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Comment: First in what? (Score 1) 228

by istartedi (#48429371) Attached to: Does Being First Still Matter In America?

First in what? What's the prize?

If the prize is just throwing money down a hole on hardware that will be obsolete the moment it's deployed, then let the other guys win.

If the prize is getting accurate weather forecasts at the lowest cost, then maybe we'd be better off contracting from those countries, using spare cycles from other government agencies that are wasteful and counterproductive (cough, NSA, cough), or writing better software to run on the other guy's hardware and licensing it to them.

The second approach won't allow us to thump our chest and say, "computer that required 10 new hydro-electric dams! BOOYAH! fastest in the WORLD!!!" but it'll accomplish a meaningful goal.

Comment: Re:I have a revolutionary idea.... (Score 1) 163

by istartedi (#48420891) Attached to: Bicycle Bottle System Condenses Humidity From Air Into Drinkable Water

I bet you even want to make water available at no charge. You probably think it should just gush freely at the push of a button for anybody. You probably think government funded agencies should install such devices at locations where people are likely to be thirsty. Communist. /sarc.

Comment: When theory conflicts with observation (Score 2) 315

When theory conflicts with observation, You have two choices. You can modify your theory to fit the observation, or your observations to fit your theory. The first choice is what we generally regard as science. The second choice occurs in a number of circumstances including, but by no means limited to: religion, politics, mental illness, and general stupidity.

Note, checking to make sure that your observations are accurate is not the same thing as modifying them. "Did I fail to see the gorilla?" is valid when theory indicates gorillas should be present. "I saw a gorilla because my guru said I should" isn't.

Comment: Separate the hidden service from the tor daemon (Score 1) 106

by KiloByte (#48406145) Attached to: Tor Eyes Crowdfunding Campaign To Upgrade Its Hidden Services

Rule #1 that should be enforced: contrary to all popular docs, the hidden service should never, ever, be on the same logical machine as the tor daemon. The latter needs connectivity to arbitrary IPs, which means as soon as any part of the service is pwned -- or just sports a data leak -- the bad guys can learn who you are. If the hidden service machine doesn't know its IP nor other kinds of data that can be used to identify it, it can't leak that.

This won't avoid traffic analysis, but (most likely) the majority of hidden service breaches so far has been done by exploiting some bug in a http daemon and making it query http://home.spooks.gov/ outside tor.

Comment: The one thing I still use YouTube for (Score 1) 104

by istartedi (#48378007) Attached to: How YouTube Music Key Will Redefine What We Consider Music

The one thing I still use YouTube for is music. Sometimes you just get an album cover and the song. Sometimes lyrics. Sometimes you get the original video, if it hasn't been taken down. If they put all that behind a paywall, I'll do without for a while and then chose something else that's music-only. The video was just a nice add-on.

I was never a heavy participant on YouTube, uploading just a couple rather lame videos before... wait for it... Google demanded my phone number. That's what made me stop logging in. I just didn't have that desperate a desire to participate

So. Real ID turned me into a passive user. Demands for money will just make me go away.

Comment: Be a rock, the river of fashion flows around you (Score 1) 176

by istartedi (#48357201) Attached to: The Math Behind the Hipster Effect

I gave up on conformity a long time ago (I suck at it) but I didn't strive to be a non-conformist (I would have preferred to be normal).

Result? I've found that the opinions of others are all over the map. I stand still, they do the moving.

For example, there was a time when everybody was wearing these glasses with really narrow lenses, like horizontal strips of glass. I hated them. I wanted the kind of glasses I've always worn--thick frames, big lenses.

I get out to California, and for a year or two, people were complimenting my glasses.

Now nobody says anything about them.

Crap like that. I don't care. Then there are other, far more important things that matter... and if you are true to yourself, the rest of the world may or may not like you for it; but at least you don't hate yourself.

Anyway, as for the "hipster effect", maybe it just so happens that there are only so many generic categories. The odds that you'll really stand out for anything just aren't that great. In fact, the odds that you'll even be perceived as unique aren't that great. I've had people tell me I look like somebody I know on a number of occasions over the years. It has happened when I had short hair and a mustache. It has happened when I had long hair and was clean-shaven.

I care more about the price of gas.

Felson's Law: To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

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