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Comments

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Radioactive Wild Boars Still Roaming the Forests of Germany

mjwx Re:Found it (157 comments)

1) germany apparently forbid anything above 700 bq/Kg , whereas otehr country do it at 3000 Bq/Kg.

2) Average contamination in 2009 was 7000 Bq/Kg in the highiest contaminated area.

I wish the article could have told that.

The isotope is C137.

6 hours ago
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Net Neutrality Campaign To Show What the Web Would Be Like With a "Slow Lane"

mjwx Re:high/free/motorway analogy (60 comments)

Welcome to Auckland!

Please, god... no.

it's like Perth... but worse.

8 hours ago
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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

mjwx Re:Why? Nobody uses NFC payments (176 comments)

NFC payment cards in Australia/Europe cryptographically sign a challenge from the terminal, using basically standard crypto. It's EMV all the way. In-person magstripe payments are carefully controlled and risk analysed to ensure they only occur if, for example, the card is broken - or outright banned.

You know nothing about bank security.

First off, the NFC cards are not cryptographically secure in the slightest. In fact they give out your card number, name and expiry date to anything that asks for it and once a crim has your CC number they can do all manner of things with it from online transactions to cloning the card itself. This app for any NFC enabled android phone can read your card, last I checked the source code is available for the uncensored version. This is not top secret info, it was based on the specifications publicly available on Visas website.

Secondly, there's no requirement for EMV on any Australian terminal. We're closer to the US than Europe in that regard. Magstripe transactions are not controlled in any way, shape or form. I've got a Citibank Plus card that's a few years old and it hasn't got a chip. 100% magstripe and it's never been rejected anywhere (in fact it's been rejected less than NFC in my Mastercard and I use the Citibank card at least 10 times as often).

10 hours ago
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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

mjwx Re:Why? Nobody uses NFC payments (176 comments)

A few years ago, those Google NFC payment terminals were all over Silicon Valley. Nobody used them. Newer credit card terminals show no sign of supporting them, although some apparently have the hardware inside for it.

Another problem is that if the technology just requires the phone's presence, not interaction on the phone, it's insecure. "Near field communication" is only supposed to be up to 20cm, but a 2013 paper at Black Hat demonstrated connectivity at 100cm, which is good enough for crime. If it does require interaction on the phone, the user has to activate the phone, navigate to some app, and deal with the app. This is slower than swiping a credit card.

It's easier to do than card-reader skimmers.

This is why a phone is better than the NFC cards most people have in their wallet right now.

The Paywave/Paypass NFC cards will give the card details to anything that asks for them. All the malicious software has to do is follow the spec available to the general public on Visas and Mastercards websites. That's how this little app came about (actually this is the censored version, the source code is available on github). The card gives out the number, name and expiry date... basically everything written on the front of the card. So harvesting CC numbers has become a lot easier.

With a phone at least you can control who gets that information, a simple popup message saying "x terminal wants your details" with confirm or deny buttons (and an automatic deny in 15 seconds). Above this, you can actually implement some kind of cryptographically secure encryption like a PRNG or at the very least a 2nd factor of authentication.

But it's going to take a government like the EU to force banks to do this. Right now it's easier for them to swallow the cost of fraud (which gets passed on to you anyway). Banks simply dont care about security because it costs money (capex, fraud is opex).

10 hours ago
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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

mjwx Re:As much as I hate Apple (176 comments)

Not even Apple is capable of creating an entirely new payment ecosystem. They'll play ball with the banks and card associations, or they'll go nowhere.

So what you're saying is that Apple is going to get nowhere.

Apple doesn't follow standards.

Google chose NFC for the Android phones because NFC was a standard, it was well defined, mature and compatible. I can read NFC enabled cards from my phone (all you need is the software to interpret the output). Its only a matter of time before I can make payments via NFC on my Android phone.

10 hours ago
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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

mjwx Re:As much as I hate Apple (176 comments)

I am in Australia and have Visa PayWave attached to my card yet I never use it (using EFTPOS instead) because there are fees attached to PayWave but not EFTPOS (with my bank at least) and because EFTPOS transactions show up faster and better on my online banking.

Australian here, I'll explain this one.

In Australia you have three options when you pay by card, Savings, Cheque and Credit. These define what network the transaction goes through and that determines what fees and charges are applied to the transaction.

Savings and Cheque are part of the EFTPOS network and have a small per transaction fee (usually in the vicinity of A$0.20) that the merchant absorbs. This network is Aus/NZ specific and is not related to similarly named networks overseas.
Credit routes the transaction though the Visa/Mastercard network. This has a per transaction fee plus a percentage of the transaction taken as a merchant service fee (anywhere between 0.5-4%, some high end cards like Amex have a 6% feee). It is entirely legal for a merchant to pass on this fee in Australia (and the Visa/Mastercard terms of service dont override Australian law). Now even if the merchant absorbs this fee, you end up paying in the form of higher prices (that are already too damn high in Oz)

Paypass/paywave automatically routes through credit, so you automatically get the higher fee.

10 hours ago
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Net Neutrality Campaign To Show What the Web Would Be Like With a "Slow Lane"

mjwx high/free/motorway analogy (60 comments)

If its anything like a real highway the slow lane will be the fast lane because all the idiots immedately go to the overtaking lane clogging it up. So people with half a brain use the slow lane to undertake everyone else.

11 hours ago
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Net Neutrality Campaign To Show What the Web Would Be Like With a "Slow Lane"

mjwx high/free/motorway analogy (60 comments)

If it's anything like a real highway, the slow lane will actually be the fast lane as everyone immediately goes to the passing lane and clogs it up, meaning people with half a brain end up undertaking everyone else using the slow lane.

11 hours ago
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Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

mjwx Great, (458 comments)

So Comcast is just trying to protect our moral integrity?

yesterday
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Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague

mjwx Re:Yup - the story is doing its job (360 comments)

I remain conflicted; as a moderately competent STEM educated person, I am aware of any number of ways of reducing Western cities to chaos without a lot of effort and no risk. Yet our jihadi brethren never succeed in pulling it off. 7/7 in London and the Boston bombing seem to have been independent efforts, not carried out by people in the jihadi chain of command. Which leads me to suspect a lot of the hype is FUD by our government, or at least its security agencies, to milk the situation for as much as possible. OTOH it is totally clear that IS and HAMAS are committed to doing very nasty things to anyone who gets in their way. Something weird is going on; I look forward to discovering the truth, but I have nasty suspicion we won't.

This.

Our governments are gunning for war and this seems like a very convenient intelligence coup. Besides, it's not like they weren't wrong about Saddam having weapons of mass destruction, right, guys, right?

yesterday
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Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague

mjwx Re:The horror! (360 comments)

I can't imagine USA engineers designing and creating weapons of mass destruction. How could these bastards! I mean, education is always for good things, right? right?

Yep, the US would have to hire some Germans to do the job for them.

yesterday
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Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

mjwx Re:Baby steps (278 comments)

It will be decades before these vehicles can handle real life situations. You will need AI that can improvise as well as a human. Good luck with that.

I'm sure that there will always be a few situations where a skilled human driver will make better decisions, and produce better outcomes, than standard automation.

I'm equally sure that there will be exponentially more situations where standard automation will make better decisions, and produce better outcomes, than average (or even well above-average) human drivers.

I'm sorry, but "there will always be situations where a human performs better than AI" sounds an awful lot like "I won't wear a seat belt because it might trap me in a burning car". It's not wrong, but it is foolish, and it's a poor decision.

You could have just said "I dont actually understand the issue or how your statement relates to it", it would have been faster.

An AI at the moment is nowhere near as good as a terrible driver because the AI cannot deal with situations that have not already been programmed into is where as the worst of our drivers can. Sure it can handle common issues better, ones that have been predicted but it's the scenarios that haven't been programmed into it that it will fail horribly at. Sure you can set a default of "stop" if it doesn't know what to do but that is as dangerous as "set throttle to 100%". The thing is, uncommon situations on the road are not that uncommon.

What is worse, if you take 100 bad meat-based drivers they will all fail in different ways, if you take 100 autonomous cars, they will all fail in the same way.

Finally, and this was the GP's point, even a terribad driver will learn on their own. Google's car is not capable of this yet (and probably wont be for some time), for a problem with the autonomous cars AI to be corrected, the data will need to be taken back to Google and an update issued (I suppose it makes the term "crash dump" a little more literal). For this reason alone, 100% autonomous cars are a long, long way off.

yesterday
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Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

mjwx Re:can it get me home from the bar? (278 comments)

In any case, most cyclists have cars too, so are paying the "road tax" anyway. Having said that, I would be quite happy to pay road tax on my bike - it might shut up people like you.

Having a large "highlight reel" of cyclists antics from my dash cam, I dont give a flying fuck if cyclists pay for roads (cycle paths also some from tax money, but again I'm not fazed) I simply want them to be licensed so that they know the rules regarding riding on the road and road going cycles to be registered so when they're caught doing the wrong thing they can have their road going privileges taken off them.

Basically, I want them held to the same minimum standards as other road users (read: car drivers and motorcyclists).

However cyclists absolutely hate this idea because it will shatter the frail illusion that cyclists are perfect and everything that goes wrong is someone else's fault. The mere mention that cyclist need to follow the same road rules as other road users get the Lycra warriors up in arms. Simple things like keeping left, not trying to undertake parked vehicles, abiding by red lights (cyclists running reds in Australia is endemic... and the same people want to make it that any accident between a bike and a car is automatically the cars fault) and staying in the cycle lane (in Australia is is illegal for a cyclists to ride in any other lane if there is a cycle lane present).

I've got no issue with sharing the roads... I just wish cyclists would extend the same courtesy to other road users.

yesterday
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Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

mjwx Re:can it get me home from the bar? (278 comments)

" google cars should never be allowed on the road."
Not: " until they can reliable detect bicycles, driver-less cars shouldn't be sold to the public.

OK, once they reliably detect bicylces, what can they do about them.

I propose Goolge invents a door actuator to knock them down once detected within 0.5 metres to demonstrate the error of their way. If Google does not rise to the challenge, we'll give it to the Top Gear team.

yesterday
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Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

mjwx Re:can it get me home from the bar? (278 comments)

I think I'll just call a cab instead. Unless you're at the bar every single night getting sloshed (in which case you have other problems),

Damn straight I've got problems. Why does the bar keep closing at 2 AM.

yesterday
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Australian Consumer Watchdog Takes Valve To Court

mjwx Re:G'Day Valve, (135 comments)

And the second you restart steam to update or go online to download a game, your other game is gone.

That's how it went when I got a refund on STALKER.

If you know how steam's folders are organised, there's a very, very easy way to get around that... yep, gone from steam but not from your HDD.

Not that I would ever advocate that kind of activity mind you.

3 days ago
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Australian Consumer Watchdog Takes Valve To Court

mjwx Re:Bad business practice (135 comments)

Since the games say what they run on when you buy them, I wouldn't give your blind ass a refund either.

The only reason Steam even shows you titles which won't run on your platform by default is to trick you into buying them. It's intentionally deceptive.

I've seen this before.

Mac User installs Steam on their home PC, then installs it on their work PC. Their home PC is a Mac and their work PC is Windows. They buy stuff on their work PC and wonder why it doesn't work at home.

I work at a university. Glad I dont work in support any more. Those who can reach me are smart enough not to out themselves as Mac Users.

3 days ago
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Australian Consumer Watchdog Takes Valve To Court

mjwx Re:Welcome to Australia, Ferengi. (135 comments)

Umm, no. I have clients in Australia. My shit breaks, it's their choice, not mine, to get a refund, repair, or replacement.

The only thing at my discretion is whether I replace it with the exact same item, or I give them an upgraded model in its stead.

Welcome to utter bullshit land.

You dont have clients in Australia, you have at best, people you've ripped off and ignored further contact with as an overseas agent... but in more likelihood you're making the whole thing up.

Yes, an Australian will pursue you for a refund or at the very least ensure that people know not to do business with you again if they cant pursue you through an Australian court.

3 days ago
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Australian Consumer Watchdog Takes Valve To Court

mjwx G'Day Valve, (135 comments)

I bought ya Bioshock Infinite game on sale last weekend.

It's shithouse, I want me 22 bucks back ya flamin mongrels.

Yours sincerely,
Alf Flamin Stuart.

4 days ago
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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

mjwx Re:Send in the drones! (827 comments)

Chairman Mao, Ho Chi Minh and Hitler, not so much with the bluffing.

We fought Hitler and now Germany is a free and prosperous country at peace with its neighbors. China — where we dithered — not so much. Nor is North Korea — in the 60 years since we decided to "give peace a chance" there and not use nukes against the invading Chinese "volunteers", generations of millions lived in dire poverty and suffering, that they deserved even less than the Chinese soldiers.

This is wrong in so many ways.

The US did fight the Viet Minh, then the Viet Cong and the NVA... it was called the "Vietnam war" for fucks sake and you lost it. In the 15+ years of war (first against the French, then against the US) all that it did was drive more and more people to the other side.

The US did fight the Maoists, you supported the Kuomintang and General Chang Kai-Shek and you still lost it. During WWII, the US only provided aid and materials to the Chinese nationalists (the Kuomintang) and after WWII they were still defeated by the Maoists despite having superior equipment.

Minh and Mao both won because the US didn't understand the conflict. The governments of South Vietnam and Nationalist China were corrupt and oppressive. Mao and Minh had the support of the people because they were less brutal, less oppressive and less corrupt than the other government. It's the same story in Iran.

People like you are the "charlatans" proposing that a magic war will fix everything when history shows that it doesn't. Even WWII had a huge downside. It turned Soviet Russia from a backwater tin pot dictatorship collapsing under its own weight into a world power and ironically, its was the Russians who stopped the Nazi's. You're like the WWI generals proposing that one more "big push" will break the enemies back then sending all your men running towards the enemies machine guns hoping some will get through.

4 days ago

Submissions

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Apple loses final bid to stop Samsung Galaxy Tab i

mjwx mjwx writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mjwx (966435) writes "Apple has lost its bid to gain an injunction against Samsung selling it's Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the Australian High court today.

The High court ruled in Samsung's favour saying "the argument from Apple's lawyers had insufficient prospects of success". Samsung has said that the injunction should never have been granted in the first place. Apple had not issued a statement at the time of submission.

According to Slashgear Apple has been requested to pay Samsung's legal costs.

Given that the High court is the highest court in Australia, Apple has no chance of an appeal. Samsung is free to begin distribution of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia."

Link to Original Source
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Australia ranked fourth in Internet freedom

mjwx mjwx writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mjwx (966435) writes "A report published by Freedom House has placed Australia in fourth in Internet Freedom, below Estonia, the United States and Germany. Freedom House highlights the lack of acutal censorship in Australia pointing out that the highly unpopular proposed ISP level censorship has been shelved since the 2010 Australian election.

The freedom house report is available here."

Link to Original Source
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UK Home Office set to scrap National ID cards

mjwx mjwx writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mjwx (966435) writes "In what would seem to be a sudden break of common sense for the UK, the Home Office has put forward a plan to scrap the national ID card system put into place by the previous government. From the BBC,

"The Home Office is to reveal later how it will abolish the national identity card programme for UK citizens.

The bill, a Queen's Speech pledge, includes scrapping the National Identity Register and the next generation of biometric passports."

The National ID card system, meant to tackle fraud and illegal immigration has drawn widespread criticism for infringing on privacy and civil rights. However the main driver for the change in this policy seems to be the 800 million pound cost. Also in the article, indications of a larger bill aimed at reforms to the DNA database, tighter regulation of CCTV and a review of libel laws."

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