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Comment: Re:Old (Score 1) 541

by hitmark (#48643483) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

If only. The whole concept hinges on there being mental tasks that only a human brain can perform.

Except that even the lower rungs of those are now being automated. Things like the task of sorting through the reams of paperwork that is the building block of a lawsuit. Normally a task of a near army of paralegals. These days you can get a computer to do it.


Comment: Re: How soon? (Score 1) 133

by hitmark (#48642689) Attached to: The Beatles, Bob Dylan and the 50-Year Copyright Itch

That was perhaps the Statute of Anne take. But the version we have now globally is that merged with the French "rights of the author". This is where the whole life+X comes from, as the French worried about the authors social rights. That is, the right to control in what context ones creation is used. Don't want your play or similar be associated with a certain dictator, deny anyone that want to use it in his honor. Never mind that those laws came into being when you were lucky to live past 40 with your health intact.

Comment: Re:Old (Score 3, Informative) 541

by hitmark (#48642621) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Yeah, the modern statistical definition of "unemployed" is "having been actively searching for work in the last week before survey, and is willing to take the first job that they find". If you don't fill those criteria then you are not statistically speaking unemployed, but at the same time you are not employed either. From the point of view of the unemployment statistics, you basically don't exist.


Tor Network May Be Attacked, Says Project Leader 84

Posted by timothy
from the routing-around-the-routing-around dept.
Earthquake Retrofit writes The Register is reporting that the Tor Project has warned that its network – used to mask peoples' identities on the internet – may be knocked offline in the coming days. In a Tor blog post, project leader Roger 'arma' Dingledine said an unnamed group may seize Tor's directory authority servers before the end of next week. These servers distribute the official lists of relays in the network, which are the systems that route users' traffic around the world to obfuscate their internet connections' public IP addresses.

Comment: Re:Quite possibly the stupidest vulnerability ever (Score 1) 116

by dissy (#48629893) Attached to: Grinch Vulnerability Could Put a Hole In Your Linux Stocking

"Oh no, Linux includes a "wheel" user group by default that grants superuser privileges to users in it! And someone could possibly add themselves to that group and gain root access!"

Or put another way:
"Oh no, Windows includes an "Administrators" group by default that grants superuser privileges to users in it! And an existing administrator could possibly add themselves to that group and gain administrator access!"

Agreed, stupidest vulnerability ever.

Comment: Makes me wonder (Score 1) 198

by causality (#48617171) Attached to: NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

Since the atmospheric pressure at the surface is 92 times that of Earth, and the surface temperate is over 450 degrees C, the probes we've sent to Venus haven't lasted long. The Venera 8 probe sent back data for only 50 minutes after landing.

What would it take to create a probe that could survive these conditions and send back data indefinitely? Is it even currently possible to engineer electronics that can either operate at those temperatures or be insulated and cooled sustainably? If you had infinite funding and the best engineers in the world, how would you even begin to address this?

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 440

by causality (#48612763) Attached to: Federal Court Nixes Weeks of Warrantless Video Surveillance

It's certainly feasible. It takes political will, but more importantly it takes _Money_. All of that stuff is going to cost money. It's not so simple a matter as saying "Well we already spend $X on Y, let's put it on Z instead." You have to house those soldiers and feed them. Field operations are an increased cost over using the established housing and facilities on their old bases. Trucks using fuel moving food/water/etc.

If you understand how federal politics and the well-connected military-industrial complex actually works, you would know that costing lots of money would make it MORE likely, not less.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 440

by causality (#48612735) Attached to: Federal Court Nixes Weeks of Warrantless Video Surveillance

Because it's impossible to secure 3,000 miles of border, and he would just sneak back in if that's all we did.

Pardon me, but that's bullshit.

Let's just take the forces we already have today. We have 1.4 Million in active duty military personnel and 850,000 reserves. Obviously we can't take every single one, so let's take half: 1.1 Million people. Now stick them on a 3-man rotation minus 1/3 for duty rotations and leave and spread them out across the 1,954 mile border with Mexico. That puts 125 people plus their equipment per mile of border, plus all their R&D budget going into technologies to increase protection. Those personnel aren't just idle all day....

Are you sure those personnel aren't just idle all day?

No, that's not a stupid question. I'm asking this because of your assumption that 1.1 million active duty personnel are doing jack shit right now, and thus have plenty of time to go pull guard duty.

It's not like they're maintaining a global presence or anything...

Yes, a global presence, especially (though not exclusively) because we just insist on constantly fucking with the Middle East. If we didn't have such a global presence feeding the military-industrial complex, we would have plenty of personnel to deal with the real national security issue of a wide-open border. We'd have far fewer enemies that way as well, but then the anti-terrorism propaganda would have to find another issue to excuse draconian laws.

The USA is a military and economic empire that doesn't like to call itself an empire because that might sound bad.

Comment: Re:So if I've got this right... (Score 1) 440

by causality (#48611235) Attached to: Federal Court Nixes Weeks of Warrantless Video Surveillance

So your premise is that all drug laws should be abolished/not enforced. Sorry but I only partially agree. Certain drug laws, marijuana for example, are overreaching. Other drugs do cause harm to society.

If the laws prohibiting those drugs actually made them unavailable to would-be users, then and only then would I see your point. They're failing to do so, have always failed, and will continue to fail for the foreseeable future. These are simply facts and these facts are not controversial at all. As I said, even in the highly secured, scrutinized, searched, regimented environment of a prison, where all the variables favor the people trying to prevent drug use, not even in those places can we keep drugs out. One way or another, they continue to be smuggled in.

What these drug laws are accomplishing is the enrichment of violent gangs/cartels, for whom the illicit status of drugs means far greater profits. Even the occasional large drug bust just amounts to less competition, and it's generally not the big kingpins who are bearing the risk. What the prohibition laws also accomplished is the steady buildup of a police state and the erosion of the 4th Amendment. The asset forfeiture laws alone are an abomination in any country that even pretends to be a free society. All of this is caused by trying to enforce an unenforcable law. It's the only outcome that can be expected from trying to do so.

I agree but some drug consequences are not confined to consenting adults. Some drugs cause people to be unable to hold jobs, cause them to commit crimes to support their habit, etc. I realize that alcohol does similar things but to a much lesser extent. The percentage of productive crackheads is much less than the percentage of productive alcohol use. The consequences of this drug use is spread to the rest of society in welfare costs, health costs, insurance costs, policing costs, etc.

Again if the prohibition were actually capable of stopping the drug use, this would be a legitimate concern. The policing costs could be eliminated entirely. Legal drugs would cost far less per dose, removing much of the incentive for addicts to rob and steal from others, reducing crime. Hell, state governments could give away free drugs to addicts and it would cost less than what we're doing now, both monetarily and socially. The reason productive crackheads are less common than productive alcoholics is that the alcoholic can easily purchase his drug anywhere and can afford it since it's legal and cheap. The other costs you mention like welfare, health, and insurance are effectively fixed costs, because right now anyone who really wants drugs can get them.

The best way to reduce the harm caused by irresponsible drug use is to treat it as a public health issue, not a law-enforcement issue.

The issue is around the word "unreasonable" which can be interpreted differently by different people. What is unreasonable to one person may be reasonable to another. Too many people seem to interpret this an "any search without a warrant" but that is not what the Constitution says.

Indeed, unfortunately that isn't what the Constitution says, but it would be wonderful if we actually had a pro-freedom Supreme Court to make such a ruling. These days the Court is little more than a mouthpiece articulating bullshit justifications for what the police are going to do anyway in order to create the appearance of legitimacy. Also, if drugs were legal and regulated, the incentive for the vast majority of police searches would disappear, as the vast, vast majority of prisoners got there because of drug charges. Then most searches would be for important things like murder weapons, not for unimportant and futile things like trying and failing to tell adult people how to live.

What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind. -- Thomas Hewitt Key, 1799-1875