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Comment Re:i'm impressed (Score 1) 648

You can't equate "honest" and "non-religious".

Yes, I can.

In fact, I just did.

Of course: denial of the reality you can see for yourself, by yourself, with your own eyes - because it conflicts with some absurd, childish dogma somewhere - is one of the hallmarks of religious people (= liars).

No honest person can possibly be religious.

I'm religious, and I believe things that I cannot prove to be true[1]. That is honest.

No, it isn't.

Of course nobody said a thing about "believing" or "proving" anything. Of course constructing and fighting strawmen is very much dishonest. Of course religious people have no conception of honest discourse (or honest anything).

Comment Re:i'm impressed (Score 1) 648

After all, in California for instance, they have whole theme parks dedicated to imaginary lands and creatures (think King Kong). What's the difference really?

The difference between an "epic fantasy story" and an "epic fantasy story that is claimed to be true" is that the former is entertainment, the latter is merely a lie.

Nobody is claiming that King Kong is real.

Of course the relentless attempt to deny the distinction between fact and fiction is exactly what make religion a) dangerous, b) insulting and c) distasteful to all honest (=non-religious) people.

Comment Re:This is well known to a small community (Score 2, Insightful) 123

I wonder whether they're doing this blindly, or if there's more smarts behind the scenes. If their TCP implementation kept a cache of recent final congestion window sizes by IP address, they could legitimately start off the next connection with the value from the last one. So, having discovered a path that's not dropping big bursts of packets, they could legitimately start fast. If they're just doing it the dumb way, starting fast every time, that's going to choke some part of the net under heavy load.

That strikes me as still-kinda-eigthies-thinking. I guess the question is what your assumption for an unknown segment of network is: If you assume that all parts of the net are congested most of the time, then you'll want to do a fast start up only on those segments that you know can handle it (doesn't have to be an individual IP - If my ISP buffers alright and you can reach it alright then it doesn't matter how many folks are sitting downstream from them - it becomes their problem.) If, on the other hand, you have the expectation that most packets on most of the net are going to be just fine (for whatever reason; even if by sheer brute force buffering and clever back-end algorithms that figure it all out after the fact) then it makes sense to do fast start with unknown clients and omit it only on those found NOT to be able to handle it. Kinda a glass-half-full way of looking at it.

These days I'd wager that the vast (VAST!) majority of packets are part of ongoing streams - streaming Netflix over the net, torrenting the collected porn of the 80ies, that kind of thing. Which means I'm as sure as I can possibly be of something I haven't researched that the performance of the net is only in the most marginal way dependent on startup behaviour around individual connections any more. (Or better when/where it is, it is probably due to the 100 tcp connections that need to be established to view a single web page; fix that and the question of startup behaviour will just go away. Incidently, MS'es CHM concept was a step very much in the right direction...)

Comment Re:Obvious Explanation (Score 2, Funny) 858

Actual explanation of the event:

And what, exactly, makes you call this an "actual" explanation, given that it's composed of just as much thin air as all the other ones?

The video clearly shows a very bright spot at the top of the exhaust trail. Jet engines don't burn bright. They don't burn at all. They're dark. Unless this particular jet was on fire in a rather surprisingly controlled way.

Of course it is possible that sunlight just so happenes to glint off the underside of a plane that just so happenes to be polished the right way and that just so happenes to be oriented such that the "glint" remains "glinting" for many (15?) seconds at a time. Just as it's possible that the contrail of that same jet just so happens to resemble a rocket launch. Lots of things are possible.

But while it's possible that a jet plane might appear like a Polaris rocket, it is of course certain that a Polaris rocket appears like a Polaris rocket.

Quack, quack...

Comment Re:Dear /. (Score 1) 554

p.s. And we'll implement all your other ideas as well. Safety first! Have a pleasant flight.

No way. Some of these would actually make flying safer. Especially not allowing passengers on flights. The TSA would never implement any policy that actually increases the safety of air travel. They'd be out of a job if they did that.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 374

Ah - my google-fu returned. The thing can indeed be found here: http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

Turns out what I posted was more of a paraphrase than a quote - I was connecting this passage:

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress

with this one, that actually occurs a few paragraphs before:

One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all."

But the one that really encapsulated my thinking (that made me respond in the first place) is this one:

First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 374

As opposed to advanced moral reasoning:

The Law exists in order to dispense Justice. Therefore, every Just man does not only have the right, but the obligation to oppose unjust law.

(M.L King, Letter from a Jail in Birmingham, from the top of my head since I can't seem to find that on the net anywhere. Probably a matter of copyright or some such.)

Comment Re:Not bad but.. (Score 2, Insightful) 206

... but I think this is why this is a non-story. ANYBODY with access to your hardware owns you. That's always been a given. If I can touch your bare silicon and metal, then I can put all kinds of things in all kinds of places for all kinds of reasons. Big fat Duh.

Maybe this is news to the public, but I'm not sure it is "news for nerds".

Comment Re:cheaper mining? (Score 4, Interesting) 421

What AC said above: even if Moon was solid, 24k gold, it'd not make economical sense to mine it there. End of story.

No, not end of story by a long shot.

Mining gold on the moon makes economic sense exactly if it results in gain in excess of the original investment. How many dollars can you charge for an ounce of, not gold, but gold from the moon? The gold market is already based strictly on what people think is valuable. The price of gold has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the price of mining gold.

Does it even have to be gold? How about a speck of genuine moon rock (in a nice clear plastic cast) - yours for only ... $59.99? How many slashdotters would buy such a thing? What would it cost to get, say, a couple kg of that back to earth? A billion dollars? That's the price of a nice oil rig. In other words: that's the kind of money that is already available and people are already expending it because they expect a decent return on that investment.

You may want to be just a shade more careful with calling things economically infeasable.

Comment Re:Rounding Error? (Score 0, Offtopic) 931

Precision != accuracy.

Does that make me a grammar nazi?

Not really - there's a surprising number of people who don't get the difference and use the words interchangeably.

Or I shouldn't say "don't get" - more like they never thought about it.

When someone asks "how long will this project take" and I say "about three months" everybody "gets" that I am not very precise here. But my prediction may well be accurate. But when I respond "498.3 work hours", then everybody "gets" that I am giving more precision, but that my prediction is now rather unlikely to be accurate. This is entirely understood by everybody and usually doesn't need to be said.

But yet when you tell your boss "about three months" he will invariably ask you to give him more digits, for reasons not quite fully understood by mere humans.

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