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Comment: Slidebox Bob (Score 2) 35

by epine (#48228353) Attached to: Google Search Finally Adds Information About Video Games

Google didn't do this to make the gamers happy. They did it to make the non gamers happy, because video game culture is ladden with a rich and repurposed vocabulary that constantly shows up when people don't want to see video games in their search results.

They have to recognize games in order to remove games. Once they've gone that far, throwing up a positive infobox is Slidebox Bob.

Comment: Re:No biggie, ya right! (Score 1) 145

by ultranova (#48227265) Attached to: How To Beat Online Price Discrimination

If that 6 cents were no biggie, then why does Aldi make you pay it?

6 cents is no biggie. 6 cents * n customers is. Furthermore, why should those who who bring their own bags subsidize those who don't?

If that quarter for the buggies were no biggie then why do they make you pay it?

Most likely it's not a payment but a safety deposit: put the buggie where you got it and you get your quarter back. It's a pretty effective way of making people clean up after themselves.

Comment: Re:solution: don't try to remember them (Score 1) 188

by HiThere (#48226749) Attached to: Passwords: Too Much and Not Enough

If you can get at the info, a TLA can coerce you into giving them the information. Unless you're both willing to die and to be tortured to protect the information, you can't both access the information and keep it from them, if they're determined. Of course, if they're just mildly curious you can do it, but then things that work against the phone company should work.

Comment: Re:Why so high? (Score 1) 188

by HiThere (#48226699) Attached to: Passwords: Too Much and Not Enough

I'd like to set it to any number of errors in a row starts increasing the time between allowed login tries, and start the delay with the 2 seconds and square it for each succeeding wrong guess. Also a warning on the login page as soon as even one erroroneous login attempt is detected.

Unfortunately, it's not a standard option, I'm lazy, and I don't have anything valuable on my machine. (E.g., I won't do banking over the internet.)

Comment: Re:Why so high? (Score 1) 188

by HiThere (#48226641) Attached to: Passwords: Too Much and Not Enough

Besides, it wouldn't matter if CAPTCHA were cracked for his purpose. His purpose is to raise the cost of intrusion to the point where the attackers go somewhere else. Not ideal, but it's probably the best you can do.

Now there are several layered approaches that one can adopt to strengthen the security, but convincing the attackers to pick on someone else is probably the best any of them, or all of them combined, will accomplish. How much security you use depends on what you're protecting. Personally, if I were really after security I'd mount the system on a read only device, checksum everything, and have a daemon that rebooted the system if checksum validation failed. The idea of storing the user passwords on a separate device that can only reply "True" or "False" to a username:password pair has a lot going for it. But is it worth the hassle? That depends on what you're protecting. (For me, no. I don't have anything valuable on my machine except some code I'm developing, and when it's done it will be GPL.)

Comment: Re:Steering? (Score 1) 145

by rtb61 (#48226357) Attached to: How To Beat Online Price Discrimination

It depends upon how the price is presented. If the price presented is as being 'the price of the product' as in the price to all customers or the price of the product to that person. Obviously if you are not declaring that the price is not the product price to all customers but specific price to that person, that you are fraudulently misrepresenting the nature of that price and how it was achieved.

The big lesson here, is when it is so easy to get a price on the internet don't get just one but get at least three from similarly reliable providers. Size of company is of course no measure of reliability as the modern trend of throwing as many lawyers as needed at unhappy customers to try to silence them as well as spending huge amounts on deceitful advertising to try drown out complaints that get past the lawyers, is now normal business tactic, ahh, the benefits of deregulation, 'NOT'.

Comment: Re:We rate the groups here (Score 2) 49

by rtb61 (#48226191) Attached to: Secretive Funding Fuels Ongoing Net Neutrality Astroturfing Controversy

Here's how to attack true grass roots campaigns, make a PR=B$ claim about funding transparency ie how can you have funding transparency with a true grass roots campaign when there is no group funding, the hundreds of thousands of individuals are independent from each other beyond seeking the same outcome. The reality is net neutrality suits every other business other major ISPs looking to become internet 'Publishers', attempting to block all content distribution that does not pay them a significant percentage of the income derived from that content. There are also the real problems of securing content to make sure the major ISPs can not simply onsell private information or trade secrets contained in digital communications. Every CTO should be passing onto to management the real problems with the loss of net neutrality and ensuring those concerns are passed onto their lobbyists to their politicians.

Comment: Re:Why so high? (Score 2) 188

by rtb61 (#48226143) Attached to: Passwords: Too Much and Not Enough

Then do the simpler thing and ensure the password file is securely protected and add some real time in the password entry. A simple countdown timer to slow password entry down and increasing the time each a wrong guess is made, say simply doubling of the wait time between entries ie 1 second, 2, 4, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256 and so it goes, with a reminder to the user of the implication of too many bad guesses. Throw in a email warning to the user when say three incorrect password attempts are made in a row. Also association IP addresses with user name passwords not locked so much as for when too many bad guesses occur as an additional flag. To go really secure put the passwords on a separate simple small cheap box and all that box does is encrypt, decrypt and test passwords and user names, nothing more. That is the only communications the box will accept and the only information the box will provide is pass or fail on that test.

The big security advantage in switching from boxes that do everything to appliances only, is that those appliances can be hardware and software configured to be able to 'ONLY' do what they have been designed to do. You make them unhackable by simply making sure they can not carry out the required functions needed to carry out the attack, they are locked into only carrying out their designed algorithms and require a specific hardware and software rebuild to do anything more. This can be done very cheaply with things a password checker. Flexibility in technology leads to a whole lot of security problems ie the system ends up doing things the user never intended.

Comment: Re: This is silly (Score 1) 631

by HiThere (#48224877) Attached to: Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

No, I think upper management is going to be even more secure than owner. Of course, *getting* to upper management will be interesting, with all middle management gone.

As for "well on it's way". It's over a decade away, probably over two. I expect the first "human brain equivalent" computer to show up around 2030...but that's just the hardware. Unless one of the neural net projects succeeds, the software is going to take a bit longer. Of course you can do an awful lot by redesigning jobs to remove the need for intelligence, but SOME jobs won't be attacked that easily. How to predict what those jobs are, however, is not obvious.

OTOH, they think they may have recently identified the structure in the human brain that yields consciousness. If so, then neural simulation models may yield spectacular successes. Unfortunately, this may cause us to build things without understanding their implications. Which means we may well not understand the goal structure of the entity that we build. ... Whoops!

So a "whoops!" could happen *before* the human brain equivalent computer. It wouldn't be an "intelligent" as a human, but that's not really that important if it has enough power under its control...which it could get by just being useful.

OTOH, a decent AI with sufficient intelligent would be far superior as a world ruler to the bozos who are currently driving the bus. The key question isn't its intelligence, but rather its goal structure.

Comment: Re:This is silly (Score 2) 631

by HiThere (#48224583) Attached to: Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

The fact is that automation *is* increasing. In more and more jobs, no human can live on what it costs to have a machine do the work. It should therefore be expected that an increasing number of people will be out of work. (The number of useless jobs can only be expanded so far, and we're already hitting significant back pressure.)

The should be a decent minimal income for everyone, and anything earned at a job should be on top of that. There's the difficulty that we also don't want to increase the population, or to encourage geneotypes that cause people to breed irresponsibly, but keeping people desperate doesn't help in solving this, or other, problems. Probably improvements in virtual reality will act to address the immediate population problem even more effectively than TV did during the last couple of generations. The geneotype problem is more difficult, but also more of a long term problem. At the rate the biological knowledge is increasing, and the rate the tools are improving it should be directly addressible within a generation or two, and that's plenty of time. The current problem is to build a civilization that will be stable for then next generation or two. That implies a decent living (*not* livlihood) and equable justice for at least most citizens. And with the current directions of change the living can't be dependant upon jobs. But you also want to engage people in civil activities. Arts is one choice, so are sports and games. Improved virtual reality can allow one to have the illusion of living in a nearly ideal environment, and moving from there to other environments ad lib.

Please note, this assumes that adequate energy supplies will be available. Solar cells would work in many places, as would wind turbines, etc. But those require ways of either storing the power or of transmitting it VERY long distances. (Solar farms in the Sahara, Mohavi, and Gobi/Austrailia would probably always be generating energy, but transmitting it to where it is currently needed could be a large problem. Storage actually looks like a simpler solution.) Wind power is also widely available, but not reliable in any one place.

To conclude, if there were a guaranteed living then there would be no need for a minimum-wage law, because business would not be able to take coercive advantage of people.

In order to dial out, it is necessary to broaden one's dimension.