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Comment Re:Read / Write power is God power (Score 2) 276

Is there a one way, write-once technology which is provably tamper proof? Can one be designed?

Save simultaneously to multiple, external, independently controlled locations. If the data is not private there should be no problem with allowing 3rd parties access for truly independent record keeping. If the data is private you could still upload encrypted copies to 3rd parties on a defined, regular basis, to be unencrypted only by court order.

Comment Re:No. They just dress more conservatively. (Score 4, Insightful) 334

Here's the question. If you meet one of these women in the elevator and happen to remember which booth she was working, would you feel confident that you could ask her a question about that company/product and get an informative answer? If yes, they're not booth babes, they're marketing people who happen to be attractive (which certainly helps their career, don't get me wrong). The problem isn't attractive women manning the booths, the problem is when the women are there solely to be attractive (in a very literal sense).

Comment Re:Origin (Score 2) 204

IMHO, the problem is not so much that the villains are active and the heroes are passive. Nor is the problem that the writers are anti-science reactionaries (most of the times).

The actual problem is that the writers need to come up with a story, and the story needs to fit the genre.

For example, in the Marvel universe, teleportation is common enough that SHIELD agents can use it. (Or at least they could in one comic I saw. For all I know, an infinite crisis war could have rebooted the entire universe and retconned this. But never mind.) Teleportation is a seriously world-changing invention, and for it to be even remotely possible, related tech needs to exist. Yet the world looks pretty much like our world.

For another example, Tony Stark has invented "repulsors", which seem to directly turn electrical energy to momentum. Jet fighters need to carry lots of fuel, but Iron Man can fly rings around them carrying nothing but a micro fusion reactor. Again, this is a world-changing invention: maybe it needs the smartest man in the world to invent this, but once he has done it, others will reverse-engineer it and then the world changes.

I give you two reasons why world-changing inventions don't change the world in comics: 0) Figuring out the impacts of this technology could tie up a writer full-time for weeks; a science fiction writer might do this, but the comics writer wants to spend time writing comics stories. 1) If the writer did spend the time, he/she would then be telling science fiction stories about the impact of technology on society, not about the comic characters.

A related problem is the desire to never change the formula too much. For example, the iconic villains always come back (e.g. Batman never seems to be done with the Joker). So, like an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the storyline often ends up with everything returned to the status quo ante. Inventions not changing the world is part of this. We identify with Spider-Man partly because he lives in recognizably the same world as we do... he's sort of a "blue-collar" hero, no mansion with hidden cave for him. If he lived in a futuristic society with teleporters and personal flying cars, he might be largely the same character but I don't know if I would have thought of him as "blue-collar".

One of the things I really liked about the Watchmen story: at the end, we see that Ozymandias has actually invented some world-changing stuff (really clean electric power, really efficient electric cars, etc.) and the world actually changed. Watchmen was able to do this because it was conceived as a limited series, so they didn't need to be able to tell stories in the changed world after the ending.

TL;DR It's hard work to figure out how society would change, and stories about how society has changed don't fit the desired template for comics.

P.S. As for actual science fiction stories, sure there are some about how technology screws the world up, but there are plenty of other stories that don't take that approach.

Comment Re:It's dead either way, why not try this? (Score 1) 371

Cursing is family friendly. Repression is not. Learning how and why and when people curse is productive and useful. If you're not being raised by really broken people, you'll hear cursing, you'll get to curse, etc.

I am grateful I grew up in a home where language was respected, not repressed. The result? I *very* rarely curse. But when I do, it's situationally appropriate, meaning, I'm using it for emphasis -- not "I'm checking the age of the ears nearby"

Comment Self Policed? (Score 2) 371

The HAM network is almost completely self policed.

I think this is confusing "mostly well behaved" with self policed. For instance, look at the abject fuckery that goes on at 14.313 MHz each and every day. All manner of rule violations. Not judging the rules here, but no question, deep and serious violations of them. No one "polices" this in any sense of the term; nothing any ham does shuts it down, slows it down, restrains it, or otherwise serves as a "police" function. Reporting it to the FCC does nothing; years and years of reports have gone without any response.

Now, it's quite true that most hams don't take part, and further, view the situation as appalling; but this is like your neighbor disliking seeing crack sold on the sidewalk. That's behaving well, not policing. They're not policing it; they might report it, but that's still not policing it. Only the police can do that, because they have the authority and power to do something about it. In the ham situation, the feds aren't coming when they are called, either, so the activity goes unchallenged in any realistic way. And believe me, getting on there and arguing? Not helpful.

There's more than that going on, too. I know for a fact that there are stations on the air using considerably more than legal power; stations that intentionally interfere with others in several ways, etc. I *also* know that the FCC has the analytical tools to detect, and the authority to stop, this kind of behavior. I lay the blame for this shameful garbage entirely at the FCC's feet.

Allowing encrypted traffic would allow me to sell internet service to people in rural areas because there's no way to detect what is in the encrypted content.

Yes, but any ham can do the same thing for free. Encrypted or not. That's going to make your business model unsustainable. Also, I should point out that packet has allowed email back and forth to the Internet for decades now. So I think your idea of "providing Internet" isn't going to choke the spectrum. Hard to sell something others give away for free (not impossible... but hard.)

Another thing: With the plethora of digital modes available right now, it's become a royal PITA to try and figure out what you're listening to, much less decode it. Is it Olivia? RTTY? Amtor? Heil? Packet? and on and on for must be over a hundred modes and variants. The difference between an encrypted packet and one you can't figure out otherwise is... nothing.

And one more thing (lol): As far as HF goes, we don't have the bandwidth to supply anything like Internet to anyone. There's no risk whatsoever of commercial interest of that type coming in. You'd have to be talking about operation at UHF and above, and *that* means line of sight, and *that* means latency that grows with every link, and it also means that those 99.99% dead bands would see some use, which might keep them from being taken from us. Not a perfect reason by any means, but a reason regardless. The fact is, cellphones have almost entirely killed VHF/UHF ham activity. It's sad as hell, but there it is.

Oh, hey. One MORE thing: Your "Internet supply" is going to have to accept all manner of interference from other hams, etc. That's going to make your service really, really poor. Quite aside from the free competition that will start up the day after you do because you're going to offend every ham with half a wit.

Comment Re:Faster than Light? (Score 1) 276

Yeah, I read that three times and my head is still spinning.

That's pretty much what happened the first time, too. Just doesn't want to sink in. I don't have the background to really comprehend this at the right level; just local physics instincts, and they often seem to come up short when cosmology is the subject at hand.

I would love to go over a couple things with you via email, if you felt you could spare the time. I'm at gmail, same handle. If not, no sweat, of course. Cheers!

Comment Re:packet radio? (Score 5, Informative) 371

Ok, let me elaborate. The HAM network is almost completely self policed. It would be trivially easy to abuse the spectrum and ruin it for everyone so it's in everyone's best interest that people who don't follow the rules, who are using it for commercial gain for just one example, are reported and stopped. Allowing encrypted traffic would allow me to sell internet service to people in rural areas because there's no way to detect what is in the encrypted content. If something becomes profitable enough eventually you'll choke the spectrum and make it unusable for everyone. Keep in mind that this isn't a managed slice of spectrum, there's no one in charge of who is using what frequency where. Get enough sources broadcasting and it simply won't work.

Comment Re:Faster than Light? (Score 1) 276

Physics doesn't care.

That's what I like about physics. :) (contrariwise, it's what makes me suspicious of quantum physics...)

Time can stop, go backward, go imaginary, you name it. It's just us forcing physics into a badly fitting mathematical suit.

Have you run into the "proof" of determinism demonstrated by showing that a viewpoint across an interval where the object being viewed is on an (I believe) approaching vector near lightspeed) results in viewing that object in the future, thereby assuring us of the fixed sequence of events that will lead to that view? I may have that a little jumbled, the idea had me dizzy for days.

Nova had some dumbed-down cosmological thing on where they diagrammed that out. I had to go listen to some Pink Floyd afterwards, lol.

Comment Re:Wrong by law (Score 1) 601

The program was assumed to exist by large amounts of the public, in that way "everyone" knew about it.
The program was briefed to many, possibly all members of congress, in that way "everyone" knew about it.
The program was classified to the highest level of classification the US government has, in that way it was, in a very literal sense, "Top Secret"

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