Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Five stars for.. (Score 1) 225

by SethJohnson (#49787939) Attached to: In a 5-star rating scheme, the new Mad Max film ...
I agree with all your examples. However, I recoiled during a couple of moments where the story was being read out loud, perhaps at the demand of a producer, as if the audience needed the plot points fully highlighted and underlined.

Obviously the beginning carries a lot of narration that heavy-handedly prepares the setting for the story. Entirely unlike the first 20 minutes of "There Will Be Blood"-- masterful storytelling by Paul Thomas Anderson.

The big shocker to me was near the end where Max fully explains the strategy of attempting to retake the Citadel while the boss is away, then THE BOSS EXPLAINS THE STRATEGY again. This is in stark contrast to the switcheroo ending of Road Warrior where the audience learns of the clever ruse at the absolute very end of the film. Why couldn't George Miller have Furiosa spontaneously turn around with everyone confused about the agenda? Because the strategy is totally explained to the audience, the last 15 minutes of the film is kind of a foregone conclusion.

Comment: Re:false positives aren't what you think (Score 1) 164

by SethJohnson (#49626173) Attached to: How the NSA Converts Spoken Words Into Searchable Text
Maybe I wasn't clear about how these tools help ferret out networks of freedom-haters. This line could have been more prominently stated-- see who else might be a solid villain candidate. Even just monitoring internet traffic to known jihadist websites can likely get the filters applied to a person's communications to see if they might be a person-of-interest.

That type of work is more than forensics. It's proactively chasing up the networks to make their leadership accountable. Those are vague terms for drone strike.

I'm not cheerleading the NSA here, either. Just commenting on the data science.

Comment: false positives aren't what you think (Score 4, Insightful) 164

by SethJohnson (#49621639) Attached to: How the NSA Converts Spoken Words Into Searchable Text
In all likelihood, the false positives suggested by the OP and others in this discussion are unlikely to trigger any such NSA attention.

Coming from a data science background, I suspect they are transcribing and indexing all conversations as best as is possible with their elite voice recognition technology. Once it's in ASCII stored in a database, they can datamine the conversations of known radicals and jihadists. The algorithms that are generated don't so much emphasize specific keywords, but they generate a scoring system across a bunch of conversations by known haters-of-American-Freedom.

With filters in hand, they can look at who talked to the known villains and score them and run down the trails of phone calls, emails, text messages, and internet chats to see who else might be a solid villain candidate. Even just monitoring internet traffic to known jihadist websites can likely get the filters applied to a person's communications to see if they might be a person-of-interest.

Keywords will come into play AFTER an attack like the Garland Draw Mohammed contest. The NSA is right now filtering recent past conversations among suspected jihadists looking for relevant keywords such as 'Garland', 'American Freedom Defense Institute', 'Pamela Geller', and 'Elton Simpson'. Any conversation leading up to the attack including those keywords would absolutely put someone on a watchlist. And everyone who that person is talking to would be suspect as well.

Bottom line is, these tools are being used retroactively to bolster detective work. Talking about bombs and the President's name doesn't do anything because there are a thousand-million conversations using those words everyday.

Comment: Re:Subs as aircraft carriers (Score 1) 75

Cruise missiles work great for blowing stuff up, but there are a great many operations that call for extraction of soldiers or intelligence. Submarine-based aircraft could do this very well.

Some security strategists have proposed the florida-man-piloted-gyrocopter was allowed to land safely on the capitol lawn in order to give the North Koreans a false sense of confidence in their secret submarine-based gyrocopter assault project currently under development near PoonYang.

Comment: Re:This is fucking stupid. (Score 2) 279

Of course, I haven't read the article, but I think the summary has applied the word "troll" in a different way than this. I think the researchers are seeking to reduce the racist, homophobic, etc. trash comments frequently posted to YouTube video comments.

As you note here, a sophisticated troll is not easily detectable via AI.

Comment: Those Katrina trailers cost $19,000 (Score 1) 79

by SethJohnson (#49331633) Attached to: Better Disaster Shelters than FEMA Trailers (Video)
These exo shelters are not meant to satisfy the requirements of the FEMA trailers used after the hurricanes, first of all. Those trailers were issued to people months after people had applied for them. It was a long distribution process with people living in group shelters waiting for the trailers to arrive.

Per this article, they also cost $19,000 in 2005 dollars. Much more than the $4000 you're estimating.

These exo shelters are a more immediate shelter solution. Deployable within hours of an emergency event. Consider the people recovering in Haiti after their big earthquake or the people sleeping on the floor of the Superdome after Katrina. FEMA trailers were not available or provided to those people in the hours and days after the disaster. These exo shelters are a possibility, though.

Comment: Re:Cost (Score 2) 79

by SethJohnson (#49330859) Attached to: Better Disaster Shelters than FEMA Trailers (Video)
The exo shelters massively dominate over FEMA trailers on the criteria you have proposed here.

These nest inside each other, so you can lay about ten or so on a flatbed trailer. I think you could get two FEMA trailers on top of a flatbed trailer.

Cost? Well, a FEMA trailer needs to be constructed to highway transportation standards. Do you think that's cheaper than building something to "more durable than a tent" standard (exo shelter)?

Comment: Halliburton builds the robot factories (Score 1) 294

by SethJohnson (#49328921) Attached to: Steve Wozniak Now Afraid of AI Too, Just Like Elon Musk
Terminator isn't the scenario Elon and Steve are talking about. But it's a model that still fits their concerns.

Automation applies economic coercion to the laboring humans to serve the interests of the automation. For instance, Watson is an AI technology that is being positioned to lay off a lot of people in phone call centers and taking orders for drive-up windows. Actually, Watson is being aimed at a lot of jobs. All those displaced workers cascade to flood the job market. Maybe they get some training to compete for trades such as electricians, plumbers, and taxi cab drivers. With so many available applicants, the wages for those jobs go down. The economy for the middle class tanks. With people desperate to feed their families, do you think they'll really scrutinize that ad looking for workers to build the drone factory? The drones that are intended to fire missiles at the 'terrorists'?

AI is a wealth concentrator. That's what Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak are talking about. It is increasingly developing the capacity to eliminate millions of blue collar jobs in order to enrich people with white collars. The Terminator series is a colorful depiction of this process.

Comment: godaddy and network solutions are the worst (Score 2) 295

by SethJohnson (#49281601) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Advice For Domain Name Registration?
Absolutely correct. Neither godaddy or network solutions are technology innovators. They are merchants of a commodity service. They are running a business model of attracting suckers as customers and providing minimal service (i.e. outsourced to India) while sneaking fees in at any given opportunity.

Both are all about marketing. That's why you see them sponsoring race cars in NASCAR.

Comment: quiet mechanical keyboard (Score 4, Insightful) 452

by SethJohnson (#49273495) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Keyboard?
I got the "Royal Kludge RC930-87" from Massdrop and love it. Not too loud for a mechanical keyboard and it is extremely responsive. It's also not taking up my whole desk with the numeric keypad, which I love. Very fine-grained control over LED backlighting as well. Since the OP is so detailed on these requirements, I'm sure she'll love the control over the LED backlighting.

Comment: what about redundancy? (Score 2) 71

by SethJohnson (#49242579) Attached to: Google Nearline Delivers Some Serious Competition To Amazon Glacier
Good analysis here, Shanghai.

In terms of the prediction of "$360/TB off a $30/TB investment", does that take into account redundancy to protect their liability for drive failure? I'm thinking they have at least two copies of everything a customer uploads. Maybe three. It's still great money, but I think the numbers are more like $360/TB off a $60/TB investment.

Comment: no doubt living in Russia sucks (Score 5, Interesting) 671

by SethJohnson (#49174401) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

but he's living in a kind of prison right now, anyway. his freedom is highly restricted. plus, well, russia is a shit-hole.

I don't entirely disagree with you here. I do think he has untapped earning potential in Russia, though. If he can get a long-term work visa, there are any number of Russian (Kaspersky as an example) and overseas security consulting firms who would vanity hire him as a security auditor. He was making $200k per year as a contractor for the NSA and I expect he could fetch that or more from a company looking to raise their profile in the security industry. Heck, look at Kevin Mitnick. And that guy was a newb compared to Snowden. I expect $200k per year probably supports a more lavish lifestyle in Russia than it did when Snowden was living in Hawaii.

Since 2000, Mitnick has been a paid security consultant, public speaker and author. He does security consulting for Fortune 500 companies, performs penetration testing services for the worldâ(TM)s largest companies and teaches Social Engineering classes to dozens of companies and government agencies. He is the author of a dozen books that have been translated into many languages, including The Art of Deception, The Art of Intrusion, and Ghost in the Wires.

The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.