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Comment: Re: Wow... Just "no". (Score 1) 203

by PapayaSF (#48869857) Attached to: Healthcare.gov Sends Personal Data To Over a Dozen Tracking Websites

The Heritage Foundation proposal did include an individual mandate, but that's like saying your bedroom ceiling is based on the Sistine Chapel because they both are covered in paint. The Heritage proposal was for minimal, catastrophic insurance, what used to be called "major medical." That's the sort of insurance people used to be able to buy for maybe $50/month. But the ACA larded everything up with countless mandates (birth control, etc.), so that even minimal insurance is now expensive. And then, in one of many ironies, deductibles are now so high that many people avoid going to the doctor. Remember when the ACA was needed to ban "junk insurance policies," which were defined as policies with high deductibles? Down the memory hole!

I said years ago, before this monstrosity came online, that it would not work as claimed, and in fact might never work. I believe that prediction still holds. They've stopped talking about the problems with the backend, but AFAIK they have not yet fixed them, and are still doing things manually or with estimates. It will also be interesting this tax season, when millions of people find that their tax bill is higher than they thought it would be, thanks to the ACA.

Comment: Re:So what (Score 1) 160

by PapayaSF (#48853615) Attached to: A State-By-State Guide To Restrictive Community Broadband Laws

The rural areas say they hate government and redistribution of wealth - fine - then let them do without the wealth redistributed to them and maybe cities, unshackled by them, can begin to turn their own finances around.

Oh, how I hate this simplistic meme about how "blue" cities support the "red" suburbs and rural areas. One thing that it ignores is that a great deal of the wealth generated in cities is created by people who live (and vote) in suburbs and rural areas. it's called "commuting."

Or try this thought experiment: cities stop "distributing their wealth" to the suburbs and rural areas, and the suburbs and rural areas stop distributing their wealth to the cities... as well as "their" food, water, oil, gas, and electricity. Now who needs who more?

Comment: Thank you, President Obama! (Score 3, Insightful) 105

by PapayaSF (#48847491) Attached to: President Obama Will Kibbitz With YouTube Stars

Thank you for having dealt with all the other more pressing problems, domestic and foreign, so that now you have extra time for these folks! I'm sure they'll have lots of informed, trenchant, challenging questions for you, the answers to which will be informative and enlightening. It'll be the adversarial press speaking truth to power!

Comment: Re:Prediction: another Google flop (Score 1) 61

by PapayaSF (#48817875) Attached to: Google To Test Build-It-Yourself Ara Smartphones In Puerto Rico

I agree that "too thin" is an issue. I'd be happy if Apple stopped making iPhones thinner and instead used the space for more battery.

I'm not sure you're right about technological advances, though. While I'm not obsessed with the latest and greatest, I think it's impressive and meaningful that phones are getting to have near desktop-level processors, excellent cameras, etc. But I find it hard to image that Google will be able to create modules 1) with more impressive specs than an iPhone 6, and 2) be able to sell them at a competitive price.

Comment: Prediction: another Google flop (Score 3, Insightful) 61

by PapayaSF (#48817723) Attached to: Google To Test Build-It-Yourself Ara Smartphones In Puerto Rico

This has all the earmarks of another sounds-cool-at-first Google project that won't amount to much in the end.

Modularity sounds like a good idea, but in practice, in cellphones, I don't think it'll work. In objects of that size every millimeter counts, and modularity takes up quite a bit of space at that scale, because each part needs to be enclosed, securely attach to the others, etc. The trade-offs will mean you'll be able to pick one or two things (e.g. speed, battery life, extra features, etc.) but not all at the same time. And the prices won't be good, because manufacturer(s) will not have economies of scale: it'll be hard to compete with Apple and Samsung making millions and tens of millions of identical units.

Comment: Re:people are idiots (Score 1) 463

by PapayaSF (#48733981) Attached to: Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

I've been reading for 20+ years about these things called Macs that are far safer than Windows, and yet, somehow, nobody actually uses them.

"Nobody"? Even in the enterprise?

The rest of your comment misses my point: Perhaps in theory, OS X is "just an vulnerable," and maybe the OS X market share means malware authors don't bother. But whatever the causes, in the real world today, the results are undeniable: less malware on Macs.

Comment: Re:people are idiots (Score 3, Informative) 463

by PapayaSF (#48733637) Attached to: Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

The mechanisms of Cryptowall work under any OS.

Except, as the AC said, it doesn't presently work under OS X. I've been reading for 20+ years how "Macs are just as vulnerable as Windows," and yet, somehow, that malware parity never seems to happen. Sure, every now and then there's a headline about Mac malware, but when you read the article it's either a theoretical vulnerability or, at worst, something that happened to a handful of people. You can claim it's because malware authors don't want to bother with Macs or whatever, but the end result is the same: Windows users are always dealing with more malware than Mac users, and, I'll bet, always will. So the modded-down-to-oblivion poster above is not wrong: getting a Mac would have prevented this attack, and many others.

Bitcoin

Fraud, Not Hackers, Took Most of Mt. Gox's Missing Bitcoins 108

Posted by timothy
from the shocked-simply-shocked dept.
itwbennett writes Nearly all of the roughly $370 million in bitcoin that disappeared in the February 2014 collapse of Mt. Gox probably vanished due to fraudulent transactions, with only 1 percent taken by yet-to-be-identified hackers, according to a report in Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, citing sources close to a Tokyo police probe. The disclosure follows months of investigations by police and others into the tangled mess surrounding the disappearance of the 650,000 bit coins.

Comment: Re:Ugh, WordPress (Score 1) 31

Seriously, though: aren't WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal the three free open source CMSs? I think Joomla is far more powerful than WordPress in many ways, avoids at least some of the failings of WordPress listed by the OP, and is easier to use than Drupal. I'd like to hear what you and others have to say about the three of them.
The Almighty Buck

Julian Assange Trying To Raise Nearly $200k For a Statue of Himself 171

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-out-my-statue dept.
Rei writes Julian Assange, from his refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy, has recently taken to Twitter to try to raise nearly $200,000 for a life-size bronze statue of himself. The statue would have him standing front and center between Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning (with Manning pictured as male); the art piece would be then shipped around the world on tour.

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