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Tracking the Mole Inside Silk Road 2.0

Sowelu No, it wasn't Cirrus... (81 comments)

...it was his brother, Achenar. He's demented, he is guilty!

about a week ago
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Keurig 2.0 Genuine K-Cup Spoofing Vulnerability

Sowelu Re:Someone has (270 comments)

Trash generated in the household per cup of coffee, you mean. I wonder how much waste is produced by the whole supply chain of coffee beans -> your home? It's like that electric car thing where you still need to generate power somewhere, and if you're not using clean energy, you're just moving the location of the pollution.

Okay the cups are probably greater magnitude of waste but still, unused coffee does have a higher cost than just "pour it down the drain".

about two weeks ago
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Dad Makes His Kid Play Through All Video Game History In Chronological Order

Sowelu Re:permanent death? no save points? (222 comments)

Check the comments on the Nethack article yesterday.

about two weeks ago
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Dad Makes His Kid Play Through All Video Game History In Chronological Order

Sowelu Yeah, already planning this. (222 comments)

Maybe with more of a PC bent, but I'm not sure how I'd pull that off without a big stash of old hardware. Probably worth it for Doom and Quake, but the real gem will be text adventure games. Sitting on my dad's lap while he played them was a big part of how I learned to read.

about two weeks ago
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An Algorithm To Prevent Twitter Hashtag Degeneration

Sowelu er, that's counter to the whole point of Twitter. (162 comments)

Last I heard, the big benefit of twitter is that they didn't censor or hide things, they were uncurated, and gave people exactly what the general public was saying. And you want to CHANGE that?

about two weeks ago
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Dragon Age: Inquisition Reviewed and Benchmarked

Sowelu Re:Attempting.... (91 comments)

The fact that they're reviewing DRM filled games on Origin at all tells me that they are aiming for a very different audience than the people who post comments.

about two weeks ago
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Dragon Age: Inquisition Reviewed and Benchmarked

Sowelu Re:Support the developers! (91 comments)

I think the party line is that DRM is onerous and hurts paying customers, and that sometimes a legitimate owner of the game will also need to crack the DRM to make it work on their own weird computer. I don't pirate things, but I also don't buy things with nasty DRM, especially the always-online checkers, and I think many people here are the same.

about two weeks ago
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Twitter Should Use Random Sample Voting For Abuse Reports

Sowelu Re:could be easy (132 comments)

Are you crazy? Lots of places--most notably comment boards on news sites of every political stripe--are known for having a bunch of sockpuppets who collectively flag posts of people they don't like. Sheer volume lets them silence opposing opinions.

That's one thing Slashdot got right with metamoderation...probably people who are known to do that, don't get mod points again, and only active users get mod points at all (so sockpuppeting takes more effort than you get benefit).

about two weeks ago
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Introducing Slashdot Deals

Sowelu We're not the target audience anymore (37 comments)

Techies aren't the Slashdot audience now. The audience is wannabe's or people who fantasize they know a lot more than they really do with large wallets.

about three weeks ago
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Obama Offers Funding For 50,000 Police Body Cameras

Sowelu Re:Ok the simple math. (262 comments)

Individual hardware is the cheap part--although it does also need to be pretty goddamn ruggedized.

Departments need new infrastructure: Servers, docking stations, stuff like that. No it's not as easy as plug it in with USB and drag and drop your files--you want this to be a lot more secure than a mountable media drive. Infrastructure is an ongoing cost too, especially with public record requests.

Training isn't zero, either. Not only do you have to teach people how to operate them (and these aren't all technical people, which means that either training is nontrivial or that docking station really is fancy and expensive), but you also need to teach them policy, really drill it in there. Call it four hours of education and training per user, and the number of users is pretty close to the number of cameras. It's paid training time, so you're covering their salary, management, the organization per-department of those training sessions, hell probably research to make sure you're giving effective training... Look, training and meetings suck, but doing them _right_ is important and it's _expensive_, and you get what you pay for.

The cost sounds realistic to me.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Hackable Car?

Sowelu Re:Almost any car from the last 5-10 years should (195 comments)

Personally I'd be happy to hack my car's windows in the opposite direction. On the driver side only, if you tap "up", it rolls up all the way--you have to hold it down for it to not do that. Which means if you want to adjust it a quarter of an inch, you have to go down and then up, or up too far and then back down.

about a month ago
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Google Launches Service To Replace Web Ads With Subscriptions

Sowelu Welp, sold (319 comments)

Signing up for this basically asap.

But if the price is the same no matter how many different sites you consume, or how much of their bandwidth you chew up, well...I'm not sure how I think about that, from an "I want my favorite websites to actually get money" point of view.

about a month ago
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Google Announces Image Recognition Advance

Sowelu Re:what would be useful (29 comments)

If you had a program that could generate a scale invariant hash of an image, and given a command line tool that could tell you the resolution of an image (which exist, just don't know the names), I'm pretty sure you could do that in a single line in bash.

Wouldn't be surprised if there was a program that generated an image hash. Even better if it generates a value where stronger features are higher bits and smaller features (that could be lost in scaling) are lower bits, so you could truncate and compare? That might be too fiddly.

about a month ago
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Apple Swaps "Get" Button For "Free" To Avoid Confusion Over In-App Purchases

Sowelu Re:why can't we go back to the old shareware syste (103 comments)

I registered mIRC and WinZip a few years back...after 15+ years. I guess shareware really can pay off eventually.

about 1 month ago
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NYT: Privacy Concerns For ClassDojo, Other Tracking Apps For Schoolchildren

Sowelu Re:Wait, what's the problem here? (66 comments)

Interesting. One can only hope the teachers will take it well if they decline.

about a month ago
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NYT: Privacy Concerns For ClassDojo, Other Tracking Apps For Schoolchildren

Sowelu Re: Wait, what's the problem here? (66 comments)

Sure, that's a fine solution, just don't claim that providing the benefits of the service while eliminating the data-sharing is trivial.

about a month ago
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NYT: Privacy Concerns For ClassDojo, Other Tracking Apps For Schoolchildren

Sowelu Re:Obedience is now a virtue? (66 comments)

Come on, use a little context. These are third graders. This isn't obedience like "march with your right arm up", this is behaving basic rules like "don't run in class, don't talk over the teacher, put your phone away, turn in your work on time". Intelligently questioning authority is a real virtue, blind disobedience is not. We live in a country where high schoolers can barely find their own country on a map. Obeying instructions in class is something we could use more of.

about a month ago
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NYT: Privacy Concerns For ClassDojo, Other Tracking Apps For Schoolchildren

Sowelu Re:Custody review? What! Huge red flag here. (66 comments)

Are you saying you don't think it should be allowed? Collectively, these teachers spend more time with the kids than the parents do. As long as the judge can deal with the context appropriately, it's very important data.

about a month ago
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NYT: Privacy Concerns For ClassDojo, Other Tracking Apps For Schoolchildren

Sowelu Re:Wait, what's the problem here? (66 comments)

If their entire business model is based on hosting the data themselves, providing it as a (probably subscription) service, then no it's not trivial to rectify. Maybe trivial technically, but since when have technical problems been the hardest part of life? Besides, your average school district's IT budget means that it's not even easy to host themselves if they wanted to and had the code. Who are you going to pay to keep the server up and running etc?

A big draw of a service like this is that it just works, because there's people far away somewhere magically maintaining it. If you force every school to maintain it themselves, the big benefits go away, and just tracking it on paper becomes way more attractive again.

about a month ago

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