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How "Big Ideas" Are Actually Hurting International Development

mc6809e Re:Why giving ? (91 comments)

Alas, WW2 doesn't seem to have been about religion, and it's still the largest war in human history (and if it were split into two separate wars, they'd be the two largest wars in history).

You're just using too narrow a conception of religion, IMO.

Fascism, National Socialism, and Communism all have their true-believers. And some of them are so certain their faith is the correct one that they're willing to kill for it.

4 days ago

Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

mc6809e Re: So basically (441 comments)

Interesting, though, that the vote happened after the election, when it was known who would control the Senate in 2015 and 2016. And interesting that those that are losing power oppose surveillance while those that are gaining it support continued surveillance.

This might suggest the possibility that each side fears the use of the NSA against them by the other side.

I'd hate to think the USA has gotten to that point but I don't think anything would surprise me now.

about a week ago

Comet Probe Philae Unanchored But Stable — And Sending Back Images

mc6809e Re:Couldn't they have used an RTG? (132 comments)

Why did we get away from that technology for space exploration? If you're going to spend the money to conduct a mission of this sort why limit yourself to the power provided by solar panels? It would be a pisser to have come this far only to have the mission fail because the probe can't get enough power to carry on operations.

Two reasons: fear that an accident might release plutonium dust into the atmosphere, and the relative shortage of plutonium.

about two weeks ago

Senate May Vote On NSA Reform As Soon As Next Week

mc6809e Maybe he thinks libertarians made a difference (127 comments)

It looks like the Republicans will have 54 Senators in 2015, in part, I think, to support given them by libertarians (except perhaps in Virginia where a Libertarian candidate took support from the Republican primarily).

Might this be a move by Democrats to reach out to libertarians who tend to be the strongest opponents of the surveillance of the public by government?

about two weeks ago

Silk Road 2.0 Seized By FBI, Alleged Founder Arrested In San Francisco

mc6809e Re:Not smart (219 comments)

Not every interesting program property that one wishes to prove can be transformed into an example of the halting problem.

about three weeks ago

Silk Road 2.0 Seized By FBI, Alleged Founder Arrested In San Francisco

mc6809e Re:Not smart (219 comments)

Who is still using these sites after all of the Silk Road 1.0 arrests? You have to be pretty dumb to risk your freedom on some stranger's computer security skills.

And not just some single stranger.

How many thousands of programmers/engineers are indirectly involved?

Can you trust the programmer of the website?

Can you trust the programmers that wrote the webserver code?

Can you trust the programmers that wrote your web browser?

Can you trust the programmers that wrote BASH?

Can you trust the programmers that wrote the rest of the OS?

Can you trust the programmers that wrote the BIOS?

Can you trust the engineers that wrote the CPU's microcode?

I once had this wild idea of trying to come up with some automated proof system that would help insure program correctness. I then looked at the huge amount of errata for Intel processors. How can one be sure one's program will even run as expected when the processor itself can't be proven correct?

about three weeks ago

In this year's US mid-term elections ...

mc6809e Re:What do you vote for? (551 comments)

Some states also have judicial elections, which is as stupid an idea as it sounds like.

Judicial elections might work well using an approval voting system -- the idea being that a judge that is most accepted by the people is most likely to be a neutral arbiter and fair.

about three weeks ago

Silicon Valley Swings To Republicans

mc6809e Re:This is great news! (485 comments)

Why is it when the republicans controlled both houses and the presidency they didn't fix the obvious errors that the democrats did?

January 2001 was the first time since 1957 that the Republicans controlled both congress and the presidency.

They had about 8 months of a sane world before 9/11 happened.

about three weeks ago

Silicon Valley Swings To Republicans

mc6809e Re:The fact that lobbying is talked about so openl (485 comments)

The fact that lobbying is talked about so openly disgust me, at least in my country the politicians try to hide their corruption.

Oh, grow up.

Lobbying isn't corruption.

Corruption is pretending lobbying doesn't exist.

about three weeks ago

Silicon Valley Swings To Republicans

mc6809e Re:Bang-bang control in action. (485 comments)

The Republicans are in charge and they haven't done a thing about the NSA. No reduction in budget, no oversight changes, nothing.

The Republican majority in the House is 1/2 of 1/3rd of the government.

They're hardly "in charge".

about three weeks ago

We Are All Confident Idiots

mc6809e Re:Sounds like Slashdot (306 comments)

I was thinking about the press.

There's no way a journalist can crank out story after story unless they're completely unaware that they don't know what they're talking about.

Any doubts in their own understanding would stop dead their fingers on their keyboards.

about a month ago

Shooting At Canadian Parliament

mc6809e Re:Dear Canada.... (529 comments)

The tenets of Islam are not more incompatible than the tenets or radical christs.

If you believe the Islam is your enemy then I might give you a hint: know your enemy, so you can fight him! And you will realize that Islam is a very moderate religion.

You're either a fool or a liar.

about a month ago

Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

mc6809e Re:Hold on a minute (198 comments)

And if the numbers for lawyers and physicians are any indication, the highest software developers are probably making their money in medical software or regulatory compliance software.

about a month ago

Chemists Grow Soil Fungus On Cheerios, Discover New Antifungal Compounds

mc6809e Re:Makes sense (77 comments)

It's probably also because Cheerios don't contain preservatives.

Or it has preservatives that kill those organisms that would otherwise kill the fungi.

about a month ago

Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?

mc6809e Re:Navel gazing (652 comments)

Is there no difference in your view between the physical might of the state and the abstract might of economic power?

about 2 months ago

Why the FCC Will Probably Ignore the Public On Network Neutrality

mc6809e Re:Changes require systematic, reliable evidence.. (336 comments)

I think some of the ISPs are worried that legitimate packet prioritization is going be outlawed along with other sorts of prioritization due to ignorance of technology by legislators or regulators.

I've had discussions with coworkers in IT that were very sharp but still couldn't understand why it might be beneficial to prioritize voice packets over web traffic, for example. They really believed FIFO was the only fair way to treat packets and that anything else was somehow morally wrong.

And before some people chime in and say "but that's not what we mean", let me say that's exactly what some people mean by net neutrality. Maybe it's not what you mean, but there's no guarantee that your more informed view of net neutrality is going to be made into law.

about 2 months ago

Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

mc6809e Re:Update to Godwin's law? (575 comments)

The Soviet Union had a certain amount of Democracy, too.

The trouble comes when you try to use "the people's" resources to challenge the current power democratically.

Want to use the people's radio station to argue against the current regime, for example?

Sorry, but duly elected representatives of the people don't believe that's the best use of the people's property.

And by the way, the duly elected representatives of the people think your share of the people's food should be reduced.

That's how you get a one-party democratic state.

about 2 months ago

Mystery Gamer Makes Millions Moving Markets In Japan

mc6809e Re:Largest Ponzi Scheme Ever (113 comments)

So, no studying PtoE, company fundamentals, etc. etc. Further proving that the Stock Market is almost entirely disconnected from the underlying companies. Basically, it's a Ponzi scheme.

This is true mostly for new or trendy companies in trendy spaces. Boring companies that have been around for a long time are often priced based on the future dividends they're expected to pay. They don't get any attention, though, because those that make money on speculating can't make any money by trading them. The speculators and brokers don't want people paying attention to fundamentals. Volumes would plummet so how would they make money? There would be no churn. And then they'd have to sell the million dollar Manhattan apartment where they keep their mistress.

It's similar to the difference between trading Beanie Babies (or whatever faddy collectible is popular now) and something like wheat.

The US government would have invested Social Security in the Stock Market, but they can't find a spokesperson from the financial industry you can advocate the scheme without drooling at the prospect.

The US government already invests that money by spending it and leaving a bond in its place.

And how did they invest it? Well, there are some big craters in Iraq and Afghanistan now. Bingo halls and casinos also seem to have profited.

about 2 months ago



Bad news: Bertha is damaged

mc6809e mc6809e writes  |  about 10 months ago

mc6809e (214243) writes "Officials on Friday announced the seal assembly is damaged. Bertha may be shut down for several more weeks as workers fix damaged seals that protect the drive system that spins the giant cutter. The revelation comes two months after the drill failed to grind ahead and operators shut it down. The machine known as Bertha tweeted in December that she was doing fine, just facing an obstruction. An 11-day inspection in January found no big obstacles, turning engineers’ attention inward. The ongoing investigation — which includes an influx of staff from drill maker Hitachi-Zosen — could take up to two weeks before the Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) contracting team issues a strategy to repair and restart the machine."
Link to Original Source

F.C.C. Bars Lightsquared from Using Airwaves

mc6809e mc6809e writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mc6809e (214243) writes "A proposed wireless broadband network that would provide voice and Internet service using airwaves once reserved for satellite-telephone transmissions should be shelved because it interferes with GPS technology, the Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday. The news appears to squash the near-term hopes for the network pushed by LightSquared, a Virginia company that is majority-owned by Philip Falcone, a New York hedge fund manager."
Link to Original Source

Killed for Tweeting: Mexico's Drug War Has Two Mor

mc6809e mc6809e writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mc6809e (214243) writes "Twitter has become deadly serious in Mexico, where two people were allegedly murdered for denouncing a drug cartel on the social network.

In Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, a man and a woman were found hanging from a bridge by their hands and feet. An examination of the bodies showed signs of torture, and the pair is thought to have been beaten and killed by a powerful local drug gang, then displayed to send a message to citizens who might want to publicly renounce the group.

Attached to the bodies were two signs, one of which read “This happens for denouncing,” according to CNN. One of the notes also had the names of two blogs, Al Rojo Vivo and Blog del Narco."

Link to Original Source


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