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Comment Re:Olive oil? (Score 2) 165

I was always taught to use olive oil as a flavoring on pastas, salads, bread, etc. but never for actual hot-oil-cooking.

Then you weren't taught very well as olive oil is routinely used for for sauteing. A mixture of olive oil and butter (both low temperature oils) is commonly used in classical French cuisine.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 216

The difference between you and I is that I don't know if it will work. You seem convinced there's no point in even trying. You're like somebody saying a ship will fall off the edge of the world if they sail off beyond the horizon. I'm saying, let's go find out.

Bullshit. The difference between him and you is that's he pointing to specific facts and known problems while you're handwaving and blowing smoke.

At least they'll have found where our limits are, instead of just guessing and naysaying when somebody thinks they can do better than those who came before.

In this case, we aren't "guessing and naysaying" - we're pointing at boiling water and saying "you'll cook your hand if you stick it in there". You're going "looks warm, might as well see what happens, there might be a miracle".

Comment Fashion over facts (Score 1) 191

Perhaps Safeway was concerned that viewers of Yamamoto's video might think that aliens, robots, and monsters did Dominick's in, although the Chicago Tribune suggests financial machinations as a more likely culprit: 'By pulling the plug on Chicago [Dominick's], Safeway could not only satisfy [hedge fund] Jana, but also generate a $400 million to $450 million tax benefit.'
The Chicago Tribune is stunningly disconnected from reality then, and is just blaming the billionaires out of habit or to pander to their readers.
The demise of Dominick's has been anticipated for years by those paying attention to the grocery business and Safeway itself has made several attempts to unload it over the last decade. (Long story shot, Safeway bought Dominick's in the late 80's and essentially turned a regional specialty chain into a national generic chain - losing customers in droves in the process. Chigagoland is a notoriously difficult grocery market because of the local culture.) The demand may have been made in September, but the writing has been on the wall since the mid/late 1990's.

Comment Re:Don't discount this so quickly (Score 1) 216

They don't plan to develop much of the technology themselves, they're planning to buy it from other companies mostly such as SpaceX. Most of this technology exists already.

Except for all the technologies which don't exist - which is pretty much of all of them except maybe the communications network. Otherwise, they're all (at best) bench prototypes with little if any field testing. But even if all the technologies existed, there still exists the huge task of integrating them into a workable spacecraft, designing and developing said spacecraft, testing, etc... etc...

They plan to get this through sponsorship deals. They're going to broadcast the entire thing on TV. Which makes sense, the olympics receives 6 billion dollars for 1 billion viewers. The moonlanding in 1969 had 500 million viewers. The population of the earth was only 3,5 billion back then and people weren't as well connected as they are now. So imagine how many viewers a colony on Mars would get?

Their problem isn't getting viewers - it's keeping them. Why? Because the programming will be boring as hell. A bunch of people sitting around in a cramped capsule. Comparing this to the spectacle of the Olympics or the first moon landing is ludicrous in the extreme.

Comment Re:Scam (Score 1) 216

The incentives of the nation state are different from pure exploration. The incentives are either to be first, to establish national ownership, or research. No one nation can currently claim a planet. The precedent has been set with Antarctica, as well as more explicitly with the moon treaty.

So the question is why send anyone off earth. It is risky, expensive, and provides no value. The answer is of course entertainment. A Space Shuttle used to cost around half a billion to launch. Harry Potter probably cost as much to make if distribution and publicity are added in. Everyone says how much it costs to go to space, but those costs are not uncommon in other areas.

The people in Mars One are not likely to survive to reach a standard life expectancy if they travel to mars. They may die on the trip. They are volunteers giving their lives. I expect some of them to make it to the hatch and refuse to enter, or even get fully strapped in and then demand to get out. I often say I would die for the opportunity to go to space, but I really don't know if I would have the courage to sit there on a million pounds of explosives and actually go through with it. I would hope the show producers would actually do some science so these people would not give their lives just for entertainment.

Here is the final note. If they Mars One team dies on launch, en route, or on the planet, there is a whole range of liability and monetary claim. For instance in the Colombia disaster there were apparently million dollar awards from the manufacture as well as lawsuits fired against the government. The compensation for private disasters such as this are going to be different and not government backed, which means that liability exposure might be much less. For instance, the family of a women killed during a stunt for a reality show on the Discovery channel is asked for a mere $75,000. In other words, it is probably cheaper to have someone die as part of a tv show than as part of a legitimate research mission.

That said, I think this may be a scam as well. They will have actually launch a test vehicle in the next year if they are going to have a human certified ship in four.

Comment Re:Oh, ffs. (Score 1) 252

this is simply a case of not caring. Here are three simple cheap things that can be done to insure that the effects of these attacks are minimal and tampering evident. 1) log USB port use in a secure memory space, uploading it periodically. 2) Place a validation on the USB port dating the last access. 3) Secure the USB port separately with some lock box, tiggering an alarm in the box is broken. 4) have a switch elsewhere is energize the USB port.

One issue pointed out in the article is that same machines were attacked repeatedly. A tamper evident security program would prevent that. This is often the case with computers. There is no way to determine if a box has been tampered with.

Comment Who left autorun turned on? (Score 2) 252

Plugging something into a USB port is only effective as an attack if autorun is turned on in Windows. You can turn it off for all pluggable devices. A file system device is still recognized as having a file system, but something has to go to the device and get a file before anything happens.

Running Windows on an ATM is lame, but common. Running a desktop version of windows, instead of Windows Embedded (which allows removing all the stuff that shouldn't be there) is just stupid.

Comment Re:Truism (Score 1) 207

I'd modify your list a little:

If a company is not compelled by law to surrender information, they are forbidden to volunteer it.

Instead, how about "Unless required by law not to disclose it, organizations are required to notify each person whose information they share. Said notification is required each time the information is shared, and must include the information shared, the party to whom it is disclosed, the purpose of disclosure, and the privacy commitments provided by the receiver, which must be at least as restrictive as those of the sharer. In the event of information shared in aggregated form, the notification must be delivered to a government agency whose responsibility it is to evaluate whether or not it may be possible to identify any individual included in the aggregate. If so, the organization that shared it is required to notify all identifiable individuals. Failure to notify results in steep and exponentially-increasing penalties."

Obviously the goal here is to address information sharing between all sorts of organizations, governmental and commercial, including company-to-company, company-to-government, government-to-company and even government-to-government... including US government to foreign government. Note also that there's nothing in there about "first to share"... the notification requirements exist at every step. Because this would be a dramatic, and in many cases expensive, change in notification burden, it should be phased in over time, but it should ultimately apply to all personally-identifiable information, even information which is currently considered public. Oh, non-commercial sharing by private individuals should be exempted, and "non-commercial" should be defined pretty loosely... posting a friend's wedding announcement on your blog shouldn't be a crime, even if you happen to have some ads on it. There are undoubtedly other adjustments that need to be made to the concept, even though I've tried to be as thorough as I can.

Your "forbidden to disclose" is pithier, but I'd like to leverage this to address commercial sharing as well, and I don't think flatly forbidding that is in society's best interest. I think instead making people aware of what is being done and allowing them to make decisions about who they interact with, based on different organizations' privacy policies (which should be legally binding... may need some language about that, too), allows the most flexibility for an information-driven society to evolve, but allows individuals to retain control.

Further, I'd limit the "disclosure restricted by law" bit. Restrictions on disclosure should be temporary, and their duration should be specified in the initial (court-reviewed) document, with reasonable justification. When the time expires, it should be the responsibility of both the agency that requested the information and the organization that provided to provide full disclosure to the target, including supporting documentation explaining the rationale. If, as the expiration approaches, the agency has reason to extend it, it can go back to court and justify the extension. Oh, and "because this would be embarrassing" should be specifically excluded as justification for restricting disclosure.

Comment Re:"Just let them have this one" (Score 1) 294

As sympathetic as I am to these people, no parent should have to outlive their child..

Where is that written. Not so long ago most families lost at least one child at young age. So its not even remotely historically accurate.

And, historically, parents always felt that they should not have to outlive their children. The fact that it was common never made it anything less than heartbreaking.

Comment Re:"Just let them have this one" (Score 1) 294

The whole "give in just a little so we can all get along" mentality is part of what's wrong with just about EVERYTHING nowadays.

It's also part of what's right with just about everything nowadays.

Seriously, willingness to compromise your own wishes to accommodate others is the basis for human cooperation, which is the basis for not only not killing each other at an astounding rate (archaeological evidence suggests that pre-historical peoples had homicide rates about three orders of magnitude higher than is typical for first-world nations today), it's also the basis for all of the societal structures that enable commerce, technological progress and government, among many, many more.

I agree with you that the number of ridiculous compromises has been rising in recent decades, but that's been accompanied by large reductions in all forms of violence, including both retail and wholesale murder as well as rape, bullying and domestic abuse, just to name a few. I don't think the two are unrelated; I think both are driven by an increased willingness to "give in just a little so we can all get along", due to increased levels of empathy, and eye-rollers like unnecessarily removing Wifi are probably an acceptable price, as long as it isn't too high. In this case they're replacing Wifi with wired Ethernet, so they'll get some significant reliability and bandwidth benefits out of the change as well... and eventually I'm sure they'll put the Wifi back.

Comment Re:my thoughts (Score 4, Insightful) 572

Basically the problem the US has is that it is difficult to escalate this to beyond a civil matter. He was not in the military, he was not employed by the federal government, he was not a spy for a foreign power. He was a private citizen who decided to become a whistleblower. The US has rules protecting whistleblowers. For instance, if the IRS were doing some of this, and he reported it, most of the conservatives in congress would be buying him hookers and drug and throwing a parade, even if it did mean that the US governments ability to pay bills might be jeopardized.

As far as treason is concerned, in the US that is a very narrow legal term defined by our constitution. That any high level government official would throw it around I think speaks to the lack of competency of that official. Treason is declaring war, giving aid and comfort or aligning with an enemy. Diplomatically, the US has few nation states that it claims as enemies. In fact we have a diplomatic term for them, 'rogue states', so we do not have to use the term enemy. In the current climate treason is a high bar, otherwise we would have some Generals who have been recently executed, for instance those that have somewhat decreased the ability of the navy in some parts of the world by selling secrets to foreign agents.

In the US the governement should not function under an excess of secrecy. People like Snowden are part of that. If he is convicted of anything, the next person who wants to report an abuse of power, for instance the FEMA concentration camps being built to imprison dissidents against the coming UN World Governemnt, will be too afraid to come forward. This is clearly not in the peoples interest.

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Mathematics is the only science where one never knows what one is talking about nor whether what is said is true. -- Russell