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Comment Re:Three Seashells (Score 0) 222

No, it's not even relevant. As much as hippies like to pretend there's something you can do in your home to help the environment, this is not a US problem. Forest coverage in the US has grown substantially since the 50s, as crop yields increase there is simply less farmland, and more forest.

Bullshit. The same utter bullshit that the forest products industry has been spewing for almost as long. "Trees - America's renewable resource". Well, if by "trees" we mean large swaths of Douglas Fir or Poplar monoculture, sure. If we mean a mature and diverse climax forest, no. Not even close. If, by "renewable", we mean "we grow as many board feet as we harvest", again, no. Not even close, the boast about "we plant ten trees for every tree we cut down" sounds good, but it is nowhere near actually replacing what was lost.

Comment Re:Sanctioning NSA/FBI for spying all? (Score 1) 78

To be fair, I think the problem with Russian/Chinese cyber attacks is that they're designed to embarass governments and disrupt civilian life or gain commercial advantage - leaking people's personal details, or stealing corporate secrets.

Whereas here in the good ol' US of A, we have corporations that do that.

Can we maybe get the FBI to look into Google's attacks on my privacy?

Comment Re:A free search engine (Score 1) 152

Well first of all, that's a really shitty assumption as he may not be a libertarian at all

Fair enough. Most of the tools who identify themselves here as libertarian exactly that - "not libertarian at all".

As a libertarian myself, I view a monopoly as basically the same thing as socialism. And when I say socialism, I'm not talking about welfare, I'm talking about a form of economy where the government owns the means of production and at the end of the day doesn't give a shit about its customers because it has no competitors...which is no different at all from a monopoly.

About the kindest thing I can say about that is that your understanding of socialism is simplistic and incomplete. That it is "no different" from a monopoly is patently absurd. There is perhaps no better illustration of that difference than the case of electrical utilities. Where I live now, the power grid is owned and operated by a monopoly. The condition of lines, reliability of service, and just about any quality metric you'd care to list reflects that they are beholden only to their shareholders. In other places where I have lived, the electrical utilities are "owned" and operated by a "public utility district". That operation is beholden to the rate payers, who are also the voters who elect the commissioners to it's board. The difference is, in a word, stark. I can count on one hand the number of times I saw the power go out for more than a split second in 20-some years before moving to this model of free enterprise. The power went out more than that last week alone. The two (one a monopoly and one as close to socialism as it gets) could not be more different when it comes to the things that count.

Comment Re:A free search engine (Score 1) 152

Google isn't a monopoly. You can use whatever search engine you want. People choose to use Google. Go use yahoo/bing/duckduckgo/etc if youwant.

That's not really the point though, is it? If I run a business that is competition with some Google business unit, what really matters is what search engines are being used by my customers. Odds are that they're using Google, a decision over which I have no control. If Google is messing with search results to penalize me and boost their business, that is clearly and abuse. Wouldn't you say?

Comment Re:remember it well (Score 1) 156

Impossible to live there without driving. No planning and zoning, crime, one party theocratic rule to name just a few things.

Well, yeah. ...mostly. You are absolutely right on the no planning or zoning, the crime, and yeah Houston has more than it's share of evangelical fascists, but with an out lesbian mayor, it's pretty tough to call that "one party theocratic".

Comment Re:What drival. (Score 1) 154

I am lucky to have worked for some darn good companies when it comes to security.

Ditto. I give thanks regularly that the business principals who run the company I work for get it, generally.

Combine that with the fact that a single cloud provider has yet to have been breached, usually makes the CEO/CTO push for a cloud solution, stat.

[1]: When I ask about the intrusion scenario, the business I was interviewing at said, "we just call Tata or Infosys, and they will fix it."

There may not have been any breaches of a "cloud provider", yet, but that's not really surprising. Honestly, the security posture of most cloud operations I've considered is superior to that of a damn lot of businesses who run their own stuff. So, in a cloud scenario, a breach from the host side of things is far less likely than from something on the guest/client side. There's a reason that AWS makes it extremely hard to get them to sign a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement, for example. They'll do it, because they know that their stack is solid, but not before you've satisfied them that what you plan on deploying on their stack is just as solid. Most things thrown up to the cloud don't get that kind of vetting, and not at all surprisingly, those same things get pwned with pretty much the same regularity as their non-cloud counterparts.

I swear if I ever meet the guy who decided that "the cloud" was something magical instead just another term for "someone else's servers", I'm going to... to... uh... pain! Lots of pain.

Comment Re: Very sad - but let's get legislation in place (Score 2) 706

You are absolutely right. The already extant laws that make the Ashley Madison hack a crime clearly did not stop perpetrators. Unfortunately, for you, GP was talking about laws that would punish those responsible for the security of sensitive personal information when they clearly do not take adequate precautions to protect that data from the lawless hackers. Get it now?
FWIW, negligence is tough to prove. Criminal negligence, even more so, but I'll wager that what those responsible for security at Ashley Madison failed to do, or more likely, what they were prevented from doing by their superiors, is as clear a case as there has ever been. We all know the story. The security team warned the developers, then the operations guys, who warned the CISO (if they had one) who damn-well better have warned the Board. Somewhere along the way, operations/profit won out over security. It's probably going to ruin Ashley Madison. It is clearly going to ruin thousands of lives of people who had a reasonable expectation of privacy. That is nothing, if not a crime. Why is it not being treated as such? Why is it not treated as such every time it happens?

Comment No shit, Sherlock (Score 5, Insightful) 393

Where was Captain Obvious ten years ago? Why is there no outrage over "trivial to hack" and "we can never know"? Little else is as sacrosanct to our system of law and government as the integrity of the electoral process. That those who knew better were unable to get attention focused on this problem until now is deeply troubling.

Comment Re:Won't do a thing. (Score 1) 168

Oh, she gets a lot of things right. She brings with her a lot of valid observations from her time in a totalitarian state, and she sees how many of them are applied in her new home country. There is a lot of commentary she gets right.

Where she goes wrong is in assuming this means that only selfish people should lead the world and then everything will be all right. In fact, it is amazing that she misses that observation from the totalitarian state. Her perception was selective indeed.

As was her writing on that point; it's hard to find more selfish people than the ones she so strongly despise in her stories. They just happen to not be written as heroes, and therefore their selfishness is bad, while that of the heroes is good. Simply because her stories make it so.

Ow! Man that whooshing sound (as your observation passed over the heads of the Rand fanboys here) was so loud it hurt my ears. Well said, sir.

Comment Re:That's stupid (Score 0) 417

Man's 3% of emissions seems to matter more than nature's 97%.

Anyone who believes the climate change crap is not using their brain.

Anyone who believes that that ratio is all there is to it is, well, plain fucking stupid. Climate science (like most science) can not be reduced to sound bites like that.

Comment Re:Buy a battery case (Score 1) 208

Yeah, and what good is your phone? The only thing you can do on it well is talk. That's one of the rarest things I do on my phone, and I avoid it whenever possible. For texting, navigation, web browsing, dating apps, voice mail, etc., your phone is useless. You need all those sensors and a big touchscreen to do those things (yes, including texting; texting on a 0-9 keypad is idiotic and unusable) (and yes, including voice mail too; listening to voice mail is so 1990s, these days I read my voice mail with Google Voice).

Texting on a touch screen keypad is idiotic. Yes, it's an improvement over a 10-key, but just barely, i.e. it still sucks compared to more useful input devices. Useful? I can convey far more information with my smartphone's antiquated talky thing than I can with that shitty keyboard, meaning that "app" is still the most useful thing on my smart phone. Don't get my wrong. Having a browser and a GPS in my pocket is useful, from time to time, but when it comes to actual effective communication, the platform has a long way to go before it can supplant telephony.

"Old age and treachery will beat youth and skill every time." -- a coffee cup