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Marriot Back-Pedals On Wireless Blocking

dunkindave Re:It's Mariott, not Mariot (179 comments)

That was an editing error, not a spelling error, since I changed the sentence structure and failed to correct the syntax. Still my error though, and especially tough for me since I try hard to get my contractions and homonyms correct. Thank you Russ. (Bows head in shame)

about two weeks ago
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Marriot Back-Pedals On Wireless Blocking

dunkindave Re:Incomplete summary (179 comments)

We're not talking about them blocking wireless hotspots in guest's rooms, that's just overlap. The issue is that they were blocking wireless hotspots in convention space they were renting out, so the individual conventioneers and exhibitors HAD to buy the Marriot wi-fi package at exorbitant prices.

How could they be sure it wasn't an exhibit attendee. Attendees don't sign agreements before entering that promise not to use personal WiFi, so what if the hotel stomped on them? What about someone physically outside the convention space, but close enough that due to signal reflections the hotel equipment decided was inside the hall? Is stomping on them OK since they seemed to be in the hall? I am sure there are more examples where innocent people could get targetted by such a device.

about two weeks ago
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Marriot Back-Pedals On Wireless Blocking

dunkindave Re:It's Mariott, not Mariot (179 comments)

It's Mariott, not Mariot

I think the Slashdot editors actually take pride in screwing up.

Just like you did. It Marriott, not Mariott. And the summary spelled it Marriot, not Mariot as you wrote.

In partial fairness to the Slashdot editor, the linked BBC article has the title "Marriot hotels do U-turn over wi-fi hotspot blocks", and the first use of the hotel's name in the article uses the same misspelling. Later uses in the article get it right though. Still confused as to how a BBC article got this so wrong, especially since it has both the right and wrong spelling in the same article. Your misspelling on the other hand has no excuse.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

dunkindave Re:No such thing in real gambling (340 comments)

True, but the flesh-and-blood player faces the same probability decisions as the robot so there is no advantage after a large number of hands. The real difference here is the robot could potentially read the live players body language to gain additional information that it incorporates into its decisions, but the reverse isn't true.

about three weeks ago
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Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

dunkindave Re:Perfect? Really? (340 comments)

Wouldn't another robot which knows of all possible decisions of this particular robot be better that this "Perfect Robotic Player"?

No, the best that should happen is they both win the same amount after a large number of hands (note the phrase "given enough hands" so the law of large numbers is involved). Since the decisions are based on probability given the known cards (or so I assume since I haven't read the article), any decisions by the second robot trying to beat the first that went against the probability tree would be sub-optimal and cause it to slowly lose.

about three weeks ago
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FBI: North Korean Hackers "Got Sloppy", Leaked IP Addresses

dunkindave Re: Countless Comments on Prior Articles & Now (219 comments)

Sure, they get sloppy, but this just defies logic on every level.

What defies logic? Do you not believe North Korea has the ability or motivation to hack Sony as a result of this movie's production and imminent release (or for any other reason that regime may have given how much logic they appear to employ in their decisions)? Unless you believe the North Koreans were incapable of performing the hack, then there is no problem with logic, only that the evidence that you have personally seen doesn't meet what you demand in order to satisfy you of their likely guilt.

The real problem with your statement is this part:

It will take iron clad evidence with third party collaboration to convince most people this could possibly have been North Korea.

First, note your telling use of the word "possibly", not even the word "probably".

Unless you had a bunch of surveillance cameras watching every move as a hack was done, and probably not even then, "iron clad evidence" doesn't exist in this virtual world of the Internet. No matter what evidence is collected, someone will say it could have been faked, misinterpreted, or lied about, and technically they are right. This means the standards you say most people will demand in order to believe North Korea was the driving force behind this are not obtainable, even if North Korea is guilty. Of course the same holds true for evidence in any crime, which is why in the US the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, not as I have heard many say, beyond a shadow of a doubt. The first is obtainable, the second isn't, after all, for any given crime, prove that advanced space aliens didn't do it and create all the evidence to implicate the accused, including planting false memories? At some point the evidence is convincing and you believe the implicated party is guilty, at least for those who don't have a need to believe otherwise. If all you see is conspiracy theories, then that is the lens you will use to interpret everything, and bend the interpretation to what you desire the reality to be.

about three weeks ago
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FBI: North Korean Hackers "Got Sloppy", Leaked IP Addresses

dunkindave Re:Countless Comments on Prior Articles & Now (219 comments)

Hackers don't "get sloppy" technologically. They have scripts to prevent that. They get sloppy in the real world.

Clearly you have never dealt with actual hackers. Every one I have ever seen has gotten sloppy at some stage, and that was with hackers up to Advance Persistent Threat level. Or did you mean any sloppiness was by the hacker and not by the script, including the hacker's sloppiness writing the script, so the ever-present sloppiness is in the real world? If that is what you meant then I agree. The scripts/programs always do exactly what they were programmed to do, even if that is not what the programmer intended.

about three weeks ago
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Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God

dunkindave Re:The idea or concept of god... (755 comments)

But even words like house, car, gun, etc. can be a problem, since for each of these there are example of objects you can physically point at that some people say ARE one of those, and others will say they AREN'T. Whether for physical objects or for abstract concepts, there are grey areas/edge cases that people will disagree about. Saying there is no universally accepted definition for something doesn't mean it is undefined or doesn't exist.

about a month ago
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The NSA Uses the Same Chat Protocol As Hackers

dunkindave Slow News Day? (81 comments)

NSA uses same protocols on their network as everyone else (including hackers). So is this stunning revelation now what passes here as news? Is this just a slow news day or has Slashdot taken another step down?

about a month ago
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Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

dunkindave Re:Kind of disappointed in him. (681 comments)

Tyson's job is to explain things to the masses.

It's his job.

No, it's not.

According to Websters, the word job has a definition of "the work that a person does regularly in order to earn money", and since he is being paid to do exactly what he has done, then I think it is his job. The fact that you didn't hire him to do it doesn't change that he has been hired by someone to do it, just like you didn't hire all the pastors at the local churches, but being pastors is still their jobs. If you disagree with what he is saying then don't watch his shows or follow his tweets, just like if you disagree with the philosophy of the local church's pastor don't go to their service.

about a month ago
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Verizon "End-to-End" Encrypted Calling Includes Law Enforcement Backdoor

dunkindave Re:This should be free (170 comments)

You do not understand what "end-to-end encryption" means. The end isn't where ever you feel an "end" is. It's the other end that you are communicating with. That's why it's called "end-to-end" and not "end-to-middle" or "end-to-system" or any other variations.

How did this get modded up? The "ends" are the handsets. As I said "the call is encrypted at one handset and the encrypted data travels to the other handset before being decrypted for the purpose of the call". One handset encrypts it and the other decrypts it. The encrypted data is sent from one handset to the other with the transport system as designed not decrypting the data anywhere in the middle. That is the definition of end-to-end encryption. The only way to push the endpoints further out, assuming the handset is treated as a single unit, would be for your ears or brain to do the encrypting/decrypting. If the system does the encrypting in an insecure manner, due to bugs or due to backdoor, that doesn't change where the transport system encryption and decryption occur and therefore doesn't change that the encryption is "end-to-end encryption". What part of that do YOU not understand?

about a month and a half ago
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Verizon "End-to-End" Encrypted Calling Includes Law Enforcement Backdoor

dunkindave Re:This should be free (170 comments)

Aren't our calls supposed to be encrypted anyway? I mean, so some jack ass with a radio can't listen to them?

Cellular communications are encrypted between the handset and the tower to prevent the radio buff from listening in. How effective that encryption is is up for debate. This means any end-to-end encryption would actually be double encrypting the data as it passed between handsets and towers, once for the cellular signal, and once for the end-to-end system.

Apparently, in Verizon-land, "end-to-end encryption" means something entirely different than it does in the real world.

Also I believe the summary is misleading. This probably is an end-to-end encryption system, meaning the call is encrypted at one handset and the encrypted data travels to the other handset before being decrypted for the purpose of the call. If there is a backdoor that compromises the encryption key, that doesn't change that the system is end-to-end encrypted, just that a snooper would be able to decrypt the traffic.

about a month and a half ago
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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

dunkindave Re:I'm shocked. (191 comments)

Doesn't the USA have a concept of jury nullification, where the jury does much more than just determine facts, and actually takes a position on what's right and wrong?

Yes, but that is for criminal trials, not civil trials. Basically, for a criminal trial if the jury returns a verdict of innocent then the defendant walks, no matter how the jury reached that verdict, even if it blatantly goes against the evidence. Jury nullification isn't explicitly codified in law, rather it is a concept that people have applied that is based on how the legal process works, i.e. a jury that returns innocent ends the prosecution. It has been used for juries to deliver justice when people have been unfairly, but legally, charged with crimes.

A civil trial doesn't really have the same protection since a judge is allowed to toss a jury's verdict if he feels it goes egregiously against the facts of the case, but if he does he must defend his decision and he doesn't get to replace the verdict with his own, but rather he in essence declares a mistrial and it has to be retried. Again, this is for the trial portion where the jury's purpose is as a determiner of facts. On the other hand, the jury award during the penalty phase can be reduced by the judge. And like always, any such action by a judge better be defensible otherwise he opens it up to being overturned on appeal.

Just like in criminal trials, in civil trials juries are given wide discretion in order to allow justice to be served. For example, it is not uncommon for the plaintiff to be awarded more by the jury than the plaintiff asked for, or for the jury to decide with their hearts instead of what the evidence logically dictates. Since civil juries decide based on the preponderance of the evidence and that is subjective, the level that must be reached for the judge to be able to toss the jury's decision is pretty high, so overturning such jury results is not very common (though make big press when the few do happen in big cases).

about a month and a half ago
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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

dunkindave Re:I'm shocked. (191 comments)

I expect that like so many other technical cases the jury's verdict will be overturned on appeal because juries in the US rarely understand the actual law.

Then it is good that the jury doesn't interpret the law - that is up to the judge and is (supposed to be) based on case law. The sole purpose of the jury during the trial phase is to determine facts, like given the judge's instructions about what the law is, did the defendant violate it, or based on the evidence, did the party do or not do the claimed action. Any appeal will not be based on the jury getting the wrong answer, it will be based on the judge giving the jury the wrong instructions about what the law is, or on what evidence was allowed in or not allowed in, or some other procedural issue, but not the jury's decision.

about a month and a half ago
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Fraud Bots Cost Advertisers $6 Billion

dunkindave Re:I'll wager it doesn't actually matter (190 comments)

Except while the real advertisers will see a 25% payout reduction, the market will also see 25% of the ad expense budget from companies go to scammers. Not the best free market outcome.

about a month and a half ago
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Mathematical Trick Helps Smash Record For the Largest Quantum Factorization

dunkindave Re:Examples given look like 1 bit different (62 comments)

11 in binary is "1011"
13 in binary is "1101"

Two bits were flipped.

Likewise with 233 and 241:
233 in binary is "11101001"
241 in binary is "11110001"

Again, two bits were flipped.

That said, I am not a mathematician and haven't read the article so I don't understand how these two pairs are related.

about 2 months ago
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FBI: Wiper Malware Has Korean Language Packs, Hard Coded Targets

dunkindave Re:As a malware analyst... (81 comments)

I like to apply Occam's Razor. Having dealt with a variety of hackers ranging from newbies up to APT, I have found almost all of them make stupid mistakes and do things like this that leak info. I have yet to see a convincing false-flag since attackers would rather hide their origin than fake it, meaning they try to remove all such info instead of putting in fake info. Given my experience I have no trouble whatsoever believing the indicators of the Korean language pack presence on the origination computers is a strong lead for where it came from. The current beef that NK has against Sony due to the upcoming film, along with they specific threats, just adds to it as corresponding motive, like the cherry on top of the sundae.

about 2 months ago
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Physicist Kip Thorne On the Physics of "Interstellar"

dunkindave Re:Inconsistent fuel? (289 comments)

*Warning: (mild) spoilers follow*

They leave Earth with a Saturn V like rocket and they take 2 years to go to Saturn. ... On the other side of the wormhole they do all sort of maneuvers landing on (easy) and leaving planets (difficult) with only a small craft (the Ranger).

I noticed that. They needed a multi-stage rocket to leave Earth, but the crafts alone could land on then leave the water planet (130% Earth gravity) and the ice planet (80% Earth gravity), and the main vessel could pull away from orbiting a black hole.

A couple other things also bothered me.

1) If the water planet was that close to the black hole I am pretty sure it would be ripped apart by tidal forces. Also, if it is so close to the hole, where is the star that it is getting light from? And as someone else mentioned, shouldn't the radio transmissions have been Doppler frequency shifted and dramatically slowed? And since they are reading the radio transmissions from the probe, wouldn't they have known that it had only seen a few minutes of ground time since that is all it would have (Doppler shifted) reported? The only other explanation is they chose to go to a planet that they had lost all contact from which is contrary to what the plot is.

2) And for going into the black hole, if we buy his statement about how not to get torn apart, I didn't get how they were planning on sending info out from the black hole. Once you are in, you are in, and they said they needed data from inside it, not from just outside it.

3) And how did he get out of the black hole at the end? No explanation. Just boom, there he is, along with his robot.

4) Why did the wormhole suddenly become unable to communicate back? They already had info from the first people so it was working then, and they spoke about being able to see things in the wormhole as they approached, so why the change?

5) His statement that the wormhole and the inside-the-black-hole constructs were made by far future humans is a theory, but isn't based on any evidence what so ever. Maybe it was, or maybe it is some other species. I guess it keeps them out of hot water with those who insist man is alone in the universe. But if it was future humans, why all the roundabout maneuvers? If they wanted to send a message, and they can manipulate gravity like is stated, then just send it. Big document inscribed in the desert sands. No need for subtleties. Yeah, yeah, I know, then no movie plot. ;)

I know you need to suspend some beliefs when watching movies, especially science fiction, but there has to be a limit to the amount you need to suspend. OK, feel better now.

about 2 months ago
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Dealer-Installed GPS Tracker Leads To Kidnapper's Arrest in Maryland

dunkindave Re:Summary is hogwash (271 comments)

It is well established, almost back to the establishment of contract law, that failure to thoroughly read a contract is no defense.

Failure to thoroughly read a contract, in and of itself, is no defense.

As long as the information was contained somewhere in the contract in a form readable by a human being then the party that produced the contract is in the right.

Really? So if I put a line buried in the middle of a contract that says by signing you are conveying to me as consideration any and all rights to all real and personal property you own, then that clause is enforceable? Unreasonable conditions in a contract are not enforceable, and having a long, wordy, and legaleze rich contract HAS been held by the courts to potentially be a form of manipulation by sellers to deceive buyers. If a reasonable person would be shocked by something in a contract, then as a general rule it would probably not be enforceable unless the seller (the creator of the contract I might point out), explicitly singles it out to make clear the buyer knew about it and was OK with it. Hence, my original post's buried in a contract versus contained in its own form.

I have infuriated many a company rep--sales, customer service, legal--by sitting down and actually reading the documents put in front of me. I worked at a realty agent for a while as a tech. I would say that fewer than 1 in 10 people buying a house read past the front page of their contract.

I also normally, though not always, read contracts that many people just sign. I spent about 15 minutes reading the sales contract for a car I recently bought, which the salesman was fine with. When I bought my last house, I also read through all the documents before signing, which pissed them off, mostly because they scheduled the signing for 4:30PM on a Friday and they couldn't leave until I finished, which took till almost 8PM.

It is wise to read anything you are signing, but failure to read it doesn't mean you are SOL if something bad was slipped in. IANAL.

about 2 months ago
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Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart

dunkindave Re:wont last (287 comments)

That used to be a trick that stores used for mattresses, maybe they still do. The major companies like Serta, Sealy, and Simmons, would make a different model name for various major stores. Each store offered to beat any other store selling the same , IDENTICAL, item. Since they each sold their own "unique" mattress model they never had to actually match anyone. The fact that Sears' Foo and Wards' Bar were the same mattress, just with a different label and SKU, was of no help to the consumer.

I have seen things like that at Walmart too, like special version of a DVD that contains an extra trailer, or a drill that doesn't come with the carrying case like it does from Home Depot, all differences that cause it to have a different SKU.

about 2 months ago

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