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Comment No, PayPal always for eBay, not porn (Score 4, Informative) 172

PayPal never was popular for porn. On any given day of your choice, there was 100 times as many PayPal transactions on eBay than PayPal transactions for porn.

Porn went from AdultCheck and other AVS systems to iBill and a few iBill competitors. With the fall of iBill, CCBill took over the adult sector.

Comment Yes, a bubble for sure. Don't laugh it off (Score 2) 167

I don't disagree, it sure looks like a major bubble, so on that point I still think it's very risky to get involved in. Where my perception has changed is that it looked like a toy, something tin-foil-hat people play with. I laughed it off. It seems it's now big enough that one shouldn't laugh it off. As an example, with over $150 million in a single exchange, an unlicensed bank, it probably makes sense to seriously look at appropriate consumer protections.

Comment Thanks. For non-aussies, FiTs = solar subsidies (Score 1) 1030

Thanks for link, it provided a lot of good information.
If anyone else from outside Oz is still reading this, where catprog says "FITs", that's Feed in Tariffs, which is where each customer is forced to pay for some other guy's solar installation.

The PDF which breaks down the billing shows 9% "carbon tax" and 20% "customer service and renewables schemes". Only 10% is the actual cost of the electricity, so the customer's bill in no way reflects the actual cost of the electricity. That 29% is more than the entire bill paid by Texas residents.

Comment a skeptic says "wow bitcoin is serious ". Hope thi (Score 3, Interesting) 167

I've poo-pooed Bitcoin before. If it's now at the point where there are $150 million transactions, that's significant. I sure hope the operators of that exchange don't disappear with the money, get hacked, or any of the other nastiness that seems to happen every couple of weeks. A $150 million heist would be a big deal, and damn few internet-connected systems are secure enough to thwart even moderately skilled crackers. For example, a certain national agency I'm familiar with that does cyber-security training is wide open to SQL injection and other attacks. I sure hope these bitcoin exchanges have better security than the agencies that set security standards have. If not, somebody's going to steal $150 million in bitcoins any day now, and that'll be a big deal.

Comment Dang, four times as expensive! For solar subsidies (Score 1) 1030

The utility power that costs you $54 only costs me $12.42.

Hmm, you're paying four times as much for utility power, and can buy solar systems for half the cost compared to the US. I wonder if that huge extra cost on your electric bill is what's paying the other half of the solar panels, through subsidies. If the government mandates for solar are paid for via taxes on utilities, that would explain things - you're effectively being forced to pay for solar whether you use it or not.

Comment assuming that, $200 / month for daytime use only (Score 1) 1030

Assuming that's a quality system, with the price you mentioned, that's an extra $200 / month to cool the house during the sunny part of the day only, when you're at work. Peak temperatures are at sunset. So you've spent $200 / month on solar that you can't even use while you're home after work. Maybe that might somehow be useful for 1% of people. For most people, that would be really silly.

Comment leave change.org long enough to go shopping (Score 1) 1030

Go to the store and price out some solar power systems, the complete system with inverters and all, and get back to me.

If you can't be bothered to get your butt off the couch, Google and check some of your statements against even the most favorable of sources - the manufacturers themselves. Interstate battery's own web site will tell you batteries that work as designed will lose half their capacity in three years. Maybe in a few years something other than lead-acid will make sense for storing enough energy to power major appliances. The lithium batteries we have today? Ask anyone who has kept a laptop for three to five years what happens to lithium batteries.

Funny, you argue those things, pretend the manufacturers know nothing about their own products, then admit that indeed solar can't replace traditional energy sources. That's good you can at least admit that now.

You mentioned air conditioning, using solar to supplement when it's very sunny and you most need the power. That's certainly the scenario that is most favorable to solar. Look up how much power a decent AC system uses (about 4000 watts) , then how much a complete solar system providing that much power will cost (about $40,000). You don't need a whitepaper, plenty of online stores sell the stuff. The output of solar cells drops over time. Figuring the average useful life is 10-20 years @ 4 months per year of AC use, that's about 60 months of active use. 60 months for $40,000 is $750 / month cooling. I don't know about you, but I'm not spending $750 / month for AC. Maybe during the less sunny months it would still have some usable power, and maybe we can get away with a 3000 watt unit. So around $300 - $400 / month on the low end. That's still pretty steep, but might work if you have more money than brains. What's that? It only runs during the day time, when I'm at work? You want me to spend $400 / to cool my house only when no-one is there, then still pay the power company to cool it after 5:00!?!? You go right ahead and buy a solar system. I'll stick with clean burning natural gas providing my electricity.

Comment indeed. cost cut 50%, GOP says "that's better " (Score 1) 1030

That's right. Conservatives don't have some personal grudge against silicon. The big difference between republicans and democrats is that republicans tend to make policy decisions based on calculations while democrats base theirs on wishes. Democrats say "wouldn't it be great if ...". Republicans say "yeah that'd be great but here in reality the numbers just don't work."

See for example my own Slashdot posts regarding solar. I, a conservative, have pointed out that once you factor in the costs of batteries, etc., solar just doesn't make sense. Now that the cost for panels is half of what it was, solar makes more sense in more situations. Lead batteries that last three years before becoming expensive toxic waste are still a problem, so solar is still a long way from being good as the primary energy source for most people, but it now makes sense for some people.

The other thing conservatives have pointed out is this recurring pattern:
" Green" company is failing, unable to compete.
Green company donates $1 million to Obama.
Obama gives $100 million of OUR money to Green Inc.
Executives of Green take $20 million bonuses.
Green shuts down.

That's bribery and graft. Graft with a green label on it is still graft and it's unacceptable. It just so happens that this administration called their graft system "Clean Energy and Recovery".

Comment yeah, attention whoring what we've been doing (Score 1) 149

> Also, their sample size of 2000 is extremely small compared to a population in a country. I don't believe it effectively works as they claim, but they put this news out just to get attention from public.

Oh certainly. This about the fourth Slashdot article on it and we've been doing it for years, so it's in no way new. Three years from now they'll announce their chickcaptcha idea, which we launched on 5,000 production sites 18 months ago.

Comment How do you figure millions is two? This is our job (Score 2) 149

We have data on millions of logins. I gave you two examples, then explained we have data on millions.

We ran this in "logging only" mode on a major network of web sites for two years before we started including it in the "accept or decline" decision, so we have millions of records in the database. Here's what those millions of records say:

For attempts that would have tripped this parameter, had it been switched active, those same attempts normally tripped other time-tested parameters. The other parameters have been tested for sixteen years on tens of thousands of sites - we know they work. The newer keyboard and mouse parameters give results that agree with the results from the known-good parameters.

Since you're asking about sample size, the sample size of our known good parameters is on the order of 2-3% of all web logins.

Comment Yes, not identifying, confirming or denying (Score 2) 149

> Think of this not as a way of identifying an individual, but of screening out those who are obviously NOT that individual.
> This problem is _much_ easier to solve.

Absolutely. What we do with Strongbox, anyway, is start with "this person is claiming to be _____". Then we can start checking various parameters. Rather than list of our exact parameters and algorithm, I'll stick with the analogy:

Does the height match?
Does the weight match?
Does the age range match?
Does the race match?
Does the clothing style match (skater vs. biker vs banker)?
Does the hair length match?
Does the hair style (curly, straight, etc.) match?
Does the hair color match?
etc. or about 12-15 parameters.

Note that none of the parameters listed above is extremely selective. But let's say each parameter can reject 75% of imposters. Here's the result after each test:

Test 1: 25.00 % of imposters remain.
Test 2: 6.25 % of imposters remain.
Test 3: 1.563% of imposters remain.
Test 4: 0.391% of imposters remain.
Test 5: 0.098% of imposters remain.
Test 6: 0.024% of imposters remain.
Test 7: 0.006% of imposters remain.
Test 8: 0.001% of imposters remain.
Test 9: 0.0004% of imposters remain.
Test 10: 0.0001 % of imposters remain.
Test 11: 0.00002% of imposters remain.
Test 12: 0.00000% of imposters remain.

After 12 tests, 99.99999% of imposters have been caught by one of the broad tests, none of which are all that specific.

Comment Some consistent, some two profiles, other params (Score 2) 149

> Even though one could have similar typing style, I doubt that it is always the same on every keyboard.

Several numbers can be used to describe "typing style". Some of those numbers are remarkably consistent.
In other respects, you end up with two profiles, ie John on his iPad" and "John at his desk".
Those match up with other parameters like OS patch lvel, browser version, plugins, etc. You, on your ipad,
type in a certain way, on a certain version of the device, using a certain browser with certain plugins, etc.
Most likely, the identity thief is in a different country, using a different browser on a different patch level, and types differently.
So we can say "John should be either type at about interval 52 iPhone 2 in Idaho on AT&T, or type about 78 on a HP desktop connecting with Comcast, again in Idaho.

> If this authentication system can detect that, it is great; otherwise, it could be a big failure instead.

For Strongbox, this aspect is neither perfect nor a failure, but is one parameter that's considered. Very much like considering someone's height and weight when trying to recognize your spouse. You can see someone from far away and if the height and weight don't match, that's not your spourse. If the height matches, the weight matches, the skin tone matches, the clothing style matches, the hair length matches, the hair color matches, the hair style (curly, straight, etc.) matches, and she says "hey baby", that's probably your spouse.

Comment No. Been sick, been injured, not been locked out (Score 3, Informative) 149

If you hadn't tried it, you'd think that might be a problem. In fact, it's not.

I've been sick, I've been injured. My COO has been sick a lot. We log in to systems using Strongbox maybe four times per day.
Four times per day times about 400 days = 1600 logins for each of us. We haven't been locked out based on keyboard and mouse yet. Looking at millions of user logins, the keyboard and mouse indicators closely track the other indicators we use. By that, I mean if the real user scores 41-52-07 and they are in the US, when see a log in attempt with a score of 24-92-18 that attempt will come from China.

Comment not a problem. Tall white guy w long blonde hair (Score 2) 149

Different devices really aren't a problem. It's a lot like recognizing your family members while they are wearing different outfits. A twenty-something black lady, pregnant, with medium length braids sitting in my couch is probably my wife. Without my glasses my vision is 20/100 but I could almost always distinguish an intruder vs. my wife. Most likely, an intruder would look nothing at all like my wife.

  That's a good analogy for how we use this type of technology in Strongbox. We start with the fact that they claim to be John or whoever the account holder is. We don't have to identify who they are, just whether or not they look like John. Certain characteristics of his typing style are pretty consistent across different keyboards. We combine that with location, browser choice, etc. to see if the person claiming to be John probably is actually John or not.

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