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Comment Re:Not a software glitch--it is a glitch in the la (Score 1) 490

The software did not implement what the law says. The could just fix the software to make it allow for what the law says. But the bureaucracy won't allow just fixing the software because ... apparently this was all contracted out, and they have to do an all new contract to have it fixed. So not only will it take a year or more, but it will cost at least 3.75 million dollars to do it because the old computers with the wrong software will have to be smashed and replaced with all new computers, including new mice, with the new software.

Your tax dollars at waste.

Comment Re:A good day (Score 1) 330

the right to move freely about the country

Unfortunately, our country has adopted the castle doctrine but not the right of way.


        'Twas a high wall there that tried to stop me;
        Sign was painted, it said private property.
        But on the other side it didn't say nothing,
        That side was made for you and me.

-- Woody Guthrie

No one every promised health care or a social safety net. If you don't think you got a decent education, you should look at your parents first.

Because we all get to pick our parents, right?


        In the squares of the city, In the shadow of a steeple;
        By the relief office, I'd seen my people.
        As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking,
        Is this land made for you and me?

-- Woody Guthrie

Comment Re:Meta (Score 1) 221

The last few times I have set up e-mail servers, the first time startup has generated a self-signed key pair. It's not proof against main-in-the-middle attacks[*], but it does help reduce passive snooping.

[*]: Then again, even with a paid for cert, you're not safe against main-in-the-middle attacks if the security agency in question has access to the signing keys from the root CA company. And it would be foolish to think that three letter agencies in the US don't have access to many of them.

Comment Re:Reverse honeypot (Score 1) 221

Not really. The US of A government is commercial by nature, and ironically I think this is at least somewhat caused by all the legislation designed to keep the government from competing with business. Because income is harder to get openly, the government has to be inventive in acquiring remuneration.

Comment Re:Meta (Score 0) 221

Most modern mail servers default to using TLS when available. So unless NSA has access to either of the sender or recepient servers, they don't get the plain text data.

Of course, if you use GMail, you have already handed your data over to an entity that isn't beyond scanning the contents, so you don't really lose much privacy.

But when I send e-mail from my own mail server to a recipient overseas, it's reasonably safe from NSAs scrying. They can see what remote server my mail server connected to, or was contacted by, and the EHLO string that was sent, but they can't see my e-mail's plain text content or headers.

Comment Re:Sounds like this was noticed earlier ... (Score 1) 96

In this case, the difference between a 3.96% failure and a 4% failure rate is going to be pretty insignificant until you start having thousands of trials, while the difference between 2% and 4% could make a difference fewer than a hundred. The doubling won't be off by more than 10% until you get to failure rates above 20%. Wasting too much time fighting over the difference between 3.96% and 4% kind of misses the frequent lack of precision in such numbers and is part of the mindset that caused some of the problems with estimating failure rates in the first place.

Bzzt, wrong. The difference between multiplying the failure rate for one device with the number of devices and multiplying the inverses very quickly becomes significant. Using the "reasonable" failure rate of one in fifty, we get:
1 launch (2 rockets): 4% vs 3.96%
10 launches: 40% vs 33.2%
25 launches: 100% vs 63.4%
That is a significant difference, for a moderate number of launches.

Again, I cannot believe that Feynman would have written something that would sound plausible to those who don't know statistics, but is plain misleading, and that someone must have edited it, simplifying without understanding the implication.

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