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Comment: Re:Submarine versus Viking longship (Score 2) 52

The math still caps at 99.9% or .1% there's always a .1% chance of any unit defeating another no matter how out gunned they are. Of course in practice this very rarely comes up. And I could see a longship having a piece break off after getting shot at and having that debris end up in just the right spot to clog the subs engines or torpedo bays or something like that. Sure it's statistically unlikely, and probably not even a 1/1000 chance of actually happening, but for the sake of game play I can accept it.

Comment: Re:Other Freelance Platforms (Score 1) 55

by Linsaran (#49029091) Attached to: Which Freelance Developer Sites Are Worth Your Time?
Fair enough, I've worked with Onforce.com, FieldSolutions.com, WorkMarket.com, Syntechs.com, and barrister.com. My only complaints about the first two platforms are that it seem difficult to actually get work for them, they pay on time and are relatively professional. Onforce picks which techs get routed which opportunities and if you're not quick to respond someone else can snatch up a job. FieldSolutions lets you bid on just about anything, but they seem to be picky about which techs they'll take to any given job. Work Market is a crapshoot, some of the vendors are good, others not so much. Syntechs seems to enjoy making you wait 5 months for payment, while Barrister wants to pay you $45 to do a 2 hour job that's an hour drive away (and if you want to be paid in 2 weeks instead of 30 days they subtract an additional -10% off of that) and they make you wait 30 minutes to actually get through their hold queue to talk to anyone if there's any sort of problem.

Comment: Other Freelance Platforms (Score 1) 55

by Linsaran (#49027301) Attached to: Which Freelance Developer Sites Are Worth Your Time?

So this topic is somewhat relevant to my business. I don't really have any talent for or interest in coding, but I am what I guess you'd call a Freelance Technician. I do a lot of what I'd refer to as 'smart hands' jobs that don't really require a huge amount of technical know how, provided you can read directions. In-Warranty repair of items that can't be easily shipped is a common case where companies need someone who can swap a bad part for a good one, but don't really want to hire a dedicated person for. For example I do a lot of Flat-screen TV repair, which 95% of the time boils down to swapping a defective board for a good one, once you figure out which board needs to go.

This sort of bread and butter work is what keeps me in business, and I have a few platforms that feed me most of my work. Some of them are better than others, some of them aren't willing to pay even close to what I'd consider a reasonable rate for the amount of work they expect. Some of them are notoriously difficult to actually reach a live person to talk to, some are sleazy and don't pay you in a reasonable time frame. This sort of behavior seems par for the course in the Freelancer world, but I'm curious if anyone else out there has recommendations of decent platforms to work for?

Comment: Re:Majority leaders home district (Score 3, Interesting) 176

Fukushima was bad, but it was nothing even close to Chernobyl.

Furthermore if you average the damage done to our environment and population across all nuclear accidents ever, it's paltry compared to the amount of damage/loss of life traditional fossil fuels do. The difference is that damage from fossil fuels are like car accidents, small in scale, each one only impacting a few people, but they happen all the time. Nuclear accidents are like airline crashes, they're rare, but the impact of a single 747 going down is considerable, and impacts a lot of people. Most of the time car crashes don't make the news, but every time a 747 goes down people talk about it.

There have been exactly 2 INES level 7 nuclear disasters in the 70 odd years we've had nuclear power. Even if we take the most liberal estimates of the number of cases of cancer caused by Chernobyl, the total number of deaths related to nuclear power are still somewhere shy of 100,000. (in reality this number is probably closer to 50,000 but it's difficult to say exactly how many additional cases of cancer Chernobyl caused, with a range of between 4000 and 98,500). Coal mining alone averages 1,800 deaths a year, or 126,000 deaths over the past 70 years, and that's not even factoring in other fossil fuels.

TL;DR nuclear power is the safest cleanest, most viable option that can meet our current and future power needs.

Comment: Re:A felon with misdemeanor convictions (Score 1) 720

by Linsaran (#48542923) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

For those of us not from the US can someone please outline the difference between felony and misdemeanor? Sure, I can guess, but a summary would help. Also, some other posts are talking about felons not voting. WTF is up with that?

Generally a felony is considered a more serious crime. There's no hard guidelines for what constitutes a felony vs a misdemeanor, it all comes down to what the individual laws say the offense is. Loosely, if it involves jail time for a first offense it's probably a felony. Many misdemeanors are punishable by fines, with jail time only being recommended for repeat offenders/those who cannot/refuse to pay the fine. Some states (not all) have laws restricting the voting rights of those with felony convictions on their records. Many states simply restrict those who are presently incarcerated from voting. The reasons include the logistical challenges of setting up in prison voting being difficult, but there is usually some sentiment that convicts shouldn't vote as well. Some of the more ultra conservative states actively restrict ex-convicts from voting as well, but that is far less common.

Comment: Re:Typical!! (Score 1) 271

by Linsaran (#48340393) Attached to: Dealer-Installed GPS Tracker Leads To Kidnapper's Arrest in Maryland

Easy fix there. Just add a cheap motion detector that activates the GPS. Car gets towed, sensor knows it, starts GPS, it transmits like usual until car stops moving for 20 minutes.

That doesn't fix the always on problem. If you're not getting power except when the car is running, a motion sensor set to activate when the car is being towed is useless.

Comment: Re:symbols, caps, numbers (Score 1) 549

by Linsaran (#48139201) Attached to: Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct
Sure, if you're attempting to brute force a live system that would be a basic security practice. But what about when an attacker has acquired your password hashes via some other method? It's not like you can stop them from plugging away at the hash over and over again until they get a match, and then use that match in the real world. Actually, it's probably faster to try and dictionary/brute force a hash table (even if it is salted) than to attack a live environment.

Comment: Re:Problem? (Score 1) 286

Again, arguing semantics, but see my point about depriving someone of liberty. If I put you in a padded cell the first time I see any indication that you have any inclinations that you 'might' at some point think about committing a crime the system works In theory. (heck if we want to be really oppressive about it, I can envision a system where the only way to get a baseball bat is to requisition one at an approved 'practice cage') I agree that practicality aside this would require huge increases in manpower for both the surveillance and enforcement side of the puzzle, and that society as it is right now would never stand for that sort of invasion of privacy, but slippery slope man.

Comment: Re:A detail being left out here: (Score 1) 286

While possible, I doubt the case would have reached a conviction in that case, (or at least there would have been a slap on the wrist style plea bargain) rather than a full blown 'fruit of the poisonous tree' style evidential suppression. Instead I expect the defense would have looked for a more mens rea style defense. Granted fighting that sort of fight would require a somewhat capable lawyer with a decent understanding of the technical details of the case, but given the ultimate result of this case, it doesn't seem like the defense was lacking adequate legal council.

Ultimately I think being able to say you won (or pled out) the case because you accidentally downloaded a mislabeled file would sit better with most people who might inquire about it in the future, than saying you won the case because of a legal technicality that prevented the court from being able to 'prove' your guilt.

+ - Comcast Tells Customers to Stop Using Tor Browser->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Comcast agents have reportedly contacted customers who use Tor, a web browser that is designed to protect the user’s privacy while online, and said their service can get terminated if they don’t stop using Tor. According to Deep.Dot.Web, one of those calls included a Comcast customer service agent named Jeremy..."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Problem? (Score 4, Insightful) 286

These child porn cases where the perp 'wins' are always tough. On the one hand there is the emotional plea to protect children and what not, but the other side of the coin is that such 'save the children' type laws are almost invariably used (abused?) in cases they were never meant to cover. A similar case can be made against anti-terrorism acts (such as the much maligned PATRIOT act) following 9/11. When people get too emotionally invested in something they tend to over react, often failing to consider the longer implications in a 'knee-jerk' reaction to make sure this 'never happens again'.

The reality is that we cannot prevent every crime from happening without also sacrificing every personal liberty we have, submitting to constant surveillance and living in conditions that would make the average prison feel like freedom. This is a slippery slope, and I feel that legally this case is a win for the masses, even if it means a guilty man avoids any sort of legal punishment. Course if it's any consolation for those 'he got off too easy' types, Michael Dreyer is probably now isolated from much of his former friends and family, and will likely have difficulty finding work. Even if he does seek treatment for his sexual deviancy, and never looks at or touches another child for the rest of his life; he will always be painted with the brush of a 'child abuser'.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin lost 11.6% of its value this week ... (Score 1) 87

by Linsaran (#47239263) Attached to: Expedia To Accept Bitcoin

In its current form, there's no way any cryptocurrency replaces paypal or credit cards. The major problems: Anonymity, Lack of protection from fraud, susceptibility to loss (lose your wallet, oops.), and user unfriendliness (expecting the average Joe to deal with wallet software and bitcoin addresses is major stretch).

I don't necessarily see all of those things as problems, but let's go through them, shall we.

1) Anonymity: While it is possible for a dedicated person with resources to track crypto transactions (since by it's very nature all transactions are stored in a giant public ledger), the transactions themselves do not identify you. It is in this sense pseudonymous, you know which wallet has bitcoin X in it, since you can follow it's path on the blockchain, but since you cannot identify who a said wallet belongs to without access to information from outside the block chain. As you can create neigh infinite addresses for a personal wallet, and need never give the same one out twice, it's hard to be sure that any given address belongs to any given person. This is not to say that bit coin is untraceable, because it by design is very traceable, it's just that used correctly you can conduct transactions without actually revealing your identity, in much the same way that using cash doesn't necessarily reveal your identity.

2) Fraud protection: On one hand, the fact that bitcoin transactions are irreversible is a good thing, a merchant who accepts bitcoin need never worry about whether they're going to get paid for their services. There is no risk to accept bitcoins because they can never be charged-back, unlike credit cards which can actually result in a chargeback up to 6 months after a sale is complete. As far as someone committing fraudulent transactions using your bitcoins, there is no real protection against that, other than securing your wallet. If someone stole your money clip and spent the cash in it, there's no fraud protection against that either. The lesson to be learned is to better protect your money clip, or in the case of bitcoin, encrypt your wallet.

3) Susceptibility to loss: if you can't be bothered to back up your wallet, then you have no one to blame but yourself. Losing access to your wallet can happen, but with a minimum amount of effort can be prevented. People who fail to do regular back ups of their computers are just tempting fate. And besides, you can lose a real wallet just as easy (arguably easier) than a digital one, so susceptibility to loss is not unique to crypto.

4) user unfriendliness: this is really the only 'problem I really agree with you on, but it's really just a matter of time before the pieces click together.

Comment: Re:At least there's always... (Score 1) 475

by Linsaran (#47009021) Attached to: Comcast Predicts Usage Cap Within 5 Years

While I don't believe for a second that Verizon won't jump on the data cap bandwagon once everyone else is doing it, they haven't spent the last few years pushing data caps onto their customers.

Except that they have. My data plan started at unlimited, then got moved down to 5gb, then got moved down to 2gb, and finally moved down to 2gb shared between my entire family.

You're confusing Verizon with Verizon wireless, a related, but independently managed corporation. You're probably right that Verizon will start pushing caps at some point, but Verizon (the telecommunications company) =/= Verizon Wireless (the cellular phone company)

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