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Comment: Re:What poetry is this? (Score 1) 140

by Alsee (#46795773) Attached to: The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper

Or flip the view:
A towering bank undercut by a small church.


In the intersection between religion and the modern world
Religion razes grandeur to the ground for 20 pieces of silver.
In the intersection between religion and the modern world
Religion refuses to budge from barren historical ground.
In the intersection between religion and the modern world
A towering bank undercut by a small church nearly kills us.


Comment: Re:If Fuckupshima had not been designed by idiots. (Score 1) 213

by amorsen (#46795513) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

Coal kills at least thousands, most probably hundreds of thousands, every year. If we had a Deepwater Horizon, an Exxon Valdez, a Chernobyl, and a Fukushima every year, the harm from all other types of power generation would still not be as great as the harm that coal does.

Comment: Underlying assumptions are false (Score 1) 232

by jd (#46793425) Attached to: Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

Ok, the envelope game. You can rework it to say the second envelope contains the next vulnerability in the queue of vulnerabilities. An empty queue is just as valid as a non-empty one, so if there are no further flaws then the envelope is empty. That way, all states are handled identically. What you REALLY want to do though is add a third envelope, also next item inquire, from QA. You do NOT know which envelope contains the most valuable prize but unless two bugs are found simultaneously (in which case you have bigger problems than game theory), you absolutely know two of the envelopes contain nothing remotely as valuable as the third. If no bugs are known at the time, or no more exist - essentially the same thing as you can't prove completeness and correctness at the same time, then the thousand dollars is the valuable one.

Monty Hall knows what is in two of the envelopes, but not what is in the third. Assuming simultaneous bug finds can be ignored, he can guess. Whichever envelope you choose, he will pick the least valuable envelope and show you that it is empty. Should you stick with your original choice or switch envelopes?

Clearly, this outcome will differ from the scenario in the original field manual. Unless you understand why it is different in outcome, you cannot evaluate a bounty program.

Now, onto the example of the car automotive software. Let us say that locating bugs is in constant time for the same effort. Sending the software architect on a one-way trip to Siberia is definitely step one. Proper encapsulation and modularization is utterly fundamental. Constant time means the First Law of Coding has been broken, a worse misdeed than breaking the First Law of Time and the First Law of Robotics on a first date. You simply can't produce enough similar bugs any other way.

It also means the architect broke the Second Law of Coding - ringfence vulnerable code and validate all inputs to it. By specifically isolating dangerous code in this way, a method widely used, you make misbehaviour essentially impossible. The dodgy code may be there but it can't get data outside the range for which it is safe.

Finally, it means the programmers failed to read the CERT Secure Coding guidelines, failed to test (unit and integrated!) correctly, likely didn't bother with static checkers, failed to enable compiler warning flags and basically failed to think. Thoughtlessness qualifies them for the Pitcairn Islands. One way.

With the Pitcairns now overrun by unemployed automotive software engineers, society there will collapse and Thunderdome v1.0a will be built! With a patchset to be released, fixing bugs in harnesses and weapons, in coming months.

Comment: Re:Why fear designer babies? (Score 1) 153

I think you don't get how genetics works.

Various biochemical pathways are conserved, and are there to react to different environmental conditions.

Disease is a moving target. As we suppress one disease, another takes its niche.

In most cases we only know the primary biochemical pathway, have sparse information on the secondary biochemical pathway which kicks in when the primary pathway is disrupted, and have little to no information on the evolutionarily conserved tertiary biochemical pathway we inherited from fish or dinosaurs.

Making "designer" kids leads us to less genetic diversity, and less adaptive capacity as a species to stressors which will occur.

That plus in most cases we end up with too many males and not enough females when we let people "choose".

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all alike.