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+ - NSA can't search its own email

Submitted by cycoj
cycoj (1010923) writes "The NSA says that there is no central method to search its own email. When asked in a Freedom of Information Act request for emails with the National Geographic Channel over a specific time period, the agency, which has been collecting and analysing the data of hundreds of millions internet users, says it can only perform person-per-person searches on its own email."

Comment: Re:Americans have greater liberty (Score 1) 568

by cycoj (#40127949) Attached to: Germany Sets New Solar Power Record

As opposed to US politics, there is a consensus in German politics. Namely that politics is for the benefit of the people and society. Business is a part of that society, not the other way around.

No, it is not that. It is just that Americans have a strong commitment to freedom, while certain European countries
sacrifice freedom in order to reach a higher (by material standards and measured by HDI) standard of living.
That is why homeschooling is generally legal in America, while in Germany there is a Nazi-era law
that persecutes homeschoolers as if they were rapists. In Germany, the freedom to teach one's own
child is less important than the benefit of having ideological uniformity in the nation, making for a stronger
society.

Actually the argument against homeschooling is that the freedom and rights of the child have to be protected even against the rights of the parents. The children have the right and freedom to be educated about science, sexuality other religions etc. even if the parents belong to some religious sect or the other, which oppose these ideas. I find it ironic that the ones shouting the loudest against abortion, and about the rights of the unborn child, are also the ones most strongly opposed to legislation for protecting the rights of born children, because essentially their premise is that children are the property of their parents, which they should be allowed to education whichever way they please (including beating with a stick).

Another example is "hate speech" legislation that makes politically incorrect ideas verboten.

Even if the USA didn't have the world's fourth highest HDI (behind only the Netherlands, Australia and Norway),
and the world's most advanced science/technology, it would still be the best place to live due to political decentralisation
(state's rights) and a strong liberty-protecting Constitution (specially the First Amendment).

Freedom trumps all.

Well, if we use the inequality adjusted HDI the USA suddenly falls back to the 23rd place. So it's not really such a great place to life. Also about technology and science, I doubt that every time I sit in an american train.
And about the liberty-protecting Constitution, how's that working for the detainees in Guantanamo?

Comment: Re:What does that have to do with anything? (Score 1) 568

by cycoj (#40127499) Attached to: Germany Sets New Solar Power Record

The article is about how an industrialised nation has demonstrated that it is economically and industrially feasible to harvest significant amounts of energy from the sun. Anyone want to talk about that?

They have not showed that. They have demonstrated, that you can build a lot of solar panels and wind mills, if you invest a sickening amount of money in them and pay over 100% in subsidies. When you look closer at the results, you notice that it's anything but economically feasible and it's causing a lot of problems:

http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/Bilder_Dateien/Keil_Energiewende_gescheitert/2012-EIKE_Germanys_green_energy_turnaround_V2.pdf

Unlike the nuclear industry who has not received any subsidies in the last 50 odd years.

Comment: Re:What does that have to do with anything? (Score 1) 568

by cycoj (#40127479) Attached to: Germany Sets New Solar Power Record

Actually nuclear is not cheap at all. The return on investment which is pretty much the standard measure for how expensive a technology is is 5-10 for nuclear, similar to photovoltaics and coal/gas. Wind on the other hand has an ROI of 18-25, that means you actually have produced all the energy it takes to make and operate your wind turbine over its lifetime in about 2 years, after that it's all a positive energy (pun intented). Nuclear power plants on the other hand need about 30 years to break even. And all ROI and such calculations never include the cost of storage of nuclear waste, because it's such a difficult thing to calculate. (source:http://www.eoearth.org/article/Energy_return_on_investment_(EROI)_for_wind_energy)

As to the question of base load. If your grid is sufficiently large and good, and your fluctuating power sources such as wind and solar, do not follow the same circles, you don't need any base load at all. It's actually more efficient to not have base load. You can find several studies on this if you use google. Now the current problem with this approach is that electricity grids are neither good, nor smart enough.

Comment: Re:Nuke power (Score 1) 483

by cycoj (#36135856) Attached to: Japan Widens Evacuation Zone Around Fukushima

You should really do your homework. First, for pretty much any power generation the cost of the plant is the main cost component both in terms of money and energy costs. So what the OP earlier said that the power is cheap once the plant is up and running is true for pretty much anything. Now, if we look at energy return i.e. the ratio of energy produced over the ratio of energy spend (for construction, maintenance, running and decommission) windpower beats all other means of producing energy by a large margin. The EROI of wind is ~18, for comparison hydro has about 12 and Nuclear is lower than PV-solar at about 5 or 6. That means if you build a windturbine after about 12-18 months(!) you are producing net energy. Now I admit energy cost is different than monetary cost, however they should be proportional to each other.

source:
http://www.eoearth.org/article/Energy_return_on_investment_(EROI)_for_wind_energy

Comment: insurance (Score 1) 370

by cycoj (#35791306) Attached to: Fukushima: What Happened and What Needs To Be Done

It's actually quite simple, require nuclear power operators to get insurance to cover all possible costs of a nuclear disaster. Then they can operate. I have to get car insurance to cover the costs of a possible accident, so why not the nuclear industry? If nuclear becomes to expensive, tough luck. If they can't find an insurance tough luck.

Comment: Re:They blew up and are melted down (Score 1) 370

by cycoj (#35791282) Attached to: Fukushima: What Happened and What Needs To Be Done

Technically "meltdown" simply means failure of the primary cooling system. And it most certainly failed, after standing up to catastrophic events far beyond their rated capacity.

So the reactors technically went into meltdown ... and were brought out again before anything actually melted. A number of indirectly neutron-activated elements, secondary byproducts of the fission reaction, were released into the air, and are totally harmless by now. In fact, over 99% of the Iodine-131 is Xenon by now.

In reality, in Japan :
-> Solar power killed dozens of people (people installing them during the quake, and a few people who got smashed by falling panels)
-> Wind power likewise killed a few people, who were repairing a mast
-> Oil based power killed hundreds of people, due to explosions in refineries and power plants
-> Nuclear power actually got close at one point, to (indirectly) kill 1 person. That person is recovering, and will make a full recovery in less than a month's time
Deaths per TWh energy (obviously discounting little details like the gulf wars, which only the absurdly naive claim have nothing to do with fossil fuels)

What a bullshit study is that? Counting the deaths from steel production, building and maintenance for Wind and Solar, but only counting the deaths from chernobyl for nuclear. What does he think nuclear plants are build of?

Comment: Re:left-wing Huffington Post (Score 1) 402

by cycoj (#34121910) Attached to: Net Neutrality Supporters Hammered In Elections

1) If a news source has marketed itself as a source of with a liberal bias (huffpo) or conservative bias (Fox News) then it is completely rational to double-check anything they say. Ad hominem attacks are perfectly acceptable and warranted if the source has explicit motives for it's speech. Read up a little more on the nuances of what an ad hominem attack really implies.

Funny that you accuse the OP of logical fallacies whithout actually saying what the fallacy is. At the same time you're yourself "conduct" a logical fallacy yourself. Just because a news source as some (perceived) bias does not mean they are not correct, even correct in most of the cases. When will people learn that the truth is not always in between two extremes, but might be just as well at one extreme side. Also some source in the middle (moderate if you want to) has just as many motives as any source at the extremes, bottom line always double check.

Also how is double checking sources related to making ad hominem attacks acceptable? Yes double checking sources is good, especially if you are doubtful about their motives. However, even someone with doubtful motives can be correct. An ad hominem attack avoids the argument altogether and instead just attacks the person. So the OP was fully correct, it seems you should be doing some reading.

2) Your response is entirely premised on terrible logical fallacies. You link the OP with "tribalism/partisanism/racism/sexism/prejudice" as a method to disparage his/her opinion. In my opinion, that is about 10x worse than what the OP did.

3) Browsing through your comment history, it's clear this sort of hogwash is your MO and you need to chill out rather than attacking people all the time.

Comment: Re:Questions from an optoelectronics geek (Score 2, Informative) 129

by cycoj (#32924544) Attached to: Irish Gov't Invests In Color-Coded Fiber Optics

Wavelengths, we're pretty much always talking near-infrared. The most often used wavelength range is the so-called C-band (1530–1565 nm). This is mainly because this is where Erbium-doped fibre amplifiers work, which are necessary to create very long links without repeaters (also this is where the absorption minimum of fibres is). Less common is the L-band 1565-1625 nm. There's also the O and E band this are AFAIK mainly legacy bands which were used at the beginning of fibre optic communications. (Dense) Wavelength division multiplexing WDM/DWDM systems have channel spacings of 100 or 50 GHz bandwidth, i.e. ~1 or 0.5 nm at 1550 nm (look up ITU grid for more info). Today they usually carry 10 Gb/s data, however more and more 40 Gb/s and the next standard is 100 Gb/s (this actually uses multi-level phase and amplitude coding). About the pushing microwaves over optic lines, that's not really desired, absorption is too high, you also need diameters on the scale of a wavelength (depending on your index contrast) and finally you would not gain much, the bandwidth of your channels depends on your carrier frequency at microwave wavelengths the carrrier frequency is a couple of 100 GHz max. so that's the full bandwidth you get. compared to the C-band which contains about 70 channels at 100 GHz bandwidth each. So really no point.

Comment: Re:Sadly... (Score 1) 764

by cycoj (#32096318) Attached to: Second Inquiry Exonerates Climatic Research Unit

For god's sake how's this modded insightful? They haven't come up with a falsifiable hypothesis?! Well tell me what the theory of AGW is? Also what's the point about about that they prove their assumptions by adding more data, you make it sound like they are searching for more data that supports their theory, like the data just magically appears out of thin air or something. Get a clue, the data comes from real sources, and yes they have added more and more data from more and more different sources and guess what it all supports the assumptions of AGW. That IS how you do science! And that is also how you come up with a scientific consensus. The anti-AGW folk or what you call them, have really had it easy in comparison, yes they only needed to come up with a clear falsification of AGW, but they haven't managed to do this. Instead they always repeat the same myths over and over again, "but, but ... the mid-evil warming period, ... sunactivity ..." all of which have been debunked over and over again. But fortunately thanks to "climategate" they don't need to make up scientific sounding arguments, they just shift to attacks on the integrity of the scientists

Comment: Re:Get back to me... (Score 1) 764

by cycoj (#32096270) Attached to: Second Inquiry Exonerates Climatic Research Unit

Quoted from an earlier post:

In case anyone is wondering about these people (because I was, and thus checked):

* Prof Ron Oxburgh FRS: a geophysicist, strongly worried about climate change. Worked with Shell and has ties to a number of alternate energy companies.
* Prof. Huw C. Davies: Works in the Institute of Atmosphere and Climate, is a climate modeler. Couldn't find any industry links for him.
* Prof Kerry Emanuel: Professor of Atmospheric Science, is extremely interested in hurricanes and cyclones. Seems to disagree with the IPCC position that hurricanes are increasing because of global warming.
* Prof Lisa Graumlich: Director of the school of Natural Resources and the Environment. Doesn't seem particularly an expert on global warming, but if you want to know what effect a changing climate would have on agriculture, ask her.
* Prof David Hand: a statistician. He's done statistic work for a lot of companies. Doesn't seem to know much about climatology, but he knows more about statistics than I even dreamed existed.
* Prof David Hand: Professor of Theoretical Geophysics. Has publicly criticized the Mann Hockey Stick graph. Also really likes math.
* Prof Michael Kelly: spent a lot of time researching semiconductors. Seems to have no relation to climate science at all, but he is the part-time Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department for Communities and Local Government, whatever that is.

Yes clearly shows a strong environmentalist bias!

Comment: Re:Example: Standard Deviation (Score 2, Insightful) 429

by cycoj (#31519954) Attached to: Science and the Shortcomings of Statistics

Have you ever looked at the sheer amount of knowledge that doctors have to know (and actually do know)? Yes they are learning baby physics and baby chemistry. We have physicists and chemists to do the non-baby physics and chemistry. You could also say the same thing for other sciences. I know friends who've taught physics to chemistry students and that was baby-physics which the chemists struggled to understand. Similarly I've had to learn chemistry for my physics degree and have pretty much forgotten almost anything about it, that didn't prevent me from getting a PhD in physics.
I wonder how much of the physics or chemistry out of your field of expertise you still remember.

Back to the topic of doctors, a lot of the stuff that doctors do is purely knowing things, but they need to do a lot of it. They don't necessarily know exactly how a drug works, they just know when to give that drug. So a lot of their work could be done with a very big flowchart, except for the fact that quite a lot is actually observation not just what you tell them.

Comment: Re:Example: Standard Deviation (Score 2) 429

by cycoj (#31519884) Attached to: Science and the Shortcomings of Statistics

I think you don't have a clue how doctors work. Do you really think doctors evaluate the effectiveness of a medicine by reading through scientific articles and possible even recalculating the results? No, they follow guidelines which are written by other medical people who's job is evaluating this sort of stuff. That is a good thing, because the people who make the guidelines actually do know their stuff and I trust them do to the statistics more than some doctor. The doctor's job is to know what tests to run, what symptoms to look for etc. Not to do a statistical analysis about the likelihood that you have disease X or Y.

Comment: Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (Score 1) 294

by cycoj (#31492150) Attached to: Nokia Claims Apple Does "Legal Alchemy" To Mask IP Theft

Note that RAND can mean quite a lot of things and usually it is not exactly specified what RAND exactly means. IIRC there's been quite a few patent cases over what RAND is or not is. Also so far we don't have any proof that Apple really tried to license the GSM patents and Nokia indeed did want to charge "outrageous" fees, this is simply what Apple says and I'm inclined to take everything what either company says with a large grain of salt.
My personal suspicion is (and I don't really have anything to back this up), Nokia tried to licence the patents for a percentage of the revenue or the cost of the iphone, they possibly even do that for all phone makers. However because of Apple's comparetively high prices they would actually by significantly more than almost all other licencees. Now, is "1% of your phone price" reasonable and fair? I'd say you can argue both ways. What is actually also quite interesting, IIRC in Apples own documents they admit that they only approached Nokia for licences of the patents sometime after the iphone came out (I think it was actually a significant time after), that would mean they at least admit to having used Nokia patents for quite a while without a licence no matter what. I don't know what the usual policy for this sort of thing is though.

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