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Comment Re:Could have told you writing analysis was bogus. (Score 5, Funny) 96

I've always wondered just how accurate signatures are. I've noticed that my own signature varies widely depending on various factors.

Signatures written on paper are not all that helpful for a few reasons. First off, they are easy to forge. Second off, a single person might sign his name twice and produce two signatures which look very different to both the naked eye and some forms of analysis - hence not accurate. Where they actually are accurate, however, is when written on pressure sensative pads (such as those seen on new-fandangled credit card swipers). If you were to do an analysis of the pressure and speed at which the signer signed various parts of the signature, you would actually produce some very reliable information. This is because even when you sign your name in slightly different manners you have the tendancy to use the same speed/pressure on certain parts of certain letters. Personally I would just use digital signatures...but calculating hash functions on the back of your resteraunt receipt is never fun. Its also difficult to fit a 256-bit output on that miniscule "sign here" line.


Submission + - Team Aims to Create Pure Evil AI ( 1

puroresu writes: Scientific American reports on the efforts of Selmer Bringsjord and his team at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who have been attempting to develop an AI possessed of an interesting character trait: pure evil.

"To be truly evil, someone must have sought to do harm by planning to commit some morally wrong action with no prompting from others (whether this person successfully executes his or her plan is beside the point). The evil person must have tried to carry out this plan with the hope of "causing considerable harm to others," Bringsjord says. Finally, "and most importantly," he adds, if this evil person were willing to analyze his or her reasons for wanting to commit this morally wrong action, these reasons would either prove to be incoherent, or they would reveal that the evil person knew he or she was doing something wrong and regarded the harm caused as a good thing."

Comment Public Urination is not a Sexual Crime (Score 1) 587

I don't mean to nitpick, but I'm shocked to see so many of you talk about public urination as a sex offence. In the state of New York it is not even a misdemenor. It is an Infraction. If a police officer stops you and writes a ticket for public urination they will write you a summons for violating NY Administrative Code 16-118(6). This is a $25 fine. I know this from experience. I also have friends who have had 5 of these in less than 2 years.

Comment Re:Not a Bug (Score 2, Interesting) 225

The only problem with this is that you aren't going to get a few "private minutes" with the machine

I am a student at Princeton and last term I took Ed Felton's class on Security. (Ed Felton being one of the authors). This was one of the issues which he talked about. I can't speak for the State of New York, but in New Jersey the voting machines are often stored at the voting sites over night. These voting sites are more often than not, unsecured places such as Churches or Schools. Prof. Felton, on the night before an election, went to all of the election sights. A distrubing number of electronic voting machines were stored in hallways or behind unlocked doors. He has an entire slide show of pictures which he took of these machines the night before an election. Had he any malicious intentions, he could have easily tampered with the machines. I'm sure that most of the election officials are very trust worthy. It is not them who concerns me. It is the fact that anyone can simply walk into a church basement and have access to all of the voting machines for that district.

Comment Re:It's not breeding. (Score 1) 472

I'm quite sure a wild big cat or wolf raised carefully in captivity would do just as well as their domesticated cousins, and there is reason to believe they may do better.

Well I think garnkelflax addressed this earlier:

I watched a program on Animal Planet a few years ago where they ran tests on wolves. They determined that wolves had no desire to 'please' (utilize) humans regardless of whether they were raised from pups or not.

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