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Comment Re:This isn't a big deal, it's fucking huge. (Score 3, Interesting) 86

Have you seen what AMD is putting into its next server processors? http://amd-dev.wpengine.netdna... Tldr: It encrypts a guest's memory with a key that the hypervisor does not have. In theory, it should make a guest VM inaccessible to the hypervisor.

Comment Re:Wow, they really are stuck in the past (Score 2, Informative) 486

Coffee and sugar used to come in one or five pound bags. Now it is all sub-16 ounces.

Huh? Just this morning, I bought a 7-pound bag of sugar. Granted, that's about a year's supply for the two of us. (And it's mostly an artifact of my local reputation as a maker of good margaritas. ;-) It isn't at all hard to find sugar packaged in 2- or 5-pound bags hereabouts; most of the food stores that I frequent sell it that way. Coffee I've always bought in sub-pound packages, mostly because the taste tends to decay slowly, and it's more noticeable the larger the package is. The advent of home and in-store coffee grinding machines was the main cause of the switch to smaller packages, rather than the price. (The real coffee connoisseurs buy the beans green, and roast and grind it themselves, but their numbers are too small to seriously affect prices. ;-)

Comment Re:that's an easy one! (Score 1) 177

Yup, and I've used the same explanation for why I'd prefer coffee to plain water. Water is just boring; adding a bit of flavor (with or without the mild stimulation of the caffeine) makes it more palatable. Any tasty plant material will work. I've also run across the same explanation for why soups of various kinds are so common in most of the world. They have fewer nutrients than their ingredient, so why not just heat up and eat the meats and veggies? Well, you need a good amount of water in your diet, and you want it boiled to make it safe to drink, so why not take some of the tougher cuts of meat , mix in assorted other tough and/or tasty ingredients, simmer them for a while, and consume the result? It adds variety to your diet, and is a good way to use up the odds and ends from other meals in a way that's a lot more palatable than just drinking water.

Comment Re:The invention of the iceless refridgerator (Score 1) 177

... the one thing I can't figure out how to do without in case of the fall of civilization, are toenail clippers. I don't think people used knives to clip them.

Actually, if you have a good whetstone (and know how to use it), you'll find that a small knife works just fine for trimming nails, both finger and toe. I've used my Swiss Army knife's small blade for just that purpose a few times while on vacation without a nail clipper. The small knife blade actually works better than the small scissors that are part of the package. You do need to be a bit careful, of course.

Comment Re:that's an easy one! (Score 5, Interesting) 177

3500 BC was the greatest era of invention. Why 3500 BC, you ask? The (approximate, of course) invention of beer. Go ahead, tell me of a greater one. Can't, can ya?

People will no doubt laugh at this, but it's actually a good observation (though we should include wine in the list). The reason is simple: We humans need to ingest a fair amount of water each day to stay healthy. But historically, water itself has been rather dangerous stuff. Consider all the other people and animals upstream who have been using it for both bathing and disposing of waste of various sorts. Do you want to drink that water? Not if you want a long, healthy life.

Part of the year, our ancestors could get some of the needed water by consuming fruits, which are high in water. But they mostly don't keep very well, and they spoil. Fermented juices have their sugars partly converted to ethanol, which is toxic to most of the spoilage micro-organisms, so the resulting wine or beer is much less likely to spoil. (If it does, the result is often vinegar, which is another way of preserving the juice in a way that's safe for humans to consume).

It's pretty well understood among historians, anthropologists, etc., that fermentation processes were a significant part of our ancestors' development into a long-lived species that eventually dominated much of the planet. Yes, it's fun to get drunk, and to joke about getting drunk. And some other animals can get drunk, since ripe fruits often contain around 1% ethanol. (I've read some funny stories about groups of elephants getting a bit tipsy from the consumption of ripe fruit. Imagine a crowd of drunk elephants partying in your neighborhood. ;-) But the fact is that ethanol-laced liquids are historically an important part of our history, because ethanol provided a way to make those liquids safe to drink.

There was a fun study some time back, in which some researchers traveled around the world, stopping in various eateries, ordering food, and taking it back to their hotel room to feed to the lab equipment they'd brought along. They were testing it for safety (and ate the food that passed their tests ;-). Their main summary of their results was that, if you want a simple rule for ordering something safe to drink, no matter where you are, order beer. They didn't always like the beer everywhere, but their tests never found beer that was unsafe for human consumption. Wine was in second place, but they did find contaminated wine in a few places.

The explanation seems to be that, as anyone who has tried brewing beer knows, you have to be really careful about cleanliness during the brewing, or you get an awful-smelling glop that nobody will drink. With wine, the process seems easy, and you can get good-smelling wine by just letting the fruit juice (with perhaps added yeast) ferment, but sometimes the result has contaminants that aren't obvious. But with beer, this doesn't work; you have to boil it all to sterilize it, add a yeast culture, make sure that stuff floating in the air can't get into the containers, or everyone will know that you've failed the instant they sniff it. So beer probably is the most significant brewing achievement in human history.

Comment Re:What's the difference? (Score 1) 259

... the CIA sent spies disguised as vaccine workers, and set back the effort to eliminae smallpox worldwide.

That's a nice example of how poorly people often handle reporting of such stories. The setback was to the polio eradication efforts, mostly in Pakistan and Nigeria where polio is still a problem. Smallpox has been eradicated (at least until one of the places that keep preserved sample of that virus manages to screw up and release a sample to the general public ;-).

But the polio part is wrong, too, since the CIA's agents were disguised as medical people providing accinations for hapatitus B. The religious folks in Pakistan and Nigeria apparently couldn't get this right, and turned on medical people providing polio vaxination.

But it's a nice example of how poorly parts of the public (both the religious folks and the people posting here at /.) can't be bothered to even get the easily verified information right. It also illustrates how damaging things like the CIA disguising their agents as medical workers can actually be. When made public, the story was a setback to lots of medical projects, not just for the disease involved in the original story, but for other unrelated diseases. How can people around the world be sure that visiting medical workers aren't actually agents of some nefarious military spy agency with a record of hunting down and killing people? If the CIA can get away with it, how many other such agencies are now working on the same approach?

Comment Re:Intelligence is genetic and heritable, news at (Score 1) 125

Perhaps the US is not special in this regard, and immigrants everywhere emphasize education, because they require more education just to survive the day?

Maybe, or it might be the other way 'round: Immigrants tend to be the people who were smart enough to get themselves out of a bad social environment where they were born, and moved to another environment where they'd have better access to education and/or better jobs.

Or maybe both are true, and there are multiple processes that produce the widely-recognized "immigrants are smarter" phenomenon.

On a somewhat related track, I've read of a few studies showing that children with multiple "parents" (through whatever processes) tend to turn out smarter, better educated, etc. Or, more generally, variety in their environment tends to turn kids indo adults who seem smarter, more knowledgeable, etc.

Comment Re:Summon into back of trailer mode? (Score 1) 408

In most countries it is illegal to park facing oncoming traffic as there is no safe way to drive off later.

How so? I'd think that pulling out into traffic coming from behind (and in the "blind spot" for most cars) is inherently more difficult than pulling out into oncoming traffic that you can clearly see without turning your head or using a rear-view mirror. Both have inherent dangers, but safely entering traffic in a way that requires watching other vehicles coming from both directions seems like the more dangerous.

So do we have statistics dealing with this? I don't think I've ever seen any, and a quick google check doesn't seem to turn up anything at all based on facts.

Also, the laws about this in the US seem to be generally local and quite inconsistent. Is there actually a federal law that deals with this? I've never heard of one, and don't seem to be able to find it. Without a few [citation needed]s, I'd suspect that people are just making rules up based on whatever they might have heard in a driver's ed class years ago. ;-)

Hereabouts (western suburbs of Boston), it's common to see cars parked on "local" streets in pretty much any orientation, and I've never heard of anyone getting ticketed for something so inherently silly. OTOH, as a student in a midwestern university a few of decades back, I do recall my surprise when I actually got a parking ticket for parking on the "wrong side". It was on a very local street that was narrow enough that two cars couldn't pass if there were cars parked on both sides, and I'd parked there temporarily to make it easy to carry stuff from the car into a friend's apartment without interfering with the (minimal) traffic. At the time, I'd never heard of the concept of "parking on the wrong side". On local streets, you parked in the place closest to where you were going, though if you were a nice guy, you might also try to leave as wide a path in the center of the street that you could, so you might park farther away if there was a wide vehicle across from where you preferred to park.

Comment Re:Here's the problem. (Score 3, Insightful) 171

> it's actually the telephone company which owns the iPhone

I hate to do this, mostly 'cause I like you, but that's simply not true - by precedent. To give two good examples:

1. Your home. If you're paid and current with your mortgage and the bank has not foreclosed and taken possession then the lending agency can not grant rights.
2. Your car, just like the above. The dealership or credit agency can not give the police permission to search your vehicle. Well, they can. It won't hold up in court.

So long as you're current then you have most every right you'd have with complete ownership. You own your house even while the bank owns it. You have the deed, they have a lien on the deed. The same thing for your car if it is not yet fully paid off. I'm not positive but I strongly suspect that if you're incarcerated and unable to make your payment then they still can't give permission to search.

Comment Re:No shit. (Score 1) 455

>> not everyone starts with the same level of driving ability

Funny you should mention that. Up above, I mentioned that I used to drive while very intoxicated. I never had an accident, got violated, and got my first (and only) moving violation in 1975. Yet, I drove professionally for a while (it was my MOS) and am an automotive aficionado who has taken many, many lessons and driven on-track and rallied - all strictly amateur. I've even done those things while moderately (for a drunk) intoxicated.

There is a component that is skill and I don't think people put much stock in it. I know, for example, that I drove better while moderately impaired than many non-impaired drivers. (Only an idiots says they drive better drunk. You do not. Though you might drive better after one or two if you're nervous about driving. I'd not call that drunk.)

So, two things... I do believe that training and ability come into play. I do not believe I am skilled enough to drive drunk safely. It was stupid and negligent when I did so.

In a perfect world, driving drunk would probably be legal but infractions while driving drunk would be penalized more heavily. It is not a perfect world and .08 was not far from my baseline. I do, really, think that having had a great deal of experience and formal training helped.

Comment Re:You need to set the cutoff somewhere (Score 2) 455

Do NOT do this.

When you drive drunk, and are so drunk that you truly have a hard time seeing, then just close one eye. It actually works. I had a drunken buddy share that kernel of wisdom with me. I have no idea how I never got an OUI or caused an accident - no infractions since a speeding ticket in something like 1975 and zero at-fault accidents ever - and I drive a whole lot more than most.

So, yeah... Do NOT do that. I learned my lesson without any actual repercussions but I drove drunk more often than I drove sober - for a very long time. I'm actually not sure if I'll ever be able to speculate that I've driven more sober than I've driven while intoxicated. I no longer drink. I have had alcoholic beverages since but never more than two and, in three years, I think I've had 7 total drinks and most of those were not finished.

Still, my retarded ass drove everywhere intoxicated. I mean everywhere. I drove across the country, multiple times, while drunk. Sometimes, too drunk to walk. I've always gotten away with it. I'm shocked that I never killed anyone or had an accident. I have had my car hit, twice, while stopped at a stop light and while parked, but was not at fault for either. I do a bit of amateur rally racing and I've crashed there. I was not, on the other hand, drunk for that - at least not very. (I've competed while marginally drunk.)

I had a friend who had a BAC testing, portable thing, and it is not accurate but I've pegged it out at .38. I know that I've been much more drunk than that. At the time, I was probably pretty normal seeming until I hit .2 - maybe more. I used to get to what I'd estimate would be .12 and then just maintain it throughout the day. I do miss drinking but I was going to end up harming myself or others.

Comment Re:How about... (Score 1) 455

Yes, yes they are. The concept of better 9 criminals be set free than 1 innocent person not going to jail is seen as quaint.

Yes, they'll deprive all for the sake of the few. (See firearms as an example.)

There's a certain level of risk assumed with operating a motor vehicle on a public road. I'm not suggesting that we allow unfettered access and lawlessness but I am suggesting that we honestly look at the probabilities and then make a realistic choice regarding where the lines should be drawn.

However, the idea of accepting risk is crazy talk these days. I think there are people who would ban most anything just so they could maybe stop someone from doing harm with it. I'm not really sure where this leads but I suspect we'll all be incarcerated to protect us from ourselves in a few thousand years. No, you may not go outside - there's danger!

Really, a lot of people are just cowards at heart and others really get off in restricting rights that they, themselves, do not make use of. For an example, I'm not really a religious person but I have no problem with that right being removed. How many times have you seen others suggesting some sort of "final solution" for the religious?

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