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Comment Re:Wow I've just had a crazy Idea!! (Score 2) 68

The main advantage of a removable battery is that it is easier to replace when it is worn out.

A critical advantage, for sure.

But don't overlook being able to easily swap the battery for a much larger one with a TPU (or better) case. I will never own a phone with a battery under 10,000mAh again, because I quite prefer having a big, heavy phone. I know it's on my person. To me, that's important.

I'm a tiny market, but that's the point of user-replaceable shit.

Comment Theories on Indonesia and Pacifica abound (Score 1) 142

One of my favorite was from a book in '05 that pinned it pretty definitively in Indonesia. Although the author passed away soon after, fans of his (and some relatives) have been commenting upon some of the research at atlan.org, which was the first thing I thought of when news of this broke.

NASA

NASA Scientist Revive 10,000-Year-Old Microorganisms (bbc.com) 109

"Scientists have extracted long-dormant microbes from inside the famous giant crystals of the Naica mountain caves in Mexico -- and revived them," reports the BBC. An anonymous reader writes: "The organisms were likely to have been encased in the striking shafts of gypsum at least 10,000 years ago, and possibly up to 50,000 years ago," according to the BBC, which calls the strange lifeforms "another demonstration of the ability of life to adapt and cope in the most hostile of environments." With no light, extremophile species must "chemosynthesise," deriving all their energy by extracting minerals from rocks. These ancient microbes "are not very closely related to anything in the known genetic databases," according to the new director of NASA's Astrobiology Institute, who helped conduct the research, and believes that the microbes could help suggest what life might look like on other planets. The BBC adds that many other scientists "suspect that if life does exist elsewhere in the Solar System, it is most likely to be underground, chemosynthesising like the microbes of Naica."

Comment Re:I only hope (Score 1) 157

Why was THIS modded down? This would actually work... to some degree, if you had all the ad networks in there and didn't visit any malicious sites. (At least as far as for the *JavaScript* vector that is.)

That's basically ludicrous. You're better off disabling javascript and flash and leaving your hosts file untouched.

Actually, if you wanted a way to make the web more secure? Make all the browsers default only to Javascript 1.1 or some other ancient version with just enough built-in support for DOM tweaking to maybe update the status ticker, and then ban all cross-site loading of js files that's not HTTPS.

Comment Well, yes. As they should. (Score 4, Informative) 502

Apparently we've forgotten the folks (San Bernardino, etc) who had "clear evidence of ISIS sympathies" on their Facebook profiles and other public social media that we then asked why hadn't been caught when they were entering the country.

As the SCOTUS has repeatedly stated, aliens have no Right of Entry to the US, and non-citizens have reduced guarantees (and certainly reduced privileges). Even a US citizen may be searched on entry if anything unusual is suspected, and is legally obligated to declare possessions in a way that basically happens nowhere else domestically (except agricultural goods going into California).

This is a Good Thing. How is this not a Good Thing? That's what customs/border inspection is supposed to be doing.

Comment What happened to slashdot? (Score 4, Insightful) 377

Virtually every top comment is a victim-blaming shitfest.

"Ooooh CRIME he's a hacker! Arrest the victim!"

"Every security expert encrypts every piece of technology they own regardless of circumstances! It's his own fault!"

".. and they ALWAYS take every possession with them everywhere they go, and never lock anything in their vehicle, because they're infallible! Clearly he's not an expert!"

"That poor thief. ;("

Ugh.

AI

Elite Scientists Have Told the Pentagon That AI Won't Threaten Humanity (vice.com) 169

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: A new report authored by a group of independent U.S. scientists advising the U.S. Dept. of Defense (DoD) on artificial intelligence (AI) claims that perceived existential threats to humanity posed by the technology, such as drones seen by the public as killer robots, are at best "uninformed." Still, the scientists acknowledge that AI will be integral to most future DoD systems and platforms, but AI that could act like a human "is at most a small part of AI's relevance to the DoD mission." Instead, a key application area of AI for the DoD is in augmenting human performance. Perspectives on Research in Artificial Intelligence and Artificial General Intelligence Relevant to DoD, first reported by Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists, has been researched and written by scientists belonging to JASON, the historically secretive organization that counsels the U.S. government on scientific matters. Outlining the potential use cases of AI for the DoD, the JASON scientists make sure to point out that the growing public suspicion of AI is "not always based on fact," especially when it comes to military technologies. Highlighting SpaceX boss Elon Musk's opinion that AI "is our biggest existential threat" as an example of this, the report argues that these purported threats "do not align with the most rapidly advancing current research directions of AI as a field, but rather spring from dire predictions about one small area of research within AI, Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)." AGI, as the report describes, is the pursuit of developing machines that are capable of long-term decision making and intent, i.e. thinking and acting like a real human. "On account of this specific goal, AGI has high visibility, disproportionate to its size or present level of success," the researchers say.

Comment Re:Some of us know how to use PGP in a real client (Score 2) 26

Yep, that was what I was hinting at -- of course one can not securely interoperate with other services using plain old STMP, but I hoped they would add secure link between any two of their internal customers, with plausible deniability that they ever communicated.

As to "innocence" of metadata, a required (and educational!) read that I am sure you have seen, but others might have not: https://kieranhealy.org/blog/a...

Paul B.

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