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Comment: Re:Technically if an NSA backdoor existed (Score 1) 168

by Threni (#46757829) Attached to: First Phase of TrueCrypt Audit Turns Up No Backdoors

The source code is available here:

Nothing to stop anyone anywhere from looking. And I don't see how a " NSA letter " , even to someone in the USA, would stop them from exercising their first amendment rights and writing whatever they wanted, or from adding comments to the code and posting them somewhere, etc.

Comment: Re:It's OK for Apple but not Microsoft? (Score 1) 537

by Threni (#46757443) Attached to: Microsoft Confirms It Is Dropping Windows 8.1 Support

> I might keep a computer for 5-6 years for browsing the internet and checking my
> email (perhaps even longer) but 3-4 years for a work computer is very long indeed! I'll
> be keeping my cellphone for 4-5 years if the battery life is acceptable.

Opposite for me. New smartphone every couple of years (as the OS versions keep coming, phones get faster, screens larger and nicer) whereas I build a new desktop every 4 or 5 (because I have windows base, on XP for years and now 7 for the foreseeable future, and a Linux Mint LTS distro for 3+ years) because of the stagnation of the platform means I miss nothing (except stuff like usb3 or unstable ssd drives which - when working - would contribute little to my productivity).

Comment: Re:Changing IMEI is illegal (Score 1) 105

by Threni (#46750763) Attached to: Inside the Stolen Smartphone Black Market In London

> Ah, right, that is UK, so they are likely busy detaining journalists as terrorists, there
> is no time to fight petty theft and muggers.

Given enough of an outcry they'll turn their attention to this particular crime, which will result in a large reduction in this particular crime, and the police can announce the last year vs this year figures (whilst not showing the increase in some other crime which isn't being targeted) before moving their focus elsewhere (with the corresponding increase in this particular crime). Happens again and again.


The Best Parking Apps You've Never Heard Of and Why You Haven't 162

Posted by samzenpus
from the park-that-anywhere dept.
Bennett Haselton writes "If you read no further, use either the BestParking or ParkMe app to search all nearby parking garages for the cheapest spot, based on the time you're arriving and leaving. I'm interested in the question of why so few people know about these apps, how is it that they've been partially crowded out by other 'parking apps' that are much less useful, and why our marketplace for ideas and intellectual properly is still so inefficient." Read below to see what Bennett has to say.

Comment: Re:They've got a lot of catching up to do... (Score 1) 427

by FhnuZoag (#46746047) Attached to: Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

Personally, I think the evidence, as far as I have seen *is* ambiguous and scant. I'm not sufficiently interested in this argument to go digging for sources to back up the opposing point of view, since I'm not sure I even hold it - at least to any great extent.

My bone in this debate (as a professional statistician) is simply to point out that the specific data source you quoted is not what you presented it as. Thus it's deeply offensive to me that you misrepresent a statistical estimate and then have the temerity to go:

It is a tragedy of this era that so many read statistics without understanding how to read them.

Assert as you wish. But without actual evidence, your claim is a mere assertion. I don't have to prove the opposite of your assertion to show that.

Comment: Re:They've got a lot of catching up to do... (Score 2) 427

by FhnuZoag (#46745395) Attached to: Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

Careful there.

Those values you quoted are *not* education statistics. They are estimates from a model built on national data, only a very small number of which actually came from Montana. In short, these are *specifically* driven by demographic data, and for especially low population, unusual demographic states like Montana, can potentially give very inaccurate results.

Specifically, the estimate for 2003 uses the following set of predictors:

- Percentage of the county population who were foreign-born and who had stayed in the United States for 20 years or less years;
- Percentage of county population age 25 and older with only a high school education or less;
- Percentage of the county population who were Black or Hispanic;
- Percentage of the county population in households with incomes below 150 percent of poverty level;
- Indicator variable identifying the New England and North Central census divisions; and
- Indicator variable identifying the SAAL states.

Comment: Re:Top survival skill: Making friends and allies. (Score 1) 720

by FhnuZoag (#46741917) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

Seriously yes. Most of the above skills are nice and all, but the likelihood is that not any one person will have all of the above. Which means you need to work with other people. In fact if one guy has a particular skill, you need to be able to educate the rest of the group in it. It's no use building a group where if one guy dies everyone is fucked.

Comment: Re:It's time we own up to this one (Score 1) 149

by Bruce Perens (#46730395) Attached to: NSA Allegedly Exploited Heartbleed
I think we need to take a serious look at the "many eyes" theory because of this. Apparently, there were no eyes on the part of parties that did not wish to exploit the bug for close to two years. And wasn't there just a professional audit by Red Hat that caught another bug, but not this one?

"Life sucks, but death doesn't put out at all...." -- Thomas J. Kopp