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Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 1) 192

So buy a connected fridge from a reputable vendor whom you can trust to at least understand the important issues and risks of having an appliance connected to the LAN or Internet. Don't buy a connected fridge at all if you're too worried about this, or feel you can't trust any manufacturer. Make these manufacturers aware of your concern. Donate to the EFF or whatever so they can inform the public and influence regulators to safeguard our privacy and safety (and make manufacturers liable for such issues).

It is fine to be cautious, just don't call anyone who disagrees an idiot, or claim that the introduction of IoT-capable appliances is somehow violating your rights. That's the vibe I am getting from a lot of opponents to HA. The IoT is not evil for the reasons you state; "IoT doesn't steal data, peope do".

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 1) 192

No. My thermostat has no "off" switch, and a minimum temperature setting that is high enough not to let the pipes freeze. The electronic TRVs likewise have a safeguard against freezing.

Sure, it's still electronics, and someone could have messed with the firmware, or even exploit a weakness in the thermostat by sending weird packets over the Z-Wave network (a wireless network used for home automation) to make it turn the heating off completely. That's far, far less likely to happen than the heater itself breaking down. And because I can monitor things remotely, it is extremely unlikely to happen without me noticing the problem.

Comment Re:Lori Garver doesn't understand bicycle road rac (Score 1) 97

Just sayin' what? That you're entirely too literal and missed the point because while you're trying ridiculously to show us how smart you are ... you weren't even smart enough to realize that an analogy isn't meant to be 100% factually accurate and is instead intended to convey a point? Is that what ya'r say'n?

That sound you hear? Thats the other slashdotters laughing at you as if you ... kind of like the other riders you refer to.

Comment Re:I'd be wary of Musk, too (Score 1) 97

Sure, because you're looking at some faux value in a 'stock market' that you think has actual meaning and value.

The reality of it is that a single incident can drive Tesla stock to be worthless (and I don't mean anything related to the actual cars either).

If you measure success by the stock market, you're an idiot. The stock market is a measure of how well scammers can get stupid people to buy virtual pieces of paper (they don't even use real stock certificates anymore) as if it had some meaning or value. Stocks are a great con game, company value has nothing to do with winners and losers when you play the stock market, it has to do with dumb and dumber, and how to get those people to buy stocks so you can make money from nothing.

Tesla's position in the stock market is a direct result of idiots like you who think they are valuable and buy virtual pieces of paper that have the companies name on it. Thats it. When that fad dies, Tesla will have to stand on its own, at which point it will succeed or fail. If you did that right now, it'd implode nearly instantly.

Tesla still would not exist without ongoing subsidies. Long term SURVIVAL, not profit is the point of those subsidies. Take everything they get away today, they go under within a year. Thats not really successful by most peoples definition of the word.

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 1) 192

If your fridge or furnace can be turned off completely by remote (or even locally), you're doing it wrong. Think for a moment what you are automating. The temperature, not the furnace. Your thermostat will be controllable, the furnace will remain just a dumb unconnected piece of equipment, but smart enough to remain operating within acceptable limits even if the thermostat is compromised. I have a fairly comprehensively automated home, but with full control or even the ability to operate devices outside their normal limits, you could do very little actual damage there, and cause a minor inconvenience at best. It's good to be careful and wary of any connected device, but at some point it's just fearmongering and/or a complete misunderstanding of the actual risks.

By the way, I'd be happy to accept liability for any damages such as the ones you describe, if I were selling you a home automation setup.

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 1) 192

HA setups typically store very little data, what little is there is hardly worth taking, and certainly not worth worrying about. If a router in my house were open, I'd be much more worried about the stuff they could steal off my computers and NAS than the stuff stored in my "things". Besides, if data is exposed through a flaw in my router, there would still need to be someone aware of that fact and in a position to collect and exploit the data. If instead you are using IoT-devices, your data is harvested and abused by default with a 100% certainty, by the mothership.

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 2) 192

I'm a fan of home automation (a hobby of mine that's increasingly turning into a business). I, and many fellow HA enthusiasts, are firm proponents of the LAN of Things, or even a Separate Network - Controlled By a Hub That is Only Allowed To Connect To the Internet Under Strict Conditions - Of Things. There are plenty of useful ways to automate your home (no, nothing essential or life-changing, but sometimes very convenient), but very little of that requires data to leave the house. And when it does, it should only happen on your own terms. And cameras? The ones around my house have their power cut off externally when we're home, and show a light when they are on (a separate dumb LED on the same power supply). No use taking any chances there.

Comment Re:This is why ISIS wins (Score 1) 550

Seems to me most mission planners would avoid going near borders of countries they do not have an alliance with, or at the very least announce their missions up front to their more-or-less-allies (something Russia often neglects to do, and other nations active in the region have already complained about that). And Turkey is fast ceasing to be a civilized nation. This incident has all the rancid stink of a pissing contest gone wrong.

Comment Re:Hire a lawyer (Score 1) 246

Why civil courts? What he's doing is a criminal offense.

Since the Finnish kid was a minor at the time, it seems the criminal system used kid gloves against him (even when it was able to convict him of a crime). That's probably why civil court was suggested as a better option. That, and civil court has a lower standard of proof.

That being said, the problem seems to be much bigger than one Finnish guy. He may have incited others to hate his target, but it would seem he's not the one committing the bulk of the crimes. And that's really the main problem here that gets glossed over by the article. If the hacker friends of the Finnish guy don't reside in Finland, then it means you have to track them down and convince an entirely new set of law enforcement officials from another country to take these SWATTING incidents seriously and invest enough resources to investigate the case, to in turn SWAT the hackers themselves, confiscate their computers, and do the necessary forensic analysis work on what they find.

And this kind of work is not cheap. In this case, the kid was investigated most probably because he attacked Sony and Microsoft as well, but if he had not gone after such high profile targets, he probably would never have been prosecuted in the first place. After all, who's got time to listen to the complaints of an ordinary family halfway across the world (with a not-so-innocent hacker kid of their own)?

Comment Two reasons (Score 1) 213

The Republican situation is hard to call - the lead has changed hands a few times now.

I've been following the republican nomination thing with great interest for several months now, mostly as an exercise in insight and analysis.

Surprisingly, the republican lead has *not* changed hands a few times, and depending on your definition of "lead" it hasn't changed hands at all. Carson pulled ahead of Trump in one poll one time, but in the overall average and in the national polls he's consistently been in the lead, for the last 6 months.

Look at the link in the last paragraph, and look at the right-hand column and count the number of times it reads "Trump".

This informative graphic from RealClearPolitics shows the overview situation.

But if this is true, then why was the MSM hyping "Carson pulls ahead of Trump" all the time?

Two reasons.

As an exercise to the readership, can you identify the two reasons?

Comparing news reports with actual data has been an eye-opening experience. There's really a lot of shenanigans going on in this election. Applying Bayesian priors of "of all reasons causing *this*, choose the most likely" paints a surprising, infuriating, and depressing picture of American politics.

Comment Re:This is why ISIS wins (Score 5, Insightful) 550

Those parties are not really fighting amongst themselves; but they do have different interests in Syria. While their common goal is to fight IS, they each want to use this conflict as an opportunity to back their own horse in this race. Russia bombs the "moderate" rebels opposing Assad, while the rest likes to support those rebels. Meanwhile, Turkey bombs the Kurds.

By the way, Russia has a long history of violating the airspace of other nations. I'm surprised there hasn't been such an incident earlier.

Comment Re:Target audience (Score 1) 210

Wrong. You are assuming too much. They've marketed that number at you.

saying that the proportion of readers using ad blockers dropped from 23% to the single digits when faced with the choice to turn off the software or pay.

They didn't say those people turned off their ad blockers and they didn't say those people paid for a subscription.

What they said was that 'when you can't view our site with an ad blocker, people with ad blockers stopped viewing our site' ... meaning they probably just lost all of those readers completely. They simply no longer bother viewing the site at all.

And the fact that they lost all those readers is why they are now suing.

They cut off their nose to spite their face and it worked nearly flawlessly, now they're suing the guy who made the knife because they just now realized the actual effect their actions were going to have.

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.