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Comment: This can't be used as a blueprint for success (Score 1) 447

by TrentC (#48130535) Attached to: Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage

There are lots of things that can't simply be controlled for. Dating for a while before getting engaged and married is a good idea because you really get to know your would-be spouse (gotta make it through the holidays at least once with your potential future in-laws!) but guys who are focused on their partner's appearance and women who focus on their partner's money are more likely to get divorced? Is that a convoluted way of saying "Don't obsess over things about your partner you can't control?"

The quotes in the summary say that couples who elope are 12.5x more likely to get divorced than couples who get married in ceremonies with 200+ people, but they also say that the more you spend on your wedding, the more likely you are to get divorced. How much do they think a 200+ person wedding costs??

Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it also reminds me of a quite from Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath: "Experts are pretty bad at predictions. But they are great at assessing base rates."

Comment: Re:Its not good to fxck with numbers! (Score 1) 163

Numbers are the bedrock of the capitalist regime. They are sacred. Do not transform them when copying them. Better to mangle words cause we all know they have semiotic plasticity anyway. But for the love of the capitalism and all it portends, please keep the numbers pure. That is all.

Science and engineering rely on the numbers being "pure" too, jackass. It's not always about money.

I prefer to not be injured or killed because altered numbers mean a structure is unstable, or that I get an incorrect dosage of medication.

Comment: Re:simple solution (Score 1) 277

by TrentC (#44289179) Attached to: NSA Spying Hurts California's Business

Great trade connections.

Which are supported by trade agreements that were negotiated with the United States as a whole.

If California secedes, then it gets to negotiate those treaties all by its lonesome, including with the United States. Who wants to bet that they'll get the same terms?

Good luck getting much water out of the Colorado river post secession, but that's been drying up anyway.

I'm glad you think that water is so immaterial to California; how, exactly, do you think the new country will be able to produce enough food to support its citizens without it?

Comment: The problem with the industry is not programmers (Score 4, Insightful) 132

Spector ultimately believes the people who actually make the games are going to make better decisions than the number crunchers.

The people with the money call the shots. How will a year-long boot camp for programmers make managers and number crunchers listen to programmers when they don't now?

Comment: Re:as a bitcoin expert... (Score 1) 385

by TrentC (#43324525) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should Bitcoin Be Regulated?

transactions cannot be modified

Didn't at least one exchange deal with a rash of compromised Bitcoin accounts (which spurred a crash in the value) by rolling back transactions? Yes, they did. How is that not modifying transactions?

If someone steals US dollars out of my wallet, they're gone. If someone breaks into my bank account and transfers money out, I may get reimbursed but the money that I am compensated with more then likely comes from the bank itself; no one waves a magic wand and takes the money back from the thief.

I have feeling that Bitcoin is secure the same way Mac OS X was "secure" for a long time: because there wasn't enough of a profit motive for attacking it. The more people that flock to Bitcoin, the more bad guys will start to work on breaking it to their advantage. (I'm happy to be proven wrong, though.)

Comment: Re:Another week Another ... (Score 0) 232

by TrentC (#41238071) Attached to: BitFloor Joins List of Compromised BitCoin Exchanges

I would not even be surprised if most of them were inside jobs.

So you're saying that the problem isn't that Bitcoins aren't secure, it's just more likely that the people running the exchanges are thieves.

That's supposed to make us feel better? Talk about a distinction without a difference...

Comment: Re:DO NOT WANT (Score 1) 446

by TrentC (#40756621) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's Holding Up Single Sign-On?

I don't have a common key for my house, office, and car either. Nor do I want one.

There's a big difference between a physical object (a key) and a piece of data to be remembered (a password)

You don't have to remember or describe the arrangement of the bumps and notches on your key, it's just there. And lock providers don't require you to select an arrangement of X number of bumps and Y number of notches when you request a key, while another lock provider requires X number of bumps, Z number of notches, and Q half-bumps.

And while you don't have a single key for your car, your house, and your office, I'm willing to bet you keep them all on the same keyring.

Comment: Re:Bad idea! (Score 1) 446

by TrentC (#40755837) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's Holding Up Single Sign-On?

What's the big deal? Because you find the least secure website that follows your password schema and you crack it.

Why would any single sign-on system store user passwords? MIT figured out in the 1980s for Kerberos that you don't have to transmit passwords, just basically pass around encrypted session tokens.

If someone cracks Slashdot and goes for my user credentials, all they should get is a token that's only good for authenticating to Slashdot. Congrats! You can have my remaining mod points...

Comment: That's not how the free market works, Nick (Score 1) 228

by TrentC (#36394756) Attached to: Why Apple's DUI Checkpoint App Ban Is Stupid

Why does a libertarian like Nick Gillespie want to force a market participant like Apple to carry certain types of apps in its App Store? Last time I checked, the First Amendment was about the government abridging your right to free speech.

If people want DUI checkpoint apps, they can switch to Android or some other phone platform that allows them to run the types of app they want. The market will reward or punish Apple accordingly. Isn't that how it's supposed to work?

Comment: Re:Might be useful (Score 1) 221

by TrentC (#34520074) Attached to: Iron-Eating Bug Is Gobbling Up the Titanic

This is a potentially useful bit of microbiology. Eventually we're going to have to clean up landfill sites and the like, so what would be more useful than a bug that strips all the iron out of a pile of stuff and deposits it in sediment? Scoop garbage into tanks, let the bugs do their work, collect the sludge at the bottom for processing. If we could engineer these bacteria to eat other stuff like copper or various types of plastic, we could potentially reclaim a lot of what we call "garbage" on the cheap.

For reasons why this might be a horrifically bad idea, I present you with the story of Klebsiella planticola.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle