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Comment Re:Guessing works (Score 1) 311

Are you thinking of Canadian Social Insurance Numbers? There is nothing special about the last 4 of a US Social Security number - short of "0000" and "9999" being invalid.

The credit card checksum uses the Luhn Alogrithm:

Even the wikipedia article states there is no checksum.

Got a source for your statement that only 500 combinations of the 10,000 possible are valid?

Comment Re:Get people to show different ID's (Score 1) 311

>The best way to work out who is illegal, using fake ID or just treaded a social security number is to request layers of other photo ID.

That used to be true. Now there are 12 states that do or have issued drivers license (photo ID) to illegal aliens.A drivers license from these states is unreliable to establish legal residency.

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Oregon , and DC

Comment Re:Guessing works (Score 1) 311

Checksum? I think you're confusing credit card numbers with SSN's. SSN has no checksum.

The first 3 digits are the geographical location of where the number was issued, never above 740.
The middle 2 digits are Group Numbers, which was roughly chronologically issued batches.
The last 4 digits are Serial Numbers - issued strictly chronology in sequence.
(more info: )

No checkums. You have no way to tell if a given number is used or valid, short of validating the geographic portion.

Even then, the geographic field isn't reliable. My SSN, for example, is from a state I lived in about a year of my life as an infant. Ask me where I'm from and where I've lived, and that state won't come up.

Comment Re:Someone doesn't understand the problem (Score 2) 311


A Social Security number is a username, not a password.

Having a mere SSN should not be enough to authenticate a person is who they say they are, it's just a way to tell me from you. Any person or system using a SSN as proof of identity is just plain lazy - especially since SSN is now practically public domain information. (Thanks Equifax!)

Comment Re:buggy whips are in an uptick (10 things) (Score 1) 495

I like your list, but I quibble with a few:

>2. Single gender bathrooms in retail.
With all the PC rabble-rousers, I predict that more and more locations will give up and not offer a restroom at all.
You can't get a lawsuit for not having a gender-choice-of-the week restroom if you don't have restrooms. [[taps side of head]]

>4. Food delivery and prepackaged meal delivery services.
I foresee the opposite. Restaurant owners don't want to deal with delivery staff and logistics, unless they have to. (Pizza is probably the only one that makes sense, despite the hassle). 3rd party delivery companies will start to crop up once drone delivery makes it cost effective.
Cooking at home is trending down. It's too much work, takes too much time, and makes a mess. Skills are not being passed down to the next generation.

>8. Single family home lawn supplies. Lawns will be replaced by gardens and more people will live in multi-family towers next to green parks
I don't know anyone who wants to live in an urban tower. That's for college students and poor people.
As automated driving becomes mainstream, the range of suburbs will expand. I can tolerate a longer commute if I can wake up slowly with coffee and morning news. Automated driving will allow higher speed limits too, further increasing the commute range.
I want a nice lawn. I don't want to put in the work for a lawn-sized garden. Those things are a lot of work to maintain. Ever notice that good gardens are the domain of the retired?

>9. Cell phone stores.
You're making many arguments here. First one is an argument against the cellphone upgrade cycle. I'm seeing that accelerating, with no end in sight.
Second is the advancement of low power devices. There's a place for that (IoT), but not in the hand-held personal computer space. Power requirements for personal mobile computing are increasing. Batteries are increasing, not disappearing.
Next is the actual, physical store. Ya and no. Sure, I can order a phone online - but some things are that are best done by an expert. Just yesterday I drove to a cell phone store to get them to help port a land-line number to a new cell phone. I didn't want to spend all day in phone call "wrong dept" purgatory, I just wanted an expert to get it done. Dropped in the store, and bam, a bored guy who's done it a hundred times uses his company's magic, secret web site to make it happen. Everyone's happy.

I am surprised that you didn't' say "half of all gas stations". Electric is going to kill the gas station business model. It's going to be a slow, painful death as the market for gas slowly dries up. (see what I did there)

Comment Destroyed money? (Score 2) 184

This wasn't just flushed money- it was cut up first.That's not a normal thing to do.

My first thought? Mental illness. Sounds like some of the stories you hear from that government office that helps you reclaim money destroyed by fire, mold, or a dementia patient who starts shredding money they had hidden in the house.
See also:

My 2nd guess is counterfeit money.

Comment Re:Free Credit Reporting? (Score 3, Informative) 299

You probably know this already, but you already get one free per year from each of the 3 credit reporting agencies. (Thanks Uncle Sam!)

If you time it right, you can pull one every 4 months (rotating agencies, using each one yearly)


Comment Re:bitcoin carries a permanent log (Score 3, Insightful) 210

^ This.

The distributed ledger is the opposite of anonymous- everyone has a full copy of all transactions. To use a bank analogy, you have a land of numbered Swiss bank accounts, and the transactions are published in a daily newspaper. Cracking who owns what is simply an exercise in meta data analysis.

Comment Re:Never buy Release 1.0 of anything (Score 1) 122

Woosh. The record was physical on purpose. Deep space radiation for millions of years (plus the radiation from the planetary fly-bys) would kill any technology that would fit on the spacecraft.

Making a physical data store any smaller would reduce the likelihood of long-term data integrity. Consider the effects of millions of years of deep space travel: radiation, micro-meteorite impacts, constant unfiltered UV light, etc.

I'd say that we would probably use the same thing, plus a replica sent Arecibo style.
( )

Comment Puzzle posting? (Score 1) 64

Given the wording of the posting's opening, this sounds like one of those treasure hunt listings. You know, some ad somewhere has a cryptic nerd or math puzzle that you solve that leads to a web site. Google used to do that a lot. The presumption is that only qualified candidates would even see the final listing.

Comment End of Life? (Score 1) 138

Requiring updates is good and all, but for how long?
Even Microsoft was reluctant to patch XP. Somone, somewhere is still running WIndows 95. Are they entitled to patches?

Say I buy a $50 IP camera for home security. Do I still demand patches in 2 years? 5 years? 10 years?

This might lead to a "kill switch" for cheap IoT devices once they go EOL. New model next year, no budget to patch both, so let's kill last year's. Otherwise, support costs will bring down any company.

For a car analogy, there's a time limit that manufacturers have to stock parts - Ford doesn't still offer parts for the Model-T. I just don't know what the IoT equivalent should be.

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