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Comment Re:Quantum Computing Required? (Score 2) 294

This paper gives an interesting summary of different assumptions about how detailed a brain simulation needs to be and what they mean for when simulating a brain would be feasible (assuming Moore's Law continues indefinitely, which is obviously not guaranteed). The classical estimates go as late as 2201 depending on what assumptions you accept. See the tables on pages 79-81 for the summary. The quantum estimate is just a question mark; they didn't even bother computing the cost of using classical computers to simulate an entire human brain as a quantum system.

Comment Re:What a useless paper (Score 1) 181

A genuinely interesting paper would have specific ideas for architecture capable of solving problems beyond the scope of current CPUs and GPUs.

A couple cool projects I've seen on making good use of dark silicon are GreenDroid and Chlorophyll, both of which are recent research projects on compiling for weird architectures that are specially designed to be energy efficient. If it's specialized for different applications that you want, then Anton is the closest I've seen; it's specialized for running physical simulations so it can do things like protein folding.

Comment Re:Anonymity == being a schmuck for a good number. (Score 1) 728

I agree that statistics require careful interpretation, and any claims made based on statistics require critical thought to determine if they are using statistics properly. There is, after all, another study someone else referenced in this thread that concluded the exact opposite by studying the proportion (not absolute number) of harassing tweets sent to a set of 65 celebrity Twitter accounts. I am unsure what your discussion of domestic violence statistics adds to this discussion other than giving an example of another emotional charged area where statistics are complicated.

The link I reference had two parts: (1) the actual study that showed the fake users created by the researchers which were identical except for gendered names resulted in 25 times as much harassment directed at the bots with females names and (2) the references to previous studies showing that reports of harassment are much more common from women. The assertion made by the article is that (1) supports (2). Note that in (1) the same researchers are the ones coding messages as harassing or not, so there is no separate subjectivity of men vs. women on what messages constitute harassment. That's why I cited it: it answers the question of "Do women get harassed equal to men and are just more vocal about it?" In fact, the data suggests women are less vocal about it.

Lastly, as I stated above, this whole argument is a tangent to the real issue which is "Trolling" or "Abuse". While you go pull more made up numbers to back your tangent, nothing gets done to resolve the real issue.

No disagreement there. The article is about abuse/harassment, not trolling, so the title is misleading.

Comment Re:Anonymity == being a schmuck for a good number. (Score 1) 728

I really wish we could just drop the sexism part of this right now. Both genders get attacked by these people.

Both do, but it *is* sexist. It is far more widespread and vicious towards women. Ignoring that is not helping.

Really now? Proof by assertion is not proof, it's an informal fallacy. Yes, even if you claim that not believing your assertion is "not helping". Prove that women get trolled more, and prove that the trolling is more vicious as you claim. I await your great study of everyone trolled on the Internet with eagerness.

While a complete census of internet trolling has not been conducted, it turns out there are statistics and they do support the GP: here's a study showing women get harassed at a much higher rate than men.

According to a University of Maryland study, online users who appear female are 25 times more likely to receive threats and sexually explicit messages than online users with male names.


The disproportionate targeting of women accords with statistics compiled by the organization Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA). In 2007, 61 percent of the individuals reporting online abuse to WHOA were female while 21 percent were male. 2006 followed a similar pattern: 70 percent of those reporting online harassment identified themselves as women. Overall, in the years covering 2000 to 2007, 72.5 percent of the 2,285 individuals reporting cyber harassment were female and 22 percent were male.

Comment Useful programs (Score 1) 9

My general strategy for performing simple tasks like generating a barcode or merging PDF files is to just do a search on my distro's package manager and there's usually a tool to do what I want (although it sometimes takes a bit of guesswork to figure out what it would be called). I don't remember what I used last time I needed to generate a (non-QR) barcode, but Debian only has one package simply named "barcode" which can probably generate whatever type of barcodes you need (also, there's tons of websites that will do it for you as well). For merging PDFs, I believe I've previously used pdfshuffler, which works fine.

Comment Re:Decentralize Chat (Score 1) 242

As much as I like the idea of decentralized protocols, the problem with decentralizing chat is that most of the nodes we are talking about are mobile devices and decentralized protocols tend to require a lot more communication---and therefore battery power---than centralized protocols where you leave the organization to the servers. Any decentralized protocol would probably have to handle that by somehow offloading the extra communication and computation to devices that are currently plugged in.

There is the additional problem that authenticating users in a decentralized fashion means that the is no equivalent to password recovery, but users might be okay with an account tied to their physical phone.

Comment Re:Not google? (Score 3, Insightful) 81

Wikipedia's article on Mozilla Persona (which links to "How BrowserID differs from OpenID") clarifies that. While the site you are authenticating to gets the same information it would get via OpenID, the authentication provider doesn't know what sites you are using. Due to the indirection of storing the cryptographic credentials in the browser, the OpenID provider doesn't need to be contacted for every login and therefore doesn't know what sites you are logging into.

This is related to the design of Persona being browser-based instead of web-based, which also provides additional security (harder to fake a password entry box if it's normally generated by the browser).

Submission + - European Court of Human Rights finds against copyright law ( 1

admiral snackbar writes: The European Court of Human Rights has declared that the copyright monopoly stands in direct conflict with fundamental Human Rights, as defined in the European Union and elsewhere. This means that as of today, nobody sharing culture in the EU may be convicted just for breaking the copyright monopoly law; the bar for convicting was raised considerably.

Submission + - Ants Use Sound to Communicate (

sciencehabit writes: A new study shows that even ant pupae—a stage between larvae and adult—can communicate via sound, and that this communication can be crucial to their survival. The young insects have a specialized spike along their abdomen that they stroke with one of their hind legs, similar to dragging the teeth of a comb along the edge of a table. This noise serves primarily as an emergency beacon, allowing the ants to shout for help when being threatened by a predator.

Comment Re:Issues (Score 1) 376

The 47% figure is rather misleading because it only refers to the percentage of people paying federal income tax. It turns out there are multiple federal taxes on income, only one of which is called the federal income tax. Most of those 47% pay the payroll tax which is a regressive income tax. For detailed numbers see this chart which Google image search found on this CNN Money video. For those that don't want to click the link, the breakdown according to CNN is 53.6% pay income tax and the rest not paying income tax are split up as 28.6% pay payroll tax, 10.3% elderly with no income tax, 6.9% non-elderly with income under $20,000, and 1% other.

Once you eliminate people paying income/payroll tax and the retired elderly, that leaves at most 8% not retired but not making enough money to owe federal taxes. Some of those are unable to work. Some of those are unable to find a job. Some small proportion might really be lazy and leeching off the system like you are worried about... but that is almost certainly much less than 8% of the population and definitely a lot less than 47% of the population.

On top of that, remember this entire discussion is only about federal taxes. There are also state taxes, which are pretty universally regressive. Particularly, most states have a sales tax which hits the poor much harder as anyone earning so little they aren't paying income tax is probably buying necessities with all the money they do earn and therefore immediately paying sales tax on a large proportion of their income.

This article that I came across while searching for those figures tells a similar story with more exposition and citations.

Comment Re:Funny block... (Score 1) 177

Posting to remove accidental negative moderation.

I agree. Computer users should not need to know the inner details of how everything works on their computer in order to use it. Also, this goes back to my sig: having (effectively) a single video sharing website on the internet is bad because it can unilaterally do things like this.

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