Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:AT&T Autopay - Ha! (Score 1) 226

So, there was no billing error here. The guy actually had his modem making long-distance calls for inordinate amounts of time. Doesn't seem like an AT&T error. Though it definitely sucks for the old man/woman!

No billing error? The entire billing system sucks balls at the largest possible frame.

There should be a legislative directive that all such usage-based billing plans provide an option for the end user to set hard spending caps, which are automatically enforced by the service provider.

Show me a corporation that doesn't—at least attempt—to enact hard spending caps enforced by automatic systems wherever and whenever possible. Heads roll in the gutters when a corporation loses $100 million because some trading desk manages to go rogue with respect to set trading limits. (By the Finnish system of traffic fines, a $100 million loss for AT&T is about on par with some old geezer tabbed for $25,000.)

End users are, of course, purposefully disadvantaged to have to police their own usage by manual vigilance, because everyone knows this is a lucrative fail mode for AT&T's revenue piracy service.

That this whole thing sucks balls right down to the bag root is the least possible diagnosis.

Comment: Ubuntu's sins of commission (Score 2) 177

by epine (#49583087) Attached to: When Enthusiasm For Free Software Turns Ugly

Canonical earned their black eye in spades by giving no advance guidance to their dual-head power users while knowingly ruining the dual head experience in the service of a reconceived user interface which might or might not be all for the best in the long run.

It was their blasted refusal to honestly inform their dual head power users that the dual head power user experience would be unavailable in Ubuntu for several releases so that we could plan accordingly that caused me to set the Canonical bit in my bozo register.

Comment: Re:One (Score 1) 300

If it's in reference to the new MacBook, the adapter hub would connect power, an external display and a USB jack, all that in one click. So you don't need to connect a bunch of devices individually. I recall the power adapter splits out a USB jack as well.

On Windows tablets, you might find adjusting the control panel settings to suit. I find on Windows or Mac, I like to dial the settings a bit to be more to my preferences anyway.

Comment: Re:well then it's a bad contract (Score 1) 329

by TemporalBeing (#49563827) Attached to: ESPN Sues Verizon To Stop New Sports-Free TV Bundles

Disney (they own ESPN) has always negotiated the contract such that if you want to purchase ESPN you must purchase ALL of ESPN's channels. Oh, and if you offer it on your base tier package then you must offer all of it on the base tier package. Don't like it? Fine no Disney/ABC/ESPN channels for you! And no Marvel or Star Wars titles. And no Muppets while we're at it. You want to tell your kid he can't watch Disney because YOU wouldn't pay for ESPN Classic?

Yes, it gives me a point on which to teach them about responsible use of finances and how they can't have everything in life.

Comment: Re:well then it's a bad contract (Score 0) 329

by TemporalBeing (#49563803) Attached to: ESPN Sues Verizon To Stop New Sports-Free TV Bundles

Wrong, maybe I would subscribe and watch TV if and only if it was something I found entertaining, convenient and at a correct price.

Give me a service I want to buy and then I can be a customer again, but I voted with my money, so don't you fucking tell me what I can and cannot say.

Mod parent up!

Comment: discussion way too premature (Score 3, Interesting) 58

by epine (#49507643) Attached to: Computer Beats Humans At Arimaa

This is the most substantive bit I was able to find, a forum post by David Jian Wu from eariler today:

Thanks for the questions!

I can't even find a discussion of the winning games by someone who knows the game and its strategic evolution.

Interesting, but at present there's nothing much to discuss here.

Comment: Re: Real fight (Score 1) 179

by alexgieg (#49490727) Attached to: Cyanogen Partners With Microsoft To Replace Google Apps

at what point do look around and say I have earned enough profits so I need to slow down or even shutdown my operations or someone is going to call me "evil"?

At no point you should stop what you're doing just because you're earning enough. You should stop what you're doing when this that you're doing can only be properly described by the words "sociopathy" and/or "psychopathy". Given that, you can however certainly continue doing all the other non-sociopathic, non-psychopatic stuff you've doing that earns you huge and ever increasing profits. Those are fine.

Comment: new age germophobes (Score 2) 186

by epine (#49487179) Attached to: How Many Hoaxes Are On Wikipedia? No One Knows

This is the same old elitist bullshit being smuggled out through the back door.

Fundamentally, there are a lot of people out there who don't want Wikipedia to be part of the answer. Whatever standard Wikipedia achieves, the bar is raised at least a hook higher.

I was brought up with "Gerry Germ". This is how insanity was introduced into my grade three class back in the 1970s.

Some of my unfortunate classmates probably grew up to become the adults who try to spray the entire world with 99.9% germicidal carcinogens. Aside from the shocking innumeracy (readily vaccinated in just five inquisitive minutes wielding your dad's miraculous eight-digit calculator, during which one discovers the small difference between zero point zero repeating and 0.001 as multiplicands), there are about six other layers of illiteracy here. We have subsequently learned that our own bodies are outnumbered 10 to 1 (if you count cells) or 100 to 1 (if you count genes) by our personal Gerry Germ symbiotes.

Nevertheless, we continue to hold wacky beliefs about our standards of personal hygiene, and absolutely ludicrous beliefs about what we ingest or acquire from the external environment. Yet somehow we live.

The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of information we encounter in daily living has never been up to to the germ-free standards of my grade three Gerry Germ indoctrination.

Common sense is the human ability to walk past something yummy that's being lying on the sidewalk for an hour that you just stepping on, and not licking it off the bottom of your shoe.

Yet with information about the world, the idea is that the ignorant and uniformed are just going to stick any piece of information into their mouth that they pass by, so all information in the world needs to be currated by food-safety professionals (aka all the authors dripping with expertise and credentials who might have succeeded in authoring Nupedia before the heat-death of the local universe).

Fundamentally the reason that this cloaked nonsense in Wikipedia is lying there undetected is that it's almost entirely immaterial. If a person holds a transient belief in the Australian god Poopoocaca, how much does that affect this year's RRSP contribution level? About 0.00000001 times as much as the five minutes with dad's expensive 8-digit calculator they unfortunately bypassed as a young child.

And you know what? The lunacies these people believe make 99.9% of the content on Wikipedia look like an oasis of sanity by comparison.

Wikipedia needs to bump that up to 99.99% exactly as badly as the germicidal soap in my bathroom needs to bump itself up to a 99.99% bacterial kill rate. As if the human condition is nothing but 1000 lb sand-dampened power supplies with a -100 dB bullshit noise floor at 60 Hz.

Now if I can just find an industrial-strength soap (so far recognized as safe) to rid me tout sweet of all the preening assholes from which this elitist crap originates in the first place, I might start clicking the "buy" button.

Comment: bow tie and nice NIST endorsement (Score 1) 212

Key fragments? Can we have that with a bow tie and a nice NIST endorsement?

When you break your word, you break something that can not be mended.

Even if you wear the regal black cloak of the Central Malfeasance Agency, when you're found out, it can and will be held against you.

Ho hum. This is clipper chip redux.

In 1997, a group of leading cryptographers published a paper, "The Risks of Key Recovery, Key Escrow, and Trusted Third-Party Encryption," analyzing the architectural vulnerabilities of implementing key escrow systems in general, including but not limited to the Clipper Chip Skipjack protocol. The technical flaws described in this paper were instrumental in the demise of the Clipper chip as a public policy option.
The U.S. government continued to press for key escrow by offering incentives to manufacturers, allowing more relaxed export controls if key escrow were part of cryptographic software that was exported.

Cooperation requires either trust or truncheons. No worries for the NSA. It'll soon enough be classified as a state-secret crime against humanity to bleat when beaten, if it isn't already.

Comment: Re:Reason: for corporations, by corporations (Score 1) 489

by TemporalBeing (#49446181) Attached to: Reason: How To Break the Internet (in a Bad Way)

Do tell me why, then, an Information Service was even defined if nothing was supposed to be classified under it.

Even the name ISP sort of gives it away: Information Service Provider

NetFlix and Hulu would be Information Services, aka Content Provider.

Generic ISPs are not Information Services, but Communications Services. They content of the communications just happens to be data instead of voice.

The problem is that the ISPs also have a Content-Provider side of the business - e.g. uVerse TV, Xfinity, Cable TV Services, Disney (since it's owned by one of the cable companies), and more. So there is an inherent conflict of interest.

Comment: Re:Reason: for corporations, by corporations (Score 1) 489

by TemporalBeing (#49446075) Attached to: Reason: How To Break the Internet (in a Bad Way)

HOAs are voluntary. They're nutty, but people voluntary enter into those agreements. This has nothing to do with Libertarianism except in that it's free people acting freely with one another. No one's forcing you to buy a home that's part of one. I wouldn't.

HOAs are not voluntary in most cases. In some states there is no requirement to disclose the HOA prior to closing either.

Yes, an HOA can be setup as voluntary; but most are not and are part of the Land Deed that goes with the property in a clause that cannot be removed from the Deed. Fees and Fines can be placed as liens against the property (usually granted to the HOA in the Deed).

My parent's, for instance, bought a house in OH. They didn't know there was an HOA at all until months later when someone from the HOA tried to collect dues. The majority of the people in the development did not want the HOA. They couldn't absolve it unless they got the local township to annex them; and the township didn't want to annex them.

When my wife & I bought our first home in SC, they was a voluntary HOA. We never joined since the rules of the HOA only applied if you were in the HOA; and there wasn't really any benefit to being part of it. It has since dissolved because of not enough members, meetings, etc.

When we were looking for a home in GA we came across a number of HOAs, including one that was "voluntary" - voluntary until an owner joined it, then it was no longer voluntary for them or any subsequent owners. They were actively trying to get all the homes to be no longer voluntary.

When we bought our second home in GA, there was no real HOA. There is an "HOA" but it's only got charge of the maintenance for the entrance; no rules, no attachment to the deed, etc.

Both in SC and in GA we had to look long and hard to find an HOA that was not restrictive. Most had dumb rules like "you cannot work on a car in your driveway except in emergency". The worst was one in SC that had a rule that anyone under 18 found on common property after 10 PM would be arrested for trespassing - they made the rule in response to a couple of minors and an adult vandalizing the pool house.

Ultimately, HOAs do not "increase or maintain value" for a home. They decrease it because of the rules and how hard it is to change them.

Comment: proto conlang bowling shoe (Score 1) 626

The layout of paths will seem right and comfortable only when it is compatible with the process of walking. And the process of walking is far more subtle than one might imagine.

More at 120 Paths and Goals.

This is basically the famous "make the buildings first, then add the paths later" meme, as told by the architect Christopher Alexander.

A human language must comfortably accommodate the natural cognitive arcs of the human thought process. Ideally, it should fit habits of thought as comfortably as a hand fits a well oiled leather baseball glove, one that your forefather gave to his son (or your foremother gave to her daughter), stretching in an unbroken chain all the way back to human prehistory.

What we need, then, is a good proto conlang that we can throw into a cultural stew pot to steep for a thousand years, accommodating to the human mind however it will. If by then it still seems rough, throw it back into the pot for another thousand years.

The figure of merit, therefore, for a proto conlang is that it accommodates its future evolution gracefully, blooming like a rose quite unexpectedly, making everyone blush (2000 years from now) over how we ever got along without it.

Instead, what most people busy themselves inventing is a proto conlang bowling shoe, a neat (but sweaty) communal object which fits anyone who happens to drop by to drop some pins, with no possibly confusion about which foot goes into which shoe, or how the lacing pattern goes if one the laces should happen to break—pouring over in their righteous zeal the following menu (among others) to divine the one true ineluctable escape from all things arbitrary:

43 Different Ways To Lace Shoes

What English already does: Riding Boot Lacing

This method is for riding boots (motorbike or equestrian) whose sides are joined at the top and loosen near the ankle. The laces zig-zag from both ends and are tied in the middle.

English knows from feet on the ground where the pressure goes.

What weedy conlingers tend to moot: Hidden Knot Lacing

By hiding the knot underneath, the result is an uninterrupted series of straight "bars" that looks particularly distinctive on dress shoes or sneakers alike.

Conglingers know from eyes in the face that irregular knots and loose ends of human cognition are better spoked than spoken.

Comment: $25 million for two characters (one broKen) (Score 1) 92

by epine (#49435207) Attached to: AT&T Call Centers Sold Mobile Customer Information To Criminals

Apple imposes a $50 million fine for leaks, GT Advanced reveals

Perhaps LG is now facing more of the same, for leaking two whole characters: "8K".

What I'm hoping is that LG pushes back, and when it goes to court LG successfully argues they didn't tip any technical parameters about a forthcoming Apple product, because "K" doesn't mean 1000, and "K" doesn't mean 1024, and in fact doesn't mean any number at all, contrary to what the Apple marketing people apparently think.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan