Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Fool it with a picture? (Score 2, Insightful) 164

Well, the technology may not be there yet, but conceptually, the strongest authentication available is some combination of voice and face recognition, as done by a human.

If you consider just a camera (with no additional sensors spread over a large area), it is a crappy concept. Its the kind of concept that stops being viable once it starts being possible.

Only an awesome 3D camera with an extremely wide angle would not fall into the "just use a printed piece of paper" method. And that non-existent awesome camera would still fall for several other methods, such as well-built models of your face. Even if you're using awesome stereo vision from 2010, the same printed piece of paper in front of any cheap model of a human head will do.

And the kind of AI needed for a computer to detect a person using only image and sound is HARD. So hard that when we actually have this kind of AI, the cheap tech needed to fool it (the hell, to fool real people) will already be available.

eg, if you want a new passport, in England, you have to take a picture, and get someone you know to certify it's a true likeness of you. How does that person know it is you? Well, by seeing how you look like, and listening to your voice. I guess?

The picture allows humans to recognise you. It is meant for humans and humans only.

So, from a theoretical point of view, this system is I feel sound. Just, maybe the technology is not quite there yet ;-)

It depends. If you can afford distributing sensors all over the place, it is POSSIBLE to avoid cheating. You can add cameras and distance sensors over a large area and youll stop most forms of cheating. High-tech cheaters can get away by standing in front of the system and using a special set-up to project a different image inside the camera.

If all you want is a small sensor embedded on a laptop computer, its a stupid concept.

Comment Re:The Internet is less free... in Brazil. (Score 1) 484

He was criticizing Brazil's laws (civil or otherwise). Brazil's laws around libel and slander absolutely suck beyond all comprehension. Brazil has close to the worst in the world. They do infringe greatly on the quality of public speech in Brazil

No, these laws are not the worst in the world. They stop the country from having dirty tabloids like the ones from the UK, and are well applied.

And I agree with the judge's reasoning: if you want to make money (even if you charge nothing, it's strategic profit you're taking out of it) out of providing a space for people to communicate, you need to comply with the law or assume the risks. They should keep logs allowing law enforcement to do its job, and should respond QUICKLY to complaints.

That's part of the cost of running a public communications system. You can't expect to profit out of other people's misery. It's like when you want to sell guns: there are SEVERAL rules you must comply with, otherwise you will be in big trouble? Why? Because you're providing tools that might ruin a person's life.

Comment Re:Save the planet from WHAT? (Score 1) 424

* large parts of our way of life depends on oil * oil is a limited resource * we will be running out of it quite soon

The planet is not affected byoil shortages and energy getting expensive for us humans. When any left-wing idiot talks about "saving the planet", that's not the point they are trying to make.

They are just trying to tag their worthless attempts at self-promotion as something really important.

Comment Re:There's more to this story (Score 1) 691

"It's your fault that you're fat" is not only hurtful -- often, it's simply wrong.

No, it's not wrong. Whatever you put into your mouth, if contains more energy than your body is using, is going to get accumulated somewhere.

I know it's a difficult task, but it is just a matter of eating less. For the first months you do it, you'll feel hungry all the time, which is really annoying. Also be careful with gastritis and ulcers. After that, your body and stomach will be adapted to the new amount of food you're eating. You won't feel hungry anymore (it won't be a matter of ignoring that feeling, you won't actually feel it) and the stomach pain will vanish.

There isn't a magical evil gnome that makes people fat. It's the food they eat.

Comment Save the planet from WHAT? (Score 1) 424

We are saving the planet? From what?

From people? From pollution? From cute grass-jumpin cats? From what?

Why does every spoiled left-wing liberal arts major tags their ideas and projects as something that will "save" earth? Is the new eco religion that self-centered?

About the article: It's funny to see how the radical left (I'm not from the Right, before anyone confuses me with a Pro-Life Republican, I'm not even from the US and I don't vote right-wing where I live) has turned sides on the poverty issue. Things turned from "we should all save the poor from the destruction caused by the heterossexual white man, we should distribute the wealth that was stolen from the poor" into "the poor should stay poor to avoid damaging the environment" after what, one decade?

Nobody can talk about saving the planet until it's PROVEN that the planet needs to saved from anything. This kind of silly tagging reminds me of how Democrats tag their bills with names like "fairness" and "recovery". Until you recover something or bring fairness to a situation, shut up. Don't brag before the results and don't polarize the discussion with charged names. Democrats should respect the discussion and think for at least one moment that 1. They might be wrong, 2. Their solution might not achieve the desired results, 3. The results itself might not be necessary or even prejudicial to the actual issue.

Comment Re:There's more to this story (Score 1) 691

Because my wife was a smoker

What do you want? To pay US$ 800 / month for a few years so you can send US$ 100 000.00 dollars worth of lung cancer bills to the insurance company? It's not a socialist medical tax, it's a medical INSURANCE. It's meant to cover you against things you are not expecting to happen, at least not by your own severe negligence. If you work routinely to screw up your own body, you cannot expect to be insured for a reasonable price. The same thing for being too fat, not doing regular check-ups or not having a reasonably healthy lifestyle. When you buy insurance, you need to take good care of your body / respect traffic laws / keep your house well-maintained / respect building codes to be covered.

Life has a cost. You have to pay to have a house, a car, food and such. You also need to pay for body maintenance.

I believe the government should subiside the costs of diseases that are not caused by negligence, such as most cases of cancer. These treatments should be 100% free, even for the highest level of service. It's a way of helping everyone else around us to have a better life. Life is great and we all use the giant infrastructure that was built for us by the previous generations. Everyone deserves to make full use of all the modern tools that society has built as a whole, and that includes healthcare. But not if it was caused by negligence: YOUR FAULT, YOUR COST.

Comment Re:Going back to sleep now... (Score 1) 664

Oh, so you hated thin clients 25 years ago, and now you could never use one of those, right? Who would ever want to use a small device that has no hard drive, downloads applications from the cloud, and is web-centric? Things change.

No, they don't. The iPhone is flash-based (a local disk) and most apps run 100% local, only using the internet as an add-on (top scores, news, etc.). They don't use the internet as a code repository. iPhone user files are local too.

Comment Re:marketshare (Score 1) 343

You make it easy to add repositories which are on a whitelist that the distro maintains. It's not damn rocket science. They want to add a repository, you check first to see if it's an allowed repository. Christ. That's my entire fucking point. Pretty much any repository that had an actual real person or company behind it would be whitelisted.

Oh, that a nice, real-world solution: a central you-can - you-can't list. That's really going to work after 70% of the fashionable apps of the moment are still waiting in the debian repository approval queue. What about closed-source software? Will most distros include Adobe at the allowed list?.

And how are you going to prevent runnable Java applets (what the hell, even Firefox allows full-permission Java deployment these days) that will simply ask the user for the root password? Will you forbid running apps inside the user folder? Good luck with that, you just removed the Personal out of the PC. "What do you mean I can't run CuteBunnyGame? I'm going back to Windows, sorry."

You're still swimming in the failbucket, sorry.

Um, yes, there is. Namely, if they don't have to put in their root password for anything else, they just might get a little suspicious if they have to pull it out for malware. I love the idea that people just do random things to operate their computer. No, they are taught how to operate their computer. In Windows, they are taught to download and run, with admin permissions, the flash installer, or the Silverlight installer, or the Skype installer, or the malware installer, or RSS reader installer, or the...hey, wait, what was that one before the last one again? If you don't teach them that's how you install programs, they don't install programs that way, and look askew at any programs that says they should be installed that way.

You seem to be the failbucket administrator. All of your ideas are complete consumer turn-offs. Teach them? Who is going to teach them? The product vendor, who needs the user for profit / religious reasons? Are you serious? I can even imagine the box: "Warning, this product is not suitable for idiot users like you who will insert their root passwords at any time asked. Please GTFO, RTFM and learn how to secure your computer before using this product".

People won't learn because they don't want to and most of the time they simply can't. And they don't give the root password to anyone because Windows taught them, they give it to anyone because they want to install CuteBunnyGame and CuteBunnyGame is asking for their password. They paid for their computer and they WANT to run CuteBunnyGame.

You zealots simply don't get normal people. That's why you're all swimming wildly inside the failbucket.

I swear, it's like no one here has any knowledge of how antivirus works at all, and is incapable of reading what I actually type. Malicious programs that run under a single user account are trivial to clean up, a hell of a lot easier to clean up than the rootkit infections that cripple Windows. You could even reboot the computer into an 'antivirus mode' where no user programs get executed at all. (You know, sorta like safe mode is supposed to work, except that none of the trojans on Windows are running under user accounts or via the normal startup, but have instead inserted themselves as system files.)

Who cares? The biggest issue is getting infected in the first place, not if it is easy or not to clean it up. If your personal files are gone (or someone is requesting ransom for them) or your computer is part of a botnet, you have bigger things to worry about than "trust the antivirus" or "just reinstall the damn thing". Even worse: most knowledgeable users would not trust an infected machine.

Comment Re:marketshare (Score 1) 343

25% of 'the masses' just want a web browser, an email client, an office suite that can read their files, and maybe an MP3 player. Another 25% also want an IM client, Google Earth, torrent client, rss reader, other random small pieces of software. All of which comes with Linux too.

That's easy to quote...
...today. Those applications only appeal to the masses today because they were introduced to the userbase using an OS that allowed people to (easily) install random apps. What will be the famous / fashionable apps of tomorrow?

And another 25% of the public would want to add software from several large publishers, like Adobe or EA or even Microsoft or whatever, people who could easily register their repository with a master list. (We're not debating the availability of software in some hypothetical Linux future, we're debating if having repository as the sole source would work.)

Sure. If you make it hard / long-and-boring to add other repositories, Linux will still be a member of the failbucket of OSes. If you make it really easy (such as "click here and temporarily add our repo. and install any software you want on a single click"), you just made Linux join the Easy Virus And Trojan Club.

And there is no miracle that will keep users from inserting their root passwords at the cute dialogs or keep limited user trojans from sending mails and accessing important USER (what kind of thief cares about boring OS files anyway?) files.

You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Comment Re:marketshare (Score 1) 343

Unless, unlike Windows, they haven't been trained into constantly downloading and installing things. That, right there, that mindset, is the only way to keep computers safe...having people know that the way to install things is to launch the 'application manager' and have a nice interface come up with all the applications they can install.

Except that such system would never appeal to the masses. People don't want a system with a "list of apps that thet can install". They want a true OS, not a fixed, centrally-mantained toolkit.

The users WANT to be able to run random, not-distro-managed apps.

Comment Re:But that's a faulty comparison (Score 1) 318

For who? Speaking as somebody who does programming and system administration for a living, I can honestly say that vim is my first choice in editors. Nearly always. There's a reason for that, and it's not because I'm "too macho" to use a point-and-click IDE. It's because I prefer vim. Why? Because it's quick, and it's powerful. That's all.

If you're a system administrator, you don't program for a living. You're an occasional programmer, fixing an administration issue here and there. Real programmers won't admin systems unless we are talking about touching configs on test machines, one or two times (15 minutes maximum) a week. A real programmer can easily cost (it's not a salary, it's a cost) US$ 150 dollars an hour, while a system administrator will cost a third of that.

Is IS impossible to do actual programming these days without using a modern IDE. The bar is mich higher these days and writing cute proofs of concept using C is not how programming is done anymore. Apps these days focus more and more on integrating with other apps and protocols, so without a good IDE you'll spend most of your time testing and adjusting. The market is not composed ot lonely C tools anymore. With a good IDE, you can scale testing time back to 10-20% and focus on doing actual coding.

Anyone who says that VI fits better their coding practices is not doing actual programming or not being paid for it. Sure, most volunteers at lots of open-source apps use VI to program. Interpret it as you like.

Comment Re:But that's a faulty comparison (Score 0, Offtopic) 318

1. Doing server work from our phones are not optimal, but it is however useful - you are saying that servers only go down when you are at work, good for you, however in the real world the tend to do backflips when the only handful of people with access are on vacation on the other side of the world - this is where having a phone with SSH access is nice.

You're mostly praising network connections. You can use any editor to edit a remote file (you don't necessarily need a remote shell) and you can even install a safe HTTP administrative tool and manipulate your entire server over the web.

2. UltraEdit has a steep learning curve just like VI has - yeah you *might* be able to do notepad stuff right of the bat, but so fucking what? You can do that in Notepad, show me anyone who can do what I can do in VI who has spend less time figuring it out.

You are forgetting a very useful tool that GUI editors make use of: THE EYES. If you pair it with basic language skills, it allows the application to contain OBVIOUS paths to commands, in the form of TOOLBARS, MENU BARS and other graphical representations of commands. It's easy like: "Oh, I want to change something about how I view this document. OH GOD, I WONDER IF THIS 'VIEW' MENU CAN HELP ME".

This argument is always used by most "I'm macho" nerds who think they're really cool for using macho-like old and unproductive tools. And the argument always fails.

3. Your statement about learning curves makes no sense, spending time learning something doesn't require you to give up your life, in fact, spending a bit time learning how to do things a faster way will often save you time over the course of your life.

Faster? HA HA HA.

Me, using my US$ 2500 modern IDE, built for embedded design:

  • Start the project wizard
  • Choose the proper settings
  • Insert my own code inside the basic template
  • Compile and simulate/upload using a single click
  • Debugging and even code hot-swap are already configured and solved

You, using macho-like tools:

  • Headaches
  • Headaches
  • Headaches

Do you know who achieved more? I DID. Who coded more core, with better conventions and modularization? I DID. That's because you'll spend your precious time trying to fix the tool while I'll spend it USING the tool.

Result: I can finish several projects in a month and spend a lot of times playing with boobies. It's even better considering that US$ (A LOT) - US$ 2500 = US$ (STILL A LOT). I could easily purchase my IDE every week and still be more profitable than using archaic macho-like tools.

And code more, meaning: be more leet than you'll ever be. I will brag about something I built and worked, while you'll still be bragging about being able to use an archaic tool and all you will have achieved is setting up a useless and archaic development environment.

You = "Hello world".


Media (Apple)

Submission + - Hey, Linux Fanboys: Stop Giving Apple a Free Ride (pcworld.com) 3

Death Metal writes: "Yet in important ways, Apple is more closed than Microsoft. Apple controls not just software, like Microsoft does, but its hardware as well. Try to sell a non-Apple computer with Apple's OS on it, and you'll get hauled into court by Apple lawyers. Apple has also taken legal action against bloggers who report on upcoming hardware and software releases. There's a long list of ways in which Apple is far more closed than Microsoft.

Yet the Free Software Foundation, and many other open source proponents, conveniently ignore these facts, and regularly attack Microsoft, while giving Apple a free ride. Apple, after all, has the "coolness" factor in its favor, and it's fashionable and easy to attack Microsoft."

Comment Re:What a surprise (Score 1) 268

I would invite you to take the blind search test to see which search engine is really the best for you: http://blindsearch.fejus.com/

It's not that blind. Having Yahoo and Google side-to-side really ruins the whole "blind test" experience, as Yahoo's results are just Google's with a slightly different result order.

"Oh, this is not equal to the other two, so it is not Yahoo or Google"

Slashdot Top Deals

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard