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Comment Re:Good (Score 4, Insightful) 118

"Space travel and exploration are the future of the human species."

Oh, bullshit. Not for the next presidential term, not for the next century, probably not for the next millennium. If you think investment in space is more important than, say, ensuring the future habitability of Earth, you are foolish, or simply don't care, in which case you are psychotic.

Comment Re:How is it a problem? (Score 2) 143

"So why assume 0-59?"

Because, POSIX.

The committee which created POSIX (has any "design by committee" ever gotten things right?) decided to create an impossible situation - they both define a timescale of seconds in an epoch, AND define a day to be exclusively 86400 seconds. The only way that's possible is if a POSIX system doesn't claim to maintain UTC. Most/all do.

Here's a good explanation, with the gory details.

N.B. Leap seconds existed before POSIX, so they had the opportunity to get it right. They didn't. Leap seconds don't cause problems. POSIX does.

Comment Re:How is it a problem? (Score 3, Interesting) 143

Actually, it doesn't. ntpd, the canonical implementation, doesn't follow the RFC for NTP. Other implementations do the same thing, simply because they're expected to be compatible with it. It does special handling for leap seconds (beyond simply advertising when they occur, so the OS can handle them properly). NTP isn't supposed to do anything with leap seconds, it's supposed to simply count seconds in an epoch. RFC 5905 says it's supposed to count seconds with a "monotonically increasing" UTC timescale.

ntpd doesn't do that - when there's a leap second it counts backwards (or stops counting for a second, depending on how you think of it) in violation of the RFC, and then simply forgets about the leap second. It has the same fundamental flaw as POSIX.

Comment Re:Children or not (Score 1) 200

"The computer doesn't lie about the speeding."

Apparently, it does, if "speeding' means driving in excess of the speed limit. Even from just reading the summary, one should understand that the speed limit in these locations varies, depending on time of day, or whether children are present, etc. So, what may constitute speeding under some conditions may be a legal speed under others. "The computer" is apparently conflating the two, and sending out speeding tickets when there was no evidence of the lower speed limit being in effect.

The city seems to admit that - from the article: "The city told the Tribune that it is refunding payments made on 23,000 tickets."

Comment Re:Weasel Words (Score 0) 79

No, "M" is ambiguous with regard to currency. It could stand for Million, or Mega, or the traditional accounting measure of 1000, from the roman numeral. MM is unambiguous, in addition to being a common abbreviation for million (thousand-thousand) in accounting.

There, you can tell your classmates you learned something today. Now go back to class.

Comment Re:For who's eyes only? (Score 1) 108

"The rather more interesting part of the story might be exactly who would have been authorized to receive a disk full of citizens' personal information."

Anyone. Elector rolls are public record. Specific to this case, GA law 21-2-225, which states: "... the list of electors maintained by the Secretary of State pursuant to this article shall be available for public inspection ..."

Comment Re:Why single out a magazine? (Score 4, Insightful) 108

"which of the 12 should have been listed to make it apolitical?"

None of them. All had a right to the data (minus what was erroneously included by the state). Why not a simple "Private data mistakenly handed out by the State of Georgia" headline, focusing blame where it falls? Or mention "12 organizations." If one organization must be chosen, then the Atlanta Journal-Constitution would be a logical choice - the article implies that it was they who noticed the breach.

"You can't get very far in this world without your dossier being there first." -- Arthur Miller