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Comments

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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

penguinoid It probably is legal (565 comments)

Why shouldn't it be legal for me to write software that, as one of the features, detects and deals with low quality counterfeits? The problem is merely that users didn't know this would happen, probably because it was buried in a several page pile of legalese known as an EULA. Conversely, if they had placed what I would consider a fair notice on their software, it would inconvenience their legitimate users but no one would have felt sorry for the illegitimate ones.

9 hours ago
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Shooting At Canadian Parliament

penguinoid Re:Possiblities (476 comments)

The side that wants to fight evil by any means necessary. You know, the good guys.

I'm 100% absolutely sure that answers your question.

10 hours ago
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Shooting At Canadian Parliament

penguinoid Possiblities (476 comments)

Canada raised their terrorism threat level, just before this happened. Clearly they were right. It's time to panic!

Unless they meant something else by "raising the domestic terrorism threat level" -- maybe they meant increasing the number of domestic terrorists, in which case the program appears to have been successful. Here in the US such a thing would energize the Republican base, so it's not unlikely that some politicians benefited greatly from this. Any Republicans in Canada?

Or, maybe in this case correlation does suggest causation. If they raise the threat level again, will another crazy guy shoot at Parliament?

yesterday
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Cell Transplant Allows Paralyzed Man To Walk

penguinoid Did they forgive his sins while they're at it? (156 comments)

Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”

At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”

Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Then the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.
--Matthew 9:2-8

I would totally have told this guy his sins were forgiven.

2 days ago
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The Bogus Batoid Submarine is Wooden, not Yellow (Video)

penguinoid I smell a fake (44 comments)

There's something fishy about those subs...

2 days ago
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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

penguinoid Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (391 comments)

Overbearing or unsafe traffic policies whose intent is to raise revenue rather than increase safety, are a tax on drivers. Worse than a tax, if they decrease safety.

2 days ago
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Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit

penguinoid Re:Oh, another one (122 comments)

Can't say I've ever heard of IClass before. Nor security by litigation. Now I have something to remember them for :-)

2 days ago
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Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

penguinoid Re:Overly broad? (420 comments)

Well I would definitely be interested in the mechanism that causes drinkers of fruit juice to have longer telomers, drinkers of soda to have shorter telomers, and doesn't affect drinkers of diet soda and non-carbonated non-juice sweet beverages. However, my suspicion is that the mechanism will be that these people's diet reflects their choice of beverage.

2 days ago
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Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

penguinoid Can't deduce anything from it being a law. (467 comments)

broke the law plain and simple

Not all laws are legal. For example, in the US various state constitutions have laws prohibiting atheists from holding public office, but those laws are themselves illegal because the US Constitution declares no such test may be made. Also, not all laws are moral. For example, Nazi Germany. Finally, not all laws are effective toward their supposed objective. For example, drug prohibition laws and the absurd amount of money they funnel to criminals, so you're not safer than without said laws.

2 days ago
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Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

penguinoid Re:Overly broad? (420 comments)

OK Mr Anonymous Unverifiable PhD, what if you do a different study? In this new study, thousands of studies are done, and show results with p-values p-1, p-2, p-3, .... However, the results of most of these studies mysteriously vanish, lets say a bunch of them aren't reported by the researcher, and a bunch more are not accepted by any journal of note, and vanish into obscurity. The vanishing studies aren't random, but the vast majority of them are ones where the null hypothesis were not rejected. Besides this, the journals select for the most "interesting" studies, which for this example let's say it means that the results were surprising and in contradiction with either conventional wisdom or previous studies. Let's call the remaining p-values tainted-p-1, tainted-p-2, tainted-p-3. These p-values are nothing new, but rather a subset of the original set. Let's say only 8% (the acceptance rate of Nature) of the original studies make it to this second group, biased towards the more "interesting" studies with mostly positive results.

So my question to you is, are you equally as confident in the hypotheses from the smaller subset of studies as you are in the hypotheses from the second set? And what, if any, is your mathematical reasoning behind this answer?

2 days ago
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Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

penguinoid Re:Overly broad? (420 comments)

The p-value does not measure the confidence people have that the hypothesis is true. The p-value is the probability that the given results support the hypothesis merely as a result of random chance. This means that every sane person considers the probability of the hypothesis being false as higher than the p-value, sometimes several times higher, depending on circumstances.

For example, if someone tested 20 hypotheses with the same dataset, and only reported one with a p-value of 4%, it is almost certain that the results are meaningless, as per the linked comic. When you factor in the bias toward reporting interesting experiments with statistically significant support for the result, both on behalf of the researcher and the publishing journal, some would consider it generous to have even 20% confidence in an "interesting" result with 4% p-value.

A p-value of 5% is the absolute minimum allowed in most scientific professions, although several require an even smaller p-value. The only reason p-values that large are even allowed, is because of the economics (and sometimes ethics) of performing experiments. Eg it is more worthwhile to do 10 studies with sample size 100, and then 1 study with sample size 1000 to verify the most interesting result, than to do a single study with sample size 2000.

3 days ago
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No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

penguinoid Re: a quick search (318 comments)

I should like to hear your proposal for gun parts made in anything other than 3 dimensions.

Also note he said a 3D scanner, not a 3D printer, although I'm fairly certain that merely knowing the shape is not sufficient since how it got that shape lends a lot to its mechanical properties.

3 days ago
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Favorite clickbait hook?

penguinoid My favorite hook (227 comments)

The headline: Slashdot Finally Listens to Community, Eliminates Beta.

And it would be extra funny if the article were about something entirely different. Now that's a clickbait hook!

3 days ago
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Florida Supreme Court: Police Can't Grab Cell Tower Data Without a Warrant

penguinoid Re:Yeah yeah (113 comments)

Ignorance of the law has never been an excuse, in tradition dating back thousands of years. Though nowadays everyone including the judge and lawyers are ignorant of the law an it is not humanly possible to know all the law. Anyhow, who ever heard of a thief getting off because he claims he didn't know *stealing jewelry while wearing a tuxedo* was illegal (the law never mentions jewelry specifically nor tuxedos, does it?), and promised from now on he won't do exactly that? That's about as believable as those cops claiming that stealing *people's private communications using Stingray towers* was not illegal, and then being told OK but don't do it again. I mean, they might have some sort of case if it weren't for the towers impersonating real ones.

3 days ago
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Florida Supreme Court: Police Can't Grab Cell Tower Data Without a Warrant

penguinoid Re:Yeah yeah (113 comments)

Geez, and I was so hoping they'd be recycled as homeless shelters.

That was one of the uses for prisons while they were still open, though they were more exclusive (ie, required applicants to commit some sort of crime to be allowed in).

4 days ago
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Florida Supreme Court: Police Can't Grab Cell Tower Data Without a Warrant

penguinoid Re:Yeah yeah (113 comments)

I guess you didn't understand which criminals I was talking about. Hint: police can commit crimes. And this article is about an illegal activity police have been committing.

4 days ago
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Florida Supreme Court: Police Can't Grab Cell Tower Data Without a Warrant

penguinoid Re:Yeah yeah (113 comments)

That reminds me, there was a recent article about a prisoner shortage. As a bonus, putting these criminals in jail will also most likely stop all this complaining about a prisoner shortage.

4 days ago
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Florida Supreme Court: Police Can't Grab Cell Tower Data Without a Warrant

penguinoid Yeah yeah (113 comments)

Florida Supreme Court rules that a bunch of criminals who broke the most sacred laws of the land, won't get punished for their previous crimes.

4 days ago
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Favorite clickbait hook?

penguinoid Obvious poll is obvious (227 comments)

Slashdot is losing readership. And getting rid of beta is too hard, so here's a poll on how to improve our clickbait headlines.

4 days ago

Submissions

penguinoid hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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10 evolutionary commandments

penguinoid penguinoid writes  |  more than 8 years ago

So, what are the 10 commandments as evolution would have them?
1) I am the gene your God, who brought you out of the land of non-existance
2) Thou shalt have no other gods besides me.
3) Thou shalt not swear falsely in my name. (root word for testify is testicle)
4) Remember that your genes run in many things, to keep them alive.
5) Honour thy father and thy mother (for they share half your genes) that thy days may be long upon the land which the gene thy God giveth thee.
6) Thou shalt not use birth control
7) Thou shalt not commit adultery, unless you can get away with it.
8) Thou shalt not steal, unless you can get away with it.
9) Thou shalt not not bear false witness, unless you are bribed or it is advantageous to do so
10) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours stuff. See rules 7 and 8.

Anyone care to improve on this?

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Funny/Overrated murders karma

penguinoid penguinoid writes  |  more than 10 years ago

So I posted a joke to a story about estimating. Now it wasn't a particularly good joke, but evidentially quite a few people thought it was very funny, others didn't. Results:

* +11, Funny
* + 1, Insightful
* - 9, Overrated

* Karma:Exellent --> Karma:Good
* "Your IP has been temporarily blacklisted due to bad posting"

Now I have heard that +1, Funny and -1, Overrated will change karma by different amounts (specifically, funny will only add a little while overrated will take off a lot). If that is so, I really think that it should be changed in the following manner: Overrated should take off just as many points as the current positive attribute the post has. If the post is at or below the karma level it was posted at, remove a different amount of karma

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The scientific view of religion

penguinoid penguinoid writes  |  more than 10 years ago

It seems my sig,
The scientific view of religion is not atheism. The scientific view is agnosticism and simplicity.
seems to have generated quite a bit of commentary. So I will explain, and feel free to post your views.

I regard atheism as the religious, totally unfounded belief that the set of all gods is { } (the empty set). This is not to be confused with agnosticism with leanings toward atheism, which starts with no preconceptions but tends to believe in atheism because of some rational reason. This might be based on science (especially Occam's Razor), or on the belief that several million scientists are probably right (which is not such a bad argument).

Likewise, I regard the term agnosticism to mean simply "no preconceptions as to the set of gods" and thus not a religion. I wouldn't require an agnostic to justify his views, because there aren't any to justify. (As opposed to the stronger version of agnosticism, who believe that the question of whether there is a god or not can never be answered, who could be asked to justify that belief.)

And yes, I pulled these definitions out of my ass.
And yes, I would have written my sig clearer if it did not have a 120 char limit.

And finally, I will mention that I am annoyed by people who think atheism does not count as religion and is therefore an acceptable point of view for schools/government without any further justification. Don't say atheism is not a religion. Call it a religion, or if you prefer, anti-religion. It is not neutral. It has its set of gods.

As for my own views, I am a confused person who grew up with a Bible in one hand, and an encyclopedia in the other. I see the Bible as a valuable guide on how to be a good person and as a history book (not necessarily completely accurate, but you can verify lots of the important events). Likewise, I try to figure out how the world works through the scientific method. However, I find the moral advice given by the theory of evolution to be disturbing.

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Broken surge protector

penguinoid penguinoid writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I left my computer rurring during a thunderstorm recently, and I think that my surge protector got blasted. Now, the surge protector shuts off randomly (about once a day). Is it normal for broken surge protectors to do that? Is it bad for the computer/OS to be shut off like that frequently (I have EXT3 and Debian 2.4.18)? Or should I just get off my arse and buy myself a new surge protector? Thanks!

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Karma == Excellent

penguinoid penguinoid writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I have achieved Excellent karma, on my 139th post. One of my posts was modded up +5, down to +3, now up to +4, changing my karma down to good and back to excellent.

PS: It's my first time using Slashdot. Also, I have not posted AC since I signed up.

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