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Comment: Re:What about the farmers who grew their food? (Score 1) 132

So by this line of thinking, Microsoft and Apple are both owe their existence to half-apes who crawled out of the jungles of Africa some 1.8 million years ago.

It is quite interesting you stop at that point, with misinformation to boot. Homo sapiens are full apes, nothing half about us. And the chain did not stop (or start) 1.8 million years ago. Making stone tools 2 million years ago, bipedalism may be four million years ago, primate line specializing in fruit eating 30 million years ago, mammals branching off 210 million years ago ... We might all everything to the Big bang sparked by Lord Vishnu at the end of the previous universe 14 billion years ago. But looks like there was a previous universe, so... It is Big bangs all the way down buddy.

Comment: Re:The truth about weather forcasting (Score 1) 33

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49602263) Attached to: The Pioneer Who Invented the Weather Forecast
We laugh at them and their equally idiotic leaders. Remember Glenn Beck saying "libraries are free"? or the thousands with handwritten boards, "Take your dirty Gummint hand off my medicare".

But you know what? The joke is on us. We laugh and stay home, while they dutifully show up at the polling places and vote for their idiot leaders. The fundamental difference between Democratic base and the Republican base is this. Republican base says, "give me this one thing, all the rest will be ignored". Democratic base says, "give me every one of these things, failing on any one would mean I will stay home to send a message".

Comment: I don't know why he says it can't be blocked. (Score 3) 34

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49602217) Attached to: Researcher Bypasses Google Password Alert For Second Time
Basically the first exploit was something like a pop-up blocker that blocked the alert page from being displayed. The second one is to refresh the page at every keystroke so that the key-logging and watching extension never sees the full password, so it does not alert the user. A page that calls the refresh method for every key stroke is suspicious. The alert extension could look for this behavior and report it. Even the first exploit involving the pop-up blocker could be scanned for. The trigger for the alert-window-blocker must be obfuscated to escape detection.

Comment: Poor guy (Score 4, Interesting) 33

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49599993) Attached to: The Pioneer Who Invented the Weather Forecast
Just coincidence, I suppose. I just finished reading a bio of Charles Darwin. Fitzroy had a tragic life. He became the governor of New Zealand and then was recalled from the post in just two years. He felt slighted by the implied insult and loss of prestige. Became a rear-admiral ran the met office etc. Eventually he committed suicide, tragically.

He was caricatured because he strongly disagreed with Darwin on evolution and was portrayed as a bible thumper. But Darwin owes much to his old Captain for long chats over the voyages and the extra mile he went to accommodate Darwin, who was a bit of a spoiled son of a rich indulgent father at that time. Darwin had quit college, quit the seminary when he got on Beagle. Darwin was quite sick later in life. Darwin had spent 1000 pounds during the voyage to collect the specimens, probably worth quarter of a million dollars today. There was nothing to stop Darwin from calling it quits and catching a ship home at any port of call. It is entirely due to Fitzroy's help and understanding Darwin stayed on board for the entire 5 years.

Comment: Re:He also wants to roll back civil rights too. (Score 1) 433

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49592209) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

The prices for oil product (kerosene at the time) went down from 60 or so cents in 1860s to just around 7 cents a gallon by late 1890s.

Why it did not go to 3 cents a gallon? Because Rockefeller colluded with railroad companies and had secret arrangements to get bulk discount for himself and shafted his competitors. Monopolies are not always the result of a company doing everything "right". It is always the result of companies carving up the market using secret deals, cartels, trusts. They maintain their monopoly by destroying the small upstart competitors who had better ideas, better way of doing things, which will bring greater benefit to the society.

In the early days of personal computers, the technology moved so fast the laws and the government were playing catch up. It was, in a sense, closer to utter free markets. Microsoft & Intel emerged as the winners and maintained a near monopoly and a stranglehold on the market. All the things they did that is still fresh in the minds of older Slashdotters, the oil barons and the railroad tycoons did back then, in a much harsher way. That is how Korean and Japanese industrial "houses" work to this day. That is how garment factories are run to this day in Bangladesh and Phillipines.

It is fair Rockefeller was hounded in his old age, forced to flee in a rickety car like a fugitive. He drove so many worthy better oil men to madness and suicide with his secret deals and cartel building. If you are a white person from the current Rust-Belt of USA, it is very much possible one of your ancestors was shafted by this guy, cheated out of a fair price for the oilfield or forced to go bankrupt if he was in oil/railroad business.

You are just a religious fanatic worshiping some ideal "free" market and you will dismiss all the holes as "not really free" market. You are as bad as people who believe communism will work.

Comment: Re:We should make it fair. (Score 1) 108

Fractions of the form 1/x have names for x=2,4,8 and 16. Fractions of the form x/y have names built using names of simpler fractions. Like you say thirty six to mean 30 + 6. So when a fraction is multiplied by a whole number, the whole numbers taken out and the rest renamed it gets quite complex. One memorizes these things. Indian currency during colonial days was a nightmare too. They used rupees-anna-paisa similar to pount-shilling-penny. 16 annas made a rupee and 12 paisa made one anna. And the weights and measures were also equally insane pound and ounces mixed up with Mogal units.

But when we were learning fraction tables by rote, (only a few "enrichment" students did this, and they called the "enrichment" stream advanced stream to give us some bragging rights), we were using metric system even in currency, 100 paisa = 1 rupee. We did this mainly because our teachers were tortured by this when they were kids and it is their turn to torture us. Continuity and circle of life and all that.

Comment: Re:He also wants to roll back civil rights too. (Score 1) 433

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49589333) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

2. protection of ownership and operation of private property against the government intrusion, against the mob and the collective.

Sudden switch to a passive voice sentence fragment. Is that you Sarah Palin? Who's going to do the protection? You postulate some entity more powerful than the government that will enforce the property rights, but still will not abuse the very same powers for self aggrandization.

Comment: Re:We should make it fair. (Score 1) 108

In most Indic languages fractions 1/8 and 1/16 have names in addition to half and quarter. There are rules to construct the names of fractions like 5/8. So the table goes like "one half is half, one quarter is quarter, one 1/8 is 1/8, one 1/16 is 1/16", "two halves are one, two quarters are half, two 1/8 are quarter, two 1/16 are 1/8", "three halves are one and a half, three quarters are three-quarters, three 1/8s are 3/8, three 1/16 are 3/16" like that it goes up to 16. Educated grownup reading these fractions would find it trivial. But if you substitute the named fractions and construct the names for fractions like 3/8 and 5/16 it makes it quite interesting.

Comment: Re:He also wants to roll back civil rights too. (Score 1) 433

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49587413) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules
Oh yeah, no true Scotsman....

If you assume everyone will voluntarily agree to respect the rights of the others, you are making the same mistake communists made. Absent reward, no one will work. That is communist problem. Absent enforcement no one will respect the rights of others. Enforcement can be done only by a government more powerful than the most powerful individual. The least onerous form of government is Democracy, which you disdain as mob rule.

Please go back to your ivory tower or freshman dorm.

Comment: Re:We should make it fair. (Score 1) 108

I don't know why either. All the tables, sung in a sing-song tune was part of every nursery school in India. By the time my youngest sibling went to KG classes, there were some effort to stop at 10 x 10. But there was fierce resistance from the parents. Surprise was mutual learning Koreans go up to 20 x 20.

Have you heard of fractional multiplication tables? We did them too. "Tables class" was always the hour after lunch. One student leads the class singing one line at a time, the class follows. All the class teachers would be taking a nap in the "staff room".

Comment: Re:He also wants to roll back civil rights too. (Score 1) 433

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49585741) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

The Civil Rights Act fundamentally changed the role of government in people's lives. I think the goals were noble, but the result hasn't been successful. I don't see blacks and whites living together peacefully just because of some law. Furthermore, it really impinges on people's freedom even if they are wrongheaded, which is why I think he would want it gone.

We see traffic accidents all the time. More people die in automobile accidents every year than we lost in the entire Vietnam war. Does it mean the traffic laws are not effective? That we are better off without traffic rules and lights?

Goal of the law is NOT to bring about some form of utopian society. Legal behavior is the lowest standard for people to live by. Ethical and moral behavior should be voluntary, otherwise you would be infringing on the liberty of individuals. You must always have the right to be selfish, unethical and immoral. Persuading you not to be so is not the purview of the law. It should be illegal for one individual to infringe on the liberty of another individual. That is all law can do.

Anything more, it is not possible for law. Only education, understanding, empathy developed over decades can make people of disparate background live together.

Civil rights laws forced all businesses that benefit by the existence of the government, who benefit by the laws enforced by taxes paid by all to treat all people equally. If white people who were used to privilege, advantages etc before refused to play, if they kick scream and belly ache, it is their problem, not the laws. Over the years lots of lots of white people have seen the fundamental justice in civil rights laws and have accepted it. It was a problem created over centuries. It will be solved over several generations.

The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Paul Erlich

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