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Comment Re:Just a minor timing error (Score 1) 740

Insider gets info early, writes code order trades at 1:00:00.008 pm Chicago time. PC clock isn't perfectly synced with the atomic clocks, runs a little fast for some reason.

The real thing to look out for are all the trades made before 2:00:05pm Eastern time, because it will take around 5 seconds for any human observer to read, notice, decide, and click a macro trigger. It is very safe to assume that all trades within 5 seconds of an announcement are suspect and worth investigating in more detail.

The article implies that a rush of orders was expected exactly at 2:00:00.007. Presumably this announcement was made in machine readable form and macros were expected to be triggered automatically.

Comment Re:In other news (Score 1) 663

As opposed to Apple's chipped lightning cables, the micro channel architecture and bus actually did provide some benefits to the user.

Perhaps it did in theory. In practice it was a nuisance. The DIP switches and jumpers of ISA bus cards were replaced by automatic assignment of IRQ numbers and I/O addresses by the BIOS. Good idea, awful implementation. The problem was, each Microchannel addon card came with a floppy disk which contained information which the BIOS needed in order to configure it. I remember that whenever we installed an addon card we had to find this disk and insert it when the BIOS prompted. When we removed an addon card we also had to find this disk again and insert it to remove the card from the system configuration, otherwise the BIOS would halt on each boot. We hated the things.

Comment Re:If evolution is true... (Score 1) 1293

Having read Genesis, I have had a question that no one has been able to answer to my satisfaction, since I was 8 years old.

Genesis 4:17 "Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch." Where did Cain's wife come from? We have Adam (allegedly made by God), then God anesthetizes him to extract a rib to make Eve.(cloning?) Then Adam and Eve have Cain, then Abel. Cain kills Abel, God marks him and 'runs him out of town'. Then Cain gets married...and has a kid, then builds a city. Married to who? Eve?(at this stage Eve is the ONLY female on the planet, supposedly)

Genesis does not say exactly when the second female appeared, but:

Genesis 5:3--5"When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. 4 After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 5 Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died."

The early chapters of Genesis contain a string of overlapping naratives. At the beginning of chapter five the narrator seems to go back to fill in details previously omitted.

An incestuous marriage with his sister may not be as absurd as it sounds at first. For example we are later told that Abrahaam's wife Sarah was his half sister:

Genesis 20:11--12 11 Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife.

It is important to note that Abraham is clearly portrayed as a man who enjoyed God's favor. According to the Bible's internal chronology, Abraham lived about a thousand years after the death of Cain. The first prohibition of incest comes about 500 years after that as part of the Mosaic Law.

Comment Re:Canary, not dead man's switch (Score 1) 259

A dead man's switch automatically triggers an action when the person in charge can no longer prevent it, because he's dead, detained, or otherwise disabled. (Examples: let go of a hand grenade's handle, send out documents if the person don't check in at least once a week, etc). What this article is talking about is more appropriately called a "canary" (referring to the canary in a coal mine). It does the exact opposite. CJ

Cory Doctorow is just looking at it a little differently. A dead man's switch requires the operator to continuously perform a particular action in order to prevent something from happening. For example, he may have to remain in the seat of a tractor in order to keep the engine running. Whether he falls off or gets off, the engine will stop. In this case, the dead man's switch is triggered when the worker gets off the tractor.

The purpose of this dead man's switch is to make the situation ambiguous. If you tell a man not to turn off the tractor and he reaches for the key and takes it out, he has clearly and deliberately disobeyed. But if instead he simply gets out of the seat and takes a coffee break, the matter is not so clear, even if he knew the engine would stop. He has no obligation to operate the tractor during his coffee break.

This scheme is not foolproof, but it doesn't have to be. Its intent is not to make prosecution impossible. It is intended to turn any prosecution into an expensive farce in which the prosecutor would be forced to play the role of the comical villain before a rapt world-wide audiance.

Comment Re:Good luck with this (Score 3, Interesting) 259

Don't expect a prosecutor to buy this argument. Anything you do that alerts others to a gag order will be treated as a violation. You may win in court, but you will be thousands of dollars in debt defending yourself.

That is the position he will take at press conferences. But will he think he can win in court? He will face formidible obstacles such as:

  • The case may bankrupt the defendant, but it will cost the prosecutor big too. It could easily blow up into a multi-year civil-rights battle against top lawyers.
  • The gag provisions of the law are distastful to almost everyone including those who think they are an unfortunately necessity.
  • The judge may well find the law distastful and be unwilling to enforce more than its letter.
  • The law will inevitably face tough constitutional challenges.
  • He should expect between multiple friend-of-the-court briefs from large organizations. These will contain extensive legal arguments citing previous cases and authorities probably going back to the 18th century. This will cost the defendant nothing, but the prosecutor will need numberous assistants to study all of them and prepare responses.
  • In order to prove his case he will have to reveal classified information. He will have to prove that the accused actually received a secret order and didn't decide to discontinue the announcements for some other reason.
  • His every move will trigger another news story in which he will figure in a highly unfavorable light.
  • The constant press coverage will keep a distastful law before the public eye which may lead to changes in the law which he would not like.

So yes, it is a risk for the potential defendant, but for the prosecutor it is a trap.

Comment Re:This shouldn't be news (Score 0) 152

It's not clear that the guy didn't commit the murder, despite the claim that the Google map search was "planted" (which I find rather odd... would someone really "plant" a file vs simply doing the search in the browser???)

You are right, proving that the search was planted does not prove him innocent. But if the only solid evidence of his guilt is fake, they have to let him go. You can't put him in prison just because he seems to be the most likely suspect.

The defence theory is that someone who was sure he was guilty faked the evidence on his computer. Simply doing the search in the browser would not be enough since there would be nothing incriminating about his doing a search of the place where his wife's body had already been found. The search was incriminating because it appeared to have been done before the murder. The experts were prepared to testify that the time of the search was faked.

Comment Re:One thing is for certain... (Score 0) 352

The set of assumptions that atheists use are formed primarily due to the *lack* of facts. Scientific method, and all that. "Rabid" atheists, as you seem to be leading in to, like to point out that religious people believe in things with no proof, only faith. So basically, the religious are hoping for something and lying to themselves in the meantime (or at least following the beliefs that one is not supposed to prove or disprove religion, that one is meant to accept it all on faith). Logical people don't like that line of thought.

Yes, this is the line of reasoning which many atheists use and not just the angry ones. At its core is the idea that a religion, almost by definition has no factual basis. Atheist theories hold that religions have their origins exclusively within the human mind or within human societies. The Magical Thinking and Father Figure Neurosis theories are well-known examples. You suggest wishful thinking as an explanation of religion. But theories on the formation and spread of false beliefs cannot all by themselves tell us whether any specific belief system is false.

As I have heard the scientific method argument expressed, it basically boils down to a hope that we will discover natural processes which fully replace God. I believe the best statement of this argument is the following: "It was once widely believed that lightening bolts are thrown by God. Through the scientific method we have discovered the real explanation. In time everything once attributed to God will be reatributed to natural processes." We'll just have to wait and see. For now, this argument has zero persuasive power.

It is not a lack of facts which causes atheists to make the assumptions which I criticised. The purpose of these assumptions is to explain away inconvenent facts. For example, the Bible is a collection of historical, legal, and religious documents which describe what we would today call "contact with extraterrestials". One of them is the "God" in whom atheists would prefer not to believe.

Atheists have spent the last three centuries trying to discredit these accounts. They have done this mostly by making up stuff. They invent imaginary writers who supposedly lived centuries after the named writers. (So that the histories will be historical fiction and the professies written after the fact.) They claim that the stories are mostly folk tales and do not refer to historical persons. Supposedly what we have is the last version of a bunch of documents which each generation hacked to suit its own purposes.

Time has not been kind to these theories. In the 19th and the 20th centuries archeologists dug up the palaces of 'imaginary' kings, found 'fictional' cities, and found objects with the names and titles of even minor government officials mentioned in passing. Meanwhile older and older manuscripts were found which showed that the text had undergone only minor editorial changes. For the Gospels we have partial copies from within a generation or two of the events described.

But, the know-it-alls have not gotten the memo. That is what I meant when I refered to Internet atheists who cite "facts" which don't actually exist. Trying to discredit the Bible with 'truthy' nonsense is a prime example.

I have no beef with atheists in general. But anyone who says that all non-atheists are fools is a fool himself.

Like you I reject the idea that there can be two kinds of truth, religious and scientific. If God does not exist, calling his existance a 'higher truth' does not make it so. If he does exist, refusing to accept it just because "god" is a religious term is similiarly unreasonable.

Comment Re:One thing is for certain... (Score 0) 352

I doubt that religion can be cured pharmaceutically. It isn't a medical condition and the general stupidity usually behind it cannot be cured, although less inbreeding will help.

So over 2/3ds of the world's population and over half of all scientists are stupid and inbred? That's stupid, are your parents siblings?

I'm sick of you idiotic atheist evangelists' offtopic insults. Any time I see this horse shit when metamoderating it gets an automatic flamebait, troll, or offtopic unless the comment isn't, but they usually are.

Indeed. I can respect someone who believes that God does not exist. I have no problem with him explaining to others why he thinks that is so. But the foaming-at-the-mouth Internet atheists with their insults and sophmoric arguments are as bad as the worst religious nut.

They work themselves up into a lather about how stupid people are that they cannot see the glorious logic of atheist arguments, and are ignoring the "facts". The Internet atheists are blissfully unaware that these "facts" have no objective existence. They are simply a set of assumptions which their own atheism requires them to make.

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Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.