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Comment Re: even a broken clock... (Score 1) 523

You seem to be under the impression that libertarianism is some kind of strict monolithic orthodoxy. Because of this, I can only assume you believe it to be an affliction caused Libertarian Ideal Particles, which have infinitely negative mass and are transmitted at velocities much faster than light, which are beamed right into the brains of those who are naturally predisposed towards libertarianism, from the Libertarian Hive-mind on Planet Bob, moon of the fifth planet orbiting 55 Cancri, an exoplanet believed to have a particularly eccentric orbit.

Yeah. About that... It's not.

Comment Re:Killing two birds with one stone? (Score 1) 408

No-one has "bought" the USD that might be in your bank account, either.

Wrong. You bought them. With your time. Assuming the primary reason you have currency in your bank is that you have an actual job, that you aren't some kind of mooch / thief / scammer / or otherwise use other people's capital to your benefit.

Comment Re:Very weird story (Score 1) 894

How does one compensate for a dozen of instruments that were hand-made by the player from rare materials?

For each of the people responsible and their immediate superiors: Eight hours per week of volunteer work at the local elementary schools for the next twenty years, consisting of listening to the 3rd grade music class practice Mary Had a Little Lamb on their flutes, while hand-carving flutes for the next year's class, with no chance of parole. And they have to like it. If the 3rd graders suspect, in the least, that their performances aren't thoroughly enjoyed...30 lashes in public with the cat-o-nine-tails.

Submission + - Steam OS available for download, based on Debian 7.1 not Ubuntu (

sfcrazy writes: Valve Software has made available images for Steam OS, it’s GNU/Linux based gaming distribution. Valve has also released more information about the operating system. Unlike popular belief Steam OS is not based on Ubuntu; it’s based on Debian 7.1 Wheezy. Steam OS is using Gnome as it’s default desktop environment.

Comment Re:Figures (Score 5, Informative) 453

In a phone, the GSM modem has its own CPU (and its own memory).

Most phones are based on SoCs (Systems on a Chip); everything's interconnected on the same silicon. Usually the GSM modem processor has access to the memory and I/O busses of the main processor (but not the other way around), can reset the main processor, and often boots before the main processor and must explicitly turn on the main processor before it runs. I believe that in some designs the modem processor actually sets up the boot loader for the main processor as well. The modem processor can definitely rewrite the flash where the main processor's operating system is stored.

The result of this is that the modem has total control of the phone. It can do anything it wants to any data on the phone, including the internals of the main OS, and there's basically nothing the main processor can do about it other than maybe be too obscure and complicated to manipulate easily.

The firmware in the modem is invariably closed source and secret. The modem will only boot firmware that's crypto-signed by the manufacturer, and anyway the hardware is totally undocumented.

The modems have "over the air" command sets that let the carrier manipulate the phone remotely without going through the main OS. Those command sets can be very rich... and can include the ability to reflash the main OS, or even to peek and poke its memory while it's running.

So on most (all?) phones, it basically doesn't matter what your OS is. The carrier (possibly together with the SoC manufacturer) can do whatever it wants if it's willing to figure out the complexity of doing so. And of course governments lean on carriers and SoC manufacturers to get access to that capability, and commercial "partners" also have influence.

Comment Re:Hey Mr. "Open Book" anonymous jackass (Score 1) 252

So call them a "cheater", "liar", whatever? And before you do even that, you should probably think about whether doing so is going to do anybody any good or just add to the world's unhappiness.

Even if you feel the person needs to be called out, "slut" is a bad choice of name for the case you describe, because it fundamentally means "person who has more sex than I think they should", or maybe "person who has sex with more people than I think they should", not "person who breaks promises".

I see where you're going with the "choice" thing, but I still agree with the GP. The bottom line with name calling is that you're trying to make somebody feel miserable for something that's none of your business. Whether they chose it or not is secondary.

Comment Re:"Snow and Ice" (Score 1) 290

To the GP's credit, they didn't show the car taking off on the ice, which is the particular situation the GP claimed traction control suffers at. Instead, he had a pretty good running start. Also, the host has to be about the most inept driver ever. Hurr...Dip the clutch, proper driving technique... Durr. Let's over-rev the engine to 2-2.5k, dump the clutch and say a conventional car can't go up the ramp. Hurr de durr...

Comment Re:Should be legal, with caveat (Score 1) 961

No need for $8000/month. A natural death can follow quickly, especially if your order says to give you no food or water.

My aunt suffered from ALS for years, and at one point toward the end she basically just said "I've had enough", and refused food, and I'm pretty sure water as well, except maybe an occasional sponge swab to keep her mouth somewhat moist.

She lasted 21 days. I'm not even sure how that's possible, given the rule of threes for human survival; unless someone was watering her behind the rest of the family's back. I wouldn't wish that version of hell on anyone.

Comment Re:A big improvement indeed (Score 5, Insightful) 181

I assume you can list all the undefined behaviors in the C standard off the top of your head, yes? And you've never actually written a line of code with an error in it, right?

I've spent a lot of time cleaning up after security bugs written by people with that attitude. None of them could make mistakes either. Maybe you guys should form a club, so the rest of us can identify the special beings walking among us.

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Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson