* Posts by hnwombat

72 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Apr 2017


Twitter dismantles its Trust and Safety Council moments before meeting


Re: What a load of, er, "number 2"

> Who is number one?

That would be telling.

China discovers unknown mineral on the moon, names it Changesite-(Y)


Re: Weight

"No, technically it 'massed' 1.73 kg on the Moon as well, since kg is the SI unit of mass."

True, however it also 'weighed' 3.8lbs since, as everyone knows, a pound is a measure of force (like the Newton) and the actual imperial unit of mass is the slug.

Hmmmm... I sense an opportunity. El reg should add the slug as a unit of mass (e.g., 1 adult badger == 130.4347 banana slugs).

However, I note that el reg has also intermixed measures of weight and mass. We need a purifying revamp of the standards!

Linux may soon lose support for the DECnet protocol


Quorum call!

/me ducks and runs

Worried about being replaced by a robot? Become a physicist


Re: Doing my bit for the little guy(gal)

"If we automate unskilled jobs out of existence, what will unskillable people do?"

Same thing we do today-- let them starve in the streets.

Website fined by German court for leaking visitor's IP address via Google Fonts


No chrome wings, please

You really want to return to every site being in Times, Arial or Verdana?


Actually, no. Just Times, no Arial or Verdana.

Thank you.

Now, if you don't get off my lawn, I'll shake my stick at you again.

US nuclear submarine bumps into unidentified underwater object in South China Sea


Re: Other scenarios

Alternate 3: R'lyeh has been found.

(Icon for the immiment demise of humankind at the hands of Cthulhu.)

Trouts on a plane: Utah drops fish into lakes from aircraft and circa 95% survive


"As god is my witness, I thought trout could fly!"

Man found dead inside model dinosaur after climbing in to retrieve phone


No fowl play?

Oh, come on, of course there was fowl play. Today's dinosaur wreaking revenge on those pesky mammals...

Delayed, overbudget and broken. Of course Microsoft's finest would be found in NASA's Orion


Pfft. Newfangled contraptions prone to failure. Install a card or tape reader for real reliability.

Google, Amazon pass on UK Digital Services Tax by hiking ad prices, fees at same rate the government takes


Re: No surprise here

"All taxes are paid from the wallet of the customer."

That's a fallacy. It's a cycle; pinning the exact source is very, very difficult. Remember that the customer gets their money from their employer-- and if prices for the customer go up, they demand more from their employer. "All taxes are paid by the producer" has exactly equal validity, logic, and provability as your statement.

Chromium devs want the browser to talk to devices, computers directly via TCP, UDP. Obviously, nothing can go wrong


Re: Trustworthy?

Of course they don't care about the users. The users are the *product*, not the customer.


Re: "Like WebUSB, WebMIDI and WebBluetooth, …"

I would love to have given you +10 upvotes for using the correct calendar system.... instead, here's a virtual beer on me.

You'd think 1.8bn users a day would be enough for Zuck. But no. Oculus fans must sign up for Facebook


Re: Uh ?

"I just wish all these companies would actually realise its what *customers* want, not what they want.which is important."

There's the problem. If you're not paying for something, you're the *product*, not the customer. The customers are the purchasers of your data.

Icon because it's the best I could do without a late-stage capitalist kleptocracy icon.

This NSA, FBI security advisory has four words you never want to see together: Fancy Bear Linux rootkit


Re: "Center"

Actually, it's "murkin". We drop as many vowels as we can. And that it ends up being a bit salacious is a plus.

You're testing them wrong: Whiteboard coding interviews are 'anti-women psychological stress examinations'


Re: Statistics

Ah, I see the problem. My bad. Yes, your dick is indeed much bigger than mine. Cheers!


Re: Statistics

You may be a statistician, but you seem to have some problem understanding its application to social sciences (I have a Ph.D. in behaviorally-based information systems (i.e., social psychology)). It may be word salad to you, but not to social psych researchers. My points stand.


Re: Statistics

Sorry, but a sample of 48 tests, roughly half-and-half control and treatment, can most certainly show statistically significant effects. Mind you, it would have been *much* better if there were at least 30 in each case, due to the central limit theorem, but having fewer largely biases the mean, not the standard deviation (until you get to very small numbers, e.g. around 4-5 in each case).

In fact, that they showed a statistically significant difference (a term of art, by the way) with a small sample, that means the effect is quite large. I'm more impressed with a study this size that shows a statiistically significant result than one with 1000 in each case. With a large sample like that, you find a statistically significant difference for *anything* pretty much. Which is why we don't use the chi-square test as definiitive with large sample sizes (in structural equation modeling, for example).

(Icon more for my field than for the mic-drop moment)

AMD pushes 64-core 4.2GHz Ryzen Threadripper Pro workstation processors


I'd kill for one of those, with two or more chips in, in fact. I do agent-based modeling with one process per agent-- I could load one of those machines in a heartbeat. :-)

€13bn wings its way back to Apple after Euro court rules Irish tax deal wasn't 'state aid'


Re: Corporation Tax should be 0%

This is a straw man (albeit one I fell for for a long time). True, the customers pay the tax in the form of price. However, the parallel also holds:

Who actually pays individual tax? Does the individual "magic" money out of the aether to pay their taxes, or does their employer pay the tax (built into the salary)?

It's a cycle. My income is your expense, your income is my expense.

Y = C + I + G + (X − M) = COE + GOS + GMI + T(P & M) – S(P & M) = sum(all sales) + sum(delta(all savings))

(note that for practical purposes, each of these sums come out slightly differently, due to measurement error and estimation. However, if they could all be measured perfectly, they would all produce the same number. The gross product can be seen as the summation of all income, the summation of all sales, or the summation of all production.

You can't take one of those and analyze a tax based on that. A very progressive tax at all transaction points is the only fair way to cover it. Thus: VAT should be progressive (sales transaction, percentage goes up with price), individual income tax should be progressive (salary transaction), corporate income tax should be progressive (sales to profit transaction), dividends are another name for personal income, etc. etc.

You need to study macroeconomics more closely.

Happy privacy action day in California: If you don't have 'Do not sell my information' in your website footer, you need to read this story right now


Re: What ever happened to

Part of the EULA you agree to when you sign up gives the company a perpetual, transferable, regenerative, license to use your content in any way they wish. Effectively, you assign them copyright to anything you write. Not quite, because technically you still have the same rights you had, and can theoretically compete with them on monetizing your creation; but, really, who's gonna be more effective, you, or facebook? They have all the power.

Whether this is ethical or legal is another question. There is significant question as to the validity and enforcability of EULAS as they currently exist. But, on its face, and for all practical considerations[1], you gave away that right long ago. Just as I have in making this comment.

This is one of the reasons that copyright law, and the concept of "intellectual property" generally, desparately needs a major overhaul. And I say this as someone who basically makes his living as a creator of "intellectual property", so I'm goring my own ox.

[1] I don't have pockets deep enough to sue and win on this, do you?

Mortal wombat: 4 generations of women fight for their lives against murderous marsupial


Re: Another wombat reference from the Fortune program

Nash indeed, along with a companion stanza from SWMBO:

This wombat lives in the computer room

Among the disks and dark and gloom.

He may exist on take-out lunches,

Or Apple salesmen fried in bunches.

His lofty mental state precludes

Conclusive knowledge of his moods.

But I would not engage this wombat

In any form of on-line combat.

At last, the fix no one asked for: Portable home directories merged into systemd


Re: Why?

I think it's for the people that find NFS too hard to configure, and would rather copy their whole home directory over the network every time they log in rather than just the files they need. Just like Windoze!

Taxi for Uber: Ride-hailing app giant stripped of licence to operate in London


Actually, it's not ALL about underpaying drivers. It's about 50/50 that and ignoring consumer protection laws.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moves to shut Parliament

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Calling a lying shitbag a lying shitbag is not biased. It's simply honesty.

Yorkshire bloke's Jolly Roger flag given the heave-ho after council receives one complaint


What's a pirate's favorite letter of the alphabet?

Ay, you might think it be the Arrrrrr... but ye'd be wrong. It be the Ceeeeeeeee....

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week, try the veal...

Defense against the Darknet, or how to accessorize to defeat video surveillance


Re: security concerns

I suspect it is actually full of eels.

It's World (Terrible) Password (Advice) Day!


Re: '2 Factor- This is proper security'

"Proper Security? Face it 2-factor is anything but, we need 3-Factor asap!"

You're still thinking too small. We need aleph-null factor security! The crims will never get in!*

* by definition

New York looks at California, drafts net neutrality legislation


Because we already left

"If it's such a fustercluck, though, why isn't anyone LEAVING?"

Most of us with half a brain saw this coming as a result of George III (aka G. W. Bush) and left while the getting was good.

The US has been going down the tubes since the Nixon campaign (first to really target white supremacists as a base). Reagan accelerated the decline (destroying union power, tax cuts for the rich, tax hikes for the poor), as did the Bushes (more tax cuts for the rich and tax cuts for the poor), and now so-called "president" Trump has pushed the pedal to the metal...

(To be fair, Clinton was also a problem, allowing the gutting of welfare under his watch.)

BTW: I'm old enough to remember Nixon, and voted against Reagan twice because I could see how bad for the country he was. If you weren't there, and can't see how what they did harmed the country, you aren't qualified to wax poetic about their brilliance.

Cambridge Analytica dismantled for good? Nope: It just changed its name to Emerdata


Re: Cambridge Anal whining...

"...has been vilified for activities that are not only legal, but also widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising in both the political and commercial arenas,"

Yep. Yet another proof that legal != ethical.

The villification is entirely justified when the "victim" is, in fact, a villain.

Facebook confirms Cambridge Analytica harvested profile data


Re: Boo Hoo! @SVV

Let's see where this logic gets us...

People who bought Pintos should have known that they had flaws in the gas tank protection. Therefore, when getting into an rear-end accident, the resulting fireball was entirely their fault, and Ford had no blame.

Sorry, I don't buy it.

Unethical data creation / protection / use is still unethical, even if the provider of the initial data is an idiot. It can be argued that the company is not 100% to blame, but not that it is 0% to blame.

Plus, this ignores those of us who *were* aware of possible consequences, created accounts because we basically *had* to (I am a university professor; my students don't communicate via email, they do it via fb), gave it as little information as possible, and *still* had our data weaponized.

We really need to stop the neo-liberal "companies don't do anything unethical, since you knowingly agreed to the terms of service and information flow is symmetric, instantaneous, and cost-free, and consumers are entirely rational" mindset in its tracks. The very existence of advertising companies denies the premises.

Accused Brit hacker Lauri Love will NOT be extradited to America


Re: "travel to the USA would be out of bounds for him"

I wish I could give you 10 thumbs up for this one. Have a beer on me --->

Firefox to emit ‘occasional sponsored story’ in ads test


It's open source. Rip the fucking code out and build. Problem fixed.

To make it a little easier long term, save the change as a patch, apply to future releases.

May have to be tweaked occasionally, but this is one of the nice things about open source.

That said, I may switch to a fork myself. We'll see. Certainly not planning to watch any stupid ads.

5 reasons why America's Ctrl-Z on net neutrality rules is a GOOD thing


Re: Replying this far down...

= CTRL + Z was a control key to suspend the currently running process to the background in the C

= shell (csh) in the late 1970s BSD kernel, while CTRL + Z being used for undo was first done at

= Xerox PARC not Apple.

You know, I think you may be onto something here. Kieran may have been a little sharper than we realized. It is actually a ^Z in this sense; because the FCC obviously did not follow correct procedure, and this idiocy is going to be stop by the courts so fast it will make Pai's head spin. Plus, when the dems take congress back in 2018, it'll be passed in legislation if it is still being foughy over (which it probably will be). So it's just backgrounded for a bit, and the fg is coming soon. :-)


Re: @zb

= And that is one of the more enlightening web sites. Are you making this up?

I'm a professor in a business school (ex-computer scientist for 20 years prior). It is a term that is used in economic circles. It is not well known outside those circles.

The very short version is that in a capitalist system, capital is equipment or tools. Not money. Money is just a short form token that allows you to convert one type of capital into another, or exchange capital for labor, or vice versa. It's an accounting trick, and nothing else.

The current American system has turned that onto its head, giving actual primary value to the money itself, not to the capital it theoretically represents.

Money doesn't do jack shit. Capital does. And yes, it does make a difference. You do know, for instance, that companies nothing from the stock market, right?

If that's news to you, then I suggest you do some reading up on real economics. And not just micro.

(Oh, and since your abiliity to do actual research seems to be wikipedia, go look at "financialism" and "finance capitalism" there.)


Re: @dan1980

The "law of supply and demand" only applies in microeconomics, and only in a perfect world that does not, and can not, exist. It requires:

* Perfect competition

* Commodity non-distinguishable goods

* Perfect information flow

* No assymetric information

* No transaction costs

* Perfect mobility

* An infinite number of suppliers

* An infinite number of consumers

Break any one of these conditions, and it is an approximation, not a "law". Break a couple more, and you have complete market failure.

Raise it to the macroeconomic level (country wide or world wide), and it's completely useless and does not describe reality at all.

It is you who does not understand fundamental economics, whether capitalist or otherwise. (Oh, and a small hint: the US system hasn't been capitalist in a long, long time; since at least the 18th century, and quite possibly the 17th. It's actually financialist.)


Re: @dan1980

Your analogy is wrong.

What anti-net neutrality want to do is charge you to enter the road AND to leave the road.

If I am downloading terabytes of stuff from netflix, sure, that implies a lot of data enters my ISPs network from netflix. But in order for me to RECEIVE those bytes, I will have had to pay my ISP to give me a big pipe.

So they have already been paid to carry those big trucks.

Ex-Microsoft intern claimed one of her fellow temps raped her. Her bosses hired him


Re: hnwombat So what did the police say?

@Jonathan Schwartz:

= TBH, women like you are the reason feminism gets such a bad name.

I'm cis-male.

And men still don't get to decide how bad "grabbing an ass" is. The rest of your comments I'll ignore because you didn't understand the subtleties of the point that I was trying to make-- which is that Microsoft has a right and a duty to act based on suspicion. They are not a court of law. Just like Google was right to fire their jerk.


Re: So what did the police say?

= I can definitely say that as an undersized 13-year-old girl, while I found having my butt & chest

= grabbed by the jocks as part of a bullying campaign was upsetting, it didn't freak me out half as

= much as their threats to rape me if they ever found me alone. (They weren't smart enough to

= threaten to do it if I told on them, or I might not have gotten the little asshats suspended.)

Okay, fair, enough, I was being extreme, but to try to make a point-- men don't get to decide that "grabbing a little ass" isn't serious. It's the grabee that gets to decide. "Boys will be boys" is not acceptable, and is legally actionable.


Re: So what did the police say?

The "proven guilty" standard is for criminal cases in criminal court with criminal penalties. It applies nowhere else. In civil courts, it's "preponderance of evidence", not "beyond a reasonable doubt". In a company, the threshold is even lower.

So yes, Microsoft could have, and should have, done more. Offering to transfer her to a different department is not sufficient, nor is it appropriate (unless offered to her as a possibility to choose from). The accused should have been transferred; he, after all, was the alleged wrongdoer, not she.

Doing so is in Microsoft's best interests-- whether there was a crime or not, she perceived one, and that would cause problems in the department. Moving someone was necessary simply from a productivity point of view. Absent convincing evidence, the transfer for the accused should not itself be punitive; it should be to another useful experience (since he was an intern), but which involved no further contact with the woman.

And, finally: it is always men saying that there are "degrees"and "grabbing an ass is not as bad as forcible rape". I doubt the difference is so apparent to the victim. They are both equally invasive, and equally wrong. Yes, I think we should charge people grabbing an ass with rape.

You are not the one who gets to define how bad the crime is. It's the victim that gets to decide.

Meet the woman with a supernatural affinity for stiff lovers


The song answer is obvious: "Dead Man's Party".

Many of the other suggestions are also, great, I have to admit. :-)

FCC boss Ajit Pai emits his net neutrality extermination plan

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Re: Anti-American

= So if America is so bad, why not move elsewhere?

I did. As soon as I got my PhD, I left the US permanently. It's a hideous place. And, FYI, I was born in the US, lived and worked in the US for 50 years. I am now in France, and am happier than I have ever been in my life.

Until Macron ruins it, of course. Vote Melenchon!

No, the FCC can't shut down TV stations just because Donald Trump is mad at the news


"America hasn't gone full-blown crazy, yet"

Hold my beer...

How alien civilizations deal with climate is a measure of how smart they are. Just sayin'...


Re: Verbification

"Verbing weirds language." --B. Watterson

Fruit flies' brains at work: Decision-making? They use their eyes


Re: The Gates of Abbadon has opened

= And .... One Day .... A Fruit Fly will be elected President of the United States based on it's superior = looks and decision making skills ... Verily it will be Thus.

Too late, it already happened. Although it was its fruity-appearing looks and ability to appear crudely human rather than its decision-making skills that did it.

Unable to give up on life on Mars, bio-boffins now thrilled to find boron


Re: The chances of anything coming from Mars...

= Are a million to one they said...

But still they come! (+1 upvote for your obscure reference!)

US prosecutors drop demand for 1.3m IP addresses of folks who visited anti-Trump site


Re: Give them space, give them love.

= [...] reading Euripides is a good place to start to the downvoters.

Marc Antony's eulogy of Julius Caesar wouldn't be bad either. :-)

Norway Quizwall experiment ends with more quizzing than commenting


Mr. President, we must not allow a quiz wall gap!

Your top five dreadful people the Google manifesto has pulled out of the woodwork


Re: XKCD 1357

=It just so happens that you can't fire people over opinions.

Actually, in the US, in most states (though possibly not California), yes you can. You can also fire them for voting for the wrong candidate, being a Democrat, parting their hair on the wrong side of their head, or looking at you funny. See "employment at will" (typically a part of the doublespeak "right to work" laws).


Re: This Article

= Do punctuation errors count?

Yes. :-)