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Comment Re:Holodeck (Score 1) 633

You'd need to make money to pay for the energy needed to run the replicator and holodeck, assuming money hasn't been eliminated by this point (which in the star trek universe it has been.. although they never really explain how that works.. the whole "people just work for the good of society" thing hasn't worked too well in the real worlds).

Well, if futuristic technology means all the boring or unpleasant jobs which nobody really wants to do can be replaced by automation, it works a lot better.

But then, that level of automation technology would also mean you wouldn't need large numbers of people to crew starships.

Comment Re:Rape allegations (Score 5, Interesting) 452

The tactics in use by various governments to pursue the rape allegations against Assange are politically motivated.

The rape allegations are true and Assange should be held to account.

It's pretty difficult for two statements like that to be simultaneously true. For it to be right to hold Assange to account, the allegations don't just need to be true (something which is unknowable), they need to be provable beyond reasonable doubt. If various powerful governments want your head and are prepared to use underhanded tactics in order to get it, it's very difficult to maintain that doubt is unreasonable.

Comment Segregation (Score 1) 214

My theory would be segregation. The vast majority of chess-players are male, generally. But despite the lack of any obvious reason why men and women shouldn't compete on equal terms, any female chess players who come along get shoved into girl's and then women's tournaments, which means that they don't get to play so much against the vast majority of chess talent, and they're not encouraged to aspire to be better than the world's best players. And strong competition and high aspirations are two important factors in sporting success.

A small talent pool in which to find champions can go quite far in explaining the lack of successful chess-playing women. Having to find rivals in that same small talent pool seems enough to explain the rest. Maybe, instead of generating "women's world chess champions" of no real credibility, the female chess world should ditch its attitude of inferiority, and look to its best player for inspiration.

Comment Re:Missing Option (Score 4, Informative) 178

Christmas doesn't necessarily have anything to do with religion; I find the idea of being alone at Christmas a very mournful one, (well, tell me that Christmas means nothing to you and that'll make plenty of sense, but I'm strongly wired to assume it's sad at first), and there hasn't been any religion in my family for a couple of generations. Christmas is a secular festival of togetherness and indulgence to me, but still an important one.

Comment Re:huh (Score 1) 212

Financial institutions are still one of the last places where we expect people to put some effort into their appearance. Even geeks like myself who cringe when they have to put on a tie tend to expect the people dealing with our savings to look the part.

Well, if someone's wearing a tie, the part they look to me is the part of 'swindler' or 'con-man'. Someone who's genuinely honest and professional may end up wearing anything. Someone who's pretending to be honest and professional to mask a less attractive nature will always put plenty of effort into appearance.

Comment Re:What exactly is being broken by quantum compute (Score 2) 228

Even switching to 512-bit keys is probably an overreaction. AES keys go up to 256-bit mostly to provide safety against these theoretical quantum attacks. Federal standards are only now trying to phase 80-bit equivalent algorithms out of new products, (even though they're still a long way away from being breakable), and while AES-128 isn't considered good enough to protect top secret information, only secret, AES-192 is considered fine for top secret info. Excluding AES-128 is generally seen as an insurance measure against quantum computers.

Comment Anime (Score 1) 151

Several years ago, I was lamenting the almost complete lack of anything worth watching on television. But since I starting watching anime, I've never really been lacking something new and interesting to try. Since most shows run 12-26 episodes and then stop, you don't get problems with things being cancelled half-way through, and while there's a strong studio system, the studios are small, and make most of their money from fans rather than the general public, (plus sourcing many of their stories from one-man or two-man productions), there are plenty of new ideas and experimentation. Even just in terms of the use of moving pictures to convey mood and emotion within the context of a story, the industry has probably advanced beyond what is possible within the limits of live-action in the past decade and a half.

It doesn't make much sense to me to scrabble for scraps of new telefantasy purely within the output of Western TV, where finding anything is rare, and finding something which isn't just a remake or a re-imagining of a decades-old idea is almost impossible, when there are tens of new telefantasy shows being made every year in Japan, and acquisition is no longer a challenge.

Comment Re:What's the open alternative? (Score 1) 641

and although digital library books (which also aren't supported by the Kindle AFAIK) do come with DRM, I consider the enforcement of a short term, free loan to be a reasonably valid use.

Indeed, since the primary problem with DRM, and the reason why most instances of it are or should be illegal, is that any arrangement involving DRM can only ever be a type of loan, but many companies fraudulently claim to be 'selling' encumbered works, without turning over the full control over the item 'sold' that must be conceded in any purchase.

Comment Re:The next generation... (Score 1) 342

I don't know if backscatter is optimal for the purpose, but I know it's more effective than taking no action.

Suppose it turns out that these X-rays (which have never been tested on humans for any length of time before) kill more people than terrorists ever could. Should you call it 'more effective' even then?

Comment Re:The final step. (Score 1) 248

What's interesting is the question of whether this was inevitable, or whether he could have been a genuine backer of freedom if he didn't have to defend himself against most of the capitalist world.

The West's habit of trying to destroy any system of strong socialism, resulting in a "fight mode" becoming inevitable, makes it impossible to assess the true practicality of it.

Comment Re:"Too fast to be true" (Score 2) 194

If you're only concerned about accidental corruption, you should use a CRC, which will be much faster than a cryptographic hash. Spending a load of extra CPU time on acquiring good cryptographic properties is silly if you're not interested in any cryptographic properties.

Comment Re:That long ago? (Score 1) 721

Bullshit, it gives the creator the right (and more importantly the ability) to make money from his own work.

Even within your own claim, you almost admit to being wrong by highlighting 'ability'. It may in any given case confer the ability to make money. The frequency of this is a matter of debate, certainly it is not unknown for creators to make money from their creations without exerting the power of copyright. But the right to make money from your creations is always there irrespective of copyright. If copyright was abolished, this wouldn't mean any sort of civil or criminal sanctions being taken against people trying to sell instances of work they had created. It would merely change the environment in which they exercised this right. (Whether it would make this easier or more difficult is not easy to predict and will probably depend on the nature of the work.) In a world without copyright, creators would still be free to do engage in all of the moneymaking activities which they currently do with their works.

Comment Re:That long ago? (Score 1) 721

If you think that copyright is a right just because it's called 'copyright', then you've fallen victim to one of the most elementary forms of deception; doublespeak. Rights allow you to do things. Copyright does not change what the creator can do, it limits what everyone else can do. Copyright is a form of power, it does not give the creator rights, it just takes away rights from everyone else.

What's frustrating in the case of abandoned works is that this power gets exerted to take away everyone's rights by default, in the case of disinterest. If someone doesn't care about one of their powers any more, shouldn't we assume they have no interest in taking away people's rights with it?

Comment Re:Strength-based passwd aging (Score 3, Insightful) 233

Personally I *hate* all that mixed character crap and only use lower-case characters, so I don't have to hit Shift or otherwise contort my fingers.

And additionally, if you've trained yourself to be really good at remembering, say, lists of words, or have a good scheme for generating such lists in a repeatable fashion from some secret, and some application rejects your "flab nail sandwich under fixing splats time" password because it doesn't have a number in it, the chances of you writing down whatever awkward password you now have to remember and sticking it on your monitor are considerably increased.

Password systems should work with users to make it as easy as possible for them to create passwords which are hard to guess, but they find easy to recall. The only acceptable way to reject passwords as too weak is by running some entropy-assessment algorithm on them. That way the system can work just as well for string-of-words guy, and can-remember-things-like-e47%TeGGz1#~? man.

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