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Comment Re:anti-business liberal scoring points (Score 1) 236

If they are publicly traded and their principal business is not risk, then they are required to be by law.


I'm fairly certain there is no such law. What publicly-traded businesses are required to do is to do what they say they'll do in their articles of incorporation and their prospectus. For most, these documents state that their focus is to generate a responsible return on investment (language varies, but that's what it boils down to). However, it is perfectly acceptable for them to include other goals, and even to prioritize those goals over making money.

Were SpaceX to go public, they could specify that their primary goal is to get to Mars, for example, rather than to make money. That would probably lower their valuation, but there would be nothing at all illegal about it.

Comment Re:yet more engineer bashing (Score 1) 416

The real question is not are engineers 9 times more likely to be terrorists. The real question is are they 9 times more likely to hold extremist beliefs, or just 9 times more likely to act on them because to engineers the point is to solve problems.

I suspect it's some of both. It seems to me that engineers do tend to be more passionate about their interests (whatever those may be) than the average person. And they think in terms of how to solve problems.

Comment Re:Works for me (Score 1) 135

And in the meantime it is sending bog-knows-what to who-knows-what. I think I'll pass....

I didn't pass, I checked. I had my router log the packets from my TV for a couple of weeks, then fired up Wireshark to look at who it was talking to and what it was sending. Result? On a daily basis it sends a tiny request to the manufacturer, which I suspect is checking for firmware updates. Other than that, it appears to connect to Netflix when I watch Netflix, my DLNA server when I watch stuff from it, YouTube when I watch that, etc. That's it.

It also occurs to me... if you're worried about a information being sent who knows where, why are you not worried about your Roku, etc.? How do you know what it's sending? Why is a Smart TV riskier than any of the other network-connected media-playing devices you might hook to it?

Comment Re:What purpose does registration serve? (Score 1) 191

Hunting and fishing licenses are also to ensure the proper level/age/gender of animals, or at least close to it, is hunted, for conservation, etc. purposes

No, no they are not. Licenses don't do that. The only thing licenses do is make sure that someone has spent money. Only enforcement does that. Enforcement already happens; they have wardens out all year making sure that people aren't poaching. I live in major hunting country, so there's lots of them here.

For most big game, there's also a tag attached to the license, which much be attached to the game animal when taken. Tags do serve (with enforcement) to ensure that the right number, age and gender of animals are taken. Other game species have daily limits, but those could be enforced without any sort of specific licensing. Of course, the license fees generally pay for the enforcement, so licenses do help manage hunting for conservation. License fees generally pay for lots of other conservation measures as well.

Comment Re:Wait, what? You can see other peoples' wallets? (Score 4, Informative) 75

A bitcoin isn't a "thing". It's an entry in a public ledger that says "wallet X paid wallet Y 0.001BTC". All* the wallets start out at 0 and if you want to see how much money wallet Y has now, you start at the beginning and add all the payments into it and subtract all the payments out of it. Example:

has 0 BTC balance after receiving 3 payments and making 3 payments (the tiny fraction of a BTC missing each transaction is the fee paid to miners to process it).

As for anonymity, I normally have no way of telling you who 1ENYmn1eCWPa4MFD4VU9wUFqLrzPcqUgaY is. But if one of those payments there was made from an ATM that converts money to BTC (and takes a photo) or one of those debits was sent to a drug dealer who mailed the drugs to the wallet owner's home address, then got busted by the cops who got a customer list, then it could be figured out.

Comment Re:Except they used regular SMS (Score 1) 291

No, you don't do engineering. You do software design, because you are not liable for the integrity of what you make.

People just started calling it engineering to feel special, but it's pretty distinct, and dishonest of you to call yourself such.

So, liability defines engineering, it has nothing to do with applying science to build things. Okay, whatever you say.

Comment Re:Your reply is bad and you should feel bad (Score 1) 385

Because that would harm existing operations!

Yeah! Terrorists aren't like Marvin the Martian wondering where the America-shattering kaboom they were expecting is, no, they assume that if they didn't hear about the explosion it's because Allah made all the idiots in America not notice the explosion. Imagine the harm if they realized that all the times their shit didn't blow up it was because the government stopped them!

Comment Bad choice (Score 2, Insightful) 143

Cutting Crimea off from Ukraine is only going to strengthen Russia's hold on it (especially after Russia comes in to save the day with electricity). And if these people thought they were being repressed before, well, I'd hate to be a Tatar now that they're responsible for turning off everyone's electricity.

Comment Stackoverflow didn't invent buckethead programming (Score 1) 167

The process of copying and pasting an incompletely or not at all understood solution isn't in any way new. Back in the early 90s one of my colleagues coined the term I've used ever since for this and related programming anti-methods: buckethead programming. The metaphor is of programming with a bucket over your head so you can't see what you're doing but instead just stagger in random directions until you accidentally bump into something that appears to work... at which point you leave it and stagger your way through the next obstacle that arises.

I suppose you can argue that stackoverflow has made buckethead programming easier or more accessible, but people were grabbing random snippets of code from existing codebases, or from magazine articles, or blog articles, etc., long before it existed. If it weren't for stackoverflow concentrating such knowledge in one place, we'd be lamenting Google's role in enabling crappy programmers to find solutions they don't understand.

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.