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Submission + - Beware new "can you hear me" telephone scam (

Paul Fernhout writes: CBS News informs us: "The "can you hear me" con is actually a variation on earlier scams aimed at getting the victim to say the word "yes" in a phone conversation. That affirmative response is recorded by the fraudster and used to authorize unwanted charges on a phone or utility bill or on a purloined credit card. ... If you do answer a call from an unfamiliar number, be skeptical of strangers asking questions that would normally elicit a "yes " response. The question doesn't have to be "can you hear me? " It could be "are you the lady of the house? "; "do you pay the household telephone bills?"; "are you the homeowner?"; or any number of similar yes/no questions. A reasonable response to any of these questions is: "Who are you, and why do you want to know?""

Submission + - Browser Form Autofill Profiles Can Be Abused for Phishing Attacks (

An anonymous reader writes: Browser autofill profiles are a reliable phishing vector that allow attackers to collect information from users via hidden form fields, which the browser automatically fills with preset personal information and which the user unknowingly sends to the attacker when he submits a form.

There's an online demo where you can test this behavior. [GIF]

Browsers that support autofill profiles are Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera. Browsers like Edge, Vivaldi, and Firefox don't support this feature, but Mozilla is currently working on a similar feature.

Comment Re:Holy flamebait batman! (Score 1) 917

I've implemented UBI in a unified monetary system which attempts to solve most of these issues -

The way it attempts to prevent people abusing its UBI is:
- Makes all transactions/data publically quantifiable, and uses a number of peers to corroborate all data in a consensus model.
- Has a simple credit rating system as well as attributes to infer a person's particular life circumstance "at a glance" for day-to-day essential purchases, however ultimately it is up to each individual on whether or not to accept a person's money. Transaction history can be closely scrutinised/sources traced for higher cost purchases to determine level of legitimacy (its implicit taxation system does this very thing as well behind the scenes.) This is conceptually not much different to what banks do today for any loan.
- Turns the concept of money on its head and removes the that artificial sense of scarcity (debt) that we're all so scared of today.
- Pegs its value at a constant of time/labour to prevent inflation.
- UBI along with inverse-taxation is actually the money creation source.

Comment I'm trying. Here's my current project. (Score 1) 537

Figure the main problem in the world today is its monetary system, so have built this:

The trick will be convincing anybody to use it.

- A generous universal basic income. Basically the equivalent of USD $60k/yr.
- Seeding based on regional productivity (inverse taxation.) Tax is actually a money "creation" process and happens implicitly.
- A democratic voting process for any fundamental changes to the system.
- A low barrier to entry. Should work just as well for a village in Kenya sharing a single smartphone as anybody standing at a Point-of-Sale terminal.
- Transparent transactions and accountability.
- Implicit dispute resolution.
- A consensus-based scalable distributed P2P architecture.
- An efficient and easy to work with messaging format.
- End-to-end TLS between all peers and user clients.

Draft technical bits here:

Should be releasing it for general "server download" availability and source code on GitHub until around December. Currently held back waiting on critical bug fixes in .NET Core 1.1 to be released.

Comment Re:I support this. (Score 1) 57

Lately I've been working on a monetary system. Bit different to fiat or blockchain currencies. It's using a p2p distributed hash table for data storage, encryption happens strictly "on the client" for RSA signing procedures, it includes a basic cost of living, implicit taxation, and it has more of a focus on "good standing" rather than debt. It's probably not exactly ready for prime time, but I'd be interested in yours, or anybody else's thoughts: My account for example is Mostly I just wanted to see what a monetary system that is not based on "debt" might look like. Bit of fun.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: UI Principles

__aabppq7737 writes: Looking at what most users' interpretation of a computer is — their mental model — it becomes apparent that, to most users, the fundamental unit is 'the box'. You open boxes, close boxes, type a value in a box. How do you think users use their computers, and what is their mental model of the underlying interface? (not just UI) Also, how can modern system UIs be improved?

Submission + - Faith-Based Intellectual Property

An anonymous reader writes: A new article by Mark Lemley (a law professor at Stanford) makes the case that today's intellectual property law is based on quasi-religious beliefs rather than factual data. From the abstract: "The traditional justification for intellectual property (IP) rights has been utilitarian. We grant exclusive rights because we think the world will be a better place as a result. But what evidence we have doesn’t justify IP rights. Rather than following the evidence and questioning strong IP rights, more and more scholars have begun to retreat from evidence toward what I call faith-based IP, justifying IP as a moral end in itself rather than on the basis of how it affects the world. I argue that these moral claims are ultimately unpersuasive and a step backward in a rational society." It's a very interesting read free from legal jargon, but citing a lot of studies about what is actually known of the effects of intellectual property laws on creative production.

Comment GM skateboard (Score 3, Interesting) 229

Whatever happened to that rockin' skateboard concept which had a swappable body. The Volt has been a bit of a disappointment in terms of design aesthetics and forward thinking, compared to GM's early electric/hydrogen concept. Do you think the skateboard idea will ever see the light of day, perhaps as a Ni-Cd battery car?

Submission + - Octogenarian locksmith wins 2014 Technobrain Space Elevator competition

ygslash writes: Ishai Zimmerman, a locksmith in his 80's, won first prize in the 2014 Technobrain Space Elevator competition at the Technion in Haifa. The final round of the competition was attended by Russian engineer Yuri Artsutanov, who first published the idea of a space elevator in 1960 based on a concept of 19th century rocket science founder Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. In this year's competition, participants were required to build a climber that could ascend a 25 meter vertical rope at high speed and then lift a capsule attached to the bottom of the rope, without using any combustion energy. Zimmerman's winning entry was based on an electric screw motor used in the manufacture of plastic pipes.

Submission + - Memo to Parents and Society: Teen Social Media "Addiction" is Your Fault (

FuzzNugget writes: Wired presents a this damning perspective on so-called social media addiction...

If kids can’t socialize, who should parents blame? Simple: They should blame themselves. This is the argument advanced in It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, by Microsoft researcher Danah Boyd. Boyd ... has spent a decade interviewing hundreds of teens about their online lives. What she has found, over and over, is that teenagers would love to socialize face-to-face with their friends. But adult society won’t let them. “Teens aren’t addicted to social media. They’re addicted to each other,” Boyd says. “They’re not allowed to hang out the way you and I did, so they’ve moved it online.

It’s true. As a teenager in the early ’80s I could roam pretty widely with my friends, as long as we were back by dark. Over the next three decades, the media began delivering a metronomic diet of horrifying but rare child-abduction stories, and parents shortened the leash on their kids. Politicians warned of incipient waves of youth wilding and superpredators (neither of which emerged). Municipalities crafted anti-loitering laws and curfews to keep young people from congregating alone. New neighborhoods had fewer public spaces. Crime rates plummeted, but moral panic soared. Meanwhile, increased competition to get into college meant well-off parents began heavily scheduling their kids’ after-school lives.

Submission + - Developing games on and for Linux/SteamOS ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: With the release of SteamOS developing video game engines for Linux is a subject with increasing interest. Developing games on and for Linux/SteamOS is a lightweight reading and an initiation guide on the tools, pros and cons of Linux as a platform for developing game engines. This article evolves around OpenGL and drivers, CPU and GPU profiling, compilers, build systems, IDEs, debuggers, platform abstraction layers and other.

Submission + - Windows chief struggles to explain the consumer value proposition of Windows ( 2

mattydread23 writes: Microsoft's new Windows chief Terry Myerson gave a presentation to financial analysts today, and one asked him a very good question: When I see all these mobile Windows devices — phones, tablets, convertibles — in Best Buy, why should I want one? What's the consumer value proposition of Windows devices? His struggle to answer the question shows that there may not BE a good answer. Back when Windows was all we had, we used it for everything. Now, a lot of functions — communication, gaming, web browsing — can be served by other platforms better, cheaper, or both. This is a tough question, but one Microsoft has to solve if the Windows brand is to remain relevant.

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