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+ - Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers? 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes ""The government is not the only American power whose motivations need to be rigourously examined," writes The Telegraph's Katherine Rushton. "Some 2,400 miles away from Washington, in Silicon Valley, Google is aggressively gaining power with little to keep it in check. It has cosied up to governments around the world so effectively that its chairman, Eric Schmidt, is a White House advisor. In Britain, its executives meet with ministers more than almost any other corporation. Google can't be blamed for this: one of its jobs is to lobby for laws that benefit its shareholders, but it is up to governments to push back. As things stand, Google — and to a lesser extent, Facebook — are in danger of becoming the architects of the law." Schmidt, by the way, is apparently interested in influencing at least two current hot-button White House issues. Joined by execs from Apple, Oracle, and Facebook, the Google Chairman asserted in a March letter to Secretary of State John Kerry that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is not in the economic interests of the U.S.; the Obama administration on Friday extended the review period on the pipeline, perhaps until after the Nov. 4 congressional elections. And as a "Major Contributor" to Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us PAC, Schmidt is also helping to shape public opinion on the White House's call for immigration reform; FWD.us just launched new attack ads (videos) and a petition aimed at immigration reform opponent Rep. Steve King. In Dave Eggers' The Circle, politicians who impede the company execs' agenda are immediately brought down. But that's fiction, right?"

Comment: What's the motto again? (Score 1) 1

by shanen (#46798399) Attached to: Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

A few months ago I had dinner with an old acquaintance who had moved over to the google, and I realized their new motto is "All your attentions is belonging to the google."

I don't think it was in the original business plan to go evil, but it's just the way the game is played in America these days. In brief, the rules of the game are laws written by the most cheaply bribed politicians working for the greediest and least ethical businessman, and to heck with the rest of the businesspeople, the ones who just want to play fairly in accord with the rules. Much more profitable to rig the game.

Facebook is a different can of evil worms, and I think the evil was right there in their original business plan, or at least between the lines. The problem is that most people have so little understanding of real freedom. My current joke on that topic is this equation:

Freedom = (Meaningful + Unconstrained) Choice Beer

It isn't just your negative data that takes away your freedom. Of course you can be blackmailed pretty directly with secret knowledge of your mistakes and such. It's also your tastes, strengths, and even your virtues that can be used to manipulate you, but that's twistier because you just think you're doing what you want to do--until they yank your leash.

Comment: Makes me feel so old... (Score 5, Interesting) 31

by shanen (#46798379) Attached to: RIP, NASA Moon Landing Engineer John C. Houbolt

I was a teenager when they reached the moon, but it makes me feel so old to think back to those days. I'm beginning to feel like we're getting dumber all the time, and I'm pressed to imagine how they conceived of such an approach.

Now all of this high-tech stuff has led to Facebook? Give me a break. Please. If we don't give Facebook to the Chinese, they'll be building the first lunar colony, the way things are going nowadays...

Comment: Re:You've written a BETTER one? (Score 1) 100

You should really look before you leap, Smart Guy.

It's *not* "one person's opinion".

I quoted *nine different comments* from *nine different people* who said they tried the product and found that, basically, it didn't work. And I didn't see a single positive comment amongst the entire bunch.

BTW, whether or not *I've* ever written a disk defragmenter has fuck-all to do with the issue of how well *this* disk defragmenter works or doesn't work, so don't even bother with the attempt at misdirection.

And for the last time, you need to take the "spyware" assessment up with Computer Associates, not me. Make sure you discuss it with the folks at CA that actually test software and not with their accountants.

Comment: Re:No, these are where (you sockpuppeteer) (Score 1) 157

by Zontar The Mindless (#46795569) Attached to: Peoria Mayor Sends Police To Track Down Twitter Parodist

You've already demonstrated that you have absolutely zero comprehension of any sort of humour, much less parody. With this in mind, I created the TFHF account basically because I was pretty sure that merely learning of this account's existence would make you froth at the mouth, and because you've been due a good stiff dose of my mockery and derision for weeks on end.

That account's made a grand total of 9 posts + 1 journal entry.

In the same timespan you've trolled/crapflooded me something like, what, 500-600 times or more? Not to mention HUNDREDS of your trolls before that?

And *you've* got the gall to complain about *me*? That's pretty funny.

Yes indeedy, I created the account purely to mock you. Or, to put it in terms you might recall from your forays into 4chan: YHBT.

Just *knowing* that this account exists so very obviously pisses you off, Sparky, and I can't begin to tell you how completely I enjoy just *knowing* that this is the case.

Have a nice day!

Comment: Re:Bwahahaha - wrong again... apk (Score 1) 100

Gee, it looks like people who've actually tried UltraDefrag don't seem too thrilled with it:

I'm trying UltraDefrag on a well-fragmented hard disk (36% fragmented), and the UltraDefrag GUI leaves me unsure if it is doing anything or not. It has been up for an hour and a half, and the display hasn't changed a pixel since it displayed the original analysis. The progress bar on the bottom still shows 100%, so that is obviously meaningless. The process explorer shows that it is taking up CPU and an increasing amount of memory, but I still can't tell if it is actually doing anything. I think it is time to uninstall it and move on.

Installed on a relatively fast Vista business machine with a 650 gig HD of which 8 gigs were used. Analyze showed 12% fragmentation. I ran the program. Next day (7 1/2 hrs later), it showed being only 30% done. Trash can!

All applications, especially security software, must be closed/shutdown otherwise it is slow and does not do as well.

Can't learn how to use it; UD does not even install on Windows 7. So, it is worthless for me.

Since XP, Windows has offered disk optimization as a background process. I thought that using this was supposed to eliminate the need for periodic defragmentation with a separate tool.

Won't install properly on Win7 64bit (no icons to executables). Puts all it's stuff in the windows system32 folder and the executables won't run manually either. Also caused a one-time boot failure. Maybe installed a virus (I'm hunting)? POS and/or dangerous?

I tried out this tool recently on 2 laptops I was servicing. When using the consolidate space option the defrag driver caused a system crash/reboot on both laptops. If it had just been 1 laptop I would have put it down to the machine, but 2 out of 2 makes me somewhat wary of this app.

I find the user interface limiting and lacks feedback. Almost childlike in it's design.

Speed, huh? It took UltraDefrag almost 45 minutes just to ANALYZE a 150GB partition that had 35% free space. (Running Vista Business) Actually, I STOPPED it when it reached 70%. Yeah, it only got to 70% complete in 45 minutes. I'm not talking about the freakin' defrag time... no no no... just to A-N-A-L-Y-Z-E the drive. There was no way in hell I was going to actually run a defrag after waiting 45 minutes... and even at that point it was only reporting 3 fragmented files. WTF?!?!? If I didn't know any better (and if it wasn't September) I'd say this was some kind of sick April Fool's joke.

And so on, and so on... Saw no favourable comments whatsoever.

Comment: Re:Downmods to hide ur b.s. Zontar the Mindless (Score 1) 157

by Zontar The Mindless (#46795111) Attached to: Peoria Mayor Sends Police To Track Down Twitter Parodist

Comment: Re:You don't even program... apk (Score 1) 100

it uses the Process Scheduler kernelmode subsystem to do its job, faster (by requesting higher cpu prioriity in its scheduling tables) - which HELPS since it's working on a VERY CPU INTENSIVE TASK - string processing.

TRANSLATION: It overrides the Task Scheduler for no good reason whatsoever.

Gee, that does sound a lot like what I said earlier, doesn't it?

Comment: Re:Zontar the Mindless - backup your libel (Score 1) 100

No, what I actually said was,

Your "host files engine" is a useless, CPU-sucking piece of crap, and I am very far from being the first one to say this. (Furthermore, you actually boast about its horrid performance as if it were something to be desired.) In addition, it overrides the Task Scheduler for no good reason whatsoever. That in my opinion qualifies it as something I would never in a million years permit anywhere near any machine that I use or administer; IOW it is for all intents and purposes malware and no amount of your ranting and raving and trolling and crapflooding is ever going to change this fact.

Are we clear on this? Great! Guess that means you're free to sod off now.

Comment: Re:Mod parent up funny (Score 1) 674

by Anne Thwacks (#46793715) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?
I have a T23 that I use when travelling - but it has an SSD in it now. Its great because the HD is easily accessible to I can switch between Win7, WinXP (for my embroidery machine) and Ubuntu (for getting work done).

I also have a T21 which I use as a dumb terminal for configuring servers - cos it has an RS232 port. Currently runing Xubuntu, but was running FreeBSD till I decided I wanted to try Xubuntu on something.

I also have a T61 (Also Xubuntu) which is used by visitors of all ages. None has needed any significant traiining AFAICR.

Oldest of all is a 760E - it still works, but lacks USB or any kind of networking, and a new OS means loads of floppies - so it may work, but it is not much actual use. One day I will put the HD in something else to install NetBSD, and then I could use PCMCIA network and USB cards.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas

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