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Comment Re:Well then... (Score 1) 590

To detect tampering? (If so, that's overkill.)

It's not just overkill, it's ineffective. Encryption is to create confidentiality: making an unauthorized party unable to obtain the information contained in the message. Encrypting a public database is worthless. If you're making it publicly accessible, there are no unauthorized parties. (This is different from encrypting the data transmissions of users, which is done to prevent third parties from learning what data is being accessed by a particular user.)

What you'd want to prevent unauthorized tampering is authenticity and integrity controls, like digital signatures.

Comment Re:Wait (Score 1) 34

A company, BitTorrent, created a piece of software, BitTorrent, which used the protocol, BitTorrent, for P2P filesharing.

The BitTorrent company at least was created by the guy who created the BitTorrent protocol. I think their early "BitTorrent" software was not, however, the original implementation of that protocol. (Don't quote me on those facts, I'm going off of memory here.)

Later, BitTorrent the company bought/licensed the uTorrent software and distributed it under the name "BitTorrent". (They mercifully incremented the major version number and stopped distributing their earlier software.)

It's not the best naming system.

Comment Re:Self-Selection? (Score 1) 293

Also perhaps interesting- do men whose gender are not made apparent statistically do better than those who do?

You know the study itself is a pretty short read, right?

Anyway, yes. Everyone, both male and female, who have "gender-neutral" GitHub profiles had pull requests accepted at a higher rate than everyone who had "gendered" profiles. The difference between gendered vs. gender-neutral profile was larger than the difference between genders. Note that all that is for "outsiders" -- insiders have a higher acceptance rate overall with seemingly little difference between (male, female) x (gendered, gender-neutral).

Comment Re:Self-Selection? (Score 1) 293

It doesn't appear that the study considered "pointing out their gender" at all.

Rather, they tried to determine whether the gender of a GitHub profile was readily apparent.

Per the description of their methodology, if you use a profile image (rather than an identicon), you are automatically considered "gender is readily apparent". If that test fails, they look at the confidence level output by a gender-guessing bot of some kind. If that fails, they have a method for estimating the confidence level of a panel of three humans.

Comment Re:Baloney Charts (Score 1) 293

Chart on page 10 is completely acceptable. It contains a lot of data, all of which is constrained to the 60-90% range, the range is clear, and the chart isn't really deceiving.

Page 13 similarly has a lot of data and doesn't really deceive. All extending the bars down to 0% and up to 100% would do is make it harder to read. However, it would work better as a table.

Chart on page 15 is a standard example of data that doesn't need a bar chart. Even with the narrowed range, most differences are difficult to see. Here, the major visual message is that insiders get pull requests accepted much more than outsiders, but it's not as big a difference as it seems. Unfortunately, that's not what's interesting about the data -- it's that outsider females whose gender is apparent have a lower acceptance rate than males, but outsider females whose gender isn't apparent have a higher acceptance rate, while insiders seem to be nearly gender-agnostic in both cases. (One wonders why the acceptance rate for non-gender-apparent outsiders of either gender is significantly higher than for gender-apparent outsiders of either gender.) This would all be much better displayed in a table.

Comment Re:Dose of common sense. (Score 1) 184

Let's say the US banned strong encryption tomorrow. What's to stop someone in another country from posting the source code to a strong encryption scheme?

Maybe he realizes that this is part of how we got rid of "export grade" encryption in the US. Everyone was just writing software in a foreign country and people were importing it. Once you have the Internet, you can't realistically regulate software imports. Not if you're the US and the software is free. So export-grade encryption became simply a penalty for US businesses with little practical effect. At that point, you might as well accept it and change the laws to get rid of the business penalty.

Comment Re:Only if not X-Ray Scan (Score 1) 278

I respectfully disagree re: safety, for various reasons, but it's a moot point. To my knowledge, the backscatter has been completely eliminated now (it was done gradually), as has the "nudie" mode of the microwave scanners. I've seen that cited as justification for this policy change. Which seems fair to me -- those were legitimate concerns that one should be able to use to opt out, but those concerns have been eliminated.

The microwave scanner system actually seems pretty decent. You can see the monitor that they see. The only problem I've had is that it's really sensitive -- not only do you need to completely empty all pockets, but moderately baggy jeans will easily set it off, virtually guaranteeing a pat-down.

Comment Re:the opposite of fiat (declaration) it's specula (Score 1) 291

they will put you in prison unless you get some dollars to pay them with

We eliminated debtor's prisons in this country, actually. While individual states and smaller jurisdictions are, recently, pushing at the borders of this principle, the Federal government still follows it. You can be jailed for cheating the IRS, but you can't actually be jailed just for owing them money.

Comment Re:Fact check or PC checking? (Score 4, Informative) 337

It's immigration (and emigration) whenever a group of people migrate from one region to another, regardless of what the reason is or how they're treated.

It's a little bit of a tricky word territory because it would be inaccurate to call them "immigrants". That word is usually used in modern English to refer to non-forced migration, so could make the reader draw inaccurate conclusions.

It is, though, completely reasonable to put the event under a discussion of "Patterns of Immigration", because that is clearly referring to large-scale movements of people with important sociological and historical impacts. Historically, many major human migrations have been the result of slavery, exile, genocide, and other such unpleasant and rather non-voluntary reasons. They're still called migrations.

Comment Re:Perhaps this explains my Garmin (Score 1) 131

According to this article (okay, okay, the summary), GPS error causes measured distances to be systematically overestimated.

What you're talking about -- a different but noticeable factor -- is that GPS polling frequency causes measured distances to be systematically underestimated. Because it's only sampling once every N seconds and then, because there's quite a bit of noise, applying a smoothing function to the result, it cuts the corners off of paths. It can cause pretty substantial underestimation, even when moving relatively slowly along gently curved paths.

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