Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - 6 month subscription of Pandora One at 46% off. ×

Comment Re:Looking forwards (Score 2) 179

I think this is a great point, and I think it's very easy to solve for competitions. Just issue everyone involved identical equipment.
Depending on the sport, one could draw a line regarding various pieces of the equipment (ex. the shorts and jerseys used in soccer probably don't matter all that much; the ball is already shared, so that's already equalized; shoes... there are standards right now, but they don't issue standard equipment for each game).
For curling and baseball, the brooms and bats should, IMO, just be issued per-event so everyone has the same pool of brooms/bats to choose from (if there is any difference at all in sizes... otherwise, just all identical models).
For cycling, are we racing bikes, or people? This isn't a horse race. Just give everyone the same model bike, or at least have a small list of approved ones. They have put in many restrictions in this area already, but for how much money is involved in the big races, the race presenters should just buy and supply bikes for everyone - problem solved IMO.

Comment Re:This is great (Score 1) 73

... more expensive to install, but costs next to nothing to maintain.

Because Lithium Ion batters never wear out or need replaced? Where did all these come from? Oh yeah, they're used.
FWIW, I don't think they're a bad idea, but I wouldn't use them as a one-or-the-other in place of a generator... at least not at this time.

Comment Re:Honestly ... (Score 1) 131

The problem with what you're saying is that you're blaming the complexity/difficulty and saying it's not possible. That's just plain wrong. It's certainly possible. Is it feasible? Even if it was feasible, if they did it, would it be a good thing?

I suspect this is pretty much a bait and switch type of situation - lure people along thinking they'll have the entire android ecosystem available, and then just give up on that project as they slowly get the top NNN apps to move over to native apps. They don't want really want this to work, and there would be a lot of work in keeping it functional and secure and updated... it's just not worth it to them.

Comment Re:Probably not a coincidence (Score 1) 214

That does not mean that those other two people were assigned those SSN's. It just means that they (or someone posing as them) used that SSN in association with their names at some point for something that reached a credit reporting place.
Within the SSA, I'm fairly certain it's a one-to-one lookup (lookup one SSN, you get one name back).

It does speak to the fact that using SSN for this purpose (credit checks and tracking) is pretty weak, though there isn't a whole lot of other options.

Comment Re: Probably not a coincidence (Score 1) 214

They may be asking for your number, but social security, will only say, if the number is in use. Any number will work. The number is not an identifier, except for claiming claiming benefits.

This is a bit misleading. What question are you asking and to whom? If you ask the SSNVS, it will verify the name and SSN match, so you can't just use any name with any SSN and have it pass that test.

Comment Re:Needs 1st Xbox as well come in's X86 based (Score 1) 63

You can buy cheap used Xbox 360 games on disc and play them on the Xbox One if they're on the "backwards compatibility list", but they won't play as-is from the disk. The disk is essentially used as DRM or identification that you have that game. The ported game is then downloaded and you can play it. I'm not sure if or how much content it may read from the disk itself.

Comment Re:Probably not a coincidence (Score 2) 214

After all, it's estimated that there are 40,000,000 dupes out there.

This is a misconstrued / misused statistic.
The linked page at idanalytics.com says:

More than 20 million Americans have multiple Social Security numbers (SSNs) associated with their name in commercial records according to a new study announced today from ID Analytics, Inc., a leader in consumer risk management. The study also found that rather than serving as a unique identifier, more than 40 million SSNs are associated with multiple people.

[bolded by me]
That is also poorly worded. What association are they referring to? I'm VERY confident they do NOT mean the official SSN database. FWIW, one can verify SSN's using the social security system's SSNVS (social security number verification service): https://www.socialsecurity.gov...
I suspect they mean that SSN's that show up in external databases, such as employment records, fraud reports, credit checks and reports, etc (anything falling under what they called "commercial records", and what they base their bread and butter business on), and that those end up having multiple names associated with them - which makes sense. since there's probably a LARGE amount of typo's and purposefully incorrect information.

This is quite different than the subject of this article, where two women had the same SSN issued to them by the Social Security administration.

FWIW, if you're wondering if they're ever re-used, they have not been thus far (you take your number with you when you die, so to speak). There are currently about 319 million people in the united states. The SSN format has room for a maximum of 999 million numbers. There are a bunch of exceptions that won't be used:
* 100 million of those are reserved for ITIN use (ITIN's start with "9").
* No number group will ever be issued all zeros (ie. 000-nn-nnnn, nnn-00-nnnn, and nnn-nn-0000 are all invalid), which rules out a bunch more.
* Area number 666 has never been issued, and probably won't be (ie. 666-nn-nnnn), ruling out another million of them.
* Numbers from 987-65-4320 to 987-65-4329 are reserved for advertising use.
* Hilda Whitcher's SSN is now invalid (http://www.snopes.com/business/taxes/woolworth.asp)

To date, over 450 million SSNs have been issued, and the SSA notes that it does not reassign SSN's after the number holder's death (https://www.ssa.gov/history/hfaq.html). I don't know where the countdown clock is for running out, but we'll get there eventually (we're over half way there). That's going to make one hell of a y2k, unless they just start re-issuing from the death master file (yes, that's a thing).

Comment Re:The 360 library (Score 1) 63

- Gears of War 2 and 3 (almost certain candidates for an HD remaster at some point, I guess).

I'm not very familiar with the series, but had been looking at the available console bundles, and the gears of war bundle *appears* to include all of the 360 collection of gears of war:

  • Full game download of original Gears of War remastered in 1080p
  • Get the entire Xbox 360 Gears of War collection to play for free

They also have the ultimate edition on xbox one as a stand alone game. I don't know if it includes 2 and 3 though.
Are these the same?

Comment Re:Needs 1st Xbox as well come in's X86 based (Score 1) 63

Then they are lying when they say "backward compatible". A port/recompile isn't the same thing.

You are correct. They have misappropriated the phrase, and others have defended it with the logic that normal users wouldn't understand what it is otherwise. I believe a more accurate term would be "porting", as in, the 360 games are being ported to the xbox one (possibly with the aid of a backward compatibility layer or API).

Comment Re:But then.. (Score 1) 176

Who's going to make all the insider trading/leaks, illegal dumping and shredding of disliked health/safety reports? Not to mention...

A robo-ceo would be be ideal for all of these!
insider trading/leaks = hack and data breaches
illegal dumping and shredding of disliked reports = disk/storage failures

Didn't have the right backups in place? Oh, the CEOBOT cut that from the budget to maximize blah blah blah market speak. Can't blame him for a hardware failure.

Comment Re:New York (Score 2) 125

From the summary:

"This is a politician telling hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers they are not allowed to play a game they love and share with friends, family, co-workers and players across the country."

... for money.
All those hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are still allowed to play these games with their friends, family, and co-workers, but not while money/gambling are involved.

I'm not saying I agree with banning gambling, or what level of regulation there must be (if any), but it's a stretch to frame it like that, as if Dad is playing against his wife and kids in a friendly game.

I'm also a bit surprised this is a "multibillion-dollar industry". Maybe "surprised" is the wrong word, but wow.

Comment Re:Fingerprint are not passwords (Score 1) 242

They're all usernames.


A username is a way to uniquely identify you. ...

As I said above, "None of the factors are absolutely and unequivocally unique, unlike a username on a given system. You can not use a fingerprint as a username due to collisions."
I hope you're just trolling :-/

As you said, "If systems required that all passwords be unique, there would be no need for a username".... then lots of people would end up quickly finding out other peoples full credentials (username+password, since you're saying there is no longer a need for a username), assuming you're allowing users to choose their own "password". The moment someone finds a password collision, they could just login with it.

In an ideal world, where you could have some mythical token that is globally unique to you and also impossible to counterfeit, you still need a username (or a system ID, or a login ID, or some unique identifier besides said token). You need it so you can perform one of the most fundamentally important roles of a password - being able to change it and have different passwords for different accounts, yet still retain your unique identification / customer record / whatever.

Comment Re:Fingerprint are not passwords (Score 1) 242

They may be like usernames, but usernames should be considered "something you are".
Most people would argue that, like usernames, fingerprints shouldn't be considered as a auth factor (something you are), because of their inherent insecurity and availability.

Please, before someone argues that "something you are" could be twisted to include X, Y, or Z, that's not helpful. "Something you have" could be twisted to mean the knowledge of the password, but that's not what it means. The common three factors mean:
1. something you know. This is commonly your password. It's a secret. This should NOT be some fact about you - that's an entirely different topic (those "security" questions).
2. something you have. This means some physical thing that you can prove you have and is uniquely yours. This is commonly a RSA Secure ID, or a YubiKey, or FIDO U2F key, etc.
3. something you are. This is commonly some biometric value: finger print, palm print, iris scan, dna, voice ("Hi. My Name Is Werner Brandes. My Voice Is My Passport. Verify Me."), etc.

AFAIK, your username is not considered a factor. It is an identifier that keys into all those other things. None of the factors are absolutely and unequivocally unique, unlike a username on a given system. You can not use a fingerprint as a username due to collisions.

Comment Re:Is it really a waste of time? (Score 1) 304

gt and -lt are fine, however -eq instead of = has caused me no small amount of grief. Powershell still uses = for variable assignment but doing a literal compare requires -eq and often times is not obvious that = is causing the problem where -eq is the required operator.

as does bash. and has done forever.

Eh, bash uses both "=" and "-eq" as comparison operators. The first is string based, the latter is numeric.

While I'm sure the following will incite some riots, I personally prefer Perl's handling in this case. For example:
    if ($var = getval()) { # if the assignment resulting from getval() is true ...
    if ($var == getval()) { # numeric comparison of $var and the return of getval() ...
    if ($var eq getval()) { # string comparison of $var and return of getval()

The first form is, admittedly, and easy place for bugs to creep in, but I still like it, especially when combined with lexical declaration:
    while (my $line = getline()) {

I've got a bad feeling about this.