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Comment: how can we trust facebook? (Score 1) 91

by lkcl (#49821725) Attached to: Facebook Now Supports PGP To Send You Encrypted Emails

errr, so i want to send a communication, ok? it's supposed to be private, right? but it's a web service: facebook could, at any time (even under secret fascist subpoena) change or be forced to change (without informing us) the user interface so that the encrypted message is no longer encrypted, but is in fact entirely in cleartext.

you might think, "ok, well, surely we could then just have a messenger service or app which does the job, and we could trust that, right?" and the answer is "well no, absolutely not you can't... not unless the entire source code is available, and a chain of trust is established that guarantees a verifiable and traceable compile and distribution chain".

which, basically, means you need a software libre distribution (such as debian) because those have full source available, and GPG-signing right the way from the developers (whose identities are verified via key-signing parties that involve showing proof of ID on each signing), all the way through to distribution where a "Release" file containing the MD5 checksums of every package is, once again, GPG-signed by provably verified individuals.

the bottom line is that just because facebook *says* it's secure doesn't actually make it so, and announcing "yeah we provide a secure encrypted email service" is actually a dangerous DISSERVICE. you can't *EVER* guarantee that the servers have been compromised, and web browser *implicitly* trust what the servers give them to run.

the best thing that facebook could do is provide a programming API via which encrypted emails *may* be sent, and then sponsor software libre teams such as mutt, and everyone else, to provide 3rd party (entirely software libre) applications that deliver *and receive* encrypted mail. the only hurdle to get over there would be whether the software libre teams would view working with facebook to be endorsement of SaaSS (service as a software substitute - which i can guarantee in advance that any GNU project will *not* do.

Comment: Re:Explanation seems to violate charge conservatio (Score 1) 217

by tlhIngan (#49820127) Attached to: Fuel Free Spacecrafts Using Graphene

Isn't that the opposite of what the phosphors used in a CRT do when hit by electrons? Is it too much to think the reverse is possible?

No, the electrons go through a circuit, which is the entire point.

In a CRT, the output of the flyback transformer is a really high voltage, which connects to the CRT face through a heavily insulated plug. If you take a look at any CRT, there's a thick heavy cable in the middle of the body that runs to the flyback transformer. Inside the CRT, the electron gun is at negative potential and it's slowly accelerated past the deflection coils, then it basically accelerates due to the electric field from the gun to the front of the screen. It hits the phosphor which imparts energy into the phoshor atoms which then do the whole higher-energy state thing and they drop back down to ground state that emits a photon of a specific color.

The electron that hit the phosphor returns back via that nice flyback cable to complete the circuit. Otherwise the screen wouild quickly dim as the phosphor layer takes on a highly negative charge.

Yes, I got the polarities right. Remember electrons flow from negative to positive.

Comment: Re:Who are the fascists?? (Score 1) 479

I'm looking at examples of fascism that are actually, you know, examples. Aside from Italy, this also includes Spain and Portugal, and many South American countries at one point or another. All of them were the same in that regard.

What you call "corporatocracy", OTOH, is not fascism. It's something else entirely. There is a confusion there because Italian fascists were corporatists, and sometime later, people, esp. native English speakers, confused the meaning of the term "corporatism" with the meaning of the word "corporation" that they're familiar with (but which is not at all what fascist corporatism was all about).

Comment: Re:What a guy! (Score 2) 42

Right there with ya. I'm a software developer and system administrator...It'd probably take me a month or so to read up on malware techniques and come up with a delivery mechanism and a way to do distributed CNC via RSA or PGP key.

Honestly, it's a social skill - it requires communicating the user, or at least knowing what users want.

If you know how to do SEO, the absolutely easiest way to infect someone is offering free downloads of some commercial app. Like Office, Photoshop, even Windows. Or the keygens to it. The most common way is to wrap the keygen with your downloader so the user runs the wrapped app which then silently downloads malware while running the real keygen.

Until Google started censoring the results, you could type an app's name and the first few results would be "cracks" "keygen" "download" and "warez".

Hint: This applies for smartphone apps too. People are cheap. If they can save $1, they'll try.

Comment: What about product placement ads? (Score 1, Insightful) 265

by tlhIngan (#49818391) Attached to: Netflix Is Experimenting With Advertising

To claim Netflix doesn't advertise omits a very background, but present form of advertising. It's called product placement, and it's where instead of buying some generic Cola or use a generic computer, or random cellphone, they clearly show it's a Coca-Cola, or an Apple iMac or a Samsung. If you ever wonder why they show closeups of a phone's screen or something, it's usually to show the logo for a second or two. Normally they'd just have the actor say it out loud (oh look, a call from Dad, etc), but if it's a product placement, you'll see a closeup on screen with "Dad" printed on it.

And really, I'd be surprised if Netflix's original shows aren't doing this - it's been generally marked as the least objectionable form of advertising because it adds realism (who drinks Cola? You know it's either a Coke or a Pepsi), and sometimes, the efforts of hiding logos is just plain silly.

And it's usually done during the writing stages where the show producers generally solicit sponsorship.

I know Netflix doesn't currently run normal commercials other than brief clips of other Netflix originals, but I'd be surprised if they aren't doing the product placement thing.

Comment: Re:RAND PAUL REVOLUTION (Score 1) 479

Why should the 1% slave to support the 99%? What would be their motivation?

If you have to ask this question, I have to surmise that you're not familiar with a joy of an interesting job well done. Don't worry about it. There are enough people who are willing to work for the sake of doing interesting things and/or killing boredom.

Why would they not join the majority or simply move someplace else where they can keep more of the value created by their labor?

There won't be anywhere where they can keep "more of the value". When you get into the situation where 99% are jobless because of automation, there are only two ways to go from there: either you have wealth redistribution, or you have a Luddite uprising that smashes the machines and rewinds the civilization back, and forces it to stay there to maintain social stability. The former option allows for further technological progress, the latter does not. If you personally had that choice, which one would you take?

On the other claw, it could also create tyrants from that 1% as they could demand compliance or cut off the tap, so to speak.

There's no way to demand compliance when there are literally hundreds of people lined up behind you willing to do the job that you're currently doing.

Like so many socialist style schemes, it requires humans to behave and act counter to basic human nature and without attempting to game the system. History has proven time and again that such schemes only work among a relatively small and culturally/politically homogenous population, and do not scale to multiple hundreds of millions of a culturally/politically diverse population.

History of past economic systems is generally not applicable to newer ones. If you tried to forecast the success of a capitalist system based on your personal experience in a feudal society, and the past historical track record in, say, Antique slave societies, you would have to conclude that it's an unrealistic utopia, because 90% of the population are needed just to grow the food for everyone else.

Thing is, as technology advances, it eventually accumulates enough changes to force a significant leap in how economics work. It's not really voluntary - the society either makes a leap (and this can also go smoothly or bloody, depending), or it falls off the progress bandwagon and gets stuck in past, and eventually gets conquered or otherwise pushed around by those who stayed on the track.

Capitalism is based on the notion of a workforce that has to work for a living, and on there actually being enough work necessary to satisfy the day-to-day demands that everyone has to do their parts. This assumption is not going to hold true for much longer. In fact, it wouldn't hold true in developed countries today already, if not for outsourcing - why bother with robots if Chinese ex-peasants are a dime a dozen? But those peasants will ride capitalism into middle class themselves, and then outsource to Africans; and then Africans will ride it, and then there's no-one to outsource to - and then it's robots anyway.

And just as feudalism couldn't survive and compete once agricultural techniques advanced to the point where the majority of the population didn't have to be involved in it, so capitalism won't survive once industrial production advances to the point where a single human is sufficient to control a factory that can supply the demands of an entire city.

Comment: Re:1 thing (Score 2) 498

I could have used this knowledge not just on my first job but when I was interviewing for my current job 14 years ago. The interviewer asked me what salary I was seeking which was, in hindsight, an obvious trap. If I gave too low a figure, they'd "grant" me that instead of the higher figure they were thinking of. I had a figure in mind but got nervous that I wouldn't get the job if I went too high. I wound up taking about five thousand off my "figure in my mind" - and was promptly awarded that. I'll never know if I would have gotten more money had I gone higher, but that moment of insecurity still bothers me to this day.

This is where soft skills comes in.

The goal is to not be specific, but to make it such that you lob it back to them. Remember, let them make the first move - you should never ever announce a number.

So if they ask, try to deflect it back to them - "I don't have a specific number in mind, however, I do know what similar positions pay elsewhere and I expect Initech to pay comparable rates".

If they ask for a specific number, then again, deflect it - "Well, according to this survey, someone in my position with the responsibilities given would be making anywhere from $XXX to $YYY" If you know the median salary, then state that "... with a median of $ZZZ".

Yes, you DID research what similar positions pay in your area, right? I mean, that's how you decided you were underpaid?

Let them pick the specific number - you choose whether or not to accept based on that number. By giving them a range, you let them figure out and guess what you'll take. You stated a range which you researched and let them figure it out. If they decide the low end is all you deserve, it's better to find that out rather than wonder.

And $5000 is not a lot of money at the end of the day - after taxes, you're really only looking at $3600 or so, which is $300 a month.

The key to negotiations, especially salary, is to let the other guy pick the first number. If it's too low, you're free to reject the offer, and you can respond "to be honest, I didn't feel the compensation or benefits were adequate for my needs to change positions". Again, no numbers. If they ask, go ahead and mention the range. If another salary survey comes out, mention that too.

A job has to be considered for the whole - realizing that there are big changes, and there are little ones. $5000 is not a lot of pay in the end to worry about if you're already making $95k or so. If they are grossly up or down, then something might be up - $12K might be the smallest unit where salary matters because that's $1K/month or after taxes the better part of a grand still.

Comment: Re: Ner ner! (Score 1) 175

The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones.

So no, they can't do anything they like with your content. Worst they can do is use it in an ad for the Photos service, or use it in a training dataset.

And what part of and to develop new ones in that sentence you quoted are you unclear about?

If they decided to launch a Google dating service, those photos could very well be used to help "develop" it (i.e., pre-populate the data set, promote it, etc). The new services is even worse as it's even more open-ended as anything could come under "develop" - use your family photo on a billboard advertising it? Promotion could be argued as a form of developing the service - growing the userbase, say.

Or if Google develops some sort of new advertising service or thing that works with third parties - could sharing the data be a form of development?

Hell, they could very well close down Photos, and re-develop Picasa Cloud or something and "helpfully" import your photos into it. As it is a new service, well, new agreement and all.

Comment: Re:So, the other side? (Score 1) 421

by tlhIngan (#49814997) Attached to: Mandriva CEO: Employee Lawsuits Put Us Out of Business

They were demanding severance pay that was already owed them by the company and had not been paid. The financial condition of the company is of no consequence.

Except now EVERYONE is screwed. By the company going under, no one gets paid anymore. The ex-employees basically screwed themselves because the company was on the brink - it could survive given installment payments (which are legally protected), but since the courts awarded full compensation immediately, there was insufficient assets to cover the new expense and bankruptcy ensues.

Which means NO ONE gets paid their due - the employees who were there are screwed their pay, and the ex-employees line up like everyone else to collect pennies on the dollar.

Yes, the company was wrong to screw the ex-employees, and perhaps if they worked out a payment plan things would've gotten better. But the ex-employees were also wrong in insisting on instant payments. It's winning the battle (court case for the severance owed) and losing the war (the company goes under). Now everyone gets to line up while the assets are sold for whatever little money is left.

Yes, they got their victory. Pyrrhic one, that is for now they're out that money, AND it's not like the company can pay legal fees any more. Hope they liked their moral victory - because if the lawyers have their way, they're first in line and everyone else gets the scraps.

I suppose for some people, getting 5 cents now is better than getting a dollar paid out over a year or so.

Comment: Re: data caps (Score 1) 39

by tlhIngan (#49814809) Attached to: Android, Chromecast To Get HBO Now

By the time something similar is offered, hopefully ipv6 (ok, I lol a touch as I type that) will fill the need (it has multi cast I think).

Then you'll have to buy IPv6 capable DVRs. But cable companies are moving that "into the cloud" (in fact, streaming services can be considered a form of DVR in the cloud), so unless you go tell your DVR to record some IP address at some time or you'll miss it... which seems to defeat the entire purpose of streaming a show. (And really, the chances two people will stream the same show at the same time is probably quite slim, so either your DVR has to spy on you and opportunistically catch it ahead of time, or it'll sit there for a few minutes while it hopes others will join in on the stream).

Comment: Re:RAND PAUL REVOLUTION (Score 1) 479

Then you have not thought things through logically, I'm afraid.

That's all fine and good until you have a large portion of the population either receiving said 'mincome' or in retirement. Have you checked what direction the demographics are trending in the US? Ever-fewer workers are supporting an ever-increasing population dependent on government. It's unsustainable and quickly approaching collapse already.

Where's the money going to come from to pay collective Pauls when you run short of select Peters to rob?

All this is perfectly fine. Frankly, long-term our problem is going to be figuring out what to do with all the people out of jobs due to pervasive automation, and UBI is the obvious way to solve this. I fully expect us to end with an arrangement whereby the work of 1% (largely maintenance of automated systems that do all the "dirty work") will be sufficient to provide for the needs of the remaining 99%, and still have potential left. I also fully expect people to actually compete for the right to do that work.

Comment: Re:Not usually an (R) but... (Score 1) 479

No, but you can at least ask him what he intends to do as a president. And if he says, for example, that he is personally against weed, but would legalize it on the federal level because he believes that a federal ban would be unconstitutional, that works for me.

"Love may fail, but courtesy will previal." -- A Kurt Vonnegut fan