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Comment: Google uses "advanced risk analysis techniques"... (Score 2) 81

by pongo000 (#45249835) Attached to: Google Updates ReCAPTCHA With Easier CAPTCHAs For Humans doubt the same techniques used in their excellent spam filter setup on gmail. You know, the one that will repeatedly mark incoming mail as spam even though you have already marked it over and over as "not spam". Or the classic: Google marks as spam incoming mail with a sent-from address that matches an already verified alias in your own account.

Yeah, I know, there's no way I can be right in light of the thousands of PhD's employed by Google. The collective brainpower is staggering, so Google will always be right in everything they do.

Comment: Re:An important distinction (Score 1) 947

by pongo000 (#45229461) Attached to: How Safe Is Cycling?

Whether or not some kid on an off-road course injured himself is of little importance.

Which is why this "kid" sticks to off-road biking. Only a fool rides a bike on a major roadway and expects motorists to be patient and accommodating.

And I wouldn't brag about "only" having hip and collarbone fractures over a 4-decade cycling habit. I've driven cars for about that long and have never broken a bone. So no thanks, you can have your broken hips and collarbones....I'll stick with my car for transportation, and my off-road bike for exercise.

Oh, and and don't worry. I'll always yield to bikers on the roadway. We all have to stick together don't we?

Comment: So it wasn't hacked, and Google fucked up... (Score 1) 189

by pongo000 (#45229289) Attached to: Compromised


It turned out that by combing through the access logs for it was periodically serving up userprefs.js with the wrong content length and then reverting back to the right size after a few minutes. This is due to an rsync cron job. So the file was being modified locally and reverted. Google's crawler caught one of these small windows where the wrong file was being served, but of course, when we looked at it manually it looked fine. So more confusion.

I'm idly curious if Google even bothers to offer an apology.

Comment: Was the size scale of the shuttle and ISS off? (Score 1) 438

by pongo000 (#45127431) Attached to: <em>Gravity</em>: Can Film Ever Get the Science Right?


I've seen the shuttle in person (piggybacked on a 747). It is fucking huge. I've not seen the ISS up close, but I understand the solar arrays are massive. Given that, was it just me or was the size scale off on the shuttle/ISS renderings in this movie? Especially when they were working near the bay of the shuttle just as the swarm of debris approached, as well as when they were in front of the ship peering in at the destruction and the dead crew. It all just seemed so small to me.

I'm thinking maybe this was a device used by the director in order to provide some sort of balance on-screen: Had actual scale been used, all you'd ever see was shuttle or ISS, with no space in the background.

Comment: Re:Good stuff (Score 3, Insightful) 249

by pongo000 (#45088731) Attached to: Passenger Lands Plane After Pilot Collapses and Dies At the Controls

My flight instructor (F-86 combat pilot in Korea) taught me very well: My training led to a successful dead-stick landing after my C172 sucked up a rivet from the carb heat door and wedged itself in a valve. Among the many things I learned from that crusty ex-USAF jet jockey was this one:

When the shit hits the fan, FLY THE AIRPLANE. You FLY THE AIRPLANE until it's no longer moving. Never stop FLYING THE AIRPLANE or you'll surely die.

Panic has no place in the cockpit when the shit is hitting the fan. He drilled this into me with endless engine-out drills, stalls, windows opening in flight, simulated flap jams, and even a spin recovery. He assured me that if I FLY THE AIRPLANE when things start to go downhill, there's a very good chance I'll survive.

Indeed he was right. I was his last student before he passed away from cancer. RIP, Red...

Comment: New York: The new police state (Score 4, Informative) 165

by pongo000 (#44942615) Attached to: New York Turns Rest Stops Into 'Texting Zones'

Actually, the *old* police state, just catching up with technology. I can't imagine a more awful place to live, where your every move is subject to surveillance and unlawful searches. What's worse is that New Yorkers actually vote these fascists in office.

Guess you get to lie in the bed you make after all. No sympathies here.

Comment: Here's a test (Score 1) 194

by pongo000 (#44889361) Attached to: Emotional Attachment To Robots Could Affect Battlefield Outcome

Watch this video of DARPA's Big Dog. Pay attention around the 0:33 mark where the guy walks over and kicks the hell out of the robot, which makes a nice recovery.

Raise your hand if, for an instant, you thought to yourself "Damn, that was fucked up, kicking it like that."

(Raises hand)

Comment: Not to sound antiegalitarian... (Score 2) 147

by pongo000 (#44858171) Attached to: Engineers Aim To Make Cleaner-Burning Cookstoves For Developing World

...but isn't man's disruption of the natural processes that keep the population in check a direct contributor to the world overpopulation problem? From a strictly scientific point of view, drastically altering the mortality rate of the world's population by decreasing it (and increasing the birth/death ration) can't be a good thing. Many of these people have lived generations in their current environment, so why does a first world country believe they have the right to disrupt nature in such a drastic way?

So a first world country solves the woodstove problem, thereby decreasing mortality rates. Are they prepared to then step in and deal with inadequate water supplies, increases in loss of arable lands, higher rates of infant mortality, and other side effects of overpopulation?

Promising costs nothing, it's the delivering that kills you.