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Comments

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Open-Source Python Code Shows Lowest Defect Density

caffeinemessiah Excellent marketing! (187 comments)

So a private, for-profit company named "Coverity" has released a report that shows that their "Coverity Scan" software finds the fewest vaguely-defined "defects" in a programming language whose community has added the "Coverity platform" product to their development process? I was about to say "excellent marketing" by writing a fluff piece for free Slashdot traffic, but it's really not even excellent marketing.

about 7 months ago
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Is a Computer Science Degree Worth Getting Anymore?

caffeinemessiah Re:The answer is simple.... (630 comments)

Isn't this the same as every Jedi building their own lightsabre?

Only if you live inside Star Wars

about a year and a half ago
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If App Store's Trademark Is Generic, So Is Windows'

caffeinemessiah Re:Are they kidding? (356 comments)

They also got the widely used wxWidgets toolkit to change their name from wxWindows. It was apparently amicable, but I MS requests are generally like the godfather's "offers".

more than 3 years ago
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Facebook Images To Get Expiration Date

caffeinemessiah Re:Debunked (306 comments)

I should also add: why not just have a service to delete the image automatically from facebook after N days? Encryption is absolutely not needed here and achieves nothing.

more than 3 years ago
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Facebook Images To Get Expiration Date

caffeinemessiah Re:Debunked (306 comments)

This can be debunked quite easily: once an image is decrypted, it is forever decrypted. Alternatively, all I have to do is comment on your post of the image with the key I just downloaded for it while it was still valid. Even more alternatively, I could set up a counter-service to this that stores retrieved keys permanently and hands them out publicly. Unless the service is refreshing the image data every single day with a new key, in which case: (a) they will run out of bandwidth and CPU in a week, (b) they will hit facebook's limits very very soon, and (c) I still have copies of yesterday's encrypted data and yesterday's key.

Oh yes, and your friends will not be able to see your pictures unless they download a plugin ("huh...what's that??"), and possibly use a specific browser ("huh? why?").

So yeah, pretty stupid overall. This is another sad attempt at a form of DRM.

more than 3 years ago
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Open Source More Expensive Says MS Report

caffeinemessiah disingenuous? (465 comments)

So using an MS or MS-compatible (thanks to years of aggressive marketing by MS) stack is less expensive in terms of training time than inserting a piece of open-source software into that stack and trying to make everything work? Interesting...next up, replacing my car's wheels with motorcycle wheels makes it take longer for me to get to places. Perhaps I should just get the entire motorcycle instead?

more than 3 years ago
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Putin Orders Russian Move To GNU/Linux

caffeinemessiah i'm so sorry so sorry (500 comments)

In America, you put in Linux.

In Soviet Russia, Putin Linux you.

more than 3 years ago
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Drop Out and Innovate, Urges VC Peter Thiel

caffeinemessiah as long as (239 comments)

Sure, why not? However, Thiel better be right about selecting people correctly for the program. Otherwise, you've "stopped out" for a couple of years, got a failed .com startup to your credit, and might have trouble getting back into or adjusting to university.

more than 3 years ago
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Like Democracy, the Web Needs To Be Defended

caffeinemessiah not the same issue (108 comments)

I dislike the analogy between "large social networking sites walling off your data" and net neutrality infringement/censorship/monitoring. Walled gardens are a perfectly acceptable consequence of a FREE web; net neutrality infringement is the opposite. Would you complain if your

more than 3 years ago
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SpaceShipTwo Flies Free For the First Time

caffeinemessiah not so... (164 comments)

and spaceflight bragging rights for years afterward

Hopefully, this won't turn out to be true. Brag in the short term, you bourgeois pig, but I'm still among the idealistic holdouts, with thousands of dollars in my hand waiting in line to sign up, who believe in Virgin Galactic and economies of scale.

more than 3 years ago
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Spammers Using Soft Hyphen To Hide Malicious URLs

caffeinemessiah Re:H3rb41 V14gr4? (162 comments)

I never got the leet speak in spam thing. Sure, it might get past the filter, but who can read it? Are they trying to sell drugs to script kiddies?

I don't know about you, but I can't stop trying to figure out what word they're trying to represent with the symbols. For example, I know the second word in your subject means viagra, but what is "H3rb41"? Oh..."herbal". It's naturally (perhaps unknowingly) targeted towards geeks and puzzle-solvers, which perhaps isn't the worst market to target available-without-human-contact penis drugs towards.

more than 3 years ago
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Cryptome Hacked; All Files Deleted

caffeinemessiah Re:Earthlink? Network Solutions? (170 comments)

and you're an idiot if you post anything there expecting to be anonymous.

Why? If I really wanted to post something anonymously, I would set up a network of proxy SSH severs paid for with prepaid debit cards (purchased using cash), change the wireless MAC on a throwaway secondhand laptop (purchased using cash off Craigslist), walk down to the local Starbucks, access my proxy setup through Tor, and then be reasonably confident that I would be able to do anything anonymously. Of course, I would only post plain text files.

So I don't really understand why you would be an idiot for expecting anonymity if you went to the pains of taking care of it.

more than 3 years ago
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Motorcyclist Wins Taping Case Against State Police

caffeinemessiah Re:Of course the big irony here is... (485 comments)

... that cameras are not allowed in many/most court rooms.

It's not ironic because there is an expectation of privacy in a courtroom. Hypothetical: I accuse you of being a pedophile, procure tons of evidence against you, which I display in court. Sure, the case gets thrown out (maybe I face charges myself, but I'm reckless that way), but someone videotapes the proceedings, edits out the juicy bits and puts it up on youtube without context. Pretty sure your life's ruined.

If my fate's being determined, that's between me, the lawyers, the defendant/plaintiff, and the judge/jury.

more than 3 years ago
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Foursquare-Style Checking In For Couch Potatoes

caffeinemessiah a cynical take (86 comments)

...allow me to plug my own banal "checkin" service, based on things "most people do"...

FourGoHookupPlaces: for telling your friends when and who you procreate with! BONUS: use your iphone's built-in accelerometer to compute your "performance", and try to best your friends! Become the virtual "mayor" of PEOPLE! Make lovemaking an ONLINE social game!

more than 3 years ago
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Incorporating Swarm Intelligence Into Computer AI

caffeinemessiah Re:Hill Climbing (64 comments)

Hopefully a decent spec would also be sensitive to privacy concerns and would simply have an "off" bit as well.

I wasn't talking about privacy, but rather security in terms of the routing algorithm being gamed for malicious reasons.

more than 2 years ago
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Controversy Arises Over Taliban Option In Medal of Honor

caffeinemessiah Re:Hypocrisy Isn't Free (671 comments)

Last I heard, American soldiers were supposed to be fighting to preserve a way of life, a way which includes freedom of expression.

Except this has absolutely nothing to do with freedom, but rather good taste and a little sensitivity towards their target market (unless they're planning on selling this game in Afghanistan).

more than 2 years ago
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Incorporating Swarm Intelligence Into Computer AI

caffeinemessiah Re:Hill Climbing (64 comments)

It just sounds like the classic hill climbing algorithm to me.

That's because it's very similar -- with a massive stochastic component. It might be effective at routing, but I image leaving "pheromone traces" over network routes to indicate quality (latency, bandwidth, whatever) is something that will make sure security researchers have jobs for a long, long time.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Gaming foursquare with 9 lines of Perl

caffeinemessiah caffeinemessiah writes  |  more than 3 years ago

caffeinemessiah (918089) writes "With the recent launch of Facebook Places, the rise to prominence of Foursquare and GoWalla, and articles in the New York Times about the increasing popularity of "checking in" to locations using GPS-enabled mobile phones, a number of businesses are wondering how to reward frequent patrons. But exactly how susceptible are these "location based services" to being abused? A researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago shows how easily Foursquare can be gamed in 9 Perl statements, and invites readers to submit more succinct versions of the code to game the system."
Link to Original Source
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Chicago Sheriff sues Craigslist for Erotic Service

caffeinemessiah caffeinemessiah writes  |  more than 5 years ago

caffeinemessiah (918089) writes "The Chicago (Cook County) Sheriff's Department announced today that they are suing Craigslist for its "erotic services" section, which they say is the "largest source" of prostitution in the city of Chicago. The Sheriff also states that he believes that the "erotic services" section generates a large portion of the company's $80 million annual revenue". All this in the face of Craigslist's legal declarations on the issue. The section can be accessed from the Craigslist homepage."
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Mumbai Police to Enforce Wifi Security

caffeinemessiah caffeinemessiah writes  |  more than 5 years ago

caffeinemessiah (918089) writes "In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, the local police are going to be sniffing out unsecured wifi access points and ordering the owners to secure them. The article notes that "terror mails were sent through unsecured Wi-Fi connections" before bomb blasts in other Indian cities. No word on if they'll be walking around using Kismet, or if people who use pathetically weak WEP encryption will be ordered to switch to more advanced protocols. Unfortunately, a gesture like this does not take into account the insidious scenario of walking into a cafe, buying a coffee and then (legally) using the cafe's wifi. Or the fact that terrorists might actually be able to pay to use a cybercafe, and know what VPNs are."
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Algorithms can make you pretty

caffeinemessiah caffeinemessiah writes  |  more than 5 years ago

caffeinemessiah (918089) writes "The New York Times has an interesting story on a new algorithm by researchers from Tel Aviv University that modifies a facial picture of a person to conform to standards of attractiveness. Based on a digital library of pictures of people who have been judged "attractive", the algorithm finds the nearest match and modifies an input picture to the conform to the "attractive" person's proportions. The trick, however, is that the resultant pictures are still recognizable as the person. Here's a quick link to a representative picture of the process. Note that this is a machine learning approach to picture modification, NOT a characterization of beauty, and could just as easily be used to make a person less attractive."
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Study finds open source a "security risk"

caffeinemessiah caffeinemessiah writes  |  more than 5 years ago

caffeinemessiah (918089) writes "A study by Fortify Software has found that several popular open-source packages, including JBoss and Geronimo, present a security risk in a corporate environment due to failure to adhere to industry best practices. Among their complaints are the fact that "there are no phone numbers" to call when a security issue is found. JBoss got knocked a few points "for not having a specific e-mail alias for submission of security vulnerabilities". While this might possibly be another troll study, Google News reports that the story might be causing a bit of a buzz, possibly from regurgitated press releases. Expect to see a bit more open-source paranoia at work this Monday morning."
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Korean rehab camp for Web addiction

caffeinemessiah caffeinemessiah writes  |  more than 6 years ago

caffeinemessiah (918089) writes "The New York Times has a story about a Korean kids' camp for "curing" Internet addiction. "Seventeen hours a day online is fine," said one such kid at the camp. From the article: "Drill instructors drive young men through military-style obstacle courses, counselors lead group sessions, and there are even therapeutic workshops on pottery and drumming....this year, the camp held its first two 12-day sessions, with 16 to 18 male participants each time. (South Korean researchers say an overwhelming majority of compulsive computer users are male.)""
Link to Original Source
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Rick Rubin discloses Sony rootkit called home

caffeinemessiah caffeinemessiah writes  |  more than 6 years ago

caffeinemessiah (918089) writes "Rick Rubin, the legendary music producer, recently signed on as co-head of Columbia Records, which is owned by Sony BMG. In a recent New York Times interview (on pg. 4 of the online version), he discloses (possibly accidentally):

It was the highest debut of Neil [Diamond]'s career, off to a great start. But Columbia — it was some kind of corporate thing — had put spyware on the CD. That kept people from copying it, but it also somehow recorded information about whoever bought the record...
Seems like the rootkit might have been a little more than your vanilla invade-your-rights-DRM scheme."
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caffeinemessiah caffeinemessiah writes  |  more than 6 years ago

caffeinemessiah (918089) writes "On its mail homepage, Yahoo announces that "free unlimited storage" is on its way for Yahoo Mail. This will apparently include "limitless storage space for photos, attachments, messages, and more". There is also another page with more information about unlimited storage. It seems that they either scooped Google on this one or, thanks to the unlimited attachment feature and tools like the GMail Drive, are about to become the largest public file-sharing site that can penetrate your office firewall."

Journals

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caffeinemessiah caffeinemessiah writes  |  more than 8 years ago Somehow I fear posting on Slashdot because of privacy issues. If there's one message board on the Internet where there's at least one person who is capable of tracking where you live based solely on your post, it's Slashdot. However, equally rare, presumably are those who have felt the touch of a woman.

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Blog Watch

caffeinemessiah caffeinemessiah writes  |  more than 8 years ago

All glory to your blog. Should you blog happen to start a pop culture phenomenon, may your webserver receive many hits and your ISP feel like a sysop from the Bulletin Board Systems of yesteryear, with their teenage operators struggling to run a single application on their computer because the " 'board was sucking up the processor, man". Before they went back to their gameboys.

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