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Comment: Prediction: Undisclosed Settlement (Score 4, Interesting) 296

by Bob9113 (#47565207) Attached to: Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

Neither side wants this to go to court, and both sides know it. The AARC wants a settlement they can point to for high pressure settlement letters to other defendants, and the car companies want a non-revokable license for these devices. I'd give it a 90%+ confidence that this will result in an undisclosed settlement within a year, and while we won't know the number they settle for, I'm guessing it won't be enough to make a blip on the car companies' quarterly reports.

Comment: Re:For domestic use only (Score 1) 173

by Bob9113 (#47563589) Attached to: Senate Bill Would Ban Most Bulk Surveillance

Isn't self-hosting a violation of most ISP EULAs?

I think so, if you have user-grade service, but I pay for a commercial-grade Internet connection that comes with a static IP for running services, and I run three hosted servers. Freedom isn't free (but it is a lot of fun). :)

Ever wonder if maybe that rule has less to do with bandwidth and more to do with preventing the creation of a peer-to-peer, decentralized internet?

I think there's some truth to that, if for no other reason than that the ISP probably would rather not have the headache associated with average idiots running servers. They're run by guys with MBAs who genuinely believe that centralized is inherently better -- like to the level that they don't even grasp what you're saying at first, if you try to explain the benefits of decentralized.

Comment: Relative Window Duration (Score 2) 551

by Bob9113 (#47561995) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Anyone have other theories why this number is so much higher than the 5% of people who are just "late"?

The first window lasts from 0.08 years to 0.5 years, while the second window lasts from 0.5 years to 7.0 years. The relative window width is (7.0 - 0.5) / (0.5 - 0.08) = 6.5 / 0.42 = 15.47. So if each person only had zero or one debts, and no debt was ever paid off, you'd expect there to be 15.47 times as many debt holders in the second window as in the first. 15.47 * 5% = 77%. So the fact that it is at 35% means that there is some combination of people being in both categories and people paying off their debt while it is "In Collections." If it was 5%, or 77%, you'd be able to make a pretty solid guess that something was hinky, but 35% is in the "could be perfectly reasonable" range.

I'll also echo the sentiment that some creditors do a horrible job of billing. I had a large outstanding debt for years before finding it on my credit report. The company had a typo in my address from the original signup, but had been getting copies of my credit report which had my correct address. They sent all the bills to the incorrect address they had on file, never once contacted me at the address on file with the credit reporting company they had been contacting.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 173

by Bob9113 (#47560357) Attached to: Senate Bill Would Ban Most Bulk Surveillance

I can't find words for how much I hate Congress and the President for this.

I can. But I'm afraid that if I use them in public, I could be put on the secret watch list and have to face extra scrutiny in every LEO encounter when "possible terrorist, report to FBI" pops up on their computer.

Of course, that chilling effect means that the peaceful feedback mechanism that is supposed to moderate government overreach is being attenuated. When that moderation system is weakened, excesses grow. Fortunately, as The Declaration of Independence notes, "accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." So we have time.

But time grows short; The Declaration does not end with that phrase.

Comment: Re:For domestic use only (Score 3, Informative) 173

by Bob9113 (#47560163) Attached to: Senate Bill Would Ban Most Bulk Surveillance

Decentralized Internet is badly needed

Very true, that is the only real solution to this problem. Whether corporations, governments, or criminals, the value in surveillance is too great to be resisted. The only solution is increasing the cost and detecting it when it happens. Decentralization will both make it more expensive to do generalized surveillance, and make it harder to do it without getting caught.

and nothing seems to be in works...

Not as true.

OwnCloud lets you host your own dropbox, mobile-to-desktop sync, etc.
MediaGoblin lets you host your own replacement for YouTube.
Asterisk lets you host an end-to-end encrypted replacement for Skype.
Tor and I2P let you slip past your ISP's surveillance net.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. Learn more at

Comment: Re:Meta-problem (Score 1) 505

Your government (I assume you are American) does provide foreign aid to Israel. It also supplies money and/or arms to a lot more unsavory countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Sure, feel free to criticize Israel, but don't be hypocritical about it.

Can you quote me the part where I was being hypocritical? Can you show me where I said that I supported our funding of Egypt or Saudi Arabia? Or are you just trying to falsely discredit me because you don't like my opinion?

Comment: Re:Meta-problem (Score 1) 505

Israel's not very efficient at committing genocide. Boko Haram in Nigeria has killed far more people. ISIS in Syria too. Etc.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a minor regional territorial conflict. But because of huge anti-Israel sentiment among UN members, combined with a healthy does of Islamic racism, this minor conflict that could have been settled years ago is kept festering because the Islamic bloc at the UN sees it as a useful tool to weaken Israel. It's pure cynical geopolitics fueled by Islamic fascism.

Not for me. For me, the problem is that my government arms Israel. I accept that many nations handle their regional bood-debt feuds with more bloodshed. It's stupid and self-propagating, but fine, go ahead, if that's your thing. But if you blow my paycheck on your cock-waving bullets, you become subject to my judgment of your actions.

Comment: Vote Snowden / Binney 2016! (Score 1) 129

by Bob9113 (#47500575) Attached to: Snowden Seeks To Develop Anti-Surveillance Technologies

Here's my latest Snowden / Binney 2016 bumper sticker art, suitable for printing at 2.75" x 5" cropped size plus a .125" bleed, 300 DPI, on vinyl:
Vector (LibreOffice Draw)

This is my original artwork, CC BY-NC-SA, so print a pile and spread them around if you like. I use, and I recommend searching "vinyl bumper stickers" on DuckDuckGo, where psprint is usually running a coupon in the search results. I haven't received the color proofs for this version yet, but these are corrected from a previous batch and should be pretty good.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with DuckDuckGo or PSPrint, and Snowden/Binney is (perhaps unfortunately) neither a real nor a realistic campaign. This is just for giggles.

Comment: Re:TYFSOK (Score 1) 102

by Bob9113 (#47499613) Attached to: "Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

When travelling from the UK to Chile... Flying is pretty much the only sensible option for me right now.
I pretty much hate the entire experience but there are not better alternatives for when you NEED to travel to some places.

When travelling in and around the UK I would never fly if I can avoid it as the entire experience has become pretty inconvenient.

Excellent -- it sounds like you are making all reasonable efforts to cut their cashflow.

Comment: Re:Do you have any hands-on experience ? (Score 1) 667

by Bob9113 (#47497927) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

>> There's also question of motivation. Why would soldiers waste expensive missiles for some irrelevant passenger plane?

> To shoot down Ukrainian military aircraft. They had already shot down a Ukrainian transport plane and a Ukrainian fighter within the previous week. They were on a roll.

That's the same point looneycyborg was attempting to make; that it was not terrorism because it was not an attempt to target civilians.

Though I agree with your accurate and informative correction regarding the civilian flight route issue.

Comment: TYFSOK (Score 2) 102

by Bob9113 (#47495311) Attached to: "Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

"Travelling can be stressful and our aim is to make the interaction between human (passenger) and computer (check-in) as natural and helpful as possible."

Remember those stickers on the registers at K-Mart, facing the cashier, with the letters, "TYFSOK"? It stands for, "Thank You For Shopping Our K-Mart." The sticker was to remind the beleagured minimum wage employee to recite the words. Did anyone, ever, feel that the person mechanically parroting that catch phrase actually cared? How about the greeters at Wal Mart? (I think they've pretty much gone away, like the TYFSOK stickers)

You can teach an automaton to mimick human emotion, but even when it is an actual human such mimickry is patronizing and irritating. If you want human warmth, hire warm humans (downside; warm humans who can keep their positive mental attitude while working at an airport are expensive and they need time to recover from their shifts).

If you are going to use computers, embrace their natural advantages. Computers are fast, predictable, and emotionless. Those can be good characteristics in a user interface -- particularly when the customer just wants to get the process finished and move on. Work with the entire industry to develop a standard interface and sequence so the user and bang through it without even engaging their brain -- everyone is better off with travellers on autopilot. Painting a computer in whore's makeup won't make it a lover for any but the most desperate.

And, for you air travellers, a quick question: Why are you still endorsing them? Why are you still agreeing to be subjected to the TSA and the awful customer service of the airlines? Have you really made all reasonable efforts to switch to alternatives? If you aren't making significant personal sacrifices to cut their cashflow, you are lending aid and comfort to the enemy. I've driven 6,000 miles in the past year avoiding air travel. What are you doing?