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Comment Re:Time to overhaul the Credit Card system in the (Score 1) 151

PINs are sort of stupid in a retail setting, any way. The way most pads are set up, the other customers can clearly see what digits you're inputting, and voila, now they can use your card at any ATM.

Signatures are just as pointless. They don't prove anything unless you have a meticulous signature. People in general aren't that anal and unless you're Benjamin Franklin or some shit with a degree in calligraphy, the makeup of your signature fluctuates over time.

The US appears to be using a system that's outlived its usefulness.

Comment Re:burn indeed (Score 1) 151

> "Have fun getting mugged"

Stupid on so many levels that I'm not even sure why you said it. Do you really go around your life worried that you're a target for mugging? Maybe you should put the fancy tablet away when you're hanging out in the ghetto. Honestly I don't know what to say to you, your response should be modded down for trolling.

As far as the liability is concerned, who cares? You're still in purchasing limbo until you straighten out a new card. "Have fun" waiting for the mail to arrive and going through the process of re-activating all of your cards and double-checking to make sure the bank didn't pull a fast one in the hub-bub. I personally have been a victim of skimming on several occasions so -- "have fun getting mugged online".

Ass.

Comment burn indeed (Score 1) 151

The companies don't wanna pay good money for real security, and they want to throw you behind bars if you go vigilante white-hat on them, so give up. I agree with another /.'er who stated yesterday about the news of the Australian white-hat kid: let 'em burn. If that means going cash, too, go cash.

Keeping everything consolidated on just one card doesn't hurt, either. If it's a debit card you can coal-load it. When you need to make purchases, tally them up first and then go deposit the money you'll need. Charge it back out online and what will the thiefs steal, if anything? Next to zero.

I've always been wary of internet business. I didn't start purchasing things online until literally just a couple of years ago, and that was some music-related art imports from Italy. This year is the first year I've made purchases on Amazon or Ebay. That about marks my limit, too. I have no reason to use anything else. I haven't even activated my newer Bank of America debit card since BoA changed to another bank.

At least with one card I only have one cancellation to take care of if some site I've used it on gets hacked.

Comment Re:Let them burn (Score 1) 287

Previous comment mentions using an anonymous drop to inform the relevant companies or newspapers. That is the most immediate solution, I would have to agree.

But I also wonder if anything would have been said or done about this vulnerability if there hadn't been a name or identity to target and make an example of?

(Example being, "don't get smart with us".)

I am starting to think that what you say is the best solution. If you find a system if vulnerable, perhaps it's best to withdraw your funds, close your account, deny all services, and stop doing business with the vulnerable. In this case, time to stop refreshing your name in their database and start buying your transit cards or tokens in person using cash. Cancel the card you used with them or report it stolen to get the card number associated with your account regenerated. Leaving something behind (address, phone number, mother's maiden name)? Make sure to change (scramble) your "account details" before jumping ship.

What good is being done any more by free-lance white-hatting or the old vanguard of "let the company know and when you get the inevitable silent treatment, tell the public"? It's being treated like "vigilantism" even though no real victimization is being perpetrated. It's only against the law because of either idiotic legislators or weird "new world order" style agendas.

Consider a company which would press charges against you for revealing their own vulnerability to them or for forcing the vulnerability into the open to get it fixed. We can easily say that's a company being run ignorantly. Consider a police department that would agree to handle those charges and throw you in the slammer in agreement with some lame law. Consider the obtuse lawmakers who gavel'd that idiot law into being. Consider the largely computer-illiterate -- nay, computer-superstitious -- population that regularly produces all of these idiots. Take all of that into consideration for a moment and ask:

Whom are you going to save, from what, for the benefit of whom, on behalf of whom, as an upstanding citizen of what exactly, and with what as your reward?

You're going to protect a moron company from "criminals", for the benefit of that moronic company lording it over a moronic population manhandled by a moronic police department, on behalf of said moronic police department (in their stead, on their behalf, same thing), as an upstanding citizen of a moronic state featuring a moronic population its moronic legislature passing moronic laws and the moronic police department that enforces those laws, and you're going to be branded a "criminal" and thrown in prison with a bunch of morons as a result.

So, maybe re-think the whole old-school, "for the betterment of civilization" style of white-hatting at all, for anybody, whatsoever. Whether you protect your identity, get thrown in jail, or get heard out and get to see your suggestions taken seriously and resulting in a more secure website, the people you are trying to "help" obviously:

(1) don't need it

(2) don't or can't truly appreciate it

(3) don't deserve it

Pick any combination of the 3, even having one of those 3 present in the relationship calls for an end to the relationship.

If they can't pay -- money, attention, time -- for real competent and intact security, let them get run over. Stop trying to "help". It's probably only contributing to the dumbing down of society, any way.

Comment Stupid, stupid, stupid. (Score 1) 112

Uh, hello pinhead. HELLO PINHEAD!

NOT going to the conference is EXACTLY what the NSA wants you to do!

If you DO go to the conference, then you get to discuss the issue with like minds and with the source of the issue.

If you "boycott" the conference, trust me, there's already a prepared script for handling that "quote" "contingency" "quote".

I would have some serious questions for whomever first pitched the idea of boycotting the conference as some kind of political statement. Can it be traced to a person or circle of people? What is / are their identity(ies)?

Comment Re:What does this mean (Score 5, Funny) 103

In A World
where one programmer

*keys clicking*
*CRT fixed-width reflecting on eyeglass lens*
*sudden black screen and gasp*

who relates more closely to computers than to people

*boy and a girl walking side by side*
GIRL: "think you'll come to the party tonight?"
GUY: "do you think computers like Titanic?"
GIRL: "excuse me?"
GUY: "I can show you the world!"

decides enough is enough

GIRL: "I don't think we can see each other."
GUY: "do you think computers have feelings?"

*explosions*
*people dying*

and retreats into his basement to create his own entire world

*guy guzzling 2-liter*

GUY: "I'm going to add the airborn mine cart explosion that can send a dwarf flying through the air and landing in another mine cart today"
OTHER GUY: "you got rent?"

follow us into a world where reality is all topsy-turvy

GUY: "The computer isn't just playing the game. The computer is LEARNING."

*record scratch*

OTHER GUY: "You're telling it what to do."
GUY: "Yeah but I'm telling it it's called do_learn(token).... what? Jeez, shut up!"

and where dreams become reality

GUY: "I can actually make the game program itself, now."
GIRL: "Wow, that's so cool. What's that symbol mean?"
GUY: "Oh, it looks like the game thought it would be a good idea to make itself be about elephants humping with a quest goal of finding a lost abacus."
GIRL: "I have to go. I hear my mom. LET ME GO."

this spring, get ready, to re-define your entire sense of what creativity means

OTHER GUY: "You can't have a flight sim that's about penguins and walruses absorbing blocks of gelatin through their bellies and shooting skyscrapers out of their mouths"
GUY: "It -- it wasn't me. It was THE GAME!"
OTHER GUY: "Yeah but it's stupid."
GUY: "ITH NOT THUPAAAAAGGGHHHHD!"

from the same people that brought you Unsolvable Sokoban, Endless Sudoku, and Eliza

GUY: "It's like it's thinking. It's really thinking."
OTHER GUY: "No, it's like you've been awake for 68 hours"
GUY *hoarsely* "Ith tho amathiiiiiinnnnng"

Starring that guy who played Corky from Growing Pains or whatever the fuck that was

GUY: "I'm just like normal people you know."
GIRL: "Normal people don't think randomly splashing paint on a canvas is creativity."
GUY: "I'm just like Manhattan people you know."

And that girl that never mind

And the other guy who's more successful in life because he isn't completely deranged

OTHER GUY *drooling and staring at tv static*

Rated R for:
* conceptual challenges
* a complete lack of experimental control
* we're pretending being retarded is normal
* the film was computer generated. creators cannot be held liable for what might appear in front of you.

Comment Re:pardon my drunk-on, BUT (Score 2) 103

Thomas Kuhn would just point out that shifting your paradigm in and out of frame and babbling on about AI while you basically lower your standards of what "creative" means is fucking STUPID

fucking stupid premise, fucking stupid article, fucking stupid stupid.

god, what autistic mish-mash are we going to be exposed to next

probably some article about how autism is the new normal. hipsters haven't had enough of that shit, yet. you have to have precisely 3.14 articles of that topic every year or "life" isn't definitively hip-ronic enough.

fucking hipster dumb shit. what self respecting intelligent person ("nerd") doesn't puke at this shit and wish the sprinkler system would turn on in this guy's computer room?

Comment pardon my drunk-on, BUT (Score 1) 103

[moderate this one to flame-bait, it would be honest]

god, shut up. you obviously don't know what you read because you can't even qualify your verbs and shit or whatever. just shut up.

oh, hey, idiot: procedurally generated games have been out forever. there you go. the game was developed by "ai". fuck, what a fucktarded article.

Comment Let's come to a moderate conclusion. (Score 1) 195

If we can, let's put this death into the form of a something like a "Dead Schroedinger's Cat" and put it in a box for the time being.

You don't know for sure why this dead cat is dead, because you don't know enough about it, so you, being no sort of authority on the hidden and ever-changing features of the sub rosa, cannot make well-founded claims as to the causes behind this guy's death.

The "cat" is either dead from a legitimate overdose, or the "cat" is dead from being administered a bad cocktail by some agent of the empire. Unless you open the box, you don't know which it was.

The thing is, it's a dead fucking cat. And either way you look at it, drugs were involved. Does it matter if the guy was chasing his personal dragon and fucked up, or whether somebody showed up at his place and interrogated and killed him with his own drugs and some stuff found in the medicine cabinet? Allow me to carry the "penetration" analogy that some others in comments have mentioned, that in either case, the vector of "attack" is the drugs, the "attacker" being death.

Why would you want to fuck around with things like heroin or cocaine? I'm not a total drug-prude or something. I once spent an entire year, sans three days, high on some weed from Afghanistan. My cousin owns a successful pot shop in Colorado, and he's digging the new legalization just as much as I am. Of course, I can't smoke right now because it ruins my concentration and I'm going through college (a little late I might add) but that's all cool, smoke away, nobody ever died of a fucking pot overdose. I once did a couple doses of crystal MDMA, it was nice (nothing like what ravers describe Ecstacy to be), I felt super relaxed for the first time in my life since, like, adolescence, and it has had a nice, long-term residual effect, so that I don't think I will need to add to it for quite a number of years. But I would never contribute to my death with something known to be instantly lethal like cocaine or heroin. So many friends of mine have died using heroin, it's sort of a lost cause to tell me that there's A World Where heroin is okay to use. Cocaine is notoriously addictive and life-ruining, not to mention associated with heart disease (though some say it's a good agent against cholesterol levels). I tended to my Grandfather on his deathbed while I observed his decline accelerating due to his prescribed addiction to Xanax. So that's me, that's where I'm coming from.

I say it's stupid to do hard or addictive drugs. Look at what you're setting yourself up for: addiction and potential death. Where's the trade-off? "An altered state of mind"? There are plenty of safe hallucinogens to use. "Oh, I do it for the energy" that's bullshit, since I quite using caffeine and smoking cigarettes I have more energy than I ever did before. This is a documented side-effect of quitting systemically harmful drugs, especially stimulants. You don't have to worship L Ron Hubbard to know that some substances are plainly fucking stupid on their face.

And now look at the other possible quantum state of Dead Schroedinger's Cat, here. Suppose he DID get nipped by some secret agent spy-man. What was the cover-up? The guy's drug usage which some here believe is a made-up story but others have pointed out was a fact the guy himself made known. What would we be looking at if there wasn't this handy cover-up available, and a handy stash of drugs and well-stsocked medicine cabinet nearby to aid the implement of destruction? In all likelihood there would be a much more questionable medical examiner's report. So, again, the drug use serves up more "cons" than pros, this time directly to the people who are concerned with this guy's life -- fans, or whatever. You weren't getting high from this guy's drug use. There's no benefit to his drug use at all to you, but now that you're scratching your head wondering "WTF", there's definitely a major drawback to it, wouldn't you say?

So whether the dead cat inside is dead of its own cause, or somebody intervened to hasten death, it's a dead, drug-riddled corpse of a cat. The drugs present aren't doing anything for you, or for me, or obviously for the cat.

I'm not arguing for drug prohibition. I don't personally care which way drug laws swing as regards heroin and cocaine, because I'm never going to use them. All my friends who used heroin, guess what: they all DIED. No, I wasn't close tight friends with Huncke the Junkie, so I don't know about this one case where some dude lived to be old and decrepit while using heroin every day. All my friends who used cocaine are still using it, and it controls their lives even if they don't see it that way.

So, if this dead guy is some great big deal to you and you feel like you've really lost something here, then why don't you grieve his use of "hard" drugs?

Comment Re: some good ones. (for the child) (Score 1) 796

I forgot you mentioned a child.

Tales From the Thousand and One Arabian Nights. Penguin Classics. There are two editions of this book that I've handled. One is a single tome, which I received when I was 8 and proceeded to never forget. The other I gifted to my two brothers when they were 9 and 10, and it was a 2-volume version, a celebratory version if I recall, limited edition. If the whole house is going to be reading, you might want the 2-volume version (it's expanded, not just split in two) because once the kid starts talking about how great the stories are you'll want to put down what you're reading. The adult themes are not spared. Sometimes the stories involve lewd sexuality.

"Where Did I Come From?" It's always good to have The Talk. But after you do, it's good to have a reference around for the kid to read. This one works. It's illustrated, frank, and honest. Moreover, it's short and to the point and doesn't try to fill the kid's head with things. My parents also kept around a copy of "The Joy of Sex" and didn't seem to care if I read it. So maybe get both of those and keep "The Joy" on the parents' bookshelf.

A book on the history of magic tricks. The biggest, thickest, oldest tome you can get covering the greatest span of history possible. My parents had a couple of these. If the book has an illustration of an old Arab in a turban carrying a secret water tank on his back with a tube running down his sleeve, you got the right one.

A book on monsters. The actual kind. Human history is full of "monsters". Pieced-together mermaids. Tales of creatures with fins parading across the countryside in 15th century France. There are some old tomes on this history as well.

"The Secret Teachings of All Ages". Manly P. Hall. 1928. This is written simply enough for an 8 year old with an avid reading habit. The pseudo scientific claims made here and there within should be balanced by a decent book on modern geometry and math and a book on the sciences.

I recommend something similar to "The Giant Golden Book of Mathematics". More or less everything is inside of it, even calculus. It's all very well illustrated. Copies are hard to come by. There are some other books sort of like this that treat math as a serious subject for children, but not many. A quick perusal of "math books for children" on the web turns up countless impetuous results.

There are numerous books on "the way things work" by David Macaulay. Etc.

Comment There are some good ones. (Score 1) 796

"The Humanure Handbook: a guide to composting human manure", by Joseph Jenkins. 2005. This book will single-handedly re-teach you everything there is to know about composting, will shatter all the myths you *thought* you knew, and will make you seriously consider the present and future of modern humanity in our willingness to throw away fresh water and spoil the water table. Winner: Independent Publishing Award; Amazon.com Category Bestseller; Foreward Magazine's Book of the Year Award Finalist; Three Rivers Environmental Awards; Independent Book Publishing Association Benjamin Franklin Award; Mother Earth News Books for Wiser Living Recommendation.

"The Child and the Machine: How Computers Put Our Children's Education at Risk", Alison Armstrong and Charles Casement. 2000. As someone who learned to program computers in the home from age 8, I appreciated many of the points made in the case against introducing computers in the classroom. The author seems not to be too well familiar with the inner workings of machines, and some geek faux pas litter throughout. But the case against similar minds spending mega-bucks on pushing computers at disinterested children is well-made. The well-researched book rails against those who make money purely by pressuring schools to adopt expensive computer placement contracts, and points out that not only is there a lack of evidence that involving computers in schooling is beneficial but cites numerous evidence to the contrary.

"The Little, Brown Essential Handbook". This is that book you were assigned in College Level Writing. Going to write a blog? Be professional about it. There are too many unprofessional writers smearing across the interwebs.

"Consuming the Inedible: Neglected Dimensions of Food Choice". ed. Jeremy MacClancy, Jeya Henry, Helen Macbeth. 2007. In this, Volume 6 of the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition, you will find the details of what people eat when food isn't available. From the cover photo of a little girl picking her nose to the final (the 18th) paper titled "The Use of Waste Products in the Fermentation of Alcoholic Beverages", you're in for a fun read about things like eating clay, dung, salt, lime, garbage, etc.

"Interpersonal Communication: The Whole Story". Kory Floyd. 2009. This is the book assigned in many college Interpersonal Communication courses. It's fun and eye-opening. Having trouble in your marriage, at work, between friends, etc.? The answers may lie in this book. Contains numerous exercises that might help you find out how well you communicate. Full of useful lingo and jargon that you can use to describe interpersonal communications. Equally useful for the super-analytical as for the casual know-it-all.

"The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: an Autohagiography". It's an old book, good luck getting a hardcover copy. It's definitely worth the read. The man's life, as told by himself, makes for wonderful adventure reading.

"Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons". George Pendle. 2005. Here's the first man to successfully develop rockets to add thrust to airplanes for the U.S. military. The first man to develop a castable fuel, GALCIT 53. The American man whose inventions and achievements were taken from him and given to a Nazi, and who was almost forgotten by history. Probably due to his involvement in the Ordo Templi Orientis, Aleister Crowley's sacred lodge. Parsons is the man who L. Ron Hubbard stole the money, boat, and girlfriend from to run off and write Dianetics and start Scientology. A fascinating personality.

"Caswal of Axoth". John Petrush. 2005. The strangest, most violent, sci-fi page-turner I've ever had the pleasure of not being able to put down.

"The Ambidextrous Universe" by Martin Gardner. The symmetry of every last symmetric or asymmetric thing in the universe is explained in excruciating detail.

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