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Comments

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Watch Out, Amazon: DHL Tests Drug-Delivery Drone

mrcaseyj Re:Amazon was a hoax (134 comments)

V22 Tiltrotor drones with shrouded rotors would have better range, payload, and safety. You could still have several rotors mounted on multiple tilting wings. Wings provide lift much more efficiently than rotors do. Shrouded rotors could perhaps be made practically silent to those on the ground.

If a few motors failed, a tiltrotor could very likely fly back home to a runway on as few as one or two rotors. If it can't fly back home, the wings would often allow it to glide to a gentle landing instead of just falling out of control. The glide ratio would allow selection of emergency landing sites over a larger area under the point of failure.

The wings combined with a horizontal takeoff would allow a heavier payload if you can live without the ability to hover or ascend near landing. After dropping off the payload it would be lighter for a vertical takeoff, or it could get a rolling start on a driveway. A tilt rotor would be much faster and have much longer range. It could also pick up a fresh battery at an automated batery change runway half way to the destination. That would allow more range or greater payload. Though a regular quad rotor could do that as well.

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With an Advanced Wi-Fi Leech?

mrcaseyj Set SSID to UnauthorizedTrafficRoutedThroughPolice (884 comments)

Set your SSID to "UnauthorizedTrafficRoutedThroughPolice"
and/or
Set up a server between your ISP and wireless access point with a VPN. If you get caught by his evil twin access point, you will know because your VPN connection will fail. Even if it doesn't fail at least your traffic should be secure.
or
Set your SSID to "ConnectingHereConstitutesConsentToEnterAndSearchYourHouse" Maybe the opportunity for an easy search would get the cops interested.
You should probably file a complaint with the police in case his illegal activity comes back to your IP address.
You may want to find out what kind of person you are dealing with before getting the police involved. Your strategy should probably be different if you are dealing with a local gang leader or homicide parollee rather than a high school nerd.
If the offender happens to be on probation it could give you extra leverage.
Keep in mind that if he lives next door he can listen in on your conversations with a sensitive directional microphone. He could also probably easily tap your phone, especially if it is cordless or cellular. So be carefull about speaking your passwords or other sensitive information out loud. Mail theft, burglary, vandalism, and other nasty attacks could become an issue.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With an Advanced Wi-Fi Leech?

mrcaseyj WIFi direction finding (884 comments)

You may be able to find the direction of a WiFi signal by just standing with your laptop held out in front of you and turning slowly until the signal strength drops as your body blocks the signal. Do multiple turns to rule out random signal drops.

about a year and a half ago
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German Parliamentary Committee Pushes for Open Source Friendly Policy

mrcaseyj Cant give it away then sell it (44 comments)

If the government can't give it away then maybe auction it off. Don't auction off the copyright, just auction off a single copy. Then if it is GPL the goverment will have to fulfill its obligation and pay for what it got by posting the source code. Thus posting the source code for free will not be giving anything away, it will be paying a debt.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Video Monitors For Areas That Are Off the Grid?

mrcaseyj Re:Use a Drone (340 comments)

If no cellphone reception, set up a repeater on a nearby hiltop. Use a motion sensor on the road sending to hiltop repeater to get realtime tresspassing updates and give cops somebody to chase. Wifi with long range antennas will suffice for the first hop and maybe the second hop to a neighbor's internet connection, bypassing the need for a cellphone tranceiver. Some companies provide long range Wifi internet connections with range at least 10 miles, so you might want to check that out. They may give you a discount if it is just for low bandwidth alarm service.

Maybe put up a simple unlocked gate or just a chain with flags, to reduce alarms from harmless wandering tresspassers who will go down an open road but will not open a gate.

about 2 years ago
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World Population Grows Beyond 7 Billion

mrcaseyj Re:TED (349 comments)

That TED talk only shows that religious birth rates were dropping similarly fast in the past. But there is a small religious minority who's birth rate still hasn't dropped, and barring legal reforms or some other limiting effect, simple evolutionary theory suggests they will dominate before long and bring the rate back up. And no, there is no significant limit to food production. It can be synthesized cheaply, in quantities only limited by the carbon content of earth's and other planet's crusts, from rocks, air, and nuclear or space solar power.

more than 2 years ago
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World Population Grows Beyond 7 Billion

mrcaseyj Re:Alarmist (349 comments)

The planet can easily support the food and space needs of several tens of billions in population

Care to back that up?

Converting all land areas and most or all of the oceans to maximum productivity crops would increase food production several fold. If that is not enough, then most of our dietary needs could be cheaply synthesised from rocks and air using nuclear or space solar power.

more than 2 years ago
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World Population Grows Beyond 7 Billion

mrcaseyj Re:Alarmist (349 comments)

Luckily, religion is not a genetic disease.

I didn't mean to suggest that religion was a genetic disease. Note that I mentioned that the population would eventually be maxed out by secular parents as well. It is an evolution and culture issue not a dig against religion. Religious groups that encourage high birth rates might consider it a complement to hear it asserted that they will someday dominate the population.

more than 2 years ago
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World Population Grows Beyond 7 Billion

mrcaseyj Re:Alarmist (349 comments)

Children born to the small minority of religious women who *continue* to have very high birth rates will eventually dominate the population of child bearing age. The birth rates of religious people have dropped over the previous decades, but certain high birthrate sects will rebound with a vengeance. Although high birthrate religious groups are much more common, population growth would also explode among secular persons who simply like to have more children, given a few extra decades. The process is faster within religious groups not just because of their doctrine but because they tend to mary within their group of higher birthrate spouses instead of mixing with outsiders of normal birthrate. But religion or not, the end result will still be higher birthrates until maximum capacity is reached.

The planet can easily support the food and space needs of several tens of billions in population, and the population will eventually grow to fill that capacity unless limited by law or some mechanism other than food shortage. As religious groups dedicated to high birthrates come to dominate the population, it may become increasingly difficult politically to enact reproduction limitations. Space of course provides unlimited expansion opportunities, and will become much more practical as reusable launch vehicles will have several decades of refinement by the time the planet is nearing capacity.

more than 2 years ago
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World Population Grows Beyond 7 Billion

mrcaseyj Re:Alarmist (349 comments)

The population growth rate will explode again as more children are born of high birthrate religious parents and are increasingly high birthrate themselves. This slowing of population growth is only temporary.

more than 2 years ago
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North Korea's High-Tech Counterfeit $100 Bills

mrcaseyj Re:Paper Money w/ Digital signatures (528 comments)

A digital cryptographic signature printed on a bill can be copied as easily as anything else. A private key hidden in a chip embedded in the bill would make it possible to verify the authenticity of a bill without communicating with headquarters, and could make it impossible to duplicate the bill without extracting the private key from deep within the chip. Unfortunately a chip for every bill would be a little expensive, and a resourceful attacker like North Korea could likely extract the secret keys from the chips.

If cash were eliminated it would be hard on criminals, but I doubt it would cut crime hugely. They could still use cash from other countries, cash they create themselves, precious metals, diamonds, barter, and possibly various attacks on electronic currency.

more than 2 years ago
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Leap Second Coming In June, 2012

mrcaseyj Re:OpenNTPD (142 comments)

OpenNTPD was significantly more stable if I recompiled the kernel for pentium instead of 386. It was just a few milliseconds improvement in stability, but it was a clear difference. In the kernel config file there was simply a few consecutive lines labeled something like 386 486 586 686. I did nothing but commented out all but the 586 or 686 line and recompiled. This was about six years ago though, so I don't know if it's still an issue. I'm sorry I didn't subit a report back then. I meant to. Thanks for developing OpenNTPD. I don't get the impression that David Mills is concerned enough about security.

more than 2 years ago
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When Getting Rid of College Lectures Makes Sense

mrcaseyj Re:What is the real motivation? (212 comments)

The only lectures on Artificial Intelligence on Youtube are by Indian professors, but I couldn't understand them through the accent. With lectures on video, you could listen to the best lecturer in the country instead of some third rate professor. They can do a frequently asked questions list and update the lecture according to the questions. Electronic books can be both much shorter and longer. That is, if you can follow the quick example you can move on, if you can't, then you click a link for an expanded explanation. I don't think we should be wasting $50000/yr and the mind of an intelligent person to blab out a lecture like a video projector. One on one or small group help would be a much better use of those resources.

more than 2 years ago
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Research Data: Share Early, Share Often

mrcaseyj Re:Psychology (138 comments)

sstamps wrote:

sstamps wrote:

First, he has NEVER stonewalled requests for the raw data. [emphasis added]

the list of stations that CRU used was published in 2008

the programme that produced the global temperature average had been available from the Met Office since December 2009.

So you admit that they stonewalled on the station list till 2008? And you admit that they didn't release their software until after they had been exposed by the climate gate email release? I may not have been clear, but I didn't mean to imply that they still haven't released stuff, but only that they were stonewalling at one time.

Jones PERSONALLY refused. The information about what data was used has been available since the original papers and research were performed! IT'S IN THE RESEARCH

Strange. Why didn't he just give the URL for the files instead of refusing. But of course you've quoted a source admitting he didn't release the station list till 2008. So it doesn't look like it was "IN THE RESEARCH".

mrcaseyj wrote:

It has only been replicated by his buddies.

You cite BEST as replication by some other than buddies, but I was referring to replication of the hockey stick. BEST did not replicate the hockey stick. Furthermore, BEST was lead by an alarmist, so that is not clearly replication by other than buddies.

sstamps wrote:

when they are caught in their lies and ignorance, they NEVER, and I mean *NEVER* admit fault and accept what they were wrong about.

Anthony Watts admitted after his own study that the average temperature trend of the urban stations was no higher than the good rural stations. Of course he then minimized it and tried to make a seemingly insignificant issue of the difference between the trends in the diurnal temperature range. I see tons of ignorance on the skeptic side. The alarmist side actually seems to be much more grounded in facts. But now we're seeing that the alarmist facts may not be as solid as was once thought. And you simply dismissed my criticism of the attempt to "hide the decline", but you gave no reasoned defense. That is understandable given it appears to be indefensible.

I know how it sometimes seems hard to believe that your opponents can be so unreasonable. It starts to look like they are not being honest. Some oil company shills probably aren't. But I fully believe that there are many skeptics, even ones that have looked deeply into the evidence, who truly do not believe there is cause for alarm. You probably know that people can have an amazing ability to convince themselves of something. Some people also find it very painful to admit they were wrong, even to themselves. Unless the evidence against them is massively undeniable, they will not change their mind. And often, even if the evidence IS massively undeniable, they will not admit it. This cuts both ways of course. Back when we didn't know how much hiding was going on, many people adopted a conclusion, and are very reluctant to admit a mistake. It's especially hard for them to back off their conclusion because the evidence against the alarmist case is nowhere near overwhelming.

I don't think it matters anyway, because if the alarmists turn out to be right, there are a variety of relatively inexpensive ways to shade the planet and reliably bring the temperature under control. The really bad worst case scenarios are of negligible likelihood. It is impossible with available funds, and not an optimum allocation of resources, to spend trillions of dollars to prevent every disaster for which there is a tiny possibility. Those funds would probably be better spent preventing wars, plagues, cancer, poverty, or other things.

more than 2 years ago
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Research Data: Share Early, Share Often

mrcaseyj Re:Psychology (138 comments)

sstamps wrote:
>First, he has never stonewalled requests for the raw data. It's been out there for ANYONE to obtain. The problem is that, for some of it, you have to PAY to get it, and UEA was forbidden by contract to give away said data for free...

No. Those who requested the data requested that if all the data couldn't be provided, then the freely available data should be provided. They were refused. When asked for a list of what data was used, but not the data itself, they refused. Even if the data is available for free on the net, how can the results be replicated if they will not say which data was used?

>Mann's work has been vindicated and replicated time and time again...

It has only been replicated by his buddies. It's like a study by an oil company being replicated by another oil company. There can be no vindication for trying to "hide the decline". It is a well established rule of science that you don't leave out data that casts doubt on your conclusion.

You've fallen for their story. Many of us used to think the alarmists were good willed, and we assumed they were honest. I still think they are good willed, but we now know they are not honest. They hide important information that casts doubt on their theories. And worse, when their colleagues are caught doing corrupt science, their community maintains a code of silence or defends the indefensible. This casts doubt on all the evidence brought by the entire climate science community.

more than 2 years ago
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Dutch Government Revokes Diginotar Certificates

mrcaseyj Re:Revoking Dutch Gov certs is NOTpointless (78 comments)

I was mistaken above. Pe1chl explained below that it was the Dutch Government that acted as certificate authority and issued an intermediate certificate to DigiNotar, which used the intermediate certificate to issue certificates to various government agencies. The government needs to revoke the intermediate certificate it issued to DigiNotar and thus invalidate all the government certificates issued under it.

more than 3 years ago
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Dutch Government Revokes Diginotar Certificates

mrcaseyj Revoking Dutch Gov certificates is pointless (78 comments)

Relying on genuine certificates is not insecure. Revoking genuine certificates solves nothing. If someone's browser is relying on the genuine government certificates issued by Diginotar, then there is no security vulnerability with that particular communication, regardless of anything that happened at Diginotar. If somebody is fed a bogus certificate issued by Diginotar, and their browser relies on the bogus certificate, then revoking the genuine government certificates won't help.

Of course it is necessary for browsers to revoke trust in all Diginotar issued certificates. So all the government certificates issued by Diginotar are effectively revoked, regardless of any government action, for anyone using a browser that has stopped trusting Diginotar.

more than 3 years ago
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Can AI Games Create Super-Intelligent Humans?

mrcaseyj Re:Have you not seen (312 comments)

Terminator or Matrix would happen much faster than this educational AI loop. The educational AI loop would require decades for each round of feedback. And considering that the AI would have to be nearly as smart as humans to outperform human teachers significantly, the AI should be able to enhance itself much more rapidly than waiting for the next generation of kids to grow up and reprogram it.

more than 3 years ago
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Zeroing In On the Internet's 'Evil Cities'

mrcaseyj Re:Dodgy conclusions... (90 comments)

This study might also not mean a lot if they didn't take into account the size of the metropolitan area around the city. For example Los Angeles might not have ranked high if you only include attacks from within the proper city limits but exclude attacks from contiguous cities like Hollywood or poorer areas.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Country Has the Best Email Privacy Laws?

mrcaseyj Legal precedent considers email secure (236 comments)

Back when clients started sending emails to lawyers, it was questioned whether lawyers had a responsibility to warn clients on their web sites that email was insecure. The courts decided that lawyers needn't publish public keys and tell clients to use them because it was considered almost always secure enough for almost all clients. Obviously some clients and lawyers need all the security they can get, but they apparently don't consider that the case in general. The situation was likened to telephones, snail mail, and faxes, which can be intercepted by a variety of adversaries, but apparently rarely are. The last time I sent an email to a lawyer a year or so ago, I checked the lawyer's web site and found no public key.

One argument against lawyers encouraging clients to encrypt email is that even encrypted email is so insecure that the false sense of security might do more harm than good for the clients if they put things in emails that are better left unwritten.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Slashdot Should Help Fix the Oil Leak - Not Joking

mrcaseyj mrcaseyj writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mrcaseyj (902945) writes "Slashdot should set up a discussion area for ideas to fix the gulf oil leak. Good ideas could be moderated up and thus sifted from the naive noise for the experts to review or take to the engineers at the top. Posts could be made about current conditions and problems. Quick explanations can be given of why the obvious ideas haven't been tried. So I ask Slashdot: What are the problems? Why don't the obvious solutions look feasible to the experts? How can we fix the leak?"
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Falcon 9 Rocket Makes it to Orbit

mrcaseyj mrcaseyj writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mrcaseyj (902945) writes "What makes this one of the most important rocket launches in history is that, unlike at other rocket companies, the founder, Elon Musk, is determined to make a reusable rocket. The first stage of this rocket has been fitted with parachutes and covered with cork to protect it from the heat of reentry so that it can be recovered and studied in hopes of making them reusable in the future. The success of this launch solidifies the success of Spacex, and thereby dramaitcally increases the chances of huge benefits to humanity from much more affordable space launch."
Link to Original Source
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3 Years Prison in CA For Covering Laptop

mrcaseyj mrcaseyj writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mrcaseyj (902945) writes "California penal code section 537e makes it a felony punishable by up to 3 years in prison to be in possession of an integrated computer panel where the serial number or any other distinguishing number or identification mark has been covered. It's also a crime punishable by 6 months or a year to cover or obliterate the serial number or identification mark of just about any other personal property, from tools to CDs and much more. While a district attorney might have a hard time prosecuting you for such a crime, it appears a police officer could still take you to jail without having to worry about getting in trouble, because covering is apparently illegal by the letter of the law."
Link to Original Source
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SpaceX posts video of the disastrous bump

mrcaseyj mrcaseyj writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mrcaseyj (902945) writes "SpaceX has posted a video of flight three of their Falcon 1 rocket, and unlike the initial video this one includes the disastrous collision when the first stage surged ahead and collided with the second stage. The bump was mild so perhaps the big problem was when the engine ignited and blasted the first stage just as it re-contacted the second stage. I'm surprised the news media doesn't cover SpaceX more, considering that if they can make their reusable rockets work then the much lower costs may put all the other rocket companies out of business, and enable a new age in space flight. Also, lets all send SpaceX an email begging them to seed a torrent of the broadcast quality launch video."
Link to Original Source
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mrcaseyj mrcaseyj writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mrcaseyj (902945) writes "Microsoft has criticized some banks for no longer using secure connections for entire login pages and only encrypting the password as it goes back to the bank. This prevents simple password sniffing but doesn't prevent a man in the middle attack from replacing the unsecured login page with one that has disabled encryption. This is especially a problem if you are using an unencrypted wireless connection such as at a coffee shop, because hackers can easily use the airpwn package to intercept the login page and steal your password. An easy remedy for when a secure page isn't available is to enter a bad username and password which usually brings up a secure page telling you to try again. But can you really trust your money to a bank that doesn't even offer the option of a secure login page?"

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