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Comment: Re:Well I for one (Score 1) 108

by dcollins117 (#47707571) Attached to: Hackers Steal Data Of 4.5 Million US Hospital Patients

* As an aside, that mother's maiden name "security" question on the forms? Let's just say that the TSA provides more security than this does.

Mother's maiden name is a terrible security question anyway. It's often quite easy to find that data by checking geneology sites like, or by the judicious use of Google. Marriage and funeral notices often include members of the entire family, and their relationships.

Not to mention the many "people finder" type sites that will sell you all the personal information you could hope for on a person for a nominal fee.

Comment: Re:My only question: does it work at Google-scale? (Score 2) 87

The problem with the current CAPTCHAs is that they are prone to a Mechanical Turk attack.

That's a problem with CAPCTHAs, not the only one. I've encountered several that I couldn't solve, even after trying several times, eventually leaving me no choice but to give up and go elsewhere.

It's a problem when your human detector fails to detect humans.

Comment: Re:She's selling a book (Score 1) 447

by dcollins117 (#47677343) Attached to: Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

The scope of the problem isn't clear, the goal is ill-defined. What, exactly, are trolls winning?

I think the entire premise that trolling is a problem is wrong, and to find out that "researchers" are studying ways to combat it is highly amusing, if also a little disturbing.

Even to suggest that one side is "winning" implies that another side is losing. This is a false dichotomy, fabricated for no apparent reason, and it makes me wonder about the motives behind it.

Comment: Re:Thanks for the pointless scaremongering (Score 4, Funny) 409

Unless I'm mistaken, one of the few remaining samples of smallpox is located in Atlanta.

There's some in the storage closet in Maryland. Might be some in Atlanta, too. Who knows. The reason they call it smallpox is because it's so hard to see. Makes it difficult to keep track of.

Comment: Re:Finally! (Score 3, Interesting) 474

by dcollins117 (#47491231) Attached to: World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use

That would put a heavy dent in the income of the organizations that manage the prison systems (which are mostly cronies of the politicians).

Everyone making money off the status quo will fight tooth and nail to maintain it. That's a given. New crimes are being defined all the time, the one that pops into my mind first is unauthorized use of computers. And just try to exercise your first amendment right to protest within earshot of the president.

Since Orwell's 1984 has been spot on so far, my guess is that the next activity to be made illegal is any attempt to maintain privacy. Seems to be the way the winds are blowing, anyway.

Comment: Re:Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (Score 1) 435

by dcollins117 (#47468923) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

Randomly speeding up or slowing down, and changing lanes without signalling is called "Massachusetts Mode".

It's just in the Boston area where that happens. Once you get to Western Mass, driving becomes more or less normative.

Still, I've done my share of Boston driving. The most annoying maneuver I've encountered is when you are making a left hand turn and the car behind you cuts you off making the turn before you thereby gaining the positional advantage.

I would cast further aspersions upon Boston drivers but one time I was hopelessly lost in the heart of Boston and realized I was driving the wrong way down a one way street. So, sometimes I'm the douchebag, I guess.

Comment: Re:Youtube Comments (Score 1) 238

by dcollins117 (#47466175) Attached to: Pseudonyms Now Allowed On Google+

Youtube comments are notoriously atrocious.

My experience is that Google took my fake name from YouTube and created a Google+ account with it. I can't really see how they can get butthurt about the use of a fake name on Google+ when I didn't sign up for, don't use, nor even want to use the service.

That being said, YouTube comments work best when they are not taken seriously. There whole "redesign" of the comment section failed spectacularly because they didn't understand what motivates people to comment in the first place. It's supposed to be fun, not a pain in the ass.

Comment: Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (Score 2) 415

by dcollins117 (#47397867) Attached to: Police Using Dogs To Sniff Out Computer Memory

Aren't there like three actual sins against humanity, all of them including domination of the weak or innocent? .... is there a third?

Sure, the abuse of government warrantless searches in spite of that being directly prohibited by the Fourth Amendment. Let's call that number three and for a fourth let's take the paramititarized police forces using extrajudicial methods to suppress dissent from ordinary American citizens.

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