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Comment Re:xkcd (Score 3, Interesting) 175

Really, Slashdot? 4, Insightful for a comment that has no idea what it's talking about? All you need to do is read the Wikipedia article you link to:

Generally, dictionary attacks succeed because many people have a tendency to choose passwords which are short (7 characters or fewer), single words found in dictionaries or simple, easily-predicted variations on words, such as appending a digit.

Emphasis mine.

A dictionary attack is a fast way to crack a password consisting of a single word. The conventional wisdom of how to thwart a dictionary attack is to replace letters with symbols and append a few more symbols to the end. Randall's comic is intended to establish that simply using more than one word will thwart a dictionary attack much more effectively.

His comic does this by calculating entropy. His estimates of "3 days" and "550 years" are the theoretical best time to crack the password, and already take into account that English words have lower entropy than their constituent characters. Actual attacks such as dictionary attacks are slower than these theoretical best estimates.

Comment Re:Missing the point AND arrogant. Nice twofer. (Score 1) 273

And Fark, Reddit, and Wired are for digital neophytes who aren't well informed about the topic?

Surprising as it may be, Fark, Reddit, and Wired are for people less technical than your average Slashdotter. I mean, it's certainly plausible that your average Reddit user who goes on /r/f7u12 for "meme pics" might be unaware of it. Slashdot, on the other hand, has little to offer people who aren't technically-minded. Even Wired tends to be pretty "casual"; I doubt they have articles on the latest releases of the Linux kernel.

Comment Re:Hmmm, don't really like the guys tone (Score 2, Interesting) 473

Yes, I agree with everything you said, and with your original post as well. I just wanted to reply because you asked "When's the last time you saw a swastika?" and the last time I had seen a swastika, it had nothing to do with Nazi Germany.

And also because I, too, would love to see the swastika reclaimed to its original meaning of good fortune in the West, and educating users on Slashdot is certainly a valid avenue. :D

Comment Re:Hmmm, don't really like the guys tone (Score 1) 473

There are many replies making this point, so I'll just reply to this one.

The swastika was indeed associated with good luck in the West as well, which is why I said "didn't have as much meaning" rather than "had no meaning". The idea I was trying to get across was that the association was much weaker, though. The swastika in the East is a religious symbol with thousands of years of history. In the West, it was much more minor.

It's like the Christian cross. The Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition used that symbol and killed tons of people, but the cross has not lost its meaning. If the Spanish Inquisition had used, say, four-leaf clovers, instead, though, modern St. Patrick's Day would probably not use that motif.

Comment Re:Hmmm, don't really like the guys tone (Score 1) 473

Sorry, I should have been more clear. The local flea markets and local temple were local to my home back in China, before I moved to the US.

However, I find your tone a bit unnerving. I did say "I'm not saying that banning swastikas in Xbox Live was a bad decision. It was probably the correct decision, especially if the majority of the Xbox Live users in question are American - though I agree with metrix007 that this guy could have had a better tone about it."

Again, I was disagreeing with the guy acting like the swastika-Nazism association was universal. I had nothing wrong with the premise of TFA.

Comment Re:Hmmm, don't really like the guys tone (Score 5, Informative) 473

When's the last time you saw a swastika in a movie or a flier or a tattoo or a T-shirt, and it wasn't this bad boy or a reference to it?

The last time I saw a swastika, it looked something like this:

Let me try to list all the recent times I've seen swastikas:

- once, in a screenshot of 4chan trying to be funny
- three times, in a world history textbook, talking about the Third Reich
- at least fifty times, at the local Buddhist temple
- at least thirty times, in various good-luck charms sold at local flea markets
- once before every important exam I take in school, in a good-luck charm passed down to me from my mother (it looks a lot like the one I linked to)
- at least twice, in friends' houses, where they are said to bring good luck

Perhaps, wherever you live, swastikas aren't commonly used, and perhaps you have no interest in other cultures. There's nothing wrong with that. But to assume that your experience holds true for the entire world - and that the swastika universally no longer holds any meaning besides that which was ascribed to it by Nazi Germany - is laughable.

In Western Europe and North America, the swastika didn't have very much meaning before World War II, so after World War II, it became strongly associated with Nazism. But in Southeast Asia, the swastika has been a symbol of good fortune for thousands of years, and a fleeting decade-long regime in some far-off country did very little to change that.

Even in the West, such as in the United States, there are many immigrants from Asian countries. I am one of those people, and if someone showed me a swastika (and it wasn't enclosed in a white circle on a background of red), I would think "good luck" before I thought "Nazis", and I bet a significant number of other people in Western countries would, as well.

I'm not saying that banning swastikas in Xbox Live was a bad decision. It was probably the correct decision, especially if the majority of the Xbox Live users in question are American - though I agree with metrix007 that this guy could have had a better tone about it. I am, however, saying that the association between the swastika and nothing but Nazi Germany is far from universal.

Comment Re:Javascript (Score 1) 363

Chrome Developer Tools.

Opera Dragonfly.


Internet Explorer Developer Tools.

Safari Developer Tools.

Every single modern browser comes with a JavaScript debugger with the ability to set breakpoints, inspect variables, and single-step through code (except Firefox, which requires an extension to do it).

(Sadly, most developers are only aware of Firebug, and say things like "Firebug can inspect elements" and "Firebug can set breakpoints just by clicking on the line number" as if it weren't true that every other browser can do the same thing without having to install an extension.)

Comment Re:Stating the obvious... (Score 1) 145

I said "given the option to prevent the change", not "ratify the change". There is no such thing as ratifying changes. It would work something like this:

1. Spambot adds the email address of one of the botmaster minions.
2. You receive an e-mail notifying you that you added a new e-mail address to your old e-mail address, with a link to reverse the change.
3. Spambot changes the account password.
4. You receive another e-mail notifying you changed your password, with a link to reverse the change.
5. You click either link. Facebook makes you reset your password (no need to know the spambot's changed password), and the new e-mail address is removed.

Comment Re:Stating the obvious... (Score 2, Informative) 145

1. adjust the account email address to something at your choice. Potentially, follow this by a change of the password for that account.

You know, this can't actually result in an account takeover. Facebook implements a reasonably secure e-mail address change feature - all your existing e-mail addresses are notified and given the option to prevent the change.

Comment Re:Maybe because programmers like to be clear (Score 5, Informative) 878

Should have RTFA I guess, I now realize Mr Pike just talks in circles and really didn't have anything of value to say other than 'programming is hard'.

No, he doesn't. TFA-writer Joab Jackson talks in circles and doesn't have anything of value to say. Mr. Pike, on the other hand, appears to be saying that Google Go fixes a lot of unnecessary complexity in Java and C++.

His keynote isn't linked from either the Slashdot summary or TFA, but can be seen here:

Comment Re:Still not as good as what Firefox has (Score 4, Informative) 335

It doesn't catch every single resource -- ad blocking plugins for Chrome admit that it won't catch everything and still has to just hide some ads.

It looks like the resource blocking not working in some cases is an accepted bug, and thus will be fixed soon.

And it's not nearly powerful enough for NoScript to work.

Chrome has that built-in. Go to "Preferences" -> "Under the Hood" -> "Content Settings" -> "JavaScript" -> "Block all". You can also manage per-site blocking from that screen. On websites that use JavaScript, a "JavaScript blocked" icon will appear in the toolbar, and you can click on it and click "Allow JavaScript on this site".

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