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Crowd Wisdom Better At Predictions Than Top CIA Analysts

nut Re:Reminds me of the Policy Analysis Market (136 comments)

Back in 2003, there was a similar system called the Policy Analysis Market (PAM) that was close to being implemented. It got deep-sixed by some world-class idiots from Congress ...

Maybe they weren't idiots. Maybe the were protecting a lucrative after-Congress job market...

4 days ago

Kim Dotcom Launches Political Party In New Zealand

nut Re:Something else he should promise... (133 comments)

Oh, and the Mein Kampf thing is a desperate attempt by incumbent political parties to discredit him - so he doesn't get in a position to be kingmaker.

about three weeks ago

Kim Dotcom Launches Political Party In New Zealand

nut Re:Something else he should promise... (133 comments)

It's for exactly that reason that he gets any traction in public opinion in NZ. The first time he came to the attention of most Kiwis at all was when the NZ police raided his house with swat teams, helicopters and the works at the behest of US law enforcement. For ... copyright infringement.

Then it turned out that our intelligence services had been spying on him illegally, (along with 80 or so other foreign-born NZ residents) Some of our politicians had been taking political donations from him and later denying all knowledge, and our Prime Minister claimed to know nothing about the illegal spying despite being briefed on it 12 months earlier

In addition FBI agents in NZ sent copies of his personal files to the US despite the ruling of NZ courts.

In essence, our local politicians and law enforcement acted like such complete and total dickwads that they made even a guy like Kim Dotcom look the good guy by comparison. The let him into the country for his money, despite his convictions. Then when the US law enforcement came knocking they turned on him like a bunch of weasels.

In fact public opinion is starrting to swing against him. Kiwis typically aren't impressed by the kind of excess and showboating he is famous for. I don't think is party will get that many votes, but in a country the size of NZ, and due to the peculiarities of our version of MMP, a small party can sometimes gain a couple of seats and be in a position to act as kingmaker.

about three weeks ago

Silicon Valley Anti-Poaching Cartel Went Beyond a Few Tech Firms

nut Re:is it illegal? (137 comments)

It is a restraint of trade. If it was built into a contract it would be unenforceable at the least, probably illegal in many jurisdictions, although some restrictions in employment contracts are enforceable provided they are, "reasonable."

It tells you something that it had to be a gentleman's agreement. I'm sure if they could have legally put it into employment contracts they would have.

about three weeks ago

Math Models Predicted Global Uprisings

nut Your masters will learn to tune the system (265 comments)

What worries me about this sort of knowledge, is that it could make it possible for political leaders to keep the masses working their asses off just above the breadline. But they can avoid pushing it so far that they get the kind of political activism that might result in regime change.

about 2 months ago

Major Internet Censorship Bill Passes In Turkey

nut Buckfeta (104 comments)

These days only log in to slashdot to read the fuck beta comments.

Oh yeah.

Fuck the beta.

about 2 months ago

Amputee Has Prosthetic Hand Wired To Nerves

nut Re:fuckbeta (72 comments)

Mod parent +1 fuckbeta

about 2 months ago

Dried Meat "Resurrects" Lost Species of Whale

nut Re:Fuck beta (87 comments)

So I see they have deleted all references to the fuckbeta tag. That didn't take long.

P.S. Fuckbeta.

about 2 months ago

20% of Neanderthal Genome Survives In Humans

nut Re:As someone who works in tech support... (202 comments)

Please read up on the origin of IQ tests. To the extent they are calibrated to anything apart from other IQ tests, they are calibrated against academic performance. Because they were developed originally by British and French scientists, they are calibrated against specifically European standards of academic performance.

There is no objective, unambiguously defined, quantifiable quality of "intelligence" that IQ tests can be said to measure. It is an entirely subjective test with no real scientific basis. In fact the only thing that IQ tests absolutely and definitely measure is the ability to do IQ tests.

Because IQ tests are calibrated mostly against a cultural artifact (European academic culture) Cultural bias is as likely a reason for variations across different cultures (very closely correlated with different races for obvious reasons) as any other factor.

Until you can rule out cultural bias in any IQ test (and I really don't see how you can) all your theories about genetic differences are meaningless.

For extra bonus points, find me ANY objective, unambiguous and measurable definition of the term, "intelligence."

about 3 months ago

Australian Dept. Store Chain's Website Crashes and Can't Get Back Up

nut Ouch (156 comments)

Someone's job is on the line.

about 4 months ago

Life Could Have Evolved 15 Million Years After the Big Bang, Says Cosmologist

nut Re:Millions of years of life-supporting conditions (312 comments)

I'm assuming the GP's argument is that the higher than previously expected possibility of life-bearing planets early in the life of the universe increases the possibility of panspermia, all other things being equal.

The probability of panspermia is product of (at least) two other possibilities:
1.) Life exists somewhere
2.) Life is carried though space from one planet to another by some means.

Regardless of the probability of the latter, (which may be infinitesimal in any case) increasing the probability of the former at any point in time increases the overall probability of panspermia.

about 4 months ago

NSA Hacked Email Account of Mexican President

nut Supreme court lacks authority (242 comments)

The US administration also believes the EIPC suit cannot move forward because it argues the [supreme] court lacks authority under the 2001 Patriot Act to weigh in on the legality of NSA activities.

So how does that work? I thought the Supreme court was the highest authority on the law in the US?

about 6 months ago

Matchstick-Sized Sensor Can Record Your Private Chats Outdoors

nut Re:Welcome technology if (90 comments)

GP's argument:

The last thing we need is awesome tech only spies and generals possess...

Your argument:

No, having the lack of privacy go both ways isn't as good as having privacy.

Which is shooting down a different position to the one the GP took. No one is arguing that privacy for all isn't the best situation. But this technology now exists, so the genie is out of the the bottle and that option is almost certainly off the table.

We now get to choose between the option where a small powerful elite has this technology, and the option where everyone has it.

I, for one, prefer the latter.

about 7 months ago

Your preferred Linux distribution for 2013?

nut Re:Despite all of the complaining about it... (627 comments)

The reason why I so strongly dislike Ubuntu can be summed up in one word: sudo

Sudo was written around 1980.

Ubuntu's first release was in 2004.

You can find sudo in every major linux distribution that I'm aware of - and in fact all of the Unices I've used in my 15 years as developer.

The reason why I so strongly dislike the Toyota Corolla can be summed up in three words: reciprocating petrol engine.

about 8 months ago

Air Force Space Fence Being Shut Down

nut Who wants a space fence (86 comments)

Somebody needs to buy it and run it. How much would it cost?

about 8 months ago

NZ Professor Advocates Civil Disobedience Against Mass Surveillance

nut Re:Singing like a canary (321 comments)

The targets of this idea are not people, but the automated systems that scan all content and communications for random keywords etc. The bots searching for starting points that can be investigated further by humans. The idea is that if too many false postitives are thrown up, the manual parts of the process get overloaded, reducing the value of the automated systems.

Once an individual has the attention of human spooks he's already past the point where this strategy is relevant. So your anecdote is valid, but slightly off-topic.

about 8 months ago

NZ Professor Advocates Civil Disobedience Against Mass Surveillance

nut Re:I've my own approach. (321 comments)

I totally agree on Retroshare... I saw it and immediately loved it. I've had a hard time convincing non-techy friends and family to start using it though.

I think it just needs to be pushed more, and maybe some of the buggy bits will get a bit more attention.

about 8 months ago

How I Got Fired From the Job I Invented

nut Send them a message (252 comments)

At https://www.adeccowaytowork.com/en/contact

For example:

You disgust me. I expect never to make use of your services, either looking for my next position, or when I am part of the hiring process where I work.

As an active web developer with a strong network built up over 15 years in the industry, I intend to make sure the details of your parasitic behaviour are shared as widely as possible. Everybody who works in the digital economy will see this as a crime that could have been perpetrated on themselves.

I will encourage everyone I can to see themselves as a potential victim of such cavalier behaviour and to boycott your services therefore. I know how many of my colleagues already despise the way big business flouts IP laws, whilst simultaneously using these same laws to crush players too small to afford protracted legal battles.

You are in a service industry and person you have just ripped off is the archetypal representative of your customer. I can only hope that the impact on your bottom line is what it deserves to be. I will do what I can to encourage everyone to make it so.


Yours sincerely,
[name redacted]

Incidently their twitter feed is interesting reading at the moment. As is their facebook page.

about 10 months ago

My most frequent OS migration path?

nut Re:Windows - Linux - OS X (413 comments)

Ditto. I've only ever successfully migrated one non-techy person (my brother) to Linux. He uses it as a media centre mostly and never touches a command line. But most people seem to have a morbid fear of installing a different OS on a computer to the one it came out of the shop with.

I recommend macs now to all my friends who complain about their slow/buggy/malware-ridden boxes. It's astonishing how the support calls drop off overnight.

about a year ago



Civil disobedience against mass surveillance

nut nut writes  |  about 8 months ago

nut (19435) writes "We're all aware of how much surveillance we are under on the internet thanks to Edward Snowden. Gehan Gunasekara, an associate commercial law professor at Auckland University in New Zealand, wants all to start sending suspicious looking but meaningless data across the internet to overload these automated surveillance systems. Essentially he is advocating a mass distributed Bayesian poisoning attack against our watchers. I'm curious, what do Slashdotters think of the practicality of this?"
Link to Original Source

Weta Workshop creates life-size Half-Life sentry turret for Valve

nut nut writes  |  about a year and a half ago

nut (19435) writes "Weta Workshops, the Wellington, NZ special effects company behind King Kong and Lord of the Rings has built a working sentry Aperture Science Sentry Turret for Valve Software. It does everything except fire live ammunition. Weta would consider making the devices for the public if Valve were prepared to license it — but it won't be cheap. Says director Sir Richard Taylor, "It's little less pricey than a piece of military hardware from the USA Government — and a bit more expensive than a piece from the New Zealand Government.""
Link to Original Source

Google Wallet Stores Card Data In Plain Text

nut nut writes  |  more than 2 years ago

nut (19435) writes "The much-hyped payment application from Google on Android has been examined by viaForensics and appears to store some cardholder data in plaintext. Google wallet is the first real payment system to use NFC on Android. Version 2 of the PCI DSS (the current standard) mandates the encryption of transmitted cardholder data encourages strong encryption for its storage. viaForensics suggest that the data stored in plain text might be sufficient to allow social engineering to obtain a credit card number."
Link to Original Source

Trademe auction site hit by malicious adware

nut nut writes  |  more than 3 years ago

nut (19435) writes "NZ's online marketplace Trade Me has been hit by "targeted" malicious software. It's not clear who is doing the targeting. Users with out-of-date operating systems, web browsers or antivirus software were presented with an ad that asked them to download a virus-removal program. The NZ Herald tells us nothing more specific than The virus has caused significant computer problems and some suspect it has stolen their credit card details."
Link to Original Source

Apple Passes Microsoft as Largest Tech Company

nut nut writes  |  more than 3 years ago

nut (19435) writes "Apple has officially become the largest tech company in the world, surpassing Microsoft by a market capitalization margin of $2 billion. It's now also the second largest company Standard & Poor 500, behind Exxon Mobil.

Market capitalization is, of course, just a measure of what the market thinks a company is worth though — the total value of all the outstanding shares of a company. Apple shares closed at US$248.47 yesterday vs. Microsoft's US$25.49."

Link to Original Source

Shark gives another shark a Caesarian section

nut nut writes  |  more than 4 years ago

nut (19435) writes "Visitors to an underwater aquarium in Auckland, New Zealand were stunned to see one shark give another shark an impromptu caesarean section. Staff were initially dubious when visitors came running to tell them there were baby sharks spilling from a wound in a female school shark's stomach — courtesy of a large bite by another shark.
It's not uncommon for sharks to take chunks out of each other, in the wild or in captivity, but in this case the bite probably saved the baby sharks' lives. Staff did not know the mother was pregnant and as sharks are commonly born at night they would most likely have been eaten before they were seen."

Link to Original Source

nut nut writes  |  more than 7 years ago

nut (19435) writes "A new local tv station at the bottom end of New Zealand, 45 South chose a $10 wok over a $20 000 commercial transmission dish. They claim better performance than their previous commercial aerials, as the solid metal of the wok prevents interference from behind the dish that plagued earlier wire mesh aerials.

The technology was originally developed by computer programmer Ken Jones to get broadband access at his rural property. Instruction on build your own Wok wireless acess point can be found here."


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