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Comment Re:Bad design? (Score 2, Informative) 42

Why is that kind of information on the bar code at all?

Your subject says it all ... bad design.

This stuff isn't designed to be secure, or protect your privacy, it's designed to make the process easier for airlines and the idiots who run the security theater.

There's a lot of products which are absolutely terribly designed like this ... apparently with a bar code reader and a hotel key card, you can extract a tremendous amount of information which has no business being encoded on that.

As long as there are no data privacy laws, and companies have no penalties for incompetently making use of it, this will continue.

You should pretty much assume that all companies who want your data are either incompetent, or have other motives to misuse your data -- you'll be less surprised when it proves to be true. It won't help you, but you'll be less surprised.

Comment Re:It's not what Google wants.... (Score 1) 363

I do occasionally see web ads - hard to escape that without turning off JS entirely (though /. lets me disable them) - but I'd hardly count that as using a Google product. I don't listen to commercial radio; good public radio where I live, and I mostly listen to audiobooks anyhow. I don't have cable, haven't for 20 years. Netflix is fine for keeping something on my TV. I certainly don't watch any broadcast news, where my choices are the propaganda arm of the Democratic party, or Fox. No thanks. I seriously dislike commercials, as you may have gathered.

The one place Google still gets me from time to time is YouTube. I wish there was a better alternative there, but there's educational content on YouTube that just doesn't exists anywhere else. Fortunately the interstitial ads are pretty rare for the non-pop-culture stuff (and I'm sure I could block those too, if I got more active about it).

Comment Re:It's not what Google wants.... (Score 1) 363

I don't use Google products, because fuck being the product. I went elsewhere. Most people simply aren't aware of what Google does, just as most people think they're the customers for commercial TV.

Google still makes almost all of their money selling ad impressions. You are product. (Facebook too, of course.)

Comment Re:Hmmm .... (Score 5, Informative) 170

Personally, I think he's mistaken or lying. I just wanted to make sure that we considered the reasonable alternatives.

I'm pretty sure in reading TFA there is little chance he could be "mistaken":

The secret sauce seems to be ultra-dense deuterium, "D(0)" whatever that means. Looking through the author's other papers, it looks like he's claiming to have made metallic hydrogen, which would be a Nobel Prize right there. And it's starting to look a little bit suspicious that no other labs have replicated the work in the intervening eight or ten years.

While metallic hydrogen probably exists inside the core of Jupiter, no lab on Earth has succeeded in making metallic hydrogen repeatably, although it's been postulated to be possible since 1935 and many have tried. Teams at Cornell and the French Atomic Commission have both given it a shot, and failed with pressures as high as 3.2 million atmospheres.

Well, no labs except [Holmlid]'s. It must be true, though, because it's on Wikipedia! It says right there that the [Holmlid] lab made metallic hydrogen using "Rydberg Matter". We'd never heard of this stuff, so we followed that Wikipedia link down the rabbit hole, only to find some mumbo-jumbo that we didn't understand and citations of papers nearly exclusively by, you guessed it, [Leif Holmlid].

If he can demonstrate this, then fine ... he's a super genius.

But I'm sticking with my "if he can't demonstrate that it works in such a way as to be repeatable by someone else, then he must be a lying, attention-seeking media whore."

It isn't up to the world to validate his outrageous claims. Put up or shut up.

Comment So Quantum Computing is real now? (Score 4, Interesting) 88

This step forward makes "quantum computing" real to me. Up till now, it's all been so experimental that it was divorced from engineering, and for me the target of much skepticism. Now that it's being done in silicon, however, it's on its way to being a product. Finally we might get past the hype and see what can actually be delivered!

Comment Re:As a Canadian (Score 2) 57

This work was huge, because it showed that neutrinos move slower than light. The "flip" was an inspired solution to the missing neutrino problem, as it required a string of assumptions that moved away from the "consensus": that neutrinos move slower than light, that they can "spontaneously" change flavor, and do so frequently, which meant assuming that there was some mechanism to allow the flip without the neutrinos interacting with something. Really quite a reach theoretically, but fully justified by the data.

This is common for the great physics breakthroughs: the evidence that the current model is wring is obvious, often for years, before someone has the inspiration of just how to accommodate the new data cleanly - often by moving far indeed from the current model. This wasn't relativity or QM, but it was still an impressive leap.

Comment Hmmm .... (Score 2, Interesting) 170

So, either Leif Holmlid is a lying, attention-seeking media whore ... or he's really made a revolutionary breakthrough.

But if he can't demonstrate that it works in such a way as to be repeatable by someone else, then he must be a lying, attention-seeking media whore.

I know which one my money is on.

Comment Re:Oh good, more contention. (Score 2) 156

Spectrum seems a bit over regulated at the moment, there's barely any room for entities that aren't massive corporations with billions of dollars to do anything.

Welcome to your oligarchy ... if it isn't designed to benefit massive corporations with billions of dollars, it isn't happening.

They're the ones who have the elected people on the payroll.

Comment Re:Issue is more complicated (Score 1) 889

"Your code is a piece of shit" is a perfectly apt comment. If the code is a steaming pile, it's a steaming pile, and you can't polish a turd. But you shouldn't take that as a personal attack - you are not your code. Especially outside the Open Source world, we're often rushed to produce code to some arbitrary deadline, and it's often crap code as a result. Acknowledging that straight-away "yup, it's total crap, I hope to be allowed the time to do it right" is very effective, and might actually get you that time!

The personal attack, beyond the code, that's different. But I've seen that from people I respect when someone has a pattern of writing bad code, and just can't seem to learn. That's the thing about this industry: the compiler gives 0 fucks about your feelings. Customer support gives 0 fucks about your feelings. The guys stuck maintaining your code years from now give 0 fucks about your feelings. Fuck your feelings. Learn to write good code when given the time to do so, and learn to mark crappy hacks as such with comments when you're rushed by management, so others can see right off that the code isn't supposed to make sense, but is instead a hack job that should be replace at the earliest opportunity.

And if you think any of that is harsh and uncaring, try being an artist sometime. You have no idea.

Comment Re:None of the people I know that Like this Show.. (Score 1) 380

The problem with BBT is the lazy writing and shoddy two dimensional characters. They lean on so many tropes it's like watching a drunk man trying to escort a paraplegic through an obstacle course.

Which is pretty much how I define all forms of sitcom -- at their core, it's the same 50 year old jokes and gags, and just minor variations on the theme.

The characters and situations change, but if you watch most sitcoms you can pretty much see the setup for the same old jokes happen all the time. Over and over and over. I stopped watching sitcoms years ago because of this ... I tried to watch BBT a few times, but other than the context, you still see a lot of the same stuff you would have seen in the 70s and 80s.

I probably watched too many when I was a kid. Now I can't watch any of them. Sitcoms just automatically generate a very loud "next" in my brain.

Comment Re:Facebook SHOULD require real names (Score 1) 230

I wonder if posting this crap as AC you appreciate the hypocrisy and irony inherent in that?

There is no valid reason for demanding pseudonymity except you have something to hide and are up to no good.

Ah, the battle cry of idiots and fascists ... if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

Comment Re:This ruling won't fix anything (Score 5, Interesting) 195

Simply keeping the data in the EU won't fix anything so long as that data is still being held by US controlled entities, as those entities will still be forced to hand over the data regardless of where it is (lets face it, Microsofts battle against that particular issue is destined to fail).

And then those entities will be in violation of EU law, and will end up paying massive fines or other penalties ... which would hopefully be severe. So severe as to cripple the companies.

See, no matter what the US believes, they can't trump the EU law. So if Microsoft's battle to not hand over this data fails, Microsoft in Europe will fail. It really is that simple.

And at the end of the day, the corporations are going go realize they can't jeopardize their revenue by pulling out of those markets.

The US doesn't get to pass laws which trump local laws any more than Iran does. And the US can't exempt those entities from local laws, which means this will come down to corporate self interest versus a government who feels it is entitled to collect this information.

So the bottom line is: too damned bad for the US, because once Microsoft in Europe starts getting fined billions of dollars and people start getting thrown in jail, they're very quickly going to realize they can't do it.

It really is about time the world tells the US that our privacy and legally protected rights don't take a back seat to US security interests. We don't give a shit what the US wants.

Comment So don't use your real name ... (Score 1) 230

Look, here's the thing: Make up a plausible sounding name, create a gmail account with that name and link it to it.

Just how much do you think Facebook can actually check this shit? Does anybody believe there aren't already fake names?

Yes, it's a stupid policy ... so ignore it.

Nothing recedes like success. -- Walter Winchell