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Comment Re:Dark energy (Score 1) 106

This is an intrinsic problem in observational sciences such as medicine and astronomy, where experiments cannot be performed: all of the postulated mechanisms are plausible hypotheses, rather than theories. The only way to falsify an hypothesis is to happen to make an observation that is at variance with the hypothesis. In experimental science, one can typically designs experiments that either provide or fail to provide such observations; in observational science, all one can do is watch and wait.

Comment Re:That's not how end-to-end encryption works (Score 3, Informative) 282

No. Read up on how the Great Firewall of China works. If the client requests a secure connection, and doesn't accept a certificate signed by the State MITM Attacker (claiming to be the connection target, if necessary generated on the fly) the connection goes no further. It's actually quite simple.

It can be worked around by letting the State MITM the connection with a proxy, then using real security for the connection through the proxy. Don't get discovered, though: doing this is terrorism. And proxies as they are discovered turn into honeypots leading to more terrorists. Your continued freedom depends on the operational security of everyone using the proxy, and on luck besides.

Comment Bed made, lay in it (Score 5, Insightful) 254

If an an individual making a single copy of a work by a large company is $200k or so, why is a large company giving copies of a work by an individual to all comers (publishing it on the web) supposed to get a pass? Is it right? Obviously not. But this is the way the deep pockets want it, so that's the way it is.

Submission + - US spy court didn't reject a single government surveillance request in 2015 (

schwit1 writes: In more than three decades years, the FISA Court has only rejected 12 requests.

A secret court that oversees the US government's surveillance requests accepted every warrant that was submitted last year, according to new figures.

The Washington DC.-based Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court received 1,457 requests from the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to intercept phone calls and emails.

In long-standing fashion, the court did not reject a single warrant, entirely or in part.

The FBI also issued 48,642 national security letters, a subpoena-like power that compels a company to turn over data on national security grounds without informing the subject of the letter.

The memo said the majority of these demands sought data on foreigners, but almost one-in-five were requests for data on Americans.

Comment Re:Definition of Calorie ABSORBED FROM FOOD is Bro (Score 1) 425

Humans don't digest anything (except complex carbohydrates, via saliva in the mouth). Gut bacteria digest food. What is available for the host human to absorb after the bacteria are done changes significantly -- not by some little correction factor, by up to an order of magnitude -- depending on a number of factors such as food particle size, prevalence of cell walls and connective tissue, the exact ratio and distribution of gut bacteria species, and so forth, for a given "energy content" of food. (A human will typically absorb as much chemical energy from a 4-oz. medium-well hamburger patty as from a 16-oz. rare steak, and an much from a 2-oz. piece of cake as from a 6-oz hunk of black bread.)

What the human body then does with that chemical energy depends on a number of genetic, environmental, and experiential factors. Having lost a significant amount of weight lowers energy demand, permanently, by up to 30%. Food availability to the mother during gestation affects the metabolic efficiency of the offspring. Hormones and hormone analogs in _microgram_ quantities effect the efficiency and completeness of energy absorption by the gut and whether abdominal fat stores the glucose. (Subcutaneous fat responds to glucose levels, not hormone levels.) Oddly, there is a strong correlation between maternal soy consumption during pregnancy and non-obese offspring: but then soy is an estrogen mimic. Most plastics also shed endocrine mimics.

The "fuel" model of food is overly simplistic. The conflation of extreme overweight and obesity is overly simplistic (yes, obese people can diet and exercise to normal weight -- 5% of the time; the other 95%, other mechanisms keep the fat from turning into energy). The worldwide obesity crisis cannot be solved by diet, exercise, and willpower, because it is not caused by overeating, lack of exercise, and self-indulgence. _Overweight_ can be so addressed; obesity cannot.

Comment Palm m105 (Score 1) 508

A working Palm m105 can be had for $25-35. "Typed" student papers (Graffiti'd in) could be transferred to your computer by IrDA or a serial cradle. If you're willing to reformat electronic readings to ePub format, readings can be transferred to students the same way. "Notes" up to 4kB hold about a page and a half of single spaced text. Small but readable screen, free applications that raise the limit on the editor to 32kB (about 12 pages single spaced). A pair of batteries lasts 1-2 weeks; using the IrDA is the big current suck, so use a serial cradle for everything. The "supercaps" in the m100 series don't hold a charge while switching batteries, so the device resets. "Hotsync" to a PC before & after battery swap makes that irrelevant. For those who must keyboard, an attachable full-size keyboard that folds up to pocket size is another $35.

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