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+ - Patent Issued Covering Phone Notifications of Delivery Time and Invoice Quantity->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes: The staggering ingenuity of the US Patent system has again been showcased by the EFF's analysis of recent patents. This week's patent and follow up patent cover the futuristic innovative idea that when you order something, you can update your order and add additional amounts to your order while it's being processed. But wait, it gets even more innovative! You may one day be able to even to notify when you would like it delivered — ON YOUR PHONE. I know, you're busy wiping all that brain matter off your screen as your head seems to have exploded. Well, it turns out that inventor and patent holder Scott Horstemeyer (aka Eclipse IP, LLC of Delray Beach, FL) found no shortage of targets to go after with his new patents. It appears Tiger Fitness (and every other online retailer) was sending notices to customers about shipments. Did I mention Professional waste-of-space Horstemeyer is a lawyer too? But not just a regular lawyer, a "SUPER lawyer" from the same firm that patented social networking in 2007, sued Uber for using location finding technologies in 2013 and sued Overstock.com as well as a small time shoe seller for using shipping notifications in 2014.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:The problem isn't the FBI ... (Score 5, Interesting) 170

by Bob9113 (#49590377) Attached to: FBI Slammed On Capitol Hill For "Stupid" Ideas About Encryption

Whistleblowers have been coming forward, the people have been loudly criticizing it, we elected the Presidential candidate who was most opposed to it in both of the last two elections (the second guy was distinctly more of a "lesser of two evils" than the first), and we've been taking them to court.

So, to recap, that's soap box, ballot box, and jury box that we've been using. To claim that we're letting them get away with it is to betray your ignorance of the facts. Short of revolution, we have done everything we can. This is the oligarchy ignoring the law and the will of the people.

Comment: Re:Fast track (Score 1) 353

by Bob9113 (#49571031) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class

And if "But I have other classes!" is the best excuse that you can come up with, then you're going to deserve it.

Hey, that's not fair. OP clearly stated that he was also busy trying to get laid and did not understand the course material. Clearly when you add those two elements he deserves at least a B-.

Comment: Non Sequitor (Score 5, Insightful) 334

by eldavojohn (#49539223) Attached to: Drone Killed Hostages From U.S. and Italy, Drawing Obama Apology

I'm not disappointed at all. Drones are so much better than actually invading Pakistan, and reduces the number of kids that get killed in war.

I never got the hate for drones in the first place. Why would you want to launch a ground invasion instead, which means MORE kids getting killed?

Sure, if you want to kill someone, you're right. I think the argument against drones is that if you push a button and someone dies on the other side of the Earth and you didn't have to go to war to do that ... well, fast forward two years and you're just sitting there hitting that button all day long. "The quarter solution" or whatever you want to call it is still resulting in deaths and, as we can see here, we're not 100% sure whose deaths that button is causing. Even if we study the targets really really hard.

And since Pakistan refuses to own their Al Queda problem, we have to take care of it for them.

No, no we don't. You might say "Al Queda hit us now we must hunt them to the ends of the Earth" but it doesn't mean that diplomacy and sovereignty just get flushed down the toilet. Those country borders will still persist despite all your shiny new self-appointed world police officer badges. Let me see if I can explain this to you: If David Koresh had set off bombs in a Beijing subway and then drones lit up Waco like the fourth of July and most of the deaths were Branch Davidians, how would you personally feel about that? Likewise, if Al Queda is our problem and we do that, we start to get more problems. Now, that said, it's completely true that Pakistan's leadership has privately condoned these strikes while publicly lambasting the US but that's a whole different problem.

Also, we must always assume that war = killing kids. The fact that people think kids shouldn't be killed in war basically gives people more of an incentive to go to war in the first place. When Bush invaded Iraq, the public should have asked "OK, how many kids are we expected to kill?" Because all war means killing kids. There has never been a war without killing kids.

The worst people are the ones that romanticize war, by saying war is clean and happy and everyone shakes hands at the end. War is the worst, most horrible thing, and we need to make sure people understand that, or they'll continue to promote war.

Yep, think of the children -- that's why we should use drone strikes, right? Look, war means death. Death doesn't discriminate and neither does war. If you're hung up on it being okay to take a life the second that male turns 18, you're pretty much morally helpless anyway. War is bad. Drone strikes are bad. There's enough bad in there for them both to be bad. This isn't some false dichotomy where it's one or the other. It's only one or the other if you're hellbent on killing people.

News flash: you can argue against drone strikes and also be opposed to war at the same time. It does not logically follow that since you're against drone strikes, you're pro war and pro killing children. That's the most unsound and absurd flow of logic I've seen in quite some time.

Comment: No, This Is Important for People to See (Score 5, Insightful) 256

by eldavojohn (#49536145) Attached to: Wellness App Author Lied About Cancer Diagnosis

Wait. A person who made dubious claims that had no scientific backing to them was actually lying? What next? Water is wet?!!

I think pretty much everyone but the nutjob, true believers in psuedo-science knew all along that this woman was lying.

So you're saying everyone knew she was lying about her charity donations as well? Or was it only the charities that knew that? From the article:

The 26-year-old's popular recipe app, which costs $3.79, has been downloaded 300,000 times and is being developed as one of the first apps for the soon-to-be-released Apple Watch. Her debut cook book The Whole Pantry, published by Penguin in Australia last year, will soon hit shelves in the United States and Britain.

So you're saying the 300,000 downloads are by people that knew they were downloading the app architected by a liar? And they were paying $3.79 to Apple and this liar for a recipe app that contain recipes that someone lied about helping her cure cancer? And you're saying that everyone at Apple that featured her app on the Apple Watch knew they were showing a snake oil app on their brand new shiny device? And that the people at Penguin did all their fact checking on any additional information this cookbook might contain about Belle Gibson's alleged cancer survival? And that everybody involved in these events know society's been parading around a fucking liar and rewarding her with cash money while she basically capitalizes on a horrendous disease that afflicts millions of people worldwide ... that she never had?

No, this is not the same as "water is wet" and it needs to be shown that holistic medicine is temporarily propped up on a bed of anecdotal lies ... anybody who accepts it as the sole cure for their ailment is putting their health in the hands of such charlatans and quacks.

Comment: Oh Look, a Car Analogy for Last Week's Story! (Score 1) 649

by eldavojohn (#49514253) Attached to: Automakers To Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars
Why don't the automakers just seek refuge under the DMCA from all those evil automobile hackers? Clearly, figuring out how your car works is a direct attack on the very hard work and property of those automakers.

Time to pass a bill state by state. I'm the sure the invisible hand of the free market will line all the right politicians' pockets to rush those through. Hopefully someday we won't be able to own our cars and we can go back to the Ma Bell days when every phone was rented.

Comment: You Are, But So Are They (Score 5, Interesting) 254

by Bob9113 (#49501437) Attached to: The Upsides of a Surveillance Society

TL;DR: The upside of being under continuous surveillance is that everyone else is too. It is the same argument as, "Because terrorists might get caught."

Here's just one example of the downside: Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and similar will all have zero attendance as soon as employers stop hiring people who have been seen at an AA/NA meeting. That will be a reality within ten years, as private license plate tracking databases come online.

Doubt it? Ask yourself this: Would a typical "profit over everything" manager hire someone he knew was in NA? That guy is going to abuse these databases as they come online. That is reality.

Comment: Re:thank God they didn't have computers.... (Score 1) 629

Not in most states. People can reasonably expect to be able to walk up to your front door unless you have posted signs saying "no trespassing" or "no soliciting" or told the specific person that they are not allowed.

Pushing a photo through an open door isn't really trespassing either if you stay outside.

A piss poor password is not the same as an open door, it is actually more like a door with a shitty lock. And bypassing a lock without permission, no matter how shitty it is, is breaking and entering pure and simple even if you do not do any damage.

I am still very surprised this kid has been charged though. When I was at school most criminal offences on school grounds were brushed under the carpet in order not to embarrass the school. You could get even away with giving teachers decent wallop providing you didn't go to far and break their nose or anything. Likewise for hitting other students or stealing stuff.

+ - ESA Rebukes EFF's Request to Exempt Abandoned Games from Some DMCA Rules->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes: It's 2015 and the EFF is still submitting requests to alter or exempt certain applications of the draconian DMCA. One such request concerns abandoned games that utilized or required online servers for matchmaking or play (PDF warning) and the attempts taken to archive those games. A given examples is Madden '09 that had its servers shut down a mere one and a half years after release. Another is Gamespy and the EA & Nintendo titles that were not migrated to other servers. I'm sure everyone can come up with a once cherished game that required online play that is now abandoned and lost to the ages. While the EFF is asking for exemptions for museums and archivists, the ESA appears to take the stance that it's hacking and all hacking is bad. In prior comments (PDF warning), the ESA has called reverse engineering a proprietary game protocol "a classic wolf in sheep’s clothing" as if allowing this evil hacking will loose Sodom & Gomorrah upon the industry. Fellow gamers, these years now that feel like the golden age of online gaming will be the dark ages of games as historians of the future try to recreate what online play was like now for many titles.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:The average person thinks they've above average (Score 1) 220

by Ash Vince (#49425509) Attached to: How would you rate your programming skills?

The only way to get past novice or intermediate at programming is to get at least 10 years experience under your belt, at least 5 of which should be paid professional work on large complex systems or something equivalent in academia like a doctorate (anything else is just too easy).

Ah, this myth again. No, time does not equate to expertise. According to hundreds of scientific studies, time spent engaged in the exercise of a skill is the least correlated factor with expertise: people who play piano a lot, who program a lot, who have spent tens of thousands of hours drawing, are not automatically fantastically skilled, and in fact time spent exercising a skill is horribly unrelated to development of the skill.

So how does it work then? some people are no doubt just brilliant at stuff due to pure natural ability even though they never practice? What utter bullcrap.

I am not saying that practice automatically makes people better programmers (you can practice for years in a lazy way and not get any better), but I do think that to be a better programmer a huge part of it is breadth of experience at solving different problems, facing different challenges and working around different constraints.

Being naturally gifted or having a way of learning that suits the topic may give some people a slight head start or advantage in terms of needing less practice, but ultimately everyone needs to practice a skill in order to hone their abilities.

Just look at the employment market for the most compelling evidence: Senior developers with at least 5 years professional experience command more money than people fresh out of college.

Comment: Re:The average person thinks they've above average (Score 1) 220

by Ash Vince (#49416601) Attached to: How would you rate your programming skills?

I used to think I was a good programmer. Then I started to learn about how much I didn't know, new techniques and frameworks and languages, and then I saw that I had a lot to learn.

Ten years later, I've learned a lot - but I've also discovered even more that I don't know and that I can improve upon.

So, I consider myself "average". In my domain I'm pretty good, I can crank stuff out that works well, is easy to understand and set up, has tests and documentation, etc., but there's a really, really big world out there.

I think a better test of being in the advanced is how easily you can follow other peoples code, no matter how poorly written it is or different in style to your own.

Comment: Re:The average person thinks they've above average (Score 1) 220

by Ash Vince (#49416557) Attached to: How would you rate your programming skills?

According to the poll. the average person thinks they are average.

The vast majority of people on slashdot though are towards the younger end of the spectrum (ie, recent graduates and students). As people get older they tend to get caught up in family and such and drift away from the site, or like me only come back once or twice a month. This means the highest peaks should be towards the rookie end of the spectrum.

The only way to get past novice or intermediate at programming is to get at least 10 years experience under your belt, at least 5 of which should be paid professional work on large complex systems or something equivalent in academia like a doctorate (anything else is just too easy).

I would also say that the only way to get to expert is to do this in at least 2 or 3 different languages that are fairly different from one another. Basically, nobody under 40 can really be an expert as they simply haven't had long enough yet.

(Personally, I selected Intermediate, but I reckon I am nearly into Advanced)

Comment: Yep Problem Solved, Shut Down All Further Research (Score 1) 477

Pedestrians will have to learn new skills to avoid careening out of control cars that do not recognize the pedestrians....

.

new jobs will open up for people who have to dig cars out of snowbanks

a new employment category autonomous assistants will "drive" the self-driving cars in poor weather conditions

Yep that's right because once the pattern recognition has mastered the easy stuff -- which it seems to be close to doing -- they'll shut down all development on tackling edge cases and anomalies. That's how it works, right? We're still driving cars with shoe brakes and using regular picture framing glass so our bodies are cut up in an accident, right?

I mean, some of these problems like icy roads and snow might make for unsolvable problems but we already have cars that can detect loss of traction and go into traction control mode. Have you ever heard of ABS? Developments like that will likely come along for the special cases of autonomous driving. If they don't, it's certainly not a death knell on the technology. At this point, I'll accept a 95% solution.

+ - Chinese Certificate Authority CNNIC Is Dropped from Google Products

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes: A couple weeks ago, Google contacted the CNNIC (China's CA) to alert them of a problem regarding the delegated power of issuing fraudulent certificates for domains (in fact this came to light after fraudulent certificates were issued for Google's domains). Following this, Google decided to remove the CNNIC Root and EV CA as trusted CAs in its Chrome browser and all Google products. Today, the CNNIC responded to Google: "1. The decision that Google has made is unacceptable and unintelligible to CNNIC, and meanwhile CNNIC sincerely urge that Google would take users’ rights and interests into full consideration. 2. For the users that CNNIC has already issued the certificates to, we guarantee that your lawful rights and interests will not be affected." Mozilla is waiting to formulate a plan.

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