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Comment Re:Obvious? (Score 2) 95

> Can't you just look at your Facebook settings to see
> what information is available to other people who are
> logged in to Facebook?

Yes, if you trust Facebook to show you *exactly* what other people see. Personally, I would prefer a 3rd party to do this.

Comment Re:When will these nutjobs learn? (Score 1) 480

Well, you're consistent in your ideology - I'll give you that. But in a thread titled "When will these nutjobs learn?", I hope you understand that this sort of hard-line Libertarianism places you way out on the fringes of American beliefs. I may not agree with his proposal, but I think Berners-Lee is much closer to the middle than you are.

Comment Re:When will these nutjobs learn? (Score 1) 480

The right to jury trial requires mobs with guns to COMPEL some citizen somewhere to sit on the jury at my trial.

The right to vote requires mobs with guns to COMPEL bigots to allow minorities access to the ballot box.

Primitive man was not born with these rights in nature - they are positive rights provided by our society. You don't object to them because they are fundamental to democracy and you now take them for granted, but they are still positive rights.

One of my main objections to Libertarianism is that it does not seem to recognize civil rights as it should. Thus, we end up with people like Rand Paul, who opposes the Civil Rights Act.

Comment Re:When will these nutjobs learn? (Score 1) 480

That's a logical position, but I don't think it's entirely compatible with the accepted notion of human rights.

For example, the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to a jury trial. This is a "positive" right that other citizens are forced to grant.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights also includes several positive rights: Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

Personally, I think we need to invent a new category of "reasonable expectations" that sits between "rights" and "privileges".

Comment Re:No. (Score 1) 1486

While there is some logic to your argument, you must realize that it leads inexorably to solipsism. How do you know that anything is true without personally verifying it? How, indeed, do you know that anything exists at all outside of your own mind? While you wrestle with this philosophical problem, science will go on making repeatable, demonstrable progress.

Comment Re:Awesome! (Score 1) 88

My old boss wanted to start a software project with a single bug called "Nothing works yet". The dev team then would, in theory, then go to work "fixing" this problem, which would lead to new "bugs" with slightly more detail in them. Rinse, repeat.

We assumed he was joking and ignored him.

Comment Re:Already happened? (Score 1) 312

It's senseless to say that Betelgeuse has blown up hundreds of years ago if all the effects from the event can only be felt now

No, it's not senseless at all. You can only reason correctly about the universe if you acknowledge that we find out about events *after* they happen, sometimes *LONG* after they happen. Just because you don't know about event X yet doesn't mean that it hasn't occurred.

Example: Your twin brother, an interstellar astronaut, is scheduled to arrive at Star X today, Jan. 22. Star X is 10 light-days from your current location. Suddenly you look up and notice that Star X has exploded! Has your brother been killed? Not necessarily, because you reason that Star X actually exploded 10 days ago, on Jan 12. Your brother, traveling at 0.1 light speed, was still one light-day away from Star X on Jan. 12, so he might have been able to survive. You won't find out if that's true for at least 8 more days, but at least you have to admit the possibility.

Comment Re:Already happened? (Score 5, Insightful) 312

We can't measure things until the information reaches us, so that is when it happens.

I think you are misunderstanding relativity, or perhaps just miscommunicating it.

Example: Some cosmic microwave background radiation from the early universe is just reaching Earth today. That doesn't mean that the universe is young "now".

My understanding of relativity is that you can still use distance = speed * time to figure out when an event occurred in your reference frame. You just have to give up the notion that everyone else will agree with you.

Comment Re:encryption (Score 1) 700

That is a good point. Given this, it probably does take a large difference in exponents to ensure safety. For example:

* Practical safety ratio = 1 : 10^50 (1 second of encryption time requires 10^50 seconds of decryption time)
* Encryption algorithm performance = n^2
* Decryption algorithm performance = n^10

How big does 'n' need to be before we cross the safety threshold? 10^(50/(10-2)) = 10^6.25 = 2 million. That's a large key.

Comment Re:encryption (Score 1) 700

This makes sense to me - it's all about the actual exponents and coefficients. Even if the exponents in the first term are the same, the coefficents might make a big difference (e.g. 100*n^3 grows 100 times faster than n^3 alone). And even if the entire first term is the same, the exponents/coefficients on the second term might come into play.

If P=NP, it means that there is a POSSIBILITY that MAYBE someone can come up with a code-breaking algorithm that is fast enough to start an arms race with code-makers. It doesn't mean that encryption as we know it is suddenly broken.

Comment Re:Bad news for anyone doing web sites (Score 1) 404

Your argument is not very persuasive (IMHO). I think you got your way by being difficult, not because you were in the right.

Some parts of your argument are simply nonsensical ("there's nothing wrong with this OS", except that it's defective and I want a new one). Others seem spoiled (Apple should "keep functionality of this laptop" because it's not fair that web sites have changed in the six years since I bought it). Do you really think it's reasonable to expect a six-year old OS to work with every current software app?

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.