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Comment Re:The basic question is answered...but still... (Score 1) 510

Parapsychologists fall into 2 categories: suckers and people out to fleece suckers

Don't fall into trap many pseudoskeptics fall into of simply parrotting anything your favorite aging TV magicians post on facebook. There's been a big change in the field of parapsychology ever since a psi effect was proven to exist. The research being done now is ridiculously rigorous, thanks to the positive effects of decades of ridicule. I don't really have an interest either way, but I was surprised to learn this recently.

Guys like this are being taken very seriously:

This move towards better design of para studies and stricter peer review criteria was covered in Steve Volk's 2011 book, Fringeology.

Comment Here's a hypothesis for you (Score 2) 87

1) Unidentified women's pull requests are more likely to be accepted because there's a fatter tail of bad mail programmers

2) Identified outsider women's pull requests are less likely to be accepted than outsider men because identified outsider women are more likely to be SJWs putting forth SJW-style BS requests about variable names offending them.

Comment Re:They had attempted sex (Score 1) 230

It is in new orleans, lousiana.

An ultimate frisbee buddy of mine came back with a story about a hot three way in new orleans with an enthusiastic girl and her boyfriend.

Three weeks later he's contacted for by the DA about raping her. The reason was she had been observed drinking that evening and so her consent wasn't valid. (Obviously she had changed her mind after the fact - perhaps because her boyfriend changed his mind but he never found out).

He was lucky to not be convicted but it cost him thousands of dollars, his promising job at a law firm, and a lot of mental anguish.

I've looked it up since then and it's not just new orleans. Many areas (and many college campuses) are headed to a position that intoxication means you can't give consent. And they usually apply it unequally in favor of females to boot. So if an intoxicated man and an intoxicated woman have sex- he's the guilty party.

It's a mine field out there and the rules are changing all the time.

Comment Re:Same thing that facebook tries to do... (Score 1) 38

I change my facebook page from 'Top Stories' to 'Most Recent' on a regular basis. It used to be that it would remember that setting consistently...... then, strangely enough, it would start to revert to 'Top Stories' randomly.

This also happened right about the time a little reminder got inserted at the top of the page saying that I was viewing, 'Most Recent' and did I want to go back to 'Top Stories'? No facebook, I do not, because all I tend to get is a shitty post from three days ago with 50 likes from friends, and I miss when someone is having a non-popular day. Like most people do.

At least Tinfoil for Facebook on android keeps that reminder out of sight.....

Comment Re:Current use != Original intent w/proof (Score 1) 119

Seriously, you can't see the difference between a Police officer finding evidence at a crime scene, and a Police officer reading your personal emails to find something?

Of course I see the difference. And nobody disagrees with you that a random search is a problem. But nobody here (except you) is talking about random searches.

Those were made illegal for good reasons. Those should be illegal now and in the future too for the same good reasons. We all agree on that.

The issue here is the *warranted search*. Up until now, if the police got a warrant they COULD search your papers/diary etc. Now EVEN with a warrant they can't do that. And that is a "problem" of sorts.

Comment Re:Illegal phone running (Score 1) 119

Self-incrimination would be EVEN MORE prevalent in raw thoughts as opposed to vocalizing.

Retreiving your password via a non-invasive mind probe is no different in terms of its function as evidence than a DNA test.

It even avoids the issues with imagined crimes, and fantasy crimes, and misremembered events, vs real ones etc, because its a simple fact.

If the password they read out of your mind unlocks your phone, then they are into your phone. And the evidence there is no different from any other evidence. If such a technology existed, I suspect it would be allowable, at least for the limited use of simply reading a password.

I expect it would and should continue to be illegal to go fishing for "thoughts about committing crimes" or "general dissatisfaction with government"... but even then, if they could extract, for example, a set of specific details about a murder that only the murderer would know, that could theoretically add to the evidence against you, too. I think.

Comment Re:Current use != Original intent w/proof (Score 1) 119

Yes, but what is your actual point here?

The fact remains that if you are suspected of treason, due to circumstantial evidence, and a hair found at a known drop site -- and they use that to get a warrant to search your home, where they find your diary in a safe, listing your intelligence leaking, along with papers containing intelligence you were planning to leak.

The 4th and 5th amendments are not designed to protect you from prosecution in that scenario.

Law enforcement has been legitimately allowed to search your property for evidence of a particular crime.

Encryption currently can block that search, so that even WITH a LEGITIMATE warrant they can't get at that evidence. They can get a warrant to search you, recover your laptop, and then not be able to break into it to get at the information inside.

Historically they've always been able to break into any safe. The bill of rights, 4th, 5th amendments etc have never protected anyone from this sort of legitimate investigation, and never were intended to.

The digital age has given us un-crackable safes, and law enforcement is struggling to figure how to deal with that.

Comment Re:As long as you keep population constant? (Score 1) 179

You might think that the unit "(mega)people" is standardized, but in fact there's still quite a difference between an American person and an African person [a bit like swallows, I guess.] Concretely, an American uses 12,954 kWh per year[1], while an average Moroccon uses 875 kWh. Thus, the electricity used by 1.1M Moroccons equals the electricity used by 70 thousand Americans. So, while the unit might sound like everyone can relate to it, it's pretty horribly inaccurate.

The Computerworld article doesn't even give total expected production, only MW capacity, which is probably peak capacity, ie only achieved during the day. Wiki [2] gives a production of 370 GWh per year, which is enough to provide energy to just over 400 thousand Moroccans, consistent with providing juice for 1.1M is capacity is roughly tripled. However, if Moroccans start getting up to first-world levels of energy use, the number of people served will swiftly drop by an order of magnitude, even if they don't go all the way to American energy use (e.g. Holland has about half the US energy use, probably due to less need for airco and higher electricity costs)

The water use sounds very problematic, according to wiki it uses 1.7 million m3 per year or 4.6 liters per kWh . To compare, desalination requires 3 kWh/m3, i.e. it would cost about 5GWh to desalinize the amount of water used annually, compared to 370GWh of electrticity produced. So, even if the water draw is compensated by desalinizing water elsewhere, it still comes out ahead.

[1] Note that kWh per year is a pretty stupid unit, too...

Comment Re:Not sure that keeping secrets is new. (Score 1) 119

My guess is in the days before the WW2, they would have had difficulty in breaking ciphers too.

They didn't usually need to break them if they could get a warrant to search the space you kept the key.

THAT is what has changed. Up until now, sure they might not be able to simply "break" the encryption easily simply when presented with encrypted materials, but law enforcement could always get the keys with a warrant if they knew where you kept them.

Remember this is *law enforcement* not international espionage. Law enforcement historically had the means to break any criminal's use of 'encryption', because they could always, at least in theory, obtain the keys through regular police work. The codebook, or cipher, or one time pads, etc were always there somewhere. And they could search a suspects home to find the safe hidden under the carpet with a warrant, and then drill it open with a warrant.

In the digital age, they (reasonably and legitimately) still want the ability to get into the safe. The trouble is nobody makes a drill that get in before the universe expires.

If unobtanioum impervium had been discovered and safes constructed from it literally could not be opened, law enforcement would be in the same tizzy. There would be these "safes" that they could get their hands on but couldn't open.

Especially if these safes were cheap to build or buy, and people could synthesize unobtanium impervium from common household supplies.

Comment Re:Password Security 101 (Score 1) 53

I recently read my boys (12 and 8) Lauren Ipsum: A Story About Computer Science and Other Improbable Things. It's sort of like computer science meets Alice in Wonderland. In one of the chapters, she has to guess a password. She notices that the little old lady working security (who looks the passwords up in a big book) takes longer to deny access as Lauren gets closer to the right word. So when she gives "About", the lady says "A... B... O... No", but if Lauren gave "Abrupt", the lady would say "A... B... R... U... No."

Even my 8 year old say the problem with this "password security." Not just giving Lauren clues as to where her given password went wrong, but the ability for Lauren to keep guessing over and over until she got it right. If an 8 year old can spot the hole in your security, maybe it's time to improve your system.

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