Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:The human body did not evolve to live on ships (Score 1) 267

Thank you. I ranted about this article to friends via social media yesterday; it smells like bad science writing by people that probably flunked out of science. Worse was that I ran into the article in some 'International Times' rehash ("A new york time bozo wrote that blah blah blah"). Now Bubba Pickins (slashdot's favorite regurgitator of pap for the front page) has done so, too. A thousand nitwits nattering about the incoherent blathering of another nitwit.

Bottom line: Rocket Science is hard. You can die from vacuums, gamma rays, high-speed impacts, lunar/mars dust that's abrasive as fuck, UVB (or indirect damage due to things by UVB), extremes of temperature and difficulties associated with vacuums messing with heat transfer, biological effects of zero-g. The times and energy needed to go from any interesting A to B are a problem. Gravity and speed complicate things. Unlike the boat analogy, you can't just cope if things go nastily wrong: space exploration will be relentlessly lethal compared to exploring the earth. But we oughta / gotta try.

Comment Re:You've brought up a very interesting point ! (Score 1) 197

> If ever USA becomes a place just like China, I do not know where else people can aspire to be, if they were to run away from tyranny !

Oh, if only there was another continent (or two!) of countries with the opportunities and amenities of modern cities, but with governments not as oppressive as some in Asia and North America.

(/sarcasm... also, no insult intended yet, canada.)

Comment Re:It largely doesn't matter (Score 1) 137

Debit cardholders suffer, due to fewer protections legislated for cardholders. Credit cardholders do suffer lost time to clean up, or lost income if they get stuck with charges they either don't notice or are unable to clear. While apocryphal: my having a card stolen and abused ate about a day of my time, plus days of additional little inconveniences. Competitors get stuck with costs for compliance that Target dodged, which is anticompetitive.

And yet you're right: it largely doesn't matter... **to Target**. Look at TJ Maxx's share prices during their debacle. Try to look at Sony's downward spiral and tie any part of it to security incidents -- it's dicey. And look at Target's share price: it went down in September, not December. So, if a company can dick around with mediocre security then throw PR and bandaids at it for far less.... well, it effin serves us right for letting them. But it's not a non-issue. If security fuckups like this hurt, we'd have chip and pin, or some other securer implementation than this mess.

Comment Re:Not so fast ! (Score 2) 309

> why is ... trying to reduce bad consequences such as disease... not a sin?

Personally, I think it has to do with God writing doctrine before we discovered bacteria. WHich makes me want to put airquotes around the word God.

Comment Re:Cost? (Score 1) 310

Y'all can keep rationalizing, but the fact remains that the WRT54g was interesting at $120 ten years ago, and fun at $60. There is NO WAY that this is going to see similar market penetration at $300.

Besides, high profile item prices seldom go downward between the vaporware stage and release, but they've been known to go upwards: what if it gets released at $450?!

A decade later, under $200 is only slightly interesting, and $100 makes me smile. 300 just annoys the fuck out of me: I won't spend 300 when the special features it has beyond the 54g are diminished by most of USA's shitty residential broadband rate limitations.

Comment Re:Bullshit Flag (Score 1) 247

I agree, this is likely a mistake. Most grand new discoveries fizzle when peers start falsifying (as in 'to test and prove false') them.

Having said that, a matter type can be imagined whose 'drag' on GPS sats would be so rare and trivial as to be mistaken for part of the drag that near-atmospheric objects feel. Neutrinos fit this example. All we need here are massive nonreactive slow cloudy fat (but I repeat myself) particles that do gravitationally interact but don't bump into each other, don't coalesce, etc. Weird weird weird.

The possibility of a cloud or ring or shell that increased gravity is also physically **possible**. That's just calculus. If memory serves, a ring would have asymmetries that would affect the orbital dynamics of anything traveling orthogonal to the ring, so that can be tested quickly (and it's absence in 60 insanely predictable years of orbital dynamics indicates it can be ruled out). Since the force inside a shell or uniform cloud would be zero ( ), we probably would have noticed this as a rather significant blip/bending of trajectories during space flight. Again, without reading TQA, I'm not seeing much hope.

This sounds way too much like ether and phlogiston.

But don't just say 'it can't be'; that's dogma. Instead, take five, and go to work defining how one would confirm or falsify this idea. I'd dig up old trajectory/force data from NASA. And FFS, TAKE A MOMENT to savor how fun scientific research would become again if it turns out to be true.

Comment Re:What's so bad about it... (Score 1) 210

PKI can implement information sharing where any of N parties can 'erase' it. It can implement it so that the 'server' can't see or erase the information. It can implement information storage so that any of those parties can search for a checksum or key that servers can search for, but again not read.

Implementation isn't trivial, I don't see any cry for it and thus doubt it's likely, but it's entirely possible.

Frankly, since the NSA and your healthcare providers and credit reporters and social media systems all have a vested interest in having all that crap, I'd wager it'll become a battleground eventually. And then, trivial or not, it'll just be possible: perhaps baked into FOSS if there's a cry for it.

Comment Re:What if it wasn't the credit card auth? (Score 2) 191

From what I understand (IANA PCI Expert) POS gets the card number less and less.

Some POS magnetic heads now come with encryption literally built into the head elements. The cardswipe heads encrypt card data, then send the encrypted chunk to the card processor. The card processor sends back confirmation data. Newer systems are capable of making it so that the closest that Target gets to your data is a token that is not the card data: it can be reused by the business (adjustments, additional charges if you're at a hotel, that sort of thing), but it only makes sense to the point of sale and the processor: 'We agree that 1555-5555-5555-1515' will map to a card ending in 1515, owned by Jane Doe'.

The cardswipe system has a PKI methodology that enables the processor updating the encryption keys. So, keys are processor-specific, processor controlled. Point of Sale never touches the keys, the card data... they just get little accountant-friendly tokens.

This is pretty new stuff, so it's likely NOT in place at Target.

Please, if I misunderstand this aspect of P2PE, some PCI expert is welcome to fix my understanding.

Comment Bad story - Garbage in / Garbage Out (Score 1) 586

OK, so I've RTFReport, and this story is crap. The data flowing into the report is inconsistent, so any conclusion is suspect.

First, go to page 9, where the 44 comes from. Look at the data in context. Look at the columns and try to interpret them.

Seems weird that most states #'s in cols 1 and 2 go up, but OR's go down. That literally makes no sense: more completed apps than people applying!? W.T.F.

Second, it looks like Oregon's got about 20 thousand submittals, and 6k deemed eleigible. WHY only 44? What's the missing detail? The report mentions technical problems in OR. Something weird/fishy here.

So, the report is built on data submitted by the states. And Oregon's (and a few others') seems to not parse sanely. THAT IS NOT THE SAME AS 'OMG!'. That's bureaucratic derptitude, or GIGO or whatever. It's a problem.

Rather than squawk about the failings (red meat for partisan flamewars and sensationalist wankery -- how sad that the only remaining slashdot effect is slashdot's editorial effort to drive up their internal reads/clicks), the nerdy takeaway seems to be an acceleration on the climb of enrollments on page 3 (cool, techies are getting the tech under control), and the report's attempt to gather and slice/dice data to guide states on decisions of what works or what doesn't (mmm, data to manipulate!)

Comment Re:Human soceity not ready for this (Score 1) 370

Legal entities have been around for centuries. Ships stolen, then used for piracy, have been found guilty of crimes and destroyed. They were represented by agents, so 'facing one's accuser' was solved centuries ago. Other legal fictions include: companies, cooperatives (co-ops), coprorations, municipalities, political parties, sovereigns, states, temples, and trade unions (src: wikipedia 'Legal Entity'). And this isn't even that new of a question: Thirty years or more ago, a legal brief and book started to ask whether a tree could have standing, since it was understood that it would be granted standing if carved into a boat. In the last decade, a couple specific watersheds and ecosystems have gathered a degree of standing (seems like this was in New Zealand and Ecuador, perhaps?). This was done so that case law could form around protecting these directly, rather than forcing someone to prove their own personal damage by an abuse by another.

Each Legal Entity (aka legal fiction) may have limitations on what they're allowed, laws to govern their agents, limitations on what laws they're held liable for.

Slashdotters also easily see this becoming an issue due to technology: will technologically-created entities be granted rights? What level of tissue regeneration crosses from a 'vat grown organ' to enough sentience to earn rights? Can we clone ourselves completely to have 'hot spares', or does a sentient clone gain any rights? Similarly, several proponents of Singularity believe they'll copy themselves into code. Does the originator retain their rights and possessions? Can they 'claw back' stuff they signed away to their code alterego? Does the code alterego get any rights?

As for us not being ready, that's baloney -- If anything, an unwillingness to cause big upsets seems like a trait of an ossified and post-climax nation or culture. When we need to, we routinely write laws out of expediency. When there's big money at stake, legal challenges routinely slow progress for financial, not ethical immaturity reasons. There's no reason a legal system can't step into this 'personhood of a chimp' tangle, decide that the benefits outweigh the impacts and declare that a chimp or critter of another species has some rights, gets a guardian ad leitem (like CASA does for kids), and faces some laws/limits/penalties. Heck, in the case of endangered species, such a process could be more effective than current actions/measures. I bet we'll see other nations continue to experiment along these lines.

Comment Re:Need the LHC (Score 1) 88

I was going to point out to Roger W Moore that he missed the part where all OP said was 'looks like LHC', nothing more. Maybe a jab about overreacting.

But then I realized that I'm in a disturbingly tiny minority of the civilized world that geeks out at his 2nd paragraph and that his defensiveness is 'cuz he probably struggles to get 9/10ths of people he meets to understand why LHC and Big Science are a BFD.

Keep preaching the technological and engineering awesomeness, Roger. And kudos to everyone involved.

Comment Re:What cause for appeal? (Score 2) 198

Am sure you're aware that a cookbook can be copyrighted, but not the recipes therein.

Analogously, the API documentation (en masse) can be copyrighted. Format of the documentation, annotations and sample code, etc. are the 'creative work' in this example, but not the recipes (the api calls) or the ingredients (the parameters of those calls). And copyrighting a functional framework itself (especially one that was pushed as a free portable run-anywhere languages so aggressively for more than a decade) is akin to trying to claw back a recipe once it has been shared. It's the epitome of why recipes aren't copyrightable.

Slashdot Top Deals

A physicist is an atom's way of knowing about atoms. -- George Wald