* Posts by Trevor_Pott

5190 posts • joined 31 May 2010

Brit boffins debunk 'magnetic field and cancer' link

Trevor_Pott
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Re: @User McUser

"How does the presence of reflectors on the Moon prove humans personally put them there?"

Short version? Because back then we were really shite at that level of precision in remote space robotics. We couldn't have aimed the bloody things properly. Getting things "within a few meters" was spectacularly accurate.

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Re: It won't work.

"abortion and breast cancer"

Really? I missed this one. Is this a geolocated bizarreness, or am I just unobservant? (Both are possible.)

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: You can't use science to disprove theories not based on science

See: Star Trek Voyager, episode Future's End, episodes 3x08 and 3x09.

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pokerface

Unbelievable. What utter bunk. The scientists are just in it for the money. It's a conspiracy!

Side note: please imagine a "joke alert" icon has been selected. Apparently the mobile UI doesn't offer the option...

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Mars was a WET mistress: Curiosity probes once-moist bottom

Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Mark...well , there you have it....

No, I think we'll have a bunch of people on Earth who try to kill off everyone else on earth who believes the aliens exist, because they won't accept the science, and find those that believe in aliens to be heathens. The question is: will those be a lot of people, or only a few? It's the next couple of generations that will tell the tale, as (thank $deity), we're starting to really get people to move away from being literalists.

The fewer literalists, the lower the chance for massive social upheaval.

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Re: @trevor

"Informed faith" is an oxymoron. By definition, faith is belief where knowledge isn't possible.

That said, methinks you presume a lot from other "people of faith". Just because you have manged some high level of cognitive dissonance in which you compartmentalize faith and an understanding of at least basic science doesn't mean the majority do.

The number of people out there who honestly believe in the god of the gaps - and use it regularly when attempting to convince atheists their faith is true - is huge. There are far - far - more people out there who reject science, reject the idea that things like "life on other planets" could exist than you seem to be willing to accept.

Maybe you got "lucky" and ended up with a shaman and congregation that actually believe some variant of $_religion that is compatible with $_Y_percent of modern scientific understanding. Congrats. That's pretty cool, in a way, but it isn't the "mainstream" experience.

If anything, those sorts of questions and discussions are carefully avoided by the "mainstream" shamans. They focus on $_mandmans_text and espouse their interpretation. But for billions of people on this planet religion is taught far closer to "$_madmans_text is the literal truth". And there's where it all goes horribly wrong.

If you're a harmless religious type who is capable of somehow reconciling modern science with irrational belief in the unknowable, then to put it bluntly, it doesn't matte what you believe, or why. You are highly unlikely to be a threat.

But the $_mandmans_text literalists? They are threats. Each and every one. Anything that can be done to get people to walk away from that belief system is worth doing. The money spent becomes justified quite quickly when the ranks of the literalists is thinned.

Maybe the move from being a literalist to a science/faith cognitive dissonance type. Cool. Groovy. I don't care. Once they're not $_mandmans_text literalists their chances of being a threat are spectacularly reduced.

So what's important here isn't proving "god doesn't exist" to the cognitive dissonance types. They're not relevant. What matters is having one more tool to use in attempting to save those who have been sucked in to $_mandmans_text literalism.

We'll work on the cognitive dissonance types in future generations, once we've dealt with those who are actual threats.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor_Pott - Questions And Statements, Valid And Otherwise

"So in the span of a few short words you've managed to go from the correct idea that scientific theories are provisional and subject to change (in consequence of the acquisition of better data, different interpretations of the data or of the pre-existing theories on which the theory under discussion is built, or simply in consequence of someone having newer and maybe better ideas), to the completely erroneous idea that science has arrived at something which you seem to think is very, very close to an incontrovertible truth."

No, I think what's key here is that you seem to believe that a very - very - small possibility that the current theory is false means that, somehow, it is almost inevitable that this will be proven wrong.

I am not taking any offence at all to your asking what is the current state of knowledge. What i took offence to was your request that things be know "beyond a doubt". KNowing anything "beyond a doubt" is utter horseshit, yet that seems to be the standard you require before you believe something.

If anyone is "pompous" here, it's you.

You clearly have an agenda and are determined to see others agree with it, though you're attempting to wrap it up in inquisitiveness.

Contrary to your bogus assertions, I do not believe that we have arrived at "The Truth" at all, because I don't share your irrational requirement for knowledge to be "beyond a doubt". I am, however, entirely content to look at the evidence, say "the possibility that we're wrong about this is irrelevantly small" and move on to building on that knowledge to ask newer questions and learn more things.

You're like a creationist screaming that we shouldn't set about working on new isotopic dating methods because we haven't proven "beyond a doubt" that the Earth isn't only 6000 years old. With perhaps a handful of exceptions, the entire scientific community is perfectly happy with the evidence that the Earth is way the hell older than 6000 years, and is ready to put it's time and effort into getting more accurate information about just how old, and the details of it's evolution.

Similarly, here we are with a scientific community that is pretty chill with the idea that Mars has a wet past, but you're demanding "beyond a doubt" evidence. Most scientists aren't trying to prove Mars had a wet past any more, they accept that it had one. They're not trying to find out how wet, and over what periods, and what the conditions were in those waters, how long did it last, etc?

So, do I find your "stop science, I don't think we're sure beyond a doubt" to be utter fucking horseshit? Absolutely. Do I accept that we've got this "wet Mars" thing taped enough to stop working on if Mars was wet and start working on how wet Mars was? Again: absolutely.

Search hard enough, and you'll find someone with a science degree who will claim the Earth must be younger than 6000 years. If any when they can explain away all the evidence that leads the majority of scientists to accept the more mainstream theory of 4.6B (+/- 0.2B) years, I might listen to the Young Earth types.

Similarly, I am sure you can find a scientist to claim Mars couldn't possibly have been wet. If and when they can explain away all the evidence that leads the majority of scientists to accept the more mainstream theory of "wet Mars", I might listen to the Dry Mars types.

And if you don't like that, blow it out yer arse.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Grikath: Rocks.

"show me the evidence that proves beyond doubt that it was water and could only have been water, and shows that no other capable liquid could occur on Mars other than water (and since you deemed my question worthy of ridicule, I am expecting a very simple and obvious answer)"

Nothing can be proven beyond doubt. Exhibit A: moon landing deniers.

That said, there are plenty of things on Mars which we've turned up so far that individually are highly likely to be the result of water and cumulatively almost guarantee it. Various clay and mineral deposits (which include things that have water locked up in their crystal matrices), the particular patterns of sedimentation and, IIRC, the rates and patterns of weathering are all evidence for water on Mars. And very specifically water, as opposed to another fluid.

There are other items - for example some sedimentary deposits - that could have been the result of multiple fluids. (Yes, there are sedimentary deposits that fit in both categories.) Unfortunately for the "not water" hypothesis the cumulative evidence says that it is unlikely to the point of irrelevant that there were two different fluid cycles on the planet.

Is it theoretically possible that some completely novel set of chemical interactions took place on Mars that just happens to look exactly like water? Sure. I also could have been switched at birth with the Trevor Pott from an alternate universe. It's just really, really unlikely.

So unlikely that it's up there with "god actually exists". It's not worth considering unless and until we learn some really outrageously new science that could even begin to explain the evidence but reach a different conclusion.

A scientist is always open to the possibility of the bizarre. That said, the business of science is one of probabilities, and science rests on the business end of Occam's razor. Right now, today, water is the only fluid that fits the evidence. What's more, it's the only fluid we know of that can fit the evidence.

Thus, until someone can come up with a means by which another fluid can fluid the evidence, Mars has a wet past, a thick atmosphere and was warm. Given the evidence thus far, alternative hypothesis have a heck of an uphill climb to overturn current theory in this regard.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: well , there you have it....

s/"Any truly spiritual person"/No True Scotsman

There are plenty of "spiritual people" that would have you labelled a blasphemer for what you just said. $_text is the literally truth, and anything else is lies. Or didn't you know that?

But, oh, you aren't a fundamentalist, eh? Texts are mooshy and open to interpretation. So then it's all about how you feel about things. Truthiness has more value than truth.

Of course, the part where you are just a sack of chemicals and I can change how you feel by putting the right chemicals into you won't open your mind to the truth of science, will it? Thought not.

My mind is plenty open, sirrah. And I need no more majesty than the universe itself. It's plenty mind boggling as it is, no "higher power" required. In the meantime and between time, the ability to see off some of the "$text is the literal truth" whackos is worth a thousand times the current expenditure on space.

Sadly, I have no idea how to go about enlightening the truthiness brigade, but that won't stop me from seeking a means to that end.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Rocks.

We don't need to observe a thing directly in order to know it occurred. Evidence occurs in multiple forms, and where it can be tested empirically gives science a window into the unobservable.

For example, there are plenty of geochemical signatures that - to our current knowledge at least - can only occur with Mars having had a thicker atmosphere. Perhaps more to the point, when we replicate relevant conditions in a lab (and Earth itself is one hell of a lab, never forget,) we see identical (or near enough as makes no difference) geochemical signatures.

That moves the balance of probability from "Mars was always as you see it now" to "Mars had a large atmosphere". Evidence then starts stacking up and eventually the "thick atmosphere hypothesis" moves from hypothesis to Theory. This means that we no longer need to prove that it occurred; there is so much evidence that it did we can simply take it for granted.

Instead, if you want to advance an alternate hypothesis - for example, the hypothesis that Mars was always as you see it now - you need to do the work. You need to not only demonstrate how this could be true, but explain away all the supporting evidence for the thick Martian atmosphere theory.

That's how science works.

How science doesn't work is that every time something comes along that you disagree with because it makes you uncomfortable you get to derail the conversation by demanding that every single element be explained to you down to base principles. Once something has proven itself enough to be a Theory then the onus isn't on scientists to explain everything to you, but on you to explain how your alternate view of the world fits with the evidence accepted by the scientific community.

In other words: yes Mars had a thick atmosphere. And the burden of proof is on you as the one challenging science for which there is strong evidence to provide not only new evidence for alternate claims, but an explanation for all extant evidence.

Now, if you have an explanation for an alternate hypothesis that matches all extant evidence, I'm entirely open to discussion. Otherwise, you're aught but a troll.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Mark...well , there you have it....

Alien religions won't likely say "humans are special", though. And I doubt they'll say "control women's vaginas" or "adhere to the authority of the leader of this human cult".

So they're blasphemers.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: well , there you have it....

"If we found it, what would it prove?"

It's not about what it would prove so much as what it would disprove. If there is life that is not on Earth, then Earth isn't special, and the case for god or gods becomes much, much more difficult. If life exists (or existed) "out there", then it is a victory for rationalism and critical thinking and an important defeat for faith and Terracentrism.

If your evidence for god is nothing more than an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance then the small you can make that pocket of ignorance the fewer people will cling irrationally to faith. If nothing else is achieved from the Mars explorations except that, we will have nonetheless accomplished something mighty.

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Bloke, 36, in the cooler for leaking ex's topless pics on Facebook

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Why not just unauthorized

"The only true libertarian is one who disappears into the woods and lives off the land, far away from the rest of society. "

And what's wrong with this? Hmm? I happen to like it.

You still haven't told me why your morality should override mine. You've made a lot of baseless claims about libertarians, but you haven't answered the question. Sounds to me like you're just an entitled prat angry that people are questioning authority and threatening to upset a social order in which you are currently in the position to tell everyone what to do.

I see no need to listen to you. Your morality isn't mine, and I don't accept or acknowledge your "right" to dictate my ethics, beliefs, values, morals or behaviors.

To wit: Go fuck yourself, ya goddamned poncy prick.

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Australia to block piracy sites if Big Content asks nicely in court

Trevor_Pott
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"Okay, that doesn't actually use the word prove, but it's strongly implied the intent is to have some due process. Of course what the law will actually say once the politicians and lobbyists finish warping it will likely be a different story."

Really? And how has that worked out in other countries which have used these sorts of laws? I seem to recall quite a few UK blunders in which things like the Chaos Computer Club get blocked. Or where an newspaper is blocked because of a comment.

Just because the "implied intent" is that there be some form of due process doesn't mean that the citizens of a nation should accept that it will be so. The default position must be one of not trusting those in authority over us, and of stipulating explicitly their rights and responsibilities, with as little wiggle room as possible.

Otherwise, they will inevitably abuse each and every privilege they are granted. And once powers are granted to governments, they are rarely - if ever - released.

This is a means to censorship without the right to challenge before the censorship is enacted. That, by definition, means there is no due process. Everything else is hand waving. Relying on the judge and/or the companies involved ot act in good faith is - pardon my french - outright fucking lunacy.

They is no reason whatsoever to assume that they will act in good faith, or that said judges are somehow immune to regulatory capture.

See; FISA courts.

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Trevor_Pott
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"But generally a court will kick out a case based just on suspicions, if the plaintiff cannot back up their suspicions with evidence."

Sure, if it's an actual trial. There are lots of instances in which you go to a court to get them to sign off on something but that it doesn't involve a trial. A warrant would be an example.

So it seems to me it's entirely possible here what we're talking about is Big IP going to a court and saying "we suspect BobsDildoShack.com of hosting our IP", getting a ban and then it being up to the owner of BobsDildoShack.com to respond to that ban.

See, in a trial, there's representation. The opportunity to answer your accuser and defend yourself. In anything else, there is absolutely no reason to assume that the court's involvement is anything more than a FISA-court-like rubber stamping process.

Nothing about this seems like these are presented to the court as "cases". As described, it's far more like "getting a warrant". Show minimal evidence, get rubber stamp, and the onus is on the accused, not the accuser.

Except, you know, there's not actually any "getting a warrant" involved, and no reason to assume that even that minimal level of evidence is required.

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Trevor_Pott
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"As long as the IP holders have to put the evidence before a court of law and prove their suspicions, before a court order allowing the site to be blocked is issued, I don't really have a problem with it."

There's no evidence this is required. Just that Big IP needs to have "suspicions". There was no mention they'd have to actually prove anything.

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"Suspected of"

Not yet proven. Suspected of. Nice. 'Straya!

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Microsoft opens Azure cloud to US govt for vid surveillance, etc

Trevor_Pott
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Article about Microsoft saying "put video/audio surveillance in the cloud" appears on El Reg the day after I finish churning out a whitepaper about why that exact scenario is a really bad plan. Not from a privacy and security standpoint, but from a pragmatic one.

After I pick up the exploded remains of my irony meter, I need to go pester the client to see if we can fast track acceptance so that I can post the link. Because this is a debate I'd actually really lov eto have with a group of very smart people from Microsoft.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Hypocrisy?

"Why do you mistrust US so?"

Why should I trust it?

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This Christmas, demand the right to a silent night

Trevor_Pott
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Re: sometimes...

How do you get promoted beyond "co-owner of the company/dude who runs the thing?" I'm curious.

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Re: This is why...

"I can count on one hand the number of times I've been rewarded after providing exceptional service."

Bingo. Nobody rewards excellence. But they absolutely hold you to it as the new standard, and punish you when you can't maintain it.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Good article

"I do not believe that pretending it is not Christmas, or whatever, is being considerate."

And I believe your beliefs make you an asshole. And that your religion is stupid*. Happy holidays.

*For the record, I have negative respect for your religion, for any country that attempts to make a given religion the "state religion" (officially or unofficially) or for people who believe that everyone around them should behave as though $_religion is to be the default. If you want to worship a sky fairy, go forth and do so on your own time. But by His Noodly Appendage, I'll not let some religious nutter treat me like I should be one of them. I'm not. I will never be. And I find the suggestion that I should be, would want to be, or should pretend that I am overwhlemingly offensive.

Adjust yourself to my lifestyle, if you wish. I'll not be adjusting to yours.

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Re: Good article

"Also, in the vein of acting more human, we should probably say "Christmas" instead of "holiday season"."

Why?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: sometimes...

"I would assume that the majority of people in management positions are educated people, yes, and that they got there by understanding how to play well with others. "

And when you get home, do you spend your time assuming unicorns exist? Managers are managers thanks to cronyism. There is no other reason.

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NASA prods sleeping New Horizons spacecraft: Wakey, wakey, Pluto's calling

Trevor_Pott
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Re: PLUTO.......Planet, planetoid, Celestial Body or what?

Oddly enough, no. They likely coalesced around a rocky core, for starters. Pluto isn't - so far as we know - essentially "a ball of rock with some snow on top". You could think of it more like "a gigantic pile of parkinglot gravel and snow mixed up randomly, but in such huge quantities that it's gravity pulled it into a sphere."

The gas giants, by comparison, are basically an earth-like ball of rock surrounded by a truly outrageous amount of volatiles. And here it is thought that you're going to find a much more diverse set of volatiles than you'll find on Pluto. The biggest thing being that's where all the Nitrogen in our solar system seems to have gone.

But Pluto almost shares more with comets than with rocky planets, gas giants or ice giants. It is a plutino, a form of Kuiper belt object. They are their own class, with their own composition, their own traits and similarities. Kuiper belt obejcts really aren't like the other planets - or even the main belt dwarfs Vesta and Ceres - at all.

In reality, the main determinant of whether or not you're a planet is a combination of size and composition. You probably can get away with being a "planet" at a smaller diameter than something might be considered a "dwarf planet" if, as a planet, you're a big hunk of rock instead of a snowball. Density matters. It is a determining factor in whether or not you've cleared your orbit of any of the really big things or whether you're just one bit of rubble amongst many.

And Pluto emphatically is "just one bit of rubble amongst many". There are a couple of KBOs out there bigger than Pluto that we know of already, and quite probably a few we don't know about as well. I think the last estimate was that there could be another 200 KBOs of approximately Pluto's size and composition.

So, if Pluto is a planet - a full bore, honest to $deity planet - then we must accept all - or at least most - dwarfs as planets. We go from a system of 8 major planets and categories of dwarf planets to a system of hundreds of planets.

Being a planet (or not) ir pretty arbitrary anyways. It's a classification designation created by humans to make it easier for humans to understand the solar system. So the surest reason that Pluto had to be demoted was simply because doing so made the solar system easier to understand.

8 planets, each largely unique, most with their own "ecosystem" of sattelites to learn about. Several dwarf planet and minor body categories each with collections of bodies that are roughly similar, most that exist less as their own separate "thing" and more as a "cloud of things" within the solar system.

That's fairly easy to understand. Certainly easier to remember and get engaged with than "our solar system was 250+ planets. Mercury, Venus, Earth....(208996) 2003 AZ, (55637) 2002 UX, (90568) 2004 GV...

If you're looking for absolutes in this decision, you won't find them. It's messy either way. But the decision to demote Pluto to a dwarf will make our solar system easier to understand for the next generation of astronomers who try to get a handle on just how diverse our little neck of the woods really is.

At the end of the day, that may be the best argument of all.

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Re: PLUTO.......Planet, planetoid, Celestial Body or what?

Pluto is one step above "comet". It is not a planet. Ceres is a better candidate for "planet" than Pluto. It's a rubble pile just barely large enough to have achieved hydrostatic equilibrium. Barely. Drag that thing into a Mars-like orbit and it would melt.

Space popscicle != planet.

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Microsoft tries to defend Irish servers from US g-men invasion, again

Trevor_Pott
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The hell of it is, Microsoft is the only cloud provider positioned to actually win if the USA pulls a douchecanoe here. Unfortunately, it would require some political maneuvering within Microsoft that they are currently incapable of.

Microsoft could license their technology to third-party service providers at reasonable rates and allow the creation of Azure, Office 365 and other such things by companies with zero US legal attack surface.

Of course, that means that Microsoft wouldn't get 100% of the subscription revenue from those setups and they simply aren't prepared to do that. Microsoft is only interested in driving their partners out of business so they can hoover up all that lovely subscription revenue. Instead, they could the arms dealer of the cloud wars, ensuring that everyone has a decent shot at privacy and security.

Sadly, they're just far more interested in a few extra % of margin to actually consider doing what's right for the people.

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No NAND's land: Flash will NOT take over the data centre

Trevor_Pott
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Chris: while I agree that most individual drives shipped into the datacenter will be of the spinning rust variety, I believe the missing element here is hybrid setups. "All-flash" may be a bit of a rare beast for some time to come. We flat out don't have the global fab capacity to replace rust disks, even if we were willing to.

But by the same token, rust disks are inadequate to the job. The immediate future is, IMHO, flash/rust hybrid setups. In array form or hyperconverged form.

We'll see about "all-flash" for primary storage in a few years. That said, I'm working with a few startups that are making damned fine data intelligence/tiering software. I suspect "all flash" for primary workloads is 3-5 years away, with hybrid for tier-2 apps and "all rust" (or "cloud") for archival.

It's all about the Benjamins, and the squeeze is on for the rust vendors. They are being moved into the commodity world, inch by inch. 15K SAS? Somehow, I don't think we'll be needing that for much longer.

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Cisco tears off gloves, throws copyright and patent punches at Arista

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Fair cop?

If the CLI can be protected by law, then APIs can too. They're basically the same thing. Except we've been down that road already, and Cisco fucking knows it. Which means they are doing this for another reason. That reason is most likely "to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt about Arista". Now their sales team can go in and say "do you want to buy from a tiny company like Arista with a huge lawsuit looming over them?"

All of this has happened before, and we shouldn't let it happen again.

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Re: Fair cop?

Arist's OS may use a similar CLI, but that's nothing more than "copying the API." Under the hood it behaves completely differently.

Maybe Cisco could "innovate" a way to actually having customers want to buy Cisco. Or is that beyond their "innovation engine?" Arista's customers are fiercely loyal for a reason: they make damned good tech, and they don't charge a village worth's of virgins and a rare volcano for it.

Cisco network exists only because of lock-in. Period. Everyone else is running to Huawei or Arista. Both for good reasons.

But hey, litigation is easier than innovation, right? Cisco: that's not an "innovation" engine you're running. It's an "acquisition and integration engine", backed by a litigation engine. What's next, rounded corners on packets? Design patent lawsuits?

I expected more from a company like Cisco. The ability to compete on merit, for one.

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Re: Fair cop?

Every switch vendor on the planet makes that a marketing item. Supermicro, Dell, etc.

See Oracle v Google for that whole "you can't use our APIs" thing. How'd that work out for Oracle, hmm?

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Kaspersky exposes SONY-CRIPPLING malware DETAILS

Trevor_Pott
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Re: What do these three have in common?

Iran is a friend of NK. Iran was having a dispute with SA. This all seems to tie to NK to me...

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Internet cash-point boss says 'no thanks' to ICANN's web power grab

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Re: Excellent question

"So while it is a great idea that there be an internet community effort to fix issues around privacy, online security, spam, child protection and so on, everything that has been said and done is more about trying to become the main venue for controlling conversation about the internet itself."

This sort of answers my question. It does raise in me a few other questions, some out of pure fear.

1) How do you "fix" issues around privacy and security through the creation of an unelected quango with what amounts to negative oversight? All I picture is Baron Harkonen telling Dr. Yueh that he has "released" his wife...released her from her mortal coil, that is.

A power-mad dictatorship whose existence relies on the tacit approval - or at least tolerance - of the world's nation states does not remotely seem like an organisation which can be made to bring those selfsame entities to heel, and unless the governments of the world are full participants in agreeing that privacy and security of anyone other than themselves is an issue then the whole thing is a farce.

Internet privacy and security must begin with an international digital armstice, not the declaration of a global quango.

2) How, exactly, do you solve "spam and child protection" issues in a non-technical manner? I suppose one avenue might be government cooperation and/or treaties which harmonize relevant laws. Unfortunately, I don't see how that can occur without also running up full against the issues of privacy and security discussed above.

Ultimately, all of these issues come back to one - and only one - thing: what are the fundemental rights of human beings? What are the rules by which we will govern our interactions with <i.all</i> humans, regardless of race/gender/sexuality/etc and most especially, how we will treat members of other nations.

The west created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and most of the world saw that it was good. It became the basis of a great many legal systems, including the new constitution of Canada in 1982, and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Unfortunately, it is not universally accepted. Islamic nations took particular issue with the UDHR, stating that it violated Sharia. They instead signed the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam which, to be blunt, if fucking terrifying.

Similarly, Asian nations took offense to the UDHR. They believe in a Cardassian-like subsumation of the individual's will to that of the state. The Bangkok Declaration was signed and it reads like a sham document that says a human's purpose is nothing more than to do whatever his society tells him to. A drone who is to be bereft of individuality and who must like that state of affairs, or die.

So here we have three major differences in belief to start with. The UDHR itself getting the majority of the world behind it, and - to my mind at least - seem to provide the most rational balance between "the needs of the many" and "the needs of the few, or the one".

Unfortunately, instead of helping to spread it's ideals, some of the UDHR's staunchest supporters are looking for a way out.

The United States, for example, clearly views itself above the spirit and letter of any human rights documents. Furthermore, non-American citizens are not deserving of human rights (such as the right to be considered guilty unless proven innocent, the right to life, etc) unless those rights can be used as a political tool to leverage a recalcitrant nation into doing what the US wants.

Consider, for example, that the United States is a signatory to the International Criminal Court, but they have not ratified it. In other words, they believe they have the right to send people to the ICC whenever it is convenient for the US, but they absolutely refuse to allow any American citizen to be held accountable for their actions by the ICC. Meaning, amongst other things, that the US believes their citizens should never be prosecutable for war crimes.

In addition, powerful groups within the UK have made leaving the European Union a priority, stating openly their desire to be free of human rights legislation. This is largely driven by a desire to be free of any "right to privacy" or a need to treat non-British citizens with any amount of basic rights.

How - how I ask you - can a digital dictatorship set up by people the world's power brokers only barely tolerate even begin to sort out the issues above? And if they don't sort out the issues above, how can we ever come to agreements on privacy and security, let alone spam and child protection?

I fear the answer. If we cannot meet at a position of maximum rights for the individual, and these people are determined to continue until they "succeed" at something, the result is likely to be a position of minimal rights for the individual, and a diminution of the status of the citizen across the the world.

I would dearly love to be wrong about this, but it all seems so deeply rooted, and so many of these topics are live wires. It may sound melodramatic, but my analysis of this situation says that a continued attempt by ICANN to become a political force around internet governance may ultimately lead to an international agreement to repeal large chunks of human rights which would damn - and potentially doom - us all.

Your thoughts would be welcome, sir.

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Trevor_Pott
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Keiran, a question: just what is the POINT of the NetMundial thing? Can we get a recap, please? What is ICANN hoping to achieve with it? Over what areas of internet governance will it exert authority? How does it claim that authority?

Basically: why does it exist, and how do they expect to be able to do their jobs if the rest of the internet says "fuck off?"

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US Ass. Commerce Sec hits back at claims global DNS is DOOMED

Trevor_Pott
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Humans are not rational actors. And plan that relies on them to be - and keep on being - rational actors will fail. Intelligent, powerful people know this. They rely on it. It is how they obtain and retain power.

Thus I can only conclude that by advancing a plan wherein the core checks and balances boil down to a reliance humans to be rational actors there is malicious intent.

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BLAST-OFF! BOAT FREE launch at last. Orion heads for SPAAAAACE

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Typo

Canada doesn't have Europe telling us what we can't and can't do either. In fact, we usually have America trying to do that.

We still chose the metric system, like rational people.

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Furious GTA V gamers seek similar ban on violent, misogynistic title: the Holy Bible

Trevor_Pott
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"Errm... Yes, the Prods _do_ own a whole country. Several, actually. With names like 'England', 'Norway', 'Sweden', 'the Netherlands', a whole bunch of others... "

With the exception of England and Australia - which are pretty goddamned fucked up - those other nations are strongly secular. Protestants may be the majority belief, but they are nowhere near being able to simply dictate policy. They are not "owned" by any religion, just as the US is not.

"What, you thought that Muslims and fundie Xians had a monopoly on religious fervour? Read up on the life of, oh, Francis Drake."

No. What I said was that currently, today, fundamentalist Muslims and fundamentalist Protestants are the biggest threat. Various groups in the past have done their share of horrors. That's not the point. I'm not singling out a religion and saying "death to this religion".

To be perfectly frank, I'm against all religion; the flavour in question doesn't matter.

No, what I am saying here by pointing the finger squarely at radical Protestants is "know your enemy". And make no mistake, they are the fucking enemy. Just as much as radical Muslims are. We need to understand them if we are to beat them...and we must counter the threat they pose before it's too late.

By this I mean socially ostracizing the radical and fundamentalist beliefs and actions. Shunning literalist interpretations of any sacred text. Teaching critical thinking to everyone, and doing so at every possible opportunity.

Take the oxygen away form these people. Identify vulnerable groups and get to them with education and the tools required to resist charlatans and preachers of all kinds. Help people be at peace with themselves without requiring a violent fundamentalist telling them what to do.

Better yet, making teaching religion to children under the age of 18 illegal, and enforce that law.

If we want to fight the real source of violence in our society we need to put resources into it. That means fundamentalist religion as much as it does gangs. It means fighting poverty and providing education. It means removing the reason for people to want to fight and running down those who champion fighting anyways.

Drive the crazy out into the open, then get them into hospital and get them help. Don't let them be caught up by madmen with a book and twisted into weapons.

And that means looking where we don't want to look. At the religions of the "good guys". At the violence we do to ourselves, not just what people of different skin colour, or dress, or whatever adhere to.

Know your enemy. Even if the enemy is you.

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Trevor_Pott
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"Consider it this way: if you have $100 to spend will you spend all $100 on a general anti-religion (or anti-dogma) stance, or will you spend $10 on Christianity, $10 on Judaism, $20 on Islam, and $70 on religion (or dogma) generally?"

None of the above. I'd put all $100 into anti-extremism. Encouraging a culture where we question authority, teach critical thinking and make extremism socially unacceptable. Whether that extremism be in the form of Randian economic asshattery, unbridled Nationalism or caustic religious fuckwittery.

Treat the disease, not the symptom. Radical protestants and radical Muslims are merely catchpoints for crazies. What we need to do is give these people no acceptable place to hide. If they're that far gone they need to be in hospital. It shouldn't be acceptable for them to claim "religion" and have a get-out-of-Arkham-free card.

Your problem is that you feel targeting specific religions is acceptable. It's really not. It will just create resentment and martyrs and more problems down the road. If you must target religions, you target them all equally. By the same token, however, know your enemy. Learn about them, and know how to tailor your propaganda and education so that you can slowly make their messages clearly anti-social and massively reduce the influx of people willing to champion their cause.

It's psychological warfare, mate. Do go making new enemies whilst fighting the ones you already have.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: it's not the Catholics that are the problem. It's extremist protestants.

Sure, but by the same token the problem isn't "Muslims", it's a small subset of "batshit crazy whacko Muslims."

The issue here is that in both cases - Muslims and Protestants - there exist at the present time a bunch of really hard-core extremist beliefs being espoused by charismatic leaders and forming their own organized micro religions. At the present time they are the biggest threat.

I am perfectly aware that the majority of Protestants are completely loony tunes (disregarding the who "they believe in a sky fairy" part for the moment; that's actually somewhat normal, sadly.) I am equally aware that the majority of Muslims are not blood thirsty whack jobs.

For now, however, the extremist elements of both collections of micro-religions are attracting a disproportionate amount of crazies and causing disproportionate amounts of harm.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Not again! (Exactly Trevor, Not again)

I'm afraid I don't see how. I correctly and rationally took issue with the implicit assumption that we would all know local abbreviations for things like "state names" or - as was the context in question - "political shortcuts relevant only to Americans".

I have no idea why that was any bearing on the inability of some Brit to grok proper english. "The company caved to demands" is something that - at at quick check in my fairly well populated international chat rooms - folks from .in, .us, .ca, .nz, .au and .za all got without question. Bonus element, they also got that "caved in" means "the damned thing falls on you."

Which leads me to the inescapable conclusion that the inability to understand the reference is some isolated quirk of Britishness. It's not a "local colloquialism". It's recognized usage by the bulk of the international community that speaks this language.

That we should basically ignore the haplessness of the minority in this case in no way contradicts my previous dislike of using regional-only abbreviations with the expectation that the rest of the world will understand them.

Maybe you should check your meds mate. Nationalism is a disease. Are you entirely certain yours is under adequate control?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Not again!

"Bottom-line, Canadians speak very strange "variants" of languages, if you ask me."

Must disagree completely. It's you lot that can't speak our languages properly. We're the correct, normal ones. You're the creepy ones what gets the words wrong and have the bizarre spellings.

No doot aboot it, eh?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: it's not the Catholics that are the problem. It's extremist protestants.

Aye, but we don't have the resources to fight all battles at the same time. Sort out the most dangerous of the lot first. Then move on.

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Stupid humans and their EXPENSIVE DATA BREACHES

Trevor_Pott
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Re: It's poor workman that blames his tools

You can change human nature if you just boss them around hard enough? News to me.

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#Gamergate folk load flamethrower, roast own feet over GTA V 'ban'

Trevor_Pott
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Re: more misogyny

...but violence against men is okay, eh? I guess that makes sense. Men are "disposable", after all. And not deserving of actual equality with the same rights as women.

Violence against women is obviously special and different. I see it all now...

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FCC puts AT&T and Comcast gobbles back on the table

Trevor_Pott
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Credit where it's due, however. The CRTC did ultimately block the Telus/Bell merger. We aren't as far gone as those to the south. Yet.

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Why blades need enterprise management software: Learn from Trev's hardcore lab tests

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Mild disagreement

Can't disagree. Vendor bugs happen in all hardware and software. But there's something quite a bit useful to the ability to "push button, receive known good configuration". I don't see why that can't be built into, for example, some form of IPMI enterprise management software for Supermicro...it just hasn't to date.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Enterprisey?

I have, in fact. Same issue. Also tried out my Dell, and about 15 minutes ago I verified that it exhibits the exact same behavior with a Juniper.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Tcp offloading

Oh, been up and down that one. No effect. Same with "are you using vmxnet3 virtual NICs" and every other standard item. It's not the offloading. It's not chimney. It's not anything obvious. It's the damned drivers.

If ever anyone wanted to know what elements of "vendor fingerpointing instead of actually working to solve the problem" drive me mad, Intel/VMware over this issue makes Trevor something something...

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Sink your teeth into OCZ's ARC 100 SSD sizzler with tasty home-grown chips

Trevor_Pott
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Don't touch OCZ with a bargepole

Amen. O've lost enoufh customers to them. OCZ's name is worse than mud. Mud I can at least use as a building material.

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Cops accessing journo sources with RIPA? Use your powers properly, moan MPs

Trevor_Pott
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Re: LIST ALL THE WAYS YOU WOULD RUN THE WORLD DIFFERENTLY IF YOU WERE IN POWER, BELOW.

Very well. Please see here for the rules which would govern my governance of the world.

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