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Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

QRDeNameland Re:Every time XKCD 936 is Mentioned (549 comments)

The average user isn't going to have (or be able to write) a secure random word selector. He's going to look at the "new password" field and think up 4 words, and they're almost certain to be related somehow.

The Diceware method can be done with a downloaded word list file and some dice. If, as the article suggests, one is only using memorizable passwords where absolutely necessary, this method is neither burdensome nor difficult for even the most 'average' of users.

about two weeks ago
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Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

QRDeNameland Re:Every time XKCD 936 is Mentioned (549 comments)

Just because the author asserts that the password system is broken doesn't make Randall Munroe's point about passwords incorrect. "At least one security researcher rejects that theory." What theory does he reject? It's simple math that shows that Munroe's method is better for creating stronger passwords (at least for the average user), but that has nothing to do with relying on password managers...

In addition, he seems to miss a rather key point about the xkcd method. He goes on about "users should not be choosing passwords" (which is correct), but note that the xkcd comic says 'four random common words'. In other words, in order to follow this method, the user would not be arbitrarily choosing a password but having it generated instead, by for instance using the Diceware method. The core idea is that a human being can much more easily memorize a randomly generated 4-5 word passphrase, as evidenced by the fact that we all seem to remember 'correct horse battery staple'. Yes, password managers are a great tool to handle the ever-growing array of passwords we must manage in our digital lives, but that doesn't preclude the idea that for those 5% of passwords he concedes must be memorized that Munroe's method is not a superior method in those cases, especially since he seems to fundamentally misunderstand it.

about two weeks ago
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Carl Sagan, as "Mr. X," Extolled Benefits of Marijuana

QRDeNameland Re:1996 called (263 comments)

The two Os represent my bad eyes, which also make me feel old.

about two weeks ago
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Carl Sagan, as "Mr. X," Extolled Benefits of Marijuana

QRDeNameland Re:Argument from authority (263 comments)

Good point. Another thing that muddies the stats is that many of the people who actually do time for MJ are people who had previously served time for some other offense, and the MJ offense winds them up in jail as a probation/parole/3 strikes violation, which depending on the jurisdiction may or may not get counted as "being imprisoned for marijuana".

For some numbers not pulled rectally, according to an ACLU analysis: "Of the 8.2 million marijuana arrests between 2001 and 2010, 88% were for simply having marijuana." Remember that arrest means you were charged and it goes on your record. That alone should be enough misery to end this stupidity.

about two weeks ago
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Carl Sagan, as "Mr. X," Extolled Benefits of Marijuana

QRDeNameland Re:1996 called (263 comments)

I learned this about him more than 10 years ago when i was in my college dorm room googling cannabis before i first tried

As someone who first tried cannabis while Cheech and Choong were still making records, that makes me feel very old.

about two weeks ago
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Where Whistleblowers End Up Working

QRDeNameland Re:Transparency (224 comments)

... or do you think a man with no name just hands the president a picture of JFK's head getting blown off from the perspective of the grassy knoll and says "here's your new talking points?"

Apologies to Bill Hicks.

about a month ago
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Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Astonishing Crop Yield Breakthrough

QRDeNameland Re:Next step - beer! (308 comments)

Nope. Google 'spelt beer'...there are a few commercial ones and many homebrew recipes.

There are even einkorn beers out there. Outside of experimental GMO grains or truly extinct species, I'd guess that...no, there's no grain known to man that someone has not tried to add in some quantity to their mash.

about a month ago
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

QRDeNameland Re:The whole article is just trolling (795 comments)

Yep, that's pretty much my take. My first clue was that he does not use the word "hypothesis" once in the entire article. And though I can't say I can quote Francis Bacon chapter and verse, isn't "abstract reasoning about the ultimate causes of things" (based on initial observations) the very definition of formulating hypotheses, which are then subject to the rigors of experimentation and further observation?

It almost seems as if this guy read Feynman's famous quote...

It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.

...and took from it that experiment is the *only* aspect of science that matters.

That's about as "botched" an understanding of science as any.

about a month ago
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

QRDeNameland Re:In lost the will to live ... (795 comments)

The only true atheist I have met was a total sociopath of a man, completely oriented to narcisism.

The only true Scotsman I have met was much the same.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 8 a Pig?

QRDeNameland Re:Alright smart guy (504 comments)

What did you load it on? An iPhone 1? A 4? An Osborne Executive?

Funny...I had to google "Osborne Executive", and by whatever coincidence, the picture of it on the WP page has an iPhone next to it. I presume it's for size comparison, but I couldn't help but chuckle at the idea that it was taken by someone trying to get the iOS image running on it.

about a month ago
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Liquid Sponges Extract Hydrogen From Water

QRDeNameland Re:Nature (113 comments)

Exactly. Plants learned *that* lesson long before we did with the Hindenburg. (If you listen very carefully to the video, you can hear all the plants laughing at our naiveté in the background.)

And when plants learned that lesson, one of them must have surely exclaimed: "Oh, the botany!!"

about a month and a half ago
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CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

QRDeNameland Re:law enforcement scams (462 comments)

If Republicans had their way, the government would have no power whatsoever to confiscate anything from you without first convicting you of a crime.

Utter and complete bullshit. The asset forfeiture regime was introduced under the Presidentâ(TM)s Commission on Organized Crime in 1986, at which time the President was Republican Saint Ronald Reagan, and was ramped up through the GHW Bush administration.

Not that I absolve the Democrats in any way of their part is this travesty, but make no mistake...when Republicans have their way, this is *exactly* the sort of corrupt power grab they are famous for.

about a month and a half ago
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CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

QRDeNameland Cue the cop apologists... (462 comments)

The cops have a tough job and the vast majority are not predators and have our best interests at heart. As long as I know they're keeping us safe, what's a little shakedown here and there? Just make sure you don't like someone who deserves it and take heart that they can only steal what's in the car or on your person. Just be *reasonable* about it, that's all.

And please, stop the nonsense about being in a police state. In a police state, they stick the plunger handle all the way up your ass, here they stop at 2/3 the way. Clearly *not* a police state....yet.

/Stockholm Syndrome

about a month and a half ago
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News Corp Australia Doesn't Want You To Look Closely At Their Financials

QRDeNameland Re:Rupert Murdoch Streisand (132 comments)

Personally, I would have gone with "Put another shrimp on the barbie Streisand, mate."

about 2 months ago
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Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

QRDeNameland Re:Too much good content is deleted at Wikipedia. (239 comments)

I do have some vague feeling that I heard it used in the way you describe once several decades ago, but I'd hardly say that such a meaning is "well recognized".

If you check the Urban Dictionary page for "Nimrod", I'd say that it appears to be pretty well recognized. According to one entry, the usage dates to a Bugs Bunny cartoon where Elmer Fudd is referred to as such.

I can't say it's universally common among the entire English-speaking world, but where I grew up (East Coast US in the 70s/80s) it was a common synonym for 'dimwit'.

about 2 months ago
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Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

QRDeNameland Re:where's the money?! (213 comments)

Academics and Code Monkeys

about 3 months ago
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The Problems With Drug Testing

QRDeNameland Re:Er, that's a bit confusing (166 comments)

Not to be seen as a classist biggot, but if someone homeless or destitute, but understand the nature of the proposition, why shouldn't they be able to enter an agreement to test drugs that 1) might help whatever the condition being treated is and 2) render them with some income? The same opportunities should be afforded them as others. You can't exclude someone because they are homeless or destitute.

Well, putting aside the question of whether or not this practice is exploitative, I see a greater concern in the fact that they are testing on a group that may not be representative of the general population. If, for example, the people you are testing on are disproportionately severe alcoholics or drug addicts, you might get a disproportional incidence of side effects that will skew your results. Ethics aside, it seems like bad scientific practice to me.

about 3 months ago
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Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?

QRDeNameland Re:Chrome? (436 comments)

The real question is: If you value privacy and dislike ads, why would you ever use Chrome?

Well, I keep Chrome installed as my secondary browser because I run Firefox by default in "hazmat suit" mode (ABP, NoScript, Ghostery, RequestPolicy, etc.) which does break a lot of sites. For sites that I trust, oftentimes it is easier to just use Chrome than figure out what I need to whitelist in which plugin using FF. In terms of using it as your only/default browser, I agree with you, but even for a moderate paranoid like me, there is a case to be made for 'ever' using it.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Intel to Pass on Vista

QRDeNameland QRDeNameland writes  |  more than 6 years ago

QRDeNameland (873957) writes "Steve Lohr on The New York Times' Bits blog reports that:

Intel, the giant chip maker and longtime partner of Microsoft, has decided against upgrading the computers of its own 80,000 employees to Microsoft's Vista operating system, a person with direct knowledge of the company's plans said.
Ouch, that's gotta hurt..."

Link to Original Source
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QRDeNameland QRDeNameland writes  |  more than 7 years ago

QRDeNameland (873957) writes "In a NY Times Op-Ed piece today, Mark Helprin argues for what amounts to perpetual copyright, and that anything less is essentially an unfair public taking of property. According to Helprin, "No good case exists for the inequality of real and intellectual property, because no good case can exist for treating with special disfavor the work of the spirit and the mind." Well, I can think of quite of few arguments for such a case, unfortunately the NY Times did not see fit to publish any contrary view for equal time."

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