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Ask Slashdot: How To Protect Your Passwords From Amnesia?

Tharsis Use people you trust (381 comments)

Since your assumption is that you're forgetting things you must assume you'll forget everything, including the fact that you have something to access with a password or the means with which to recover the password. Therefore someone has to come to you with the information without any action from your side, judge that you're enough "yourself" to give you access to your own passwords, and then give the information.
If you do not trust a single person with this information the question becomes:

How can you give multiple people parts of the information such that the chance that they can reconstruct it is minimal?

1 year,21 days

Ask Bas Lansdorp About Going to Mars, One Way

Tharsis Re:Willing but able? (540 comments)

You have a very good point and I'm sorry for you that you will not be able to join, but I think you misunderstand their goal. Their goal is to actually send a small group of people that can work in harmony and succeed in getting and living there. In that view I think their selection criteria would not be based on possibilities of romance, how people look, and ethnicities. Unlike other reality shows they will strive to reduce disharmony and conflict among the group, that will only lead to failure.
I think the only limitations that would hold them back from selecting you are practical. You can probably not be too picky on your diet overthere, and also any special equipment you might need (eg wheel chair) will be a big problem.

more than 2 years ago

I typically carry X many forms of photo ID; X =

Tharsis Re:The two I legally need to have to go about my d (380 comments)

I can think of a few more reasons why it's BS:
1) it assumes that there is such a thing as universal evil. The real world is not so black and white. It's not even shades of grey.
2) it shows an utter unwillingness to see things from another perspective. (My evil is not your evil)
3) It's a bully statement. Negotiation is not domination.
4) It induces a weapons race (communists are evil!)

more than 2 years ago

Faster-Than-Light Particle Results To Be Re-Tested

Tharsis Re:... walks into a bar. (412 comments)

That one was old the first time I read it.

more than 3 years ago

James Murdoch's Defense Crumbles

Tharsis The best quote (272 comments)

It's hard to imagine some saying this without trying to be funny:
“Not in a million years. Not in two million years. Six months, nine months or a year from now, that may happen, but it will not happen in the current circumstances.”

more than 3 years ago

Why Does the US Cling To Imperial Measurements?

Tharsis Re:Forget the French (2288 comments)

Don't worry, they have good karma: they came from India.

more than 3 years ago

Universe 250+ Times Bigger Than What Is Observable

Tharsis What's the consequence? (506 comments)

Does this mean that we need more than 64 bit to address every atom in the universe?

more than 3 years ago

Dutch Hotels Must Register As ISPs

Tharsis Re:Free country? (152 comments)

Could you please explain which particular set of freedoms are required to make a country "free"?
Every country needs restrictions on freedom, otherwise everybody could do anything, there'd be no crime.
Whether you can live with those restrictions mostly depends on you and your values.
But don't forget that a lot of restrictions are desirable. Would you care to live in country where you are allowed to steal?

You can't throw "freedom" around without explaining what you actually mean. Freedom means different things in different cultures.

more than 4 years ago

Preventing Networked Gizmo Use During Exams?

Tharsis Multiple exams (870 comments)

One way to prevent cheating is to make sure there is nothing to cheat, or to add a risk of cheating the wrong answers. Make several versions of your exam, or different exams altogether (you probably have those already). You don't need an ultimate answer to prevent cheating, you just need to increase the risk of failure sufficiently that the majority will not cheat.

more than 4 years ago

Google To Suspend Mobile Phone Launch In China

Tharsis Re:Not really it doesn't. (172 comments)

It's actually a pretty scary idea that google thinks it has enough power to change the governing policy of one of the biggest countries in the world.

This has not been shown to be the case. I'm sorry, but you can't have it both ways. Does Google put their foot down, or don't they? Do they give into the local laws and help oppress, or don't they? I don't see Google invading China with corporate armies, or hacking Chinese government systems, or subverting Chinese government employees here.

Well, I'm sorry, but if a company wants to operate in a country, it should abide by its laws, otherwise it's a criminal organization. It's not up to that company to change the government, it's up to the people that live in the country. There are more ways than those you mention for a company to force its wishes on a government (MS has used some).
I'm not saying I agree with what China is doing. But I also don't think it a good idea to force my ideas of freedom on them, if there's anything that causes chaos in a country it's sudden changes like that. I'd say China has been doing a pretty good job of slowly creating a more free country.

A country cannot work if they have to change their laws according to the wishes of a company.

No, but a company is made up of people, and in a democracy, those people have a say in how the country is run, along with every other citizen. Perhaps you don't live in a country with a democratic form of government, or you don't value the freedom of each voice being heard. However, in the United States, we do value these things.

I do value these things (and I do live in a democratic country) but I do not have the wisdom to say that it is better than all other forms of government, and neither do you unless you've lived in them. Basically what I'm saying is that it should be the people that change a country, not an outside company. Where's the democracy in an outside company forcing a change.

But in the end it still comes down to one question: should Google support China's repressive government, or not? If you condemn them either way, you are a hypocrite. And you'll have to make a really, really good case for "should support repression" as being "not evil".

Stop thinking so binary. Just because one is "evil" doesn't mean the other is "good". There are a lot more options than the ones you mention.

about 5 years ago

Google To Suspend Mobile Phone Launch In China

Tharsis Re:"Don't be evil" is put to the test (172 comments)

That really depends on your point of view. It's actually a pretty scary idea that google thinks it has enough power to change the governing policy of one of the biggest countries in the world. Sure, to our (western) point of view it makes a lot of sense to try to give citizens the freedom to express their opinion, but they ARE trying to infringe upon the sovereignty of a country. A country cannot work if they have to change their laws according to the wishes of a company.
I cannot vote for Google, so they do not rule.

about 5 years ago

Which Math For Programmers?

Tharsis It's all about algorithms (466 comments)

Programming is about algorithms. Proving them, or better yet, deriving them (you may find deriving is a lot easier than proving, I did). Graphs may come into play, but that depends on your particular interest, they do give a great insight into complexity though. Knowledge of sets is extremely useful.
To me the first looks absolutely essential for a computer scientist. The second is nice if your interest lies in that direction, but it doesn't have anything to do with programming in general (it does seem essential for a mathematician though).

My advice: Learn Logic rather than math. It is far more useful.

about 5 years ago

General Solution for Polynomial Equations?

Tharsis Re:run away! (482 comments)

> I've read that the Dutch refer to them humorously as staathuiswoorden, literally "city hall words."

We do? Sheesh, somebody could have told us...

more than 10 years ago


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