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Comment: Re:As long as it's not windy (Score 1) 95

by mrchaotica (#49385865) Attached to: World's Largest Aircraft Seeks Investors To Begin Operation

The only reason why airplanes often use more power in a headwind, is because the pilot may elect to fly faster to (partially) compensate for the wind. An 80 kt airship in a 40 kt headwind will only have a ground speed of 40 kt, so the pilots may well choose to increase power to get a higher ground speed.

The other reason why airplanes use more power in a headwind is that the pilot still wants to get from point A to point B, which are fixed relative to the ground. If he has a headwind, it means he needs to cover more "effective distance" (relative to the air) to get there and thus use more fuel even if he doesn't increase his airspeed.

Comment: This is bullshit (Score 1) 66

Not the post, but the clickbait title. I mean, c'mon, can't we have a proper headline anymore?! When extraterrestrials really are discovered I want to read "ALIENS DISCOVERED!," in all caps (and imagine it spoken in a 1940s-newsreel voice), not this ridiculous "click me to read the thing I could have just told you right now, but didn't" crap!

Comment: Re:So Germany is not a state? (Score 1) 130

Radioactive elements in coal and fly ash should not be sources of alarm per USGS.

Right, the government said so, so don't worry, taxpayer!

You just cited a document that relies on arguments like " Radioactive elements in coal and fly ash should not be sources of alarm. The vast majority of coal and the majority of fly ash are not significantly enriched in radioactive elements, or in associated radioactivity, compared to common soils or rocks." That's nice. We're not burning common soils or rocks and dispersing them into the atmosphere. The whole fucking article is like that, and you are a useful idiot at best.

Comment: Re:True for other mega-series? (Score 2) 202

by drinkypoo (#49384959) Attached to: Why More 'Star Wars' Actors Don't Become Stars

I'm out of my element here, but isn't this true for other smash mega movie series? How many megastars have the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series produced?

A number of the kids from the Potter movies have actually gone on to get work, and meanwhile pretty much everyone else in both movies was famous before they were in either picture.

Comment: Re:So Germany is not a state? (Score 1) 130

Thirdly, the 'idea' that coal emits noticeable radioactivity is a myth from the 1960s/1970s. Which is debunked since decades, everyone participating in discussions like this: should know that.

In Germany, maybe not. In the USA and China, they certainly do.

Comment: Best target (Score 1) 43

by DrYak (#49384705) Attached to: UK Setting Itself Up To Be More Friendly To Bitcoin Startups

I thought sure Bitcoin would be used in the sex slave and drug markets.

These two (and assassins-for-hire) are probably the use case where the governments would be accepting to throw the necessary resources to do the kind of big-data analysis necessary to track down the culprits.
(Follow the money trail. i.e.: follow the life of bitcoins along transactions, until a real-life event can be mapped to a transaction [e.g.: bitcoins were used to order some product online which was delivered at an adress. Or bitcoins were exchanged for cash at an exchange and were wired to a bank acount]. Do a huge amount of these trackings. After a while some pattern is going to emerge. This pattern might be used to get leads for real-world investigations).

Such tracking is well within the reach of various tree-letter agencies in the US (and in Russia, and in China, etc.)
Had not the founder of Silk Road been caught on some very stupid operational mistake, its likely that the US government would have gone this route to track him down (or it's still possible that they indeed tried the route, and on their way discovered a few operationnal mistakes, and decided to use those as evidence, in order not to admit their tracking capabilities)

Anonymity can be better achieved by what is kown as tumblers.
The cryptocurrency equivalent of money laundering.

You send bitcoins to a tumbler. These bitcoins are added to a big pool that is constantly mixed.
After a while, a similar amount of bitcoins (minus some fee) is sent out of random wallets from the mixing pool, to another address of you choosing.
Nothing is linking the 2 adresses.
If you try tracking the money (not easy because the tumbler itself is constantly mixing them) you see that the emerging BTCs come initially from a dozen of unrelated accounts.

Comment: I completely agree (Score 4, Insightful) 70

by Alain Williams (#49384379) Attached to: UK IP Chief Wants ISPs To Police Piracy Proactively


  • * the post office should also check every parcel
  • * the train company to check that no passenger is a crook travelling to do a robbery
  • * bakeries that no one buying buns is going to put poison in them and so kill old ladies
  • * clothing shops that no one buying a mac is a flasher

The word will be a safer place if everyone checked that their customers were innocent!

Comment: Some Premises Need to be Questioned (Score 3, Insightful) 175

by Bruce Perens (#49383785) Attached to: NSA Worried About Recruitment, Post-Snowden

I am still having a little trouble with "we don't need our spies to spy". Maybe we do.

I am also having trouble believing that the kind of encryption we use on the Internet actually stops the U.S. Government from finding out whatever it wishes although IETF and sysadmins might be kidding themselves that it can. Government can get to the end systems. They can subborn your staff. Etc.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 2) 103

by Kjella (#49382949) Attached to: SCOTUS: GPS Trackers Are a Form of Search and Seizure

Not to look a gift outbreak of common sense in the mouth, but how the fuck can GPS trackers be a form of search and seizure and civil forfeiture NOT be a form of search and seizure?

It's a form of seizure, but the supreme court hasn't found it an unreasonable one. And it's been used for a very long time. Basically, the issue was that without forfeiture they had a hard time catching the owners of smuggling ships. As long as you can't establish them as an accessory to the crime or you have jurisdiction problems, they can legally provide the supplies while the criminals operate on an asset-less basis. So the solution was to declare the assets - in this case the ship - used in illegal acts forfeit, making it a risk and a cost to be used in crime. This goes all the way back to the British.

I've been reading some of the court cases and it seems the minority has been trying really hard to find tortured ways of getting out of their own past precedents as the cases become more and more unreasonable but the majority falls down on "we've approved of civil forfeiture for 200 years, we can't overturn that now". They really, really, really don't like interpreting an old law in a new way. So without acts of Congress saying this is not okay, I don't think anything will change.

P.S. Civil asset forfeiture puts the US way ahead of the UK as fascist country in my opinion, I'm not really even sure if it should qualify as an "innocent until proven guilty" system anymore since you can be robbed blind and need to prove your innocence to the court. It stinks to high heaven.

Comment: Re:Government would've jumped on them (Score 1) 80

by drinkypoo (#49382325) Attached to: Microsoft Considered Giving Away Original Xbox

OS/2 Warp's killer feature was an excellent TCP/IP stack, enabling people to use the Internet without voluminous and hacked-together third-party software.

There was nothing wrong with Trumpet Winsock for modem users. For 10b2 users, the official microsoft stack was adequate. TGV Multinet was a high-performance stack for Windows 3.x which was more than adequate. Sure, you had to have third party software, but there was nothing particularly hackish about it. At the time, you had to deal with equally hacky software to get SLIP (let alone PPP) connectivity on most platforms. Only Unix-based and Unixlikes seem to have come with TCP back then.

Warp cost more than Windows plus a TCP stack...

The killer feature of OS/2 was multitasking that worked. Problem was, nearly nobody had enough RAM to really take advantage of it.

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein