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Comment: Re:More creepiness (Score 1) 186

The idea of a back-talking robot cigar reminds me of this passage from Ubik:

Back in the kitchen he fished in his various pockets for a dime, and with it started up the coffeepot. Sniffing the—to him—very unusual smell, he again consulted his watch, saw that fifteen minutes had passed; he therefore vigorously strode to the apt door, turned the knob and pulled on the release bolt. The door refused to open. It said, “Five cents, please.”

He searched his pockets. No more coins; nothing. “I’ll pay you tomorrow,” he told the door. Again he tried the knob. Again it remained locked tight. “What I pay you,” he informed it, “is in the nature of a gratuity; I don’t have to pay you.”

“I think otherwise,” the door said. “Look in the purchase contract you signed when you bought this conapt.”

In his desk drawer he found the contract; since signing it he had found it necessary to refer to the document many times. Sure enough; payment to his door for opening and shutting constituted a mandatory fee. Not a tip.

“You discover I’m right,” the door said. It sounded smug.

From the drawer beside the sink Joe Chip got a stainless-steel knife; with it he began systematically to unscrew the bolt assembly of his apt’s money-gulping door.

“I’ll sue you,” the door said as the first screw fell out.

Joe Chip said, “I’ve never been sued by a door. But I guess I can live through it.”

-- Ubik by Philip K. Dick

Comment: "Cycle of poverty" is not a metaphor (Score 1) 39

Agreed, "cycle of poverty" is a descriptive phrase, not a metaphor. Poor writing on my part; thank you for calling me out.

I like the excited electron model of entrepreneurship, because electron-entrepreneur commonly de-excite and fall back to lower orbital shells.

By the same token, I can see how many restaurateur-entrepreneurs achieve creamy Alfredo-sauceness with just a hint of garlic, yet some revert to bread and water.

Comment: Trustworthiness: what can be done? (Score 1) 168

by handy_vandal (#46629015) Attached to: NSA Infiltrated RSA Deeper Than Imagined

While it's entirely possible to create trustworthy hardware, I don't know how it's possible to convey the trustworthiness. What you can do, which is probably as good as can be done, is to create things such that individually subverted instances of the hardware could be trivially distinguished from the standard issue hardware.

Yes. I think you have nailed it, right on the head.

Comment: Long Now Foundation: The 10,000 Year Clock (Score 1) 224

by handy_vandal (#46598947) Attached to: Introducing a Calendar System For the Information Age

The Long Now Foundation was established in 01996* to develop the Clock and Library projects, as well as to become the seed of a very long-term cultural institution. The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide a counterpoint to today's accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common. We hope to creatively foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.


"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27