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TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords

sideslash Re:And how many were terrorists? Oh, right, zero. (276 comments)

Will the owner of that private property try you in a private courtroom and sentence you to a privately owned prison for attempting to bring a gun onto the plane?

5 days ago
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TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords

sideslash And how many were terrorists? Oh, right, zero. (276 comments)

These were items confiscated, i.e. stolen from citizens. Heaven forbid that American citizens think they have a right to keep and bear arms. Bearing arms is the mark of a terrorist. Not the kind of terrorist who actually blows up buildings or shoots people, mind you, rather just one who plays the part of "Terrorist" in the Security Theater.

5 days ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Medal Will Be Returned To Him

sideslash Re:Watson is a scientist (235 comments)

Only to neo-Nazi mass murderers, huh? Thank you for sharing your fair, balanced, and nuanced opinion today.

about two weeks ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Medal Will Be Returned To Him

sideslash Re:Watson is a scientist (235 comments)

What? Admitting you don't know the answer to that is racist!

about two weeks ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Medal Will Be Returned To Him

sideslash Re:Watson is a scientist (235 comments)

You are using a lot of words, but you haven't added anything to the conversation. Nobody denies that there is a unique bell curve for each population, or heck, that the bell curve moves over time with the Flynn effect and the like.

about two weeks ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Medal Will Be Returned To Him

sideslash Re:Watson is a scientist (235 comments)

No, the dogma I referred to has nothing to do with the scientific method, as it arrives at its own definite conclusion about the measured intelligence gap: that it's not genetically driven in any substantial way. It's dogmatic opinion and political correctness, not science.

about two weeks ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Medal Will Be Returned To Him

sideslash Re:Watson is a scientist (235 comments)

Probably has something to do with the fact that "measurable intelligence" doesn't have any scientific basis.

That's politically correct baloney. Tests can be devised to gauge many types or aspects of intelligence. You can measure an individuals aptitude and/or ability, and then use it to predict in a very general way how that individual will perform on various tasks that benefit from such intelligence.

about two weeks ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Medal Will Be Returned To Him

sideslash Re:Watson is a scientist (235 comments)

I characterized it as his expressions of honest (at least I take him at his word) opinion.

You appear to be part of that species of fence sitters who are unwilling to commit to anything even when your position gets ridiculous. Of course some intelligence tests have some part that is biased toward cultures. They are still of some use at estimating the parts of intelligence we most care about for practical purposes. And more particularly, IQ tests are useful at predicting aptitude to excel at Western intellectual pursuits including academics in general. Do you disagree with that?

about two weeks ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Medal Will Be Returned To Him

sideslash Watson is a scientist (235 comments)

Watson is a scientist. He's very intelligent. He's also a fallible human being. And he's old. Put all those together and you have a recipe for some unfiltered opinions. As long as he's honestly speaking his opinions, I personally disagree with blacklisting such people from society.

When you think about it, our culture's political correctness has some weird quirks. Religious views, put forward as religious views, are summarily shot down, because ours is supposed to be a secular society informed by science. But there is a strong dogma that genetics is not a factor in the observed disparity in measurable intelligence between sub-Saharan Black Africans and Ashkenazi Jews. This dogma doesn't have any scientific basis that I'm aware of; the best that can be said is that we don't (yet?) understand all the many factors that affect intelligence. Therefore (correct me if I'm wrong), honesty should compel us to admit that genetics, including genetics exemplified in racial groups, may constitute major factors in intelligence. And therefore, Watson's fundamental heretical belief may be... true? Is it OK to talk about this?

about two weeks ago
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Why Apple, Google, and FB Have Their Own Programming Languages

sideslash Re:Good reasons for Swift and Go (161 comments)

The only substantial way of improving on string concatenation in Objective-C would be to introduce custom operators, and that brings its own set of issues. The other alternatives sacrifice consistency.

I think it's telling that the ultimate way Apple found to improve on Objective-C is to put it on a retirement path by introducing a replacement language. That's mostly all I'm saying here.

about three weeks ago
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Why Apple, Google, and FB Have Their Own Programming Languages

sideslash Re:Good reasons for Swift and Go (161 comments)

The problem isn't clear naming of variables. It's boilerplate in the library that you can't get away from. Talk about making your skin crawl, try doing very much with NSString's. Anyone who has worked in a high level language with a concatenation operator (typically "+" or "&" or ".") will feel bewildered at the ridiculous hoops Objective C makes you jump through.

Check out: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/510269/shortcuts-in-objective-c-to-concatenate-nsstrings

Every action that should be common, quick and simple requires forming a committee.

about three weeks ago
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Why Apple, Google, and FB Have Their Own Programming Languages

sideslash Re:Good reasons for Swift and Go (161 comments)

And personally I have no objection to methods with long names - it helps me understand what has been written when I return to a program after months (or a year) away. The long names actually make the code more readable and maintainable.

No, in many cases the extra length is just ridiculous boilerplate. And even in cases where the extra length clarifies what's going on, you can do the same thing in other languages, i.e. every language supports use of meaningful names.

Can you seriously argue that concatenating a string in Objective C is elegant?

Be careful! You're repeating yesterday's Dogma of the Faithful. Apple fanboys now have corporate blessing to move to Swift, and you may find yourself left behind. /joke, joke

about three weeks ago
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Why Apple, Google, and FB Have Their Own Programming Languages

sideslash Good reasons for Swift and Go (161 comments)

Swift needed to be created because Objective C stinks, and no other modern language would have fit smoothly into the Smalltalkish legacy of the Cocoa framework. I'm just glad that the Apple fanboys who constitute most of my fellow iOS developers are finally allowed to believe bad things about Objective C, at least now that there's a nice alternative. Made me a little sick before to hear people praising Obj-C while writing reams of ridiculously verbose code that nobody will want to maintain 5 years from now.

Go is a fantastic language for server side development with concurrency that's not painful to wrap your head around, and is perfect for cloud development in Google's world.

Won't comment on Facebook Hack, since it's not clear to me why Facebook itself needs to exist. But to each their own...

about three weeks ago
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Gangnam Style Surpasses YouTube's 32-bit View Counter

sideslash Re: 32 bit signed integer, obviously (164 comments)

Maybe Gangnam would be the one to exceed 2^32 in another 6 months, and maybe another video would. I assume YouTube's viewer base is being constantly increased, and that the "norm" for top viral video views is constantly rising.

about three weeks ago
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Gangnam Style Surpasses YouTube's 32-bit View Counter

sideslash 32 bit signed integer, obviously (164 comments)

If they'd used a 32 bit unsigned integer they might have bought another 6 months or something.

about three weeks ago
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BlackBerry Clears Hurdle For Voice Crypto Acquisition

sideslash Re:Unless end to end, it's a farce (27 comments)

The encryption keys used by a BES server are generated by that BES server, and not by BB. As such, there is no key that BB can give to any govt which will decrypt any data sent between a BES and a connected BB phone.

You can substitute the BES server for BB in my remark (see, still trusting a third party), or you can recognize that BB still has control over software and software updates, and thus by definition is able to subvert the system. The most you can say is "Sure, they _can_, but I trust that they never _would_." And the infosec guys will shake their heads sadly at you.

about three weeks ago
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BlackBerry Clears Hurdle For Voice Crypto Acquisition

sideslash Re:Unless end to end, it's a farce (27 comments)

This is a blatant lie.

No, in fact it's a fundamental principle of infosec. Unless you keep keys close to your chest and perform tightly controlled, end to end encryption, there are opportunities for subpoenas by TLAs or for top tier hackers to compromise your keys. Trusting a middle man is a fundamental compromise in the provability of your security.

about a month ago
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How the FCC CIO Plans To Modernize 207 Legacy IT Systems

sideslash Software projects always look rosy before started (74 comments)

After it's a year overdue and 200% overbudget and everybody is completely blindsided by the fact that you can't quickly and trivially reimplement mature software systems, we'll hear a different take on this story. Of course, we get to pay for all this. *sigh*

about a month ago
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BlackBerry Clears Hurdle For Voice Crypto Acquisition

sideslash Unless end to end, it's a farce (27 comments)

Since multiple governments mandate that Blackberry share back doors with them, it's not clear to me what benefit more encryption will really add. Won't they be sharing keys with governments (and thus potentially hackers can get the same data)?

The only secure encryption is end to end encryption where you understand and actively control/limit how the key transmission works.

about a month ago

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