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Comments

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Hackers Break Currency Validator To Pass Any Paper As Valid Euro

pclminion Re: Firmware update? Unlikely. (162 comments)

Suspicion yes, but that's still not proof of anything. How did they eventually nail him? I realize you can convict on circumstantial evidence, but "He was capable of it" doesn't seem like quite enough proof.

about 10 months ago
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US Nuclear Commander Suspended Over Gambling

pclminion Re:Pay Scales (149 comments)

So pay off the guy's debt for him and put him in treatment.

about a year ago
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US Nuclear Commander Suspended Over Gambling

pclminion Re:Pay Scales (149 comments)

This is basic security clearance stuff. It you're doing anything that gives someone leverage over you (outside of your job), you don't get to know anything important. Seems reasonable to me.

No, it's completely insane, and a circular argument. If you gamble, you could be blackmailed by somebody threatening to tell your boss. Your boss will fire you for that because... it creates leverage? It's only leverage because the boss makes it leverage. If the boss would butt his dumb ass out of your private life, it wouldn't be effective as leverage anymore.

Example: Dickhead calls your boss and tattles on you for gambling. Your boss yawns and says "Who gives a fuck?" and hangs up. Look! No leverage!

about a year ago
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My favorite season:

pclminion I don't believe the results. (346 comments)

With fall (autumn) just getting started, the season is fresh and novel for most of us after experiencing the summer. It's no surprise the fall is coming in first, followed by summer (the next most recent thing you experienced) followed by spring (the again next most recent thing). And winter, the furthest back in memory, is coming in last. I have little doubt that if we executed this poll in the summer, the results would simply rotate around.

Every season seems fresh, new, and stimulating when it begins. Personally, I'm enjoying the fall start, but I can't kid myself -- summer and spring are my favorites, for different reasons. But yeah.. I'm digging fall, but it'll get old in a month or so.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Best To Synchronize Projects Between Shared Drive and PCs?

pclminion An analogy. (238 comments)

"I'm a contractor. I have a team of carpenters who are tasked with building a house. It seems this is going to require the driving of a large number of nails. My team of carpenters would like to know what sort of tool or mechanism would work best to drive these nails. Right now, we have one guy who holds the nail while another guy hits it with his thermos. This does eventually drive in the nail, but 90% of the time the nail bends, and it's denting our thermoses. I wonder if there exists some genius, super-carpenter bad-ass out there who might be able to suggest a better way."

about a year ago
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What Marketers Think They Know About You and What They Really Do

pclminion Re:I'm not falling for that! (277 comments)

Really? You don't give any part of your SSN to anyone? I take it you are not the beneficiary of any insurance policy and never held a job?

about a year ago
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What Marketers Think They Know About You and What They Really Do

pclminion Re:I'm not falling for that! (277 comments)

Either they are asking because they want to match your SSN to their records (in which case, they already have your SSN), or they do not have your SSN, in which case you can just type in a fake number.

about a year ago
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Boston Marathon Bomber Charged With Using 'Weapon of Mass Destruction'

pclminion Re:Good God, get a clue. (533 comments)

No, because "mass destruction" is a term that implies certain things based on the meaning of those two words. For instance, I do not use "mass destruction" to refer to a shovel. Because those words do not mean that.

about a year ago
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Boston Marathon Bomber Charged With Using 'Weapon of Mass Destruction'

pclminion Re:Good God, get a clue. (533 comments)

If it's a bomb, call it a bomb. Calling it a WMD is nothing but linguistic mind control.

about a year ago
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Boston Marathon Bomber Charged With Using 'Weapon of Mass Destruction'

pclminion Complete dilution of the meaning of WMD (533 comments)

The term "WMD" was intended to distinguish certain weapons of "mass destruction" from other conventional weapons, for instance conventional bunker-busting bombs. With respect to military weapons, a convention explosive bomb capable of leveling a three story building is not considered a WMD. WMD was meant to describe weapons such as thermonuclear bombs, mass chemical and biological agents, etc.

It appears we no longer have a useful term to refer to weapons which cause "mass destruction." Apparently, a couple of ounces of low-velocity explosive packed inside a metal container one can acquire at Walmart now meet the qualification. This is ludicrous.

about a year ago
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Why Your Users Hate Agile

pclminion Re:Developers hate Agile too (597 comments)

Or, you know, you could work out those problems with a design before you start.

Can you list the projects you've worked on where there was a complete, correct design at the beginning, and that design was then flawlessly executed? I would like to study and learn from such projects.

about a year ago
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Why Your Users Hate Agile

pclminion Re:Developers hate Agile too (597 comments)

As I understand it, in a stand-up, one is supposed to say what one did yesterday (I don't care), what one is going to do today (again, I don't care), and what road-blocks, if any, you have (and, unless your problems affect me doing my work, I still don't care).

So you're saying if a fellow team member is doing something in a way you think could be done better, you just stay silent? If a team member is planning to do something that you think isn't actually necessary because of something you're doing, you just stay silent? If a team member is struggling with a problem you have the skill set to help out with, you just stay silent?

It's true, for Agile to work, you need to have a team. The group you are a part of doesn't seem to fit the definition (or at least you don't).

about a year ago
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When Smart Developers Generate Crappy Code

pclminion Re:Coding Architecture Models (195 comments)

Interfaces often make sense, but you can tell when somebody has gone interface-crazy when it is no longer possible, by simply looking at the source code, to determine what actually is going to happen -- instead, you're reduced to tracing the code in a debugger to see what actually goes on.

about a year ago
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Earth's Core Far Hotter Than Thought

pclminion Re:Oh noes! (189 comments)

In physics, being wrong by a couple orders of magnitude is no big deal. Call me back when he's off by 10^20.

about a year ago
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FAA On Travel Delays: Get Used To It

pclminion Re:Sequestration is a gimmick (720 comments)

I love how in your comment you specify that there are "specific programs" that could be cut without elaborating on what those actually are.

War spending. If you're going to force me to state the fucking obvious, there you go.

about a year ago
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FAA On Travel Delays: Get Used To It

pclminion Sequestration is a gimmick (720 comments)

The same number of dollars could have been cut from specific programs in a way that would have had no noticeable impact on critical and important services. Instead, they chose to impact vital services in order to send a message to the public: "If you ask us to cut budgets, we'll do it in the most painful way possible." It's nothing more than an enormous "fuck you" to the American public.

about a year ago
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Tweet From Hacked AP Account Causes High Freq. Traders To Drop DOW 150 Points

pclminion Why did it even matter (314 comments)

Suppose the White House DID blow up, and Obama WAS injured. Why the hell should this affect the price of corn?

about a year ago
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Boston Police Chief: Facial Recognition Tech Didn't Help Find Bombing Suspects

pclminion Re:Enhance it and zoom in (235 comments)

License plates are a special case. They only have letters and numbers on them. The resolution of a camera may be too low for image processing software to extract an arbitrary image from it. But the fact that it is a license plate gives the algorithm prior knowledge which may help it extract the most likely plate number even if an arbitrary image can't be recognized.

about a year ago
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Ricin Tainted Letter Sent to Senator and Possibly the President

pclminion Re:How do they test for this? (461 comments)

It's not about breaking the bank. The point is, there is still a possibility of something getting through. It's stupid to spend that much money to have a less-than-100% success rate, when you could spend less and get a perfect success rate.

about a year ago
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Ricin Tainted Letter Sent to Senator and Possibly the President

pclminion Re:How do they test for this? (461 comments)

Let's say each MoC gets 200 letters per day -- a reasonable estimate based on some quick Googling. 535 members times 200 letters equals 107000 pieces of mail per day.

Suppose you pay some worker minimum wage to screen mail. They spend on average 20 seconds examining each piece of mail. That's 594 man-hours per day. Minimum wage in DC is $8.25 per hour. So, $4900 per day to screen the mail, just for labor costs.

$4900 per day is a pretty solid base estimate. On top of that, there are costs associated with enhanced checking for "suspicious" items. Assume 1 in 1000 items is deemed suspicious and undergoes extensive chemical testing at a cost of $50 (that's being generous). That's $5350 additional per day. A total of $10,250 per day to check the mail. 52 weeks a year, 6 days a week of mail is 312 days per year. Total cost per year is therefore $3.2 million.

Don't you think such an expenditure is completely idiotic? For one thing, the system can fail, despite all your checks. Something could slip through. On the other hand, you could, for a small fraction of that money, design and implement a robotic system which automatically opens the mail, digitally scans it, and transmits it to the MoC in the form of a PDF. 0% chance of failure, as well as much much cheaper.

about a year ago

Submissions

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pclminion pclminion writes  |  more than 7 years ago

pclminion (145572) writes "According to Gamespot, the German government is considering a new law which would make it a crime to commit "cruel violence on humans or human-looking characters." Conceivably, this could mean that gibbing your Quake 3 opponent (who happens to be using a human-like character) could become an actual crime. But the law seems more general than that — is a mannequin a "human-looking character," for example? Could chopping a mannequin apart for disposal now make one a criminal? Odd stuff."

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