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### ASUS Running Out of Hard Disks

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (207 comments)

It's just that it works for every other case

You could immediately think of 3 cases where it doesn't.
You just claimed those are the ONLY cases where it doesn't.... are you sure about that?

It you try think harder, I'm sure you can find 3 more cases, and then 3 more cases etc.

This "law" is nothing more than a simplifying assumption that is sometimes true. Citing it is no way to shut down an argument. It simply means that one doesn't understand the difference between a predictive model that is often wrong, and actual "natural laws" that are not violate: the laws of thermodynamics, etc.

more than 3 years ago
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### ASUS Running Out of Hard Disks

Re:How to fill in the holes (207 comments)

You need to brush up on statistics. Your claim was that I have a 50% chance of recovering any given bit. Recovery would NOT be the same thing as "Happening to get the right bit by pure chance." You have to ADD the chance you recovered the bit correctly to the chance that you got the right bit by luck.

That means that, for example, if a bit used to be a 1:
There is a 50% chance it's now a 1 because it was recovered correctly.
There is a 25% chance it's now a 1 just based on "noise"
There is a 25% chance it's now a 0 incorrectly.

If I know nothing about the data, I'm basically screwed... but if I'm looking to determine the likeliness that the disk previously held a known 10KB sequence, chances a very good that i can tell.

30 second WAG at the algorithm:

1. NXOR the known bit pattern with each possible block of the same size.
2. Take all the bits of each result and add them to produce a number for each block.
3. If that block did not hold that sequence, the chances are I will score 50%.
4. If that block DID hold that data the chances are that I will score 75%.
5. The larger the size of the block the higher the chance I will get the expected numbers of 50% and 75%.

For example:

With a block size of two bits:
data not present:

• 25% chance of 100% rank
• 50% chance of 50% rank
• 25% chance of 0% rank

data present:

• 56.25% chance of 100% rank
• 37.5% chance of 50% rank
• 6.25% chance of 0% rank

With a block size of three bits:
data not present:

• 12.5% chance of 100% rank
• 37.5% chance of 66% rank
• 37.5% chance of 33% rank
• 12.5% chance of 0% rank

data present:

• 42.1875% chance of 100% rank
• 42.1875% chance of 66% rank
• 14.0625% chance of 33% rank
• 1.5625% chance of 0% rank

more than 3 years ago
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### Theologian Attempts Censorship After Losing Public Debate

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (943 comments)

You missed the point. Remember what I said, "That last one is important, because whatever your answer just was, could probably be applied to the original question. "

It's simple to say that the universe always existed, that it is to say that god made the universe AND god has always existed.

more than 3 years ago
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### Theologian Attempts Censorship After Losing Public Debate

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (943 comments)

It's not simpler because now you have to explain:
Who is god?
Why did he make the world?
Why 7 days?

That last one is important, because whatever your answer just was, could probably be applied to the original question.

more than 3 years ago
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### ASUS Running Out of Hard Disks

Re:How to fill in the holes (207 comments)

But you don't need 100% detection. Even 1% might be quite valuable. In many cases you'll be able to guess bits based on context. There's also a good chance of redundant copies of the same file.
The 50% per bit number also seems to ignore the use of parity.

Nobody has ever demonstrated recovery of data from a drive that had been written across with all zeros.

What are your qualifications for making that statement?

I have to say, if someone handed me a disk where 50% of the bits were readable, I bet that I could get data about where it came from and what it was used for. It may be hard to recover a single 1KB chunk perfectly, but you could tell with a high degree of confidence whether a given 10 MB chunk of data had been on the disk. That might be all it takes to convict someone.

If I read one bit the way I expect, there's a 50% chance it was actually that way.
If I read two bits the way I expect, only a 25% chance that it wasn't there before the wipe.
If I read two bits and only one is the way I expect, 50%.
Etc.

Think about it like recovering the GPS signal from below the thermal noise floor using the spreading codes. There's a good chance any particular bit going into the algorithm is wrong, but having a known pattern of bits to look for makes it possible.

more than 3 years ago
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### ASUS Running Out of Hard Disks

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (207 comments)

Except that the "Law of Demand" in really more like the "observation that demand usually correlates with price."
It's really obnoxious when people cites these "laws."
Have you ever thought about how goofy that sounds?
It's a first order model of a very complicated system. That's it.

All I have to do is cite one single example anywhere in the course of human history where this was not true and this law is no longer a "law."
Can you really not think of a single thing in your life where demand has increased in the face of a price increase? Not even once?
It's shameful that Econ classes still call these concepts "laws". It a useful concept, not an unchanging property of our universe.

more than 3 years ago
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### Richard Stallman's Dissenting View of Steve Jobs

Dude, every death IS a tragedy.

Nonsense. Death is a natural part of life.

A 14 year old kid, getting run over by a drunk driver is a tragedy. An old man, dying at peace with his family and the world is not.

To put is another way:
If one believes that every death is a tragedy, then every life becomes a tragedy because it ends with death.
Either you come to terms with the inevitability of death, or you are pursued by an inescapable tragedy until it catches you.

more than 3 years ago
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### Protecting a Laptop From Sophisticated Attacks

Re:This just reminds me of... (169 comments)

Unless there's a plausible reason for the data to change. For example, if I keep taking shots of a lava lamp every 1 second and hide the data in the images, it is perfectly reasonable to expect the data from my lava lamp pictures to be different the next time they look at it.

more than 3 years ago
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### Women Arrested For Refusing TSA Search of Children

The summary is typically misleading. She was not arrested for refusing to let her children be scanned. She was arrested for making a disturbance. Disturbing the peace, they call it.

It's like saying someone was arrested for driving a car when the truth was he was driving a stolen car at 100MPH down a residential street. It is more sensational to read about the guy who was arrested for no apparent reason than to actually say what the reason was.

Now, the TSA person who lied to her like that should be fired, yes indeedee doo. And THAT would have made a good headline, focussing on the stupidity/ignorance/deceitfullness of the TSA.

No actually it's not. It's much more like being arrested for yelling at police officer who refuses to stop trespassing on your property. You are completely within your rights, but they have the benefit of unlimited gov't legal support, so they pick something and charge you.

more than 3 years ago
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### Meet the Men Who Deploy Airstrikes

"The US and Great Britain spent a ton of money and intellectual power _developing_ those resources in the shit-hole backwards nations that had them. After _WE_ did the _real_ work (the thinking), and developed the resources, and turned it into an ever-producing gravy train, THEN the knuckle-dragging locals start getting very upset about their "soverign rights". But they don't "soverignly" tear the pumping rigs and derricks and everything else down, do they?"

What's really hilarious about this post is that this is the same thing Britain was saying during the American revolutionary war. At then end of the day, the people anywhere should have a right to take up arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them.
Our own declaration of independence put it quite well:

"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them"

more than 4 years ago
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### Chicago Debates Merits of ShotSpotter Technology

You're missing the point.
Gun control laws do nothing to stop criminals from carrying guns, but they do stop law abiding citizens from carrying guns.

If I'm just a regular guy who wants to carry a gun for defense purposes, I'm not going to do it if it's illegal.
If I'm planning to commit a felony with a gun, do I really care if having the gun itself is illegal?

The idea of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals entirely is laughable.
Handguns use 100 year old technology. Criminals want guns. It would be just as effective as prohibition:
Someone will set up a shop in their basement and start cranking out illegal guns at \$1000 each for a massive profit.
That's if people don't take the easy route and smuggle them across the border.

And this doesn't even get into the humans rights side of gun ownership, or the fact that it is guaranteed in our constitution and very much a part of our national philosophy.

more than 4 years ago
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### Texas Textbooks Battle Is Actually an American War

Politicians simply like to get re-elected

This is actually the naive point of view.
The parties in power simply use being in power as a means to funnel more money back to the parties and themselves. Restrictions on their power are restrictions on their ability to do this.

People don't get elected just to have a title, they get elected for the power that goes with the title. The more power the better.

more than 4 years ago
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### Radio Hams Fired Upon In Haiti

Re:Try to give them help and this is what they get (265 comments)

Wow! You sound like a real scumbag!

Shooting random people just because they might have food is not ok.
Not even if you're starving.

You always have a choice. Go fishing. Eat a dog. Eat a dead body. Whatever it takes.

And yes there are right and wrong hands for these supplies. That you don't understand this implies you are a very ignorant person.

The whole "You Americans are so fortunate you have no right to judge" thing is a pile of crap.
There is right and there is wrong.
When the first settlers landed here, the situation they were faced with was much worse than what we are talking about today. They had to fend for themselves or die. Sure, they could have turned on themselves and killed each other for their food stores and then finally starved to death when they ran out, but instead they built and they cooperated. The fact that this country even exists, is largely because people stood up and did the right thing at the right time, even though they might have died trying.

I live in a house built by someone else, on land cleared by someone else, with water and food provided by other people. This is all possible precisely because everyone is not running around killing each other for what they may or may not have. We as a society have a shared understanding, that killing me is not ok and me killing someone else is not ok. If we were to abandon this concept, America would quickly degenerate into something worse than any third-world hellhole you can possibly imagine.

more than 4 years ago
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### German Government Advises Public To Stop Using IE

Here: http://secunia.com/advisories/product/19089/ and here: http://secunia.com/advisories/product/21625/ FF3 and IE8 are about the same age. In the same time frame FF3 has raked up 144 vulnerabilities. IE8 has experienced 23.

PLEASE NOTE: The statistics provided should NOT be used to compare the overall security of products against one another. It is IMPORTANT to understand what the below comments mean when using the statistics, especially when using the statistics to compare the vulnerability aspects of different products.

We have access to Microsofts Security Bulletins - which are among the most detailed in the industry. Admins depend on those bulletins to be accurate. They need to make the right decisions on whether to block or allow patches. What do you think would happen if MS tried to sneak a patch by and it turned out to cause damage to systems? Simply put, there's nothing to support a suggestion that MS is sneaking anything by.

Wow, talk about calling your own objectivity into question. "The most detailed in the industry" Sheesh. Are they also the most well written, prepared by the best smelling employees?

You just don't get it. You can't tell if they're telling you everything because you don't have access to their bug tracker and you don't have access to the code. The can say they're changing a font size and fix 3 major vulnerabilities without telling you.
And as for what would happen if "it turned out to cause damage to systems", let me know when their EULA doesn't explicitly disclaim liability for that.

#2) Number of exploits is a function of profitability, is has no correlation to number of security bugs or software quality

Try reading your own statement out loud to yourself. It obviously does not make sense. Of course number of exploits is correlated to the number of bugs. It don't take a genius to realize that as the number of bugs reaches zero, the number of exploits will be forced to zero as well. This section is an example where you're using terms with very specific meanings like "correlation" without any data to back it up.

#3 Time to fix is relevant. However, in this case it doesn't matter, because this was targeted attacks.

This is another case where you're assuming things you can't possibly have data for, such as when MS first became aware of this vulnerability.

This really doesn't take a rocket scientist:
Pretend you're a software vendor and you want to look good to your customers, first and foremost.
You will group software updates into batches so as give the best impression of stability and security as possible.
You will have a pressure to do this even when particular flaws might be quite severe.
In an extreme case, you might even go so far as to only release your updates on a particular day.... maybe Tuesday?

more than 4 years ago
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### THX Caught With Pants Down Over Lexicon Blu-ray Player

What's funny about this is that you never mention the use of even one single piece of lab test equipment.

more than 4 years ago
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### German Government Advises Public To Stop Using IE

Considering that certain other browsers (Firefox and Safari) experience many more security bugs these days

What a bunch of crap!

#1) It's impossible to conclusively make this statement since we don't have access to Microsoft's internal bug tracker.
#2) The directly comparable indicators we do have (how many major exploits are actually published) do not agree with your statement.
#3) Your statement ignores one other key factor: The time it takes the vendor to fix the bug. Who cares is a browser has only one major security exploit per year if it takes two years for the vendor to fix it? At that point, your ass is always hanging out in the wind.

more than 4 years ago
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### Scientists Postulate Extinct Hominid With 150 IQ

Re:As always... Wikipedia provides some sanity (568 comments)

Put yourself in their shoes for a second. The reason they want you to not use an encyclopedia, is so that you learn how to use a library. It's just like not being able to use a calculator on a math test.
The papers you're talking about are being written to develop skills.
Now that we understand the rule, it's okay to break it. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with citing an encyclopedia, Wikipedia or otherwise.

Let me provide an example:
Say I'm writing an article or a paper that mentions Kepler's laws of planetary motion. Say I know what they are. I can either cite the original source, which isn't even in English and thus isn't even what I used, or I can cite the readily available, free source of information that I used to actually obtain the information.
For many (but not all discussions) this is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

It comes down to basic judgment and common sense. One of the things you were supposed to learn in school was how to evaluate a source of information. This means critically evaluating both what is being said on the page as well as what is being said by your professors.

more than 4 years ago
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### Chevy Volt Rated At 230 mpg In the City

Leno's Baker Electric does run on its original batteries.

Read the link you posted: "we wash them out and refill them regularly", Just as I had predicted, these batteries have been refurbished.

It's a full 10 year, 150,000 mile warranty, as required by California law to meet pzev criteria.

No, it might be that when the car is actually for sale. Right now the warranty does not exist. If you can't buy the car, how do you get the warranty?

Prius today with an 8 year warranty and a near-zero battery failure rate.

Citation need.
Even if the Prius battery MTBF was 20 years, the failure rate would still not be "near zero". This smacks of you making up numbers on the spot to support you argument.

You just don't seem to get it. The poster you were replying to was pointing out that adding one more significantly expensive wear item to a car reduces it's useful design lifetime. It's not rocket science.

Is that reduction is design lifetime and the additional cost to manufacture offset by the savings in in gas? Some of us are not interested in drinking the kool-aid and would rather see actual data.

more than 5 years ago
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### Chevy Volt Rated At 230 mpg In the City

Re:the math doesn't work (1006 comments)

But if everyone who bought a Prius, Golf, or other efficient new car in the last ten years had instead bought a used car, then the only cars in the used market would be gas guzzlers.

Or... the strong demand for used cars would forces automakers to design cars with more consideration for their resale value. This would then cause them to place more emphasis on reliability and maintainability.

There is no fundamental reason why we can't build a car that lasts as long as a dishwasher.

So if you're going to buy a new car then buying a green one does, in fact, help improve the overall greenness of our vehicle fleet over time.

The problem is that the way we have defined "green" is silly. We're only looking at gas mileage as opposed to a more sensible metric that would factor in:

1. cost to produce
2. cost to operate

Next time you fly, look at the litte nameplate inside the door that states when the plane was manufactured.
They are plenty of "old" airplanes still flying every day.

more than 5 years ago
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### Chevy Volt Rated At 230 mpg In the City

Why is there this huge insistence that EV battery packs are somehow inherently going to die before the rest of the car

Perhaps it's because in our own personal experience, 90% of the time the battery is the first component to fail in consumer devices, and also because the typical manufacturer's battery ratings indicate this to be the truth.

Seriously, GM "hopes" to warranty the battery for 10 years, but one must expect that even if they achieve this aim, it will be a pro-rated warranty. Do you honestly believe you're going to get 100% of the replacement cost for a 9 year old battery?

Jay Leno has one from the early 1900s. It still runs on its original nickel-iron batteries.

Citation please. Common sense tells me you are probably misrepresenting this. Most likely the battery housings are the same and the electrolyte and plates have been replaced, making it a "remanufactured" original battery at best.

Where does this myth that the batteries are fundamentally going to have to be replaced come from?

Actual experience with products availible in the real world, today, as opposed to marketing hype.

GM isn't warrantying their pack for ten years for the fun of it.

To put it bluntly, GM isn't warranting jack shit right now. It's speculation. You get to say that when they actually are selling cars with that warranty. Not now. Tell we where I can go buy one of these cars with the 10 year battery warranty?

I'd be surprised if a Volt pack replacement ten years from now costs any more than a transmission replacement does today.

Perhaps you live in some alternate universe, but here in this one transmission replacements are NOT cheap.

By all standards, the pack will outlive the car for most owners. That's what you get with a sizable, low-DoD, cooled NiMH pack in typical hybrid driving conditions.

Again, you have no citation here. Just because a hybrid vehicle is out there on the road, doesn't mean that that battery pack has the bulk of its storage capacity intact.

I would love to have equipment with battery packs with wonderful lifetimes. The thing is that as of today, I can't even get a battery pack for something as simple as a cordless drill that is warrantied for ten years or 3,000 cycles. If you go look at actual specification sheets for batteries, they do not support your claims. Batteries have wear-out mechanisms just like wheel bearings, transitors and tires.

more than 5 years ago

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