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Exodus Intelligence Details Zero-Day Vulnerabilities In Tails OS

almitydave Re:Curious (132 comments)

Replying to pedantic ACs is a waste of time, I know, but I see this mistake made often enough. "Insure" and "ensure" are largely interchangeable: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/insure.

about a week ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

almitydave They Live (701 comments)

"I came here to kick ass and chew bubblegum... and I'm all out of bubblegum."

It's more of a first-person declaration of intent than a rallying cry, but I've heard it used as such.

about a week ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

almitydave Re:Two Missing Options (701 comments)

I remember it as "Autobots, roll out!" No idea what was actually used most often, though. I tried watching the original cartoon recently on Netflix, and it was... difficult. Apparently my adult attention span is somewhat different than my 6-year-old attention span.

about a week ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

almitydave Re:What are these from? (701 comments)

Also "Push the button, Max!" I use that one all the time, even though it's not really a nerd-associated line.

(Source: Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, in The Great Race).

about a week ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

almitydave Re:I feel the need... (701 comments)

Or to quote Brain,

"I feel the need... the need for expeditious velocity!"

about a week ago
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Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

almitydave Re:ESPN (401 comments)

Some feel there is a loss in quality vs OTA but depending on who you talk to it's not something people will notice.

Comcast subscriber here, and I can definitely tell in some programs. There are certain types of scenes that the compression algorithm doesn't handle well at low bitrates, notably when there's a lot of detail changing from frame to frame. I was watching "Planet Earth" and when it showed a large flock of birds taking flight, the TV looked like a checkerboard pattern of flickering grey squares. So it's usually ok, but often noticeable, and occasionally ugly. I may hook up our old rabbit ears for the OTA channels.

As for the customer service nightmare, I guess my experience has been anomalous, as I've never had a problem with them, even canceling TV service once or twice in the 6 years I've subscribed (TV+internet currently). I rarely have to call, though; service here in Chicago has been extremely reliable. It is very expensive, though.

about two weeks ago
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White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

almitydave Re:Not a duty of the Executive Branch (382 comments)

The White House should respond by providing links to state and federal representatives if they want the law changed.

Why? Can an organization like Tesla not find people smart enough to look them up? Are we not smart enough to know where to look? Or so disengaged we don't know which ones to write?

Apparently. GGP's whole point is that this petition proves that this is true, and people are asking the president to "do something" rather than using the appropriate channel - their representatives in the legislature (whichever is appropriate to the issue). In theory, enough constituents contacting their representatives will stir them to act; it practice it usually takes an organization with funding to have enough influence; either way, there's a method for the average Joe to amplify his voice and get heard.

about two weeks ago
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White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

almitydave Re:Not a duty of the Executive Branch (382 comments)

Exactly what I wanted to say. The White House should respond by providing links to state and federal representatives if they want the law changed.

Alternatively, people should pool their resources and form a lobbying group to have greater influence in changing the law. Kickstarter has proven the potential for crowdfunding; there should be a Kickstarter-type site for forming issue-specific political action committees, so people can more effectively lobby for the change that matters to them most. I think this is very much in line with the spirit of the republic, while offering an effective voice to groups of like-minded people.

Of course, there are already many groups lobbying on many issues, so maybe all that's needed is a comprehensive directory of PACs and lobbying orgs sorted by topic, so people can find one aligned with their ideologies. I just found a decent list here which focuses on tracking financial contributions, but has quite a lot of info.

about two weeks ago
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Judge Frees "Cannibal Cop" Who Shared His Fantasies Online

almitydave Re:No "thought police"? What about "hate crimes"? (185 comments)

Assault someone with a bat and go to jail for 5 years. Say, "I hate black people!" while doing it and go to jail for 15 years.

So yeah, we DO put people in jail for thoughts.

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. Hate crime legislation DOES punish thoughts: we've decided that what you were thinking at the time of a crime somehow makes your crime worse than that of someone who wasn't thinking "hateful thoughts". If we hold to the principle that "the punishment must fit the crime," then hate crime laws seem to directly criminalize certain thoughts, which in the USA seems to come dangerously close to treading on the freedom of thought and expression protected by the first amendment, if not stomping all over it.

about a month ago
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Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claim They're Private Corporations, Immune To Oversight

almitydave Re:Repeat after me... (534 comments)

More people need to get pissed at these "security" checks. I see it happening at more and more venues: football games, art museums, etc... At least the metal detectors in the courthouse came as a response to actual shootings. But come on, who is going to bother with a terrorist attack on the Duct Tape Museum of Greater Bumfuck? At some point the security measures cost more than what you're actually preventing.

To be fair, security checks at some football stadiums also came as a response to actual violence at said stadiums. See: Raiders fans.

about a month ago
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Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

almitydave Re:I lost the password (560 comments)

Like if your password is "ididitimguilty"?

about a month ago
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Building the Infinite Digital Universe of No Man's Sky

almitydave Re:I-Novae Studios (100 comments)

My understanding is that they realized they needed to make money, so they shifted their dev efforts to completing a marketable game engine to get some income before completing their game idea. I really look forward to this game, and its more realistic scale. But I'm not holding my breath.

about a month ago
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Building the Infinite Digital Universe of No Man's Sky

almitydave Re:What does "effectively infinite" mean? (100 comments)

"Infinite" means "without bound", so I take "effectively infinite" to mean you'll never encounter a boundary. You'll never run out of new space, every world will never be explored; it might as well be infinite because there's no discernible difference.

It couldn't be truly infinite, because at some point you're dealing with computers which have fixed-length integers, so your seed value space is actually finite; but 64-bit integers means that 7 billion players could each have their own unique million-star sky 2500 times over.

about a month ago
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Building the Infinite Digital Universe of No Man's Sky

almitydave Re:OK, now do cities (100 comments)

I followed the development of Introversion with great interest, particularly the procedural city generation. I look forward to the day when someone writes the all-encompassing MMO that incorporates multiple game types in a single universe. It'll happen eventually, and one of the versions will probably even be worthwhile.

about a month ago
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Building the Infinite Digital Universe of No Man's Sky

almitydave Re:Lazy summary writing, again (100 comments)

That differs from my understanding: I got the impression that once a player explored a world, the parameters for procedural generation on that world were fixed and uploaded (this is an MMO, whether or not the game designers want it to be thought of as such). That's why in the gameplay videos, you see onscreen tags identifying which player discovered a species or world.

I've worked on my own idea of a procedurally-generated universe, and the idea I've come up with is you generate a random list of stars and assign a seed value to each star. When a player visits the star, the details of the stellar system (which are only observable up close) are procedurally generated using that star's seed: planets, asteroid fields, etc. Anything you do to modify that system is saved so that the next time you go back, it's still there. In a multiplayer environment, any modifications or even the results of pseudo-random generation can be uploaded so other players see the same thing you see.

So it's random in the sense of "not determined ahead of time." The way stuff is generated in this game is the developers create prototypes that have traits that can be modified (see dev discussion of character creators with sliders in other games) in many ways, and when a world is first visited by a player, which animal prototypes are present and how they're modified is determined at that time. What the devs are doing by reviewing the results of this generation with bots and gifs is ensuring the range of parameters for pseudo-random generation is acceptable, i.e. you get results that look good. They're not setting the parameters for each planet you'll visit when you get your copy of the game.

The game universe is the same for everyone. The devs are generating it and when they are happy with the way it turns out, that version will be the one they release for everyone to play in.

The universe is the same for everyone because randomly-generated content is preserved online. The devs are not generating the entire universe, they're fine-tuning the parameters of their generators.

As far as I can tell, anyway. This could be really cool. I've also been following the development of I-Novae Studios' game engine, which aims for realism.

about a month ago
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Venture-Backed Bitcoin Miner Startup Can't Deliver On Time, Gets Sued

almitydave Re:Best Lawsuit Ever. (120 comments)

Although if it is a class-action suit, then presumably there were a large number of people that also didn't get their X GH/s miners by Y date, all of whom could have generated Z bitcoins.

But wait! If they had all been mining that whole time, then the difficulty would have changed, since they would have constituted a non-zero addition to the global mining capability. So the amount that they "missed out" would be lower.

Anyone have any idea what % of global hashing power the miners in question should have been? Enough to have an effect?

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Bequeath Sensitive Information?

almitydave Re:Paper, and physical equivalents (208 comments)

A paper record is good. So is a plaintext file well organized and placed on a USB flash drive. Both can be mailed and locked in a safety deposit box, which is about as secure as you can get. Both require physical access, which means any other encryption or security is more likely to confound your subjects than actually secure your data.

In addition, you could encrypt the plaintext file with a well-known algorithm (you can even specify which one and the parameters) using a very strong password contained in your will, to prevent unwanted disclosure.

You could then apply Base64 encoding to the encrypted plaintext file, and print the result in a large font to enable scanning and OCR to recreate the digital file and decrypt it. This should be reliable enough - I don't think any of these technologies are going to go away any time soon.

about a month ago
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Wikipedia Forcing Editors To Disclose If They're Paid

almitydave Re:Oh, good (135 comments)

this is most probably so if editors who are caught doing stuff when being paid for it and not disclosing it can have all that they have done removed without the need to do a investigation if what they wrote is truth or not

They should also black-list the payers of this type of activity. A week or two for each infraction. There's one important aspect about Wikipedia and that is it isn't about marketing and selling shit. They have the rest of the entire Internet for that, so it shouldn't be tolerated.

Perhaps a dire warning should appear in banner form at the top of any article about a company that pays shills to edit Wikipedia stating that it has been caught doing so, and that information about that company on Wikipedia portraying it in a positive light can't be trusted.

about a month and a half ago

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