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Comment: Re:Mod parent up. (Score 1) 514

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48678647) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

... the companies pushing for more visas are NOT doing it because they're looking for the best and the brightest from around the world. They're doing it to drive the price of programming

They're also creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. The depressed prices for programmers and refusal of employers to hire Americans (for any but a few top-level jobs requiring rare or broad-ranging talents and experience), while importing H1Bs from several countries for any position short of startup principals and early-hires, has not been missed by the Millenials. The latter are, entirely rationally, avoiding computer science degree programs in droves.

There is no shortage of US computer scientists now. But if this keeps up, in another 20 years there WILL be a shortage of YOUNG US computer scientists.

Comment: Re:They're assholes. (Score 1) 325

by rossz (#48678607) Attached to: Why Lizard Squad Took Down PSN and Xbox Live On Christmas Day

I think at least some blame does need to be lay at the feat of Sony and Microsoft here, but not because of 'network security' but rather creating the risk in the first place where there does not need to be one.

How about I kick in your front door and steal all your stuff? After all, you didn't put in place absolutely perfect security, so it's really your own fault for allowing me into your home.

Or a better analogy. I park a big rig in your driveway so you can't get into your home. That's what a DDOS is, basically. And if the "enemy" has enough resources, a DDOS is nearly impossible to prevent.

Comment: Not the first time hammering caused trouble. (Score 1) 137

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48670187) Attached to: Many DDR3 Modules Vulnerable To Bit Rot By a Simple Program

Story I heard about mid-20th-century IBM mainframe. (I think it was the 360 series).

Core memory was tight and had cooling issues. The designers examined the instruction set and determined that, given cacheing and the like, no infinite loop could hammer a particular location more than one cycle in four (25% duty cycle), for which cooling was adequate. So they shipped.

Turns out, though, you could do a VERY LONG FINITE loop that hit a location every other cycle, for 50% duty cycle (not to mention the possibility of hitting a nearby location with some of the remaining cycles). Wasn't too long before a student managed to do this.

And set the core memory on fire.

Comment: astroturf (Score 3, Insightful) 482

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48633483) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

As you can see, the moderation converged on a more proper +5 Insightful

  I've read the post carefully and it doesn't qualify as Flamebait IMHO. It states a controversial political opinion and thus invites a discussion, which may lead to flamage, but does not itself lead with a flame.

So this looks like someone who doesn't like the position trying to suppress it, by hitting it with the most plausible -1, in the hope that one more like-minded person will have mod points and get it suppressed before very many people see it. That works for "politically incorrect" subjects (such as criticisms of the "heat death of the Earth, everybody panic and suppress technology" interpretation of climate data), where a crowd of like-minded free speech haters are ready to suppress opposing opinions. But pro-pot doesn't appear to attract that much system-gaming opposition.

Right now it only takes two downmods to hide a non-anonymous itme. It seems to me that we have enough people willing to moderate that it's time to scale up the mod system, so a small astroturf operation can't shut down debate. Say: double it: Mods get 10 points, -2 hides, non-anynomous starts at +2, high-karma at +4, doulble everybody's current karma and readjust the cutpoints for bonuses, caps, and the like. That would mean it would take two moderators to suppress a anonymous post and four for authors willing to risk reputation. (It would also mean more work for those who are willing to moderate - but they might be more willing to spend a point if they had more to spend.)

Comment: Gun practice teaches calm - biofeedback style. (Score 2) 580

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48631389) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

Have you seen people drive? Road rage? Now think many of these same people with guns.

Target range practice is a very powerful biofeedback mechanism for teaching the suppression of the production of adrenaline and of all symptoms of excitement. Aligning gun sights - a pair of visual targets separated by about the length of the gun barrel (inches, a foot, or several feet), aligning them with a target (at tens of feet), and holding the alignment, gives visibility to even microscopic tremors and movement. Getting the image right and stable means drastically suppressing this movement. Over a number of range sessions, this leads to learning how to be icy calm, as a reflex, in the midst of a very stressful environment (full of intermittent explosions, bright lights, acrid smells, and odd-temperature winds).

(The effect is extreme. It was discovered that good target shooters, thinking they were just controlling their breath, had actually learned to "stop their heartbeat" - compressing the time between the pairs of beats before and after firing a shot and doubling the time between beats during the trigger pull.)

The result is that, after just a few good sessions, this becomes imprinted. Even in a rage, putting your hand on a gun drops you into that icy calm state.

Comment: Re:Land of the fre (Score 1) 580

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48629431) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

Indeed, though antagonizing your opponents like that probably isn't going to help the cause.

There is no long a point in trying not antagonizing them. Pretty much anyone who is still actively lobbying against private ownership of guns is either ignoring the evidence, incapable of uncerstandng it, or has a hidden agenda (such as creating victim-rich zones for govenment or criminal activity).

These people are not going to be converted. Things are far enough long that we no longer need them as straw men to raise the bogus argumets to be knocked down with logic. (Those who can be convinced with logic are now mostly either convinced or subject to information shortage). But they remain useful as targets of ridicule, so those who are more interested in being with the in crowd than making smart decisions can be converted.

For those still uncertain on the issue: Do you want to reduce murder, rape, assault, robery, criminal victimization, and institutional suppression of minority groups? Or do you want to want to reduce gun possession? There is no longer any question: More guns mean less of all those things.

Comment: Re:Misplaced location (Score 1) 130

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48591387) Attached to: No More Foamy Beer, Thanks To Magnets

This is needed at the bar when pouring into a glass or pitcher.

By then it's far too late. This is about spreading out the active ingredient from the hops during the original mixinig, before brewing, so it can keep the ingredient from the fungi from loading up on carbon dioxide during brewing. By the time you pour, the opportunity for the hops to do anything but add flavor is long gone.

Comment: All valid except one point: (Score 1) 225

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48571163) Attached to: US Navy Authorizes Use of Laser In Combat

Nearly all of what you say are valid points. But one carries a misconception:

By it's very nature of being a focused, collimated beam a laser does not affect anything in "the general direction" of the target - if it was not focused and accurate, it wouldn't be an effective weapon and might not even be dangerous.

That's SO not true. There are two issues here:
  - Forward (and back) scatter: A laser beam "leaks" light, primarily in the "general direction" of the main beam and, to a lesser extent, in the general direction of back toward the source. It's not a big percentage. But when you start out with kilowatts of colimated light it can be more than adequate to burn out a human eye.
  - Scattering (also specular reflection) from the target, or the cloud of gas that remains of the target. This can be a substantial fraction of the incident beam.

"Do not look at the beam or the target with the remains of your face."

Comment: I don't see the problem (Score 4, Interesting) 135

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48571117) Attached to: Rosetta Results: Comets "Did Not Bring Water To Earth"

Deuterium/Hydrogen (D/H) isotope ratio is significantly higher (more than three times, in fact) than that of water found on Earth.

Q: How do you separate heavy water from light water?
A: Distillation. Light water boils off / evaporates more easily, because the molecules are lighter, and leaves the heavier water behind.

Why shouldn't this be true of vacuum sublimation as well?

Leave a chunk of dirty ice orbiting the sun in a hard vaccuum for a few million years, with the water quietly sublimating away. Seems to me the result would be that last remaining chunk of dirty ice would have a substantially larger fraction of heavy water molecules than the water on the planet where the deep gravity well hangs on to the lighter molecules.

Is it enough to explain a 3:1 enrichment? No clue. But I'd like to see that the analysis was done and what the scientists' estimates were.

(Not to say they ignored it. The last time I raised a similar question about a scientific paper reported here it turned out that the scientists HAD examined the issue.)

Comment: Violation of the "Takings" clause. (Score 1) 178

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48569909) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

This will cost us billions of dollars in the private and public sector,

who is this "us" he is talking about?

The taxpayers. It's a clear violation of the "takings" clause of the US Fifth Amendment (long since incorporated against the states and their subdivisions, including the City and County of Los Angeles.) This means, after a bunch of legal wrangling, the courts are very likely to rule that applying such a law against a pre-existing building is a "partial taking" and the government must make the owner whole, i.e. reimburse him for his costs of compliance.

The takings clause:

No person shall ... be deprived of ... property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

if the public good is really being served here by improving safety of citizens, why isn't the discussion framed more along these lines?

When it gets to the courts, it will be. Count on it.

Comment: This might alienate anti-ISI* Muslims. (Score 2, Interesting) 225

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48568243) Attached to: US Navy Authorizes Use of Laser In Combat

One of the religious prohibitions in Islam is making war with fire.

If this is used it will be interesting to see the effects on recruiting by the Islamic State and other anti-US organizations among those Muslims who are currently either opposed to them or unaligned.

Also: How do you keep a 30 kW laser, at any frequency, from blinding everybody in the general direction of the target? The last I heard, weapons that blind are banned by the current "laws of war" as recognized by the western powers - and that's been the major impeidment so far to deploying laser (and other directed energy) weapons. Has something changed? Or did the current administration just decide to play with the new toy despite past promises to the other kids?

Comment: Re:How ? It doesn't have 3G / WiFi. Needs a router (Score 4, Informative) 47

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48553323) Attached to: Bluetooth Gains Direct Internet Access, Security Enhancements

How is this "directly connected to the internet" when it is using a router to access the net.

By that definition, NOTHING connects directly to the internet.

Anyone with a better understanding care to explain ?

The proper definition of a host running an internet-facing application being "directly connecting to the internet" is using IP for the first hop, with the packets having a route from there to and from the rest of the Connected (capital-I) Internet.

Bluetooth 4.2 added support for IPv6 to/from bluetooth devices. This means IP packets formed on, or directed to, the Bluetooth 4.2 hosts, for delivery to/from other Internet-connected devices, do not require a protocol-translation gateway to select and translate some subset of the packet types, services, and features, modifying the transport semantics to support some tiny subset of functionality that the gateway explicitly understands. An IP packet formed on the bluetooth device goes all the way to its destination semantically unmodified, and ditto packets going from some other device to the bluetooth device. The full feature set of IP (or as much of it as the stack implementer choses to support) is available, while the routers can be "as dumb as rocks" and totally ignorant of what the application on the Bluetooth device is up to, in classic Internet style.

A Bluetooth 4.2 device, using IPv6 and with a route, IS on the Internet, and is a peer to all other internet-connected hosts.

After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.