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Comment: Biometric is great until... (Score 1) 383

by daq man (#47647461) Attached to: DARPA Wants To Kill the Password

The DARPA verification method would have to use multiple biometric markers since you could always think of a situation where a medical condition renders one or more of them useless. The person with eye problems who can't use retina scan, the person with damaged fingertips who can't use fingerprint, the person with throat or respiratory disease who can't use voice recognition, etc.

It would be much simpler to have a universal two factor token. Something that you enter a PIN into which generates an encrypted token that is then used for login. It would also solve the social security number identity theft problem since you have a unique way of verifying identity.

Comment: Convoluted and riddled with systematic errors (Score 1) 311

by daq man (#46747467) Attached to: Mathematicians Use Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun To Calculate Pi

Take a string say 100 times the distance from your toe to your heel. Let's call this 100 feet. Tie one end to a peg stuck in the ground and the other end to your belt buckle. Now walk in a circle keeping the string taught putting your feet down toe to heel.Count steps, divide by 200 and you've got pi. Even if you don't count the fraction of a foot left over it has to be accurate to better than 1%. You can keep the cartridges for the zombies.

If it's really a worry, tattoo pi somewhere discrete while you can remember it...

Comment: Completely pointless... (Score 1) 731

by daq man (#45994049) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are AdBlock's Days Numbered?

I have yet to see an ad for anything that made me think "Ooh, I need to buy that" or "Ooh, I need to watch that TV show, read that book, watch that play, listen to that music etc etc.". Most of the ads I see are either for things I can't afford, like flashy cars, things I don't want, things of dubious value (loan sharks), or the old standby "Local Mom finds way to make a fortune, cure cancer, grow huge breasts and whiten teeth using this one simple trick". It's a waste of time and offensive. Now you could argue that should allow the advertising just to support the poor impoverished website owner. The problem with that is that it is supporting the whole "advertising funded paradigm that I find wasteful and offensive. Sadly, I'm having a problem thinking of what the answer may be (lets face it if I could I would make my fortune) we don't want a pay-per-view web but we also don't want the advertisers peering into our souls to tailor ads to what interests us.

Comment: Re:No need for cameras. (Score 1) 732

by daq man (#44737769) Attached to: EU Proposes To Fit Cars With Speed Limiters

The other thing to factor in is the reaction time. When the lead car brakes the next car brakes a fraction of a second later and has to brake a little harder because to stop before hitting the lead car. The next car in line has to brake harder still if you have a long enough convoy of traffic you eventually reach a point in the line where it is impossible for the next car to break hard enough to avoid a collision. The ideal situations are either wide enough gaps that any car can stop in time irrespective of how hard the lead car brakes or short enough convoys that the rear most car still has enough stopping time when all the reaction times are subtracted.

Comment: Re:No need for cameras. (Score 1) 732

by daq man (#44737731) Attached to: EU Proposes To Fit Cars With Speed Limiters

This assumes that the data that the navigator has is good. I was recently driving in a 45 zone and the GPS went nuts telling me to slow down all the time. I found out later that the road had been improved over a year ago with extra lanes, a median and an increased limit.Similarly our local interstates had a speed increase to 70 bu there are still stretches at 55 and 65. Relying on the GPS data would be a nightmare.

Comment: Opted out (Score 1) 380

by daq man (#44496195) Attached to: First California AMBER Alert Shows AT&T's Emergency Alerts Are a Mess

This could have been useful but it is so badly executed that I turned it off. I asked around and it turns out so did everyone else I spoke to. My first alert was a week or so ago in the middle of a thunder storm. We get many storms at this time of year and this wasn't particularly bad. Suddenly all four iPhones in the house started screeching the emergency alert tone. Scared the kids shitless. What we got was a "flash flood warning" that had already, and more subtly, been noted on Wunderground and Weather.com Apps. Worse it was a warning for an area a hundred miles from here. Weirdly we were watching TV at the time and there was no alert on the TV screen so I don't see why it went out to the phones. We've had a couple since and each time it has been for something that I wouldn't class as an emergency requiring such an intrusive alert but was also only relevant miles away from where I am.

There is an old story about a kid that cries wolf so many times that people start to ignore him.

Comment: Can't wait for an end to the dirty tricks... (Score 1) 614

...not holding my breath though.

Verizon FiOS currently has me over a barrel. My family watch shows on only a handful of the 200+ (probably 300 or 400 by now) channels that I'm paying for. Of the three channels we watch most, say A, B, and C to protect the innocent, the lowest tier of FiOS has none. The second tier has A but not B or C. The next tier has B and C but not A. The third tier has A, B and C. So I have to pay for next to the top most expensive tier to get the three channels. Add to that the fact that to watch it I have to rent a couple of "set top boxes" (quotes because it's under the set because you can't balance it on top of a flat screen) despite both TVs having perfectly good digital tuners sitting unused. Why do I need a decoder box when they have a huge box bolted to the side of the house? Can't they decode it in that and let me use my own TV tuner?

Comment: Disturbing move (Score 1) 451

by daq man (#42781499) Attached to: Apple Angers Mac Users With Silent Shutdown of Java 7

Firstly, I have nothing against Apple. I bought my first Mac, a Mac Plus in 1985 and I've owned one or more ever since. I find the current track that Apple is following to be very disturbing. Apple always used to be about the customer experience but that seems to be dead and gone. Yes, there was/is a security hole in the Java plugin but completely disabling the plugin is NOT a customer friendly solution and is disproportionate to the risk. Despite the vulnerability I have yet to hear of ANYONE who has been the victim on a Mac. Despite this Apple disabled a plugin that is critical to many people ranging from people running games like Runescape to companies who have legacy point of sale and inventory systems that use Java applets to access database backends. What is next? Disable Flash because of "security risks" what about OSX Applications? They are already forcing sandboxing and draconian rules on developers wanting to sell via the App store.

Keep this up and this is one Apple customer who is going to be looking for alternatives, and where there is one there are probably many.

Comment: Oh the memories... (Score 1) 632

by daq man (#41580013) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Were You Taught About Computers In High School?

Since I was born in 1960 my high school computer lab was very interesting. We had cards with little ovals on them and a soft pencil. We wrote our Fortran or Basic program on paper in a notepad until we thought we had it right then copied each line to a card by shading in the appropriate oval with pencil. The cars were sent off to a nearby college which had a mainframe. The hand filled out cards were passed through a reader that generated punched cards. We got the cards back the next day and corrected errors by hand using a light blocking sticky tape to cover holes in the right place and a hand operated punch to make new holes. The punched cards were shipped off and read in to generate a printout of the program that was shipped back with the cards. We compared the printout with what we originally wrote and if it checked out the cards were shipped back and the program executed. We got back the cards and the result of the execution in the form of more line printer output. If there were no syntax errors and all went well it was the best part of a week between starting to write the code and getting the execution results back.

Nothing like a little instant gratification...

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.

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