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Comment vulnerabity in MEDoc the Ukrainian tax software (Score 1) 182

http://www.bbc.com/news/techno...

The tax software's update mechanism got compromised.

Mikko Hypponen, a security expert at F-Secure, is saying - "If you do business in Ukraine, the software (MEDoc) appears to be de facto,"

Microsoft is saying : "Active infections of the ransomware initially started from the legitimate MEDoc update process,"

Comment Re:When has mockery not been effective (Score 1) 272

Do you deny that the more a meme is used the more powerful it becomes?

I see the power of a meme as helping build a clique. The fun is in a particular group using it (maybe a lot), and others, let's call them muggles, don't understand the memes much.

But are you saying memes are actually "effective" the way these people are believing about "sad" ? That would be a different take on memes altogether.

The pleasure I see in memes is similar to meeting someone speaking your language in a far-off land. Say when a Belgian an Rwandan both speaking French meet in Sri Lanka, they hit it off quite nicely in spite of the difference in dialect. If everyone in Sri Lanka were speaking French well, that hit off would reduce drastically wouldn't it ?

If the same meme is used by everyone, it becomes an idiom. At this point occasionally it may become an interesting way of making a point, but nowhere as influential as something "kind of scientifically" called "effective".

Used by even more people even more frequently, and it becomes a language peculiarity like "it is raining". There is no "it" that is raining, but we English speaking fools just say it. Far from effective, people find no other way of communicating than using the peculiarity.

Comment Re: Corruption of vegatarian/vegan philosophy (Score 1) 409

It's still not clear that laboratories manufacturing "meat" on a large scale would be any better for the environment. The labs may claim it is, but that does not make it so.

1. There is a possibility of it being better for the environment - their claim may or may not be true, which has a "may be true" component.

2. There is a lot of energy wastage in animals. They think, move around needlessly, want to have sex, sometimes even run around. All of this also wastes water and needs real estate. Of course, the lab will have its own energy / environmental costs - but if overall costs for the lab are lower we win environmentally. Again, possible but not necessarily.

3. Companies developing this kind of lab meat might go for the "cheap meat", as the traditionalists, "appeal to nature" fallacists, general ignoramuses might make it difficult to sell it. Cheap has won many battles in the world of technology over quality - there is no reason it may not be true in this case too. And one good way to produce cheaply is use less resources, and that in turn might harm the environment less.

Comment Re:Not sure how that works (Score 1) 362

Society is going to have to come to terms with this somehow

What is going to happen completely depends on profits. That doesn't mean we stop thinking logically about the fundamental untenability of it.

Human decisionmaking is just as opaque, in reality, but humans continually invent self-explanations for their decisions, and when we scale human decisionmaking processes we have to codify simple rules to provide some semblance of consistency across the many people doing the deciding

1. Humans are rarely so powerful as corporations
2. Humans can go to jail.
3. Nobody in this post is asking any humans to do the searching or ranking.

The analogy is not making any sense.

machine learning is used to get them... and the result is algorithms that work measurably better in all the test cases, and in production use, but are almost as opaque as the decisionmaking of any individual human.

Yes, but this learning is captured by corporations. The input is overwhelmingly that of the people using it, little realizing the power of their contribution, getting very little accountability from the hoarder of their information.

Comment Re: Is Google forced down anyone's throat? (Score 1) 362

What don't you believe is about Freischutz ?

Did you just randomly select a place to spew the cliche (no unicode ? é) about customer and product ?

Or are you saying users being customers makes Google's situation not monopolistic but monopsonistic ? Does that change anything materially ?

Comment Re:Not sure how that works (Score 1) 362

Since there's no way to readily prove that they're not putting their thumb on the scales

This is essentially the tyranny of the closed algorithm. The reason why the society should refuse to deal with a powerful entity (corporations being a subset of powerful entities) hiding behind - "the algorithm ate my homework".

In my country, for my tests, I don't see a problem with the alleged Google search results, but I still empathize with those seeing problems. Why should they have to prove what a hidden algorithm is doing without having control over it so that they could debug it ? What if Google starts giving malicious results to only selected users - so that even if they blow the whistle the rest of the world disbelieves them - "Something must be wrong with you, I don't see bad results."

Comment Re:When has mockery not been effective (Score 1) 272

It's also an effective style because it's really easy for others to pick up and use as well, with increases the power of the term...

How so? According to the study / theory, it is not so. "Sad" distinguishes from the hyper ventilation that is found everywhere else on the internet.

Do you have another theory where if many newspaper headlines , articles, tweets, facebook posts end with ", sad.", it will increase the power of the term? My guess is that the audience would stop noticing "sad" soon, or at least stop paying much attention to it. Thereby reducing its power.

Comment Evil bit - RFC 3514 (Score 1) 572

1. The most dangerous ones can easily pretend to be non-Muslim, or having converted to Christianity to enter the US and wreak havoc. So security improvement argument doesn't hold much. See the solution to all computer security problems : Evil bit.

2. If the country (say the US) wants to prohibit wife hitting, they should prohibit wife hitting. Why the round-about way of reducing the number of Muslims brought in from abroad ? This will protect against lunatics , whether Muslim or followers of phalrehuq religion, whether already in the country or coming in from abroad.

In even more generality, just prohibit hitting.

3. Practically, being an interconnected country and the world - we are in more danger from people being offended in a real or perceived fashion. So this unnecessary, insufficient "ban" would make the country even more insecure from the people having say business or family impact from this move.

Comment Re:Does this predict ruling? (Score 1) 572

Doesn't public discourse define / redefine / modify language? E.g. the covfefe bill (not sure if it is a law yet). If law were only using fixed language of the time the country was founded, it would be difficult to make sense of it for people of today.

Not only political campaign, even popular movies / literature routinely change language.

If language were static, dictionaries wouldn't have to add words and change the meanings of words frequently. If language is not static, how can the influencer of language , which includes public discourse and political campaign, be not a concern in any statement that is made in "language" ? This , in turn includes laws and executive orders.

Comment Re:Does this predict ruling? (Score 1) 572

Do you agree that even seemingly initially clear laws can run into situations when there is slight ambiguity ? Say hundreds of years later? Can there be a difference between the letter and the spirit of some law ? Are laws , or to a lesser extent executive orders, as clear as CPU instructions where there can be no dispute whatsoever ?

In case of these ambiguities, intent is typically "guessed". When judges guess intent, they legislate by proxy. Sometimes there are other proofs of intent - e.g. founding fathers of countries / drafters of constitutions have had expressed their opinion in other ways which is taken into account long after their death. In guessing intent, "spirit" of law is highlighted.

The "letter" problem is typically fixed (talking about English common law philosophy , which is becoming more and more common) : by quoting the judgement of a court in relation with original , now deemed ambiguous , law.

As far as executive statements go - the same applies to a lesser extent. The ambiguity there should be resolved by implementers / bureaucrats asking questions to the executive through established channels, or people complaining and higher bureaucrats providing more detailed guidelines as a result. But any ambiguity will have to be resolved by the "guessed" intent of the executive order by the bureaucrat / implementer of the law. Even executive orders are unlikely to be as clear as CPU instructions - though they have the advantage of typically not being needed after hundreds of years.

Comment Re:Simple question (Score 1) 516

I do meet people who insist on discussing topics for which they don't meet the prerequisites. Just an example : discussing differential calculus while making basic algebraic mistakes.

Some people refuse to discuss further. My way to make the conversation interesting again is to switch topics to the prerequisites : about algebra in the above example.

People generally don't like it, in their own minds it is beneath them, but from my point of view do you see another way to make the conversation interesting?

So here goes

- Say you have an ampule of ordinary water, not being sold nor treated in a homeopathic way, and you drip that on a small, white pill and give it to a person with some illness, and you do not see any measurable effect. Thus, it does not work. You now drip it on a large, colored pill, and you measure an effect. Would you say that effect is caused by the ordinary water, or the placebo effect of having the large, colored pill?

With a sample size of 1, an extremely retarded "scientist" would conclude causation. We have not begun noting elementary correlation yet.

I know, science is boring if you want a result every second sentence, but that's "het leven" if my faint memory of the language serves.

Comment Re:Simple question (Score 1) 516

A. The original question *is* about language and meaning of words - what does autopilot mean ?

B. The parable is invalid. My questions / points about "language and meaning of words" are directed at clarifying that. So even from the perspective of this parable being supreme, there is no progress without addressing them.

So you are fitting your own definition (characteristic ?) of a troll : "a troll would have just gone on about his analogies and insisting that one would answer those first".

Comment Re:Simple question (Score 1) 516

A. No succinct questions, no succinct answers.

B. The single definition here : http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/...

Doesn't even mention the ingested material to be a meaning of "homeopathy".

C. This might help : the very fact that there *is* no substance is one of the things to understand when discussiing homeopathic medicine.

D. I don't think you understand how language, communication and words work. Evidence

1. Your initial claim about words not meaning what they are widely considered to mean.

2. Your initial claim and my reaction being about homeopathic medicine, but a lot of your subsequent discussion being about homeopathy.

3. Wrongly interpreting me to be saying voodoo magic works, multiple times.

4. Your incorrect uses of phrases like "homeopathic substances" and "adding placebo effect" could be a language problem, language theory problem, or lack of clarity on the subject matter. But they are the reasons i don't dabble into the worse ones among your analogies.

5. Your lack of follow up on my further questions on your definition of characteristic even after a reminder could mean you don't understand that within a single dictionary meaning there could be ways in which a word has a meaning in a particular context. Or it could mean you don't care, not sure.

5a. In this post again you pretend to have given a complete definition of characteristic, so my guess is more about your ignorance of subtleties.

Yes, English, Romance languages, Germanic languages have subtle connotation differences. So people might think they know multiple of these languages and yet get tripped up on these subtleties. But completely ignoring the existence of these subtleties after my multiple attempts to highlight them disqualifies you from 2 things :

1. Making claims about what autopilot means
2. My participation in your faulty parables, after i highlight the fault in the parables.

Some of my best friends don't understand how language works. I don't broach the subject with them, but i do answer their questions on related subjects without much hope of getting through.

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