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Comment: Re: Chip and PIN (Score 1) 210

by uberdilligaff (#46882943) Attached to: Target Moves To Chip and Pin Cards To Boost Security

I'm curious how this will work for internet transactions though, unless they expect everybody to have smartcard readers

My guess: more businesses will be pushed towards PayPal, which will not use the extra verification, the PayPal fees amounting to a "security surcharge" / insurance policy for the extra risk of such unverifiable transactions.

Remember that under US law, when you pay via credit card, you have rather strong protections that largely take your side when you dispute whether a merchant delivered what you ordered. No such provisions exist when you pay using PayPal. This is especially valuable in the era of internet ordering, rather than brick-and-mortar purchases.

Comment: Re:White House is way ahead of its time. (Score 4, Insightful) 231

by uberdilligaff (#46852477) Attached to: White House Worried About Discrimination Through Analytics
The hypocrisy is that the party currently occupying the White House has gone to extraordinary efforts to apply big data analytics to identify and exploit the very differences (race, income, ethnicity, education, etc.) that this article decries in order to maximize their political gain in elections. They go to great lengths to discriminate along the same factors that they want other organizations to be blind to. To quote from just one article describing Obama's 2012 campaign:

"To derive individual-level predictions, algorithms trawled for patterns between these opinions and the data points the campaign had assembled for every voter—as many as one thousand variables each, drawn from voter registration records, consumer data warehouses, and past campaign contacts. ... The efficiency and scale of that process put the Democrats well ahead when it came to profiling voters."

So, exploit the demographics (e.g. profile and discriminate) when it helps your party, but wag your finger at the rest of the world when they do it even "inadvertently".

Comment: Re:Saves about $38 million in taxes - NOT (Score 2) 86

by uberdilligaff (#46794477) Attached to: Microsoft Plans $1 Billion Server Farm In Iowa
Your math skills need considerable upgrade. Making conservative estimates (ignoring deductions, using the unmarried tax rates, etc), a $60K job pays $3700 per year in Iowa state income tax. 84 of those amounts to $310,800 per year. 10 years brings $3,108,000 to the state. In 100 years, the state will not recoup the $38 million in taxes from worker income taxes alone.

Math is more informative than off-the-cuff assertions. Embrace it.

Comment: Re:Specialized Pieces (Score 1) 355

by uberdilligaff (#46773055) Attached to: Kids Can Swipe a Screen But Can't Use LEGOs
And you have started your kids off into a future where they have learned to construct and invent, rather than just swipe and consume. They are building and reinforcing the pathways in their brains that will serve them (and ultimately society) much better than the kids who "can use an iPhone!". And it's a lot of fun! We need a world with more kids like yours.

Comment: Re:"Proof" (Score 4, Informative) 612

Extraordinarily well said. The mathematical model is NOT the actual physics. It is only a very useful abstraction that happens to fit very well with the observed state of the physical world today. To the extent that the mathematical model helps us understand the physical universe, it is quite useful. Extrapolating the model back to its mathematical origin (the zero point) does not "prove" that the universe exploded into existence as an infinitesimal point at time 0. It should raise suspicions that the model might not be quite such a good fit to the conditions that existed at that time as opposed to the conditions that prevail today, 14+ billion years later.

Comment: Re:Because Hollywood. (Score 1) 544

by uberdilligaff (#46650645) Attached to: 60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S
And you, sir, have hit the nail precisely on the head. 60 Minutes never has been a news show -- it has always been an entertainment show featuring somewhat sensationalized "investigative journalism". You should never be surprised that shock entertainment, "gotcha" editing, and enhanced video clips win out over actual facts and integrity as presentation values at CBS.

Comment: Re:Private sector? (Score 2) 54

by uberdilligaff (#42520893) Attached to: Postal Service Pilots 'Federal Cloud Credential Exchange'
You are mistaken. The DMV is completely public sector -- it is a Department of a state (or commonwealth) government. The DMV is a direct agency of the state that identifies, tests, authorizes, licenses, and taxes drivers and vehicles -- any "public service" you get is collateral to their mission. DMV is absolutely an arm of the government. Their top officials are typically appointed by the elected governor.

Comment: Re:Countermeasures Deployed (Score 4, Interesting) 295

by uberdilligaff (#41995697) Attached to: AdTrap Aims To Block All Internet Advertising In Hardware
Also, many brick-and-mortar merchants encode whether a price has been marked down or not in the final digit. X.99 may represent a normal price, and X.98 or X.97 may represent a temporary sale price or a final markdown, usually to clue the register operator that other coupons or discounts may not apply. Most shoppers don't even notice, but the staff can tell.

Programming — Now Starting In Elementary School 162

Posted by timothy
from the deprogramming-starts-after-college dept.
the agent man writes "The idea of getting kids interested in programming in spite of their common perception of programming to be 'hard and boring' is an ongoing Slashdot discussion. With support of the National Science Foundation, the Scalable Game Design project has explored how to bring computer science education into the curriculum of middle and high schools for some time. The results are overwhelmingly positive, suggesting that game design is highly motivational across gender and ethnicity lines. The project is also finding new ways of tracking programming skills transferring from game design to STEM simulation building. This NPR story highlights an early and unplanned foray into bringing game-design based computer science education even to elementary schools."

Comment: Re:Why was it confidential? (Score 4, Informative) 311

by uberdilligaff (#39558217) Attached to: Confidentiality Expires For 1940 Census Records
Because that was the law under which the sensitive information was collected. The average US life expectancy in 1935 was 61.7 years, so 72 years would mean that the privacy issues would be moot for most of the folks enumerated in the Census -- they weren't expected to be around to complain 72 years later. The laws that established the Census go way back -- I don't know when the 72 years criterion was established. Life expectancy was even shorter the farther back you go.

E = MC ** 2 +- 3db