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Comment: Re:He's being polite. (Score 2) 101

by CrimsonAvenger (#49139973) Attached to: Schneier: Everyone Wants You To Have Security, But Not From Them

What he means to say is what most of have known in our darkest heart of hearts since the first help ticket: The vast majority of users are technically illiterate idiots, and you can't fix stupid.

Note that there is a difference between "stupid" and "ignorant".

Note that being "technically illiterate" puts you into the "ignorant" category, but that claiming that "technically illiterate" is the same as "idiot" puts you well into the "stupid" category.

Now, arguably you can claim that the vast majority of users really don't care very much about the subject at hand, which might very well move them into the "stupid" group. But being technically illiterate, in and of itself, is not a sign of "stupid"....

Comment: Long Range Foundation (Score 2) 41

by CrimsonAvenger (#49136355) Attached to: The Believers: Behind the Rise of Neural Nets

This sounds like the LRF from Heinlein's Time for the Stars.

They were required to spend their money researching things whose payback was so far in the future that no-one else would touch it.

And they kept making embarrassing amounts of money as a result of the products of their research. wonder if this lot will do the same?

Comment: Re:Nothing important. (Score 1, Offtopic) 201

by CrimsonAvenger (#49126219) Attached to: What Happens When Betelgeuse Explodes?

Says the anonymous coward while an Ebola pandemic ravages Africa.


Africa has 1.1 billion people. With an average life expectancy of 71 years. Which means about 15 million deaths per year.

Ebola has killed about 8000 people in the last 15 months.

Which means that ebola has accounted for ~0.04% of African deaths since the end of 2013.

Sorry, 0.04% of your deathrate does not a pandemic make....

Note, by the by, that there were more traffic deaths in each of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, and the United Republic of Tanzania then there were ebola deaths in all of Africa over the last 15 months.

Comment: Re:600 light years from us (Score 4, Informative) 201

by CrimsonAvenger (#49125591) Attached to: What Happens When Betelgeuse Explodes?

So, if Betelgeuse is going to explode in about 100,000 years, won't its distance to Sol have changed by then?


But not by much. It's nearly 200 parsecs away now, and it's moving at about 30 parsecs per million years. So it'll be less than 2% farther away when it booms. Much less, since its relative motion is such that most of those three parsecs will be lateral motion instead of motion away from us.

Comment: Re:Actually, ADM Rogers doesn't "want" that at all (Score 1) 399

by CrimsonAvenger (#49122397) Attached to: NSA Director Wants Legal Right To Snoop On Encrypted Data

nope. The constitution doesn't apply to citizens of other countries.

This is incorrect. More properly, the Constitution doesn't apply to people IN other countries.

That is to say, if a German comes to the USA, the Constitutional protections apply to him while he is here. But they don't apply while he's in Germany.

Comment: Re:More of this ridiculous (Score 1) 132

by CrimsonAvenger (#49118767) Attached to: Pakistanis Must Provide Fingerprints Or Give Up Cellphone

The counter to that is to steal registered cards. The counter to that is to report the cards as stolen. Counter: kill the card-owners, so they can't report the cards. Counter: police de-registers cards belonging to dead people. Counter: kidnap/disappear the card-owners. Only works until the authorities catch on in each individual case. Mitigation: keep kill/stealing. That's what terrorists do anyway, so no problem there. Problem: you're now switching numbers often. Gonna be difficult to keep your address book up-to-date.

Nah, you (the terrorist) get a perfectly normal cellphone for most business (chatting up girls, planning things, that sort).

Then, when you're ready to do an operation, you (as you point out above) kill a few people & take their phones. Then you IMMEDIATELY use them on your op. And toss them into a dumpster as you leave the op (assuming, of course, that this op is of the subset of terrorist ops that is "survivable") and go back home and get your regular phone....

Comment: Re:About right (Score 1, Informative) 241

You mean the standards set by the politicians who are paid by the private prison lobby? That's the situation we have today.

You'd think that privately run prisons are so pervasive in this country as to dominate the criminal justice (punishment) system.

Alas, fewer than 10% of the convicts in the USA are held in "private prisons"....

Comment: Re:on starting with smaller-scale albedo modificat (Score 2) 420

by CrimsonAvenger (#49111427) Attached to: What If We Lost the Sky?

People especially Americans, do not like the government telling them what they can and can't do to their own property. Also the small local governments have limited funds, such actions will mean that the local government will need to make a serious sacrifice.

Local governments can change local building codes to require all new construction to fit the guidelines for albedo modification. Done.

Yeah, it won't affect existing infrastructure, but in the long term (and with AGW we're talking long term, or should be), it'll have the desired effect.

Assuming, of course, that the albedo-modification theories are correct in the first place.

Yes, I know that modifying the albedo will do what we want. What I wonder about is whether we can effectively modify the albedo in a controlled fashion.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 253

Hmm, sounds like a variation of Smoot-Hawley in that it makes imports more expensive to the benefit of local companies.

And we all know how well Smoot-Hawley worked, right?

It should also be pointed out that Weimar Germany went that route once too. And that worked almost as well as Smoot-Hawley....

Comment: Re:Russian steep price (Score 1) 100

by CrimsonAvenger (#49104779) Attached to: ISS Crew Install Cables For 2017 Arrival of Commercial Capsules

SpaceX is going to be capable of sending seven astronauts for under $100 million. That's about $15 million per seat or 20% of what the Russians are charging.

Last numbers I saw, the Commercial Crew program was expecting to cost the government ~$58M per astronaut (plus assorted cargo), with a payload of five astronauts plus cargo per launch.

Comment: Re:One of these days Mother Nature is going to dec (Score 2) 71

by CrimsonAvenger (#49102923) Attached to: Drug-Resistant Malaria May Pose Major Threat

The WWI-1918 "Spanish Flu" was perhaps the last major pandemic, infecting 1 out of 3 people in the world and killing 10% of the world's population in about 18 months.

3% to 5% of the world's population. It killed fewer than 100 million people, possibly as low as 50 million....

You can not win the game, and you are not allowed to stop playing. -- The Third Law Of Thermodynamics