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+ - The Individual Midnight Thread 40

Submitted by unitron
unitron (5733) writes "Trying to figure out time zones is starting to make my brain hurt, but apparently in a bit over 6 hours somewhere on the other side of globe from Greenwich the Week of Slashcott will begin, as Midnight arrives for anyone in that zone, and then it travels west, where I will encounter it in about 23 hours.

So if we can get this thread out of the Firehose, I was thinking that, as the 10th arrives for us in our respective locations, we could leave here what may be our final farewells to Slashdot.

Until Midnight, this is our meeting place, our City Hall, our town square.

(and yes, our playground)

After that I'm not sure where we can congregate to discuss how the Slashcott's going and whether it's time to move on.

I'm going to jump the gun and lay claim to "So long and thanks for all the Karma", and perhaps someone could do a Bob Hope and re-write the lyrics to "Thanks for the Memories".

In the meantime, a bit of housekeeping.

An AC beat me to the week-long boycott idea by a couple of hours, and suggested the date range of the 10th through the 17th.

As part of a group of people familiar with the concept of beginning a count with 0 instead of 1, I really should have spotted the mistake of putting 8 days into that particular week.

So, should Slashcott Week end as the 17th begins, or do we give Dice a bonus day?"

+ - Bruce Schneier: Why Collecting More Data Doesn't Increase Safety-> 1

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "Bruce Schneier, security expert (and rational voice in the wilderness), explains in an editorial on CNN, why "Connecting the Dots" is a "Hindsight Bias". In heeding calls to increase the amount of surveillance data gathered and shared, agencies like the FBI have impaired their ability to discover actual threats, while guaranteeing erosion of personal and civil freedom. "Piling more data onto the mix makes it harder, not easier. The best way to think of it is a needle-in-a-haystack problem; the last thing you want to do is increase the amount of hay you have to search through. The television show 'Person of Interest' is fiction, not fact.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: The e-mail from Mt.Gox. (Score 5, Informative) 642

by Gendou (#36494198) Attached to: Bitcoin Price Crashes

I have an Mt.Gox account but have never actually used it for anything. I received the following e-mail earlier today.

Dear Mt.Gox user,

Our database has been compromised, including your email. We are working on a
quick resolution and to begin with, your password has been disabled as a
security measure (and you will need to reset it to login again on Mt.Gox).

If you were using the same password on Mt.Gox and other places (email, etc),
you should change this password as soon as possible.

For more details, please see this:

https://support.mtgox.com/entries/20208066-huge-bitcoin-sell-off-due-to-a-compromised-account-rollback

The informations there will be updated as our investigation progresses.

Please accept our apologies for the troubles caused, and be certain we will do
everything we can to keep the funds entrusted with us as secure as possible.

The leaked data includes the following:

- Account number
- Account login
- Email address
- Encrypted password

While the password is encrypted, it is possible to bruteforce most passwords
with time, and it is likely bad people are working on this right now.

Any unauthorized access done to any account you own (email, mtgox, etc) should
be reported to the appropriate authorities in your country.

Thanks,
The Mt.Gox team

Gmail also flagged suspicious failed login attempts on my e-mail account, so I had to go through a password reset process on it. Although I used a unique password at Mt.Gox, the attacker apparently is running automated login attempts using the stolen e-mail addresses and Mt.Gox passwords, so anyone using non-unique passwords is likely in trouble.

Comment: I will always type two spaces. (Score 1) 814

by Gendou (#33141538) Attached to: Sentence Spacing — 1 Space or 2?

If you're not paying me to type a certain way, either FUCK OFF or do a search/replace (or both). I owe you nothing. If you are paying me, and putting only a single space is a job requirement (this has never happened), then I'll do a search/replace when I'm done typing. Then I'll look for a better job. If HTML doesn't render the spaces -- fuck it, not my problem. If you enjoy typing a single space -- I don't give a fuck what you do just like you shouldn't give a fuck what I do.

Microsoft

+ - Windows 7 stability fix breaks stability 2

Submitted by Dave
Dave (666) writes "Last week, Microsoft posted a slew of non-security updates for Windows 7, one of which was titled as follows: "An update is available to improve the stability and the reliability of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2." Unfortunately, according to a thread on Microsoft TechNet, the update (KB977074) is actually breaking the stability and reliability of the operating system.

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/02/windows-7-stability-update-breaks-stability-for-some-users.ars"

Comment: Re:93% of Programmers Think You're Wrong (Score 2, Informative) 572

by Gendou (#30721500) Attached to: Why Programmers Need To Learn Statistics

I'm not sure why I'm wasting time responding to a troll but whatever.

> The question is 1 coin is heads, what is the probability that the other coin is heads. In other words, your girlfriend is pregnant. What are the odds that my girlfriend is also pregnant?

No, you read it wrong. What it's actually asking is (if we pretend all girlfriends have exactly a 50% chance of being pregnant): "two girlfriends exist. At least one of the two is pregnant. What are the odds that both girlfriends are pregnant?"

You just read it wrong and you're too stubborn too admit that you could ever be wrong, even though this puzzle is FIFTY YEARS OLD and is well documented all over the internet. Just see the Wikipedia article on it.

Comment: Re:93% of Programmers Think You're Wrong (Score 1) 572

by Gendou (#30718852) Attached to: Why Programmers Need To Learn Statistics

Unfortunately, I have some bad news for you -- this is actually a well-documented mathematical puzzle, and there's even a Wikipedia article on it.

Similar to the Monty Hall Problem, almost everybody assumes 50% at first, since it seems natural and intuitive. When the question is stated unambiguously (the version at the top of this thread was admittedly not very clear), the answer really is 33%, provable both by basic math and by actual testing. The purpose of the problem is to see if someone can admit that he's wrong when he's confronted with logical and empirical evidence. This is often used during job interviews. Needless to say, you wouldn't be getting the job.

See also Bertrand's Box Paradox or the Three Prisoners Problem for similar puzzles.

Comment: Re:93% of Programmers Think You're Wrong (Score 1) 572

by Gendou (#30718766) Attached to: Why Programmers Need To Learn Statistics

I think I can help clarify this for you since you seem to be the only one to still be having trouble understanding this.

Two coins are flipped. In the absence of any other information, there are four possibilities:

Heads, Heads: 25%
Heads, Tails: 25%
Tails, Heads: 25%
Tails, Tails: 25%

Then we receive some new information: at least one of the coins is Heads. That rules out the last option. Let's recalculate the odds based on the new information:

Heads, Heads: 33.3%
Heads, Tails: 33.3%
Tails, Heads: 33.3%

Now, let's look at the question (reworded slightly to hopefully make it less confusing for you): "Two coins are flipped. At least one of the two coins lands Heads. What are the odds that both coins landed Heads?"

In the first instance (33.3%), both coins landed heads. In the second and third instances (combined 66.7%), both coins did not land heads.

So the answer is 1/3 (33.333...%)

You can verify this with some actual coins. Flip two coins, then if either coin is heads, check to see if the other coin is heads. Keep a tally of how often the other coin is or isn't heads. If you haven't actually flipped coins, you're just talking out your buttocks.

I don't know how else to help you if you're still struggling.

Reference the NULL within NULL, it is the gateway to all wizardry.

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