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The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

belmolis Re:Be the Change You Wish to See in the World (438 comments)

That was true in some societies, but for the most part not in the African slave trade. There slavers went out specifically in order to capture slaves. They weren't otherwise engaged in warfare.

about two weeks ago
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Disney Patents a Piracy Free Search Engine

belmolis shot in own foot (164 comments)

I think that Disney may have shot themselves in the foot. A patent must by definition describe the method in sufficient detail that a person of ordinary expertise in the field can figure out how to implement it by reading the patent. Since the patent merel describes a ranking algorithm, it can be trivially inverted to select sites likely to contain pirated material.

about three weeks ago
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It's Time To Revive Hypercard

belmolis Re:For the rest of us (299 comments)

A scripting language that I find much cleaner than Perl and without the unpleasant tabbing of Python is Tcl. A more recent language with more familiar syntax than Tcl is lua.

about three weeks ago
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Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

belmolis Re:Illegal (182 comments)

A misdemeanor is a criminal offence. Breach of contract is not a criminal offence.

about 3 months ago
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Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website

belmolis why sue the execs? (212 comments)

Can anyone explain why Oregon is suing six executives as well as the company itself? Normally in such commercial litigation it is only the company that is liable, not individual employees, and if Oregon thinks that the executives went beyond the pale, you'd expect criminal charges. Furthermore, the executives presumably don't have enough assets to contribute substantially to the damages sought. So why are the executives defendants?

about 3 months ago
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World's First 3D Printed Estate Coming To New York

belmolis Re:Let us redefine "progress" (108 comments)

Also, the machine isn't large enough to print the whole house: it is going to be used to create pieces. Those pieces will have to be assembled and joined to each other. That will require labor.

about 3 months ago
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Fighting Invasive Fish With Forks and Knives

belmolis Re:Already happened to sharks (180 comments)

Shark was sold in Boston in the early 1980s, touted as a substitute for swordfish, which was more expensive and contained a lot of mercury. I don't know how well it did but I bought it occasionally. (In my opinion, it doesn't taste as good as swordfish, though there is a resemblance.)

about 3 months ago
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Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

belmolis can you copy back from these? (317 comments)

As I understand it, these devices allow you to copy from CDs onto their internal hard drive so that you can keep your own selection of music on the device. Is it possible to use these devices to burn a CD? AS far as I know, the answer is no. If they can't burn a CD, then they cannot be used for illicit copying.

about 4 months ago
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US Arrests Son of Russian MP In Maldives For Hacking

belmolis Re:Obama desperate to get Snowden (176 comments)

That article doesn't discuss this scenario at all. It neither supports nor refutes the GP.

about 5 months ago
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Author Charles Stross: Is Amazon a Malignant Monopoly, Or Just Plain Evil?

belmolis Re:Or, you could... (405 comments)

Some publishers already CAN'T sell through Amazon. For example, I have a book that is published by the College of New Caledonia. My book is not available through Amazon because Amazon demands a huge discount (70%, as I recall) from all publishers, including non-profits like this one. In order to sell its books through Amazon, they would have to hugely increase the retail price so that the heavily discounted amount they would receive from Amazon would cover their costs.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Anti-Theft Products For the Over-Equipped Household?

belmolis Re:Don't. (408 comments)

That's 150 euros, about US$225, per box, not total. It is understandable why he would balk at that.

about 6 months ago
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The Guy Who Unknowingly 'Live-Blogged' the Bin Laden Raid

belmolis Re:"Three years ago today" (142 comments)

Are you kidding? The Russians waited until the Japanese were on their last legs so that they could grab some Japanese territory. The Russians weren't much of a threat - they were exhausted by the war with Germany.

about 7 months ago
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One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

belmolis no flight involved? (230 comments)

When I was a grad student at Bell Labs in 1983, a senior programmer told me about how she first programmed, when the labs were in New York City. She would write her program VERY carefully, punch the cards, put them in her briefcase, and fly to Washington, D.C. where she had access to a computer. She would give the deck to the attendant, wait a few minutes, receive her output, go back to the airport, and fly back to New York.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Books for a Comp Sci Graduate Student?

belmolis Algol 68 (247 comments)

How about C. H. Lindsey's Informal Introduction to Algol 68? Obviously he isn't going to be using Algol 68, but this is beautifully and wittily written, describes a language with some interesting features, and has a very unusual two-dimensional organization.

about 7 months ago
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NIST Removes Dual_EC_DRBG From Random Number Generator Recommendations

belmolis Re:What's the cost to use a real rng vs psudo (86 comments)

A technique I've seen used for scientific purposes is to run a Zener diode in the high slope region and subtract DC, leaving a residue of quantum noise. I would think that with current technology such a package could be very small and cheap, though I don't know what is involved in reshaping the spectrum from 1/f in hardware.

about 7 months ago
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Reinventing the Axe

belmolis price? (217 comments)

I wonder why it is so insanely expensive (US$250). That won't help it catch on.

about 7 months ago
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

belmolis Re:Over 18 (632 comments)

No. The heirs are not responsible for the debts of the estate. The debts are paid by the executor out of the assets of the estate. The heirs are paid out of what remains of the estate. If the debts exceed the assets, the heirs receive nothing, but they do not assume any part of the debt.

about 7 months ago
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

belmolis Re:Over 18 (632 comments)

Actually, no. The debts of the deceased are paid out of the estate. The heirs are paid out of the remainder of the estate. The heirs do not inherit the debt. If the estate is not sufficient to satisfy the debt, the heirs may receive nothing, but they never inherit any debt.

about 7 months ago
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GM Names Names, Suspends Two Engineers Over Ignition-Switch Safety

belmolis Re:Hero ? (236 comments)

What you are describing is the fact that software and to a considerable extent computer hardware do not follow standards comparable to those used in better established areas of engineering.

about 7 months ago
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Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

belmolis Re:So you CAN buy a license to speed (325 comments)

People who give to a charity for good reasons do not need special identification on their vehicles to let the police know that they deserve special treatment.

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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Nevada demands $10K for man to see his children's school records

belmolis belmolis writes  |  about 6 months ago

belmolis (702863) writes "The state of Nevada is demanding $10K for a man to see the school records of his four children. They claim that the state's database is not designed to produce reports on individual students. The fee is based on the claim that doing so will take 120 hours of programmer time. Is their system really so strangely designed or this an attempt to avoid providing the information? In any case, it would seem that the query would only have to be written once and could then be used for any other parent's request, so the cost should arguably be amortized over multiple requests."
Link to Original Source
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Canada to Adopt On-Line Voting?

belmolis belmolis writes  |  more than 3 years ago

belmolis writes "Here in Canada we have an old-fashioned paper ballot voting system that by all accounts works very well. We get results quickly and without fraud. Nonetheless, Elections Canada wants to test on-line voting. Is it worth trying to fix a system that isn't broken?"
Link to Original Source
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Is Algeria Deleting Facebook Accounts?

belmolis belmolis writes  |  more than 3 years ago

belmolis (702863) writes "Algeria is reported to be shutting down ISPs and deleting Facebook accounts in an effort to prevent anti-government protests from escalating as they did in Egypt. Is it likely that they are deleting FB accounts? Unless Facebook is cooperating, this would either require hacking FB to obtain administrator privileges or cracking the password of each account they wish to delete."
Link to Original Source
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US to require FM radio reception by cell phones?

belmolis belmolis writes  |  more than 4 years ago

belmolis writes "The National Association of Broadcasters is reported to be lobbying Congress to require the inclusion of FM radio receivers in all cell phones. No public benefit from this requirement is mentioned — this appears to be a pure cash grab by the broadcasters and their friends at the RIAA, with whom they have already reached an agreement regarding royalties. The FM chips apparently only cost $1, but they do take up space and add weight, and FM antennas will presumably make phones bulkier than necessary."
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Recovering cell phone video of police killing

belmolis belmolis writes  |  more than 5 years ago

belmolis writes "Vancouver police recently shot and killed a man whom they claim was advancing aggressively. Bystander Adam Smolcic says that he recorded the incident on his cell phone and contradicts the police account. He reports that shortly after the incident, a police officer took his phone and examined it for several minutes. When he returned it, the video was gone. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association reports that the three data recovery firms that it has had examine the phone have been unable to recover the video or to confirm or deny whether it was ever present.

How difficult is it to recover a freshly erased video from a cell phone? Should it be possible to tell whether it was present but erased?"
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What do you think of Freshmeat 3?

belmolis belmolis writes  |  more than 5 years ago

belmolis writes "Freshmeat has recently undergone a major revision. Most people seem to like the new look, but the functionality is arguably worse. Complaints include the elimination of both raw statistics (subscriptions and hits) and derived statistics (popularity and vitality), the replacement of ratings with an unexplained up-and-down voting system, the need to click several times to obtain information, the invisibility of URLs, the use of fixed-width pages, and the replacement of trove categories with tags. So what do you think? Is the new Freshmeat better or worse? Has it traded functionality for eye candy? What's good, what's bad?"
Link to Original Source
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Cyberwarfare in International Law

belmolis belmolis writes  |  more than 6 years ago

belmolis writes "If the CIA is right to attribute recent blackouts to cyberwarfare (Slashdot story), cyberwarfare is no longer science fiction but reality. In a recent op-ed piece and a detailed scholarly paper, legal scholar Duncan Hollis raises the question of whether existing international law is adequate for regulating cyberwarfare. He concludes that it is not:

Translating existing rules into the IO context produces extensive uncertainty, risking unintentional escalations of conflict where forces have differing interpretations of what is permissible. Alternatively, such uncertainty may discourage the use of IO even if it might produce less harm than traditional means of warfare. Beyond uncertainty, the existing legal framework is insufficient and overly complex. Existing rules have little to say about the non-state actors that will be at the center of future conflicts. And where the laws of war do not apply, even by analogy, an overwhelmingly complex set of other international and foreign law rules purport to govern IO.


and proposes a new legal framework."

Link to Original Source

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