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Comment: Re:How is that startling? (Score 1) 364

by gizmo2199 (#48479187) Attached to: Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election
Every. Time! Most governing in the US is done at the local level. Last time I checked, the cop that gives you a parking ticket works for the city or county where you live, not the federal government. Same goes for building inspectors, sewage, roads, schools--funded and operated by the school district or county--building permits, real-estate transactions, etc. It's all controlled at the city/local level.

Just how is the federal government in your face on a daily basis again?

Comment: Re:Ah yes, the religious - philosophical masters - (Score 1) 447

...we will progress to artificial life and artificial intelligence in erratic steps - some large, some small - some hard, some easy....

But why would you assume that this is the case? Why is this kind of "progress"--a completely self-replicating artificial intelligence--inevitable? What evidence points to that?

Human beings don't even have a cure for cancer, billions of people lack clean water. Yet somehow (almost by magic or wishful thinking) we're supposed to assume that the human race will develop this technology in the next 100 years, and certainly in the next 500. What if it takes another 1,000 years?

Except by that point, the oil would have run out, and all the major cities are 30 feet under water. To believe that these technologies (AI, asteroid mining, fusion, nanotech) will see the light of day, you have to believe that we can undertake another Moon Landing when electricity is $10 kw/hr and the government doesn't have the money to repair a 50 year-old bridge.

Comment: What's the Difference? (Score 2) 102

by gizmo2199 (#48372583) Attached to: Amazon Goes After Oracle (Again) With New Aurora Database
I'm a bit of a DB n00b, but know my way around MySQL. What's the difference between Oracle and MySQL for example. In my experience Oracle DBs tend to be a lot faster, than open source implementations. But is this inherently true, or is it all in the implementation, are there things you can do in Oracle that you can't do in MySQL, or MSSQL?

Comment: Re:It didn't even have to be technical (Score 3, Insightful) 135

by gizmo2199 (#48357021) Attached to: Tor Project Mulls How Feds Took Down Hidden Websites
Except that Ulbricht actually did use an email or username that they traced back to him when he set up the onion server, and on top of that they caught him accessing the admin section of Silk Road when he got arrested in a library.

It's a mix of hubris and carelessness that brings these people down. If he'd paid more attention to OpSec, he'd be a free man.

Comment: Re:Well (Score 1) 180

by gizmo2199 (#48170265) Attached to: The Guardian Reveals That Whisper App Tracks "Anonymous" Users
The government can already do what you're claiming to be so worried about. Happens every day. Shit, you could be driving to your mom's house and get pulled over. The cop thinks you might have drugs in the car, so they confiscate it, and take your cash while your at it. Good luck getting all that back without hiring an expensive attorney.

So in other words, the Constitution doesn't mean anything when you don't have the means to actually claim your constitutional rights. There are a million things the government does already that are blatantly unconstitutional, but because they have a patina of cooperation between the two parties, it gets away with--illegal wiretaps, spying, drone strikes, etc.

Another amendment wouldn't actually do anything. If politicians and their appointees have no fear when violating your civil rights, they're going to keep doing it. The only thing that will actually change that behavior is jail time for government officials who break the law.

Instead what happens, the people who go to jail are the ones who leak information about the illegal behavior.

Comment: Re:Well (Score 1) 180

by gizmo2199 (#48170109) Attached to: The Guardian Reveals That Whisper App Tracks "Anonymous" Users
The obvious solution is to just use the binary you compiled yourself, which if you're paranoid about security is a trivial step to take. But more in-depth auditing obviously is out of reach for even the most knowledgeable tinkerers, especially if a program is intentionally crippled at the source level--for instance contains a bug which under a very specific set of circumstances will leak private data, but which isn't obvious from looking at the code. That's definitely the kind of backdoor a state security service would introduce into an open source project.

Comment: Re:Well (Score 1) 180

by gizmo2199 (#48170035) Attached to: The Guardian Reveals That Whisper App Tracks "Anonymous" Users
It's like some kind of disease spreading through Silicon Valley: any company touched by venture capital immediately compromises the ethics and value their product might have had to anonymity, or privacy the moment they start being popular.

Or maybe it's the inverse. Companies claiming to uphold the sharing of ideas or their user's privacy are merely waiting for the money to roll in before they sell-out their users.

Either way it makes you highly suspect of any app on Google Play or the App store claiming to be the next best thing in privacy/security, especially if it's free.

Comment: What they fail to mention (Score 1) 366

by gizmo2199 (#48159219) Attached to: Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon
Is that the smarter babies will have higher incidences of schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, depression, and drug addiction, things usually associated with genius. Even Einstein had his problems. Source:

Selecting for kids with even higher intelligence might mean they have more severe mental problems.

Comment: Re:Only happens... (Score 2, Insightful) 366

by gizmo2199 (#48159121) Attached to: Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon
Except that the Republican party in its current incarnation is more akin to a special interest group for the wealthy and multinational corporations. To that end their politics and governing style is pretty radical.

But you seem to think that Republicans are conservative in the same way they were 40 years ago, when that's just not the case. Furthermore, equating maturity with getting your facts from Fox News is pretty immature.

Comment: Re:Apparently (Score 1) 213

by gizmo2199 (#48151283) Attached to: Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too

Learning to code is learning logic and critical thinking skills, which everyone needs. And it gives an understanding of computers that you can't get from a class where you just memorize terms like client, server, network, etc. And that barista may one day be sitting on a jury judging a technical case.

Yeah, but there are other ways to do that than just intro javascript or html classes. What about an introduction to philosophy and logic, you know, the foundation of Western civilization? Or basic science classes, i.e., the scientific method, how to run an experiment, how to test a hypothesis, etc.

Those types of classes would be far more valuable and interesting than any coding class

Comment: Learning Wall Street (Score 1) 213

by gizmo2199 (#48151127) Attached to: Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too
But isn't this a bit like someone in the 1960's or 70's saying "our children need to learn electrical engineering"?! After all digital watches, transistor radios, and these newfangled micro-computers will be the basis of our new economy, right! We must teach children to program logic gates now! And that was during the height of the Cold War, when we actually funded STEM programs.

Yet in reality the kids that truly did have a "future", meaning made lots of money, were the ones who studied finance, law or medicine. Wouldn't a hedge fund manager just hire a software developer when he needs coding done?
Unless Zuck and Gates have an ulterior motive, but that couldn't possibly be the case.

Comment: Re:So we can't call anyone stupid anymore (Score 0) 622

by gizmo2199 (#48131641) Attached to: The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers
But the point is, and this is why I have such little respect for feminists and other who harp on the "you're just blaming the victim" trope: bad things happen, sometimes to good people. Why would someone put themselves in such a situation in the first place, knowing that you live in a dangerous world?

Sure a woman should be able to walk-around naked and have only wanted attention, but in this world, she's going to have some unwanted, possibly physical, attention as well.

Similarly with this guy's cousin: sure he should be able to wear all the gold he wants, but with the understanding that you might get mugged.

There are never any bugs you haven't found yet.