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Comment Re:Prove to me (Score 1) 198

Obviously, you don't understand the job of a "counter-terrorism expert." His job is to stir up as much fear of terrorism as possible to secure more anti-terrorism funding for his group.

Wait, you wanted actual anti-terrorism planning with actual weighing of costs vs. benefits? *bursts into laughter*

Comment Re:No, it can be practical logic (Score 3, Insightful) 198

This isn't a case of "perfect is the enemy of the better." This is a case of "something is the enemy of nothing" - which means that, in the minds of politicians, doing something is better than doing nothing even if that something is worse than useless. Even if doing the something in question makes matters worse (say, by allowing the RIAA to form a private army to kill "copyright thieves"), it is better than doing nothing as far as the politician is concerned because he can claim "I did something" when re-election comes around.

In related news, this kind of thinking is what led to the TSA "security." Doing "something" about security (everyone has to remove their shoes) trumps taking the time to actually consider risks and benefits.

Comment Re:"there was no acknowledgment that ..." (Score 1) 259

I do have it linked in some places - it's hard to do product reviews if you refuse to give your name/address to the companies you are going to do reviews for. So, theoretically, one of those reps could "out" my pseudonym. Other than that, though, I'm not going to intentionally link my real name and pseudonym. (Which is why I refer to it as "my pseudonym" instead of actually typing out my actual pseudonym.)

In the case of my stalker, she's less of a "dox this person" than she is a "track down this person's employer and report to the employer that the person is a pedophile (or some other type of criminal) because God told her." Most likely my employer would shrug her off, but there's no need to take the chance that they might say "we don't believe her, but don't want to get involved with this so you're fired."

Comment Re:Google did it (Score 2) 70

I am a Google Voice user and that functionality is there. I can mark a caller as spam and have them get a "This number is no longer in service" message in the future. Other Google Voice users marking callers as spam means that I'll often be notified that a spammer called me but my phone won't ring.

Comment Re:Answering calls? (Score 1) 70

I have something like this with Google Voice. I can mark an incoming call as spam and block them from ever calling me again. Just like with spam e-mail filters, other people can do this too which can result in a phone call not even ringing my cell phone. And when a spammer tries calling me, they get a "This number is no longer in service" message.

Comment Re:My experience (Score 1) 259

Apart from the real name policy, that was my biggest complaint about Google+. I can post to Twitter, Facebook (if I used it), and other social networks using one program. Why not Google+ also? Posting to Google+ meant going to their site and opening a new post. It's adding extra work to the process. Anytime you add extra work to things you want users to do, you'll lose users. Google needed to make it as easy as possible to post to Google+ which meant third party service integration, but that conflicted with the "We want them going to Google+" mentality and so Google+ lost users.

Comment Re:"there was no acknowledgment that ..." (Score 1) 259

I actually liked Google+ in theory. The idea that you could assign a post to be viewable only by a certain subset of users was perfect. What kept me off was the real-name policy and the lack of third party tools. Slashdot is one of the few places I use my real name online. (This is because I set up my Slashdot account a long time ago and I didn't care who knew my real name then.) I didn't want to link my pseudonym postings with my real name for various reasons - not least of which was because I've been the victim of an online stalker whose potential for damage was limited by her not knowing my real name. However, even when Google relented and allowed pseudonyms, it was in the form of "First_Name Last_Name (Pseudonym)". That doesn't help at all! Why couldn't they let me use my pseudonym and hide my real name. Even better, why not let me assign different visible names to different groups. "Pseudonym" to the public at large, "Real Name (Pseudonym)" to close friends, "Real Name" to family, etc.

As for the third party tools, I would use one application to post to Twitter. Were I on Facebook, I could have used that tool to post to Facebook too. But to post to Google+, I would have needed to go to Google's website. The easier you make it for people to post to your social network, the more posts you will get. The harder you make it, the less posts you will get.

Comment Re:When do I get to be a multinational corp? (Score 1) 330

I'm not looking at a private person's decision about his own information. I'm looking at the French court's decision that application of French law needs to be applied across the entire Internet. If this is allowed, then every nation can apply its laws on everyone else, regardless of where they are. I live in the US where - for all its flaws - freedom of speech is pretty broad. There are many nations with much more strict rules about what you can and can't say. I wouldn't want those countries deciding what I can and can't say online.

Comment Re:How long and how varied (Score 4, Insightful) 111

And, as another poster pointed out, aide workers/doctors/nurses could be vaccinated when they go into an infection zone to treat patients without risking infection themselves. Even if the immunity only lasted a few months, I think any doctor would take the occasional jab over risking Ebola because they were so hot and tired when taking the suit off that they made a small mistake and got exposed to the disease.

Comment Re:How long and how varied (Score 2) 111

You're going for funny, but too many people would say that 100% seriously. As the parent of a child with autism, I resent the implication those people make that a child is better off dead from measles than "damaged" with autism. Sadly, too many people have skewed risk-benefit calculations because they hear horror stories about vaccines and haven't seen first-hand the horrors of the diseases vaccines prevent. I guarantee that an Ebola vaccine would be greeted by long lines to get the vaccine and not questions about whether 1 case in 10,000 will have some minor side effect just like nobody said "Let's hold off on that polio vaccine until it is 100% safe" back when polio was raging.

Comment Re:give us stuff we actually want. (Score 2) 59

They're all in search of the next big thing. Smartphones, right now, have hit a plateau. You can tweak some feature sets here and there such as adding some additional CPU power/memory/battery life, but overall pretty much any smartphone is the same as any other smartphone. If a phone manufacturer comes out with a "more power" smartphone, all it will take is their rivals packing more power into THEIR next product to dethrone the "more power" phone. So phone manufacturers are resorting to gimmicks to get an edge on the competition. Unfortunately for the manufacturers, none of these gimmicks has caught on. And, if it did, it wouldn't be long before other manufacturers copied the gimmick, all-but-completely negating the advantage for the original manufacturer had.

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