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Comment: Clueless article (Score 4, Informative) 396

by alexhs (#47236227) Attached to: One Developer's Experience With Real Life Bitrot Under HFS+

People talking about "bit rot" usually have no clue, and this guy is no exception.

It's extremely unlikely that a file would become silently corrupted on disk. Block devices include per-block checksums, and you either have a read error (maybe he has) or the data read is the same as the data previously written. As far as I know, ZFS doesn't help to recover data from read errors. You would need RAID and / or backups.

Main memory is the weakest link. That's why my next computer will have ECC memory. So, when you copy the file (or otherwise defragment or modify the file, etc), you read a good copy, some bit flips in RAM, and you write back corrupted data. Your disk receives the corrupted data, happily computes a checksum, therefore ensuring you can read back your corrupted data faithfully. That's where ZFS helps. Using checksumming scripts is a good idea, and I do it myself. But I don't have auto-defrag on Linux, so I'm safer : when I detect a corrupted copy, I still have the original.

ext2 was introduced in 1993, and so was NTFS. ext4 is just ext2 updated (ext was a different beast). If anything, HFS+ is more modern, not that it makes a difference. All of them are updated. By the way, I noticed recently that Mac OS X resource forks sometimes contain a CRC32. I noticed it in a file coming from Mavericks.

Comment: Re:I'm ignorant (Score 2) 105

by alexhs (#47178769) Attached to: Evidence of Protoplanet Found On Moon

Given enough data, almost all theories are disproven. The only ones that remain are the ones that fit the data.

Given enough data, almost all hypotheses are disproven. The ones which remain and have not yet been disproven by evidence become theories.

Nope, the AC was right.

By your definition, there is ultimately no such thing as a theory. Newtonian physics don't fit as they've been invalidated by Einstein's general relativity, which itself is known to be wrong as it is inconsistent with quantum mechanics (which are also wrong for the same reason).

You can't claim that former theories that were refined / invalidated never were theories in the first place : The "not yet" in your second sentence is problematic as it only allows theories to be defined with hindsight.

Therefore :

When data doesn't fit current theories, you're forming hypotheses, and test them. If your hypothesis fits the data better than former theories on some domain of validity (whose boundaries might not be completely known at the time of formulation, and will be refined with time and experimentations), good for you: you now have a new theory. It will ultimately be replaced by better theories, usually with an extended domain of validity (data that were missing at the time of formulation and testing).

And that was well summed up by the GP.

Comment: Re:High Fat Low Carb, Paleo/Primal (Score 1) 499

by bigdavex (#46866783) Attached to: You Are What You're Tricked Into Eating

The grain growers wanted to mass produce and sell the stuff, and some politicians liked a "heart healthy" message (despite scientists protesting that more research was needed before jumping to conclusions) and so the whole "heart healthy" movement was born, which emphasised high carb foods like cereals, by demonising fat.

It would be better for the grain growers if you ate animals that were fed grain, as this process is less energy efficient. This is a lousy conspiracy theory.

Comment: Personal Experience (Score 1) 405

by bigdavex (#46804367) Attached to: In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

My grandfather asked me to go golfing with him when I was about 7. There was some conversation among the adults concluding that, based on my age only, I was a hazard to the green and therefore would have to just watch. So I followed around old guys for an hour on grass that I was not worthy to putt on. I realize this is an antecdote. Fuck golf.
 

Comment: Re:Are you kidding (Score 5, Insightful) 818

by alexhs (#46771371) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

The problem is people vote for tax cuts for the rich because they think they will be rich one day.

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
-- John Steinbeck

Not only the USA, apparently...

Comment: Re:Inherent bias (Score 1) 351

by alexhs (#46702571) Attached to: Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

We have considerably less data on the isolated tribes that die out before we meet them.

Well, that's what you think.

We know how many there are (*).
Should I remind you that the NSA never met you; however it knows more about you than your close family ?

(*) Obviously, the civilians only get a rough approximation, the exact number is classified.

One of the most overlooked advantages to computers is... If they do foul up, there's no law against whacking them around a little. -- Joe Martin

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