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Comment: off site storage (Score 1) 446

bank safe deposit box. $60/yr. Perfect size for 3 NAS drives....so 9-12 TB and improving...back everything up quarterly, monthly, weekly...whatever you need. house burns down, you have your safe deposit box. bank burns down, create new copies from home for new bank. house and bank burn down? probably the apocalypse and you're not that worried about storage anymore
It's funny.  Laugh.

Interviews: Ask SMBC's Creator Zach Weiner a Question 90

Posted by samzenpus
from the go-ahead-and-ask dept.
Zach Weiner is the author and illustrator of a number of webcomics, most notably Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (SMBC). He's been a guest contributor to xkcd and founded the sketch comedy group SMBC Theater. His project Augie and the Green Knight, was the most funded children's book on Kickstarter, and his newest project The Gentleman's Single-Use Monocle offers readers emergency reading protection with a bit of class. Zach has agreed to step away from the comics for a bit and answer any questions you might have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one per post.
Earth

Mysterious Siberian Crater Is Just One of Many 88

Posted by Soulskill
from the watch-out-for-exploding-earth dept.
New submitter Sardaukar86 sends this excerpt from a Washington Post report: In the middle of last summer came news of a bizarre occurrence no one could explain. Seemingly out of nowhere, a massive crater appeared in one of the planet's most inhospitable lands. Early estimates said the crater, nestled in a land called "the ends of the Earth" where temperatures can sink far below zero, yawned nearly 100 feet in diameter. The saga deepened. The Siberian crater wasn't alone. There were two more, ratcheting up the tension in a drama that hit its climax as a probable explanation surfaced. Global warming had thawed the permafrost, which had caused methane trapped inside the icy ground to explode.

Now, however, researchers fear there are more craters than anyone knew — and the repercussions could be huge. Russian scientists have now spotted a total of seven craters, five of which are in the Yamal Peninsula. Two of those holes have since turned into lakes. And one giant crater is rimmed by a ring of at least 20 mini-craters, the Siberian Times reported.

Comment: problem may not be Sarbanes-Oxley (Score 1) 251

by Lord Dreamshaper (#48324451) Attached to: Undersized Grouper Case Lands In Supreme Court
"tangible goods" may be necessarily broad to limit actual criminals' ability to do an end-run around whatever limits S-O sets. Likewise for RICO, PATRIOT Act, etc. The problem isn't in how you use them to *catch* criminals, the problem is how you can destroy someone's life for committing a petty crime, or worse, punish an innocent because the law is so powerful that the accused can't properly mount a defense or cops a plea to avoid even larger sentence.

Should the captain and/or crew go to jail? Probably; destruction of evidence needs to carry a serious punishment. Is 20 years an appropriate punishment? Certainly not compared to the crimes the 20-yr option was intended to prosecute.

tl;dr

If these laws are necessarily broad, then they need limitations as to when the full weight of punishment is appropriate.

Comment: Re:Administrators (Score 1) 538

by Lord Dreamshaper (#47291365) Attached to: Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job
They will respond to a downswing in demand as well

Sure, all that money rolling in from tuition? They'll happily kiss it goodbye if demand drops for whatever reason. Whether university employees can privately justify their positions and salaries or not, their income and lifestyles are on the line. They will promote any logic that encourages more students & higher tuition, same as any other business. Like any other market, they will insist on inflating the bubble until it bursts, even if moderation could have prevented it from bursting in the first place (not that a bubble burst can necessarily be avoided in this case).
User Journal

Journal: These are the things in my head at night 7

Journal by Daniel Dvorkin

Then-PFC, now-SGT Bergdahl may in fact have deserted his post. There are certainly credible accusations to that effect, and if so, then he should be tried and convicted for the crime. But it's a whole lot easier to investigate those charges with him here, and we don't let the Taliban mete out justice for us.

Comment: Re:Isn't this a lot like programming? (Score 1) 107

No, biological processes are inherently non-deterministic, and this becomes more apparent the smaller the scale. At the genetic level, it's all about probabilities. I suppose you could argue the same about computation since circuits are now getting small enough for quantum effects to show up, but I don't think most programmers are explicitly modeling random bit flips! On large scales, when you're talking about big programs with lots of different possible inputs, it's often more effective to model them statistically, I agree, but the underlying processes are still quite different.

Comment: Re:Next goals: (Score 3, Insightful) 107

Co-evolution only looks "co" on very large timescales; every new trick our immune systems have come up with has been in response to something a pathogen already came up with. Sure, there always can (and will) be new plagues, whether the victims are trees or people. I just think they're a whole lot more likely to come from the nigh-uncountable number of random "experiments" taking place in the wild than they are from anything done in a lab.

Comment: Re:In other words... (Score 1) 284

Corporations don't go to prison for violating censorship laws. The members of the group, employees, owners, and members go to jail. They are the ones who have their assets taken.

That last bit would be a lot more persuasive if it weren't for the concept of limited liability. The whole idea of corporations owning assets, signing contracts, etc. is that the owners of the corporation are to some degree insulated if the corporation "does" something such as breaking a contract that could lead to the loss of those assets--but it really ought to work both ways. As things stand right now, the privilege pretty much only seems to go one way.

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors

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