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Comment: Re:Snowden's comments at odds with his actions (Score 0) 194

by LateArthurDent (#47665481) Attached to: Snowden: NSA Working On Autonomous Cyberwarfare Bot

You think its right and normal that the NSA can spy on 7 billion souls? You re ok with that? Disgusting, you really dont belong here.

To be fair, I also think it's right and normal for foreign intelligent agencies to try spying on Americans. It's our counter-intelligence job to prevent it.

The NSA should be sure as hell trying to spy on every single non-American out there. It's their counter-intelligence job to limit it.

Comment: Re:Snowden's comments at odds with his actions (Score 1, Insightful) 194

by LateArthurDent (#47664331) Attached to: Snowden: NSA Working On Autonomous Cyberwarfare Bot

That seems amazingly charitable, considering he should really get a presidential pardon and be welcomed back as the heroic guy who did the right thing to expose law breaking and billions of constitutional violations.

If the only thing he did was expose the illegal spying being done on Americans, I'd agree with that. But he indiscriminately takes everything he can get his hands on and reveals perfectly legal programs, like this one. "Identifying and blocking foreign threats" is the NSA's job, and why wouldn't that include cyber attacks? What justification does he have for revealing this?

I think we should specifically pardon him for for the relevant whistleblowing, to encourage other people in those positions to do the right thing. But we should sure as hell prosecute him for everything else he's leaked.

Comment: Re:BLINDED BY SCIENCE !! (Score 2) 315

by LateArthurDent (#47630583) Attached to: Why the "NASA Tested Space Drive" Is Bad Science

Any 2nd year physics student should be able to laugh this garbage right off a lab bench without even running an experiment.

Any good science student should be aware that our understanding of physics changes over time. Clearly this device is unlikely because it requires a change to the "laws" of physics.

The article explains why any good scientist should be able to laugh this off based on the reported experimental results.

The problem is that the article is saying this is bad science, when it's really bad science reporting

NASA did the right thing. They tested something, they got weird results, they published it. The article points out the results were no different than the null control, and that's true, so clearly the supposed design of the drive is bullshit. What the article doesn't point out is that the interesting part is that neither of them should have shown any thrust. So something is going on that the experimenters don't understand, and they've published the results to find out why. Is it a measurement / equipment / methodology error? Probably, actually. But if you can't find the error yourself, you publish the results you get, and let your peers help you. Papers will be published criticizing their methodology if there are problems with it, or proposing reasons for why the measurements look like they do. It's a long shot, but maybe there is some effect actually happening which we don't understand, and papers will be published with possible theories.

That's not bad science. It's the definition of good science. It's bad science to imply that you should ever not publish the results you get. And it's bad science reporting to look at what NASA published and incorrectly translate it to the public as, "NASA proves impossible drive"

Comment: Re:How much is due to Congestion (Score 2) 72

by LateArthurDent (#47624733) Attached to: Expensive Hotels Really Do Have Faster Wi-Fi

If WIFI is free, everyone will use it, clogging up the pipes. If there's a charge, less people will be on, making more BW available for those who shell out the cash. I also hope that the hotels that charge use the money to miantain the infrastructure, but that's wishful thinking on my part.

On the other hand, I used to pick hotels based on my free WiFi experience. So if you charged for WiFi, I'm not paying for a room at your place. If two different places have free WiFi, but I had a flaky connection in one hotel,and an ok connection in another, that's the deciding factor. All other concerns were secondary.

Of course, I would also have considered the case where the $10 a day a hotel would charge for WiFi would make up the difference in room cost, but it always turns out that expensive hotels charge for WiFi and cheap hotels don't, so that never came up.

These days I don't care, because 4G.

Comment: Re:It true !!!! (Score 4, Informative) 711

by LateArthurDent (#47157713) Attached to: Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'

alternate browser: chrome and opera are available for iPhone, and probably ffx too ( i never checked). you can put the browser on your dock and take the safari browser off your dock. the only limitation is you can't change the default browser for which program is used when opening links in an email, etc. but otherwise do what you want.

Nope. All third-party browsers in iOS must use the iOS webkit framework. So yes, you can get "chrome" for iOS, but really it's just a Safari skin. Case in point, you can't use chrome extensions on it.

Comment: Re:It's the energy cost of the drive (Score 1) 339

by LateArthurDent (#47122953) Attached to: The Energy Saved By Ditching DVDs Could Power 200,000 Homes

That 50% assumption is stupid. You can't stream the food items or other things you buy while you're at that store. So you need to go to the store anyway, DVD or not.

I agree completely. If you're going to make the trip for any item, plus dvd, the only fair comparison is the extra energy used to carry the weight of the dvd around as a percentage of the other items you bought. Which would, of course, be negligible.

Chrome

Google Starts Blocking Extensions Not In the Chrome Web Store 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the protecting-you-from-yourself dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google has begun blocking local Chrome extensions to protect Windows users. This means that as of today, extensions can be installed in Chrome for Windows only if they're hosted on the Chrome Web Store. Furthermore, Google says extensions that were previously installed 'may be automatically disabled and cannot be re-enabled or re-installed until they're hosted in the Chrome Web Store.' The company didn't specify what exactly qualifies the "may" clause, though we expect it may make exceptions for certain popular extensions for a limited time. Google is asking developers to reach out to it if they run into problems or if they 'think an extension was disabled incorrectly.'"

Comment: Re:So how fast does real world value change? (Score 1) 303

by LateArthurDent (#46882585) Attached to: SEC Chair On HFT: 'The Markets Are Not Rigged'

If you accept that the market system is a way of determining the value of securities, then what does HFT mean? How is it possible for real world value to change over the course of milliseconds?

Well, first, real-world price is the price at which people are willing to buy and sell the good. So, if there are trades happening over the course of milliseconds, then you should expect that price to change over the course of milliseconds. There isn't anything unusual about that. For example, if you want to buy oranges, and I say that I will sell you oranges for $1.00, the price is $1.00 to you if you want to buy oranges. If somebody else says they'll sell oranges to you at $0.80 instead, then you'll buy from them instead of me, and the price just fell $0.20. How long did it take the price to fall $0.20? However long it took the other guy to make the $0.80 sell offer. That could have been a month after I made my $1.00 offer, or it could have been 0.2 ms after I made my $1.00 offer. Clearly, if he wants people to buy his oranges instead of mine, it's in his benefit to make his offer as quickly as possible, because after you buy oranges from me, you won't want to buy any more oranges. So if he waits a month, he may have nobody buying at that price.

Conversely, if I offer to sell you 5 oranges at $1.00 and they immediately sell at that price, I'm going to offer my next 5 oranges at $1.20. How fast did the price rise $1.20? How fast did I make my next offer? I could continue selling oranges at $1.00 for a month, but if people are buying a ton of them, and I think I can sell all my oranges for more money, it's in my advantage to up the price as quickly as possible. So, milliseconds after your order went through, I could decide to sell the next batch at $1.20.

There's absolutely nothing nefarious about millisecond trades and price changes, if that's all that's going on. The only difference from "real world phenomena" is that the brokers have algorithms to increase or decrease the share price automatically based on the supply and demand it sees. In a very high trade volume situation, that time matters. If you're faster than your competitor, people are buying and selling *from you* because your prices are always better, closer to the optimal given the supply and demand for the stocks. That's how you make money being faster.

Second, HFT helps you get the "real world value" because the way you get a "real world value" is through iteration. When I decide to sell you oranges at $1.00, that's not the real-world value of oranges. That's a guess I made at the price, assuming there would be exactly enough demand for oranges at $1.00 as I have the ability to supply it. If people are willing to buy it at a higher price, I'll find that higher price faster the quicker I can perform trades and vary my price, and the more trades that I can make. Same if people are only willing to buy it at a lower price. It's no different than, say, if I want to find the square root of a number via the Babylonian Method. If I have a computer running at a low clock frequency, each iteration might take a second. If I have a computer running at a high clock frequency, each iteration might take a microsecond. They both get to the same answer, but a higher clock frequency gets you that answer faster. Again, nothing nefarious about that, and it means that at any one point a human looks at the price of stocks, it's a value that most accurately reflects that equilibrium price between buyers and sellers, because all the iterations are happening very fast.

What *is* somewhat nefarious is that apparently some trading houses are noticing you just bought all the oranges they were selling at a particular price. Then they assumed that you're likely trying to buy oranges from your competitors as well, for a similar price, at the same time. So, because they have a faster connection to the other trading house, they start buying oranges from competitors before your request to buy gets there. When your request to buy arrives, they tell you, "we're no longer selling at any oranges at that price." So the original place just bought up YOUR cheap oranges, and they get to sell it at a slight profit margin. It's not exactly front running, because that would be if your broker, once you've placed an order to buy oranges, instead of buying at your behest, goes out and buys himself a bunch of oranges, then sells them to you at a higher price. He knew what the demand was going to be, because you told him, and he caused the price to go up as a result. In this case, the trading house is buying up more oranges, but they don't *know* that you've placed on order elsewhere. They're making an assumption and taking a risk, based on some algorithm that predicts that type of stuff with some probability. That said, I will agree that's ethically iffy, because they are acting on knowledge nobody else will have for the next few milliseconds, and trading while they have that advantage.

Comment: Re:Something which I do not understand (Score 1) 642

Cosmologists say that when we look in the sky and all the stars and planets, we can see them escaping us. This explains that the universe is expanding. But if we can observe the same thing from every side of Earth, wouldn't it mean that we are in the center?

It's a good question. Try this video

Transportation

Tesla Model S Gets Titanium Underbody Shield, Aluminum Deflector Plates 314

Posted by Soulskill
from the responding-to-a-challenge dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Tesla Motors made headlines several times last year for a few Model S car fires. Elon Musk criticized all the attention at the time, pointing out that it was disproportionate to the 200,000 fires in gas-powered cars over the same period. Musk didn't stop there, though. He's announced that the Model S will now have a titanium underbody shield along with an aluminum bar and extrusion. He says this will prevent debris struck on the road from breaching the battery area. Musk offered this amusing example: 'We believe these changes will also help prevent a fire resulting from an extremely high speed impact that tears the wheels off the car, like the other Model S impact fire, which occurred last year in Mexico. This happened after the vehicle impacted a roundabout at 110 mph, shearing off 15 feet of concrete curbwall and tearing off the left front wheel, then smashing through an eight foot tall buttressed concrete wall on the other side of the road and tearing off the right front wheel, before crashing into a tree. The driver stepped out and walked away with no permanent injuries and a fire, again limited to the front section of the vehicle, started several minutes later. The underbody shields will help prevent a fire even in such a scenario.' Included with the article are several animated pictures of testing done with the new underbody, which survives running over a trailer hitch, a concrete block, and an alternator."

Comment: Re:LED (Score 1) 921

by LateArthurDent (#46362457) Attached to: Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

just stop pointing your camera at me. I don't care if it's showing a red light or not. She was being obnoxious, and wouldn't stop when asked.

You don't have the right to have someone not point a camera at you. You can leave, and cover your face, but you can't really force them to stop. You can politely tell them that it makes you uncomfortable, but if they want to be assholes about it, there's no law against being an asshole. There's definitely a law against you assaulting said asshole and/or stealing their property.

Comment: Re:what will it take for general acceptance (Score 1) 921

by LateArthurDent (#46362411) Attached to: Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

Filming is what you do to other people

Oh? What exactly are you doing to other people when you film them? Stealing their soul?

If you're not touching somebody, you're not assaulting them. If you're not following them as they try to leave you, you're not harassing them. Filming somebody is not doing anything to them anymore than loudly talking about them to somebody else, so that they can hear. They're peripherally involved, they might be annoyed by it, but they don't have any right to stop you.

Comment: Re:what will it take for general acceptance (Score 1) 921

by LateArthurDent (#46362355) Attached to: Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

Sure they have. And sometimes they get attacked. Happens all the time. But since it is not google glass, it doesn't make it to slashdot. People don't like to be recorded without their permission. It doesn't matter if it is google glass. This article attempts to make it sound like google glass users are a group that is discriminated against. That is not the case.

I don't know what bar you go to, but I've never seen that, ever. In fact, if the bar has live music, I've never been to one without at least 20% of people recording.

Comment: Re:Take pictures, press charges. (Score 1) 921

by LateArthurDent (#46362303) Attached to: Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

Apparently there is, even if the law doesn't currently recognise it. Maybe that law is out of date and should be changed.

I don't think so, but let's say you're right. The trick is that recognizing such an expectation of privacy cannot mean that you just ban cameras you're uncomfortable with. You have to ban security cameras. You have to ban reporters who are covering a story. You have to ban people taking selfies at bars and other locations where it's not possible to ensure someone who didn't consent will show up in the background.

If the majority of people in a jurisdiction are willing to go with that, then yeah, the law should be changed. I think they're not. I think the first time you take your phone out to take a picture of something cool you've seen and other people tell you that you can't do that, you're going to throw a fit. People don't really think they have an expectation of privacy at those locations, they just feel uncomfortable when they see a camera next to them because it makes it obvious that they have no expectation of privacy, and they don't like to be reminded of that. They like to pretend they're not ending up on the background of tons of pictures, or being laughed at by the police who is reviewing security tapes because someone's wallet was stolen at the same time you were at the bar getting slapped for the stupid line you tried to use.

It is much easier to suggest solutions when you know nothing about the problem.

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