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Comment Re:I'm glad somebody is on the case (Score 2) 192

They might have the power. They certainly don't have the interest. They get paid for everything that moves through their site. Unless their reputation took a real hit on some counterfeit things that they were shown to have known about, they won't spend money (significant amounts) to vet products when that would only reduce their sales volume.

Comment Re:Sorry - whose car is this? (Score 1) 305

How about I summon your Uber-Tesla to take me to lunch from it's quiet day depreciating in the parking lot while you work, and you never see it again? I'll pick up my accomplice along the way, then I'll be seen leaving the car at my destination. He'll shut off autopilot and drive it off to somewhere secluded and dark. Your robotic money maker is no longer yours. Expensive unattended stuff, inviting strangers to come inside where the controls are, may not end well.

Comment The mathematics is only a model of the physics (Score 5, Insightful) 429

Please. Mathematics provides a basis to model the physics. The mathematical model is not the physics. Models fit the physical world remarkably well, but not perfectly. For example, the equations of Newtonian mechanics fit the observed world very well until we could measure relativistic effects accurately. There are singularities in many of these equations where the behavior of the model may not fit the actual physics. To assert that properties of the model at obvious singularities "proves" the physics should be looked at with a great deal of skepticism.

Comment Re:West Virginia too (Score 2) 468

A list of who voted absolutely must be maintained as an essential component of election integrity. In Virginia, you identify yourself, and observers from both parties sitting at the table note your name. They mark it in the Big Listing Book, and then you vote. So both parties know whether you showed up -- and it IS public information. The bonus intimidation seems to be a recent development, and not at all an enhancement.

Comment Re:Calls from Credit Cards on "Suspicious Activity (Score 2) 78

Good points. Nonetheless, the credit card issuers still have an incentive to minimize fraud, if only to avoid the hassle of fighting with the merchants over who's to blame for the loss and how much they are liable for. They would much rather enjoy wallowing in the usurious interest rates and substantial transaction fees they charge than spend time in court with the merchants.

Comment Re:Calls from Credit Cards on "Suspicious Activity (Score 1) 78

Because under US law, credit card companies are liable for the cost of credit card fraud above a nominal amount, they have strong incentives to continuously search for and attempt to block fraudulent transactions. I don't think there is any comparable legal driver that forces health providers to bear the financial cost of similar fraud from patient info loss, nor are they necessarily "in-line" to see the exploitation of information stolen from them. Moreover, the health care industry sees their mission as serving patients and collecting all the money they can get for that, not as guarding IT systems from compromise. We should not be surprised that no hospital calls to tell us about suspicious use of our patient info.

Comment Re: Chip and PIN (Score 1) 210

I'm curious how this will work for internet transactions though, unless they expect everybody to have smartcard readers

My guess: more businesses will be pushed towards PayPal, which will not use the extra verification, the PayPal fees amounting to a "security surcharge" / insurance policy for the extra risk of such unverifiable transactions.

Remember that under US law, when you pay via credit card, you have rather strong protections that largely take your side when you dispute whether a merchant delivered what you ordered. No such provisions exist when you pay using PayPal. This is especially valuable in the era of internet ordering, rather than brick-and-mortar purchases.

Comment Re:White House is way ahead of its time. (Score 4, Insightful) 231

The hypocrisy is that the party currently occupying the White House has gone to extraordinary efforts to apply big data analytics to identify and exploit the very differences (race, income, ethnicity, education, etc.) that this article decries in order to maximize their political gain in elections. They go to great lengths to discriminate along the same factors that they want other organizations to be blind to. To quote from just one article describing Obama's 2012 campaign:

"To derive individual-level predictions, algorithms trawled for patterns between these opinions and the data points the campaign had assembled for every voter—as many as one thousand variables each, drawn from voter registration records, consumer data warehouses, and past campaign contacts. ... The efficiency and scale of that process put the Democrats well ahead when it came to profiling voters."

So, exploit the demographics (e.g. profile and discriminate) when it helps your party, but wag your finger at the rest of the world when they do it even "inadvertently".

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