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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Re:A programmer arrested for © infringement? (Score 3, Informative) 188

by al0ha (#49050209) Attached to: MegaUpload Programmer Pleads Guilty, Gets a Year In Prison
Interesting tact but that same kind of argument did not work for Dread Pirate Roberts either, once involved in a criminal conspiracy, which I am sure the Feds deem MegaUpload is, you are liable for all use of that which you created, even a program you coded if it was used for illicit purposes.

+ - The Mathematical Case for Buying a Powerball Ticket 4

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Neil Irwin writes at the NYT that financially literate people like to complain that buying lottery tickets is among the silliest decisions a person could make but there are a couple of dimensions that these tut-tutted warnings miss, perhaps fueled by a class divide between those who commonly buy lottery tickets and those who choose to throw away money on other things like expensive wine or mansions. According to Irwin, as long as you think about the purchase of lottery tickets the right way — purely a consumption good, not an investment — it can be a completely rational decision. "Fantasizing about what you would do if you suddenly encountered great wealth is fun, and it is more fun if there some chance, however minuscule, that it could happen," says Irwin. "The $2 price for a ticket is a relatively small one to pay for the enjoyment of thinking through how you might organize your life differently if you had all those millions."

Right now the Multi-State Lottery Association estimates the chances of winning the grand prize at about 1 in 175 million, and the cash value of the prize at $337.8 million. The simplest math points to that $2 ticket having an expected value of about $1.93 so while you are still throwing away money when buying a lottery ticket, you are throwing away less in strictly economic terms when you buy into an unusually large Powerball jackpot. "I am the type of financial decision-maker who tracks bond and currency markets and builds elaborate spreadsheets to simulate outcomes of various retirement savings strategies," says Irwin. "I can easily afford to spend a few dollars on a Powerball ticket. Time to head to the convenience store and do just that.""

Comment: w00t (Score 1) 4

by al0ha (#49032277) Attached to: The Mathematical Case for Buying a Powerball Ticket
I love that someone is finally talking about the entertainment value in a lottery ticket. Dreaming is a good mental exercise, and while you're daydreaming of winning, who knows where the daydream may lead you mentally. Feynman was actively daydreaming when he came up with thoughts that inspired his diagrams to explain quantum electrodynamics, eventually winning the Nobel Prize. http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/16/...

For my money the $2 and daydreams that go along with it are often money much more well spent than on the lowbrow garbage Hollywood mostly produces these days.

Dream on, dream on, dream on, dream until your dreams come true...

Comment: Google Glass and Alzheimer's (Score 1) 36

by al0ha (#49022125) Attached to: Airport Using Google Glass For Security and Passenger Information
Personally I am hoping Google Glass comes into fruition as a publicly available and useful tool, as one of it's greatest potentials may be the ability to help those with Alzheimer's and other forms of progressive dementia live a somewhat normal and independent life. I imagine a future where all the Alzheimer's patient needs to remember is to put on their Google Glass in the morning. Google Glass will remind them of the names of everyone they know, perhaps even remind them of their past conversations among other things, when to take their medication, what is on their calendar for that day, and how to get home after they've gone for a walk.

Google Glass and self driving cars could be the saviors of the elderly and the young alike, keeping the elderly independent far longer than is feasible today thus keeping them from being a burden on the younger generations at the same time.

Comment: Anyone (Score 2) 178

by al0ha (#49000997) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: With Whom Do You Entrust Your Long Term Data?
I trust anyone, including iCloud, but then all my data uploaded to a *cloud*, outside of music files, is GPG encrypted with a 4096 key, and that includes the Truecrypt containers I upload and store in the cloud as well, GPG encryption with a large key and super long pass is safe enough for the foreseeable future, at least the next 20 years I hope, and by then I won't care.

Disclaimer - I do keep local copies as well, redundancy is important as who knows when a *cloud* service will go tits-up as they like to say at El Reg...

Comment: Re:And this is good why? (Score 1, Informative) 150

by al0ha (#48808163) Attached to: Wireless Keylogger Masquerades as USB Phone Charger
Dang this is NOT A STORY and the claim that this can work against all Microsoft Wireless Keyboards is 100% BS, and has been since 2007, when the issue was first uncovered; covered in depth by Schneier, and remedied in all versions of the Microsoft Wireless Keyboard created since then, which use at minimum 128-bit AES; NOT XOR.

Comment: 8 years late to the party (Score 1) 150

by al0ha (#48806539) Attached to: Wireless Keylogger Masquerades as USB Phone Charger
Dang this is NOT A STORY and the claim that this can work against all Microsoft Wireless Keyboards is 100% BS, and has been since 2007, when the issue was first uncovered; covered in depth by Schneier, and remedied in all versions of the Microsoft Wireless Keyboard created since then, which use at minimum 128-bit AES; NOT XOR.

It's 2015, not 2007 people...

Comment: No privacy regardless (Score 2, Insightful) 76

by al0ha (#48610861) Attached to: Uber Limits 'God View' To Improve Rider Privacy
The public at large would be a lot better off if they could get one simple rule through their thick numbskulls

You should have no expectation of privacy using any App, nor the Internet in general. Period. This is a beautiful rule as there are indeed a very few exceptions offered which prove the rule.

Comment: Re:How crazy (Score 4, Insightful) 135

by al0ha (#48577433) Attached to: Bank Security Software EULA Allows Spying On Users
Agreed, these so called kooks actually understand how IT works; that's why they are alarmist.

Yeah I trust IBM to only use the software to remotely collect *malicious* files from my system, I am sure IBM never receives confidential requests from the NSA or anything like that. *rolls eyes*

Comment: Let's hear it for permanent death! (Score 1) 222

by al0ha (#48568955) Attached to: Dad Makes His Kid Play Through All Video Game History In Chronological Order
I never understood the appeal of a game where you can be continually blasted with machine gun fire for a period of time before actually dying; and then that death is not a restart from the beginning, but a continuation from that point with a new life. Where is the skill in that? One bullet == death requires developing mad skills and makes a game much more realistic. The way most games are programmed these days is akin to playing online no limit hold-em with fake money; people take chances they would never consider otherwise.

Comment: Big surprise (Score 1) 1

by al0ha (#48421371) Attached to: How Medical Care Is Being Corrupted in the US
Gee, big surprise, for-profit health care doing all it can to maximize profits. In fact for-profit healthcare is a misnomer, drop healthcare and then you have an accurate designation for what is going on in the United States.

I for one will be ecstatic when the majority of my countrymen finally become educated instead of ignorant and understand this single fact:

Socialized medicine != Communism

Equating socialized medicine with communism is perhaps one of the greatest disservices perpetrated on US Citizens by their appointed representatives and those who stand to make a profit from it.

+ - Millions of spiders seen in mass dispersal event using wind currents->

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes "A bizarre and oddly beautiful display of spider webs have been woven across a large field along a walking trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. "Well it's acres and acres; it's a sea of web," said Allen McCormick. Prof. Rob Bennett, an expert on spiders who works at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, BC, Canada, said tiny, sheet-web weaver spiders known as Erigoninae linyphiidae most likely left the webs. Bennett said the spiders cast a web net to catch the wind and float away in a process known as ballooning. The webs in the field are the spiders' drag lines, left behind as they climb to the top of long grass to be whisked away by the wind. Bennett said it's a mystery why these spiders take off en masse. Perhaps The Green Goblin or Doc Oc are in the vicinity?"
Link to Original Source

+ - If You Want Better Cybersecurity, Break Up The NSA->

Submitted by electronic convict
electronic convict (3600551) writes "People often forget that the NSA has a second mission beyond surveillance (or surveillance-plus): It's also supposed to take the lead in protecting federal information systems and critical national infrastructure from criminals and foreign attackers.

If the recent spate of cyberattacks is any indication, though, the NSA has bungled that job pretty badly. And small wonder: As we've known for a year, the agency actively works to introduce vulnerabilities into encryption systems, to discourage the use of strong security and to use its industry-outreach program to further both aims. So why should anyone trust it to help actually guard against hackers?

There's a simple, if currently impractical solution: Break up the NSA.

This isn't an entirely new idea; Bruce Schneier, for instance, has been pushing for an NSA breakup since February, primarily on the grounds that the agency is simply too large and out of control. His proposed division, however, would still task the NSA with both security and surveillance, keeping its inherent conflict of interest intact. A better solution would be to move the security function out of the NSA entirely, allowing its staff to plug holes as fast as their offense-minded NSA peers can create them.

Yes, the USA Freedom Act just went down in flames, and the odds of serious NSA reform look about as dim as ever. But wouldn't everyone be better off if some of the best cryptographers and security experts in the U.S. weren't working side-by-side with the spies bent on undermining their work?"

Link to Original Source

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