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Comment Re:Guess he has never heard of VPN and proxies (Score 2) 390

This is about minors, kids, who end up getting porn on there phones/tablets by accident, while looking for something innocent.

I don't think it's anything to do with "accident". Yes, occasionally, some idiot posts some disguised link and managed to get people to click on it (I've been caught out a couple of times in slashdot posts before they started putting the domain after the link)

But mostly I suspect it's 13+ year olds going looking for porn. Which we all did. Back in my day though it was all still photography in magazines. VHS was around but I never even saw a pornographic VHS cassette, let alone watch what was on it.

One of the problems is that what is depicted in porn, especially today when video is easily accessible, is not "normal." Children are getting a distorted view of what normal relationships are about.

The solution, however, is to educate them about what normal relationships are. To teach them that porn is, for the most part, a fantasy. That within a normal sexual relationship some people do live out some fantasies and that it's OK for others to say "that's not for me" and that it's not OK to pressure others into doing things that they aren't willing to do or ready for. It's most especially not OK to use porn as an example to say "well they're doing it."

A porn block won't work. Teenage boys are going to get porn regardless of what adults try. Accept that fact and work with it instead of trying to deny it.

Tim.

Comment Re:More Statist Bullsiht (Score 2) 476

Not exactly. You are comparing buying a thing with entering into an agreement in which someone else buys a thing and you pay them to be able to use it for whatever (legal) purposes you like. They are not the same even though a mortgage is called 'buying', it isn't.

I don't know about America but in the UK this isn't the case. When you buy a house with a mortgage you own the house, not the mortgage company.

The mortgage company holds a charge over the property such that should you default they have first dibs on the asset but that is not the same as saying they own the property. Should you default and the property be insufficient to pay off the mortgage then you'll still be liable for any remaining debt.

It's not that unusual in the UK for the mortgage to be secured on a different property to the one being bought with the loan. In the past it also wasn't that unusual for mortgages to be used to buy things other than property

We have hire-purchase which is closer to what you describe (although I've never heard of it being used for house purchases) where the ownership stays with the lender and (subject to a pre-agreed charge) the buyer can walk away from the deal at any time.

Tim.

Comment Re:buggy struct (Score 1) 88

The type user is not defined anywhere.

You have assumed it is a typedef for struct user_struct.

However, it could be a typedef for int and contain a list of uuids

Or, more sanely, a typedef for struct user_struct* which effectively gives what you were suggesting.

Tim.

Comment Re:Welcome to 2013 (Score 2) 111

You are right that surveillance itself is probably inevitable. But what can change is whether the data can be kept.

In the past (it is changing, unfortunately) personal data in Europe could only be used for the reason it was gathered and could only be kept for as long as it was being used for that reason.

This idea, which can be abused, feels reasonable to me. I don't mind that a telecoms company might need to keep a record of the texts I've made for a few days, or an ISP to keep email records for a week or so to allow them to investigate spam complaints.

I then don't mind that the authorities, with a warrent, might be able to access that data or that they might request that for me, specifically, due to an ongoing investigation, might be able to ask for data to be kept longer.

But the ubiquitous keeping of data for a long time allows anyone with sufficient access to build a 'circumstantial case' about anyone and everyone. While it's comedy, 'My Cousin Vinny' shows just how easy it can be to build a circumstantial case and how it's easy to convince others that innocuous statements or questions are evidence of guilt.

Making it a requirement that data is deleted after a short period of time would make things better without trying to put the surveillance genie back into the bottle. Making it as easy for the common man to get that data preserved as it is for the authorities would also even the balance some. If I am mugged on the street then I'd like to have any possible surveillance tapes preserved - this should be a simple process because the warrant to preserve should be independent of the warrant to view the tapes so a judge can grant an order to preserve safe in the knowledge that objections can be made when the case to view the data is made.

Tim.

Comment Heaven help us when they start to drive. (Score 1) 166

So these young people of today are unable to maintain concentration for the usually under an hour of a typical classical concert either side of the interval?

What is going to happen when they have to drive more than a couple of miles and will have to maintain concentration on a boring road with little excitement to recommend it.

It is true that if you are even a little adventurous in your classical music going then you are going to have times where the music totally fails to engage you and the mind wanders. Fortunately, your and other peoples lives do not depend on you concentrating and all that is expected of you is to sit still.

Tim.
BBC Proms goer standing through 40+ classical concerts over 8 weeks each year.

Comment Re:It will still be radioactive (Score 2) 368

On my reading of the article the only reaction that makes sense is 64Ni -> 65Cu.

Either the neutron capture reaction they are looking for specifically targets that species of Ni (which would be as amazing as H -> n in the present of these same T waves) or they're starting with 64Ni (or at least depleted 62Ni Nickel)

The other thing I wonder is whether this is not a thermal reactor - The beta decay of 65Ni could be directly generating an electric current (which would mean that although the reaction would get hot, it may not be allowed to get hot enough that there would be cooling problems when it shut down)

So we could have something like low density 64Ni on a thermally inert substrate in an aluminium container with high pressure hydrogen directly generating electricity and, depending on the climate where your house was, the waste heat would either imply more aircon or less space heating needed in the house but no cooling of the reactor other than natural air circulation.

Feels like bunkum to me though!

Tim.

Comment Re:Mad skillZ (Score 3, Insightful) 266

Getting someone to Mars (and presumably back again) is an engineering problem. We know how to do it in theory - we know multiple ways it could be done and all that remains is to decide the "best" way to do it and find the funds to achieve it.

But "the funds" will be eye watering sums to the average man in the street and the payback is hard to define, certainly in the short term.

We can't even find the funds to seriously research nuclear fusion. That is currently a physics problem rather than an engineering problem, we don't currently know how to build a working commercial fusion power plant but it seems likely that one should be possible and the payback is pretty obvious.

I don't foresee a man on Mars or a working commercial fusion power plant in my lifetime - I'm just old enough to have been alive when there were men on the moon but not old enough to remember it. I've some hope that China might spur on the US and EU eventually but I think there's another 15-20 years before Chinese accomplishments go beyond the "well we did it in the past and we could do it again now if we really wanted to but there's no point" attitude of the majority of the electorate in the West.

So I don't see a man on Mars in 20 years - just possibly I see the start of a race to put a man on Mars in the next 20 years.

Tim.

Comment Re:Economy is not a science. (Score 4, Insightful) 290

I don't even think it's a corrupt government.

The fact is, in the UK (and I believe in the US too) the population would never have allowed a government that actually tried to put the brakes on the housing bubble to survive and would have elected the government that promised them eternally rising house prices and free money to spend, spend, spend.

There were, indeed, voices of reason inside government, but they only survived because their voice didn't carry.

The same is happening with oil and climate. We don't know when the crunch will come but we do know that there will be a crunch eventually. Pragmatism says that we should start preparing now and finesse the issue. But the people don't want to hear that and listen to, and elect, the people who promise them eternally flowing oil with no consequences to burning it.

Tim.

Comment Re:It's not smaller, everything else is bigger! (Score 1) 171

Are you sure?

I thought the ground state orbital radius was proportional to the reciprocal of the mass of the orbiting particle?

But it's so long since I did this that I might just be talking rubbish and I certainly cannot remember how to derive it from the Schroedinger equation.

But it also presumably relies on the approximation that the orbiting particle is essentially massless when compared to the proton which also may not hold for the proton-muon ratio.

Twenty years ago I could have answered this definitively. Now, I'd need to go back to my books and do a lot of revision... :-(

Tim.

Comment Re:64-bit computers DO NOT solve this problem (Score 5, Insightful) 492

Compiling away isn't always that simple.

You'd be amazed how many people code depending on the fact that sizeof(long) == sizeof(int) == sizeof(void*) == sizeof(time_t) == 4 even when they don't need to and structures are often mapped directly onto binary data, either from disk or network.

I don't actually imagine that 2038 will be much of a problem - most of the issues that will be triggered by the above assumptions will occur between now and then and will be fixed as they occur.

Then 2038 will loom and there will be a big drive to fix everything (else), the magic time will occur and there will be little more than a whimper. Then everyone will complain about the hype about a non-existent problem.

I am quite looking forward to having the option of some lucrative consulting income in my early retirement should I decide I need it. :-)

Tim.

Comment Re:Fortunately (Score 1) 151

On the whole, regulations coming from the EU are reasonable and well thought out. A lot of that comes about because the EU is a big club without a single dominant influence.

It is true that there are older regulations (such as the CAP) which were initially designed in the days when the common market was very much smaller and tend to favour some countries over others. CdG knew what he was doing when he wouldn't let Britain join the CM in the late 60s.

What this regulation will probably end up requiring is that companies that store data linked to an account will have to delete that information at the behest of the account holder.

The individual countries governments when they implement such a directive will, in some cases, gold plate the requirements and will blame the EU if there is any backlash. For example, they may claim that anonymous users are no longer allowed when the EU regulation has nothing at all to say about anonymous users.

Tim.

Tim.

Comment Re:I recall MxStream (Score 1) 445

Normal NAT at home is like your gated neighbourhood. Someone arrives who you want to let in, you push a button and the gates open and let them in. You have to trust the other people in the neighbourhood not to let unsavoury people in but in return you get the ability to let in who you want to.

Carrier grade NAT is like the iron curtain. It didn't matter if you were prepared to pay the air fare, hotel bills etc for your friend in the soviet block, they were only allowed to visit if the people who controlled the curtain deigned to let them.

Like the iron curtain, there may be ways to smuggle things through via a third party but it's unpredictable (and potentially fatal to the packets that are being sent that might be lost without trace)

Finally, NAT potentially breaks connections that are kept open but with very little traffic. It will depend on how aggressive the ISP wants to be with pruning old connections whether applications will continue to work. Things like TCP keepalive and heartbeats can mitigate against this but TCP doesn't require any traffic at all over a connection.

Ironically, the ISPs might find that applications (such as skype) start establishing and keeping connections open all the time to hundreds, or even thousands, of peers because building the connection will be expensive but keeping it open once it's established will be cheap and the more connections you already have, the easier it is likely to be to find a way to build a new connection.

Tim.

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