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Comment: Re:Dubious (Score 1) 672

by SydShamino (#49538803) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

This was easier to understand when I realized that each generation gets two names, one applied when they're kids and one later that sticks. When I was a kid, I remember my generation being called the "Baby Bust" generation or other similar names, as we followed the Baby Boomers. It was only when we were starting to come of age did the term "Generation X" become coined and retroactively applied to us. Then someone decided to use "Gen Y" for our kids, and it took them starting to come of age for the better term "Millenials" to come along.

I'm sure the Baby Boomers were referred to by some other name when they were young - the Postwar Generation or something - just like the WWII "Greatest Generation" certainly didn't have that name until they were grown up.

Comment: Re:Doublethink (Score 1) 672

by SydShamino (#49538715) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

As most people age, they both naturally start to decide that some things they've learned are "good enough" for them (be it music, technology, processes) and then start to resent further change. Moreover, after a certain age everyone starts to depend more on others for support than their own abilities.

Put those together and you get a slide towards conservatism and an increased trust on institutes of order such as the government.

Comment: Re:Doublethink (Score 1) 672

by SydShamino (#49538677) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

That's because the elderly suffered much more stringent brainwashing as children that leads them to say that they "support those who fight for our freedom" while also promoting a police state worse than Orwells worst nightmare. The younger crowd grew up with much more access to information and see the police state for what it is and do not have the blind worship of government that the elderly do.

I don't know about that. A lot of those millennials were kids and at their most impressionable during the post-911 wars and the "if you're not with us you're our enemy" support-the-government/support-the-troops fervor.

It's more reasonable to blame the general trend toward conservatism that happens with every generation as they age and get stuck in their ways.* Hell, those boomers we're talking about were the anti-government hippies of the 60s. They (as an aggregate whole) certainly had no blind worship of their government then.

* Though, even with this slope, each generation tends to start and end slightly more liberal than the last, leading to the society's overall slow trend towards liberalism despite every generation complaining along the way.

Comment: Re: Figures (Score 5, Insightful) 350

by SydShamino (#49538475) Attached to: iTunes Stops Working For Windows XP Users

Apple updated their services to exclude those clients, probably to fix an SSL exploit by turning off older SSL protocols for all clients. If Apple really wanted to, they could have left that version of SSL running only for XP clients and updated iTunes to not use that protocol on any non-XP OS, but they didn't. Poor customer service if you ask me.

The services fail intermittently, which means they still work intermittently. That strongly implies that this wasn't an intentional change by Apple, but instead is a bug introduced with some other change. Said bug was likely not caught, in my opinion, due to limited access to test equipment running XP. Apple, like my employer, likely has IT policies that exclude XP machines from the common intranet, and it's a hassle to set up, maintain, and access the separate XP test lab. A bug that only occurs when an XP machine tries to access an online service is exactly the kind that would be missed by such a test farm setup.

Comment: Re:Welcome to corporate future (Score 1) 252

by SydShamino (#49523793) Attached to: Twitter Rolls Out New Anti-Abuse Tools

Now imagine that almost everyone communicates only via printed pamphlets, but pamphlet-printing business controlled by one censorious individual eager to push his agenda to the detriment of others. Could freedom of speech exists in such hypothetical society?

Your scenario isn't that hard to imagine. Back when most people did disseminate information using printed pamphlets, only a few people owned the printing presses that could manufacturing such pamphlets en masse. We survived as a species, even though those pamphlets were often inaccurate and inflammatory.

It isn't inconceivable to imagine dystopian future where everyone communicates using only 'social' media, and few corporations determine what is acceptable. In such future nobody has freedom of speech, and we get there with unwise individuals pushing for "Right to not get offended".

You are upset about a possible future regarding "communication", but communication requires two parties - one speaking, one listening - and optionally includes a third party - one to convey the information from the speaker to the listener. In all cases, speakers have the most limited rights, as it exists today and as it would be in your supposed society.

No speaker has the right to demand the service of any given conveyor or the ear of any given listener, except for limited common-carriers such as the postal service. (Even then, they must only carry your service if you pay for the transaction, similar to other common carriers such as the phone company that have to carry your speech if and only if you maintain an account with them.)

On the other hand, listeners very often have the right to decide who can speak with them. I can choose not to pick up my phone, add my phone to a Do Not Call list, and block your number, and even have you charged with harassment if you don't stop calling. I can't stop all junk mail, letters, and post cards, but I can throw them away without reading them. I can't stop you from holding up signs on a public street or shouting out to me as I walk past, but if you do these things at my house I have various resources (harassment laws, noise ordinances, zoning laws, soundproofing) that can block you from me.

In this society you describe, what you mean by "everyone communicates using only 'social' media" is that listeners confine themselves to their homes and only make themselves available via social media platforms, and those platforms choose to cater to listeners over speakers, and that you as a speaker won't be able to post signs or yell at listeners who don't want to hear you. Your freedom to speak does not and never has imposed an obligation to listen, and listeners can choose to (or empower others to) filter content they hear. The system works as intended.

Comment: Re:A hit-piece of a submission... (Score 2) 157

enforce contracts

Contracts are only valid when both parties negotiate on good faith and without undue pressure. Since natural (and historically government-enforced) last-mile monopolies give ISPs undue power over end users, the best way for the government to enforce valid contracts are to ensure that the ISPs can't use their monopoly or duopoly to deliver less than the customer was due when the contract was signed. Net neutrality, along with other regulation (like punishing AT&T for throttling "unlimited" plans) does exactly that.

Comment: Re:and secure passwords are disallowed (Score 1, Offtopic) 349

by SydShamino (#49374527) Attached to: Sign Up At irs.gov Before Crooks Do It For You

Whenever I hear the Republicans whining about how incompetent government is, I think to myself that big private companies are just as bureaucratic and incompetent. But then things like this and the initial ACA website launch happen to prove that yes, government really is even more incompetent than big business.

While this does sound rather incompetent, A) it was probably written by a big private company, since our government uses contractors far more than it uses actual employees for most projects like this*, and B) there are insufficient data points to show that big private companies are any more or less secure, when dealing with similar data. Anecdotally, I'd guess private companies are just as bad or worse, or at least would be without regulations like HIPAA to force them to improve.

* I didn't RTFA and if it states this system was developed wholly by in-house staff I stand corrected. And also we should probably raise taxes so we can afford to hire competent in-house staff for our government.

Comment: Re:Sign up? (Score 1) 349

by SydShamino (#49374469) Attached to: Sign Up At irs.gov Before Crooks Do It For You

Exactly. I've posted this before, but it's worth hammering in until more people understand it.

What used to be called fraud, perpetuated against a business by tricking them into selling something on false pretenses, has instead become "identity theft", perpetuated against an innocent third-party who has nothing to do with the transaction. It's so so very clever how the business community managed to turn that around and put the fault (until proven otherwise) and responsibility to clean up the mess on a third party, instead of on themselves and/or the actual crooks.

Comment: Re:What a stupid piece. (Score 2) 317

I'm pretty certain that's redundant, as all "renewable" sources have "unpredictable" problems, except tidal.
  - Hydro - dry spell, loss of snow pack
  - Solar (PV & other) - oops clouds
  - Wind - still day

"unpredictable" is the nature of renewable sources, which is why other baseline or backup sources (such as safer nuclear) remain vital as we figure out how to move away from fossils

Comment: Re:If I can make it here I can make it anywhere... (Score 2) 734

by SydShamino (#49193627) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

>> even when they move here, they stay together and don't mix (its true even though you may not like this fact) and after 5 years here, they will still not really know what the US is truly about.

You know, that's always been true about immigrants? Hell, my great-great-great grandparents immigrated from Canton Glarus, Switzerland, to New Glarus, Wisconsin. Make sense why the town was named New Glarus? I doubt they even ever bothered to learn English. Their children born here knew English, though, and their kids - including my great-grandfather - only spoke English.

And such as it was, such as it will be.

The only reason people bitch about immigrants not assimilating is because they can only see the situation from the limited view of their own lifespan. Look at a bigger picture and immigrant families assimilate just fine.

"It's when they say 2 + 2 = 5 that I begin to argue." -- Eric Pepke