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Man Arrested For Exploiting Error In Slot Machines

dmayle Re:I think this probably ought to be illegal (611 comments)

Slot machines are a game of chance. Examine the disassembled code and you can see that the supposedly random outcomes are, in fact, random.

I used to work in the industry. Sure, the odds are programmed into the machine, but if you pull a jackpot, there is nothing in the code that prevents your very next pull from being a jackpot. Now, the odds of it are very slim, but very possible.

If you could slow down time, and examine perfectly the inner state of the machine, it would be possible to pull a jackpot every time, without 'cheating', it's just the odds of this occurring in real life have been programmed in.

As an aside, most slots are programmed to pay out between 80% and 98% of the money put into them. (I think I have those figures correct, but it's been years since I've worked in the industry.) This is different depending on locale (e.g. France has laws that specify these ranges, where Nevada has only a minimum, not a maximum). This means that in certain casinos, there are winner slot machines programmed to pay out 101% of the money played over time, so if you sit at them all day, you can't lose. However, when you look at the numbers, playing 100,000 dollars over a day will only net you 1000 dollars.

about 4 years ago

Time Warner Defends Comcast In Level 3 Dispute

dmayle Re:Peering Agreement (315 comments)

I'm glad you've got the points, because this is the first intelligent response I've yet seen on the subject.

To add my two cents, Comcast's argument is with regards to Level 3 as a CDN, and how other CDNs are paying access fees.

Let's think about that for a moment... At some point an ISP like Comcast had the brilliant (if morally repugnant) idea of charging CDNs access to their customers. Since a CDN makes money off of reaching customers, their service is only valuable if they can reach the customers, which puts them in a bind. They have to pay, and the CDNs customers pay because they wish to provide their clients a better experience.

Let's look at that last one again to see how truly evil Comcast is in this scenario. Comcast has customers who pay them for net access. Instead of opening their arms to CDNs, which are a FREE way to get better service for their customers, they've decided to make CDNs pay to make service better for Comcast's customers.

This means that Comcast is introducing barriers to improving the service of their own services. Why? Because they can. I'm a locked-in Comcast customer, and I really wish I had any options.

more than 4 years ago

Norwegian Day Traders Convicted For Manipulating Computer Trading System

dmayle Re:Intriguing (299 comments)

Reading the Dr. Evil trade brings up an interesting point. When you are a majority force in the market (e.g. you own 80% of Microsoft), your trades are strictly regulated. You could perform vast amounts of traffic in an attempt to manipulate the market. Imagine you dump 20% of you 80% in order to depress the price, and then once you changed the behavior of the owners of the outstanding 20%, you start buying back stock at the depressed price. You've just taken advantage of your dominant position to manipulate the market.

In this case, however, they learned how to manipulate the majority force in the market in order to manipulate the market. They didn't have the dominant position, but they used the majority force to manipulate the market just the same. In either case, someone is intentionally manipulating the market through trades in order to take money from the rest of the market. I'm not so sure it's cut and dry...

more than 4 years ago

In France, Hadopi Reporting Begins, With (Only) 10,000 IP Addresses Per Day

dmayle Re:Carte blanche (376 comments)

Obviously spoken by someone who doesn't really know that much about France.

I lived for six years in France, and there is one main difference in politics between the French and Americans. When we talk about the government, we use the pronoun 'they': they can't do this, if they raise taxes, etc. For the the French, the government is 'we'. (Cue bad French jokes). I don't know why we do it [some stupid policy]. We need to do something about retirement ages.

It seems small, and so you might discount it, but this little difference is key to understanding the French. They are disgusted when voter turnout was an amazingly low (for them) 88% in the last election. We as Americans are happy if we get 50%. They've rewritten their constitution five times because they felt the situation had changed and it needed to be updated.

And as to the riots just being a national sport, that's not true. In 2006, the conservative right wing government tried to introduce a special employment contract that discriminated against the young. (Values of the French republic: Liberty. Equality. Brotherhood.) The youth held strikes, and rioted. They barricaded schools, held rallys, etc. A month later the discriminatory contract was removed from law.

As a nation, we haven't had that much national will since the civil rights movement. (Unless you count the national racism that whipped us into a fervor to support George Bush and his plans in Afghanistan^H^H^H Iraq.)

more than 4 years ago

Arrr ye a pirate, matey?

dmayle Re:Language Opportunities (572 comments)

I am an American living in France (I speak French fluently) and having lived in the US, I can assure you that the problem is with Region 1 DVDs (USA). When you buy a Region 2 DVD intended for France, you get subtitles in French...

more than 4 years ago

The Web Way To Learn a Language

dmayle Re:Odd Reference to Berners-Lee (165 comments)

Well, as it turns out, it actually does... Take a look at the Ars Technica article on SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and you'll see that SIP was modelled after HTTP. For those who don't know, SIP is the protocol most often used in making open video and voice calls over the internet (open as in non-proprietary. e.g. Skype doesn't use SIP, but interestingly enough, iChat does)

Of course, I think it's pretty obvious that it was HTTP and HTML (aka the world wide web) that brought about the huge explosion in communication and networking technology that makes voice and video over the internet possible. But I think you knew that and were just being pedantic...

more than 4 years ago

The Web Way To Learn a Language

dmayle Old meets new... (165 comments)

7 Years ago, I moved to France to work, not speaking a word of French, and I'm now a fluent speaker. The internet was instrumental in my learning French, but maybe not in the way you might expect...

First, I used the net to search for and buy a program called Linkwords (I don't think it exists anymore, it was a crappy VB program). The software sucked, but the principle worked. It was a sort of flash card system that had you using vivid imagery as a mental aid. My vocab hit around 2000 words in the first couple of weeks. It was useless for learning to speak French, but the perfect lifesaver for reading signs, product packaging, etc.

Then, I used P2P programs to find MP3s of Pimsleur French. For those not in the know, Pimsleur was a Harvard professor in the 60s who developed a system for learning languagues that mimics the way children learn. It's all about stimulating the memory at programmed intervals and it is one of the best ways to learn to SPEAK a language. (While there is writing materiel supplements, they're relatively minimal). These are quite expensive (you can spend up to $1000 for the complete set) because they work. You need to have about 1 hour a day to devote to it, and it must be somewhere you quiet that you can listen, and speak. (You need to hear yourself speaking for it to work).

Next came my traditional phase, where I spent a lot of time reading BDs (the French equivalent of Manga. BD is Bande Dessinee (accents ommitted) which means comic strip. There's a very large adult BD culture in France). From there I progressed to Harry Potter (which is a surprisingly difficult read in French, lots of flowery speech, wordplay, etc.).

After this, my French was halting, but I constantly tried, and was always asking the meaning of words from my colleagues.

Then I started watching more French TV. At the time, the number of shows that were subtitled was depressingly dismal as compare to the US (though it has gotten a bit better). Again, computers and the net to the rescue, because I was able to download DVDs (the whole multi-language, multi-subtitle feature is a godsend for language learning). What you might not realize is that a lot of understanding a foreign language is based on context. If you know it, it's much easier to guess what is being said. In a conversation, if you miss something, you can ask the other person to repeat. Watching TV or movies requires you to pay closer attention. You can rewind, but you can never get the speaker to express the same thing using other words, so you really have to understand whats being said.

Finally, thanks to the internet, I was able to find about speed dating events in my area where I met my wife. My wife speaks English (she's an English teacher) but her family doesn't, so that got me into social situations that required me to practice speaking.

Now, I had the benefit of immersion, but I think it's important to realize that the internet is not a magic bullet for learning a foreign language, no matter what companies that sell internet based language services say. That being said, however, if the internet makes learning materiels more readily available, as well as practice opportunities, I'm all for it..

more than 4 years ago

Intel Launches Wi-Di

dmayle Re:Wi-Di (172 comments)

What a great joke! You're so Wi-Di...

about 5 years ago

In 2009, I've donated (or will donate) to charity ...

dmayle Left out factors... (596 comments)

I kind of wish the poll had a few more options. I put zilch, but that doesn't have to be the whole story.

I work for a nonprofit, and I took a 40k a year pay cut to do so, so I could just say that, but in addition, I also give my time. There should at least have been one pole option for "My time, which is worth more to me than money"

more than 5 years ago

The best pizza I have ever had, I found ...

dmayle Re:"Where do you live?" (920 comments)

I've seen supposedly good pizza places in France serve what was basically an inch-thick slice of bread with a thin layer of tomato sauce...

I live in France, and what you describe is not pizza, but Bruschetta. While it's true that pizza quality/form varies a bit in France (each region usually adapts it to local cuisine), come down to Nice and get some of the best

more than 5 years ago

The best pizza I have ever had, I found ...

dmayle Nice, France (920 comments)

I'm lucky enough to live in Nice, France, which has gone back and forth between Italy and France since it first got it's name (from the Greek for victory when the Greeks living in France captured it from Italy).

As such, you get the mix of French culinary devotion with the Italian cooking style that makes for some of the best pizza in the world. (And yes, I've been to Chicago, I used to live in New York, and I've traveled quite a bit, so I've had many different kinds)

more than 5 years ago

Google Launches Public DNS Resolver

dmayle Not everyday (540 comments)

Forget everyday use, but on public wifi, I'm all about this!

more than 5 years ago

At My Computer Desk, I Use...

dmayle 31.5" Setup... (628 comments)

On my desk, I run a Macbook Unibody connected to a Matrox TripleHead2Go with 24" 16:9 screens rotated 90 degrees.

In the end, I end up with an effective 31.5" screen, and two document sized screens.

I keep source code on the left, and documentation/web on the right.

more than 5 years ago

Sci-Fi Shows and Movies Should Stop...

dmayle Re:It isn't just scifi (708 comments)

I consider myself lucky to live in France and be married to a French woman with exceedingly good taste in movies.

It turns out that you take the best movies made in each country and watch them, you'll have a surprisingly large selection of great films that haven't been corrupted by the above process.

We've seen great films like Good Bye Lenin! (German) Lovers of the Polar Circle (Spanish), Italian for Beginners (Danish), Taken (French) to mention a couple of (mostly older) ones that were really good.

You'll have to get used to films with lower production quality then American films, which means the delivery is sometimes a bit more rocky, but a crappy movie with fantastic production has nothing on a great movie that's a little bit rocky in its delivery...

more than 5 years ago

LimeWire's Mark Gorton Brings Open-Source To Urban Planning

dmayle I work for TOPP (91 comments)

Wow, pretty cool to be on Slashdot (I work for The Open Planning Project).

With regards to open source, we try to tackle the problem from all sides. We try to create free and open standards for data, we lobby for said standards in government usage of data, and we try to supply the best of breed open source software that uses that data.

For the most part, the various governments aren't competing with each other for software, so open source makes tons of sense. In addition, the software support business model works very well for governments, because they want to keep this going, and most proprietary shops get bored with supporting a single large customer.

With regards to urban planning, our original plan was just to open up the urban planning data and see where that got us, but we've actually been spending a lot of time looking at other cities that have already have better urban planning. Amsterdam, Paris, Bogota. Jan Gehl (one of the great moving forces behind better urban planning) basically said that since you can never satisfy all desire for cars (which make up a minority of the population anyway) it's better to scale back just a tiny bit the attention spent on cars and instead concentrate on the people. Since cars take up so much space, scaling back on cars just a small amount opens up huge possibilities for people.

And also, working for TOPP is great! We do cool things, work on open source, support great causes, and the parties are kick-ass too!

about 6 years ago

Solution Against Cold Boot Attack In the Making

dmayle Re:Freeze the CPU (260 comments)

Most cache is implemented as a floating point operation? What are you talking about? Most caches are implemented as six transistors forming an SRAM cell. Using less means you don't have constant access and you have to deal with refreshing... SRAM is rather resitant to loss of power...

about 6 years ago

Your Favorite Tech / Eng. / CS Books?

dmayle "Algorithms in %s" % lang (517 comments)

I'm surprised that no has yet mentioned Robert Sedgewick's "Algorithms in %s" % lang series (where lang in ['c', 'c++', 'java']). It's truly the best algorithms/data structures book I've come across. (Though personally, I wish he had a Python version)

more than 6 years ago

How To Help Our Public Schools With Technology?

dmayle Gothamschools (378 comments)

Whatever you end up doing, could I ask you to send a note about it to the people behind GothamSchools.org. It's a slightly New York-centric education blog, but they work with people around the country on improving education, and I'm sure they'd love to know about anything you end up doing.

<disclaimer>The non-profit that employs me is a parent of that organization as well.</disclaimer>

more than 6 years ago



How often should we have a new poll?

dmayle dmayle writes  |  more than 7 years ago

dmayle (200765) writes "
  • Every Day
  • Every 2 Days
  • Every 3 Days
  • Every 4 Days
  • Every Week
  • Whenever CowboyNeal feels like it

dmayle dmayle writes  |  more than 7 years ago

dmayle writes "I've been recently undergoing a deluge of spam on my personal mail server (serves me and my family), and I believe this to be the cause of some lost mails (Overloaded SpamAssassin). I've decided that it's time to migrate to a new server to take into account best practices, and I was wondering what the users of slashdot are using for mail? I'm currently running an aging Qmail setup with Dovecot for IMAPS, Roundcube for webmail, and Clamd and SpamAssassin for content filtering. I've published SPF records, but it doesn't seem to be any help, and I get hundreds of false bounce messages per day. Does it make any sense to implement DKIM/DomainKeys? So far, for my new setup, I've been wavering between Postfix and Exim as the MTA, keeping Dovecot and Roundcube, but switching to DSPAM for my spam filtering. What are you folks running on your mail servers, and how do you handle the spam deluge? I've heard about greylisting, but since I don't control my SMTP backup servers, I'm worried about that not working. What do you folks think?

P.S. Performance is an issue, as this will be running on a virtual server, so personally I don't plan to run Scalix or Zimbra. I've done my homework, and a lot of research, I'd just like to know what everyone here is using, or if I've missed some options, thanks."

dmayle dmayle writes  |  more than 7 years ago

dmayle writes "We all know how to look for a new job. Polish up your resume, look at the job boards, beg your old college roommate, etc., it's not easy, but it eventually works. What do you do, however, when you want a specific job? How do you go about making the contacts necessary and getting through the recruiting process for your dream job? What if your dream job is in another town, or another state?"

dmayle dmayle writes  |  more than 8 years ago

dmayle (200765) writes "French telecom Free.fr (known for being a driving force for competition in the French telecom sector) has just communicated in a press release the creation of the "Free Foundation" to promote free access to the information society. Hand in hand with the creation of a nationwide FTTH network, anyone living in a lit home will have no-charge access to a phone line, 32 or 64kbps internet access (for email and web use only), and all currently available free TV channels. The TV receiver includes both an antenna for over-the-air digital broadcast, as well as the ability to receive channels over the fiber network.

Of course anyone desiring higher speeds (and unfiltered access to the net), can pay €29.99 to have access to 50Mbps upload and download from the EFM fibre network."



dmayle dmayle writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Do you know someone personally who works in HR for Google, Microsoft, Apple, or Adobe? Take a look at my résumé. Would you feel comfortable introducing me? If so, after I've seen them, I'll donate $100 to your favorite* open source project. If I accept a job with the company, I'll donate another $100 to the same project.

Why am I doing this? I'm moving back to the US this summer, and I'm targeting the San Francisco area for my relocation. I'm confident in my abilities, but I know that often it's just a question of breaking through the anonymity barrier. If you can get me in the door, I can do the rest.

Why open source? I believe in it, I put my money where my mouth is, and besides, I'm not trying to buy a position at one of these companies, I'd just like a little help getting in the door.

Is there a great company to work for that I haven't considered? Get me in touch, and if I accept a job with them, I'll donate $200 towards your favorite open source project.

*Note: I'm serious, and won't donate to a project created just to funnel cash directly to you

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