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Comment The problem with this (Score 1) 314

Only 1% of the population commits crimes. In statistics you have to pay special attention to cases where probabilities are close to 0 or 1.

Here, even though 18% of the population may commit 40% of the crimes, it still only means that one of those people has a 2.2% chance (0.4% divided by 0.18) of being a criminal. If you therefore deny him a service due to fear of him being a criminal, you are still 97.8% likely to have commited an error.

Comment Re:Like the Jewish assets during WW2? (Score 2) 103

Swiss misbehaviour regarding Jews during WW2 consisted of:
- Accepting confiscated jewish assets (art, jewelry) in payment for goods even when the government had been informed that "legal" proceedings leading to those forfeitures didn't even have a semblance of fairness.
- Liquidating jewish bank accounts whose owners did not contact the bank anymore after the war without taking even very reasonable measures of trying to reach any heirs.

There are some common other urban legends going around like the Swiss handing over assets to the Nazis, Jews being transported through Switzerland, Switzerland accepting gold tooth fillings etc that are all fantasy.

Comment Re:In other words... (Score 5, Insightful) 142

It'd still be quite interesting to have a look at that missile. Even really basic things like hinges and reinforcement hull struts might give you ideas how to improve other missiles.

Not that they necessarily are better but being able to look at how other people solved problems and compare them with your own solution has always been one of my favorite ways to gain knowledge.

Comment Re:Jeunism (Score 1) 401

By the way it's not necessary to be able to see a USB A plug or cable to be able to orient it correctly. On a device, they are always oriented top up, with the hollow (for a regular size) or wide (for a micro) side pointing towards the keyboard. On the cable, there is usually an embossed USB symbol on the side of the cable that's "up".

Comment Re:Wny did they need the certificates? (Score 2) 95

There are reasons for creating fake certificates, like when you want to sniff your own HTTPS traffic to aid with web debugging. But what Symantec never should've done is use their proper CA for that. They should've used an internal CA that their own computers trust but nobody outside knows about, like any company does that can't just walk across the office and get a "real" certificate from Frank.

Comment Re:While we're on the topic... (Score 3, Informative) 43

1. Is just a nomenclature problem. The key issue was whether Pluto belongs in the same category as Mercury through Neptune.

2. If a planet changes its orbit, one of two things will happen:

  • It clears its new neighborhood
  • It gets cleared out by a new neighbor or falls into a resonance with it

In both of these cases the new category that object will fall in is quite clear

3. and 4. In geological terms yes, but I think the IAU was correct in preferring to define planets through orbital characteristics over geological ones.

5. The neighborhood of a planet cannot be simply changed without significant consequences. If through some freak incident a formerly solitary planet ends up suddenly having a neighbor of significantly higher mass, that planet will not remain a planet for very long. Its "mutability" is then not even restricted to definition games, it will quite be literally destroyed or thrown away into deep space.

6. An Earth-copy that hasn't cleared its neighborhood yet won't be an Earth-copy due to frequent crust destroying meteorite impacts. Such a child solar system will probably not be described well by our current terminology but these systems are also very rare because that phase of life only lasts for a very short time.

7. There will clearly eventually be edge cases, but Pluto isn't. There is an object with 10000 times its mass within its perihel and apohel. Its orbital period is not independantly "chosen" but defined by Neptune

8. - 10. Those are all things that we are just now starting to discover. They might eventually change up the definition of the word planet again, such as when we do find the first binary pair of planets with similar mass in the same orbit. But for now it should be perfectly acceptable to delay that decision until we have solid data.

11+ are mostly political points where you can have an opinion either way. But scientifically the question is: Are Pluto, Ceres, Eris and the 100+ other yet to be discovered KBOs really similar enough to the big eight to be in the same category.

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