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Comment Re:A remarkable number of people are idiots (Score 1) 272

I know this is off topic, but now I'm curious. Do people who are incapable of taking the test still impact the scores? Does a 100 IQ indicate the median score of the set of "successful" test takers, or of the set of "functional humans", or of the entire population of all humans?

I believe you're saying that IQ 48 is approximately the minimum required level of functionality required to successfully take the test, but there is obviously a set of people who can't achieve that. And while 48 may be the lowest point on the curve that can be measured, the continuation of the curve is still implied below that point. People below 48 will still fall along some spectrum of abilities, but they're not measurable using the current test. So there may very well be someone with an "equivalent IQ" of 14; it's just the current IQ test lacks the resolution needed to identify that person.

And I'm not saying we should expend any effort to alter the test to measure lower IQs. I doubt that would add any value to society, nor would it be likely to benefit the people who can't take the test today. Such people are already identifiable as requiring a certain level of care, and most of the disabilities at that point are so profound you probably couldn't even use the scores to predict the costs of caring for them.

Comment Re:Can Verizon Stealth cookies be spoofed? (Score 1) 74

Browser fingerprinting is where it is at, and there is -no- browser that is resistant to this.

Au contraire. Apple iPhones are as common as houseflies, and as indistinguishable. Because Apple doesn't really let their users change anything about their browser configs, all the non-jailbroken Safari browsers for a given iOS version return the same fingerprint. So if you have one of those phones, you can hide in a very large crowd.

That implies the marketplace could actually use a common browser everyone can rely on to not share these details, but erasing fingerprints also means giving up useful functionality. Will people accept a browser that doesn't display a variety of fonts because they could be tracked? Will they be happy if the web sites can't deliver a page to fit their screen size? Are we looking for a tradeoff of not being tracked that only a few thousand privacy wonks will accept?

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 255

Uh, that doesn't work. The problem is that doing exactly what you've written down is contriving to avoid your copyright responsibility by deliberately creating a structure in someone else's work which you believe would be a copyright insulator. If you went ahead and did this (I'm not saying that you personally would be the one at Ubuntu to do so), I'd love to be there when you are deposed. Part of my business is to feed attorneys questions when they cross-examine you. I have in a similar situation made a programmer look really bad, and the parties settled as soon as they saw the deposition and my expert report. See also my comment regarding how Oracle v. Google has changed this issue. You can't count on an API to be a copyright insulator in any context any longer.

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 255

I think you need to look at this in the context of the appeal of Oracle v. Google. We had a concept of an API being a boundary of copyright based on 17 CFR 102(b) and elucidated by Judge Walker's finding in CAI v. Altai. That stood for a long time. But Oracle v. Google essentially overturned it and we're still waiting to see what the lower court does in response.

Comment CDDL and GPL don't mix (Score 3, Informative) 255

Regardless of what Ubuntu has convinced themselves of, in this context the ZFS filesystem driver would be an unlicensed derivative work. If they don't want it to be so, it needs to be in user-mode instead of loaded into the kernel address space and using unexported APIs of the kernel.

A lot of people try to deceive themselves (and you) that they can do silly things, like putting an API between software under two licenses, and that such an API becomes a "computer condom" that protects you from the GPL. This rationale was never true and was overturned by the court in the appeal of Oracle v. Google.

Comment Re:Paved with good intentions... (Score 1) 247

Probably true. On the flip side, if you do nothing, you can be certain that a large number of people will die, and that threat is immediate. Which is worse? Hurting a kid or standing by and watching thousands of people die? I would tend to argue that the latter is far worse. But it should be a difficult decision for anyone with a conscience, because hurting a kid is wrong; it just might be less wrong than the only alternatives available.

Comment Re:Airstrikes on population centers (Score 1) 397

But by disproportionately attacking non-terrorist anti-government fighters, he is effectively strengthening the terrorist groups by making them a larger part of the population. If I went to Afghanistan and killed everyone who wasn't a member of Al Qaeda or the Taliban, I'd be on a non-stop flight to Gitmo. Just saying.

Comment Re:MacBook Black (Score 1) 54

I could maybe believe that it was caused by a cold solder joint somewhere on the motherboard or inside one of the chips, but the sort of thermal expansion required to cause a short circuit just isn't very plausible, IMO.

It is about a million times more likely that the CPU heat sink wasn't installed properly, leading to a thermal shutdown.

Comment Re:I'm shocked. (Score 3, Insightful) 54

Apple hardware has been getting shoddier and shoddier since Jobs kicked the bucket.

You're imagining things.

  • Many PowerBook Wallstreet machines had to be cracked open every couple of weeks to reseat the hard drive whenever it disconnected themselves from the motherboard. Others shot sparks in the back of the machine because the shielding near the power supply connector slipped sideways and shorted things out. One entire model was IIRC basically recalled en masse to crack open the screens and epoxy the video display cables' connectors in place because they kept coming loose during normal use.
  • The original (black) power cords on the PowerBook G3 series were recalled en masse because of reports of overheating. The cables also kept breaking between the ferrite bead and the connector. These may have really been the same failure....
  • The replacement (yo-yo) power cords on the PowerBook G3 series had so many internal cable failures (leading to scorch marks from the tiny electrical arcs inside the cables) that they were nicknamed "sparky" by folks in the know.
  • The white iBook was notorious for GPU failures (with many customers going through several logic boards per year), as was the first MacBook Pro.
  • The first G5 PowerMac had horrible power supply noise problems that led not only to audible noise, but also problems with internal and external professional audio recording equipment.
  • The first two generations of MacBook and MacBook Pro cables (the non-L-shaped versions) were notorious for breaking internally near the connector.

Note that all of those product releases happened under SJ.

Comment Re:Are they actually powered down? (Score 1) 54

I suppose it could be a bug. With that said, the fact that it is only occurring on some devices and not others leads me to doubt that explanation. After all, ignoring minor differences in vendors for the CPU (and differences in flash capacity), these devices are supposed to be identical, so it isn't as though there are going to be drivers that run only on some devices and not on others. (I'm assuming this isn't only occurring while some device like the camera connection kit is attached; that would almost certainly have been mentioned if it were true.)

That leaves configuration differences as the only possible cause that doesn't involve defective hardware. If it is only occurring on a single carrier, that might be just barely plausible (though very unlikely. If it is only happening on devices upgraded from a particular previous OS, it is barely plausible (though very unlikely).

My money is on either a bad batch of Touch ID sensors or a battery defect leading to overheating and a thermal shutdown.

Retirement means that when someone says "Have a nice day", you actually have a shot at it.