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Comment: Re:The whole article is just trolling (Score 1) 795

by ComputerInsultant (#47966847) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything
And you are assuming that there isn't a why. If our universe is just a simulation, then we might be able to detect information outside the universe, just as computer processes can detect whether they are running on dedicated hardware or sharing hardware with other processes.

While far-fetched, we might communicate with the beings running the simulation. This would be science - based on measurements. To date we have no evidence to explain "why was the universe created?", but "It just was" is a defeatist answer that could keep us from looking deeper.

Comment: Re:The whole article is just trolling (Score 4, Insightful) 795

by ComputerInsultant (#47965105) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything
But science does not dismiss questions about why the universe was created, it merely discovers the limits of what we know. The big bang is how the universe was created. The inflation of the universe is the event that we cannot measure beyond with the tools we currently have. "Why?" is still a valid question; and science says we lack the tools to gather evidence of "why?".

Comment: Re:They're far from simple (Score 1) 37

by ComputerInsultant (#44658435) Attached to: DIY Space Suit Testing
Even when you spend all the time and money to get the right nut for a device you can learn that you did not understand the load case and environment. SpaceX lost the Falcon 1 flight 1 due to the failure of a nut. http://www.space.com/2643-falcon-1-failure-traced-busted-nut.html

The cost of space rated hardware is the cost to understand the load case, not the cost of the item.

Comment: Re:interesting take. (Score 2, Insightful) 158

The content and advertizing companies are already tracking us in ways that are frustrating and scary (https://panopticlick.eff.org/). This proposal is about making it easier for me to tell the advertizing companies what I want to see ads for. No more embarrassing ads about my fetishes when I visit amazon, firefox tells them what I want to see.

This could be a good thing.

Comment: Re:That's the way the cookie crumbles (Score 3, Interesting) 455

by ComputerInsultant (#41431397) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Fight Copyright Violations With DMCA?
In the US this would almost certainly be considered 'fair use' because it is commentary on OP's original work.

The US four factors test for fair use is largely met:
Purpose: The authors of this video have added significant commentary that was not present in OP's original work.
Nature: They are using OP's video not as a creative work, but as statements of facts to support their commentary.
Portion: They used a large percentage of OP's video, but not all. This might be an item in your favor, but since this video is low res, they used as little as they could to make their point.
Market: They are not likely to have reduced the commercial value of OP's video.

So this seems to me that this is 'fair use' of OP's video. The commentary they present is certainly utter rubbish, but the law allows people to use evidence from original works as evidence for their arguments, even rubbish arguments.

OP has already posted a comment that attests that this is an unauthorized use of his original video. That taints the authors and their message. I am not sure that any further action improves the situation.

Comment: UltraVNC SC (Score 1) 247

by ComputerInsultant (#41049629) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Options For FOSS Remote Support Software?
I've been using Ultra VNC Single Click http://www.uvnc.com/pchelpware/sc/index.html for years. It only works with Windows, but it is small, open source, and relatively secure.

1 Your support client calls you
2 You open VNC in listen mode
3 Your support client runs a custom version of UltraVNC SC that is set to connect only to you.

Easy. Fast. Cheap. And it works.

Comment: Re:public safety (Score 1) 457

by ComputerInsultant (#36636782) Attached to: Time To Close the Security Theater
So, the auto industry is still making Pintos with exploding gas tanks?

Companies can and do meet the desires of their customers when there is competition and independent data for comparison. I agree that companies do abusive things when they believe that they will not be caught or can not be economically forced to change (monopoly), but the auto industry makes cars that are much safer today largely because many consumers buy safety.

I value human life, but I understand that people make choices about safety every day. While a government regulated minimum safety level may be good public policy, companies can and will provide the safety their customers demand if customers have choice and data.

You can certainly believe that every company will screw you each chance that they get, but that level of pessimism about the actions of others will not guide you to a better situation. Certainly the article here is saying that the TSA has said "oops" with people's lives many times. It is only a lack of terrorist intent that has kept these government failures from contributing to loss of lives.

Companies are certainly out to make a buck, but perhaps the problem here is a willingness to accept government incompetence because of a fear of corporate incompetence. Personally I would rather let corporations handle security screening because the economic pressure has the possibility of making security a selling point. Economic and consumer pressure has little to no effect on government security.

Comment: Re:public safety (Score 2) 457

by ComputerInsultant (#36634652) Attached to: Time To Close the Security Theater
Lets look at safety history.

In the auto industry, the government moved first to require seat belts and passive restraints. After all the public would never buy a car with safety features. But ... after many years, we did start to see cars advertized based on their safety features. When the public values safety and can look at independent data (government crash tests, insurance claim rates) they can and do make decisions where safety is a factor and sometimes safety is the deciding factor. So a free market of security features can occur where there is competition and independent data. (The government still sets a minimum security level, but car makers routinely exceed it because it helps them make money.)

In the air line industry, El Al still runs their own security independent of the TSA. Their customers have a choice and deliberately choose to use an air line with higher security.

So tell me again, why is it that free market economics cannot drive effective and increasing security?

"In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -- Carl Sagan, Cosmos

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