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FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

david_thornley Re:Ethics? (498 comments)

It's a bit difficult to refute a threat of murder or rape, and complaining about them seems to me entirely justified. The FBI will probably figure out where some of them came from, and some people are likely to be in serious trouble.

5 hours ago
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FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

david_thornley Re:cowardice (498 comments)

You mention people threatening to track you down and kill you. Some of the death and rape threats had already done the tracking down and were threatening murder or rape. There's a difference there.

5 hours ago
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FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

david_thornley Re:Most Unbiased Slashdot Gamergate Article (498 comments)

Journalistic lapses? Are you trying to tell us that a game review magazine published an honest review by accident?

5 hours ago
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FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

david_thornley Re:Who? (498 comments)

Think of it as the web trolls finding a bug in the system and exploiting it.

5 hours ago
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Investigation: Apple Failing To Protect Chinese Factory Workers

david_thornley Re:Meal breaks are generally state law ... (187 comments)

Hi! I've never been made to work through breaks. I have at times not taken them, but that was voluntary. Being personally driven to figure out why the bug reporting system doesn't work is not the same as being told to work straight through.

I have worked uncompensated and unpaid overtime. In most of my jobs, I was paid for 40 hours a week, regardless of what hours I worked. (In another job, I found I minded overtime a lot less when my meter was still running.) As a general rule, I was not ordered to work overtime, but did it voluntarily. Now, from the employer's point of view it's very convenient to have an employee who takes company goals and efforts personally, but I accept responsibility for my voluntary actions.

I have never worked enough unpaid overtime in a year to make my annual salary unduly low. (This is not true of weekly salary.)

All my jobs that have paid me $1K or greater, over the course of my lifetime, have been technical and related in some way to computers.

6 hours ago
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Critical Git Security Vulnerability Announced

david_thornley Re:I blame Microsoft (140 comments)

As I understand it, in English a case-sensitive filesystem would have "fish" and "FISH" be the same, but that would be an error in a Turkish one. What's lower-case of "STRASSE"? Should the filename with the "ss" be the same as the one with the letter that looks like a beta? I used to be a fan of case-insensitivity, but I've come down on the side of preferring the system that actually works everywhere.

6 hours ago
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Critical Git Security Vulnerability Announced

david_thornley Re:I blame Microsoft (140 comments)

How about because English isn't completely case-insensitive. Pronounce this: POLISH. You can't know you're doing it properly. Now, pronounce Polish and polish. No problem, right? Similarly, Danish is an adjective referring to a nationality, while danish is noun denoting a pastry. "bismarck" (lower-case) cannot be a nineteenth-century German politician, a WWII battleship, or a city in North Dakota. Christians worship God while Romans worshipped gods.

6 hours ago
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Grinch Vulnerability Could Put a Hole In Your Linux Stocking

david_thornley Re:Grinch is not a flaw - has no CVE!!! (116 comments)

If I can modify, recompile, and install bash on a system, I pretty much own it, and wondering about which method(s) I'm going to use to exert control is pointless. If I'm not supposed to be able to do that, there's already been a major security breach.

7 hours ago
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Cause and Effect: How a Revolutionary New Statistical Test Can Tease Them Apart

david_thornley Re:No problem. (130 comments)

One thing we're very interested in is the consequences of certain actions. Suppose we were to decriminalize many drugs, so nobody would ever be sent to prison for them: what effects would that have? I personally am very interested in the influence of diet on heart disease, and while a lot of people are willing to tell me what they know they contradict each other.

7 hours ago
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Will Ripple Eclipse Bitcoin?

david_thornley Re:Biggest Probem? (142 comments)

The dollar does have power. This year, I'm legally forced to come up with tens of thousands of dollars and transfer them to various entities. I have to express other transactions into dollars, for legal purposes. This means I have to deal in dollars on a fairly large scale in any case, and it's just simpler if I stick to dollars in general.

When Unix came out, anybody who wanted to work with the OS itself had to learn C. This meant that C became the common language among Unix users, since all of the serious ones knew C and wrote other parts of the system in C, and generally used it for applications. Currently, if I write code that interfaces with part of the operating system, I'm using C calls. If I want to look at part of the system, it's almost certainly in C. This propelled C to a very important status among languages.

7 hours ago
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Will Ripple Eclipse Bitcoin?

david_thornley Re:Why virtual currencies are ineffective (142 comments)

Any means of transferring wealth has to be good at holding wealth. People don't get money and then immediately spend it all, they wait until they have something to spend it on. Suppose you were to pay me $2K in BTC with one BTC being $500, and next month a BTC is $400. If I've kept the BTC, I've lost money. If I've sold them, somebody else has lost money, and they are going to charge me to take that risk for me. Only a reasonably stable currency is useful for transferring value. If it's likely to become a lot more valuable, you're not going to want to pay me in BTC. If it's likely to become a lot less valuable, I'm not going to want to accept BTC in payment. We can of course pay somebody else to take the risks, but that's money neither of us wind up with.

As far as buying some coins and transferring them to somebody who sells them in Europe, that requires exchanges in the US and France (or at least accessible from the US and France). To operate legally, these exchanges will have to comply with appropriate national laws on money transfers. To stay operating, they're going to have to sell BTC a little high and buy them a little low, meaning that they are going to effectively charge fees.

The sale itself will involve some sort of fee. BTC requires people to spend a lot of computrons to verify the blockchain in order to keep track of which BTC belong to who (or, more accurately, what transfer of BTC went from this wallet to that one). Currently, these people are known as "miners", since they get rewarded with newly produced BTC, although the reward rate vs. the cost of equipment and power is such that only the most efficient methods can make money. Since the amount of BTC for miners is going down over time, there will be a point where people will charge fees to people who want their transactions recorded, and there's two transactions with the BTC transfer instead of one with a bank transfer.

Let's get back to the exchanges. How do you buy the BTC? Any sort of electronic transaction will be recorded and, if the authorities think it important, traced. Any sort of credit card transaction will cost somebody a few percent, and you're going to be paying it. If there's not an exchange in town so you can drive over there and hand over or receive cash (and such branch exchanges will be expensive), you're doing the transaction electronically. If you leave BTC or dollars or Euros in an account, what you've got is akin to a bank, just like MtGox. It would be possible to run an exchange as a bank, if you wanted it to be able to function without fees and if enough people trusted it, but this doesn't look any better than ordinary bank-to-bank transfer.

In short, BTC transfer has more complications than bank-to-bank transfers, so if BTC gets popular for transferring money around the banks will be able to cut what they cost to lower than the BTC fees. BTC has more anonymity in a sense, but it's security by obscurity at best, and a crime of its own at worst.

8 hours ago
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Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

david_thornley Re:Land of the free (564 comments)

Really, if somebody has to walk to and from work every night in a dark city full of meth heads and rapists, a weapon isn't going to do much good. It may stop an attack or two, but the meth heads are unlikely to be deterred and may not be put down with one shot, even if said mother is actually ready and willing to kill another person, and all it takes is for an attacker to get within ten feet without a gun pointed at them and it's game over. Handguns can be useful but they aren't magic.

8 hours ago
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Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

david_thornley Re:Land of the free (564 comments)

I'm curious about this war on sex. As far as I know, non-commercial sex is generally legal between consenting adults. (There are laws to the contrary here and there, but they're not enforced and probably are not legally enforceable.) There are laws against child pornography that don't necessarily make sense (in this state I can do all sorts of sexual things with an agreeable sixteen-year-old, but taking any pictures would be highly illegal), and the odious sex offender lists, and a few other things. Still, I can't see how those promote gun violence in the way the war on drugs does.

9 hours ago
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Who's To Blame For Rules That Block Tesla Sales In Most US States?

david_thornley Re:Tesla comment aside (134 comments)

I never understood what strained reading of the Constitution allowed a couple of people I know to get married in Boston and not have their marriage be recognized for anything in Arizona (one said joint ownership of a boat would count more there, and even if it wasn't the lawyer who said it I'd expect it to be correct).

9 hours ago
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US Links North Korea To Sony Hacking

david_thornley Re:I don't see the big deal here. (180 comments)

Japan has Self-Defense Forces. Not armed forces. Really. It says so on the little sticker on the missile launcher.

That's how the legalities work, anyway.

9 hours ago
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Over 9,000 PCs In Australia Infected By TorrentLocker Ransomware

david_thornley Re:Company I work for got hit... (81 comments)

I'm not sure that McAfee is that horribly bad (as opposed to being bad), but I suspect malware authors test against the latest versions of all the commercial anti-malware vendors to make sure they'll get through. The malware protection guys will catch up, so McCrappy can be useful against older malware, but no commercial product will stop the latest stuff.

9 hours ago
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Single Group Dominates Second Round of Anti Net-Neutrality Comment Submissions

david_thornley Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (191 comments)

The US is pretty tolerant by world standards, but there are still significant numbers of racists. I don't expect racism to go away as a significant force in my lifetime.

10 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?

david_thornley Re:Not a Real Question (279 comments)

Liberal arts tends to avoid STEM fields; my BA in math is unusual. It tends to look at human activities, depends heavily on subjective judgments, and is more accumulative than progressive. You might enjoy reading Homer or Sophocles, but the STEM of the times is considered way backward nowadays. Some of it lingered a long time (it took until the Nineteenth Century to really shake Euclid's hold on geometry or Aristotle's on logic), but we have a much better understanding of geometry and logic nowadays.

STEM tends to look at the world mechanically, depends heavily on objective judgments backed by mathematics, and is more progressive than accumulative. Philosophers still study Plato, but engineers do not study Archimedes. Not everybody in STEM actually uses much mathematics, but they use principles with sound mathematical founding.

STEM is more relevant to specific careers nowadays (somebody with a bachelor's in Electrical Engineering is more likely to work in that field than one with a BA in History), but this is not a hard and fast rule. I studied math, and only really looked at job prospects in my senior year of college. People are capable of studying STEM fields because they are fascinated by the topic, just like LA fields.

For these reasons, I see STEM as a similar thing to Liberal Arts as normally practiced nowadays.

10 hours ago

Submissions

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Apple makes iBricks

david_thornley david_thornley writes  |  more than 7 years ago

david_thornley (598059) writes "Adrian Kingsley-Hughes at ZDNet has some early reports on Apple turning iPhones into iBricks. Apparently it's happening not only to unlocked iPhones, but to standard locked iPhones where the customer hasn't done anything out of the ordinary. Once bricked, it may be possible to return it to factory settings, losing all photos, mail, contacts, and other things. This isn't good, folks. If you have iPhones of any description, except newly purchased, don't sync with the new update."

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