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Comment: Says who? Why? What if we don't want to? (Score 2) 228

by Catbeller (#48884105) Attached to: Eric Schmidt: Our Perception of the Internet Will Fade

Who asked for this?
The industry eagerness to bug and track everything is universal. Why? The first answer is always: money. The second, and most accurately stated: power. Knowing where everyone is, and what they are doing, is power. But that power is not for schmucks.
Pity we didn't have this universal eagerness to limit population growth, or control suburban land conversion, or to colonize free space with habitats. But power over others? No fucking limits.
Power, by the way, means Occupies are impossible to pull off. Protests. Contrary political movements, ultimately. Other words, any challenge to seated power is gonna be nearly impossible.
Hell, in England, they're already starting dossiers on kintergarteners. Just monitor what they read and do all their lives, and soon there won't be a population that even thinks of rebellion of any sort. Or could talk about it without systems monitoring and integrating the information for future suppression. And yes, I'm aware that that sounds "paranoid". But once again, I'm not predicting, I'm telling you what's already happened.
To take this back to the point of the article, there is no WAY that this eagerly sought supersaturated net of bugs - and that's what they are - will not be used for surveillance and control. I really don't need to know what is in my refrigerator that much.

Comment: Re:Wrong issue (Score 1) 290

by Catbeller (#48861223) Attached to: Police Nation-Wide Use Wall-Penetrating Radars To Peer Into Homes

Due process is meaningless as far as limiting behavior. It sorta means "customary" or "expected". Secret charges and secret courts and secret prisons have been permanently established in this country following due process. Process just rubber-stamps whatever the madhouse wants to do. The real dichotomy is what is illegal versus what is immoral or just plain wrong. Rules are morally neutral.

Comment: Re:With taxes you buy civilization, remember? (Score 1) 290

by Catbeller (#48861157) Attached to: Police Nation-Wide Use Wall-Penetrating Radars To Peer Into Homes

The people in this country cannot be trusted. The police are just an expression of the common culture. Given a choice, people prefer fascism, under whatever name you like. What was it Terry Pratchett said through the Patricican... what people want, what they really want, is that tomorrow be pretty much like today. They want stability and a perception of safety. To that end, they know no limits in restricting the efforts of their neighbors to not-be-like-every-else. From surveillance, to secret police and secret arrests, they support conformity and the Others getting their heads kicked in by the guards. The police are civilians, and they have no special belief system not held by the people they sometimes admit they work for... our culture likes authoritarian thugs (for use against troublemakers), so our police likes being authoritarian thugs when necessary.

Google

Google Thinks the Insurance Industry May Be Ripe For Disruption 238

Posted by Soulskill
from the think-twice-about-googling-your-symptoms dept.
HughPickens.com writes: The insurance industry is a fat target — there's were about $481 billion in premiums in 2013, and agents' commissions of about $50 billion. Now Conor Dougherty writes in the NYT that the boring but lucrative trade has been attracting big names like Google, which has formed a partnership with Comparenow, an American auto insurance comparison site that will give Google access to insurers in Comparenow's network. "A lot of people are waking up to the fact that it's a massive industry, it's old-fashioned, they still use human agents and the commissions are pretty big," says Jennifer Fitzgerald. It may seem like an odd match for Google, whose projects include driverless cars, delivery drones and a pill to detect cancer, but the key to insurance is having lots of data about people's backgrounds and habits, which is perhaps the company's greatest strength. "They have a ton of data on where people drive, how people drive," says Jon McNeill. "It's the holy grail of being able to price auto insurance correctly."

People in the industry and Silicon Valley say it is only a matter of time before online agencies attack the armies of intermediaries that are the backbone of the trade, and Google could present formidable competition for other insurance sellers. As many as two-thirds of insurance customers say they would consider purchasing insurance products from organizations other than insurers, including 23 percent who would consider buying from online service providers such as Google and Amazon. Google Compare auto insurance site has already been operating in Britain for two years as a search engine for auto insurance prices.
Communications

FBI Seeks To Legally Hack You If You're Connected To TOR Or a VPN 382

Posted by timothy
from the well-you-look-guilty-from-here dept.
SonicSpike writes The investigative arm of the Department of Justice is attempting to short-circuit the legal checks of the Fourth Amendment by requesting a change in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. These procedural rules dictate how law enforcement agencies must conduct criminal prosecutions, from investigation to trial. Any deviations from the rules can have serious consequences, including dismissal of a case. The specific rule the FBI is targeting outlines the terms for obtaining a search warrant. It's called Federal Rule 41(b), and the requested change would allow law enforcement to obtain a warrant to search electronic data without providing any specific details as long as the target computer location has been hidden through a technical tool like Tor or a virtual private network. It would also allow nonspecific search warrants where computers have been intentionally damaged (such as through botnets, but also through common malware and viruses) and are in five or more separate federal judicial districts. Furthermore, the provision would allow investigators to seize electronically stored information regardless of whether that information is stored inside or outside the court's jurisdiction.
Cellphones

Moscow To Track Cell-phone Users In 2015 For Traffic Analysis 63

Posted by timothy
from the why-do-you-hate-freedom? dept.
An anonymous reader links to this story at The Stack (based on this translated report) that "The Moscow authorities will begin using the signal from Muscovites' cell-phones in 2015 to research patterns of traffic and points of congestion, with a view to changes in travel infrastructure including roads, the Moscow metro and bus services. The tracking, which appears to opt all users in unilaterally, promises not to identify individual cell-phone numbers, and will use GSM in most cases, but also GPS in more densely-constructed areas of the old city. The system is already in limited use on the roads, but will be extended to pedestrians and subway users in 2015. The city of 11.5 million people has three main cell providers, all of whom cooperate fully with authorities' request for information. A representative of one, Beeline, said: "We prepare reports that detail where our subscribers work, live, move, and other aspects."
Medicine

Regular Exercise Not Enough To Make Up For Sitting All Day 348

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-you-tell-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Toronto researchers have found the amount of time a person sits during the day is associated with a higher risk of disease and death, regardless of regular exercise. The paper, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine (abstract), found that prolonged sedentary behavior was associated with a 15 to 20 per cent higher risk of death from any cause; a 15 to 20 per cent higher risk of heart disease, death from heart disease, cancer, death from cancer; and as much as a 90 per cent increased risk of developing diabetes, said Alter. And that was after adjusting for the effects of regular exercise. ... Engaging in 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous daily exercise does not mean it's OK to then "sit on your rear" for the rest of the day.
Japan

Japanese Nobel Laureate Blasts His Country's Treatment of Inventors 191

Posted by Soulskill
from the let-the-makers-make dept.
schwit1 writes: Shuji Nakamura won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics (along with two other scientists) for his work inventing blue LEDs. But long ago he abandoned Japan for the U.S. because his country's culture and patent law did not favor him as an inventor. Nakamura has now blasted Japan for considering further legislation that would do more harm to inventors.

"In the early 2000s, Nakamura had a falling out with his employer and, it seemed, all of Japan. Relying on a clause in Japan's patent law, article 35, that assigns patents to individual inventors, he took the unprecedented step of suing his former employer for a share of the profits his invention was generating. He eventually agreed to a court-mediated $8 million settlement, moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and became an American citizen. During this period he bitterly complained about Japan's treatment of inventors, the country's educational system and its legal procedures. 'The problem is now the Japanese government wants to eliminate patent law article 35 and give all patent rights to the company. If the Japanese government changes the patent law it means basically there would no compensation [for inventors].'"

There is a similar problem with copyright law in the U.S., where changes to the law in the 1970s and 1990s have made it almost impossible for copyrights to ever expire. The changes favor the corporations rather than the individuals who might actually create the work.
Privacy

CES 2015: FTC Head Warns About Data Grabbed By Smart Gadgets 62

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-just-say-it,-regulate-it dept.
mpicpp sends this quote from the BBC: A "deeply personal" picture of every consumer could be grabbed by futuristic smart gadgets, the chair of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has warned. Speaking at CES, Edith Ramirez said a future full of smart gadgets that watch what we do posed a threat to privacy. The collated data could create a false impression if given to employers, universities or companies, she said. Ms Ramirez urged tech firms to make sure gadgets gathered the minimum data needed to fulfill their function (PDF). The internet of things (IoT), which will populate homes, cars and bodies with devices that use sophisticated sensors to monitor people, could easily build up a "deeply personal and startlingly complete picture" of a person's lifestyle, said Ms Ramirez."
Sci-Fi

The Search For Starivores, Intelligent Life That Could Eat the Sun 300

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-life-jim-but-not-as-oh-god-it's-eating-the-sun dept.
sarahnaomi writes: There could be all manner of alien life forms in the universe, from witless bacteria to superintelligent robots. Still, the notion of a starivore — an organism that literally devours stars — may sound a bit crazy, even to a seasoned sci-fi fan. And yet, if such creatures do exist, they're probably lurking in our astronomical data right now.

That's why philosopher Dr. Clement Vidal, who's a researcher at the Free University of Brussels, along with Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology Stephen Dick, futurist John Smart, and nanotech entrepreneur Robert Freitas are soliciting scientific proposals to seek out star-eating life.

Comment: arrogance amongst revolutionaries (Score 1) 69

by Catbeller (#48700667) Attached to: Twitter Bug Locks Out Many Users

In a video game they can. In the real world, they will fail to do so; Google and others are simply positing that the robot can drive better. It can on a test track. In the real world, no.

Again, I love this posting from 2010: (Great thread on this very subject, probably influenced me.) Better informed posters than I.

http://it.slashdot.org/story/1...
This post http://it.slashdot.org/comment...

"we already fixed it. its called 'trains'. (Score:5, Insightful)
by decora(1710862) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @12:54AM (#38430976) Journal
the idea that a bunch of automatically piloted vehicles is somehow a better solution to city transport than mass-transit, it boggles my mind.
real people do not have money to maintain their cars properly. things are going to break. there are not going to be 'system administrators' to fix all the glitches that come up when cars start breaking down after a few years.
there will be problems. do i know which problems? no, but i know the main problem.
arrogance amongst revolutionaries. it is historically a pattern of the human species. declaring that nothing could go wrong is usually a precursor to a lot of things going wrong. not because the situation was unpredictable, but because human beings in an arrogant mindset tend to make a lot of mistakes, be reckless, and try to cover their asses when things go wrong.
but successful engineering is the anti-thesis of arrogance. nobody worth his salt is going to say 'what could go wrong'? they are going to have a list of 500 things that could go wrong, and all the ways they have tried to counter-act those wrong things happening."
Well said. Proof will be in the testing... on real roads with real cars. Oy.

Comment: Re:Think about this when... (Score 1) 69

by Catbeller (#48700539) Attached to: Twitter Bug Locks Out Many Users

http://it.slashdot.org/comment... Great thread on this subject. Here's a good post by a better writer than I:

"we already fixed it. its called 'trains'. (Score:5, Insightful)
by decora(1710862) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @12:54AM (#38430976) Journal

the idea that a bunch of automatically piloted vehicles is somehow a better solution to city transport than mass-transit, it boggles my mind.

real people do not have money to maintain their cars properly. things are going to break. there are not going to be 'system administrators' to fix all the glitches that come up when cars start breaking down after a few years.

there will be problems. do i know which problems? no, but i know the main problem.

arrogance amongst revolutionaries. it is historically a pattern of the human species. declaring that nothing could go wrong is usually a precursor to a lot of things going wrong. not because the situation was unpredictable, but because human beings in an arrogant mindset tend to make a lot of mistakes, be reckless, and try to cover their asses when things go wrong.

but successful engineering is the anti-thesis of arrogance. nobody worth his salt is going to say 'what could go wrong'? they are going to have a list of 500 things that could go wrong, and all the ways they have tried to counter-act those wrong things happening."

Comment: Re:Think about this when... (Score 1) 69

by Catbeller (#48697687) Attached to: Twitter Bug Locks Out Many Users

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...

Medical[edit]
  A bug in the code controlling the Therac-25 radiation therapy machine was directly responsible for at least five patient deaths in the 1980s when it administered excessive quantities of X-rays.[13][14][15]
  A Medtronic heart device was found vulnerable to remote attacks in March 2008.[16]

Funny: I remember this story. The USS Yorktown BSODed at sea when it let Window NT helm the ship.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U...
Smart ship testbed[edit]

From 1996 Yorktown was used as the testbed for the Navy's Smart Ship program. The ship was equipped with a network of 27 dual 200 MHz Pentium Pro-based machines running Windows NT 4.0 communicating over fiber-optic cable with a Pentium Pro-based server. This network was responsible for running the integrated control center on the bridge, monitoring condition assessment, damage control, machinery control and fuel control, monitoring the engines and navigating the ship. This system was predicted to save $2.8 million per year by reducing the ship's complement by 10%.

On 21 September 1997, while on maneuvers off the coast of Cape Charles, Virginia, a crew member entered a zero into a database field causing an attempted division by zero in the ship's Remote Data Base Manager, resulting in a buffer overflow which brought down all the machines on the network, causing the ship's propulsion system to fail.[6]

Anthony DiGiorgio, a civilian contractor with a 26-year history of working on Navy control systems, reported in 1998 that Yorktown had to be towed back to Norfolk Naval Station. Ron Redman, a deputy technical director with the Aegis Program Executive Office, backed up this claim, suggesting that such system failures had required Yorktown to be towed back to port several times.[7]

In 3 August 1998 issue of Government Computer News, a retraction by DiGiorgio was published. He claims the reporter altered his statements, and insists that he did not claim the Yorktown was towed into Norfolk. GCN stands by its story.[8]

Atlantic Fleet officials also denied the towing, reporting that Yorktown was "dead in the water" for just 2 hours and 45 minutes.[7] Captain Richard Rushton, commanding officer of Yorktown at the time of the incident, also denied that the ship had to be towed back to port, stating that the ship returned under its own power.[9]

Atlantic Fleet officials acknowledged that the Yorktown experienced what they termed "an engineering local area network casualty".[7] "We are putting equipment in the engine room that we cannot maintain and, when it fails, results in a critical failure," DiGiorgio said.[7]

Comment: Re:Think about this when... (Score 1) 69

by Catbeller (#48697589) Attached to: Twitter Bug Locks Out Many Users

You have no imagination and too much confidence in your coding abilities. The world isn't a video game. As I pointed out in my longer response, robot airliners and other craft have gone wild and hurt and killed people. Refusal to look is not a rebuttal. (But of course it is- any problem can be solved by a more expensive solution combined with a complete refusal to look at any evidence that contradicts the solution).

Software piloting is fine. On a plane, with a priesthood of techs looking after it daily, and with pilots who have (one would hope) both the opportunity and the ability to take control if the computer pilot goes fuckyup. In a car, there is no time to recover, worst case, the "pilot" is playing a video game, the car's maintenance is up to the pilot, and the car is surrounded by other cars that will be in a lot of trouble from the rogue car. No comparison.

Comment: Re:Think about this when... (Score 1) 69

by Catbeller (#48697483) Attached to: Twitter Bug Locks Out Many Users

You can't synthesize a general rule from systemic failures? Keep It Simple Shithead.
Planes do fail by software errors.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q...
http://it.slashdot.org/story/1...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...
Antilock brakes are very simple systems, and you have a mechanical backup as well. But, for the record, I don't like computer controlled brakes. I drive a mechanical car.
If ABS do fail or malfunction, I doubt anyone is keeping track as to how or when. As no one keeps track, you can't perceive systemic failure as a problem. They'd have to fail massively for anyone to care.
Robots don't operate very much, and frankly I certainly don't want a piece of software cutting on me. It's not outlawed for the same reason automated cars aren't outlawed. Not enough experience to perceive failure, and an unwillingness to acknowledge failure when it does happen. And civilized countries allow voting via computer programs as well - the ultimate in unpercievable failure.
Pacemakers can fail via deliberate malware infestation, or an EMP attack or accident, or a software bug. Just because you don't know of a failure doesn'[t mean it doesn't happen.
Here's some automated software injuries:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...
http://www.ccnr.org/fatal_dose...

As to your point about a software bug failure on Twitter being different than a software bug in a car running half a billion lines of code:

You make my point for me. Twitter failed from one point. Just one point. Half a million lines of code have damn near an infinite chance of:
1. Failure through complexity. Any real-world programmer knows that hyper-complex systems can have cascading weirdness.
2. Failure through sensor failure, processor failures, bus failures, and similar failures we can't anticipate.
http://it.slashdot.org/story/1...
http://www.cs.tau.ac.il/~nachu...
And Google's robot car had to be rebooted twice during its certification run.
3. Failure through an the inability to program a PC to anticipate all the possibilities that a car swarming with other cars in a real world situation. One can't program that.
4. Failure through vulnerability to outside attack. Software on a network is very vulnerable; one hundred percent so. Physically, a high energy radio pulse fired at a car, or a whole highway of cars, would cause carnage. Carnage would be multilation and death, what happens when steel boxes swerve randomly around at 70 mph with no driver.
5. The problem isn't about ALL cars failing. One car can fail and crash the cars around it. For the system to work, all cars have to work 100% perfectly all the time.

An car - driver is eating a sandwich. Car computer failure would crash the car instantly, depending. Carnage.
An airplane - plane is, generally speaking, in the air most of the time. If the computers fail, somehow, the pilot can take control with time enough to avoid contact with other planes or the ground.
Car - failure, milliseconds to react, car may not even let you drive. Plane: seconds or minutes to recover and land.

I'm only pointing out the obvious failure points. Others will happen. I wistfully recall posting on Slashdot about the vulnerability of a NFC card being read without the owner's knowledge; I was mocked as an ignoramus. I just pointed out physics didn't rule out building a concealed reader, or very powerful pulse generator. Both have happened.

I await the stories of failed robot cars in the coming years, and either the panicked response or the determined refusal to acknowledge a problem

Try driving your own cars. If that isn't safe - and it ISN'T, cars kill more people than wars - think about building decent public trans.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.

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