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Comment Re:Same as every year:The Bible. (Score 2) 338

I've read the Bible over a two-year period several times. It is a lot of reading, and not easy to absorb. However, I have to say that each time I got a lot of new insights and ideas from it. It complements the tons of technical and sci-fi reading that I do otherwise. Understanding the relationship between the Old and the New Testament is key, I think, and explains a lot of the ethical issues. I found two things interesting with regard to that - first, Jesus really gives an amazing ethical basis in the Sermon on the Mount, and I am so glad that a huge part of our Western civilization is built on its premises. And second, Jesus' message in the end does not seem to be about the new ethical rules, but rather about how to deal with the fact that we're all breaking them. Fascinating reading, but from the discussion here it seems it is definitely not for everyone.

Comment Keyboard layout (Score 3, Interesting) 140

In my country, along with caps lock, many people will switch between local and English keyboard layout so instead of 123 they will type ÄÅÄ. Another one back home is qwertz versus qwerty. I wish someone implemented this a long time ago along with the 'caps lock ignore' feature. By the way, it is quite unlike case insensitivity because you just accept two versions - Password and pASSWORD - pAsswOrd would not be accepted. That actually till keeps the security pretty high I would say, with a decrease of the search space to one half of the original for each 'forgot to switch' factor.

Comment Re: invite more people in? (Score 1) 547

I was wondering about your assertion that you cannot decide which culture is better yet you can decide that mixing them is bad. Is it because we have past bad experience with mixing? And is mixing today the same as mixing in the past? And is it because we do not have past bad experience with individual cultures? And are the cultures the same as in the past? My point is - some cultures probably are better and there should be no shame in thinking that. What we should not do is use violence or force to promote ours (that is what I believe based on our culture)

Comment Re:Ban encryption without backdoors (Score 1) 43

It would help law enforcement track criminals such as terrorists and those who orchestrate scams such as ransomware. If they couldn't communicate with unbreakable encryption, it would be much easier to bring these criminals to justice and it would keep all of us safer.

Yes but please be aware of the fact that so far there have been no cases where weak encryption would help, or strong encryption would hinder the terrorists. And in Paris, they apparently communicated through unencrypted SMS messages.

Backdoors could also be used to unencrypt data that criminals encrypted with ransomware, allowing victims to recover their data without paying exorbitant prices to criminals.

Unfortunately this would also allow criminal to unencrypt data that banks encrypted for their customers, or sensitive personal data that companies or government organizations are storing about people.

Imagine how bad things would get if terrorists or hostile governments got hold of the backdoor access. How about companies installing backdoors for THEIR governments or just for their own corporation? How about if anyone in law enforcement decides to misuse the backdoors to find dirt on a political opponent? And finally - there is no way to stop unbreakable encryption, as long as one-time coding pads exist; so in each case, determined terrorists are not going to be hurt by this.

So yes, there may be some reasons in favour, but I feel like more are against.

Comment Re:is this just a repackaging scam? (Score 1) 112

No it's not a scam. As pointed out by other posters, the company behind this is CZ.NIC, the administrator of the .CZ top level domain. As a nonprofit, they have done extensive work on this, in large part as enthusiastic volunteers who are at the same time serious professionals. It's about as much scam as this "Android OS" which is just normal phone hardware with Linux installed on it :)

Comment Re:Man with hammer (Score 3, Insightful) 90

As a matter of the fact, he is not the first person to think of this. No matter what media you use (biological matter, transistors) information is the same thing whether it is stored in DNA or on an optical drive. It is clear that DNA contains lots of information that you can measure and you can apply the same research tools in many cases that you apply in computer science.

One interesting thing is how the information got into the DNA - was it somehow "collected" from the system over the generations (i.e. it was always present in the system since the Big Bang?) or is information somehow "generated" over time (which is strange, because the process that creates it would probably contain the information in its definition)...

In other words, the questions are definitely interesting, and I think sometimes it is not a bad idea to realize that if you see a nail and have a hammer, you might apply the latter to the former :)

Comment Re:SXSW are pussies (Score 1) 478

Thanks for the detailed analysis. Unfortunately I have to work even on Saturdays so I don't have time to answer more of your points but I would like to address the last two numbered lines in your post. Are you sure there is a difference between agnosticism + hypothesis and faith? I actually see the only difference in the words we use (how do you understand the work "know", and how strong is the "faith"?

To make this more scientific (because without observable behaviour, how can you tell if what someone has in their head is faith or agnosticism + hypotheses): to what extent do people base their actions on their hypothesis/faith?

I have faith that once I finish typing this it will appear on the Slashdot website (do I know or hypothesize?). I have a hypothesis that there is an optical link that will transfer the request to Slashdot servers (or do I know this although I have not seen the cable, and if I have seen the cable it was not today?). I know the stairs outside my office will carry me (or is this just a hypothesis based on previous experience)? I hypothesize that the computer I am typing this on actually uses some electricity as I type (or do I really and for sure know this?).

Of course in religion these become more complicated, and I am willing to admit that I don't know if there is life after death but I act as if there is (or I act as if there is not). It does not even matter what I believe, it's how I act - some people say they believe in life after death but act as if that was not true, others say they are agnostics but act as if there was no life after death, without a provision that it may be untrue (if there's some probability of getting to hell shouldn't I go for a more careful approach if I really don't know, or do I have actual faith that there is nothing after death?).

So, thanks again for the post, and I can only hypothesize that it will be useful.

Comment Re:QR code (Score 1) 149

Or you could, you know, just write your phone # and email address on that piece of paper? Or is there some advantage in having to pull out a phone to discover your email? Would your friend even scan the QR code to discover what it contains when he finds the book on his bookshelf a year later? But if you want technology for the sake of technology, feel free to embed an RFID next to a QR code with a link to company selling RFID readers...

Comment Re: Nail everyone? (Score 1) 618

Yes you are right. You only seem to assume that people view their stable income as more in their interest than living in integrity with a good conscience. This may of course be a cultural assumption... and I would imagine that one's true religion or philosophy (not the professed one :) would show quite well in a situation like this...

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