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Comment: Re:Child abuse is machine recognizable; piracy is (Score 1) 348

by Zinho (#44962813) Attached to: UK MPs: Google Blocks Child Abuse Images, It Should Block Piracy Too

One would be hard pressed to argue that a bloodied child in a war zone is not being abused. I'd say thats abuse by definition.

Not hard-pressed:
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/abuse
tr.v. abused, abusing, abuses
1. To use wrongly or improperly; misuse: abuse alcohol; abuse a privilege.
2. To hurt or injure by maltreatment; ill-use.
3. To force sexual activity on; rape or molest.
4. To assail with contemptuous, coarse, or insulting words; revile.
5. Obsolete To deceive or trick.

IMHO, Your definition exceeds the actual definition.

Now define piracy in a way that's machine detectable, and what you'll really have is the ultimate DRM.

Agreed on the DRM, disagree on the war zone children.
* Children in war zones should not be combatants, they should be civilians. Any child in a war zone who is acting as a combatant is being maltreated, or ill-used; definition 2.
* Civilians are non-combatants, and so should not be getting injured. A civilian being injured due to wartime activities is being "hurt or injure[d] by maltreatment"; definition 2.

I don't think that BitZtream exceeded the definition; it seems to me he got it spot-on.

Comment: Opposite of Gambler's fallacy? (Score 1) 662

by Zinho (#44657109) Attached to: Concern Mounts Over Self-Driving Cars Taking Away Freedom

I don't think either AvitarX pr Pieroxy are committing the Gambler's Fallacy; if anything, AvitarX is doing the exact opposite. He's looking at 500 die rolls, none of which are a "1", and concluding that there is a greater likelihood that the die is not fairly weighted.

Is there a word for this? I'm not strong on my statistics, but I hear a lot of people talking about Bayesian analysis being like this.

If nothing else, actuaries at insurance companies would agree with AvitarX that 250,000 miles of accident-free driving is evidence of him being a lower accident risk, and would give him a discount on his rates as a result.

Some of the other posts in this thread do a great job of explaining the Dunning–Kruger effect as related to driving, and it doesn't seem to me that AvitarX is suffering from that, based on his stated evidence and how circumspect he's being about calling himself a good driver.

Comment: Definition of "Quality" (Score 3, Funny) 373

by Zinho (#44644317) Attached to: German Government Warns Windows 8 Is an Unacceptable Security Risk

You must be using the industry definition of "Quality", i.e. compliance with quality standards like ISO 9001. Your comment reminds me of a business plan, "Monkey Maid Service", made by an engineer friend of mine:

Step 1: Purchase a supply of monkeys, monkey housing, and monkey chow from traceable sources, documenting the origins of every piece of material involved.
Step 2: Draft a standard process for "Performing maid service" using the monkeys purchased in step 1. If I recall correctly, his rough draft of this process included "dress the monkeys in French maid costumes, then release them in the house for the period of time specified in the contract".
Step 3: Have supervision in place to ensure work performance follows documented procedure, and record performance metrics (% monkeys dressed as French maids, deviation from contract time) for auditing purposes.
Step 4: Advertize the service as ISO 9001 compliant.*

If every can of Budweiser tasting the same is your definition of quality, then sure, it's a quality product. By the way, my friend has a maid service you may be interested in using after your next party.

*I've probably missed a few crucial 9001 compliance steps; quality geeks, please don't crucify me over that ;)

Comment: Re:It was a myth (Score 2) 986

by Zinho (#44621289) Attached to: Joining Lavabit Et Al, Groklaw Shuts Down Because of NSA Dragnet

Touché. You're right, of course. In the future I'll perhaps reserve my mod points for people who both have good ideas AND disagree with me. =P

When I responded, though, it was at a score of 1; its current rating of 5:informative suggests that it was underrated at that point. I would have gone with "insightful", and not felt too bad about it - historical perspective sharply highlighting the current political climate I think is worth the up-mod.

Comment: The teams don't want you to have this (Score 1) 66

by Zinho (#44541117) Attached to: OmniCam360 Camera Cluster Lets You Choose the Viewing Angle

The big reason this will never hit my TV screen is that the teams don't want us to understand what really went on during the plays. This technology may get used, and may become available to the teams who played in the game, but the teams will actively block access to the general public. There are already many cameras on the field that give easier-to-understand views than we see on TV, and we never see footage from those, either.

On a side note, I've been around long enough to realize that the editors can't keep track of what was posted yesterday (let alone two years ago), but somehow I was still surprised to notice that today's article and the one I linked were both posted by Timothy. Oh, well, stay classy, Tim.

Comment: Re:The incredible irony of.. (Score 1) 353

by Zinho (#44427431) Attached to: Apple Retailer Facing Class Action Suit Over Employee Bag Checks

Which is as much about theft as forgetfulness.

How often have people placed a tool at work in their pocket, found it when they got home ,and failed to return it due to fear of firing?

It never occurred to me anyone should have a fear of that. Why would returning something to its rightful owner/place be punished? If someone were to return to me something of mine that they took, then I'd think of them as honest and trustworthy for returning it instead of keeping it.

I have a picture in my head of a sociopathic boss chuckling to himself in the soundproof office, "I'll fire this guy, then NOBODY will ever bring my lost/stolen property BACK to me, EVER AGAIN!!!! BWAHAHAH!" It just doesn't scan, and seems quite comical.

Government

MS Handed NSA Access To Encrypted Chat & Email 379

Posted by timothy
from the tangled-web-they-weave dept.
kaptink writes with the latest revelation from Edward Snowden: "Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal. The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail. The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide. Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to 'understand' potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases. Skype, which was bought by Microsoft in October 2011, worked with intelligence agencies last year to allow Prism to collect video of conversations as well as audio. Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a 'team sport.'"

Comment: Re:Phobia... (Score 1) 175

. . . people don't tend to lick, sniff or rub their phone in their eyes.

No, but they tend to touch their phones with their fingers. And touch their eyes with their fingers. I'm watching a co-worker poke himself in the eye right now. I'll be generous and assume he washed his hands after using the restroom, but if he's the type to text on the toilet ($DEITY I hope not) I think there's a risk there.

An anti-bacterial surface (like the titanium dioxide mentioned elsewhere) would be a benefit for a too-large-for-my-comfort segment of smartphone users.

Comment: !(new hobbies || time with families) (Score 1) 299

by Zinho (#43996249) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do With New Free Time?

Why are you rejecting out of hand the two best suggestions I could think of? I'd encourage you to reconsider that position.

* Everyone I've ever heard express regrets about their career started with "I wish I'd spent more time with my family".

* I can't think of a single time-wasting activity done outside of work that wouldn't qualify as a hobby. Exercise? Yep. Gaming? Yep. Home improvement? Yep. Writing a novel? Yep. Fishing? Yep. Transcendental meditation? You betcha. [1]

For each person the answer to "what should I do" is different. The way to answer it is to think of any time you've ever said "I wish I could do that" or "I'd do that if I had more time", then go and do it. For me, a while ago, it was knitting armor out of stainless steel. I finished one shirt, am halfway through another, and have enjoyed making jewelry for my wife as small projects. More recently I've expanded that skill using knot-tying techniques (it becomes challenging when you use stainless steel instead of rope or softer metals). I can't tell you what will float your personal boat.

What I can tell you, though, is to do what you've always wanted to do. Figure out what that is, then do it.

Also, for everyone else who doesn't suddenly have 8+ extra hours in their day, I'd give you the same advice:
1. Decide what's important to you
2. Do that.

What I've found is that whatever I really want I can make time and find resources for, regardless of my work schedule or other circumstances. I still waste too much time in each day and money on things that aren't really important. When I decide that there's something I really want to learn or to do I can cut back on video games/TV/sleep if necessary.

Don't wait to do what's most important. Start today.

[1] Incidentally, going the exercise/meditation route in addition to whatever else you do is likely to do wonders for the damage to your body and psyche inflicted by long hours in the server room. Give it some thought.

You see but you do not observe. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes"

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