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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

Rob the Bold Great Pate (701 comments)

"Great pate . . . but I gotta motor . . ."

about 2 months ago

Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

Rob the Bold Re:Dumb dumb dumb advice... (280 comments)

That is just so stupid. Use a password-keeper and use strong passwords everywhere. Then you only need (1) physical access to your password keeper and (2) to remember one strong passphrase.

Why? Not everything requires that much security. And not everything needs so much security as to require you to bring your password list -- locked in a password keeper though it may be -- with you at all times and subject to possible loss or theft. Not to mention the hassle of carrying it around and tying a lengthy passphrase to do low-risk things.

At my bank, I've noticed that things are locked up with different degrees of security based (I assume) on the perceived risks vs. usability. The paper towels in the bathroom are locked up with a "key" that anyone could grab off the janitor's cart if they really wanted to. Or pick the lock easily. Or just physically bust open the plastic dispenser to get to the sweet, sweet wipes inside. The tellers all have cash drawers that they lock with a key that they keep with them. The vault is locked with a multi-layered security system far more secure than the tellers' drawers. Now why might that be? Why not put the paper towels in the vault and bring two officers with you to the vault/restroom so you can be issued a single towel to dry your hands after washing them? It would greatly reduce towel waste and theft, right? Why not give each janitor a unique key, so you know who has filled the dispenser at audit time like with the cash drawers?

Similarly with low-risk logins, convenience can outweigh security. I don't necessarily need to protect a login to paywalled New York Times articles with the same diligence that I guard my bank login. Why would I create a strong password for that, keep it in keepass (or whatever), enter a passphrase in my phone or tablet or notebook to retrieve it when I could just sit down and enter my relatively weak default password with much less hassle? I guess if the Gray Lady was hacked, she might reveal a password/username combination that would allow ne'er-do-wells to also access my high-quality streaming on the PBS website. Oh well. It's not really a risk to me on the order of giving away the money in my bank account.

about 2 months ago

Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

Rob the Bold Re:For those of us who didn't see it... (401 comments)

That's not a particularly good selling of the movie.

So does he at least still get the set of steak knives?

about 2 months ago

Radar Changing the Face of Cycling

Rob the Bold Re:What we need... (235 comments)

. . . do something about the assholes on bikes that think that little white line and bike lane are some sort of magic force field that protects them from massive hunks of steel inches to their left...

As you drive, do you also swerve into cars separated from you by the "magic force field" white line? Or are you concerned about your paint job in a car vs. car scenario? Perhaps bikes/bikers just need some extremely aggressive abrasive on their sides to protect them from motorists.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

Rob the Bold Re:Smart-watches are for watch-wearers (427 comments)

I'm not going to buy a new car just to get a dash clock.

In 1981, my dad stuck a self-adhesive LCD clock to the dashboard of his then two-year-old 1979 Plymouth Volare. I think it cost him a couple bucks. Way cheaper than a new car, even by 1981 standards. His '84 Olds had a clock integrated in the radio. My '66 Mustang didn't have a clock -- no rally package, bummer -- but the retrofit radio I installed in 1987 had one.

What are you driving? A Model T?

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

Rob the Bold Why do we have wristwatches? (427 comments)

Why do we have wristwatches? Because they are more convenient than having a timepiece in one's pocket to take out to check the time.

Therefore a wrist-phone must be more convenient than both a wristwatch and a "pocket" phone. It can't just tell time. A wristwatch does that. It can't just tell you that you have a call, your phone does that. It also can't do something that requires user interaction . . . Why? Because you need two hands to interact with a smartwatch. The hand with the watch strapped to its wrist, and the hand manipulating it.

So when will a smartwatch be useful and desirable? When you find an interface method that doesn't require two hands.

And no. I don't know what that method is. And if I did, I wouldn't tell you.

about 3 months ago

They're Spying On You: Hacking Team Mobile Malware, Infrastructure Uncovered

Rob the Bold Re:Victims? (48 comments)

Interesting choice of words there. 'Victims' and 'suspects' carry pretty different implications with them.

It makes sense the way it's used. If someone is a "suspect" according to their government, that is someone suspected of a crime, then that government probably has straight-up legal means of eavesdropping on them. OTOH, someone who is being spied on via a surreptitiously installed piece of malware might be more properly called a "victim," since the implication is that the spying is being done in an extrajudicial manner by governments or other parties.

Of course, one could be both victim and suspect. Or be spied on by more than one party.

And of course, laws and regulations vary by country, which I add since surely some Slashdotter will feel compelled to point this out anyway. And that Slashdotter may not be named "Shirley".

about 3 months ago

Fabien Cousteau Takes Plunge To Beat Grandfather's Underwater Record

Rob the Bold Re:I don't understand how this is a "record" (84 comments)

This is the headline:

Fabien Cousteau Takes Plunge To Beat Grandfather's Underwater Record

What is your source of confusion?

It's not a world record, it's longer than Jacques Cousteau did it.

True, but at first glance the reader might be thinking a "world record" and not a "family record". Only when delving into TFA does one discover that there is a carefully crafted (and accurate) headline enticing one to read a much less interesting story. Sure, a family record for diving in the Cousteau family is a bigger deal than say, most cigars smoked in a 4-hour period -- set by my grandfather in 1966 -- in my family. But, like so many true stories, they're both kind of lame.

about 3 months ago

Interviews: Ask Lawrence Lessig About His Mayday PAC

Rob the Bold Unintended consequences (308 comments)

Concerning the goals and strategy of the Mayday PAC, what unintended results are you most concerned about, and how do you intend to avert them? E.g., further legitimizing the "buying" of elections, or contributing to the escalation of political spending.

about 3 months ago

How Disney Built and Programmed an Animatronic President

Rob the Bold Re:sigh (97 comments)

The jokes write themselves. So I won't bother.

You're never gonna get any whuffie that way. Then you're gonna end up down and out.

Apparently the mods don't have the same reading list that you do . . . even on Slashdot . . . where you'd expect some familiarity.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Bequeath Sensitive Information?

Rob the Bold Re:I go old school (208 comments)

But, hey, what are your heirs going to do with your financial data anyway? Use it to settle your estate?

A surviving spouse might still want to pay the bills and track the investments.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Bequeath Sensitive Information?

Rob the Bold Ask a Lawyer (208 comments)

Even though the "ask a lawyer, not Slashdot" answer gets trotted out all the time, I think it's appropriate here. Lawyers do this sort of thing for a living. Probably cheaper in the long run to ask one.

about 3 months ago

Google and Microsoft Plan Kill Switches On Smartphones

Rob the Bold Re:Technological solution (137 comments)

I added an IO device that overloads the battery so the phone explodes.

How'd you test it?

about 3 months ago

TrueCrypt Author Claims That Forking Is Impossible

Rob the Bold Re:What whas the problem in the first place? (250 comments)

Reading though the Lavabit case, it's clear that those placed under NSA gagging orders have very, very little room for legal/media maneuver, but nevertheless still retain the freedom to walk away from their projects and tell others not to use them. Such actions appear to be the last defense of cryptographers in the US, and I think that is what we're seeing with Truecrypt.

Just rhetorically speaking, and based on these situations, I'd really like to know just what kind of punishment can the NSA hand out, anyway. Is the guy under legitimate threat of being renditioned to some black hole never to be seen again? He can't be tried in a fully open court where the government has to essentially confirm his story in order to convict him. Even if the government convinces a judge that he's committed some secret offence of a nature that cannot be disclosed, that's still a form of confirmation. So does he get sent to a star chamber to be tried, convicted and never seen again? Can they go Manning on him -- he's not revealing government secrets he learned on the job, right? (Or did he?) When the government starts actually locking people up for dissent, it's game over, isn't it?

about 3 months ago

Washington Redskins Stripped of Trademarks

Rob the Bold Re:Chicago Blackhawks too? (646 comments)

Indians, Chiefs, Braves, to name a few. The logos with the name tends to make it worse than the name by itself, except for the Indians. Can't get more blatant than that.

But Redskins takes the cake in terms of derogatory. The ones I mentioned are milder.

The "Chiefs" aren't directly named for an Indian chief in general or any particular Indian chief. Rather, the when the team moved to Kansas City, the name "Texans" didn't seem to fit anymore. "Chief" was the nickname of H. Roe Bartle, mayor of the city at the time, and the name "Chiefs" was chosen in a popular naming contest. Bartle's nickname is from his leadership role in the Boy Scouts in the region, who used Native American titles and terms in their organization.

BTW, that origin story is the official one, but I admit is not accepted by everyone.

about 3 months ago

Washington Redskins Stripped of Trademarks

Rob the Bold Re:Chicago Blackhawks too? (646 comments)

Is "Blackhawk" considered an ethnic slur?

To Blackhawk, it's (it was) his name. And it's all over stuff in Illinois and surrounding areas due largely to his historical importance.

about 3 months ago

Emotional Contagion Spread Through Facebook

Rob the Bold Re:huh (127 comments)

So given that I post lots of stuff but do not read stuff in the feed, that means I am the sole originator of lots of contagions?.

I think in medicine, you're referred to as a "disease carrier".

about 3 months ago

Google: Indie Musicians Must Join Streaming Service Or Be Removed

Rob the Bold Re:Unfair competition clause is going to bite Goog (364 comments)

Hello Google. How the fsck do you think this won't get you large fines for unfair competition practices in the European Union?

Maybe they're not worried. (Unlike MicroSoft) they've been fined before in Europe and the US and found a way to get out of it by promising relatively minor changes to how they do business for a limited time.

about 3 months ago

US Pushing Local Police To Keep Quiet On Cell-Phone Surveillance Technology

Rob the Bold Re:Oh my ... (253 comments)

Also, if the Republicans had this great lockstep mentality you mention, the term RINO wouldn't exist.

Exactly. They'd all be good Southern Democrats^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B Real Republicans (TM)!! Bengazi!!!!1!!!

about 3 months ago

When will large-scale IPv6 deployment happen?

Rob the Bold Re:We already built a new Internet (305 comments)

Now you can keep your spam and we'll go solve the mysteries of the universe while you post hate speech at each other over meaningless twaddle.

And yet the mystery of irony remains as mysterious as ever . . .

about 3 months ago



Michaels Stores Debit Terminal Information Stolen

Rob the Bold Rob the Bold writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Rob the Bold (788862) writes "From the Chicago Tribune: Dozens of Michaels stores across the USA have been hit by a scam involving stealing account numbers and PINs from the credit/debit terminals. The store hasn't said how, but newspaper articles suggest skimmers or network compromise. The company is replacing all its 7200 terminals."
Link to Original Source

Rob the Bold Rob the Bold writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Rob the Bold writes "IEEE Spectrum Online asks: "Could modern patterns of marriage be concentrating the genes that predispose people to autism?"

This report:, examines the theory that engineers marrying other engineers are increasing the rates of autism in areas with high concentrations of technical workers. From the article:

Among the children of engineers, autism and related conditions are found twice as often as in the general population, according to British studies, and are unusually common even in the grandchildren of engineers. Anecdotally, hot spots of autism have been reported in major centers of engineering, including Silicon Valley; Austin, Texas; and Boston's Route 128 technology ring.


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