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Comment: Re:Nuclear gets the biggest subsidy (Score 1) 179

by yacc143 (#46643029) Attached to: Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds

The problem is, that climate change is something that up to a certain point is natural (research it, climate change has happened over the centuries, with sometime grave side effects for humans), the nuclear waste is highly toxic (the radiation is not noticable without technical kit, you'll just notice that all kinds of life forms start to die, seen it in person, but any numbers of elements present in the waste output is also chemically toxic to humans), and it will need safe storage for a multiple of the time span that modern humans have existed (the convinient time unit for measuring half-life is MILLIONS of years, and that's only the half-life => after millions of years (for some elements it's only 0.1 millions years) half the stuff has decayed, so half of the original bad stuff is still there, PLUS some of the decay products might be still radiating/toxic)

Now, consider how much we know about the Egyptian pyramids (e.g. we are still figuring almost everything about them out), and these are less than 5K years old).

So exactly how these far planning corporation that cannot budget correctly for the demantling of the plants (which funnily is a very common thing) plan to safe keep the stuff for 1 million years? It's not as if they have budgeted for lifting the stuff from Earth to drop it into the Sun.

So basically it's yet again an example of "private profit" + "community risks/costs". And while Communism sucks, this half-version of Communism (good private, bad shared by all) sucks even more.

Comment: Re:Bogus (Score 1) 179

by yacc143 (#46641469) Attached to: Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds

Exactly, they produce stuff that is dangerous to life for time spans that are expressed in millions of years.

Put bluntly, this stuff will need safe keeping for way longer than the modern human has existed.

This is not comparable to CO2, which might have side effects on climate, but CO2 is a biologically safe gas, actually humans produce it themselves all the time breathing.

Comment: Re:congrats guys and gals (Score 1) 293

by yacc143 (#45659073) Attached to: Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Yahoo Form Alliance Against NSA

Congrats, but you do realize that surfing to will result in your data being collected (in many cases) by Google/Facebook and a number of other players in the field? You don't have to be a customer of Facebook so that Facebook starts collecting data about you. Not being a customer just means that some tiny bits of information are not supplied by you. So if some partner site where you ordered enriches your anonymous identity with Google/Facebook with your real name, you are still not a voluntary customer of Google & co.

Comment: Re:congrats guys and gals (Score 1) 293

by yacc143 (#45659039) Attached to: Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Yahoo Form Alliance Against NSA

That's utterly naive.

What a company does is not scrutinized at all.

Reporting some bad data about you can end with you being branded a child molester (have fun clearing your name on that). Reporting bad data about you can get you fired. Bad data can basically destroy your existence, by influencing how others deal with you.

Now the big issue here is that all the big data whore houses draw conclusions mostly by statistical correlation. Now that works quite well for 99% of the cases. For the rest, the conclusions drawn from the data can range from funny over bad to catastrophic.

Comment: Funny that Google complains (Score 5, Insightful) 174

by yacc143 (#45658979) Attached to: NSA Uses Google Cookies To Pinpoint Targets For Hacking

Personally, the collection of privacy relevant information by private companies like Google is way more scary than what a government fools around with.

And don't come, it's voluntary. It's anything but, considering how many sites include elements from Google/Facebook/... (e.g. ads or like buttons), and they DO track you even if you are not a registered user. And the end user tools to customize browser behavior (to suppress unwanted elements of a webpage) are mostly non-available on mobile platforms

Worse, as is the "fundamental law" of privacy & data collection, any data collected will be abused. (Classical example, when the truck toll system in Germany was introduced, it was only allowed by the data privacy commissioner because it's absolutely illegal to use the data for anything but tolling. Couple years later, new government, and immediately "let's use the toll data for law enforcement" is a nice idea in the back rooms.)

So Google might be collecting "anonymous" data about person X, not knowing who X is, but that does not mean that the identity of X cannot be revealed later on, or be known by a third party.

Worse, anonymizing data (removing the parts that identify the user and potentially replacing them by a random id) is way harder, e.g. an interested adversary can usually reconstruct the identities, sometimes even trivially.

"Look! There! Evil!.. pure and simple, total evil from the Eighth Dimension!" -- Buckaroo Banzai