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Comment: VPN is the only way to go, for those who care (Score 1) 369

by m.dillon (#47909791) Attached to: Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor

I read somewhere that not only was Comcast doing their hotspot crap, but that they will also be doing javascript injection to insert ads on anyone browsing the web through it.

Obviously Comcast is sifting whatever data goes to/from their customers, not just for 'bots' but also for commercial and data broker value. Even this relatively passive activity is intolerable to me.

Does anyone even trust their DNS?

Frankly, these reported 'Tor' issues are just the tip of the iceberg, and not even all that interesting in terms of what customers should be up in arms about. It is far more likely to be related to abusing bandwidth (a legitimate concern for Comcast) than to actually running Tor.

People should be screaming about the level of monitoring that is clearly happening. But I guess consumers are mostly too stupid to understand just how badly their privacy is being trampled.

There is a solution. Run a VPN. If Comcast complains, cut the T.V. service and change to the business internet service (which actually costs less).


Comment: Re:What's the angle? (Score 1) 35

by martenmickos (#47892887) Attached to: HP Buys Cloud Provider, Gets Marten Mickos To Head Its Cloud Division

Great question. We are seeing a lot of interest among enterprises to have AWS-like functionality in their own datacenters. And we also know that they are eager to use OpenStack. So at Eucalyptus we decided to do something about it. Here is my blog about the topic:

Comment: Other side of the story. (Score 3, Insightful) 108

by pavon (#47892839) Attached to: Software Patents Are Crumbling, Thanks To the Supreme Court

When Arstechnica ran that WP story about corruption in the USPTO, several current and past patent examiners posted comments that are worth reading. Two key ones in particular are this and this.

Short story is that USPTO has stupid counterproductive performance metrics, so everyone games the system to look good by the metrics (we've all seen that before). Some managers recognize this and don't want to be assholes about time charging rules because of it, as long as employees are doing good work. Others get upset that the rules are being broken and assume it is blatant time card fraud, and blew the whistle to the news outlets.

Comment: Re:Google should win this if they went to court... (Score 1) 287

by tlambert (#47892481) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails


2. information for quick access

Paragraph 5 para 1 no 2 TMG says literally:

"Information to enable a fast electronic contact and direct communication with them, including electronic mail address."

You can hardly more clear than that. And if Google answers:

Google will not respond to or even read your message

it definitely breaks the law, since this is not even a one sided communication.

The problem here is that the law *requires* an email address. It was never really thought out for large companies with billions of customers, and the law is effectively a bad law as a result, but it is still in fact the law.

I can imagine that the response is going to be something like an IVR system, where you are emailed back something which requires you provide more context ("or you can click here"), and repeats the process narrowing down the context, each time ("or you can go here"), until it drills down to the automated system where it can bucket it into the appropriate web form you should have used in the first place instead of sending them an email, or your problem is answered, or you give up and go away.

Unless there's also a law against IVR in Germany?

Guaranteed that most of these emails to that address are SPAM and/or people bitching about seeing things in the search results they don't want to, or not seeing things in the search results that they expected to, and a human would be telling them, very politely, that nothing will be done about their complaint and/or they are not interested in pretending to be the heir to the fortune on deposit in the Bank of Lagos by the wife of the late oil minister ("now deceased, God Bless").

Comment: The fiction of net metering... (Score 5, Insightful) 436

by tlambert (#47887215) Attached to: If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

The fiction of net metering is that you will not be paid the same amount for the electricity you generate as for the electricity you consume.

On of the purposes of "Smart Meters" is to permit differential pricing on electricity produced vs. consumed; it's not just to provide a temporal demand market. There are already tariffs in place in California where PG&E only has to buy as much electricity as you consume for a net 0 energy usage, rather than being required to purchase everything you generate over what you consume.

The idea of a large grid only works if someone pays to maintain that grid, and that pricing comes in as a differential.

Everyone can't do what Tesla is doing because not everyone is going to have the storage capacity to make it economical; Tesla can just rota the batteries it manufactures in service to the manufacturing plant itself, as part of "burn in testing", so that it'll get local off-grid storage as a side effect of the manufacturing process itself.

I suppose that "every rechargeable battery manufacturer can do what Tesla does" would be a fair statement, but that's a tiny subset of "everyone"

Comment: Re:Great, they've invented "MedBook"... (Score 1) 198

Almost everything everyone complains about regarding Facebook is related to its choice of NoSQL as an underlying implementation technology:

- You don't get to see all of your friends posts
- Everyone who follows you isn't guaranteed to see all of your posts
- The computational overhead of making ACID guarantees is available ... if you pay for the extra work (i.e. step back to ACID)
- Posts show up out of order
- A comment on an old post by someone brings the whole thing back as if it's a new post

It follows that the other things that people complain about Facebook over are sure to follow into the NHS implementation, if they are taking that lead to its logical conclusion - meaning advertising replacing desirable content in the medical record.

Comment: Re:difference between driver and passenger? (Score 1) 363

by pavon (#47871113) Attached to: Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

They are evaluating different technologiess, some of which are implemented on and affect a single phone, others implemented with hardware in the car and affect all phones in the car. But even if it disables all phones in the entire car, I am completely fine with this. Yes it is inconvient, but it's not like it is being required as standard equipment on all cars all the time. It is only being applied to cars of people who broke the law and put others around them at risk. You want to keep using your phone when you are riding with a friend/spouse; then give them shit about texting while they are driving.

Comment: Great, they've invented "MedBook"... (Score 1) 198

by tlambert (#47869175) Attached to: UK's National Health Service Moves To NoSQL Running On an Open-Source Stack

Great, they've invented "MedBook"... what you see when you look at it is a fraction of the available data at any one time because it has "arrived" at the node where you are viewing it from yet.

What do I have to do so that my drug allergies and blood type are "sponsored postings" so that when my doctor looks at them, he doesn't kill me due to all of the auto-play video advertisements for Cialis being there instead of the information I want to be there?

Comment: Re:Anthropometrics (Score 4, Informative) 811

by epiphani (#47845577) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

The problem is twofold. I travel a huge amount for work, and I am required to select the cheapest available option (within a window). The only thing that saves me from spending 10+ hours a week in huge amounts of discomfort due to the amount of space is my frequent flier status.. Those extra 5" of legroom are luxury when you travel as much as I do.

Comment: Re:I'm not understanding "missing DNA"... (Score 1) 108

by tlambert (#47805131) Attached to: The Passenger Pigeon: A Century of Extinction

Museum specimens were commonly preserved with formaldehyde, which damages DNA.

The technique in question would use the DNA from a *lot* of cells. Even if all of them were damaged, they would not be damaged in precisely the same way, which is why the technique works: it's a statistical technique. Give 1500 full specimens with multiple sets of damage, they should, on average, get the full genome for the species, since that's a viable number of individuals to propagate the species.

So again, unless something knocked out a specific chromosome in *all* the cells of *all* the specimens, there's nothing in particular, I'm not seeing the problem here that's being solved by inserting non-species DNA into the genome, since it should be acomplete species's going to be present in the majority of the samples anyway, and weeding out the damage is a computational bioinformatics task, not a "Well, it's not in this one cell; we're screwed" task.

Comment: I think most are missing the politics. (Score 3, Interesting) 127

by tlambert (#47795999) Attached to: Microsoft Shutting Down MSN Messenger After 15 Years of Service

I think most are missing the politics.

This is surprising, coming as it does on the heels of Microsoft's refusal to comply with the U.S. Federal court order to hand over overseas held emails.

So I will spell out some of the political consequences here.

The service closure forces a service switch on the remaining people who were using non-Microsoft MSN clients and thus avoiding the Guangming, which operates the Chinese version of Skype, which has been modified "to support Internet regulations", which is to say The Great Firewall of China. If these users want comparable services, the only comparable one now available to them is Tencent’s QQ messaging software, which from the start has been designed "to support Internet regulations". So there are no longer any "too big to shoot in the head" options which do NOT "support Internet regulations".

So really the only people who care about this will be Chinese dissidents who want to communicate with each other using an encrypted channel through a server inaccessible to the Chinese government, and any journalists seeking an encrypted channel whereby they can move information out of China without having to have a government approved satellite uplink handy, or a willingness to smuggle out data storage some other way.

You can bring any calculator you like to the midterm, as long as it doesn't dim the lights when you turn it on. -- Hepler, Systems Design 182