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Comment Re:Twitter shouldn't be shutting anyone down.. (Score 1) 828

Luckily for you, the feeling isn't mutual.

What I do find idiotic is the notion that it's ever alright to call the police on someone because you can't come to a mutually beneficial agreement. That's about the most childish behavior I can imagine.

At least you have no logical arguments to try to excuse this behavior with.

Comment Re:Twitter shouldn't be shutting anyone down.. (Score 1) 828

Yes, slavery is wrong. So is discrimination. But slavery != discrimination.

You are proposing forcing someone to work involuntarily, under the threat of force. That is wrong, and we call that slavery.

Send someone to the business who is black/gay/whatever to make a transaction. If they are refused, note the reason. Then send in someone white to request the same transaction. If the white customer is served, then you have evidence of discrimination.

People can list any reason they want, or none at all. Then what? (And I can't wait to see how you plan to test which sexual orientation people are.)

What you're proposing is bringing back Jim Crow for businesses, but instead of prosecuting people who serve a particular race, you want to prosecute people who committed a thoughtcrime. That is wrong on so many levels.

Comment Re:Twitter shouldn't be shutting anyone down.. (Score 1) 828

Really. Well then, let's try a thought experiment. We'll take Xiaran's statement and replace "gay" with "black."

Wait, are you seriously proposing what I think you are? Slavery is wrong. Period.

There was a whole period of the country's history where not only was slavery legal, but businesses were required to segregate based on race. You couldn't serve certain people if you wanted to!

Let's not do that again, please.

A baker who refuses to serve someone based on race - or sexual orientation - is breaking the law.

The law is wrong, and that law is unenforceable. Either a transaction happens or it doesn't, and if you have a reliable way to discern between 'legal' and 'illegal' cases of "no transaction" then I'd love to hear it.

Comment Re:Twitter shouldn't be shutting anyone down.. (Score 1) 828

NO. The law is just the system of rules that the government uses to decide when to use force. It is not a definition of nor replacement for ethics. You know how we see "correlation is not causation"? Well: "The law should be ethical" != "The law is necessarily ethical"

Second, all branches of government are responsible for upholding the Constitution - you have to swear an oath to this effect before taking office. The Court is simply one of the final stops in being able to decide this (effectively)

If you want to point out you'll have a bad day standing up to them, that's not in dispute; but all you're doing is blaming the victim for what the government is doing wrong. I'm talking about what the government should be doing here, not anybody else. (It's not a moral idea to turn down otherwise profitable business either, even if you disagree with everything else about the customer. But at least in this situation, I'll admit that's your right.) What I'm talking about is what is right and wrong on a normative, ethical level; and forcing people to produce a product, or taking punitive, forceful action because of the reason (either perceived by the state or invoked by the business under their free speech) is wrong.

Comment Re:Twitter shouldn't be shutting anyone down.. (Score 1) 828

How is it a thought crime when the bakery(and I am talking about the one in question that was in the news) said that they are not making a cake for a gay couple specifically because they are gay?

You can't punish someone for what they say: speech -- including rationales -- is not actionable by the government because of the First Amendment.

So that leaves you with just the fact that someone didn't want to produce something. But that's not a crime either!

You'd have to come up with a list of "invalid" reasons to turn away business -- and then try and examine everyone that might be thinking of these reasons. How in the world do you propose to do this?

Comment Re:Twitter shouldn't be shutting anyone down.. (Score 3, Insightful) 828

This is a classic appeal to authority. What if I said this:

Because there are laws against breaking DRM. By getting a business license and operating that business to do so, you are obliged to follow those laws.

.... I'd be modded down into oblivion. And rightfully so. Statute isn't correct just because it's in the statute.

Statute especially isn't right when it conflicts with other laws (i.e. the Constitution). If we actually applied rule of law in these situations, we would find these laws are null and void. You can't tell a person they can't hack their OWN PROPERTY, and likewise you can't force a person to produce, with their own property and time, a product that they don't want to make. And actually, the cake issue is even worse: How do you know that it was discrimination, unless we start prosecuting thought crimes? What, you're going to use their speech on the matter to press charges? Well that's illegal too!

Comment Bad plots (Score 1) 247

The author has very poor statistical understanding here. You don't generally use expected value as a measure of statistical randomness.

You can use expected value to ensure that your dice are giving a fair amount of damage every turn, but it's not useful for much else, and good grief look at these plots: The very first plot on the page has a bar plot for standard deviation, and a CONNECTED LINE PLOT for expected value, even though adjacent data points have no correlation with each other!

If you're going to connect points together, the slope of that line has to be meaningful in some way.

Hasn't the author ever heard of a box plot?

The author also needs better measures of statistical randomness. Average/expected value is NOT a measure of randomness; a simple such measure would use the frequency between appearances of a certain value. For instance, find the distance between all the "1" rolls, and diff that distribution against the distribution of a truly random distribution. Do this for all the numbers through 20, then find the standard variation of standard variations.

So for instance with a d4, if I always get:

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4...

The expected value (2.5) and standard deviation (2.23...) measures are exactly correct, but it has no randomness! The distance between 1s will always be 4. The distance between appearances SHOULD have a geometric distribution (iirc).

In 4000 rolls, I would expect 1s to appear back-to-back 250 times, a distance of 2 about 190 times, a distance of 3 about 140 times, and so on.
Since the actual series always has a distance of 4 with 1000 times, this means our standard deviation is... 959. 95.9%.

Now do this for all the numbers. I think you can average those together and get a final "randomness" result.

And this is just one test of statistical randomness! Cryptographically secure random number generators, by definition, pass ALL tests of randomness, i.e. they're indistinguishable from a true random number generator if you don't have the secret key/internal state (or enough computing power).

Comment Re:Phonetic passwords (Score 1) 103

Bruce Schneier isn't usually wrong about this stuff, but it seems he's serverely mistaken into what the XKCD/Diceware method actually is. You're choosing four words totally randomly from a list of ten thousand or so. Knowing someone is using the diceware method, their password will (still) have 51 bits of security, way more secure than most passwords and even the scheme that he describes in the blog post.

Comment Re:Issue is more complicated (Score 1) 928

I don't necessarily have any disagreements, but perhaps others do.

Unfortunately the blog post doesn't mention any specifics. I wouldn't be surprised if every little critique is being taken as "toxic". The post as a whole has a blame-everyone-but-me attitude and it's not very constructive itself.

Comment Re:Issue is more complicated (Score 1) 928

What in the world is a "toxic culture"? Because I don't think it's the LKML.

Which world would you rather be in, one where people are going to tell you exactly what they're feeling, good and bad; or one you're afraid of being honest and you don't know anyone else's true feelings either?

The LKML doesn't generally make personal attacks. But if your code is shit, well that's a whole different story. And if you're going to take your poor code as a personal attack... well whose fault is that?

Comment Re:Its the blockchain not the bitcoin (Score 1) 114

If you mean a majority, the number you're probably looking for is 50%.

In any event, you can reverse a transaction for a short amount of time with less than half. Even just 35% gives you a fighting chance of reversing a block for some tens of minutes sometime during the day, enough time to defraud a retail store.

So probably just call it the block-reversal attack.

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