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Comment: Re:science? (Score 2, Interesting) 216

by Dr Tall (#28870591) Attached to: Tetraktys
It depends what you mean, and I think a lot of people are conflicted about it. If "science" means to make predictive theories about the way the natural world operates, then no, CS isn't science. If "science" means to make claims in a verifiable, empirical, and unbiased fashion (that is, the scientific method), then CS theory proofs and industry debugging seem a lot like science to me.

Comment: Re:Nothing to worry about... (Score 1) 276

by Dr Tall (#28668251) Attached to: Cruising Fisherman's Wharf For New Passports' Serial Numbers

But the threat in the video is farfetched, because there are much easier ways of finding American tourists.

I don't think the author is making the claim that RFID is the best way to ID Americans. I agree with you that there are much better ways for a human to ID an American. But what about an explosive device, as shown in the video? Modern terrorists use remote explosives to time an attack for most destruction and/or destruction of Americans as opposed to sympathetic locals.

It would be much easier to build a device that will only blow up if X number of Americans are in its kill range. This device could be constructed, dropped, and forgotten about. This means you have no risk of being caught once you plant the device. Sure it could make plenty of collateral damage, but it would always get at least X Americans along with it. The author's claim is that faulty RFID shielding on passports makes this possible to do. I don't have a cost analysis, so perhaps it is still farfetched, but for the right price I think this would be a very practical exploit.

Comment: Re:What happens when Steam fails? (Score 1) 731

by Dr Tall (#27343795) Attached to: Valve Claims New Steamworks Update "Makes DRM Obsolete"
Well DUH. My patience is getting cut short. How are you supposed to play an Internet online game, without the Internet in the first place, that your steam account can connect to!!??!

What are you talking about? My point is that if Steam's servers are offline, I cannot play my online games even though *my* Internet connection works *fine*. Obviously if I have no Internet I can't play online :P

Comment: Re:What happens when Steam fails? (Score 2, Informative) 731

by Dr Tall (#27319011) Attached to: Valve Claims New Steamworks Update "Makes DRM Obsolete"
Become educated instead of braying along with the masses. Its cool.

Try it yourself.

Steam can be run in offline mode, yes, but networkable games cannot access the Internet when Steam is in offline mode. That is not "do whatever you want", it is DRM.

Yes, Gabe said that, but when the day comes he'll have no incentive to do so. He might not even have the money to push the patch out.
Graphics

The Presidential Portrait Goes Digital 295

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the oh-oh-obamania dept.
alphadogg writes "Barack Obama's election to US president has already brought a string of firsts, and on Wednesday there came another. The official presidential portrait was shot on a digital camera for the first time. The picture was taken by the White House's new official photographer, Pete Souza, and issued by The Office of the President Elect through its Web site. It was taken on Tuesday evening at 5:38 p.m. using a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, according to the metadata embedded in the image file."
The Courts

The Shady Business Practices of Classmates.com 275

Posted by timothy
from the let-her-stalk-you-for-a-change dept.
eldavojohn writes ""Some of your classmates are trying to contact you!" reads one e-mail. Attempts to remove yourself from the mailing list may only result in more mailings from the site of ill repute. Well, Ars Techica brings us news of a suit against Classmates.com. You don't need to look far for anti-classmates.com sentiment spreading like wild fire across the tubes." Good next target: ads that say "you've already won" some expensive toy.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.

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