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The Epidemic of Digital Distraction

ivandavidoff Re:I hereby name this breakthrough in human evolut (159 comments)

Multitasking is controlled ADHD.

Singletasking, as in the dogged focus on one damn thing at a time, can be as big a problem as out-of-control ADHD.

more than 3 years ago
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How Face Recognition Can Uncover SSNs

ivandavidoff The first 5 digits of a SSN is not a SSN (103 comments)

"The researchers sent a follow-up survey to their student participants asking them whether the first five digits of the social security number their algorithm predicted was correct."

No word on how well they did, either.

From the Schneier Study: "Information about an individual's place and date of birth can be exploited to predict his or her Social Security number (SSN). Using only publicly available information, we observed a correlation between individuals' SSNs and their birth data and found that for younger cohorts the correlation allows statistical inference of private SSNs. The inferences are made possible by the public availability of the Social Security Administration's Death Master File and the widespread accessibility of personal information from multiple sources, such as data brokers or profiles on social networking sites."

What that means is that since SSN ranges are allocated regionally, and individual SSNs are generated sequentially, people born in the last 30 years around the same time in the same area will have similar SSNs. This isn't all that magical, and relies on consistent SSN allocation practices. It's just another form of social engineering. The SSA can completely stymie this with just a little bit of randomization.

more than 2 years ago
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House Panel Approves Bill Forcing ISPs To Log Users

ivandavidoff They'll be sorry (277 comments)

This is clearly an attack on Democrat sleazebags, who use the internet to carry out their peccadillos. Republican sleazebags are smugly confident this won't affect them, since they're still rocking it old-school in airport bathroom stalls. But the next generation of Republican sleazebags will be much more tech-savvy -- and they will rue this day.

more than 3 years ago
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Followup: Anti-Global Warming Story Itself Flawed

ivandavidoff Why are we pussy-footing around this? (536 comments)

Roy Spencer, the co-author of the "gaping hole" study, is on the board of advisors of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

These folk believe, among other things, that God will not allow the Earth to be harmed by Global Warming:

"The world is in the grip of an idea: that burning fossil fuels to provide affordable, abundant energy is causing global warming that will be so dangerous that we must stop it by reducing our use of fossil fuels, no matter the cost. Is that idea true? We believe not. We believe that idea – we'll call it "global warming alarmism" – fails the tests of theology, science, and economics."

This is not science.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do We Need Pseudonymous Social Networking?

ivandavidoff Re:The real problem (213 comments)

how does Google decide what a "real name" looks like?

They google you.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do We Need Pseudonymous Social Networking?

ivandavidoff It's not my fault (213 comments)

I tried to use my real name, but it was already taken.

more than 3 years ago
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Climate Unit Releases Virtually All Remaining Data

ivandavidoff Re:The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (507 comments)

What other respected branch of science reaches out for a "consensus" in the government or the populace to prove their theories? Science is not the blatant politicizing of science to overpower the paradigm group you disagree with.

Yes, which is why CRU's work is hopelessly tainted, as is any peer review of their work. That entire branch of science should be mothballed, then secretly resurrected, this time keeping the well-meaning laymen the hell out.

But, just because the CRU screwed up, and a bunch of politicians got involved in all this, does not mean that all the science is unsound. The CRU are not the only ones working on this.

Even so, the IPCC suffers from the same mix of hard science, sensible conclusions, wild speculation, and political calls to action.

more than 3 years ago
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Climate Unit Releases Virtually All Remaining Data

ivandavidoff Re:Pesky critics (507 comments)

My bets are on them moving the goalposts (again).

Or they'll just have someone mess with the numbers. It's amazing how results can be changed by jimmying the margin of error, or selectively weighting certain numbers based on subjective judgement. By focussing on the raw data, the larger picture is obscured.

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics."

more than 3 years ago
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Climate Unit Releases Virtually All Remaining Data

ivandavidoff Sinister! (507 comments)

Just what are Trinidad and Tobago hiding?

more than 3 years ago
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Researchers Say Dark Winters Led To Bigger Human Brains

ivandavidoff Re:Basements? (167 comments)

The ever-glowing dual monitors are like a tropical sun. So, no.

more than 3 years ago
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Researchers Say Dark Winters Led To Bigger Human Brains

ivandavidoff Re:Racists (167 comments)

Eskimos live up there too.

more than 3 years ago
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Chinese Couple Sells Kids To Fund Online Gaming

ivandavidoff Re:Industrious (223 comments)

Puts the lie to the obsessed gamer in mom's basement stereotype, don't it.

more than 3 years ago
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The Internet's Age of Rage

ivandavidoff What's in a name? (315 comments)

This^ is not my meatspace name, but after decades of use, more people know me by this name than by my birth name. So now I have an on-line reputation to uphold, such as it is. Ivan has evolved from troll into Mr. Nice Guy. Occassionally, I log on using my real name and act like a complete ass. It's liberating.

more than 3 years ago
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Single Photons Do Not Exceed the Speed of Light

ivandavidoff Re:Yeah (196 comments)

See, this is what pop culture teaches us: these photons were thought to be fast just because they're single.

more than 3 years ago
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Single Photons Do Not Exceed the Speed of Light

ivandavidoff Next up... (196 comments)

Over-unity machines made from Lego and magnets: can they work?

more than 3 years ago
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Fewer Hacked Records Does Not Mean Better Security

ivandavidoff password = "password" (23 comments)

From Verizon's 2011 Data Breach Investigations Report (p. 26)

Table 8. Top 15 Threat Action Types by number of breaches and number of records

Category Threat Action Type Short Name Breaches Records

1 Malware Send data to external site/entity SNDATA 297 1,729,719
2 Malware Backdoor (allows remote access / control) MALBAK 294 2,065,001
3 Hacking Exploitation of backdoor or command and control channel HAKBAK 279 1,751,530
4 Hacking Exploitation of default or guessable credentials DFCRED 257 1,169,300
5 Malware Keylogger/Form-grabber/Spyware (capture data from user activity) KEYLOG 250 1,538,680
6 Physical Tampering TAMPER 216 371,470
7 Hacking Brute force and dictionary attacks BRUTE 200 1,316,588
8 Malware Disable or interfere with security controls DISABL 189 736,884
9 Hacking Footprinting and Fingerprinting FTPRNT 185 720,129
10 Malware System/network utilities (PsTools, Netcat) UTILITY 121 1,098,643
11 Misuse Embezzlement, skimming, and related fraud EMBZZL 100 37,229
12 Malware RAM scraper (captures data from volatile memory) RAMSCR 95 606,354
13 Hacking Use of stolen login credentials STLCRED 79 817,159
14 Misuse Abuse of system access/privileges ABUSE 65 22,364
15 Social Solicitation/Bribery BRIBE 59 23,361


Honorable Mention at #16
16 Hacking SQL Injection SQLINJ 54 933,157

more than 3 years ago
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Last Typewriter Factory in the World Shuts Its Doors

ivandavidoff Ha! (249 comments)

Y'all will be jealous of me and my Remington Portable when the apocalypse comes.

more than 3 years ago
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Air Force Wants Reusable Fly-Back Rockets

ivandavidoff And what's in it for me? (94 comments)

If flying cars could be made to blow up the enemy, or even just humiliate them, we'd have flying cars. Not to take anything away from the folks at Cal Poly, but I'm still waiting for the next Teflon.

more than 4 years ago
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Ninth Suicide At iPhone Factory

ivandavidoff It's the only sure way (539 comments)

to get out of that damn AT&T contract.

more than 4 years ago

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