| Andrew Cooke | Contents | Latest | RSS | Twitter | Previous | Next

C[omp]ute

Welcome to my blog, which was once a mailing list of the same name and is still generated by mail. Please reply via the "comment" links.

Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

Personal Projects

Lepl parser for Python.

Colorless Green.

Photography around Santiago.

SVG experiment.

Professional Portfolio

Calibration of seismometers.

Data access via web services.

Cache rewrite.

Extending OpenSSH.

C-ORM: docs, API.

Last 100 entries

The Davalos Affair For Idiots; Not The Onion: Google Fireside Chat w Kissinger; Bicycle Wheels, Inertia, and Energy; Another Tax Fraud; Google's Borg; A Verion That Redirects To Local HTTP Server; Spanish Accents For Idiots; Aluminium Cans; Advice on Spray Painting; Female View of Online Chat From a Male; UX Reading List; S4 Subgroups - Geometric Interpretation; Fucking Email; The SQM Affair For Idiots; Using Kolmogorov Complexity; Oblique Strategies in bash; Curses Tools; Markov Chain Monte Carlo Without all the Bullshit; Email Para Matias Godoy Mercado; The Penta Affair For Idiots; Example Code To Create numpy Array in C; Good Article on Bias in Graphic Design (NYTimes); Do You Backup github?; Data Mining Books; SimpleDateFormat should be synchronized; British Words; Chinese Govt Intercepts External Web To DDOS github; Numbering Permutations; Teenage Engineering - Low Price Synths; GCHQ Can Do Whatever It Wants; Dublinesque; A Cryptographic SAT Solver; Security Challenges; Word Lists for Crosswords; 3D Printing and Speaker Design; Searchable Snowden Archive; XCode Backdoored; Derived Apps Have Malware (CIA); Rowhammer - Hacking Software Via Hardware (DRAM) Bugs; Immutable SQL Database (Kinda); Tor GPS Tracker; That PyCon Dongle Mess...; ASCII Fluid Dynamics; Brandalism; Table of Shifter, Cassette and Derailleur Compatability; Lenovo Demonstrates How Bad HTTPS Is; Telegraph Owned by HSBC; Smaptop - Sunrise (Music); Equation Group (NSA); UK Torture in NI; And - A Natural Extension To Regexps; This Is The Future Of Religion; The Shazam (Music Matching) Algorithm; Tributes To Lesbian Community From AIDS Survivors; Nice Rust Summary; List of Good Fiction Books; Constructing JSON From Postgres (Part 2); Constructing JSON From Postgres (Part 1); Postgres in Docker; Why Poor Places Are More Diverse; Smart Writing on Graceland; Satire in France; Free Speech in France; MTB Cornering - Where Should We Point Our Thrusters?; Secure Secure Shell; Java Generics over Primitives; 2014 (Charlie Brooker); How I am 7; Neural Nets Applied to Go; Programming, Business, Social Contracts; Distributed Systems for Fun and Profit; XML and Scheme; Internet Radio Stations (Curated List); Solid Data About Placebos; Half of Americans Think Climate Change Is a Sign of the Apocalypse; Saturday Surf Sessions With Juvenile Delinquents; Ssh, tty, stdout and stderr; Feathers falling in a vacuum; Santiago 30m Bike Route; Mapa de Ciclovias en Santiago; How Unreliable is UDP?; SE Santiago 20m Bike Route; Cameron's Rap; Configuring libxml with Eclipse; Reducing Combinatorial Complexity With Occam - AI; Sentidos Comunes (Chilean Online Magazine); Hilary Mantel: The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher - August 6th 1983; NSA Interceptng Gmail During Delivery; General IIR Filters; What's happening with Scala?; Interesting (But Largely Illegible) Typeface; Retiring Essentialism; Poorest in UK, Poorest in N Europe; I Want To Be A Redneck!; Reverse Racism; The Lost Art Of Nomography; IBM Data Center (Photo); Interesting Account Of Gamma Hack; The Most Interesting Audiophile In The World; How did the first world war actually end?; Ky - Restaurant Santiago; The Black Dork Lives!

© 2006-2015 Andrew Cooke (site) / post authors (content).

Bayesian Analysis of NSA Surveillance

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2006 10:54:55 -0400 (CLT)

This is from the latest Cryptogram -
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig7/rudmin1.html

Is it right?  The basic maths seems OK.  But what worries me is the
statement "What is the probability that people are terrorists given that
NSA's mass surveillance identifies them as terrorists? [...] If the
probability is fifty-fifty (p=0.50), that is the same as guessing the flip
of a coin."

When I read that, I understood: "If p=0.5 then we may as well flip a coin
to decide whether people are terrorists".

That reading is incorrect.  The article assumes that the chance of picking
out a terrorist by choosing someone at random is 0.000003.  Effectively
impossible.  If the NSA can shift that to 0.5 then the odds have been
decreased hugely.  Knowing that someone is 50% likely to be a terrorist is
fantastically useful.  A candidate with that level of confidence is worth
spending many thousands of dollars on to improve things further and make a
final decision.

Now the numbers don't come out to 0.5 anyway.  But they are closer to
being useful than this rather misleading argument suggests.

Andrew

Comment on this post