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Comments

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Prof. Andy Tanenbaum Retires From Vrije University

mdielmann Re:Aaaaahahaha ... gotta love it: (136 comments)

As is so often the case, context is quite relevant. His statement is ridiculous today, but when it was made, quite reasonable.

about three weeks ago
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Senate Budgetmakers Move To End US Participation In ITER

mdielmann Re:Scientific research never got anyone anything (225 comments)

This is a great philosophy, but it relies on the assumption that everyone behaves rationally. We have thousands of years of evidence to the contrary, though. And what do you do to stop someone who is willing to commit atrocities and is unwilling to listen to reasonable arguments? I suspect that coercion of one degree or another will often be the only option.

about a month ago
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Goldman Sachs Demands Google Unsend One of Its E-mails

mdielmann Re:Treat it like regular mail. (346 comments)

The difference is, this isn't a mailbox on your house. It's more like a post office box from Mailboxes Etc. So going to the person who controls the mailbox is a reasonable attempt to stop the mail from being delivered, as long as the person hasn't already removed the mail from their box. It would also be akin to going to the postal service if there is a letter in the mail that hasn't yet left their care and been delivered to the recipient (the single biggest difference being that it takes email seconds vs. the days for snail mail).

about a month ago
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Goldman Sachs Demands Google Unsend One of Its E-mails

mdielmann Re:Disclaimer? (346 comments)

He intended to sent the email to someone. He clearly didn't intend to send it to the ultimate recipient, else he wouldn't have spent thousands of dollars to undo that act. Perhaps he sent it to ndielmann@foo.bar instead of mdielmann@foo.bar. Fortunately, you obviously never make typos. And people have never accidentally called the wrong number before, either.

Clearly the recipient isn't in the wrong if he reads it - he got an email in good faith. This is why they want to get it removed before it's read.

about a month ago
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Supermassive Black Hole At the Centre of Galaxy May Be Wormhole In Disguise

mdielmann Re:It is God. (293 comments)

...malicious people are able to use it to get rubes to vote for insane anti-social right-wing loonies.

And how is this different from communism, global warming, smartphone OS, etc.? What you're forgetting is, there will be rubes falling for whatever gimmick someone uses. And there will also be loonies, from a variety of socio-political groups. Getting rid of one of the irrational beliefs isn't going to change the existence of either group, just which varieties are running around.

about 2 months ago
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Supermassive Black Hole At the Centre of Galaxy May Be Wormhole In Disguise

mdielmann Re:It is God. (293 comments)

"Even the Jihadists are really not likely ever to personally cause you harm."

The day before 9/11 you likely would have said the same to everyone personally harmed in 9/11 or through the loss of someone in 9/11.

The interesting thing is, 99.999% of the time, you would have been right, assuming we're only talking about Americans. Sounds "not likely" to me...

about 2 months ago
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The Mere Promise of Google Fiber Sends Rivals Scrambling

mdielmann Re:Competition (258 comments)

I wish, but in fact while there's allegedly fiber in austin, just a few miles north in round rock there's not even a promise by either google or AT&T.

I think there are vastly more areas that aren't promised Google fiber (or any other version of fiber) than are. Also, more places will be adjacent to places that recently got fiber than there are places that have Google fiber. This works for any region that you create a zone in (until the majority of the zones are occupied). The lines for any given zone have to be drawn somewhere, and it will suck for people on the wrong side of the line. Or were you hoping for a single nation-wide rollout?

about 3 months ago
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Tesla Logged $713 Million In Revenue In Q1 and Built 7,535 Cars

mdielmann Re:At a loss (131 comments)

Read up on Amazon circa 2000. Interesting times. Maybe a lack of profit isn't the only thing investors worry about.

about 3 months ago
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FCC Proposes $48,000 Fine To Man Jamming Cellphones On Florida Interstate

mdielmann Re:Because cell service never cuts out? (427 comments)

"I've noticed that people tend to not pay attention to the other drivers. I'm going to randomly apply the brakes, speed up, and change lanes. The drivers around me will pay a lot more attention!" While all that is true, it's still a bad idea. And while it won't cause much difficulty for the attentive drivers, it will probably exacerbate the poor driving habits of other drivers around him. Why do you think this will not have similar results, if at a lower degree.

about 3 months ago
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Setback For Small Nuclear Reactors: B&W Cuts mPower Funding

mdielmann Re:I have a project (165 comments)

It would be easier if we followed the same principle as captains of ships used to have. Have an administrator, who is responsible for the running of the plant and the following of the regulations that pertain to that plant have to be on site during any emergencies. If he makes sure that people who know what they're doing are in charge of the right things, and he doesn't try to cut any corners, this won't be an overly onerous requirement. If he doesn't, well, he will get his termination notice from a doctor.

about 3 months ago
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Why the Sharing Economy Is About Desperation, Not Trust

mdielmann Re:tl;dr (331 comments)

Ah yes, just like Newton, that idle wealthy person. Given the opportunity, he just sat under apple trees and watched the world...

Almost right.

about 3 months ago
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Why Portland Should Have Kept Its Water, Urine and All

mdielmann Re:Both sides are silly (332 comments)

Having read the article, the reservoir had been recently cleaned before the 3ppb contamination occurred. 3 weeks, I think.

about 3 months ago
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Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

mdielmann Re:People getting wierd about liquid water (239 comments)

I think perhaps he's considering the repeated devastations of Earth's ecology for poorly understood reasons, the over-use of resources being only one possible cause. Until we can deal with a little thing like 100,000 years of winter, our future is pretty limited on this planet.

about 3 months ago
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Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

mdielmann Re:Hmm, not really. (312 comments)

Can't let you get away with that. My dog can go out when its below freezing quite happily. I need 2 layers of clothing plus a coat.

Most dogs that can take the cold can't survive high heat. Likewise, dogs that can handle high heat usually do very poorly in the cold. With proper knowledge and acclimatization, a person can survive almost the same range as most dogs, and still a greater range than cold-adapted dogs. As for cold, I've heard stories about the Inuit. Some have come south for work, and found a few degrees C above freezing to be t-shirt weather and 10 degrees C above freezing is uncomfortably warm. Likewise, I've met people from the Caribbean who find a few degrees C above freezing to be winter jacket weather. With acclimatization, this doesn't matter. But I doubt your dog will do well in the Caribbean without some human assistance.

"We can survive bacteria, viruses and parasites and wounds"

So can most animals otherwise the most complex life would still be a sponge. And to use my dog as an example again - he can happily drink water from streams and puddles that would put me on the toilet for 2 days.

Which is pretty much exactly what he said:

We can survive bacteria, viruses and parasites and wounds. We die of infections beyond a certain magnitude, similarly to most other Eukaryote organisms. If our bodies are garbage, so are the bodies of all Eukaryote organisms.

Also, I don't think your dog is capable of boiling water, something we learned to do millenia ago thanks to our big brains. Evolution has given us a simple method to mitigate this problem.

Fact of the matter is, there are very few multi-celled organisms that can survive the temperature range that humans can stark naked. Add in clothing, and nothing at all matches our climate range. Yes, there are creatures that have greater extremes at either end, but they don't have the range we do, either.

about 3 months ago
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Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

mdielmann Re:where is the controversy? (642 comments)

The tree was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eating the fruit was the act of doing wrong, which bestowed the knowledge of good and evil. But before a choice to do wrong is put before you, you can't do wrong. A modern corollary is that a guilty mind is required to commit a crime. If you can't conceive that what you're doing is wrong, you're criminally insane.

about 4 months ago
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Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

mdielmann Re:Not the first time this has happened (642 comments)

If you're trying to make a quality fleet, you don't just build more ships and crew them with people who "really wanna be a fleet member!" You select for quality. If you want a horde that wins through exhausting your enemy, recruiting anyone who can fog a mirror (or other non-human equivalents) is acceptable. That doesn't explain Wesley, unless they've seen people like this before, and realize they're often more trouble than they're worth unless they're brought down a notch or two first. Hmm...

Colonies can be started for a number of reasons, only one of which is disaffection with the homeworld. Overpopulation, racial security, desire for a challenge, cultural/personal need for space, desire to see new things. If you don't think cultural difference couldn't lead to people not having a problem with the population of a region/planet per se and yet still not wanting to live in certain conditions, compare standing in line in Finland and India.

about 4 months ago
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How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

mdielmann Re:Let it die (510 comments)

That's a pretty insightful statement, seeing how he claims to be white and southern (US, I presume). Way to go - your literacy is paying off!

about 4 months ago
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Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

mdielmann Re:This is kinda gross. (564 comments)

We've been waiting and seeing for 15 years. People were reportedly surprised to hear he'd funded the Prop 8 group. The waiting and seeing part is adequately finished, I'd say. Although his more than a decade of apparently not firing people for their personal beliefs hasn't helped him any.

about 4 months ago
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Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

mdielmann Re:This is kinda gross. (564 comments)

We also don't all work in a position of authority for 15 years, where he could easily have exerted his political views, and yet didn't to all appearances.

about 4 months ago
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Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

mdielmann Re:The new Hitlers (564 comments)

It's an archaic social custom that should have no place in modern society.

Like clothing. I'm sure there's no valid reason for that one, either.

Most things that have lasted for thousands of years have done so for a good reason. Find that reason, examine the possibility of other ways to meet the requirements, and maybe you will have a way to make it a thing of the past.

The two biggest reasons for marriage are raising children and determining inheritances. We can mitigate one (child-rearing) and set some rules in place of the other based on new technology like DNA testing, but the possibility of guaranteeing where obligations lie has only been around for a generation. Social norms will take a while to catch up.

I personally think marriage is a great idea, and I'm a big fan of freedom. (The two might be opposed to each other...) The trouble comes in when you tie things that aren't obviously interconnected and have to deal with the impact of that. Tax breaks and medical coverage being tied to marriage are just a couple of those. And also when you deal poorly with the things that are obviously linked to (the current idea of) marriage - child-rearing etc. - when the marriage dissolves.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Possible Backdoor in New Encryption Standard?

mdielmann mdielmann writes  |  more than 6 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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