A very worrying quote from Una Dillon of the Irish Payment Services Organisation in regard to the Loyaltybuild incident:
“I wouldn’t be overly concerned if one of my cards was caught up in this,” Dillon says. “Even in the worst-case scenario – one in which my card was used fraudulently – my card provider will refund me everything that is taken”.This reflects a deep lack of understanding of (a) how identity fraud works, and (b) how card-fraud refunds in Ireland appear to work. (a): Direct misuse of credit card data is not always the result. Fraudsters may prefer to instead obtain separate credit through identity theft, ie. using other personal identifying data. (b): Visa debit cards have no credit limit — your bank account can be cleared out in its entirety, and refunds can take a long time. For instance, http://www.askaboutmoney.com/showthread.php?t=174482 describes several cases, including one customer who waited 21 days for a refund. All in all it’s trivialising a major risk for consumers. As I understand it, a separate statement from IPSO recommended that all customers of Loyaltybuild schemes need to monitor their bank accounts daily to keep an eye out for fraud, which is pretty absurd. Not impressive at all.
There is really astonishingly little value in looking at someone’s GitHub projects out of context. For a start, GitHub has no way of customising your profile page, and what is shown by default is the projects with the most stars, and the projects you’ve recently pushed to. That is, GitHub picks your most popular repos and puts those at the top. You have no say about what you consider important, or worthwhile, or interesting, or well-engineered, or valuable. You just get what other people think is useful. Aside from which, GitHub displays a lot of useless stats about how many followers you have, and some completely psychologically manipulative stats about how often you commit and how many days it is since you had a day off. So really, your GitHub profile displays two things: how ‘influential’ you are, and how easily you can be coerced into constantly working. It’s honestly about as relevant to a decent hiring decision as your Klout score.
In this paper, we have analyzed the performance of TCP in of ShenZhou Online, a commercial, mid-sized MMORPG. Our study indicates that, though TCP is full-fledged and robust, simply transmitting game data over TCP could cause unexpected performance problems. This is due to the following distinctive characteristics of game traffic: 1) tiny packets, 2) low packet rate, 3) application-limited traffic generation, and 4) bi-directional traffic. We have shown that because TCP was originally designed for unidirectional and network-limited bulk data transfers, it cannot adapt well to MMORPG traffic. In particular, the window-based congestion control mechanism and the fast retransmit algorithm for loss recovery are ineffective. This suggests that the selective acknowledgement option should be enabled whenever TCP is used, as it significantly enhances the loss recovery process. Furthermore, TCP is overkill, as not every game packet needs to be transmitted reliably and processed in an orderly manner. We have also shown that the degraded network performance did impact users’ willingness to continue a game. Finally, a number of design guidelines have been proposed by exploiting the unique characteristics of game traffic.via Nelson
What is afoot here is a rerun of the Celtic Tiger era “light touch regulation” of financial services. Ireland has again made a Faustian pact whereby we lure employers here on the understanding that they will not subject to too-stringent a regulatory system. As the Loyaltybuild breach has shown, this is a bargain that will probably end badly. And as with the financial services boom, it is making the Germans nervous. Perhaps we will listen to them this time.
Looks very alpha, but one to watch.
A JVM Implementation of the Raft Consensus Protocol
Links for 2013-11-16
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