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Comment: Re:Heisenberg compensator ... (Score 1) 83

I think of all the times anyone has tried to explain it to me, this is the one that clicked. If I'm understanding correctly, they're (electrons, photons, et al) not really either a "particle", as I think of it (like you say, teeny tiny baseballs with well defined boundaries and positions), or a "wave", but entirely different animals that happen to have some, not even all, of the features of both.

Thanks (assuming I didn't misunderstand!)

Comment: Re:Check their work or check the summary? (Score 1) 480

by squiggleslash (#49336325) Attached to: No, It's Not Always Quicker To Do Things In Memory

No, it's completely understandable and shouldn't even be thought of as strange to seasoned programmers.

The critical issue is there's a difference between calling an I/O function like write, and actually manipulating the IDE control lines on a hard disk. Typically for the former, the operating system is sitting there buffering things up in a relatively simple, uncomplex, way - ie it has some memory allocated, a pointer, and when you call the function all it does is copy the bytes to the memory and increment the pointer as needed. Once either enough time has passed, a critical function has been called, or enough data has been written, the OS then starts manipulating the IDE control lines to write the data.

Now, the comparison becomes "the OS's buffer handling" vs "Your language of choice's string handling and garbage collection algorithms." For C, chances are you're as good as the OS as C's string handling is extremely uncomplicated and bare metal. For almost anything else - such as Python and Java, both tested in this scenario - you're likely to end up with the OS handling some situations more quickly than your language would.

Does it make sense now? It should. There are very few programmers this should surprise. Unfortunately, I know quote a few that will be...

Comment: Re:Heisenberg compensator ... (Score 4, Interesting) 83

You think you have problems? I'm still trying to get my head around "It's both a particle... AND a wave!". How the f--- does that work? It doesn't even make any sense! It's insane! Wave things are not particles, and particle things are not waves!

(Note: yes, I know, it's true, I've seen the double slit experiment et al, I'm not doubting the science, I'm just saying my brain is too small to understand it. So put me in a position where I have to understand that something is in every state possible until observed, and... well, the worst part is I can visualize it, but only in a way I know deep down is wrong...)

+ - New bill would repeal Patriot Act

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Two Congressmen have introduced legislation to repeal the Patriot Act as well as end all unconstitutional domestic spying by government agencies.

The article notes that there is bi-partisan support for “doing something” about the out-of-control surveillance of federal agencies like the National Security Agency. I agree. Expect something like this to get passed. Whether Obama will veto it is another question. Despite what he says (which no one should every believe), he likes the idea of prying into the lives of private citizens."

Draconian Australian Research Law Hits Scientists 147

Posted by Soulskill
from the blunder-down-under dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The Australian government is pushing ahead with a draconian law placing "dual use" science (e.g. encryption, biotechnology) under the control of the Department of Defence. The Australian ACLU, Civil Liberties Australia, warns the law punishes scientists with $400,000 fines, 10 years in jail and forfeiture of their work, just for sending an "inappropriate" e-mail.

Scientists — including the academics union — warn the laws are unworkable despite attempted improvements, and will drive researchers offshore (paywalled: mirror here).

Comment: Those Katrina trailers cost $19,000 (Score 1) 78

by SethJohnson (#49331633) Attached to: Better Disaster Shelters than FEMA Trailers (Video)
These exo shelters are not meant to satisfy the requirements of the FEMA trailers used after the hurricanes, first of all. Those trailers were issued to people months after people had applied for them. It was a long distribution process with people living in group shelters waiting for the trailers to arrive.

Per this article, they also cost $19,000 in 2005 dollars. Much more than the $4000 you're estimating.

These exo shelters are a more immediate shelter solution. Deployable within hours of an emergency event. Consider the people recovering in Haiti after their big earthquake or the people sleeping on the floor of the Superdome after Katrina. FEMA trailers were not available or provided to those people in the hours and days after the disaster. These exo shelters are a possibility, though.

Comment: Re:Cost (Score 2) 78

by SethJohnson (#49330859) Attached to: Better Disaster Shelters than FEMA Trailers (Video)
The exo shelters massively dominate over FEMA trailers on the criteria you have proposed here.

These nest inside each other, so you can lay about ten or so on a flatbed trailer. I think you could get two FEMA trailers on top of a flatbed trailer.

Cost? Well, a FEMA trailer needs to be constructed to highway transportation standards. Do you think that's cheaper than building something to "more durable than a tent" standard (exo shelter)?

Comment: Halliburton builds the robot factories (Score 1) 291

by SethJohnson (#49328921) Attached to: Steve Wozniak Now Afraid of AI Too, Just Like Elon Musk
Terminator isn't the scenario Elon and Steve are talking about. But it's a model that still fits their concerns.

Automation applies economic coercion to the laboring humans to serve the interests of the automation. For instance, Watson is an AI technology that is being positioned to lay off a lot of people in phone call centers and taking orders for drive-up windows. Actually, Watson is being aimed at a lot of jobs. All those displaced workers cascade to flood the job market. Maybe they get some training to compete for trades such as electricians, plumbers, and taxi cab drivers. With so many available applicants, the wages for those jobs go down. The economy for the middle class tanks. With people desperate to feed their families, do you think they'll really scrutinize that ad looking for workers to build the drone factory? The drones that are intended to fire missiles at the 'terrorists'?

AI is a wealth concentrator. That's what Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak are talking about. It is increasingly developing the capacity to eliminate millions of blue collar jobs in order to enrich people with white collars. The Terminator series is a colorful depiction of this process.

Comment: Re:Fuck those guys (Score 1) 569

>What if it's not a false alarm and there's am unstable, armed murderer on the other side?

This is precisely the thinking that leads to swatting.

The chance this is a something a polite, normally armed patrol can't handle is actually somewhere close to zero. Even in the US. And in less insane countries, the only people that can call a SWAT team are actually the police. And they don't do it upon a call by a patrol, but only once some chief back at the station has decided it's needed.

Comment: Re:so, the key to amnesty... (Score 1) 322

by Wolfrider (#49317235) Attached to: Microsoft Offers Pirates Amnesty and Free Windows 10 Upgrades

--Even a "free" upgrade won't get traction if the user interface is crap. See Win 8.x, Vista, Slashdot Beta. On the plus side, I've been evaluating the Win10 beta and it's *not* crap (so far.)

--I should qualify my next statement by saying that I hate Win 8.x with the fire of a thousand burning suns, and refuse to use it or work on it AT ALL, even if someone wants to pay me for it.

--I still like Win7 the best, especially for business (but my main bare-hardware desktop is still Xubuntu--64-LTS.) As long as they don't take the Win10 GUI changes in a wrong direction, I'm willing to try Win10 at this point; but I'm still keeping full-partition image backups of all my Win7 installs and VMs just in case.

+ - Online 'Swatting' Becomes a Hazard for Gamers Who Play Live on the Internet 1

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Nick Wingfield reports at the NYT that practical jokers who call in bogus reports of violence provoking huge police responses have set their sights on a new set of victims: video gamers who play live on the Internet, often in front of huge online audiences. Last month, several hundred people were watching Joshua Peters as he played RuneScape from his parents’ home as video showed Peters suddenly leaving his computer when police officers appeared at the house and ordered him and his family at gunpoint to lie face down on the ground after some had called 911 claiming Peters had just shot his roommate. “With the live-streaming platforms, it amplifies the entire situation,” says James Clayton Eubanks who says he has been swatted about a half-dozen times while he streamed his Call of Duty sessions. “Not only do they get to do this and cause this misery, they get to watch it unfold in front of thousands of people.”

Game companies like Twitch have publicly said that swatting is dangerous, but that there is little else they can do to prevent the pranks. Tracking the culprits behind the pranks is difficult. While bomb scares and other hoaxes have been around for decades, making threats anonymously has never been so easy. Swatters use text messages and online phone services like Skype to relay their threats, employing techniques to make themselves hard to trace. They obtain personal addresses for their victims through property records and other public databases, or by tricking businesses or customer service representatives at a victim’s Internet provider into revealing the information. Brandon Willson, a gamer known online as “Famed God," made up a murder to get police to go to an unsuspecting west suburban resident’s home last year and ended up behind bars in Nevada awaiting extradition. As part of the investigation, police traveled to Las Vegas to help local police execute a search warrant at Willson’s home. Computers seized there contained evidence of the swatting incident, as well as similar incidents across the country, prosecutors claim. Willson faces up to five years in prison if he is convicted on charges of computer tampering and one count each of intimidation, computer fraud, identity theft and disorderly conduct. His mother, Brenda Willson, says her son is innocent and does not smoke, drink or have tattoos. “He would never swat," she says."

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