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Comment Re:Preventing terrorism is a legimate reason (Score 1) 264

Like birth certificates and death certificates?

I ask because I don't have a problem with birth certificates and death certificates. As vital records are the basis for proof of identity and are really the only true line that prevents someone from establishing an ironclad new identity and abandoning an old one and whatever obligations they've piled on themselves on that identity, I don't see another option.

Comment Re:Preventing terrorism is a legimate reason (Score 4, Insightful) 264

Quoting Jefferson about privacy and safety two hundred years after the fact isn't exactly relevant to today's world, which is riddled with 1) destructive technology and 2) religious fundamentalists

Destructive technology already existed in Jefferson's time (and besides, it was Benjamin Franklin who said it, almost twenty years before the United States of America declared its independence), and religious fundamentalists have existed since the dawn of religion.

As I see it, the biggest problem is that no matter how soft and simple lawmakers make it for the government to pursue avenues of investigation with legal checks-and-balances (ie, FISA court) those investigating are unwilling to follow those rules. It doesn't matter that FISA laws have provisions that allow investigators to follow phone or data traces or call routing and still obtain a legal warrant after the fact if they never bother to get that warrant, let alone get them in advance.

Blanket surveillance of everyone seems to me to violate rules that are supposed to guarantee people rights to privacy in their persons, papers, and effects without due-process. I am not a judge, but if I were, I'd interpret that to mean that the government isn't allowed to maintain anything more than basic vital records or basic direct-interaction records with people unless there's a reason. Investigating crime is a reason, but simply having a huge database to analyze after-the-fact is not.

Comment Re:Good luck with that! (Score 2) 135

Not only that but it also assumes you can't tamper with the serial and doesn't address what happens if somebody starts to spam the DB.

I think it's worse than that. This'll only work if it's compulsory and if access is controlled through an otherwise-disinterested third party. Do you want to have to deal with the equivalent of a motor-vehicle-department in order to register a purchase of a bike and to notify on sale or theft?

This isn't like cell phones, where having only a handful of companies denying a reported-stolen phone access to their networks could effectively end phone theft, there are no small points of access to make for that sort of thing.

One can attempt to protect one's self by recording serial numbers in files, adding one's own identifying stamped-in marks to the bike, locking up the bike to make it less desirable of a target in the first place, and when possible, not leaving it where it's out-in-public when not being ridden.

Comment Re:Runnin' on Empty... (Score 1) 477

Where did I say suits?

Even the most professional of workplaces that I've been in generally limit the required dresscode for outerwear to long-sleeve, button-up-the-front, collared shirts, dark or neutral slacks, dark shoes without logos on them, and ties. Most places forego ties or make them optional during certain seasons, and a few allow clean, new-condition black or grey demim pants in place of slacks.

A suit wouldn't do well for me in my professional environment, but a long-sleeve dress shirt and slacks work fine. I don't wear a tie, but if I had to I could make it work with a minimum of fuss.

Off work I wear mostly printed t-shirts and denim shorts or jeans.

Comment Re: Runnin' on Empty... (Score 1) 477

You know, there are different thicknesses of fabric available for pants, right? You can get pants made of something as thin as seersucker or of something as thick and warm that British Northerners would envy. Denim didn't exist until the late 1800s and wasn't socially acceptable until the fifties, there are plenty of options, all machine-washable.

You can also buy collared shirts that are actually sized for you at the neck and then either tie a necktie appropriately to fit the collar, rather than the neck, or you could look at various clip-on ties. Given the nature of technology sometimes a clip-on is safer if one works around higher voltage or spinny or shreddy things. Or you could wear a banded-collared shirt, that doesn't have a folding collar and instead has a more jewelled topmost button.

I have the opposite problem of you apparently, it's very hot here much of the time. I have a very, very thin button-up shirt and very thin yet durable slacks. I also have found that dress shoes support my feet much better than sneakers.

There are lots of options besides n00bs suxx0rs printed t-shirts, and many of those options will give you a better shot at promotions.

Comment Re:Runnin' on Empty... (Score 5, Insightful) 477

It's my experience that for many people, excessive casualness at work leads to treating work as casually as one may treat one's free time. Given how many people spend their free time particularly passively, this can be a problem.

Wearing attire different for the time when one works for someone else than one wears for one's self can help reiterate to the person that professional time is just that, professional.

Certainly there are examples of this not holding true, as there are individuals that will act professionally in casual attire, and there are individuals that will act casually in professional attire, but it seems to hold that more people are professional when in professional attire than are professional when in casual attire.

Comment Re:A computer that works like the human brain? (Score 1) 251

Didn't RTFA but there is nothing stopping them from building a massively parallel, electronic, analog machine composed of a large number of heavily interconnected pattern recognizers with the ability to self modify.

Then the only challenge is for it to learn how to learn and then to actually learn.

Some of the mechanisms evolution developed to create the human brain may well not be optimal so humans probably can do better once they understand how the basic mechanisms works which they increasingly do.

Comment Can't change more than nine times (Score 1) 138

This is a bad idea, as one can change a compromised password as many times and necessary or desired.

Assuming a print from a single digit is enough, you're limited to ten total passwords without starting to leave the realm of social acceptability. On top of that, this uses only a public, nonsecret method. It's not combining something that you have with something that you know, preferably something known only to you, and since it's from a read-only source, once it is compromised you're screwed.

If some biometric system is used in concert with a strong user-selected bit of information, like a password, passphrase, or numeric string, then maybe it'll be okay, especially if the system does not indicate to the user where the failure in authentication happens (ie, confirm that one has the right fingerprint before rejecting the password). If the fingerprint is used as an analog for the user id, and the password is still one's personal secret, that may work.

If the issue is PINs being commonly four digits long, people have demonstrated an ability to remember ten-digit numbers as many markets now have ten-digit dialing for local calls with several area codes. I don't think that it would be an undue burden to use PINs longer than four digits in this age on account of that. What would be best is for there to be a minimum length that's greater than four or five, but a max possible length that would be well larger than most users would need, so those who do want longer credentials can use them, and with all of the number of places in between also being supported.

Comment Re:Link broken? (Score 1) 1191

Heh. At one point I actually had a second monitor turned portrait, and had it not had issues with full-motion video (it rendered it incorrectly for some reason) I may have kept it with that. Thing is though, if the width isn't fixed, the browser is supposed to be able to size it to the window size on its own, if the designer is smart enough to design it to do that.

Comment Re:How about (Score 1) 528

Girls can't always control if someone takes a picture of them. Pictures can be taken with hidden cameras or while they are sleeping or drunk...

That's a load of crap. Most involuntary pictures would be of such low quality as to make their use for prurient interests difficult, so long as the subject takes enough care to avoid putting themselves into the few circumstances that would allow for a good picture, like covering up the webcam or not undressing where one is exposed to others.

As for voluntary pictures, people have been showing the naked pictures of their significant others that they've had since the dawn of photography. In my view, it's expected that naked pictures will be shown, not expected that they won't be. Everyone should assume this.

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