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Comment: Re:child casualties (Score 2) 812

by DRJlaw (#47562879) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

Can someone explain what is happening in that video? I see some children, and an old guy ducking down below then, and someone setting up some piece of equipment I don't recognize. Call me naive, call me stupid, whatever: but seriously, please explain.

The kindhearted individual in the front at 0:08 drops a sizable mortar down a mortar tube and runs for the hills. The next :20 consist of the children and old guy waiting for the mortar to drop the length of the tube and the time delay fuse to expire. At 0:28 the mortar fires, apparently correctly, launching the mortar in the general direction of the kindhearted individual's target.

Of course, if the mortar fired incorrectly or exploded within the tube, that clearly visible collection of children would likely be within the shrapnel zone. Funny how the old guy appears to be keeping them there.

Also of course, if you want to destory the mortar, you're faced the with small problem that you have children gathered within the blast radius of your tank shell, opposing mortar, guided demolition unit (a.k.a air-dropped bomb), or the like.

So that would be what's happening in that video.

The set up and take-down time for that mortar system are also substantially longer than the recorded :30.

Comment: Re:1 or 1 million (Score 4, Insightful) 270

by DRJlaw (#47540861) Attached to: Verizon Now Throttling Top 'Unlimited' Subscribers On 4G LTE

Unlimited bandwidth is not possible. You can make it illegal all you want. It doesn't trump physics.

Nobody sane claimed that Verizon was offering unlimited bandwidth. Bandwidth was quite obviously limited to 3G speeds, and then subsequently LTE speeds.

Verizon offered unlimited "data," as in no artificial limit on the amount of data that you could download using that bandwidth. Verizon subsequently imposed artificial limits on the amount of data that users could download per month on other plans. Verizon is now limiting bandwidth based upon the amount of data one has downloaded combined with a somewhat arbitrary measure of congestion -- they don't bother to specify what utilization threshold a cell base station has to cross to be considered "congested" so as to trigger the limitation.

Physics has nothing to do with that limitation. Physics does not dictate that a shared resource be preferentially allocated to those not on an "unlimited" plan because the provider quite badly wants to push users onto pay-per-quantity plans without taking the PR hit necessary to actually terminate the now month-to-month unlimited contracts.

Comment: Re:not likely (Score 1) 200

by DRJlaw (#47536627) Attached to: Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

You're missing the fact that revek is part of a microISP which serves a county that has a population of about 20,000, out of a county seat with a population of about 10,000.

Netflix is somehow responsible for his cost issues with buying bandwidth from a real telecommunications company, and his lack of scale sufficient to justify co-locating a content server to serve such a small population.

Comment: Re:not likely (Score 2) 200

by DRJlaw (#47536533) Attached to: Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

They are dreaming. We are thinking about throttling them here right now. Why should we let all those other sites suffer due to one service using nearly 75% of our bandwidth. Let them fix their busted streaming model to include some caching ability.

They colocate content servers with telecommunications providers. Just not with podunk microISPs who boast that they host seven whole websites.

Throttle Netflix and you can kiss your residential customers (if you have any substantial number) goodbye. You don't have the scale or technology required to create a virtual monopoly around your customers. They'll drop you in a heartbeat in favor of the next service to offer DSL or point-to-point wirless.

Comment: Re:PCI-DSS (Score 1) 217

Who says they're holding the PAN in plaintext? They can decrypt it to send it to the Feds as needed without keeping it in plaintext in their systems.

So your argument is that they're reconstructing the PAN within the remarks section of the PNR by inserting decrypted credit card information back into the record?

I was most surprised to see my credit card detailsâ"full card number and expiration dateâ"published unredacted and in the clear. Fortunately, that credit card number has long expired, but I was nonetheless appalled to see it out there. American Airlines, which had created that particular PNR in 2005, did not immediately respond to my request for comment on how or why such detailed personal information would show up here. (In other instances, the majority of the number was Xâ(TM)d out.)

And they're doing it voluntarily...

Line 4 revealed my long-expired and since changed credit card number, in full. As a security precaution, we've redacted it here.

[Cannot link directly to first PNR graphic in TFA, but look at lines 4 and 5] And they're doing it in a field/line that looks like it cannot be differentiated from the immediately following name information...

Pull the other leg.

Comment: Re:String theory is not science (Score 1) 147

by DRJlaw (#47494745) Attached to: Can the Multiverse Be Tested Scientifically?

No, it's a computer model. A compute model is often (in engineering for example) a conceptual representation of real entities. However in many cases the model is more a conceptual representation of the biases and assumptions of the people who made it, being unreal in that sense. It isn't science and math isn't science either.

But it is. Both.

You've confusing hypothesis with observation. This does not purport to be observation. This is an element of the hypothesis -- identifying what sort of tests and observations might be performed, so that the tests can be performed and/or the observations scheduled. Actual tests. Actual observations. Outside of the computer model.

I.e., this is a computer-assistend Gendankenexperiment, similar to other more simple ones which came before which came before.

From TFA:

"Weâ(TM)re trying to find out what the testable predictions of (the multiverse) would be, and then going out and looking for them," said Matthew Johnson of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

"We start with a multiverse that has two bubbles in it, we collide the bubbles on a computer to figure out what happens, and then we stick a virtual observer in various places and ask what that observer would see from there," said Johnson.

So yes, it is science. The fact that you cannot invest 5 minutes of your time to understand it is your flaw, not theirs.

Comment: Re:Really people? (Score 4, Insightful) 139

by DRJlaw (#47486673) Attached to: Google To Stop Describing Games With In-App Purchases As 'Free'

They're free for you the end user.

So you agree that they're free in the sense that everyone in the discussion has been using the word "free."

So no, those things you listed aren't free.

I'm confused. You admitted that they're free "for you." Who has been arguing that they are costless for all? Who has defined "free" as costless for all? How do you reconcile costless for all with "free for you?"

Actually, I'm not confused at all. You've constructed a pseudo-syllogism using a false proposition in an attempt to belittle the GP while making yourself feel authoritative and smart.

Free doesn't mean what you think it means. You're not even a pedant, you're simply wrong. Go away.

Comment: Re:What (Score 3, Informative) 249

You do realize that a logo is a trademark issue, not copyright, and trademarks don't expire as long as they are in use?

You do realize that trademark law concerns the exchange of goods and services, not the appearance of symbols on sculptural works constructed as permanent momuments to the dead, don't you?

Copyright is one of the few things that DC Comics could plausibly assert if this is a one off produced by an artist -- i.e., the logo does not attempt to designate a good, service, or source of such goods and services.

You'll notice that the summary takes a shot in saying that the logo "should be public domain," not that it is, and that DC does not actually claim that trademark law is involved. Thanks for offering the trademark theory, if only because it provides an opportunity to show non-lawyers that trademarks are not equivalent to never-expiring copyrights.

Comment: Re:um... how bout... (Score 1) 137

by DRJlaw (#47391117) Attached to: Amazon Fighting FTC Over In-App Purchases Fine

If Amazon's updates cause resetting of in-app purchase flags, learn to deal with it. Part of dealing with it is to inform Amazon that their policy is broken, but it's their policy to make; if you don't like it, move on to the next or learn how to deal with it to fit your needs.

No, it's not their policy to make. You may wish it was, but (1) that's your individual opinion, (2) that's not the law, and (3) there are quite a number of people who disagree with you which, even in a representative democracy, goes quite a way to ensuring that your opinion is unlikely to become the law.

Quite a number of states, alongside the FTC, have laws governing unfair and deceptive trade practices. They've had them for quite a long time. Your ultralibertarian viewpoint does not reflect the way the world works, or apprecitate the difficulty even above-average customers have in finding good information about how a product or service actually works before purchasing it, or consider that 'learning to deal with it' or 'moving on to the next' have substantial after-the-fact costs, or actually demonstrate why we should permit a practice like 'resetting in-app purchase flags' on a routine basis.

You're perfectly happy assigning responsibility to the parents, yet you're willing to give the manufacturer/service provider a complete pass even after parents have learned the technology they use, and used the very mechanism provided by the manufacturer/service provider to deny the ability to make such purchases, only to see their efforts actively thwarted by manufacturer once they are 'on the hook'? It makes no sense.

Although we warn people 'caveat eamptor,' we do not endorse that as an absolute governing principle of business. You can neither intentionally design in nor conceal a material product defect, whether its a lock mechanism in a car or a parental control in an app store, and expect the public to say "well we just have to learn how to deal." Once you design in that sort of mechanism, it has to actually work as a reasonable person would expect it to. Otherwise, you become liable under any governing philosophy, whether it's Austrian school laissez-faire capitalism or European-style consumer protection regulation.

Comment: Re:Faith in God (Score 1) 299

by DRJlaw (#47377217) Attached to: Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

Why does every discussion of anything nuclear related almost immediately turn into a straw man argument against some imaginary, fearful hoards of idiots?

Are you contending that the horde of idiots doesn't exist at all -- and is thus imaginary -- or that the horde of idiots is not right here right now and therefore not worth addressing, i.e., 'imaginary.'

I've never met a native Swede and none are right here right now, but I'd hardly call them imaginary.

Comment: Re:Smacks of Carmack (Score 4, Insightful) 138

by DRJlaw (#47328017) Attached to: Former NSA Chief Warned Against Selling NSA Secrets

But is *everything* they learned on the job is a secret?

1. When you've worked at a very high level the NSA;
2. When you are selling security information/services; and
3. When your asking price is far higher than competitive services by people who've worked at it far longer than you outside of the NSA,

What do you imagine lies in between publicly known and classified that justifies the price premium? Was he developing security procedures on his own time or at his second job?

Comment: I'm going to go buy fuel... for my meth lab. (Score 1) 380

by DRJlaw (#47327903) Attached to: New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

Many catalysts can effectively crack ammonia to release the hydrogen, but the best ones are very expensive precious metals. This new method is different and involves two simultaneous chemical processes rather than using a catalyst, and can achieve the same result at a fraction of the cost. ...

Professor Bill David, who led the STFC research team at the ISIS Neutron Source, said "Our approach is as effective as the best current catalysts but the active material, sodium amide, costs pennies to produce.

Water soluble catalyst. Which means anhydrous ammonia. Which means that your local fuel station is going to be dispensing anhydrous ammoinia in bulk to everyone with such a vehicle.

What else is anhydrous ammonia used for? I don't know... Nothing detrimental, anyway...

Comment: Re:Is it also illegal.. (Score 2) 404

by DRJlaw (#47308569) Attached to: San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

To a 3rd party observer there is no difference. Person A gives money to Person B who moves their car so A can take their spot. How are you going to prove B would have moved earlier if not for A? Reading their mind?

You're assuming a secret offer from B to A and secret acceptance from A to B. But B has published their offer on the app -- which can be shown to the third party observer -- and no mind reading is involved.

The legal basis for regulating this out of existence is, quite simply, keeping the peace.

Person C can deny person A the right to take the spot from person B. Easily. Person C can use the app to locate the parking spot, drive to it, and then refuse to move away in order to let person A assume the spot. To avoid blocking traffic, person C could even drop a passenger off at the spot to occupy it the moment that person B actually leaves, thus securing the spot for person C. Anyone can be person C simply by using the app and refusing to pay.

Oh the battles that would generate... so we don't let it. Publishing the offer to move is against the law. End of story.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll

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