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Comment Re:Using a computer has become a minefield. (Score 1) 498

Hasn't Linus at this point admitted that globally 100% reliable unloading of linux kernel modules is impossible? It can work most of the time but no guarantee that someone else's poorly made module isn't holding a pointer to your kernel memory _somewhere_ no matter how airtight you make yours. Only sure way is to reboot. Unlike say MINIX.

Comment Re:I've become way too paranoid (Score 1) 274

My CC credit union outsources its fraud investigation. So I get a cold call from a company I don't recognize, asking me to confirm my identity and CC info, from a phone number that isn't on the back of the CC, in order to confirm some activity. I hang up, call my credit union from the # on the card, and they confirm that the company was legit and give me the number to call back. Turns out the original call was real. The last thing I say to them is that they are conditioning their customers to respond to cold-calls claiming to be a fraud department--not wise for an actual fraud prevention company.

Comment Re:Excellent! (Score 3, Informative) 107

If e-file is blocked you paper file. It takes several affidavits and certified mail and some phone calls, not 100s of hours and court. Though in my case they sent ME the initial "we think something's hinkey with your return" letter before I had even tried to file. I did have to wait 6 months from April to get the check in the mail.

What annoys me is that the IRS reps always give you a condescending tone about getting your taxes in early, because first-through-the-gate wins. They ignore the fact that fraudsters are making up the filing data and don't have to wait for the actual W2 to get sent out. It's February and I'm still waiting on some 1099s to finish my paperwork.

I'm a bit scared now because their PIN system was down last Nov/Dec, and when I tried to get in early January after it was back up an account had already been made and PIN accessed but I have no memory of signing up. I was able to "recover" the account. The lady on the phone with IRS insisted I just forgot I had done it already (impossible) and insisted there was no way I was hacked and recommended AGAINST voiding the PIN and getting a replacement--which is apparently a PITA for them and a huge delay to file. "Just file early" she said.....

Comment Re:Not If, When (Score 1) 127

It's basically the soletta from Red/Green/Blue Mars (and probably other earlier references too) only focused the other way. You don't even need to cover the whole sun, just need to reflect away a small % to make a difference in the heat balance equation. A small shade in the middle, or a ring that covers just the perimeter, or a distributed/swarm solution.

We're nearing the point that just solving the C02 problem isn't enough due to the "in the pipeline" heat budget already on its way. Looking for GeoE solutions is mostly a matter of deciding that the amount of heat rise we'll coast to isn't acceptable even if we drastically reduce C02. Fast CO2 cut-off vs. more GeoE to give ourselves more time probably depends on politics as much as economics, unfortunately.

Comment Re:all voting should be paper and pencil (Score 3, Insightful) 393

You are being sarcastic. But the mistake the advocates make is assuming that the machines must both assist humans in filling out the ballot, and recording that ballot. Machines are good at the former (input validation, audio UIs, etc.) and outputting something that doesn't rely on human handwriting/chad-punching. But the latter requires too much trust in something uninspectable. Instead just use the machines to make error free ballots, which are kept as a paper trail, and tallied just like the ballots of yore were.

Or better yet, feed the ballots into two+ independently built/owned/designed counting machines and investigate if the answers are ever not 100% in agreement, if you want your results faster. You can even go back and hand count later in an audit.

Comment Re:Blimey (Score 4, Interesting) 518

"Once you fire this husk of metal, it keeps going till it hits something. That can be a ship, or the planet behind that ship. It might go off into deep space and hit somebody else in ten thousand years. If you pull the trigger on this, you're ruining someone's day, somewhere and sometime....That means Sir Isaac Newton is the deadliest son-of-a-bitch in space."

Comment Re:It's that twat with the upside down head again. (Score 5, Informative) 157

Some of the confusion is that the original description is defined recursively in a way that 'c' only shows up once, and the initial value is not c. z[i] = z[i-1]^2+c. But because z[0] is defined = 0, you can effectively rewrite the sequence in terms of just 'c' starting from the second. The downside is that at first it might LOOK at first glance like the previous term is being added, which is why I like the recursive form.

Also, by not starting from 0 you miss out on a cool connection: for a given fixed C, the graph of convergence for non-zero choices of z[0] over the complex plane gives you a Julia Set. With the neat property that Julia Sets from C inside the Mandelbrot set are fully connected and Julia Sets from C outside the Mandelbrot Set are sparse disconnected Cantor spaces.

Comment Re:Same Thing Almost Happened to Me (Score 1) 536

But what objective did they achieve? They didn't get a new customer in him. They created headache and strife out of incompetence that didn't gain themselves anything in the process. If anything, telling him the truth would have caused him to look elsewhere for a home and become a (happier) customer all the faster.

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