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Comment Re:And google will retain that info exclusively. (Score 1) 195

With Google pre-fetching all of these, every GMAIL address id Verified for the Spammers.

But Google doesn't need to prefetch all of them for everybody. That would be merely equivalent to just flat out *removing* their "Load Images" link feature. Maybe that is what they're doing, if their marketing department has gotten vicious enough. But they may be smarter than that.

Presumably, a spammer will send the same image to a million email addresses using a unique image URL for each one. For this maneuver, all Google needs to do is load some images that arrive in emails that bounce or that are addressed to a population of dummy recipients. They can store them along with the results of any algorithm that can recognize the same image when someone else gets it from a slightly similar URL. If a few thousand dummy recipients are getting the same image from unique image URLs, they can test whether the images look the same and how they can doctor the URL in various ways without changing or losing the image. If they figure it out, they can perform the same munge algorithm on the image URL in your email, or simply display the image they have already cached from their dummy recipients without hitting the external image server at all anymore.

Your example of devious spammers using single-pixel images is a really poor one. Google probably has all those images stored somewhere already.

Its not a well thought out scheme at all. No sensible person would read Gmail with a web browser from now on. The wise choice is to use a traditional Email Client, (something like Thunderbird, Kmail, k-9 mail, Evolution, etc), and set them not to load images at all.

Or, go to Settings, click on the "Always ask before displaying external images" radio button, and then on "Save Changes".

There are plenty of reasons to avoid Google, but this one isn't very compelling.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 1146

I live in Wisconsin, seriously, that "waste" heat is NOT wasted! It's freaking cold outside!! I'm an American, I want to be free to choose!

Light bulbs are a stupid way to heat your house. The power company uses 150 watts of heat to generate that 100 watts for your light bulb, because even in Wisconsin their cooling system has a temperature above absolute zero. They can't extract all the heat energy with 100% efficiency. The waste heat is lost at the plant, and heats the air above Wisconsin, but you pay for it anyway. Turning up your thermostat is much smarter than switching on light bulbs because you're cold.

Comment Re:"nothing changed" other than crime tripling (Score 1) 894

The problem with your alarmist approach is that in that exact same period two other things happened - firstly sexual crimes were given much more prominence in policing policy, and secondly the same government that banned hand guns in the UK also dramatically changed the way sexual crimes were recorded and reported in statistics.

There is no actual evidence that rapes increased at all, but there is plenty of evidence that backs the idea that the difference in approach to sexual crime has dramatically changed the number of people reporting it, which alone will affect your figures.

Comment Re:that's been tried. Rape is bad, m'kay (Score 5, Informative) 894

The problem with your statistics is that the gun culture in the UK was drastically different to the US before the ban anyway, as basically no one could ever be expected to be carrying a firearm on their person, and the increase in reported crimes comes hand in hand with a change in how crimes are recorded and reported, and increased immigration due to EU law changes.

Before the ban in the UK, firearms were still highly regulated and controlled - the police would visit your home to ensure you had a gun safe, and check to see you were correctly reporting your ammunition counts etc, and if they saw a problem then you had your license revoked. There never was a culture of people carrying guns around in their purses or coat pockets, so nothing changed there in potential threats to attackers. Concealed carry licenses are still available today, exactly the same as they were prior to the ban - you can still apply for one, and the rules haven't changed on whether you would get one or not.

Comment Re: Babinet called, wants his principleback. (Score 1) 86

Oh, and look, you're my foe, it seems. Got tired of an expert coming up to let you know you're wrong, still wrong, and will likely always be wrong?

That wasn't meant to be insulting or degrading (although, in retrospect I can see how it can be taken that way). I meant it to be humourous (See: https://xkcd.com/179/). I apologize if my comment rubbed you the wrong way. To be fair, though, to an untrained eye, it does look like well composed pseudo-scientific doublespeak, like the pro-Mars posts from K'Breel, speaker for the Council.

Comment Re: Babinet called, wants his principleback. (Score 1) 86

I think they must have skipped the chapter in their basic handbook of optics called Babinet's principle. Because they just re-invented Babinet focusing.

By the way, an insightful thing to ponder here is, what happens to the light rays that were aiming for the center? (yes you can use a ray-optic basis set and still have interferrence). Well they were not in the beam! In a plane wave basis set, you would say, well all the plane waves with that K-vector were missing. Thus it's really simple to figure out how to create a dark spot. Just take an axiconically focused beam. Delete all parts of the axicon which focus in the dark region and replace them with any part of the axicon that focuses outside the dark region. Bam. that's it.

Did this myself a decade ago when I wanted arrays of dark spots in focused light. Why would I want that? I was trying to get the same effect as self fillamentation. but without non-linear effects in the media. That way I could create long arrays of ionized spots in the air, and use this to direct lighting beams.

Recently the military created a lightning weapon based on this.

But axicons and babinets prininciple this has been known for centuries.

ray-optic basis set
plane wave basis set
plane waves with that K-vector
axiconically focused beam
parts of the axicon
self fillamentation
long arrays of ionized spots in the air

You're just spewing well formed techno-babble, aren't you? That would have sounded right at home coming out of Wesley Crusher's mouth back in the day.

Comment Re:Bingo. (Score 1) 509

The constitution is not a very plain language document. Consider the second amendment:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Are gun owners required to be in the militia? Is the State free to draft gun owners?

And don't get me started on copyrights and patents.

Comment Re:Feds, pick one or the other! (Score 1) 258

Choice one: BitCoins are a legitimate currency and are recognized as such by the U.S. government. What he's doing isn't illegal unless they are.

If they are charging him, then they are admitting that BitCons are a legitimate currency. Bad for him, good for the rest of us?

Choice two: Physical BitCoins are novelties sort of like the commemorative coins minted by Franklin Mint. What he's doing isn't illegal unless what Franklin Mint does is illegal.

The Franklin mint may have already gone through all the necessary legal loopholes, since it was a functional mint at one point.

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