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Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 144

by hweimer (#46663111) Attached to: Hacker Holds Key To Free Flights

Now if you could free ticket i would be downright impressed.

Free ticket is easy. Just buy a ticket online and use someone else's bank account data (which should work in most of Europe via SEPA direct debit). Bank account data is widely availabe on the web, as this is generally not thought to be highly sensitive information. If you do it shortly before the flight, the account holder will most likely not notice what's going on to have the ticket cancelled in time.

For bonus points, you can get the ticket issued under a pseudonym and alter the boarding pass to match your real name, so whenever you get asked for ID you won't get into trouble. The only thing where this won't work is when you want to check luggage (or, when flying to the U.S.), as there people will match your ID against what is actually stored in the airline's database.

Of course, if you do this without the bank account holder's consent, this is plain old direct debit fraud. So kids, don't do this at home.

Comment: Re:Beta Sucks (Score 1) 400

We live in an economy of mass computing, because it is way, way cheaper to perform a calculation on a mainframe than a microcomputer on your desk.

In areas where there really is mass computing (i.e., heavy number crunching), this statement is actually true.

Most of the arguments against 3D printers are essentially the same as though used against early microcomputers. Yes, those early microcomputers were never going to change the world, but their descendants sure have.

Microcomputers slaughtered mainframes in the marketplace because there was not widespread network for information transfer that mainframes could benefit from. Now we have this network and people are moving towards centralized computing facilities (the "cloud"). For physical goods, such distribution networks have been in place even longer so there's no economic benefit from switching to hyperlocal manufacturing.

Comment: Not gonna happen (Score 1, Insightful) 400

We live in an economy of mass production because it is way, way cheaper per unit to produce stuff in very large quantities. Even if 3D printing should become the way of manufucturing in the future, we'll still go the big-box retailer for our shoes and get a 3D-printed one from the shelf (or order them online) rather than printing them at home.

Comment: Re:SUSY isn't dead yet. (Score 3, Interesting) 138

by hweimer (#46405913) Attached to: The Rise and Fall of Supersymmetry

However, the observed Higgs mass of 126GeV is a sweet spot which allows the mass of the lightest SUSY particle to be far greater than the LHC can produce. It'll take a few more colliders before we can dismiss SUSY completely.

The main motivation behind SUSY is that it solves the fine-tuning problem associated with electroweak symmetry breaking. But if SUSY itself is fine-tuned, this solution creates the same problems that it was intended to solve.

BTW: The largest constraint on SUSY partner masses does not come from the $9bn LHC, but from the ACME collaboration's measurement of the electron electric dipole moment, a $6M tabletop atomic physics experiment.

Comment: Likely death not likely (Score 4, Informative) 104

by hweimer (#46358367) Attached to: Blood Test of 4 Biomarkers Predicts Death Within 5 Years

Death is a quite rare thing; ignoring age and other factors, the probability of someone to die within five years is less than 5%. Even when you belong to the top 20% in terms of risk, the probability of death is just 15%, so you're much more likely to be alive than dead after this time. And for what it's worth, the biomarkers are strongly correlated with other factors like "does this person have cancer?", so that in the end the authors say that their new model is just 4% better than previously used models.

Comment: Re:Can someone explain... (Score 3, Informative) 116

by hweimer (#46332337) Attached to: Complete Microsoft EMET Bypass Developed

As far as I can see, they do not rely on a specific IE vulnerability for inserting the payload, but they rely on a specific (and fixed) Windows vulnerability to bypass ASLR, which is a crucial component of EMET. They claim in a footnote that the "IE flaw could be modified to leak the base address of a DLL in another way", but they do not provide a working exploit that does so.

Comment: Re:Still not quite correct. (Score 2) 94

by hweimer (#46332285) Attached to: The Higgs Boson Re-Explained By the Mick Jagger of Physics

Further issues:

1. The claim that theories should contain certain symmetries because of aesthetic perceptions is misguided. The standard model, the most successful physical theory ever written down by mankind, is ugly as shit.

2. Symmetry does not protect reality from divergence.

3. It is wrong that without the Higgs, there would be no mass and we all would die. For the gauge bosons of the weak force, this would be true, but all leptons and quarks surrounding us can simply be described by a conventional mass term, as this doesn't break local gauge invariance.

Comment: Re:This explains quantum physics (Score 2) 745

by hweimer (#46264931) Attached to: Mathematician: Is Our Universe a Simulation?

Quantum physics seems to be the ultimate proof that the universe is a simulation.

World record for simulation of classical physics: 10 billion particles
World record for simulation of quantum physics: 42 particles

If I had to run a simulation of an entire universe, I'd rather not make it quantum.

Comment: Re:A quick overview (Score 1) 224

by hweimer (#46147775) Attached to: First Evidence That Google's Quantum Computer May Not Be Quantum After All

You are a quantum system. You can be sent through a double slit a zillion times and you will start forming interference patterns on the screen. But when interviewed, you will report that not once did you go through both slits at once.

This is not possible. In order to be able to answer the question to the interviewer, you have to store the information about which way you went somewhere (e.g., in your spin). This creates entanglement between your position and your spin and destroys the interference pattern.

Comment: Re:you know (Score 1) 426

by hweimer (#46078991) Attached to: Kentucky: Programming Language = Foreign Language

I'm an old fart, but I really don't like the recent trend in colleges - and now high schools - where we're apparently moving towards a completely utilitarian education and away from attempting to develop well-rounded individuals and citizens.

I totally agree with your statement in general; but in today's society being a well-rounded individual mandates some sort of programming skills. For instance, how can you possibly understand what the free software movement is about when you have never written a single line of code in your life?

Comment: Re:...but if you want free software to improve... (Score 1) 1098

by hweimer (#46065783) Attached to: FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

Why is LLVM replacing GCC?

Is it? Is anyone besides Apple switching from GCC to LLVM as their default compiler? Are more people having trouble to compile stuff using GCC because developers use LLVM extensions than vice versa? Is there any other sign that LLVM is actually replacing GCC?

Comment: Re:For a noted pragmatist, Linus is dead wrong... (Score 3, Insightful) 279

by hweimer (#46022311) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: Any CLA Is Fundamentally Broken

Yeah, explain that to me in 10 years when some court rules that contributions under the GPL are illegal to distribute due to some legal deficiency in the license.

Actually, it is much more likely that a CLA will be found to be unenforcable than the text of a well-established software license. In fact, CLAs requiring copyright assignment are probably void in large parts of the world, meaning you are back to square one.

"Just Say No." - Nancy Reagan "No." - Ronald Reagan