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Comment Re:I'm just here (Score 5, Insightful) 303

This ain't really my cause, but here goes...

The climate change proponents ask for a lot.

They ask us to decrease emissions, research carbon sequestration, and invest more in researching/exploiting renewable energy sources. Yeah, it costs money and sometimes comfort/convenience. How much do hurricanes like Katrina and Sandy cost? (Hint: $108b and $65b.) How much does a 1/2 meter or 1 meter rise in sea levels cost (billions to hundreds of billions, just for the U.S.). How much do forced migrations, famine, and war cost? Pay now or let your children pay later... either way nature can't be fooled.

There is virtually no investment of any kind in fusion research.

But there could be, if we were serious about addressing climate change. That could have been Bush's legacy, for instance, in a world where $2000b seems better spent on solving energy insecurity than bombing Muslims on the other side of the globe. And fusion is not our only option: smart grid, smart appliances, renewables, and good old fission are within our grasp. (Granted the NIMBY/anti-nuke groups aren't helping the big picture here.)

Governments are also not showing much interest in other possible ways of reducing climate change.

Voters haven't given them much reason to.

"The science" is actually a mass of utterly impenetrable papers - tens of thousands of them

You're complaining about too much science? After years of saying we need more research? That's rich.

Comment Re:Refuse to support Rust (Score 2) 131

I was going to ream you for choosing your web browser based on its underlying programming language. After all, if you're not having to interface with it as a plugin-developer, what does it matter?

Then I remembered: security. Relying on a human programmer to get every memory allocation and deallocation right every single time has proven to be a security nightmare for the past 20 years the internet has been accessible by the general public. The more safety checks you can push down into the underlying platform/language/runtime/API, the fewer security holes you'll have.

And if you need proof that your standard, mature languages aren't cutting it, look no further than Symantec's recent debacle. If kernel programmers at the world's premiere security firm can't get it right, who can?

Comment Re:Rushing things to market that can KILL YOU (Score 1) 379

Humans are terrible drivers. We drive emotionally, we get fatigued, we get bored, we drive too fast, we zone out, we fall asleep at the wheel, we have wierd medical mishaps like heart attacks and epilepsy and fainting spells. To top it all of we voluntarily impair ourselves with alcohol, drugs, text messages, and staring at ads/women/wrecks/houses/scenery.

How old will you be in fifty years? As you get old and decline in skill and health, do you truly think there won't come a point where it's smarter to trust your life to the algorithms instead of your own failing mind and body?

Self-driving cars will be a blessing for humankind. Not only will they save you from yourself, they'll also save you from all those other dumbasses out on the road. They'll give the elderly their freedom back, and open up new transportation options for children, the blind, the inebriated. They'll likely transform cities in ways we can't even imagine: probably some balance between easing congestion and allowing parking lots to be re-purposed.

But we have got to go thru an intermediary period first. Tesla was the first manufacturer with the gumption to release such a feature; others will eventually follow. As with commercial aviation, each death will be learned from and used to make the systems progressively better... it won't be a big wasted opportunity like the ~30,000 fatalities/year we currently have in the U.S.

Comment Re:This is a gift... (Score 2) 421

It seems to me that AaronW is summarizing rather than "attempting to deceive" the Slashdot audience with "nefarious bullshit". In context (observe Bartle's joke), he is simply trying to show that Clinton is more honest than Trump. Bernie was mentioned just for completeness.

However, AaronW did make a significant mathematical error by excluding the 32% "mostly false" category for Clinton. Her net false rating is 59%, not 27%. That significantly weakens his implicit claim that Clinton is significantly more honest than Trump, at least until you delve down into the more fine-grained ratings.

Moreover, PolitiFact percentages don't add up to 100% (nor close enough to reflect rounding). Their about page implies that each claim can only be assigned to one category, so quite possibly there's an error in how they are calculating percentages.

At any rate, let's try to conduct these conversations without personal attacks. Well, excluding obvious Microsoft shills anways, because, heh... we're Slashdot after all. :-)


Comment Re:What about Rust? Is it any better? (Score 1) 421

I'm with you AC... I insist that any programming language I use have multiple implementations that are fully and independently audited by sentient supercomputers who have proven their virtue in trial-by-combat with enraged swamp gorillas.aa.uao.ua3u3!#Pi derp

Just kidding! I pick the best tool for the job. If secure programming were paramount, then I'd (personally) be more successful in Rust then C++. YMMV. (BTW, good luck getting an independent audit for your proprietary compilers.)

Comment Re:Propaganda wars (Score 1) 271

Hmmm - which artificially constructed reality do you want?
  • Elon Musk - sci-fi tommorrowland (spaceships, flying cars, hypertubes, oh my!)
  • Donald Trump - glorious restoration of nationalist white American yesteryear (lock down our borders, jobs, bathrooms, women)
  • Bernie Sanders - socialist safespace for millennials (door prizes for everyone!!)
  • Hillary Clinton - corrupt corporate plutocracy [e.g., status quo] (push that middle class down below the poverty line boys!)
  • Zombie Steve Jobs - glitterland (my gadget looks better than her gadget)

Comment Re: how are people getting infected? (Score 1) 49

Mime types are hidden too, at least from the user perspective. File extensions are the most usable way of conveying file type. Of course, they aren't really usable for security purposes, because of it isn't an EXE, it's a BAT or PS1. And even if you know all your "executable" file types, nothing's to say that PDF or JPG is safe. What really boggles me though is how hiding file extensions is the default on their freaking server OS'es. I mean, treating the general public with kid gloves I understand, but treating your sys admins like imbecile is dangerous.

Comment Re:Discretion (Score 1) 554

I would argue that reduction of discretion is precisely what is required, discretion to prosecute in the first place. Any crime which we are not prepared to attempt to detect, investigate, and prosecute vigorously should be no crime at all.

Without discretion, you get things like the Mike's Hard Lemonade case, people being branded as sex offenders just for peeing in the woods, numerous VERY YOUNG children punished for pointing their finger like a gun (or drawing a gun, or writing a story that involves murder, etc., etc.,), and numerous other forms of zero-tolerance bullshit.

I get that discretion is sometimes a band-aide fix for serious problems (such as vague laws and malicious prosecution), but there's no legislator who can write perfect, high-quality laws, even if that skill was valued by voters. The law is not a computer program; we are not gears in the machine.

In addition, it would be wise to consider the failure of centralized control across a number of human endeavors... see Communism and work-to-rule as examples.

Comment Re:The /. community does not hate Mozilla. (Score 1) 243

FirefoxOS, Rust, Servo... these are all innovative gambles. While I'm irked at some of their browser changes, I don't see it as unreasonable that Mozilla selectively undertake some of these high-risk, high-reward ventures. FirefoxOS was aimed at the developing world--down-market of the iOS and Android devices that it was to compete with. If it had worked, it would have been a huge coup for Open Source, possibly leveraging HW manufactures into better isolating radio modems and possibly accelerating Google's contributions to AOSP. I say kudos to them for trying, and kudos to them for knowing when to cut their losses.

In contrast to the FirefoxOS failure, Rust successfully introduced a new systems-programming language to a world that desperately needs safer, more secure systems. It may yet flounder, but its future is looking bright.

Comment Re: Way to ruin things (Score 1) 148

Calculus was discovered near-simultaneously by two separate individuals. Ditto telephone, lightbulb, and many other truly transformative inventions. This is not a coincidence: inventors take the problems of their day starting from roughly the same base of established knowledge. A super-exceptional individual may be able to advance humanity some couple of decades thru their insight, but with billions of brains on the planet, somebody else would have eventually figured it out. There are valid argument for patents; increasing the pace of technological progress is chief among them, but to argue that NOBODY would ever discover the same thing is just silly.

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