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Comment Re:I'm surprised white markets aren't more common (Score 1) 94

Another problem with the strategy is that more drugs will be produces. If you buy up all the drugs at high prices, you'll have artificially injected a huge amount of demand into the market, as well as effectively condoned drug production. The existing producers will produce much more, since they can move it, and other's will flock to the drug trade, knowing that the U.S. government will buy it. If we don't, they'll just sell it to the Taliban again and, since we never put it on the streets, they'll still receive good prices and have no problems moving it. Always remember to apply the game theoretical implications of any can of economic policy (which I've found very few in Congress do.

Comment Re:Buy them (Score 2, Interesting) 94

Wow, I know /.ers rarely read TFA, but did you even read the summary? They explicitly mention "white markets" where companies can do just that. If the white markets are well known about, learning of an exploit is often likely to be more valuable to the company than a hacker. A company can suffer liability for damages, lose clients, suffer hits to their company's good will, and, depending on the nature of the software and what it's used for, and the exploit and how it works, any number of other things. Those buying the exploits can't know how long it will be effective, or how profitable it will be. My guess is, the more profitable it could be, the quicker it will get fixed, so how much can the black market pay? Besides companies potentially paying better, there's the added bonus of not having to do something illegal, harmful and immoral, though I know that doesn't matter to some. And there might be the appeal of being on the side of preventing malicious attacks. Think about it, all the CS nerds will be able to effectively become digital Jack Bauers, and that's bound to get chicks.

Comment Re:1:1 (Score 3, Insightful) 582

Credentials: math major at Johns Hopkins.

There's a logical error in your first step. When doing algebra, one doesn't "move" the 0 from the left side by the right side, they multiply both sides by 0. The usual next step is to cancel out the left side and proceed, which you implicitly did but didn't explicitly show the step. However, when you multiply by 0, you have:

0/0 = 0*inf.

You CANNOT assume 0/0 = 1 and cancel it out because it's not uniquely defined; 0/0 = x for every x in the real numbers, imaginary (complex) numbers, and every other field.

To see if 0/0 = 0*inf holds, we need to know whether 0*inf exists in a field, but 0*inf = 0, we know this because part of what defines fields is how limits work with inf:

lim_x->inf x = inf

It's axiomatic. So when we apply this to 0*inf, we get lim_x->inf 0*x = 0. This gives us 0/0 = 0, which IS true.

Here's the catch: 0/0 does not equal 0 uniquely. The logic is such that if EVERY number can equal 0/0, then NO number in any field can define 1/0. Zero attacks every number but itself with decidedly beyond infinite feebleness.

Comment Allow me to help you... (Score 4, Insightful) 357

Clearly "positions" means investment positions, so it's probably something like:

"Golly mister! You've been standing like that for hours! What gives?"

"Well son, my investment manager told me it would pay to hold my position!"

Hilarious! Nothing funnier than investment managers, they prove prostitutes aren't the only ones who use different positions to fuck people out of their money.

Comment Was a math major undergrad, took notes on lappy (Score 1) 823

At the time I used straight LaTeX, but I made it work. The trick was to get a good editor and set up keyboard shortcuts for common things to blaze through the process quicker. Add on top of that a bunch of renaming functions in the preamble to save keystrokes for other common actions and keeping up isn't much of a problem.

That being said, I'm going to cast my vote for Lyx because you can still do all I suggested above, but it greatly aids in building tables, matrices, and other things that'll slow you down a bit. And don't be afraid to use shorthand that won't format properly when necessary, as long as you know what it says you can always fix it after class or during a lull in the lecture; I find this typically takes less than 5 min. And use lots of white space. And reconsider what the best way to keep notes is; when you have a medium with the flexibility of files, folders, etc, I find it's usually better to take notes by topic instead of chronology of when it is said.

Funny story, took notes all semester for my stat class that way and we got to use 1 page of notes for the final. About 20-30 minutes of copy/paste-ing gave me every equation we used, qualitative descriptions of what they do and when to use them, and a whole host of other useful stuff. Never studied beyond doing my homework (which I only did most of the time) but I got a 297 out of 300, highest grade in a class of ~150 and about half a standard deviation above the next highest score...

Comment It's a good thing we build all the weapons then (Score 1) 392

Or most of them, anyhow. Wow, that's clever though. We've been trying to decide the outcome of wars around the world pretty regularly since WWII, this just provides a very efficient means of doing so. It also gives a big disincentive for people buying US weapons on the black market (well, the really bad ones).

Of course there's always the fear of hackers figuring out a way to kill the kill switch, but at least it's one more obstacle. It'd probably be a good idea to ensure none of our craft, etc, have these kill switches though, just the ones we sell. I'm sure we try very very hard to protect the switches, but security systems of all kinds get broken, it's easier to find exploits than it is to create a system that has none whatsoever. If lives (potentially thousands or more) depend on it, why take the chance?

Comment Re:THIS is why nerds are socially awkward (Score 1) 606

There's a subtlety I think I didn't make clear. The importance is in the disposition, not the action. You can always refuse service; a person should not get mad at another because they won't do them a favor (remember that next time someone won't do you a favor, btw). But if you help, don't treat the person like they're an ass for "making" you do it. A favor should show loyalty, not exasperation. Either say no, charge for the help, or make it an actual favor. Acting in a manner that inspires guilt for "making" you help them is just as immoral as actions designed to make you feel guilty for not helping. But seriously, pro tip, learn to take joy in helping others, that way when you do help you'll actually enjoy doing it. The beneficiary of your services will pick up on that and respond positively.

A noteable exception to this rule, btw, is when applied to a girl you're even slightly interested in; the right move is to, while channeling the complete confidence of Kirk, refuse to help her and, with a smile on your face, poke fun at her computer skills. If done right, she'll panic at the failure of her sexual prowess and will proceed to plead for your assistance to prove she still has control. She does not, you do. Refuse again, she'll persist, so explain, still while smiling and channeling Kirk, that you know girls love to get guys to do stuff for them for free and that you're not so easily controlled. She'll probably act offended or more desperate for help; either way ignore her emotions then offer her a compromise: if she cooks you dinner, you'll fix her computer while she's cooking. Bring a semi-inexpensive bottle of wine, then without asking pour her a glass to drink while she cooks. Fix her computer, come back and sit to her right (or left, not across), eat dinner while teasing her that her porn browsing adiction will only lead to more problems. If this doesn't sound right to you, consider the following: you have shown yourself to be ultra alpha-male, you have put yourself in a position of control, you have a date with a girl you're interested in where she is submissively making you free dinner, you kept her busy so she didn't see how nerdy you look when you hack, and you've left her feeling grateful for it all.

Comment Re:THIS is why nerds are socially awkward (Score 2, Insightful) 606

You're confirming my point though. Even better than helping them is teaching them, but it does take more dedication and effort from both sides; teaching someone to solve their own problems is just the next step up. The point wasn't that it should be done, or how it should be done, but rather with what disposition it should be done. If you approach it as a burden then those you help will pick up on that emotion (trust me, they will even if you wouldn't) and that negativity will be reciprocated like all emotions (think about the contagiousness of smiles, aggression, and kind of "mob" mentality, etc). If you want to teach someone instead of just fix the problem yourself then you have to be a patient teacher, take joy in enriching their life and use the opportunity to cultivate and strengthen those social bonds as much as possible. I think too many of us treat the great responsibility that comes with our great power as a burden instead of an asset; it would be like a great guitar player being bitter that he "has" to play for his friends. Life is a team sport, and, like any, you're most successful when you work as a team.

Comment THIS is why nerds are socially awkward (Score 4, Insightful) 606

That over half responded "Yes, at great cost to my eternal soul" suggests something. I understand that the #1 goal of CS kids is seeking efficiency and spending one's time helping someone who should learn to help themselves goes against that, but this is how you get people to like you. You use your skills to helps your friends and enjoy doing it, and they'll enjoy helping you in return. When people trade favors it strengthens social bonds, like how helping a friend move shows both people how close they consider each other, one saying you're a good enough friend to ask this favor of, the other that you're a good enough friend that I'll help. Still need an argument for efficiency? Ever try to move by yourself? It's harder than moving twice when you have two people each time...

Comment Stop paying for cable! (Score 3, Informative) 345

Most of us probably download most all our shows anyway, and with RSS it really doesn't take much effort to get everything you want. It'll help send a message to the cable companies, you'll save money, etc. The only catch is you're less likely to run across new shows by accident, but a little effort on the internet will give plenty of suggestions (e.g. look at number of seeds on a torrent). Cable is obsolete (sorta).

Comment Photography and analysis (Score 1) 863

I remember hearing about a system that uses photography and computer anaysis on the cars to figure out exactly how long you parked and whose car it is. Tie that to a credit card and you don't have to do anything. Except it also ends parking ticket revenues, which is priced in to the system. Would you be willing to pay more so that you'd never pay late fees again (a la Netflix)to compensate for the revenue loss? Perhaps capturing each minute of all cars who weren't paying for parking before (the ones who would have gotten tickets) would take care of it. If that's the case, it's really win win, if you think about it.

Comment Wait, what?!? (Score 1) 441

Looking at bills from 17 cities, it's no surprise that the city with the highest level was Washington DC, where up to 95% of bills gathered there tested positive.

Why is this no surprise? New York has Wall St, coke is imported into many Florida and California cities, etc. The only thing remarkable about DC is the presence of the Government, and since so many people here (I'm a resident of the District) want to get high levels of clearance for their jobs, most won't touch any illegal drugs. Really surprised by this, even though I do know where to get dank coke ;-)

Comment Re:It's their own fault (Score 2, Interesting) 564

No, but I was just thinking about this. A meta-wiki would be amazing, as for each high level subject there could be a page talking about the main bits of it, but then also link to the subject's own wiki for which you can explore all the different aspects of that subject. The only catch is that currently all the wikis are independently run, so there's some loss of standardization (which is useful) and of course the problem of selecting the proper sub-wiki (if it even exists). Perhaps best not to use existing subject wikis and instead to start the meta-wiki with the ability to create new subject wikis on the fly, like metawiki.com/wikisubject/currentpage where the wikisubject can be created fresh and contains an entire wiki where each page is after the /. This way you could have a notability requirement only on the main wiki for subjects, so that there might be a wiki on web-comics (which is a notable subject) and that wiki could have as obscure web-comic related articles as it likes. There'd have to be a mechanism for articles to be cross listed across wikis if they fall under multiple categories, but that should be easy enough. Besides that, it might also be useful to be able to create sub-sub-wikis and such too, like a wiki on computer games, and then another sub wiki on WoW or something, and theoretically you could go to deeper levels as well. I don't know, just a thought.

Comment Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (Score 1) 874

Can I just say I love your rage and how everyone seems to ignore it because you're speaking sense. "Bullshit, you motherfucking liar." "Now go back to sucking Obama's cock, you know-nothing retard." Brilliant, though I would have added a few !s for good measure.

And to add my $0.02 to those environmentalists who don't seem to get it, if we crush the economy we crush our ability to innovate right now, and we crush education (our ability to innovate in the future). Innovation is the only way to solve these problems; we have too many people in the world now, and unless you want to give up all your tech (including your computers and the Internet), we aren't getting back to a sustainable level without it.

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