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I wonder how much of the $100M[1] is going to get aimed at this planet.

1. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/stephen-hawking-an...


I'm curious on people's thoughts on Paribus. I guess I'd need to set up a new email address to shop with because I'm not too comfortable giving them the keys to my email.

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You'll excuse me if I express some skepticism about the "downfall of the US Industrial might". Only China produces more and only a handful of G20 countries' industrial base is growing faster.[1]

1. https://www.quandl.com/collections/economics/industrial-prod...

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Yeah, it's more the rise of China than the downfall of the US.

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That blank period, where you know things happened but have absolutely no recall, is horrifying. I have a period like that, and it still bothers me a lot.

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In any sufficiently complex system, chaos can always rear its ugly head, no matter how good the engineers. The quality of engineers is then reflected in how well they respond to those cases. With space, you add other variables like micrometeors taking out a component or an errant cosmic ray flipping a bit at a really initiative time.

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That's is not remove code due to undefined behavior, so is an apples/oranges comparison. If we keep your function, but the call looks like this:

    int value1, value2;
    value1 = compute_value_1()
    ComputeStuff(value2)  # oops, fat-fingered the '2'
Do you really think the author meant to not have ComputeStuff run? Since value2 isn't initialized, it could be optimized out.

Yes, in this case, you would get a warning, but it is illustrative of the kinds of things can cause optimizers to do very unexpected things to your code. And it is surprisingly easy to find the UB conditions.

It's worth reading through this three-part post called What Every C Programmer Should Know About Undefined Behavior[1] from the LLVM folks to see how UB can screw with you, including removing NULL checks, eliminating overflow checks, and making debugging incredibly difficult to follow. It also explains why they can't just generate errors while optimizing.

1. http://blog.llvm.org/2011/05/what-every-c-programmer-should-...

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I don't think it is apples and oranges. Here's my next example:

    int ComputeStuff(int *value) {
        if(value == NULL) {
            long and complex computation for a NULL value
            return result
        } else {
            long and complex computation using the data pointed to by value
            return result
        }
    }
Then I call it from somewhere else like so:

    // NOTE: value must be non-NULL
    void DoStuff(int *value) {
        int pointedTo = *value;
        // do some work with pointedTo
        int computedResult = ComputeStuff(value);
        // do some more work with whatever
    }
Now, are you saying the compiler should not take advantage of the fact that it knows value is non-NULL at this particular call site and eliminate half of the code in this situation?

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I'm not sure how much I trust a judicial oversight that has rejected somewhere in the range of 11 out of 34000 petitions. And it may not even be the FISA court's fault:

“The FISC is forced to rely upon the accuracy of the information that is provided to the court,” Judge Reggie Walton, chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (aka FISA court) wrote. “The FISC does not have the capacity to investigate issues of noncompliance, and in that respect the FISC is in the same position as any other court when it comes to enforcing [government] compliance with its orders.”[1]

The utter and complete lack of transparency around the FISA court pretty much makes it impossible to verify that information. We are left with the Executive saying, "Trust us, we won't do anything wrong".

1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/court-ability-to-poli...

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The 3rd Party Doctrine made sense when you were physically handing something to somebody else or whispering something in somebody else's ear. In today's world, its interpretation is ludicrously antiquated.

Unfortunately, I don't forsee Congress doing much to solve this any time soon.

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Fortunately. Only battles hard-fought are valued. If congress caved for a few years until this blew over, nothing would really change. And ultimately only strong client-side communication schemes (encryption+identity+etc) will solve the problem. Which is something that has a cost people must bear but that they will not if they don't understand the issue.

TL;DR - If congress made it "illegal" it wouldn't change anything. That they refuse to, will change everything.

Also, the third-party doctrine is sort of a recognition of the right the blow the whistle on crimes you see. It's not even (generally) a bad thing. It's only our government's too-cozy of a relationship with too much of the industry that means it's not whistle-blowing but twisted-arm leaks.

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It's more than just warrants, it's any information about information gathering at all.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/05/new-eff-aclu-amicus-br...

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What happens to all the power being generated by all the wind farms, solar cells, and nuclear and coal plants (and hydroelectric?)? My understanding is that those can't go on- and off-line rapidly (one of the big advantages of natural gas plants). Is there a way to "ground" the excess, or does that end up causing problems with over-supply in the parts of the grid still online?

Also, won't the flux from the solar storm cause current to flow through power lines, regardless of what is actually connected? I suppose the transformers would still be protected, but there may still be damage to grid.

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