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Comment Re:http://xkcd.com/936/ (Score 1) 339

Quite true. I actually do have several different password "levels" that I use. Websites I don't care about at all that require a 1-off registration for something get my standard totally insecure password. Websites I visit occasionally and don't care if someone pretends to be me get the next level up. Websites I visit often or care about someone pretending to be me have their own passwords, stored in KeePass, with the URL. Obviously this prevents using them from a public terminal, but that's fine because using such sites from a public terminal would be dumb. Games have my gaming password, since I have to type that in each time. E-mail has its own password, and since I use Gmail I've turned on the text-message 2-factor authentication. Banking, and other things of that importance have passwords in KeePass only, 40+ random characters long. I don't bother memorizing them, of course.
So I really have 5 passwords I use, one of which is a keepass master password.

Comment Re:I do not use the same password for multiple sit (Score 1) 339

The problem with changing passwords is they become harder to remember. This leads to people writing them down, thereby decreasing security. Diceware passwords can be VERY secure and easy to remember. Anything beyond 6 words is overkill for pretty much any service on the internet, since very few datacenters have security so good that it would be more expensive to break in than to bruteforce the password.

Comment Re:They may be mocking the price but (Score 1, Redundant) 369

There is no such thing as a 100% digital signal. There are no 0s and 1s. There are rising and falling edges of a square wave (or high and low voltages). Impedance mismatches caused by varying twist rates can degrade signal. That, and there's always attenuation of a square wave, to transmit a perfect square wave would take infinite bandwidth. That said, for a 3 foot cable you can have quite a lot of variance and still get a recognizable signal. I could understand $1000 for some sort of active-powered 100 meter cable with built-in repeaters, but not for a 3-foot one.

Comment Re:They may be mocking the price but (Score 5, Informative) 369

To be fair it IS high frequency square wave. To properly transmit the "ones and zeros" (rising and falling edge) you would need a cable with infinite bandwidth. Any real world cable will attenuate the signal somewhat. Since it's shielded twisted pair it's a bit harder to keep the impedance constant than with coax. So cable quality can matter, though it normally won't. And when it does you'll see sparklies (mis-decoded pixels) or no image at all, not a decrease in sharpness. All that doesn't mean you need an expensive cable. Especially for short runs (under 15 feet) pretty much any cable will work fine. And even for longer runs there are cheap manufacturers that make good cable, like bluejeanscable. Their 3-foot cable is $15. Spending more than that would be silly. Spending over a thousand dollars is a way to say "I'M RICH".

Comment Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (Score 1) 146

The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists gives the president the right to declare anyone, even an American citizen, a terrorist and have them put in jail indefinitely without trial. The National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2012 would make this explicitly allowed, and has been approved by both the Senate and the House. The US government has not yet abused this on as large a scale as China, but that's likely only a matter of time.

Comment Re:I seem to recall an old standard . . . (Score 1) 206

I know you didn't come up with the have/know/are thing.
And the entire point is that something you are and something you have are almost always the same thing. Biometrics are good enough for a few hundred dollars, but as the value of the item being protected increases the risk of acquiring one becomes more and more worth the effort.

Comment Re:Sometimes it saves money and frustration (Score 1) 851

Hmm, AnySoft supports text prediction and special characters via long-press. As for touch typing, I can't touch type on a phone keyboard. Even with a hardware keyboard it's too small to fit my hands properly, so I end up hunt & pecking anyway. May as well use a software keyboard that can be a bit easier to find the letters on.

Comment Re:I seem to recall an old standard . . . (Score 1) 206

Biometrics are just another "something you have." George has a finger that unlocks his computer with . Sam has a knife. Now Sam has a finger that unlocks the computer formerly owned by George. The advantages of biometrics are that they are more difficult to lose and tend to be a bit harder to get away with stealing. The disadvantage is that they generally can't be changed and tend to have far worse implications if they are stolen. Biometrics are a good replacement for a username, not for a password.

Comment Re:Sometimes it saves money and frustration (Score 1) 851

HA!
On a more serious note, there are some reasons for the bad tuning of most bagpipes people hear.
First is that many pipers people hear are soloists. Also known as the pipers who failed the band audition.
Second is that the pipes use just temperament, not equal temperament, and so won't be in tune with modern instruments. Or with modern electronic tuners. So if you mix the pipes with other instruments you have to tune them differently, and even if you don't you can't use most electronic tuners. The ones you can use are over $200.
Third, bagpipe A is somewhere above Bb, around 460-480hz. You need to buy a special chanter (the bit that plays the melody notes) to play at A=440hz. When playing with another instrument this can easily lead to an "out of tune" sound.
Fourth, the pipe plays in D major, B minor, or A mixolydian. That last one is the weird one, and it's pretty common. If it were A major the G would be G#, but instead it's G-natural. G# would be very discordant with the drones, which play A. This makes the G sound odd, but it's a 7th and isn't used that often. The pipes were originally a pentatonic instrument, music using non-pentatonic modes tends to sound strange.
Finally, you have to blow perfectly steadily and move the tuning slides without looking. It's not that hard to do, but some people mess it up. And if you can't blow steadily enough to tune your pipes, you certainly can't blow steadily enough to play them.

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