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Comment We've got to cut them some slack. (Score 1) 59

This wasn't some incompetent scammer with a poor grasp of English. "Rimasauskas even went so far as to create fake contracts on forged company letterhead, fake bank invoices, and various other official-looking documents to convince employees of the two companies to send him money" shows that he went to some length to look legitimate.

Comment Re:Absolutely nuttin' and no one (Score 1) 176

Basically your reply convinces me that you've never made a serious effort to read one of these EULAs.

By the way, I think I should clarify that I don't think Microsoft created the strategy. However I do think they've perfected it, and now it's almost SOP in large companies. The true solution of breaking the excessively large companies into smaller ones seems unlikely to be adopted.

Comment Re: No complaints here (Score 1) 279

We're getting too far from Mars... Therefore I think that all I want to say is that I doubt the Saudis will use their sovereign fund is such wise and benevolent ways. I think the ruling family will just take the money and run, perhaps to Denmark where I think their sovereign wealth fund will be invested well. The extractionists are already committed to releasing way too much carbon and the end game doesn't matter if you are only thinking about dying with the most toys.

Comment Re:The devil needed an escape route (Score 1) 279

I'm certainly not denying that Pence is terrible, but I believe he is terrible within normal bounds of awfulness. I even agree that his goals are egregious, but I think he is basically not that competent. In comparison, I think Trump is much less competent, but his damage potential is much higher because he can be played so easily. I'm not so much in favor of removing the Donald as in dis-empowering Bannon.

As regards Mars and the original topic, I'm not sure if Pence believes in the existence of Mars. What does his current Bible say on the topic? Pretty sure his first nutty religion believes in Mars, but much less certain about his even nuttier second choice.

Comment Re: No complaints here (Score 1) 279

You're wasting your time. It might be sincerely stupid or proudly ignorant or paid to fake it, but that doesn't matter. Actually, it might matter in the third case if it gets bonus payments for replies such as yours.

My working hypothesis is that the mechanized propaganda efforts are working. I believe the Russians are the leaders, but I'm not sure why they would care so much on this issue. Even if the risk of detection is low, the possible benefits seems too far away to justify the effort. Yeah, tropical Siberia would be great for them, but it might not work out that way (unless they are also leading in climate modeling). In contrast, the extractionists certainly have short-term concerns that could justify their propaganda investments, even if they aren't as good at it as the Russians are.

I recommend This Changes Everything on the general climate change topic, thought it's flawed in some ways. On the cyber-warfare topic, I'm just about to start The Shadow Factory . I read Cyber War back in 2015, and it was rather disturbing, especially regarding the Chinese capabilities on both offense and defense, but I think the Chinese are quite worried about climate change.

Comment Re:The devil needed an escape route (Score 1) 279

Not under that label (though I have studied some related material), but more importantly, you failed to establish any relevancy. Also, not even a nod to the original topic. Perhaps you want to suggest that logic will work differently on Mars?

Seems to me that you must be unaware of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem. Without checking the references I am aware that around 1931 he proved that no logical system of sufficient complexity can actually capture the notion of "truth". Gross oversimplification, but I'd recommend Godel, Escher, Bach if you're sincerely interested in the topic. Or even Godel's original paper.

Oh yeah. The punchline. You can fix the system by extending it. Unfortunately, every new extension is merely broken in a new way.

My point was that this Mars project is a form of political lie. Therefore the ontology of lies was relevant to describing what sort of lie it was.

Guessing wildly, but perhaps your point was some sort of knee-jerk defense of Herr #PresidentTweety. If so, then this recent video on do-it-yourself brainwashing is relevant, but it won't help you (because you are too busy brainwashing yourself): https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment Re:Huh? I use these all the time. (Score 1) 224

This gets down to something that used to be a common UI design principle before software became so feature-ful it became impractical: manifest interface.

The idea of a manifest interface (which also is a principle in language and API design) is that if the software has a capability you should be able to see it. You shouldn't have to root around to stumble upon it. Tabs follow this principle; there's enough visual and behavioral cues to suggest that you need to click on a tab. The little "x" in the tab also follows this principle.

But context menus you access by right-clicking break this rule, which means that there may be millions of people laboriously clicking on "x" after "x", unaware that they can make all the extraneous tabs in their browser disappear with just two clicks.

This, by the way, is why Macintoshes were designed with one button on the mouse. But even Mac UI designers couldn't get by with just single and double-click, so you have option-click too, bit by in large you could operate most programs without it.

Anyhow, to make sure people know about this kind of feature, your program is going to have to watch their behavior and suggest they try right clicking. But that way lies Clippy...

Comment Re:think of the children! (Score 3, Interesting) 143

Actually yes. Scientific or not, a list short enough for kids to learn in grade school is a damn good idea

Well, then, it's time to start teaching that there's only 8 rivers in the world, and all others are dwarf rivers and don't count as rivers. And 8 bones in the human body, the rest being dwarf bones that aren't really bones. And 8 particles in physics, and all others dwarf particles and don't count as particles. And 8 galaxies in the universe.... you get the picture.

. And for fuck's sake, Pluto and the other KBOs ARE DIFFERENT ENOUGH from the asteroids

Since we're apparently going into shouting mode, Pluto IS FAR MORE LIKE THE TERRESTRIAL PLANETS THAN THE TERRESTRIAL PLANETS ARE LIKE THE GAS GIANTS. If anything should be kicked out of the planet club, it's the gas giants.

The issue isn't whether KBOs should have their own classification. They do: KBOs. The question is whether it makes sense to group dissimilar objects (terrestrial planets and gas giants) but artificially exclude other objects in hydrostatic equilibrium, objects with active geology, internal differentiation, fluids, and all of the other hallmarks we associate with planets. Nature has given us a very clear dividing line: objects in hydrostatic equilibrium are where you go to see tectonics, mineralization, fluids, search for life, etc, while objects not in hydrostatic equilibrium are where you go to learn about the formation of the solar system, find its building blocks, learn about what life was built from, etc. Nature rarely gives us such meaningful dividing lines, but in this case, it has, and we should respect it.

Comment Re:Cognitive Dissonance (Score 1) 374

It would be more correct to label them as "natural" and us as "sub natural" or "artificial".

It's all a matter of the frame of reference.

Would you start calling the folks at IBM "Gods" because they created watson and dropped him into a simulated world like world of warcraft?

I sure wouldn't, but Watson would.

Comment Re:Cognitive Dissonance (Score 1) 374

Is it me, or does it seem like those who argument so adamantly against the concept of a supreme being are perfectly happy to entertain the idea that we are part of a stimulation?

Your assertion would imply that Sabine Hossenfelder is at least a deist. Do you have evidence for that?

More importantly, if the Universe is a simulation, that -- by definition -- means that there are supernatural beings (aka "gods") out there, which would totally crush atheism.

Comment Re:No (Score 2) 143

Well, the current definition is "cleared the neighborhood" (despite how much that they like to pretend that it actually says "gravitationally dominant"). And Earth most definitely has not cleared its moon. So....

Actually, by that definition, Earth isn't a moon, either, as it doesn't orbit something defined as a planet. Earth would be a "small solar system body".

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