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Comment Anyone have a Gmail account? (Score 2) 181

...and how is this different from Google reading all your mail discussions and targeting ads to you? You've already accepted that a corporation can listen to your conversations and build a profile of your likely purchasing habits. Does the difference in medium - from text to audio - really make that much difference?

Comment Re:Easiest way to shut them up (Score 1) 1163

Obama: "If your state seceded, you would no longer be a citizen of the United States and therefore the United States federal government would no longer be obligated to pay you Social Security or Medicare benefits when you retire. (And if you think the Confe-DUH-racy is going to be able to afford to do it, think again.)"

This just demonstrates that you live in a liberal filter bubble, because you think that threat is some kind of game-ending trump card. On the contrary, you'd have total bedlam as millions of people rushed to line up asking where to sign their names.

In the last 6-7 years I have witnessed is an increasing number of rank-and-file conservatives (especially under the age of 45) who have started saying, "Look, I know the system is going to implode and evaporate long before I get there. And even if it doesn't, I find the policy/economic side effects of the federal government filling this role to be inherently, inescapably hostile to a free society. Therefore, LET ME OUT NOW. I will gladly forego any benefits I would have received at retirement. You can even keep whatever I've paid in up to this point. Just LET ME OUT NOW to stand or fall on my own financial choices with whatever money I earn from the sweat of my labor."

Pragmatically, a very very large percentage of the younger conservative generation has ALREADY kissed their "benefits" goodbye because they believe the system is irredeemably corrupt and bankrupt. Your threat doesn't scare them any more than it would if you threatened a terminal stage 4 lymphoma patient with execution.

Comment Passenger promos show a guy playing drumsticks? (Score 1) 317

I'm looking forward to sitting next to the guy in Boeing's "Passenger Experience" video/stills wearing headphones with his drumsticks out. What, is he gonna be drumming on the armrests or something? Even if he's only playing "air drums" and not making noise, how totally obnoxious is that visual gonna be?

This old man
he played 4
he played knick-knack on the emergency exit door.
before the rest of the passengers beat the everloving crap out of him for bringing out drumsticks on a freaking plane ferchrissakes! Jeez!

Comment Re:Probably, but watch out for the Audit. (Score 1) 157

There's also nothing forcing you to show the same ticket to the TSA as to the people at the gate. Could have a fake one for the TSA and a real one for the plane to ensure it checks out with the airline.

I wonder if any top-level tracking system would notice if you booked a ticket on two separate airlines leaving from the same terminal around the same time. I don't know that doing so would be exploitable in any way, but now I'm curious toward just how broad the software-based aggregation/collation/analytics are.

Comment Re:This is what Benjamin Frankin warned us about.. (Score 4, Insightful) 1160

I agree with OP's principle but am still willing to make some special allowance for Germany. If any circumstance can be called justifying to say that some things shall not be discussed, it's probably theirs.

If any circumstances can be called justifying to say that some things shall not be discussed, then all censorship can be justified eventually; it's just a matter of organizing a sufficient majority of voters/protesters/terrorists.

Comment Re:One teensy weensy difference... (Score 1) 155

Phonebooks were generally only easily available in the area you lived in and not accessable by Vlad in Minsk

Until about 1990 when they were available online.

When its in barely readable type in a large book its a bit more effort.

OCR can read a phonebook as as fast as you can feed pages into a scanner.

Which has NOTHING to do with how easy it is to simply purchase instantaneous access to existing databases today.

"OCR" never read a phonebook because "OCR" is just a piece of software. Actual human beings had to do actual tedious legwork to scan, recognize, and correct thousands upon thousands of text pages. If you think this was trivial or inexpensive you never worked in data processing before 1995. I did and I can tell you it wasn't just sitting around having tea and finger sandwiches while "OCR read the phonebook".

Viol8's point was about the enormous contrast in ease between harvesting small amounts of directory information 20 years ago versus a couple clicks on a website to access a database of hundreds of detailed profiles of hundreds of millions of people.

Comment Re:One teensy weensy difference... (Score 1) 155

Phonebooks for other areas were easily obtained public library being one good place to go, and there was good old Directory Assistance too...

In a word, "No".

At what point before the digitization/Internetization of data in the late 90s could you walk into the public library in Ekalaka, Montana, and ask to use a phone book for Harpers Ferry, West Virginia? Calling directory Assistance wasn't free, nor was mass-harvesting numbers from it anything other than cumbersome.

Pretty much all the replies to Viol8's post completely whooshed.

Comment Re:Ah NASA (Score 1) 158

2) Free floating blood. In zero gravity. In an environment that's FULL of delicate and sensitive electronics. With no close-by repair shop. What's the worst that can go wrong? "Hey you remember that paper cut, where a few drops of blood floated off into the ductwork? Yeah well, one of them apparently landed on a control board, and shorted something out, and the other is actually frozen and got sucked into one of our delicate air intake valves, and now our systems are malfunctioning and we have 6 hours to live. Thanks for that."

I'm genuinely curious as to what is special about blood in the situations you described here. Don't the same concerns already exist in every hour of unsuited human space time? Sneezing, sweating, drooling in sleep, errant tiny bits of food and drink that escape during meals. Come to think of it -- does anyone in space wear contact lenses? How do you store/clean/rinse them without "a few drops [floating] off into the ductwork"? Is space like heaven, and there are No Tears Up There? Has no one ever gotten misty-eyed while looking at the big blue marble for the first time? Do people stop shedding skin and hair in zero-g? If you're a woman or have ever lived with a wife/girlfriend you'll probably have an appreciation for how much those long hairs get on everything.

It sounds like maybe the system boards and ductwork and the delicate air intake valves shouldn't be so delicate. With the incredibly banal messiness that comes with organic life, why haven't we already had the one-drop-caused ship malfunctions you describe? Maybe some kind of filtration system is part of the design? If things like SD cards and USB flash drives can regularly be forgotten in jeans pockets and survive the lengthy full immersion and detergents of a clothes washing machine, and still function afterward, surely equipment on a space ship could be hardened against the kind of trivial-cause-leads-to-massive-failure scenario you describe?

Comment Re:centrifuge (Score 1) 158

Exactly. There's enormous potential applications for something like this on Earth. It's hardly a "dead end" and having additional tools available to us in Zero-G is hardly a bad thing.

If that is the case, what, exactly, is the justification to pay the extra x-hundred-percent more expensive costs to do the testing for a terrestrial application in a non-terrestrial environment?

The order is backwards. It would make more sense both scientifically and financially to develop such technology down here first, where it would receive 99.9999% of its expected use over any reasonable future cost/benefit evaluation window -- we're talking a couple decades at least. THEN you have so much existing knowledge that the process of adapting it to the 0.0001% of the cases which could theoretically occur off-planet 30 years from now is faster and tremendously less costly.

I don't think it's logical to use one single potential benefit in the long-tail of a particular technique's development to justify spending $$$$$ on it today before it has even been brought to market.

Comment Re:Of course they won't.. (Score 3, Informative) 446

Were there any other major quotes? That's the only memorable line I got out of that movie (though it's been a while since I've watched it)

Are you kidding me?!?

    JOSHUA: How. ah-bout. a-nice. game. of chess?

    JOSHUA: What's the difference?

    Dad: [painful crunch] ...This corn is raw!
    Mom: I know! Isn't it wonderful? It's so crisp!
    Dad: Of course it's crisp-- it's RAW!!

    Falken: Path - follow path. Gate - opengate throughgate closegate. Last ferry leaves at 5:30 so run run run!

    Falken: ...and Nature will start over, probably with the bees.
    Falken: We're the lucky ones. We'll be spared the horror of survival.

    Regular nerd to super-nerd: MR. POTATO HEAD!! MR. POTATO HEAD!!! BACK DOORS ARE NOT SECRETS!!!

And that's just off the cuff. With more time and a few hints I might be able to reconstruct 70% of the dialogue in the whole film.
Yes I know, intertubes winnar = real life luser. I'm fully aware... I mean, it's Slashdot, and I have a relatively low UID. ;-)

Comment Re:Note to TSA (Score 1) 335

Common house locks can be opened with little training. So-called "secure" locks are even worse, false sense of security. I've seen $1,000 locks be opened with 5 dollars of stuff from Wal-Mart. Same goes for so-called "secure facilities," which have locks that can be bypassed in under 5 minutes.

And tell me more about the security of 10-digit passcodes. So lets go with that password, with a $2,000 dollar laptop could be cracked in about 20 minutes?

Do $2,000 laptops now come equipped with Data The Star Trek Android articulated robotic hands capable of punching thousands of 10-digit guesses per second? Man I need to swing by Fry's on the way home and score some of that tech. I just hope it's not an HP, because I hate the spacing on their keyboards.

Comment Re:Note to TSA (Score 3, Interesting) 335

Has anybody stopped to ask why terrorists need to get past the TSA?

They can just as easily blow up the queue for the scanner. It would probably do just as much damage in real terms.

I think about this all the time. I fly 3-5 times a year, and so far I have always opted out of the scanner. When this happens, the agents all go about their business while I stand there waiting for the next Feeler to become available -- "Male Assist on lane 3! Male Assist on lane 3!......(two minutes later) Male Assist on lane 3!......(two minutes later) Male Assist on lane 3!.......(repeat)". Typically my (punishment) wait time is between 15-25 minutes while all the other folks walk through nude photobooth. During this interval I am standing in the middle of the screening area right next to the machines and agents and passenger line, and I have had no pre-screening at all other than the ID/boarding pass check at the back of the line. Some whackjob could load up his underclothes and his carry-on bag with enough explosive to destroy the entire checkpoint, and just stand there watching the line, waiting until some family with babies or a big church youth mission group with dozens of bright-eyed photogenic save-the-world kids gets up to the front of the line for maximum psychological impact on the evening news. He'd get the bonus -- regular passengers, high-drama passengers, shutdown all airports nationwide in the panic, as well as destroy tens of millions of dollars worth of body-scanner equipment in that checkpoint.

Incidentally, I've also wondered about that punitive wait time. There have been a couple occasions were it seemed the Feelers were available, but they busied themselves with normal screening procedures for a few extra minutes. The last time I flew it occurred to me that perhaps they do have secret instructions to make anyone who opts for a pat-down wait around long enough for the face-recognition software (or the casino-style camera mounted over the person at the back of the line checking ID/boarding passes) to run your name and picture against a preliminary database.

Comment Re:Note to TSA (Score 1) 335

You're crazy.

Metal is not the only threat. Ever used a ceramic knife? I have one in my kitchen and cuts just as well as my sharpest metal knife. How about plastic explosives? All you would need to ignite them is a small cell phone battery (allowed on planes). Locking the cockpit doors only does so much good. Think about coercion, "open the doors or we start killing people." Or, the well-known fact that every lock can be broken with tools as simple as a paper clip or a drill. Before you get started, electronic locks are even more vulnerable, being in the air gives someone a lot of time to brute force a lock that often has a 10-digit numeric combination.

You watch waaaay too many movies my friend.

Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe someone should tell the local bank, gas station, grocery store, and pharmacy that every lock can be broken with paper clips. So, you know, no point in putting locks on doors, because hey, paper clip. And maybe coercion will still work in a post-911 world. Maybe pilots will think, "Yeah, let's just open the cockpit and let the terrorists in here. What's the worst that could happen?" And maybe terrorists managed to sneak on with both a crysknife and some kind of equipment that allows them to simply "brute force" the correct code out of the ten billion possible 10-digit numbers, because being in the air makes that kind of thing go faster somehow.

Comment Re:Let's Just Hope They Leave Well Enough Alone (Score 3, Insightful) 466

It's also the only way to keep your karma from going in the toilet if you post something that goes against the prevailing wisdom (and we NEED those kind of posters on topics where groupthink tends to set in).

So what? What has good karma ever gotten anyone?

I've been here for almost 15 years. I have excellent karma. Not sure how my use/enjoyment of the site is any different than if I had crap karma. I guess I do get to meta-mod. Big whoop.

I always read at -1 and load all comments, because I've found that I enjoy the downmodded comments as well. I just scroll past any comments/subthreads which seem irrelevant. I've tried browsing at higher level scores and the conversation gets really herky-jerky really quickly. The total democratization of AC posts and the wildly free-as-in-speech, uh, speech, that takes place here is, for me, one of its essential charms.

Comment Re:I do not know why this appear on Slashdot !! (Score 1) 242

I come to Ars more and more Because of the quality of the stories there. I think the Firehose on Slashdot was a bad idea. The editors should pick the stories, not the readers.

Letting the inmates run more and more of the asylum is what killed Kuro5hin too.

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