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Comment: Deadbeats are not who you think they are (Score 2) 190

by dfsmith (#49649745) Attached to: No Justice For Victims of Identity Theft

Those exorbitant interest rates credit card companies charge are to pay for deadbeats who don't pay back their credit card accounts, not fraud. (Empasis added.)

FYI: In credit card parlance, a deadbeat is someone who pays off their card every month. The people who don't pay it back are customers [citation needed!].

Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 1) 263

by dfsmith (#49578651) Attached to: Crashing iPad App Grounds Dozens of American Airline Flights

I don't get why people don't understand staggered roll outs....

Here's a scenario:

  • Captain A: I see communications have failed. What does your manual say to do?
  • Co-pilot B: It says to do ABC.
  • A: Hmm. Mine says XYZ is the procedure.
  • B: That's peculiar, let's have a long technical discussion.

In this case, checking the EFB on the ground may have been safer than resolving conflicting versions in the air.

+ - Selling shares at the wrong price is fraud 1

Submitted by dfsmith
dfsmith writes: Apparently the "Flash Crash" of the stock market in May 2010 was perpetrated by a futures trader in the UK. The US Justice Department alleges that he used a "dynamic layering scheme" of large-volume sell orders to confuse other buyers, hence winning big in his futures trades. Wait a second... isn't that what traders do all the time? Why is this one different?

Comment: *Not* trading at the wrong price is fraud (Score 1) 1

by dfsmith (#49523207) Attached to: Selling shares at the wrong price is fraud

I've been able to read a bit more of the complaint (USA vs Navinder Singh Sarao). Here's how the scheme worked.

  • Defendant (D) offered multiple trades for sale below market price.
  • The bid market price would drop to meet the percieved supply.
  • D would cancel the trades automatically when the price got too close to his ask (paragraph 15).
  • The market price would stabilize again.

In the mean time, D was making money on the futures because he knew precisely when the price would drop. Quite an ingenious scheme (especially the automated cancellation). But it ultimately relied on other people mis-valuing the market.

+ - One-Way Streets Have Higher Accidents Rates, Higher Crime, Lower Property Values

Submitted by writes: Emily Badger writes in the Washington Post that a study shows that one-way streets are bad for everyone but speeding cars with an analysis done on the entire city of Louisville, comparing Census tracts with multi-lane one-way streets to those without them. The basic pattern holds city-wide: They found that the risk of a crash is twice as high for people riding through neighborhoods with one-way streets. What is more interesting though is that crime is higher and property values are lower in census tracts with one way streets..

First, they took advantage of a kind of natural experiment: In 2011, Louisville converted two one-way streets near downtown, each a little more than a mile long, back to two-way traffic. In data that they gathered over the following three years, Gilderbloom and William Riggs found that traffic collisions dropped steeply — by 36 percent on one street and 60 percent on the other — after the conversion, even as the number of cars traveling these roads increased. Crime dropped too, by about a quarter, as crime in the rest of the city was rising. Property values rose, as did business revenue and pedestrian traffic, relative to before the change and to a pair of nearby comparison streets. The city, as a result, now stands to collect higher property tax revenues along these streets, and to spend less sending first-responders to accidents there.

Some of the findings are obvious: Traffic tends to move faster on a wide one-way road than on a comparable two-way city street, and slower traffic means fewer accidents. What's more interesting is that crime flourishes on neglected high-speed, one-way, getaway roads and that two-way streets may be less conducive to certain crimes because they bring slower traffic and, as a result, more cyclists and pedestrians, that also creates more "eyes on the street" — which, again, deters crime. "What we’re doing when we put one-way streets there is we’re over-engineering automobility," says William Riggs, "at the expense of people who want a more livable environment."

Comment: Re:elinks (Score 1) 237

by dfsmith (#49305381) Attached to: Every Browser Hacked At Pwn2own 2015, HP Pays Out $557,500 In Awards
Well, the rendering engine for these browsers is tty; a known ugly hack of a beast. While there are unlikely to be OS level exploits easily available, there are plenty of user-based exploits available in the vt code (redefining character sets, occasional graphical terminals, goodness knows how many keyboard insertion sequences...).

Comment: Network switches (Score 1) 307

I've had two network switches that gave me problems. (I don't necessarily count a component "breaking" as a problem—just normal long term system operation.)

  • A $17k switch kind of stopped forwarding packets. In fact, it would drop the first 6 data bytes from each packet, but send the rest fine. Took a little while to figure out what was happening as it would helpfully recalculate the CRC for me.
  • A $40 switch developed a bad capacitor.* It dropped packets at 0% to 90% depending on its mood swings, but it looked like my network provider was just getting slower; which often happens anyway.

* I opened the box, and an electrolytic cap looked like it was pregnant, maybe about to have a baby ceramic. B-)

Comment: Re:Fee waiver (Score 1) 50

by dfsmith (#49278547) Attached to: ICE Tells Reporter Its Secretive Drone Program Isn't Newsworthy

Your point is taken, but that's not actually the case.

Fees are $0.10/page, search is $16 to $28/hour depending on the type. You are notified in advance if the fees will be over $25.[1]

Also, the request has to be "not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester" [1], which may or may not be the case here.


"You're a creature of the night, Michael. Wait'll Mom hears about this." -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"