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Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

daveewart Re:PR works well? Where? (413 comments)

The great virtue of 'first past the post' is that it forces parties to appeal to a wider group than their obvious supporters...

I'm not sure that's necessarily true, but what FPTP does do is push everything towards a two-party state. This is why you get, effectively, extremists on both sides. Case in point: UK and USA. Minor parties are pushed out, moderate viewpoints are ignored. FPTP directly leads to "Us v. Them" contests.

In fact, thinking more about your first point: I don't think it's quite true. FPTP encourages parties to talk negatively about their opponents rather than push their own positive points.

about three weeks ago
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Google Chrome Will Block All NPAPI Plugins By Default In January

daveewart Dropping NPAPI broke VMware consoles on Linux (107 comments)

Google Chrome for Linux dropped support for NPAPI in version 35. This meant that if you use VMware, there's now no current browser which allows you to open VMware consoles via VMware vSphere/vCenter.

This is because of two related issues:

- vCenter needs Flash, but it has to be *recent* Flash (not 11.2 Linux Flash). Only option which provides recent Flash is Chrome;

- vCenter's 'launch console' add-in is NPAPI-based, so that won't work from Chrome version 35 onwards.

Therefore my VMware-managing setup on my Linux desktop is Google Chrome 34, pinned to prevent updating; and this is used only for local VMware management, not browsing.

I post this just for information and to rant about it yet again, but of course this is VMware's fault for relying on a deprecated architecture for plugins.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Getting Around Terrible Geolocation?

daveewart ISO-8601 (100 comments)

... many dates now display in European format ...

That sounds like a bug fix to me, to be honest.

about a month ago
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Bash To Require Further Patching, As More Shellshock Holes Found

daveewart Re:There are no "remote" exploits for bash (329 comments)

unless the default is dash like in for example debian and ubuntu of ocourse...

It depends on the ancestry of the system. Recent installs appear to have /bin/sh symlinked to /bin/dash, but older installs (even if subsequently upgraded to latest stable) persist the former default of linking /bin/sh to /bin/bash

Specifically, I've got servers which were originally installed in 2005, have been upgraded from the original Debian Sarge; these link to /bin/bash. Anything installed afresh since about Debian Lenny seems to have /bin/dash

about 3 months ago
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Strange New World Discovered: The "Mega Earth"

daveewart Re:Dense (147 comments)

The article covers this. It's thought to be more dense because, with the increased gravity which comes from a larger size, the rocks will be more compressed; thus, more dense.

about 7 months ago
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eBay Compromised

daveewart Right, everything changed ;-) (193 comments)

Password: now changed.
Date of birth: changed, new birth certificate acquired.
Home address: moving house tomorrow.

about 7 months ago
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Security Expert: Yahoo's Email Encryption Needs Work

daveewart Re: This is not "email encryption" (123 comments)

I know Yahoo don't have (nor need) a framework for email encryption. My comment was simply a clarification. :-)

about a year ago
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Security Expert: Yahoo's Email Encryption Needs Work

daveewart This is not "email encryption" (123 comments)

While the article is correct and uses precise terminology, the summary is wrong to use the term "email encryption". That term is for encrypted email messages using PGP/GPG/S-MIME.

Yahoo have no framework for email encryption. This article is about use of HTTPS for their webmail service and (a) whether that has been implemented and, if so, (b) whether it has been done correctly.

The answers to which are: (a) mostly and (b) no.

about a year ago
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Japanese Researchers Build Rock-paper-scissors Robot That Wins 100% of the Time

daveewart Re:Cheats, not wins (114 comments)

Of course it's cheating, it's subverting the rules of the game. The robot is showing its hand after seeing yours. The fact that it does so fast enough to fool human perception doesn't change this.

Your comparison with chess is invalid: Deep Blue plays chess according to the rules of chess. This robot, on the other, is not playing according to the rules of Rock/Paper/Scissors, therefore it is cheating.

about a year ago
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Japanese Researchers Build Rock-paper-scissors Robot That Wins 100% of the Time

daveewart Re:Cheats, not wins (114 comments)

Cheating is a perfectly valid description. It's subverting the rules of the game by showing its Rock/Paper/Scissors are seeing its opponent's hand. Intention has nothing to do with it.

about a year ago
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Japanese Researchers Build Rock-paper-scissors Robot That Wins 100% of the Time

daveewart Cheats, not wins (114 comments)

Title should read: "Japanese researchers build Rock-paper-scissors robot that cheats 100% of the time"

about a year ago
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Terrorist Murder In London Could Revive Snooper's Charter

daveewart Re:Fear Mongering (307 comments)

Since the IRA also engaged in terrorism, there seems to be a flaw in your understanding

You misunderstand. That definition is not "my understanding". It's the apparent definition that The Media and The Authorities seem to be adhering to.

about a year ago
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Terrorist Murder In London Could Revive Snooper's Charter

daveewart Re:Fear Mongering (307 comments)

Terrorism(n.): When a white person is killed by a Muslim.

about a year ago
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Facebook "Trusted Contacts" Lets You Pester Friends To Recover Account Access

daveewart Re:Security (114 comments)

Just because you trust someone to be _trustworthy_ doesn't mean that you trust their _opinions_. For example, I would trust some members of my family to not abuse having a house key, for example; wouldn't stop them from talking nonsense I don't agree with, though :-)

about a year and a half ago
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When 1 GB Is Really 0.9313 Gigabytes

daveewart "Real GB" or "marketing GB"? (618 comments)

If there's a query about which units are being used, the question "Is that 'real' GB or do you mean 'marketing' GB?" is the way I usually phrase it.

about 2 years ago
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Chilling Guidelines Issued For UK Communications Act Enforcement

daveewart Not chilling, quite the opposite! (111 comments)

These guidelines are not chilling: they are the opposite. Following the introduction of these guidelines, many knee-jerk prosecutions will not take place, whereas previously they would have taken place.

Whoever wrote the Slashdot headline is entirely wrong.

about 2 years ago
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Dr. Richard Dawkins On Education, 'Innocence of Muslims,' and Rep. Paul Broun

daveewart Shame about the background noise (862 comments)

Was there nowhere quieter to record? Piped music, other people chatting and moving about etc. A shame...

more than 2 years ago
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"Secure" Shorter .uk Internet Domain Proposed

daveewart WHATEVER.co.uk versus WHATEVER.uk (87 comments)

This will be chaotic. End-user confusion or fraud will occur when WHATEVER.co.uk and WHATEVER.uk are owned by different people/organisations. Say, when the .uk domain is acquired by someone who accuses another of domain-squatting on the co.uk equivalent.

Also, the notes say that the extra costs will be used for: "[D]aily monitoring for malicious software and viruses" - monitoring of what, exactly? All pages of all web sites on all subdomains?

more than 2 years ago
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TSA Defends Pat Down of 4-Year-Old Girl

daveewart Re:Security Theater (1174 comments)

"Security Theater" implies that it is harmless, in my opinion. I don't believe that's the case here. What's a better term for "not meeting the objectives it's supposedly trying to meet and being actively harmful in the process"?

more than 2 years ago
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Rybka Solves the King's Gambit Chess Opening

daveewart I'm going to keep playing the Kings Gambit (206 comments)

This is an interesting technical exercise. However, it won't stop me playing this opening as White. This opening leads to all sorts of exciting games in all sorts of situations.

It can also have a great psychological effect, not greatly diminished by this new study of it. If you need to win a particular game, playing the Kings Gambit with White sends a strong "OK, buddy, this is an all or nothing game!" message to your opponent.

Just because a computer has figured out a way to win, doesn't mean that a typical opponent will have learnt the right continuation in every variation or that they will remember it over the board.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Chess engine Rybka 'disqualified' from competition

daveewart daveewart writes  |  more than 3 years ago

daveewart (66895) writes "Chess engine Rybka has been disqualified from the Computer Chess World Championship after well-founded accusations that it plagiarised other chess engines, including GPL-ed Fruit and open-source Crafty."
Link to Original Source
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UK schools warned not to use Office 2007

daveewart daveewart writes  |  more than 7 years ago

daveewart (66895) writes "BBC News reports that BECTA (British Educational Communications and Technology Agency) has published advice warning UK schools not to consider Microsoft's software subscription models, nor to buy/license Office 2007 "until it has proved to be compatible" (meaning that it supports ODF). BECTA has reported Microsoft to the Office of Fair Trading for its failure to provide fair licensing models to UK schools and its use of anti-competitive behaviour."
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daveewart daveewart writes  |  more than 7 years ago

daveewart (66895) writes "According to the Pegasus Mail web site, David Harris has ceased development and distribution of Pegasus Mail, citing funding difficulties. He says "Effective January 2007, development and distribution of Pegasus Mail and Mercury has ceased. We regret this decision, but ongoing difficulties with funding have forced it upon us." Pegasus Mail used to be one of the primary free email clients for Windows and, although it has clearly had its day, will be missed. It has had a long history: the first version of Pegasus Mail was released for DOS in 1990."
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daveewart daveewart writes  |  more than 8 years ago

daveewart (66895) writes "BBC News reports that the UK Building Society Nationwide has admitted that an laptop containing account records of more than 11 million customers has been stolen from an employee's home. This story raises a number of worrying questions: The theft happened three months ago, why has the news only just been made public? Why was it possible (indeed, why was it necessary at all) to put data relating to their entire customer base on to an employee's laptop stored at an employee's home? Why was the information on the laptop not encrypted?"

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