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Comment: Re:LAPD Police? (Score 4, Informative) 160

by al0ha (#49251483) Attached to: LAPD Police Claim Helicopters Stop Crimes Before They Happen
The LAPD helicopters are annoying as hell, I freaking hate them. One of the problems is the LAPD buys military type helicopters that make a huge racket, when they could be using much smaller birds that are far quieter. Then they also fly super low, much lower than is necessary at most times. I live on top of a hill, and the g*d damn helicopters will fly directly over my house multiple times a night and perhaps no more than 300 feet above my roof, waking me and the entire neighborhood up. It totally sucks, and I do not believe for one second the helicopters deter crime whatsoever, that is completely irrational. Sure they might deter crime in that exact moment they are flying over, but do they really think the criminals are going, "Oooh, the helicopter flew over a while ago, I'm scared to commit a quick crime." Give me a break, that's total bullshit.

The only time we've had any peace is when an independent entity audited the flight records of the LAPD helicopter squad and found multiple instances of abuse, like flying politicos and their friends around on tours. I can bet the copter pilots also fly around pretty girls they are trying to impress and make other completely needless flights. It's ridiculous...

Comment: Randi already proved this in 2001 (Score 2, Informative) 447

by al0ha (#49245495) Attached to: Homeopathy Turns Out To Be Useless For Treating Medical Conditions
He offered $1,000,000 to anyone who could prove homeopathy works. Nobody won though some quack named George Vithoulkas, whose International Academy for Classical Homeopathy is based on an island in Greece, claims Randi backed out of a previous challenge issued early in the 21st Century; don't know about that and the new challenge was instated in 2011 and not a peep from George Vithoulkas as far as I'm aware.

Comment: Age is inconsequential, rock and roll! (Score 1) 205

by al0ha (#49236195) Attached to: Ask Slashdot - Breaking Into Penetration Testing At 30
Jeezus, you're 30 and you're thinking you're too old to learn something new? WTF??? That's the wrong attitude dude!

I'm not going to entirely out my age, but I began my pen-testing career at age 42 - you must think I'm a wrinkled old grandpa; but I'm not.... :P

Tell your boss you'll do it, but only if he sends you to several SANS training events, or at least coughs up for some SANS Ondemand training, then do the trainings, get the CERTS and rock and roll baby! SANS will get you up to speed on what you need to know quickly.

Good luck you young punk you...

Comment: You go Bruce! (Score 2) 51

by al0ha (#49218813) Attached to: Book Review: Data and Goliath
I am so happy that an expert and leading thinker in practical Information Security practice as well as philosophy is keeping this torch alive among the utter and dismaying apathy of the general public at large. I for one have been so personally beaten down by the powers that be after spending years initially trumpeting warnings considering this issue, and the rush to get all data into the cloud damn the future consequences, that I am personally too weary to continue to resist the tide running against sound privacy logic, all in the name of saving a few dollars in the short term.

Bruce Schneier is my hero!

Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 3, Funny) 734

by al0ha (#49193391) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?
Wealthy Chinese are paying big $$$ to birth their children in America, but I'm not sure if the reason is they want them to be US Citizens per se; or if the Chinese Govt has undertaken a long term initiative to eventually be able to influence US elections from the inside.

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 (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.

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.

"Freedom is still the most radical idea of all." -- Nathaniel Branden