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Exomoon Detection Technique Could Greatly Expand Potential Habitable Systems

luis_a_espinal Re:We need faster-than-light travel (65 comments)

I see you read The Songs of Distant Earth. FYI, you probably don't want to consider that a how-to guide; we need to work on our FTL capabilities before we start expending our [oh-so-precious] resources trying to colonize the galaxy on a ten-million-year timetable. :)

And we need to scout what is out there with telescopes and probes before/while we work on our FTL capabilities.

2 days ago
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Exomoon Detection Technique Could Greatly Expand Potential Habitable Systems

luis_a_espinal Re:We need faster-than-light travel (65 comments)

We need telescopes, on and around earth. lots of them.

What for? We've already determined, a vast variety of planets exist — including those, which can be human-habitable. What good is known, that there is a billion rather than a mere million of them "nearby", if we can't get to even the nearest star anyway?

Before we spend resources trying to build FTL tech, don't we want to know a bit more in detail what is out there using relatively cheaper tech (telescopes and probes)? In fact, I don't see how these two are mutually exclusive. Doing both, or the cheaper first is good, sound science.

2 days ago
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Project Zero Exploits 'Unexploitable' Glibc Bug

luis_a_espinal Re: microsofties here is your chance to party (97 comments)

It's an oldschool attitude to not touch things

It's called engineering.

, from back in the day where software was so flaky that chances were someone had already 'exploited' the bug to do something non-malicious.

It drives me fucking crazy, having been born pretty much into the internet age where the corrected answer can be available in *seconds*.

Just because we are in the era of the Interweebz, that does not mean everything is a web app whose solutions can be put together in seconds. Specially something like a compiler, a shared library or an embedded system. You have to think of regression testing and crap like that, the backlog of issues that are begging fixing, etc, etc, etc. As a result, you do not touch things unless you truly need to, in a controlled manner.

If it is a web-based system with limited visibility, yeah, slap that fix and test it right there, just browse the page to see that it works. A web service or composite other systems depend on, hmmm, first device a functional test with SoapUI just to validate behavior before and after the change. An enterprise system with hundreds of developers and thousands of issues in back logs, slow down, time to prioritize a bit. Something system-level, and used by millions, hold on your danged horses.

I'm not saying the Glibc developers did the right thing at first - I mean, calling a bug "unexploitable" just like that, that is arrogance, not competence or prudence.

But that is a far cry from saying oh, we know what it is, we can put some code in place in seconds. Slapping some code changes =/= fix. A fix is a code change preceded by a cost analysis and followed by a regression/acceptance test, Internet or no Internet.

It's pretty obvious from the description what the bug is, so saying you aren't going to fix it is, as you say, pure laziness.

In this particular case, perhaps. In general, see my previous sentences above.

2 days ago
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Project Zero Exploits 'Unexploitable' Glibc Bug

luis_a_espinal effort, priority and severity. (97 comments)

The word you're looking for is 'skeptical', and then they went and fixed it when they were proven wrong. This is actually the opposite of arrogant.

They should have fixed the bug as soon as they realized it was there, and not waited until someone proved it was an especially bad bug.

Hmmmm, not really. You fix bugs according to cost of fixing it which includes regression testing to ensure you do not break something else with your fix (effort), the likelihood of the bug manifesting itself in the wild (priority) and the ramifications when the bug manifests itself (severity.)

More systems have been broken by people "fixing" things without doing the proper analysis than by actually looking at the backlog and deciding what shall be fixed (fixed in this release), what will be fixed (fixed in this or some other release), what should be fixed (fix not bound to a release yet), what should not be needing a fix (no consequences of fixing it right now, gives room to fix more important things), what will not be fixed (not in this release), and what shall not be fixed (too risky, not worth it).

We are in the business of engineering complex systems, from inception to realization to deployment to support and decomission. This is how you manage how to engineer complex things.

2 days ago
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Project Zero Exploits 'Unexploitable' Glibc Bug

luis_a_espinal not the same thing (97 comments)

The first part is also pragmatic. Releasing a security fix is a lot of work, not just for the developers, but also for everybody else. So you only do that if you have reasonable suspicion that the bug is a security risk. They were good reasons to believe that it is not the case here, although in the end they did not apply in every situation.

If you treat every bug as a security issue, you end up with the Google situation where only one version, the latest, is ever supported. And for libc that is not an acceptable option.

It is one thing to say we will not fix it right now because of the costs and the unlikely of seeing this in the wild. It is quite another to call it unexploitable. The former is pragmatism. The later is hubris.

2 days ago
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Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

luis_a_espinal Re:not so fast (128 comments)

'Imply' means something different in formal logic.

we're talking about the real world, so the formal-logic definition of imply doesn't apply. It only makes sense in math. Imply in real-world terms means hint at.

Just because the real world is full of illiterate people, that does not mean the precise meaning of words suddenly vanish. The mindless masses murder the language all the time using the wrong words to express what they want to say (if they even had the capacity to build a cogent statement).

"Imply" is "imply" and it is distinct from "hint" - check your dictionary. Yes, real world people are too stupid to use a dictionary, but that doesn't invalidate the definitions in it.

You can use this line instead: "Just because two things happen at almost the same time doesn't prove that the first one caused the second."

That's a different statement. If A doesn't cause B but there is a C that causes both, this is a causation. Of course our measurements for A and B could still be correlated without any causal relation that connects them, but that's improbable.

2 days ago
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The Evolution of Diet

luis_a_espinal Re:Correlation Does Not Imply Causation (279 comments)

You can, but its extremely difficult. The point of low GI, and high protein meat diets is that its digested very slowly and you are not tempted as much. Think about it. How often does a cow eat? How often does a lion eat? Case closed.

No, it is not. For that matter, how often does an alligator or an anaconda eat? Possibly a couple of times a year due to their cold blooded metabolism. Lions eat every few days as an strategy in the wild to save energy - gorge when you can and sleep 20 hours for 2-3 days between meals.

I mean seriously, there is more to eating frequency in the wild than high protein content in meals.

It is true that it is more difficult to have portion control with any type of food versus food with low GI and high protein content. But difficult =/= extremely difficult. People do it, and have done successfully. Unlike animals in the wild, we are creatures of self-awareness and self-control. Self-control is what makes or breaks a diet. That is where the true difficulties lie, not purely in the nutrition make-up of meals.

Once people get used to portion control, that thing is almost automatic regardless of food content in general (barring obvious edge-case examples such as nothing but carrot cake... or only salad or only tuna 7 times a day.)

2 days ago
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Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

luis_a_espinal Re:The Faux News of Geekdom (131 comments)

Or because I'm smart enough to read what I read, and weigh it accordingly. Is it a possibility? Of course it is a possibility. Is it the most likely explanation? Of course it isn't. Does that mean that isn't what happend? Of course it doesn't. That might very well be what happened. Your lack of understanding of Occam's Razor seems to be your downfall. The most likely explanation has nothing to do with this, and if Occam's Razor said it did, then nothing unusual or unlikely would ever happen.

If you are smart enough to read what you read and weight it accordingly, then you are smart enough to dismiss that which is evidently preposterous, or in the case of the OP I originally replied to, an obvious accusation of wrong doing from Sony's part. That is not just hinting at a possibility but passing/suggesting an unfounded accusation, and for which there is no evidence but it is passed around to rile up the e-geek-masses.

No need to weight it in in elaboration as it can be dismissed accordingly for what it is, a silly hint of a remote, unlikely possibility passed around as a juvenile act of malice.

2 days ago
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A Horrifying Interactive Map of Global Internet Censorship

luis_a_espinal A Horrifying First World Problem (156 comments)

A world where people are held down and kept in line by oppressive regimes that restrict the free flow of information and bombard citizens with government-approved messages. Now stop imagining, because this horrifying world already exists..."

There are more things horrifying in this world than Internet censorship. It is an important topic, but it is one that deserve appropriate discussion, not geek uber-hoopla. So please spare us from the unnecessary histrionics.

If you need to rely on histrionics to make your point, then your point is irrelevant, or you are an idiot who cannot communicate properly, or a cheap entertainer, or an attention whore. Or a combination of them all.

2 days ago
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Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

luis_a_espinal Re:The Faux News of Geekdom (131 comments)

Why would I object to you pointing out those possibilities?

Because of a lack of common sense? Because you don't care about Occam's Razor's and rational thinking? Because you the Law of Parsimony has no place in logical/scientific thinking?

3 days ago
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Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

luis_a_espinal self-post snafu (131 comments)

Aggg, I replied to myself instead of replying to someone else's post.

3 days ago
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Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

luis_a_espinal Re:The Faux News of Geekdom (131 comments)

Perhaps some reading comprehension is in order. The OP didn't say they did it; they merely pointed out the possibility.

Oh well, in that case, let me point out the possibility that Elvis is still alive, that the Moon landings were a hoax filmed at a NASA's garage, that 9/11 was masterminded by the Rothschild family and "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is a real, historical document.

Hell, here is another possibility. Obama ordered it because Benghazi. Or better yet, maybe Bush ordered Cheney to assemble a bunch of hackers back in 2007, but these hackers went rogue for lack of sex or whatever, beyond the original, official parameters of their mission, which did not include making fake bomb threats.

It is possible. You cannot prove it to me that this is not possible.

To borrow your own words, I am merely pointing out the possibility. Again, I cannot prove it (that the possibility is false), but I can say it (pointing it out.)

Anything that is not mathematically provable to be impossible is, by definition, possible. But just because something is possible, it does not make it reasonable. It certainly does not imply that such thing is even noteworthy of consideration.

Again, Law of Parsimony, or Occam's Razor or whatever you want to call it. If people want to spend brain cells in merely pointing out the possibility of really stupid, inane, batshit crazy conspiracy theories, whatever rocks their proverbial boats. They should not expect not to be called on it, though.

3 days ago
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Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

luis_a_espinal Re:The Faux News of Geekdom (131 comments)

Seems quite possible that Sony just offered a lot of money to one of these script kiddies so that the authorities would be incentivised to do the corporation's dirty work.

The offer will never materialise.

I can't prove it, but I can say it. - Stephen Colbert

Slashdot, where nerds forget The Law of Parsimony.

Perhaps some reading comprehension is in order. The OP didn't say they did it; they merely pointed out the possibility.

Oh well, in that case, let me point out the possibility that Elvis is still alive, that the Moon landings were a hoax filmed at a NASA's garage, that 9/11 was masterminded by the Rothschild family, the Chupacabra is related to the Yeti and Kim Kardashian, and "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is a real, historical document.

Hell, here is another possibility. Obama ordered the hacking and bomb threat because Benghazi. Or better yet, maybe Bush ordered Cheney to assemble a bunch of hackers back in 2007, but these hackers went rogue for lack of sex or whatever, beyond the original, official parameters of their mission, which did not include making fake bomb threats.

It is possible. You cannot prove it to me that this is not possible.

To borrow your own words, I am merely pointing out the possibility. Again, I cannot prove it (that the possibility is false), but I can say it (pointing it out.)

Anything that is not mathematically provable to be impossible is, by definition, possible. But just because something is possible, it does not make it reasonable. It certainly does not imply that such thing is even noteworthy of consideration.

Again, Law of Parsimony, or Occam's Razor or whatever you want to call it. If people want to spend brain cells in merely pointing out the possibility of really stupid, inane, batshit crazy conspiracy theories, whatever rocks their proverbial boats. They should not expect not to be called on it, though.

3 days ago
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Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

luis_a_espinal US Code, Title 18, Part I, Chp 40 844 -Penalties (131 comments)

But things took a turn from irritating DDoS attacks to another level of harassment earlier this afternoon when the group took to Twitter to announce publicly that it a believed the flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley had explosives on board.

From US Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 40 844 - Penalties

(e) Whoever, through the use of the mail, telephone, telegraph, or other instrument of interstate or foreign commerce, or in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, willfully makes any threat, or maliciously conveys false information knowing the same to be false, concerning an attempt or alleged attempt being made, or to be made, to kill, injure, or intimidate any individual or unlawfully to damage or destroy any building, vehicle, or other real or personal property by means of fire or an explosive shall be imprisoned for not more than 10 years or fined under this title, or both.

This is not including whatever state laws that were violated on top of Federal laws. One (well deserving) word: Darwin.

3 days ago
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Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

luis_a_espinal Way to taunt the Juggernaut (131 comments)

Pissing off game companies is one thing. Getting the DHS involved is another entirely. They've just brought a level of hell down on themselves they are woefully unprepared to deal with.

My thoughts exactly. These kids better find a cave or a hole on the ground somewhere near the Khyber Pass or Timbuktu. Making bomb threats/pranks? There is a whole lot of angry coming right at them right now, the likes you can only escape by being a government entity, not some stupid script kiddie.

3 days ago
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Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

luis_a_espinal Re:Aaaand there goes the lizard squad (131 comments)

^^ That.

With the piles of money that Sony stood to lose over any PR fallout resulting from another "hacking" scandal on the PSN network, regardless of the validity of said scandal, there is every reason to believe that they would use any means necessary to neutralize this threat. And, honestly, posing as the spokesperson for a loosely-affiliated group with no valid way to repudiate the incident is fecking trivial for any entity with the financial and technical resources of Sony.

Obligatory

3 days ago
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Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

luis_a_espinal The Faux News of Geekdom (131 comments)

Seems quite possible that Sony just offered a lot of money to one of these script kiddies so that the authorities would be incentivised to do the corporation's dirty work.

The offer will never materialise.

I can't prove it, but I can say it. - Stephen Colbert

Slashdot, where nerds forget The Law of Parsimony.

3 days ago
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Do Readers Absorb Less On Kindles Than On Paper? Not Necessarily

luis_a_espinal Re:No difference (105 comments)

Do you know what would explain the difference? The fact that only 2 people from the Kindle group had used one before. That is going to throw the results, I think.

Bingo. It takes some time to get used to read on an e-reader, to navigate through pages and place bookmarks - a person who has never used a kindle will naturally have a hard time knowing and remembering how to put bookmarks, how to go back to them, how to flip pages back and forth.

Experience should have been handled as a control variable. Since it was not, one has to infer some type of correlation with the results. At best, given the experiment, one can ask if there was such a correlation. Another variable that needed to be under control is education.

Have people with minimal, but effective experience using the device and comparable education, and have them read several documents. For each document, ask the same questions as in the original experiment. Rinse and repeat.

As it is, though, the research has value if it points in the direction of usability for people new to e-readers.

about a week ago
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Fighting Invasive Fish With Forks and Knives

luis_a_espinal Re:Encourage over fishing? (180 comments)

I agree that eating the invasive fish is a good idea. After all if we didn't put catch limits, and encourage catch and release, on the normal game fish people would have fished them to extinction. So really all we have to do is convince people they are good eating and then make no efforts to protect the invasive fish. My guess is once it gets going people will gleefully over fish them. Just have to make sure people stick to the undesirable fish.

I don't know about lion fish but both Asian carp and northern snakeheads are good to eat. They eat Asian carp extensively in China and the northern snakehead is commonly consumed in Thailand. I have seen them for sale in markets where the northern snakehead was stuffed with what looked like lemon grass, other herbs and covered in a layer of salt and then grilled. I never tried it simply because I am not keen on fish.

A friend of mine regularly goes spear fishing after them. He swears they are tasty and good to eat. You just have to be careful with the spines when you clean these bad boys.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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American girl, 8, is target of ultra-Orthodox Jews

luis_a_espinal luis_a_espinal writes  |  more than 2 years ago

luis_a_espinal (1810296) writes "Attacks by ultra-Orthodox Jews who have spit on and yelled at an 8-year-old American girl walking to school in their Israeli neighborhood has prompted thousands of people to protest, many who see this as a struggle of the very nature of the Israeli state. Coverage of this is absent in several news venues (in particular CNN). Equally absent is the voice of protests by US politicians and the 700-club crowd at the sight of an 8-year old American girl being spat upon by adult men. It begs the question why US politicians and US Christian groups have been absent in raising voices of protest. It also puts into question the future of Israel. Is gender segregation to be the norm as the demographic make up of Israel changes over time?"
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