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Comment Re:Am I missing something? (Score 5, Interesting) 163

So what? It was still fun, as in "this Youtube video contains more data than meets the eyes. Let's find out what it is."

As a ham radio enthusiast, I get the same pleasure decoding the bits of morse code that can be heard in movies from time to time: usually it's pretend morse code, but once in a while you hear a bit of a real transmission that's been overlaid onto the soundtrack by the sound engineer who didn't have a clue that what he used actually meant something totally unrelated to the movie.

In fact, I heard a CQ call followed by a callsign in a scifi B-movie from the 90s once, and sent a QSL card to the owner of the callsign in question. He answered me saying I was one of only 5 people to have done so over the years. How fun is that?

So yes, the code is known, there's nothing special about it, but she had fun digging out unexpected information, and I had fun reading about it. Stop being so jaded.

Comment No need for this (Score 3, Funny) 79

I already have scents that tell me the time:

- Morning farts tell me it's time to get up
- The company's secretary's overpowering patchouli perfume tells me it's past 10 am (and that she's late to work again)
- Greasy odors from the fish and chips next door tell me it's almost noon
- Beer burps from my bro tell me it's past 4pm
- Burnt smells from my wife's cooking tell me it's almost 8 pm (and that I'm not all that hungry)
- The faint smell of vaseline tells me it's time for bed (and that missus is horny)

Comment Re:Not very surprising. (Score 4, Informative) 117

I think people labor under the delusion that 'health' is some sort of idyllic state of bodily perfection, rather than the state where most of the potentially catastrophic pathogens, precancerous cells, and who knows what else are being held in enough of a stalemate that something else will probably kill you first.

Well that's pretty much what life itself is: it's a process that tries to fight entropy for as long as possible, but always gets overwhelmed in the end no matter what.

I've read somewhere that people (and animals, and plants) get cancer all the time in the form of cells that have mutated or divided erroneously, but their body always manages to get rid of the misfit cells. But over time, the faulty cells get faulty in nastier ways, or become more numerous, and manage to overwhelm the immune system.

Comment Re:Not very surprising. (Score 4, Interesting) 117

Look at it another way: evolution gave human beings their big brain, which allows them to invent stuff to live longer. If humans of the future live to a ripe old age because they've invented a cure for cancer, prosthetics for failing organs, and drugs for many ailments that afflict aging, undaided humans, well *that*'s evolution!

We're the first species that has evolved enough to escape, or rather accelerate evolution itself. Just like dairy cows and race horses, we're becoming designer beings. Only instead of designing other animals, we're designing ourselves. That's a lot more exciting than submitting to the blind laws of nature, that work very very slowly by elimination, don't you think?

Comment Re:Sounds good (Score 5, Interesting) 118


Google scares me. It's getting more and more pervasive - and invasive.

A while ago, I installed Waze on my Android device as an alternative navigation app to avoid using Google Maps, because I don't want Google to know where I'm going (or where I am, or how fast I drive, or anything at all about me.)

Guess what? Waze has been purchased by Google. It's sickening. Google is silently cornering us.

I'm at a point where, whenever I install a new app or use a new PC application, I check whether Google owns the company that makes it, or whether it made it, or whether for one reason or another, Google has a vested interest in it. I used to do that with Microsoft, now Google has joined them in my list of evil-companies-to-avoid-at-all-cost. Only with Google, it's getting really, really tough because they're f*ing everywhere...

Comment squashed eyeballs (Score 4, Interesting) 267

I have no trouble believing the human eye does not do well in zero gravity. Case in point, I have a bookstand that holds a book upside down, to read lying down in bed. If I read for an hour in that position, my vision becomes all blurred, something that doesn't happen when I read with my head upright or tilted backward at a slight angle.

I'm pretty sure proper vision depends on gravity pulling the eyeball the direction the eyeball is used to to maintain its shape, i.e. down.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 0) 463

That is completely wrong. There are in fact real dollars behind all the ISK in the game. Real money was "lost". Just because you can't (legally) convert ISK to Dollars doesn't mean the money isn't real. There are quite a few people who convert Dollars to ISK by buying PLEX (Pilot License EXtensions) in game and selling them on the open market. The economy in Eve is a real thing. Some people (Such as The Mitanni) actually make a living off the game and no longer work. Me, I'm satisfied just making enough ISK to buy those PLEX's and not have to pay for my game in terms of Dollars.

Comment Re:even a broken clock... (Score 2) 523

I was explicit in including Veterans Benefits. It is is obviously part of the military compensation package. The figures I looked at had a listing for "Medicare&Medicaid" which explains why your figure for "Department of Health and Human Services including Medicare and Medicaid" was slightly higher.

In any case, there are are three almost exactly equal budget categories that dominate the federal budget at over 20% each, vastly larger than anything else in the budget. There's no reasonable way to call any of those three "a small fraction of the federal budget".

And, yes, that's a small fraction of any nation's budget.

I can't find global figures breaking down military spending expenses as a portion of each "nations budget", but I did easily find global figures breaking down military spending as a percentage of the entire GrossDomesticProduct.

The United States spends an extraordinarily high percentage on the military.


Comment Re:If all it takes is one... (Score 4, Insightful) 65

The primary development goal of Tor is to prevent the request from being traced back to the requester. (As a secondary effect, it also bypasses various national/regional content blocking schemes.) Malicious exit relays are detrimental, but in theory the user should be aware of the trust issues involved. I would label this as a user education issue.

The major points being:

  • If your traffic is on the Internet, unless it is encrypted (such as by SSL), it can be passively monitored with only moderate effort.
  • If you are using Tor to reach the Internet, your traffic can't be traced back to you, but it still goes out over the Internet; see the previous point for more details. Tor can do nothing once the traffic is back on the Internet.
  • Attacks such as sslstrip exist. Be on guard against them.

Comment Re:even a broken clock... (Score 2) 523

NASA should definite send a probe out to whatever planet you're living on.

Defense+Veterans is about tied with Medicare+Medicaid for largest budget category, followed by Social Security third. Nothing else even makes it onto the radar. Lumping together ALL other discretionary spending (education, non-defense research, transportation, CDC, NASA, etc etc etc etc) still only adds up to 4th place in the budget.


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