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Comment Re:And how many (Score 3, Informative) 108

And how many are still running Win 7

Well as of last week StatCounter puts Win7 at 39.46% and Win10 at 24.33% of the desktop OS market share, of course that's not all devices running Win10. But a whole lot and after the free offer ended there's not been much migration at all. I suspect Win7 will be even harder to kill than WinXP and that wasn't easy.

Comment Re:I doubt Hollywood has an age discrimination iss (Score 1) 237

In any case, discrimination in Hollywood is not a "problem"... it's by design. We, as a society, have for whatever reasons decided that Hollywood can feel free to consider race, gender, age, etc in a way that most businesses are not allowed. California is being a little bit schizophrenic here in that they still allow Hollywood to discriminate based on age but they want to mitigate the effects of this by forbidding the sharing of age information.

Comment Re:Bit fields (Score 1) 114

that probably would not have made much of a difference. People would have assumed that this would never happen and would have made practical implementation assuming a fixed 32 bit space. By the time it became a practical problem, we would have had a creep of devices that does not follow the norm, and managing that would be a nightmare.

Yes, but it would have put more pressure on the existing user base like Y2K compliance to follow the "full" standard. Right now it's like we're on IPv4, tagged WORKS4ME so why bother with IPv6. But I know I've made many more "shortcuts" than limiting something to 4 billion...

Comment Re:This isn't really that hard to understand (Score 0) 590

Given this, attacking on the basis of "CLIMATE CHANGE" is the absolutely worst approach. The ignorance of your target audience will prompt them to respond contrary to your goals. Instead focus should be placed on the specifics; clean air emissions, water discharge standards, ect... Why? Because these are things people can understand, and they are immediately relevant to them.

You're breathing CO2 right now, it's "only" 0.04% but pretty much anything that is actually toxic would have killed you at those concentrations. The Apollo 13 astronauts remained functional at 2%, even 5% isn't usually fatal and it's actually the absence of oxygen that kills you not the CO2 itself. Not to mention it's essential for photosynthesis so plants grow, it's far from obvious that CO2 emissions are bad for the local environment. Pretty much all the bad things that happen locally are from things that are not CO2, like CO from unclean combustion, NOx and various other particles that get whirled into the air. It's not like humans shy away from a fireplace...

Comment UTF-8 style would have been better (Score 3, Insightful) 114

So the 1992 UTF-8 specification didn't exist when the 1983 IP specification was created, but they could have done:

First 2^31: 0(31)
Next 2^59: 110(29) 10(30)
Next 2^88: 1110(28) 10(30) 10(30)
Next 2^117: 11110(27) 10(30) 10(30) 10(30)

And just declared that for now it's 0(31) - still 2 billion addresses but the sky is the limit. Heck, they might even have used shorts (16 bit) that way and declared that hardware/software should update as the need approached:

First 2^15: 0(15)
Next 2^27: 110(13) 10(14)
Next 2^40: 1110(12) 10(14) 10(14)
Next 2^53: 11110(11) 10(14) 10(14) 10(14)
(...)
Next 2^140: 1111111111111111(0) 10(14) 10(14) 10(14) 10(14) 10(14) 10(14) 10(14) 10(14) 10(14)

As for PKI, that couldn't possibly have happened. US export regulations wouldn't have allowed it at the time, this was long before Zimmerman and PGP.

Comment Common for Cranks (Score 5, Informative) 590

Note that holding contradictory beliefs is fairly common of conspiracy theorists (link):

Another study titled Dead and Alive: Beliefs in Contradictory Conspiracy Theories managed to show that, not only will cranks be attracted to and believe in numerous conspiracy theories all at once, but will continue to do so even if the theories in question are completely and utterly incompatible with one another. For instance, the study showed that: "... the more participants believed that Princess Diana faked her own death, the more they believed that she was murdered [and that] ... the more participants believed that Osama Bin Laden was already dead when U.S. special forces raided his compound in Pakistan, the more they believed he is still alive," and that "Hierarchical regression models showed that mutually incompatible conspiracy theories are positively associated because both are associated with the view that the authorities are engaged in a cover-up".

Citation: Wood, Michael J., Karen M. Douglas, and Robbie M. Sutton. "Dead and alive beliefs in contradictory conspiracy theories." Social Psychological and Personality Science 3.6 (2012): 767-773.

Comment Re:Do away with them (Score 1) 85

Not sure what you actually mean when you say that SQL NULL means unknown but not absent? Is there a meaningful distinction you are making here?

It makes a difference when you start applying operations.

For example, if you compare a NULL to any value (even another NULL), the result is also NULL, rather than TRUE or FALSE. This doesn't make sense for absent values - two absent values should compare equal (and, indeed, two nulls in JS do). On the other hand, it makes perfect sense if NULL means unknown - if my last name is unknown, and your lastname is unknown, comparing them for equality can only produce "unknown" as a result, since it's not known whether they're the same or different.

Same thing with arithmetic operations. 1 + NULL equals NULL in SQL, again, because NULL is really "unknown", and so when you add an unknown value to 1, the result is also unknown. If NULL were an absent value, the expression should either produce an error, or give 1.

The most telling part, though, is the SQL truth table for Boolean operators that includes NULLs. Specifically:

TRUE AND NULL = NULL
FALSE AND NULL = FALSE
TRUE OR NULL = TRUE
FALSE OR NULL = NULL

Again, this makes perfect sense if and only if NULL means unknown. AND is always false if one of the operands is guaranteed to be false, so FALSE AND NULL is always false, regardless of what the actual unknown value is. On the other hand, FALSE AND NULL is NULL, because the result could be either false or true depending on the unknown value. With OR, it's the reverse - TRUE OR NULL is TRUE, because OR is always true if one of the operands is definitely true, regardless of what the other operand is. FALSE OR NULL is NULL because the result depends on the unknown value.

Philosophically, the difference also exists. Absent value means "I know what the value is, and there isn't one". For example, for a guy from Iceland, you know his last name - he doesn't have one. Unknown value means "I don't know what the value is, and there could be one". For example, you don't know if I'm from Iceland or not, so I may or may not have a last name, and you don't know which one if I do. These are two distinct states, and ought to be reflected as such in the database.

Comment Re:Anti-Hillary is not Pro-Trump (Score 1) 847

Part of that whole "land of the free" thing has been that you could live as a cash-only squatter and mind your own business without having the government sticking their nose into yours. Maybe not the most convenient way to live, but an option.

And, as a matter of fact, you can rent an apartment without an ID - provided that you find someone who agrees to rent one out to you on those terms. You probably won't find such a thing in an urban area, but out in the country, it's not all that hard. Either way, again, there's a big difference between having the government demand your ID, and having another party to a deal you're trying to make do the same. You can walk away from the deal and try to find a different one.

Comment Re:Anti-Hillary is not Pro-Trump (Score 1) 847

Popular myth and Hollywood. And yes, the social contract HAS generally demanded that you produce papers. You want a job? Papers please. You want a loan? Papers please. You want government benefits? Papers please!

The difference in all the cases that you describe, is that you have to actively do something to get into that situation. And you always have an option to turn around and walk away if you don't feel like it. Not at all the same as walking down the street minding your own business, and having a cop or a ICE agent harass you for papers.

Not that we already don't have that - those bullshit roaming immigration checkpoints within 100 miles of the border (which is where millions of American citizens live). But at least you can tell them to fuck off these days, and because they know they don't have the authority to actually detain you without a reasonable suspicion, and looking Hispanic does not constitute reasonable suspicion, they'll back off if you're persistent enough.

And the supporting documentation required to get one does require establishing said identity - or did until some of these states changed the laws so that illegal immigrants could get a driver's license (and those driver's licenses are different from 'normal' driver's licenses.)

Illegal immigrants don't necessarily lack the ability to establish their identity - they will usually have the passport of their originating country, for example. And getting a driver's license does not require a US-issued ID (given that it is the one and only ID that they have for most people, that wouldn't exactly work). So for a non-citizen, when you come to get a license, what you usually need is 1) a valid ID, possibly foreign (they usually ask for 2 different kinds for foreign ones), and some proof of residency - like, say, a utility bill with your name and a local address.

The same way we've already been doing it: you want a job? Papers please. You want a loan? Papers please. You want government benefits? Papers please! The problem is right now we're not enforcing it hard enough - _punish_ companies/people using illegal labor and they'll stop doing it once it's no longer cost-effective.

All of this is already the case. I don't know if you've heard, by the way, but deportations are at an all-time high under Obama.

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