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Comment: Not a security risk, but a fake risk (Score 1, Insightful) 178

by Jiro (#48388845) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Non-USB Flash Direct From China Safe?

I would tend to agree with other people: There's really no risk that a SD card is a security problem in the same way that USB is, since it's just storage. However, there is a big risk that any SD card you buy through unusual channels, especially at a ridiculously low rate like 1/5 the price, is just a fake which will start overwriting your data after you get past 1G or 8G or whatever. I absolutely refuse to buy SD cards outside a major physical store chain.

Comment: Re:Not invented here syndrome? (Score 2) 246

by Jiro (#48356559) Attached to: The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

First of all, many of the people who worked on Linux had degrees and/or professional experience in directly relevant areas.

Second, Linux was an unusual case because programming requires relatively little in the way of hardware compared to other pursuits--and certainly compared to going to Mars.

Third, computer programs don't need to be as tightly integrated as the output of rocket scientists does. Furthermore, because they are not as tightly integrated, the system can limp along with some missing features for a long time and not be totally halted in its tracks by that feature being missing.

Comment: Of all the links you had to use (Score 3, Insightful) 151

by Jiro (#48348169) Attached to: 25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell

... you linked to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. This is a left-wing organization (most of whose members are not atomic scientists), which opposed anything the US did that was hostile towards the Soviet Union--you know, the country that was responsible for the Berlin Wall to begin with.

This is equivalent to having a post about Bill Gates about how bad monopolies are. Sure, monopolies are bad, but it's a little odd.

Comment: Re:really (Score 1) 339

by Jiro (#48254141) Attached to: LAX To London Flight Delayed Over "Al-Quida" Wi-Fi Name

Terrorists are often stupid. Remember the first World Trade Center attack, where the terrorist was arrested when he tried to get his $400 deposit back on the truck he used?

Also, people tend to do stupid things in high-stress situations, and bombing a plane is a high-stress situation. People also joke about high stress situations, and I could easily see an actual terrorist doing this as a joke.

Comment: Re:Bullshit. (Score 1) 342

by Jiro (#48063947) Attached to: Fortune.com: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

"Low pay which barely covers day care" is misleading, anyway. This doesn't say that the pay is lower than that of men--it just says that the pay is low. Pay being low is a problem that everyone has; the fact that women have different things to spend it on is irrelevant. It's by no means a women's problem. This is like complaining that outsourcing to India is a problem because women whose jobs are outsourced to India have a hard time paying for daycare.

(Indeed, raising women's pay because they spend more on day care than men would be illegal as reverse discrimination anyway).

TFA also has other oddities. For instance, "Literally 28 of the 30 people in our company were white, straight men under 35. I was the only woman. I was one of only two gay people. I was the only person of color other than one guy from Japan." Uh-huh. One Asian person out of 30 in your company. Very typical.

Comment: Warning sign (Score 2) 283

it turns out American Commitment, an advocacy group with ties to the Republican billionaire Koch brothers, sent out 2.4 million letters to Congress opposing net neutrality but only collected about 814,000 signatures.

Any time something said to criticize the right mentions the Koch Brothers as a menace, it's probably BS.

In this case, the BS consists of:
1) The "is tied to" claim. If it was actually run by the Koch Brothers, they'd say so. If you read the links, you'll find that the "tie" is that the founder previously worked at a group with Koch funding.
2) No comparison to other signature campaigns to say whether other signature campaigns send letters to multiple people as well. And really, what did you expect them to do, have three separate campaigns for "collect signatures to your senator", "collect signatures for your other senator", and "collect signatures for your representative"?

Comment: Re:Make kids do the work instead (Score 1) 90

by Jiro (#48023077) Attached to: Blood For Extra Credit Points Offer Raises Eyebrows In Test-Mad China

The point is that volunteering for a soup kitchen is something that only rich people get a chance to do. A poor person has other things to do--part time job, for instance, or taking care of the family's children while parents are out (or their own children if a teenage single mother). A poor person who doesn't live close enough also has a hard time getting transportation to get to the soup kitchen; not everyone has parents who can drive them, and bus fare costs money that matters for a poor person.

Comment: Re:Make kids do the work instead (Score 1) 90

by Jiro (#48020077) Attached to: Blood For Extra Credit Points Offer Raises Eyebrows In Test-Mad China

We have this in the US, in practice; social service volunteering looks good on your college resume, and plenty of teenagers do it solely to get into a better college. It also works horribly because it is richer people who are better able to volunteer, since rich teenagers have more spare time to do social services in, and greater access to transportation to get to the social services.

Comment: Double standard (Score 1, Interesting) 907

by Jiro (#47994543) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

If it was supermarkets refusing to give food to poor people unless the poor people provided the supermarkets with money, you would not see articles implying that the supermarkets are somehow exploiting the poor in doing so. And we certainly wouldn't see complaints that the supermarkets are keeping them from feeding their children, like the complaints that the car companies are keeping them from taking their children to school.

In our world, that's what money is for. Someone who refuses to let you have something if you don't pay is not out of line, even if you are poor and don't have the money. We might believe that the poor should get assistance, but that assistance comes from society in general; it is not done by demanding that supermarkets/car companies give away their products for free. and implying that they are exploiting the poor if they don't.

Comment: What? (Score 1) 540

by Jiro (#47880181) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Isn't imposing a large cost on the other country the whole point of an embargo? What's the complaint here? I mean, Cuba obviously doesn't like it, but it's sort of like Russia claiming that the sanctions for invading Ukraine are costing it money, or Al Qaeda claiming that US military intervention is killing terrorists. That's the intent.

Clearly $1.1 trillion isn't enough considering it hasn't worked.

(Also, does this figure count Russian aid during the Cold War against the loss from not trading with Americans?)

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