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Comment What will kill me next? (Score 1) 13 13

But if I were learning to fly a spaceship, the first question out of my mouth would be "what all could kill me?"

Almost everything. The question I hear astronauts apparently ask is "what is going to kill me next?" It seems to be about 90%+ of their training. Trying to figure out all the ways they can die and how to mitigate the chances of it actually happening.

Comment No just laws = No fair trial (Score 1) 303 303

Why do people think he's not going to get an open trial? OR a fair one?

It doesn't matter whether he gets an open trial or not. The trial quite simply will not be fair. That is more or less a foregone conclusion. The laws he is charged under basically allow for no context to be considered even if what he did was morally correct and justified. He quite simply cannot get a fair trial.

The outcome may be obvious, but that doesn't make the trial unfair....

A ludicrous argument because it presumes the laws are just. Laws frequently are wildly unfair and you cannot have a fair trial when you are being judged under unfair laws.

Comment Nobody is asking them to condone (Score 1) 303 303

no government is going to officially, publicly condone such a thing being done.

Nobody is asking them to. It would be fine if they would merely drop the issue instead of seeking retribution. That is an option available to them. The cat is out of the bag, the government has egg on its face (deservedly so) and the right thing happened. Time to let it go.

Comment Ministry of Truth... (Score 1) 303 303

What do you expect from a country that has a Department of Homeland Security? It sounds like something from Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. (Fatherland, motherland, homeland ...)

Glad to know I'm not the only one that thinks that. I always thought it sounded uncomfortably like something right out of a oppressive dictatorship or a George Orwell book.

Comment Nixon (Score 1) 303 303

He wasn't kicked out. He resigned before he could be impeached. He was then pardoned shortly afterwards.

Semantics really. He unquestionably would have been impeached and likely removed from office. And if he didn't do anything there would have been no reason to pardon him.

Comment Remember the Pentagon Papers (Score 4, Insightful) 303 303

You could have had a hundred million signatures on that petition, and it wouldn't matter, because pardoning him would set a dangerous precedent, essentially declaring open season on any and all State secrets that anyone with access thought should be revealed. You can't even blame Obama for any of this in this case; any head of any government would say 'no' for the same reasons.

I absolutely can blame Obama and Bush. The government was breaking the law and violating the constitutional rights of its citizens. I'm not surprised at the response but that doesn't mean it is acceptable. Remember this is the same government that has recently used torture, held people without charge or trial, invaded two countries, spied on its own citizens, put digital strip search machines in airports, and on and on.

And it wouldn't set a "dangerous precedent" because this isn't the first time something like this has happened. The only dangerous precedent is if we don't hold the government accountable.

Comment By that logic (Score 1) 303 303

He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers — not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime. Right now, he's running away from the consequences of his actions.

By that logic George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld should go to Iraq and Afghanistan to be judged for war crimes and stop hiding behind the cover of an authoritarian regime. Closed Guantanamo Bay yet? Yeah didn't think so. "Running away"? Sounds like the smart course of action when the chances of him getting a fair trial seem to be nil.

Comment Burden of proof (Score 1) 95 95

The burden of proof is on you to explain how it DOES work.

No it isn't. I'm not trying to prove or disprove them and never claimed otherwise. If you want to claim that they cannot work then you need to provide a testable theorem to back that up. If you want to claim that they can work same thing applies. If you are merely trying to refute claims that someone has developed a quantum computer when they haven't then you merely need to clarify your position.

Here is what I think we know right now. Some scientists apparently have created functional quantum computers with small numbers of qubits in labs. These lack sufficient qubits to be generally useful but do appear to indicate that useful quantum computers are likely to be possible. If there is a quantum computer with enough qubits to be generally useful I am not aware of it and there is no public indication of any breakthrough at this time. There appear to be substantial technical and theoretical problems to be worked out before quantum computers become a reality.

Is it possible that someone, somewhere has actually constructed a useful QC in defiance of all the skeptics

As far as I know they are all in the proof of concept stage in physics laboratories with very modest numbers of qubits. Never claimed otherwise. It does not follow however that quantum computers are an impossibility. Based on my understanding of the work accomplished thus far I suspect they probably can become a reality eventually but I make no claims regarding when that may be.

Comment Yes eBay still matters (Score 2) 29 29

People still use eBay?

EBay apparently had $17 billion in revenue last year so I'm guessing the answer is yes.

Is this the same eBay that became a scammer's paradise where no matter what you do, you're screwed?

It's not quite that bad but you do need to be careful.

As a buyer you can be screwed easily enough, but as a seller I wouldn't waste my time. The risks so far outweigh the benefits that it's more like legalized gambling with the loser being the highest bidder.

That is why I no longer own the auction company I held about 10 years ago. It was basically impossible to deal with eBay. They would raise fees every 6 months like clockwork. Any buyer could simply invoke the magic words "not as described" and get their money back. You couldn't defend yourself against unjustified bad feedback. Makers of luxury goods (like Louis Vuitton) could simply shut your auction down with a strike against you even if the merchandise was 100% legit. (and yes this happened to us regularly) The amount of labor in running an auction is ludicrous.

Buying on eBay has risks but generally manageable ones. Selling on eBay has risks that are not really manageable if you are doing more than selling some chotchkies.

Comment Selling a car on eBay is different (Score 1) 29 29

I've never understood why eBay felt the need to separate eBay Motors from the rest of the website, but it would follow that they would create a separate app for it as well.

Because selling a car is different than most other merchandise. I used to own an auction company and made much of my living selling through eBay, including cars. For merchandise eBay can enforce a contract to sell. For cars transfer of ownership comes with transfer of title and eBay cannot force you to sell the car for the auction price. In essence it is a glorified classified listing. If you decide not to sell the car you merely have to refuse to sign over the title and there isn't anything eBay can do about that.

Comment Re:How much is an AG these days? (Score 1) 246 246

I would disagree with this. As has been proven by high rollers on both the right and left. You're immoral billionaire's money is just as good to these 'hoes as corporate money.

Because a billionaire is just as much a product of the system than a company is. Nobody makes a billion dollars through their own work, they make it by extracting value from other people's work. Which means their wealth is a product of and dependent on the system, thus they can be trusted to be utterly loyal to the system - slaves with golden chains, but slaves nonetheless.

Kings might have had it better than peasants, but neither could opt out of feudalism. It wasn't until capitalism - a new system - began making inroads that new opportunities opened up. And now capitalism is worn at the seams, at least in the developed world, and a seemingly neverending cascade of problems defy attempts to solve them through means acceptable to the system, which has caused a predictable retreat into fundamentalism - in this case free-market fundamentalism - for many who are heavily invested in the system. Whether this is the final crisis of capitalism, or whether it can ride out the storm once again by lifting the rest of the world to the developed status remains to be seen - but either way, it won't last forever any more than any previous system has.

Comment Give specific technical arguments or go away (Score 1) 95 95

If you're spouting such straw man platitudes, then you don't know enough about quantum computers to condemn someone else.

You might have a point if his argument was something more nuanced than "it's hard and I don't understand how it will ever work" with a few marketing = boogeyman slams thrown in for good measure. Maybe quantum computers will be a thing and maybe they won't but he sure as hell doesn't know. If you want to claim quantum computers will never work then present some compelling technical evidence to support that position. Otherwise shut up and let the researchers do their job.

In the defense of the previous poster, I'll note that there are a number of phenomena that permeate all of the Solar System (gravity, neutrinos, and thermal radiation) that may place an upper bound on the reliability of quantum computing no matter how magical your technology is.

"May place an upper bound"? Sounds like you don't really know much about quantum computers yourself there my friend. Come back when you have some specific physics to discuss beyond some vague hand waiving about gravity and neutrinos.

Comment Every new technology... (Score 4, Insightful) 95 95

Give something a fancy name and by-God it has to be a world-changing technology, right? I just don't see it.

So because you can't understand it, it must not be of any consequence? I think that says more about you than it does about the technology.

The hardware is difficult to build / maintain, doesn't scale, and so far nobody is quite sure what to even do with it.

That sounds like pretty much every new technology ever. The first computers were difficult to build and maintain, didn't scale well and people weren't entirely sure what to do with them outside of a few narrow use cases. The first airplanes were difficult to build and maintain, didn't scale well, and... etc. We figured it out eventually. Probably will with quantum computing too in due time.

Comment Made sense at the time... sort of (Score 1) 137 137

Why does a safe need an operating system?

Because it is computerized and does more than control a lock. When was the last time you saw a computer without any sort of operating system?

And then why for heavens sake has it to be a desktop operating system?

Because that's what most people know how to write software for. Not saying it was a good choice but I understand why they did it.

It's not like there are especially hardened OSses out there for embedded devices.

It's not an embedded device. It runs a pretty much bog standard PC. I've actually worked on some of the hardware in these in my day job a while back on a project. (No I had nothing to do with the design or the implementation of them nor do I have any relationship with Brinks and no the project had nothing to do with hacking them)

And after having such a terrible design idea, why have it implemented by a moron using an out of date, unsupported, and buggy OS?

Because it wasn't out of date or unsupported when they designed the safes. These aren't a brand new design. Again, not saying it was a good choice but it made sense (sort of) at the time.

The steady state of disks is full. -- Ken Thompson