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Comment: Re:looks intriguing (Score 1) 80

by vidarh (#29716359) Attached to: Swarm — a New Approach To Distributed Computation
That makes sense when you have enough resources to throw at the problem. But the entire point of this technology is to semi-transparently add multi-server scalability. In that context what you wrote above makes no sense whatsoever - without a scaling mechanism you won't *have* enough resources to throw at the problem. Now, that scaling mechanism, for some problems, is as easy as "divide problem by number of servers and spawn appropriate number of workers to process each sub part", in which case this technology isn't needed. But a large number of interesting problems are *hard* to split up, and may easily have data dependencies that makes naively distributing the input space over multiple servers be slower than not scaling it up at all.

Comment: Re:You're obliged to pay for it (Score 2, Insightful) 267

by vidarh (#29445839) Attached to: BBC Wants DRM On HD Broadcasts
That's being pedantic. The Crown is part of government, and anything "mandated by the Crown" is done so by convention only, under direction of parliament - it's been that way at least since the 18th century when the principle of parliamentary sovereignty was firmly established in British constitutional law.

Comment: Re:the 'right' to health care (Score 4, Insightful) 362

by vidarh (#29222793) Attached to: US Call-Center Jobs — That Pay $100K a Year

I agree, how can we even have a discussion about some mythical 'right' to healthcare? Hint: It isn't a 'right' if it requires the enslavement of someone else. Doctors and the rest of the healthcare industry are not required to serve you. You do not have a moral claim on their services.

Practically all British GP's run their own businesses. There's nothing preventing them from operating entirely privately, and many do, but most strong to receive NHS payment to take NHS patients because it's well paid and takes all the billing issues out of the equation. A large chunk of British hospital employees also offer private services. Many of them in NHS hospitals, using spare capacity that they can get access to at a low cost, benefitting both them and the public who get some of their hospital costs offset by private providers that way.

Certainly none of them are being forced or coerced, and clearly I must be misguided seeing as I don't know of any countries that force people to become doctors and then force them to work for the public. But I guess that doesn't fit with your fantasy world.

This is the problem with all of the new progressive 'rights' they kee on inventing compared to real human rights. To illustrate, free speech is a fundamental Right possessed by every human being, regardless whether they live in a hellhole that oppresses them.

All rights are human inventions. To pretend otherwise is meaningless.

And all rights are meaningless without at least the possibility of having the means and ability to make use of them. First and foremost that means actually staying alive and in good health. Any society that insists on caring about human rights that doesn't also take steps to ensure that everyone has a recent shot at good health is just plain taking the piss.

This is not a *new* idea - it's an idea that is well over 160 years old, gaining ground starting with the first socialist ideologists, and one that has been penetrating further right in the political landscape ever since (i.e. look at Europe where the vast majority of conservative parties no also staunchly support the concept of a *right* to a level of basic welfare).

Of course since we don't have universal health care you can usually go to an emergency room and get to see someone before you die, unlike the routine horror stories coming out of the British press.

You must be reading different stories from the British press than what they actually publish in Britain. As it stands here, anyone can go to an emergency room and be guaranteed treatment here too, but we don't because the vast majority of us get more than good enough treatment by going to our GP and get referred.

People who are not satisfied are perfectly free to get private health insurance - it's available and *cheap* since they only provide cover above and beyond services where they know they don't stand a chance of competing with the NHS.

Comment: Re:Tories just as bad (Score 1) 693

by vidarh (#28916217) Attached to: UK Plans To Monitor 20,000 Families' Homes Via CCTV
They always say that. By default the Tories will always complain it's "too little, too late", "just more of the same failed policies" or something similar, irrespective of whether they ever offered a solution, or whether Labour does exactly what the Tories want (queue frantic moves to change their platform). British politicians are incapable of agreeing on anything in public other than how incompetent their counterparts are.

Comment: Re:...So.... (Score 3, Informative) 174

by vidarh (#28557761) Attached to: Your Browser History Is Showing
Whether or not you can *read* the history of a browser is irrelevant if you want to know whether or not a user has visited a specific site. In that case you can simply create a page that will set appropriate CSS rules to make the browser try to load a specific background image for visited URL's for each site you want to check for. Then when the user loads your page, you'll get a barrage of what you call http pings, and all you need to do is collate that information and you know which of the sites you care about that the user has visited recently.

It's less invasive than being able to wholesale dump the browser history (you don't know when the sites were visited, for example), but protecting against it also means disabling functionality (you'd need to prevent an app from being able to tell whether or not a link on it's own page has been clicked via CSS rules or other means, which means either disabling the distinction between visited or not completely or disabling reading back style information and/or preventing setting CSS rules that trigger loading of external resources).

Comment: Re:hunter2 (Score 5, Insightful) 849

by vidarh (#28471589) Attached to: Nielsen Recommends Not Masking Passwords

If Stephen Hawking says something about physics, do you require a citation from him? Nielson is recognized as one of the leading experts in his field.

No, but if Stephen Hawking made a claim that flew in the face of established conventions in - say - psychology, I would expect a citation. Nielsen is a usability expert, not a security expert, and GP questioned his claim about the security aspect.

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