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Comment: Re:This seems different (Score 1) 134

by Simply Curious (#48474231) Attached to: Wikipedia's "Complicated" Relationship With Net Neutrality
It is still exactly a neutrality violation, because the packets are being treated differently. As a customer, I should not need to worry about whether wikipedia or netflix or MyUpAndComingVideoSite.com has paid the ISP bribe/extortion. Neutrality has been broken at that point.

Comment: Re:5% of patients? (Score 4, Insightful) 74

by Simply Curious (#48396459) Attached to: Machine Learning Used To Predict Military Suicides
Good writing eliminates ambiguity. Good reading chooses the most likely interpretation in cases of ambiguity. It is immediately obvious that good reading can alleviate the effects of bad writing, but cannot eliminate the effects, as the most likely interpretation still has some chance of being wrong.

As it is written, the sentence "More than half of the suicides were committed by just five percent of patients." is as silly as "Sixty percent of the time, works every time."

Comment: Re:$3500 fine? (Score 2) 286

by Simply Curious (#48218015) Attached to: Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour
Let's look at the expected gain/loss. Assume that x is the probability that the company gets caught. That means there is an x probability of being down by $3500, and a (1-x) probability of being up by $40k. The break-even point occurs when x=0.08. That means that if this behavior is repeated over and over, we need to catch them at it at least 92% of the time for it to not be financially viable, giving these penalties.

This is the entire purpose of punitive damages. It is impossible to catch someone every single time. The punitive damages are to make it be so costly that one time that they are caught that the entire practice must stop. A $3500 fine is an absolute joke when the stolen wages are over ten times that amount.

Comment: Re:no problem (Score 2) 508

Privacy vs. no privacy is a false dichotomy. In my own home, I can reasonably expect that no one will observe me. On a podium in front of a crown, I can reasonably expect that everyone will observe me. Walking down the street, I can reasonably expect that people will see me, notice me, but that I will be one of many, unrecognized other than by those who directly know me. It is this last expectation that is violated by omnipresent cameras.

Comment: Re: Earth isn't delicate, (Score 1) 414

by Simply Curious (#43440771) Attached to: Stephen Hawking Warns Against Confining Ourselves To Earth
A plague of locusts swarms outward, consuming everything in its path. A swarm of humans, on the other hand, would swarm outward, terraforming planets and increasing habitability. One leaves the area less able to support life, the other leaves the area more able to support life. The pristine state of the universe is not the best for supporting life, and so we should feel no obligation to keep it as it is.

Comment: Re:Exception to Betteridge's law!! (Score 1) 292

by Simply Curious (#42879203) Attached to: Is the Concept of 'Cyberspace' Stupid?
Not really sure what gives that impression. Neither adding nor scalar multiplication of a server location yield anything useful. I cannot think of a way to define an inner product between two servers, nor any relevant information that could be gained from it. What would be the distance between two servers? In short, a mathematical space has nothing to do with the concept of "cyberspace".

The closest mathematical structure I can see would be an unordered set whose elements are individual servers, but this is so generic of a structure as to be entirely useless.

Comment: Re:Exception to Betteridge's law!! (Score 1) 292

by Simply Curious (#42878933) Attached to: Is the Concept of 'Cyberspace' Stupid?
Metaphors are there to give insight into concepts that are difficult to understand. If a metaphor provides correct understanding by giving intuition based on the metaphor, then it is a good metaphor. If a metaphor provides wrong answers when applying it, then it is wrong as a metaphor.

Comment: Re:Exception to Betteridge's law!! (Score 1) 292

by Simply Curious (#42878425) Attached to: Is the Concept of 'Cyberspace' Stupid?
It isn't a lack of imagination that causes one to see cyberspace as idiotic. Rather, those who see cyberspace as a useful concept have a lack of understanding. It is an incorrect metaphor, because it implies connections that do not exist. For example, it implies that someone must be physically located somewhere in order to affect a location. It implies that a person cannot affect multiple locations at the same time. It implies that a person is capable of littering without the permission of the owner. It implies that borders can be enforced. It implies that there are neighboring areas. (My address being 1 away from yours implies that I have the house next to yours. My IP address being 1 away from yours implies that they were purchased as part of the same lot.)

I'm all for metaphors when they are accurate and increase understanding. When they are outright wrong, then the metaphors are idiotic, and should be dropped.

Real Users find the one combination of bizarre input values that shuts down the system for days.

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