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Comcast Officially Gives Up On TWC Merger 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the keeping-them-small-enough-to-govern dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Confirming speculation from yesterday, Comcast announced this morning that its attempt to merge with Time Warner Cable has been terminated. The announcement was very brief, but indicated that regulatory pressure was the reason they killed the deal. CEO Brian Roberts said, "Today, we move on. Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn't agree, we could walk away." The Washington Post adds, "The move by regulators to throw up roadblocks shows that the government has grown concerned about massive media conglomerates bigfooting rivals that are finding success by streaming content over the Internet, analysts said. And after years of approving a wave of mergers in the industry — including that of Comcast and NBC Universal in 2011 — federal officials are taking a new tone, they said."

Comment: Re:Not a Piece of Shit (Score 2) 127

by The Snowman (#49540501) Attached to: POS Vendor Uses Same Short, Numeric Password Non-Stop Since 1990

One of the requirements of PCI compliance with the credit card companies is that you don't use default passwords in any equipment tied to the card transaction.

Which makes this even more interesting. Based on the password and the fact that a paperclip is required I know the specific vendor and equipment to which the article refers, despite the authors going to great lengths to omit that information. The vendor is a big one and their equipment is involved in millions of electronic payments made every day. You could even say they are "the way to pay." In fact, they are involved in PCI certification for most production deployments involving their hardware: most, but not all, because certain deployments using default configurations do not need additional certification, just a quick verification that IP addresses and the like are properly configured.

I understand the need for a default password, but it really should be changed. That being said, the encryption keys are not accessible using that password. They are stored in a hardware module that self-destructs if you tamper with it. They can only be set in one of two secure locations both controlled by the vendor: if you attempt to use any other means to mess with the keys, bye-bye memory card that stores them. This is bad, but not as bad as it sounds at first.

Comment: Non Sequitor (Score 5, Insightful) 328

by eldavojohn (#49539223) Attached to: Drone Killed Hostages From U.S. and Italy, Drawing Obama Apology

I'm not disappointed at all. Drones are so much better than actually invading Pakistan, and reduces the number of kids that get killed in war.

I never got the hate for drones in the first place. Why would you want to launch a ground invasion instead, which means MORE kids getting killed?

Sure, if you want to kill someone, you're right. I think the argument against drones is that if you push a button and someone dies on the other side of the Earth and you didn't have to go to war to do that ... well, fast forward two years and you're just sitting there hitting that button all day long. "The quarter solution" or whatever you want to call it is still resulting in deaths and, as we can see here, we're not 100% sure whose deaths that button is causing. Even if we study the targets really really hard.

And since Pakistan refuses to own their Al Queda problem, we have to take care of it for them.

No, no we don't. You might say "Al Queda hit us now we must hunt them to the ends of the Earth" but it doesn't mean that diplomacy and sovereignty just get flushed down the toilet. Those country borders will still persist despite all your shiny new self-appointed world police officer badges. Let me see if I can explain this to you: If David Koresh had set off bombs in a Beijing subway and then drones lit up Waco like the fourth of July and most of the deaths were Branch Davidians, how would you personally feel about that? Likewise, if Al Queda is our problem and we do that, we start to get more problems. Now, that said, it's completely true that Pakistan's leadership has privately condoned these strikes while publicly lambasting the US but that's a whole different problem.

Also, we must always assume that war = killing kids. The fact that people think kids shouldn't be killed in war basically gives people more of an incentive to go to war in the first place. When Bush invaded Iraq, the public should have asked "OK, how many kids are we expected to kill?" Because all war means killing kids. There has never been a war without killing kids.

The worst people are the ones that romanticize war, by saying war is clean and happy and everyone shakes hands at the end. War is the worst, most horrible thing, and we need to make sure people understand that, or they'll continue to promote war.

Yep, think of the children -- that's why we should use drone strikes, right? Look, war means death. Death doesn't discriminate and neither does war. If you're hung up on it being okay to take a life the second that male turns 18, you're pretty much morally helpless anyway. War is bad. Drone strikes are bad. There's enough bad in there for them both to be bad. This isn't some false dichotomy where it's one or the other. It's only one or the other if you're hellbent on killing people.

News flash: you can argue against drone strikes and also be opposed to war at the same time. It does not logically follow that since you're against drone strikes, you're pro war and pro killing children. That's the most unsound and absurd flow of logic I've seen in quite some time.

Comment: Re:If we're all going to take Adderall... (Score 1) 391

by OrangeTide (#49538047) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

Before the patent expires, the patent holder tends to do a smear campaign to inject FUD in further use of the pharmaceutical and discourages doctors from prescribing it. When the replacement medication is available it quickly supplants the old medication, even if it has more dangerous side-effects.

Medication is not a free market because the end-users are not the ones to make the decisions on which medication to purchase. It's a a decision made by doctors, who are often heavily influenced by sophisticated marketing campaigns from drug companies.

I'm fine letting the free market determine what I should pay for TVs, pajamas, corn, etc. Because I directly make the decision on what I buy. (note: corn is not sold on a free market)

Comment: No, This Is Important for People to See (Score 5, Insightful) 252

by eldavojohn (#49536145) Attached to: Wellness App Author Lied About Cancer Diagnosis

Wait. A person who made dubious claims that had no scientific backing to them was actually lying? What next? Water is wet?!!

I think pretty much everyone but the nutjob, true believers in psuedo-science knew all along that this woman was lying.

So you're saying everyone knew she was lying about her charity donations as well? Or was it only the charities that knew that? From the article:

The 26-year-old's popular recipe app, which costs $3.79, has been downloaded 300,000 times and is being developed as one of the first apps for the soon-to-be-released Apple Watch. Her debut cook book The Whole Pantry, published by Penguin in Australia last year, will soon hit shelves in the United States and Britain.

So you're saying the 300,000 downloads are by people that knew they were downloading the app architected by a liar? And they were paying $3.79 to Apple and this liar for a recipe app that contain recipes that someone lied about helping her cure cancer? And you're saying that everyone at Apple that featured her app on the Apple Watch knew they were showing a snake oil app on their brand new shiny device? And that the people at Penguin did all their fact checking on any additional information this cookbook might contain about Belle Gibson's alleged cancer survival? And that everybody involved in these events know society's been parading around a fucking liar and rewarding her with cash money while she basically capitalizes on a horrendous disease that afflicts millions of people worldwide ... that she never had?

No, this is not the same as "water is wet" and it needs to be shown that holistic medicine is temporarily propped up on a bed of anecdotal lies ... anybody who accepts it as the sole cure for their ailment is putting their health in the hands of such charlatans and quacks.

Comment: Re:Seems to be OK all around then (Score 1) 603

by houghi (#49535861) Attached to: Bill To Require Vaccination of Children Advances In California

Not good enough. They will meet the other kids at Disney World and other (semi-)public places like public transport and the park.

I would say: If you don't want your kids vaccinated, they won't be your kids anymore. Problem solved. (We could give them to the gay community)

Comment: Re:Back to the future (Score 1) 78

by houghi (#49534497) Attached to: Facebook's "Hello" Tells You Who's Calling Before You Pick Up

Where I work we often need to call people to, ah, remind them they are behind in their payment. We use both call avoidance and show who is calling. Because some people will pick up if they know who is calling and some will pick up if they think it isn't us.

(That besides those who either never or always pick up)

The results between using a number and not using one is about 50/50 in the results.

Comment: Re:Repeal the Fourth Amendment (Score 1) 398

States occasionally rewrite their constitutions. But as I understand it for the US Constitution to be rewritten we would have to get unanimous approval of every state legislature, and that Congress alone does not have the authority to do this. (anyone, is this true?)

I don't agree that a traffic citation is reasonable cause to search for drugs. Maybe if there is reckless driving and the driver appears intoxicated, but that is already a felony. I would much rather that it took a related felony before drug searches are permitted.

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer

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