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Comment: Re:Trolls are the lowest form of life. . . (Score 1) 484

by Bogtha (#48192597) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

My phrase "near absolute" in context to the rest of my writings could be interpreted in many different ways.

No, there's only one meaning: not quite, but almost, absolute. Now it's debatable exactly how near you have to be to qualify as "near absolute", but TubeSteak did a good job of pointing out that SCOTUS has several large failings in this area, which is enough to demonstrate that it is not near absolute.

The fact that you are still stuck on debating the semantics of my original post demonstrates you have nothing of actual value to contribute to the conversation.

You said something untrue and dumb. You are repeatedly insulting and dismissing people who point that out. The people who are pointing out your mistake are signal, you are noise. Learn to ignore your ego and admit when you are wrong and maybe you won't drag discussions into the sewer so much.

Comment: Re:Trolls are the lowest form of life. . . (Score 1) 484

by Bogtha (#48188425) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

Your response demonstrates that you failed to read and understand my points.

No, he rightly took issue with your description of SCOTUS' interpretation of free speech as "near absolute", which simply isn't true. Your reply now is defending the much milder, different claim that free speech in the USA is better than in the UK. That may be so, but that doesn't make SCTOUS' interpretation of free speech "near absolute" by any means. This is the country that invented the concepts of a piece of code being a munition and a prime number being property, remember.

Comment: Re:Subdivision (Score 1) 354

by Bogtha (#48161889) Attached to: Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

All they've done is double the PPI of the existing displays exactly. This is going to be like the transition from the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4 - everything will have the same physical dimensions, but applications that support retina displays will look sharper.

I'm sure if you want to use your screen as something that's quadruple the logical size you'll be able to, but this is intended to be a visual quality upgrade, not a real estate upgrade. What you'll get by default will simply be a clearer version of what you already have with existing 27" displays.

Comment: Re:Obligatoriness Extraordinaire (Score 4, Interesting) 237

by mcrbids (#48144477) Attached to: Can the Sun Realistically Power Datacenters?

Sadly, there just aren't enough places with lakes to store anything like the amount of power we'd need to store. You also have to deal with transmission loss between the solar site and the point of use. There was this proposal a while back to use massive, carved granite/stone blocks to store power but it doesn't seem to have achieved much mention beyond its initial proposal.

+ - Trolls Will Always Win->

Submitted by maynard
maynard (3337) writes "Kathy Sierra spent a tech career developing videogames and teaching Java programming in Sun Microsystems masterclasses. Up until 2007, she'd been a well regarded tech specialist who happened to be female. Until the day she opined on her private blog that given the crap-flood of bad comments, maybe forum moderation wasn't a bad idea. This opinion made her a target. A sustained trolling and harassment campaign followed, comprised of death and rape threats, threats against her family, fabricated claims of prostitution, and a false claim that she had issued a DMCA takedown to stifle criticism. All of this culminated in the public release of her private address and Social Security Number, a technique known as Doxxing. And so she fled from the public, her career, and even her home.

It turned out that a man named Andrew Auernheimer was responsible for having harassed Sierra. Known as 'Weev', he admitted it in a 2008 New York Times story on Internet Trolls. There, he spoke to the lengths which he and his cohorts went to discredit and destroy the woman.

Over a candlelit dinner of tuna sashimi, Weev asked if I would attribute his comments to Memphis Two, the handle he used to troll Kathy Sierra, a blogger. Inspired by her touchy response to online commenters, Weev said he “dropped docs” on Sierra, posting a fabricated narrative of her career alongside her real Social Security number and address. This was part of a larger trolling campaign against Sierra, one that culminated in death threats.

Now, seven years later, Kathy Sierra's returned to explain why she'd left and what recent spates of online harassment against women portend for the future if decent people don't organize. Because the situation has grown much more serious since she went into hiding all those years ago. It's more than just the threat of Doxxing to incite physical violence by random crazies with a screw loose.

These days, malicious trolls have taken to SWATting, where harassers call police and make false accusations to induce a SWAT raid. One prominent example is that of game developer Chris Kootra, who experienced a SWAT raid on camera while playing an online video game recently. There is also the troubling trend of developing malicious software intended to harm victims directly. For example, posting images on epilepsy forums which flicker at rates known to induce epileptic seizure. Given that Sierra is epileptic herself, this kind of harmful trolling hits home personally. She writes:

[While not photo-sensitive], I have a deep understanding of the horror of seizures, and the dramatically increased chance of death and brain damage many of us with epilepsy live with, in my case, since the age of 4. FYI, deaths related to epilepsy in the US are roughly equal with deaths from breast cancer. There isn’t a shred of doubt in my mind that if the troll hackers could find a way to increase your risk of breast cancer? They’d do it. Because what’s better than lulz? Lulz with BOOBS. Yeah, they’d do it.

And yet Auernheimer, the man who put her through all this horror, has for entirely different reasons become a kind of 'Net cause célèbre for Internet freedom. After having committed a hack against AT&T where he'd obtained the email addresses of thousands of iPad users, he attracted the attention of federal authorities. In due course he was convicted and sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for identity fraud and conspiracy to access a computer without authorization. A conviction and sentence many thought egregious. Attracting support from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and prominent Georgia University Law Professor Tor Ekeland, the two worked together to craft an appeal and overturn the conviction. In April 2014, they succeeded. Auernheimer is now free.

Ekeland wasn't the only one bothered by the government's case. Even Kathy Sierra disagreed. Yet she's appalled that somehow she'd been dragged into supporting the very man who'd abused her.

But you all know what happened next. Something something something horrifically unfair government case against him and just like that, he becomes tech’s “hacktivist hero.” He now had A Platform not just in the hacker/troll world but in the broader tech community I was part of. ... But hard as I tried to find a ray of hope that the case against him was, somehow, justified and that he deserved, somehow, to be in prison for this, oh god I could not find it. I could not escape my own realization that the cast against him was wrong. So wrong. And not just wrong, but wrong in a way that puts us all at risk.

The lawyer Ekeland, in recent commentary at Wired, continues to defend Auernheimer as having been wronged by an overzealous prosecution, the precedent of which could have significant ramifications for 'Net freedom. "...the crucial issue here is not weev or his ideas but the future of criminal computer law in the U.S. You may think weev is an asshole. But being an asshole is not a crime, and neither is obtaining unsecured information from publicly facing servers."

Which leaves Sierra lamenting that Auernheimer still hasn't been charged and convicted for what she considers the real crime of harassment he'd committed, harming her and countless others. Where's the justice? Inciting violence and dissemination of 'fighting words' are not free speech. Yet, as she admits, unless you're a celebrity you're "...more likely to win the lottery than get any law enforcement agency to take action." So there is none. "We are on our own," she laments. "And if we don’t take care of one another, nobody else will."

So she came back to push back, to push back against prominent journalists and members in Tech who'd conflate prosecutorial violations of due process with the right to disseminate harassment and cruelty.

I came back because I believe this sent a terrible, devastating message about what was acceptable. ... To push back on the twist and spin. I believed the fine-grained distinctions mattered. I pushed back because I believed I was pushing back on the implicit message that women would be punished for speaking out. I pushed back because almost nobody else was, and it seemed like so many people in tech were basically OK with that.

Auernheimer, for his part, remains unapologetic. Responding to Sierra on Livejournal, he writes:

Yesterday Kathy Sierra (a.k.a. seriouspony), a mentally ill woman, continued to accuse me on her blog of leading some sort of harassment campaign against her by dropping her dox (information related to identify and location) on the Internet. ... Kathy Sierra has for years acted like a toddler, throwing tantrums and making demands whenever things didn't go her way. She rejects any presentation of polite criticism or presentation of evidence as some sort of assault on her. She was the blueprint for women like Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian, who also feign victimhood for financial and social gain. Kathy Sierra is the epitome of what is wrong with my community. She had something coming to her and by the standards set by her own peers in the social justice community, there was nothing wrong with what she got.

Some people never change."
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+ - Cold fusion reactor verified by third-party researchers 2

Submitted by Paul Fernhout
Paul Fernhout (109597) writes "ExtremeTech reports that "Andrea Rossi's E-Cat — the device that purports to use cold fusion to generate massive amounts of cheap, green energy — has been verified by third-party researchers, according to a new 54-page report. The researchers observed a small E-Cat over 32 days, where it produced net energy of 1.5 megawatt-hours, or "far more than can be obtained from any known chemical sources in the small reactor volume." The researchers were also allowed to analyze the fuel before and after the 32-day run, noting that the isotopes in the spent fuel could only have been obtained by "nuclear reactions"...""

+ - MIT study finds fault with Mars One colony concept-> 2

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "The Mars One project created a great deal of fanfare when it was first announced in 2012. The project, based in Holland, aspires to build a colony on Mars with the first uncrewed flight taking place in 2018 and the first colonists setting forth around 2024. The idea is that the colonists would go to Mars to stay, slowly building up the colony in four-person increments every 26-month launch window. However, Space Policy Online on Tuesday reported that an independent study conducted by MIT has poured cold water on the Mars colony idea.

The MIT team consisting of engineering students had to make a number of assumptions based on public sources since the Mars One concept lacks a great many technical details. The study made the bottom line conclusion that the Mars One project is overly optimistic at best and unworkable at worst. The concept is “unsustainable” given the current state of technology and the aggressive schedule that the Mars One project has presented."

Link to Original Source

+ - Killer whales caught on tape speaking dolphin->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Two years ago, scientists showed that dolphins imitate the sounds of whales. Now, it seems, whales have returned the favor. Researchers analyzed the vocal repertoires of 10 captive orcas, three of which lived with bottlenose dolphins and the rest with their own kind. Of the 1551 vocalizations these seven latter orcas made, more than 95% were the typical pulsed calls of killer whales. In contrast, the three orcas that had only dolphins as pals busily whistled and emitted dolphinlike click trains and terminal buzzes, the scientists report in the October issue of The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. The findings make orcas one of the few species of animals that, like humans, is capable of vocal learning—a talent considered a key underpinning of language."
Link to Original Source

+ - Fuel efficiency numbers overstate MPG more for cars with small engines. ->

Submitted by whoever57
whoever57 (658626) writes "All official numbers for fuel economy in the EU typically overstate the miles-per-gallon figure that drivers can expect to achieve in typical driving. A recent study confirmed this once again. However, what the study also found was that MPG figures are more urealistic for cars with smaller engines than for cars with larger engines. Actual MPG figures achieved based on typical drives for cars with small engines could be as much as 36% under the offical number, while those cars with 3 liter engines would typically achieve 15% less than the official figure."
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Comment: American Exceptionalism (Score 5, Insightful) 335

by maynard (#48090333) Attached to: US Says It Can Hack Foreign Servers Without Warrants

How do US authorities feel about foreign nations hacking into US military and corporate computers? For example, this story: Chinese authorities hacked into Pentagon and other sensitive computers:

China’s military hacked into computer networks of civilian transportation companies hired by the Pentagon at least nine times, breaking into computers aboard a commercial ship, targeting logistics companies and uploading malicious software onto an airline’s computers, Senate investigators said Wednesday. ...

A yearlong investigation announced by the Senate Armed Services Committee identified at least 20 break-ins or other unspecified cyber events targeting companies, including nine successful break-ins of contractor networks. ...

Earlier this summer, in an apparently unrelated investigation, the US accused five members of the Chinese military of hacking computers for economic espionage purposes. It accused them of hacking into five US nuclear and technology companies’ computer systems and a major steel workers union’s system, conducting economic espionage and stealing confidential business information, sensitive trade secrets and internal communications for competitive advantage.

I'm guessing they don't like that. Which perhaps is what the United States means by "American Exceptionalism".

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