Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Try the opposite (Score 2) 195

by Whorhay (#48647731) Attached to: Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts

I've always wondered if anyone has tried the exact opposite of asking an undercover agent if they are a cop.

Simply work under the assumption that everyone is a police or law enforcement officer. And only conduct business with them after signing legal contracts recognizing them as an agent of the law whereby they are authorizing your activity for some other lawful purpose like entrapping, errr I mean prosecuting someone else.

Comment: Re:cowardice (Score 1) 551

by Whorhay (#48634135) Attached to: FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

"complete fabrications" is a bit of a stretch. The game didn't get an individual review of it's own. It did however get at least one very positive mention that I remember reading personally. And that kind of off hand remark is often worth a lot more in terms of advertising than a whole article. Whether or not that was a result of the two having a sexual relationship is anyones guess.

Comment: Re:cowardice (Score 1) 551

by Whorhay (#48633887) Attached to: FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

Risky or not people of all walks of life can be idiots and it wouldn't surprise me if some, none, or all of the threats were faked. I'm not really sure that the odds of being caught making a false threat against yourself are all that high given a modicum of intelligence and technical know how, especially for an anonymous threat. It would get really tricky though if you actually try to frame a specific person or group though.

If you are talking about the same twitter screen shots I'm thinking of, then weren't they already debunked as fakes? Something about the number of characters per tweet exceeding the limit that Twitter actually gives you.

Comment: Re:Who cares (Score 1) 88

by Whorhay (#48628803) Attached to: Did Alcatraz Escapees Survive? Computer Program Says They Might Have

Usually people get better at activities in which they regularly participate. So even if they did go straight back to commiting bank robberies to get by, or at least get the capital to start an honest life, it's not hard to imagine that they just weren't caught. Go look at the FBI statistics for the last few years and you'll see that just identifying the suspects in a bank robbery is tough, the best number I saw was 54% of suspects identified in 2011. Note, that is identified, not apprehended, which is kind of amazing in todays world with the prevalence of cameras and all the other tools law enforcement has access to that they didn't all those years ago.

Comment: Re:There is no vaccine for the worst diseases (Score 1) 1051

by Whorhay (#48617107) Attached to: Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

The literature I read on it, from the doctor, 4 years ago said they'd need a booster in a few years and then another as a teenager.

Your wife was right, chicken pox is no big deal in most cases. I know when I had it there was no pain, itching yes, but no pain. And I've never heard anyone else ever complain that it was painful. The only serious risks I've ever heard of for it is bacterial infection when the sores aren't kept cleen, and the exceptionally rare case that it manifests in the lungs as a severe rash.

The numbers I've seen on mortality said the fatalities were under 200 a year. Even if all of those were in the USA that amounts to jack shit. What percent is 200 of 330,000,000? It's miniscule enough I can't be bothered causing my child and myself the discomfort of extra couple shots.

Nothing I've read indicates that the vaccine grants lifelong immunity. The fact that it needs a booster shot at all should be a clear indicator in that regard. The numbers I've seen seem to say it's more likely between 70 and 98% but it's hard to pin down because so much of it depends on prevalence of wild cases of chicken pox in the area.

The push for this being a mandatory vaccine seems to be a financial thing. If it isn't mandatory health insurance won't usually cover it.

Comment: Re:Fake (Score 1) 877

by Whorhay (#48602821) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

To some extent pretty much every participant in armed conflict is a coward to one degree or another. Just look at how the British troops felt about the tactics employed by American revolutionaries.

Terrorists, and everyone else, usually do some sort of risk analysis when deciding what to do. While a full on assault of a military base might be more ballsy, it is certainly less effective than attacking a completely soft target full of unarmed civilians. Is it cowardly to minimize your risk while attempting to maximize the productivity of your actions? I guess so, but that is the way that everyone from the top General to the lowliest grunt operates. The only big difference is that typically the US military tries to limit it's scope to just targeting enemy combatants, whereas the terrorists give themselves no such constraints.

Comment: Re:freedom 2 b a moron (Score 1) 1051

by Whorhay (#48585577) Attached to: Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

In my area you actually can't homeschool unless it is through a religous organization. And the public schools are pretty terrible. I know half a dozen teachers in the local area and everyone of them has done their damndest to make sure their kid isn't in the normal public schools. There are a couple good Elementary Schools but once you get to Middle School there simply aren't any good ones. There are some "Magnet" schools which are competetive to get into and anything under a B in a single class means losing your spot. We're basically planning to move once our children start to reach that age, because we can't afford private school

Comment: Re:There is no vaccine for the worst diseases (Score 2, Informative) 1051

by Whorhay (#48585267) Attached to: Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

Not entirely accurate. Aluminum is actually included most of the time because it helps to get a reaction out of your immune system. Doing this allows them to include a smaller amount of virus material because the aluminum will get the immune system moving. This shouldn't be a problem on an individual vaccination basis because the dosage is pretty low per vaccine. The possible problem though is that Pediatricians frequently can't count on seeing a child and administering vaccines on a regular basis, so they usually do a bunch of vaccines all in the same visit, which possibly exposes the child to much more aluminum in their system all at once than is healthy. And certainly more than is necessary because only one of the vaccines would actually need to contain the aluminum in order to get the immune system response. The simplest method to avoid this as a risk is to spread the vaccinations over the same time period with more frequent visits to the Pediatricians office. The disadvantage of course being that it's an inconveince for everyone involved. An aditional advantage though is that if a child has an adverse reaction it is much simpler to determine which vaccine was the problem.

I am by no means Anti-Vac but we have refused one so far, the Chicken Pox. Our reasoning is that the vacine is highly likely to actually cause a case of Chicken Pox, while it does not provide an actual immunity worth the term. What it does do is help make any succesive outbreak to be less severe. It requires 2 boosters or more so far, each of which can cause a fresh outbreak. It doesn't actually do anything to prevent Shingles, which is the real long term threat of Chicken Pox. Typically fatalities from Chicken Pox are limited to bacterial infections when the sores are not cared for. The biggest driver for developing a vaccine was to save working parents the time spent away from work caring for a sick child, which doesn't actually work out because with the vaccine and boosters you will probably have more outbreaks and so more sick time taken. And finally the big kicker is that because the immunity is much weaker from the vaccine than the regular Chicken Pox and requires booster shots as time goes on, we are likely to soon see a generation of young adults who don't actually have an immunity to Chicken Pox, that'll be lots of fun.

Comment: Re:programming (Score 1) 417

by Whorhay (#48572081) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

A big part of why teaching a child takes so long is because their hardware is under constant construction for decades. They also have a far from perfect memory of how that hardware performs. In theory an AI shouldn't have those problems. An AI should also be much faster at processing than a human, so at some point it should start developing far faster than a human could.

Comment: Re:AI is not just a look-up program. (Score 1) 417

by Whorhay (#48568025) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

That is all very doubtful, although I would agree that you don't have free will, but then again nobody does, just the illusion/delusion.

Even from a very young age I've been able to recognize the thought process that led to various decisions in my life. I remember being asked for the first time what my favorite color was. The same question had just been asked of two of my brothers and they had picked the first two colors I would have likely choosen. I remember briefly wondering if I was supposed to like a different color, was it wrong to like the same color as one of my brothers, what if I didn't actually have a favorite color? We had just bumped over some railroad tracks and I remember the first thing on the other side was somebody's bright emerald green lawn, and I thought that green wasn't a bad color, it was rather pleasant and it hadn't been picked already. So I replied that green was my favorite color.

You very likely constantly evaluate the "correctness" of your thought or behaviour process. Did you ever try something and work at it to become better at it? Surely you didn't write your reply by hitting the keyboard with your fist or forehead. Your use of language also shows intelligence, no one naturally speaks a modern language, it is all learned and constantly tweaked to fit your surroundings or perception of how you want to present yourself to those around you. The fact that you have sought to improve your methods and performance such that you can participate in a conversation using a computer over a network of similiar devices with people possibly thousands of miles away and still recognize them as other individuals not unlike yourself would seem to indicate that you are self aware.

Comment: Re:Expert? (Score 2) 417

by Whorhay (#48566029) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

I think a big part of the problem is that we do have experience with what happens when you create a new intelligence and unleash it on the world. We've been doing it since before we were humans, their called children. Most of the time they turn out pretty decent especially when they are well socialized. The problem is that the first learning AI's we produce will very likely be sociopaths capable of learning at an insane pace. With children you can see behaviours and thought patterns starting to form over the course of time and work to adjust it. With an AI it could easily go from infant to omnicient teenager with such speed that there is no time to influence its development.

I'm not religously opposed to developing AI, but I definitely want to error on the side of extreme caution.

Comment: Re:Hiding evidence (Score 1) 192

by Whorhay (#48564649) Attached to: Microsoft To US Gov't: the World's Servers Are Not Yours For the Taking

I'm not actually certain that the US recognizes any other nations laws as superceding theirs. If a US citizen commits some crime in another country they can still be held accountable for it here in a US court of law. The easiest example that I can think of is some guy who got married and went on a honeymoon in australia where he is accused of murdering his wife by disconnecting her oxygen supply while scuba diving. He was prosecuted both in Australia and here in the states. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D...

The gambling example isn't really relevant because normally gambling laws don't make gambling illegal. Those laws typically outlaw business models that center on gambling. You gambling is incredibly small fries, and would be difficult to prosecute for because the evidence would be somewhere held by people over whom the courts have no leverage.

Microsoft is different here because even though the evidence is located elsewhere Microsoft still has plenty of assets here in the US that the courts can use as leverage.

In the case of that newlywed murder one of the interesting details of the case was that Australia wouldn't send him back to face trial here unless he would not be faced with the death penalty. The US was asking for him back, and I suppose there was plenty of things the state department could have done to leverage that decision. But it came down to the primary driver being the Alabama State AG and since he didn't have much leverage he had to consent to not push for the death penalty.

All of this isn't usually of any concern to vanilla citizen or even a vanilla criminal. But when you are an international corporation it's a very different ball game. What do you think has become of US internationals that had significant assets in Russia when all those sanctions started going into affect? Every large international company has armies of lawyers to help them make decisions and figure out if any given country is worth doing local business. What's funny is that even the US military has had to learn this lesson. When Saudi Arabia closed all the US bases there the DoD lost a lot of expensive infrastructure that had been built up over the years. So lesson learned, the DoD started building extremely cheap temporary facilities in partner countries where there wasn't a very long term expecation of residence.

Comment: Re:Standard FBI followup (Score 2) 388

by Whorhay (#48542319) Attached to: Man Caught Trying To Sell Plans For New Aircraft Carrier

Very good points.

I can't speak to how well protected those plans were. But it's usually painfully obvious to anyone working in those secure facilities just how unsecure they are. Worst of all you probably wouldn't even need to be secretive. Just getting people to challenge an individual doing something slightly out of the norm is difficult.

"Free markets select for winning solutions." -- Eric S. Raymond

Working...