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NSA Firing 90% of Its Sysadmins

JimBobJoe Re:Hmm (634 comments)

>Having been present when a company fired 88% of their IT staff, (and came to *really* regret it later)

Would you mind telling this story?

1 year,19 days

Database Loophole Lets Legislators Avoid Photo Radar Tickets

JimBobJoe Re:Just as intended (165 comments)

It must have happened in reverse. The vanity plate was already in use, it was the legislative plate that was added later on.

And by jove they weren't going to deny the legislator his plate.

about a year ago

Vine Launches On Android

JimBobJoe can someone answer why it took them so long? (33 comments)

The article says they got 13 million users in a year. I feel like the company would have come out with an Android version faster than that...maybe like 2-3 million users.

about a year ago

Motorola Developing Pill and Tattoo Authentication Methods

JimBobJoe Re:Tattoo Authentication Methods (194 comments)

"You mean those fuckers are going to require that they have my picture just so I can get a drivers license?

In case you cared, most states started to add photos to licenses in the late 60s and early 70s, finishing up in the early to mid 80s. It appears that heavy lobbying from Polaroid, which had introduced color instant photography in the mid 60s is what lead states to adopt photo licenses.

Having said that, some people were pretty pissed about the photo requirement, but I think we were less sophisticated in terms of privacy and security than we are today. Had they tried to introduce photo licenses in the 90s I think they would have had a much more difficult battle.

about a year ago

White House: Use Metric If You Want, We Don't Care

JimBobJoe slight amendment to the powers of the president (1145 comments)

Your post is true and I agree with it, with the amendment that there are times in which the president does have power, but it's unpredictable and contextual. Sometimes he has administrative power given to him by a previous Congress, and a current Congress would be too deadlocked to change his decision, or that it isn't worth the political capital used. In other situations, he may make compromises with Congress tit for tat which allows him discretion and power.

Some powers are available at some times in some situations.

about a year ago

Steve Forbes: Bitcoin Not Money

JimBobJoe Re:Fiat Currency (692 comments)

>Consider when inflation is high (that is: when the growth in the gold supply exceeds growth of the population)

That is however the least likely scenario. Most of the time the problem with a gold standard is that the supply of gold struggles to keep up with population growth+productivity improvements and acts as an artificial tamper on the economy.

about a year ago

Boeing 787 Makes US Debut

JimBobJoe Re:Did I miss something? (317 comments)

The FAA required a few tests specific to the 787 and its structure. I seem to recall a test where they took a fuselage and dropped it from a particular height to see how well it would deal with such a drop.

My recollection is that the FAA said that the test was passed. Not much information is available on it since they wanted to keep the information a trade secret.

about 2 years ago

Why Does a Voting Machine Need Calibration?

JimBobJoe Re:why are the options close together? (398 comments)

What do you do if you have eight choices? (That's the current Ohio ballot--7 choices plus a write-in.)

about 2 years ago

South Carolina Department of Revenue Hacked, 3.6 Million SSNs Taken

JimBobJoe Re:South Carolina (112 comments)

Dayton was at its time a mini-Silicon Valley: a hotspot for innovation, bringing us people like the Wrights, Charles Kettering and John Patterson.

North Carolina is just windy.

about 2 years ago

South Carolina Department of Revenue Hacked, 3.6 Million SSNs Taken

JimBobJoe Re:Why are SSNs secret? (112 comments)

I think the Swedish experience is that its national ID number doesn't do anything all that significant (none of the purposes you noted here would be severely inconvenienced or affected if you just used another number.)

In short, stealing someone's Swedish number doesn't achieve much.

The US uses the SSN as a gateway to the person's financial history.

about 2 years ago

The UAE Claims To Hold the Worlds Largest Biometric Database

JimBobJoe Re:Haha (82 comments)

It's not dependent on the visa. People from visa waiver nations (such as the UK, Germany, Japan, etc) will still get enrolled into US-VISIT (the photograph/fingerprinting system.)

Canadians have a special exemption.

about 2 years ago

Federal Judge Says No Right To Secret Ballot, OKs Barcoded Ballots

JimBobJoe Re:Freedom (584 comments)

Ballots that can be traced to a voter, or where the voter can be watched filling in the ballot paper, can be bought.

True, but nothing says that I can't videotape myself on my camera phone selecting candidates (either on machine or paper) and then submitting that ballot. (I have uploaded my own absentee ballots online to show people how I voted.)

My point is, there are plenty of ways of showing people how you voted, not having identifying marks on the ballot does not prevent that from occurring.

about 2 years ago

Federal Judge Says No Right To Secret Ballot, OKs Barcoded Ballots

JimBobJoe Re:Barcoding the Ballots. (584 comments)

Limiting voting to citizens is assumed to be a universal thing, but it's not. As another poster mentioned, the Commonwealth countries still have a system of voting rights in place between each other. It is a bit peculiar. For instance, a citizen of Jamaica doesn't necessarily have the right to live and work in Britain. However, if they should get the right to live in Britain, they automatically get the right to vote for Parliament. (I believe a Jamaican could not stand for office, but an Irishman can.)

If you did go to Spain or Germany, and you are an EU citizen, you can vote in local elections. Any EU citizen can vote in EU local elections regardless if they are a citizen of that country or not.

In the US, you do not need to be a citizen in order to vote in Takoma Park, Maryland. You need only be a resident of that city. If you remember the move Gangs of New York, a lot of work went into getting freshly immigrated Irish to vote in local elections.

about 2 years ago

No Smiles At NJ Motor Vehicle Commission

JimBobJoe Re:No smiles in Ohio (265 comments)

Interesting, I had not heard of that, and I have an Ohio license (and research these issues quite closely.)

The thing that bugs me is that this is an unnecessary public relations problem for motor vehicle agencies. Ok, so your software sucks and can't do facial recognition on facial expressions.

Take one photographs of a neutral expression for the database.

Take another photograph, if the person wants, where they can have whatever smile they want to print on the license card.

about 2 years ago

UPEK Fingerprint Reader Software Puts Windows Passwords At Risk

JimBobJoe Re:Never rely on a single authentication method. (122 comments)

The best authentication has three components:

This is an old mantra that I don't think is believed anymore (except by companies that sell biometric systems of course. :)

Numbers 2 and 3 are essentially the same...they are both something you have. The idea that number 3 is somehow different from number 2 stems from the assumption that biometrics does something special, like it's uncopyable. It's not magical though and it really is just something you have.

about 2 years ago

Khan Academy: the Teachers Strike Back

JimBobJoe Re:Motivation (575 comments)

is an exceptionally powerful psychological motivational force

I would have to disagree. After all, go to an urban school district and see how powerful that motivational force is for the students there. Even if you visit a lot of good school districts, you'll find that a lot of the students are motivated to play the game and make their masters happy, more than they are actually sincerely learning.

more than 2 years ago

Khan Academy: the Teachers Strike Back

JimBobJoe Re:And the unions are pissed... (575 comments)

Teachers do get good benefits, government jobs are like that, they get actual pension plans, which is more an indication that everyone else is getting fucked than one that teachers are getting an unfairly awesome deal

There is some evidence to suggest that, economically speaking, the idea that a significant percentage of the population can just stop working when healthy and live off of savings for ten years is simply unworkable in the big scheme of things. You either need people to save a huge amount during your working life, or you need a huge cohort of young people who are productive to pay for the retirees to live.

This problem hit the private sector earlier, but it is beginning to hit the public sector. Public sector pensions are severely underfunded (particularly since 8% growth has been assumed, which is nothing shortly of ridiculous in this day and age.)

more than 2 years ago

Is Humanity Still Evolving?

JimBobJoe Re:It's around everywhere else, too... (374 comments)

You can but I'd argue that is a mistake.

Here's an example: we know that women take the trait of masculinity into account when seeking a partner. Studies have shown that the amount of masculinity is correlated with the health care quality of the country they grew up in. A Jamaican woman is more likely to select a man with masculine features--hoping to pass on nice strong genes to her child to survive the many problems of Jamaica. However a Swedish woman will be more likely to take a less masculine more androgynous man. The androgynous man may not pass on the strongest genes, but that doesn't matter in Sweden. What does matter is that the less masculine man is more likely to be a caring, dependable father, which is a nice boon for young Sven.

Without context, the Swedish woman's decision seems to be a step backward. (It certainly would seem that way from the Jamaican woman's point of view.) But in the context of modern Sweden, it's a movement forward.

more than 2 years ago

Is Humanity Still Evolving?

JimBobJoe Re:It's around everywhere else, too... (374 comments)

Any trip to Walmart will convince you that the situation today seems less clear, and obtaining children seems entirely disassociated with the ability to attract a mate.

Perhaps actually Walmart shows the opposite--that evolution is quite alive and well.

If we're saying that there is a group of people who are disadvantaged in some way (I guess the thesis on the table is that the Walmart people are less intelligent than others) then perhaps it makes sense for them to start buying lottery tickets--having lots of children--knowing that any one child of theirs probably won't have great genes (and that because of their lifestyle there is no advantage to that one child if they have no siblings) and may not pass them on, but a bunch of children may pass them on, and besides, there may be a bright child in the bunch.

more than 2 years ago



More voting machine woes: secret ballot at risk

JimBobJoe JimBobJoe writes  |  about 7 years ago

JimBobJoe writes "On Monday, Cnet published the findings I made as an Ohio poll worker regarding a major oversight in my state's election's system: Using a combination of public records, plus the voting machine paper trails, you can figure out how people voted. Though most agree that voting machine paper trails are a necessity, they can cause privacy problems which aren't easily mitigated."
Link to Original Source


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