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Comment: Re:Whistleblower (Score 1) 308

"Accidentally" isn't certain here. If I was part of something that was wrong and I wanted it to be known, I would very well "accidentally" leak it too.

Except I don't see how that applies in this case. Stay or leave -- it's not the bank's call. But if politicians are putting leaving the EU on the table, even as an empty gesture, then naturally the bank has to start thinking about contingency plans. That's just common sense, even if you think the very idea of leaving the EU is mad.

It's also common sense to keep that on the DL to prevent misguided overreaction to what is after all still a hypothetical scenario. The Bank of England a central bank and so people must be constantly scrutinizing it hoping to glean inside information on future monetary policy. That's to say nothing of having to deal with the conspiracy theory nutters.

Comment: Re:Transparency (Score 3, Funny) 80

by epine (#49759203) Attached to: Researchers Devise Voting System That Seems Secure, But Is Hard To Use

If I wanted ritual in my life, I would have become a priest and pursued my career with extreme political ambition so I could vote for the freaking pope.

I guess you've never read an article in your life about mobilizing the voters who are too lazy (or metabolically downtrodden from their Cheetos and Coke diets) to physically show up at a polling station?

Paper is a physical token. Reliably obtaining exactly one unambiguous, untamperable physical token with confidentiality from each adult member of society—the vast majority of which are collected on the same day—hasn't exactly proven to be an easy problem, especially when broadened to include public trust—that every voter understands and believes the process to have all of these properties (to at least a substantial degree).

Electronic voting vastly reduces the complexity on the collection side, but then the tamperability problem looms supreme, but this could almost be solved with enough crypto cleverness, except that the public trust story then requires a tiny bit of numeracy beyond grade six math.

Ritual, however, is accessible to a four-year old.

The same four-year olds who are unfortunately not yet equipped with fully functioning batshit detectors.

I don't want to abolish ritual. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.

Comment: Re:The one question (Score 1) 107

People looking at the car have to be able to tell that that car is an electric vehicle and not an ICE, in order to properly appreciate how the EV owner is saving the planet. By making it ugly, they can also allow the owner to sacrifice further by not driving a good looking car.

That's the cynical answer.

The actual reason that EV cars often look strange is because the designers are trying to make them as aerodynamic as possible in order to extend their range.

As battery power density becomes more adequate, maximizing aerodynamic efficiency will become less of a priority, so in the future you can expect designs that make efficiency tradeoffs in order to get a better look.

Comment: Re:Tolls? (Score 4, Insightful) 825

by hey! (#49736133) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Well, with electronic toll-paying that could work, but it would still shift the burden from low MPG to high MPG cars.

The great thing about a gas tax is that it's a simple way to kill two birds with one stone: encouraging higher mileage and paying for infrastructure. The problem is that not everyone agrees that both birds are important. Two-birders think that high mileage vehicles should be discouraged because of externalized costs -- pollution mainly, but also space required in parking lots, greater risk to other road users etc. One-birders don't care about externalities but understand that the roads and bridges need to be repaired. Zero-birders are just idiots.

I'm a two-birder myself, so raising the gas tax is a no-brainer. I'd also issue everyone a flat rebate per driver, because in fact I'm a three-birder: I'm concerned about the effect of a regressive tax on the working poor who have no options but to drive to their jobs.

But I'm also a realist. There are a lot of one-birders out there and the roads need repair. It's also politically easier in one-birder territory to sell something as a fee rather than as a tax, even though from my perspective that's an irrelevant difference if you're raising the same revenue either way.

Comment: Re:I wonder how long... (Score 3, Insightful) 50

Well, they're already opting to have damaged natural joints like hips and knees replaced. That's a case of upgrading from natural to artificial to gain function. As the performance of artificial limbs increase, it might become an increasingly commonplace treatment for older people, just like knee or hip replacement.

If we project that trend forward for twenty or thirty years I wouldn't be surprised at all to see artificial legs that outperform natural legs for the purposes of walking or even running. But I don't think people with normal abilities will be trading in their limbs just to be able walk a little longer, run a little faster, or carry more weight. That won't happen until the replacement is subjectively indistinguishable from the real thing; until you can feel the grass under your toes.

I'm comfortable predicting locomotion parity in the next fifty years, but I wouldn't care to speculate on when we'll see sensory parity.

Comment: Once more into the breech, dear friends. (Score 3, Insightful) 100

by hey! (#49735075) Attached to: US Levels Espionage Charges Against 6 Chinese Nationals

I have no problem with going after people who steal trade secrets, anything more than I have a problem with going after people who steal nuclear secrets. The only thing is that the FBI has a long history of racist paranoia about Chinese scientists, from Quan Xuesen in the early 50s to Wen Ho Lee in the 90s.

Rhwew may well of a legitimate case against these guys and if they do I hope they nail the bastards. But I'm not jumping to any conclusions based on FBI say-so.

Comment: Re:beat that straw man, beat it hard (Score 1) 150

by hey! (#49735011) Attached to: Survey: 2/3 of Public Sector Workers Wouldn't Report a Security Breach

You're the one worried about passwords that can be broken in 25 years; that's a non-issue. The issue is security that works well enough for long enough and is workable for the users. Impressive sounding, inflated requirements means something else has to give: price, performance, or usability.

Comment: Re:Password updating (Score 1) 150

by hey! (#49734339) Attached to: Survey: 2/3 of Public Sector Workers Wouldn't Report a Security Breach

Well, once you've cracked the VPN traffic the password is almost a secondary concern, isn't it?

This is the wrong way to think about security, e.g. for a hypothetical world where users adhere to anything you demand of them no matter how intrusive or onerous that is. In reality if you decide that usability and convenience aren't factors in your planning then that's actually an oversight which will come back to bite you on the ass someday. The only thing you can say for that approach of wishing usability away is that when disaster comes you'll be able to point the finger of blame at the users -- even though their non-adherence is a predictable result of your poor understanding of system requirements.

+ - Jason Scott of textfiles.com Wants Your AOL & Shovelware CDs-> 1

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes: You've probably got a spindle in your close tor a drawer full of CD-ROM media mailed to you or delivered with some hardware that you put away "just in case" and now (ten years later) the case for actually using them is laughable. Well, a certain mentally ill individual named Jason Scott has a fever and the only cure is more AOL CDs. But his sickness doesn't stop there, "I also want all the CD-ROMs made by Walnut Creek CD-ROM. I want every shovelware disc that came out in the entire breadth of the CD-ROM era. I want every shareware floppy, while we’re talking. I want it all. The CD-ROM era is basically finite at this point. It’s over. The time when we’re going to use physical media as the primary transport for most data is done done done. Sure, there’s going to be distributions and use of CD-ROMs for some time to come, but the time when it all came that way and when it was in most cases the only method of distribution in the history books, now. And there were a specific amount of CD-ROMs made. There are directories and listings of many that were manufactured. I want to find those. I want to image them, and I want to put them up. I’m looking for stacks of CD-ROMs now. Stacks and stacks. AOL CDs and driver CDs and Shareware CDs and even hand-burned CDs of stuff you downloaded way back when. This is the time to strike." Who knows? His madness may end up being appreciated by younger generations!
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Bottom Rising (Score 1, Insightful) 228

by hey! (#49730113) Attached to: Marvel's Female Superheroes Are Gradually Becoming More Super

Originally Susan Richards' powers were turning invisible and creating a force shield around herself. This wasn't for doing cool things, it was for staying safely out of the way while the boys did the fighting. By the mid 70s when I was buying comic books her purely defensive powers were upgraded to being able to produce a shower of spherical force bubbles, which on the offensive force scale was about one step up the awesomeness scale from telekinetically throwing couch pillows.

I don't think the reason for this change was to throw a sop to feminists, or because fans were demanding strong female characters. In either case she'd have got a more impressive upgrade. I think it was simply upgraded storytelling. A character that can basically hide and shield herself is not as versatile as a character than can do useful things. So this kind of incremental upgrading naturally gave her more of a swiss-army knife skillset.

As for modern superheroines having multiple, I have not much to add, other than an observation. This multiple super-power thing kind of mirrors what we expect women to be like today. We expect them to be able to multitask, to juggle several very different roles on our teams. Versatility has become a cultural expectation for women, so it might not be coincidental that female superheroes get more of toolkit rather than one very big hammer.

Comment: Re:One Assumption (Score 1) 607

by hey! (#49728127) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

A second assumption is that parties don't reinvent themselves. Of course they do; if they're to last they have to reinvent themselves every generation or two. Go back through the history of both parties since the 1850s; ideological continuity in both cases is a fiction that papers over a series of opportunistic shifts in focus.

An empty shell of a party in a two-party system is like the shell of an abandoned building in Manhattan; the real estate is too valuable to remain unoccupied. So some time in the next twenty years as its demographics becomes untenable the Republican party will radically shift focus, with some kind of face-saving formulation that presents the fiction of continuity, or even a return to longstanding principles. This is just like the post-Reagan rightward shift in the Democratic party as the DLC became dominant in national Democratic politics. The old style social democratic (using European terminology) FDR Democrats remained with the party because they had no place else to go in a two party system.

Likewise the rump of the current social conservative and Evangelical Republican party will be made a welcome but impotent minority in the new Republican party. They'll get occasional lip service at in-party functions but they won't be allowed near the mic lest they spout what sounds like grandpa's crazy talk -- pretty much like the FDR style Democrats were treated by their party in the 90s and 00s.

Entropy isn't what it used to be.

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