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Comment: Re:I don't see it (Score 4, Insightful) 74

I guess they are trying to argue that the placement of the items is the connection?

Pretty much. I suspect this is one of those situations where "correlation != causality" is an appropriate comment.

I would say instead that, given a sufficiently large enough data set, patterns and correlations are bound to appear. The likelihood that thousands of paintings were analyzed in this way and no matches were found, purely on a random basis, is very small.

Comment: Re:something made of hardwood (Score 1) 611

by Skewray (#47109339) Attached to: Which desktop environment do you like the best?

large, flat, a couple of nice drawers, place to keep pens, pencils, a stapler, my kneadable eraser, and room for a teevee, good loudspeakers, and a nice computer. and a comfortable chair. now that's a nice desktop environment.

Don't forget a motorized standing desk. Who wants to sit all day?

Comment: What airgap? (Score 2) 213

by Skewray (#45757291) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can Commercial Hardware Routers Be Trusted?

It doesn't matter. Either there's an airgap, where nothing can get out regardless, so it doesn't matter, or their's a hop along the path you don't control so the security of your device doesn't matter.

If you have an Intel processor, then there is already a radio backdoor built in. See

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score 1) 532

by Skewray (#44063995) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Does LED Backlight PWM Drive You Crazy?

I've seen these before, and I hate them with a passion. Can't see it if you look directly at it, but the more motion-oriented vision at the edge of my vision would catch it.

They seem to be rare, though.

Peripheral vision is much more sensitive to higher frequencies. The central vision taps out at around 40 Hz, while the far peripheral can sense up to around 120 Hz. Doesn't mean that the sensitivity is zero above that, though, just diminished. So any self-respecting system engineer would set the modulation frequency to twice that. Sadly LCD monitors are apparently not designed by self-respecting system engineers.

Comment: Lie Detectors ans Friends (Score 1) 768

by Skewray (#43938065) Attached to: Seeking Fifth Amendment Defenders
The government could put you on a lie detector or similar machine and ask you the questions. Even if you refuse to speak, the machine could detect a response which incriminates you. Given that there are now machines that can use 'mind reading' to control other machines, the likelihood that such machines some day soon be able to detect if you did it without your speaking is quite high.

Comment: Re:Oh geee... (Score 1) 54

No it's not. It means a patent is garbage that's been obscured and made useless for the purpose of CONVEYING KNOWLEDGE.

If I can clarify, patents have two parts. The first is a description written so that you can understand it. The second part has the claims, which are the incomprehensible part. If you want to implement the idea, you only need to understand the first part. The claims explain what aspects of the invention are covered by the patent. The claims are what you are interested in if you want to have your day in court. If all you want is to implement the idea in your back yard, read the first part and have at it.

Comment: Mosquitoes (Score 1) 124

by Skewray (#43297003) Attached to: Ask Nathan Myhrvold What You Will, Live Q&A April 3
The Photonic Fence project was proposed with much fanfare about six years ago, to rid Africa is disease-carrying mosquitoes. Rumor has it that the Gates Foundation has cut funding. The project appears to have developed nothing of practical use, although the project leaders responsible appear to still be in control. Is there going to be a serious forensic analysis of how the project went south?

Comment: Re:Is it fixed? (Score 2) 247

I do the same thing as the author in the article. To confirm this you need to change the email address you received the spam from at the same time you notify the company.

e.g. localaccount

becomes localaccount localaccount

If 'thecompany2' address gets spam they're still compromised. Repeat until fixed or you lose trust in 'thecompany'.

Personal admission: I am already at amazon5@yadayada.

How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else. -- R. Buckminster Fuller