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Comment: Re:I have worked at a few ISPs (Score 4, Interesting) 246

by sheetsda (#47709107) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

"...attempts to retain customers at any cost."

I use this to my advantage.

1. A competing trash service sent me a flier offering the same service at about 60% of the price I was paying. The current service matched the price for 1 year. Even if they're not making a dime on me they're dividing their fuel cost one more way.

2. Last month I called Time Warner and told them I wanted them to match the introductory price of competing internet service (~75% of regular price for 1 year). They did. This is the second time I've had my price lowered to an introductory rate without being a new customer.

When these prices run out I'll call again and get the rate lowered again. Or I'll cancel and go to the competitor. Either way, these add up to about $360 saved this year for two 15-minute phone calls. Pretty good $/hr.

Businesses

Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers 371

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-you-aren't-part-of-the-solution,-you're-part-of-the-preciptate dept.
An anonymous reader writes Following up on a recent experiment into the status of software engineers versus managers, Jon Evans writes that the easiest way to find out which companies don't respect their engineers is to learn which companies simply don't understand them. "Engineers are treated as less-than-equal because we are often viewed as idiot savants. We may speak the magic language of machines, the thinking goes, but we aren't business people, so we aren't qualified to make the most important decisions. ... Whereas in fact any engineer worth her salt will tell you that she makes business decisions daily–albeit on the micro not macro level–because she has to in order to get the job done. Exactly how long should this database field be? And of what datatype? How and where should it be validated? How do we handle all of the edge cases? These are in fact business decisions, and we make them, because we're at the proverbial coal face, and it would take forever to run every single one of them by the product people and sometimes they wouldn't even understand the technical factors involved. ... It might have made some sense to treat them as separate-but-slightly-inferior when technology was not at the heart of almost every business, but not any more."

Comment: Re:It's tinfoil time! (Score 1) 232

by Catbeller (#47671337) Attached to: Fugitive Child Sex Abuser Caught By Face-Recognition Technology

It's an API for a future tyranny that we will be helpless against. Tomorrow is not today. Those in charge will not be the pussycats we have now; such power will attrack tyrants and secret governments. No, guarantees them.
Do not give the monkeys the key to the banana plantation.

Comment: Re:It's tinfoil time! (Score 1) 232

by Catbeller (#47671321) Attached to: Fugitive Child Sex Abuser Caught By Face-Recognition Technology

After 2015 or so, Federal law will require integrated tracking devices and radio network integration into all cars. They tried passing that law last year, and backed down - but they will slip it back in when no one is looking. I imagine motorcycles, Elios, and anything that moves will be included, excepting bicycles... and don't bet they won't get around to bikes.
As I said a decade ago here: open-air prison. The point to power is power. No reason is necessary; people who want power over other people will grab it when they can, and universal tracking is the ultimate in power. No rebellion is possible in a goldfish bowl.

Comment: Blindfolds off, handcuffs on everyone (Score 1) 232

by Catbeller (#47671261) Attached to: Fugitive Child Sex Abuser Caught By Face-Recognition Technology

If you enable perfect surveillance, then the result - "police without blindfolds", as well as employers, potential employers, competitors, secret national police, secret and not-secret corporate police (ever wonder about how Apple's security forces seem to have worldwide power and mobility?), marketers, your neighbors, your family, friends, enemies, and Scientology's and Moonies' covert operations getting their "blindfolds" removed - will be a world where everyone is a criminal, and the only recourse you have is that no one cares enough about you to look to see what you've been up to. A world of sheep, a pack of fat domesticated farm animals watching videos. (Better not be unlicensed video, criminal!) If you've not committed a crime, you've been in a coma. And they'll just add new laws if they really want to get someone. But bet your ass the Bushes and Cheneys of the world will be utterly off the police and media radar. Rich people don't commit crimes, statistics show. Only troublemakers and poor people. And oh, yes, Ferguson. Imagine how future Fergusons will play out with perfect surveillance. Notice how the cops in Ferguson don't have video cameras on their vehicles, and how they trash cameras pointed at them? That's the future, kid. Blindfolds on US; never, ever on the cops.

Medicine

How to Maintain Lab Safety While Making Viruses Deadlier 213

Posted by timothy
from the this-one-goes-to-11 dept.
Lasrick (2629253) writes "A scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison published an article in June revealing that he had taken genes from the deadly human 1918 Spanish Flu and inserted them into the H5N1 avian flu to make a new virus—one which was both far deadlier and far more capable of spreading than the original avian strain. In July it was revealed that the same scientist was conducting another study in which he genetically altered the 2009 strain of flu to enable it to evade immune responses, 'effectively making the human population defenseless against re-emergence.' In the U.S. alone, biosafety incidents involving pathogens happen more than twice per week. These 'gain-of-function' experiments are accidents waiting to happen, with the possibility of starting deadly pandemics that could kill millions. It isn't as if it hasn't happened before: in 2009, a group of Chinese scientists created a viral strain of flu virus that escaped the lab and created a pandemic, killing thousands of people. 'Against this backdrop, the growing use of gain-of-function approaches for research requires more careful examination. And the potential consequences keep getting more catastrophic.' This article explores the history of lab-created pandemics and outlines recommendations for a safer approach to this type of research."
Science

New Process Promises Ammonia From Air, Water, and Sunlight 117

Posted by timothy
from the kid-tested-mother-shocked dept.
The synthesis of ammonia is one of the globe's most significant industrial applications of chemistry. PhysOrg reports the publication in the August issue of Science (sadly, article is paywalled) the description of a low-energy process to syntheize ammonia for fertilizer using just air, water, and sunlight, by zapping with electricity water bubbling through a matrix of iron oxide, and sodium and potassium hyroxide. Electricity isn't free, though — "Low energy" in this case means two-thirds the energy cost of the long-in-use Haber-Bosch process. Researcher Stuart Licht is getting some of the energy to run this reaction from a high-efficiency solar cell he's created, which creates hydrogen as a byproduct. Along with the elimination of the need to produce hydrogen from natural gas, the overall emissions are reduced quite significantly. The whole process also takes place at milder conditions, not requiring 450C and 200 times atmospheric pressure as the Haber-Bosch process does. ... But even with Licht's method, [University of Bristol electrochemistry professor David] Fermin points out that we are far away from being able to replicate nature's efficiency at converting nitrogen from the air to useful chemicals, which is done by nitrogen-fixing bacteria. "What is truly remarkable is that nature does it incredibly efficiently at low-temperature," Fermin added. And yet, if something more efficient can replace the Haber-Bosch process, it would lower the energy input of the production of one of the worlds most important chemicals and lead to a notable reduction in global CO2 emissions.
The Military

Long-Wave Radar Can Take the Stealth From Stealth Technology 275

Posted by timothy
from the f35s-cost-more-than-$300-million-each dept.
AbrasiveCat (999190) writes "In the continuing game of cat and mouse between offensive and defensive technologies of war, the technology of radar stealth may have been matched by new multiple frequency radar systems. U.S Naval Institute News reports the Chinese and Russians may be developing such systems. The present radar systems use high frequency waves for accurately locating an incoming target. Stealth aircraft are designed to adsorb or reflect these waves away from the receiver. It turns out longer wave radars can see the stealth aircraft. The longer wave radar lacks the precision of the high frequency radar, but when the two are combined, as the Russians, Chinese (and U.S.) are doing, you can produce accurate targeting radar. The F117 may have been in a golden age for stealth technology, it will be interesting to see if the F35 arrives too late to be effective against other countries with advanced radar systems."
Privacy

UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity 282

Posted by timothy
from the but-you-have-a-right-to-be-forgotten dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a bit of pith from TechDirt: Every so often, people who don't really understand the importance of anonymity or how it enables free speech (especially among marginalized people), think they have a brilliant idea: "just end real anonymity online." They don't seem to understand just how shortsighted such an idea is. It's one that stems from the privilege of being in power. And who knows that particular privilege better than members of the House of Lords in the UK — a group that is more or less defined by excess privilege? The Communications Committee of the House of Lords has now issued a report concerning "social media and criminal offenses" in which they basically recommend scrapping anonymity online.
Government

CIA Director Brennan Admits He Was Lying: CIA Really Did Spy On Congress 266

Posted by timothy
from the note-the-passive-voice-and-weasel-words dept.
Bruce66423 (1678196) writes with this story from the Guardian: The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, issued an extraordinary apology to leaders of the US Senate intelligence committee on Thursday, conceding that the agency employees spied on committee staff and reversing months of furious and public denials. Brennan acknowledged that an internal investigation had found agency security personnel transgressed a firewall set up on a CIA network, called RDINet, which allowed Senate committee investigators to review agency documents for their landmark inquiry into CIA torture." (Sen. Diane Feinstein was one of those vocally accusing the CIA of spying on Congress; Sen. Bernie Sanders has raised a similar question about the NSA.)
The Internet

Countries Don't Own Their Internet Domains, ICANN Says 113

Posted by timothy
from the do-they-meta-own-them? dept.
angry tapir writes The Internet domain name for a country doesn't belong to that country — nor to anyone, according to ICANN. Plaintiffs who successfully sued Iran, Syria and North Korea as sponsors of terrorism want to seize the three countries' ccTLDs (country code top-level domains) as part of financial judgments against them. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which oversees the Internet, says they can't do that because ccTLDs aren't even property.

+ - Conservatives Release New Video Proving Global Warming is a Hoax->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Conservative Louisiana House of Representative Lenar Whitney has released a new four minute video on Youtube proving once and for all that global warming is a hoax. In the heavily referenced and peer reviewed video, Whitney puts to rest global warming — something "any ten year-old can invalidate." She points out the important fact that our planet "has done nothing but get colder each year." The highly polished video with special effects clearly exhausted all of Whitney's cognitive powers in researching and backing up each point in her proof that global warming is the "greatest deception in the history of mankind." Fat cat scientists and their propaganda machines don't stand a chance with this hardworking former oilfield equipment company sales employee to set the record straight."
Link to Original Source
The Internet

Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus? 436

Posted by Soulskill
from the who-blacklists-the-blacklisters dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Wladimir Palant is the creator of the Adblock Plus browser extension, but he often gets asked how it compares to a similar extension for Chrome called Adblock. In the past, he's told people the two extensions achieve largely the same end, but in slightly different ways. However, recent changes to the Adblock project have him worried. "AdBlock covertly moved from an open development model towards hiding changes from its users. Users were neither informed about that decision nor the reasons behind it." He goes through the changelog and highlights some updates that call into question the integrity of Adblock. For example, from an update on June 6th: "Calling home functionality has been extended. It now sends user's locale in addition to the unique user ID, AdBlock version, operating system and whether Google Search ads are being allowed. Also, AdBlock will tell getadblock.com (or any other website if asked nicely) whether AdBlock has just been installed or has been used for a while — again, in addition to the unique user ID." Of course, Palant has skin in this game, and Adblock Plus has dealt with fallout from their "acceptable ads policy," but at least it's still developed in the open.

"Your attitude determines your attitude." -- Zig Ziglar, self-improvement doofus

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