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Comment: How much cash walks away? (Score 1) 81

by swb (#49375653) Attached to: Silk Road Investigators Charged With Stealing Bitcoin

Forget these two guys and their bitcoin score, how much CASH walks away during drug investigations? How much is outright stolen, how much is extorted? How much is taken in product in lieu of cash?

This is one of the most pernicious aspects to drug criminalization, the huge potential for corruption by law enforcement.

And it's just another problem completely eliminated by legalization.

Comment: Re:Social scientists (Score 1) 383

by swb (#49366809) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

The language always seems kind of inflammatory, but sometimes I think they have something of a point.

When calculating risks and outcomes, everybody brings certain biases to the table about what are considered acceptable outcomes, losses and gains. That those biases may be driven by "masculinized rationality" may be taking it a bit far, but the idea that it's not a perfectly bright line threshold and that some tradeoffs may be involved shouldn't be disregarded.

Comment: Re:The perfect summary of the case: (Score 1) 339

by swb (#49360225) Attached to: Ellen Pao Loses Silicon Valley Gender Bias Case Against Kleiner Perkins

The irony is that the same logic applied to the job by the worker basically means -- I'm free to do whatever I want at this job, and if it doesn't work out of them they can fire me.

For the company, the logic means they can be abusive, discriminatory, dishonest and exploitive.

So for the worker then, I guess they can be lazy, dishonest, unproductive, etc. It's the worker's role to exploit the company for the maximum gain they can get. Maximum shirk, minimum work.

What's funny is, I would bet that author if presented with her own logic from a worker perspective would probably immediately launch into a diatribe about the worker's moral obligation to work hard, be a good employee, etc, yet she refuses to see any moral obligation by the employer to the employee.

Comment: Re:Good Luck (Score 1) 328

by swb (#49357847) Attached to: Amazon Requires Non-Compete Agreements.. For Warehouse Workers

My guess is that it's only a serious issue for people with specific IP knowledge, like higher-end people in pharma, chemicals, semiconductors, some kinds of software -- the kinds of skills with very limited places to use them, most with direct competitors.

For other jobs, like mostly generic IT work, I just can't see my boss bothering to spend the money to figure out where I might have moved to, provided I keep a low-ish profile about it.

Comment: Re:How propaganda decides wars (Score 1) 257

by swb (#49357737) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

Is it really "paranoia" (a mental disease involving ungrounded fears) if the fear is substantiated?

Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist party?

I'd say the number of non-threats who were actively and vigorously blackballed might call into question as to where the boundary between legitimate fear and paranoia fear is on this topic.

But, somehow, that clear and present danger of Communism no longer played the role it played during Korea War. Why?

Probably no one single answer. I don't think the early years of Viet Nam faced that much ideological opposition. I do think that the political-based mismanagement of the war led to "conventional" opposition to it. Then add in civil rights discontent, the exemptions that made it a "poor man's war" and the general social upheaval of the 1960s, shake well and pour over ice.

Comment: Re:How propaganda decides wars (Score 1) 257

by swb (#49356565) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

It was vastly different political era.

There was a lot of paranoia about Communist conspiracies. The Rosenberg trials. Joe McCarthy was making headlines "exposing" Communists. In some sense, there was some legitimate fear of Communist actions -- the Soviets had blockaded West Berlin, leading to the Berlin airlift in 1948.

Not only was the political climate dangerous for anyone opposing fighting Communist expansion in Korea, it wasn't irrational to believe that expansionist communism was a real threat, especially after recently fighting a war against two nations who started wars of imperial expansion, at least one of whom did so under the guise of a totalitarian political philosophy.

Comment: Re:MY data in AMAZON's cloud ?? (Score 1) 122

by swb (#49354071) Attached to: Amazon Announces Unlimited Cloud Storage Plans

Sure, and I could also hotplug USB3 disks and cut even more power/space/complexity if I wanted to futz with turning it on and off.

Power cycling a NAS may be worthwhile if it's some kind of archive you don't use often but it doesn't make a ton of sense if you want it online more than offline.

Comment: Re:Tipping point? (Score 2) 92

I think major leaps of density will eliminate platters. Why bother with them at all with their ridiculously slow seek times, heat, power consumption? At high capacities they're more of a risk to data integrity due to slow array rebuild times and it takes dozens of them to equal the IOPS of flash. Even now platters are either useful for their high density as Tier 3 in a SAN or in large numbers to get IOPS.

If there was a huge leap in flash densities I think they would get cheap enough that no one would bother, even if they were "unreliable" consumer MLC technology. Vendors could just double the extra flash used for recovery of bad cells and increase the endurance.

Comment: Re:A flock of starlings (Score 1) 83

If you can't see the individual starlings, and can only see the flock, the flock behaves in a quantum manner. It jumps around, it can appear in two places at once, apparently traveling faster than light, it has probabilistic properties.

So the tipping point, depends on our detection technologies. If we can't zoom in to see the individual starling then quantum behavior is "flock of bird" sized!

Quantum physics does scale, you just need to realize that the 'flock' is the size that you can detect, and the reason you think it is one thing is because you can't detect half a thing. It's a function of the detector not the thing.

Nope. You are suggesting a hidden variables theory where each starling is a variable. Bell's Theorem says that you can only have this if you give up locality, realism (counterfactual definiteness) or that the universe isn't just making it up as it goes along (conspiracy).

Comment: Re:Wait... what? (Score 1) 228

by swb (#49338097) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament

I think I've read that the Israelis have communicated back-channel to key actors that they will respond to a nuclear or chemical attack against Israeli with a response that will hit *all* major Arab capitals and Mecca.

To your larger point, I think only desperate, religiously motivated non-state actors reasonably believe that they can "get away" with use of a nuclear weapon. Either via subterfuge or because they believe in some kind of metaphysical redemption that transcends any material consequences.

I think even the worst bad state actors understand that state use of a nuclear weapon has a significant possibility of devastating retaliation which would end their state as they know it and possibly lead to the disintegration of the civilization it represents.

Think of the domestic political situation in the United States relative to being attacked with a nuclear weapon. For one, I would imagine that there would be significant demands within the military for a retaliatory nuclear strike as a preemption against a further strike. The American public would DEMAND a retaliatory strike and political pressure would very likely lead to one on its own.

Comment: Re:Wait... what? (Score 1) 228

by swb (#49337995) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament

In what fucking world do you think it would have ever been politically acceptable to allow the Japanese a negotiated surrender after 4 years of war and after Pearl Harbor Especially when that would have been approved by an unelected President like Truman?

I would imagine that the converse was true, that there were elements who wanted to *continue* nuking Japan after the second strike as retaliation for starting the war.

How can you work when the system's so crowded?