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Comment: Vigilantism? (Score 1) 113

If it's vigilantism for GitHub to conduct a private retaliation against the Chinese government, then one could call what the Chinese did an act of war. Hey, if we're tossing around emotionally loaded terms without regard for the context, why stop with just calling that hypothetical action by GitHub an act of vigilantism.

Comment: Too bad the US is so legalistic (Score 3, Interesting) 113

If our country weren't run by lawyers, we'd do what Russia and China do which is allow victims like GitHub to retaliate. Would be hilarious if GitHub contracted a few black hats to penetrate China's academic/military networks and give them a taste of the Wikileaks treatment.

Comment: Left unsaid in the article (Score 1) 220

by MikeRT (#49353411) Attached to: Broadband ISP Betrayal Forces Homeowner To Sell New House

Was whether or not he offered to finance the build out. I don't know what closing costs are like in his area, but in my area, they're easily $6k-$8k. Comcast doesn't want to drop the money on him, but I bet they'd have jumped if he agreed to pay for the build out since it was already nearby.

Comment: She should be fired (Score 4, Interesting) 108

by MikeRT (#49326115) Attached to: IBM Will Share Tech With China To Help Build IT Industry There

And sued into the poor house by the shareholders and board of directors. This is not just training competition, but competition in a country notorious for wiping its ass with IP and trade secrets, using every other dirty trick to get ahead and using hyper nationalist politics to freeze out companies like IBM. Were she a politician and not a business executive, it would be roughly grounds for treason.

Comment: Meanwhile in Appalachia... (Score 4, Insightful) 149

by MikeRT (#49320993) Attached to: Obama To Announce $240M In New Pledges For STEM Education

The money will almost invariably not go to help Jim Bob in coal country or Tyrone in the hood get a shot at getting the foundation for a STEM career. Instead, it'll go to Sally Middle Class Smith to cajole her into pursuing a career she'll likely leave for marketing or raising kids.

Comment: Most of it is social (Score 4, Insightful) 335

I'm a millennial right on the divide with Gen X (~31 years old). My part of the generation was in middle school when the Internet started to become mainstream in the mid 90s. It was also around that time schools were permitted to adopt that adorable doctrine known as zero tolerance wherein they non-judgementally declared all parties equally guilty in utter defiance of state, constitutional and common law. Many of the pathologies that are just bewildering to many "experts" today were eminently foreseeable. Most of my own peers at the time, at the tender ages of 11-13, understood that the administration was setting things up for bullies to get worse and victims to get very nasty in retaliation.

Most of these problems from sexting to bullying happen today because there are few consequences for the people who violate social norms. Bullies don't get the shit kicked out of them by their victims for fear that the victim will be arrested and prosecuted for "victimizing their victimizer." Teens who sext don't get their social lives routinely ruined by their parents. Shit. If someone had tried sexting while I was in high school, their parents would have thrown their computer/camera/webcam in the garbage and grounded them until they turned 18. Today? Most parents couldn't even fathom doing that and if one did, they'd probably be called an abusive parent even though their child technically committed a serious felony.

Comment: You want a deterrent? (Score 5, Insightful) 160

by MikeRT (#49248833) Attached to: LAPD Police Claim Helicopters Stop Crimes Before They Happen

Combine liberalized concealed carry with the police subsidizing the purchase of guns and ammo by law-abiding, poor concealed carry holders. Let them also use police shooting ranges for free as long as they're in good standing. Then, on the street, take a reflexively pro-CCW holder stance until the facts say otherwise.

Comment: Their two biggest mistakes (Score 3, Insightful) 300

by MikeRT (#49196109) Attached to: Mozilla: Following In Sun's Faltering Footsteps?

Not making electrolysis their #1 priority a few years ago and turning on Eich. I just switched to Chrome and can't imagine what the hell people are thinking when they say that Firefox is now "just as fast as Chrome." Uh, no. It's noticeably less responsive in many cases. And with the Eich issue, they alienated a heck of a lot of conservative and libertarian users who switched to various forks or Chrome afterward in protest. Then their online magazine waded into the gamergate waters and took a pro-censorship of comments stance when the message didn't line up.

This is increasingly not a Mozilla that I want to support. If they want my support, they can make electrolysis their #1 priority so it becomes as fast and responsive as Chrome and then drive out the social justice warriors.

Comment: It needs to be ridiculously simple (Score 2) 309

by MikeRT (#49125911) Attached to: Moxie Marlinspike: GPG Has Run Its Course

Most ordinary users I know actually like the idea of encryption. They just can't use it because no one has created a highly opinionated encryption API that is intended to be plugged into browsers, email applications, office suites, etc. and is dead simple to use. This is something that an open source desktop like KDE should take on as a proof of concept. I'm sure there's plenty of code in GPG that could be extracted, turned into a tight little module and then wrapped with really slick C or C++ APIs with really friendly dialogs in Qt or GTK.

Comment: As a BeOS fan (Score 1) 149

by MikeRT (#49086057) Attached to: Google Faces Anti-Trust Probe In Russia Over Android

Let me be the first to say that Yandex sounds like a bunch of whiny losers if this is their comparison. Google isn't imposing anti-competitive contracts on OEMs and using secret APIs to give their products a home turf advantage. They've open sourced the entire OS and most of the problems getting a competing product on an Android device is due to OEM malfeasance.

If Microsoft had competed with Be and Netscape back then like this, I'd be running Firefox on BeOS R10.5 not Windows 7.

Comment: Drones don't say you're serious (Score 1) 131

by MikeRT (#49079355) Attached to: US May Sell Armed Drones

Ground forces, however do. It's time to take the kid gloves off and let the US Army have a free hand at deploying troops against these targets instead. Ground forces say you're committed in a way drones never will. They also tend to produce far fewer non-combatant casualties.

And while we're at it, you want to defund ISIS? Obama could start to weaken them by simply announcing on in a press conference that he has given permission to the DNI and SOCOM to start assassinating any foreign national found intentionally supplying funds to ISIS. Live in Qatar and send them money? Too bad. CIA will slit your throat and dump your body in the gulf if they find you.

Comment: One easy first step for the consumer (Score 1) 111

by MikeRT (#49074493) Attached to: Privacy: the 21st Century's Newest Luxury Item

Pass a federal law that stipulates the following...

1. All programs that deal with user activity data and/or PII must have a privacy policy in a centralized location, prominent on the company's web site.
2. They must be written to the 9th grade reading level and all industry terms must be defined in as close to 9th grade reading level language as possible.
3. Failure to publish a good faith attempt of a privacy policy within one business week of publishing production code is a civil offense with strict liability.
4. Failure to comply within 90 business days is a misdemeanor.
5. A pattern of three or more intentional failures within a five year period is a class E federal felony (1 to 5 years prison).
6. When done to facilitate other classes of crime, it becomes a class D federal felony (5 to 10 years in prison).

Comment: As KDE developer, he's missing the obvious solutio (Score 5, Interesting) 393

by MikeRT (#49070533) Attached to: PC-BSD: Set For Serious Growth?

Make KDE into a full OS. Fork Kubuntu, tell all other distributions that KDE will provide them access to the sources and patches, but KDE intends to become a full competing desktop and tablet OS. Ubuntu vs Mint vs Fedora makes no sense to the casual users I know. If I could hand them a copy of KDE and say "run this" that would improve things tremendously.

Promising costs nothing, it's the delivering that kills you.