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Comments

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Developing the First Law of Robotics

mdielmann Re:Buridan's Principle (144 comments)

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

...maybe we should substitute cheeseburgers.

13 hours 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 two weeks ago
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The Argument For a Hypersonic Missile Testing Ban

mdielmann Re:stopping who? (322 comments)

Moreover, testing was at a less critical phase. Nuclear test bans weren't going to get rid of nuclear bombs, or even necessarily improvements in them. It would just slow them down. If they had followed them in the first place.

What has been somewhat more effective is using various means to keep more nations from joining the nuclear club. But that is because getting the details right (the first time) is kind of hard, especially when sabotage is involved. I suspect you'll see a similar trend here, with the big players getting them and then trying to stop the smaller players from getting them.

about two weeks ago
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Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

mdielmann Re:That model really helped Cable TV (611 comments)

Sorry, buddy, our motto is "Peace, Order, and Good Government", not "Land of the free, home of the brave". Looks like we got two out of three. And how many of those two do the Americans have?

To be honest, even our government isn't terrible, just often teetering between inept and indifferent.

about three weeks ago
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Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

mdielmann Re:That model really helped Cable TV (611 comments)

Sadly, this is also the case in Canada. It's one of the main reasons I prefer to torrent or use Netflix. I'm sure that if I put in the effort I can blame the US, but it's at least as much my nation's fault as theirs. Now, if only Canadian content was required to stand on its own merits, and not required to be played, maybe we would get something that could replace the American drivel that is so much a part of what is broadcast.

Time to watch some old and/or foreign shows on Netflix, and reminisce about my youth.

about a month ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

mdielmann Re:Yawn (442 comments)

While much of what you say is true, being mentally handicapped and being an ass are not mutually exclusive.

about a month ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

mdielmann Re:Yawn (442 comments)

Congrats, he doesn't have autism. Check out the symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome, another condition on the Autism Spectrum. People with Asperger's tend to find mechanisms to deal with social dysfunction, and suffer social developmental delay, rather than complete retardation. Little things like "non-optional social obligation" would resonate with someone who has Asperger's. Ritual and consistency is also very important to those with Asperger's, such as having "his spot" on the couch, or having a narrow and specific time window in which to have a bowel movement, and a multitude of others. Having specific conversational topics he wants to talk about, and will use very poor techniques to direct others to his topics of choice. Obsessive behaviour about specific topics, far beyond the typical hobbyist (trains). Having a selection of canned responses to certain social situations, rather than a dynamic response to a given situation (in one episode, he talks about his process to turn Barry into his friend). He's been tested for mental health, and passed. But he didn't go to the recommended follow-up diagnosis...

No, he doesn't have classical autism. He doesn't sit in a corner and rock, or scream if strangers touch him (but I suspect he wants to - he does carry sanitizer and refuses to take public transportation, except for trains). But he certainly has been tailored to give many of the signs of stereotypical Asperger's syndrome coupled with high intelligence and a career with little social interaction and a technical focus.

about a month and a half ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

mdielmann Re:Yawn (442 comments)

I don't get the controversy. I like the show. It makes me laugh. I don't care what the actors get paid. It's none of my business. I think the comparisons to "black face" are in error. Poking fun at people because of their behavior is not the same as poking fun at people because of their skin color.

So, what if they poked fun at the behaviour of people who were mentally handicapped? Would that be okay? I think the majority would say no.

Now, keep in mind that Autism Spectrum disorders would be a form of mental handicap, albeit potentially higher function than what some people think of as mental retardation. Sheldon shows classical Autism Spectrum symptoms.

That said, I enjoy the show, but I don't have a particular desire to be politically correct.

about a month and a half ago
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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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 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)

...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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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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