 writes "I am a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I wanted to keep this secret until I published this paper (it's just a tech report right now), but it got rejected once and I want people to be able to use this as soon as possible.

I've solved the cold boot attack, discussed here back when the original paper on it was published. There have been some other attempts at solving this, but as far as I can tell, mine is the only one currently available with actual working code, OSS or otherwise. It comes with a small performance price (read the paper), but I've been using this on my machines for months and I really haven't noticed a significant slowdown in system performance. Get the code and paper here. Instructions for using the code here."

Link to Original Source
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GPF Comics Seized by Copyright Gestapo

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

linuxrocks123 (905424) writes "In a move that would make GPF Comics villain Trudy Truehart proud, US Immigation and Customs Enforcement has apparently seized my favorite webcomic's domain name. A visit to http://gpf-comics.com/ currently shows that stupid "Domain Seized" template with the eagle in the middle looking like it's about to bite your face off. It's all speculation at this point as to why this was done: maybe it's a mistake, or maybe newspaper comic book artists just don't like competition. I assume we'll have more details — and a rehosted domain for GPF Comics — as this story develops."
Link to Original Source
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linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

linuxrocks123 writes "It looks like Dell is joining Microsoft and Novell in their Linux patent pact. Dell is selling SuSE on servers, backed by Microsoft's Linux patent certificates. No response from Red Hat yet, but Dell claims to still be selling Red Hat servers despite the deal."

Journals

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Okay, people, this is starting to get scary.

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

A recent Slashdot article about CIA reclassification prompted a lot of comments suggesting that a majority of Slashdot posters may have some sort of mental illness. Like, maybe, paranoid schizophrenia. The idea seems to be that all large corporations and governments are absolutely and intractably evil. They think every other law is unconstitutional and that the Bill of Rights is meaningless today. Oh yeah, and China is going to kill the U.S. economy because it holds some U.S. bonds. That's another good one.

Of course, this isn't true; the government does some good things, businesses are subject to a LOT more regulation than they would like (and thus aren't in control of the government), free speech still exists in the U.S. (Why else is Michael Moore not in jail?), the Supreme Court still finds laws unconstitutional from time to time, and the worst China can do is stop buying our bonds, which would have a barely noticeable impact on the U.S. economy (China can't "call in our debt." Bonds don't work that way).

Posters also commonly conjure up images of a mythical medieval era, where kings reigned viciously over their subjects, but "things were done differently" with regard to the law, the principles of which were somehow nobler. They'll talk about some ancient legal principle (usually one that has become irrelevant to modern practice) or the wording on a subpoena and build an entire story out of it. I've seen this on Groklaw too, where it's even more scary. They're history is often wrong, and I don't know why they bring this up on a technology site. Perhaps it's another sign of a widespread delusion among the afflicted posters.

This isn't to say that these posters are stupid. Many intelligent people are also insane, and those skilled in mathematics seem particularly prone to mental illness (consider Cantor's fate). It's just a little scary to find that many in this crowd think so irrationally. I often find that the Wall Street Journal's arguments are orders of magnitude more well thought-out even when I don't agree with them.

Any comments from other posters noticing this bizarre phenomenon are welcome. Rants from those posters afflicted with some form of mental illness are also welcome, though not necessarily encouraged.

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GCC Port to the CLR

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  about 9 years ago

http://gcc-cil.blogspot.com/

I am VERY interested in this project. I think it's the coolest thing since Linux itself (and from my Slashdot username, you can see that that's saying something :).

I can't get it to work, though. Does anyone know if it supports languages other than C (I LOVE C++ so much it's not funny)? Would it be possible to call other languages, such as, for example, Java, from it (I like Java's built-in library for some things).

I don't have much compiler experience, but I think this project has much potential. The creator seems finished with it, though, so I think it's up to us to extend it. It would be a real shame if the code ends up going nowhere because it's so incomplete that the GCC developers have no use for it.

By the way, I don't have bad karma anymore, which is a Good Thing since posting at zero was really starting to get annoying. Whoever modded my recent comments up, thank you.

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I have bad karma now...

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  about 9 years ago

As of this posting, my third and second most recent comments were moderated from 1 to 0. I think arminw did it since I listed him as a foe for a while because I didn't want to listen to his lunatic, anarchist ranting. He's not my foe anymore because most of his posts don't seem to have much to do with politics and he seems otherwise sane and worth reading.

Still, with only a cumulative -2 moderation, probably because of that as*hole arminw, I have bad karma. Whatever. I deleted the +1 karma bonus modifier from my preferences to weed out karma whores.

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