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Comment Re:Wasn't this a movie? (Score 1) 237

Overwrite your data once and it's gone. Even if you don't overwrite it randomly no data recovery group have been shown to be capable of recovering overwritten data

That's if you want the data to be overwritten and you're the owner of the drive. If you want to delete data on someone else's drive, you would have to ensure that the drive does not have some custom firmware installed that messes with the overwriting process...

Comment Re:Ridiculous premise (Score 1) 267

"I don't understand why we don't have driverless trains"

For one, unionized train personnel has a lot of power by the threat of striking. I once talked to an engineer doing railway systems design. He told me that they have to tread very carefully when introducing any technology that might appear to take away the autonomy of the driver.

Another thing is that a train driver is supposed to be able to deal with hardware malfunctioning, maybe even getting out to move a stuck switch.

Comment Re:I've always wondered that about antihistamines (Score 2) 351

"Things like fever and coughing are part of the body's immune response,"

But not necessarily effective ones. If your lungs are irritated, you cough, whether or not there is something that needs to be expelled. Worse, extensive coughing can cause irritation, which leads to even more coughing.

If you are coughing up mucus, take an expectorant to decrease the viscosity of said mucus (e.g. bromhexine, acetylcysteine) and make the coughing more effective.

If it's a nonproductive dry cough, you should don't hesitate to take an anti-tussitive (cough suppressant), e.g. codeine, noscapine, dextromethorfan.

There's also a theory that common cold symptoms are an allergic reaction that's best suppressed with 1st-generation antihistamines. At least, runny nose and coughing don't expel the virus which is multiplying IN YOUR BODY CELLS.

Disclaimer: I am not an M.D..

Comment Re: Oh yes (Score 1) 459

If you've only been at it for 5 years, sure. I've been touch typing QWERTY for 20 years

5 years of touch-typing, after 10 years of hunt-and-peck. I think I could do about 400 cpm (80 wpm) on Qwerty (Two minutes, English prose) and nowadays after 18 years of Dvorak it's about 500 cpm. (Incidentally, touch typing combined with a few bad habits and lack of breaks thanks to multi-tasking Linux back in 1996 is what caused my RSI)

Having to switch to Dvorak would be hell, and would take years to get as up to speed with as I am with QWERTY.

You do not really provide an argument other than your beliefs that it would take that long. At least I have one empirical data point.

Comment Re:Lock code.. (Score 1) 201

any cop, if I recall correctly, where they just plug in your phone and sluuuuurp! Done! ... US government has agreements with all those companies and there are backdoors in everything

I find it rather unbelievable that this is possible in general for any smartphone. Indeed, the site of your first link writes:

many Android Gingerbread, Honeycomb (and, of course, Ice Cream Sandwich) devices are on the long list of products unsupported by the software.

The extraction process would be similar to rooting an Android phone. Online, you'll find many rooting HOWTOs which may give a hint to how easy it would be. On some phones, you just have to place a zip file with the appropriate /system/xbin/su binary on the SD card, and boot the phone in recovery mode. (For sluuurping, one would of course put a system binary in the zip file that would dump the entire system onto the USB cable).

For otther phones rooting requires that USB debugging is enabled (not the case with most people) or that the bootloader is unlocked - which may result in a factory reset that wipes (or just deletes?) existing user data.

Comment Re: Oh yes (Score 3, Interesting) 459

For someone who has touch-typed for years, it would take years to get up to speed with Dvorak

As someone who moved to Dvorak after 5 years of touch-typing Qwerty, I can tell you that this is not the case. A lot of the effort of learning to touch-type is in the motor/coordination skills in the fingers, not in memorizing which letter goes where. I think it took me about a month to get up to speed in Dvorak; it didn't help that I was recovering from a rather painful RSI at the time. I ended up being faster on Dvorak than I ever was on Qwerty.

Comment Re:eh, it's not that bad (Score 1) 459

Chances are the work computer uses Windows, which comes with support for Dvorak, so you don't need to install any software either. It's just a configuration change (which doesn't require administrator privileges

However, Windows does not have a simple way to put the Control key on where normally the CapsLock is located. It requires editing the registry and if I recall correctly, it is a system-wide setting, which will also change the physical keys needed to log in (Ctrl-Alt-Del). Fortunately, my employer's IT support were willing to do this on my work computer.

(I really don't understand how the CapsLock ended up on the home row, even though Ctrl is used much more often by the vast majority of people.)

Comment Re:An interesting factoid... (Score 1) 340

Not all planes are equal. In some I get gps reception, but more often than not there isn't a single satellite in view, even with the receiver held against the window.

I think windows in newer planes have an infrared-reflecting coating for thermal insulation, which happens to reflect gps waves as well. I've the same issues in trains, by the way.

Comment ioccc 2013 US president matching code (Score 4, Interesting) 172

The International Obfuscated C Code contest had a winning entry that could flag the names of US presidents as republican or democrat.

main(int riguing,char**acters){puts(1[acters-~!(*(int*)1[acters]%4796%275%riguing)]);}

Quoting: "This one-line C program accepts as a first command-line argument the last name of any of the last 31 US Presidents (from Franklin Pierce onwards), in lower case, and prints out their political affiliation. Use "republican" as the 2nd command-line argument, and "democrat" as the 3rd (or equivalent strings of your choice)."

De-obfuscated, it is a boolean expression acting on a string s,


I wonder whether you can make a regexp that is shorter than this and accomplishes the same thing.

Comment Re:What's Their Purpose? (Score 1) 139

"why someone needs a separate app to do their banking? "

My bank (in Netherlands) requires a chip card and card reader for logging in and transactions (challenge/response system). That would be a pain to use with mobile banking; instead, they store the credentials in the phone, locked with a separate PIN and tied to the phone.

There are various security measures to reduce the chance of fraud, such as autologout upon switching to a different app (royal PITA if you need to copy/paste the account number, by the way); credentials are stored in a private storage for the app (only root would have access).

Those measures would be harder to do safely on a browser, especially from a desktop where malware could have access to the credentials.

Comment Re:People don't upgrade (Score 1) 432

All the other commonly used languages -- C, C++, the various .NET languages, Java, etc. -- most certainly do not mutate like that!

Usually if I dig up a C++ program (usually number-crunching using only standard libraries), that I wrote a few years ago (anywhere between 1996 and now), written for g++, it won't compile. Maybe the C++ syntax didn't change, but the handling of complex numbers did (more than once, I think) and various stuff has been moved out of the global namespace.

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