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Comment: Re:Some people are jerks (Score 1) 362

by thegarbz (#47472169) Attached to: Sexual Harassment Is Common In Scientific Fieldwork

I'm not sure what the parents problem is, but as someone who works with a myriad of different systems my problem is information duplication.

Your company has a policy against sexual harassment? Awesome. My country already has a law covering the behavior. Unless the company policy extends on that law what's the point of having it? Or are we saying that your company takes a stronger view on bullying as opposed to murdering someone, because murder is not explicitly against policy?

There's a hierarchy or legal requirements, and positions lower in the hierarchy should not duplicate wording from higher up.

Comment: Re:Livin' in the USA (Score 1) 423

by thegarbz (#47471315) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

I did a quick search before posting. There are twice as many lawsuits per capita in the USA than in France. There are about 5 times as many people in the legal profession per capita too. The next closest down is Australia and the USA is still 30% higher in the litigation category.

Sorry but your country IS sue happy.

Comment: Re:Corruption (Score 1) 112

You may not understand the system properly. Everything is still hand-counted and fed into the computer. Unfortunately the preferential voting system is complicated enough that for the senate vote you actually need a computer to figure out who won. The software is not software that is open up to mass public access like for instance a voting machine. It's in house software, developed in house and used in house by the AEC.

If you can't trust a member of the AEC not to tamper with the software then you can't trust any of the remainder of the voting system. In this case security by obscurity is more akin to security but putting the software on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'.

Security by obscurity is one part of the security chain. It shouldn't be the only part that you rely on, but claiming someone is a damned fool for hiding a piece of code that runs on a machine that no one in the public has access to anyway is a big stretch.

Comment: Re:Too true... (Score 1) 423

by thegarbz (#47466203) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

Properly represented? You shouldn't even be in court in the first place to need representation just because you made a comment about a restaurant.

So there's a list of things that can and can't be sued about now? Oh do share.

You can be in court for ANYTHING. I could sue you right now over your post. It would be frivolous but we'd end up in court anyway. Properly represented is precisely the problem here.

Comment: Re:Livin' in the USA (Score 1) 423

by thegarbz (#47466189) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

Wait because one blogger got in trouble with a litigious restaurant you're happy to be living in a country with more than double the litigation rate? Maybe you should re-read the summary. The "victim" of the lawsuit here went to court, lost, and escaped by paying 2500 euros including legal fees. Tell me where in your glorious sue happy country can you even get into a courtroom for that money, let alone come out of one after a loss with your wallet still intact?

For bonus points, tell me what protects you in America from being sued for the same reason? If you say the 1st Amendment I think I would be doubly sad as it would appear the education system fails U.S. Citizens too.

Comment: Re:And then throw it in a fire (Score 1) 91

I don't think you considered the depth of the question: what is the risk? Could your device contain credit card information? Could it have your social security numbers? Could it have a way to access your bank account? Your retirement accounts? Your brokerage accounts? A lot of your personal finances could be at risk. Are you wealthy enough to be worth kidnapping, and if so, could the device provide access to your family's panic room, or to your alarm system? What about medical information?

My device *could* also be used as a sex toy, be implicated in the murder of someone by blunt force trauma, or contain state secrets. Why not rephrase the question, rather than asking "could" it contain, ask "does" it contain.

Now, divide by the likelihood your device will be compromised - you might estimate that tens of millions of devices are recycled each year, and you might figure a hundred thousand are handled by people who would like to steal from them, giving you roughly a 1 in 100 chance of having your device compromised. Would you bet the information above on those odds for $300?

Yes, because your hypothetical doomsday scenario doesn't apply to the device. Now lets look at something more realistic. The vast majority of devices will leak personal information. It has my name and address, it has nickname and email accounts. Would I risk a 1 in 100 chance despite how unrealistic the thought that there are 100,000 people out there trawling for used devices for the purpose of theft? Yes I still would because I don't place value on the information on my phone when weighed up against the risk.

Maybe you don't think you have very much worth stealing. Perhaps you're young, and don't have a retirement account, and not much in the bank, so your financial risk is only $1,000. Maybe you don't see any risk at leaking your health data. And maybe you're supremely confident in your abilities to wipe the flash RAM. Good for you, take the $300 and spend it. For you, it's a solid bet. For those of us with more at risk, it's not such a sure thing; even if I am confident in my skills at wiping these devices, what if I make a mistake?

Actually it's far more simple than that. What is highly sensitive information doing on your phone to begin with. And more to the point why did in the TFA they identify photos of the owner's "manhood". I'm no more confident in my ability to wipe my phone than you are, but judging your post I feel far more confident that I don't need to wipe my phone quite as thoroughly as you do.

I'm more questioning what the hell it is you people do with your phones!

Comment: Re:Cashless can't happen, here is why ... (Score 1) 748

by thegarbz (#47453689) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

No bitcoin was my suggestion, just worded smugly. Actually the answer is likely not bitcoin in its current form but bitcoin in principle. A decentralized system which is owned by no one where each "bank account" or wallet or whatever you want to call it is controlled by separate people.

Now there's no reason this would have to be tied to a smartphone. Sure that's one of the common ways of doing bitcoin transactions, but systems such has tokens have also been proposed. As for the fees, if you think that money doesn't have fees to keep it running you're only looking at part of the picture. Your taxes, and the general principle of printing money pay for the money to be printed and maintained. New currency is made, old one is destroyed or lost, all the while the value of your bank account drops by a few percent every year partially as a result of these "maintenance" activities, and partially as a result of government policy (quantitative easing anyone?).

Also cash is traceable. Take a look at the bill in your wallet and see the numbers? I guess you've never paid with a large bill and seen the cashier compare the number to a list, or you've never seen a bank validate the money you try to put in your account? The only difference between that and bitcoin is you can see the bitcoins change hands, whereas cash relies on people to look at the numbers, ... or just mark the bills like is often done in law enforcement.

Comment: Re:Cashless can't happen, here is why ... (Score 1) 748

by thegarbz (#47453179) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

One other thing to point out is that people by en-large don't seem to understand the difference between anonymity and trackability. Bitcoin can be tracked through the blockchain, but that doesn't make it any less anonymous. Just like right now I'm posting in a way that my activities can be tracked throughout the site, but I am still anonymous.

If you think that's not right you can prove your point quite easily by posting my personal information.

A bitcoin transaction is nothing more than a bunch of numbers. In addition there's no limit to the number of accounts I can have. Just like there's no limit to the number of Slashdot accounts I can create as the shills prove over and over again.

Comment: Re:Cashless can't happen, here is why ... (Score 1) 748

by thegarbz (#47452985) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

I wondered the same thing when credit cards came out. Also your engineering view of only the current and most expensive solution is a bit worrying. You do not need a smart phone to make bitcoin work. It just happens to be the current convenient way. Bit coin is a protocol, not a device. Why not work towards a solution to your smartphone problem.

Mind you I can't wait for the day that my wallet is made obsolete. Let's swipe my phone at the cashier instead. Then I have one less thing to carry around.

Comment: Re:Cashless can't happen, here is why ... (Score 1) 748

by thegarbz (#47452951) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

You mean the same cash that has a serial number on each bill? Is often marked and laced for use in law enforcement activities?

Which is all beside the point given that the primary concern with going cashless isn't a lack on anonymity but rather a lack of personal control and a requirement that your transaction be blessed and completed by a third party... For a fee of course.

Comment: Re:Last century stuff (Score 2) 748

by thegarbz (#47447099) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

So you are the reason that a lot of stores have a minimum charge amount for credit / debit charges. The transaction fees charged to merchants are ridiculous and so are ATM fees. Until these fees are reduced, you will never see a truly cashless society. And that doesn't include those that have less trust of banks than they do of governments.

Why blame the man working within the system for charges applied by someone completely different? Either the merchant should be happy to absorb the transaction cost, the merchant should specify the minimum cost, or the bank shouldn't charge the fees. But it most definitely is NOT the fault of the person simply buying something.

Now let's flip the thing around. For the few cents per transaction that end up going to the banks for small purchases how much could be potentially saved by not tallying up the register, not storing float offsite or managing a safe, not having to train staff to manage cash securely, not having to bank your earnings at the end of the day (that's a good expensive one there), and above all when the cash register disagrees with the paperwork not spending an hour trying to figure out where the money went.

There is a cost of doing business in cash. You just don't see it and point to credit fees instead. I for one pay an accountant to do my taxes because he's faster and cheaper than the time I'd spend doing it, so why not pay a bank to manage the money (if we went cashless).

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.