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Comment Re:I don't understand. (Score 1) 325

well, more accurately they would need to compromise the node immediately adjacent to you and a node near the sender for the attack you're describing (even if they're using multiple encryptions for the transfer like onion routing (which i don't know) you could still have a reasonable guess based on amounts of traffic, despite not having compromised some of the intervening nodes)

Comment Re:Will it fly? (Score 1) 289

Personally, I didn't switch over to Linux until I had a computer that was purely Linux. I had a dual boot machine for a while, but simply never ended up using the Linux partition, except the first time it was installed. Rather than the dual boot helping me learn, it just sat there. The better learning experience was probably doing things for school on the command line over ssh (via putty).

I eventually simply had to make the plunge, and have been very happy with Linux since.

Comment Re:Give me their names. (Score 2, Interesting) 409

i personally disagree with the idea that you can have 'freedom of speech' combined with the threat of lawsuits for said speech. if that were the case, china isn't that different. while i don't think that one should be allowed to yell at people, for example, communication between consenting parties should be allowed regardless of its content.

in china, for example, you have (some) freedom to go onto a website and talk about tiananmen square. however, i hope you're ready to take "responsibility" four your speech.

i'm exaggerating of course, but that's not too different from having to take "responsibility" for a comment. a difference, you could say, is whether the speaker is on the side of truth or not, but in china, the tiananmen square massacre is generally not known to have happened.

anyway, the legal proceedings surrounding a lawsuit (or pretty much anything involving a courtroom) are quite a punishment. even if the accusation is thrown out, there is nontrivial inconvenience caused.

because of the difficulty of ascertaining what is 'true' in many cases (not to mention that i hope people will eventually learn to take things with grains of salt), i think that 'freedom of speech' should include 'freedom to lie'. it might seem convenient to live in a world where people never lie, that just isn't possible -- and our current implementation means that one's ability to speak depends on anonymity... or money to spend on lawyers.


No Naked Black Holes 317

Science News reports on a paper to be published in Physical Review Letters in which an international team of researchers describes their computer simulation of the most violent collision imaginable: two black holes colliding head-on at nearly light-speed. Even in this extreme scenario, Roger Penrose's weak cosmic censorship hypothesis seems to hold — the resulting black hole (after the gravitational waves have died down) retains its event horizon. "Mathematically, 'naked' singularities, or those without event horizons, can exist, but physicists wouldn't know what to make of them. All known mechanisms for the formation of singularities also create an event horizon, and Penrose conjectured that there must be some physical principle — a 'cosmic censor' — that forbids singularity nakedness ..."

Submission + - SPAM: The web vs. U.S. Bank

destinyland writes: "Online information is creating problems for U.S. Bancorp. A new federal law lets customers opt-out of high-fee overdraft protection. In October a consumer site published an internal U.S. Bancorp memo, which inspired a Washington customer to confront a local manager who insisted that opting out was impossible. He ultimately received an apology from the bank's CEO — but two days later recorded the bank's tellers again wrongly advising customers that opting out was impossible. Now he's posted the audio recording online, targetting the $50 billion a year banks earn from their "courtesy" overdraft protection."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Lawmakers Debate Patent Immunity for Banks (

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "Now that a small Texas company has a patent on scanning and archiving checks — something every bank does — lawmakers feel they have to do something about it. Rather than reform patent law, they seem to think it wiser to protect the banks from having to pay billions in royalties by using eminent domain to buy the patent for $1 billion in taxpayer money, immunizing the banks. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)."

Submission + - Gates foundation deathly side-effects ( 3

HuguesT writes: An long and detailed article from the L.A. Times points out severe, unintended side effects of the health policies of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. This foundation has given away almost 2 billions US$ to the fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria worldwide. Thanks in no small measure to this effort, the death toll from AIDS in most of Africa are finally levelling off. However, the money from the foundation is earmarked to the fight against these three diseases, to the detriment of global health. Sick people can also be hungry and not able to ingest healing drugs. Doctors in these countries prefer to be well paid working against AIDS than poorly working against all the other health problems, which creates a brain drain. Numerous children also suffer from diarrhea or asphyxia due to lack of basic care. The paradox is that countries where the foundation has invested most have seen their mortality rate increase, whereas it has improved in countries where the foundation was least involved.

Comment Re:drug patents don't work out economically (Score 2, Insightful) 213

If you do the math, it would be cheaper for the government (i.e., cost less in your and my tax dollars) to do away with drug patents altogether and pay for the full development cost of each drug.
Not that I support big drug companies or anything, but how are you coming up with that? Logic dictates that governments would be less efficient in producing drugs (like they seem to be with everything else). Further, you are then forced to rely on the current government in power to decide on what avenues (drug development wise) to pursue. If that was the case, you would never get things like the "morning after pill" or anything else that has any controversy behind it.

In fact, market forces cause companies to develop the most profitable drugs, but those are not the drugs we actually need.
Really? Well, the market seems to think that we need these drugs, doesn't it?

Drugs that actually cure, that are based on public domain substances ...
Huh? What are you suggesting? That pharmaceutical companies provide no drugs of non-trivial value to society? Interesting. What about the HIV cocktails like Isentress , Zidovudine ? I could go on and list a 100 more, but I think I have shown my point.

Star Wreck Creators Announce Iron Sky 98

An anonymous reader writes "The makers of the Star Trek and Babylon 5 cross-over spoof Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning have announced their upcoming movie Iron Sky. It's apparently another sci-fi comedy with its own universe. Says Director Timo Vuorensola: 'It is still an open question whether it will be distributed also for free. We would very much like it, but it will depend a lot on the financiers.'"

You've been Berkeley'ed!