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Ask Slashdot: How To Keep Students' Passwords Secure?

Comboman Re:password manager (191 comments)

For additional security, the non-base part can be writen down in a non-obvious way, for example a spiral. If my password was aBcDe123$, I would write down:

aBc
3$D
21e

Or a zig-zag with a bunch of unused symbols:

aoooeooo$
oBoDo1o3o
oocooo2oo

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

Comboman Null Terminated Strings (729 comments)

- strings terminated by a binary zero rather than their physical size. Who the hell thought that would be a good idea?
Well, age old argument. Basically a matter of taste or sadly a historical "evolution".

I'm pretty sure null-terminated strings come from the days of punch cards/punch tape where an unpunched area is read as null (binary zero). Wherever the data-entry clerk stopped typing was the end of the string and the string could be appended to latter (impossible with a non-zero end-of-string symbol or a string length in the header which can't be rewritten on card/tape).

about 2 months ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

Comboman strained logic (667 comments)

But still, interpreted literally the new statement is far more factually correct and unbiased than what it replaced. Whoever shot down the plane, they were "soldiers" or fighters of some variety and almost certainly can be described as Ukrainian, given that everyone seems to agree that the fighters are actually eastern Ukrainians and at most Russia is supplying weapons to them.

By that logic, "Saudi Arabian soldiers" were responsible for flying airliners into the World Trade Center.

about 4 months ago
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DHS Mistakenly Releases 840 Pages of Critical Infrastructure Documents

Comboman Re:Why I vote Republican (50 comments)

Yes, I was trying to echo the wording of the "Why I Vote Democrat" post as closely as possible (which is also incorrect of course). A more accurate statement would be "surging mass shooting rates".

about 4 months ago
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DHS Mistakenly Releases 840 Pages of Critical Infrastructure Documents

Comboman Why I vote Republican (50 comments)

Why I vote Republican

I vote Republican because I believe it’s okay if our federal government borrows $85 Billion every single month...as long as it's spent by the Department of Defense.

I vote Republican because I claim to care about the children but don't want any money spent on education or healthcare.

I vote Republican because I believe it is okay if conservative activist judges rewrite the Constitution to suit some fringe kooks, who would otherwise never get their agenda past the voters.

I vote Republican because I believe that corporate America should be allowed to make profits for themselves, by outsourcing American jobs, busting unions, destroying the environment and lobbying corrupt politicians.

I vote Republican because I’m concerned about millions of babies being aborted, but don't care what happens after they're born.

I vote Republican because I don't know the difference between weather and climate.

I vote Republican because The Right To Bear Arms is not as important as preventing people from being murdered.

I vote Republican because I believe lazy, uneducated rednecks should have just as big a say in running our country as entrepreneurs who risk everything and work 70 hours per week.

I vote Republican because I see absolutely no correlation between corporate welfare and the rise of income inequality.

I vote Republican because I see absolutely no correlation between lenient gun laws and surging crime rates.

I vote Republican because I believe you don’t need an ID buy a gun, but do to vote.

I vote Republican because I think AIDS is prevented by keeping children ignorant about safe sex.

I vote Republican because I think “freedom” is far more important than fairness.

I vote Republican because I think an “equal opportunity” means anyone can apply for a job but only white males will get one.

I vote Republican because I would rather hide in a boardroom while others fight for my freedom.

I vote Republican because I’m not smart enough to own a gun but think I should be allowed to anyway.

And lastly, I vote Republican because I’m convinced that government is the source of all our problems... and prove it every time we're in office.

about 4 months ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Comboman Interstellar travel impossible?? (686 comments)

Various explanations for why we don't see aliens have been proposed—perhaps interstellar travel is impossible

Not only is interstellar travel possible, we've already done it (at least, we've sent 2 space probes outside our solar system which will eventually reach other stars). Interstellar travel within the lifespan of a single human being might be impossible, but enough other solutions exist (robotic probes, generational ships, suspended animation, long-lived alien species) that this limitation is not an adequate explanation for why alien ships have not reached Earth.

about 5 months ago
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Wikipedia Mining Algorithm Reveals the Most Influential People In History

Comboman Citation Needed (231 comments)

I do think that Linnaeus is a bit of an exception there, tough. Who else gets regularly linked in a template? It's not like there's an infobox for people with a field "personal_savior" or "favorite_roman_emperor" ;)

I'm officially changing my name to Citation Needed so I will be next years most influential person in history (assuming they keep the same methodology).

about 5 months ago
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Wikipedia Mining Algorithm Reveals the Most Influential People In History

Comboman Linnaeus cheated (231 comments)

Not a bad list, honestly. Still not sure why Linnaeus is *that* high, but most of the rest is quite reasonable, methinks.

I would have to agree. I think that Linnaeus has gamed the system a bit. Every (or at least most) Wikipedia articles about a plant or animal species would have a link to back to Linnaeus or his nomenclature system. While he was certainly a notable scientist, he was in no way as influential as most of the others on the list. Perhaps I should change my name to "Citation Needed" so I would be the most influential person in history (according to this methodology).

about 5 months ago
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US Secret Service Wants To Identify Snark

Comboman You answered your own question (213 comments)

Nobody seems to be asking WHY.

Why would the Secret Service, in particular, want to tell sarcasm apart from other speech? Think about who they are.

They want to be able to distinguish sarcastic political speech, from sincere political speech. Of course both are protected speech.

Now, they might have a benign purpose, but from the description in TFA it doesn't seem so. After all, the administration would look pretty foolish if they tried to harass or jail someone for being sarcastic.

The reason the Secret Service wants sarcasm detection is because of the bad PR they get every time they harass someone for being sarcastic. The problem is not sarcastic political speech vs sincere political speech; it's sarcastic threats vs sincere threats.

about 6 months ago
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Continued Rise In Autism Diagnoses Puzzles Researchers, Galvanizes Advocates

Comboman People seek treatment when one is available (558 comments)

Just because more people are seeking diagnosis and treatment when a treatment becomes available, doesn't mean either the diagnosis is wrong or the treatment is ineffective. According to the data, Erectile Dysfunction was an extremely rare condition prior to the release of Viagra, but extremely common afterward. That doesn't mean E.D. rates suddenly increased, or doctors misdiagnosed it to sell more drugs; it just means few men were willing to tell their doctors about it when they thought there was no effective treatment (or so I've heard, I wouldn't know personally).

about 8 months ago
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New Release of DICE, the CPU-Less Arcade Game Emulator, Adds Four Games

Comboman Guess what DICE stands for? (43 comments)

You are correct; no CPU but loads of ICs. In fact, the name of the emulator is Discrete Integrated Circuit Emulator (DICE).

about 9 months ago
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Schiller Says Apple Is the Last PC Maker From the Mac Era, Forgets About HP

Comboman Commodore still kickin' (474 comments)

And in the '78-'84 era he's referring to the major companies who made computers do not have a good survival rate. Wang, Compaq, Osborn, Commodore, Tandy

The Commodore 64 was the best selling personal computer of all time and you can still buy a new model today, so suck it Mac.

about 10 months ago
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What Works In Education: Scientific Evidence Gets Ignored

Comboman for math? (440 comments)

I might agree with you for virtually every other subject, but math is about the only thing that can be measured accurately using standardized testing. 3 X 3 = 9, whether you memorized the times tables or counted it out on your fingers. No matter what method you were taught, you should get the same answer. There are no cultural biases to deal with and even difficulty with understanding English shouldn't affect the outcome.

about a year ago
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Bradley Manning Wants To Live As a Woman

Comboman It's not a TripAdvisor review. (784 comments)

To be fair, the US prisons on that list were elaborate clean facilities, unlike most of the rest.

Yes, the US prisons are clean and in good repair compared to the ones in poor third-world countries. But guess what? US schools and hospitals are also clean and in good repair compared to the ones in poor third-world countries. This isn't a review of hotels on TripAdvisor. The prisons are being judged for how humanly they treat the inmates, not whether or not they have bed bugs.

about a year ago
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Canadian Hotel Sues Guest For $95K Over Bad Review, Bed Bugs

Comboman Bed bugs don't eat dirt (432 comments)

If you believe that a bed bug infestation should somehow be acceptable by paying customers and is somehow a industry standard then you've spent too much time working on a dirty hotel and not enough time visiting hotels which aren't squalors.

That is a common misconception. Other insects like cockroaches, are more common in dirty environments because they are attracted to bits of food and other waste that are a food source to them. Bed bugs on the other hand are attracted to human beings, because that is their food source. Whether a room is clean or dirty doesn't matter to the bed bugs, and normal cleaning methods (vacuuming, etc) doesn't get of them.

about a year ago
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"451" Error Will Tell Users When Governments Are Blocking Websites

Comboman actually, not so much (255 comments)

451... Nice... Ray Bradbury would be proud :)

Actually, not so much. While most people assume 'Fahrenheit 451' is about censorship, Bradbury claimed it was really about TV replacing books. He even fought (unsuccessfully) to keep Michael Moore from using the title 'Fahrenheit 9/11' for his film.

about a year ago
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Wireless Devices Go Battery-Free With New Communication Technique

Comboman Psychological effect (111 comments)

You do know that they have to completely shutdown a tower to prevent the worker to fry like if he was in a microwave when he climbs one of them for maintenance, right?

A stove can burn me if put my hand on it, so it must also be dangerous if I'm across the room from it, right? Brilliant logic, but unfortunately wrong. Like the heat from a stove, radio power follows an inverse-square law, meaning power is proportional to the inverse of the distance squared. If something is (for example) 1000 Watts at 100 ft from the antenna, it would be 250 Watts at 200 ft and less than 4 Watts at 1600 ft from the antenna.

Many people have reported problems with radio waves especially when close to the transmitter although I do not know if their suffering is psychological or real.

Many people have reported anecdotal medical problems caused by radio waves, power lines, windmills, vaccinations, magnets, aluminum pots, fluoridated water, contrails, and voodoo curses. Until legitimate medical research confirms a causal link, the best explanation for all of these is psychological.

about a year ago
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Bad Connections Dog Google's Mountain View Wi-Fi Network

Comboman Nitpick (144 comments)

So there's 11 channels, but transmitting on channel 1 means that you are putting noise on channels 1-5; transmitting on channel 6 means that you are putting noise on 1-10; and transmitting on channel 11 puts noise on 7-11.

Nitpicking here, but I think you meant to say "transmitting on channel 6 means that you are putting noise on 2-10", otherwise 1 & 6 aren't nonoverlaping.

about a year ago
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Is 'Fair Use' Unfair To Humans?

Comboman Orphan works (259 comments)

Yes, I get it - it just seems like it's solving a problem no one has.

The problem that a progressively increasing copyright registration fee solves is the problem of orphan works. Under the current system, lots of works are still covered by copyright even though the copyright owner cannot be found and thus the works cannot be licensed. A system like the GP is suggesting would force abandoned works into the public domain where they can be preserved, while still allowing actively used works to have a longer period of copyright protection.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Comboman Comboman writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Comboman writes "Reuters is reporting that Hollywood is once again claiming lost DVD revenues, but this time it's not piracy but UK Newspapers giving away 'free' DVDs that's the culprit. The fact that the papers legitimately secured the UK distribution rights for these movies doesn't seem to matter."

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