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Comment: Re:wayland (Score 1) 259

by metacosm (#43837839) Attached to: Vastly Improved Raspberry Pi Performance With Wayland

I hope people will stop doing that (VNC remotes), as a contractor I have seen VNC installed "in the wild" 4 times. In all 4 cases they used a common password corporation wide. This password was stored weakly encrypted on the individual machines in registry, trivial to decrypt. At that point, it is just a matter of searching the network for the most important sounding user "Bob (CEO) Laptop" -- connect to it, watch 'em work for a minute, then open notepad and write "Can you call me at extension X, Thanks!"

Comment: Secret Transparency Award now makes sense (Score 0) 385

by metacosm (#35703276) Attached to: US Open Government Sites To Close

Taking an award for a program that is about to die in public is bad form.

“It’s almost a theater of the absurd to have an award on transparency that isn’t transparent,” Gary Bass, founder of OMB Watch, and one of five groups that met with the president, told The Washington Post. “The irony is that everything the president said was spot-on. I wish people had heard what he had to say.”


Comment: Re:wow (Score -1) 810

by metacosm (#34786036) Attached to: Running Your Own Ghost Investigation?

How could I possibly "prove" that 'ghosts' don't exist to you, give me some scientific way to "prove" that 'ghosts' don't exist, and I will do my best.

It is nearly impossible for me to disprove make believe notions that exist only in the confines of your skull. If you thought that invisible undetectable purple elephants dance on every strand of hair on your head, this would also be very hard for me to disprove.

The weight of proof should rest on those making extraordinary claims, claiming there are invisible non-corporal humans running around is an extraordinary claim.

Comment: Re:Bluffing? (Score 1) 693

by metacosm (#34286856) Attached to: 200 Students Admit Cheating After Professor's Online Rant

It seems like a bluff to me... the reason I think it is a bluff is simple, he oversold. Think about it, massive punishment on one side, and a 4 hour course and no permanent record on the other. No one who actually knows anything would offer such a deal. I am guessing that the statistical variances were there, but as anyone knows, variance isn't proof. This was a bluff, I am guessing the reason they sold is so big and so easy is they want the data. They have these statistical variances, and being able to get a more clear picture of with knowing exactly who cheated... and possibly might even get some ways to "get up the food chain" to the original people involved in getting the test data.

If this was a poker game, and I had money to win, I would go all in on such an obviously weak position... but as there is no money, and no upside at all for the students to "call his bluff", it will work.

Well played professor.

Comment: Re:like trying to offer proof to a Birther (Score 2, Insightful) 1093

by metacosm (#30419418) Attached to: The Limits To Skepticism

#1. Some of the data was deleted (obviously, it has been mentioned many times).

#2. Some of the data was contractually banned from being shared (the Met is working on getting this fixed, sent requests to 180 counties).

Secret and deleted data is NOT a good basis for anything, and the Met agrees, and wants to redo it transparently over the next three years.

I hope the Met gets permission to do that, I would love some really transparent / open process work around this.

I was shocked when I found out that stuff based on "secret" or unpublishable data, or deleted data was allowed to be written up in a peer reviewed journal. How the hell do you review something you can't see the data to?

While this is a 'pressing' issue in the west, and they there is a strong bias for action, screwing it up and having bad science will have a huge impact on how it is viewed by India and China in the future... it is worth doing it all in a hyper-transparent and straightforward way.

Comment: Re:History... (Score 3, Interesting) 1190

by metacosm (#27371713) Attached to: The Global Warming Heretic

FauxPasIII... once again, you prove how much closer the green movement is to religion than to science.

You basically have paraphrased "Pascal's Wager". Which is basically "If you believe in God and are wrong, you loose nothing (and maybe gain some things) -- but if you DO NOT believe in God and are incorrect, fire and pain, etc... Therefore being an atheist is illogical".

If you replace "God" with "Global Warming" and "atheist" with "global warming doubter"... got got your argument.

There are a couple reasons why Pascal's Wager (and by extension your argument) is incorrect. Let me answer your questions...

"if we follow the consensus and it turns out they're wrong, the consequences of that are what?"
- The lack of study on real issues, the lack of honest and directness can decay science as a whole. We could have global cooling, or some other major issue going on -- that we choose to overlook because of our obsession with follow a consensus rather than fact. I believe there are many dangers in this.

"We've dramatically cleaned up our environment,"
- Possible a real benefit

" achieved energy independence,"
- Maybe, with a massive investment in nuclear power, but I think if you look at the fundamentals of most of the other energy streams, you will be sadly disappointed. Look into how much energy it takes to MAKE a solar cell, look at how much energy it takes to TRANSMIT wind power... etc, etc.

"freed ourselves from the political constraints of fossil fuels"
- I assume this is a reference to 'no blood for oil' and similar chants. I will just gloss over it, as it is more politics.

"and massively bolstered our economy with a whole new class of green businesses."
- This isn't a fact, it isn't even a logical follow-on, this is hope. You "hope" a green economy will explode creating new jobs. Read some of the old clippings about nuclear power and you will do the time warp again! My point is, this is blind hope / faith -- like believing in a fancy place in the clouds waiting for you ... it isn't based on any facts.

"Explain again why you're so against this?"
- Because, I want science to be driven by truth... even when that truth is unpopular, even when that truth is frustrating, even when that truth goes AGAINST political causes. I want science to be unburdened by such things.

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin