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Comment: 50/50 (Score 3, Interesting) 162

by visionsofmcskill (#47919667) Attached to: Developing the First Law of Robotics

why would it waste any time fretting? i presume its decision is by the very nature of computing and evaluation a function of math... therefor the only decision to cause delay would be the one wherein the odds of success are 50/50... but it needs not be delayed there either... just roll a random and pick one to save first.

Sounds like a case of a unnecessary recursive loop to me (where the even odds of save/fail cause the robotic savior to keep reevaluating the same inevitable math in hopes of some sort of change). Maybe the halfway solution is the first tiome you hit a 50/50 you flip a coin and start acting on saving one party while continuing to re-evaluate the odds as you are in motion... this could cause a similar loop - but is more likely to have the odds begin to cascade further in the direction of your intended action.

Seems silly to me.

Comment: Cisco Rv042 (Score 1) 238

Hands down the most reliable and easy to use dual wan, VPN enabled Router for quick deployments, silent, low power consumption, handles PPTP, ipsec, etc...

I am no fan of their quickVPN software (a third VPN option included with this router), but it works as well if you dont like pptp or if you find IPSEC too much of a pain to setup.

Plus it has DUAL WAN connections, so you can use a hotspot or DSL, or the neighbors connection as a failover (or you can load balence them, or bind stuff, etc...).

Im blown away noone has mentioned this router as i see it everywhere.

Pfsense is a huge winner as well, though youll need to buy silent low cost hardware to run it (and its a good deal more involved - though considerably more powerful).

We use these two for all of our client locations with offices of up to 100 or so people, for at least 7-8 years or more.

Comment: Not a single link (Score 5, Insightful) 276

by visionsofmcskill (#47713957) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

No links, Really? in many years of reading his site daily i'm not sure i recall when a story was posted without a single f*cking link to the source material or supporting info.

Perhaps this thing is entirely made up... i think ill start submitting stories now - or is this a Beta story?

Come on guys!!

Comment: Millitary inteligence (Score 4, Insightful) 372

by visionsofmcskill (#34556164) Attached to: Air Force Blocks NY Times, WaPo, Other Media

So the ONLY people willfully kept in the dark are the soldiers meant to protect us? Are the very people who are the most likely to know the dirt anyway?

F$%^ing brilliant. Next up, weapons ban limited to the army.

Hey soldier, this dam is broke, please fix it... here's a spoon


ACLU Sues Over Legality of "Targeted Killing" By Drones 776

Posted by Soulskill
from the skynet-jokes-are-allowed-and-encouraged dept.
MacAndrew writes "The ACLU has sued the United States Government to enforce a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for 'the release of records relating to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles — commonly known as 'drones' — for the purpose of targeting and killing individuals since September 11, 2001.' (Complaint.) The information sought includes the legal basis for use of the drones, how the program is managed, and the number of civilian deaths in areas of operation such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. The ACLU further claims that 'Recent reports, including public statements from the director of national intelligence, indicate that US citizens have been placed on the list of targets who can be hunted and killed with drones.' Aside from one's view of the wisdom, effectiveness, and morality of these military operations, the inclusion of US citizens suggests that summary remote-control executions are becoming routine. Especially given the difficulty in locating and targeting individuals from aircraft, risks of human and machine error are obvious, and these likely increase as the robots become increasingly autonomous (please no Skynet jokes). This must give pause to anyone who's ever spent time coding or debugging or even driving certain willful late model automobiles, and the US government evidently doesn't want to discuss it."

China's Human Flesh Search Engine 248

Posted by timothy
from the google-is-mine dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times has an interesting article about Human-flesh search engines — renrou sousuo yinqing — that have become a phenomenon in China: they are a form of online vigilante justice in which Internet users hunt down and punish people who have attracted their wrath. The goal is to get the targets of a search fired from their jobs, shamed in front of their neighbors, or run out of town. It's crowd-sourced detective work, pursued online — with offline results. 'In the United States, traditional media are still playing the key role in setting the agenda for the public,' says Jin Liwen. 'But in China, you will see that a lot of hot topics, hot news or events actually originate from online discussions.' In one well known case, when a video appeared in China of a woman stomping a cat to death with the sharp point of her high heel, the human flesh search engine tracked the kitten killer's home to the town of Luobei in Heilongjiang Province, in the far northeast, and her name — Wang Jiao — was made public, as were her phone number and her employer. 'Wang Jiao was affected a lot,' says one Luobei resident. 'She left town and went somewhere else.' The kitten-killer case didn't just provide revenge; it helped turn the human-flesh search engine into a national phenomenon. Searches have also been directed against cheating spouses, corrupt government officials, amateur pornography makers, Chinese citizens who are perceived as unpatriotic, journalists who urge a moderate stance on Tibet and rich people who try to game the Chinese system."

Ethics of Releasing Non-Malicious Linux Malware? 600

Posted by kdawson
from the what-would-schneier-do dept.
buchner.johannes writes "I was fed up with the general consensus that Linux is oh-so-secure and has no malware. After a week of work, I finished a package of malware for Unix/Linux. Its whole purpose is to help white-hat hackers point out that a Linux system can be turned into a botnet client by simply downloading BOINC and attaching it to a user account to help scientific projects. The malware does not exploit any security holes, only loose security configurations and mindless execution of unverified downloads. I tested it to be injected by a PHP script (even circumventing safe mode), so that the Web server runs it; I even got a proxy server that injects it into shell scripts and makefiles in tarballs on the fly, and adds onto Windows executables for execution in Wine. If executed by the user, the malware can persist itself in cron, bashrc and other files. The aim of the exercise was to provide a payload so security people can 'pwn' systems to show security holes, without doing harm (such as deleting files or disrupting normal operation). But now I am unsure of whether it is ethically OK to release this toolkit, which, by ripping out the BOINC payload and putting in something really evil, could be turned into proper Linux malware. On the one hand, the way it persists itself in autostart is really nasty, and that is not really a security hole that can be fixed. On the other hand, such a script can be written by anyone else too, and it would be useful to show people why you need SELinux on a server, and why verifying the source of downloads (checksums through trusted channels) is necessary. Technically, it is a nice piece, but should I release it? I don't want to turn the Linux desktop into Windows, hence I'm slightly leaning towards not releasing it. What does your ethics say about releasing such grayware?"

Scientists Decry "Horrifying" UK Border Test Plan 515

Posted by kdawson
from the genetic-papers-please dept.
cremeglace writes "Scientists are dismayed and outraged at a new project by the UK border agency to test DNA, hair, and nails to determine the nationality of asylum seekers and help decide if they can enter the UK. 'Horrifying,' 'naive,' and 'flawed' are among the words geneticists and isotope specialists have used to describe the 'Human Provenance pilot project.' The methods being used to determine ancestry include fingerprinting of mitochondrial DNA and isotope analysis of hair and nails. ScienceInsider blog notes that it is 'not clear who is conducting the DNA and isotope analyses for the Border Agency,' and that the agency has not 'cited any scientific papers that validate its DNA and isotope methods.' There is also a followup post with more information on the tests that are being used, and some reactions from experts in genetic forensic analysis. This story was first reported in The Observer on Sunday."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Wolfenstein Being Recalled In Germany 625

Posted by Soulskill
from the ach-mein-leben dept.
D1gital_Prob3 tips news that Activision's recently-released shooter, Wolfenstein, is being recalled in Germany due to the appearance of swastikas in the game. Such symbols are banned in Germany, and the German version of the game went through heavy editing to remove them. Apparently, they missed some. Activision said, "Although it is not a conspicuous element in the normal game ... we have decided to take this game immediately from the German market." Reader eldavojohn points out a review that has screenshot comparisons between the two versions of the game.

Illinois Bans Social Network Use By Sex Offenders 587

Posted by timothy
from the good-feel-measure-vs.-bad-feel-felons dept.
RobotsDinner writes "Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed into law a bill that bans all registered sex offenders from using social networks. '"Obviously, the Internet has been more and more a mechanism for predators to reach out," said Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), a sponsor of the measure and a governor candidate. "The idea was, if the predator is supposed to be a registered sex offender, they should keep their Internet distance as well as their physical distance."'"
The Courts

Tenenbaum Lawyers Now Passing the Hat 388

Posted by timothy
from the lawsuit-based-on-plot-of-the-producers dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Just when you think this case couldn't get any stranger, it now appears that the defendant's 'legal team' in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum is passing the hat, taking up a collection. Only the reason for the collection isn't to defray costs and expenses of further defending the action, but to pay the RIAA the amount of the judgment so that their client won't have to declare bankruptcy. I would suggest there might have been a much better way of avoiding bankruptcy. It's called 'handling the case competently.'"

Comment: Re:back in my day (Score 1) 785

by visionsofmcskill (#28904393) Attached to: School System Considers Jamming Students' Phones

Sorry man, your mostly wrong. I commend you and your accomplishments, and my own background reinforces that FORMAL eduction (getting a piece of ink on a piece of paper) is inherently meaningless.

HOWEVER, you and me do NOT a trend make. Just because X amount of people like us can kick massive booty in the real world without the benefit of a highscool diploma or a college one doesnt degrade the value thereof.

Statistically speaking, a high school diploma is a SIGNIFICANT variable on life expectancy, incarceration rates, income potential and every other metric you want to throw at it, even despite (some degree) of relative IQ. Your employment opportunities are severely limited for each level of academic accomplishment you cant proove, particularity in technical fields and more explicitly for the high school level. Indeed you become almost unemployable.

So while you can say graduating doesn't GARUNTEE success, youo cannot compare that with the likelihood of failure if you dont graduate. in the simplest form its simply a matter of risk management on the employers (and/or clients) side.

Not trying to rain on your parade, but i don't think anyone should be a cheerleader for NON-COMPLETION of scholastic advancement in our society no matter how successful they've managed to be. Should our society change so significantly as to measure a persons worth through other means... then fine. But in todays world it is an UNDENIABLE fact that your level of educational attainment has a very DIRECT cor-relation towards your quality of life and earnings potential.

see below for starters.

average income of HS grad : 36k
average income of masters : 78k
average income MD / ESQ : 100k
average income doctorate : 96k

Average income NO high school degree : 22k

HUGE discrepancy.


RIAA Awarded $675,000 In Tenenbaum Trial 492

Posted by Soulskill
from the songs-apparently-cost-as-much-as-cars dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The jury awarded the record company plaintiffs $675,000 in the Boston trial defended by Prof. Charles Nesson, SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum. I was not surprised, since exactly none of the central issues ever even came up in this trial. The judge had instructed the jurors that Mr. Tenenbaum was liable, and that their only task was to come up with a verdict that was more than $22,500 and less than $4.5 million. According to the judge, her reason for doing so was that, when on the stand, the defendant was asked if he admitted liability, and he said 'yes.' The lawyers among you will know that that was a totally improper question, and that the Court should not have even allowed it, much less based her holding upon the answer to it."

iPhone App Tracks Sex Offenders 358 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the there's-a-sweaty-app-for-that dept.
The Narrative Fallacy writes "All 50 states in the US require the 50,000 people convicted of sexual offenses to sign a register so that their whereabouts can be tracked and monitored. The Telegraph reports that now users of the iPhone Offender Locator application can search for sex offenders living nearby a friend or colleague whose address is stored in their Apple iPhone address book, or they can type in a street address to generate a list of convicted sex offenders in the local area. 'Offender Locator gives everyone the ability to find out if registered sex offenders live in their area,' says the application developer, ThinAir Wireless, on its iTunes page. 'Knowledge equals safety. They know where you and your family it's time to turn the tables so that you know where they live and can make better decisions about where to allow your kids to play.' Offender Locator uses the iPhone's built-in GPS to pinpoint the user's location, and then provide a map listing sex offenders in the local area. Tapping on one of the 'pins' dropped on to the map brings up a photograph of the offender, as well as their address, date of birth and list of convictions."

A modem is a baudy house.