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Comment: Re:How is limiting your market protection? (Score 2) 30

by IamTheRealMike (#49379331) Attached to: EU Commission Divided Over Nation-Specific Content Blocking

Clearly I don't understand capitalism.

Clearly. Geoblocking is at least partially about market segmentation. The EU is so large that it has extremely major disparities in wealth between its member nations. Consider the difference between Sweden and Romania. If you have a movie and charge a single price to stream it across the entire EU then:

a) Some people will find it incredibly cheap and others will find it still too expensive, just pushing them back towards piracy.

b) You end up having to deal with the tax systems of every single EU country anyway due to the retarded VAT changes they introduced this year, so it doesn't help simplify your business at all, and you theoretically aren't allowed to opt out of serving particular regions due to their horrible paperwork requirements, so being able to geoblock unprofitably complicated regions whilst claiming you have some other reason is quite attractive.

Comment: Re:Perhaps that's not what they meant to prove? (Score 1) 165

by argStyopa (#49379275) Attached to: At the Track With Formula E, the First e-Racing Series

Nonsense rationalization.
Part of what makes a sport a sport is the consistency of competition.
Do you see Germany playing with different-sized soccer goals than Brazil? Do you see Finnish hockey played with golf clubs? To use your example, do you change the number of pins based on the bowler?

Of course not. The idea would be absurd.

To then put the rules and standards at the whim of the populace is crass and ridiculous, tantamount to making a motor-race more like a racing version America's Got Talent where 'viewer votes' materially affect the outcome.

Let's say Danica Patrick joins the ePrix. She promises to drive topless if she wins the vote, and does, beating the next-best driver by 0.05 seconds. Did she win because she was a better driver, then? Or because she had tits and was willing to show them? Maybe Kim Kardashian could join the next race and really make it competitive?

I don't know about you, but I'm frankly uninterested in any 'sporting' contest in which the victor is decided by who prompts more slavering fans to call in. That's no longer a "sport" but merely "celebrity".

Comment: Re:depends (Score 1) 130

by IamTheRealMike (#49378651) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who's Going To Win the Malware Arms Race?

You mean like browsers and Javascript? In that case 99% of the population has lost already. The pwn2own competition results are rather miserable.

I don't think it's so bad. The pwn2own competition is notable primarily for the ridiculous levels of skill required to actually beat modern browser security (note: I do not include the still unsandboxed Firefox in this category).

What's been happening in recent years is that more and more bugs are being found by whitehat hackers first, with the complexity and difficulty of beating them going up radically over time. It used to be that random hackers in their bedrooms could put together browser exploit kits. Nowadays the people being whacked by clicking on "bad links" are mostly people who aren't keeping their software up to date properly or using decent browsers. Remember SQL Slammer and Code Red? It used to be that teenagers could find RCE vulns in Windows. Now it's much harder.

This trend is reflected in the rapidly escalating cost of buying exploits on the black market. There didn't even used to be a market for exploits.

Also look at the escalating difficulty of jailbreaking iPhones and Xboxes. The defenders learn from each successful attack and each time they fall, they get back up stronger than before. And that's despite the fact that there's hardly any money in writing secure software. Many customers will be happy if you simply patch holes that are reported to you, with few people choosing which product to use on the basis of a good security track record.

So it seems like things are getting better and the game is rapidly moving beyond many attackers abilities, the age of the script kiddie is largely coming to an end when it comes to attacking user endpoints. Instead a new game is starting, one where professional teams of government sponsored hackers fight against professional teams of private-sector sponsored defenders. We can claim this isn't progress of a sort, but without the previous hardening efforts, the industry would be tackling both types of attackers at once ...

Comment: Re:It is (Score 1) 121

by Rei (#49378241) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

Wow, this is great to hear - I'd never heard of you guys before. :)

And looking at your site, I like what you're doing even more - direct 3d printed aerospikes? Pretty darn cool. What sort of 3d printing tech are you using? Have you looked into the new hybrid laser spraying / CNC system that's out there (I forget the manufacturer)? The use of high velocity dust as source material gives you almost limitless material flexibility and improved physical properties that you can't get out of plain laser sintering, and the combination with CNC yields fast total part turnaround times.

And you're working on turbopump alternatives? Geez, you're playing with all of my favorite things here.... ;)

What sort of launch are you all looking at - is this ground launched (and if so, do you have a near-equatorial site) or air launched? I'd love to see more details about your rockets, what sort of ISP figures you're getting so far, how you're manufacturing your tanks, and on and on. But I guess I'll have to wait just like everyone else ;)

I wish you lots of success! And even if you don't make it, at the very least you'll have added a ton of practical research to the world :)

Comment: Re:Wrong Focus (Score 1) 121

by Rei (#49378083) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

Note that it's technically possible to have something like this with a slow reactor; you could for example use steam as a moderator, which will transmit a reasonable proportion of near infrared through it (the hotter you can run your fuel particles, the better transmission you'll get). But not only will you lose some light, but just the simple act of neutron moderation is a very heat-intensive process, meaning big radiators if you want big power (not to mention that the moderator itself for such a slow reactor is also far heavier than the core). The whole point of my variant is to avoid the moderator and avoid the ship having to ever capture anything but incident heat lost due to generation, transmission, reflection, etc losses.

One possibility for a slow reactor, albeit only directly applicable to the rocket mode above, is to have your propellant be your moderator, absorbing both IR and moderating fast neutrons. The fact that it's heating then becomes irrelevant (actually an advantage), since you're dumping it out the nozzle for thrust. If one wanted mission flexibility in such a scenario you could have such a moderator-ejecting rocket mode used to get to orbit, and then switch to retaining the moderator once in orbit and cooling it instead in order to make use of the fission fragment operating mode.

But a fast reactor would obviously be highly preferable so you don't have to worry about a moderator at all. :) I'm just pointing the above out because slow reactor versions have already been simulated.

Comment: Re:Wrong Focus (Score 1) 121

by Rei (#49378039) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

Wait a minute, no, I entered it right into the calculator the first time around. Argh, this interface is confusing. Radiative equilibrium for Tunsten at its melting point 3300C according to the calculator is 92MW/m. A "cool" 1200C radiative temperature according to the calculator 2,6MW/m. According to the calculator, 10kW/m is about 380C.

Comment: Re:Wrong Focus (Score 1) 121

by Rei (#49375327) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

The cornerstone of it is the dusty fission fragment rocket, so I'd start there. Another key aspect is the use of a accelerator-driven subcritical fast reactor rather than a critical slow reactor. Lastly it's a variant of a nuclear lightbulb, albeit (as mentioned) without the primary drawbacks of them (containment and radiation blackening of the chamber blocking the light). This latter aspect is due to the spectrum changes of fused silica (I can't find a paper on short notice that shows the IR spectrum, but you can see that for most types of fused silica / fused quartz, there's little loss of transmission on the red side of the spectrum; this holds true but is even more pronounced in the IR range).

Comment: We need Quis custodit custodes legislation (Score 1) 125

by argStyopa (#49374491) Attached to: Silk Road Investigators Charged With Stealing Bitcoin

Any crime perpetrated by someone held responsible for the victim or subject by reasonable judgement shall be tried and sentenced as escalated one step more severe than the normal context of the crime, according to the following list:
infraction -> misdemeanor -> gross misdemeanor -> felony -> capital crime.

Therefore, while "beating someone up" might be a gross misdemeanor assault in the eyes of the law, when performed by a custodial parent on their child, or a nursing attendant on one of their wards, it would be considered a felony.
Petty theft of $100 might be a misdemeanor, but when it's done by someone in custody of the cash drawer, it's a gross misdemeanor.
By this standard, however, sitting members of Congress and the President could be considered to be "responsible" for the entire country, and thus automatically always escalated.

Comment: Re:Wrong Focus (Score 1) 121

by Rei (#49372263) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

Used an online calculator earlier but clearly I had entered something in wrong last time because the results it's coming back with this time are different (and much lower). Tungsten could radiate around 10kW/m around its melting point. Graphite could do 14,5kW/m at its sublimation point. Hafnium carbide, 17,2kW/m at its melting point (though ceramics are brittle and probably not suitable).

An ideal near-term radiative solution for minimizing mass in this regard would involve a working fluid in carbon tubes carrying a thermal fluid out to carbon radiators.

There's also radiator concepts that don't use solids at all - various kinds of droplet radiators.

Comment: Re:Freedom to discriminate == no protection ... (Score 1) 995

Yeah, I just *hate* haters, don't you? /irony.

You might want to review http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-...

But here's the key: When a Scientologist (or Muslim, or Christian, or yoga enthusiast) says it works for them, this is what they're talking about. The mythology isn't important -- if these rituals have saved your life and later on a teacher says, "Yeah, this technique works because of the ancient thetans that live in your *******," you're going to shrug and say, "Sure, sounds good." If you tell the lady in yoga class that the reason she feels better afterward is because negative spiritual energies tend to pool in the hip joints, you'll get the same reaction.

Then if you, as a cool, rational person, butt in and say, "Actually, yoga is just engaging the endonomic nervous system and reducing cortisol levels," all they're going to hear is you replacing a very easy-to-understand explanation with a very complicated one that sounds like gibberish. If you smirk and roll your eyes at these gullible lemmings, then go grab a mirror and smirk at yourself, partner, because you do it too.

You physically don't have room in your brain to keep track of how everything in your world works (****, you don't even really know how your brain works) so you can feel all superior to a Christian who doesn't believe in evolution, but somewhere there's an engineer who feels superior to you for not knowing how your iPhone works (and you know "endonomic nervous system" is just a nonsense phrase I made up, right?). The reality is that you don't know how your iPhone works because knowing that wouldn't change your day-to-day use of it at all. Likewise, thinking the Earth is only 6,000 years old doesn't make it any harder to have, say, a career-repairing air conditioner. But believing that self-discipline, patience, and hard work are sacred virtues from God definitely makes it easier.

And if you look hard enough, you'll see that this flaw -- favoring what works to the exclusion of everything else -- encompasses everybody. The compulsive liar got to be that way because it works. So did the bully, the racist, and the greedy bastard. And every single cult, hate group, or political party has figured out that you can ensnare people by gluing the weird parts onto a bunch of common sense axioms that nobody can disagree with.

Comment: Eventually, values will clash (Score 1) 995

At some point your freedoms will clash with my freedoms. Who wins then, Tim?

For every person demanding that kids be taught that homosexuality is normal and natural and thus should be accepted by all (as proved by its persistence throughout history despite brutal efforts to suppress it), I'd like to submit that we - using the same criteria - teach that murder, rape, and war are LIKEWISE "normal" and "natural".

Oh wait, one is obviously "good", the other obviously "bad"? Some people might assert that homosexuality is biologically deviant and phylogenically a waste of resources, while war culls the weak.

(I'll just point out that even composing this post and the examples above was an intellectually challenging exercise, but the moment we don't TRY to understand the viewpoint of our ideological opposite - who likely has the same moral stance, just a different set of facts/priorities/filters - our arguments are bankrupt.)

Personally, I believe that racists, and homophobes, and sexists should be allowed to just do what they want, and be who they are, as long as they don't actually harm anyone. If they want to refuse service in their business, that's a commercial decision they can make, and can cheerfully live with the consequences of that choice - I mean, it's not like the internet would make it simple for the world to be informed of these choices, and the marketplace - the true democracy, with people casting votes they actually care about with their $ - can vote on whether it's anathema or ok.

Comment: Perhaps that's not what they meant to prove? (Score 1) 165

by argStyopa (#49370289) Attached to: At the Track With Formula E, the First e-Racing Series

If the racing guys can't figure out how to give electric cars a reasonable range with their budgets and top-end engineering skills, then no, electric cars are NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME.

Besides, WTF is this:
"...Although power is limited to 150 kW during the race, three drivers are actually able to use 180 kW for up to five seconds. This is called the FanBoost, as fans vote online for their favorite drivers in the hours before the race. This extra slug of energy can come in handy to overtake or defend against a rival, although obviously it will drain the battery even faster than normal...."
This is absolutely idiotic. It would be like fans voting which batter can take an extra strike, or if a team gets an extra down in (American) football. Who comes up with this crap?

Comment: Re:Wrong Focus (Score 1) 121

by Rei (#49369195) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

How exactly are radiators that can radiate tens to hundreds of kilowatts per square meter supposed to be mass-prohibitive but solar panels that generate a couple hundred watts at best per square meter not mass-prohibitive? Okay, they're not exactly the same, solar cells are inherently going to be heavier than whatever minimum thin aluminum sheeting is needed for radiating, but the heat pipes leading up to it will be heavier than solar power booms... regardless, I can't see how solar wins this competition.

Good day to avoid cops. Crawl to work.