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Comment: Re:Hardware Security (Score 2) 49

Even the phone company used to do it wrong.

Before I left for college in '85, we had a second phone line (which basically became my line). When I went away, my parents got it disconnected. When I came home the first summer I didn't know it was disconnected. I connected my phone back to the jack and sure enough, had a dialtone.

I made calls for several weeks until my friends kept complaining that my number didn't work, said it was disconnected. I called Ma Bell and found out it was disconnected!

The line from our house to the pole-mounted junction box was still there but the pair for "my" line got repurposed for an additional line in the neighborhood and nobody ever thought to remove the extra jumper.

Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 3, Insightful) 336

by Shakrai (#48633467) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

The fate of the human race is at stake.

No, actually it's not. This is the kind of hyperbolic nonsense that makes it so hard to take the alarmist crowd seriously. It also gives ammunition to the deniers/skeptics/whatever-you-want-to-call-them. Project the worst case scenario for climate change and the human race survives. People in developing countries don't do so well and even the developed world takes a hit (higher food prices, greater frequency of natural disasters, and so on) but the human race isn't going anywhere. Homo sapiens quite probably survived a super-volcanic eruption, without the benefit of modern technology and scientific understanding. You think you can kill them off with melting ice caps, stronger hurricanes, and rising sea levels? Best of luck with that.

I'm in the crowd that believes the climate is changing and that homo sapiens are a contributory factor to that change. I get off the bus when the green crowd starts talking about pie in the sky solutions that sound great on paper but invariably result in a lower standard of living and greater Governmental control over our lives. Unless you're willing wholly embrace nuclear power (to their credit a few greens actually are) there's no way you can generate enough energy to maintain our current standard of living without sourcing some of that energy from carbon based sources.

Comment: Re:10th amendment (Score 1) 348

by Shakrai (#48633157) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

It started with FDR (*), the New Deal, and a little known SCOTUS case involving wheat....

Thanks Democrats!

(*) Actually the progressive philosophy really got started with Wilson but that asshat didn't have FDR's cojones. I guess FDR did save Western Civilization as we know it; that probably should count for something....

Comment: Re:Dry Counties? (Score 1) 348

by Shakrai (#48633077) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

I on the other hand have stayed away from all drugs (including alcohol) for years, but have enjoyed and used marijuana on a regular basis.

I hate to break it to you but THC is a drug by any definition.....

Mind you, so is caffeine, and I'm not passing judgment on you for using THC, been there done that. You just can't claim that you have stayed away from all drugs while simultaneously admitting that you use marijuana on a regular basis....

Comment: Re:Hope they win this case. (Score 3, Informative) 348

by swb (#48632557) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

I kind of doubt it. States enjoy sovereign immunity thanks to the 11th Amendment and generally can't be sued by other states.

Without this, you would have all manner of lawsuits about neighboring states tax laws, liquor and cigarette control regimes, abortion, etc. Bigger states could dominate smaller states via sheer resources.

Comment: Arrest increase because they're looking for it? (Score 5, Interesting) 348

by swb (#48632505) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

Chappell, NE is a don't-blink-or-you'll-miss-it town of 929 on I-80 between North Platte, NE and Cheyenne, Wyoming. A 400% increase in felony drug arrests sounds like a lot, but how many felony drug arrests could there ever have been in a town of 929? Did we go from 1 to 4?

I also wonder how many shitkicker rural sheriffs in neighboring states went on full batshit alert once Colorado legalized it and began pulling over every car they could with out of state license plates coming from Colorado, knowing that they would hit paydirt on at least some of them? You can pretty easily create your own crisis if you start looking for it.

To be fair to the sheriffs, I don't doubt there is some increased amount of pot leaving Colorado -- it's a tourist destination even without pot and it wouldn't surprise me at all if people who go there for other reasons (like skiing or other outdoor activities) decide to bring some home.

It also wouldn't surprise me if some people went there specifically to bring some home, although from what I've been told the retail pricing isn't all that competitive on a dollar basis with black market pot and the economics of driving cross-country to pick up a couple of ounces of weed don't seem to lend themselves to a lot of people deciding to make that trip.

I don't think you can factor in any kind of organized criminal enterprises into these complaints -- that was a "problem" *before* it was legalized. Bitching about it now because you're frothed up about pot legalization and seeing it everywhere you look just seems paranoid.

Comment: Re:Core business? (Score 2) 193

by swb (#48630185) Attached to: Marissa Mayer's Reinvention of Yahoo! Stumbles

I thnk their core business WAS the web directory but that seemed to become irrelevent and less useful once Google came around. Their age and size has allowed them a certain amount of inertia with users who simply don't know or care for anything better.

I think there's some value in a high-quality curated web directory. Given what Wikipedia accomplishes with volunteers and no advertising, I would think that Yahoo could have come up with some way to basically pay people to browse the web and curate a directory given the money they have to spend.

Google search is better in some regards and use cases but in some ways, if it isn't on the first page of results it probably won't be useful, especially if you don't know what to search for or are looking for a class of information or type of web site.

But they seemed to have given up on that in favor of "web services" which they probably can't ever compete with. Their technology isn't competitive, they don't have any media clout and nothing unique to offer.

Comment: Re:I don't see the big deal here. (Score 1) 176

by Shakrai (#48628277) Attached to: US Links North Korea To Sony Hacking

The yield doesn't have anything to do with how deliverable the weapon(s) are. You said that North Korea's nukes are WW2 sized in a comment about missile technology. I'm curious what you based on that assumption on? Or perhaps you were speaking about yield all along, rather than deliverablity, though in that instance I'd wonder why it came up in a discussion about missiles. In any case, a 7kt weapon is enough to kill tens of thousands of people in an urban area. Even a fizzle might manage to do that, via prompt radiation. North Korea's nukes can't be casually dismissed....

Comment: Almost nothing in the OP is true (Score 5, Interesting) 139

by Wonko the Sane (#48627173) Attached to: Will Ripple Eclipse Bitcoin?

Ripple is a debt accounting system.

You can send Dollars or gold over Ripple - you can transfer promissory nodes for those things.

The difference between a promissory note and the value the note represents is something that Ripple should be trying to clarify - instead they seek to obscure it.

Because they try to pretend that promissory notes are equal to underlying assets, they don't include any features that would act like leverage limits. There is no ability to deal with counterparty risk rationally in their system, since trust in a counterpary is binary.

In real world, liabilities of different entities are discounted by a value that reflects their credit risk. Ripple does not permit this operation. You either value liabilities at par or not at all.

As others have mentioned, their consensus system is neither distributed nor trustless. It's a centralized, badly-designed, debt accounting system trying to pretend it's a trustless cryptocurrency.

Comment: Re:I don't see the big deal here. (Score 1) 176

by Shakrai (#48627051) Attached to: US Links North Korea To Sony Hacking

but not likely with a nuke as their nukes are freaking huge (like WWII huge...).

Do we actually have evidence of that or are you just making assumptions? North Korea is known to have exchanged nuclear technology with Pakistan and Pakistan does have warheads small enough to be mounted to missiles.

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 1) 377

by swb (#48624577) Attached to: Google Proposes To Warn People About Non-SSL Web Sites

I agree with this in principle, but I worry that there's a certain naivete to it -- making surveillance harder will not cause the security apparatus to give up mass surveillance.

In a world with only limited use of encryption, surveillance was generally a matter of just listening, and targets that used encryption were either immune because of the extra effort and/or low profile but if they were high enough profile, they were attacked through other more resource intensive vectors.

In a world of mass encryption, the security apparatus will instead attack the infrastructure of encryption -- root CAs, encryption technologies and software, neutralizing the value of encryption and eliminating the utility value of it while retaining all the costs to the implementer (CAs, extra CPU cycles, complexity, etc). I think it also destroys trust in some existential way, which may be one of the worst aspects of this.

I think the entire encryption system needs to become decentralized in some way that forces attacks on encryption to be more difficult. Locally generated keys without the need for centralized trust seems to be part of the solution, but the existing CA system provides the trust component making it more difficult to rely on random keys.

Old programmers never die, they just branch to a new address.