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Comment Plone (Score 2) 222

I would advise using Plone. It's perhaps not easy to apprehend at first as the PHP CMS, but it is very feature-rich and has a strong security focus, as can be seen with the number of CEV concerning it compared to other CMS (about 10x as less) : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

The latest version (Plone 5) that was released quite recently also brings much better performances (which was one flaw of earlier versions) and easier theming.

Comment Misleading headline (Score 4, Informative) 127

As some already reported, this is a highly misleading headlines.

1. It's not EU, but ECHR, so much wider (it includes non-EU countries such as Russia or Turkey).

2. The ECHR sets a minimal amount of human rights protection, not a maximal one - ECHR saying "we don't have any objection about it" doesn't mean it's legal in all ECHR countries, national government can pass higher levels of protection if they want.

3. The ruling itself doesn't say "it's all fine to spy on employees in general", it said that in that specific case it's fine - it was a work mail account (not a private one), ...

I advise you to read http://modulus.isonomia.net/la... for example, that gives a more detailed analysis on the ruling and reporting of it.

Comment Will likely not pass (Score 4, Informative) 246

Please note that the conservatives don't have a majority in the Assemblée Nationale, so this law will likely not pass, at least under its current form. But it's also true that PS hasn't been the strongest defender of privacy and personal freedom, they did a few nasty things in the wake of the terror attacks of last year, so who knows exactly what will happen...

Comment There are reasons behind that "trap" (Score 3, Informative) 344

It's not like mainstream scientists give low credits to cold fusion out of nowhere.

There are strong theoretical reasons against cold fusion being possible. The repulsion force between two charged nucleus gets very, very strong when they get close (inverse square law, if they are twice as close, the repulsion is 4 times bigger) and they need to get very close in order for "fusion" to happen. That's called the Coulomb barrier. So charged nucleus need to go very, very fast in order to have a chance to get close enough to fuse, and that's why fusion requires very high temperature (temperature being directly linked with average particle speed).

Pretending to have "cold fusion" mean that the Standard Model of physics is wrong. It might be wrong (or more likely, incomplete), sure. But that's an extraordinary claim to make, and an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof. That's what the "reputation trap" is all about. The same goes for FTL travel, or perpetual motion. Those things defies our current understanding of physics, and while our current understanding might be wrong, it's solid enough so we ask for very strong evidence before even considering it seriously.

And sure, you can try to find loopholes without actually breaking the Standard Model, like, doing neutron capture and then beta-decay. It doesn't need to break the Coulomb barrier, and it might look like fusion. But first it's not fusion (although it might serve the same energy-production role), and then even that is not as easy as it seems. Getting a reliable source of neutron isn't easy, the neutrons need to have the required speed for the capture to be efficient, and even then, the capture tends to be not be complete, so you would detect leaking neutrons.

Comment Re:El presidente! (Score 2) 44

Actually, Correa is one of the president with the highest popular support in the region, if not in the world. Above 60% of approval rating, which is very high after being in power since 7 years in a country that is use to political instability. Mostly because he has a very strong economical record (greatly reduced poverty and unemployment, high growth, massive improvements in infrastructure, healthcare and education, ...).

There are some protests going on since a few months, but they are from a tiny heterogeneous minority, the bulk of the protests being from right-wing movements upset at the new tax reforms he is pushing that will increase the load on the ~2% richest (a new inheritance tax that will mostly hit the 0.1% richest and somewhat the 2% richest, and leave the 98% other untouched), combined with a few extreme left movement who are unhappy of Correa being more of a pragmatist and not reforming fast enough and some extreme ecological movements who oppose mining and oil extraction (but how can a country like Ecuador develop itself without using its natural resources ?)

Comment Re:Good to hear (Score 1) 296

Well, if Dia is fine functionality-wise, but the art assets are not good enough, when you look at the involved budget for a big city ($1.8 million in that example), paying a graphical design studio or a couple of freelancer to make more adequate art asset wouldn't cost as much as the MS licenses.

Comment But was it really unethical ? (Score 4, Insightful) 619

In the realm of ethics, three main schools are contesting : virtue ethics, deontology and consequentialism.

Virtue ethics say that being ethical is showing a certain number of virtues, and lacking a certain number of vices. Honesty is a virtue, dishonesty a vice.

Deontology ethics say that being ethical is following a certain number of rules (self-imposed or not), and usually deontology ethics contain rules against lying, too.

Consequentialism ethics say they being ethical is judging acts for the consequences it has on people. For consequentialist, lying (or stealing, or killing) aren't bad in thesmselves, but only because they have bad consequences (ie, they hurt people). For a consequentialist, stealing something that would be wasted. For example, after a natural disaster, a supermarket is wrecked and has no staff anymore, and food products are getting rotten, there is no harm done in taking them, so it's ethical to do so.

If you look at that setup, well, what harm is done by lying? Not much, so while virtue ethics and deontology would still prevent people from lying, consequentialism doesn't. Maybe the answer is just that people growing in DDR, less exposed to religion, are more consequentialist ? Which doesn't make them less ethical, none of the three system is clearly the "best", it's a highly contested topic (I tend to lean towards consequentialism myself, but don't completly reject the other two).

And on this, I'm definitely a consequentialist. Being a role-player, "lying about a die roll" has no strict ethical value to me: if I'm a player, it's unethical, but if I'm the DM, it's just part of the job ! ;) I never lied about die roll as a player, and would never do it, so you can consider me to be "very ethical"... but on the other hand, in a setup like that experiment (when the harm of lying is not clear at all) or as a DM, I don't have any issue with lying.

Comment Beware of the media manipulations (Score 1, Informative) 194

So, a handful of people (the recent "protests" were in the number of hundreds, maybe a few thousands at most, nothing of a big and massive popular protest, as Venezuela had in the past, with both opposition and chavistas massing hundred of thousands, even millions) violently protest, attack public infrastructure (city halls, metro stations, hospitals, ...). People are killed - not by the police, but by the protesters, most of the death are _chavistas_ not opposition.

Then, the opposition start a massive media manipulation, with photos and videos of repression taken from all around the world (Chile, Spain, Greece, ...) pretending it's the Venezuelan government doing it. All the western media jump on that, and without a single second of critical thinking, claim Maduro is repressing.

And now, some governmental Internet links have problem functioning. It must be Maduro doing censorship ! From France, I've troubles reaching many Venezuela government sites, like VTV (state TV) website, or CanTV (public operator) website. Why would Maduro censor his own sites ? Especially VTV ! And why would he cut CanTV, while it's just one operator among many, especially on mobile Internet (and most people in Venezuela, especially among the opposition, have a cell phone) ? It just doesn't make sense.

Couldn't it be that the violent protests damaged the infrastructure ? Couldn't it be that the Venezuela opposition, which is _very_ rich (they have the 1% among them, and they get massive funding from the US), is doing some DDoS or similar attack on CanTV ? Couldn't it be a sabotage, from opposition workers inside CanTV, or from abroad ? I should remind you that during the 2003 oil "strike" in Venezuela, the US corporation that handled the computer systems of PDVSA (state oil company in Venezuela) sabotaged them, just to add to the chaos and create the conditions for a military coup.

Given all this past and all those facts, shouldn't we wait until the exact reasons of the (very partial) shutdown of CanTV services are known before yelling "censorship" or "dictatorship" ? Because that's exactly what the Venezuelan extreme-right wants us to do, and it's not the first time they would manipulate media and perform false flag attacks to do it (remember the events of 2002, where the opposition killed people, blamed Chávez to justify a coup).

Comment So much disinformation... (Score 4, Insightful) 152

First, it is not "massive protests", it's the typical (for Venezuela since 1999) protest of the wealthy minority opposing the Bolivarian Revolution, despite dozens of electoral victories of PSUV and allies (ratified by various international observers). And it is violent protests, like when Capriles contested the elections of Maduro, in both cases there has been PSUV supporters _killed_ by the opposition. The opposition also assaulted public building, like Chacao municipality or Caracas metro system (this time), or schools and hospitals (when Maduro was elected).

On the broader picture, the opposition isn't at its first violent attempt to oppose the democratically elected government. For those who don't remember it, in 2002, the same opposition did a military coup attempt, in which Pedro Carmona (the leader of business federation) briefly took power, suspended the Constitution and constitutional guarantees, dissolved the Parliament and the Supreme Court, imposed martial law, closed the public TV station and many independent local TV channels (like Catia TV). Capriles, the current leader of the opposition in Venezuela, was personally involved in supporting the coup, including in a violent assault against the Cuban embassy in Caracas.

Those protests aren't done by "students", they are done by a rich elite refusing to lose their privilege, and not stopping at any means (including violence, murder, and military coups) to undermine a legitmately elected and always re-elected government. They are fascists, as shown by how they behaved (suspending all constitutional guarantees and dissolving all democratic institutions) when they briefly took power in 2002.

As for the media, before listening to all the lies about "censorship", you should remember that the media in 2002 actively participated in the coup attempt, manipulating footage to pretend that Chávez supporters opened fire on the opposition, while in reality it was sharpshooters from the opposition killing Chávez supporters from the roof of on hotel. There is a very good documentary on that topic, "The Revolution will not be televised", that was made by Irish filmmakers who happened to be in Caracas during the events. I advise strongly everyone to watch this documentary before supporting the "opposition" in Venezuela and criticizing the attitude of the Venezuelan government towards the media. In most countries of the world, including Europe or USA, if media did half of what they did in Venezuela, there would have been prison sentences.

Finally, for the Twitter "censorship", the PSUV Twitter account was hacked recently, and Twitter is not cooperating the Venezuelan government to help them track the authors of that infraction. While no one knows (yet) all the details of what is going on between the Venezuelan government and Twitter, it's way too early to call about "censorship" in that context, it may very well be just a way for the Venezuelan government to pressure Twitter to cooperate in tracking the authors of a penal infraction.

Comment My top 10 list, altering fiction and non-fiction (Score 1) 796

1. Foundation - Isaac Asimov (well, the whole Foundation cycle) - the best scifi cycle of all times (that is a purely objective statement, right ?)
2. Gödel, Escher, Bach : an Eternal Golden Braid - Douglas Hofstadter - clever, insightful and amazing book on AI, nature of consciousness, mathematical structures and art
3. Dune - Frank Herbet - another breathtaking scifi cycle
4. A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking - nice introduction to how the universe work.
5. Ringworld - Larry Niven - some glimpse at our possible future : massive scale engineering
6. The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins - nice introduction to genetics and how selfishness at gene level can lead to altruism at people's level
7. Permutation City - Greg Egan - another glimpse at another possible future : mind upload
8. The End of Time - Julian Barbour - controversial, radical but interesting proposal : and if time itself was just an illusion ?
9. Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality - Eliezer Yudkowsky - hilarious and enlightening fanfiction about "what if Harry was a math/science genius when he entered Hogwarts"
10. Modern Operating Systems - Andrew Tanenbaum - to understand how your computer really works

(Note : I could have added some political books, but not wanting to start a flamewar I didn't)

Comment Re:If I recall..... (Score 3, Informative) 333

You can't "send states" either. You measure on your own photon (or electron, or whatever) and if you find a value. The other guy measure his own photon (or whatever) and find a value. The two values, once you communicate with each other (slower than light) will always match (be the same, or be opposite, depending of the way you entangled them). But you don't send the value of your measurement, and you don't even send the fact you did a measurement.

It has uses, for example in cryptography. Or if you want to run a solar system wide lottery and have the people on Mars and Earth follow, exactly at the same time (warning: that's layman speach, it doesn't have any real meaning in GR), the outcome of the lottery, and no one having the result before the other. But not for communication.

Comment One giant loss for mankind... (Score 1) 480

RIP Neil Armstrong. You'll forever rest among the heroes of humanity, alongside with Gagarin, Newton and Einstein.

All around the world, regardless of politics, religion and nationality, you inspired people and opened the future. You were the first human to ever walk another world. To cross the immensity of the hostile void, and to actually walk on the moon. You made us all make that giant leap. You changed forever the way we think, at night, when we looked at that silvery crescent up there.

I wasn't born when you did it, and yet, you still inspired me to love science and dream of a better future. Future generations won't forget you. The best tribute we can make to you is continuing what you started. More than ever, we should continue the space program. Unite humanity together to send people on Mars and beyond. That would be the best way to honour you, Neil Armstrong, hero of humanity.

Comment For my own memories... (Score 1) 726

At that age, I loved the Philippe Ebly novels, but I don't if they are translated to English (he's belgian, writing in French). But I'm pretty that those are the ones that made love scifi and fantasy so much.

Asimov is my favourite writer, but 8yo is probably too young for Asimov, I think I started enjoying Asimov around 12.

Jules Verne is also quite good, but I'm not sure how old I was when reading them, maybe a bit older like 10.

Comment Things don't work that way... (Score 1) 737

There are many issues involved, making the whole claim totally, well, wrong.

The first problem is that science can't fix **goals**. Einstein explained it well in http://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism but it's a much more general point admitted by most serious rationalists : science (or more exactly rationality, from which science is a subset) is the most powerful tool to understand the world, and to change it to match your goals. But science can't fix goals. It can enable you to maximize your utility function, but it can't fix your utility function. And people will disagree on goals. That's the main reason for which elections and democracy are the best (or at least, "less worse") system, for it allows people to fix the goals together. Imperfectly, but since there is no objective set of goals, no ultimate utility function, only asking to everyone what they want can solve disputes between goals.

The second problem is that science requires the ability to perform repeatable measurements. Large-scale social sciences (like macroeconomics) are therefore not really sciences. You can't perform repeatable experiments and measurements in macroeconomics, with changing one factor and letting the others stay the same. While you can measure the speed of light, or the amount of energy liberated by fusion between two given isotopes of hydrogen, you can't measure how much a tax cut or welfare policy will affect the economy as a whole. You can't make an experiment for that and have 5 other labs around the planet to repeat it in the same conditions. Same when you test a drug on humans, you'll test it on hundred or thousands of cases, comparing it with a placebo. You can't have the same level of confidence in large-scale social science (such as macroeconomics) than you can in physics or biology. You can use rationalism over the evidence we have favoring one or the other systems, but that will still be much more disputed than a claim of "science", and you'll find economists defending and opposing every proposed policy, in a way you'll never see in physics.

The third problem is that science is definitely not conservative. Associating science with conservatism is completely misunderstanding what science is about. Science is completely revolutionizing itself. Relativity and QM are the most known revolutions, but science is directly bound to the idea of **progress**, science is a process of always getting closer to the truth - making your map of reality always closer to what reality really is. Science is definitely not something static, with final answers that will never be changed. That's one of the most fundamental differences between science and religion. Conservatism is resistance to changes. Science is embracing change, realizing you were wrong and fixing it.

That said, yes, we would gain to use more rationalist (or scientific, if you prefer) approach to many topics in politics. And more trust from politicians towards scientists.

And that, I'm pretty sure, would not favor "conservative" policies. It would favor gay rights and abortion. It would oppose death penalty or gun ownership. And it would oppose the current economical orthodoxy, which just, well, fails, from Argentina to Greece to USA. Just for USA, it was much faring better off in the 60s and 70s when it add very high income taxes on the richest, and regulations like Glass-Steagall act, than nowadays after the Reagan/Bush cuts and Clinton liberalism. That part is very well open to debate, but the 3 first reasons for which those claims are just, well, *false*, are much less debatable.

Comment Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (Score 1) 1088

Actually, you *can* make bell's theorem, realism, locality, causality, special relativity and quantum mechanics work well together : that's what the Many Worlds hypothesis does. It's not proven as a theory like QM, SR or GR, but it does create a framework in which, well, everything (from QM to SR) just add up to normality in a clean and compatible way - you just have to discard one thing : the fact that there is only one copy of the universe.

It doesn't solve the quantum gravity problem, but it doesn't make solving it any harder.

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