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Comment: Re:Get it right (Score 3, Insightful) 102

by willaien (#47390983) Attached to: Two Earth-Like Exoplanets Don't Actually Exist

You joke, but, there exists a problem with that idea.

How do you even establish a communication protocol with an entirely alien (technologically) civilization?

We can possibly work on showing a basic data format with numbers first, but after that, what then? Send Fibonacci sequences at each other ad nauseum?

There's some interesting ideas, but, how would we even move beyond mere shouting math at each other? How would we establish even a more advanced data format capable of handling characters? And then, how would we develop an intermediary language?

All of this with hundreds of years in gaps between sending and receiving communications, at that. It's not just hard, it's going to be effectively impossible within the lifespans of the people who sent the first message.

Comment: Re:Politics as usuall (Score 1) 723

by willaien (#46720411) Attached to: Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

I'm curious about this. It seems to me that millions might--or might not--be better off by not being denied health care INSURANCE, but were people really denied health care (note the difference between insurance and care) previously? Aren't ERs and the like forbidden from turning away anybody who needs care, even if they can't pay? Do you think ER usage will change post-Obamacare?

Ahh, the good old "If they have no insurance, let them use the ER!" nonsense again. Well, let's see, the working poor who has to use this as their primary means of healthcare gets:
1) Overpriced healthcare (Ever seen an ER bill?)
2) Outstanding debts (Ever seen an ER bill?)
3) Garnished wages when the hospital inevitably wins their lawsuit. (And they will - remember, it's a debt and they went to them for treatment)
4) No healthcare beyond immediate emergencies. A diabetic might get an insulin shot if they're in a coma, but no treatment for the underlying condition, for example.

"Let them use the ER" is as vapid as "If they have no bread, then let them eat cake!"

Comment: Ignore the elephant in the room (Score 5, Informative) 361

by willaien (#46274687) Attached to: Killing Net Neutrality Could Be Good For You

"No, you shouldn't worry about prioritization, in fact it can help startups."

What? Wasn't that what everyone was worried about to begin with? That those with all the purse strings would be able to lock out these very startups you're claiming will benefit the most from this setup?

Comment: Re:SSH? (Score 1) 607

by willaien (#44777457) Attached to: NSA Foils Much Internet Encryption

Due to the compiler chicken and egg problem, even analyzing excruciatingly the source code of a project doesn't mean it is 'safe', because even though the source code is safe, if your compiler is compromised (and can inject its infected code into the compiled version of any detected compilers), then your compiled binary might not be safe.

It takes a very careful inspection to determine if your compiler is affected.

Comment: Re:Not just Win8 (Score 1) 373

by willaien (#44656935) Attached to: German Government Warns Windows 8 Is an Unacceptable Security Risk

Open Source stuff tends to be more secure because it has so many people looking at it, from many different perspectives, both professionals and amateurs, all working together to improve the code and make it more secure.

Why, exactly, did it take 2 years to discover the Debian SSL Keys weakness, then? If we have so many pouring over every aspect, why was this allowed to slip through, with a crippling bug that makes the very security and privacy of the internet something that can be easily broken? Why did it take so long?

Comment: Re:Or an economic drain? (Score 1) 595

by willaien (#43449215) Attached to: Is Bitcoin Mining a Real-World Environmental Problem?

There being a lot of mining resources in bitcoin will always be important to the security and stability of bitcoin. This isn't a problem that you can just wish away to the cornstalks: if the total computing power used in bitcoin drops significantly, then there will be much less security, due to the ability of a malicious agent gaining 51% or more of the network's total computing power being able to double spend, etc.

The relative importance of files depends on their cost in terms of the human effort needed to regenerate them. -- T.A. Dolotta

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