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Brain Stimulation For Entertainment?

mdielmann Re:Stimulation via Content? (88 comments)

I also have no problem with pure fun. I don't require chemicals to achieve it, and don't as a general rule frown upon other people doing so - it's their lives and bodies. It doesn't upset me that I don't find the effects of alcohol interesting, although I've had a few on occasion, and it does concern me when people I know can't handle their drug of choice. But this particular one has a real dangerous potential. Single up-front cost, multiple settings, etc. I can see where those who tend towards addiction would have a strong tendency to keep turning up the intensity and get to the state of wireheads in Niven's work. My solution is to let other people test it out and discover the possible negative side effects. As for the benefits, I'm old enough where the big everyday benefits aren't going to have a huge impact on my life, not unlike laser vision correction, but hopefully my children will be able to blast through university with a deeper understanding and less study thanks to tools such as these. Perhaps by that time they'll also have methods of determining safe limits, and my kids will be able to enjoy the synthetic pleasure such tools could provide with no downside.

2 days ago
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Brain Stimulation For Entertainment?

mdielmann Re:Stimulation via Content? (88 comments)

Or you could use it for other things. For instance, improve your focus so you can work better. Or improve your capacity to learn so that you can spend less time in school to achieve the same results. Or learn more.

Some of us aren't so tied to stimulating our pleasure centers that we don't do anything else. Note the many people who aren't addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs, for instance. These are already simple methods to stimulate your pleasure centers (and other areas) with, frankly, the same potential drawbacks as your average Niven-esque wirehead. Sure, addictiveness may be lower, but that's already the reason I stay away from things like heroin, opium, and meth.

3 days ago
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Graphene: Fast, Strong, Cheap, and Impossible To Use

mdielmann Re:So No Space Elevator ??? (187 comments)

This would actually be a pretty trivial experiment to conduct. Survey of men who had circumcisions after becoming sexually active, and rate their opinion of the sexual experience before and after the surgery. Granted, there will have to be a number of factors to take into consideration, such as personal perception of self image before and after surgery, etc.

Last time I checked (and it's been over 10 years), about 1% of men require circumcision in adulthood for medical reasons. If even 1% of them were sexually active before the surgery, there would be more than enough candidates to do a useful study.

3 days ago
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Study Explains Why Women Miscarry More Males During Tough Times

mdielmann Re:It's the production line (113 comments)

The key flaw with your point, with respect to this study, is that it doesn't match the results, at all. Fewer males were born, but their survival rates were higher, leading to similar sexes ratios as in less stressful times. So not only does the study not agree with your statement, it seems that selective pressure still favors an even mix of the two sexes.

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

mdielmann Re: That study used data from Finland's Winter War (113 comments)

Similarly, a study of World War II mothers in Denmark, I believe, found that not just their children, but their grandchildren had lower birth weights. This was attributed to the famine caused by the war (i.e., the invading soldiers had plenty to eat, the local citizens, not so much), but it was surprising that the effects were also felt in the next generation. Things that you wouldn't think have a connection to the fetus really can, sometimes even for multiple generations.

about a week ago
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Comcast Sued For Turning Home Wi-Fi Routers Into Public Hotspots

mdielmann Re:The Netherlands has something similar (291 comments)

As well, since it is a different IP address, it will be fairly clear that even though it went through your modem it likely wasn't you who downloaded the offending material.

about two weeks ago
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18th Century Law Dredged Up To Force Decryption of Devices

mdielmann Re:Then demanding decryption will not be "reasonab (446 comments)

Which is why some people will have their projects hosted outside the U.S. This will lead to the "big bags of cash" circumvention method, which can be mitigated by the many eyes validation method, which can be circumvented by the "more big bags of cash" method, etc. The question is, which will run out of first - the big bags of cash, or the qualified eyes?

about two weeks ago
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Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease

mdielmann Re:So they got their reservation using deception? (1007 comments)

Do you think laws and rules should not protect people you sufficiently dislike?

Do you think the USA should have protected the Nazis in WW2 ?

Absolutely. Not left them free to walk around committing crimes, but also not allow them to be lynched because people disagree with them, even if they do something wrong. Or do you not believe in the rule of law and protecting people's rights?

about 2 months ago
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20 More Cities Want To Join the Fight Against Big Telecom's Broadband Monopolies

mdielmann Re:Not quite a monopoly (97 comments)

You realize that the US government has given BILLIONS to these companies to roll out internet infrastructure, right? It would only seem fair that they subsidize their competition since their business was subsidized, as well.

about 2 months ago
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Possible Reason Behind Version Hop to Windows 10: Compatibility

mdielmann Re:How badly coded are Windows applications? (349 comments)

I once worked with a "programmer" who stored all dates as text, would break them down into day/month/year, and use crappy functions to add parts back and forth. I just couldn't get him to understand that more modern languages stored dates as decimals, with the time as the decimal portion and the date as the integer portion, and that simple math could get you the number of days between two dates. Needless to say, I avoided working on projects with him.

It always pays to know the tools you're working with.

about 2 months ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

mdielmann Re:Honestly, rifles are not the problem (651 comments)

What I'm seeing here is that guns are dangerous when the person holding it isn't properly trained in how and when to use it.

It's worth noting that of those 30,000 deaths, about 17,000 are suicide. While they're regrettable, they're also matched by an similar number of non-firearm suicides. Clearly, the suicide problem isn't going to be solved by taking away guns. This is not to dismiss these deaths, just to say that blaming them on guns is rather silly.

In the same year I'm examining, accidental firearm deaths ran at about 600. Again, terrible, but accidental deaths by fire was about 5 times higher, and a great deal of these are cause by improperly trained children dealing with their last live fire drill. Personally, I'm not interested in talking about adults foolish enough to fall asleep while smoking of a bed or couch.

Now, let's talk about homicide. This brings us to about 13,000 per year by firearm. Cut/pierce homicides (stabbing fatalities) run about 2,000 per year, or about 1/6 relative to shootings. I'd say that gun control could probably bring the overall number of homicides down, but not by 13,000. How much is hard to say. As much as it's hard to say how much crime and/or gun deaths would go down if everyone was properly trained with a firearm and could be expected to carry at all times.

I personally don't have any firearms, and would only buy them for hunting (long guns, naturally). I also don't have a problem with properly trained people owning them. Personally, with the freedoms purportedly enjoyed in the US, I think it behooves a great number of the population to not only own guns, but take significant training in their use.

Source for above.

about 3 months ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

mdielmann Re:This device is not new or interesting (651 comments)

So what you're saying is that gun-control laws keep stupid people from killing themselves, thereby raising the average intelligence of the citizenry? Now I see why the government wants to stop him!

about 3 months ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

mdielmann Re:the solution: (651 comments)

I wonder how long it was before the incident in Tienanmen Square that a Chinese person had said that?

Hmm, judging from the movies I've seen, probably a few thousand years...

about 3 months ago
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Not Just Netflix: Google Challenges Canada's Power To Regulate Online Video

mdielmann Re:Broadcast rights (109 comments)

Allow me to correct myself, since you're merely trying to make me say what you're saying.

With internet video streaming, I'm not technologically limited to a certain number of sources...

Yes, laws can add artificial limitations. I think whether they should is the topic under discussion...

about 3 months ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

mdielmann Re:Emma Watson is full of it (590 comments)

That isn't oppression that is called freedom. On a serious note. I can't imagine dealing with 30 little sacks of shit from other people every day, at least without the "board" of education. I hear the stories from my wife and her fellow teachers and I probably would have ended up in jail.

Oh look, another pedophile!

Seriously, I'm just kidding.

about 3 months ago
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Not Just Netflix: Google Challenges Canada's Power To Regulate Online Video

mdielmann Re:streaming is not broadcast (109 comments)

While I agree completely with what you're saying, it can be argued that the Canadian content rule has the exact same result. The difference is, one is limited and corporate controlled. The other is much less limited and generally user controlled.

about 3 months ago
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Not Just Netflix: Google Challenges Canada's Power To Regulate Online Video

mdielmann Re:Broadcast rights (109 comments)

But the two are fundamentally different. With broadcast TV, there is a limited number of sources I can access. This still applies to VOD. Therefore, one can reason that requiring something that promotes Canadian culture is a benefit to us, which is what the purpose of the law is. Note that I'm not required to watch any of that Canadian content on broadcast TV or VOD by my cable provider of choice.

With internet video streaming, I'm not limited to a certain number of sources - in fact, the number of sources is quite large, almost infinite. And I choose what it is I will watch, with the origin of the content being relevant only if I choose for it to be. Note that I only have to watch what I wish to watch.

That is the key difference. In broadcast, a limited medium, the rule allows me to watch Canadian content if I choose to. With the internet, a much less limited, user-accessed medium, no rule is required to allow me to watch Canadian content if I choose to.

Now tell me, given the current paradigm of the internet, how exactly is the CRTC going to promote Canadian content without requiring me to watch it? Requiring Netflix or Google to pay 'comparable' rates for shows no one wants to watch sounds a lot like extortion to me (against both the providers and the consumers). If they want to promote Canadian content, they can start their own streaming service and provide it to Canadian IP addresses for free. They can even include ads for all I care! All they have to do is include it as a condition of the government money they give to these shows to happen here.

And if you think that's a bad idea, do you really think it's worse than requiring Netflix or Google to buy Canadian shows that people don't want? Please keep in mind, the driving force behind their service is to provide content people want to view. (Well, for Netflix. For Youtube, it's to allow any clown to upload their videos and hope someone watches. I'm sure Google will be happy to price match ad profits, like most other channels.) If they could get quality Canadian content for a reasonable price based on the expected viewership, I'm sure they would be all over it.

about 3 months ago
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Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

mdielmann Re:50-80k is an insane estimate (393 comments)

Keep in mind that pretty much the most expensive option for Teslas tends to be a larger battery pack or a bigger (or extra) motor. It's not merely a trim pack or more speakers.

about 3 months ago
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Developing the First Law of Robotics

mdielmann Re:Buridan's Principle (165 comments)

To be fair, this could solve the donkey population problem we seem to be having...

...maybe we should substitute cheeseburgers.

about 3 months ago
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DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

mdielmann Re: What the heck? (354 comments)

There is a fundamental difference between reverse engineering and reverse compilation. Copying someone's work, with or without the intermediate step of making it human-readable, is different than examining the functionality of some work and producing an original work that functions the same way (which may still be considered a derived work, depending on what and how it's made).

This is not relevant to whether Mojang is using GPL'd software in a different, related, project or not.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Possible Backdoor in New Encryption Standard?

mdielmann mdielmann writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mdielmann (514750) writes "Bruce Schneier writes in Wired that there may be a backdoor in a new encryption standard released by NIST, which the NSA proposed. It runs 3 orders of magnitude slower than the other encryption systems included in the new standard, and it also appears to include a second set of secret numbers that act as a sort of skeleton key. If you're concerned about security, you'll probably want to avoid the Dual_EC_DRBG encryption method."

Journals

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How I use Friends/Foes

mdielmann mdielmann writes  |  more than 2 years ago

I'm not sure if I use the friend/foe system the same way as most, but I find my system interesting and useful, and thought some people (possibly those on my friend/foe lists) might be interested, too.
I'm not interested in keeping a list of people I don't like, nor am I interested in keeping it visible for the world to see. Opinions are generally personal, and may not be valid for others. If there's someone I really don't like, I'll remember their name and ignore what they write. There aren't a lot like that, and some of them might be on my foe list. I can only think of one, but as I said before, I'm not interested in publishing my (at least partly) emotional biases.
I'm also not interested in having a list of people who say the same things I believe, or modding them up and (further) distorting my view of the world.

So what can one do with these friend/foes lists that doesn't fall into those categories?

Well, I use friends almost normally. These are people I generally agree with, and who have comments that I find interesting. I don't add mod points - if I'm going to see their comments, it will be because someone else thought their comment was interesting, too. The important part is that they're interesting.
I use foes for a different purpose. These are people I generally find challenging my beliefs, though not necessarily offending me. I mark them because they've made me think about things more than once. They, too, don't changes to their mod points, for the same reason that I don't add them to my friends.

So if you see I'm on your foe list - the odds are good that you're there because I wanted to make sure to give your latest comment the attention I've decided you deserve from previous experience.
And if you're on my friends list, I'm sure I'll be seeing another comment from you that will bring me pleasure of one kind or another soon.

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