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Comment: Re:Does HFCS count? (Score 1) 121

by penguinoid (#47936611) Attached to: Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

Fructose is the nasty sugar, which makes high fructose corn syrup also nasty. Sucrose is only 50% fructose and 50% glucose. Glucose is the "standard universal" sugar used to make everything from starch to cellulose. And artificial sweeteners are the "weird new thing" which our bodies haven't adapted to yet.

Comment: Re:They are pretending that they do not know (Score 1) 100

by penguinoid (#47924205) Attached to: NSA Director Says Agency Is Still Trying To Figure Out Cyber Operations

How do you distinguish between an attack from a nation and an attack from a group of individuals.

I hear a bunch of individuals only marginally related to Russia, are attacking the Ukraine. No? Well, unless the country fesses up, you have to rely on a preponderance of various sorts of evidence. The first hint will be a powerful attack with sophistication and resources. I could see it being much harder to get beyond that when it comes to cyberwarfare, but you still have to hunt down the perpetrators and identify them, whether they're a government or not, so it's not a meaningful difference until then.

But I don't know where it crosses the line from espionage to act of war. I think the standard solution was for the current leader to ask the magic convenience ball.

Comment: Animals with more rights than humans (Score 3, Interesting) 114

by penguinoid (#47924145) Attached to: Farmers Carry Multidrug-Resistant Staph For Weeks Into Local Communities

The sad thing is that nowadays if you have the sniffles you can't get antibiotics without going to a doctor, and yet if your pet guppy isn't looking so good you can get some for your aquarium. And farmers seem to think antibiotic is an essential nutrient, no problem so long as it's not for humans! But try to get some for yourself and you'll get the lecture about antibiotic resistance. Unless it's for your soap.

On the other hand, at least they have a few antibiotics reserved for humans in real trouble, but on the other hand antibiotics everywhere breed antibiotic resistant bacteria, and many of the mechanisms bacteria use for antibiotic resistance give them total or partial immunity to other antibiotics.

Comment: Re:Rather than address the underlying problem (Score 1) 315

by penguinoid (#47924119) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

Doesn't matter if part of the debt is held by Americans. The government could, should they choose, replace the one dollar bill with a trillion dollar bill, and reimburse only Americans (as a handout) for the resulting inflation. Then pay each of our foreign debtors one dollar, and keep the change. Of course that would be a dick move on the government's part, but that wouldn't be new. A bonus of doing this is that people won't want to lend the US money, and therefore they'd finally have a balanced budget.

Comment: Re:Same as humans ... (Score 1) 161

by penguinoid (#47923405) Attached to: Developing the First Law of Robotics

the thing to take home is that they built into the algorithm the ability to fret over the situation. if it just projected and saved what can be saved, it wouldn't fret or hesitate - and hesitate is really the wrong word.

Unlikely that they added the ability to fret. More likely that they gave it the rule "prevent any automaton from falling into the hole" rather than "prevent as many automatons as possible from falling into the hole". Thus in the former case if it can't find a solution that saves both, it would keep looking forever. If you wanted one that looked more like indecision, you could give it the rule "move the automaton closest to the hole away from the hole".

The trouble with computers is that they do as they're told, and do not attempt to figure out what you want. I suppose you could write a program that will instead of doing what it is told, tries to identify what you want and do that instead. But I expect that would go horribly wrong...

Comment: Re:Is this technically impossible - no. (Score 1) 189

by penguinoid (#47922831) Attached to: Tim Cook Says Apple Can't Read Users' Emails, That iCloud Wasn't Hacked

Your system has too many vulnerabilities. The worst is its reliance on criminals to be loyal and diligent, any one of whom could compromise your entire organization's communication. Almost as bad is using a 2 byte encryption key (the index to a book). And then you want them doing steganography, and by hand? They'll be raising every red flag there is.

On the other hand, you could simply use private/public keys. Each person has their own set of keys, and the key itself is encrypted with a decent password.

"Pull the trigger and you're garbage." -- Lady Blue