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Ask Slashdot: Best Biometric Authentication System?

stoploss Re:Hand vein scanner` (118 comments)

I saw some video about hand scanner that uses your vein mapping. This is good because you dont need to touch it, and it'd be hard to replicate.

But does it work through gloves?

Yes. You simply place your hand in the 3T MRI cavity, wait 45 minutes for the scan to complete, and voila, instant authentication!


Doubling Saturated Fat In Diet Does Not Increase It In Blood

stoploss Re:Control the carbs and you control blood lipids (249 comments)

Great! You want to read even more detailed explanations for why this is the case. Most people tl;dr when presented with technical details, so the anecdotal links tend to work better.

Here's one post by Dr. Peter Attia, an MD with an engineering/applied math background. Thanks to that, he is very good at explaining biochemistry concepts to the stereotypical Slashdotter.


(I suggest also reading the three part ketosis series he published as well if you're unfamiliar with the biochemistry of nutritional ketosis)

Once you have read that, if have specific objections I'll be happy to discuss further.

3 days ago

Doubling Saturated Fat In Diet Does Not Increase It In Blood

stoploss Re:Control the carbs and you control blood lipids (249 comments)

The reason that low-carb/high fat works is because people don't feel like eating too much of that. There's only so much steak you can eat, but there's always room for dessert.

Did you read the links?

The guy didn't gain weight even on a massive surplus of caloric input while in ketosis (an excess of thousands of kcal/day), whereas he gained the expected amount of fat for his caloric surplus while on a carb diet. The fat deposition pathways are effectively disabled while in ketosis; this isn't really news.

In other words, the well-known anorectic effect of nutritional ketosis is notwithstanding. It just doesn't matter how much a person eats while in nutritional ketosis, they simply won't gain fat.

4 days ago

Doubling Saturated Fat In Diet Does Not Increase It In Blood

stoploss Re:Control the carbs and you control blood lipids (249 comments)

"The low-fat diet and food pyramid is probably the worst thing ever foisted on the American people. With 30 years of run-away obesity and diabetes, maybe it's time to admit failure with those recommendations."

As a foreigner I can easily see where USA's obesity epidemy comes from and it is not from any given food pyramid: have you paid attention lately to the ridiculously big rations you ingest? The ridiculously high levels of processed food? The ridiculously high comsumption of snacks and soda drinks?

No, it really doesn't matter how much you consume on a low carb, high fat diet as long as you remain in nutritional ketosis.

Here, one guy used himself as a guinea pig:
5,800 kcal/day low carb high fat diet, then he repeated the experiment with a 5,000 kcal/day diet with high carb intake.

These results make sense because the biochemical pathway signals are overloaded: the same hormones/substrates are used to signal more than one condition. That is to say, while your body is burning fat in nutritional ketosis it disables the pathways for laying down new fat stores. Essentially, a high fat/low carb diet tricks the body into thinking it is starving when it is not (the overloaded signals can't distinguish between the diet and true starvation), and it obviously makes no sense to store more fat if you're starving/burning fat. So, the body doesn't do it.

But, yeah, all the soft drinks and shit are killing people. No argument from me there. Drop the carbs.

4 days ago

How Facebook Is Influencing Who Will Win the Next Election

stoploss Re:If Facebook gave people $10 for their vote... (71 comments)

What portion of the population would sell their vote for an iphone?

I certainly would sell my vote for an iPhone during a typical election in my district. None of the races are close, and my vote for the token libertarian is typically grouped with "other/write in" in the results.

For $10, however, I would prefer to keep my vote and the personal satisfaction of my pointless gesture.

about a week ago

Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

stoploss Re: enable trim on yosemite (327 comments)

How would Apple know which SSDs support trim properly?

Way to let "perfect" to be the enemy of good. By your logic Apple is doing the correct thing by cacking support for the overwhelming preponderance of SSDs in order to prevent data loss on a minority of them.

Also, why does Apple care anyway? It's not like they support the third party drives from a tech support perspective. Furthermore, who do you think would get the blame if an unsupported third party drive kills your data because they fucked up their TRIM support: Apple, or the shitty hardware manufacturer?

Apple's position is indefensible. It's either incompetence or malice. Presuming incompetence is a horrible insult, so I prefer to believe it's malice.

Let's just say I look for the best in people.

about two weeks ago

81% of Tor Users Can Be De-anonymized By Analysing Router Information

stoploss Re:individuate? (136 comments)

Which, in turn, is still better than "compute" (noun)

about two weeks ago

The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

stoploss Re:Be the Change You Wish to See in the World (438 comments)

When I was younger and I first came across this quote by Mahatma Gandhi:

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

I dare you to find a credible citation for that quote. It's one of those sentimental things that gets attributed to someone from whom it would seem plausible, but it's unlikely they ever said it.

I was going to use that "Gandhi" quote once, but couldn't find a good cite beyond those echo chamber quote sites. So, I didn't.

about two weeks ago

Washington Dancers Sue To Prevent Identity Disclosure

stoploss Re:In the uk (461 comments)

Except that it is a state FOIA request; which may have the limits. The problem is most people are not sympathetic to strippers; and unlike gun owners who managed to get carry permit applications exempt, the lack a powerful lobby.

I will point out that I am sympathetic to *everyone* who doesn't want their records FOIA'd or data dumped, whether it be strippers, gun owners, people who got same-sex marriage licenses, or your DMV records.

It's an intimidation tactic, but underscores how once data is collected it can be abused in the future.

about two weeks ago

Dealer-Installed GPS Tracker Leads To Kidnapper's Arrest in Maryland

stoploss Re:For some values of secretly (271 comments)

They will eventually, when the state and insurance companies mandate the trackers.

No need to mandate, telematics is already here. Ford: We can use GPS to track your car movements.

If your vehicle has GPS and a cell modem (i.e. a nav system with apps, services, etc) then you have to assume the manufacturer is already doing this type of tracking. Ford's CEO just pulled a Biden here and admitted publicly what they're all doing. I know my non-Ford vehicle has a telematics unit and is probably reporting all my speed and location data to the manufacturer (including when I exceed the speed limit, because it knows). I haven't figured out how to pull it yet. Most of the vehicle cabin controls route through the head unit, and I don't have a wiring diagram so far.

about three weeks ago

Amazon's Luxembourg Tax Deals

stoploss Re:Smaller scale? (200 comments)

Actually, it doesn't matter how long you reside outside of the US they still want their bite.

Actually, it's even better than that: even if you live outside of the US and renounce your US citizenship they still want their bite.

about three weeks ago

Enzymes Make Electricity From Jet Fuel Without Ignition

stoploss Not subject to Carnot efficiency limit (78 comments)

This isn't a heat engine; therefore, it isn't subject to the Carnot efficiency limit that is a key reason that internal combustion engines have such a low maximum theoretical efficiency in terms of extracting energy from the fuel.

Hydrocarbons are actually a great energy store for a vehicle: they are thermally stable/don't discharge over time, it's fast & trivial to "recharge" the energy store, and hydrocarbons have orders of magnitude more energy per mass than any form of battery, which improves vehicle efficiency by reducing the mass that has to be lugged around. However, the internal combustion engine is a wastefully inefficient, complicated machine. Ideally, we could get the best of both worlds with a hydrocarbon fuel cell that efficiently produces electricity to drive electric motors for a vehicle. There are other technologies that could potentially accomplish this, such as the solid oxide fuel cell.

Don't conflate the energy store (hydrocarbons) with the stored energy (e.g. fossil fuels). There is no reason we cannot create hydrocarbons at will using various approaches. Biodiesel from algae is one example as well as "reverse combustion" via more industrial processes (e.g. the Fischer-Tropsch process). Some catalytic processes have been created that use solar power to create hydrocarbons.

Personally, I prefer the idea of large nuclear plants creating hydrocarbons from atmospheric CO2. As a bonus, we would get to keep our existing petroleum distribution infrastructure while our vehicle fleet becomes carbon neutral. Backwards-compatible carbon neutrality FTW?

about three weeks ago

Marijuana Legalized In Oregon, Alaska, and Washington DC

stoploss Re:But DC is different,no? (588 comments)

In some cases, the feds require the tests, not the corporation. The corporation just follows the laws.

Yes, I alluded to that in my previous comment. Sometimes I work around the issue by having them contract with my LLC; otherwise, if they insist on the drug test then we're done.

I don't need the work that badly. I can always find something else.

about three weeks ago

Marijuana Legalized In Oregon, Alaska, and Washington DC

stoploss Re:But DC is different,no? (588 comments)

So, what you're saying is that in the US, you are free... as long as you don't need money, in which case you're at the mercy and whim of anyone who'd care to employ you.

That's a distortion. By that token, everyone in the whole world is a whore because everyone does things they wouldn't otherwise do in exchange for "considerations" from others.

I refuse to take any job that requires a drug screen. However, one thing other commenters have failed to mention is that a lot of this is driven by the federal government requiring entities that want federal contracts to have a "drug-free workplace". Congress isn't required to be tested themselves, of course.

Yes, some corporations demand a test. I tell them that's not negotiable. I don't even use drugs; this is a matter of principle for me.

about three weeks ago

American Express Seeks To Swap Card Numbers For Secure Tokens

stoploss Re:Make it simple (130 comments)

But remember, that's just within Target's own loyalty card.

No, it's not. It's tied to your profile they build from your credit card information.

I don't generally object to a given store knowing what I've bought AT that store. Indeed i consider it fairly inevitable.

If that were the extent of it, I would agree. However, cross-linking databases has continued to grow. I bought a vehicle last year, and either the dealer or the manufacturer sold me out because I get phone calls from other dealers around the country trying to sell me extended warranties. Given our discussion so far, it probably it goes without saying I didn't sign up for or disclose any information beyond what was required to purchase the vehicle at the dealer.

After all, I walk up to a cashier show them all my purchases, they look at my face, and then take my payment... if they wanted to keep track of people paying cash, it's all there.

That's a fantasy... are you alleging a human could assign some sort of biometric identifier or do some sort of lookup to build a profile to associate with your cash purchases? If you're talking about paying cash at Jim's Bait Shop in a town with a population of 733 and Jim is your wife's cousin, then that's different because Jim knows you personally. Also, Jim's Bait Shop doesn't have a data warehouse. With credit card transactions at a computerized point-of-sale terminal, the record for a chain store is preassembled for data warehousing and profile building.

Now, given the trends, I do expect Walmart/Target to eventually do facial recognition with their CCTV cameras to associate cash purchases with profiles as well as to build meta-profiles of who you shop with. They are already trying to track you as you wander through the store in terms of in which areas you linger, to further target your profile.

But the [Facebook] system allegedly isn't personally providing purchase personally identifying information.

Of *course* it is. Both Facebook and the store are hashing the same information to create up with the customer profile identifier. The store provides the details of your transaction. At this point, Facebook has both halves of the "anonymized" data, and we are supposed to trust that they discard that rather than retaining the link between the data elements. The brick & mortar store might not have the transaction linkage, but FB does.

you are probably over estimating the value of the data.

As I said, if data in databases had an expiration date rather than being ever further cross-linked, and profile data were limited to in-store purposes only, then that might be tolerable. Instead, we have to think 4th dimensionally and anticipate what might happen if anything collected at any point in the past were made available to any other adversarial entity in the future.

Case in point: I signed a petition for a recall election. Some fuckers at a data warehousing firm (with a certain political bent) teamed up with the local newspaper (with the same bent), digitized all the data from the petitions and dumped them online, with everyone's name, address, and age. They had it indexed by google and it's still online 3 years after the fact. I didn't enjoy the semi-threatening political mailers I received from the recallee's campaign, and only the people who signed the recall petition received these.

The board of election protested, but the newspaper claimed this douchebaggery was some sort of important public access "historical record". There's a difference between a public record for someone to go examine a paper-based index in person vs. building a database for sale that anyone can trivially profile.

My point is that data gets abused, and the only protection against it is to not have potentially damaging data collected. Sometimes it's hard to predict what might be damaging (4th dimensionally speaking). Filling out ethnic and religious affiliation in a Census conducted by the innocuous, democratic Weimar Republic comes to mind as an example, among others.

As for sensitive, legitimate purchase information that could be used adversarially in the future, I tender the example of wanting to order anonymous medical laboratory tests.

about three weeks ago

American Express Seeks To Swap Card Numbers For Secure Tokens

stoploss Re:Make it simple (130 comments)

I guess it comes down to how difficult it is to load the stored value card, doesn't it? I view this as tantamount to the amount of cash I'm carrying vs the cash I have in my ATM-linked account. I'm willing to carry several hundred in cash. By the same token, I would be willing to carry several hundred in stored value. More than that and cash gets unwieldy. I blame the government for refusing to issue larger denomination bills despite inflation.

What stored value cards can give you is a way to purchase things anonymouslyespecially online purchases, which is otherwise a nigh-intractable problem. Yes, some places take money orders, but you have to go get one, mail it across the country to the merchant, wait for it to clear due to fraud paranoia, etc. Bitcoin is really a non-starter for commerce, comparatively speaking.

It's generally easier to replace a lost/stolen/destroyed stored value card than it is to try to reassemble fragments of cash. Yes, you should keep your documentation for the card, but we are comparing that to scotch tape + fragments of cash. And this is with *existing* technology, not some purpose-designed reloadable smart card stored value thing.

I think you are strongly underestimating the amount of tracking and profiling that happens when you make purchases using a credit card. I presume you're familiar with Target's "pregnancy detection" profiling that caused an uproar a few years ago. What about Facebook linking the purchases you make in brick & mortar stores to ads they have shown you while you're browsing? Yeah, that one surprised even me: directly linking in-person purchases to online browsing done elsewhere. Grocery stores/Walmart know exactly what you buy when you swipe, and they log all that... I bet a person's alcohol/tobacco purchase profile over the years would be quite valuable data for an insurance company. Furthermore, this kind of "third/fourth party" access is how the government works around a lot of 4th amendment impediments: they just buy the data from a broker when they couldn't constitutionally obtain it otherwise.

Like I said, I use credit cards. Hell, I probably use them for the majority of my purchases. I am just aware of the fact that each time I use one it is adding data to databases that are used to build profiles. And data in databases never dies; perhaps today's "creepy tracking" is fine, but I don't know what kind of innovations they will come up with in the future.

So, I protect my privacy as I deem appropriate through the judicious use of cash or stored value cards. I suppose this is also a matter of perspective: I consider the risk of database purchase profile data to have a larger potential for adverse consequences for me than the risk of losing the amount of cash/stored value I carry.

about three weeks ago

American Express Seeks To Swap Card Numbers For Secure Tokens

stoploss Re:Make it simple (130 comments)

Yes. I don't wander around the streets with $100s or $1000s of dollars on me for precisely those reasons.

You're cherry-picking scenarios. Who said you have to load thousands of dollars at a time on a preloaded cash-equivalent card?

I don't really get it with cash either if the person taking my money knows who I am.

Again with the cherry-picking. Do we really want to play this game? Because an equivalent cherry picked boundary case scenario against credit cards would be where a merchant fraudulently charges your card, the credit card company decides to reject your chargeback/fraud allegation for whatever reason, and then you lost in court when you decided to sue.

What's that you say, this doesn't normally happen? Exactly. Just admit it: cash is basically anonymous, just like credit card chargebacks usually work.

... through a controversial data-mining program that is widely regarded as operating outside its legal authority... So how about we just rein them in instead of playing cat and mouse with them.

Great. I'm on board with you there. I'm sure they'll stop if we ask nicely. Or if we pass some laws. *cough* You know that wasn't the sole data collection program. Look at what the DEA has been doing with phone records... puts the NSA to shame.

So how about we just rein them in instead of playing cat and mouse with them.

Oh wait, are you talking about the violent overthrow of the US government? Because that's pretty much what it will take to get them to stop at this point.

But sure in the meantime, if you are buying something you don't want tracked arrange for an cash envelope drop in a park at night on Halloween or something.

And you're welcome to enjoy having the federal government track everything you do while paying the credit card companies for that "privilege" through interest charges and higher prices passed through to you by retailers.

Oh, look: I can misrepresent your position just as easily as you do mine.

BTW, before your jerking knee hits your chin, note that I never said I don't use credit cards. My point is that there are tradeoffs, and that you are misrepresenting stored value cards by only discussing cherry-picked boundary cases. When was the last time you were mugged/robbed, had your house burgled, lost a non-trivial amount of cash, or had cash destroyed in a fire? Yes, these things can all happen, but for most of us they are extremely rare occurrences.

about three weeks ago

American Express Seeks To Swap Card Numbers For Secure Tokens

stoploss Re:Make it simple (130 comments)

Just give me a card that plugs into the USB port and that I can charge up at the 7-11 with cash...

And then when someone steals it, or it just spontaneously stops working one day... sure you'll still be ok with that?

I take it you find cash fatally flawed for those same reasons: the possibility of theft, loss, or destruction.

Of course, cash is anonymous—which you don't get with a credit card or check. Are you okay with the federal government tracking every purchase you make with plastic? Because they are.

about three weeks ago

UN Climate Change Panel: It's Happening, and It's Almost Entirely Man's Fault

stoploss Re:My two cents (695 comments)

How about we stop using a non renewable resource critical to many industrial processes to create energy.

Have a citation that hydrocarbons are a non-renewable resource? Because photosynthesizers and the Fischer-Tropsch process would like to have a word with you.

Don't conflate stored energy with the storage medium.

about three weeks ago


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