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Comment Re:I guess I'm the only one who likes Thunderbird? (Score 1) 149

There are others of us!

I just moved 2 people to it. 1 from MS Outlook, and the other from Apple Mail. They both want private email on their own domains, but those domains don't offer the greatest webmail apps. They don't want to forward their email through Google to use their webmail. Microsoft Outlook is becoming too hard for me to support. The other moved to Windows. So Thunderbird + IMAP it is! One even paid a monthly fee to increase their web site storage capacity so they can keep all their mail on the IMAP server. And if the second client moves back to a Mac, I can just copy Thunderbird onto there. Thunderbird added a calendar package, so it has becomin more capable as an Outlook replacement.

Comment Re:Meet Mr. Nicolas Labbit (Score 1) 109

Following the rules for French pronunciation, if the 't' were actually silent, I'm pretty sure it would then be pronounced Lab-bee'.

So.... who's going to say "Wooosh!" first, or will the fact that I have mentioned it prevent such a remark form occurring? (I feel like I just made my own private Schroedinger's cat experiment)

Comment Re:it took 2 1/2 years... (Score 1) 159

for this to get "noticed"?

so much for open standards and open source software... 'its safe. you can look at the code yourself"... it took two and a half fucking years for someone to do just that.. and just to find an easter egg, not an embedded and obscured vulnerability.

No, it didn't take 2.5 years to get noticed. Look at the comments on the final commit, it was noticed and commented on by another team member the same day it went in. https://github.com/http2/http2...

The public didn't notice, but I'm sure many people involved in the project did... the commit wasn't in any way obscured. It just wasn't interesting enough for anyone else to notice.

Comment What is metadata? (Score 1) 71

NSLs are restricted to allowing collection only of "non-content information", or metadata. But what does that mean? In the case of telephone calls, it's pretty clear. With web history, though, it's much less clear, because a list of URLs is a list not only of which servers you connected to, but in most cases also what information you retrieved. The URL doesn't contain the information itself, but it's trivial for someone else to retrieve it and find out what you read.

Cell location information is another debatable case. While in some sense it is metadata if we consider the content to be what you talk about on the phone, the data you send/receive, etc., it's also tantamount to having a tracking device on almost everyone. Courts have ruled that GPS tracking without a warrant is unconstitutional, and it really seems that this is the same thing. The precision is lower, but it's still pretty darned good.

As for purchases, it would seem that information about what you bought and how much you paid for it would constitute "content", while the times and locations of the transactions would be metadata.

IP addresses of people you corresponded with... that seems like pure metadata, and is unsurprising to me.

Comment Re:Politics at work (Score 1) 55

but apparently, we non-stupid ones have to suffer with the rest.

Also, 90% of the population think that the other 90% of the population are the stupid ones.

It's stupid to explain the corruption and incompetence of our governments with stupidity and desinterest of the population. I'm beginning to believe that is a meme intentionally spread to prevent that anything is done to fix the real problem.

Which is: The people governing us are corrupt, self-absorbed arseholes with the mental capacity of 5 year olds but the trickery and manipulative abilities of experienced psychopaths.

Comment Re:James Hansen is a becoming shameful (Score 1) 395

The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.
This isn't precisely a statement backed by peer reviewed evidence either...

It's a pretty precise statement, though not in scientific language. Coal is absolutely horribly in every way, and "death" is the absolutely correct association people should have.

When people are angry about the science being politicized, it does NOT help for the scientists to go over board politicizing things themselves in the hope of being a counter-balance.

Climate scientists have been speaking about climate change for literally three decades in neutral, factual, scientific language and were utterly ignored. If what you are doing doesn't work, you need to try something else.

The problem is not that we need to educate people about science. Those who are interested have plenty of options to educate themselves. The problem is that we need to hammer the point "your children will die from this shit" into the heads of people who don't care about the science. The kind of people who don't understand and don't want to understand the language of "the mean CO2 concentration shows a strong correlation to..." - they want to know what the point is.

And the point is that coal is death and climate change will kill us all. Yeah, maybe that's not the 120% scientifically accurate way of saying it, but what really matters is that all the desinterested people get it, and get it strongly enough that politicians start to give a fuck because it will influence election results.

Comment Politics at work (Score 4, Insightful) 55

That's how modern politics works, unfortunately.

Ignore the facts. Pick the first easy thing that shows we are doing something.

Ignore the real problem. Pick a random thing from the headlines and act on that.

Ignore the known solutions. Make sure you are never seen continuously working on the same thing until it's done, our attention span is too short for that.

Comment Re:problems (Score 1) 89

Ironic that the very thing you disparage Bill Gates for you are doing yourself.

I'm running a multi-million dollar monopolistic company that harms technological progress and corners markets?

so who are you to say what is right or wrong?

I know little about education and almost nothing about malaria. So I'm not running around telling people how to run schools or cure people. But I know enough about philosophy and psychology to see your (and not just your) problem in thinking:

he has proven himself clever and successful, and I'll take that over some unknown internet forum poster any day of the week.

Bills success in exploiting the tech industry does not necessarily translate into any other knowledge. A lot of people who were genius scientists had brutally stupid ideas about politics. Many brilliant generals were utter failures at leading a country (they could win the war, but not rule what they won). We see successful people in arts or entertainment say things so stupid that listening to them is physically painful all the time on television.

He may be tricky in business, but that doesn't mean he knows one thing more about education than any random Internet forum poster. Nor does it mean he knows less. Just because I say "don't listen to him" doesn't mean "listen to me". I'm saying "think for yourself and listen to experts, not to random people with no credentials in the topic."

Comment Re:2000-3000 mAh perhaps? (Score 1) 190

I don't recall seeing anywhere in the article where watt-hours per liter are achieved with this technology, but even if it is more dense per unit volume than Li-Ion, all that means is that you save space.... if it weighs more, then it still requires more energy to push around, which is important if you want your batteries to be mobile.

Comment Why were they storing these? (Score 4, Insightful) 61

The important question is why the data was stored on VTech's servers in the first place.

THIS ^^^^^^^^ THIS

This corporate culture of "store everything" needs to go away. At least in the past, we had storage limitations that made this infeasible. But dammit, as a software engineer, if the system requirements tell me to store something that would be bad if it was released, then I'm not storing it unless there is a damned good reason AND it is well encrypted.

My kids have some vtech stuff. I downloaded their app that lets the toy know the child's name, birthday, and favorite food. But that's it. It never occurred to me that they would have any reason to store that information. Let alone storing photos and chat logs from devices that have that capability.

WTF!!!!! I am anxious to hear about this. This is why I used to use a personal firewall years ago. Everything phones home. But now they are impractical.

Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.