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Comment: Re:I'm all for it (Score 1) 184

by Geminii (#39110661) Attached to: Eternal Copyright: a Modest Proposal

Make the first payment cover the first decade. It'll only be about two grand, assuming $1 for the first year. After the tenth year, payments can be paid for any integer number of years in advance.

I'd even allow for copyright payments past the tenth year to be paid back. If you've paid two years in advance, and you find you have a sudden cash flow problem, you could wind your copyright back by a year and get that second year's payment back as a check.

Comment: Re:"The GPS is there in case you need to dial 911! (Score 1) 151

by Geminii (#39073289) Attached to: Indian Government To Track Locations of All Cell Phone Users

Who needs GPS? The phone company has detected that the signal from your phone has the following strengths at the following three base stations in your area... might not be enough to pinpoint you to within a yard, but they certainly know where you are to a city block or two. And should anyone be trying to track you down afterwards, there are a lot of urban places with security cameras which may have been pointing to places inside that city block.

Plus, of course, they can take a phone of the same model as yours and walk around the whole area of possibilities, recording the resulting sets of signal strengths and matching them to the ones received from your phone. It's a lot easier to ask the staff of three shops if they saw you than to ask the staff of a hundred.

Comment: Re:and can easily be foiled with.... (Score 1) 151

by Geminii (#39073225) Attached to: Indian Government To Track Locations of All Cell Phone Users

Almost every crimesolving technique and power is aimed squarely at making it easier to identify and round up criminals who are either stupid or who forgot to account for _all_ of the evidence which might be collected.

Smart criminals are always going to be harder to catch, because they're smart. But they're also a vanishingly small percentage of the criminal element. Eventually, in order to get away with a crime, luck aside, a person is going to have to be so smart that there's not really much chance of catching them at all. Even then, if the numbers of smart, successful, lucky criminals are reduced sufficiently by the percentage slivers new processes and technologies bring, that means that more resources can be brought to bear per case, and specialist crimesolving resources and teams (including things like the FBI in America) will be able to take on a greater proportion of the top cases.

As an example, if the FBI can handle, oh, ten thousand cases a year (completely guessing this number), and you're a smart successful criminal amongst 20,000 others like you, you still have a 50% chance of having the FBI after you. If new processes allow the regular police to track down, apprehend, and charge 5,000 of those smart criminals, your chance of being on the FBI's radar go up to 67%.

(Yes, I know the FBI doesn't operate like that. Replace it with any specialist resource. The point being that the more crims that can be nicked by the plod, the better the chance that the remaining ones will come to the attention of the big guns.)

Really, the smartest criminals are the ones committing crimes for which are are no laws yet. Even if they're caught, they can't be charged with what they actually did. And the best of the best make sure they have enough influence at the right levels so that they're protected from law enforcement in the first place.

Comment: If anyone's interested - (Score 1) 210

by Geminii (#39073067) Attached to: FCC Cracks Down on Robocalls

I'm looking into getting produced a product which could not only block all of these calls, but which would be automatically updated to block new sources of telemarketing, political spam, and so on.

Landlines, smartphones, PBX system, VoIP.

I'm still not sure which version to pursue, though - the one which simply blocked the calls, or the one which forwarded them to a suite of audio-equipped Elizabots running genetic algorithms to determine which responses could keep human callers on the line the longest.

There was even an interesting post on Reddit from an ex-telemarketer who called someone who convinced the poster to not only terminate the call, but to quit his job there and then. I wonder if the concept/response tree could be automated, or weighted according to voice/stress analysis indicating what's affecting a caller emotionally. And of course, fingerprinting would mean that any telemarketer calling subsequent service subscribers would be able to be identified and the response system could pick up where it left off. (Or try a number of different approaches until it sensed a weakness, then pursue that.)

Comment: Re:Curious (Score 1) 445

by Geminii (#38942789) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are Daily Stand-Up Meetings More Productive?

In addition: there's no point in bringing up anything in a multiperson meeting which is a straight one-to-many data dump. Put that in email. There's also no point in bringing up anything which is a one-to-one exchange - again, take it to email or have one person phone or drop by the other person's desk (or schedule a brief one-on-one meeting).

If there's actually stuff left over - things which need multiple points of input in parallel - then by all means put them in the meeting. But don't have meetings every day or every week just because it's a regular schedule. A scheduled waste of time is still a waste of time.

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack." -- H.L. Mencken

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