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Comments

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Pro-Democracy Websites In Hong Kong Targeted With and Serving Malware

WoOS Re:Foolish (44 comments)

Yes, but with collecting and processing data from the internet the attacker opens himself for attacks. Or how bug-free is the analysis software.
And once you go illegal it becomes difficult to sue counter-attackers. "Intrusion into government computers" might look strange on a warrant if the perpetrator claims he just shut down a C&C server.

about two weeks ago
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Four Dutch Uberpop Taxi Drivers Arrested, Fined

WoOS Re:Biased summary (282 comments)

The arbitrary requirements you linked are to be allowed to use buslanes and taxi parking spaces in Amsterdam not to be a taxi driver in the Netherlands (it explicitely says that taxi drivers from outside Amsterdam are still allowed to drive into and out of Amsterdam without the "Taxxxivergunning"). So how about some information on the real requirements? Another page on the same site you linked mentions e.g. the "regels van de Wet Personenvervoer 2000" but my Dutch is not the best.

At least in Germany the "proper credentials" do include e.g. a special driver license which includes a medical analysis, a police clearance, a check of the driving penalty points registry, check of local knowledge, ... .

about two weeks ago
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Kernel Developer Dmitry Monakhov Arrested For Protesting Ukraine Invasion

WoOS Re:Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (205 comments)

> it would be interesting to learn more about the people involved and their backgrounds

You mean the authors? Russian KGB.

Note the section about Russian "shock and awe". They couldn't abstain from hurling only lightly veiled threats even when faking a letter from US intelligence. It happens if you select people based on common school education instead of competency.

about 2 months ago
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Deputy Who Fatally Struck Cyclist While Answering Email Will Face No Charges

WoOS Re:Sue police department, this is routine procedur (463 comments)

Therefore I think it may be correct that the police department that established the dangerous policy is held responsible. I don't see any serious crime commited by this particular officer, based on the facts available.

May I suggest a bit more than the police department's procedures be changed? Like U.S. laws?
German traffic law (StVO) says about special rules (my translation)

35 Special rights
(1) Excempt from these regulations are the following: Army, Federal Police, Emergancy Services, .... , State Police, ...., as far as urgently necessary to fulfill their tasks.
.....
(8) These special rights may only be used if public safety and order are sufficiently respected.

As the completly innocent dead byciclist shows the officer did not sufficiently respect public safety, so according to German law he would not get off.
Conclusion: Change your laws!

about 2 months ago
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Knocking Down the Great Firewall of China

WoOS Re:The ruling CCP is very desperate these days. (167 comments)

If you really are Chinese, I think you are deluding yourself. Why? Simply because what you write and how you write it sounds like propaganda. Some things might be true, but you make it sound the Chinese government is about to fall in a few months. I would guess even in a worst case scenario (for them) they will hold out for years to come given the fact they have a garnered a lot of public goodwill (within China) with their improvement of the economics.

Don't fall for the propaganda of the Chinese government but neither fall for the propaganda of some exile groups. Those too have proven wrong before.

about 2 months ago
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Fooling a Mercedes Into Autonomous Driving With a Soda Can

WoOS Re:Boo (163 comments)

Or to say it in a different way:

The hands-on detection on the steering wheel is there for a reason. The reason is that drivers might not read the manual telling them about all the dangers of letting the car drive without human supervision. Reading the manual is not something the car manufacturer can force people to do.

But by manipulating the hands-on detection the driver shows that he had understood the car's restrictions but willingly circumvented it. If there is an accident, it will be thus the driver who will be charged with negligent homicide, not the car manufacturer.

about 3 months ago
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How Stanford Engineers Created a Fictitious Compression For HBO

WoOS Future troubles (90 comments)

Now let's just hope that no aliens listening in to our broadcasting and no far future humans actually believe this and try to recreate the "groundbreaking compression algorithm" the whiz humans of the digital age came up with.

about 3 months ago
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How Stanford Engineers Created a Fictitious Compression For HBO

WoOS Re:Meh (90 comments)

> if such an algorithm existed, you could run it repeatedly on a data source until you were down to a single bit.

Ah, but you are not describing universal lossless compression but universal lossless compression with a guaranteed compression ratio of better than 1:1.
That indeed isn't possible but I can't see it claimed in TFA.

about 3 months ago
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Switching From Microsoft Office To LibreOffice Saves Toulouse 1 Million Euros

WoOS Munich did it already (296 comments)

Munich decided to move completely to Linux (so not only from MS Office on MS Windows to LibreOffice on MS Windows) 10 years ago and managed to complete the move last year. One of the main complaints of users seems to be lack of compatibility when exchanging documents with the MS world.
Now if more cities move to Open/LibreOffice, companies trading with them might have to produce more compatible documents and MS might finally loose its compatibility "strangle" on its user.

about 3 months ago
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Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

WoOS Re:Not going to happen again any time soon (211 comments)

Leaving aside all the froth-mouthed name-calling there is an important detail the author does not write in

> This guy says in an interview:

Namely that the interview was to Al-Jazeera, the premier Muslim news channel.
Normally politicians (and the NASA chief definitely counts as that) try to tell something nice to foreigners they talk to.
You know, I can't remember the huge outcry of "Lies!", "Pampering Foreigners!", "Forgets his U.S. values and heritage!" when Kennedy said "Ich bin ein Berliner.".

To come back to "News for Nerds" it should also be noted that the statement about Muslim contributions to science, math and engineering is definitely true. There is a reason the numbers we are using are called "Arabic Numbers".

about 3 months ago
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WikiLeaks Publishes Secret International Trade Agreement

WoOS Re:Signed On? (222 comments)

The final text will be made available a debated when, and if, the countries involved vote on it.

Care to explain how much "debating" will go on on the - as you point out - final text? After all, the standard argument will be that "this has already been negatioated and cannot be changed".

And one of the main difference of these trade agreements nowadays to other treaties is that they try to change a huge set of existing laws along the way. Without discussion. And add extra-judical avenues for corporations to sue for compensation against existing laws, which basically annuls the whole legislative and judicative system.

about 4 months ago
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Water Cannons Used Against Peaceful Anti-TTIP Protestors: the Next ACTA Revolt?

WoOS Re:Protests were Illegal. (142 comments)

Actually it is Dutch and means Police. Belgium is half french-speaking half dutch-speaking.

about 5 months ago
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Water Cannons Used Against Peaceful Anti-TTIP Protestors: the Next ACTA Revolt?

WoOS Re:Protests were Illegal (and last Thursday) (142 comments)

Yes, if you look at the first video on http://www.ttip2014.eu/blog-de... around 0:20 you will see in the background a protestor holding out his hand to get it tight. Looks to me extremely civilized from both side. I don't see any overreaction. And if - possibly - the protest was unauthorized, participants might be offered a trip to the next police station for IDing. Civil disobidience has its price.

And now before the US side claims that there is no freedom in Europe if protests need to be authorized: If authorization is denied, you can sue against it on a quick track. That's the reason why even the extreme right, which most people would like to deny protesting rights, can do it again and again.

So TTIP might be bad and all but exagerating things just to prolong the attention (Protest was already last Thursday) is not the way to go.

about 5 months ago
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Discrete Logarithm Problem Partly Solved -- Time To Drop Some Crypto Methods?

WoOS Hold the horses (114 comments)

Even though I didn't really understood the math, two important points stick out from their description:

  1. a) Complexity is still n^O(log(n)). This is better than O(e^n) but still worse than O(n^c) for any fixed c.
  2. b) It is a heuristic and I couldn't find in their paper a statement how well this heuristics work, i.e. in how many cases it will find its (optimal/only) result and in how many not or only in a much more time.

As far as I understood they empirically showed their approach to work on one example. A study showing the general feasibility of the heuristics would be more convincing (yeah, that's the engineer speaking not the mathematician).

It should also be noted that the authors themselves write in their conclusion:
"Compared to existing approaches, and in particular to the line of recent works [15,10], the practical relevance of our algorithm is not clear, and will be explored by further work."

So, before running to conclusions maybe we should wait for the "further work".

about 5 months ago
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Discrete Logarithm Problem Partly Solved -- Time To Drop Some Crypto Methods?

WoOS Re:It's still NP. (114 comments)

Please note that the algortihm is not O(n^log(n)) but n^O(log(n)). This puts the constant factor in the exponent which is a bit worse.

about 5 months ago
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Gen. Keith Alexander On Metadata, Snowden, and the NSA: "We're At Greater Risk"

WoOS Re:Fear, uncertainty, and doubt: (238 comments)

The three main weapons in the arsenal against freedom.

And I always thought the three main weapons were: Surprise, fear, and ruthless efficiency.
Could we get Mr. Alexander maybe join a reenaction of Monthy Phyton. It seems to fit quite well to the NSA.

about 5 months ago
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Single Gene Can Boost IQ By Six Points

WoOS So what is the downside? (199 comments)

If all this gene achieved was less cardiovascular diseases and higher intelligence, we would (nearly) all have it by now due to selection. So the question is, what else does it do which counterweights this?

about 5 months ago
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Male Scent Molecules May Be Compromising Biomedical Research

WoOS Actually MORE stressed. (274 comments)

The summary writes:
The rodents are also less stressed out.

The article writes:
The male aroma ramped up their stress levels, which deadened the hurt.

Was this the daily "Find the inconsistency" test on slashdot? Did I win something?

about 6 months ago
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Google May Be $1 Billion Behind In Tax Payments To France

WoOS Re:How they get away with it (for now) (199 comments)

But a revenue tax would stop all manners of shady profit shifting and hiding.

There is already a tax on revenue. It is called VAT and has its own tax evasion problems.

Doing a revenue tax in any other way than as a value added tax will immediatly give you massive vertical integration in the industry as companies not producing their own intermediate goods indirectly have to pay "revenue" tax on them with no way of deducing it from their own revenue tax. Thus you end up with more "too big to fail" companies.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Does U.S. police need an FPS ... to learn to incapacitate?

WoOS WoOS writes  |  about 2 months ago

WoOS (28173) writes "When armchair-generaling the shootings in Ferguson and St. Louis one wonders why the policeman didn't simply shoot their gun-less opponents in the leg, moved some steps away and wait. Especially when a seemingly NRA-sponsered study on stopping power says "In a certain (fairly high) percentage of shootings, people stop their aggressive actions after being hit with one round regardless of caliber or shot placement."
Since I would assume police officers are sufficiently trained to hit a leg from 3 yards away, I can only conclude that they panicked due to being in an unknown situation not knowing how to use their only tool (their gun) to incapacitate. Looks to me like a business opportunity for a modding team to sell a FPS to the police where you loose if you kill instead of incapacitate."

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