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Astronomers Find Most Distant Protocluster of Galaxies

Bergs007 Re:Well, that's where it was... (129 comments)

The funny thing about relativity is that is that in our frame of reference, this is happening NOW, not 12.7 billion years ago.

more than 2 years ago

Multiword Passwords Secure Or Not?

Bergs007 Re:Its a Trade-Off (372 comments)

What's wrong with writing passwords down though? The biggest threat to online accounts are over the network where malicious entities do not have physical access to a machine. If you write down your passwords next to your computer, the biggest threat model is what? House guests? I'd much prefer people have high-entropy passwords and have to write them down in a notebook than moderate-entropy passwords that are easier to remember. Essentially, you'll have a better idea if your notebook gets stolen/copied than if your password gets cracked over in Indonesia.

more than 2 years ago

The Future of Shopping

Bergs007 America (163 comments)

Brittney Watters, who had arrived at the store at 3 a.m. and had two GPS devices and several toys in her cart, appreciated the speed. "It works well," she said. But there can be hiccups: The scanning gun sometimes stopped scanning, slowing the process down.

America: We can't buy shit fast enough!

more than 3 years ago

Is Your Electricity Meter Spying On You?

Bergs007 Re:Smart Meters... dumb paranoia (405 comments)

I disagree. I think appliances have distinct and identifiable energy signatures, and depending on the detail the meter records this could easily translate to dependable information about you and your habits. See regular spikes over the year on weekdays, starting at 7am which end at 8am? Your routine involves waking up at 7am, and leaving for work at 8am. Regular spikes starting at 7am that last throughout the day (but level off at 8am)? Your routine is waking up at 7am, and working from home. 700 watt spike most mornings for 30 seconds? Your toast. Likewise, your water heater will have a particular wattage and they could use that to tell when you shower. Thing is, maybe they don't know what the specifics are for your appliances... until they care. Once someone cares, they can make a profile of energy signatures (1100 watt spike for .1 seconds followed by constant usage of 1500w for at least 10 seconds? Hey, that's the pattern for a brand X model 1a1 water heater!), and then start data mining. Yes, I'm sure they'd make mistakes, but overall they could form a pretty accurate portrait of your daily life. I think either A) you are underestimating the amount of usable data you can get by data mining or B) you are assuming that the smart meters must be limited to a rather coarse granularity such as total usage per hour... where in fact there's nothing stopping it from recording usage per second or even microsecond.

You basically just gave the summary for this paper:

more than 3 years ago

Is Your Electricity Meter Spying On You?

Bergs007 Re:Paranoia run rampant? (405 comments)

The nice thing about electrical data is that it compresses quite nicely if you intelligently select your thresholds. Essentially, if your algorithm is good enough, you can send discrete data points that correspond one-to-one with appliances turning on or off. And with each data point comprised of only 4 or 5 bytes, I'll let you all do the math.

more than 3 years ago

Is Your Electricity Meter Spying On You?

Bergs007 Re:Smart Meters... dumb paranoia (405 comments)

It's actually pretty easy to generate an appliance profile for a house and figure out which appliances are on at any given time, even for loads as low as 10W. Considering the time delays between running around to every device in your house, it's also possible to figure out in what order the appliances were turned on! Relevant papers:

more than 3 years ago

Duke Nukem Forever Multiplayer Mode Predictably Controversial

Bergs007 Re:Most people understand mass destruction is wron (344 comments)

Thank you very much for your last sentence. When I first read that 0.01% of the game playing public would pick up a Role Playing Game, I thought that sounded a bit on the low side.

more than 3 years ago

AMD's New Flagship HD 6990 Tested

Bergs007 Re:feels hollow (164 comments)

You don't understand a whole lot about caches, memory controllers, die area considerations, power planes, load balancing, or system I/O, do you?

more than 3 years ago

Mozilla Proposes 'Do Not Track' HTTP Header

Bergs007 Re:Great idea but not likely to happen (244 comments)

Along the same lines, this would probably make the issue worse. Based on that tag, people are going to simply assume security and privacy where there is none.

Not only that, but even worse, this tag will give data miners something to latch on to. "Oh they're using the Do Not Track tag? There must be some juicy info here!"

more than 3 years ago

Prepare To Be Watched While You Watch a Movie

Bergs007 Re:Chauncy Gardiner (433 comments)

I remembeer that movie. My parents made me sit through it when I was a kid.

The irony is that if you were to watch it in a theater now, you would also be watched.

more than 3 years ago

From Touchpad To Thought-pad

Bergs007 What does the software look like? (92 comments)

I'd be more interested in learning how they implemented this in software. Is it just something like: if(brain.madeNoise == 1) then canvas.removeTopImage() else canvas.removeBottomImage() ? Or are there more complicated things going on here? I have trouble imagining that this is based off a normal touchpad interface, because there aren't any controls I'm aware of that can select between one of two overlaid figures....

more than 3 years ago

Retargeting Ads Stalk You For Weeks After You Shop

Bergs007 People look at ads? (344 comments)

I can't even remember the last time I looked at an ad. No, I don't have adblock installed; I just don't pay attention to anything in my periphery and I thought *every*body did that these days.

about 4 years ago

US Students Struggle With Understanding of the 'Equal' Sign

Bergs007 Re:Who ever came up with this should be fired. (1268 comments)

That was my first thought, but their usage is even worse.


If we treat () as variable x, we get: 4+3+2=x+2=11

Simplified: 9=x+2=11


The problem here is not the use of the equal sign, it is their completely asstarded implementation of the parenthesis that is some how intended to imply one variable twice, with a line break in the middle.

What? No. That's not how the problem is supposed to be done. That is exactly the point too. The *children* are trying to do the problem like that because they have no fundamental understanding of what an equals sign is supposed to mean. Try reading the summary more carefully, and perhaps even the article if you dare! Maybe the next study should focus on reading comprehension...

more than 4 years ago

Lasers Approach Their Ultimate Intensity Limit

Bergs007 Re:Matter creator (384 comments)

Maybe they can have the laser beam create matter in the form of a laser that can break this theoretical barrier.

more than 4 years ago

Recourse For Draconian Encryption Requirements?

Bergs007 Re:I Concur (555 comments)

I'm posting at the top because I've never seen such a unified response to an AskSlashdot in the decade I've spent reading this site. I want to inform readers... don't waste your time reading past this point because the rest of the discussion is redundant.

I agree 100% with this post. Don't read past this post. Everything below (including my post) is redundant. My post is especially redundant because I am both agreeing with the parent and explicitly stating that my post is redundant; thus, ruining the funny.

more than 4 years ago

Russian Hacker Selling 1.5M Facebook Accounts

Bergs007 Re:Translation (193 comments)

Actually... what this means is that you should change your banking passwords. It appears that what they are trying to do is use Facebook login credentials to go and see if there are any associated bank accounts with the same login information.

more than 4 years ago


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