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Comment: Re:"Worth" (Score 1) 40

by Jeremi (#49524715) Attached to: I predict that by next Earth Day Bitcoin will ...

Bitcoin has no inherent worth. At least fiat currency, in physical form, can be burned for heat or used to clean-up after using the bathroom, or melted down and used for weights for fishing.

... and that's precisely why people turn to physical cash -- they never know when they will run out of toilet paper or kindling. No currency will ever be truly accepted unless/until it can also provide those vital services!

Comment: Re:Results may be interesting. (Score 1) 314

by Jeremi (#49522827) Attached to: Update: No Personhood for Chimps Yet

That's not what I call "release". That's move from one cage to another. Maybe a bigger cage, but it's still a cage. Not freedom.

They wouldn't survive in the wild, so leaving them in the wild wouldn't be freedom either, it would be a death sentence.

That doesn't mean that putting them in a humane environment isn't the right thing to do. Keeping an animal in a 4x4 wire cage for its entire life is cruel. The distinction you're trying to make (an abstract idea of "complete freedom") isn't relevant and would be meaningless to the chimp; what's relevant is the chimpanzee's quality of life.

Comment: Re:Necessary step (Score 1) 314

by Jeremi (#49520319) Attached to: Update: No Personhood for Chimps Yet

What we've learned from our history is the stronger power typically enslaves the weaker, why would you think non-terrestrial intelligence wouldn't enslave us?

Historically there has been an economic advantage to enslaving people; if you enslaved someone you could get them to do work for you, so you didn't have to do the work yourself.

A non-terrestrial intelligence, contrariwise, would either not be present on Earth (in which case it wouldn't have the ability to enslave anyone on Earth), or if it did get to Earth, it did so by harnessing enough energy to make the trip across interstellar space. Any species capable of harnessing that much energy on its own is unlikely to need to enslave anyone to get its work done. It would be like you or I 'enslaving' a hamster to generate electrical power for our house -- there's not enough benefit to make it worth the effort of doing.

Comment: Re:Matlab (Score 1) 166

by Jeremi (#49516469) Attached to: Swift Tops List of Most-Loved Languages and Tech

there has to be a good reason for it, and making it easier for bad programmers to produce more bad code is not a valid one.

If all you've got is bad programmers, and their bad code is nevertheless good enough to accomplish the tasks you need to get done, then a tool that allows bad programmers to produce more bad code may be just the thing you need. (of course some would argue that that niche is already filled by Java, but time will tell)

Comment: Re:ISTR hearing something about that... (Score 1) 150

by Jeremi (#49515815) Attached to: New PCIe SSDs Load Games, Apps As Fast As Old SATA Drives

it actually caused a bug that would crash the system

It would be more accurate to say it revealed a bug. The bug was almost certainly a race condition that had always been present, but it took particular entry conditions (such as an unusually fast I/O device that the transcoder developers never tested against) to provoke the bug into causing a user-detectable failure.

Comment: Re:Never (Score 3, Funny) 181

by Jeremi (#49454767) Attached to: Autonomous Cars and the Centralization of Driving

What's dangerous is 3,000 pounds of metal being controlled by a driver who is impaired by alcohol, drugs or messing around on their phone.

I think there will be a market niche to accommodate the previous poster -- imagine a car that works just like a traditional car, except that it refuses to run into anything. It will be analogous to a (smart) mechanical horse -- you can try to get a horse to run into a brick wall, but most horses are going to turn or stop before they break their neck. There's no reason a car couldn't do the same.

Comment: Re:Alternative title (Score 1) 297

by Jeremi (#49454327) Attached to: Would-Be Bomber Arrested In Kansas; Planned Suicide Attack on Ft. Riley

entrapment: cop walks up to suspected thief: "here's the keys to that car, it's yours to take." he takes the car. he's arrest- invalidly. he should not go to jail and he should sue the police for entrapment

entrapment: undercover agent walks up to suspected terrorist: "here's the trigger to that bomb, it's yours to detonate." he (attempts to) detonate the bomb. he's arrested -- invalidly?

Comment: Re:Where's the money going? (Score 1) 108

by Jeremi (#49451473) Attached to: ICANN Asks FTC To Rule On<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.sucks gTLD Rollout

I'm sure any company wishing to buy it from the registered owner would need to up that $2500 by at least a zero or two.

The next question to ask is, why should it bother a company so much that a domain name exists that is not under their control? (i.e. why would they feel the need to spend $2500 or more to obtain it?)

It's pretty apparent that anyone who spontaneously types that domain name into their web browser probably already feels that (companyname) sucks, otherwise they wouldn't have typed in that domain name.

The other way people would find that domain name is by entering "companyname sucks" into a search engine -- in which case they will see all the "companyname sucks" pages, regardless of where they are hosted.

It's doubtful anyone is going to mistake such a domain name for a legitimate company-owned site.

And finally, paying the $2500 is definitely not going to prevent people from saying that "companyname sucks" -- they'll just say it on some other web page, and that web page's URL will be the one that comes up when you google that phrase rather than Six of one, half a dozen of the other, AFAICT.

I'd say that if is getting a lot of traffic, that (company) might want to figure out why people think they suck and take corrective action, rather than simply trying to quash peoples' complaints.

Comment: Why is it good that certificates expire? (Score 1) 104

by Jeremi (#49426459) Attached to: Google Let Root Certificate For Gmail Expire

Sorry, I know this is a really basic question, but a quick Google search didn't turn up any satisfying answers.

The question is: why is it useful to have certificates expire after a particular amount of time? Isn't that similar to writing a program that contains a bug that will cause it to automatically stop working in (so many months/years)?

The only reason I can think of is that if the certificate was compromised this would make sure that people eventually stopped using it; OTOH if the certificate is compromised you'd want people to stop using it immediately, not wait (however many) months/years before stopping; so presumably this wouldn't be a sufficient mechanism to handle that use case anyway.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.