Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Comment Re:In other words. (Score 5, Insightful) 283

There's a HUUUUUUUGE difference between the state asking for location data on a private citizen, and citizens asking to audit the state. The state exists to do the citizens' will and for the citizens benefit. A state's rights are granted to it BY the citizens, not the other way around.

That said, data should be anonymized if it isn't already. When I vote, my ballot doesn't have any identifying information on it, so releasing records exactly as they were captured wouldn't tell you anything about me at all.

Comment Re:Privacy isn't boolean (Score 1) 258

I agree, actually, that neither privacy or public safety is always most important. We're arguing where the line should be drawn.

I'd resist things like this less if they were invariably (or ever) built with reasonable protections for all the innocent people whose data gets hoovered up. You want to check my license plate and make sure it's not listed as stolen, then delete the data? Go ahead. I'd like some truly independent confirmation you're actually deleting it, though.

Comment Privacy isn't boolean (Score 4, Insightful) 258

"This is a public street. You're not expecting privacy on a public street."

This is only partially true. I'm not expecting that no one in the world will see my car. I am expecting that it's rather unlikely that if I park on a random street for a couple hours, anyone I know will see and notice my car and actually realize it's mine.

I very much DO expect the level of privacy that excludes someone frequently taking note of the exact location of my car. If John Q. Public were doing that, I'd be very put off. I might even consider it stalking. In no sane world do we then say, "Well, it's fine if it's the government and they're stalking EVERYONE."

Yes, Mr. Khamis, I do expect that level of privacy, and it's not for you to decide what the public gets to expect. Your job is to do what we want, not the other way around.

Comment Re:Medical Transportation (Score 4, Insightful) 311

I'm very sure I want them to factor cost effectiveness in. Absolutely sure. Some already do, this was just a glaring exception. Pharmacies already do. "We fill your prescription with an equivalent generic unless directed otherwise." As they should, if they're acting in the patient's interest, which they SHOULD be since we're paying them.

What my insurance covers is irrelevant. It actually did cover that $900 ambulance ride. How is it better that the insurance company was ripped off $900? How is it better for me or you, since that money ultimately comes out of our premiums?

Many patients take medical advice as gold. I don't know how we can ever rein this in if we don't get and fact insist that our doctors don't sell us a $2000 treatment when a $20 one will do just as much good. Don't you insist on the same in nearly every other level of service you use?

Comment Re:I'd choose billing. (Score 1) 311

Yeah, that's pretty appalling. I normally have a strong preference for free market solutions, but when an industry is so comprehensively abusive to their customers, I have less objection when they're spanked by the state.

I'd argue that because they all behave this way, it's a matter of tacit collusion.

Gah. Can you imagine taking your car in for service, telling them you don't have car repair insurance, and they tell you they charge $850/hour?

Comment Re:Medical Transportation (Score 2) 311

Good one. Former SO needed to go from urgent care to ER. If you walk out the door of the urgent care, you can actually see the hospital about 1-2 miles away. I said I'd take her, the doc said "oh, no, you should take the ambulance!", and she went along with it. $900. They should serve caviar.

It's really a shame that you can't trust medical advice, at least to the extent that many of them don't factor in one bit the cost of service. Of course an ambulance offers a higher standard of care than I do in that 5 minute ride, but I cost $899 less.

Comment I'd choose billing. (Score 5, Insightful) 311

Or more precisely, whatever layer is in between the actual cost and the patient, and contains the outrageous markup therein.

Case in point, I had a CT once. The hospital sent me a bill for $3,000+, marked down per agreement with my insurer to about $300-400. Whatever TF makes them think it's reasonable to charge 10x what they're actually willing to do the service for is the layer that needs to be cut.

Comment Re:CBC assumed CNN owned it (Score 1) 222

I guess I'll have to be the zealous nutter who says that's a crock. My property does not cease being my property because someone who doesn't own it tells a lie.

In your case, your sister should be out a car and money and have a civil and criminal case against the guy who sold her the car, thereby committing fraud against her. The original owner should get his car back, which was his property all along. The thief should go to jail.

I expect with a little more legal effort, your sister's claim to the car would have been nullified. That she gave money to someone who doesn't own it is meaningless.

Comment Re:Fat Shaming (Score 1) 206

That's a fair point. I don't know how to deal with that aspect, honestly. As someone who has enjoyed an "extreme sport" (I hate that term...) or two, I definitely sympathize with the desire not to be penalized for actually living, not just riding a rocking chair into the sunset.

There's definitely a line I draw in what information I'm willing to share. How many steps I take when I'm actually carrying my device. Ok. GPS all day every day? No.

Comment Re:Fat Shaming (Score 1) 206

Yes, just relax and don't worry about it. Put on your monitoring band and stop giving us such a hard time about it. Don't you want to fit it? Jim over there certainly isn't complaining about *his* "privacy rights." You do want to be considered for promotion right? Because Jim is certainly being a better team player than you about this one.

Way to ignore the fact that I already addressed that. I played the paranoid for a few years and didn't participate. Nobody said a word. Not everything is a conspiracy.

Comment Re:Fat Shaming (Score 2) 206

It's not remotely "fat shaming". Healthy people have lower health care costs on average. Everyday people like me and presumably you want to spend less on insurance, which means we need to actually cost less. Programs like this (my employer does it, and I participate) don't stigmatize you in any way if you don't participate. I didn't for the first few years it was in place. No one said a word about it. I finally did because I felt like I was leaving free money on the table.

There's zero stress. You carry a tiny device around, sync it now and again, lose it from time to time, find it again, and there's more money in your paycheck.

Do you suffer painful illumination? -- Isaac Newton, "Optics"