Archive for February 26th, 2008

Never Trust Statistics

Spot the logic flaw in this announcement concerning crime in California:

“Immigrants are far less likely than the average U.S. native to commit crime in California, according to a report released today by the Public Policy Institute of California. Significantly lower rates of incarceration and institutionalization among foreign-born adults suggest that longstanding fears of immigration as a threat to public safety are unjustified.

Key findings in the report, Crime, Corrections, and California: What Does Immigration Have to Do with It?:

* People born outside the United States make up about 35 percent of California’s adult population but represent only about 17 percent of the state prison population.
* U.S.-born adult men are incarcerated in state prisons at rates up to 3.3 times higher than foreign-born men.

I’m kind of embarrassed someone from the NPS didn’t see through this; it’s like an example straight out of How to Lie With Statistics

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', Geekiness, General, Security | on February 26th, 2008 | Comments Off on Never Trust Statistics

Antispam Hell

If you ask me, what the world really needs is a good, lightweight antispam proxy with greylisting. Greylisting, if you’re not familiar with the term, is a brutal but effective way of cutting down on email spam, by ensuring that only actual mailservers are sending email to you, and not – for example – a zombie botnet. It’s not perfect, but it works fairly well.

The problem is, there don’t seem to be any really good implementations of this in a proxy form – where they greylisting is done ahead of the mailserver itself. So far, all the programs I’ve found have some serious issues:
Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: Geekiness, General | on February 26th, 2008 | 2 Comments »