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Samsung Claims Breakthrough In Graphene Chip Design

wierd_w Re:Graphene products - where to dump them?? (88 comments)

Sure. Heat it up past the critical point in the presence of oxygen.

Graphene is carbon, and the thermal decomposition of carbon as a fuel source has been documented for many many centuries.

A complex designed to thermally decompose the graphene (and any organic substrates it may be bound to), followed by acid and alkaline recovery washes to reclaim the doping agents from the ashes could effectively handle graphene ewaste.

The issue with silicon, is that the thermal decomposition temperature is very excessive, and difficult to contend with. It likes to form this stuff called "glass", instead of decomposing into an easily separable substance, like CO2.

about a week ago

Samsung Claims Breakthrough In Graphene Chip Design

wierd_w Re:Producing them is one thing (88 comments)

There are other high-temperature materials besides ceramic that can be used as the outer casing.

Graphene is an organic molecule, which will have thermal expansion properties more closely related to those of other organic molecules containing aromatic ring structures, because of the bond energies and bond angles involved.

Say, something like aramid.

The only issue with aramid that I can think of is that it cannot be melted. (It has no melting point. It thermally decomposes before melting.) To "mold" aramid, the molecules have to be dissolved in a very strong acid. This would greatly complicate chip casing manufacture.

There are other aromatic ring structure based polymers though.

about a week ago

How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

wierd_w Re:Good. (1035 comments)

Here, Let me help you.

I place a quantum singularity inside a special magic box. The gravitational pull of the singularity is so strong that no force in the universe can overcome its attraction with the bottom of the box. No force in the universe can lift the singularity out of the box.

I can however, lift the singularity.

I can lift the box containing it, if I exert enough energy, and in so doing, lift the singularity.

If we replace "Magic box" with "The whole damned universe", the trick still applies-- We are then just left with a real headscratcher, "Through what, did the universe get lifted?"

Questions like the above "paradox" don't really prove or solve anything. They just demonstrate that there is ignorance that needs to be overcome.

The pedant will argue that "but being unable to lift the singularity out of the box means he is not omnipotent!" or some similar nonsense.

To that, I direct you at the paradox of time's arrow. There really isnt a compelling reason for time to only flow in one direction. Reversal of time would cause the singularity to be impossible to contain inside the magic box. An omnipotent god can thus retain the rules that gravitational force is based on the inverse square of the distances between the centers of mass, and where one of the masses exerts infinite spacial curviture-- and still move the singularity out of the box-- from his perspective.

The notion of "Cant do something" is always based on the idea of something infallible. At best, using it as a defense against an infallible god, is just substitution.

about two weeks ago

How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

wierd_w Re:Good. (1035 comments)

No, Not an idiot. I simply used a rule in logic to demonstrate how your statement is ill-devised, and not conclusive. Specifically, if you can demonstrate how a foundational axiom in a statement can be false, you can falsify all logic predicated upon that axiom.

This principle is a foundational precept in applied logic. It helps logicians recognize when they are wasting their time with a question. Being such a simple test, I applied it to your inquiry, and found that inquiry to be lacking. Call it pedantry if you want to, but it wasn't without purpose that I did this.

God does not have to be physically inside THIS universe to *exist*. (as such, any presupposition that he MUST be constrainable by the rules of this universe is pure hubris unfounded by evidence.) There is a growing body of evidence that there are other universes besides our own, and that their very existences have subtle influences upon our own. It is one of the possible explanations for why the various massive particles in the standard model have the masses that they do, in fact. (Not the only one, and probably not the leading one, but that does not make stop making it be one of them regardless.)

Similar to how a turing machine can simulate any other turing maching given sufficient memory and time, a being that observes time differently from the way we do can use even a tiny and subtle form of influence to completely control our universe, because they can fully calculate all the outcomes, and always be able to influence the outcomes of all interactions. (EG, they know exactly where and how to nudge.) This subtle interaction is indistinguishable from random chance to observers from within our universe, so it cant be proven this agency is at work. This does not discount that it is possible, however.

Do I imagine some strawman like "angels strumming harps surrounding some dude in a toga floating on a cloud" when I contemplate 'god'? No. I contemplate something so alien from anything we know of or can conceive of that it defies attempts to imagine it. By definition, all it requires is agency by which to make decisions, ability to see all possible outcomes statically (Sees the universe as one giant markov chain, essentially), and a means by which to influence said universe, however subtle. If those conditions are met, the entity will be both omnipresent and omnipotent, as seen from our universe. AKA, 'god'

what it looks like, why it chooses what it does, or even how it thinks are moot, and the sole venue of philosophers and theists. Those things are inconsequential to "existence", which is what the hard atheist and the theist dispute.

So, I will return your question-- Are YOU an idiot, making presumptions of other people that are unfounded, and then running off with those presumptions as if they were truth?

about two weeks ago

How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

wierd_w Re:Good. (1035 comments)

No, that still has problems with implied factors.

Specifically, it implies gravity, and that god is bound to the rules of physical reality. If so, then naturally god cannot be omnipotent, as you are implying-- however, if god is not bound by the laws of physical reality, then god can make a boulder that is impossible to lift, yet still lift it.

Your argument relies on there being something infallible that is "underneath" god. (both figuratively, and literally,.) An unliftable object would be a quantum singularity-- You need an impossible surface to support having such a thing sitting on it, waiting to be lifted-- It also presupposes that god is limited by physical reality, rather than what religion implies, which is the inverse. (Physical reality is dependent upon god.) The axioms by which logic and physics are underpinned are based on the constancy of the physical universe, and if that constancy isnt constant after all -- but instead based on the influence of an omnipotent god-- then it does not follow to use it as a means to refute the existence of that god.

With all the implied fallacies in place, you simply become redundant in asserting that god cannot exist within the confines of the physical universe. That's fine and dandy. Physics says that too:

Something like god would represent unlimited energy potential, and thus have unlimited mass energy. Unless god was also of an infinite volume, he would rapidly create the universe's single most extreme black hole in very short order. Since this is not observed to be the case, god clearly does not exist in our universe.

As such, it is illogical to attempt to use logical foundations predicated on this presumption to disprove the existence of such an entity.

The assertion that there are no alternatives to the physical universe we see and interact with does not meet up with recent findings and theory.

So, rather than some infallible truth being presented, all I see is a poorly framed argument that reduces to redundancy, while disproving nothing of consequence.

*Agnostic, in case you were interested.

about two weeks ago

Tesla Model S Has Hidden Ethernet Port, User Runs Firefox On the 17" Screen

wierd_w Re:X11? (208 comments)

Just add an aftermarket wifi access point to the ethernet connection, then you can attach any number of local network X clients to the X server. Tablets, laptops, et al.

Slap that bitch inside the dash or something. They usually eat 12v DC anyway, so it shouldnt be hard to wire in.

Just make sure you aren't a total retard. Put the broadcast power on the access point to the absolute minimum needed to service the vehicle's interior, and use WPA2. Also, set access restrictions on the SSH, Telnet, and other vulnerable services so that digital signature checking is in force.

Running a minimalist GUI on the X server would allow the vehicle to do all manner of interesting things during the day. It could even run as a node on Folding@home if you really wanted. I was thinking more along the lines of encrypted email clients with GPG and something like clawsmail though.

about two weeks ago

Ad Tracking: Is Anything Being Done?

wierd_w Re:solution (303 comments)

Yes and no.

This is a quality over quantity, and price valuation problem.

Advert company wants: Enormous quantity of inexpensive advert impressions for products they have exclusive contracts to advertise for, and comprehensive metrics about those impressions.

Content Producer wants: Enough operating capital to make a steady profit while producing engaging content that users like,

End User wants: Engaging content from the content producer.

The content producer sells the end user's eyeballs to the advertising company.

The advertising company pays the content producer for those eyeballs.

The user gets content paid for by the resale of their eyeballs.

Here's the rub:

All three parties seek to maximize their goals. This exchange only works when there is equity in the exchange. As any one party starts to leverage advantage, the arrangement becomes unstable.

Scenario 1:
Content provider demands too much money from advertisers for ad placements.

Advertisers cut off the producer, or, (if the advertiser cannot find other producers) goes out of business as they stop making profits. Producer stops making content as the money dries up, user stops getting content. All parties fail.

Scenario 2:
Advertising company pays too little for adverts. (current reality)

Content producers have to oversell the eyeballs viewing their content, resulting in end users going elsewhere to get that content, (Piracy, other sites, other networks, et al.) and to find technological measures to sanitize the content if alternative channels cannot be secured. Content producers do not get paid enough by the advert stream, stop producing content, advert company stops getting eyeballs, user stops getting content. All parties fail.

Scenario 3:

Users simply won't watch the adverts, period.

Users simply refuse any and all adverts. Content producers cannot secure a revenue stream from advert companies, and have to charge for content directly. This limits the available form and expression of the content to what end user is willing to directly pay for. This stifles the creativity of the producer, limits the variety of content consumed by the end user, and kills advertiser completely, reducing the ability to spread awareness of new products and offerings. All parties fail.

The ONLY WAY, and I mean THE ONLY WAY that advert supported services *CAN* work in the long term, is if there is across the board equity.

Advertisers *MUST* pay what the advert impression is REALLY worth.

Content producers MUST provide quality content with emphasis on content, not advertisement.

End users MUST watch the advertisements.

The problem, is that NONE of these actors are acting equitably, starting with the advertisers.

The advertisers found that they could leverage more profit by using mass-tracking analytics to evaluate how best to make payouts, to maximize their profit margins, pretending that this was in some fashion sustainable, creating an unreasonable stockholder expectation which they now must uphold. This is a technological advance that upset the equity.

Advertisers now pay less to the content producers.

To make up for the loss, content producers have to display more ads, further degrading the quality of the impressions received, and degrading the prices paid out, thanks to the analytics.

The end user says "Fuck that shit, I am going to block your BS adverts! They cover the whole damned screen!", and installs adblocking software.

The advert company screams to the content producer that the quality of their impressions has reached all time lows, and that they wont pay enough to keep the site running.

The content producer says that end users are blocking the adverts, resulting in a reduction in the number of unique impressions.

End user blames the content producer, saying they are now consuming a solid diet of advertisements if they dont use the adblock software.

The content producer blames the advertiser, saying they arent paying enough to keep the content in production.

Problem: Advertiser does not pay enough to sustain equity, by seeking to maximize its own profits in an unsustainable fashion.

about two weeks ago

Ad Tracking: Is Anything Being Done?

wierd_w Simple, but counter intuitive to advertisers (303 comments)

The problem is simple.

The user wants the CONTENT to have focus, as that is what they go there to get.

The advertisers want the ADVERTISEMENTS to have focus, so they have "Impact."

That is why advertisements are obnoxious, obtrusive, cover 80 to 90% of the display, hoover around, make blaring noises, flash rapidly enough to induce epileptic seizures in those vulnerable, and overall make users reach for adblock software.

The solution? Advertisers need to pay more for less obtrusive ads.

If a site can get enough revenue to operate on just a simple hyperlinking rotating image banner, they wont need full page flash plague competing with their content.

But advertisers want eyeballs. ALL of the user's eyeballs. If advertisers had their way, people would spend 80 to 90% of their time watching adverts-- both on the internet and on television.

Allowing advertisements to become ubiquitous to the point of requiring brain bleach to control is NOT the answer, and only further increases the "Need" to inject yet more adverts to secure a workable revenue stream for the site/channel operators. Basically, they are saturating the market for adverts, and the price paid out per advert served drops. To make up for that, they have to display more adverts. Works GREAT for advertising companies, but is poison for content producers. It has a double-edge, in that as the percentage of time spent viewing adverts goes up, the number of viewers watching the site goes down.

It should not be any bit at all hard to determine where the two trends meet, especially with the INSANE amounts of analytics going on with advert tracking, and page viewing.

The problem is that the advert companies dont want to pay what the adverts are actually worth, and are driving the price paid per impression into the ground, while making a killing doing so. Users dont want to actually pay a fee to use the internet's various webpage services, which have traditionally always been free. (with a few exceptions.)

The real solution is to keep content as the primary focus, put a fucking ball gag and super glue in the mouths of the advertisers, and cut off the flow of gravy by refusing to plaster wall to wall adverts all over the internet, thus making the internet advert real-estate space a premium commodity, commanding a high price through encouraging scarcity.

Users would easily handle a 30% advert (max), 70% content (min) mix. They will walk away from, or start using adblock to circumvent anything above where the curves meet.

This isnt hard.

about two weeks ago

US Secretary of State Calls Climate Change 'Weapon of Mass Destruction'

wierd_w Re:The real question is: how do they taste? (401 comments)

carp DO taste nasty when not properly prepared. So do catfish. (if you cook it wrong, it's horrendous) The issue with carp is that they are a very bony fish as well, which makes processing them difficult, and even when cooked correctly, makes eating said fish very hard.

But all that is unimportant; You guys are not looking at this as an economic opportunity. Many products are made from fish that are not intended for human consumption, but which still require many tons of fish per hour to manufacture industrially.

Such as fish emulsion fertilizer and the like. There are also a few dubiously useful suppliments that humans injest but never actually taste, such as fish oil capsules, that could be mass manufactured.

A business can be made out of "over harvesting" said asian carp in that area.

about 2 months ago

Big Pharma Presses US To Quash Cheap Drug Production In India

wierd_w Re:Jai Hind! (255 comments)

Thalidomide is an interesting case.

It is a photo enantiomer, meaning that it has a left handed, and right handed isomer that will bend light one way, or another, when in solution.

The right handed isomer is an effective sedative, while the left handed one is a tetragenic compound.

The problem is that even if highly refined so that only R isomer is administered, the pH of the patient's blood will racemize the isomers again.

It could be entirely possible for thalidomide to be safe, if administered with a chaparone to prevent racemization.

At the time, the preparations of thalidomide were a heterogenous mix of both isomers, as there was no research into possible side effects from the mixed sample, and the prospect of birth defects wasnt considered, as the intended use was not for treating morning sickness. As an anti-cancer treatment for non-pregnant people, it is still a useful compound.

Thalidomide was originally developed as a sedative/hypnotic compound, and not as a treatment for nausea. (This would be similar to say, scopolamine, which is used to treat motion sickness. This is not meant to imply that the comounds are related. They arent. However, scopolamine is ALSO useful for treating some forms of nausea. Fancy that.) The use as treatment for nausea is what heralded the use of the product to treat morning sickness, and the subsequent epidemic of infant mortality and deformity that swept the world. It isn't that thalidomide is a bad drug: it was, and is still being shown to be a VERY useful drug. The problem is that thalidomide was not used properly, and was provided OTC, which strongly exacerbated the problem. To pick on poor scopolamine again, it too had a stint as an OTC motion sickness medicine and sleep aid, which ended up causing all manner of problems when certain... shall we say, "Degenerate" people discovered that it made an excellent date rape drug when dissolved in alcoholic beverages.

It isn't that either drug is "bad". It is that the lust for profits from the sale of the drugs can lead to very bad decisions in marketing and distribution of those drugs. Drugs developed for a certain purpose should be extensively and thuroughtly tested for efficacy before being used in alternative manners; such as for instance, Minoxadil. It is the primary ingredient in Rogaine, a male hairloss treatment with FDA approval. It was originally a prescription heart medicine for treating hypertension. It took quite some time for minoxadil to recieve FDA approval for treating alopecia. That is a good thing, as the testing helped establish what the ideal dosages are, and that the concentration must be different for treating women than for treating men. If minoxadil had been rushed to market as a treatment for alopecia, there could have been very dangerous results, since it *IS* a blood pressure medication! This is one of the reasons why rogaine is a topically applied preparation, and not a preparation for internal consumption. (The regrowth of hair was a common side effect of orally administered minoxadil for treating hypertension. Oral administration of the compound would be effective for regrowing hair, but the concentrations needed would make taking the drug dangerous to a patient's cardiac health. Topically applied minoxadil allows high concentrations at the site of interest, with a slow overall rate of absorption, making it ineffective at lowering blood pressure. If rushed to market, it is quite concievable that minoxadil tablets would have been seen for treating alopecia, and that there would have been class action suits as bald people all over started dieing.)

The FDA's insistence on efficacy studies is to prevent dangerous drug use, and to ensure that a drug actually does what it says it does. The long term drug study requirements are intended to catch things like thalidomide birth defects, as it would have shown up with thalidomide being used as a sedative/hypnotic as an increased risk statistic. (nobody expected birth defects as a side effect of a sedative, but since both genders would be getting prescribed the drug by doctors for appropriate conditions, and some percentage of those patients would be pregnant women, the birth defects would have manifest, and the rate of defects reported in pregnant patients using it would have been significant; Far fewer infant deaths and deformities would have happened going this route, rather than "Balls to the walls, let's put it OTC and make a killing!". For the free market true believers out there-- this is exactly why regulation is needed, and why allowing market forces to do the regulation is unconsionable. *wink* )

about 2 months ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

wierd_w Re:Thank you for replying Timothy (2219 comments)

Thank you for taking the time soulskill.

To elaborate on the first question I asked:

While obviously, I do not have access to the feedback provided to slash media, and instead must attempt to grep the summation of that feedback from the postings of others over the past 2 two days, the predominant opinion has been that the fundamental design of the beta, with its white theme, and more graphical (vs textual) presentation methodology is in and of itself something that is not seen as being desirable by a considerable proportion of the community.

Many use mobile connections with the useragent string set to desktop mode, or use a tethered mobile connection to view the site, being technology industrial professionals who are busy and on the go. As such, they have a vested interest to disable the loading of images, as these can burn into the data allowance their broadband providers have established, and can result in nasty overage charges or worse. Because of this, and for some, simply for personal preference reasons, the more graphical nature of the beta is seen as simply undesirable in any fashion. Given the prevailing and powerful nature of this opinion, and how well represented it has been in discussions of this topic I have observed, I must conclude that a goodly portion of the feedback provided has expressed this opinion. As far as I can tell, it would take a radical rethinking of the beta's design to accommodate this feedback. Given the nature of the opinion, I find it difficult to believe that it has not been presented in the feedback over the past 5 months in copious abundance. This is why I asked the question the way I did.

Personally, I do like that images directly related to the story are included, but feel these images should be very small thumbnails, (possibly text-wrapped in the top-right corner of the story summary body) and not large, flashy ones. I too view slashdot with a mobile device with the useragent string modified, and can speak with personal conviction that these images should never exceed 200px wide, at the largest. I could begrudge a compromise for using a more intelligent query for page assets to be determined by either a preferences setting, (for people who may be browsing while tethered, for instance, who would otherwise possibly benefit from having larger UI assets displayed for visibility reasons) or by evaluating the current display window size, before actually initiating any HTTP GET operations, for persons like myself who prefer to avoid using the mobile version of the site's content layout. (The excessive javascript of the mobile version often crashes the stock browser of my device.)

I eagerly await any answers you may receive from the design team concerning these queries, and fully appreciate that these kinds of questions are outside of your department.

  So far, however, the impression I have been made to hold concerning the reasons and motivations for the kinds and implementations of recent slashdot upgrades has been that the design team has been implementing changes based upon their own personal preferences, (eg, "the old design looks like something from the 90s", or "gah, that's so clunky looking!") Rather than from any supportably technical or objective position. I would very much like to hear that this is not the case, and to be made aware of the reasons behind the decision to update layout in this fashion, and behind the choices in its implementation.

If however, you are forced to confirm the position I have been made to hold concerning such choices (that they are arbitrary, and capriciously chosen and enacted) then I would ask that you be honest in reporting this to the community. I would also like for you to continue to ask questions on our behalf, inquiring why the personal aesthetic preferences of the design team trumps that of the preferences of thousands of registered users.

Thank you again for taking the time to respond.

about 2 months ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

wierd_w Thank you for replying Timothy (2219 comments)

I really do appreciate that you and Soulskill did at least break the silence that up until now has been deafening, but really, the nature of your reply does not fill me with confidence, and with the replies I am reading by other users, it looks as if that feeling is well represented, and that I am not alone.

I just want you to know that I am listening to you as well.

With that in mind, I have some difficult questions for you.

You say that you have been reading and contemplating our feedback. It is clear that you have been at least observing the fallout that has occured over the past few days here in the comments sections of some very promising and nice looking stories, as the quality of the community provided content dropped to levels that would make even /b/ look intelligent. Your colleague Soulskill even made some well received commentary recently, and we've eagerly awaited this public level of ice-breaking on the discussion. For this I, and clearly many others are greatful.

However, since you claim to have been receiving valuable feedback about the beta experiment since at least 5 months ago, why is it that the nature of the beta has not radically changed to accommodate that feedback? Why did you allow this situation to come to a head like this, if you have been observing and seriously considering the feedback provided?

I see in your announcement that you and slashmedia believe it is time for a change in the site's layout. What factors does slashmedia use to make these determinations, and why do you believe that a radical change instead of a refinement and polish of the current system is in order?

Can you please elaborate on some of the design choices that slashmedia has taken in the beta, ans why they felt these were good decisions, and why they have apparently completely ignored 5 months of user feedback about the beta?

I understand that nobody really profits from continuing the public protest, or from relentless, mindless trolling. That's why we need to have a real, and valuable discussion here about this, and why a show of good will about our feedback actually being considered, and how it is considered, in detail, is clearly needed for our community to resolve its differences with slashmedia's choices in performing its services as the community's host.

I am sure it would mean a great deal to all of us if the dialog did not end here. We, as a community need answers to these questions if we are going to stay and continue to contribute to what makes slashdot great.

I hate to say it, but ignoring us and leaving these kinds of questions unanswered is likely to be seen as a worse slap in the face than hearing only silence was. Please continue this dialog.

about 2 months ago

Engineers Invent Programming Language To Build Synthetic DNA

wierd_w Re:exception handling (51 comments)

Biological simulation engineers at Umbrella Corporation cannot guarantee the accuracy of any simulated systems created using this product, and cannot be held liable for any resulting products that may result in injury or harm to any species, including but not limited to uncontrolled anomalous tissue growths, genetically linked deformities, or the mass extinction of human kind via a zombie apochalypse.

By using this software you agree to the above enclosed terms and conditions, and to be bound to said agreement.

Thank you for using LifeLab(tm).

Lifelab and Umbrella corporation logo are the sole intellectual property of Umbrella Corporation, all rights reserved.

about 7 months ago

Engineers Invent Programming Language To Build Synthetic DNA

wierd_w Re:exception handling (51 comments)

Only if there is a process for the cell to do so. Like a computer, a cell isn't magical. This is why amyloid plaque buildup in neural tissues is a fatal degenerative disease. There is no mechanism for the cells to flush the defective products they are synthesizing from the broken synthesis chain.

The real world KEEPS the defective biproduct, and simulates its impact on the rest of the system. A computer based simulation of that process that aims to be accurate, must also do so.

about 7 months ago

Engineers Invent Programming Language To Build Synthetic DNA

wierd_w Re:exception handling (51 comments)

The issue is that the "zombies", in this case, defective H proteins, stay in the cell and are NOT really dealt with. They become a new, undefined input in the system that must be accounted for when simulating other cellular processes being performed in parallel inside the cell.

This can lead to a very extensive chain ot unexpected executions and transformations. Dealing with that programmatically is going to make any computer currently in operation attempting it cry to the ghost of Alan Turing and beg for mercy.

If the goal is accurate simulation, then a (try),(catch),(finally) isn't going to work properly.

about 7 months ago

Engineers Invent Programming Language To Build Synthetic DNA

wierd_w exception handling (51 comments)

Biological systems have many broken legacy "routines" that don't get called, or get called, and execute incorrectly. How do these engineers intend to deal with exception handling in this capacity?

For instance, a well known mutation known as bombay phenotype involved a precursor protein called "H protein", which then gets modified by additional cellular processes to become either A or B blood antigen. The mutation makes a defective H protein, and thus prevents the proper activation of the A or B antigen "routine".

If they try to build a programing language for cellular processes involving DNA and protein synthesis, then how will they handle exception cases, such as that one? It can be likened to the halting problem, because the question asked is "given these inputs and this program, will the program ever halt?"

How do they intend to resolve this problem?

about 7 months ago

Somebody Stole 7 Milliseconds From the Federal Reserve

wierd_w Re:Uh... (740 comments)

Look, it just felt that if it was going to be forced into being famous by those damned paparazzi scientists at the LHC, when it had spent the entire previous history of the universe toiling in obscurity providing substance to all the masses, that it at least deserved to be compensated for the hassle.

And you people act like it did a bad thing! Shame on you!

about 7 months ago

California Elementary Schools To Test Anti-Piracy Curriculum

wierd_w Re:Fascism is not Libertarianism (356 comments)

You are injecting an artificial difference that does not logically exist, between a "for profit school", and a "private school."

Private schools are for profit schools that are selective in which students they will accept.

For profit schools are for profit schools that are selective in which students they will accept.

Sounds to me like you are barking up the wrong tree. The issue isn't that the schools are driven with a profit motive, the issue is that you take exception to the school's ability to refuse admission.

This is a perfectly justified concern, because when no public schools (that have to accept anyone and everyone from a given district) exist anymore, then logically, there will be a resulting demographic of children who are systematically excluded from the "for profit only" school landscapes.

On the other hand, this is also an unsatisfied demand in the market. That means creating a school that specializes in these "undesirable" pupils would have an assured revinue stream.

At that point, the complaint changes; all the kids are going to school, but at least one demographic has few if any options, and the one school that specializes in the undesirable kids is essentially a monopoly, and can charge an absurd price, and get away with it.

True libertarians don't want to acknowledge this last situation, because it clearly paints a portrait of where government regulation is necessary. This is because government regulation of just about anything is considered offensive to diehard libertarians.

I don't mind the death of public school systems, and the rise of privatized ones in their place, as long as there is regulation forbidding outright castigation of groups of pupils based on any set of criteria. Eg, the schools have to admit any and all students, and the cost burden between a special needs student and a normal tuition paid student has a government assistance program that the school can make use of, paid for by tax money, but with riggorous oversight to punish and discourage abuse.

But there I go being a moderate centrist again.

about 7 months ago

New Operating System Seeks To Replace Linux In the Cloud

wierd_w Re:say... WHAT? (335 comments)

A single process can contain multiple threads. Without some level of protection there, this kind of thing could be more vulnerable to code injection attacks, allowing a perp to own the whole VM. If they do this without upsetting the process in any visible way, they can now just soak up all the data that the VM is having shoveled through it.

Without a kernel space inside the VM looking for untoward behavior from the threads in userspace, and enforcing restrictions on who owns what resources, this is a recipe for trouble. The compromised thread can walk all over the vm's memory, and report whatever it wants to the hypervisor. In this case, the goal isn't to escallate, the goal is to compromise the vm and lay dormant. An actual, real VM with a seperate kernel space keeps important parts of memory secure. Like the data reporting and monitoring threads.

They just removed a whole layer of security. It may well be mostly redundant, but given the stakes involved, redundant security features can actually pay off.

The honor system doesn't work when the threads stop being honorable.

about 7 months ago

New Operating System Seeks To Replace Linux In the Cloud

wierd_w say... WHAT? (335 comments)

Did they really just say that they removed the insolation between kernel and user spaces?

(Re-reads. Yup. That's what they said!)

Oh dear gawds. Do they not realize that this makes their processes naked little unprotected things in a dimly lit room, that are going to be savagely raped and abused by the first rogue process that comes along?

Do they have no conception of why the two spaces are kept apart!?

No thank you, I will refuse to conduct business with any agency that uses this platform, thanks. We have a big enough problem with identity theft and wire fraud as is. I don't want to encourage such a horrifically stupid idea by giving some dumbass led company my business.

about 7 months ago



ask slashdot: how should I handle this IP agreement?

wierd_w wierd_w writes  |  about a month ago

wierd_w (1375923) writes "Today I was presented with yet another agreement from my employer, as many if not all of us have been faced with in the past. This one however, strikes as as being the closest thing to pure evil I have ever encountered.

having read, and re-read the text of the agreement, i do not see any prohibitions on public discussion of the terms provided there-in, and so I thought I would make mention of the most eggregious sections, and seek feedback on if I should find new employment or suck it up and sign this faustian rag. (I fully understand that any members involved in the legal profession must protect themselves, and regardless of the outcome, will not hold any legally responsible for the contributions they may make.)

now, down to the dirtiness at hand.

aside from the normal language where they claim ownership of every idea and skill i posess, they also make several claims that in my (very much) unprofessional opinion are serious red flags telling me to run as fast as I can. ....
6) Miscellaneous.
        a) A breach of this Agreement will result in irreparable harm to the Company for which there is no adequate remedy at law, and the Company is entitled to injunctive relief and specific performance. The Company need not post a bond or other security to enforce its rights under this Agreement.

  b) This agreement may not be modified, or terminated except in a writing signed by me, and a company officer. A waiver of breach of any provision of this Agreement will not operate as a waiver of any subsequent breach.

  c) The unenforcability of any provision of this agreement will not limit any other provision's enforcability. If any provision is held unenforcable, that provision will be limited or construed to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable.

  d) My obligations under this agreement continue after my employment ends.

e) This is not an employment contract. My employment is at-will.

f) This agreement will be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Washington, without reference to conflicts of law rules. ...

a) and d) especially scare the shit out of me.

the former uses loaded language that I feel should be illegal, because it presupposes a matter of fact that I personally do not find truth in; a cursory examination of civil contract law for the state of washington shows that there is no limit on the possible awarded damages for statutory compensation. My employer could pull a doctor evil, and hold me hostage for a hundred bazillion-million dollars, and be within existing legal remedy as far as I am able to determine. While i do agree that irreparable harm could come from unapproved disclosure of intellectual properties or secrets, i dispute that the available legal remedies are "not adequate." If any of you are more knowlegable about washington contract law, i would love to hear your informal opinions. As-is, i don't believe that this agreement is possible for me, since i simply do not agree with the language of that section of article 6, and cannot fathom how "unlimited statutory damages" cannot service suitable compensation, and why they feel that special injunctive relief and and specific performance are necessary. for any of our lawyer friends here that might shed some light on this, my eyes are peeled!

then there is section d) of the same article, which, when taken in context of e) (at will employment, and not a promise of continued employment) appears to amount to an agreement in purpetuity for a service rendered (at will employment) that by its very nature is decidedly temporal. perhaps they think that i will be exposed to industry secrets that require purpetual protection, but that is not rational, considering that *I* would be creating those "secrets", and the wording of the main body of the contract explicitly states that my "know-how" is included in the agreement. That would mean that my already extensive skillset prior to working here is on the table in this contract, and this agreement would essentially bar me from in any way disclosing anything i know to any unauthorized person, if a very strict interpretation was followed. I could accept a sunset with an absurd term, say 25 years, but not "infinity". Theoretically, i would have to acquire a completely new knowledgebase and find a completely different career if I accept this agreement then seek new employment, as best I comprehend it.

My current thought on a course of action is to seek a modified contract per section b), with a sunset provision, and a statement asserting "fullest extent possible by law" instead of the existing section a) of article 6, as I am actually capable of agreeing with those terms, and should provide more than enough protection to my employer, as I have no interests in stealing or proliferating any of their intelectual properties-- along with some kind of sunset provision for section d).

for the record, this is a fortune 500 company dealing in physical manufacture of aerospace components, but the language of the agreement covers *everything*, including computer code, sketches, diagrams, algorithms, et. al., including my "know-how". (it is specifically mentioned.) I also no not live in the state of washington, nor is the company headquartered there.

Should I bother with seeking to get an agreement I can actually sign in good faith, or should I just start looking for a new job?"

Link to Original Source

"investigate Chris Dodd" petition reaches over 25,

wierd_w wierd_w writes  |  more than 2 years ago

wierd_w (1375923) writes "The situation with the whitehouse.gov internet petition concerning the investigation of former senator, and current MPAA CEO Chris Dodd has gotten a little more interesting. In just under 3 days, the petition has exceeded 25,000 signatures, meeting the requirements for an official policy statement from the executive branch. Just how many signatures the petition will receive before the deadline of February 22 remains to be seen, but the official reply should be 'interesting' considering the impending elections."
Link to Original Source

Ellsberg supports wikileaks

wierd_w wierd_w writes  |  more than 3 years ago

wierd_w (1375923) writes "Daniel Ellsberg: “EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”

Due to the recent debates over the pros and cons between the wikileaks releases and those of the historic "Pentagon papers", Journalist Daniel Ellsberg, who released the pentagon papers in 1971, has written an editorial on the subject declaring that he rejects the mantra of “Pentagon Papers good; WikiLeaks material bad", and that further “That’s just a cover for people who don’t want to admit that they oppose any and all exposure of even the most misguided, secretive foreign policy. The truth is that EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”"

Link to Original Source


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