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Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

bsdasym Re:For all of you USA haters out there: (341 comments)

because those chips are pure security theater, protecting only against the (quite rare) 'skimming' devices

Chip and PIN also protects you against having your card stolen and used in store, because the only verification is the signature - which is conveniently already on the back of the card for the thief to copy (and usually checked by a singularly uninterested human).

Secondly, how rare is "quite rare"?

Can you explain in detail how the CHIP part of that provides even one tiny fraction of added security, in that situation? It doesn't. It prevents cards from being copied, it provides no additional protection for POS or online purchases. The stolen card still has the (intact, valid) chip on it.

The prevalence of skimming devices is tough to get an exact handle on, but it was big news a few years ago when the FBI found a large number of them installed in SoCal and began making arrests. The "large number" resulted in roughly $50,000 in fraud spread over 50 victims. You've got a greater chance of getting hit by lightning than being a victim of a card skimmer.


Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

bsdasym Re:For all of you USA haters out there: (341 comments)

Yes, yes it is something we should be proud of -- because those chips are pure security theater, protecting only against the (quite rare) 'skimming' devices. If you steal someones card, you get the chip with it. You don't get the PIN. In neither case can the card be used to withdraw money from an ATM. In both cases, the card can be used for online purchasing.

How the authors conclude that this has anything to do with ATM bombings is a complete mystery. What were they doing before the useless encryption chips? Stealing dozens of cards and beating the PINs out of the owners? How did these magical encryption chips put a stop to this practice?


Hackers Leak Xbox One SDK Claiming Advancement In Openness and Homebrew

bsdasym Missing the point (86 comments)

The SDK is not "publicly available" and not "just anyone" can download it. I fully support this move just because MS is so obnoxious about SDK access that someone really needed to poke them in the eye. To be clear to get sanctioned access to the SDK you at a minimum must submit an application (resume, not program) to MS that "proves" you are an "experienced game developer" on one or more platforms. You must also sign an NDA.

This is a far cry from developing for other systems like Android, where anyone at all can go download Android Studio and get a full toolchain including virtual devices to test on, without even having to register.

I have a 360 and a One, and I've long wanted to just "fool around" with developing apps for them, to see how difficult it is. This will potentially make that a possibility on the One at least.

about three weeks ago

How We'll Program 1000 Cores - and Get Linus Ranting, Again

bsdasym Re:Linus wrong? Shocking! (449 comments)

It sounds like you're suggesting that memory bus speed will not continue to increase, and thus, we should stop adding bus contention by adding cores. The conclusion there hinges on a rather unsupported premise that is contradicted by the (historical) empirical data. All signs point to memory becoming much faster indeed.

If Linus' expertise were really relevant here, perhaps Transmeta wouldn't have failed.

about a month ago

How We'll Program 1000 Cores - and Get Linus Ranting, Again

bsdasym Linus wrong? Shocking! (449 comments)

It's one thing to argue against massive parallelism in a single piece of software. Of course that's not the right answer to every problem, or even to most of them. But arguing against many cores at a hardware level, as he seems to be doing, is plain stupid. Of course more cores == better. As long as I have 100+ processes running on my desktop PC, the more cores I have to spread them around, the better.

No special languages or programmer training required.

about a month ago

Stars Traveling Close To Light Speed Could Spread Life Through the Universe

bsdasym arxiv... (184 comments)

Wonder if submitter (or upvoters) understand that anyone can submit articles to arxiv and have them "published" there, regardless of merit or credentials, and with no peer review. There are articles there on perpetual motion, time travel, and all kinds of other garbage. Arxiv is basically the pastebin of scientific (or pseudoscientific) papers. Anything you read there that hasn't been published elsewhere should be taken with a super massive salt grain.

Pop quiz, hotshot. What is the result of some life form or precursor of life entering an atmosphere or impacting a body of some kind (as required to "spread life") when the object in question has a relativistic velocity compared to the other?

Extra credit, hotshot. Examine the impact of relativistic time dilation on evolution in the system in question.

about 2 months ago

Google challenges us on the Future of Energy

bsdasym Well they sort of "get it" at least (1 comments)

The whole problem with switching to "alternative" energy is that doing so isn't economical. If fossil fuels start really having supply side problems and the price goes up, that's one way to get competition moving. The other is to drive the costs of alternative sources down, or find new cheaper alternatives. I have a feeling neither of those is going to happen though. What will happen is we will continue to develop better emissions capturing technologies, until the net emissions of fossil fuel powerplants and even vehicles are near zero -- while efficiencies continue to rise as fuel costs do.

We already have diesel + aero technology (that does not suck, performance wise) that can achieve 100mpg.

The problem isn't with vehicle technology, it will continue to evolve. The problem is with power generation on a national scale. I don't think we'll ever get there without nuclear. The hippies are just going to have to get over their irrational meltdown fears, and their waste storage misconceptions.

about 2 months ago

Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

bsdasym Re:Armchair cognitive scientist (455 comments)

This is a bias that I can't remember the name of right now, but it boils down to a person not believing that people can create a machine that "truly" thinks/feels because they don't understand what drives those aspects of themselves. The whole argument in the link reduces to the so called "Chinese Room", which itself is just a version of Solipsism that draws the boundary between biology and technology (well actually Chemistry and technology, in Searle's case) rather than between one individual mind and another.

If I can't prove to you that Watson "thinks", then likewise you can't prove to me that you "think." Such arguments get us absolutely nowhere in the realm of scientific endeavor, which is why we have the concept of a Turing Test to begin with.

Claiming a thing cannot be conscious or exhibit understanding simply because you fully understand (and can predict) that things behavior isn't a scientific or logical argument. It stinks of an argument driven purely out of fear that determinism might be correct.

about 2 months ago

Opensource game rejected from Debian for authors social beliefs

bsdasym What's the issue? (2 comments)

I'm a "conservative" by the lay definition, yet even I understand the difference between "being allowed to contribute to opensource" and "having your contributions accepted for distribution by a third party." Where is it written that any open source project must accept all contributions made to it, or that projects are not "allowed" to discriminate against contributions or contributors for any reason they like? It's certainly hypocritical for left-leaning people to discriminate that way, but hypocrisy from the left is hardly something new.

about 2 months ago

Mozilla Launches Browser Built For Developers

bsdasym Glad to see (74 comments)

that Moz/FF is still focusing on stupid features that are already covered by other tools, rather than fixing their memory leaks and other bugs. Hopefully we'll get another pointless UI facelift soon too, I've finally adapted to the last one.

about 3 months ago

Texas Ebola Patient Dies

bsdasym Re:Errata: slashdot mangled my reply... (487 comments)

Can you "back any of this up?"

Every viral disease considered to be airborne spreads through droplets. They don't fly around the air like birds. Chickenpox, smallpox, and the flu are all considered airborne diseases

Coughing up blood on someone isn't airborne. Sneezing or coughing on them is. If you can catch Ebola this way, then it is airborne. They are probably saying it's not just to keep the panic level down.

about 4 months ago

Fixing Steam's User Rating Charts

bsdasym A system that works (93 comments)

What we really need is something like Pandoras system. Something where my own ratings, as a user, are factored in. If 10,000 random users rank a game as 9/10 but I thought it was a 3/10, we obviously disagree on some things. Match me against people who review similarly to me if you want to help me find games to buy. Use the statistical algorithm as a fallback.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Keep Students' Passwords Secure?

bsdasym Re:Why not write them down? (191 comments)

Would +1 this if I hadn't burned them all yesterday.

The admonishment about not writing down passwords is really about not putting them on your monitor/screen with a post-it note, or leaving them somewhere they can easily be read/seen/stolen. Keeping them on a scrap of paper in your wallet/purse is fine.

The parent should keep a copy at home as well, for the inevitable instance when jr's paper gets lost or goes through the wash.

about 4 months ago

Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

bsdasym Re:Not good enough (323 comments)

firefox. userContent.css.

@-moz-document domain(slashdot.org)

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Advice On Building a Firewall With VPN Capabilities?

bsdasym Re:geek or not (238 comments)

Another +1. I use it at home between my cablemodem and the rest of my network. I use it at work to protect the corporate network. Can get access to the work VPN remotely via both pfsense/pfsense VPN that's always on, and VPN client into pfsense from elsewhere. Runs like a champ in VMWare too, with a small footprint.

about 5 months ago

Android Motorcycle Helmet/HUD Gains Funding

bsdasym It's absolutely NOT worth it (126 comments)

Spoken like.. someone who isn't a rider.

Helmets are 'disposable' gear. If you damage it in a crash, you toss it. If you drop it down the stairs, you toss it. If there is *any* doubt in your mind that it's 100% intact, you toss it.

I'd rather not toss the GPS, computer, and the rest of the techno gear out with it. Drop the price and release it as a 'retrofit kit' and I'm in. Until then, I'll keep buying 'normal' helmets (which these days offer integrated speakers and mounting for bluetooth dongles for GPS/phone/etc).

about 6 months ago

How Dumb Policies Scare Tech Giants Away From Federal Projects

bsdasym But.... (143 comments)

who's gonna build the new bidding website for the new program?!

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?

bsdasym Re:Accept, don't fight, systemd (533 comments)

A few years ago I would've called this ludicrous. I've been using FreeBSD for almost 20 years now and the idea of something like systemd (and the horrorshow it's become) making it's way into the base system was laughable. These days, I'm not so sure. Every release seems to take the system one step closer to exactly what you describe, with occasional steps the other direction (such as llvm/clang replacing gcc). I doubt FreeBSD will use systemd any time *soon* but one day, it might. By then bsdinstall will probably have been replaced with something even worse as well, and I will have moved on to some other flavor.

about 9 months ago

Programming Language Diversity On the Rise

bsdasym Selection bias much? (177 comments)

Github as a yardstick for language usage tells you nothing beyond what the most popularly used languages for github hosted projects are. Publicly accessible github projects at that.

about 9 months ago



Testing high traffic volume before deployment

bsdasym bsdasym writes  |  about a year ago

bsdasym (829112) writes "In congressional testimony today, Cheryl Campbell, Senior Vice President of CGI Federal said "No amount of testing within reasonable time limits can adequately replicate a live environment of this nature" when questioned about the many problems with the Affordable Care Act website, healthcare.gov.

Digital Trends reported the site, developed over the course of the past three years, cost roughly $500 Million, much of that going to CGI Federal, the primary contractor for the system as a whole

Is she right? Given a hundred million dollar budget and three years, how many slashdotters could build this system, and how would you test it? Should she be fired for being incompetent or lying to Congress, or both?"


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