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Comment: Re:Loose procedures (Score 2) 52

by TWX (#49517475) Attached to: Baltimore Police Used Stingrays For Phone Tracking Over 25,000 Times
The thing is, in a real wiretap, they're only tapping the one call. In this thing's case they're intercepting all calls for everyone in the area whose phones end up using it, not just the one call. That's why I think they need to go through the carrier, so the carrier can tape the one line or the series of lines that they have a legitimate claim through the courts to gain access to.

Comment: Re:Loose procedures (Score 3, Insightful) 52

by TWX (#49517239) Attached to: Baltimore Police Used Stingrays For Phone Tracking Over 25,000 Times
I don't think that regular rank-and-file police should be in the business of intercepting cell phone traffic in the first place. They should have to submit warrants to the carriers and those carriers should present them with only the data that the warrant calls for.

A pipe dream, I know, but what the hey.

Comment: And Microsoft 'saved' Apple... (Score 1) 111

...because Mr. Gates, a good friend of Mr. Jobs, personally chose to continue releasing versions of Microsoft Office for Apple's products to help Apple remain a viable platform for Microsoft's customers.

Please tell me how an anecdote from a couple of years ago is news...

Comment: Re:How about... (Score 1) 86

by TWX (#49510671) Attached to: Comcast and TWC Will Negotiate With Officials To Save Their Merger
You know, I would be willing to take an online test to demonstrate my technical acumen, if the results of that test would guarantee that i could skip tier-1 agents and get right to people that actually know how to handle technical descriptions and advanced problems. After all, by the time I've called tech support I've already power-cycled the equipment, removed NAT devices from the equation, and tried with multiple devices.

Comment: How about... (Score 5, Insightful) 86

by TWX (#49510517) Attached to: Comcast and TWC Will Negotiate With Officials To Save Their Merger
...they be denied the right to merge until they've satisfied all lack-of-service complaints within their respective monopolistic areas, fixed their customer service so that it's not abusive, and stop charging exorbitant amounts of money to customers for equipment that they've already depreciated for tax purposes?

Oh, who am I kidding?

Comment: Re:after I destroy Washington D.C... I will destro (Score 4, Interesting) 160

by TWX (#49510133) Attached to: ISS Could Be Fitted With Lasers To Shoot Down Space Junk
See, that's the mistake supervillains make... You need to start small. Start with a wealthy but small place, like Martha's Vineyard, so that the powerful know that this is coming for them, so that they can put pressure on their private government officials to make it happen. Then move on to bigger and bigger wealthy suburbs and cities until you get to Washington.

After all, if you destroy DC, you destroy the people that are authorized to pay you in the first place.

Comment: Re:privacy? (Score 2) 261

by TWX (#49501525) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Features Would You Like In a Search Engine?
It has gotten a lot worse, hasn't it?

I want a search engine to identify when someone is attempting to manipulate it and to counter that. I don't want Google Bombs like "miserable failure" regardless of how I feel about the actual politics, to make the results useless. I'm not so childish as to expect an echo-chamber everywhere I look.

This means no more companies whose entire existence is to try to improve someone's search rankings.

As to data being collected, I'm actually okay with the top 80% of searches in a given day being used for advertising revenue, assuming no geographic data beyond nation, and no personally-identifiable data is collected. That's how a search engine would make money, by selling ads based on what people want to know about. If Ford has a press-release about the new Focus, and people search for that, I'm okay with ads related to the Focus or to Fords coming up. I just don't want more than "this term is being asked for this many times on this day" to be reported.

Comment: Re: I thought we were trying to end sexism? (Score 1) 598

Call this a guess, but I expect that if the other gender isn't present, the reduction in social problems resulting from a sexual difference compared to the majority would probably be greater than the social problems of homosexual students being around only their heterosexual peers of the same gender.

Or in short, homosexual adolescents are attracted to their same-sex peers and cannot express that attraction will occur in either situation, but a lack of the opposite gender being present might make it less obvious since there's no opportunity to perceive that they're ignoring the opposite sex.

Comment: Re:A dollar in design... (Score 2) 147

by TWX (#49498735) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt
Yup. I've had to deal with contractors in the physical realm (cabling and other physical infrastructure) and in the logical realm (switch and router programming) and with the cabling if we weren't constantly inspecting them we got absolute crap. Punched the wrong color pattern (sorry we're T568A, but deal with it), leaving out drops, leaving out service loops, leaving out cabling supports, attempting to pass-off PVC in a plenum airspace, attempting to use lesser jacks (we called for Leviton for a reason dammit!), and lazy, lazy bastards that couldn't comprehend no zip ties.

On the switch side, they're getting $1200 per switch to program and rack them. We started calling it $300 a screw but that suddenly became not-funny after we found them using 10-32 screws in 12-24 racks, or leaving half of the screws out altogether, and that's before dealing with the crappy programming that I've had to go back and fix. It's so much fun when they never test the user VLAN, but the management VLAN trunks through, so the switch MUST work, right?

Anyway, Contractors are lazy bastards that will do as little as possible to satisfy the contract, and when called on their mistakes will try to weasel out of them. A NOAA satellite fell over at the manufacturer's assembly building because the morons forgot to check all of the bolts in the assembly hoist, and they got away with simply 'making no profit', when they should have paid the entire cost of the SNAFU. Perkin Elmer, who ground the Hubble mirror wrong, should have had to pay for the cost to repair it IN SPACE or should have suffered the corporate death penalty, had their charter revoked.

Screw contractors. They'll screw you.

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