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Comment Re:ECC (Score 1) 263

Your ECC RAM won't matter much if the cosmic ray hits the CPU registers. Or a cell in a block of your flash storage.

Also, your ECC RAM won't matter much if you get run over by a truck. So what? ECC RAM will help if there is a bitflip in your ECC RAM, that's what it's for and that's what the benefit is. It's not going to solve world hunger either, and nobody ever suggested that it would.

Comment Re: Ways around this (Score 1) 508

The next step would be to deny entry for people with wiped phones.

Perhaps -- and then the countermeasure would be to modify the procedure so that instead of placing a recognizably "vanilla" OS on your phone, it would replace your OS with an image that contains only some of your favorite innocuous data and apps that you don't mind Customs poking around in.

And the cat-and-mouse game continues...

Comment Re: Just another mindless attack (Score 1) 505

You'd be surprised at what can be done by careful selection of camera angles and framing.

I doubt it. It's what I do for a living.

You're right that the camera lies in important ways. It lies in what it omits.

But that is the point. The journalist omits a shit-tonne of irrelevant detail every single time s/he writes a story. And a photojournalist removes a shit-tonne of detail every time s/he frames a shot. That's actually part of the job: highlighting the thing that makes this particular story newsworthy.

The fact that it's often done inadequately shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Here on Slashdot, for example, we all know how much of source code is absolute shit. And familiarity breeds contempt.

But somehow we still manage to find enough software to build a platform on which to perform our everyday online tasks. Which is kind of remarkable when we consider the shit sandwich we're resting our work on. And yet, we find a way.

I'd recommend you take the same approach to the news. Yes, there is a really thick and juicy shit sandwich out there, and a lot of reporting is made up of the moist middle bit. But not all of it is. Not every reporter does things perfectly every time, but with a little patience and perseverance, you can build a stable of go-to commentators who can be relied on to be honest, fair and to follow the facts. They won't always be right, but they will never attempt to deceive. There are more of them out there than you may know.

There's a years-long discussion on the back side of this point, about how to engage with your audience when telling an honest story, but the bottom line is this: 'The media' doesn't exist as a single, monolithic thing. It's a broad and wildly diverse landscape. Bias is unavoidable, and contrary to popular opinion, it's not the death of journalism.

Comment Re:Bug Bounty (Score 1) 88

It seems they succeeded in their goal and were hoist by their own petard. Of course, had they recovered the funds then ZeroCoin would have failed at its purpose. I wonder who took the loss.

My intuition was that it would have the same effect as any other currency counterfeiting operation has on the "genuine" currency: i.e. all holders of ZeroCoins took the loss, in the form of a certain amount of extra inflation caused by the increase in "supply", which reduced the values of their ZeroCoin holdings. Possibly also they might take a further loss if people start to lose faith in ZeroCoins and start selling them (or stop buying them), causing their value to decrease some more.

Comment Re: Just another mindless attack (Score 1) 505

The problem is I consider ALL the media news to be propaganda, and don't really believe any of it. I'm even dubious about the things that are agreed upon by both the left an right sides of the political spectrum.

What's ironic is that you learned to distrust 'the media' because of a rhetorical line promulgated in 'the media' against 'the media'. Maybe, just maybe, 'the media' isn't monolithic. Maybe it comprises a huge variety of perspectives and motivations and capabilities. And maybe some sources are more reliable than others.

Maybe... the media sources that spend their time discrediting other media sources are not so credible themselves? Maybe it's complicated.

Pretty fucked up, huh?

Comment Re: Ways around this (Score 1) 508

Seems like one way to deal with the problem would be to wipe your phone before crossing the border, so all Customs ever sees is a (more or less) vanilla OS install. You could then restore your data again once you're on the other side.

Currently doing that is a hit of a hassle, but I think an app could be written to automate the process nicely.

Comment Re:Because Human Nature (Score 3, Interesting) 387

Most normal humans don't want to sit around and do nothing, they want to be productive and make personal goals, balance risk versus security, have control of their destiny, and be able to provide better for their families than they did for themselves.

The above is all very true, but it doesn't follow that humans therefore want to spend their working hours doing tedious manual labor that could be done better by a robot. (I'm not sure you were saying that it did follow, btw)

Ask just about anyone what their dream job would be, and they'll tell you. Ask them why they aren't currently doing their dream job, and they'll tell you that as well -- often it's because there's little or no money to be made as an actor or dance instructor or professional hang glider pilot or artisanal woodworker or etc. Many of these activities can only be hobbies instead of jobs, because people need to feed their children and pay the rent, and so they are forced into doing whatever drudgery the market is willing to pay for, instead of the activities they are really good at and enjoy doing.

But does it have to be that way forever? Without robots and AI, the answer is probably, yes -- there are un-fun tasks that nevertheless need to be done, so those are largely the tasks that society is willing to pay for. The garbage bins aren't going to empty themselves, and all that.

But in a future society where robots can perform most of these everyday tasks effectively "for free"; there is no reason to force a human being to do those tasks. Instead, with the menial labor done by robots, the wage-slaves could then be freed up to pursue whatever "dream job" they want to have, regardless of whether they can find someone willing to pay them much (or anything) to do that job, or not.

How could they afford it? Either because the robot labor has made goods and services so cheap that even a minimal salary is still plenty to meet one's financial needs, or because a system has been set up to tax the robots and use that money to subsidize paying salaries for jobs that would otherwise not be economically possible. Probably a combination of those two things.

Is that happy scenario inevitable? Not on the short term -- the default scenario would be that the owners of the robots keep all their robot-generated wealth to themselves, and become incredibly rich while everyone else becomes unemployed. But what happens then -- when 99% of the population is on welfare? The only difference between that and the "happy scenario" is that the out-of-work majority has no incentive to do anything constructive, and is still viewing their unemployment as a personal failure rather than an inevitable consequence of superhuman AI -- and that stigma will fade rapidly once it becomes apparent that it applies to everyone, not just to the traditional "losers". At that point, people will stop calling it "welfare" and start calling it a "basic living stipend", and if democracy still exists, they will adjust the funding levels provided by it such that the robots' productivity is enjoyed by all and not just by the super-rich.

But that leaves the problem of hopeless couch-potato-ism; so an enhancement to just cash handouts would be encouraging people to pursue their dream activities, and paying them to do so. Then we'd have people living rewarding lives that they chose for themselves, rather than sitting around feeling bad about being on the dole, or slowly dying inside doing tedious make-work.

Comment Re:Ryan and Rand (Score 4, Insightful) 387

I think what you're missing is that those programs are still around despite the efforts of the Republican Party's Libertarian wing, and not for lack of trying, either.

Their main problem (in addition to the occasional opposition from the Democrats) is that many Republicans are retirement-age, or have children or grandchildren, and so when they realize that the "waste" that the Republicans are promising to cut is actually their own benefits, they rebel and put a quick stop to the proposed cuts. The libertarians are still working on a way to convince their Republican constituency that their draconian budget cuts will only hurt "other people", but they're running out of dog-whistles for that.

Comment Re:Why trust in the media is at an all time low (Score 2) 914

That was the first PewDiePie I've watched, and it's interesting to see the media do to him what they've done to Trump, Farage, Wilders, Le Pen, Orban, etc.

So, for the record, you consider Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Geert Wilders, the le Pen family and Viktor Orban to be genuinely upstanding public servants who have been unfairly portrayed as not-nice people?

Why, in your opinion, do you think these particular people—and not, for example, Justin Trudeau or Angela Merkel—have been so victimised?

Comment Re:What about data and txt costs? and can they rem (Score 1) 75

What about data and txt costs?

How much do you pay for bluetooth and WiFi on your phone?

This is fascinating, intended for third world use. Do we imagine that the density of cell phones in the third world is really sufficient to meet the 200' range? Maybe in the city, on the streets. Anywhere else, huh?

Hello from the developing world. Yes, most people, even in remote areas, tend to live in clusters. These clusters increase in concentration during natural disasters. This kind of tech would allow news to propagate within population clusters, leaving disaster response people to focus more on hopping between concentrations of people. All in all, probably a useful addition to the disaster-response toolkit.

BUT... Android-based mesh network tech that uses a mobile's wifi has been around for years. I test drove one FOSS project back in 2011-12. And it's never proven practical because of the high traffic management overheads, and the fact that always-on wifi can eat a fully charged battery in hours. I've been through two cyclones out here, and I can tell you from experience that getting access to power is a huge challenge for most people. Unless they find a way to address power consumption, this will be a nice idea, to be tossed into the Nice Ideas drawer and forgotten.

Comment Re:Idiot (Score 1) 640

No. A "grieving father" doesn't get a free pass to blame others for his daughter's (and his own) responsibilities in the accident.

Certainly not on Slashdot, anyway, because we're all heartless dicks with no empathy for anyone and a 100% commitment to pursue our mindless blinkered pedantry in each and every situation, no matter how crass or inappropriate it may be. I know, let's all send him hate mail now! That'll teach him not to be illogical when he's grieving!

Comment Re:Yawn... (Score 2) 626

This guy works on image analysis for telescopes in other words spy satellites which just happen to be large telescopes pointed downwards.

The NRO runs the spy satellites and the Air Force launches them. NASA has nothing to do with them besides providing rockets and launch platforms.

You're right, but there's still a decidedly non-zero chance that the hi-res optics he has access to see a lot of classified things.

Comment Re:What brand of hammer? (Score 4, Funny) 149

Programming languages do not matter. Any program can be written in any language. Programming languages are as interchangeable as hammers.

Yes, that's why I write all of my software in Brainfuck, except for the performance-critical parts which I implement directly as a Turing Machine specification. My "hello world" app might not ship for another 18 months, but when it's finally done it's gonna be awesome.

Comment Re:Russian hackers = the best (Score 2) 102

So based on your "I grew up in the cold war" anecdotes about SO MANY -(Citation needed) journalists being spies...

Spies is a strong word to use, but yes, it was more or less assumed that journalists from behind the Iron Curtain were intelligence operatives and were expected to gather information and data about much more than they wrote about. Likewise, there were more than a few writers and reporters who knowingly (and sometimes unknowingly) provided the CIA with intelligence from their areas of expertise.

This doesn't imply cloak-and-dagger stuff, or breaking into offices late at night (let's leave the Nixon White House out of this, shall we?). For the most part, it would take the form of one or more journalists hanging out after work and trading scuttlebutt—interesting and useful information that was either not newsworthy or not well-enough sourced to report on. There would frequently be a CIA intelligence operative present during the conversation, and they didn't always try very hard to hide it.

Let it be known that this channel never entirely dried up. I've had several conversations with 'embassy staff' who were clearly trying to pump me for information. And I'm happy to share with them what I'd share with anyone else. If that helps them get a better understanding of a sensitive situation, then I've done my job as a journalist and a responsible citizen.

To take a slightly more controversial example, consider Gloria Steinem's famous escapades as a 'recruiter' for CIA propaganda operations. She willingly accepted payment for identifying people to speak at international conferences who would tout the government line about freedom and democracy. The CIA considered this a necessary tactic to thwart the flood of communist and socialist messaging that was flowing in from Soviet-funded sources. Ms Steinem had no qualms about taking cash for it, and although I would baulk at accepting payment for something done out of principle, I can't say for certain I wouldn't have done the same thing as she did.

nobody should believe anything reported about state sponsored hacks, because the reporters themselves might be "in" on it?

No, all he's saying is that context matters. Attempts to spy on reporters, overtly and covertly, have been ongoing since reporters first existed. And reporters are—or should be—aware of it, too. It really does come with the territory.

Please continue dancing around while you mention feminism for no reason.

Yeah, the anti-feminism jab was gratuitous and out of line. You've got a solid point there. But just because he can act like a dick doesn't mean he's entirely wrong.

Comment Re:Skeptic (Score 1) 399

So we have no one doing any work? Robots perform all jobs from the menial to the complex? Everything is free? [...] This sounds like a good thing to you?

Does it matter whether it sounds like a good thing to me, or not? That appears to be the direction we are headed in, unless we are going to outlaw the development of robotics and AI. The only question is, what how are we going to adapt? If we do nothing and just retain the current system, then we still end up with robots doing all the jobs, but also with all of the humans starving (or perhaps living on welfare, if it's available).

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