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Cameron Accuses Internet Companies Of Giving Terrorists Safe Haven

mean pun Re:Keys to the kingdom ... (159 comments)

Although not everything is a slippery slope, the invasion of privacy by the state is a classical area where there is a very delicate balance, and the analogy is relevant. This is well known, and the discussions about this balance go back millennia. Just dropping the word 'fallacy' in the discussion contributes exactly zero bits to the discussion.

10 hours ago
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Obama's Immigration Order To Give Tech Industry Some, Leave 'Em Wanting More

mean pun Re:I bet Infosys and Tata are dancing in the stree (185 comments)

It's his job to "get done" those laws that the Congress passes. Simply choosing not to enforce those laws because he doesn't like them is rather the opposite of his job.

Well, he has the power to veto laws he doesn't like, so things are a little more complicated.

Still, the complaint is not that he doesn't do anything with the laws that the Congress passes, the complaint is that Congress doesn't pass any laws that address important issues.

4 days ago
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Obama's Immigration Order To Give Tech Industry Some, Leave 'Em Wanting More

mean pun Re:I bet Infosys and Tata are dancing in the stree (185 comments)

What a crock of shit man. Drop the partisan politics and learn about checks and balances. The executive branch shouldn't be legislating, no matter what party.

Funnily enough, President Obama addressed that very issue in his speech: he said that if Congress doesn't like what he's doing, they should come up with a law themselves. So in the President's considered opinion the issue is so urgent it trumps this principle you mention.

Sound like a legitimate argument to me, that needs a serious refutation if you disagree with him.

4 days ago
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Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

mean pun Re:Thanks Obama... (437 comments)

Trying to imply that Obama is the good guy in the mess is pure bullshit.

He was mocking the astroturfed memes that blame Obama for every perceived wrong in the world, even if the supposed wrong or its justification makes you spin-dizzy. But you knew that.

Obama is not responsible for this law initiative or this down vote. That does not mean Obama is the good guy in the NSA-powers scandal, it only means that Obama is not responsible for this law initiative or this down vote.

Similarly, the Republicans are responsible for this down vote. That does not mean they are solely to blame for the NSA-powers scandal, or that everything should be explained in terms of Democrats versus Republicans, it only means that in this case the Republicans are responsible for this down vote.

about a week ago
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MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

mean pun Panic! (323 comments)

Forget Ebola, forget IS, forget running out of IPv4 addresses, finally a real reason to panic.

So go ahead, make the most of it!

about two weeks ago
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US DOE Sets Sights On 300 Petaflop Supercomputer

mean pun Re:Ehhh Meh (127 comments)

With tens of millions of nodes data logistics pretty much always is a problem, even for supposedly embarrassingly parallel problems. Either the nodes communicate with only a few neighbours, in which case you have to carefully design the layout of the computations to make sure every node can communicate efficiently with its neighbours, and there probably is also some kind of global clock that has to be maintained. Alternatively you have some kind of farmer-worker setup where each worker node is happily chomping on an problem on its own. Even then you have to have farmer nodes that keep all those millions of little chompers busy. That is usually a headache on its own, because they will need some data to get started, they'll report back some data, and that's a lot of data if you deal with so many nodes.

If all those millions of nodes need to consult some kind of global data, even if it is rarely, that's another data logistics headache. And those are the best-case scenarios, and that's ignoring any fault-tolerance issues, which with tens of millions of nodes is already far into the `happy fool' area.

So yes, it is extremely hard to program for such an architecture. The only alternative is to use a middleware such as Hadoop where you try to fit your problem into a certain computation pattern (`skeleton' was a popular term for this for a while), and let the authors of the middleware worry about all the headaches I mention above. That doesn't mean the problems aren't there any more, it is just that the middleware authors are trying to hide the issues from you as well as they can.

about two weeks ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

mean pun Re:Please wait here. (418 comments)

Japan has now put 100 passengers on a Maglev train doing over 500kph.

Were they volunteers?

They were the lucky winners of a lottery, with odds of less than 1%. See http://ajw.asahi.com/article/b...

about two weeks ago
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Cameron Says People Radicalized By Free Speech; UK ISPs Agree To Censor Button

mean pun Re:Who will run it? (316 comments)

Since polls of their users indicate that both Obamacare and the related websites are nowadays an overwhelming success, I would say: absolutely not.

They would be able to get a functioning system up and running (after a few false starts). I think it is far better to let the usual UK IT contractors set it up; that way you're guaranteed the system will never be operational.

about two weeks ago
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Cameron Says People Radicalized By Free Speech; UK ISPs Agree To Censor Button

mean pun Re:Only a politician that supports terrorists (316 comments)

concentration of power corrupts their [socialist] political structure

Are you trying to imply it is not a flaw of the capitalist system?

I can think of a couple of pretty convincing capitalist examples of said corruption, and don't see why socialism is more susceptible to it than the capitalist system.

about two weeks ago
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U.S. and China Make Landmark Climate Deal

mean pun Re:Ya...Right (285 comments)

Wind energy is not a `very expensive' technology, it is comparable in cost to conventional energy, and so is solar. Yes, for now conventional energy sources are used for baseload power in many countries, but energy storage is a solvable problem. There are many ideas for this, from using worn-out battery packs of electric cars to pumping back water into water reservoirs, and some of them are already used in practice.

No country is planning to decommission conventional power generators just to be green, although in some countries decommissioning for economical reasons is being considered.

Reducing CO2 emissions can also be accomplished by reduced energy consumption. Most European countries are well aware of that, and have worked hard to stimulate this, but I strongly suspect that in the USA with its enormous per-capita consumption a lot can be gained here. And no, that does not mean that you have to sit shivering in the dark under the light of a single LED lamp, it just means that by investing a bit in better isolation of buildings, more efficient light sources, and more efficient heating and cooling, you reduce your energy bill. And these investments usually pay themselves off, although it may take a decade or so.

For the statement you ascribe to Freeman Dyson I think a citation is in order. I'm very sceptical that he said what you claim he said.

about two weeks ago
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U.S. and China Make Landmark Climate Deal

mean pun Re:Ya...Right (285 comments)

Why do you think that changing to renewable energy will have such a bad impact on the (presumably US) economy? Sure, some sectors will be reduced, but others will be stimulated. That's how it goes in a flexible economy. There is no reason to assume that there will be the disasters you are sketching.

I'm not going to dissect that `there has been no global warming for about 18 years' myth for the twenty-zillionth time; it has been debunked so often that it's almost a /. meme.

And if a country (again I'm assuming you're talking about the USA here) has so many people living in such precarious circumstances, perhaps it is wise to think about giving them more social support? Higher minimum wages? More affordable healthcare? Perhaps even a more inclusive foodstamp program? Such poverty is not healthy for a society.

about two weeks ago
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Pirate Bay Co-Founder Peter Sunde Is a Free Man Again

mean pun Re:Concern for high values? (356 comments)

It's not about "moral choices"

No? Why not? Eating other sentient beings or not is a moral choice. And not an easy choice if you are sensitive to these issues.

it's about conformity to a non-mainstream ideal so as to set oneself apart and produce a feeling of independence.

BINGO!!! You hit all the words on my psycho-babble bingo card!! What do I win?

about two weeks ago
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Website Peeps Into 73,000 Unsecured Security Cameras Via Default Passwords

mean pun Re:People buy stuff without understanding is... (321 comments)

So your claim that Mac OS X has significantly weaker security than other operating systems is entirely justified by a few news items on /.? You're completely ignoring any selection bias of /., you're completely ignoring the accuracy of these reports, you're ignoring the whole `the plural of anecdote is not proof' issue, and you're blindly assuming that security issues that these Pwn-to-Own events uncover are indicative of real-life security of the operating system.

That justification is, err, somewhat flawed.

about two weeks ago
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Website Peeps Into 73,000 Unsecured Security Cameras Via Default Passwords

mean pun Re:People buy stuff without understanding is... (321 comments)

Except Macs routinely are first to fall at the Pwn to Own competitions, so no, that's bullshit.

Sounds implausible. Not because Macs are perfectly secure, but because the competition is far from perfect. So a citation for that claim would be nice.

More importantly, are there any significant botnets with Macs in them? (And what about Linux?)

about three weeks ago
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New GCHQ Chief Says Social Media Aids Terrorists

mean pun Re:Not a win (228 comments)

What's the difference between Muslims and Christians? Two things, first Christians don't believe that all people are Christian or born as such. Islam dictates that all people are.

Islam wants all people to be Muslims, and considers Muslims superior. But then, Christianity wants all people to be Christians, and considers Christians superior. Neither religion believes all people are born as such, neither religion dictates that all people are. The mainstream religion, that is. If you search long enough you can find loons that believe anything, including that the earth is flat or the sky is green. It is not so hard to find loons that want to shoot all those dangerous lefty atheists.

Second, Christianity has had a reformation(several actually), Islam has had none.

Islam has evolved a lot over the centuries, and mixed with local religions all over the world. Many people in for example Iran and Saudi Arabia would like their religious leaders to lighten up, but then there are plenty of Christian flavours that should stop their bible thumping as well.

Also, your "dangerous holy crusades" were in response to Muslims. More so the out-right slaughter, rape, murder, and forced conversion of Christians in Spain...that had been on-going for nearly 100 years by that time.

Whereas the Spanish inquisition only used comfy chairs. They're famous for it. And the crusaders were never guilty of out-right slaughter, rape, murder, and forced conversion.

about three weeks ago
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Gates Donates $500M+ To Fight Malaria and Other Diseases

mean pun Re:He should give it back ... (106 comments)

... he took so much, he is having trouble spending it all before he dies.

Uhm, isn't this what he's doing?

about three weeks ago
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Ken Ham's Ark Torpedoed With Charges of Religious Discrimination

mean pun Re:Sanity? (451 comments)

That is only an opinion

We call these opinions "values".

If you like. It's a minority value then.

and a minority opinion at that

Actually, it's a majority opinion.

Considering that this kind of policy is common throughout the world as a pretty uncontroversial part of government, I would say that the burden of proof of that statement is on you.

You can debate whether this particular tourism policy or the subsidy to the ark is effective, but there is nothing wrong with the general idea

Yes, the general idea for government to pick winners and losers in the market place is wrong because it doesn't work.

You're denying that by using some community money tourism can be stimulated? Huh?

It is not clear to me why `picking winners and losers in the market place' is supposed to wrong. The government is a player in the marketplace with its own motivations. That's not good or bad, that's just a fact of life. Even buying the pencils for the pencil pushers at the cheapest place is picking a winner. And sometimes the government decides that giving some money to some organisation is the best way to stimulate tourism. That's just another act in the marketplace.

unless you are a libertarian fundamentalist.

I'm sorry, is that supposed to be some lame attempt at an insult? Or what?

What's the point of insulting someone? No, it was a (failed) attempt to make you think about your position.

about a month ago
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Ken Ham's Ark Torpedoed With Charges of Religious Discrimination

mean pun Re:Sanity? (451 comments)

Repeat after me: taking tax dollars and shoving them into the hands of private developers is not a proper function of government.

That is only an opinion, and a minority opinion at that. If the government considers it in the common interest to help out some private enterprises it makes sense to do so. In this case the purpose of the shoving is clear: by spending some public money Kentucky is hoping to attract more tourists. You can debate whether this particular tourism policy or the subsidy to the ark is effective, but there is nothing wrong with the general idea unless you are a libertarian fundamentalist.

Apart from that, the pencil pushers in government will also have to buy their pencils from private companies, and will therefore have to shove some tax dollars into the hands of private enterprise.

about a month ago
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Fusion Reactor Concept Could Be Cheaper Than Coal

mean pun Re:Wait... (315 comments)

Down time is highly predictable. Compared to building our own fusion reactor this is a trivial problem to solve.

about a month and a half ago
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Fusion Reactor Concept Could Be Cheaper Than Coal

mean pun Re:Wait... (315 comments)

I'm pretty sure building a replica of that big yellow thing is more expensive than a coal-fired plant.

I have a better idea, why not use the energy of the existing one!? We could build some kind of antenna that collects the energy. In fact, we could build lots them all over the world! Sure, there are some practical issues, but I'm not sure they are harder to solve than building a working fusion reactor.

about a month and a half ago

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