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Comment: Exactly why the Honor Harrington series is great (Score 1) 444

by jcrb (#48014547) Attached to: The Physics of Space Battles

It is both modeled on Napoleonic Navel Fiction while at the same time being physically accurate withing the constraints of its sci-fi universe. Accelerate at full speed for an hour in one direction, well then it will take you an hour to come to a stop. Long trips at high fractions of the speed of light have shorted subjective shipboard times. The light speed time lag in sensors and communication plays significant tactical and strategic roles in almost all the battles.

If you love space opera or Aubrey/Hornblower and you like accurate physics then you definitely want to read the Harrington series by David Weber http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H...

Comment: Search for me but not for thee (Score 5, Insightful) 207

Oh sure they have a wonderful system for searching what they want to search and can't be troubled to search what they should be able to but don't want to..

http://www.judicialwatch.org/p...
"Department of Justice attorneys for the Internal Revenue Service told Judicial Watch on Friday that Lois Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search. "

The saying "Laws are for the little people" used to be funny, now, not so much.

Comment: There is an upside to this (Score 1) 38

by jcrb (#47671407) Attached to: Ryan Lackey, Marc Rogers Reveal Inexpensive Tor Router Project At Def Con

Getting lots of people running Tor even if they don't need to, even if the implementation may not be the "best" possible, for various definitions of best, is that it dilutes the number of users using Tor for "bad" things.

I don't know what the percent of users of Tor are using it for the standard list of things the government needs to save us from, but you know that eventually the argument will get made, which owing to the nature of Tor will be almost impossible to disprove, that basically everyone using it is doing something illegal and thus running a node makes you an accomplice, and using Tor is probable cause for the government to come and search your stuff.

If that argument has not already been made in court you know it is only a matter of time before it is.

Comment: Not an apology (Score 5, Insightful) 59

They make no mention of having been clearly non-responsive to the FOI request. The FOI asked for "Acquisition documents" that they hadn't got one yet doesn't get them out from having been trying to get one. And the excuse of "well we didn't know what the other department was doing" fails, the whole point of a FOI request is for them to find out of someone has the documents in any of their departments. The real problem is that these FOI laws lack meaningful penalties for failure to properly respond so no one ever does.

Comment: Re:How did this get modded up (Score 1) 187

by jcrb (#47389807) Attached to: Train Derailment Dumps Two 737 Fuselages Into Clark Fork River

You can't prove a negative

It's called proof by contradiction.

No you have it backwards, proof by contradiction is a method of showing something is true by showing that if it were false it would be a contradiction with something known to be true. An example in this case would be to say,

"assume there are purple unicorns, that would imply through a chain of logic that there can not be pink spotted elephants, since we know that pink spotted elephants do exist then purple unicorns can not exist, QED"

since you are likely to have difficulty finding a contradiction that results by assuming that purple unicorns do exist this method of proof it unlikely to helpful in this case.

Comment: Re:Warranty (Score 2) 187

by jcrb (#47389725) Attached to: Train Derailment Dumps Two 737 Fuselages Into Clark Fork River

What the fuck?

The illegibility that you find so shocking would seem to come from the terminal the poster is using (based on their previous comments) the content would seem to come from the fact that all they appear to want to do is assert that various political view points are bad along with those who hold them regardless of how relevant it might be to the discussion at hand.

Or their views on the world may just be the result of living in Seattle and not having sex for 20 years, can't tell which is the cause and which is the effect.

Comment: They only had no idea because they didn't look (Score 1) 653

by jcrb (#46526951) Attached to: $30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

If you go to the USPTO trademark search and put in "multimeter and yellow" the FIRST result is a Fluke yellow multimeter.

If you are in the business of making multimeters and claim you have never heard of Fluke or seen one you are clearly full of it.

Company caught clearly knocking off other company's product tries to play the "trademark laws is bad, boo hoo" card.

Not impressed

Comment: Re:Wasn't this a movie? (Score 1) 237

by jcrb (#46129307) Attached to: Now On Video: GCHQ Destroying Laptop Full of Snowden Disclosures

No you misunderstand the nature of recovering data from a HDD. It s not that the data from the 49th overwrite could be recovered, it is that the data from the 1st write might be recoverable. How is it that the data from the 1st write could be recovered but the data from the most recent couldn't be? Because if the 1st write sits for a long time then 1 that was written to the drive when over written by a 0 becomes not a 0 but a 0.1 or the 0 overwritten by a 1 becomes a 0.9 not a 1. so while the drive itself is not going to be able to recover anything if you just write 0's to the whole drive, someone with better equipment that is prepared to read the drive over and over may be able to sift out the 0's and the 0.1's as if they were 0's and 1's. So by randomly writing 0s and 1s back and forth you give all the bits a randomized amount of magnetism and make it unrecoverable.

So if the disk had one set of data stored on it for an extended period of time and then you wrote a new set of data there would be a period of time where you could 0 the drive and potentially recover the first set of data, so at most you could say the drive contains somewhat less than 2X its rated capacity, with great difficulty.

Comment: Think of the children!!!!! (Score 1) 22

by jcrb (#46126005) Attached to: Meet the MOSS Modular Robots (Video)

I'm sure the government will step in and protect us from these products just as they did with Buckyballs.

Buckyballs were sold as adult office toys and the Consumer Product Safety Commission still felt the need to save the children from swallowing the ball magnets. Given that these say they are for ages 8 and up I don't think they stand a chance... which is sad because they certainly look like they could be a lot of fun.

Clearly what they need to do is include an "Emergency Extraction Super Magnet Rescue Tool" (that is too big to swallow) with each set along with a DVD copy of the movie Fortress, and print "Rescue Tool Instructional Video" on the DVD, and then they should be good to go.

Comment: Sadly (Score 5, Insightful) 383

by jcrb (#46090411) Attached to: Congressmen Say Clapper Lied To Congress, Ask Obama To Remove Him

It's not a "lie" if they aren't convicted, and even then for most people it will still be a "misstatement".

The win at all costs nature that American politics have turned into as of late have made seeing just how blatant a lie you can get away with part of the game rather than something to be avoided.

Asking nicely for his removal will accomplish nothing at all. Either go for conviction or don't bother. Saying "he's not nice and we don't like him anymore" is not going do anything other than cause the administration to chuckle.

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