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Comment Re:The Blame Game (Score 1) 1532

"Beyond that, failure to raise the ceiling would mean missed payments on existing U.S. government debt. And that might have terrifying consequences."

According to what I was told yesterday, this is unconstitutional. Debt payments _will_not_ be missed.

It would seem that Krugman is basing his entire article on incorrect information. The dollar will not become insolvent. The stock markets may crash, but that would only be due to canceled government contracts and 800 000 people out of governmental work.

Comment Re: Sounds good to me (Score 2, Informative) 555

"Brewed coffee should be enjoyed immediately!
"Pour it into a warmed mug or coffee cup so that it will maintain its temperature as long as possible. Brewed coffee begins to lose its optimal taste moments after brewing so only brew as much coffee as will be consumed immediately. If it will be a few minutes before it will be served, the temperature should be maintained at 180 - 185 degrees Fahrenheit. It should never be left on an electric burner for longer than 15 minutes because it will begin to develop a burned taste. If the coffee is not to be served immediately after brewing, it should be poured into a warmed, insulated thermos and used within the next 45 minutes."

Sounds like McDonalds was doing it right. I guess the woman that burned herself was unfit to experience coffee. Are you?

Comment Regexp::Assemble (Score 1) 190

Note first, I am _not_ saying to replace your call to grep with a call to perl. Perl _is_ fast on assembling strings into a great matching system, but it still takes a _very_ long time to parse, say, 65000 separate strings.

So combine them all into one. Use Regexp::Assemble. With a little bit of fidgetting, it works with GNU grep, as well. Here's an example script, that I've named regex-opt:

use strict;
use Regexp::Assemble;

my $gnu = 0;
if ((defined $ARGV[0]) && $ARGV[0] eq '-gnu') {
        $gnu = 1;

my $ra = Regexp::Assemble->new;
while () {

my $string = $ra->as_string();

if ($gnu) {
        $string =~ s/\\d/[0-9]/g;
        $string =~ s/\(\?:/\(/g;
        $string =~ s/([()?|]{})/\\$1/g;
print $string;

So, you have a file with your tens of thousands of lines of patterns to match. Ok, ./regex-opt < patterns.txt > This may work with egrep, but it's perl regex syntax, so maybe not completely -- procmail | egrep -f

With 65000 lines, GNU grep takes about half an hour for the tasks I give it. After assembling all 65000 lines into one expression, even when that expression is _megabytes_ in size, it loads quickly and has the speed of a decision tree.

So, as you accumulate new patterns, output them to a file. Also, _always_ keep your list of separate match patterns -- I'm not sure how well this package can handle reparsing a regex back into itself. Do matches like so:
egrep -f <(cat newpatterns.txt)

and once a week,
cat allpatterns.txt newpatterns.txt | regex-opt >; sort -u allpatterns.txt newpatterns.txt > temp.txt && mv temp.txt allpatterns.txt && rm newpatterns.txt

Comment So what? (Score 4, Informative) 242

So what? Concern where concern is due. Do you really think that Google is going to be fetching your phone backups, hoping for a wireless password, then driving to your house and connecting to your wifi so that they can... sniff your traffic? Impersonate you on the internet?

How does this in any way matter? even if the password _were_ encrypted, it's reverseable encryption -- it _has_ to be. So they could just decrypt it, anyway. This is the same as on Windows: you can get a wireless key viewer that gives you the password of every network that Windows has memorized. Further, your computer is probably a great deal more accessible to anyone, especially those who are interested in your wireless network, than Google's phone backups.

As for those who are going to say, "Let the user encrypt it with a password!" ... most don't do that. Most people won't put one in, many will forget it if they do, you can't link it to a phone identifier because part of the purpose is in case the phone is lost, and part of the functionality is syncing to Google services -- so it has to be decrypted anyway. Wake me up again when Google syncs all the pictures you've taken with your camera to Picasa and posts them on your auto-created Google+. That'll be a fun day.

Comment Re:Gravitational time dilation (Score 1) 412

Interesting. You've provoked a response from me, a theoretical hobbyist. :-)

Matter reaching a black hole: by the laws of relativity, which I only know in a casual sense, the matter should become ever close to the event horizon, where all the disassembly and modification will occur. As the matter hits the speed of light, either while orbiting or sinking through the event horizon, the relativistic effects mean that the matter will require an infinite amount of time to change _internally_ -- but externally, from our view, it reaches the speed of light and proceeds into the block hole.

So basically, whatever particle that's entered the event horizon or met the speed of light just before it will not change after it's inside the black hole. But at that point it's pure energy, anyway -- what happens at this matter -> energy conversion stage, who knows. (Does the energy contain a complete snapshot to be able to return to exactly the same state of matter should it be slowed down?) The more interesting result here, I think, is that a black hole is made of dense _energy_, not matter. At least, it was converted to energy at the event horizon and perhaps mashed back to matter at the singularity. Probably a quasi big bang soup-like-state, if anything.

Second, gravitons escaping: I came across an article recently, which I can't find now. It went over subatomic particles, how they interact, what they interact with, etc. Photons are force-carriers that do not interact with other photons. But photons _do_ interact with electrons and other subatomic particles and force carriers. Gravity interacts with basically everything, including the Higgs and photons. It's probable that gravitons do not interact with gravitons, and so there is nothing restricting gravity from exiting a black hole.

More interestingly, if gravitons interact with everything _except_ gravitons, then how are gravitons not blocked after they interact with _one_ thing, such as how we can put up basically anything as a wall against photons? The denser the item, the more photons are blocked. I believe this would apply to anything -- like with neutrinos, put a denser block, and you capture more of them. Except with gravity. It seems to hit the object, interact, and keep on going. (Maybe they just interact far more weakly than any known neutrino, and so many, many, MANY interact, and many magnitudes of order more make it through the object. Perhaps we _could_ place a wall against gravitons. I fear the resultant energy exerted on such a wall.)

SINCE gravitons interact with the matter _and_ energy in the black hole, it would seem the gravity, too, should never be able to escape -- but it does. But then, it feels like the gravity holding a planet together should interact with the planet, and never escape. But it does. Something feels wrong with the graviton.

My personal conundrums: the LHC creators said that any black holes created by the LHC would instantly evaporate. How? If nothing can escape a black hole, then the only energy that can be emitted from a block hole is the gravitons. But how can you get so many gravitons from even a small black hole that it will dissipate in a short time? It sems like even for infintessimally small black holes, it would remain around long enough to interact with _something_ -- and if it interacts with _anything_, then it has that much longer to achieve what it already has -- interaction with something else. Clearly this did not happen, which to me would suggest that there are no black holes. But how can they say that the black holes would evaporate?

Comment Re:missing option (Score 3, Informative) 321

4. ..... Don't apply solder to the iron; apply it to the heated work.....

This is the single most worthless thing that is _always_ said. You even contradict it in the sentence before you said this, however given you say this and _everyone_ else says this, this is what will be remembered.

I can put a hot iron against a component and put solder against the other side of the same component, and it will just sit there all day and do _nothing_. You should _not_ apply solder to the component, you should apply solder to a liquid pool of solder. When you have enough on the tip, it should flow to the component, around the lead, over the pad, and seal the connection. With flux, this happens easily, quickly, and in a very pretty manner.

Granted, I selected "competent" rather than "BGA Chef" because I tend to apply too much solder, but touching the solder to the component does not work. If you're starting out, get that thought out of your head now.

8. Use flux. Get a 2$ tub of flux off one of the chinese deal sites (dealextreme, dhgate), and USE IT. It makes a WORLD of difference, both when soldering and desoldering. (You can't use solder wick without flux, In my experience. No one ever told me that, and I could never get wick to work well, so I gave up on solder wick and bought a desolder station long before I discovered the benefits of flux.)

Then there are the Hyper power supplies that die and I bring home from work. 60W iron, large tip, and that desolder station can't melt a single solder joint, regardless of size. geez. So much for salvaging those components. (Maybe if I add solder _and_ add flux.. hmm. But the components just aren't valuable enough for me to waste so much solder.)

Comment Slashdot Market Research (Score 2) 464

The whole article is worded as though written by an advertiser. This is nothing but Slashdot Market Research. Either it will be a hit business article, "What Not to Try and Virtualize, Straight from the Engineers" or research into how segments of the industry can convince you to virtualize that anyway.

Must be nice, buy one website and you end up with a corralled group of wise and experienced IT gurus. Then slaughter them like sheep. This post was nothing but Market Research. Move along.

Comment Re:RTFA (Score 5, Informative) 453

This happened to me. Around October last year, I logged in, checked e-mail, and left the tab to do something else. About 20 minutes later, I went back to the tab, clicked Inbox, and... nothing happened. Clicked a few more things, nothing expected was happening. Hit refresh, was redirected to the login page. This is _not_ typical.

When I logged in again, I had 30 bounceback e-mails. I checked sent items, I had 50 new sent e-mails, about 5 addresses each, to my entire contact list with a slew of bad URLs. A couple people contacted me about it. I checked the sent e-mail headers, and the sending IP had an address from Russia, China or some such.

Compromised password? Not likely -- the password on my e-mail is completely unique, had never been used anywhere else, greater than 10 characters, computer-generated. I never type it on public machines, and hadn't used Hotmail on anything but my work machine, home machine (Gentoo) and Ubuntu box in... a long, long time. They would've needed a keylogger to get it. I scanned my work machine for viruses. Nothing. Perhaps there's an Ubuntu bug that somehow got exploited on me, but that box has never connected directly to the internet.

I did some research, and the best that I could come up with is a 2011 attack where if an attacker sent you a bad URL, and you opened the e-mail, they could get your session cookie, log in and act like you. That is the _only_ thing that I found. But it was supposed to be fixed earlier in the year, and I don't recall opening any odd e-mails -- clearing the junk folder, seeing the subject, but not opening them. A few from expected sources, sure, but nothing that struck me as odd.

So I changed my password and immediately stopped using the Hotmail web interface. The problem has not recurred, so suggests it's not an Ubuntu bug. This suggests, then, that there is still a session-hijacking bug in Hotmail somewhere that persists to today.

Don't always assume it's user error if you can't figure out the flaw.

Comment Re:Private BSE Testing (Score 2) 274

[The "rapid" BSE test in question] can detect abnormal prions only if they exist in a relatively high concentration, and abnormal prions typically reach detectable concentrations only two to three months before an animal exhibits observable symptoms. The incubation period for BSE (i.e., from infection to observable symptoms) is two to eight yearsâ"the average being five yearsâ"and cattle younger than thirty months are rarely symptomatic. Because most cattle for slaughter in the United States go to market before they are twenty-four months old, ...

Asked what scientific evidence he could give to reassure the public that a negative BSE test result was not a "false negative," Schimmel replied: "Nobody can do that." The report said it is usual for all biochemical tests used in medicine or animal welfare to be assessed against hundreds or even thousands of different samples to test how sensitive they are at detecting "true" negatives, and how specific they are at determining "true" positives.

However, this has not been done with any of the Commission-approved BSE tests, used in the context of assessing whether an apparently healthy animal is incubating the disease.

Comment Only restrict, never grant. (Score 5, Insightful) 234

"This is SOPA being passed in smaller chunks."

So long as all law is made solely to restrict people and _never_to recagnize rights or prevent abuses such as this, it will just be attempt after attempt until a given law passes. It is absolutely inevitable.

Congress must enact law that supercedes any prior or later law indicating that personal communications CANNOT be intercepted with anything short of a court order. This, for the various things that are trying to be passed now. Only when they have to fight for the revokation of these protective laws before they can bribe their desired laws into affect will we be in any way safe.

But it'll never happen.

Comment SO WHAT (Score 1) 747

I'm seriously looking for jobs outside this country (anyone in Sweden need an IT worker that can fill just about any role but Senior?), but this one, in particular, strikes me as "SO WHAT?"

Seriously. Is your manly body so private that another man cannot lay eyes upon it? Is your womanly body so special that a female officer must not gaze upon you? As you're in the process of being thrown into a cell?

What the hell is all this nonsense about nudity? It's a damn body. The person examining you has one just like it. Get the hell over it.

Move on with ACTUAL rights violations, like being arrested without being charged.

Comment Impulse buys: cheap, network games in-store (Score 1) 351

They should allow the in-store tryout and purchase of the cheap *-Network-only games. Those are games people don't see anywhere else, can't rent, and they're cheap enough to be impulse buys. Tack a dollar or two on, specify login name as a "Buy For" option, all the payment goes through Microsoft/Sony/whatever, and ends up on the user's machine at home when they turn it on.

It's a whole area that isn't available to any retailers that they should be clamoring for the ability to sell to. Provide all of them as playable demos on the special demo boxes, or with store credentials. The people can play for 5 minutes or something before a game over or level end, maybe. Instantly switchable between games, with no downloads required in-store -- it can already be there.

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