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Comment: Re:most of that info used to be tracked on paper (Score 4, Informative) 66

by penix1 (#48414281) Attached to: NYT: Privacy Concerns For ClassDojo, Other Tracking Apps For Schoolchildren

Each student had old fashioned paper records recording all that stuff: behavioral problems, class results, rewards, etc.

Is it really that different now because it's on a computer?

Yes it is because the paper copy isn't shared with God+his dog unlike this application does. Also, the paper copy is destroyed once the student passes that year unlike this application which stores it forever.

So to answer you directly, some things are better off only in paper if even there.

Comment: Re:Depends on the security needs (Score 2) 91

by penix1 (#48402709) Attached to: Facebook Planning Office Version To Rival LinkedIn, Google

It isn't just secrets but any PII. Medical or financial for example. I work in state government and can tell you they have locked down many of these type of sites and track every keystroke and mouse click to include what sites you tried to get to even if it was blocked. It may be that they were fired at the meeting for a previous transgression (not necessarily transgressing at the meeting).

Comment: Re:Level3? (Score 5, Insightful) 139

by penix1 (#48399299) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With VoIP Fraud/Phishing Scams?

I've got a better solution for both of you...

Put an automated message that says the following...

"If you are calling about a recent scam involving our number, please call Level 3 at..." and give the phone number to Level 3's complaint office. If they don't have a complaint office then simply give the main number. Better yet if you can, forward the call to them via a menu system. Let them deal with the fallout. Maybe they will take the hint.

Comment: Re:Window Dressing. (Score 2) 257

by penix1 (#48392517) Attached to: Comcast Kisses-Up To Obama, Publicly Agrees On Net Neutrality

Forcing me to buy something does not count as "getting it for me".

I would agree with you if and only if the hospital could refuse to treat you when you show up at the emergency room until you pay up front. Because, you see, when you show up and they have to treat you regardless of your ability to pay it raises the cost for all the rest of us who do have insurance.

Comment: Re:Window Dressing. (Score 4, Informative) 257

by penix1 (#48392365) Attached to: Comcast Kisses-Up To Obama, Publicly Agrees On Net Neutrality

How can you reason that the ACA was caving in to republicans when none of them voted for it? The reason why we got the crap that we did was to get the moderates of his own party on board, which they almost failed to do anyway (see Nebraska). They never would have agreed to a single-payer system, and this was the best they could do to try to get coverage for everybody.

Where were you when they were drafting the act? The reason we got what we got was the Republicans were given an equal footing at the drafting table. There were 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans drafting it in the false belief that if they had a hand in making it they would support it. The reason it almost failed the Senate was totally Harry Reid's failure to take Mitch McConnell at his word to "make sure that President Obama was a one term president" and use the "nuclear option" to fix the filibuster rule at the start of that session. Even to this day it still hasn't been fixed.

The only reason the Republicans are fighting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the FULL title of the act) is their fear it will be as popular as Social Security and the fact that President Obama was backing it (at that stage I argue he would have backed anything that had a positive effect on the broken healthcare system we still have).

The insurance companies are against it because it requires 80% of the premiums be spent on healthcare while trying to eliminate the arbitrary denials. The doctors don't like it because it requires them to be more transparent and stop unnecessary tests that only line their pockets. It also cracks down on the waste, fraud and abuse by hospitals. So that is why they are against it.

Meanwhile, millions of Americans now have some form of healthcare that they could never get before.

Comment: Re:Typical!! (Score 1) 271

by penix1 (#48339911) Attached to: Dealer-Installed GPS Tracker Leads To Kidnapper's Arrest in Maryland

The only thing that needs visibility is the antenna. Tap into the car radio antenna and the problem is solved.

The original point of privacy was made and while I agree with that point there is the point that you don't own the car until it is fully paid for. That and the fact that this guy had major credit problems, enough for the loan guarantor to suspect they would have to resort to repossession, they deemed it necessary to track the vehicle. Lastly, my bet is his contract for the loan stipulated that the car was being tracked until the loan was satisfied buried deep in the legalese and removal of the device would constitute breech of contract enacting the repossession clause.

Comment: Re:Naive optimism in headline (Score 1) 91

by penix1 (#48308749) Attached to: Photon Pair Coupled in Glass Fiber

I'm more amazed anyone believes that in our current society strong encryption helps maintain privacy in any way.

I tend to agree with you mostly because it requires both ends to be encrypted to the same level to be of any use. It also requires too many parties have their hands in the security pot to be believable. Everything from the browser to the certifying authority to the end users. That is why encryption truly can be security theater.

Comment: West Virginia too (Score 1) 468

by penix1 (#48284785) Attached to: Boo! The House Majority PAC Is Watching You

Whether you show up to vote (not whether you actually vote) is recorded. However, given the trouble they are having with vote buying in both WV and KY I doubt they actually release the specific info.

BTW, they both (republican and democrat) got my info wrong because I moved to this district recently.

I consider this an attempt at intimidation and won't bow to it. I would join any lawsuit if they released any list of individuals whether they showed up to vote or not.

Comment: Re:I run Gentoo (Score 1) 106

by penix1 (#48232563) Attached to: Building All the Major Open-Source Web Browsers

I too use Gentoo and have since 2003. I started using it because it was the only one that had all my hardware working "out of the box" so to speak. Besides, it is a really good way to learn Linux under the hood.

Having said that, you can get some really messed up crap especially if you setup your use flags or compiler options wrong. What I do hate about Gentoo is the seemingly random masking of packages that knocks out other packages that are working just fine. Yes, you can unmask them but that is a PITA. So care needs to be taken when updating. Don't do it willy nilly neigh...

Comment: Re:anonymously sourced evidence? (Score 4, Insightful) 114

by penix1 (#48177751) Attached to: Florida Supreme Court: Police Can't Grab Cell Tower Data Without a Warrant

No, it truly is easy if there is probable cause.

This is from: http://legal-dictionary.thefre...

Probable cause is not equal to absolute certainty. That is, a police officer does not have to be absolutely certain that criminal activity is taking place to perform a search or make an arrest. Probable cause can exist even when there is some doubt as to the person's guilt. Courts take care to review the actions of police in the context of everyday life, Balancing the interests of law enforcement against the interests of personal liberty in determining whether probable cause existed for a search or arrest.

If they are not planning to arrest someone, then why the warrantless search? The point is, if the police can articulate their suspicions clearly enough with a modicum of evidence, they get the warrant.

Comment: Re: Conflict of interest is just what they do (Score 5, Informative) 83

by penix1 (#48175867) Attached to: NSA CTO Patrick Dowd Moonlighting For Private Security Firm

What would or should be illegal about it though?

He is using government property for private gain. Namely his access to classified information. Information that will allow him to demand a higher salary that he wouldn't have without that inside access. Also, we have no idea YET if this private company has any government contracts with the NSA since that info would also be classified. Watch for this tidbit to come out much later.


How Curved Spacetime Can Be Created In a Quantum Optics Lab 89

Posted by Soulskill
from the please-say-lasers dept.
KentuckyFC writes: One way to explore the link between quantum mechanics and general relativity is to study the physics that occurs on a small scale in highly curved spacetimes. However, these conditions only occur in the most extreme environments such as at the edge of black holes or in the instants after the Big Bang. But now one physicist has described how it is possible to create curved spacetime in an ordinary quantum optics lab.

The idea is based on optical lattices, which form when a pair of lasers interfere to create an eggbox-like interference pattern. When ultracold atoms are dropped into the lattice, they become trapped like ping pong balls in an eggbox. This optical trapping technique is common in labs all over the world. However, the ultracold atoms do not stay at a fixed location in the lattice because they can tunnel from one location to another. This tunneling is a form of movement through the lattice and can be controlled by changing the laser parameters to make tunneling easier or more difficult.

Now, a physicist has shown that on a large scale, the tunneling motion of atoms through the lattice is mathematically equivalent to the motion of atoms in a quantum field in a flat spacetime. And that means it is possible to create a formal analogue of a curved spacetime by changing the laser parameters across the lattice. Varying the laser parameters over time even simulates the behavior of gravitational waves. Creating this kind of curved spacetime in the lab won't reveal any new physics but it will allow researchers to study the behavior of existing laws under these conditions for the first time. That's not been possible even in theory because the equations that describe these behaviors are so complex that they can only be solved in the simplest circumstances.

He who steps on others to reach the top has good balance.