Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Laws that need to be made in secret (Score 1) 150

by gstoddart (#49631355) Attached to: Extreme Secrecy Eroding Support For Trans-Pacific Partnership

Because, in all honesty, you can probably assume that the "trade deal" is heavily skewed to protect corporate interests, and will not benefit anybody else.

Essentially these treaties are heavily influenced (if not actually written) by corporate demands.

It's secret because if people knew the government was essentially acting as lackeys for the copyright cartels and the like, people might disagree with it.

It really can't be a good "treaty" if you have secret terms with each of the countries you're trying to get do sign on.

They just don't want their peers to know how much they're getting screwed by globalization.

Mark my words, the only ones who will benefit from this will be multinational corporations. And it will probably extend copyright in a few more countries.

Comment: Re:I'm sure no one will misconstrue this at all... (Score 5, Insightful) 82

by gstoddart (#49631065) Attached to: Apple's Plans For Your DNA

Sure, until insurance companies and governments start demanding access to it.

You don't need to be much of a conspiracy nut to realize the potential for privacy invasion and abuse of this data is absolutely staggering.

There simply are way too few legal controls on how this stuff is used to safely make it as commonplace as that.

Essentially, corporations and the government will have massive databases of the DNA of pretty much everybody ... and it will be used to deny you service, in criminal proceedings because they can demand it, and who knows what else.

DNA samples on an iPhone is a hell of a way to get the fully distopian future and Big Brother .. because you can bet your ass that secret warrants will be used to force companies to hand this stuff over and then have it collated into one big giant database.

I don't care if it's Apple, Microsoft, Google, or anybody else ... this is a creepy idea which will have enormous implications to society.


Apple's Plans For Your DNA 82

Posted by Soulskill
from the download-a-parkinson's-cure-from-itunes dept.
An anonymous reader writes: MIT's Technology Review breaks news that Apple is working with scientists to create apps that collect and evaluate users' DNA. "The apps are based on ResearchKit, a software platform Apple introduced in March that helps hospitals or scientists run medical studies on iPhones by collecting data from the devices' sensors or through surveys." A source says Apple's plan is to enable users to easily share their DNA information with medical workers and researchers performing studies. "To join one of the studies, a person would agree to have a gene test carried out—for instance, by returning a "spit kit" to a laboratory approved by Apple. The first such labs are said to be the advanced gene-sequencing centers operated by UCSF and Mount Sinai."

Comment: Re:I'm shocked ... (Score 5, Insightful) 202

That is, until the video surfaces.

There have been enough high profile instances of police officers outright lying about what happened that I simply am not willing to assume they're telling the truth. Because often when a video shows up the police are proven to be lying.

If the good cops can't weed out the bad ones, then it's time to treat them all like children who can't be trusted.

In the fall of 2012, Ben Livingston (a past Stranger contributor) was the subject of a Washington State Patrol traffic stop. Livingston requested dash-cam video of the traffic stop, but the Washington State Patrol denied possessing such footage. The following year, Livingston, Rachner, Mocek, and Seattle civil rights attorney Cleveland Stockmeyer created a nonprofit called the Center for Open Policing (COP). Their first effort was to sue.

They won, and the state patrol settled to the tune of about $23,000. "I particularly enjoyed that case," said Mocek.

If you or I did that, it would be perjury and obstruction of justice.

This is a police force which was already under a federal consent decree ... which means they've been acting like this for a long time.

Boo hoo ... the poor police feel all ganged up on because they can't break the law and get away with it.

Comment: Re:To think I once subscribed to this site (Score 5, Insightful) 202

Oh, look, fascists defending corrupt police forces.

How cute.

And though they have only combed through a small portion of the data, they say they have found several instances of officers appearing to lie, use racist language, and use excessive forceâ"with no consequences. In fact, they believe that the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) has systematically "run interference" for cops. In the aforementioned cases of alleged officer misconduct, all of the involved officers were exonerated and still remain on the force.

"We're trying to do OPA's job for them because OPA was so explicitly not interested in doing their own job," said Rachner.

When the police ignore the law without consequence, someone needs to be doing something, because clearly the damned police are incapable of it.

Sorry, but crooked cops are just criminals like the rest of them ... and they deserve the same treatment.

Comment: I'm shocked ... (Score 5, Insightful) 202

You mean when the police investigate their own misconduct they find there was none?

I'm shocked I tell 'ya.

And the police wonder why they're no longer treated with respect, while being people who regularly abuse their power and ignore the law. All cops need to start wearing body cameras at all times. Because it has reached the point where taking them at their word is a stupid idea.

If the police choose to ignore the law, they should be charged like the rest of us.

Comment: Re:An ever bigger torpedo (Score 1) 196

by gstoddart (#49629833) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

You could reasonably address this to some degree by marking the temporary lanes with colored paints.

Yeah, sure.

Let's change all construction practices and infrastructure to try to solve the ways in which self driving vehicles will be completely unprepared for the real world.

We can remove all the other drivers, embed tracking sensors in the road, build it out of special materials, put sensors everywhere. That will totally work. Except in the massive amount of places where it won't.

For these things to ever actually work in the real world, it's not the world which will have to adapt to them.

Who is going to pay for all of this? Everybody except the company who makes them.

Comment: Re:skating on the edge of legal? (Score 4, Insightful) 236

by gstoddart (#49629657) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

"People" aren't pushing back, entrenched "organizations" are pushing back


Municipalities and states which have passed laws around commercial for-hire vehicles are pushing back and saying "you don't get to tell us what our laws are". This has nothing to do with entrenched players pushing back other than them pointing out that if they're subject to those laws, Uber can't come along and claim to not be.

Let's keep some perspective, even while Uber is obviously circumventing laws

They're breaking the law, and throwing a whiny temper tantrum is irrelevant.

The laws exist to protect people from shady players without proper licensing and insurance looking to make a buck.

Uber is basically a dispatcher for illegal cabs. That's it.

You can claim it's some innovative noble thing to be assholes who ignore the law. But that doesn't make it true.

Criminal activity isn't a business model. It's a temper tantrum by greedy assholes who claim the law doesn't apply to them.

Comment: Re:skating on the edge of legal? (Score 2) 236

by gstoddart (#49629587) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

If by "pushing the boundaries" you mean "straight up ignoring the law", then that is essentially what they do.

They show up, say they're going to ignore the law because they're special little snowflakes, and then act like victims when they get told that's not going to work.

Their entire business model is "we don't give a crap about the law, because we're magical and special assholes".

Essentially they want to pretend that they shouldn't be covered by existing regulations.

I'm forced to conclude the owners are either massive assholes, or seriously delusional.

Sorry, but this is a $40 billion dollar corporation whose entire operations is based on ignoring laws and throwing a temper tantrum when they're enforced.

They say disruptive technology. I say uber douchebags.

Comment: Re:WTF (Score 2) 136

by gstoddart (#49629539) Attached to: Canadian Town Outlaws Online Insults To Police and Officials

Honestly, it's stupidity, and trying very hard to "protect" their culture and language.

This is a province where they've tried to get companies like "Canadian Tire" and "Home Depot" to rename their companies to French because they've outlawed English signage. It's a place where they keep trying to make it illegal to have your kids educated in English.

Ironically, French speakers from almost anywhere else in the world typically can't understand WTF Quebec people are saying.

Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 408

by gstoddart (#49626023) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

From what I can tell, the only people who believe it have no other skills and are terrified that if the truth were known (that anyone can learn to program) then they'd no longer be special.

Well, then let's dispel with that piece of bullshit, shall we?

When I say "but many moons ago I was told by numerous profs that programming/CS had pretty much always been the bi-modal distribution" ... I mean tenured professors, with PhD's, with published books and actively teaching in accredited universities. Not just "I heard it from a guy".

You seem to be comfortable suggesting I feel my penis will be larger if I convince myself this is a true fact. Allow me to suggest this: You're acting like a dick and making an ad-hominem attack -- a sign of a moron or an asshole; or both.

I'm telling you what I've heard from professors, and what I've personally seen.

I marked both first and second year CS courses, I have personally seen graphs of the same course's grades for a trailing decade. And it was empirically a real thing.

I honestly have no idea the extent to which this is universally applicable, isolated, or purely random. But I have had it described to me by professors, I have seen it in courses I've marked, and been hearing this 'factoid' for ... well, almost three decades.

This doesn't come out of nowhere. It isn't a self inflating of ego. It is, in my own personal and exceedingly constrained opinion, an actual observation of reality. It is a thing, and I am curious as to what it really means.

If you think I have my personal identity wrapped up in being some special little snowflake who is unique as a programmer (something I no longer do, BTW)... well, either you're a moron, or you're just an ass who has no better reasoning skills than to fall back on the claims that I must be delusional and acting out of self interest in saying this.

I am genuinely curious if this is true, and would love to see definitive stats ... it has always baffled me, but I've witnessed it ... but if you think I'm saying this out of some mechanism of puffing myself up, then you can piss off.

But if you can state your counterargument without suggesting I need to justify my existence to you or anybody else, I might actually be interested in hearing evidence to the contrary.

We cannot command nature except by obeying her. -- Sir Francis Bacon