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Comment Accuracy and Precision (Score 4, Informative) 328

Not to put too fine a point on it, but precision and accuracy are not the same thing. They are complementary ideas, to be sure, but they should not be confused: <pedantic probable-correctness="75%">precision indicates how close the measurement is to other measurements of the same phenomenon by the same instrument, while accuracy indicates how close the measurement is to the actual value</pedantic>.

Comment Back it up (Score 1) 221

Absent international treaty or a national law (assuming their competition can be assailed in the court system), anyone with a plan like this will be forced to defend their claims the old fashioned way: by force. Will the beacons have probe-disabling lasers on board? The article doesn't say. But my guess is that the cost of getting a defense system on the rock is the same as the cost of getting mining equipment on it.

A better defense plan is to scan 10 times as many rocks as you normally would and leave beacons on all of them. Then develop either stealthy or very fast mining tech for phase 2.

Comment Sick (Score 1) 321

You can't just put "[sic]" next to any random string of characters and expect the reader to understand. What the hell is "whiel boosting creativity" supposed to mean, anyway? Maybe I'm slow this morning, but it took me 5 minutes to see the "while". Brackets can help readers stay engaged [and] informed [while] improving understanding, but this time they failed us.

Comment Misleading Headline: Rates not Scores (Score 5, Informative) 622

The headline is misleading. The actual pass/fail line for each student is unchanged. The state is changing what it considers an acceptable aggregate rate of passing for groups of students, choosing race as the criterion for grouping. The stated rationale is that students of different races have different starting points, so it makes sense to seek different final achievement levels. But even if you accept that approach, it seems lazy to use race as a surrogate for academic starting point.

Comment Re:Function creep...? (Score 2) 216

I think you're close. You need a secondary access method that requires direct skin contact near the device in order to bypass the front-line wireless security. Same concept as how most people will protect wireless access to their home network, but rely on physical security to prevent someone replacing their router: if someone can get close enough to get physical access, you'll know it and know to stop it before it's too late.

Comment Sure (Score 1) 957

Sure, we can have international blasphemy laws... just as soon as someone figures out how to live in a way that never offends anyone anywhere in the world. Everyone that pushes for this sort of thing always seems to think it's perfectly natural for everyone to think they way they do and so criminalization would be easy to enforce. Nevermind that that their very way of life may be blasphemous to others in the international community. You want to criminalize blasphemy in your own nation? Have at it. Bash your own populace until they're a homogeneous mass. Don't expect the rest of the globe to fall in line so easily.

Comment Trusting Trust (Score 1) 67

Do RepRap machines, as open as they are, suffer from Ken Thompson's Trusting Trust problem? I suppose once the integration is sophisticated enough to incorporate the controller software in the replication process that it could, for example, recognize any tumbler-style lock device being printed and surreptitiously modify the design during printing to include support for a special master key. Is there a lower-level analog to the compiler problem that involves only subtle changes to the hardware elements?

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