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Comment: Gerrymandering is bad, except when it's good (Score 1) 35

by DNS-and-BIND (#48478547) Attached to: Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election
We have always been friends with Eurasia. We have always been at war with Eastasia. Gerrymandering is bad when it works against us. When it works for us (constructing voting districts so that black men will win [because we all know that blacks will always vote for candidates that match their own skin color]) then it's good. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

Comment: Re:I just don't get that. (Score 1) 89

by jd (#48477863) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Says Legal Fight Has Left Him Broke

I agree the justice system has gone haywire.

I agree the justice system has no business going haywire.

I agree the justice system has no business treating one person differently from another.

I agree that what was done was completely wrong, not just in this case but in many others.

I've said as much, repeatedly, on The Guardian's website on relevant topics. This isn't a new opinion for me.

There is a difference between having no sympathy for the guy (IMHO he deserved it) and agreeing with the justice system. I agree, and always have, with Tolkien's phrasing of it: "Deserved death? I daresay he did. I daresay there are many who live who deserve to die. I daresay there are many who've died who deserve life. Can you give them that also?" Whilst I admit that I'm "quick to judge" on occasion, I heed Tolkien's words and do not believe that "deserving" is sufficient to warrant inflicting what is "deserved". I do not believe retribution is a functional way to go about things. Trashing a hard drive with a sledgehammer might stop bugs in software affecting you, but it doesn't actually fix anything. To do that, you have to not inflict retribution but therapy, fixing the defects.

The same is true of people. Fixing the defects of character is harder, but certainly achievable in most cases. That pays attention to Tolkien/Gandalf's advice, leaves the world a richer place, and is generally a Good Thing. It's also cheaper than inflicting punishment. A lot cheaper, if the world is a lot richer for it.

He has smarts, he has savvy, with a little examination of why he chose the path he was on and some tests, it would not be hard to figure out how he could either offer the same service in essentially the same way in a protected manner, or (if he preferred) to do something different but that makes use of his skills and knowledge.

Bankrupting him has left the world poorer, because there's no way on Earth anyone will convince him to be more charitable and considerate now, and that's the only way the world would ever benefit from his skills and know-how.

To me, this is simple economics. At vast expense, the US has turned a person who was merely dysfunctional but a potential asset nonetheless to society if he could be persuaded into a dysfunctional wreck with a chip on his shoulder the size of the Empire State Building who is never going to let the world see the positive in his abilities. In short, by clocking up a huge liability, the US has achieved the dubious distinction of turning an asset into an additional liability.

I hold that there is always a solution that is both economically sound and ethically sound over the long term, over society as a whole, and that on closer examination, such solutions will always be superior to those that appear ethically sound but are economically unsound. Most of what is truly ethical is also a boost to some key aspect - to a person, society or planet - in the long term that is in excess of the cost, and thus will automatically be also economically sensible. Everything that is truly unethical may produce some short term benefit of some kind to some person, but is invariably expensive to everyone and everything in the long run. In consequence, even the ethical things with no obvious benefits will be cheaper than the great burdens created by the unethical.

I would not do well in a Star Trek universe.

Comment: I've a really hard time sympathizing. (Score 1) 89

by jd (#48477573) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Says Legal Fight Has Left Him Broke

A parasite (he didn't get a fleet of flashy cars by donating disk space to anyone) gets sucked dry by a bigger, nastier parasite.

Sorry, but if you live by a dog-eat-dog creed, don't expect tears when your pet poodle is a predator's desert.

I'm sympathetic with ISOhunt, who got crippled by the UK government, as I'm willing to bet that people after illegal ISOs searched elsewhere. They're a major source of information on ISOs for F/L/OS software, though, which is entirely legal. They got a raw deal on that, because of the bad name the *AA have given torrents. Blocking the others won't do the UK any good, but that's not the point. Nor is it the point that these services index, not host. The point is that it doesn't matter whether the links point to legitimate or illegitimate content, they're tarnished not by what they index but by the mode of transport used.

Kim DotCom is another matter. He raked in an awful lot of money by doing very very little. He'd make a great bank CEO or politician, such is his level of verminicity. Had he done essentially the same, with far less profit (it's ok for him to live, just not ok for him to own half the cars in New Zealand), far less arrogance (like I said, a bank CEO or politician), and far less swagger (maybe, just maybe a touch of humility), I might pity him more. The humble earn at least some respect for being humble. It's rare enough.

If he'd presented his service as "common carrier", then that too would be worth respect. That's legal, that's all about NOT looking at what's there and NOT being shot in the process. DotCom's approach was to be a braggart. Sorry, but that kills any respect.

As judges are renown for disliking the arrogant, swaggering braggart type, that might well have cost him every court case contested. Even on the rare occasion that justice is blind, it still has a sense of smell and arrogant, swaggering braggarts stink.

Comment: Re:I’m sorry, what are the nutritional benef (Score 1) 41

by DNS-and-BIND (#48475081) Attached to: Interviews: The Hampton Creek Team Answers Your Questions
You really need to get out more, and mingle with people who incorporate a diversity of viewpoints. One thing I've found about environmental extremists is that they tend to ostracise anyone who doesn't share their radical views and thus tend to think that the rest of humanity thinks like they do. Go friend one on Facebook and then publically disagree with what she says if you are in denial.

Comment: Re:So that means we're still gonna be buying (Score 0) 184

by Billly Gates (#48472131) Attached to: Consortium Roadmap Shows 100TB Hard Drives Possible By 2025

The question is will your 3 TB ever get filled? That is a lot of storage.

Also dropbox and MS Onedrive built into Windows 8.1 both offer 1 TB of cloud storage too. This will decrease demand for consumers.

We are nerds and not typical users but even I have a similar setup ... well with a cloud for extra backup in my case. I have 1 TB for my profiles and backup data. 2 ssds in raid 0 for OS and virtual machines and some games. Increasing storage space for a mechanical disk to me is like trying to sell me yet a larger tape drive.

My prediction is hard disks will turn into tape drives of today for backups and long term storage. SSDs are the wave of the future. My prediction also is many Walmart pc wil use disks for years to come due to OEMs being greedy about costs and not value. Joes who do not know what an SSD is will like the bigger storage in the specs and cheaper price not knowing it will significantly slow him down. The same ones who bought Pentium IVs because they had higher MHz a decade ago thinking they were better.

Comment: Re:How about transfer rate and reliability? (Score -1, Troll) 184

by Billly Gates (#48472099) Attached to: Consortium Roadmap Shows 100TB Hard Drives Possible By 2025

Why would I upgrade to a mechanical disk just because it is bigger.

1 TB has enough data for every man woman and child who ever lived to write a 1500 page book! Will Joe Six Pack really need to have that 30 TB drive when his circa 2012 1 TB drive has 70% free space on it?

SSDs I see now are much faster and are limited in storage but already there for a lot of people. ... and please do not give your niche use case in a reply. I am sure there is a database developer reading this or a 4K video editor who has a crappy version of Premiere where each undo creates a copy of the whole movie at 1 TB each but are not typical.

Comment: Re:How about transfer rate and reliability? (Score 0) 184

by Billly Gates (#48472061) Attached to: Consortium Roadmap Shows 100TB Hard Drives Possible By 2025

Not to mention the grandparent has a backward idea of reliability too. Though the very newest SSDs are significantly more reliable you can ask any shop owner what he thinks of SSDs. They do die more frequently than a disk based on customers bringing them in. Linus Torvalds lost his too out of nowhere with no warning.

I have a raid with some SSD's on the system I am typing this on but I have my swap and personal data/profile on a mechanical disk still for this reason

Comment: Re: Mass produce! (Score 1) 182

by crow (#48471113) Attached to: Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

Actually, using electricity to produce fuel is something that can have practical use:

In short, it's relatively easy to deploy a small nuclear reactor (much like one found in a submarine) to an operational base. If the excess power can be used to synthesize fuel, then that fuel doesn't have to be trucked in, which is a massive savings in a combat zone.

Also, it's a potential way of storing excess production, such as when demand drops overnight.

Comment: Electricity vs. oil (Score 4, Interesting) 182

by crow (#48470289) Attached to: Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

Electricity and oil are both energy. You can substitute one for the other, though obviously there's advantages for certain forms in certain uses.

For home heating, oil, natural gas, and electricity are all viable depending on the cost. Right now gas is the cheapest and electricity is, in most places, the most expensive. It would take a lot of progress to get electricity to be the most economic solution for heating.

For aircraft, the weight of batteries rules them out.

For cars, Tesla is proving that electricity is an option. I know that we just signed a contract for solar panels on our house to produce more than we currently use on the assumption that we'll need the extra production to power our next car.

Comment: Re:AI researcher here (Score 1) 446

by jd (#48465071) Attached to: Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

As I've said, that's the field known as Genetic Algorithms. It's a fun area and highly promising in some fields of work, but the contexts are too simple and the algorithms are too naive. A good example of a naive Genetic Algorithm is the one used by stock brokers to game the system. It "works", but only if the system is well-behaved. But, by working en-masse, it causes the system to not be well-behaved. Because it's naive, it's incapable of evolving to deal with this.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein