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11 hours ago, Cancer said:

"Sterile" doesn't help you against direct toxins like heavy metals, either.

If there is enough soil to the water table, the water is filtered from just about anything. And once you filter out all the salt and simialr substances, even bacteria die off quickly.

Where else do you think the "clear water" that was used for milennia comes from?

 

There is a monumental differnce between taking it from you average lake and taking it from a source 300 feet underground. The downside is that those sources tend to he highly limited in supply.

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We have used Drinking Water from natural souces for literal millennia. The main issues with those is that they tend to be supply limited. Often below what a modern city or civilsiation needs:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drinking_water

 

It is not unusual for certain natural sources to have Drinking Water Quality. However this can change quickly.

 

Actually in my region I have several of such natural sources wich are marked as "Drinking Water Quality" according to german laws for Drinking Water.

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It depends lot on the source and how it is transported/processed. Even short term storage can have water go bad quickly. Water reservoius with too much salt might breed algae. We actually mix in Chlorine gas to make certain it does not go bad during transport in the pipes. That is how serious we take water safety, we even add something potentially toxic to it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_chlorination

 

Something worth noting are the extra regulations for botteled water. It must be at least as stringent as tap water. But extra regulations might apply due to teh long storage duration (granted, isolation from air does help a lot here).

There used to be times (1900th centuri) when botteled water could be healther then the municipal tapwater. But that should hopefully no longer happen.

 

The big problem here is, that the results can be all over the place. If you store the well water like you do with water bottles, you might have dangerous bacteria in it within days. As oddly as it sounds, water can and will go "bad" if you store it too long. And in numerous ways.

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Other news, not exactly good either:

There is a security flaw in a lot of hardware chips. Apparently a feature called "Specialative execution" was not properly implemented:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speculative_execution

Basically it is a more modern approach to branch prediction:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Branch_predictor

Just instead of predicting it, you just run it on the chance that you might need it because you have time left anyway.

 

The two specific attack vectors are called Meltdown and Spectre.

The core of the attacks is that a programm can read/write memory not belonging to it. Actually that is a really old problem. We added a whole concept of Process privileges and Hardware Side memory protection to adress this. In effect each process has rights to only specific parts of memory. And if it ever tries to access anything else, the OS will not be shy to just shut it down.

Apparently Meltdown allows working around that check by using Speculative execution.

 

Unlike Meltdown, Spectre is a whole class of seperate vulnerabilites. They involve getting the other programm to write into the attackers memory space.

 

On the pluss side, unlike a bug like Heartbleed, the attacker must run a programm on the same machine.

On the downside, it is not clear if the programm needs even Adminsitrative Privileges.

 

Windows already has a patch from some of it out. But apparently some Antivurs Programms are using parts of this/not properly saying what they are about to do. So they need a update, before the Windows Update can be placed or they will be kicked out.

Spectre in turn will propably haunt us for a long time (pun intended), as it is not even a single problem to begin with. More like a family with about the same effects.

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50 minutes ago, Enforcer84 said:

They actually thought about filing 2nd degree Murder charges against the caller:

“Second-degree murder would be a really uphill battle,” she added. “Getting from a phone call with charging the person with liability for a death — it’s a stretch.”

 

And they still do not even comment on what happened to the Police officer. How sure are you that the US is not a Police State?

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5 hours ago, Christopher said:

We have used Drinking Water from natural souces for literal millennia. The main issues with those is that they tend to be supply limited. Often below what a modern city or civilsiation needs:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drinking_water

 

It is not unusual for certain natural sources to have Drinking Water Quality. However this can change quickly.

 

Actually in my region I have several of such natural sources wich are marked as "Drinking Water Quality" according to german laws for Drinking Water.

 

US laws on drinking water are different, and I have trouble finding statistics for violations (both systems and population affected).  The only place I found such stuff quickly is from the CDC (Center for Disease Control), the reference at the bottom of this page has stats (that includes breakout by kind of violation) from ten to fifteen years ago.

 

The relatively recent blow-up about lead in the Flint, Michigan water system postdates that report.

 

This gets political in a hurry, unfortunately, because local governments try to suppress water-supply safety violation reports.  Since local governments are often under the thumb of large local industries, there will always be a net underreporting of water-supply violations here in the US, in particular since the usual practice is that public water utilities are the only ones testing their water, and it is well established that that arrangement promotes practices that will fail to report trouble.  And, although they are without a doubt the cause of such contamination, industries are implacably opposed to public blame for water violations, and even more implacably opposed to suggestions that they have to contribute monetarily to the task of mitigating those.

 

I can find anecdotal reports that water supplies in the old Northeast in particular, even from natural sources, are disturbingly often subject to heavy metal contamination because industrial toxic waste control laws more or less did not exist until the 1960s.  When the industrial dumping stuff has got into the water table, the well is going to be contaminated.  I concede up front that these are anecdotal reports, and I fully endorse the position that the plural of anecdote is not NOT data. 

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6 minutes ago, Christopher said:

...

And they still do not even comment on what happened to the Police officer. How sure are you that the US is not a Police State?

 

This is drifting towards politics quickly, unfortunately.  But I will admit here: I think the US is much closer to a corporate-controlled police state than anyone wants to admit.  And with that I'll shut up.

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18 minutes ago, Christopher said:

 

 

And they still do not even comment on what happened to the Police officer. How sure are you that the US is not a Police State?

 

My own view is we are well on our way towards it and little is being done. 

For the poorest and least influential? Well  for them we're already there.

 

 

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On a related note, this was an interesting read:

http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2554-6-things-you-learn-after-shooting-cop-in-self-defense.html

 

Interesting in that it is easy to see how this could have gone differently.  In the United States, some people keep loaded weapons near them while they sleep, on the logic that in an emergency when a gun was needed, there may not be time to get it out of the safe. Police sometimes do their SWAT raids when people are asleep. When some people are awoken by a SWAT raid, they don't notice the shouts of "Police!" or the police markings before thinking "my home is being invaded, perhaps I should shoot".

 

So an officer who shoots an innocent person on a raid might not be charged, but a person who shoots the officer first will be.

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4 hours ago, Sociotard said:

In the United States, some people keep loaded weapons near them while they sleep, on the logic that in an emergency when a gun was needed, there may not be time to get it out of the safe. Police sometimes do their SWAT raids when people are asleep. When some people are awoken by a SWAT raid, they don't notice the shouts of "Police!" or the police markings before thinking "my home is being invaded, perhaps I should shoot".

 

So an officer who shoots an innocent person on a raid might not be charged, but a person who shoots the officer first will be.

Germans are not allowed to have their weapons permanently loaded, even in their homes.

We had 10 deadly police shootings in 2015 at about 80 Million Population.

 

But this is now getting in weapon rights, and thus into the Political thread.

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6 hours ago, Christopher said:

Other news, not exactly good either:

There is a security flaw in a lot of hardware chips. Apparently a feature called "Specialative execution" was not properly implemented:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speculative_execution

Basically it is a more modern approach to branch prediction:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Branch_predictor

Just instead of predicting it, you just run it on the chance that you might need it because you have time left anyway.

 

The two specific attack vectors are called Meltdown and Spectre.

The core of the attacks is that a programm can read/write memory not belonging to it. Actually that is a really old problem. We added a whole concept of Process privileges and Hardware Side memory protection to adress this. In effect each process has rights to only specific parts of memory. And if it ever tries to access anything else, the OS will not be shy to just shut it down.

Apparently Meltdown allows working around that check by using Speculative execution.

 

Unlike Meltdown, Spectre is a whole class of seperate vulnerabilites. They involve getting the other programm to write into the attackers memory space.

 

On the pluss side, unlike a bug like Heartbleed, the attacker must run a programm on the same machine.

On the downside, it is not clear if the programm needs even Adminsitrative Privileges.

 

Windows already has a patch from some of it out. But apparently some Antivurs Programms are using parts of this/not properly saying what they are about to do. So they need a update, before the Windows Update can be placed or they will be kicked out.

Spectre in turn will propably haunt us for a long time (pun intended), as it is not even a single problem to begin with. More like a family with about the same effects.

As usuall, XKCD maanged to make a better explanation while also mentioning a problem I was not even aware off:

meltdown_and_spectre.png

https://xkcd.com/1938/

 

The Trolley problem apparently refers to something from Ethics, that has become relevant for selfdriving cars once again.

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8 hours ago, Christopher said:

 How sure are you that the US is not a Police State?

 

In my experience, the further you deviate from any of or any combination of  "rich", "white"/"Caucasian" and "Christian", the more likely you are to be trampled upon.

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This is of relevance to only a few people ... "seismic monitoring of a slow landslide" (where "slow" means it hasn't actually slid yet, but you can tell it's going to).  Not far from my folks' place (they are in no danger, but will be among those inconvenienced if the eventual slide blocks the roads passing through the Union Gap).  Chase any of the links on the linked page to see pics of the developing cracks near the top of the ridge.

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