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Comment Re:Which one is heart? (Score 1) 87


Actually, the equivalent would be to use protons, electrons and neutrons. Or the various quarks. The "elements" of a periodic table are not equivalent to the classical element.

But the elements describe quality as much as substance. If you read classical literature you will find there is a big difference between ancient and modern notions about what the elements are or mean (much less what they mean in a fantasy RPG sense). So, really, it makes little sense to "translate" them. Our world view is much more refined than that of the ancients and looks at it in fundamentally different ways. Which gives our models much greater predictability (though perhaps no greater ability to describe -- saying water is made up of H2O does nothing to describe the quality of "wet" even though it is more useful in the context of atomic theory in understanding of how water interacts with its environment).

Comment Re:that 750 seems a little convenient... (Score 1) 139

While I do not disagree with your sentiment, the problem with your notion here is that *actually* the user *did* distribute a copy. They used bit torrent, and that protocol is *designed* around downloaders being uploaders. Using bit torrent is the very nature of distribution. And the penalties apply because the *reason* why the bootleggers are fined is because they cost the copyright owner sale opportunity.

Now, the nature of bit torrent means that the distribution is diffuse and it is not as clear that the copyright holder lost a sale (if someone is willing to buy from a bootlegger/counterfeiter that implies some willingness to pay for the actual product whereas a file sharer may have no intention of ever paying for anything).

However, they still lost the sales opportunity and the argument is really about how much that opportunity is worth. Naturally, it is hard to prove how many sales a bootlegger/counterfeiter cost the copyright holder so the number of units seized stands as a proxy. That seems fair enough: the greater the volume the more items the criminal will most likely have at hand when caught.

Using the number of claimed connections with bit torrent might seem like a fair proxy at first blush, but is really meaningless given the nature of the protocol. Instead, a better proxy might be to use the market value of the item with some factor for popularity to factor in how much the individual pirate was aiding other pirates. Even better would be detailed network logs that showed the amount of outbound traffic for a title, but it is unlikely anyone other than the NSA could really run that down so using box office receipts of a movie (for example) seems like a reasonable proxy.

This is a case where technology *does* call for a change to existing laws. While the old methods still apply for traditional bootlegger/counterfeiter outfits, addressing the community nature of bit torrent where a "customer" is also a distributer without any ready stocks in hand (copies) to evaluate the scope or scale of the operation is an issue that could not have existed without technology.

Comment Re:I am a counter example. (Score 1) 80

For many people, especially smokers who know such an individual personally, the answer is yes, it does disprove that cigarettes cause cancer. After all, if it doesn't happen with 100% replicability then it isn't real. Right?

The same is true for most everything else. If someone doesn't habitually consume toxins (tobacco, alcohol, whatever), eats well (lots of leafy greens and fruit in addition to meat and some grains), and exercises moderately and regularly -- but still gets sick and doesn't live to be 120 -- then you have proof that a healthy life style doesn't make you live longer. And lets not even consider the odd cases where someone like that dies young from inexplicable causes.

In short, if something does against what a person *wants* to be true, it had better be 100% or it stands a snowball's chance of convincing them.

Comment Re:Which one is heart? (Score 1) 87

earth, air (or wind), water and fire... fair enough. But "positive" and "negative" as elements? What about wood and metal instead to round out the six, then spirit for a total of seven? Each of those can reasonably be described as an element, unlike positive or negative which are intellectual concepts.

Of course, if you really want to have fun with elements start looking at traditional chinese and realize that there are some very different ways of looking at it (Mountain, Lake, etc.)

Comment Re:Doubleclick serve malware (Score 1) 249

they vet, but they problem is they don't serve. I assume due to bandwidth issues (why pay for it when the advertiser will). In any case, malvertising is very sophisticated and the ads are often *not* malicious. But an approved ad is swapped out with the malicious (even if only 0.1% of the time) so the brokers are not aware.

The system is broken and advertisers are floundering. It used to be a small minority group who blocked ads (I still have a custom stylesheet in place that marks ads as being "unimportant" based on some simple pattern matching of where it is served from so they are not displayed. (The problem with that old system is that they are still *fetched* and likely *parsed* by the browser so they offer no security advantage.)

Comment Re:WTF??? (Score 1) 249

hmmm... how about:

adware (which has been around a long time) focuses on advertising although it displays malicious characteristics.

malvertising focuses on infecting a system in a persistent fashion that makes it part of a "network". Infected systems are used to steal passwords, send spam, display advertisements, participate in ddos, and in general anything that can be monetized.

Comment Re:How to fix ALL the app stores... (Score 1) 249

A pretty good list, IMO, although perhaps a bit drastic or unrealistic as rasmusbr points out. Instead of removing all crap applications (your #1), move them to the "Junk" category then have a default hide for the category. That allows the teenagers to have their stupid apps -- and they can feel even cooler by having to go in and enable the category -- while not bothering the rest of the user base.

I suppose one way of addressing #2 (duplicating stock apps) would be to have another (hidden by default) category. That way someone who wanted a replacement music player could get one without forcing everyone to slog through garbage apps.

And while #4 (eliminating in app purchases) is important as it cuts to the core of some problems, it simply isn't realistic. Originally, Apple did not have them. They were added to appease large developers. Not going to happen, but it would help if it did.

Even though rasmusbr is correct about what will happen with #6 (time limited 100% refund policy), without in-app purchases the model would not be particularly successful.

Comment Re:So really bitcoin is incidental (Score 1) 101

Pre-Snowden there was a huge BGP attack that re-routed lots of traffic, so much so that it was hard to tell who was targeted (instead of small things like this, think more like "all western Chinese traffic routed through US"). At the time there was lots of useless conjecture as to what it was about and whether or not it was really an attack or just a seriously stupid misconfiguration. Of course, nowadays we know that TLAs use this as one of their tools to grab target traffic that would otherwise be out of reach so that they can inspect it and record it.

BGP is a seriously large, gaping security vulnerability in how the Internet works due to the inherent trust of the system. The only plus side is the wider you cast the net the more obvious it becomes that it has been cast. The attack I refer to was glaringly obvious due to the huge distortion to routing. So for someone to use it for evil they need to keep it small and focused which means they need to get close to the target network. The point being that there *is* a measure of tamper evidence that gets stronger the farther the attacker has to reach. At least its something.

We want to create puppets that pull their own strings. - Ann Marion