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Comment: Re:Copenhagen interpretation != less complicated (Score 2) 167

by ultranova (#48637585) Attached to: Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

The simplest explanation of why it's wrong is that it's Deterministic. i.e. it's part of the "Clockwork universe" and if that's true, then you do not have free will and we should all just throw in the towel now...

While we're at it, the Second Law of Thermodynamics must be wrong because I'd like a perpetual motion machine and conservation of momentum must get temporarily suspended when someone's about to be run over by a truck.

Also, determinism doesn't conflict with free will. Determinism is a concept in physics and free will is a concept in law and philosophy. If you try to contrast them, you'll end up equating free will with randomness: you didn't write your message based on your beliefs which you've formed based on your character and experience (since that would be deterministic), but rather it's the equivalent of "cat /dev/random | strings".

Determinism = fail

No, but even if it was, it in no way would disprove it.

Comment: Re:Sure... (Score 2) 267

From what I've read, the Target crack was funnelled through a 3rd party HVAC company that did not secure their systems sufficiently.

They may have done more AFTER the scripts gave them access. But it appears that the scripts gave them the initial access.

Comment: Re:Sure... (Score 4, Interesting) 269

And one of the aspects where I disagree with him:

Low-focus attacks are easier to defend against: If Home Depot's systems had been better protected, the hackers would have just moved on to an easier target.

He is phrasing it incorrectly. The attacks are scripted and BLIND. They don't attack X and skip Y if X is vulnerable. Or attack Y if X is not vulnerable. They attack A - Z regardless of the success or failure of any single attack.

And 100% agreement with your air gap recommendation.

With attackers who are highly skilled and highly focused, however, what matters is whether a targeted company's security is superior to the attacker's skills, not just to the security measures of other companies.

He's got it right there. Once you are online you can be attacked by anyone anywhere. The only advantage you have is that you control the wire in your organization. Wireless is more of a pain. But you can see every packet moving on the wire.

It is hard to put a dollar value on security that is strong enough to assure you that your embarrassing emails and personnel information won't end up posted online somewhere, but Sony clearly failed here.

In my experience, the problem is not money. The problem is EGO. Someone is always convinced that what they are doing is more important than following what the IT nerds say and they have the political clout within the company to force exceptions be made.

It is the exceptions that damage your security.

It is the exceptions that allow the easy-to-prevent attacks to get a foothold on your network. THEN the more advanced attacks are unleashed.

Comment: Re:Well, duh (Score 4, Interesting) 310

by khasim (#48636509) Attached to: The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

Well if you look at what has been "common knowledge" in SF in years past ...

And she gets her terms wrong.

Knowing that we are not alone in the universe would be a profound realization, and contact with an alien civilization could produce amazing technological innovations and cultural insights.

The universe includes all the galaxies. Our sun will probably burn out before we get a message from another galaxy. Stick to your own galaxy. That is difficult enough.

Which brings up the next error:

Even if I am wrong -- even if the majority of alien civilizations turn out to be biological -- it may be that the most intelligent alien civilizations will be ones in which the inhabitants are SAI.

SAI is her term for "superintelligent artificial intelligence". So she has just written a tautology. Unless you want to get into super-superintelligent or ultra-superintelligent.

And the rest is more of the same.

Comment: Re:Pegatron vs Foxconn (Score 1) 187

by ultranova (#48632009) Attached to: Investigation: Apple Failing To Protect Chinese Factory Workers

There is one HUGE difference between these factories and a labor camp: In a labor camp, you can't say "I quit" and walk out.

Sure you can. You'll be shot if you do, but that doesn't make you any deader than starving to death after walking out of these factories would.

Rule people through direct violence, and you'll look like a villain. Rule people through only letting them eat if they do what you want, and you'll look like a good capitalist.

Comment: Re:Should let them work inside parks. (Score 1) 68

by ultranova (#48630161) Attached to: Councilmen Introduce Bills Strongly Regulating UAV Use in NYC

The constitution exists to limit the government's power to interfere with your liberty.

Specifically, it can only do so if it thinks it's for the best ("general welfare") or might have any effect whatsoever ("interstate trade").

Only leftist idiots think that it's the government that grants you your rights.

The government doesn't grant people rights, but it oversees and manages the web of institutions which enforce them. The property rights right wing so adores don't mean a thing in a jungle.

That's 100% Nanny State backwards.

"Nanny State" exists because of Gilded Age. Every time economic controls are loosened, it leads to wealth concentration and eventual collapse. It's what's happening right now, and will only end with re-instatement of a Nanny State strong enough to enforce sufficient redistribution of income.

Comment: Re:Why virtual currencies are ineffective (Score 2) 142

by ultranova (#48628169) Attached to: Will Ripple Eclipse Bitcoin?

The competition among virtual currencies and their continuing evolution demonstrate their uselessness as stores of value.

Economic value is like potential energy: it only makes sense in the context of some system. A dollar, a bar of gold or unspent transactions in the Bitcoin ledger have no inherent value, but someone might accept any or all of them in exchange for something else. But economy is ever-evolving, and in fact currently going through a major crisis, so economic value cannot be reliably stored for any length of time. The best you can do is watch which way the changes are going and transferring value away from failing forms.

Comment: Re:I don't see the big deal here. (Score 4, Interesting) 180

by khasim (#48624921) Attached to: US Links North Korea To Sony Hacking

It's not as expensive to spend the money to properly maintain your security than it is to have it massively breached and all your data stolen.

Not as expensive if you only count money.

But in my experience, the problem is the upper executives and their insistence on special exceptions for them and their people who are doing work that is just so important that they cannot be burdened with following the security that applies to non-important people.

And I hope Sony, and all other Big Companies (tm), learn a lesson.

I think that this reinforces the wrong lesson. Everything is okay as long as you can find someone else to blame. Whether it's an employee or a hacker group or a country. The focus will be more on THEM rather than Sony executives who broke security so that they could feel more important than the nerds in IT.

Comment: Re:Home of the brave? (Score 4, Insightful) 578

by khasim (#48622319) Attached to: Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

Yep. And even more so.

If you live in the USofA then you have a larger chance of being killed by your spouse / boyfriend / girlfriend / YOUR OWN CHILDREN than by a terrorist.

Just by waking up alive you have alread beaten the "terrorist" odds today.

And in this specific case, what are the "terrorists" going to do? Steal your credit card number? Pay cash instead.

Comment: Re:Wildly premature question (Score 1) 81

by Bruce Perens (#48620117) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

If we look at jet aircraft, wear depends on the airframe and the engines, and the airframe seems to be the number of pressurize/depressurize cycles as well as the running hours. Engines get swapped out routinely but when the airframe has enough stress it's time to retire the aircraft lest it suffer catastrophic failure. Rockets are different in scale (much greater stresses) but we can expect the failure points due to age to be those two, with the addition of one main rocket-specific failure point: cryogenic tanks.

How long each will be reliable can be established using ground-based environmental testing. Nobody has the numbers for Falcon 9R yet.

Weight vs. reusable life will become a design decision in rocket design.

Comment: Re:How would a stateless society handle such tech? (Score 4, Insightful) 175

by ultranova (#48619877) Attached to: Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

As long as there are cowards, there will be people selling insurance.

As long as some entities have a higher capacity to absorb temporary setbacks than others, they can trade on this ability like any other good. But I suppose that doesn't make as good a soundbite.

Comment: Re:Does the job still get done? (Score 1) 653

by ultranova (#48618211) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Unless they get employed doing something else.

Suppose you have 10 people and 10 jobs. One job is eliminated by technology. Now you have 10 people and 9 jobs. That 1 newly unemployed dude tries to get another job, but to do so he'll have to oucompete 1 of the remaining 9 employed people out of their job. So how will he compete? Why, he'll do the job for less money. So now we have 9 people with lower average wage, and 1 unemployed dude. This merry-go-round will then continue. Also, as wages fall so will the total buying power of the workforce, which creates further downward pressure.

Capitalism cannot handle a situation where labour is not the resource that limits production. It predates Industrial Revolution, almost collapsed as a result of it, and is heading back towards the cliffs now that true believers have managed to convince themselves that the fall of Soviet Russia means revolution is no longer possible and dismantled the compensating systems.

The only real question at this point is whether it'll collapse into a dystopia where the poor are kept down by brute force, or incorporate sufficient income redistribution to guarantee a middle-class minimum income. US is trapped to the former fate by the aftereffects of Cold War rhetoric, but Europe and Japan have hope. And China, of course, is a dystopia as is.

"Remaining jobs" need not decline and it's worth noting that they actually aren't declining at present.

According to the article they do. Also, when was the last time job market was good for the employees?

Real Programmers think better when playing Adventure or Rogue.