Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Next year (Score 2) 123

The only difference between guard and if ! is that guard requires an exit of some form.

Practically, as a programmer who is maintaining code, it is very expressive to find a guard. You can immediately scroll down to the bottom past the block and you will understand the preconditions of what your eyes are currently looking at.

I never use code folding, however guards would be an attractive case to use them. Because it is truly: guard precondition and then the rest does not matter.

Comment Why (Score 1) 70

Before the internet you would read high quality content because it was high quality. And they would continue to publish it because you read it.

Now it is too simple to measure "engagement" by counting comments, tweets, etc. Before long, publishers notice that useful articles with minor factual errors, vitriolic and gossip articles get the most engagement. Unfortunately this leads to more articles with that type of content.

This new reactions feature will be extremely useful for content producers.

Comment Do not want (Score 1) 285

I do not support this project or the idea.

The figure "the U.S. healthcare industry writes off $40 billion in bad debt from unpaid medical bills" is disingenuous.

Because healthcare insurance pays all its bills [citation needed], then unpaid bills are only payable by uninsured folk. This represents the retail price, which is orders of magnitude higher than the average selling price (the price health insurance pays).

I do not recognize the authority of the healthcare industry to charge ruinously higher prices to people not having health insurance [legal rationale pending]. Therefore, I cannot support the repayment of unpaid medical bills. Instead, I support paying reasonable fees for services rendered and then using bankruptcy (and "use the law") to escape ruinous healthcare debts.

Comment Re:Private Profit, Public Costs much? (Score 1) 442

Yes, the variable cost on Vigilant's collection is zero. So that is called pure profit.

If the entire world adopted this system, they could easily service it probably using a very small number of web servers. (Especially if Paul Tyma was involved.)

Whether Vigilant's variable profit covers its fixed costs is its own problem.

Comment Re:Bah ... (Score 1) 76

I feel bad for the 10% of callers that are not scams:

Me: He this is [my name]
Operator: Hello I am Sally, is this the husband of [my wife]?
Me: Maybe
Operator: Well you are listed as her emergency contact and I am calling about her doctor's appointment tommorrow
Me: OK
Operator: Is there a different number we can call her at?
Me: Let me take a message for you

Is it sad, but only correct way to talk to unknown numbers is: fuck you, authenticate

Comment Counterintelligence (Score 1) 138

One interpretation of this article is that FBI (or contractors) has non-public, zero-day, or old-but-unpatched vulnerabilities which it is using against client machines to collect information. We assume that only misconfigured machines are vulnerable.

A benefit of this knowledge is that it may be possible collect these exploits with a REVERSE honeypot. Simply use a MORE secure browser (Tails in Tails + non-extradition origin + Tor Browser). Then spider the Dark Web but make sure your spider DOES follow post requests and do data fuzzing. This is the most likely to register as an intelligence target.

You could determine a successful exploit occurred if: the outer Tails or the inner Tails (virtualization) sent any traffic to the network. Normal non-exploited behavior would be that all traffic (spidering) would occur only with the innermost Tor Browser connection. So this would require three levels of "wire level" logging. As soon as you detect exploited behavior, stop everything, publish the logs and then act like Gene Hackman in Enemy of the State.

Of course this can all be done without any human interaction with unsavory websites, it can be legal based on origin location and it can arbitrarily secured against detection. Older versions of Tor Browser and known exploits could be used to validate this system. Sorry, this probably belonged as a blog post or a GitHub new repo first commit!

Comment Cinic (Score 1) 56

A more cynical and literal interpretation of "Panasonic has said it plans to commercialize the technology for other businesses" might be:

Facebook has been collecting these unused photos for years with the intent of providing them to the CIA (who originally invested in FB, Google it). Then, instead, NSA staffed plant employees and stole the data for free. Panasonic has said it has plans to commercialize the technology (and data) for other businesses. An obvious first customer will be car companies with large advertising budgets. They will be using Facebook's graph of friends to identify influencers in each person's life. Then, with image recognition, they will identify cars in the long history of users' photos. So, for example, if your crush has been driving the latest Audi, and you currently are not driving an Audi, and you have been seen around Audis in the past, then you are a prime candidate for more direct advertising.

Comment Re:Profit of over 500 million euros == do it again (Score 1) 87

Corporate profits are imaginary. You can imagine they are located anywhere. It makes sense to imagine they are located in low-tax locations.

This contrasts to wages and dividend payments, which are directly attributed to where the recipient works and lives, respectively.

Comment Hyperbole (Score 1) 170

Companies / service providers which maintain access to locked containers may be compelled to unlock them upon government request.
In which country is this NOT true?

Of course the state of encryption nowadays is that companies are using the same lock combination for ALL their containers. That is a problem that needs to be fixed (perfect forward secrecy).

Another problem is that companies who carry information often do this by accepting a message from person A and then repackaging it for person B -- which makes them liable for the contents of the message. This is also also fixable (messages sent from person A should be locked only for opening by person B).

I fully support the content of this news article insofar as it has not infringed on The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and as it is bringing more attention to these two existing issues above.

Slashdot Top Deals

SCCS, the source motel! Programs check in and never check out! -- Ken Thompson