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Comment: Re:Polygraph (Score 2) 580

by Cassini2 (#48119493) Attached to: FBI Says It Will Hire No One Who Lies About Illegal Downloading

False positives create selection bias. A polygraph detects people that are *nervous about there lies*. It won't detect the unaware and clueless, because they do not know they did anything wrong. Most people download songs to their iPhone, and assume it is legal. The polygraph not detect people that assume they are innocent. On the other hand, some people lie all of the time. A sociopath will pass the lie-detector test because they don't believe they are lying, and one person in 25 is a sociopath.

These problems have already been encountered in the preemployment screening industry. This is one of the less biased artlicles. To quote:

One recent study found faked answers for one quarter to one half of the applicants.[44] So how can employers who want to use personality or EQ tests in their selection process mitigate against the risk of applicant faking? Counter-measures to faking include the test and retest approach to see if an individual is consistent in their answers, or asking questions that require quick responses.[45] But counter-measures to faking may result in less reliable and valid results since some tools used to detect faking do not work well.[46]

Bluntly, if your goal is to hire people that have done no wrong, then chances are that your hires have either lied to you, or are too clueless to realize their mistakes. Either way, it is really bad for the employer, especially if the employer is the FBI.

Comment: Re:Exact mathematical value isn't the ideal (Score 1) 239

by Cassini2 (#48115349) Attached to: Where Intel Processors Fail At Math (Again)

I recall working with numerical methods from about 40 years ago, and all of the calculations that required a call to sin were range reduced to the region of +/- pi/4 anyway. The reason is that the taylor series expansions for sine and cos are most accurate in the region of zero, and for values in excess of pi/4, it is more accurate to do a transformation and implement a different call.

It is likely that the serious numerical code already handle this condition inside the internal algorithms.

Comment: Re: Friends (Score 3, Informative) 367

by Cassini2 (#48069401) Attached to: Test Version Windows 10 Includes Keylogger
Words of warning from Microsoft. Be sure to read the third one:

Remember, trying out an early build like this can be risky. That's why we recommend that you don't install the preview on your primary home or business PC. Unexpected PC crashes could damage or even delete your files, so you should back up everything.

If you want to stop using Windows Technical Preview and return to your previous version of Windows, you'll need to reinstall your previous version from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC—typically a DVD. If you don't have recovery media, you might be able to create recovery media from a recovery partition on your PC using software provided by your PC manufacturer. You'll need to do this before you upgrade. Check the support section of your PC manufacturer's website for more info.

After you install Windows Technical Preview, you won’t be able to use the recovery partition on your PC to go back to your previous version of Windows.

Watch out! Installing this version of Windows disables the recovery partition.

Comment: Re:Funny how this works ... (Score 1) 184

by Cassini2 (#47975377) Attached to: Netflix Rejects Canadian Regulator Jurisdiction Over Online Video

No. The CRTC does not have the power to block credit card transactions.

The CRTC has the authority to pull the TV station licenses, pull cable TV licenses, and in general, block or prevent any over-the-air broadcast activity. They also have the authority over any telecommunications providers in canada (over-the-wire or over-the-air.)

Netflix does not fall within any of the CRTC's typical mandates, other than the one that encourages Canadian content. However, the CRTC can only influence Canadian content via its other powers over broadcasters and cable companies.

A full list of the relevant statutes and regulations is at:

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 2) 358

by Cassini2 (#47944939) Attached to: U2 and Apple Collaborate On 'Non-Piratable, Interactive Format For Music'

This DRM technology is fascinating. The player automatically senses if any listening devices are present, and adjust's the output volume such that the listening devices are unable to record the music. In effect, it will play music so quietly that no one will be able to hear it or record it!

This is the latest in DRM technology, and people are going to pay million's of dollars to have it. Only Apple and U2 could pull this technology off. It is so new, it won't work with Linux, BSD, Zune, Windows, Android, and old versions of OS/X and iOS. Anyone using those older technologies will have to make do with cheap MP3 recordings of music.

DRM will work this time.

Comment: Re:Ask the US Postal Service (Score 4, Interesting) 124

Management 101: If you don't trust your employees - you are screwed. You need committed and motivated employees, and you must take actions to keep the employees committed and motivated.

CEO 101: Employee problems are management problems.

Financial Investor 101: A bad CEO can wreck the company.

The USPTO has experienced all three problems, and financial investors in lots of different tech companies have paid dearly.

Comment: Thermodynamically Impossible (Score 4, Interesting) 311

by Cassini2 (#47135321) Attached to: Solar Roadways Project Beats $1M Goal, Should Enter Production

Isn't it impossible for solar cells to melt significant snow?

The black road surface will effectively capture almost all of the sun's energy. In the northern U.S. and Canada, roads routinely get covered in snow.

The solar cell can capture a portion of the sun's incoming energy, and potentially use it to power heaters to melt the snow. This approach has several problems. Firstly, the solar cells / heater mechanism is less energy efficient than a black road surface. Secondly, if the snow falls when it is dark, the solar cell will stop working (unless it has some big batteries are present, and even they won't last long in a heavy snow fall.) Lastly, the best sun occurs in the summer, and the snow hits in the winter, when less solar energy is available.

About the only way a solar cell can keep up with incoming snow is if the solar array is much larger than the area of snow being melted. However, even then, you still have the problem of the solar array getting covered in snow ...

Comment: Re:No need for UPS to help (Score 1) 207

by Cassini2 (#47132737) Attached to: UPS Denies Helping the NSA 'Interdict' Packages

They also have custom's warehouses for out-going goods. On the U.S.-Canada border, there are warehouses for goods going in both directions. US bound goods get Canadian warehouses, and Canadian bound goods get Canadian warehouses. Both are easily accessed by persons with the right American security credentials. Treaties, special agreements, and informal arrangements are all up-and-working.

Times have changed. Canada is closely aligned with U.S. security policy. During the Vietnam war, draft-dodgers claimed refugee status in Canada. Starting with the new conflicts, fleeing soldiers are sent back as deserters.

Comment: Re:No need for UPS to help (Score 3, Interesting) 207

by Cassini2 (#47128351) Attached to: UPS Denies Helping the NSA 'Interdict' Packages

Many (all?) custom's warehouses are operated by third-party companies. This will be a little bit more complicated than inspecting luggage. However, the companies (subsidiaries) that operate those warehouses get their entire revenue from allowing people to transport goods across borders. I suspect the NSA can get away with almost anything in that environment.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein