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New Digital Currency Bases Value On Reputation

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Paper tracked barter (100 comments)

Sounds like store coupons to me, or maybe low value gift certificates (like the kind restaurant managers give you, when your meal is a disastar, instead of refunding your money).

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Web Language That's Long-Lived, and Not Too Buzzy?

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Perl still works, and PHP is fine (536 comments)

I know it's in vogue to hate on PHP,

I don't hate PHP. I just don't use it unless I have to.

but PHP is relatively modern, robust, and fully capable of handling enterprise tasks.

I'm not sure what you mean by "relatively modern". If you mean it is younger then Perl, that is true. 20 years old vs Perl's 26 years.

Both languages have evolved, adopting new ideas and adapting to new needs. They both borrow from other languages and from each other. Indeed PHP started out as a set of Perl scripts. A side effect of this was that PHP 1.0 (released in 1995) "syntax resembled that of Perl" (

Both are "fully capable of handling enterprise tasks".

The original posting claimed Perl "just seems to be ossifying". I think this is a perception problem unwittingly caused by the Perl 6 project. I think what we call Perl 5.20 might have been Perl 7.x (or even 8.x or higher) if the developers were free to increment the 5. As a similar example, look at FireFox and Chrome. Google's use of a single version number created a perception that FireFox 3.x was ancient. After Mozilla switched to using single number version for FireFox, the perception of FireFox began to improve. Another example: When Intel added "MMX extensions" to Pentium, people asked when will PowerPC get MMX extensions. The fact that the PowerPC already had equivalent features was ignored and the PowerPC was painted as falling behind the Pentium.

Perl, PHP and many other "old" languages are still used. If anything, their continued use is better evidence to expect they will be actively supported 5 (or more) years from now then whatever the current "rising star" happens to be..

about a month ago

Kids With Wheels: Should the Unlicensed Be Allowed To 'Drive' Autonomous Cars?

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Trains? (437 comments)

I also see the possibility for handicapped kids to get some mobility. Other kids can get around with bicycles or walk, but if you have a handicap you can get severely limited and depending on parents and friends.

I strongly suspect that Child Protective Services would be more willing to allow parents to let their children use "private" autonomous cars than public transportation. (I recall a story a few years ago about some parents getting in deep trouble because thay allowed their son to use public transportation on his own.)

about 2 months ago

Botched Executions Put Lethal Injections Under New Scrutiny

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Stop messing around (483 comments)

The focus should be on either eliminate the treat to society, or compensate the victim.

Allegedly, the threat is being eliminated. Though as a by-producted of punishment. But this goal would imply that a painless method would be the most appropriate.

(As pointed out by several /.ers, including myself, on many occasions, using a nitrogen purge to induce asphixia would be painless, effective and not have supply issues.)

As for compensating victims, (1) very few criminals are actually capable of being sources of said compensation. (2) It would create an incentive to be a victim.

about 2 months ago

Teachers Union: Computers Can Negatively Impact Children's Ability To Learn

UnderCoverPenguin Re:For a given definition of learn (310 comments)

Asking questions and understanding basic concepts is great for science or engineering when you have time for it. But if I walk in with a medical condition, you need to fix me using the best practice that researchers have proved. So please have it memorized, or look it up if you aren't in the ER or surgery room and have time for it.

Medical doctors still need problem solving skills. Not all treatments/procedures work the same for all patients. Just because we both have condition A and treatment X works great for me, maybe even for 90% of patients, doesn't mean it will work for you. You might need treatment Y, instead. If your doctor can't figure that out, find a new one.

(Unfortunately, many insurance companies insist doctors do X first every time (unless the patient is allergic to X or otherwise X just isn't possible).)

about 2 months ago

Teachers Union: Computers Can Negatively Impact Children's Ability To Learn

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Kids don't bother learning (310 comments)

This leads to them effectively having 0 memorized facts or baseline knowledge.

Understanding is the key. I didn't have to memorize, for example, multiplication tables. I learned to understand multiplication. And later I learned to understand geometry, trig and calculus. I can still figure out how to solve a problem with out needing to look up, let alone regurgitate, a formula. (Takes me longer than when I was in my 20s, but only because I don't have a need for that much math. I still use the underlying problem solving and derivation skills, so for things I do need to solve, I am very good.)

about 2 months ago

Teachers Union: Computers Can Negatively Impact Children's Ability To Learn

UnderCoverPenguin Re:let's feed the troll! (310 comments)

Some things are inherently boring.

For example, a good part of A-level maths is learning to apply trignometric identities and calculus. Please, try to make an exciting game about the cosine rule.

Would launching model rockets and tracking their performance be exciting enough? I did that. I learned basic trig long before school got around to teaching it. Damn glad I was lucky enough to earn a scholarship to a private school. The private school actually encouraged its students to learn on their own, even "advanced" subjects.

about 2 months ago

Teachers Union: Computers Can Negatively Impact Children's Ability To Learn

UnderCoverPenguin Re:you don't need to be a teacher... (310 comments)

to see this, just look in any cafe. Several people around a table all checking their phones. Social interaction has definitely changed, in some ways for the worse. As for learning, other posters have mentioned engagement. The top students will not need to see "exciting" stuff to learn because they love learning and being challenged. The middle to low students will need to be entertained because that is what they are used to - TV, facebook, youtube, etc etc. Unfortunately this is the way of the new world. At the school where I work, the Phys Ed teachers tell me about children who have never climbed trees or chased/kicked a ball, and have terrible gross and fine motor skills - another symptom of technology not doing them a favour I suspect.

Today's parents are afraid to let their children do much beyond sit in front of entertainment device when they aren't in school. Even if that "device" is a book, it's still not good to just sit around.

(I did read a lot as a kid. Much more than other kids. I also got outside and did things, most often with friends.)

about 2 months ago

Teachers Union: Computers Can Negatively Impact Children's Ability To Learn

UnderCoverPenguin Re:you don't need to be a teacher... (310 comments)

But climbing a tree is outright silly. The lowest branches of most trees are often out of reach and you can scatch yourself pretty badly on the way up. The small branches keep poking into your eyes or knocking on your glasses. And the foliage obscures the view so bad that the whole experience is pretty much a pain in the ass even if you finally do manage to get up. Also, how come everyone is so quick to point out that climbing trees is sooo much fun but no one mentions the fun involved in getting back down again? Exactly. Because it isn't.

I enjoyed climbing tress as a kid. Even the getting back down part. Yes, I did fall a few times, but I just got up and continued on. And I learned from both the falls and the successes. And by the time I was 10, I was big enough, strong enough and had learned enough, to be able to actually build my own treehouse - by myself. No help from my parents.

about 2 months ago

Teachers Union: Computers Can Negatively Impact Children's Ability To Learn

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Article is about computers OUTSIDE the classroo (310 comments)

But it doesn't change the fact that this is simply bad parenting, and not a problem with technology per se.

Not simply. It is more complex than many experts seem to think.

My childhood was full of risks. My friends and I not only survived, we thrived. Today, our social environment demands parents protect children from nearly all risk. Example: A few years ago, a friend of our daughter was taken from her parents after she stumbled and bruised her arm while practicing cheerleading routines on her home's back lawn. Her parents were out there with her, so she was supervised. Child Protective Services declared that her parents were allowing her to practice in an unsafe area with out expert supervision. (Seems to me that a flat, grassy lawn would be safer than a crowded (and grassy) football field. And even at official practice under the cheer-coach's supervision, the cheerleaders still stumbled and still got bruised.)

Also, today's parents have less time to supervise their children than when I was a child. Besides cooking, keeping the home clean and other necessities, both parents have to work full time and frequently, one or both will have a second job.

How many parents are actually able to constantly supervise even 1 child? Some parents are able to enroll their kids in professionally supervised activities like Little League. Others can't afford it or are afraid to allow their children to participate in such activities. And even when the kids do participate, they are still not getting unstructured socialization time with their friends like my friends and I (and many of you /.ers) did as children.

While there are some lazy/bad parents, the main problem is that, as a society, we have become afraid to let our children be children. Instead we protect our children from nearly everything, then blame the schools - and teachers, technology, etc - when they aren't ready to be adults at age 18.

about 2 months ago

Teachers Union: Computers Can Negatively Impact Children's Ability To Learn

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Article is about computers OUTSIDE the classroo (310 comments)

But it doesn't change the fact that this is simply bad parenting, and not a problem with technology per se.

It is true that technology is not intrinsically bad. Even if the "device" is a book, only being allowed to sit in the relative safety of a chair (or on the floor) isn't good, either.

And while there is poor parenting, the situation is not as simple as many experts seem to think.

There are several things going on. Our current social environment demands that parents not allow children to be exposed to risk. My childhood was full of risks. My friends and I survived. Indeed, we thrived.

These days, children can get taken away from parents who allow their kids to do any of what my friends and I were allowed. Example, a few years ago, a friend of my daughter was taken from her parents because she stumbled, bruising her arm, while practicing cheerleading routines in the back yard of her home. Her parents were out there with her, so she was being supervised. Child Protective Services declared her parents were allowing her to practice in an unsafe location with out expert supervision. (It was a flat, grassy lawn, similar to the grassy football field at school. No idea what they (CPS) would have considered safer.)

At the same time, parents, today, have less time to supervise their children than my - and my friends' - parents did.

So, what are parents to do? We were lucky enough to be able to stagger our work schedules so that when our daughter wasn't in school, at least one of us was with her. Very few parents have (or had) that option. And there is still cooking, cleaning, etc, at home. So, the safest things for today's parents to do is to put their children in front of entertainment devices while they do everything they have to do to keep the family fed and housed.

Some people might say that those people shouldn't be parents. If that's the case, then who can be parents?

I think that most parents are afraid to let their children do anything besides school, professionally organized activities (like Little League) and sit in front of an entertainment device. And often, parents either can't afford, or are afraid of, the professionally organized activities.

about 2 months ago

Even In the Wild Mice Run In Wheels

UnderCoverPenguin Re:They may be stuck (122 comments)

Personally, I think they were doing it for the fun factor

Given that they can just run around on the ground (or whatever), this makes sense.

about 2 months ago

Yahoo DMARC Implementation Breaks Most Mailing Lists

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Am I understanding this correctly? (83 comments)


Are digest messages considered forgery?

Nor am I suggesting a back door for spammers. I do think it is likely that list servers will not be trusted to do proper Sender Authentication. Both the list message and the original message would have to pass sender authentication.

If the list server acted exactly as a proper MTA would, then the message would only be subject to a single level of sender authentication. My idea would subject the forwarded message to double authentication: Once for the original sender and the second for the list server.

about 4 months ago

Yahoo DMARC Implementation Breaks Most Mailing Lists

UnderCoverPenguin Re:SPF.. (83 comments)

such action would be a direct violation of the section of the RFC I quoted. The "robot" is not the author; its mailbox does not appear in the header field intended for the mailbox of the author. The "robot" is also not the agent that introduced the message for transmission, it is retransmitting a message already in the system.

If I had a secretary and I instructed him to forward messages related to certain topics to designated recipients, he would be the author of the new messages that contain the original messages. The section I quoted allows this. How is this different from having a list server perform the same task?

A multi-post digest is reasonably consided a new message. One that is "authored" by the list server. With the list owner as the responsible agent. As best I can decern, the people at IETF do not think this is a violation. So, why not a digest with just one post?

I think you and I are viewing this from two different perspectives. You seem to view the list server as part of the mail transport and delivery infrastructure. I view the list server as an "electronic secretary" interacting with, but outside of the mail infrastructure.

Granted, proper use of Resent-From and Resent-Sender would be the best solution. How likely do you think it would be for all the Sender Authentication systems to be updated to use these fields? I think very unlikely. So, that leaves it to the list server admins (and, possibly, developers) to implement a work around.

about 4 months ago

Yahoo DMARC Implementation Breaks Most Mailing Lists

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Am I understanding this correctly? (83 comments)

Forwarded email breaks all these kinds of "sender authentication" systems, and that's unlikely to change in the near future. Mailing lists are one type of forwarded email, but not the only type.

Properly used, the Resent-From and Resent-Sender fields could help with this. Of course, this would require the Sender Authentication systems to properly handle these fields.

Another option occurred to me since I made my previous post. The original message could be made an attachment to the message sent by the list server. This way, both the list message and the original message would be available for DMARC/SPF/whatever sender authentication.

about 4 months ago

Yahoo DMARC Implementation Breaks Most Mailing Lists

UnderCoverPenguin Re:SPF.. (83 comments)

RFC5322 also says this:

Note: Reintroducing a message into the transport system and using
            resent fields is a different operation from "forwarding".
            "Forwarding" has two meanings: One sense of forwarding is that a
            mail reading program can be told by a user to forward a copy of a
            message to another person, making the forwarded message the body
            of the new message. A forwarded message in this sense does not
            appear to have come from the original sender, but is an entirely
            new message from the forwarder of the message. Forwarding may
            also mean that a mail transport program gets a message and
            forwards it on to a different destination for final delivery.

So, one could make the case that a list server is a robot reading and forwarding messages, therefor it is technically not wrong for the list server to put its own address in the From field and a contact address for the list owner in the Sender field. Note that list servers that batch posts in to messages containing several posts already do this.

(Replies to the author and/or list could be directed by the Reply-To and Cc fields. Suggest author in Reply-To and list in Cc.)

Of course, best solution would be for DMARC and SPF (and the list servers) to be configured to properly use the Resent-From and Resent-Sender fields. Unfortunately, I think that DMARC and SPF will be left as they are, thus forcing the list servers to bare burden of a work around.

about 4 months ago

Judge (Tech) Advice By Results

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Too long, didn't read. (162 comments)

I think often it is a desire to help by someone who misjudges the ability, desire to learn, and time someone is prepared

And perception.

Example: A friend of mine was still using MS Office 2003 because he hated MS Office 2007. Then, one day, he received an Office 2007 document that Office 2003 could not handle. I asked him to give me a copy of the file, then opened it in Open Office. He happily did what he needed to do, saved his changes, copied the file back to his PC and emailed it to whomever needed it. Then he asked me what version of Office I was running. When I showed him, he said "That's not acceptable. No one will be able to use the document I just sent." Even after everyone he sent the updated document to had no problem, he still didn't believe Open Office an acceptable alternative. He still hates the "new" MS Office, but is using it because "there is no alternative."

about 4 months ago

Why There Are So Few ISP Start-Ups In the U.S.

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Address exhaustion (223 comments)

As long as you don't hide it from your customers I don't see a problem with providing IPv6 addresses to your customers and perform NAT for accessing IPv4 hosts.

For that matter, could NAT IPv4 to IPv4. Many businesses, including huge multi nationals, do this for their internal networks. In some cases they even NAT between major segments of their networks, so are not limited to just 16 million addresses (Not claiming any of them have that many, but a merger between 2 large companies can result in address collisions. One of my former clients, a multi national, merged with another multi national. Within a few hours of the closing, the respective IT departments had the 2 networks linked together. Client PCs were able to access shared (non-Microsoft based) services through NAT. The few cases where peer-to-peer connectivity was required were also handled very quickly. All without modifying the existing DHCP configurations, and only a very few changes to the internal DNS.

about 4 months ago

60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Not only for Tesla or videos (544 comments)

The solution? Manufacturers actually add speakers next to the engine, exhaust and inside the car.

Interesting, because more and more in-vehicle entertainment systems are touting Active Noise Cancellation to reduce engine and road noise inside the vehicle.

about 4 months ago

Wal-Mart Sues Visa For $5 Billion For Rigging Card Swipe Fees

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Customers may benefit... maybe (455 comments)

Plus Walmart beating up Visa on price is almost certainly going to benefit consumers in the long run and Walmart is big enough to actually succeed. The cost of credit card swipe fees gets rolled into the prices we pay for products so if they get lowered at least some of that money will flow through to us as end customers. Not all of course but definitely some.

More likely that Visa (and others) will make up the difference by raising rates on smaller retailers. They will be forced to raise their prices, which will make WalMart's prices look better.

about 4 months ago



Citizen Science: Who makes the rules?

UnderCoverPenguin UnderCoverPenguin writes  |  about 7 months ago

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) writes "At MakeZine, David Lang talks about the some of the legal issues around a planned, amature science "expedition", as well as some other amature science projects.

In the not too distant past, most science was amature. Over the past 20 or so years, society has been making it harder for amatures to do real science despite the technical costs falling. With the recent upswing of the "maker movement", amature science has seen an increase as well, but is running into an assortment of legal issues.(An exception is astronomy, where amatures continue to play important roles. Of course, astronomy doesn't involve chemicals or other (currently) "scary stuff".)

Can amature science make a come-back? Or are the legal obsicles too entrenched?"

Review: Sintel

UnderCoverPenguin UnderCoverPenguin writes  |  more than 3 years ago

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) writes "Last night, I watched Sintel ( Technically, it was a beautiful showcase for Blender. The models and animations were very well done. The fight and chase scenes were excellent. I think the movie can stand on its own among professionally made short movies of similar style and genre. Story-wise, the plot was weak and predictable. Also, the end of the final fight was too bleak and disturbing for the likely audience. Spoiler: I think the ending would have been better if the woman had been killed by the dragon. Unfortunately, I don't have the skill needed to re-do the ending myself."

Stage 1 works perfectly, Stage 2 fails to seperate

UnderCoverPenguin UnderCoverPenguin writes  |  more than 5 years ago

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) writes "In the 3rd launch of Falcon 1 (, the first stage, with the latest version of the Merlin engine, works perfectly. Unfortunately, the second stage failed to separate. ( Hopefully it was only a minor setback, despite the huge cost."


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