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A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:Why does this work (191 comments)

Well, if all factors are equal it doesn't vary, otherwise every run on the same machine would vary and it would be useless. The point is that there enough differing variables between machines that it becomes useful for finger printing (and also for identifying specific hardware/driver/os/browser signatures). It would be used in conjunction with other techniques in practise I am sure.

3 days ago
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A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:Why does this work (191 comments)

Different drivers, OS's, web browsers, GPU's etc all have slight effects when asked to render something onto the canvas. The trick is that the raw resultant bits can then be captured trivially using getImageData() and then sent back to the tracker site (after hashing or what have you to reduce the size). It'll render the same way every time on your machine, but will differ to someone else's. (Showing my age here), kind of like how you could easily see the difference between the old Voodoo and TNT2 graphics card by how they rendered.

3 days ago
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Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Someone mod this up (178 comments)

An insightful post, I'd love to hear if you had an ideas on how the system could be improved?

about two weeks ago
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Scientists Propose Collider That Could Turn Light Into Matter

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Mod up! (223 comments)

Please mod this up and GP down. +5 Ignorant.

about 2 months ago
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Scientists Propose Collider That Could Turn Light Into Matter

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:Energy-matter synthesis (223 comments)

This is a good point. If we ever get to the point of being able to efficiently convert matter into energy with negligible loses, then science fiction becomes far more believable. The "scarcity" of resources equation hard wired into our biology would be irrelevant. The physics is simple, but the engineering is a real bugger.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Should Every Programmer Read?

Puff_Of_Hot_Air One more thing (352 comments)

Don't be put off by the "C++" in the title. Most of the concepts are applicable to any language. It's about the engineering behind large scale software development.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Should Every Programmer Read?

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Large-Scale C++ Software Design by John Lakos (352 comments)

If every university simply taught this book, software development would be called software engineering. Written in 1996, and still we have not learned the lessons. Flawed. Wordy. Partially out of date. And yet, if you understand and apply the concepts in this book, you will design applications and systems of the standard that everyone actually expects software to be at (rather than where it is).

about 2 months ago
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Why Scientists Are Still Using FORTRAN in 2014

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:Q: Why Are Scientists Still Using FORTRAN in 20 (634 comments)

To be fair, you basically set this kid up for failure. What you describe is a significant engineering challenge, and you gave it to a computer science graduate, with no experience. If you gave this to someone with 10 years under their belt, I'm sure they could create a lovely maintainable package; but as it is, you should start over. You may as well have asked him/her to design the Golden Gate Bridge. Computer science does not teach engineering, there is no way this kid could have had the necessary skills.

about 2 months ago
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Paper Microscope Magnifies Objects 2100 Times and Costs Less Than $1

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:No, this is not what the developing world needs (89 comments)

The whole point of this, the whole point, is to make specialized idiot-proof diagnostic tools. Did you watch the Ted talk? It's short and informative. If you see the vid, you'll see that many of these places have a fancy microscope already that no one can use. With this thing they can create a specialized single use malaria detector for example. Very little training is required to insert slide, look at image, malaria? Yes/No. That's the point of this, that's what they are trying to achieve. It's a good idea, and it could transform diagnosis in the third world.

about 3 months ago
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Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:farming vs. hunter gatherer (351 comments)

It seems to me that you delight in being wrong. Australian aboriginals worked, on average, 6 hours per day. Australian history is quite recent, this statement is not in dispute. I'm not trying to suggest that this was the case for any other hunter-gatherer society (I'm quite ignorant outside of this area), but the idea that Australian aboriginals had a relatively easy life is neither minority view nor controversial.

On the "life span" topic, you seem to indicate that people are uniformly dropping off in their 30's, which was simply not the case. You were quite likely to die in childhood (particularly infancy), but if you got through that, quite likely to creek on past 50. Why present this as if people are dying in their 30's, ground down by poor diet and harsh conditions? Simple nonsense.

about 3 months ago
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Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:farming vs. hunter gatherer (351 comments)

More ignorance. Life spans were not in the "low 30's" for indigenous or Europeans. Average life expectancy was predominantly impacted by infant mortality rates. Once out of childhood, you could reasonably expect to hit late 50's or 60 odd. Leisure time is again something you are simply wrong about. From all evidence, including first person accounts from early explorers; life was easy. In fact, there is a reasonable argument to be made that this is why such little advancement was made over 40000 years. If life is easy and food is plentiful, why do anything different? But continue on, I'm interested in what other sweeping statements you will make inspite of all evidence to the contrary.

about 3 months ago
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Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:farming vs. hunter gatherer (351 comments)

How and when people died in pre-contact populations is pretty well established, and we can determine it from skeletons.

Ignoring your ridiculous attempts to paint me with various motivations or political leanings, this is about the only comment you have made that is not completely wrong. If you can be bothered to find the studies, you'll find that the life expectancy and general health of Australian aboriginals prior to colonization was better than that of the average European at the time. But never let bothersome facts get in the way of good uninformed diatribe.

about 3 months ago
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Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:farming vs. hunter gatherer (351 comments)

Your response is uninformed nonsense. Yes Aboriginals today have a shorter and rougher life on aggregate, but this was simply not the case prior to colonization. Go read a little history before you spout such drivel.

about 3 months ago
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Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:farming vs. hunter gatherer (351 comments)

Under ideal conditions that is true: a stable habitat with abundant resources and low population densities. But under such conditions, populations grow and people get pushed out into more and more marginal habitats.

Not true! Or at least, not universally true. Take the Australian Aboriginals as example; nice stable culture for 30000 years. Practised birth control via a combination of penile splitting and other methods I'll allow you to look up. The point is that humans have long understood how increased population causes problems; and have sometimes found ways around the issue.

about 4 months ago
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Iranian Hackers Probe US Infrastructure Targets

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:Chinese, Russians, North Koreans and now Irania (203 comments)

Ants are actually incredibly clean. Your bench will be slightly cleaner after an ant has walked across it. Use a better analogy, and love your ants!

about a year ago
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Utilities Racing To Secure Electric Grid

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:it always baffles me (113 comments)

... why are mission critical devices connected to the internet

sure we know that the weakest link is the meatware, not the hardware, but still...

They aren't, at least, not directly. They are however generally connected at various points to the "business" network which is connected to the Internet (people gotta email). The literal air gap is largely fiction. The business network is hacked, then some vulnerability exploited in the bridge points or routers (it's a network of networks!). Why connect the SCADA to the business network at all? To get the data out to do reports, send email alarms etc. in theory this data exporting should be secure. Problem is that who is hacking your SCADA system? It's not the usual suspects; there is no money in it and the barrier of entry is too high for the script kiddies. It's other countries wanting to perform espionage. How the hell do you protect against that? Look at stuxnet, I mean really look at how that took down the centrifuges. Governments have resources that the average hacking group simply doesn't (or SCADA group). They also have no reason to reveal a compromised system. There could be sleeper, targeted, custom malware sitting on every SCADA server in the US, just waiting for the a time where it will be useful to activate. It's a brave new world!

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft Embraces Git For Development Tools

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:Don't they use Perforce internally? (227 comments)

Linux is small. And it's just source code. Storing binaries happens a lot for a lot of reasons. You might have binaries for a third party library, you might have various art assets, compiled CHM files for help, installers for dependencies, etc etc. Git was designed for a particular problem space, in which binaries were not considered a big issue. Other groups have different requirements.

about a year and a half ago
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Teenager Builds $300 Open Source Eye-Tracking System

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:Wont someone think of (100 comments)

Dick smith is a hypocrite, all his electronics stores revolved around importing the cheapest crap from overseas, so now for him to say buy australian is a huge backflip. Back when that was happening with dick smith, australia was still manufacturing lots of stuff, now we're just importing everything, whilst exporting the raw materials.

You do realize that the "dick smith" electronics store was sold to woolies in 1982? 60% in 1980, then the rest in 1982. Are you really talking about the store during the 70's? In addition, it does not make someone a hypocrite to behave in a different way to what the once did. Is the reformed alcoholic a hypocrite for wanting tighter alcohol regulation? You really haven't thought this through.

more than 2 years ago

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