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Comment Re:Responsibility (Score 1) 10

> 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) 208

> 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) 96

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.

Comment Re:loyalty is a two-way street (Score 1) 765

> I agree BUT, burning your bridges is never a smart idea if it is not necessary,

And if you must quit suddenly, _ensure_ that you've made a paper trail before the act. _Read_ your employment contract for what intellectual property you own, for how accumulated vacation pay is handled, and for what the dates actually are for your stock "vestments" to mature. Losing medical insurance, unemployment coverage, or an anticipated stock option from a company going public are reasons to postpone a delay. Losing the registration and tickets to that overseas conference, or being stuck with them on your own credit card after you've left the company sending you, can be very hard on your fiscal reserves.

If you're leaving because the workplace became intolerable, make sure you have witnesses who can and will testify. It can matter in court, and it certainly matters for getting your next role.

Comment Re:Yeah. Why not? (Score 1) 262

> In my area, schools provide zero medical attention to students. They literally aren't even allowed to apply bandages.

Really? That may be fiscal and legal. The schools I've dealt with were in fairly large school districts, with at least one school nurse on staff and any treatment administered in that nurse's clinic space.

Can you verify that they're not allowed to handle epinephrine pens? The anaphylactic shock from profound allergies can kill within 30 minutes, much too long to be confident of a timely ambulance response or parental arrival at the school.

Comment Re:Yeah. Why not? (Score 1) 262

> How much information do they need?

That is a key question. Schools are often the available caregivers, with the legal responsibilities described as "in loco parentis". They are responsible for the child's safety on the school grounds, including the child's medical safety. How much information does a nanny, a babysitter, or an athletic coach nned to handle emergencies? Anaphylactic shock from a bee-sting or peanut allergy can kill within 30 minutes, much too long to obtain medical records from a highly secured third-party system. If a caregiver doesn't know about the condition and doesn't have the right tools available, this can be fatal. Asthma, epilepsy, and diabetes can all create dangerous and confusing reactions for children who may themselves panic and not be able to self-diagnose. And since the discovery of AIDS, schools have understandably become much more aware and cautious about long-term infections, even if the parents and their teachers try to provide as "normal" a life as possible for the child and keep quiet their illnesses.

I also recall a child from long ago, when I was much younger. He had cystic fibrosis, and his school needed very extensive medical records. He was a wonderful child, one of those chronically ill people who appreciates that every breath might be their last and lives life to its absolute fulleest. The school and community, collaborated to help him attend normal school. His family's friends, and soon his own friends who happened to be adults, provided the extra hands-on medical care the school could not possibly afford. I was asked to help because I was the only one available who could visit after school lunch and who would _beat_ him properly. He needed chest percussion several times a day to help him cough up mucus. There are some technological replacements for this chest percussion now. But to the best of my knowledge it's still most effective done by hand, and preferably by a friend who appreciates that they are saving the child's life.

It's an odd talent, but one I treasured being able to share with the child. I'm sure he died decades ago: cystic fibrosis patients don't have a long life expectancy. But the lessons about living life to the fullest resonate: I hope to have some small fraction of his courage and zest for life as I age further.

Comment Re:Yeah. Why not? (Score 1) 262

It's not "the doctor having access". It's the access by unknown and untraceable third party staff members. Medical information contains a great deal of privileged information, including the identity of family members, family history, billing addresses with credit card information and social security number. It also includes data that workplaces are not allowed to ask about, such as age, chronic illnesses, and pregnancy. Such information is also politically very sensitive: discovering that a political opponent has been treated for a venereal disease or depression finding that a female candidate is pregnant, or discovering that a right wing candidates children have had abortions, can be political gold.

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