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Comment: Re: Note that this is a little different from sof (Score 1) 207

by JesseMcDonald (#49115961) Attached to: Wired On 3-D Printers As Fraud Enablers

So you should be able to copy a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle (I.e., copy the bourbon, bottle, and label), tie a label to the bottle that reads "made by J. McDonald" and sell it?

Sure. Why not? Who would be harmed? Certainly not the buyer, who knows exactly what they're getting. Who else would have any standing?

The buyer's buyer.

Either the buyer's buyer was also informed about who the original manufacturer was, or the initial buyer/reseller is obviously committing fraud. But that has nothing to do with the original transaction, which was not fraudulent and harmed no one.

Comment: Re: Note that this is a little different from sof (Score 1) 207

by JesseMcDonald (#49107029) Attached to: Wired On 3-D Printers As Fraud Enablers

So you should be able to copy a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle (I.e., copy the bourbon, bottle, and label), tie a label to the bottle that reads "made by J. McDonald" and sell it?

Sure. Why not? Who would be harmed? Certainly not the buyer, who knows exactly what they're getting. Who else would have any standing?

Comment: Re:Note that this is a little different from softw (Score 1) 207

by JesseMcDonald (#49103807) Attached to: Wired On 3-D Printers As Fraud Enablers

... printing a copy and selling it for $100,000,000 to some very stupid collector who doesn't notice that it is made rather roughly from plastic.

I see your point regarding basic FDM printers, but note that for the right price you can 3-D print in steel, ceramics, wax, and more, or print a mold from which you can cast various other materials, including silver, brass, and bronze.

Comment: Re:That's a stretch (Score 1) 266

by JesseMcDonald (#49097501) Attached to: Lenovo To Wipe Superfish Off PCs

It injects advertising into search engine results, and also has the capability to intercept and hijack SSL/TLS connections to websites, thanks to the installation of a self-signing certificate authority on affected machines.

It's worst than that. Not only can the program MITM SSL/TLS connections on the infected machine, so can anyone else in a position to intercept the traffic. The private signing key employed by the program is public knowledge at this point, and the same on all infected systems.

Comment: Re:Black Hat 2014: A New Smartcard Hack .. (Score 1) 449

by JesseMcDonald (#49091175) Attached to: Credit Card Fraud Could Peak In 2015 As the US Moves To EMV

And I am also well aware that the cost of the losses are socialised across all people. And I am ok with that. I know that I am paying an insurance premium when I use credit cards, however that cost is acceptable to me for the convenience of using credit cards.

Your opinion is irrelevant here. Of course you're OK with it; you're one of the negligent freeloaders driving up costs for everyone else! It's the more careful credit card users who don't deserve those costs that are harmed by this system.

For that reason, the laws requiring a high default level of protection should be repealed. You would still be free to get a card from a bank offering "gold-plated" fraud protection, for an unsubsidized premium fee, while others who are more responsible with their cards can forego the fees in exchange for performing their own due diligence.

Comment: Re: I don't see the problem (Score 1) 216

by JesseMcDonald (#49068335) Attached to: Valve Censoring Torrent References In Steam Chat

I say, the Law is settled in the consequences of language, and it should only come into play if actual, demonstrable physical harm has resulted as a direct result of that language.

Then you will be glad to learn that it is absolutely impossible for any language to cause physical harm as a direct result. In your prior example of "inciting violence", the language wasn't the cause of the harm, the violence was the cause of the harm; and the cause of the violence was the listener's choice, not the speech, or the speaker.

The freedom of speech naturally extends to all speech. Your freedom of speech is respected if and only if you can say whatever you want to say without any change in your legal status. Social consequences are, of course, another matter entirely.

Comment: Re:Actually in a functional language ... (Score 1) 252

by JesseMcDonald (#49020063) Attached to: AP Test's Recursion Examples: An Exercise In Awkwardness

Now someone implemented the forEach function. How did they without imperative loop construct?

forEach(iterator, function):
..if (!iterator.at_end()):
....function(iterator.get())
....forEach(iterator.next(), function)

A better question would be: How do you implement a loop construct without recursion?

Keep in mind that recursion is nothing more or less than the ability to return to a previous point in the control flow of a program. The stack overhead associated with a lack of tail-call optimization and the special treatment of iterative constructs are merely implementation details, whereas recursion is a fundamental concept in computer science without which most programs would be impossible to express.

Comment: Re:What do you expect? (Score 1) 252

by JesseMcDonald (#49019111) Attached to: AP Test's Recursion Examples: An Exercise In Awkwardness

It's recursion. Therefore fundamentally incomprehensible!

I realize you were joking, but there isn't really anything conceptually difficult about recursion. It just means that part of the program refers back to itself. Whenever you have self-similarity in the program's control flow, including the trivial case of repetition, you have recursion.

I think part of the problem is that most students are introduced to specialized loop keywords and "the" stack (a mere implementation detail) first, and only exposed to explicit recursion later as an "advanced" concept. Recursion should come first. Really, which is easier to understand:

void iterative(int n) {
..while (n > 0) {
....print(n);
....n = n - 1;
..}
}

void recursive(int n) {
..if (n > 0) {
....print(n);
....recursive(n - 1);
..}
}

From a modern compiler's point of view (with support for tail-call optimization) these examples are exactly equivalent, but the recursive version doesn't require an understanding of mutation, which is counter-intuitive for many beginners, and makes the control flow explicit where the "while" statement hides the control flow behind a special keyword.

Comment: Re:if the national system were sane, yes. Each ins (Score 1) 223

by JesseMcDonald (#48992865) Attached to: US Health Insurer Anthem Suffers Massive Data Breach

I was speaking from the point of view of one insurance company. They have to provide the various agencies that administer ACA the access that the agencies demand.

Under the system I described, the insurance company can provide any level of access required. Even a full database dump, if necessary—just make sure it's locked down so that such requests can only come the agency needing access. If they want to use their own transfer protocol, arrange for a hardened proxy server and do whatever protocol translation you need at that point. If your database gets hacked through an insecure interface demanded by some external agency, there will be a log entry recording that proxy as the source and everyone will know who is to blame.

Comment: Re:Info is accessible to hosptial, IRS, state, bil (Score 1) 223

by JesseMcDonald (#48989879) Attached to: US Health Insurer Anthem Suffers Massive Data Breach

If the IRS, the insurance company, the hospital, the state, and the billing company can read the data, the bad guy can read it too. The data may very well be encrypted on-disk, so if someone stole the hard drive they couldn't easily read it. It has to be decrypted by the system, though in order to be useful.

That isn't really true. A well-designed system (they do exist) would leave the decryption to a dedicated security module, separate from where the data is stored. To gain access to the data you first establish a secure connection to the data store, authenticate yourself, and retrieve the encrypted data. You then connect to the security module, re-authenticate, and present the encrypted data along with a (crypographically signed) request for decryption. The security module logs and validates the request, decrypts the data, and sends the plaintext back to the client through the encrypted connection. At no point does any system other than the security module and the client's computer have access to the plaintext, and the rules for validating requests can be as strict as you like.

The security module is an obvious target for attack, but it's also a single-purpose system on which you can focus all your security-hardening efforts.

Comment: Re:Backpedalled? (Score 1) 740

by JesseMcDonald (#48974127) Attached to: New Jersey Gov. Christie: Parents Should Have Choice In Vaccinations

(*)except those who have a medical condition

What logical basis do you propose for this exception? Unvaccinated is unvaccinated. Those who were not vaccinated for perfectly good medical reasons are exactly as much a threat to you and your kids as those who were not vaccinated due to philosophical objections or any other reason.

When it comes down to it, your willingness to tolerate this exception shows that your intent is merely to punish people for not helping out with your vaccination program, not to protect yourself against any reasonable threat of infection.

Comment: Re:Oh God, not again (Score 1) 740

by JesseMcDonald (#48973887) Attached to: New Jersey Gov. Christie: Parents Should Have Choice In Vaccinations

But what of carriers (Typhoid Mary being the obvious example) and conditions where you can be contagious and asymptomatic?

Typhoid Mary is a particularly poor example here because she was well aware that she was contagious, having been informed of that fact on several occasions, and yet repeatedly placed herself in an ideal position to pass the disease on to others. That isn't negligence, it's deliberate harm.

As for the rare cases where one can be asymptomatic and yet contagious, that's a risk you'll just have to take. It's not like vaccination eliminates that risk; even ignoring the fact that it isn't 100% effective, those who are immune can still be carriers. The most effective response in this case is to practice basic sanitation measures and limit direct contact, regardless of vaccination status.

It is reasonable for society to impose certain restrictions upon your freedom in exchange for the privilege of being a participant.

Nonsense. Putting aside the slip into ambiguous collectivist language ("society" does nothing; only individuals are capable of making choices and taking action), it is reasonable for you to exercise your freedom and refrain from contact with the unvaccinated, if that is your choice. Your fears do not justify restricting the freedom of others.

I trust that when I let my child play with your child that you will do a whole list of things, and one of those is that you will do your best to ensure my child is not exposed to life threatening conditions.

Sure, and there's nothing wrong with that. The ability to trust in others on the basis of common experiences and values is a good thing, when it isn't being abused as an excuse for aggression. But don't trust blindly; it's up to you to take steps to ensure that the other parents you associate with are in agreement with you regarding what is reasonable and necessary for the protection of all your children. And if it happens that such agreement is lacking, to find a voluntary response to the situation rather than resorting to violence and threats.

As I said before, I am not opposed to vaccination per se. It's a great invention and most people should choose to be vaccinated and to vaccinate their children unless they have a good medical reason not to. All I'm saying is that people should not be forced to undergo a medical procedure against their will (or against their parents' will, in the case of children), and that the choice to avoid vaccination is not, in and of itself, an act of violence against others—negligent or otherwise.

In the end, you want everyone else to be vaccinated so that you (and your kids) do not run the risk of accidentally contracting a disease against your will, which you consider harmful. To that end, you're willing to deliberately force others to undergo a medical procedure against their will, which they consider harmful. The hypocrisy in this position should be self-evident.

Comment: Re:Oh God, not again (Score 1) 740

refusal to vaccinate your kids can easily be seen as an act of negligent violence against others (me).

No, it can't. Refusal to vaccinate yourself or your kids does not, by itself, cause harm to anyone else. If any harm does occur later on, it will be due to interacting with others while infected and contagious. Provided that the proper steps are taken, it is perfectly possible for the unvaccinated to avoid becoming infected, and even if infected, to avoid passing the disease on to others during the contagious period. Vaccination is certainly more convenient, but it is hardly the only way to avoid passing on diseases short of total isolation.

"Negligence" is a tenuous argument at the best of times; to apply it here, you would need to show that the individual had reason to believe that he or she (or his/her child) was actually contagious and chose to interact with others anyway without taking effective precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.

I favor vaccination, but I also feel very strongly that people have the right to decline any medical procedure they do not wish to undergo, vaccination included.

do libertarians believe that you shouldn't be forced to correct your eyesight before being granted a license to drive? vaccinations can be considered a similar public-health measure affording you the right to enter public spaces.

What libertarians generally believe, as a direct consequence of the Non-Aggression Principle, is that the owner of the road decides the terms for the use of his or her private property. Either a space is privately owned by someone, who has the right to determine who can enter it and how it can be used, or else it is unowned and thus available for anyone to homestead. There are no "public spaces", and no one has the authority to enact a "public-health measure" restricting the use of others' property.

Comment: Re:Does not create review loop (Score 1) 265

by JesseMcDonald (#48961485) Attached to: Don't Sass Your Uber Driver - He's Rating You Too

How does that work? ... If the driver doesn't review anyone, then no one can ever see the passengers reviews?

There's a simple solution for that: give both sides a fixed amount of time (several days) to enter a review. Reviews remain hidden until the time limit has passed.

The site should allow reviews to be edited until the time limit expires, rather than locking in reviews once both sides have submitted, to as a safeguard against coercion. Otherwise one party could force the other to enter a positive review while they watch, then lock it in by submitting their own review.

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