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Comment: Re:$230 (Score 1) 241

by causality (#47721365) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

There's also DuckDuckGo.com. Despite the name, it's actually quite decent, and the "related" non-boolean search lands on top.

The difference is, DuckDuckGo is headquartered in Paoli, Pennsylvania. You have to dig through their site a while to find that; try the Hiring section. That means they are subject to US fed/state data retention laws and government requests.

Ixquick is headquartered in The Netherlands and (understandably) boasts about not having provided one byte of data to the US government. They've won EU awards because those governments actually recognize the value of privacy. Please see this page for a reference.

Don't get me wrong, DuckDuckGo sounds good. Sounds like they certainly don't actively track you. But I don't see them bragging that they "keep no data to hand over in the first place" and I would be truly surprised if that is entirely an option for them. Certainly they can't tell the US government to piss up a flagpole if and when fishing expeditions come in.

Comment: Re:$230 isn't the problem (Score 1) 241

by causality (#47721093) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

The simple fact is that we cannot ever trust companies to actually honor the social contract of subscription models. Since they cannot stick to the rules, the only option is for end-users endure the constant ads, since at least in this case we don't have to pay subscription costs.

Which is why I have no qualms whatsoever about blocking ads and taking multiple technological measures to make myself difficult to track. Let them cry a river about it. The real problem is: what little trust may have been there has been thoroughly eroded by an advertising industry showing time and again that it, as an industry, is completely incapable of being reasonable or otherwise regulating itself.

It's too bad for the marketing majors that they want to offer a "service" I do not need and do not want and have chosen to provide endless examples of "offering" (shoving it down throats) it in the most sleazy and underhanded ways. They'll get along without me, somehow.

Comment: Re:Back when the world was mine. (Score 1) 241

by causality (#47721033) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

My intuition is that I'd be just fine with the only content available being content that did not seek a revenue stream. I thought the internet was better back then anyway.

The geek always thinks that way

Because way back then the Internet was his personal playground. He was the both content provider and consumer. I haven't forgiven him yet for the multitude of user-unfriendly clients he devised for communication over the snail slow connections of the dial-up modem days.

Yeah. Currently we're working hard on the problem of operating rooms being doctors' personal playgrounds. Anyone who complains about that, points out that doctors have the expertise, or produces any "practical" reason why surgical procedures were designed that way is, of course, advocating for the evil stranglehold doctors have on performing surgery. The doctors always think that way, you know.

Comment: Re:$230 (Score 1) 241

by causality (#47720783) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

I've been using bing for years mostly because I didn't want there to be only one search engine. Try them out. They have boolean searches. I know... the evil microsoft... but the search engine is good.

I've been using Startpage for years now. They perform a Google search on your behalf while guarding your privacy. They don't even log your IP address. They're the same company that runs Ixquick.com if you want a truly independent search engine to go with the privacy features (their own indexer, no dependency on Google). Personally I enjoy the idea of getting Google results without the Google tracking for which I never signed an agreement.

Comment: Re:This actually makes perfect sense. (Score 3, Informative) 112

by hey! (#47708377) Attached to: Scientists Find Traces of Sea Plankton On ISS Surface

Except water vapor is the gaseous form of water; the plankton would have to be transported on individual molecules of water to reach the ionosphere.

If plankton were transportable in microscopic *droplets* in the troposphere as you suggest, a more plausible explanation is that the equipment was contaminated -- both the station itself and the gear used to test it.

Comment: Re:Trust, but verify (Score 1) 168

I disagree. It means trust but don't rely entirely on trust when you have other means at your disposal.

Consider a business deal. You take the contract to your lawyer and he puts all kinds of CYA stuff that supposedly protects you against bad faith. But let me tell you: if the other guy is dealing in bad faith you're going to regret getting mixed up with him, even if you've got the best lawyer in the world working on the contract. So you should only do critical deals with parties you trust.

But if the deal is critical, you should still bring the lawyer in. Why? Because situtations change. Ownership and management change. Stuff can look different when stuff doesn't go the way everyone hoped. People can act differently under pressure. Other people working at the other company might not be as trustworthy as the folks sitting across the table from you. All kinds of reasons.

So you trust, but verify that the other party can't stab you in the back, because neither method is 100% effective. It's common sense in business, and people usually don't take it personally. When they *do*, then that's kind of fishy in my opinion.

Comment: Re: Amost sounds like a good deal ... (Score 5, Insightful) 375

by causality (#47699789) Attached to: Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

You cannot prove a negative.

Sure you fucking can. Anything defined in such a way as to exclude other possible definitions can have the latter definitions be proven in the negative just as surely as the former definition can be in the positive.

3 != 4. A triangle is not a square. Red is not blue. Hydrogen is not helium. A dog is not a cat. If the coin landed heads-up, the coin did not land tails-up. If someone was in location A at time T, they could not have been in location B at time T committing crime C. You are not smart.

In your examples you are not actually proving a negative (that something didn't happen). You are proving that something is not possible or could not have happened.


Possible or not possible are easy by comparison. Proving a negative means, "take this thing that really could have possibly happened, and prove that it didn't happen". A shape cannot both be a triangle and a square. A pure color at a single wavelength cannot both be red and blue. You are drastically underestimating the scope of how difficult it is to prove a negative. "This couldn't have happened because it is impossible" is actually a positive claim and as such, can be proven.

Comment: Re:Omission (Score 1) 264

I think you're mixing up programs. The mobile command center is probably not military surplus, it was likely purchased and customized under a homeland security grant.

These things aren't unreasonable purchases for a medium-sized city like Milford. They aren't military vehicles, the're basically mobile office space.

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 264

Irrelevant. Cops are SUPPOSED to shoot people because that's what they are paid for.

No they are not supposed to, nor is that what they are paid for. Sometimes they *have* to shoot people, but that is and should be regarded as a failure, albeit sometimes an avoidable one.

Modern policing is governed by the "Peelian Principles" (for Sir Robert Peel). The very first principle: "To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to repression by military force and severity of legal punishment." Furthermore, the principles state that policing is only effective if it can secure the respect and cooperation of the public and "the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives." (principle 4)

So the idea that it's part of a cop's job description to shoot people is rubbish. It's a cop's job to keep the peace, and if a good cop shoots someone it's because it's the lesser of two failures.

Comment: Re:increased mutation rates = survival code kicked (Score 1) 114

by hey! (#47686389) Attached to: Fukushima's Biological Legacy

On the other hand, an idea that can explain anything isn't really scientific. There's no question that evolution by natural selection is a scientific idea, but somehow it gets garbled in translation into an "organism trying to find a variation". In other cases (visible in this discussion) it's seen as benign intelligent force that will compensate for our mistakes. You can purge the white-bearded sky god from your iconography, but it's harder to get him out of your thinking.

White dwarf seeks red giant for binary relationship.

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