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Comment: Re:Why is Android allowing Uber to access the info (Score 4, Insightful) 218

by taustin (#48475121) Attached to: Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

Google is evil since they allow this without doing anything about it.

Not sure why uber is being singled out, because many, many apps do the same exact invasion of privacy.

Not really. Google actively wants this crap because they are an advertising company, and their entire business model depends on destroying all privacy everywhere (except for the privacy of their proprietary database of your private information). If they put in real security for privacy settings for other people's apps, then Google can't track you either.

Comment: Marketspeak (Score 3) 125

by taustin (#48446021) Attached to: 2014 Hour of Code: Do Ends Justify Disney Product Placement Means?

"The purpose of product placement/product integration/branded entertainment," explains Disney in a job posting, "is to give a brand exposure outside of their traditional media buy."

Let me translate that in to normal English:

"The purpose of product placement ads is to shove advertising down people's throats until they choke to death on it so we can rifle through the corpse's pockets for loose change." Or, more realistically, "Our normal advertising is so annoying and offensive (because all advertising is, these days) that we have to find other ways to force it on to people because if advertising doesn't actually work, we'll all lose our jobs had have to actually work for a living."

Fuck Disney.


What the US Can Learn From Canada's Internet Policy 144

Posted by samzenpus
from the great-white-north-policy dept.
blottsie writes As the U.S. continues to debate how best to establish net neutrality regulations over Internet service providers, author and journalist Peter Nowak explains how how Canada has already dealt with these issues, and what the U.S. can learn from its neighbor to the north."[Canadian Prime Minister Stephen] Harper has made the connection between telecom policy and actual votes, and that has had enormous impact on public policy," says Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair in internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa. "This is a ballot-box or pocket-book issue that hasn't really been seen yet in the United States."

Comment: Re: Call Comcast? (Score 1) 405

by taustin (#48382445) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

Getting the problem cleaned up wasn't the issue, once I got off my ass and started checking the outgoing logs. But the bullshit about "this malware doesn't send email" on a list (XBL, as it happens) specifically for computers with malware that does send email was just stupid and dishonest.

The real stupidity, of course, is people using a block list without understanding what's on it.

Comment: Re:Call Comcast? (Score 1) 405

by taustin (#48381939) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

Spamhaus has its issues, too. I had an infected machine, and when I finally found the listing, at the top of the page it say "this list is for computers infected with malware that sends spam." Then, a paragraph down, it big red letters, it says "this malware does not send spam." From there, I concluded that Spamhaus is run by psychotic chimpanzees, and recommend not sending email to people whose email systems are run by idiots.

Comment: Rubbish (Score 4, Insightful) 204

by taustin (#48378879) Attached to: Your Incompetent Boss Is Making You Unhappy

It is not the technical competence of the boss that is the determining factor, it is the competence at managing technical people. Technical competence of their own can help this, though it doesn't always, But it's not mandatory. I have one boss (out of three) who can reliably turn a computer on and off without printed notes (with pictures), and he has very little idea what I do. But they're good people managers. They recognize that they know basically nothing of what I do, and leave me alone to do it. They know what they want - network up and running, computers not overly slow, various new toys their friends have, and they know how to tell whether or not they're getting it. Everything else they leave to me, and when I tell them "that's not going to work" or "it's going to cost this much, and you don't want to spend that much," they trust my judgment because they know I know more about my job than they do. I've been on the same job for over 20 years, and still look forward to going to work every morning.

Managing people is a specific skillset, and not an easy one to master. And it's an important one, that computer geeks wrongly dismiss in much the same way that MBAs wrongly dismiss technical skillsets. It's a popular mistake that managers have to (pretend to) be able to do every job in their department, because MBAs are taught that. But it just isn't true.

Comment: Re:Wait.. (Score 0) 716

by taustin (#48329501) Attached to: Bounties vs. Extreme Internet Harassment

If the same threat said face to face would result in your arrest, it should result in your arrest if you do it on the internet.

And a lot of the threats being reported would, indeed, result in prosecution if made face to face (assuming the person who made the threat lived that long).

Welcome to adulthood, kiddo. Actions have consequences, and you don't get to decide what they are.

Comment: Re:Money trail (Score 1) 219

by taustin (#48327575) Attached to: Silk Road 2.0 Seized By FBI, Alleged Founder Arrested In San Francisco

You need a form of currency that cannot be tracked that is accepted by the receiving party. Bitcoins are one kind of currency that fulfills that requirement, but there are also others that are less ... currency-y.

Last I heard, the FBI very much wanted you to believe that Bitcoin is anonymous, because it's far easier to track than many other options.

Comment: Re: Well... no. (Score 1) 126

by taustin (#48310903) Attached to: Flaw in New Visa Cards Would Let Hackers Steal $1M Per Card

"Cruise through a neighborhood"? Really? Dude, NFC has an effective range measured in millimeters, so to "cruise through the neighborhood scanning cards, you'd have to be cruising through people's living rooms.

And the transaction still have to be uploaded and processed by the merchant service. There is no magic money machine in your phone. Really.

Comment: Re:Well... no. (Score 1) 126

by taustin (#48310851) Attached to: Flaw in New Visa Cards Would Let Hackers Steal $1M Per Card

The bogus "transaction" is done offline. At that point, nothing has happened, no money has changed hands, and none will until it is uploaded.

When it is uploaded, it becomes an online transaction and goes through all the usual security checks, including card limits, and the money gets deposited in the bank account attached to the merchant account.

Contrary to what Hollywood might like you to believe, the cell phone used as an offline POS station cannot magically put money in to your bank account.

Comment: Re:Well... no. (Score 1) 126

by taustin (#48310829) Attached to: Flaw in New Visa Cards Would Let Hackers Steal $1M Per Card

The way that most credit card thefts work is that someone working in the store gets the card number to be used somewhere else to buy stuff that's easily fenced.

The chip cards prevent that (easily, anyway).

The only thing that "someone in the store" can do with this is get an offline transaction that will be rejected when uploaded, and if it isn't, the store gets the money, not the minimum wage employee who did the dirty deed. And it doesn't take very many challenged transactions before the store loses their merchant account.

Comment: Re:Well... no. (Score 4, Insightful) 126

by taustin (#48305911) Attached to: Flaw in New Visa Cards Would Let Hackers Steal $1M Per Card

Sounds like if you can find a store that is currently offline (which is rare) you can rip off the store for goods purchased, and that's about it.

It's useless for the thief to directly charge a card unless the thief also has a merchant account, which are not exactly trivial to sign up for, what with credit checks and all.

And these people obviously have no clue how offline transactions actually work. They're held in the POS station until they get uploaded, where they get all the normal verifications before they are processed and the money deposited in the merchant's account.

Other than ripping off a merchant in some way (and that would require a coordinated effort on the part of someone with a portable card reader and someone else at the cash register), there is no risk here whatsoever. Nothing but FUD, deliberately fostering hysteria to sell advertising. In other words, in the world of "journalism", it's a day that ends in "y".

Algol-60 surely must be regarded as the most important programming language yet developed. -- T. Cheatham