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Comment: Re:Kinda funny how taxes set back the internet (Score 1) 324

by Chas (#48209761) Attached to: Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic

Yes, and the gov't will never see anything like the fanciful returns they expect from this tax. They're no doubt assuming that usage will remain at current levels -- or, worse, that its current rate of growth remains unchanged.

Exactly. They're figuring, at current usage, they'll get X-dollars.

However, if this move encourages the austerity measures I predict, they won't even see half of that.

Pretty much the same situation Chicago is in with their traffic light system.

They expected 90-100M from their traffic light scheme. So they budgeted like they already had it, and then spent it...

Now the traffic light system has only brought in about 40M, and the city fathers are collectively shitting bricks.

Comment: Re:Kinda funny how taxes set back the internet (Score 4, Insightful) 324

by Chas (#48203041) Attached to: Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic

You're talking over half a buck ($0.62) per gigabyte.

Think about this in terms of AT&T's DSL service. Where you're capped at 150GB (and it's ridiculously easy to exceed).

That's an additional $93 over and above the cost of the connection itself! The ISPs are currently selling connections for $20-40 a pop.

How, EXACTLY, are ISPs supposed to simply absorb these costs?

The correct answer is "they aren't".

So the additional costs are going to get kicked onto the end-user's bill.

Now imagine your $20 a month internet services suddenly becoming a $110 a month internet service.

This is a way to encourage people to NEVER use their internet service.

It's the sort of thing that can cripple the entire industry in that country.

Comment: Chicago didn't put them up. (Score 1) 397

by Chas (#48195933) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

The contractor that Chicago officials were bribed by (Corruption? In Chicago? AW HELL NAW!) put them up.
Last I checked, the revenue sharing plan was that Chicago was supposed to get about 10% of the total ticket revenue from all cameras.

The BIG problem is, these cameras are NOT placed in a way that allows them to actually be used for safety checks. They're placed for optimal "surprise" ticket revenue.

The thing is, people get wise to that over time. While their driving habits around the camera outposts change, marginally, to stay on the side of the angels, their OVERALL driving habits simply DO NOT change. So all this expensive equipment is going up. Then the city (and their contractor isn't recouping the costs.

And the DUMB thing? Chicago budget morons are GUESSTIMATING potential ticket revenue and spending as if it were money already in hand!

Comment: Is this worse than Win10 Test? (Score 2) 312

by Chas (#48183909) Attached to: If You're Connected, Apple Collects Your Data

Indubitably. Win10 Test is a product demo. So Microsoft is going to monitor it in a way that would be unfeasible for a shipping OS. They're trying to collect user data to make sure people are using Win10 the way they THINK people are going to use it. This is a byproduct of the Windows 8 metro/modern UI fiasco. If they don't disable/remove this level of monitoring when the OS ships, corporate customers will simply opt not to run with the OS...AGAIN.

Seriously, NO company that's in ANY way serious about security is going to put up with a built in keylogger that's reporting back to MommySoft.

Apple is doing the same thing with a live, shipping OS. Which is completely fucking heinous.

Now, will they get away with it?

Probably, because the rabid, turtleneck-and-jeans brigade of Mac fanatics will buy absolutely ANYTHING from Apple, so long as it has the Apple logo on it.

Comment: I agree with this sentiment. (Score 3, Interesting) 218

by Chas (#48171989) Attached to: Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

There's almost zero reason we should put LFTR and Fusion into an adversarial relationship.

LFTR is closer to market right now, and fuel for it is ridiculously plentiful. It can easily power this planet for hundreds of years.

At the same time, Fusion is around the corner (though it's been "around the corner" for several decades).

Still, instead of dealing with:

* Nasty, polluting fossil fuel generation
* Solar/Wind/Hydro installs that fuck up the local ecology
* Dirty, ancient solid-fuel fission tech

Take the first step forward with LFTR and MSR fission.

Yes, we'll have waste still. But it's FAR easier to design storage/depletion facilities that last 100-300 years. Current fission plants are producing stuff that'll be hot for tens or hundreds of thousands of years. And, quite simply, we can't guarantee anything we engineer will last that long. The oldest (mostly intact) megastructures on this planet are the Egyptian pyramids. And they're only about 4500 years old. Mostly because they're just a giant pile of stone.

Still with LFTR/MSR, we can lower emissions and give ourselves time to grow and improve the grid while we get the kinks out of Fusion technology.

With portable, modular solutions like Boeing's fusion skunkworks project, we can put cheap, safe power generation capacity just about ANYWHERE.
When more power's needed? Just drop another unit next to the first and keep adding until your requirements are met.
And when it's time to decommission a unit? Simply truck it away!

And both of these technologies are engineered, from the get-go, to be inherently safe.

With LFTR/MSR fission. If power is cut, you don't get a runaway reaction. By design, the reactor dumps the medium into dump tanks, away from the reagent.

With fusion, you turn off power to a fusion reactor or change the dynamics inside the reactor, and the process shuts down naturally. Snuffed like a blown out candle.

But, will all the "nuclear = bombs" hysterics ever allow this to go through?

Hell no!

Comment: Basic plan (Score 3, Interesting) 351

by Chas (#48167215) Attached to: White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Step 1: Build permanent habitation in orbit. In a way that can easily be converted to a "space dock".

Step 2: Use it as a launch pad for permanent habitation on the Moon. Build the infrastructure, build large (mega-engineering projects). Once it's done, THEN move people in permanently. Use this method as the basis for expansion elsewhere in the solar system.

Step 3: Once permanent habitation has been done within Earth-orbit, send out automated devices to construct a similar space dock in Mars orbit, and possibly one in Venus orbit.

Step 4: Use the Mars dock as a launch pad for permanent habitation on Mars using the Moon's habitation as a template. Due to Venus' EXTREMELY unfriendly atmosphere, I'd likely say convert the Venus station into a solar power-to-battery facility.

Step 5: Once the Moon and Mars colonies are firmly established, use the template for occupying the moons of the outer planets.

Basically the orbital facilities would be staging areas for occupation of the various planets/moons. They serve as fall-back points in case of catastrophe. And, once the colony was safely established, they'd become fuel depots.

Going with a "launch from orbit" model also saves fuel and wear and tear on interplanetary vehicles.

Comment: Whisper's already denied this (Score 4, Informative) 180

by Chas (#48167117) Attached to: The Guardian Reveals That Whisper App Tracks "Anonymous" Users

Whisper, darling child of the online anonymity surge, is going to war with the Guardian over a story saying the app tracks the identities and locations of some users.

Launched two years ago, Whisper says it’s the “safest place on the internet,” a social networking app that lets people anonymously share short messages — “whispers” — supposedly detached from any identifiable information.

But in a lengthy takedown published Thursday, the Guardian claims otherwise, saying Whisper uses a handful of tools to subvert its own claims of privacy and anonymity. Whisper, according to the Guardian report, tracks newsworthy users and uses roundabout methods of finding out the locations of users who decline to share it; the company then shares that information with third parties, including the U.S. government, the Guardian reported.

The outlet also said the app changed its privacy policy after it was made aware that the Guardian’s story would run.

All of these claims, Whisper officials said, are patently false.

Whisper’s editor-in-chief, Neetzan Zimmerman, went into attack mode immediately after the story was published, saying it was a “pack of vicious lies” and that “the Guardian made a mistake posting that story and they will regret it.”

Reached by phone, Zimmerman categorically denied the basis of the story, saying that while certain degrees of tracking (such as a city of location) are possible through simply connecting to the Internet, the methods the Guardian described are “either outright false or misguided or misinformed.”

“Clearly, their intention was for absolutely no reason to write a hit piece about us and try to scare away our users,” Zimmerman said, sounding irate at times.

The Guardian story describes techniques that Whisper allegedly uses to find “newsworthy” users, such as those who work at Yahoo and Disney, or on Capitol Hill. It also says there is a technical backdoor that allows Whisper to pinpoint the location of users who have declined to share their location with the app, and that Zimmerman and another executive had requested staff to exploit it.

But Zimmerman, fuming at the accusations, said such backdoors are “technically impossible.”

“That is false, that is 100 percent false,” he said. “That was never said by anyone. I have no idea where that quote came from. I have no idea what they’re talking about. I have never, ever, ever asked anybody in my life, and would never ask anybody, for information on a user who opted out of user location. That cannot be overemphasized. That is a 100 percent lie.”

He added that no change was made to the app’s privacy policy as a response to the Guardian’s story. (Still, my colleague Brian Fung noted that any changes to a privacy policy may invite inquiry from the FTC.)

Whisper employees can, however, search for keywords (analogous to a Twitter search) to find users and their “whispers” that may be interesting to some of its media partners, including BuzzFeed, which publishes an ongoing series of posts that highlight interesting or newsworthy messages on the service.

A BuzzFeed spokesman told Valleywag on Thursday: “We’re taking a break from our partnership until Whisper clarifies to us and its users the policy on user location and privacy.”

Zimmerman also said the Guardian has had a months-long partnership with Whisper that used the very techniques the article decries.

“There are at least three Guardian stories written off Whisper, and two of which were using the methods the article is attacking,” Zimmerman said, adding that the outlet initiated the partnership. “The CEO and executive editors were in here, and they were all privy to all this information and explained to us that they were supportive of everything that they had seen.”

Guardian spokesman Gennady Kolker said the outlet “has no comment at this time.”

The Washington Post has used Whisper at least once to find story sources. A spokeswoman for The Post declined to comment.

Comment: Re:(Re:The Children!) Why? I'm not a pedophile! (Score 1) 284

by Chas (#48165347) Attached to: FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

I, for one, REFUSE to be pre-criminalized...

Too late... already happened


The only appropriate answer for this sort of thing is "Fuck you. Get a warrant."

Enjoy your stay in government housing while we wait...

If necessary. I will. Part of the reason that the government gets over so much nowadays is that people are TERRIFIED of being seen as a criminal, and they're scared shitless of ANY form of incarceration.

Jim Comey needs to be told to shut the hell up, do his job *RIGHT* and be a good little soldier.

Remember who gives the orders. He is a very good little soldier, getting up there and barking like a dog, very well trained. And maybe he too, will write a tell-all confession after he reties, if the right book deal comes along.

Even the best trained dog gets a rolled up paper across the snout once in a while.
I have no problem being such. As there's nothing in my life I couldn't stand to lose.

Comment: Re:Windows 7 (Score 1) 139

by Chas (#48163417) Attached to: Data From Windows 10 Feedback Tool Exposes Problem Areas

All the excessive logging in Win10 is due to the fact that it is a TECH PREVIEW.

Once we get to the RTM, you can be sure things like the click-tracking, key logging, etc are all going to be turned off. Because, were they NOT, Win10 would bounce off enterprise/business customers faster and harder than Windows 8 ever did. NO business is going to put up with their OS vendor keylogging them.

Comment: (Re:The Children!) Why? I'm not a pedophile! (Score 5, Insightful) 284

by Chas (#48163379) Attached to: FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

It is not our job to make his job easier or effortless.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Our phones and computers are the modern day equivalent of "papers and effects".

Encryption affords us the security promised by this amendment.

Does this make the collection of data by various "letter agency" and police law enforcement departments tougher? YEP!

Does it raise the possibility of criminals "slipping through the system"? YEP!

I, for one, REFUSE to be pre-criminalized , simply because I don't choose to automatically drop trou whenever someone demands to see "ze papers". The only appropriate answer for this sort of thing is "Fuck you. Get a warrant."

I also refuse to abrogate my rights and privileges due to an idiotic appeal to emotion (think of the CHILDREN!)

*I* am not victimizing children. But, the way law enforcement wants to set things up, EVERYONE gets lumped in as would-be rapists, molesters and murderers.

Jim Comey needs to be told to shut the hell up, do his job *RIGHT* and be a good little soldier.

In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables.