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Comment: Thanks, but no thanks (Score 3, Insightful) 121

by h4ck7h3p14n37 (#47479187) Attached to: New York State Proposes Sweeping Bitcoin Regulations

we believe that setting up common sense rules of the road is vital to the long-term future of the virtual currency industry, as well as the safety and soundness of customer assets.(We think the situation at Mt. Gox, for example, made that very clear.)

It seems to me the Bitcoin community has been doing just fine without regulatory "assistance". Sure some people got burned by Mt. Gox, but I'm okay with that being one of the risks if it allows me to avoid government meddling. The State is a hell of a lot more of a threat to me than some shyster like Karpeles.

Comment: Re:Only because they're stupid. (Score 1) 435

by h4ck7h3p14n37 (#47470937) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

Of course, the FBI has way too many people that need to deal with technology that really don't understand it in the slightest. Years ago I had to disappoint an FBI agent that I was helping by explaining to him how things really worked. He was getting samples from all the different printers so that they could make a database to identify what printer printed something like they used to do with typewriters. I had to explain to him that the fonts are totally programmable and have no unique characteristics to that printer. Also, that the inks and toners are actually made by only a handful of companies, and are again, not unique to the printer. He was very disappointing with the information.

Maybe that's why some printers add secret watermarks to their output?

Comment: Re:This makes sense. (Score 1) 278

Years ago I went through a SOX compliance process for a B2B website I worked on. I can't recall the name of the auditor, but it was one of the giant companies in Chicago. They sent us a clearly green auditor who had apparently taken some internal courses in how to perform an audit of computer systems (and billed a ridiculous hourly rate). One of the controls they insisted on was routine password expiration. When I challenged the auditor as to explain how it improved our security posture, they were unable to come up with any response other than that's what they were told was necessary. I suspect 90 days became the standard because the biggest auditors said so.

Comment: Re:E-mail? (Score 1) 346

by h4ck7h3p14n37 (#47377869) Attached to: Goldman Sachs Demands Google Unsend One of Its E-mails

Many large companies automatically encrypt emails with a certain keyword in the subject line. The large investment bank I worked at used to do this.

What's shocking to me is that the contractor was able to reach gmail at all. We were restricted to only connecting approved devices to the corporate network and could not access any websites unless we were connected to the bank's VPN and were routed through their filtering proxy.

Comment: Re:The point of an exchange (Score 1) 48

An exchange is a place where buyers and sellers can meet to do business and where the price of goods is determined. You place an order with the exchange and it tries to fulfill your order given the other orders in the system. Some exchanges allow you to trade on margin, where you're only required to post a portion of the money for your deals and the exchange covers the rest. Exchanges make their money by charging a small fee per transaction.

Say you want to buy 100 Bitcoins, you open an account with an exchange and fund it via some method like cashier's check, money order, wire transfer, credit card or cash. You can then enter various types of orders. A market order would be fulfilled at whatever price the market happens to be at, while a limit order would specify a certain price (or better). Now, there may be no one on the exchange able to fulfill your order of 100 bitcoins, but there may be ten people who can sell you 10 each, or maybe two people with 50, etc. The exchange will manage this all for you. If you placed a limit order and no one is around to sell you those last 10 bitcoins at the price you wanted, then that part of your order will go unfulfilled.

An exchange is not a bank! You should not keep assets in your exchange account unless they are actively used to trade.

Comment: Re:Fuck religion. (Score 1) 903

by h4ck7h3p14n37 (#45843147) Attached to: US Justice Blocks Implementation of ACA Contraceptive Mandate

No, the whole point of health insurance, like any type of insurance, is to hedge against risk. Risk pooling is just one way of helping to ensure it's profitable to issue policies. If I decide I don't want to risk having to pay for cancer treatments, I can pay a premium for an insurance policy to hedge against the risk of developing cancer. If I know I'm not going to be having children, why would I pay a premium for maternity coverage?

An individual should absolutely be able to choose which risks he wants to hedge against and which risks he doesn't. That's the big problem with the minimum essential coverage requirements in the Patent Protection and Affordable Care Act, it forces everyone to pay for coverage they may neither need, nor want. Insurance does not equate to healthcare, although people like to confuse the two. You can always pay cash for services. If I'm relatively young and healthy, with plenty of cash in the bank, it may make sense for me to carry a high deductible catastrophic plan that does not cover routine services that I can pay for with cash.

If the goal is universal health coverage, then we should be opening free clinics, new medical schools and offering scholarships to people who want to be trained. The PPACA did none of this, it was simply more regulations on an already over-regulated industry.

Comment: Re:Who uses mice? (Score 1) 361

by h4ck7h3p14n37 (#45710577) Attached to: How long do your computer mice last?

I agree, the Logitech Trackman Marble FX rocks. I've got two that I bought back in the 90's and I'm thinking about buying some more off eBay.

I never understood why Logitech stopped producing them, or why someone else didn't license/copy the design. Fits the hand and wrist well, the large ball has some heft and spins freely and I found the thumb cutout useful for finer movements.

Comment: Re:Gross, but... (Score 1) 618

by h4ck7h3p14n37 (#44983473) Attached to: First Cases of Flesh-Eating Drug Emerge In the United States

It's not just opiates. There are plenty of classes of drugs where ignorant physicians prescribe inappropriately and get people addicted or harmed. Then the doctor blames the patient for the problem he created, labels them "junkie", refuses to see them or help with a taper which then pretty much forces them to seek out the black market.

Read up on what happened to the people who got hooked on Paxil before the physicians knew it was addictive. Doctors actually told people their withdrawal symptoms were due to mental illness and kept on prescribing. Or read some stories of people who were prescribed benzodiazepines incorrectly and lost years of their memories.

Comment: Re:Gross, but... (Score 4, Insightful) 618

by h4ck7h3p14n37 (#44983407) Attached to: First Cases of Flesh-Eating Drug Emerge In the United States

Gee, you think? It appears that American society has collectively learned nothing from the Prohibition days.

Rather than trying to understand why people use drugs or doing something to help people, society at large just likes to judge and label them "losers". For a supposedly "Christian" nation this is pretty f'ing pathetic.

I live in Chicago and have seen what happens to people when they can't get access to treatment or when they decide to take a trip to the 'hood for their fix. Most of the addicts I have known have wanted to quit, but the help's not there for them in many cases. One of my ex-girlfriends died from an overdose a few years ago. Thankfully some of the other people I knew were able to get clean after many years of trying.

We should be pursuing harm reduction strategies, but again, these are just "losers", so it's good if they die. Right?

Comment: Re:Put even more people out of work (Score 1) 90

Don't most people expect to converse with their bartender? How's that going to work?

Hello patron, my name is bartender Sbaitso.
I am here to help you.
Say whatever is in your mind freely,
Our conversation will be kept in strict confidence.
Memory contents will be wiped off after you leave,
So, tell me about your problems.

Comment: Robot? I'd have an AbuseBot. (Score 1) 194

by h4ck7h3p14n37 (#44889013) Attached to: Emotional Attachment To Robots Could Affect Battlefield Outcome

Based on my past history of swearing at and smacking tech gear (it works!), I'm pretty sure any robot I worked with or acquired would suffer nothing but abuse from me.

And what's with people trying to make robots cute? I want mine to look mean as hell, remember Maximilian from the Black Hole? That guy was freakin' awesome!

Granted, I've been attached to some of my cars and felt really shitty when I crashed one, but it's just a car. It can be fixed and there are others out there.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.