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Comment: Re:Why not use something better for RNGing the Lot (Score 1) 342

by lengel (#49470903) Attached to: Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket

Like I dunno a physical mechanism that relies on nuclear decay to decide what number to hit. They aren't that complicated, they aren't any more dangerous than a smoke detector and unless you can hack physics (at which point you probably no longer care about money) you can't really mess with them.

In any case this just goes to show the old adage holds true, your system is only secure as its weakest component. Also something about all security measures pretty much flying out the window the second someone has physical access to your hardware etc etc.

I would not have to hack the physics, I would hack the detector.

Comment: Re:Completely dumb (Score 1) 342

by lengel (#49470839) Attached to: Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket

the prize was claimed by a lawyer representing a shell company out of Belize. .

Which is a quite a big red flag in itself.

Not really, most people that win that kind of money don't just walk into the 7-11 and ask they deposit 15 mil into their checking account. They get a lawyer and often would rather be unknown then have it publicly announced under their real name.

Except in many cases the lottery T&C in fine print on the ticket states you agree to be publicly identified when you buy the ticket if you win. It is great PR for the lottery association to parade the winner in front of the press so it comes across as "see anyone can win and change his/her life forever".

Comment: Scratch again (Score 1) 315

by lengel (#49445347) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce a 7-Year-Old To Programming?

Yes. Scratch is what I would recommend also. My children love it and have moved on to more advanced things after enjoying scratch. Turtle was another early "programming" language they were introduced to and enojoyed. LEGO Mindstorms is a good next step, but expensive to use. I would not start there because you have sunk money into something that may not ultimately be an interest.


Personal Genomics Firm 23andMe Patents Designer Baby System 171

Posted by timothy
from the not-creepy-at-all dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Consumer genomics company 23andMe has developed a system for helping prospective parents choose the traits of their offspring, from disease risk to hair color. The patent — number 8543339, "Gamete donor selection based on genetic calculations" — describes a technology that would take a customer's preferences for a child's traits, compute the likely genomic outcomes of combinations between a customer's sperm or egg and other people's sex cells, and describe which potential reproductive matches would most likely produce the desired baby."

Brooklyn Yogurt Shop Sting Snares Fake Reviewers For NY Attorney General 168

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the believe-nothing dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Reuters reports that nineteen companies caught writing fake reviews on websites such as Yelp, Google Local and CitySearch have been snared in a year-long sting operation by the New York Attorney General and will pay $350,000 in penalties. The Attorney General's office set up a fake yogurt shop in Brooklyn, New York, and sought help from firms that specialize in boosting online search results to combat negative reviews. Search optimization companies offered to post fake reviews of the yogurt shop, created online profiles, and paid as little as $1 per review to freelance writers in the Philippines, Bangladesh and Eastern Europe. To avoid detection the companies used 'advanced IP spoofing techniques' to hide their true identities. 'This investigation into large-scale, intentional deceit across the Internet tells us that we should approach online reviews with caution,' said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. 'More than 100 million visitors come to Yelp each month, making it critical that Yelp protect the integrity of its content,' said Aaron Schur, Yelp's Senior Litigation Counsel."

How Could Swarms of Robots Help Humanity? 67

Posted by timothy
from the terrible-secret-of-space dept.
ceview writes "Researchers at Sheffield Centre for Robotics have demonstrated that a swarm of 40 robots can carry out simple fetching and carrying tasks. This is done by grouping around an object and working together to push it across a surface. They believe that this could provide opportunities for us mere humans to harness such power to do all sorts of things like safety — what like catching falling workers perhaps? Youtube action here."

Berkeley Scientists Plan To 'Jurassic Park' Some Extinct Pigeons Back To Life 209

Posted by Soulskill
from the hold-on-to-your-butts dept.
phenopticon writes "Researchers at Berkeley are attempting to revive the extinct passenger pigeon in order to set up a remote island theme park full of resurrected semi-modern extinct animals. (Well, maybe not that last part.) Quoting: 'About 1,500 passenger pigeons inhabit museum collections. They are all that's left of a species once perceived as a limitless resource. The birds were shipped in boxcars by the tons, sold as meat for 31 cents per dozen, and plucked for mattress feathers. But in a mere 25 years, the population shrank from billions to thousands as commercial hunters decimated nesting flocks. Martha, the last living bird, took her place under museum glass in 1914. ... Ben Novak doesn't believe the story should end there. The 26-year-old genetics student is convinced that new technology can bring the passenger pigeon back to life. "This whole idea that extinction is forever is just nonsense," he says. Novak spent the last five years working to decipher the bird's genes, and now he has put his graduate studies on hold to pursue a goal he'd once described in a junior high school fair presentation: de-extinction. ... Using next-generation sequencing, scientists identified the passenger pigeon's closest living relative: Patagioenas fasciata, the ubiquitous band-tailed pigeon of the American west. This was an important step. The short, mangled DNA fragments from the museums' passenger pigeons don't overlap enough for a computer to reassemble them, but the modern band-tailed pigeon genome could serve as a scaffold. Mapping passenger pigeon fragments onto the band-tailed sequence would suggest their original order."

Comment: Re:Hence it's behind a firewall (Score 1) 249

by lengel (#42264053) Attached to: Zero Day Hole In Samsung Smart TVs Could Have TV Watching You

Since the article is very light on details there is no way to be sure, but I assume the attack vector came in through the web browser. I honestly can't imagine this TV having open ports to be directly attacked from the outside. Why would it need these? On top of this I also would suspect the LAN to have a firewall that should also be blocking any ports left open on the TV for whatever reason.

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov