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Comments

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Laid Off From Job, Man Builds Tweeting Toilet

MyFirstNameIsPaul Re:will require less water (114 comments)

Controllable flush volume is not 'fancier' since it contains all the same elements as the fix-volume toilets. In fact, the controllable volume toilets are likely less sophisticated since there does not need to be any sort of mechanism to determine flush volume - just a simple spring-loaded valve.

about a week ago
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The Documents From Google's First DMV Test In Nevada

MyFirstNameIsPaul Re:Who would have thought (194 comments)

I agree. This is far more dangerous than cruise control and hand-free talking on the cell phone, dealing with kids in the back, arguing with a passenger, fumbling with other car controls, etc., and should not be allowed in vehicles, because the drivers wouldn't be able to handle it.

about two weeks ago
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Laid Off From Job, Man Builds Tweeting Toilet

MyFirstNameIsPaul Re:Welcome to 2009 (114 comments)

Higher water ratio requirements shouldn't preclude more efficient toilets as it may not be where the volume of water comes from. We still have washing of dishes in sinks, dishwashers, clothes washers, washing of hands, showers, baths, etc., contributing water to the waste system.

about two weeks ago
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Laid Off From Job, Man Builds Tweeting Toilet

MyFirstNameIsPaul Re:Welcome to 2009 (114 comments)

'Multiple flush volumes' is completely different from the controllable flush volumes the European, or at least the German, toilets provide (you should look it up, YOU'RE ON THE INTERNET). Whenever any sort of fixed-volume flush is inadequate for the task, x*(flush volume) must be used to finish the job (no less than twice the volume), whereas with a controllable flush volume, if the task only requires 10% more volume to complete the job, then only 1.1*(flush volume) is used. I posit that even when compared to multiple flush volume toilets, the controllable flush volume toilet will require less water.

about two weeks ago
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Laid Off From Job, Man Builds Tweeting Toilet

MyFirstNameIsPaul Re:Welcome to 2009 (114 comments)

I worked in Germany for a few months and I actually really liked their toilets. I've always wanted to do a comparison of the real-world performance of our U.S. fixed-flush-volume toilets with the German (okay, European - I was working and didn't have much time to travel) toilets. They keep reducing the allowable flush volume in the U.S. to the point that adult-sized excrement and attendant tissue creates trouble and often requires consideration of the appropriate stages to flush (multiple flushes required), not to mention that the U.S. toilet uses a ton of water to get rid of urine, which is completely unnecessary and comprises the majority of total flushes.

Perhaps a practical project for the Internet of Toilets would be to compare efficiencies of various toilets. I think it would be pretty clear that fixed-volume flush toilets are terribly inefficient.

I want to point out that the Wikipedia article on toilets is outstanding and even includes an audio sample of a toilet flushing. Someone really deserves some recognition here.

about two weeks ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

MyFirstNameIsPaul Re:Today's business class is the 70s' economy clas (818 comments)

Air China heavily overbooks their flights. One of my flights from SFO to Shanghai took me 4 days to get onto. They basically just overbook the flights so much that they eventually end up filling a new plane with the spillover. That's one way to increase profits.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

MyFirstNameIsPaul Re:Sales (509 comments)

You are confusing sales people with order takers. They are not the same. I think you have very little small business experience, as most have many vendors through which they do business with a sales person, and it ain't stoppin' any time soon.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

MyFirstNameIsPaul Re:Sales (509 comments)

Anyone who thinks they are going to sell products to businesses (of any size) without using sales people will be going out of business, fast. That is how it has always been and will be for a very, very long time.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

MyFirstNameIsPaul Re:Sales (509 comments)

hahahha. You don't even need sales people to sell cars.

Yes, there are no car lots with sales people at them because they are such an unnecessary expense.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

MyFirstNameIsPaul Sales (509 comments)

Salespeople will be among the very last to be replaced by something else.

about 2 months ago
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Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

MyFirstNameIsPaul Re:Where the fault lies? (231 comments)

Are you supporting the claim that hardware manufacturers do everything to spec? That the hardware doesn't have to interface with software?

I find it rather concerning that so many people place so much faith in so many strangers that they would forgo a 60-second attendant procedure that would nearly totally ensure against data leakage.

about 2 months ago
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Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

MyFirstNameIsPaul Re: Both (231 comments)

This gets back to my whole point that when I am giving up control of the device, I would rather have full confidence, and what you are describing likely relies on various softwares that I cannot know if they are trustworthy.

To fully embrace my paranoia, your rather authoritative tone makes it sound as if I should not wipe the device and instead wholly rely on an unprovable method of protection, thus making a casual reader find your method superior. I will continue to rely on both erasing keys and wiping devices as the best method to protect data on devices I am giving up control of.

about 2 months ago
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Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

MyFirstNameIsPaul Re:Both (231 comments)

It's hardware decryption. The key only ever exist within the SOC. Throwing away the decryption key means overwriting it with a new one. There is no possibility of recovery.

If this hardware encryption/decryption is trustworthy, then what is the difference between it and TPM, which few data experts are willing to trust?

"Zeroing the storage space" probably does not overwrite anything on flash storage. Flash is very resistant to writing anything to a block unless it has to, as there are limited numbers of writes before the the block becomes unusable. Writing random data will, but at a cost of significant time. And it's still less secure than deleting the key of an encrypted drive.

I have recently been playing with hdparm and ATA secure erase and enhanced secure erase. As I understand it, issuing the command for enhanced secure erase returns the drive to a condition defined by the manufacturer of the device, presumably one which does not retain any data. Additionally, I found a blog post by Bruce Schneier discussing a report from a trusted security company which stated that traditional full disk wipe methods for HDDs are also effective on SSDs. The notable exception is that the security company did not find any delete-based wipe methods effective on SSDs (meaning, you have to wipe the whole disk to completely erase data). That last bit annoys me: everyone is so concerned with deleting data on far-away devices, yet we can't even delete specific data on local devices without wiping the entire device.

I have not played around with wiping data from phones, so I don't know how any that applies, but I suspect the concepts are the same. Also, as far as the time component goes, it's unattended time, so little measurable cost to the user.

about 2 months ago
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Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

MyFirstNameIsPaul Re:Where the fault lies? (231 comments)

FFS, it's on a time delay, not GPS (that can be spoofed).

about 2 months ago
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Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

MyFirstNameIsPaul Re:Where the fault lies? (231 comments)

Yes, much more so than the ones at OpenSSL (IIRC, the Heartbleed bug was reportedly caused by not checking code originally submitted by an intern).

about 2 months ago
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Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

MyFirstNameIsPaul Re:Where the fault lies? (231 comments)

To my knowledge, Apple has not published the code they use in the encryption process for which keys are being deleted or the code which deletes the keys. Although I'm not aware this code at least been reviewed by trusted professionals (it may have). It seems like too many people say "256-bit AES" as if it's a conversation stopper, but there is always more to be concerned about. For example, the theory of public key encryption is sound, yet OpenSSL had a security hole the size of a galactic core which gave access to the memory of a web server. Apple software != 256-bit AES.

about 2 months ago
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Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

MyFirstNameIsPaul Re:Where the fault lies? (231 comments)

I would not trust an encryption method as a replacement for permanent data destruction, but I may be more paranoid than most.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Using Nonsense Math to Trick Non-Math Majors

MyFirstNameIsPaul MyFirstNameIsPaul writes  |  about a year and a half ago

MyFirstNameIsPaul writes "Abstract from a paper titled "The Nonsense Math Effect," by Emmo Eriksson: Mathematics is a fundamental tool of research. Although potentially applicable in every discipline, the amount of training in mathematics that students typically receive varies greatly between different disciplines. In those disciplines where most researchers do not master mathematics, the use of mathematics may be held in too much awe. To demonstrate this I conducted an online experiment with 200 participants, all of which had experience of reading research reports and a postgraduate degree (in any subject). Participants were presented with the abstracts from two published papers (one in evolutionary anthropology and one in sociology). Based on these abstracts, participants were asked to judge the quality of the research. Either one or the other of the two abstracts was manipulated through the inclusion of an extra sentence taken from a completely unrelated paper and presenting an equation that made no sense in the context. The abstract that included the meaningless mathematics tended to be judged of higher quality. However, this "nonsense math effect" was not found among participants with degrees in mathematics, science, technology or medicine."
Link to Original Source
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InTrade bans U.S. customers.

MyFirstNameIsPaul MyFirstNameIsPaul writes  |  about 2 years ago

MyFirstNameIsPaul writes "In an announcement dated Monday, Nov 26, 2012, Dublin based InTrade stated "that due to legal and regulatory pressures, Intrade can no longer allow US residents to participate in our real-money prediction markets." The Washington Post reports that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed a complaint in federal court against InTrade for "illegally facilitating bets on future economic data, the price of gold and even acts of war," demonstrating just how far the long arm of U.S. law can reach."
Link to Original Source
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Philip Roth vs. Wikipedia

MyFirstNameIsPaul MyFirstNameIsPaul writes  |  about 2 years ago

MyFirstNameIsPaul writes "When Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Philip Roth, who wrote “American Pastoral” and “Portnoy’s Complaint,” recently petitioned Wikipedia to correct inaccuracies in an entry regarding his novel “The Human Stain,” Wikipedia said no:

I recently petitioned Wikipedia to delete this misstatement, along with two others, my interlocutor was told by the “English Wikipedia Administrator”—in a letter dated August 25th and addressed to my interlocutor—that I, Roth, was not a credible source: “I understand your point that the author is the greatest authority on their own work,” writes the Wikipedia Administrator—“but we require secondary sources.”

"

Link to Original Source
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Analysis of CRU Files Concludes They Were Leaked

MyFirstNameIsPaul MyFirstNameIsPaul writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) writes "Through an analysis of the files themselves, and not their content, Lance Levsen concludes that the CRU files were leaked. Here is his conclusion:

"It is most likely that the FOI Officer at the University put it on an anonymous ftp server or that it resided on a shared folder that many people had access to and some curious individual looked at it.

If as some say, this was a targeted crack, then the cracker would have had to have back-doors and access to every machine at UEA and not just the CRU. It simply isn't reasonable for the FOI Officer to have kept the collection on a CRU system where CRU people had access, but rather used a UEA system.

Occam's razor concludes that "the simplest explanation or strategy tends to be the best one". The simplest explanation in this case is that someone at UEA found it and released it to the wild and the release of FOIA2009.zip wasn't because of some hacker, but because of a leak from UEA by a person with scruples."

The significance being that a leak indicates a worker unhappy with the integrity of the organization. Or someone who likes ot make big messes."
Link to Original Source

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AGW 'skeptic' produces hard data; nobody notices

MyFirstNameIsPaul MyFirstNameIsPaul writes  |  more than 5 years ago

MyFirstNameIsPaul writes "Anthony Watts, a meteorologist from Chico, California founded a volunteer project, surfacestations.org, in 2007 with the goal of surveying all of the 1221 United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) weather stations to see how well they meet the National Weather Service's (NWS) own siting requirements. These are the stations that report the official record of temperatures here in the U.S. The project uses a network of volunteers armed with basic tools such as cameras, tape measures, GPS units, and a printout of the project's instructions to report the results of the surveys to the project.

In May, the project completed its first report with 70% of the USHCN stations having been surveyed. This report found, among other things, that 89% of the stations fail to meet the NWS requirements. Of note is that they failed in such a way that the stations would likely indicate higher temperatures. The report also discusses the poor recording processes of many stations and how the data is 'adjusted' by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA.

But most disappointing is the complete lack of coverage by virtually all media. This simple and provocative investigation into the data which is at the very heart of the entire AGW theory doesn't seem to register anywhere when, at the very least, it should warrant a demand for a solid rebuttal from the theory's proponents by the media. There are some out there who are warning of the new 'Climate-Industrial Complex', of which perhaps the media is a beneficiary."

Journals

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Wikipedia Flame Stoked By Climategate

MyFirstNameIsPaul MyFirstNameIsPaul writes  |  more than 4 years ago

As many Slashdot users have reported, one overzealous, overly-opinionated Wikipedia administrator can send away many useful and well-informed ones. Now there is direct evidence to support that at least one of those authors was working directly for a political cause. William Connolley "created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles" and as a website administrator he acted with "virtual impunity" to remove "more than 500 articles", barred over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors and rewarded those whose edits he was in agreement with. "In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement."

Read the rest here: Wikipediaâ(TM)s climate doctor

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