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Could Tech Have Stopped ISIS From Using Our Own Heavy Weapons Against Us?

nut Re:Like DRM? (448 comments)

Can you cite any events or references at all to back up that incredibly vague statement?

This could be said of all the whole of Europe, the Near East and North Africa. There were two world wars just in the previous century.

According the Smithsonian The region had existed as 3 separate stable vilayets within the Ottoman empire for nearly 400 years. I'm not sure where you're getting your history from.

about three weeks ago

Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

nut IQ != Intelligence (541 comments)

I see so many posts here using IQ and intelligence as if they were interchangeable synonyms. They are not.

IQ tests have no basis in science. IQ tests have never been benchmarked against anything except earlier IQ tests.

IQ tests cannot be proven to exclude cultural bias.

IQ tests cannot be said to measure intelligence in any precise way, unless you define intelligence as the ability to do IQ tests.

If you demonstrate that different races perform differently in IQ tests, you haven't proven anything about race and intelligence. You have only proven something about race an IQ tests.

about a month and a half ago

The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

nut Re:Pft (962 comments)

... one in every four women actually will be raped in their life ...

citation needed.

about 2 months ago

Marvel's New Thor Will Be a Woman

nut Re:Ridiculous! (590 comments)

... The industry needs fewer people like you, and more young girls.

Are you sure it's not just you that needs more young girls bud?

about 2 months ago

Train Derailment Dumps Two 737 Fuselages Into Clark Fork River

nut News for nerds? (187 comments)

And this is news for nerds how?

about 3 months ago

Study: People Would Rather Be Shocked Than Be Alone With Their Thoughts

nut Generalising from a culturally skewed sample (333 comments)

I wonder, was that sample of people take from a single city/state/country whatever?

Generalising this to a study of, "People" might be more than a little misleading...

about 3 months ago

The Security Industry Is Failing Miserably At Fixing Underlying Dangers

nut The software industry not the security industry (205 comments)

The title (of both the slashdot post and the original article) is misleading.

The article cites one Eugene Spatford who observes that, "software makers churn out products riddled with vulnerabilities." That's not the security industry's fault.

He goes on to tell us that law enforcement is inadequately equipped and that criminals protect themselves by bribing government officials. That's not the security industry's fault either.

Of the tools the security industry does use regularly he says that, "We’re using all these tools on a regular basis because the underlying software isn’t trustworthy." Again that's not the security industry at fault.

And the solution?

"... an investment in computer programming education and a major move by software manufacturers to embed software security concepts early into the development process."

Sounds reasonable to me. Also sounds like a task for the software development community generally, NOT just those specialising in security.

about 3 months ago

Perl Is Undead

nut There's nothing wrong with Perl ... (283 comments)

... it's just the way people use it.

Perl was designed as a powerful, flexible, loosely typed scripting language for munging text files and streams, and that's exactly what it is.

It's great for those scripts that you write for a particular task and never use again after the few days it was necessary. It's also good for writing glue code on occasion, to tie the inputs and outputs of other applications together, and when shell scripting just won't quite cut it.

The trouble was that it was such a useful scripting language people started writing applications in it. Then they had to jump on the object-oriented bandwagon, which was done clumsily. Sort of like gluing a dog to your horse so it can fetch. And yes, it can be difficult to read, but it doesn't have to be.

Use Perl for the tasks it was originally designed for. If you're going to write real applications, use a more appropriate language. Don't kick your dog because he can't sing.

about 3 months ago

Wikipedia Forcing Editors To Disclose If They're Paid

nut Re:Lipstick on a Pig (135 comments)

What's surprising is that the same people who look down their noses at Wikipedia probably believe that the Encyclopedia Britannica was an accurate source of unbiased information.

There have been serious studies of the reliability of wikipedia as a reference compared with the Encyclopedia Britannica at least.

Although I am aware of irony of Wikipedia as a reference for the reliability of Wikipedia...

about 3 months ago

Man Arrested For Parodying Mayor On Twitter Files Civil Rights Lawsuit

nut Re:Shut up and take my money (163 comments)

Interesting. Illinois police certainly do have a repuation. I'm not actually from the U.S.A. but nevertheless Amnesty International sends me emails about petitions such as this one about the Chicago police .

Sorry if that looks like a shameless plug for Amnesty International (well I guess it is) but WTH, they do good work.

about 4 months ago

Turing Test Passed

nut Re:A pretty low requirement (432 comments)

The bar itself is illusory. Intelligence is not a discrete quantized quality, and certainly not binary in nature. It's a continuum. There won't be a point in time where "real" artificial intelligence is created.

One day we will stop arguing whether true artificial intelligence can be created and start arguing about when it happened.

about 4 months ago

Amazon Confirms Hachette Spat Is To "Get a Better Deal"

nut Re:Books aren't special (211 comments)

Nor has he shown that books are not fungible. He has only shown that books are not necessarily fungible between titles. (Of course even that is debatable, as it depends on the personal sensibilities of the consumer.) Two copies of the same book are clearly fungible. This is implicit in the fact that Amazon sells "the same book" to two different people in two separate transactions. Presumably the two readers don't care which book rolled off the press first.

about 4 months ago

U.S. Drone Attack Strategy Against Al-Qaeda May Be Wrong

nut Re:Anti-Drone arguments are so frequently flawed. (433 comments)

The problem with the VAST majority of criticisms against drone warfare is this: /They don't cite alternatives./

This is the most blatant straw-man argument I have ever seen. You don't target the actual study named in the story, but some nebulous cloud of "... majority of [all] criticisms."

You imply this is a criticism of intervention policy generally.

Drones are incidental to the intervention policy...

It is not. It is a specific criticism of the current use of drones as a strategy.

And finally I take issue with your assertion that a criticism should be required to suggest an alternative.

I am wearing a dead toad around my neck to ward off the plague. You argue that all available statistical evidence shows that wearing dead toads has no effect on whether or not a person will contract the plague.

The fact that you don't provide an alternative to dead toads doesn't change the fact that my dead toad is completely ineffective.

about 4 months ago

Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr Released

nut Re:*Yawn* I'll Wait for the Mint Edition (179 comments)

... especially given Shuttleworth's complete and utter contempt for the open source community.

He's giving it away for free. You don't have to use it.

about 5 months ago

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...

about 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 7 months ago



Civil disobedience against mass surveillance

nut nut writes  |  about a year 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 2 years 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 4 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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