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Gmail Now Rejects Emails With Misleading Combinations of Unicode Characters 79

An anonymous reader writes: Google today announced it is implementing a new effort to thwart spammers and scammers: the open standard known as Unicode Consortium's "Highly Restricted" specification. In short, Gmail now rejects emails from domains that use what the Unicode community has identified as potentially misleading combinations of letters. The news today follows Google's announcement last week that Gmail has gained support for accented and non-Latin characters. The company is clearly okay with international domains, as long as they aren't abused to trick its users.

Comment Re:Traitors to the American Dream (Score 1) 393

I don't like it because I think that it is an illustration of a broken system. It's like someone in a race who is throwing things to tangle up the other people's feet. Yes, they represent their people but that doesn't necessarily excuse their actions. It merely explains them.

Their actions are no more righteous than if the people of their districts directly voted to put obstructions in the way of SpaceX in order to protect their own interests. I only raised the issue of who they represent because the claim was made that they were not representing the American people (which is true).

Comment Re:seriously? (Score 1) 393

Yeah. Like I said, he's not completely powerless. It is simply that the office has less power than Congress' (though again, it isn't divided up). I didn't really mean to turn this into a major discussion of Presidential power. It was more an answer to 'why do people listen to Congress?'. Because we have to.

Comment Re:Traitors to the American Dream (Score 1) 393

At the risk of defending them (because really, I don't like these guys any more than you do), the are representatives of the people -who elected them-. That means the people in their district, so protecting businesses that bring money to those districts (and thus to the people they represent) isn't -completely- without merit.

Please note that I'm not advocating that they protect those businesses at the expense of their people by loosening regulations or anything like that. I'm just saying that in -this instance- some argument can be made that they are protecting and representing their people, at least in the short run, and it is almost impossible for anyone to get elected appealing to people on the grounds of 'yes, this is going to cost you money, but in fifty years from now you children will really benefit'.

This kind of action is more a symptom of what needs to be fixed than an illness in and of itself. Unfortunately going the other way and creating a system where representatives only look at the big picture instead of their smaller constituent group causes its own problems.

Comment Re:seriously? (Score 1) 393

. . .more importantly why is anyone listening to people from a division of government with a 16%!!!!! approval rating. . .

Because crappy approval rating or not they are still the legislative branch of our government. That means that they are the ones who actually make the laws. The President only has the power to execute laws and other decisions of Congress* and the Supreme Court only has the power to interpret those laws (part of that power, however, means they could decide a law violates the Constitution and is unenforcable, but in such a case they are still interpreting law).

Congress actually has much more power than the President. The thing is that the power is divided up between 535 people so the office of the President is still more powerful than any one of them.

*The President does also hold a few other powers such as Veto but pretty much all of these powers can be overridden by Congress.

Comment Re:Magnetic strip? (Score 3, Insightful) 78

Audio tape is sequential access, not random access. The same thing with the magnetic strip. Usually this isn't a problem because the magnetic strip on your card contains a very small amount of information so it is quick to read the entire sequence but if you had to sequentially load just 16k of information from a tape it could take some time.

Ask anyone who had a home computer before floppy disks became available.

Comment Re:Density (Score 1) 78

Let's assume you carve your page up into 'pixels'. If each 'pixel' is one bit (2 colors or on or off) then you would have to have pixels of 100 microns (.1mm) on a side to have the same information density as this process. If each 'pixel' is 4 bits (16 colors) then your pixels would only have to be .2mm on a side to retain the same information density. I kind of doubt you could distinguish between 256 different colors reliably enough for computer reading of data under varying light conditions but if we assume you can that would mean your pixels could be just under half a millimeter in size.

Comment Re:Theft (Score 1) 1010

No. Laws may be employed to control the populace, but they originated to prevent harm.

Kind of like how contracts originated so that both parties would fully know and understand their responsibilities and what they were agreeing to (and so third parties would have evidence of what the first two had agreed to). The fact that they are sometimes (or often) employed to trick or trap people doesn't change what the were originally intended to do.

Comment Re:Extraordinary claims? extraordinary evidence pl (Score 1) 265

Except that's not what the article is saying. The article doesn't claim that the system's bios was remotely compromised using audio. What it is saying is that a system that _has been compromised_ is using its sound equipment to communicate with other systems that have likewise been compromised, allowing infected systems to maintain communication with one another despite an airgap.

This could be viewed as 'extraordinary' in the sense of 'something that does not ordinarily happen', but it is not 'extraordinary' in the sense of 'something that defies conventional belief'. As many people have pointed out this is the same basic principle that modems use, merely in a somewhat different 'packaging'.

In that sense it is no more extraordinary than claiming that someone has painted an elephant blue. It is not something which commonly happens yet the possibility of its existence hardly defy belief.

Comment Re:312 km coast to coast (Score 4, Informative) 355

Mercifully it looks like the math error might be on the part of the poster rather than the article. I did a quick skim of the article and didn't see anywhere were they mentioned anything like how far apart people would be if stretched from coast to coast.

Of course it is always possible that the article was edited by the time I saw it but since the post doesn't appear to be a quote ripped from the site Occam's Razor is that the poster wrote up the post, did the math, and got it wrong.

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