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Comment Re:AV only helps if you are bad (Score 1) 72

You got lucky. There are two problems with most Antivirus software:

Most of them still use system call interposition. They're vulnerable to a whole raft of time-of-check to time-of-use errors, so the only part that actually catches things is the binary signature checking, and that requires you to install updates more frequently than malware authors release new versions - it's a losing battle.

They run some quite buggy code in high privilege. In the last year, all of the major AV vendors have had security vulnerabilities. My favourite one was Norton, which had a buffer overflow in their kernel-mode scanner. Providing crafted data to it allowed an attacker to get kernel privilege (higher than administrator privilege on Windows). You could send someone an email containing an image attachment and compromise their system as long as their mail client downloaded the image, even if they didn't open it. It's hard to argue that software that allows that makes your computer more secure.

Comment The law of small numbers (Score 1) 171

If you held a lottery where the odds of winning were 1 in a billion billion billion, but someone won, would you call the shenanigans?

Living to 143 or even 153 would be an extreme outlier, but to imply it is an actual impossibility by calling it a "statistical impossibility" isn't helpful.

Now, it may actually be the case that there is an upper limit on the human lifespan (personally, I think there is, but we don't have the science to prove it yet), and it may be the case that this upper limit is under 143 years (personally, I doubt this is the case). If we eventually prove that man cannot live more than 142 years, then - and only then - can we say that this claim is actually impossible on its face. Until then, we can - and should - say that it is extremely improbably and the claimant has a very high burden of proof.

Comment Re:Agreed (Score 1) 78

I'm not disputing that it's a story. We've both been on Slashdot for a long time, and our memories are probably hazy, but nonetheless help me out. Has "some analyst bets against the share price" ever been the primary focus of the story here?

One AC above noted that the real issue is that the maintainer of an implantable biomechanical device may go bust, stranding everyone who has one implanted and (as a general case) the huge risk inherent in the rise of the Internet of Safety-Critical Things. That is the news for nerds and the stuff that matters. That is not what the headline, the write-up, or most of the up-voted top-level comments are focussing on.

Comment Extraordinary claims require ... (Score 5, Insightful) 171

... extraordinary evidence.

An identity card whose date has only recently been confirmed isn't enough.

You still need to confirm that the card-holder is the person who matches the genuine records.

You also have to assess the credibility of those in the records office and answer questions like "why wasn't this confirmed long ago, like when he applied for a penson (no pension? okay, I'll accept that) or when he hit age 100 (not important enough? okay, I'll accept that), age 110 (you better have a darn good answer) or when he got to be the oldest man in his country (every month of delay in searching for accurate records from this point on makes his claim less and less credible).

It's been 30+ years since he would've been the oldest person in the world. If there haven't been serious, continuous, diligent, credible efforts to find and authenticate his age since the mid-to-late 1980s, then it will take something extra-ordinary, such as confirmation that he fathered someone known to be born more than, say, 120 years ago, for his claim to be accepted. Even if there has been a serious, continuous, diligent, credible effort to find proof of his age for the last 30 years, the fact that it took so long to find it hurts his claim.

Comment Re:Google's reply? (Score 1) 160

A search engine could provide links to a news item without showing any of the content. Of course, that will heavily devalue the news item in question, but if the EU insists on trying to destroy any notion of fair use, there will be inevitable casualties.

Maybe Google could just pay for the rights to access AP, Reuters and the other news wires, and then just say "Fuck it" to the news publishers, much of their content coming from exactly the same sources.

Comment Re:Too secure for insecure? (Score 1) 528

Cherry picking that there might be one or two emails out there that are still missing

It's not, "one or two". Maybe you missed this part of the story:

However, an untold number of official e-mails from President George W. Bush's era will probably never be recovered because it would be extremely costly to do so, lawyers involved in lawsuits brought by the National Security Archive and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said.

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