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Comment: Re:Sometimes I am jealous (Score 1) 216

by HiThere (#47525327) Attached to: China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

No. That was point:
2) Sometimes the guy at the top doesn't have the best interests of the country in mind, and nobody can make him.

If you want to call that corruption you can. In my mind it merely includes corruption.

FWIW, I don't think that power corrupts, rather it's lack of consequences. This is closely related, but not the same. But it's also true that power attracts the corruptible (as a gradient). Different people are corruptible in different ways and to different degrees. And one consequence of that is that they are attracted in differing amounts to different kinds of power. The guy who's attracted to being a policeman isn't the same as the guy who's attracted to being a politician, and neither is the same as the guy attracted to being a banker.

P.S.: Yes, that's still an oversimplification. Think of it as a finger pointing at the moon. Look at the moon, not the finger.

+ - Letter to Congress: Ending U.S. Dependency on Russia for Access to Space 1

Submitted by Bruce Perens
Bruce Perens (3872) writes "I've sent a letter to my district's senators and member of congress this evening, regarding how we should achieve a swifter end to U.S. dependency on the Russians for access to space. Please read my letter, below. If you like it, please join me and send something similar to your own representatives. Find them here and here. — Bruce

Dear Congressperson Lee,

The U.S. is dependent on the Russians for present and future access to space. Only Soyuz can bring astronauts to and from the Space Station. The space vehicles being built by United Launch Alliance are designed around a Russian engine. NASA's own design for a crewed rocket is in its infancy and will not be useful for a decade, if it ever flies.

Mr. Putin has become much too bold because of other nations dependence. The recent loss of Malaysia Air MH17 and all aboard is one consequence.

Ending our dependency on Russia for access to space, sooner than we previously planned, has become critical. SpaceX has announced the crewed version of their Dragon spaceship. They have had multiple successful flights and returns to Earth of the un-crewed Dragon and their Falcon 9 rocket, which are without unfortunate foreign dependencies. SpaceX is pursuing development using private funds. The U.S. should now support and accelerate that development.

SpaceX has, after only a decade of development, demonstrated many advances over existing and planned paths to space. Recently they have twice successfully brought the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket back to the ocean surface at a speed that would allow safe landing on ground. They have demonstrated many times the safe takeoff, flight to significant altitude, ground landing and re-flight of two similar test rockets. In October they plan the touchdown of their rocket's first stage on a barge at sea, and its recovery and re-use after a full flight to space. Should their plan for a reusable first-stage, second, and crew vehicle be achieved, it could result in a reduction in the cost of access to space to perhaps 1/100 of the current "astronomical" price. This would open a new frontier to economical access in a way not witnessed by our nation since the transcontinental railroad. The U.S. should now support this effort and reap its tremendous economic rewards.

This plan is not without risk, and like all space research there will be failures, delays, and eventually lost life. However, the many successes of SpaceX argue for our increased support now, and the potential of tremendous benefit to our nation and the world.

Please write back to me.

Many Thanks

Bruce Perens"

Comment: Re:Trusting a binary from Cisco (Score 1) 186

by HiThere (#47518535) Attached to: Firefox 33 Integrates Cisco's OpenH264

I don't think you understand "trusting trust". If you have the binary, and you are verifying it. that's not the same process at all.

However, no, you can't trust it. It's not because you can't verify it, it's because you can't do it without violating their patents. Also because it's quite difficult to verify large code bases. But if I understand things correctly, even to translate the binary into assembler code would violate their patent.

P.S.: Trusting trust was about a compiler that compiled itself. And it showed that no source code inspection could reveal the inserted trojan, because the compiler binary would insert it even though it wasn't in the source code. That would be analogous if this were a code compiler that compiled itself.

Comment: Re:Cost Seems Low (Score 1) 216

by HiThere (#47518487) Attached to: China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

OK, so the first LHC cost $9billion. How much would the second one cost? I'd bet a LOT less.

OTOH, this IS a new project, not a second LHC. That probably means that they'll run into new and unexpected problems. So the estimate is almost certainly wrong, and on the low end. (Not certainly. China's been doing some work with large 3D printers that print buildings, and, I believe, also tunnel construction machinery. And almost certainly on things I haven't heard about.)

But, yeah, my guess is that the price is lowballed. This is true for most construction projects, and is NOT something special to China. If they bring it in on or under budget, THAT will be special to China.

Comment: Re:Suboptimal Design (Score 1) 216

by HiThere (#47518425) Attached to: China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

With a really large ring doesn't bremstrallung become less of a problem? And for protons that shouldn't be a problem at all.

IIRC, when the Stanford Linear Accelerator was built there were comments to the effect than a longer one would always be impractical. This is clearly incorrect, as if one were built in space there wouldn't be any curvature problems, but it may inidcate that there are severe problems with building a longer one in a strong gravitational field.

Comment: Re:Sometimes I am jealous (Score 1) 216

by HiThere (#47518405) Attached to: China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

There are two major downsides to a one-party system centrally planned economy.
1) Sometimes the guy at the top makes mistakes, and nobody who knows better can call him on them. See "Great Leap Forwards".
2) Sometimes the guy at the top doesn't have the best interests of the country in mind, and nobody can make him.

Mind you, the US recently has been exhibiting those very same problems. In the US it's fairly clear that the problem has been that:
1) Corporations are not people. They should not have rights. (The stockholders should, as should the management AS CITIZENS. But not the corporation.)
2) Plurality wins voting is solidly broken. It is just about guaranteed to result in vastly increaded corruption at the upper levels of the political process. It should be replaced by some form of majority (i.e., 50% or more) wind voting. One plausible candidate is Instant Runoff Voting. Another is Condorcet voting.
2a) Multiple political parties, as currently exists in the US and Europe, is beneficial, but only in the context of a Majority Wins voting system. When combined with a Plurality Wins voting system they merely serve to disenfranchise those unhappy with the two major parties.

Comment: Re:The flavour of sour grapes (Score 1) 216

by HiThere (#47518319) Attached to: China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

Actually China *does* have a lot of corruption. So does the US. But they have corruption in different places. (I can't speak for the EU, and I'm not even sure it's the same from country to country.)

The question is "Does China have corruption in places that would grossly interfere with the construction of a large new particle accelerator? I don't know. The US did. The Supercollider proposed location was chosen because of corruption, and the project was cancelled because of corruption. OTOH, it would have been quite expensive, and very difficult. Corruption wasn't the only factor.

Comment: Re:Privacy is dead (Score 1) 171

by HiThere (#47518217) Attached to: Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims


  I switched from MSWind to Linux back before Linux had a decent word processor, because I wouldn't agree the the MS EULA. Currently my cell phone doesn't have ANY apps, and it wouldn't support them were I willing to try to install them.
OTOH, I have som apps installed in my browser, e.g. NoScript.

But, I *do* have a Google sign-on that I occasionally use. And I rarely block it. I don't have g-mail, because I don't like giving up that much control. This doesn't fool me into thinking my email is private, but it does fool me into believing that it won't just disappear on me. (I know, however, that an email program can do that to you, and the idiot providers of the email programs don't really care about any email that's over a month or two old.) What I need is something that can export emails from the browser into a commonly used format. I CAN edit them as text, but THAT's really obnoxious.

So there are some things I will accept for some levels of intrusiveness. But not all.

Comment: Re:Slashnerds know the price. I wonder about avera (Score 1) 171

by HiThere (#47518113) Attached to: Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims

Well, OK, Google and the government. But Google won't "share" with it's partners any more than it must, because that's Google's business. What they do is say "You want to have your ad put up to this particular demographic? Great. We can do it. Cash up front." The don't sell the information, they sell access. That's a repeat business. If they sell the contact information, that's a one-time sale.

P.S.: This is just my opinion, and I have no particular inside information. But it's what makes sense to me.

Comment: Re:ads (Score 1) 171

by HiThere (#47518071) Attached to: Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims

Well, you should run a control test too. Disconnect the battery out and then walk around for twenty minutes. See if it gets hot. Of course there *IS* capacitive storage, but I doubt that they implemented that for mass market phones.

The interesting question is "What does it mean if it gets hot just from sitting in your pocket while you walk around?" (Also, are there hot spots, or is it more of a general heat.) My guess would be that in that case you have hot pants, but that wouldn't explain spots of heat rather than a more general heat.

Sorry, I can't conduct that experiment. My phone is so old that it doesn't even HAVE a GPS. I think it's even still analog transmission, though the last time I replaced it it may have gone to digital.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James