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Comment: Re:What about legitimate uses? (Score 2) 137

by fyngyrz (#48023753) Attached to: CEO of Spyware Maker Arrested For Enabling Stalkers

in newbamamerica, you have no rights or freedoms.

If you think even for a *second* that this would not have happened during the prior administrations, or that the majority of damage to your freedoms had not already been done prior to Obama's terms, you really should see someone about that brain tumor, because it's made you into a flaming idiot.

Comment: Obvious answer (Score 3, Insightful) 137

by fyngyrz (#48023699) Attached to: CEO of Spyware Maker Arrested For Enabling Stalkers

That'd be the American public you're asking about.

When congress decided to shove the PATRIOT act up everyone's colon, lubricated only by a healthy dose of TSA, all the American public did was enquire how far they should bend over. They're still bent over. The majority likes it that way. Because fear. Unreasonable, agit-prop and ignorance based fear.

Comment: Re:So? (Score 1) 233

by bill_mcgonigle (#48023307) Attached to: Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

Sorry but if you can afford a Tesla you ARE on the fringe!

Not really. We had a 2005 Pontiac minivan. Between acquisition cost, gasoline, repairs (and repairs and repairs), and depreciation, it cost us $50,000 over three and a half years, and that was before the inflationary boom when steak was half the current price.. We had to unload it due to the gas and repair costs and ate it so hard on the depreciation.

The Tesla is slightly more expensive than that, and that was aimed squarely at a typical young American family. The 10-year cost on a Tesla model S is going to be a lot cheaper, not to mention the model 3. It's simply a matter of financing.

Comment: Re: Best outcome (Score 2) 197

when the US petrodollar is completely decoupled from oil it loses about 5/6ths of its value intrinsically. The subsequent run on the currency could be an order of magnitude higher. Putin knows this and so do the Chinese but don't look to the Chinese to suddenly weeken its largest single purchasing market. The IMF will likely try to float SDRs to replace FRNs as the world currency but Russia and China stand to gain little by supporting it. Don't keep your long term wealth in current financial instruments.

Comment: Re: Bash is a very crappy programming language. (Score 2) 316

by bill_mcgonigle (#48019125) Attached to: Bash To Require Further Patching, As More Shellshock Holes Found

To be fair, perl had these problems in the early 90's and "taint mode " was introduced to protect against them and unforseen future variations on them. I seem to recall a release of PHP in the past couple years has adopted some of the same techniques. Bash folks won't be able to achieve a great result over a weekend. That we're here two decades later tells you most of what you need to know about the appropriateness of selecting bash for this kind of work.

Comment: Re:Unreliable sources (Score 1) 113

by fyngyrz (#48015971) Attached to: Yahoo Shuttering Its Web Directory

Google's page rank algorithm goes a long way to mitigate that by tracking how many links refer to a given site

No. Popularity is a horrible indicator of usefulness, and/or accuracy and/or value. A well curated directory, on the other hand, can be all wheat, no chaff. Unfortunately, no well-curated directory exists.

Comment: Re:It seems to me... (Score 2) 404

by fyngyrz (#48015849) Attached to: The Physics of Space Battles

Yes and no. Yes, right now, as far as we know. Hints otherwise, however, do exist. Further, apparently, space -- being nothing -- can expand and contract much faster than the speed of light (see most cosmological theories), and since the distance from here to there in astronomical terms is essentially created by space... it may be that the speed of light is constant, but the space it travels though, isn't.

Also, we may discover something else. I'm perfectly ok with not being certain; I think assigning absolute certainty to things is a losing game, frankly. In the interim, I enjoy a good story. What I think is a good story is, of course, colored by my opinions, just as everyone's is.

Comment: Re: It seems to me... (Score 1) 404

by fyngyrz (#48015811) Attached to: The Physics of Space Battles

The objection is that they would have been picked up while moving under also-moving cover.

Subtractive imaging shows both objects that are gone, and objects that are new. You just use the absolute value of the result.

Essentially, for a thresholded image, it's:

abs(1-0) = 1 // object has moved away between images
abs(0-1) = 1 // object has arrived between images
abs(1-1) = 0 // nothing has changed
abs(0-0) = 0 // nothing has changed

Image polarity, greyscale, color, bilevel and so on make it a little more complex, but only a little.

In English, if you absolute subtract two aligned images of the same region, everything that is the same goes to zero. Anything else shows up as a brighter spot. The bottom line is, you can't hide something moving unless a satellite imaging system can't see it at all. Not the case with large rocks, I'm afraid.

Comment: It seems to me... (Score 5, Interesting) 404

by fyngyrz (#48014809) Attached to: The Physics of Space Battles

If you're going to swallow the idea of FTL drives, tractor beams and shields -- among other things -- then it's not really that much of a stretch to swallow the idea of inertial control, too. Which would make such battles not resemble a game of asteroids at all.

As for sound, presuming your vehicle maintains atmospheric integrity, you'd hear anything that causes the the craft's atmosphere to be jolted into motion. Debris hitting your vehicle, the stress caused by a sealed compartment being ruptured, people screaming when they get fried, crushed or otherwise insulted as a consequence of direct or indirect battle damage or loss of, for instance, inertial damping, equipment failures and power supplies having problems. You would also hear something if a force field of any kind was imposed upon your vehicle in such a way as to deliver any kind of uncompensated-for energy in mechanically coupled framework(s) producing direct or indirect vibrations in the audio range. And furthermore , presuming a ship has sensors to detect things like the energy outputs of other vehicles as they maneuver, seems to me that converting that to audio as a handy sound cue/warning would be hardly any trick at all. Just as one example.

Likewise, perhaps *we* can't focus a laser today, but that's not an inherent limitation of lasers even by today's known physics, that's a limitation of our technology, so that objection is kind of dead on the doorstep, so to speak. Not that a visible future beam weapon is necessarily carrying its punch in the form of light anyway. Could be just a side effect, or an aiming aid. This is the future, we're talking an imaginary scenario resulting from science and technology we don't presently have and so may speculate upon (using current knowledge... pretty boring... we can barely get off the planet's surface, much less engage in space battles... that's why most SF has at least a few pure fantasy elements in it.)

And along the lines of what we accept and what we don't, if you are blase' about the idea of a magic camera floating around your space battle and instantly changing perspective from A to B to C, perhaps it's just a little bit silly to complain about, for instance, a whoosh, or what "lasers" can do. That's entirely outside of what might be realistic in terms of what the movies subjects are up to.

So yeah, it's ok to think, but don't let someone else do your thinking for you. If there are space battles as depicted in most SF(fantasy) movies, the rules as we know them right now have long since been trashed, so there doesn't really seem to be any reason to worry about it.

All of the above is why I can really enjoy Star Wars, Firefly, Trek, etc, btw. Even though I'm fairly well grounded in how we think things work at present.

I have more trouble with obvious errors that don't take into account technologies we already have. For instance, in Red Mars, some of the characters "hide" from satellite surveillance by moving over long distances in a large hollow rock (or perhaps a thing that looks like I rock, I forget), something we would spot in an instant *today* by the simple expedient of image subtraction; Take two shots under the same or similar conditions but separated by time, align them, and subtract them. Everything that's in the same place turns to black; anything that has moved will be bright. This is *trivial* surveillance technology, and has been in use since *at least* the 1970's. And the kicker is this would work even better on Mars than it does here -- thinner atmosphere. Caused me a few snickers, that one did.

He's dead, Jim.