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


Forgot your password?
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×

Comment Re:That's what you get. (Score 3) 92

> Anonymous rating/review sites are ripe for abuse and slander

They're also priceless for due diligence by new employees, or for safely publishing thoughts about toxic workplaces. I used to regularly review the old "www.fuckedcompany.com" website for the real inner doings of clients, especially pending layoffs that might affect contracts with them.

Comment Re: Think of the children! (Score 1) 37

> Being first-to-market is only relevant when you have material, previously unknown information.

They have first-yo-mstkry knowledge by a matter of milliseconds, even microseconds, by investing in high speed access to the fiber as it leaves the stock exchange. They then commit transactions while the stock is changing price, before anyone else can possibly respond. That isn't "adding liquidity" by any stretch of fiscal imagination, despite the frequent claims of companies involved in high speed trading. It's arbitrage, and nothing _but_ arbitrage. It's legal, but the extent of its current abuse is stunning.

to a modest extent, it's also a form of gambling because, if the price rose rather than fell or fell rather than rose, their gambles on investing would fail. Unfortunately, the high speed traders are not being held to account for their unwanted, "failed" bets. They simply cancel those, without noticeable penalty! That's not just gambling. That's gambling where you get to take your money back from the pot if you don't like seeing other players exposed ands, effectively takin gyour money back from the "pot".

Can an ordinary investor say "I'll sell short by $5", and say, when the stock prices rises, "never mind"? No. They have to actually make the short sale, and lose money for betting wrong. But these high speed traders simply cancel the orders before they exceed the very limited time in which they can do so. It's gambling where they don't have to pay their losses, and very much a form of cheating in the gambling that makes up a healthy stock market.

Comment Re:Think of the children! (Score 1) 37

>> Must gambling businesses are subtle or outright frauds

> No, not really. Gambling businesses don't need to cheat or commit fraud to win.

Most, perhaps not all but certainly most, do commit subtle or outright frauds against their clientele. It's not new or even unusual. I've already pointed out the basic funding frauds of the state lotteries. Many of the "scratch ticket" businesses have a fascinating fraud in that they sell the tickets in two boxes. If the vendor sells the big winning ticket in the first box, you make sure to sell the first box to recover your expenses. If the big ticket winner does not show up in the first box, the vendor _throws away the second box, and never pays out the big ticket.

Even "legitimate" gambling is infamous for being used to launder criminal income. Winning lottery tickets and other gambling tickets are regularly sold off to local organized crime for a fraction of their worth, to provide a favor to organized crime, for the original ticket holder to get some income tax free instead of having it reported by the lottery, and for the organized crime members to claim the winnings and launder their earnings.

> At the very least they need to be cleaned up (regulated) so that they rise to the level of legitimate gambling sites.

That level is, unfortunately, very low.

>> Take a very good look at how "high speed trading" works.

> But again, nothing to do with gambling in general or steam in particular.

With steam in particulrar? Only in the sense that they are, in fact, gambling on the stock market and that they cheat, relying on private knowledge not available to the rest of the gamblers. It's self-deluding to claim that high speed trading, or gambling, benefit any economy except possibly the local adult entertainment industries.

Comment Re:Think of the children! (Score 2, Insightful) 37

> The problem is most of these sites are scam sites.

It's not just "these sites". Must gambling businesses are subtle or outright frauds. Even state lotteries take an enormous cut of the proceeds to fund the lottery bureaucracy itself, and not to help the schools as promised. The schools have their funding _replced_ by lottery winnings, not augmented. Even the "honest casinos" forbid card counters, whose behavior is technically legal but can actually allow players to win in the long run, not just the short run.

The same problems exist in the stock market. Additional information is forbidden to the ordinary player, but those with additional information can and inevitably do play illicitly. And at the scales available to the larger cheaters, it sucks the possibility of profit right out of the system for ordinary players. Take a very good look at how "high speed trading" works to get a sense of how much of stock market funds are sucked right out of the business by larger companies that can afford the "insider information' that a few microseconds of lead time on stock announcements provides.

Comment Re:Responsibility (Score 1) 37

> I'm going to go ahead and say that the man who filed the first suit indicated above wasn't winning.

Gamblers don't win in the long run. The house always takes a cut. If they're winning in the long run, they either have knowledge not available to the other gamblers (such as a skilled poker player counting the cards or reading "tells" from the other players), or they're cheating.

Comment Re:Never - But Because Your Definition of Unnecess (Score 1) 234

> Never include unnecessary code. If there are incorrect implementations that you are replacing, remove the incorrect ones!

When possible, I comment them out with "wrapper" comments to preserve the code in the source control change history. And explain _why_ you've replaced the code, so the evidence is there for at least one or two more releases. It can be very difficult indeed to compare new code to the deleted code it replaces if you've successfully removed the visible traces of the deleted code.

Comment Original gummy fingerprint tests beat most scanner (Score 3, Informative) 97

The original presentation on beating fingerprint sensors with ordinary laser printer printed copies of fingerprinters, laid on gelatin, published in 2002, is available at:


It's quite a good presentation, and was verified by MythBusters in 2011.


Mythbusters even demonstrated that simply printing a fingerprint on paper, and _licking the paper_, created a fake fingerprint good enough to defeat most sensors. There's little reason to think that the commercial fingerprint sensors have gotten any better, though I'd welcome a modern retest with modern cell phone and computer keyboard based sensors.

Basically, the "fuzziness" of fingerprint sensors which allows to identify real fingers with real sensors is enough "fuziiness" to allow them to be beaten with even casually made fake fingerprints. I've seen no good evidence that the necessarysensor and computational "fuzziness" has ever been worked around with even the most expensive modern sensors: I'd welcome any evidence with honestly done tests showing otherwise.

Comment Re:This is like blocking software from rooting pho (Score 1) 141

> It protects against a very specific form of malware

If the "malware" is considered to be "unsigned software accessing anything without permission by an upstream paid key holder", then yes. It becomes clear that the entire Trusted Computing stack is designed for DRM. Security against a few forms of attack is a consequence, not the purpose of the software.

Comment Re:Hardware's too weak to matter (Score 2) 45

It's more than enough for Tetris, Zork, tuxracer, Soitaire,, many modest chess programs, and many other graphically lightweight games. It's even enough CPU for the original Doom and Quake games, which are still good fun. And it's more than enough power and graphics for a "point-of-sale" system on lightweight, obsolete, and therefore inexpensive low end hardware. The machines even have decent enough screen size and battery life for a field console for use in a data center visit, or for handing one off to some kids to play with while traveling.

Comment Re:Fair vs. Free (Score 1) 148

> If fair use is hindering their business, how would free use weigh in? Take open source, for example. Microsoft could easily argue Linux is making it difficult to sell their OS for server use. In fact, I'd imagine that if they somehow managed to eliminate fair use,

They did, using SCO as a disposable legal proxy. Please review the legal history of the SCO copyright cases, captured in the archives of https://www.groklaw.net/. Microsoft's fiscal support of SCO was established pretty early in the process: SCO could not have continued to confuse the intellectual property rights of Linux without the clear Microsoft support throughout most of the case.

Comment Re:Do they even understand what fair use is? (Score 1) 148

> If the copyright holders are being harmed in some way by some particular usage, then fair use cannot be deemed to apply in the first place.

I'm sorry to say that this is nonsense. Criticism, satire, and political speech about a document are primary grounds for "fair use" quotations, and they can profoundly damage the value of a copyrighted work by exposing its quality or even exposing fraud by the author.

Comment Profit like 1849 profiteers (Score 3, Interesting) 164

Sell the equipment and resources to the miners, skim the illicit trade hidden from governments, and rob your clients blind as an exit strategy seems to be the result of Bitcoin operations. Are there _any_ bitcoin markets that show legitimate handling of client transactions for more than a few months without turning to direct theft from clients?

Comment Star Trek: The New Voyages: much better Star Trek (Score 1) 354

The fan-made movies referred to as Star Trek: Phase 2 did a much better job of capturing the original series. And they did _fantastic_ task of exploring social issues that would have been unthinkable for Gene Roddenberry. The response of Captain Kirk to an openly gay crew member in their "Blood and Fire" episode was priceless. These fan made episodes are much better than the last few movies. And they pay loving homage to the original seies' work, with cameos by actors involving their older selves such as Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nicholls, and the unforgettable scene of George Takei as a screaming leather clad barbarian swordsman.

The fans who made these episodes captured the conflict between low budget, limited time, wonderful young actors learning their craft, and the high ideals that Gene Roddenberry and his entire cast and crew brought to the series. _These_ stories are why Star Trek was great.

Comment Re:This is sacrilege plain and simple (Score 4, Insightful) 354

I'm old enough to remember it, in the first re-runs at least. It was campy space opera with genuine moral dilemmas and thought provoking plots. Having a proud Russian speaking crew member hinted at a future without the Cold War era separatism. Spock's existence as a half-breed Vulcan, and Uhura's presence as a department leading critical helm officer, provided meaningful comments on the aggressive racism common in most of our societies. And I was too young at the time to understand how groundbreaking the black/white kiss in Plato's Stepchildren was.

Star Trek, and Gene Roddenberry's work in general, held up fascinating mirrors to our society and challenged us to do better, and said "we _can_ be better than this". I genuinely wish "The Great Bird of the Galaxy" could have stayed around and productive, to explore the similar scale of problems today of fanatical terrorism and global ecological destruction.

Slashdot Top Deals

Professional wrestling: ballet for the common man.