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Comment Re:Cue the flood... (Score 1) 193

X can be a cure for cancer,

That's a very good example. We're nowhere near a "cure for cancer", but that's only because there isn't such a thing. Cancer is lots and lots of different things that all kind-a-sort-a look the same.

And while we haven't "cured cancer" we've cured a lot of cancer during the years, and we're continually improving. In the seventies/eighties in Sweden, three out of every four children diagnosed with cancer died as a result of the disease. Today, it is one out of every four. And counting. We're continually getting a little bit better.

So that we're not solving an ill posed problem shouldn't blind us to the fact that we're taking large strides to solve the well posed ones. Without any big headlines, just slow steady messy progress, complete with a lack of great breakthroughs and fanfare.

Comment Re:It's the lawyers, not the convict (Score 1) 108

One point: it is not "wrong" for a lawyer to defend his client to the best of his ability, and do his best to get an acquittal, EVEN IF THE CLIENT IS GUILTY.

Not for all values of "guilty". It is not ethical, and in fact against both the rules and the law for a lawyer to lie on his clients behalf. So if the lawyer knows that his client is "guilty" (a client can't by definition be guilty, since the court hasn't ruled on the matter yet), through e.g. a private confession, but the client then instructs his lawyer to act as if that wasn't true, then the lawyer must recuse himself.

As the information exchanged between the attorney and client is privileged, he can't tell anyone why he recused himself, but recuse he must.

This is why lawyers are sometimes careful in discussing certain things with their clients, in some instances, the less they know, the more effectively they can represent their clients.

Now of course, if a lawyer thinks his client is "probably" guilty, that hasn't and can't have any bearing on the case. The defence attorney is there to defend, not help the prosecution make their case. If the client maintains their innocence so be it.

Now, in actual fact in the US at least, with the current plea bargaining system, this is not the problem. Its the complete opposite. It's the lawyer who will instruct his client to plead guilty, even when the client maintains his innocence, as the system is rigged (and contains abominations like the Alford plea...), and the risk of a trial is too great if you're not independently wealthy.

Comment Re:This is really wierd (Score 1) 184

And as a result of Paris, there is a lot of racism directed at muslims the last couple days, or at least it suddenly feels like so. Nobody yet realizes that calling for the mass execution of muslims because they are evil and rape and murder sounds stunningly like Nazi rhetoric against the Jewish (just as untrue), and worse, it appears as though now it's culturally acceptable.

And the terrorists know that and are actively seeking it.

It's an age old tactic. After all all insurgencies start small with just a handful of those willing to take action actively in the fight. The vast majority just want to get on with their lives, no matter the circumstances. That risks that the revolution peters out. So in order to put some backbone into the population rallying them against a common enemy is the order of the day.

This can be done by for example hitting the enemy hard enough that they retaliate (if you're occupied by a reasonable man, try and kill him in the most gruesome fashion imaginable in the hopes that his replacement will act much harsher and put the squeeze on the population at large). Another way, as in Beslan, is to commit heinous acts of terror against the majority group of the population (whether ethnic, political or similar) in the hope that they'll over react and oppress the minority that you're trying to rally.

Attacks like Paris of course reek of the latter. If I was an ISIS/Al queda/Boko haram i.e. "islamic" terroris (in our eyes that is) I'd start the exact same course of action. Their problem is that they don't have sufficient support in their local western communities. Which is not surprising, many in those communities fled that shit, that's why there here. So in order to rally them, I'd say: "Let's see if we can't anger the majority into putting the boot in hard enough to make our people see things our way."

It's heartening to note that even in cases like Beslan, that tactic failed. The wide scale repression of the population they terrorists claimed to represent, failed to materialise. We'd do well to follow this example, as doing the opposite and letting ourselves get carried away is exactly what the Islamic terrorist strategists want.

Comment Re: Surprise! (Score 1) 103

I'm not sure why "strangely"

One reason we're so good at seeing faces everywhere is probably to better avoid predators looking directly at us. (Whether they're other animals or human). Now, we do see humanity in others, it's surprisingly difficult to train a human to kill others, but it's a much weaker effect. And from an evolutionary standpoint it probably must be. If we didn't have it, the genes for sociopathy etc. could spread uncontrolled, as there'd be no defense against them. As it is, we're keeping stable at 1% or so, which some have argued is the "optimum", or at least doesn't on average create enough harm that we absolutely need to do something about it.

The latter, I'd argue against, we've built whole sociopathic systems with our modern economy, but I'm not in the majority there.

Comment Re:NUKEM!! NUKEM NOW!! (Score 1) 728

First, I'm Swedish, what the Norwegians do with the only Nobel prize they're allowed to award, is on them. Not the rest of us.

Second, what Europe thinks about Obama of course has no bearing on how USians vote. Never have, never will.

Third, one of the main reasons you people even voted for him in the first place was that he promised to end your Iraq-ian adventure. So there is clearly no political majority to do what needs to be done. Hence, the responsibility for the current mess is on you not the president. (It's funny that, when it comes to US foreign policy it's always solely the work of the president, with the rest of american society, whistling and turning away as if it's none of your business.

Fifth, I haven't seen much outrage directed at the collateral murder incident. I have seen a lot of justification for all of their actions however. As a matter of fact, that clearly overwhelms. And no-one in general, and Pentagon in particular hasn't been taken to task for it. So, indifference to the whole thing is as high as that horse is ever going to get it seems. And I can say that without saying that it relativises Paris, or compares to Paris, or justifies Paris. It's clearly got nothing to do with it in the narrow sense. In the wider sense if of course has everything to do with it...

Comment Re:NUKEM!! NUKEM NOW!! (Score 1) 728

I'm not talking about the reporters. Never have. While that was en error in hindsight, shit happens in war. It's my belief that even though american aircrews are notoriously trigger happy (just ask e.g. your British allies, who thought the US Air Force was more dangerous to them than the enemy) had they been tried for that they would not have been found in error.

I'm talking about their other behaviour, especially firing on the van, where the air crew in the run up clearly demonstrates that they know the rules of engagement as they're clearly heard saying "Just pick up a gun so I can shoot you" (paraphrase) in reference to one of the wounded men crawling away along the curb. When the van then enters, and stops before that crawling man, then the air crew (as they needed to according to the rules of engagement) contacts higher command to secure permission to fire, and lies to their CO, by stating "They're picking up weapons and bodies". They clearly weren't picking up bodies as the man they stopped by was very much alive at that point, and they weren't anywhere near a weapon. And the CO hearing this gives them the permission to fire.

It's a flagrant and quite clearly indefensible violation of the laws of war and their own rules of engagement, and they knew it.

Now what the attacks on Paris has to do with this, I'm at a complete loss to understand. The incident we're talking about happened years ago, long before any attack on France. And what other people do, at other times, and at other people likewise can't guide our behaviour. While we cannot take responsibility for other people's behaviour, we can, and should take responsibility for our own.

Quite frankly it reeks of the sentiment that was heard just after the Oklahoma city bombings, that "We should just bomb random cities in the middle east." Which made quite a few quip after the identity of the attacker became known that it would then by the same logic be OK to just bomb random cities in the mid west? The British were heard saying the same thing in reference to the IRA "troubles", that just parking the Hermes off the eastern seaboard and with a few well placed strikes in south Boston IRA's funding would dry up in no-time flat...

Now, if that behaviour is unconscionable, why would large scale indiscriminate bombing in the middle east be a) defensible and b) a good idea?

When it comes to the IS the solution is very simple. You broke the country, you bought it. Get your lazy arses back in there and finish the job.

Comment Re:NUKEM!! NUKEM NOW!! (Score 1) 728

What? You mean the crew lying to their chain of command isn't enough proof that they knew they were violating their own rules of engagement? You think you know something they didn't?

OK, here's the rule then. Specifically 1.c.

This wasn't a big surprise to the troops in conflict as the very first Geneva convention stated that. The US abides by that convention.

Comment Re:Good way to hide your work (Score 1) 135

Perhaps you didn't follow my argument. The $600k is to pay for a staff of six full-time employees at a hypothetical journal. I don't think you can run a high-quality journal with a total budget of $10-1000 per year for more than a very brief while.

Do you seriously think that the overwhelming majority of journals have a six person full time staff? They typical journal has part of a person paid by the publisher. All the other work is performed by unpaid volunteers.

If we look at organising a large conference, the actual cost of the "publishing" side is a pittance compared to the work performed, basically only "deliver the proofs to the printer and receive the proceedings back". The printer doesn't do basically anything more than the actual printing. The major cost of printing is getting the rights to put the logo of the sponsoring organisation on the front cover. (Whether IEEE or ACM).

Sure, Nature, Science and the like might actually do proof reading, copy editing and type setting, but the rest; not so much. The overwhelming majority of the work is done by unpaid volunteers. Always have been, and always will be. Why we don't just cut out the last middleman, is beyond me. Since we don't have to, and status quo is cosy and comfortable, that's probably the reason...

Comment Re:What is it about... (Score 1) 620

Sweden destroys their constitution every 10 years, and re-writes it from the ground up.

Uhh? What? We do nothing of the sort. Not even close. As a matter of fact the constitutional process in Sweden and the US is similar from the point of view that they are changed by the legislating body like regular laws are but with extra checks and balances to make it more difficult to change.

In Sweden the four parts of our constitutional law (we don't have one collected constitution per se), can be changed only by two consecutive parliaments with a national election in-between (to give the people the chance of changing a parliament that tries to do something not to our liking). Since the term today is four years, that gives a maximum of eight years for a change in constitutional law, but shorter is of course often the norm. So I have no idea where you got the "ten years" from. We most certainly don't require the whole constitution to be ratified within any set time period.

Comment Re:Hopefully it can actually kill someone (Score 1) 469

Well recoil, and therefore handling is the same whether you shoot hollow points or FMJs.

In either case, the difference in diameter between 9mm and .45 is so small as to be completely swamped by other factors when it comes to wounding. You're not going to hit a major organ or blood vessel with .45s that you were missing with 9mm. Shoot placement and ammo capacity is bound to completely swamp that effect. The studies I've seen looking at combat effects couldn't discern any difference between 9mm and .45. (But I can't find them now).

All I've read suggest that handgun calibres suck at putting people out of commision anyway, the energy isn't there, so it's like poking someone with a stick. Whether the hole is 9mm or .45 doesn't make a difference. The differences in energy doesn't matter as the energy is too small to begin with.

Lower recoil does mean better training, confidence and subsequent shot placement though. I remember that when Sweden started training snipers again in the nineties they settled on 7.62x51 NATO as experience showed that that was the largest calibre that all soldiers could be expected to learn to shoot well. Bigger may be better for sniping, but then you'd end up with people who couldn't be successfully trained due to that one aspect. So while not ideal for the purpose, it had the one quality that mattered in the end. Usability.

Comment Re:no wonder (Score 1) 187

No. Power is just torque times angular velocity.

So whether you can accelerate or tow or go fast depends on the torque curve, i.e. torque as a function of engine speed. Now, when you make an ICE you can make certain trade-offs that makes the torque curve look different, and that makes the engine work worse or better for certain task. Or rather, the engine as part of the drive train work worse or better. With an ICE you almost always have to have a gear box with changable gearing as the available rev range and torque curve won't fit the entire speed/work range you're interested in.

So the story is a lot more complicated than what that rule of thumb would lead you to believe. A very high power engine, i.e. an engine that can rev really high and still maintain some torque, still won't make you go fast if the gearbox doesn't allow it. And that's just one example.

Comment Re:no wonder (Score 4, Informative) 187

(Torque creates acceleration. HP is what maintains speed.)

Not really. Power (weather measured in HP or Watts) for a rotating machine is simply the torque multiplied by the angular velocity. So while you need torque to accelerate e.g. a car, you can't say that "horse power" maintains speed. In fact, it's torque that maintains speed as well. You need enough output torque that when its converted to a force at the wheel/road surface, that force is sufficient to overcome the force due to other losses (wind resistance, or work due to going up hill). Of course, going up a hill your engine/motor's power output better be greater than the work you're doing, otherwise you've made a perpetum mobile

Now, the main problem with the lawn mower example is that the torque curves, i.e. torque as a function of angular velocity ("revs") is very different between an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. (Indeed, that's why many internal combustion engines has an electric motor to start it). So you'd have to compare the torque curves at the precise operating (speed/load) where the stone was hit.

Without doing the math, my feeling is that if you did so, you'd come up with the answer that it didn't matter anyway. The collision between a small, relatively speaking light and hard, stone and the fairly heavy, also hard, steel rotor of a lawn mower with substantial inertia, is as near to the idealistic elastic collision as dammit. I'd be very surprised if the rotor had time to lose enough angular momentum that the difference in torque curves between the electric motor and an ICE one would make enough of a difference in the outcome of the experiment to dominate other sources of error in the setup. Note that of course, it's the difference in torque characteristics, i.e. the speed with which the motor/engine can change its output given a change in load that's the determining factor. At the steady state, a rotor spinning at the same speed will have the same absolute torque driving it, just balancing out losses from friction. If it were otherwise the blade wouldn't rotate with a steady RPM, it would instead rev up or down. So it's not the torque of the power source per se that's the difference, but rather "on demand" torque often called, acceleration torque, given changing conditions.

Comment Re:We can safely ignore Chip&Pin (Score 1) 145

Chip and Signature should help reduce card cloning attacks because unless the cryptographic key on the chip can be read the application request cryptograms will never be correct so the transactions will be flagged. What happens in the case of an ARQC validation failure is up to your bank, but they can hardly refuse a refund if they approve a transaction where the ARQC validation failed. (Well, they can, but they're likely to get shafted for it eventually)

And that's a real issue. That's why we in Europe right now have geofencing on our cards. When our card information is "stolen" it ends up being used on cloned cards in shops in other parts of the world. BUT, that's not just places like India (which is a perennial favourite), rather one of the major markets is the US as your POS security standards are so lax.

So even if shoring up US standards would not help USians, it will help us in the rest of the world, by making one very popular attack less likely to succeed, by making geoblocking working better.(Blocking the US is more inconvenient than blocking many other countries.)

Comment Re: Be careful what you ask for (Score 1) 99

If availability trumps all else and it is availability that makes medical devices more easy to hack, they why couldn't the hacker simply hack the device and take it offline at the time it's most needed? If every second matters, couldn't the hacker delay you for a few seconds?

Sure they could. But that's not how threat modelling work. The question here is will more hackers do that, and will the added security to thwart them actually lead to more deaths from doctors not being able to navigate that security in time to save the patient.

Risk isn't just the potential outcome of a certain situation, it's also the probability that that outcome will come to be.

It seems like what you are really saying is you need ready access to medical devices, but instead of building robust yet transparent security, your strategy is to "hope" a hacker never targets a patient of yours?

It's not a question of "building", we don't know how to build a secure system like that (and I say that as a security researcher). Security research focuses almost exclusively on "perfect" security, i.e. security above all else. There's no great body of research into exactly what trade-offs are when it comes to implantable device security in general, and implanted life and time critical systems in particular. These are hard problems. It's not for nothing that hospital data access systems still work mainly on the "allow all access, log and deal with the problems later"-model of security. Even one dead patient due to security snafus tends to make people really upset. "Hacking" related health related deaths though are few and far between. (I can't think of a single one off the top of my head).

Not worrying about, and taking steps to prevent, having your pacemaker attacked by a "hacker" is like not worrying about getting randomly shot walking down the street. It's the rational thing to do for all but a very small minority. Other risks, at this point in time completely thwart these risks.

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!