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Comment: Re:Why is the White House involved? (Score 2) 185

by Jeremi (#48668729) Attached to: Sony To Release the Interview Online Today; Apple Won't Play Ball

. That said, I don't understand how Sony is so brazen as to assume that they can just call up the White House, ask for help, and suddenly Apple is going to capitulate to their demands. Their line of thinking goes in this direction for a reason.

Indeed. In this case, the reason is that Obama has said publicly several times that he wished Sony had come to him for help before canceling the release of the movie. This is just Sony taking Obama up on his offer.

Comment: Re:Who will get (Score 1) 359

by Jeremi (#48657939) Attached to: North Korean Internet Is Down

Companies should be free to hire cyber mercenaries to decimate their attackers. Maybe that's what's going on here? Or maybe they're getting a little US Mil support.

I have this sinking suspicion that this could be the common state of affairs for the Internet's forseeable future -- various unknown parties constantly breaking various things on the Internet, with the rest of us never really figuring out who is doing what to whom, or why.

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a global game of Core War, being played on everyone's servers, forever. :P

Comment: Re:Monkey Business (Score 2) 183

by Jeremi (#48654061) Attached to: Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

Is this ape going to get a job? Or will it still remain effectively a sub-human in a different type of cage?

It looks like not much really changed here...

It looks like what will change is that the orangutan will live in a wildlife sanctuary rather than in a zoo.

Whether that is significant or not depends on the difference in quality-of-life (for an orangutan) between living in a cage (or small zoo enclosure) vs living in a larger outdoor environment. I'd imagine that the orangutan's quality of life will improve significantly, but that's only a layman's guess since I don't claim any expertise on orangutans. I suppose the test would be to give the orangutan the option of either lifestyle, and see which one she seems to prefer.

Comment: Re:Like many inventions ... (Score 2) 247

by Jeremi (#48650125) Attached to: The Magic of Pallets

. But how did they decide to call it a pallet?

I'm not sure about how that was decided, but I will note that an older definition of the word was "A temporary bed made from [straw] bedding arranged on the floor, especially for a child". Perhaps they envisioned the wooden frames as temporary beds for products to rest on?

Comment: Re:Some math (Score 1) 133

by Jeremi (#48648433) Attached to: Tesla About To Start Battery-Swap Pilot Program

Free transportation fuel is going to make the line of customers less steady?

The line of customers to the $50 battery-swap option will definitely become less steady, yes. Unless you think that there aren't any people who, given the option, would choose to keep the $50 rather than spend it? Granted, these are Tesla drivers we're talking about here, but still ;^)

Comment: Re:Country that forbids use to internet (Score 1) 236

NK GDP: (2011) 12.4Bn USD. That's *less* than the annual CAFCASS budget. That's right, a non-departmental Government agency in England has a larger budget than the total output of an entire fucking country.

Okay... next question is: how much would it cost to hire the necessary people to do what was done to Sony? I'm guessing that would be in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly up to a million?

Given the amount of money North Korea spends on nuclear weapons development, I don't see any reason why they wouldn't or couldn't spend a relatively small amount on this.

Comment: Re:Marketing?... NOT! (Score 4, Insightful) 234

by Jeremi (#48648347) Attached to: Anonymous Claims They Will Release "The Interview" Themselves

"Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?" she wrote

I can't quite see why this is being made out to be such a scandal. So she asked a colleague if a black guy might be interested in films starring black characters. Okay, it's a bit naive, but scandalous? Really?

It's not like she said anything insensitive to Obama; she merely asked a colleague for advice about how to act appropriately. I'd think that recognizing your ignorance in advance and correcting it would be preferable to ignoring it and then blurting out something stupid/embarrassing to the POTUS.

I'm probably missing some critical detail, but to me it seems like the only thing she's guilty of is not having enough experience interacting with black people in a social context. That's a weakness, to be sure, but if it's a sin then it's a sin that a lot of other people are also guilty of. I think this is a pretty good example of why people are so reluctant to enter any discussion about race -- anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion.

Comment: Re:Some math (Score 1) 133

by Jeremi (#48639835) Attached to: Tesla About To Start Battery-Swap Pilot Program

Because ... that doesn't happen at some real gas stations?

Of course, real gas stations don't give away free gas to customers who are willing to wait half an hour. If they did, that might cut down considerably on the number of people who were willing to pay $50 to fill up their tank in 3 minutes, and make the "steady line of customers" scenario less likely.

Apples, oranges.

Comment: Re:Which is why (Score 1) 338

I ask the same question again, why put this stuff online at all? Why are critical systems for infrastructure online? Why is anything of any importance for our government and nation available to the general Internet?

Because that's how the information gets from (wherever it is stored) to (the people who need to access it). The Internet is popular for a reason, and that reason is that it helps people get things done quickly and cheaply.

The alternative, of course, is to have the information and the people physically co-located, so that they can access the information only via an isolated network (or by physically sitting at the computer the information is stored on).

However, the benefits of remote access are so great that in many cases it's seen as being worth the risk of allowing it. Whether or not that assessment is correct or not depends on an estimate of how secure the networks are, but also on an estimate of how aggressive, competent, and numerous any hostile intruders will be. Clearly it's possible to get both of those estimates wrong, but I'm not sure that a knee-jerk response of "pull all the Ethernet cables and return to the 1950s" is going to be a practical solution either, as doing so would likely cause as much disruption as an actual attack.

I'm not sure what the solution is, but probably one good practice would be a lot more red-teaming -- i.e. if your network is vulnerable to intrusion, it's much better to learn how a friendly intruder got in (by asking him) and fix the hole than to pick up the pieces after a hostile intruder nuked your network.

Comment: Re:Tech angle? (Score 1) 879

by Jeremi (#48601407) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

Are you a paid shill for Uber, or just a disgusting human being?

Ad hominem attacks are tedious, so for the sake of argument let's take it as given that I'm both. Now that we've got that out of the way, I'll ask again: how are Uber's high prices ripping anyone off? Does anyone actually pay those prices? If so, why? Is Uber pointing a gun to their heads?

Comment: Re:Congratulations you've invented the credit card (Score 1) 156

by Jeremi (#48601291) Attached to: Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

Congratulations you've invented the credit card!

I've always kind of wanted a bank account with built-in credit-card functionality. No overdraft fees possible, rather you pay credit-card style interest when your balance is negative, and earn bank-style interest when your balance is positive.

Of course, this is unlikely to be offered for just that reason... to the banks, overdraft fees are a profit center :(

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. -- Arthur R. Miller