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Comments

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ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

mr_mischief Re:US is next? (811 comments)

Unfalsifiable in fact does not mean false. It also does not mean true. Unfalsifiable does mean unprovable and nonfactual. You can't have a fact unless it's falsifiable. That's part of the definition of a fact: even if it's true there's the possibility to attempt to show it is false.

Science is concerned with hypotheses (testable statements) and repeatable observations (empirical facts). If you can't test it repeatedly and observe it repeatedly then it's not science.

There's a big difference between "not scientific" and "anti-scientific".

You can disingenuously try to put whatever words you like into my mouth to build whatever strawman you like. I'm just tired of hearing the religious anti-science crowd and the science-minded folks baiting and presenting meaningless arguments back and forth. If someone's worldview is completely inconsistent with someone else's, that's no reason for them to try to make idiotic cross-boundary arguments adding noise to public fora.

12 hours ago
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ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

mr_mischief Re:US is next? (811 comments)

Unfortunately many people have never learned to deal with cognitive dissonance very well. There have been great scientists who believed one thing as religious truth and who supported the objective evidence within a scientific model at the same time.

Allegory, fable, parable, subjective experience, and unobservable conjecture about spirits and deities is not anti-science or counter to science. The problem is when people try to conflate their by definition subjective, unobservable, untestable beliefs with what by definition must be objective, observable, and testable.

Religion and theology are informed by a wholly different part of philosophy than is science. Science assumes an acceptance of objectivism, which is anathema to most religions (in fact any religion with a supernatural explanation for anything). It's no wonder they are incompatible.

If someone wants to have faith in something, I have no issue with that. If they want everything proven to them, I have no problem with that. If they want to separate one form the other, I even have no problem with that. If, however, they want to bash science because it's not in accords with their scary invisible, inaudible, uncommunicative, unobservable supreme being in another existence then they need to step back and consider that their religion is not at all even germane to the discussion of science.

yesterday
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Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor

mr_mischief Re:This may be the way to escape from Comcast (417 comments)

I'm sure they would, too. But what's Comcast's complaint about Tor? How is a VPN any less anonymous once you're tunneled through their network to somewhere else and how is the traffic any less hidden?

2 days ago
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Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor

mr_mischief Re:Dont cancel by phone (417 comments)

I turned in their modem because it was crap and I bought my own. It's been two months and I'm still fighting the modem lease fee they're still charging me. Going to the service center is not a cure-all.

2 days ago
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Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor

mr_mischief Re:Solution (417 comments)

In the US it is legal in every state to record a phone call if all parties are aware it's being recorded. In some states only one end of the call needs to be aware. IANAL but in some two-party states the fact that Comcast tells you they can records the call may give you an equal right to do so without notice. You can always tell them they are being recorded, though.

2 days ago
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Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor

mr_mischief continuing to charge for things not provided (417 comments)

Hey, Comcast, continuing to charge me for a modem lease fee when I'm not leasing your piece of crap modem is not so-to-speak "legal". So why after dealing with your customer disservice personnel twice are you continuing to charge me an $8 a month fee for something you can't so-to-speak "legally" charge me?

This company needs to wither and die. The problem is the only other realistic choice where I live is AT&T. If I move across town I can get Time Warner who is almost as bad and about to be just as bad with the merger.

The public service commissions and the municipalities that grant them buildout rights are the only way to deal with this crap, as the FCC has proven useless.

2 days ago
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5 Million Gmail Passwords Leaked, Google Says No Evidence Of Compromise

mr_mischief Re:Am I the only one? (203 comments)

Did you by any chance use the same unique string of random crap at some third-party site where you used your email address as a verification email?

about a week ago
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When Scientists Give Up

mr_mischief Re:Doesn't surprise me (347 comments)

Or look at Bob Noyce (physicist) and Gordon Moore (chemist).

about a week ago
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Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

mr_mischief false dichotomy (546 comments)

If you are hiring someone to develop code and you must pick one or the other, pick the person who knows how to code. If you can find someone with a degree in CS, math, physics, accounting, philosophy, a natural language, law, or anything else who also knows how to code then hire that person.

Especially if they have a degree in the subject matter and know how to program that's a bonus. Sometimes the actual subject matter really is CS. Sometimes it's accounting, medicine, physics, geology, or something else.

Saying one must hire a degreed person (with a specific degree no less) exclusive-or someone with skills is just silly. Don't weight the degree heavier than it deserves, but don't dismiss it either.

about two weeks ago
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Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?

mr_mischief On standards (152 comments)

The best known standard quip about standards itself has multiple versions and attributions. How meta:

"The nice thing about standards is that you have so many to choose from." - Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Computer Networks, 2nd ed., p. 254

"The nicest thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from." -- Ken Olsen

“The wonderful thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from.” -- Grace Murray Hopper

See also:

Obligatory (but who set that standard?): xkcd : Standards
Why are there so many plugs and sockets?

‘Mediocrity finds safety in standardization.’ -- Frederick Crane
‘It is not enough that X be standard, it should also be good.’ -- Rob Pike (Window Systems Should Be Transparent)
The two above can be found on the cat -v page on standards"
"Standards are like toothbrushes. Everybody wants one but nobody wants to use anybody else’s." -- Connie Morella

about two weeks ago
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Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

mr_mischief Re:DDR2/3/4 (181 comments)

Well, I keep seeing clock rates go up and high-end DIMMs keep having CAS numbers like 9 and 10 despite the rate going from 1333 to 2400 the past few years. (1/2400000000)*10 is 4.16666666666667e-10 while (1/1333000_00)*10 is 7.50187546886722e-10 which looks like a relatively major difference to me.

about two weeks ago
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Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

mr_mischief Re:*drool* (181 comments)

Why spend $2000 to update from a P4 though? For $350 or $400 a system can show your P$ to be a waste of electricity.

about three weeks ago
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Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

mr_mischief Re:DDR2/3/4 (181 comments)

CAS latency hasn't been measured directly in nanoseconds for some time now. It is now measured in clock cycles. The shorter your clock cycles (the higher your frequency) the shorter in absolute time your CAS latency is for the same number. CAS 10 at 2133 is about the same as CAS 5 on 1066.

CAS latency on Wikipedia
Memory timing on Hardware Secrets
FAQ on RAM timings from Kingston

about three weeks ago
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IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Design

mr_mischief Re:I love it when the IEEE... (51 comments)

Well, that's a fair enough argument I guess. Neither Bill nor Hillary are as hardcore along party lines as some. I'd hardly place them with the Republicans, but they are closer to moderate/centrist Republicans than to a lot of the Democratic party. In the same way, lots of Republicans are closer to moderate/centrist Democrats than to the fringe right.

about three weeks ago
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IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Design

mr_mischief Re:I love it when the IEEE... (51 comments)

Yeah, you mean that damn "Republican" Bill Clinton who was in office in 1996 when ITAR and EAR resulted in the DOJ going after Phil Zimmerman?

In case you hadn't noticed, Clinton was and is a Democrat, and the President is in charge of the Executive branch agencies.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

mr_mischief Re:subjective list below, by genre and platform (382 comments)

I should also mention:

Combat - vehicle combat game - Atari 2600
Othello / reversi - board game - also many computer implementations
pente / fives - board game - also many computer implementations
Portal - dimensional perfuckery - Windows, Linux, OS X
icebreaker - bouncing balls and building walls - lots
AssaultCube - quirky shooter with many solo and team modes - Linux, Windows, OS X

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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White House petitioned to save those in hot cars

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  about 2 months ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "The White House, through the "We the People" petition site, has received a petition to allow civilians to proactively free children, the elderly, and animals stuck in hot cars and then contact authorities, as these situations are time-sensitive. The petition asks for a federal law granting people the right to do this uniformly across the country.

So far it has fewer than 1,000 signatures, but do we really need it to have more? Is there a jurisdiction in the US where breaking a window to save a human life is actually considered a crime by police and the courts? If so, what madness is that? Do Congress and the President really need to state in a statute that saving a life is justifiable grounds for what it basically minor property damage?

Is this a case of overly cautious people, overly litigious civil society, or overzealous enforcement of laws? How does it interact with good samaritan laws? What makes doing the right thing so hard?"
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Bill to ban sales of prepaid wireless without ID

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "The Washington Post headline reads: "New proposal would require identification to buy prepaid cellphones".

According to the Washington Post, "A bipartisan pair of Senate leaders have introduced a first-of-its-kind bill aimed at stopping terrorist suspects such as the would-be Times Square bomber from hiding their identities by using prepaid cellphones to plot their attacks." The proposal says the term of retention by the phone companies should last until eighteen months after deactivation.

At least The Post mentions some of the problems, which is better than many others covering the story. They cover the need for anonymous communications for battered spouses, whistleblowers, and others. They also note the concern that it could be a precursor to registered-only communications on the Internet.

Mobiledia quotes Chuck Schumer as, ""This proposal is overdue because for years terrorists, drug kingpins and gang members have stayed one step ahead of the law by using prepaid phones that are hard to trace," said Schumer. "There's no reason why it should still be this easy for terror plotters to cover their tracks."

Mobiledia goes on to compare freedoms about electronics in the US to, of all places, Thailand, Singapore, and Australia. "Several countries, including Australia, Germany, Japan, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Thailand, already require prepaid buyers to register their information."

According to Rueters, Republican John Conryn is quoted as, "A major lesson we've learned from the investigation and arrest of Faisal Shahzad is that we must require individuals purchasing a prepaid cell phone in this country to provide verified identifying information," Cornyn said (emphasis added by submitter to Slashdot).

Michael McAuliff of The New York Daily News editorializes, "We suspect most people will like this measure, but the phone companies, libertarians, and immigrant groups may not be pleased."

Is this really an important power of government, or is it just more grabbing of the privacy and security of normal Americans using a questionable rallying cry?"

Link to Original Source
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Google updates Chrome EULA

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  about 6 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "According to The Register and confirmed at Chrome's EULA page, the objectionable parts of Chrome's license as reported in Slashdot story Reading Google Chrome's Fine Print have been removed.

Rebecca Ward is the Senior Product Counsel for Google Chrome. When asked about the debacle and the public outcry, she said, "In order to keep things simple for our users, we try to use the same set of legal terms (our Universal Terms of Service) for many of our products. Sometimes, as in the case of Google Chrome, this means that the legal terms for a specific product may include terms that don't apply well to the use of that product. We are working quickly to remove language from Section 11 of the current Google Chrome terms of service. This change will apply retroactively to all users who have downloaded Google Chrome."

Matt Cutts over at Google called the license snafu, "clearly a mistake" and said he should have been "grateful to the people that pointed it out". He apologizes for his initial "strident" reaction in his blog."
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Washington Post labels Kennedy from Illinois

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  about 6 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "It's a common theme on Slashdot to point out sloppy reporting, especially around tech or science articles. I thought I'd point out this US political snafu from a paper that should know better — The Washington Post has Senator Ted Kennedy labeled as a Democrat from Illinois. Too bad he's from Massachusetts. Perhaps this sloppy reporting problem has as much to do with hurrying the stories as having no clue about what's being reported."
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Fallout 3 deemed unsuitable for sale in Australia

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "According to GameSpot, PC World, and PSX Extreme, the Office of Film and Literature Classification has refused to classify Bethesda's third installment to the venerable series.

Games apparently need to be classified with a rating to be legal for sale in Australia. The most adult-oriented classification for games is for material suitable for the age of 15 and over. That means the OFLC deems something in the game — rumored to be use of the drug morphine, although there are no details as to why on the OFLC site — is unsuitable for those under 15. There are higher classifications for other media."
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Switchgrass -- a biofuel source for the US?

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "SciAm reports that farmers and USDA scientists have tracked the energy inputs into a native perennial grass over a five-year period. They've also tracked the output, and they say there's a 540% surplus of energy harvested over what's put in by the farmers. It even grows on land that's not good enough farmland for raising food and fiber crops. The catch is that it requires cellulose to ethanol conversion, which unlike sugar to ethanol conversion is not yet a commercial concern in the US.

The DOE intends to help change the picture by partially funding six refineries for cellulosic biorefineries to the tune of $1.2 billion.

It certainly sounds better than ethanol from corn, but we'll have to wait to see if this is the fuel source of the near future in the US."
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Another Google cross-domain vulnerability fixed

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "The Register reports that a vulnerability allowed exploiting Google Docs to access information stored in users' GMail accounts. The bug is said to be fixed now. It was possible using proof-of-concept code to grab Gmail contact lists as witnessed by the reporters. The developer of the PoC says he could just as easily grab actual email messages or other user data on Google's servers until the hole was closed."
Link to Original Source
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CNet reporter calls for Microsoft to abandon Vista

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "As it's hard to miss the stories lately, all of us on /. are likely to know people are underwhelmed with Windows Vista. Well, Don Reisinger over at CNet's News.com is not quite just underwhelmed. He suggests that Vista may be the downfall of Microsoft because the company has really just missed the mark with the operating system. Despite years in development, Reisinger says Vista was delivered to market too early. He also says it's overpriced and plain doesn't work well enough for its users, among other complaints. His suggestion? Support those who are running it, but ditch Vista and move on."
Link to Original Source
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$199 Linux laptop

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mr_mischief writes "According to Hot Hardware's recent review, Asus is getting ready to unleash a $199 compact notbook running Linux. This is entirely different from this recent $150 Linux laptop story which many Slashdot readers believ to be a scam.

There's a dual-mode menu which offers a simple system for novice computer users, and a slightly more advanced version for others. It's not aimed squarely at the same market as the One Laptop Per Child project's XO, and is expected to be sold to end suers worldwide. It's targeted at new users who don't own a computer or at people who want a cheap, small laptop for basic tasks.

The reviewed version has a 7" screen and a cramped keyboard to match, but a 10" version is available for $100 more. It offers built-in wired and wireless networking,four USB 2.0 ports, and a three-hour battery life. The storage options are a bit cramped, as you only get 4 GB of onboard storage (8 GB on the $299 model) and no optical drive. As the review says, though, USB 2.0 can make up for that if you like, and the lack of moving drive parts makes the machine run dead quiet."

Link to Original Source
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mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "Got Firefox? Get it updated!

The Mozilla Foundation has released an important security update for Firefox 2.0 which fixes eight vulnerabilities (five of them rated critical) among other things.

Patches are also available for Firefox 1.5.0.x and Thunderbird 1.5.0.x as well.

See Secunia's advisory to find out more about security issues with memory corruption in the JavaScript and layout engines, a heap-based buffer overflow handling Windows bitmaps, a couple of arbitrary HTML/script vulnerabilities and what appear to be a couple of arbitrary native code vulnerabilities."
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mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "It turns out that circumcision, which some berate as a cruel and primitive practice while others say helps in cleanliness and disease control, may actually have a significant impact on the spread of certain diseases. In particular, the BBC is reporting a US National Institutes of Health study in whichthe practice cut HIV transmission rates from women to heterosexual men by about 50%.

While doctors understandably don't want to promote promiscuous sex and 50% is still too strong a chance of transmitting such a serious disease, the recommendation is that circumcision be part of a plan to combat the disease.

Although every disease is different, I wonder if it's clear enough to people that if one disease is slowed by this practice that it probably has some effect in slowing some other diseases as well."
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mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "EETimes reports Microsoft is working on standardizing a robotics platform and development for it. They want to make it easier to develop robots, starting with the IDE and development environment and continuing through specifying acceptable hardware, just like for PCs and Windows CE devices.

What's next, the MS directives of robotic behavior, including "Do not allow Microsoft to be harmed through your actions or inactions", and "Do not play music, movies, or games that are not from cartel-approved suppliers?""
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mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mr_mischief (456295) writes "Microsoft has a bulletin about a vulnerability for something called Vector Markup Language. Security Focus has one too.

Vector Markup Language was a proposed web standard that was passed on by the standards bodies and which was both subsumed and superseded by Scalable Vector Graphics.

Despite VML being passed over and another alternative being made a standard, Microsoft implemented it anyway. In the implementation there is a security problem that MS says can allow an attacker total control of a target system.

If it's nonstandard, duplicating functionality offered by a standard, and they can't be bothered to do it right the first time, perhaps they shouldn't preinstall it on millions of computers around the world. How could Microsoft actually get enough of an edge from undercutting a fairly widely implemented standard with a dangerous implementation that it is financially worthwhile for them? Wouldn't be better for them in the long run to just implement the standard, or is there some huge installed base of VML somewhere that I'm just missing?"

Journals

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Is Acclaim really being forward-thinking with Top Secret?

mr_mischief mr_mischief writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I saw this message when I went to their site to look it over using Firefox 2.0.0.3:

Welcome to Acclaim!
We recommend viewing the Acclaim site
with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0. You can
use other browsers but you may not receive
the full experience.

WTF? And they want to tell me they're a groundbreaking software house? Check out the groundbreaking work they're doing in your favorite browser and see what it says.

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