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Medical Records Worth More To Hackers Than Credit Cards

MobyDisk Re:Calls from Credit Cards on "Suspicious Activity (77 comments)

Did you actually read that story?

Yes, so let me explain:

Bottom line (and there are exceptions), merchants aren't on the hook if it's a face-to-face transaction.

Nope! Read on to see why:

Usually, however, it is the banks that get hurt the most.

And how do they get hurt? In that quote, the word "banks" links to a BusinessWeek article that explains:

issuing banks are shifting the expense of fraudulent face-to-face transactions to retailers. One reason: complaints that the buyer's signature didn't match the one on the card. These "charge-backs" drive up retailers' costs, which are ultimately passed along to the consumer, says Mallory Duncan, the NRF's general counsel.

So the law says the credit card holder isn't liable. The CC company says they aren't liable, the bank is. But since the retailer is responsible for verifying the signature, they were at fault. Notice that it specifically says that in face-to-face transactions the retailer is responsible.

I'm unclear why the BusinessWeek article says "shifting" since this was the way things were back in 1996 when I worked retail. This isn't new.

I have 2 stories on this: One: in the brief time I worker retail I worked at a store that actually checked this. Your photo ID + name on card + signature had to match. We even turned away corporate customers making big purchases because sometimes the boss would give an employee their Amex business card, but we wouldn't let them make the purchase. I know the store manager got chewed-out by some business people for enforcing it and they always stood their ground.

The other example was when I was at a retailer and I got asked for me photo ID. I thanked the manager in person for having the employee check, but was told that the employee would now get in trouble because they aren't allowed to ask!

yesterday
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The Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes

MobyDisk Re:summary (195 comments)

So are you citing this as evidence that the show is generally factual, and that in the one case they got it wrong they apologized? Or are you citing it as proof that they are liars, and only admit it when they are caught?

4 days ago
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Breakthrough In LED Construction Increases Efficiency By 57 Percent

MobyDisk Does this work like a diffraction grating? (181 comments)

The picture in the first article shows "bumps" added to the outside of the material. Is this kinda like how a diffraction grating works? Where the spacing between those "bumps" matches the wavelength of the light?

4 days ago
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Breakthrough In LED Construction Increases Efficiency By 57 Percent

MobyDisk Re:Woo hoo!! (181 comments)

The newer ones are "full wave rectified" so they flicker at 100hz/120hz instead of 50/60, so you don't notice it. Here is an article on how to eliminate the flicker by adding a capacitor but that is a pretty big, expensive, and ?potentially unreliable? capacitor. It looks big in the picture, so I checked online and found one for $5 that was over an inch tall. Also, I don't think electrolytic capacitors would do so well outdoors. (I'm no EE, so I may be wrong.)

4 days ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

MobyDisk Re:Statistics (595 comments)

Nope: it's statistics. It is impossible to actually really guarantee a minimum. They can only guarantee that a certain percentage of their stock will meet that minimum. Think about it this way: You buy a bulb. The only way to guarantee that this particular bulb will run X hours is to actually run it X hours. But if they sell it to you after that, it now has to run 2X hours to meet the guarantee! So all they can do is run 1000 bulbs, and if 99% of them make it X hours they slap the guarantee on the next lot of bulbs that come off the plant.

4 days ago
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PostgreSQL Outperforms MongoDB In New Round of Tests

MobyDisk Re:"Small" amount of data (147 comments)

Locking up tables for over 30 minutes when they haven't even been updated

There is no vacuuming on tables that have no updates.

4 days ago
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2015 Corvette Valet Mode Recorder Illegal In Some States

MobyDisk Illegal or inadmissable? (267 comments)

Sometimes the term "illegal" is used to mean "inadmissible as evidence in court." I thought one can record any audio anywhere, they just might not be able to use it in court.

Can someone with legal knowledge of this clarify?

4 days ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

MobyDisk Re:Do longevity tests account for crappy power? (595 comments)

That's a great point about voltage. The labs probably provide perfect power.

I had a contractor install recessed kitchen lighting and he used 130V halogen bulbs. The slightly thicker filament lasts 3x longer than regular halogens.

4 days ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

MobyDisk Statistics (595 comments)

Statistically, if you buy 20 bulbs with a lifetime of X hours, you will have some bulbs that burn out before X hours. That doesn't mean the lifetime statement was wrong.

4 days ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

MobyDisk Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (595 comments)

I can counter your anecdote with mine: In my entire life I've never seen an LED burn out unless it was in my own circuit. That includes alarm clocks, toys, computer cases, and LED light bulbs. They dim over time, but unless they get excess heat the dang things seem to last forever. I first started buying LED bulbs 5 years ago, but only in the last 3 years have I bought more LED than CFL. The CFLs do die, but it takes a long time.

My guess is you have a problem with your electric service.

4 days ago
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FAA Clears Movie and TV Drones For Takeoff

MobyDisk Re:I get it (50 comments)

I believe that they must also have a line of sight to the pilot. That's a big problem.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Keep Students' Passwords Secure?

MobyDisk Re:password manager (191 comments)

A checksum that you can do in your head would be better than something you must use an external tool on. You don't want to expose "hunter2" in your example by typing it in there.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Keep Students' Passwords Secure?

MobyDisk Re:password manager (191 comments)

anybody who takes more than 5 seconds to look at your password, or even a malicious system maintainer who grabs passwords at login, will be in a position where your passwords are just 3-4 token variations... once a human mind sets you as a target, your online world is SOL.

This objection only applies to the really simplistic example I give, and only if they see 2 or more passwords. "His passwords are boxcar73 and boxcar98? Duh..." In reality, you can do something only slightly more mentally complex than tacking the service name onto the end that yields an essentially random string. Think ROT13, but not using a constant 13. :-) Since my employer requires me to rotate passwords every 90 days, I feel safe writing "dellbattery" on a post-it on my monitor knowing that nobody is going to get "xy4platypus2&Zp" from that, no matter how many of my passwords they look at.

The 2 benefits to using the service name are that you don't have to write anything down for those services, and your spouse can login to your account without needing to read the keyword list. But you still need some written list because sometimes you can't use the service name though: rotating passwords, changing passwords, or when the algorithm produces a password that the site doesn't accept (too long, too many special characters). One of the items in my list is exceptions like "standard hash but no special characters" which I hate doing.

I do like your scheme though too. I think the real take away is that everyone can come-up with a scheme like this that is easy for them to remember, and now they can have secure passwords without having to write anything down. Don't write-down the password. Write down a reminder of the password that requires special knowledge in order to use. It is far far more secure than what most people are recommending.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Reporting Still Relevant?

MobyDisk Dashboards are a subset of reports (179 comments)

While there is some overlap between reporting and dashboarding, there are some things for which reporting is more appropriate. Your examples are all trends and realtime stuff where dashboarding seems more appropriate. But data mining is where reporting comes in.

For example, suppose there was recall on particular lot number of something. You may want to determine everyone who used that particular lot. This is not something you want on a dashboard. This is something you want to see on screen, export into a spreadsheet, archive, and print. You may want to see which client was most impacted, or how many it was used. Maybe you know the % failure in the lot and you want to estimate the number of people in Nigeria affected as compared to the number of people in Egypt. This reporting or querying, but not dashboarding.

5 days ago
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Euclideon Teases Photorealistic Voxel-Based Game Engine

MobyDisk Re:Static lighting only (131 comments)

Ahh Sorry, that video probably isn't using the voxel engine. That's why it looks so good, but they can't really move around freely. It is more like Microsoft Photosynth.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Keep Students' Passwords Secure?

MobyDisk Re:password manager (191 comments)

Thank you, I've been posting this to every password-related Slashdot article for years and never managed to get modded up. My scheme is a slight variation, where the "357a" part is derived from the name of the web site or application you are logging into. Maybe you use the vowels in the web site name and their count: so the password for homework.com might produce "boxcaroeoo4." With this approach, instead of writing down "357a" or "oeoo" you write down "vowels + count" or "standard derivation" or something like that. The benefit is that if you use the same algorithm most of the time you don't have to write anything down.

5 days ago

Submissions

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MobyDisk MobyDisk writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MobyDisk writes "Network Performance Daily retracted last week's interview with Professor Christopher Yoo from Vanderbilt University Law School on his opposition to Net-Neutrality policies. The new article is clearer, more subdued interview. The editor, Brian Boyko, says he never received Mr. Yoo's corrections to the article. From the apology: "The article had done him a disservice and resolved to repair any inaccuracy or anything that would be unfair to his words or image." Lost corrections, or a revision in response to criticism?

Last week's article now points to an series by Art Brodsky, Communications Director of Public Knowledge that is in support of Network Neutrality."

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