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Comment Easy-In Easy-Out (Score 1) 126

The Easy-Out is to go straight to your credit card company and assert that the charge was unauthorized. This puts the vendor using the dark pattern on the defensive. If your bank is a major bank and the vendor has too many unauthorized charge reports they could face loosing charge processing privileges that would impact their bottom line and motivate them to change their ways. Don't fall for the Difficult-Out trap, use the 900 pound gorilla in your corner. My credit card companies have always been very responsive to these complaints and I have always eventually (e.g. 120 days) been notified that my account has been credited with very little effort on my part and the process being driven by the credit card company.

Comment Re:Sign 'I don't agree' on all HR paperwork (Score 1) 223

Yep, HR doesn't tend to have the brightest or hardest working. My prior job required signing a non-compete. I told them I wanted to discuss the wording with my attorney and would get back to them ... which I didn't. They didn't ask about it until they laid me off 13 years later. At which point they asked me to sign a non-compete and again I told them I would get back to them. Once my severance check arrived I didn't worry about it. I called my bank and informed them that they were no longer my employer just to make sure there couldn't be an easy reach back.

Comment Re:In other news the sun is hot. (Score 1) 193

I'm not sure how they accomplish this, but I know there are hackers in Europe who have figured out how to determine CVVs of US credit cards. I suspect some sort of brute force against an improperly configured local cache somewhere in the validation system. The credit card processing systems we have were created before the internet and contain architectural elements and complexity that would be unnecessary if designed from scratch today.

Comment Effectively requires root (Score 1) 157

In order to obtain the laboratory effect of single threaded decryption of 4,096 approximately 1Mbit files in sequence you would have to be root and generally have all "messy" asynchronous processing such as interrupts from the network card disabled. This is a lab-only non-realistic attack. If you had that much control over the CPU you might as well just read the key out of the registers as it is used.

Comment Re:Roll back? (Score 1) 46

I'm sure it was quickly used to purchase pre-positioned shell companies which lived only long enough to perform further transactions. If the world's banks all operated on a nice block-chain then one could follow the trail. But in order to follow the trail of nested shell companies one would have to be able to track the activities of every crooked attorney at every courthouse in the world. My solution is banks should only interact with whitelisted entities rather than relying on national and various other blacklists. Before the internet era, this would have been very difficult. But today, it would not be that hard to maintain a whitelist. Some banks might chose to do business with unverifiable companies, but then they should also be the ones who are out of pocket when a large transaction involving one of their dubious clients needs to be reversed.

Comment Go schizo on them (Score 1) 206

I maintain multiple personalities by using different browsers and starting browsers as different local users. Each personality has its own email account with an empty address book that receives unread spam. For my general web surfing and news reading I use this account. I couldn't care less how tracked it is, it has nothing to do with my work life or my personal life. In addition, I do not have any browser extensions installed for most of these personalities.

Comment Minecraft will not interest girls in science (Score 1) 40

It has been shown that girls want to know how science applies to making the world a better place. Minecraft is not going to accomplish this and will probably even be counter productive since it has nothing to do with reality. Our teachers are so poor that they fail at making this simple connection between the material to be taught and the application to the world that motivates girls. You want to motivate a girl in materials science, you tell her how lighter stronger materials make cars safer and save thousands of lives. For biology you tell her how fundamental research leads to life saving drugs. You give real examples of real women who have done these things. This is what is needed in the classroom, not a game.

Comment Re:The secret to radio bandwidth (Score 1) 64

Billboards are many meters wide and operate at 545 THz. Its pretty easy to get purely directional signals when you have such extreme scale differences (18 million : 1 ) between the "antenna" (10m) and the frequency (550nm). Your statement "without any interference" falls apart pretty quickly in most radio applications where the antenna size is often a fraction of the wavelength. Check out the plots in this online EE text: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/ele... .

Comment Re:Primary? (Score 1) 178

You have falsely convolved free speech and money. Are all bribe givers now merely free-speakers?

Until now, money in politics has long been regulated: https://www.washingtonpost.com... . McCain-Feingold may have been an overreach, but the Supreme Court's resulting decision was extreme and not only struck down McCain-Feingold but also effectively killed other finance regulations going all the way back to 1907's Tillman Act. I stick by my assertion that we are in a new era of campaign finance and that we are going to see more of these multicandidate races and I believe this will evolve into multicandidate non-party races.

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