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Comment R E C I P R O C I T Y ??? (Score 1) 143

The norm in diplomatic relations is a tit-for-tat reciprocity: When one nation allows another the do something, almost always the first nation allows the second to do the same back.

So my question is whether US negotiators have secured the right for US police to serve warrants on UK ISPs? If not, why not? Why give it away? Just because the EU might have a cow?

Comment Obligatory v.Neumann: SIN ! (Score 2) 136

"Any one who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin. For, as has been pointed out several times, there is no such thing as a random number - there are only methods to produce random numbers, and a strict arithmetic procedure of course is not such a method." John von Neumann

That said, even JvN understood the usefulness of pseudo random numbers for things like Monte Carlo simulations. I believe he favored Linear Congurential Generators (Knuth liked 69069 as a multiplicand on a 32-bit word).

Comment Engineers are not scientists (Score 1) 497

I question how the expected number are derived -- from the population at large? Or from college graduates? MENA graduates proportionally far more engineers than western schools.

There is also considerable confusion in the public and amongst engineers themselves about the differences with scientists. Briefly, scientists discover new effects while engineers use the available science to make their machines (systems) work.

Scientists tend to focus very narrowly on the interesting effect. Engineers might like to focus on some interesting effect, but must not miss any important effects. That's how machines break. Engineers are scientists' harshest critics.

Comment Re:Why believe warming is linear ? (Score 1) 735

Force what? There's already so much water vapor that the atmosphere is already opaque on its wavenumbers. Again, more will do nothing.

Clouds are a good question -- I have not heard any definitive resolution on whether the increased albedo is overwhelmed by the re-radiation blanket effect. My rough calcs say no (incoming -70% outgoing -50%)

Comment Why believe warming is linear ? (Score 0) 735

A greenhouse works by letting heat in (light) and not letting it out (glass traps convection). The atmosphere does so to some extent by letting energetic visible and shorter wavelengths through while trapping re-radiating longer (cooler) infra-red wavelengths. Fine.

Carbon dioxide traps infra-red only on three wavelenghts (wavenumbers) corresponding to its' vibratory modes. This absorbance is proportional to incidence, not linear -- see the Beer-Lambert Law.. (Linear approximation works only at very low absorances).

If you double the amount, you halve the transmittance. But even at 100 ppmv CO2, transmittance is only 10^-10 (what else would you expect from 1mm as solid?). The atmosphere is already opaque on CO2 wavelengths. The glass is already on this greenhouse -- another layer will do nothing measureable.

Comment Workarounds (Score 1) 241

Like any law or ruling, there are certainly loopholes or workarounds. An obvious one would be to obtain a [small] office near/in the customer premises. Then the long commute is to this assigned business office, with a short hop to the customer.

The real problem is you cannot legislate morality or fairmindedness. A market economy can balanece things to the extent competition operates. An unfair employer loses employees (a big deal in IT). However, the EU is especially keen to entrench "employee rights" and thereby lessen competition for employees. If you cannot fire, you will be very reluctant to hire. So the EU is stuck with regs upon regs.

Comment Re:S O V E R E I G N I M M U N I T Y (Score 1) 165

A good point even if it is reductio ad absurdam. The key concept is "due process". Yes, sometimes a goverment (really the adminstration) may have cause to break some laws in the furtherence of law enforcement. These should be strictly limited and subject to open judicial and legislative oversight. "Sovereign immunity" is the analog to writs of assistance (general warrents) which the Courts have partially quashed with the interesting doctrine of "fruit of the poisoned vine".

Comment S O V E R E I G N I M M U N I T Y (Score 1) 165

... look it up. The idea is that lawmakers are not bound by the very laws they write because they could have written themselves immunity. IOW, the boss rules.

This is deeply unAmerican and rooted in fealty to power rather than all power flowing from the people and laws (& Constitutions) first and foremost binding governments. That states (and the Feds too!) [ab]use this convenient feature merely shows them to by tyrants, perhaps fearsome but unworthy of respect.

Comment Call for martyrs! (Score 1) 165

The request for more STEM people in politics is analogous to asking for more "people people" (PHB) in technology. Nasty and counter-productive beyond those necessary for I/O interface.

Different people have different personalities and predilections. Tech people like manipulating technology (molecules, electrons, logic). They would be devoured by politicians who devote the same effort into manipulating people. (Often, but not always, to their detriment.)

Comment N.Korea has'em ! (Score 1) 459

If N.Korea has nukes, why do you think that Iran does not? It has 4-5x the size (pop, GDP) and by comparison with NK would already have them if it wanted. Pakistan is another comparable.

This is at best an agreement not-to-test, slowing? development of fission-fusion warheads. Just what do you think heavy water reactors are for? Canada sells CANDU tritium for US warhead refreshing.

Comment French prosecutors discover VPN (Score 1) 337

... news at 11 :)

Look at it from their PoV: the French have a law, and their civil-code attitude to the law is to enforce on principle, not to the letter as English common law. Loophole closing rather than toleration (which might be applied wholesale to certain violators.)

Some well-intentioned person probably argued against RTBF by pointing out that VPN bypasses geolocation. So the Prosecutors were informed and instead of abandoning an impractical (if not stupid) law, they figured out how to close the loophole.

Les procureurs [correctly] figured they could not stop VPNs, but Google was there for the muscling. Like all impractical laws, even worse measures are required for enforcement (eg.drugs).

It will be interesting to watch. The French and EU courts could go either way. At one extreme it is an act of war (blockade) and the other Google leaves France. Most likely a deal for a hidden something France wants.

Comment Why high power ? (Score 1) 558

FWIW, for my main desktop I run a nice cute ECS Liva (dual 1.7 Celerons, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB flash 3W). It replaced an Asus 900 Mhz EEE 10W. This machine is up 24/7 along with a few headless power-sipper Atoms & Raspberries. Fit for purpose

I have some compute monster 3 Ghz quad 16 GB, but they seldom see power more than once per week. Just not needed unless I have a big job like transcoding GBs or a major project build.

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For me, instant availability is worth more than wait-time. In fact, I would rather wait and know I've got a bloated page than have the flash whiz past. More important are the HID -- like a great screen (I prefer portrait 1200x1960) and good kbd/mse.

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