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Comment: Re:Like the sailor that blow into his sail... (Score 1) 115

by hey! (#49819399) Attached to: Fuel Free Spacecrafts Using Graphene

Well, without actually reading the article itself I'll venture an opinion of course. If you carried the fuel and lasers yourself it wouldn't be like the sailor blowing on his own sail at all; it's be like the sailor facing the stern and blowing his ship forward. That's because the ship would still be powered by the rearward expulsion of electrons.

The advantage of the system with an external laser is (I presume) that even though it is no doubt very energy inefficient, since all you're expelling is electrons the specific impulse would be quite high. This allows you to apply small amount of thrust, but continuously for a long time without the bulk of your payload being fuel. If you are going to carry the fuel needed to power the thrusters you might as well go with compact ion thrusters.

Comment: Re:Wow, 22.88? Seriously? (Score 1) 34

he hasn't updated Flash in years and got hit by malvertising.

You don't have to be that bad, even. My parents' PC had Flash 12 on it and Flash 9 on it. Where did Flash 9 come from? It was installed at the same time as the updater software for their GPS device.

The whole ecosystem is toxic and hateful towards the user.

Comment: PROTECTED speech (Score 1) 130

Fundamentally, not all communications are speech, because some communications have explicit direct non-speech results.

According to the Supreme Court, not all communications are PROTECTED speech. (They're still speech. They just don't enjoy the First Amendment protections because they're ALSO parts of crimes for which one can be punished - and in some cases (such as threats or criminal conspiracy) the speech is all it takes to commit or be a participant in the crime.)

Because speech is explicitly mentioned as protected in the First Amendment (and anti-government speech is also specifically a necessary part of another protected right - petitioning the government for redress of grievances), the court sets a very high standard for laws making some kind of speech a crime: Such laws may be overturned just because they have "a chilling effect" on protected speech, by making people avoid such protected speech out of concern that it might be prosecuted.

Regardless, Congress doesn't get to pass laws that preemptively muzzle people or block publication. They just get to pass laws to punish them AFTER they speak (or print, ...) some explicitly illegal content.

Yelling "fire" in a crowded theater isn't speech.

Funny you should mention that. The phrase "FALSELY shouting fire in a crowded theatre" originated in a WWI Supreme Court decision declaring that distributing anti-draft leaflets to people of draft age was not protected speech.

My favorite approach to "Fire in a Crowded Theatre" was Abbie Hoffman's (when being interviewed in a crowded theatre):
    Interviewer: "But surely you don't advocate shouting fire in a crowded theatre?"
    Abbie: "FIRE!"

Comment: Re:Goddamnit (Score 2) 82

Humanity moved beyond pictogram-based languages for a reason, and now the internet - that paragon of human achievement - is moving us back to pictograms again. WTF?

It's about the limbic system. Alphabets are a good invention for low-bandwidth communication (including fingertips) but also "a picture is worth a thousand words".

Comment: Re:Does this mean... (Score 2) 130

A jury might find that a reasonable argument, but state legislatures have decided that youths need to be protected from sex so much that, like the gp said, it's a 'strict liability' law, even if the minor wants sex so bad they're willing to lie and obtain forgeries to help assist with their lies.

This is why jury nullification is so important - to keep psychopathic legislatures from incarcerating the entire population. A jury has two jobs - to judge the facts and to judge the law. Lawyers and judges try to diminish the second for their own benefit.

On the other hand ... this isn't some trifling matter of stealing trillions of dollars, lying to Congress, or starting wars based on lies - this is consensual sex! So, off to the gallows with him.

Comment: Re:Idiots (Score 1) 197

They needed access to everyone's researchers who are working on solving this problem

Researchers in industry can't shut up, talking about their basic research. It's a well-studied effect, and, in fact, industry employers count on this - they pay their researchers, their researchers get to work on their pet projects, and by doing so they stay plugged into the broader industry, and both they and their employers benefit from this arrangement. It's a non-zero-sum game.

And even though it's been economically validated, it just makes sense - to pay a researcher to wall himself off from his industry (thereby making him forever unemployable beyond the current employer) would be _far_ too expensive.

Sure, there are a few trade secrets that get kept, but that's the exception, not the rule.

Uber apparently thinks they need to own patents on self driving technology rather than just mass produced self driving cars ASAP.

No argument that the patent system screws everything up. But call the CMU licensing and commercialization department and ask them what they think. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

If CMU were championing the abolition of patents, I'd feel sorry for them.

Comment: Not remarkable at all. (Score 1) 77

Anti-malware companies try to appear as experts.

Malware authors try to be anonymous, leaving minimal personal signature in the malware. Malware authors also share code and reverse-engineer each other's code and use the result, so even style may be misleading. So even experts would have difficulty attributing it to any particular person,

That means any attempt to identify the author - as a real person, an alias, or a label under which to group multiple products of the same author, will be very error prone. With law-enforcement and other security types attempting to defend against and/or apprehend the authors, and the authors trying to hamper the anti-malware people and companies some of these errors would come to light. This would reduce the reputation of the anti-malware workers and companies, without regard to their success at malware defence.

So it is no surprise to me that andi-malware people and companies don't publish the results of any attempts they may make to identify the authors in the course of their work. Why should they take a risk like that for no perceivable gain? The risk/benefit ratio says don't even speculate.

Comment: Re:Layoffs (Score 1) 60

by TheRaven64 (#49815263) Attached to: Intel To Buy Altera For $16.7 Billion

There's some overlap. Altera FPGAs have lots of fixed-function blocks on them, ranging from simple block RAMs to fast floating point units. There's a good chance that Intel could reuse some of their existing designs (which, after all, are already optimised for their manufacturing process) from things like AVX units and caches on x86 chips. A lot of the FPGAs also include things like PCIe, USB, Ethernet and so on controllers. Again, Intel makes these in their chipset division and, again, they're optimised for Intel's process so being able to stick them on FPGAs instead of the Altera ones would make sense.

The main reason that you're probably right is that Intel is generally pretty bad at getting their own internal divisions to play nicely together, let alone ones that are used to being in a completely separate company.

Comment: Re:So, what's the plan? (Score 2) 60

by TheRaven64 (#49815081) Attached to: Intel To Buy Altera For $16.7 Billion

My guess would be coarse-grained reconfigurable architectures. Altera FPGAs aren't just FPGAs, they also have a load of fixed-function blocks. The kinds of signal processing that the other poster talks about work because there are various floating point blocks on the FPGA and so you're using the programmable part to connect a sequence of these operations together without any instruction fetch/decode or register renaming overhead (you'd be surprised how much of the die area of a modern CPU is register renaming and how little is ALUs).

FPGAs are great for prototyping (we've built an experimental CPU as a softcore that runs on an Altera FPGA at 100MHz), but there are a lot of applications that could be made faster by being able to wire a set of SSE / AVX execution units together into a fixed chain and just fire data at them.

Comment: WARNING: WOT still flags SF as "Trusted" (Score 2) 341

by FreeUser (#49815011) Attached to: SourceForge and GIMP [Updated]

This behavior should get SourceForge blacklisted as both cyber-squatters and adware, possibly malware vendor.

I agree 100%. 10 years ago sourceforge was a great site. Now it's basically a malware haven. Unfortunately, plugins like Web of Trust (WoT) seem to have been slow to catch up ... WoT is still marking sourceforge as green ("trusted"). Perhaps blackholing the site in DNS really is the best answer...

Comment: Re:Do these companies really hate people so much.. (Score 1) 197

That minimum wage guy is one of the major costs for a taxi company. The IRS rates miles driven in a car at a little under 60/mile, which should cover maintenance, depreciation, insurance and fuel. A taxi that only had these costs could be quite profitable at 70/mile. In New York, taxis cost $2/mile, which isn't that far off other places in the USA. The minimum wage guy needs to be paid even when the taxi is waiting for the next fare. With an automated car, you'd just leave them scattered around the city powered down and turn on the closest one when you got a new job.

If you want to put yourself on the map, publish your own map.

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