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Schneier: We Need To Relearn How To Accept Risk

Maximum Prophet Re:nanny-state government ruining our kids (478 comments)

...

These days if that happened, the parents would be yelled at for allowing their kid to go out unsupervised, yelled at for allowing their kid to run so fast though car parks and sports ovals and things with such a high risk of being hurt in the process and quite possibly yelled at for allowing their kids to spend their money with no controls on what they are buying.

...

Or perhaps parents today just perceive they would be yelled at for allowing this because they read that some parents in New Jersey was once talked to by CPS years ago. The "Nanny-State" is more of a chilling effect than a real phenomenon. Better communication means that even if an activity has only a .0001% chance of causing injury, we've heard of a child that was injured by it.

There's a family in our neighborhood that practices that kind of "Free Range" childcare, AFAIK no-one has actually yelled at them, and their children haven't had any more injuries than any others.

1 year,26 days
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How Companies Are Preparing For the IT Workforce Exodus

Maximum Prophet Re:I call bullshit (248 comments)

When you are working at a company, the idea is to make your best effort to be the deepest domain expert in that particular field in the entire company. If you are in accounting, read every available relevant book on accounting. If you are at a company writing software to do computational fluid dynamics, then really understand the math, the available theories about best practices, and so on.

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you were less than honest.

It's also important to be the domain expert for something the company cares about. If you are the best accountant in the world, but your boss doesn't care for accounting and would rather outsource it, you'll never be in a good bargaining position, no matter how important your job is really to the company. Even if losing you would sink the company, it doesn't matter if your boss doesn't know or care.

about a year ago
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How Companies Are Preparing For the IT Workforce Exodus

Maximum Prophet Re:I call bullshit (248 comments)

I hope eman1961 also replies because I'm interested in his answers.

I took a job writing a large system in JavaScript without knowing the language,

That was a feat considering that employers want a few years of paid experience with ANY skill. Not to mention having recent paid experience every single skill listed in the job description.

How did you pull that off? ...

The short answer is that companies look outside for Rumpelstiltskin employees, who can walk on water and spin straw into gold for pennies a day. Internal employees are expected to just jump in and solve problems.

If you are already working for a manager or have recently finished a contract for him, successfully, it's easy to get a gig by saying, "I don't know that language, but I'll learn it and finish this project on time".

Of course, I've never been a fan of the "Language of the Month" club. Why decide to do a project in a language when you can't find the people who know that language? First find good people, then use the tools they know.

about a year ago
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The Cryonics Institute Offers a Chance at Immortality (Video)

Maximum Prophet Re:Slashvertisement (254 comments)

The current methods of cryogenically freezing you will make you legally dead. (That's the problem)

If they could non-destructively freeze and thaw you, it could be legal on a non-dead person.

about a year ago
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Hackers Using Bots, Scripts To Lock Down Restaurant Reservations

Maximum Prophet Re:Reservation fees? (214 comments)

If people are willing to go to the trouble of creating bots to find cancelations, then it's likely there are people who will *pay* for that service. The bot runners might be selling their service, similar to ticket scalpers. On the other hand, they might be doing it just because they can.

about a year ago
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Hackers Using Bots, Scripts To Lock Down Restaurant Reservations

Maximum Prophet Re:Reservation fees? (214 comments)

I would think that a lot of bot reservations would go unused, at least, as soon as the newness of this wears off. How long until restaurants start charging a nonrefundable reservation fee?

And/or a simple wait list that gives preference for preferred customers? I.e. The restaurants should see this as an unmet need, and provide their customers a solution.

about a year ago
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Adapteva Parallella Supercomputing Boards Start Shipping

Maximum Prophet Re:not a FRICKING supercomputer! (98 comments)

where do people get their definition of supercomputer?

From the 1960's. The CDC 6000's designed by Seymour Cray were the first "Super Computers". Each "Core" had about 30 mips.

about a year ago
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Book Review: Exploding the Phone

Maximum Prophet Re:Millions of dollars of calls? (64 comments)

Yes, but.

In the case of AT&T there were real physical limits to the number of calls that could be made from A -> B, and if the last slot was used by a hacker, there was one less slot for a paying customer. Most of the time there was overcapacity, mostly because AT&T did overcharge business customers, so they could afford to overbuild.

about a year ago
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BBC Clock Inaccurate - 100 Days To Fix?

Maximum Prophet Re: Not-so-accurate source (487 comments)

Still not getting it.

Over here, broadcast television doesn't have anything like a "Listen Live" button. It's strictly one way.
Exactly what buttons might one accidentally click on, on television?

In the US, there is "free" commercial broadcast TV, and paid subscription TV over closed cable. Internet TV is either free or paid subscription. For the paid stuff, you have to sign up for an account, and although there are ways to circumvent it, if you don't pay, you can't watch.

I was aware that British broadcast television was licensed, rather than a subscription. Is there a similar model for BBC Internet TV?

about a year ago
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Banker Offers $1M To Solve Beal Conjecture

Maximum Prophet Re:Couldn't you just make up any old equation... (216 comments)

That's essentially what Carl Friedrich Gauss said when he was challenged to prove Fermat's Last Theorem. Something on the lines of: "I have no real interest in such endeavors since I could easily put forward a multitude of propositions which one could neither prove nor disprove."

Did Gauss "put forward a multitude of propositions which one could neither prove nor disprove"?

Especially now that we have very fast computers, it seems like the false conjectures would be quickly disproven, and the true ones might take a bit longer. If we eliminate needlessly complicated conjectures, are we left with only "interesting" ones?

about a year ago
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Hacker Exposes Evidence of Widespread Grade Tampering In India

Maximum Prophet Re:not even hacking just URL typing with fixed ID (304 comments)

Actually it does mean you have permission to do so. It doesn't mean the owners meant to give you permission, however.

That's why you need to be a lawyer to understand this. It's possible that for a given State or Federal law that the owner's intent is what's important, not their implementation. And the intent of the defendant is also a factor.
So, if the owner intended the site to be secure, and the defendant intended to break that security, the actual security might be irrelevant.

IANAL, YMMV, talk to a lawyer in your own state for specifics.

about a year ago
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Keyless Remote Entry For Cars May Have Been Cracked

Maximum Prophet Re:Stumped my ass (398 comments)

At some point in there, the encryption has to end, and a logic 0 or 1 has to be sent to some device to unlock the door. If you found that point, and had a way to get into it... ...

A regular car probably has some place where exactly 1 logic 1 or 0 can be sent to unlock the door, but it's not unusual to have a system that first requires an enable solenoid to be activated, then simultaneously the unlock solenoid actually moves the bolt. (Mostly military stuff)

The solenoids also take a bit of current, so if the logic controller is well shielded and takes a stream of bits to open, your system would be fairly secure against EMP type attacks, even if the solenoid isn't well shielded. You don't want your doors unlocking every time you pass a Semi with a 1kw linear amp on his CB rig.

about a year ago
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BBC Clock Inaccurate - 100 Days To Fix?

Maximum Prophet Re: Not-so-accurate source (487 comments)

Please explain this to the people on the other side of the pond.

There's a web site where you can get information, but only if you click a certain place are you liable for a fee? Why doesn't the click take you to a login page that verifies you have the license?

about a year ago
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Own the Controversy! Blackbird DDWFTTW Up For Auction!

Maximum Prophet Imagine a spherical horse, in a vacuum... (266 comments)

A stream of particles traveling above a surface in uniform motion. A vehicle hovering above the surface could only be pushed as fast as the stream is moving.

A wheel on the surface moving at the same speed as the surface isn't all moving at that speed, even if it's center of mass is. The part that touches the surface is stationary w.r.t. the surface, and the top is moving faster than the center speed. If the stream of particles is directed at the center of mass, the most it could be pushed is up to the speed of the particles.
If the stream is directed more to the bottom of the wheel, the center of the wheel could be pushed faster than the stream of particles is moving.

I'm not saying that this is what is happening, just that it could be.

about a year ago
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Matt Smith Leaves "Doctor Who"

Maximum Prophet Re:Hugh Laurie (375 comments)

Doctor Who, Gregory House, and Sherlock Holmes are all the same character, with different occupations.

A difficult to work with genius, almost always with a companion. (On "House" they made the companion a team.)

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Can I Make a Computer Science Club Interesting?

Maximum Prophet Robots (265 comments)

Anything that moves in response to commands is going to be more interesting that stuff that just sits there. Start a robotics curriculum that can be expanded as you find more resources and sponsors.

Throw in a 3D printer and there will be all sorts of interest.

about a year ago
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Casting a Harsh Light On Chinese Solar Panels

Maximum Prophet Re:secrecy way out of control (149 comments)

Anything argued in a court of law by anyone should be open, with very few restrictions (identities of minors and victims in some criminal cases, etc). I've not yet heard any convincing arguments for keeping details of cases involving corporations from the public, at least not after some short delay in extraordinary cases (a month or so).

A great idea, but if you implemented it, companies would hack around it. Perhaps by adding another layer of lawyers invoking client privilege, or binding arbitration by a secret panel.

When companies sue each other, neither wants the results public. When a person sues a company, the company will offer them more money to stay quiet, than they can get from the original lawsuit. (once you figure the likelihood of winning & the time value of the money) A settlement keeps most of the facts away from the courts.

Stronger whistleblower protection and a better FTC would help shine light on corporate malfeasance. A law that made silence contracts non-binding would be bad for a few individuals, but good for the rest of the country.

People need privacy. Corporations, not so much.

about a year ago
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Google's View On the Whac-a-Mole of Blocking Pirate Sites

Maximum Prophet Really? (182 comments)

Geoff Taylor of the BPI said that Google has the both the information and technological ability to directly stomp infringing sites...

Everything is possible if someone else has to do it and pay for it.

about a year ago
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PayPal Denies Teen Reward For Finding Bug

Maximum Prophet Re:Why don't businesses get it? (318 comments)

Movie companies still own movies that have child stars. What's special about entertainment contracts that can't be applied to PayPal contracts?

about a year ago

Submissions

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Warner sued for massive copyfraud

Maximum Prophet Maximum Prophet writes  |  about a year ago

Maximum Prophet (716608) writes "Warner/Chappell Music makes millions of dollars per year licensing the song "Happy Birthday to You", although it's obviously out of copyright. Now "Good Morning to You Productions", a documentary film company is suing to get them to return the millions of ill gotten gains. Good luck. All Warner has to do to keep their monopoly is to get Congress to extend copyright on music so they own HBTY in perpetuity."
Link to Original Source
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Aereo TV rebroadcast is still legal.

Maximum Prophet Maximum Prophet writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Maximum Prophet (716608) writes "While Redigi is illegal, Aereo isn't. “We conclude that Aereo’s transmissions of unique copies of broadcast television programs created at its users’ requests and transmitted while the programs are still airing on broadcast television are not ‘public performances’ of the plaintiffs’ copyrighted works..."
Of course both decisions are going to be appealed."

Link to Original Source
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Why Autonomous Cars Won't Catch On

Maximum Prophet Maximum Prophet writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Maximum Prophet (716608) writes "Only rich people will be able to pay for a completely automous car. Auto-autos will only go the speed limit. Rich people don't like to go slow. Ergo, there won't be any market for automatic cars.
Wait, I hear you say. The rich guy will just modify his car to go faster. But, if you go over the limit it's a fine, but to mess with the safety systems of even your own vehicle is probably a felony. Much more likey: The rich will get new laws passed to make it legal for automatic cars to go much, much faster than human driven vehicles."

Link to Original Source
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Space Aliens shot Kennedy

Maximum Prophet Maximum Prophet writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Maximum Prophet (716608) writes ""Earlier this year, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) asked, on its online Open Government Forum, for suggestions from the public about what it could do to create greater transparency. The #1 most popular idea? Get those Kennedy records out ...

But instead of dealing honestly with this matter, the feds have resorted to disinformation. In an interview with the Boston Globe, the Archivist of the United States claimed that at two public forums held on open records, the most public comments came from people interested either in the JFK assassination or in UFOs."

The thing is, there was very little interest in UFOs. So, where did that come from? It must be the original documents. If the archivist of the US conflates interest in the Kennedy assassination with interest in UFOs, there must be a reason."

Link to Original Source
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Fox experment in peril

Maximum Prophet Maximum Prophet writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Maximum Prophet (716608) writes "In 1957, Russian geneticist Dmitry K. Belyaev tried to domesticate foxes in one human lifetime. (He also produced violently, anti-domestic foxes).
The foxes would be considered fully domesticated only when they obeyed human commands as dogs do. That part of the experiment is still unfinished. Now the project is running out of money.
Kickstarter to the rescue? Would you want a domesticated fox?"

Link to Original Source
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Doctors "cheating" on board certifications

Maximum Prophet Maximum Prophet writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Maximum Prophet (716608) writes "After taking board exams, doctors have been routinely getting together to remember and reproduce as much of the exam as they can. These notes are then bound and reproduced. According to the American Board of Dermatology the exams are protected by copyright laws, and any reproduction, not approved by the board, is illegal. While I have no doubt that the Board believes this, and pays lawyers to believe it as well, I don't think they understand copyright. Perhaps they should invest in better testing methods."
Link to Original Source
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Termination rights of 35 year old recordings

Maximum Prophet Maximum Prophet writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Maximum Prophet (716608) writes ""When copyright law was revised in the mid-1970s, musicians, like creators of other works of art, were granted “termination rights,” which allow them to regain control of their work after 35 years, so long as they apply at least two years in advance. Recordings from 1978 are the first to fall under the purview of the law..."
Since the recording companies are just looking out for their artists, there won't be much of a problem here."

Link to Original Source
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Jury Nullification

Maximum Prophet Maximum Prophet writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Maximum Prophet (716608) writes "This guy was passing out pamplets on courthouse steps in Manhattan and other places. Clearly this is First Amendment stuff. Now he's being indicted on a charge of Jury Tampering. He says he doesn't target jurors, but gives the information to anyone. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/26/nyregion/26jury.html?hp This isn't specifically a "Rights Online", but if they can stop people from handing out pamphlets, what's to stop them from turning off websites? http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/02/16/2239245/US-Govt-Mistakenly-Shuts-Down-84000-Sites#comments"
Link to Original Source
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FOSS Textbooks

Maximum Prophet Maximum Prophet writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Maximum Prophet (716608) writes "Scott G. McNealy, cofounder and former CEO of Sun Microsystems is helping the free textbook movement. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/technology/01ping.html?src=me&ref=general

Mr. McNealy, the fiery co-founder and former chief executive of Sun Microsystems, shuns basic math textbooks as bloated monstrosities: their price keeps rising while the core information inside of them stays the same. “Ten plus 10 has been 20 for a long time,” Mr. McNealy says.

"

Link to Original Source
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DivX Redux

Maximum Prophet Maximum Prophet writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Maximum Prophet (716608) writes ""In the last year and a half, a broad alliance of high-tech companies and Hollywood studios has been trying to address this problem through an organization called the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, or DECE.
...
The group is setting out to create a common digital standard that would let consumers buy or rent a digital video once and then play it on any device."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/04/technology/04video.html?8dpc

That is, any newly purchased from them device. And the alliance doesn't include Apple, so eliminate the iPod, and iPhone."

Link to Original Source
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Laptop fires on airplanes

Maximum Prophet Maximum Prophet writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Maximum Prophet (716608) writes "As usual, xkcd gets it right: http://xkcd.com/651/

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/business/27fires.html?_r=1&hpw

"More than half of the 22 battery fires in the cabin of passenger planes since 1999 have been in the last three years. One air safety expert suggested that these devices might be "the last unrestricted fire hazard" people can bring on airplanes.""

Link to Original Source
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Is the Higgs Boson sabotaging the LHC

Maximum Prophet Maximum Prophet writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Maximum Prophet (716608) writes "First it stopped the Superconducting Super Collider. Now it's throwing monkey wrenches into the Large Hadron Collider. It's the particle that doesn't want to be discovered.

This happened in the science fiction story, "Einstein's Bridge", now Holger Bech Nielsen, of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kyoto, Japan, are theorizing that it's happening in real life.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/13/science/space/13lhc.html?em"

Link to Original Source

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