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Comment WTF? (Score 1) 794

the Clark County Registrar says that when voters choose English instead of Spanish, Reid's Republican opponent, Sharron Reid's name is checked by default.

This is so screwed up it's not even wrong. Why on earth should there be any default selection on the ballot? And why should the language have anything to do with it? It sounds like Clark County needs some new election officials, after they finish tarring and feathering the current ones.

Comment I've had my copy for 40 years (Score 4, Insightful) 128

And I have found it to be invaluable reference. It's not a textbook; it assumes you basically know the math, but just need to check the details. One other feature, quite handy for programmers of quantitative applications: it has approximations for many functions (e.g., the cumulative normal density function), with notes on their accuracy and range of applicability.

Comment A Very Good Survey (Score 3, Informative) 467

If what you are looking for is a way to get your mind back into "math mode", I'd suggest one book that I have used, both to refresh my memory and to read for pleasure since I was an undergrad ~40 years ago. It's called What is Mathematics?, by Richard Courant and Herbert Robbins, in the 2nd edition (which I have).

There is a new edition, edited by Ian Stewart, which Amazon has:
What is Mathematics?

I like the book because it is geared to an intelligent adult reader; it doesn't assume much technical math knowledge, but it gives (IMHO) an excellent overview of the concepts through calculus. It has exercises, too.

Comment Re:Security... anyone heard of it? (Score 1) 187

RTFA: "The photo gets sent to the bank through its mobile application. In most cases, funds are in the customers account immediately."

Soon to come- android and iphone customers are bombarded with spam containing the pictures of check of large amounts, "to be deposited and wired back to us for a 10% check cashing fee". None of which are any good.

Comment Re:I don't think this story is very accurate (Score 1) 97

Find a single piece of other evidence in the article.

Are you serious? "dog's blood that was found both on him and at the attack site.[...]When they arrested Johnson nearby they found he was covered in blood[...]We did not have excellent ID evidence [suggesting that they had some id evidence, but did not want to rely on it excusively][...]The court heard another dog was also used in the attacks [meaning that there was testimony about the attack at the trial]

Yet another high-quality comment.

Comment Re:None (Score 1) 896

Pretty good advice, but the other thing is that you can't get free software to work reliably without multiple layers.

I have XP on my machine.
- Router has hardware based firewall enabled.
- Zone Alarm for outgoing firewall/app control.
- Adblock/Peer Guardian/etc
- Two virus scanners. Two malware scanners.
- Spybot
This all is free and it still only works ~80% of the time.
- Spyhunter (paid for this)
- One other professional app I paid for (no, not Norton or anything typical consumer junk)
The fact is that you need a professional AV and anti-malware/registry locker. The free ones are just not up to the task or updated days or weeks later than they need to be.

- Complete removal of the following from the OS down to the registry/core level:
1: Internet Explorer - my machine throws up "what application should I open this with?"
2: Remote Desktop/Remote Access
3: File Sharing (also remove the relevant parts from the TCP/IP connection)
Plus blocking of FTP and other remote protocols in and out of the machine. If I absolutely have to use it, I'll enable it for those few minutes.

It takes all of that to lock down XP. And that's only if I don't get online and hit a bad site on the web or something that I purposely get caught in.(note - torrent, password cracking, and Online Gaming gold/money sites are nearly 100% infected - avoid like the plague) Secondary are social networking sites and online gaming forums and the like.

Yes, this means you really should be using the net for work and a few specific applications you know are secure. Pretty much common sense. No AV in the world will help you if you start going to astalavista or other crack sites and start clicking links to various sites.

So... What to do?
Upgrading to Windows 7 or ditching it all and getting Apple/BSD or Linux makes a lot of sense if for no other reason than it's so new that the botnets haven't have time to adjust and are still going mostly after the biggest installed target group of users. They're not much more secure but they are a lot less likely to be targeted, which is something I guess...

It stinks but XP is going to be no longer supported at all in a couple of years, tops, and then the entire industry will abandon it and stop keeping the AV and firewall software as up to date. So changing now to something else is probably the best course of action if this really bothers you.
(myself I don't keep anything I can't replace on this machine so I don't care...)

Comment Re:Insanity (Score 1) 383

Education is exactly what you should do, I'm not denying that. But as it was with me (and most likely with you), these things will start to come up when you hit 14-16 years. I never had a talk about such things with my parents, but on the other hand we have those in schools at 7-9th grades. I never really made any big mistakes, I was with a same girl for my teenage years and little bit further and we did love each other, but it also meant things like sending those photos and whatever else.

But point being, you need to teach it before that age actually comes. It doesn't make any sense to interfere with it when it's happening, as that won't result in anything. Education on things before helps.

Comment Re:Useful (Score 2, Insightful) 281

Unlike similar levels on blank media, at least an MP3 player is designed with a PRIMARY purpose of playing music, as opposed to the levy we currently pay on blank DVDs and the like.

With that said, I'm sure this won't make people who legally pay for music via iTunes and the like happy.

Comment Malwarebytes (Score 1) 896

This is the one I use and reccomend to my not so tech savvy friends. It's very simple to use, free (for the basic version, which includes everything but scheduled scanning), and doesn't require registration. Its the only thing that got rid of that annoying fake windows security virus, so I've been really happy with it. www.malwarebytes.org

Comment Re:Significance is NOT probabilty (Score 1) 429

The central limit theorem holds only when some strict conditions are met -- like finite variance of the contributing probability variables.

There are other stable distributions than the normal. Check this:
"Important special cases of stable distributions are the normal distribution, the Cauchy distribution and the Levy distribution"

The Cauchy has neither variance neither expected value. Levy distributions also do not have higher moments.

Comment Re:Microsoft (Score 1) 896

AVG 8.5 installed on a co-worker's computer didn't catch a WONDERFUL webpage spoofing attack that asked for her pin number. Luckily she called me. I went to try Avast, but now it was harder to register and they took out the options to make the program operate silently (ie it forces you to use a dialog box for restart or force a restart, whereas in 4.8 there was an option for "Update on Next Restart", an awesome feature).

Just heard a good review the day prior of MSE and installed it, updated definitions, did a quick scan which found 3 other things, and then a full scan which found the main culprit. It also apparently cleaned (not deleted) a Windows Backup file with the virus on an external drive, ensuring that their backups are actually working properly. I've had Avast delete these on me in the past, losing vital backups.

It takes up little resources, is free for ANYONE (ie, most are only free for Home AND non-commercial use...which means non-profits are shit outta luck), and JUST WORKS.

I heart it. so. hard.

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