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Comment: Well, this wouldn't be so bad if only.. (Score -1, Offtopic) 67

... if only
* His assumptions were backed by solid, peer-reviewed research,
* Research into the bias or lack of bias in all-male research groups were done and we had solid evidence regarding the whether all-male groups had a bias requiring rejection of all papers on this topic by all-male research teams, and if so, that such papers were rejected.

Of course, neither one is the case. But if they were ....

Comment: Reminds me of free books in WWII (Score 1) 126

by davidwr (#49594237) Attached to: Obama Announces e-Book Scheme For Low-Income Communities

From Publishers Gave Away 122,951,031 Books During World War II: And, in the process, they created a nation of readers:

In 1943, in the middle of the Second World War, America's book publishers took an audacious gamble. They decided to sell the armed forces cheap paperbacks, shipped to units scattered around the globe. Instead of printing only the books soldiers and sailors actually wanted to read, though, publishers decided to send them the best they had to offer. Over the next four years, publishers gave away 122,951,031 copies of their most valuable titles.

[follow title-link for the rest of the article]

Comment: Be careful with alleged "reproductions" (Score 1) 172

If you are unethical and try to reproduce a given experiment 100 times and it reproduces 10 times, you can publish a paper saying "I reproduced this experiment 10 times successfully" and destroy the evidence of the other 90 trials. Find 2 or 3 "independent" shills to do the same type of fake "reproduction" over the course of a few months and people will just assume that the experiment is valid and stop trying to disprove it.

It works in reverse too:

If you are unethical and try to reproduce a given experiment 100 times and it reproduces 90 times, you can publish a paper saying "I tried and failed to reproduce this experiment 10 times" and destroy the evidence of the other 90 trials. Have a few "independent" shills repeat the sham "failure to reproduce" a few times and the original experiment will be discredited, probably along with the original research team and its institution.

Comment: This is good for green in more ways than one (Score 3, Interesting) 502

by davidwr (#49593901) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

If I'm a "wind/solar" or other non-24x7-generating company and I know what fraction of my customers have a several-hour-backup power supply, I can offer them lower rates in exchange for "turning them off" or even "buying electricity back from their batteries" in times of peak demand. This will let me offer services to more customers than I normally could handle.

Comment: Reason for two different OSes (Score 1) 262

by davidwr (#49578253) Attached to: Crashing iPad App Grounds Dozens of American Airline Flights

Imagine what would happen if the most recent, well-tested update had a bug such that it would crash at a specific time.

By having different OSes and different applications serving up the same data, the odds of such a bug on both the main and backup devices happening simultaneously are greatly reduced.

I say "greatly reduced" instead of "eliminated" because different OSes may still use the same buggy source code (there's BSD- or similar-licensed code in many OSes and applications).

Comment: Re:No excuse for this (Score 1) 55

by davidwr (#49572361) Attached to: Researchers Mount Cyberattacks Against Surgery Robot


Something about if they have physical access means you won't have any security anyway


What does that have to do with anything? If someone on-site is compromised,

Actually, the grandparent has a point: Someone with physical access to the robot prior to the surgery could replace or reprogram the robot. Someone with physical access to a machine "inside" the hospital's network (or for that matter, the network of the hospital where the human driving the robot is at) might be able to remotely-control the robot in ways that someone "outside" the network wouldn't be able to do if there was a site-to-site secure VPN but no machine-to-machine secure communications channel. Like physical access to the robot itself, the physical access to the "on-LAN" equipment doesn't even have to be during the operation.

Comment: Re:I know what will happen... (Score 2) 55

by davidwr (#49571321) Attached to: Researchers Mount Cyberattacks Against Surgery Robot

Which is worse for a patient with a condition that is typically not fatal and for which on-site surgery has a known risk of fatality:

* Sorry, you'll have to wait for a doctor who may never come
* We'll give you remote surgery but there's a chance someone will hack the system in a way that could kill you, plus there is still the normal risk you will never wake up from the anesthesia

Comment: No excuse for this (Score 3, Interesting) 55

by davidwr (#49571277) Attached to: Researchers Mount Cyberattacks Against Surgery Robot

You can't completely prevent your communication going down due to malice, accident, or acts of nature. When those fail you have to have a backup plan such as going into a failsafe mode.

BUT You can and must detect interference and either correct for it or treat it like a total communications failure. There is no excuse for being fooled into taking instructions from an unauthorized party (well, unless the instruction is "you think I'm hacking your communications but I'm really doing a side-channel attack to trick you into doing what you normally do when you lose communications, now obey me and do what you normally do when your communications are hosed, thank you.").

Comment: OT: Unskilled labor shouldn't be 100% free-market (Score 1) 283


If the unskilled labor market is completely "free market" then you have a high risk of exploitation. You can bet that if there was no minimum wage that many low-skilled workers would be paid a lot less than $7.25/hour. While there would be more total jobs available at the low end and the teen/young-adult unemployment rate would probably be lower, there would be a lot more "working poor" who had to rely on public assistance in order to survive (or they would be living in 3rd-world conditions because that is all they could afford to do). This is not good for an economy or a nation.

On the other hand if labor is so highly regulated that investors thinking about starting new companies avoid creating jobs that are unskilled just to avoid the regulation, you will have a shortage of work for those who are not-yet-skilled (i.e. teenagers and adult who could be trained but haven't been yet) and those who will be perpetually unskilled due to intellectual and/or physical limits or due to choice (there are a few people who simply do not want to learn new job skills). This isn't good for an economy or country either.

Striking the "right balance" of regulation and the "right form" of that regulation (e.g. direct government regulation or laws that make it easy to unionize or a combination of the two) is not easy and it's typically a moving target: The ideal regulations in given country and industry will change as the industry changes and as the country's economy changes. About the best we can hope for is to be "close enough" to having the "right balance" that the economy functions reasonably well, the short- and long-term unemployment rate and discouraged-worker-rate overall and the rates for specific sectors (e.g. young adults without any college education) aren't so high as to be considered uncivilized, and the actual wages for almost all workers isn't so low as to not cover a very basic standard of living.

Comment: another workaround: faraday cage (Score 2) 117

by davidwr (#49540371) Attached to: iOS WiFi Bug Allows Remote Reboot of All Devices In Area

Carry a Faraday cage with you, put your phone in it, reboot, and once it's rebooted, unlock the phone and turn off the WiFi.

You'll need to make it big enough to cover your hand and phone and transparent enough to see what you are doing.

It won't be complete because unless the Faraday cage covers your entire body (including your feet), the malicious WiFi signal could theoretically come through where your arm is. But unless the signal is really strong or bouncing off the wall behind you, you should be able to orient yourself so that the signal is too weak to be picked up by your phone.

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting. -- Billy Rose