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Comments

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Last Week's Announcement About Gravitational Waves and Inflation May Be Wrong

magsol Re:Creationisticism (194 comments)

No, science is the willingness to relegate interpretations of evidence to be less significant than what some people want it to be. The evidence itself is pretty clear; what the scientists potentially got wrong is the interpretation. Suiting evidence to specific theories (as opposed to the other way around) is when you start practicing faith instead of science.

about a month ago
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Obama To Ask For $1 Billion Climate Change Fund

magsol Re:There are no comments (410 comments)

Facts, evidence, and reason. On Slashdot. Oh, you funny person, you.

about 2 months ago
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Facebook Is a Plague That'll Burn Out In a Few Years, Says Study

magsol Re:Viruses Burn Out? (338 comments)

Hence the "mutation" aspect of disease spread, otherwise the infection would be one-and-done. Just like the flu.

about 3 months ago
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Patriot Act Author Introduces Bill To Limit Use of Patriot Act

magsol Re:The thing created turned on its creator (189 comments)

Or perhaps someone independent of his/her political affiliations believes this will truly improve things for America and its citizens?

Yeah, I couldn't keep a straight face either.

about 6 months ago
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Apple Maps Flaw Sends Drivers Across Airport Runway

magsol Re:Bureaucracy (311 comments)

Have you tried to get technical assistance from Apple without visiting their Genius Bars? It's like they don't want you to speak directly with a human being. Though I have to admit, the thought of airport officials walking into the Genius Bar of an Apple Store is more than a little amusing.

about 7 months ago
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Samsung Hits Apple With 20% Price Increase

magsol one word (447 comments)

pwnd

about a year and a half ago
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Following FEMA's Zombie Preparedness Plan Could Land You On Terrorist List

magsol Are you a human being? (527 comments)

So are terrorists. How convenient.

about a year and a half ago
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Hollywood Acts Warily At Comic-Con

magsol Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (273 comments)

It's two movies in the same way the last Harry Potter book was two movies. Quite literally, more bang for buck.

about 2 years ago
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At my place of employ, we track business data ...

magsol Re:Missing option: Microsoft excel (185 comments)

Beat me to it: "one massive excel spreadsheet" most aptly falls under the "conventional payware" category, even if the spirit isn't quite right.

about 2 years ago
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Dysfunction In Modern Science?

magsol Re:Grant whores and PR scientists (155 comments)

While it's disheartening to hear about such abuse of the scientific method, from a purely scientific perspective (meta!) this actually isn't all that surprising. Abuse exists in every system; there's always a distribution around the mean of those who are honest and trying to do the right thing, and the minority who are either malevolently trying to game the system or who are truly just competent enough to not get fired. I'm also a grad student and while I would love to agree with your friend--in theory, science shouldn't allow it, but as we know, theory and practice rarely align in practice--I have to acknowledge that science is just another system run by imperfect human beings and, implicitly, will have some imperfections.

The problem arises when this distribution of participants skews and the "expected" minority (the quantity of which you still try to minimize!) grows. So the question becomes: is modern science suffering from a growing problem of bad scientists? It's hard to say. While I'm willing to accept the numbers, the title "is modern science dysfunctional" is, itself, a tad bit sensational, making the rest of the article difficult to take seriously.

about 2 years ago
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'Alternative Medicine' Clinic Attempts To Silence Critics

magsol Re:Are his customers happy? (515 comments)

You talk about cancer as if it were the flu, some common viral infection that most people get every now and then and is a minor annoying blip in one's everyday routine. It's a radically different disease by virtue of the fact that it's your own cells gone rogue. I'm not saying it's beyond the realm of science-based medicine, I'm saying it's not a trivial problem to solve, yet the fact that modern medicine hasn't solved it somehow anoints alternative medicine--which has never empirically shown any effectiveness beyond what you'd see from placebo--as the savior?

The whole point of this article is that it's fine to try something "different", provided you follow a couple baseline rules: first, you go the peer-review route. You do a double-blind clinical trial, you perform the analysis and see that your method works significantly better than placebo and has improvements over the current state-of-the-art, and then you market it publicly. If (and this is a big "if") Burzynski is going this route, he's doing this step entirely backwards, which is ethically suspect at best. Second, you let the data speak for itself, not the lawyers. You sue people who slander you, not your work. If your work is being called into question, you debate it scientifically, just like in the peer-review process.

It's the fact that Burzynski is failing hard on these two points that's getting him into trouble, not the supposed shortcomings of the modern medical industry.

more than 2 years ago
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How To Get Into an Elite Comp-Sci Program

magsol Re:Missing the point. (297 comments)

Where you go sure can help, though.

more than 2 years ago
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Skype Goes After Reverse-Engineering

magsol Is this new? (207 comments)

Has this kind of crackdown on those who would reverse-engineer Skype's protocols always been around? Or has it only been elevated to prominence with the acquisition of Skype by Microsoft?

tl;dr can we hate on Microsoft?

more than 2 years ago
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Avira Anti-Virus Detects Itself

magsol obligatory (142 comments)

We must go deeper!

more than 2 years ago
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Security Researcher Threatened With Vulnerability Repair Bill

magsol As the old idiom goes: (231 comments)

No good deed goes unpunished.

Being punished for doing the right thing tends to bias people towards hiding this sort of information, which would imply that your vulnerability isn't made public until someone slightly less kind happens upon it. Which is apparently the way these folks would prefer it be made public.

more than 2 years ago
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HIV Vaccine Trial Shows 90% Immune Response

magsol Re:Great (386 comments)

I do it for the mod points :)

more than 2 years ago
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HIV Vaccine Trial Shows 90% Immune Response

magsol Re:Great (386 comments)

Good luck with abstinence being "used widely".

more than 2 years ago
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Schmidt: G+ 'Identity Service,' Not Social Network

magsol Re:Don't Be Evil? That's just a lie (417 comments)

You sound like a politician: all broad platitudes, no concrete examples. You throw around flowery terms like "sweetness and honey", "expectation", and rhetoric about your girlfriend throwing you out, but I have yet to see a single example of how what Google is doing is evil.

Just about every commenter here who thinks Google is being evil is playing the Slippery Slope Fallacy card for absolutely everything it's worth. Yeah, I don't understand why Google is being so hard on the real names policy either, and yeah there's potential for abuse by tying your real name to all your Google accounts (though you're telling you didn't put your real name on your email? seriously?), but they've been King of Search and Advertising for quite some time now and, to my knowledge, haven't used their data for nefarious purposes just yet.

And given your lack of empirical evidence for why Google is being evil, I have to pose the same question regarding your take on Microsoft, Paypal, and Facebook: do you have data for why they're "out to get you", or just more anecdotal BS?

I'm really not trolling you; I just want to see if you have legitimate reasons for your very, very strong feelings or if it's all one big kneejerk, since the data, as it were, would tend to imply the latter.

more than 2 years ago
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No, We're Not Headed For a New Ice Age

magsol Re:Global Warming alarmists (473 comments)

Putting aside for the moment whether or not I agree with global warming itself, you seem to harbor a patently false understanding of what exactly these "global warming alarmists" are after, because it's anything *but* maintaining the status quo. Changing entrenched lifestyles, adopting new and largely inefficient technologies, and taking the big oil companies and the entire infrastructures that support them out of the game is most assuredly *not* maintaining the status quo. Unless you were using status quo as a synonym to human survival, which is debatable even aside from global warming.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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iPhone Available on Verizon by next year

magsol magsol writes  |  more than 3 years ago

magsol (1406749) writes "Multiple sources are now reporting that the iPhone, exclusively on the AT&T network since its launch in 2007, will also be available on the Verizon network starting early next year. In typical Apple fashion, the announcement likely won't be made until January 2011."
Link to Original Source
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My favorite medium on which to brainstorm is a

magsol magsol writes  |  about 4 years ago

magsol (1406749) writes "-Markerboard
-Chalkboard
-Some word processor
-Piece of paper
-Mental mapping application
-Cowboy Neal's face
-I do all my brainstorming in my head, you insensitive clod!"
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Sunlight Labs Sponsors Apps for America Contest

magsol magsol writes  |  more than 4 years ago

magsol writes "Sunlight Foundation, a self-declared non-partisan and non-profit organization "dedicated to using the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency", is partnering with Google, O'Reilly Media, and TechWeb in opening the Apps for America 2: The Data.gov Challenge on the heels of the public release of Data.gov (discussed here earlier). Sunlight Labs, an open-source development team contained within the umbrella of the Sunlight Foundation and dedicated to building technology which improves overall governmental transparency and accountability, is hosting the contest. Participants have until August to submit an application — client, web, Adobe AIR, iPhone, or just about any other medium — which meets the three criteria of transparency, permanence, and visualization. Multiple cash prizes are available, including all-expense-paid trips for the top winners to the gov2.0 Expo Showcase in Washington D.C. on September 8."
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PHPList Exploit Used in Attack on phpBB.com

magsol magsol writes  |  more than 5 years ago

magsol writes "Sometime over the last few weeks, the main website for the popular bulletin board application, phpbb.com, was exploited through a vulnerability in the phplist mailer manager. The website has been down ever since the attack; however, sometime last week, the phpbb administrators assembled a temporary website at Area51, as well as an official announcement regarding the attack and the details of how the attack was carried out.

From the post: "The attacker gained entry through the PHPList application and was able to dump a complete backup of the emails on file. He then used the same exploit to access the phpBB.com database. Both the email list from PHPlist and a copy of the phpBB.com users table were then posted publicly."

Furthermore, it would seem that the passwords of longtime users who frequented phpbb.com back in the days of the 2.0.x distribution might be at risk as well: "Those users who registered while phpBB.com used phpBB2 and did not login on the new phpBB3 board continue to have their password hashes stored in the old format. Passwords stored in the old format are much less secure than those stored in the new format. The attackers have been focusing purely on the passwords stored in the old format."

Nevertheless, the administrators emphasized that there was nothing wrong with the core phpbb application; the exploit was leveraged only through an outdated install of phplist, so anyone using the latest release of phpbb3 shouldn't be vulnerable."
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PHPList Vulnerability Used to Exploit phpBB.com

magsol magsol writes  |  more than 5 years ago

magsol writes "phpBB.com, the home of the open source bulletin boards, was recently exploited through a vulnerability in an outdated PHPList installation. "The attacker gained entry through the PHPList application and was able to dump a complete backup of the emails on file. He then used the same exploit to access the phpBB.com database. Both the email list from PHPlist and a copy of the phpBB.com users table were then posted publicly."

Not only were usernames and email addresses public compromised, but due to the complexities involved in migrating from version 2.0.x to 3.0.x, some of the users registered with phpBB.com may have passwords that are at risk as well: "Those users who registered while phpBB.com used phpBB2 and did not login on the new phpBB3 board continue to have their password hashes stored in the old format. Passwords stored in the old format are much less secure than those stored in the new format. The attackers have been focusing purely on the passwords stored in the old format."

The phpBB team stressed that the core bulletin board application is not vulnerable to this kind of attack."
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Windows 7 Public Beta Release Delayed

magsol magsol writes  |  more than 5 years ago

magsol writes "Brandon LeBlanc, a member of the Windows Team blog, provided an explanation regarding Microsoft's delay in posting Windows 7 beta keys: "Due to very heavy traffic we're seeing as a result of interest in the Windows 7 Beta, we are adding some additional infrastructure support to the Microsoft.com properties before we post the public beta. More updates can be found here, though your best bet may be to spam your browser's refresh button. The public beta is now 4+ hours overdue, and with a Microsoft-imposed 2.5 million license limit for general public, checking the site frequently may be a prudent course of action."

Journals

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So, I have to ask...

magsol magsol writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Why are my comments' scores on my profile page all significantly lower than what is shown on the articles themselves (when I follow the links to the comments from my profile to the articles on which they are posted) ? This started happening a month or two ago, and I figured it was a bug...buuuut it's definitely still happening.

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Wahooo

magsol magsol writes  |  more than 5 years ago Well then. I suppose a small introduction is in order.

Howdy. I'm magsol. I prefer reading over speaking, for the following reasons:

  1. I learn more when I listen first, speak later
  2. Chances are, someone more intelligent than I (and with a faster Ctrl+R finger) will make the same point before I will
  3. If you make a solid case for being a moron, I go something like this

So you probably won't hear much from me. 'sides, I'll be using my membership here mostly for reading and (occasionally) responding to the articles that are posted. If you want my technical thoughts and opinions, you'll have much better luck uncovering those on my wordpress blog. But I'll be sure to say hello from time to time. :)

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