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Comment: Re:Wrong Title (Score 4, Insightful) 499

But, hey, Bush was in business with the family of OBL ... so he was a terrorist too, right?

And, as the Republicans used to repeatedly hammer us over the head with, Obama was a member of an organization that included Weather Underground co-founder Bill Ayers. While I'm no supporter of Bush, this kind of thing could get almost anybody.

Comment: Lack of backup (Score 1) 194

by 14erCleaner (#47756179) Attached to: $75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen
From an alternative story:

"[Getting a new prosthetic hand and iPod configured to work together] takes a long time," Eberle told the San Antonio Express-News. "It's tedious and it's a lot of work with the hand itself."

So in fact, another ipod could work, but it has to be trained first. A good backup of the training data should allow a new ipod to be set up quickly, but it sounds like they didn't do that.

Comment: Re:And less than four years later... (Score 1) 211

by 14erCleaner (#47505119) Attached to: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45
Space travel is a big dead-end. Outside of sci-fi, nobody really wants to live in anyplace remotely as horrible as the friendliest of non-Earth planets. Think about the worst places on Earth: summit of Everest, South Pole, bottom of the ocean, middle of the Sahara. All of those places look like Eden compared to the nicest environment available within 10 light-years of here. Get real - we're stuck with our one Earth, and we should take care of it.

Comment: Limited Imagination (Score 1) 97

by 14erCleaner (#47503337) Attached to: UEA Research Shows Oceans Vital For Possibility of Alien Life
This result (which basically says that any planet with life has to look like ours) reminds me of an article I read long, long ago speculating on what ETs would look like. The author basically concluded that they'd have to look exactly like us, i.e. two arms, two legs, head on top with two eyes and a mouth and a nose, etc., and he had arguments for why each of these things was necessary. Of course, almost none of the thousands of other species on Earth look exactly like us, but that didn't faze him in the least in his application of logic...

Why does everyone always assume that life requires water, anyway? Couldn't there be a planet out there infested with silicon-based life forms who live at 300 degrees Celsius, or whatever?

Comment: Re:Turing test not passed. (Score 1) 285

So now anything we understand is not intelligence???

When I was in grad school back in the 80's, I knew a guy who was researching AI. He complained that as soon as some technique was understood, people would say it wasn't AI any more, so as a result the AI profession as a whole never got much credit for advancing.

Comment: Re:How to prove the source code maps to the binary (Score 1) 178

The other way to hide the backdoor is to make it a hard to find bug. Plausible deniability is quite high.

Reading a huge codebase is an unlikely way to spot backdoors anyway. After a few thousand lines the reader's eyes would glaze over, and anything subtle would be missed. This isn't as easy as looking for two-digit year fields a la Y2K reviews.

Besides, the Heartbleed bug should have been a clue that open source alone doesn't make security issues "transparent". Somebody has to both read and understand the code to detect these things, and an OS like WIndows is so huge that nobody can understand the whole thing. Even a relatively small, specialized module like OpenSSL slid by for years without anybody noticing the problem.

Many people are unenthusiastic about their work.