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Comment Re:Good News (Score 2) 47

I thought we would have learned by now that carpet bombing terrorists is not going to take care of them. It may be necessary (and in case of IS it'll certainly help weaken), but it's not a solution. And nationalism, or being proud of your country, is fine, however Putin is a great example of the kind of leader that sentiment tends to attract. With every thing that Putin does, from bombing ISIS to messing in the Crimea to signing a bill to protect the spotted puking buzzard, you have to look first at how it helps him and keep him in power, because that's his motivation. Ruling Russia has always been about spear-rattling to fuel their pride, petty oppression to fuel their fear, and for the rest doing whatever the hell you want without pissing the general populace off too much. I'm sure someone will want to point out that this could be said for many western governments these days, but read a little history to see that there really is no comparison. It's not for nothing that someone (can't remember who it was) called Russia a "nation of moral masochists"

Comment Re: he should know better (Score 1) 233

It's more like: "we rent rooms but not if you're having a drunken blowout with wall to wall vomiting in them". Can a hotel refuse service to people because of their beliefs? They can if those people are for example preaching in the lobby, but otherwise no. Can a christian hotel refuse service to an unmarried couple if they belief that couple will have sex at the hotel? Kind of a borderline case... I'd say no because by accepting the couple the hotel is not forced to speak in a voice they find objectionable (they may still gain a reputation they don't like but that's a separate issue). But if they make it clear in their policy that they do not allow unmarried couples to occupy a single room, then that's their business.

Free speech must extend to organisations such as ad agencies, cinemas, and newspapers. As an organisation they must be free to speak in the voice they want, and not be forced to publish material they find objectionable. Or should a conservative newspaper be forced to run liberal articles.

Comment Re: he should know better (Score 1) 233

The fact that you are free to say what you want does not mean that I am under any obligation to offer you a platform to speak from. I support the right of these cinemas to not run ads they think might cause trouble, even if I agree with Dawkins that it is wrong to pander to the perennially indignant in this way. Thankfully people or businesses are still free to make their own wrong decisions.

A big problem with free speech issues is that a lot of people seem not to understand the difference between allowing something, tolerating someting, agreeing with something, and endorsing something.

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 1) 199

So buy a connected fridge from a reputable vendor whom you can trust to at least understand the important issues and risks of having an appliance connected to the LAN or Internet. Don't buy a connected fridge at all if you're too worried about this, or feel you can't trust any manufacturer. Make these manufacturers aware of your concern. Donate to the EFF or whatever so they can inform the public and influence regulators to safeguard our privacy and safety (and make manufacturers liable for such issues).

It is fine to be cautious, just don't call anyone who disagrees an idiot, or claim that the introduction of IoT-capable appliances is somehow violating your rights. That's the vibe I am getting from a lot of opponents to HA. The IoT is not evil for the reasons you state; "IoT doesn't steal data, peope do".

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 1) 199

No. My thermostat has no "off" switch, and a minimum temperature setting that is high enough not to let the pipes freeze. The electronic TRVs likewise have a safeguard against freezing.

Sure, it's still electronics, and someone could have messed with the firmware, or even exploit a weakness in the thermostat by sending weird packets over the Z-Wave network (a wireless network used for home automation) to make it turn the heating off completely. That's far, far less likely to happen than the heater itself breaking down. And because I can monitor things remotely, it is extremely unlikely to happen without me noticing the problem.

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 1) 199

If your fridge or furnace can be turned off completely by remote (or even locally), you're doing it wrong. Think for a moment what you are automating. The temperature, not the furnace. Your thermostat will be controllable, the furnace will remain just a dumb unconnected piece of equipment, but smart enough to remain operating within acceptable limits even if the thermostat is compromised. I have a fairly comprehensively automated home, but with full control or even the ability to operate devices outside their normal limits, you could do very little actual damage there, and cause a minor inconvenience at best. It's good to be careful and wary of any connected device, but at some point it's just fearmongering and/or a complete misunderstanding of the actual risks.

By the way, I'd be happy to accept liability for any damages such as the ones you describe, if I were selling you a home automation setup.

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 1) 199

HA setups typically store very little data, what little is there is hardly worth taking, and certainly not worth worrying about. If a router in my house were open, I'd be much more worried about the stuff they could steal off my computers and NAS than the stuff stored in my "things". Besides, if data is exposed through a flaw in my router, there would still need to be someone aware of that fact and in a position to collect and exploit the data. If instead you are using IoT-devices, your data is harvested and abused by default with a 100% certainty, by the mothership.

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 2) 199

I'm a fan of home automation (a hobby of mine that's increasingly turning into a business). I, and many fellow HA enthusiasts, are firm proponents of the LAN of Things, or even a Separate Network - Controlled By a Hub That is Only Allowed To Connect To the Internet Under Strict Conditions - Of Things. There are plenty of useful ways to automate your home (no, nothing essential or life-changing, but sometimes very convenient), but very little of that requires data to leave the house. And when it does, it should only happen on your own terms. And cameras? The ones around my house have their power cut off externally when we're home, and show a light when they are on (a separate dumb LED on the same power supply). No use taking any chances there.

Comment Re:This is why ISIS wins (Score 1) 578

Seems to me most mission planners would avoid going near borders of countries they do not have an alliance with, or at the very least announce their missions up front to their more-or-less-allies (something Russia often neglects to do, and other nations active in the region have already complained about that). And Turkey is fast ceasing to be a civilized nation. This incident has all the rancid stink of a pissing contest gone wrong.

Comment Re:This is why ISIS wins (Score 5, Insightful) 578

Those parties are not really fighting amongst themselves; but they do have different interests in Syria. While their common goal is to fight IS, they each want to use this conflict as an opportunity to back their own horse in this race. Russia bombs the "moderate" rebels opposing Assad, while the rest likes to support those rebels. Meanwhile, Turkey bombs the Kurds.

By the way, Russia has a long history of violating the airspace of other nations. I'm surprised there hasn't been such an incident earlier.

Comment Re:Wouldn't this lead to Natural Selection? (Score 3, Insightful) 167

On the flip side, programmers may receive better answers on SO than the ones they had come up with themselves, and gain new insights in programming patterns, use of SDKs, etc. That sort of learning and sharing of knowledge is encouraged and facilitated in other fields for good reason, and I've learned a good many things that way myself. As long as the answer explains or shows how to solve the problem instead of actually solving it completely. Post text or pseudocode rather than complete working code fragments. Same way you teach your kid how to fix a punctured bicycle tyre: don't fix it for him, but let him fix it under your guidance.

Comment Re:Smells like FUD (Score 1) 108

It also is much harder to figure out the specific person who carries the hacked pacemaker. With normal ransomware, you don't have to know anything about the person who owns the hacked computer, since the same computer is delivering the ransom note. It does make a lot more sense to hold a city, a hospital, or the manufacturer to ransom.

Comment Re:Everyone has to learn about it. (Score 1) 192

This. In most companies I see few or no senior devs. What they call senior devs are people with a mere 5 years of experience. And management refuses to even let those so-called seniors set aside time to coach the junior coders. And then they wonder why so many projects fail to live up even to minimal expectations.

"I've finally learned what `upward compatible' means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes." -- Dennie van Tassel