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Analyzing CAPTCHAs

Midnight's Shadow Re:Why not... (105 comments)

Good points so lets address them. Your calculation is a bit flawed for a simple question you have 6 possible answers - 0,1,2,3,4,5. So the bot has a 1/6 chance of correctly guessing, which is still unacceptably easy. So add a second or third question raising the possibilities up to 1/36 and 1/216 respectively. Or add more images to raise the base number up from 6 to 11 or maybe 21. Suddenly you get from 1/6 odds up to 1/9261 (20 images 3 questions). The color issue would be problematic and the only way I can see of getting around it are to avoid those questions. The answer doesn't have to be language specific since we have numeric keys however the questions would have to be in a language that the human can understand. I don't see a way around this.

The point of this thought experiment is to see if it is possible to come up with a better way of distinguishing between human and bot that isn't arduous to the human. It may not be possible but considering the combined brain power associated with this site, I doubt it.

more than 3 years ago
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Analyzing CAPTCHAs

Midnight's Shadow Re:Why not... (105 comments)

That is a strong point about why using a famous person should not be used but what about something simpler. I propose something like this:
5 images of random people are selected from a data base where the images are tagged about the person's appearance (i.e. hair color, sex, facial hair, eye color, etc).
A random question is asked about those five images (i.e.- how many have facial hair? How many have blue eyes? How many are women?)
If answer matches with the tags from the 5 random images you have a success other wise you have a failure.

I realize that this system isn't perfect either and could be beat with image recognition software coupled with parsing software. It does have the advantage of easy identification by humans but the task for the computer is much harder. It doesn't require knowledge of the people in the images only being able to identify aspects of the people. It could also be made harder by asking a compound question (how many of the woman are wearing blue shirts?).

more than 3 years ago
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Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted

Midnight's Shadow lack of organization has its advantages (305 comments)

If a group like the NAACP had tried the same stunts in a more dictatorial country, say Iran or Cuba, how long would they have lasted? How long would an actual organization survive with their leaders constantly arrested, tried and executed with in a week of founding the organization?

Twitter, Facebook and the like have the advantage of anonymity when organizing and implementing plans.

more than 3 years ago
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Amid Controversy, EA Pulls Taliban From Medal of Honor Multiplayer

Midnight's Shadow Re:!Surprising (495 comments)

Normally I'd agree with your position but here I think it is a bit tricky. By putting them in the game you are giving the Taliban legitimacy which a large amount of the US population would not approve of. You could also cause problems with the fanatical Muslim population because of the link the Taliban has with Islam. And lets face it the radical Muslims don't fuck around when showing their displeasure. All and all I think it was a good business strategy on EA's part to avoid that whole kettle of fish and come across that the change was inspired respect for the US armed forces. This minor controversy will also help generate hype and knowledge of the game. A win for EA on all fronts.

Well unless the radical Muslims take offense at not being included in the game...

more than 3 years ago
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Microwave Map of Entire Moon Revealed

Midnight's Shadow Re:Grain of Salt (82 comments)

Oh yea. The Liberals go to all the trouble of painting a moon up in the sky every night just to fuck with my head. They even moving it during the night and changing the shape nightly. /sarcasm

What I am saying is that Chinese universities have a tendency of fostering academic misconduct in an attempt to compete with the western world's research. The fact that the people who claim to have taken this picture doesn't seem to have any publications lined up makes me wonder about the authenticity of the work. Now maybe they do and it just wasn't reported but regardless between the pictures themselves, the fact they are out of China and no mention of publication I will take this with a large grain of salt.

about 4 years ago
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Microwave Map of Entire Moon Revealed

Midnight's Shadow Grain of Salt (82 comments)

I hate to besmirch the name of the good Chinese researchers that I know but I wouldn't trust this. There has been too many bad publications out of China and Chinese universities. The link doesn't even mention a journal that the results will be published in. They do say they will present the research at the European Planetary Science Congress but that is it. (Yes I RTFL.)

Now I'm not saying they aren't capable of doing this just that it smells bad enough for me to have my doubts. We will see.

about 4 years ago
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The best day of the week, generally:

Midnight's Shadow Re:lokisday (510 comments)

I don't know. I think there is a day devoted to Loki. It is the day many of us have to pay for the 'privilege' of getting up early, dress nicely, sit in uncomfortable seats and listen to someone berate us for not living according to many arbitrary and contradictory rules. I really think the pure insanity would appeal to Loki quite a lot.
For some reason we just call it Sunday.

about 4 years ago
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Torvalds Becomes an American Citizen

Midnight's Shadow Re:WOAH WOAH WOAH (654 comments)

Yes I'm an American and I am fully aware of how stupid and asinine the process is. My girlfriend is Indian and is dealing with the process now - and has legally lived in this country since she was 13. I lived with a Nigerian guy who had to deal with it. I work with a Chinese woman who is dealing with it now for her and her family. A friend of mine from Turkey (with a phd in Physics from an American University) had one hell of a time. A good friend of mine's wife is from South America and is dealing with it as well. I never claimed it was fair or easy or logical, only that it can be done.

I fully admit our immigration policy needs to be fixed but until then the law is the law. If you want to come to the USA, you do it legally. It is precisely because I know so many people who have done it legally that I have no sympathy for those that do not. Any idea what would happen if I illegally entered and stayed in most central or south American countries? Or the countries in the middle east? I suggest googling it and finding out.

about 4 years ago
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Torvalds Becomes an American Citizen

Midnight's Shadow Re:WOAH WOAH WOAH (654 comments)

He has TWO kids here? And he had those while NOT being a full american citizen? He had Anchor babies? Someone call FOX news please. We cannot have this filth just coming here and knocking out brats! Wait what? He is a constructive member of society? Hes already contributed to the American culture before he was a citizen? The entire idea of making immigration more difficult is crazy bullshit? *mind explodes*

I realize you are being sarcastic but I would like to point out that he was here legally to begin with. Weird isn't it how some people can actually navigate the Byzantine immigration process instead of just sneaking across the boarder?

about 4 years ago
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The Last Component To Fail In My Computer Was The...

Midnight's Shadow Which machine? (715 comments)

On one work machine I had a hard drive failure. On another machine I had a switch failure after replacing the power supply and motherboard. (Never using that supplier again.)

about 4 years ago
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Rackspace Shuts Down Quran-Burning Church's Sites

Midnight's Shadow Re:solution (1695 comments)

You are right a muslim temple/community center isn't going to hurt anyone but one so close to ground zero is still considered offensive by many Americans. People have the right to be offended by anything they wish. Personally, I'm offended by the Christian church across the street and the planed parenthood center but I acknowledge their right to be there. I will even defend their right to build where they did.

If I thought the Reverend was burning the Koran as a way to hold hostage anything then I wouldn't even suggest talking to him. To the best of my knowledge he is merely expressing his feelings towards the muslim faith just like people who burn the American flag to express what they think of the USA.

Like it or not, freedom of speech means more then just opinions you agree with.

I think a solution where you put the Imam and the Reverent together and say 'Both your actions are offensive to the other. I suggest a compromise that fixes it.' This stomps on no one's freedom of religion or freedom of speech.

about 4 years ago
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Rackspace Shuts Down Quran-Burning Church's Sites

Midnight's Shadow Re:solution (1695 comments)

You make a fair point about bowing to provocation acts but I disagree with your assessment of the situation. I think a more appropriate analogy would be this:

I decide to build an extension on my house that blocks your view. Meanwhile, you decide to cut down a tree in your yard that I particularly like. So we come to a compromise, you don't cut down your tree and I don't build my extension.

That is a compromise.

To the best of my knowledge (and I could be wrong) the Koran burning is something the reverend wants to do to show what he thinks of the Muslim faith. He is not depriving anyone of their property and doing nothing legally wrong (assuming he can get the permits for the fire). He isn't making any demands, he is just staging an act of protest against a religion in general. The offense the muslim people feel toward the Koran burning is similar to that of what Americans feel towards building a mosque so close to ground zero. There is nothing legally wrong with either action but people find both actions distasteful. This solution stops both actions without the government getting involved and shows a willingness for compromise and respect from both parties. I think that is a good thing.

about 4 years ago
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Rackspace Shuts Down Quran-Burning Church's Sites

Midnight's Shadow Re:solution (1695 comments)

But that is the beauty of it. New York Country Zoning laws play no part. The Imam, ideally, should volunteer to move the mosque as part of the compromise. Plus if it does smell a bit like terrorism, it is something the fanatical Muslims should understand.

However, I don't see it as terrorism for the simple fact the 'yokel' is not making any demands he just feels a need to perform his action. The Imam does as well. I'm merely putting forth a compromise that could be acceptable to both parties and offends the least number of people. No ones rights are stepped on and a solution is reached.

about 4 years ago
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Rackspace Shuts Down Quran-Burning Church's Sites

Midnight's Shadow Re:solution (1695 comments)

Ok, please explain to me how either of the two parties mentioned get their way with my solution? Plus isn't extreme provocation how the Muslim extremists are reacting? Rioting and protesting to stop the Koran burning? This solutions shows the radicals that we are willing to listen but we expect something in return.

about 4 years ago
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Rackspace Shuts Down Quran-Burning Church's Sites

Midnight's Shadow solution (1695 comments)

Am I the only one who can't help but think that maybe we can use this nut to solve another issue? The minister won't burn the Koran if the ground zero mosque is moved. No one ends up being happy but this is what is known in my neck of the woods as compromise.

And just to make myself clear, I disagree with the mosque so close to ground zero and the burning of the Koran but I'll defend both of their rights to carry out their actions.

about 4 years ago
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European Parliament All But Rejects ACTA

Midnight's Shadow Re:good (248 comments)

I was about to say "don't forget office sex with your pantsuited, bespectacled busty redhead secretary", but you already used your three wishes. :(

Not to worry, with the solar-powered Corvette he should be able to find an acceptable substitute.

Well said. Plus I've already dated a redhead. The scars are healing nicely.

about 4 years ago
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European Parliament All But Rejects ACTA

Midnight's Shadow good (248 comments)

Now all we can hope is that the US government decides its a bad idea as well. And while I'm wishing for the impossible - I'd like a solar powered corvette and world peace.

about 4 years ago
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Asteroids Flyby — 2010 RF12 & 2010 RX30

Midnight's Shadow Re:Not so small ... (118 comments)

I did a simulation on that a few years back. Just subtract about 4 meters due to ablation, that's what you'll have left if it hits.

I find it hard to believe that a flat number such as that you gave is accurate for all possible strikes. Is 4 meters the maximum ablation amount? The minimum amount? Or is it the average amount for a spherical asteroid with a diameter of 20 meters?

And no I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm just honestly curious about the details.

about 4 years ago
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Legal Threat Demands Techdirt Shut Down

Midnight's Shadow Re:as an american i say: (346 comments)

Very well said. If I had mod points you would get insightful.

more than 4 years ago
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Making Ubuntu Look Like Windows 7

Midnight's Shadow Re:Coming up: (473 comments)

Next week we feature: Make your Ferrari look like a Ford Escort.

Oh that isn't fair... to the Ford Escorts.

more than 4 years ago

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