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Comment: Re:Sort-of-worked. (Score 1) 45

by Bruce Perens (#49633129) Attached to: SpaceX Launch Abort Test Successful

What I am getting from the videos is that this test was a success but that there was indeed an engine failure and the system recovered from it successfully by throttling off the opposing engine. There was less Delta-V than expected, max altitude was lower than expected, downrange was lower than expected, and that tumble after trunk jettison and during drogue deploy looked like it would have been uncomfortable for crew.

This is the second time that SpaceX has had an engine failure and recovered from it. They get points for not killing the theoretical crew either time. There will be work to do. It's to be expected, this is rocket science.

It sounds to me like the launch engineers were rattled by the short downrange and the launch director had to rein them in.

Comment: Re:Free as in ads for beer (Score 1) 71

They flag git apps for having github integration with giant "promotes non-free services" ads, even if there is no actual promotion, just API support, and yet they have versions of things where the effort has been made to compile without google libs, but that still ask for device ID. For example, their version f the google sky map app, they go to the trouble to compile with certain libraries replaced, but they leave in the part where it asks for the device ID, etc. It is a totally passive app with no legit use at all for device ID. No warnings.

I've just done a search in F-Droid for 'git' and looked through all the results. I found the following:

  • Github, the "official Github Android App" has a red warning that says "This app promotes non-free network services."
  • OctoDroid, described as a "GitHub Client" (not a "git client," a "GitHub client") which says that it "supports all the basic github.com features" does NOT have a red warning.

Having never used either app I don't know how fair F-droid's choice to display the warning in one case but not the other actually was, but it at least seems plausible to me that the "official" app would be more likely to "promote" the service than other apps.

As for Sky Map, if the program is indeed using the Device Id for some nefarious purpose, I'd expect a red warning saying "this app tracks and reports your activity" (or whatever message was appropriate). In the absence of such a message, I would assume that either the app isn't actually doing anything (and the F-droid people think it's sufficient to let the Android permissions dialog handle informing the user of a permission that doesn't matter) or the lack of warning is an oversight on F-droid's part (I mean, clearly, if F-droid has an tracking anti-feature, failing to mark an app that does tracking with it is certainly a bug).

I would also say that even if we don't *know* that the app is doing something nefarious, the existence of unnecessary permissions itself merits a red warning message (or at least a yellow caution message), and would like to see such a policy/feature implemented. However, I don't think the lack of such a feature constitutes "false claims" on the F-Droid maintainers' part.

The bottom line is that if your allegations about F-droid are true, then you're justified in being upset, but I'm not sure those issues deserve to be ascribed to malice when there's still enough reasonable doubt (IMO) to ascribe them to accident.

Comment: Probability of being shot (Score 1) 193

The guy that works in the local corner store also has a non-zero probability of getting shot when he goes to work in the morning. Yes, it's terrible when bad things happen to cops, but it doesn't mean that we should ignore that a not insignificant number of bad things are committed by cops. Keep in mind that 1.4% is just reported incidents, and that there are probably plenty of "better keep quiet or you'll get a worse beating" situations out there.

Comment: Re:cheaper to get TV (Score 1) 135

by mrchaotica (#49631307) Attached to: Internet Customers Surpass Cable Subscribers At Comcast

Don't let them give you a set-top box. Make them give you a CableCard instead, and take a stand for the spirit of "any lawful device" (which should have been applied to cable companies, but hasn't).

Also, they'll tell you the box is "free," but if you swap it for a CableCard they should give you a discount.

Comment: Re:Stats (Score 1) 135

by mrchaotica (#49631253) Attached to: Internet Customers Surpass Cable Subscribers At Comcast

I'm honestly not even sure where the cable box is; I asked them not to send me one but they did anyway.

Send it back and demand a CableCard. Not only is it a good "fuck you" to those who hate the idea of people having the audacity to hook up their own equipment, it should also get you a small discount (because contrary to what they tell you, that first cable box is only "free" in the sense that the rental fee is built into the advertized price).

Comment: Re:this already exists (Score 1) 270

by ultranova (#49631227) Attached to: USBKill Transforms a Thumb Drive Into an "Anti-Forensic" Device

Which opens you up to all kinds of high circumstantial evidence prosecution. Evidence that you may have been involved in a crime coupled with a psychotic behavior in which you put your computer data at severe risk to handle an unexpected seizure?

How do they prove removing the USB drive caused the shutdown? The script is on the computer and thus unvailable with all other data. The USB drive itself can contain any data, giving you a perfectly nonpsychotic reason to keep it attached to your wrist.

Comment: Re:Because of the action of a few ... (Score 3, Insightful) 174

by Zak3056 (#49628769) Attached to: French Version of 'Patriot Act' Becomes Law

hell, name ANY religion that has changed even one bit since its creation.

I'm going to ignore the rest of your post (sorry, not jumping into THAT quagmire) and nitpick the above. The answer is "pretty much all of them." In fact, it's especially odd that you said this in a post about islam, which claims that their god is the same god ("of abraham and isaac") worshiped by both the christians and the jews. If that's not enough example of a change for you, when's the last time you saw a bunch of orthodox jews sacrifice an animal to yahweh? I won't even go into the changes that roman catholicism has seen over the last two millennia, but suffice to say that the current pope would probably be burned for heresy by his predecessors of just a century or two ago.

Religions, like everything, change over time. Changes can be small, or large, but they're always there.

Comment: You can't record changes in the treay (Score 2) 150

If the version presented to the Congress member has substantial changes written in, just for that Congressman, or if the treaty is modified without notification, then what the Congressman thought they were agreeing to will not match what the treaty. That is _begging_ for abuse, much like a recent project I saw where the code compiled by the developer bore only a passing resemblance to what was in the source control and which had been planned for release.

Comment: Re:Makes sense (Score 2) 135

Police can't normally walk away from the scene, and they are compelled to attend in the first place. That does not mean I support this law, but police injury rates are _much_ higher than most work. According to http://www.governing.com/gov-d..., they're only surpassed by nursing care, and I can easily believe that.

Comment: Re:News? (Score 1) 408

by ultranova (#49626453) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

About a third of the population is simply incapable of abstract reasoning. If you think otherwise, I invite you to come to my house, and I will give you a free dinner while you explain "vectors" to my 15 year old daughter.

"15 year old" and "daughter" are abstract concepts. It's not possible to use English, or any language for that matter, without capability for abstract reasoning. So if your daughter can talk, she can reason; whether she wants to is another matter.

Most people simply have no use whatsoever for abstract math, so they won't put in the effort needed to become good or even passable at it. That's all there is to it.

"Oh what wouldn't I give to be spat at in the face..." -- a prisoner in "Life of Brian"