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Comment: Power Corrupts (Score 1) 322

by X!0mbarg (#46706105) Attached to: LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

And Absolute Power is kinda nifty...

It's amazing what happens to some people when they get a taste of power over others. Little wonder why there are cases of extortion and racketeering that happen by police officers in many cities. Once they get a taste, they're hooked, and it escalates.

Why is it that many an off-duty police officer acts like a total a$$-hat, but pops a badge out of their butt when confronted by the proper authority to curb such behavior? They carry on as if they are Allowed to do the things they, themselves are required to prevent. After all, such things are Fun! At least, to some people...

I'd cite examples, but there'd be info-burn from the Google results page...

How many people would tamper with monitoring devices at their work, if they were under such constant scrutiny? Of course, there are laws preventing such devices in many places at work, such as washrooms, changerooms, and similar places. Needless to say why many employees tend to hang out there as much as possible.

Bottom line is this: People in authority should Expect to be monitored for abuse! Gone are the days of power (on certain levels of civil service) putting you beyond reproach. that was then. This is now. It's been called the Information Age for a reason, folks.

Welcome to the Glass House, Mr. Ford. Don't get too comfortable.

Mayors of large, world-class cities have been getting away with things for a very long time in the past. Mostly because they knew when and how to do such things so as not to draw too much attention to themselves.Others see the office as goal, and a place where they have free reign to do whatever they want. Chances are, they were doing things before they had the office, but were simply emboldened to the point of carelessness by the authority they found themselves in. Can you imagine the scandals that would happen if a Mayors' Office was subjected to such constant monitoring? Don't get me wrong! Mayors of such cities have a Lot of things they have to deal with on a daily basis, that are best kept behind closed doors for public safety. Shame the crime-lords of the modern era don't suffer from nearly the same level of accountability as their elected counterparts...

So, bottom line here: If you had such monitoring devices where you work, would you tamper with them for any reason? Would it be privacy, or some other reason that motivates you?

What level of "privacy" do you expect from your work environment?

Just Sayin'

The Almighty Buck

Book Review: Money: The Unauthorized Biography 91

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
jsuda (822856) writes "Most of us know that making money is difficult and saving it is even harder, but understanding money is easy–it's just coins and folding certificates, a mere medium of exchange. That's wrong! according to Felix Martin, author of Money: The Unauthorized Biography. Not only is that understanding wrong but it's responsible (in large part) for the 2007 Great Recession and the pitiful 'recovery' from it as well as a number of previous financial and credit disasters." Keep reading for the rest of Jsuda's review.

Comment: Genetic or Chemical cause? (Score 1) 558

Is it a genetic thing, passed on to kids, or might it be something caused by medicines or whatnot?

Most mother-to-be are taking different things during their term that they feel safe taking. What if things like Allergy pills are causing it?

Looks like a widespread version of Thalidomide Babies of this generation.

Comment: Circadian Rhythm (Score 5, Interesting) 240

by X!0mbarg (#46615719) Attached to: Daylight Saving Time Linked To Heart Attacks

If this is what happens once a year, imagine what happens to people who have their schedules changed at random (like a truck driver), or someone on "swing shifts"!

Little wonder there are so many truckers having heart attacks that end their careers (or even their lives)!

And to think I worked for a company that the VP actually said to me (with a witness from their own Drivers' Advisory Board present, no less):

"Circadian rhythm is a luxury we cannot afford in this industry."

I'd name names, but I might want to return to driving one day, and it could get me Blackballed ;)

Comment: Some song ideas: (Score 1) 48

by X!0mbarg (#46490171) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Jonathan Coulton What You Will

Have you considered a female point-of-view version of your song "Better"? It'd be interesting to hear the logic behind her upgrades, and what she was after in the first place.

Also, is there any kind of correlation between "Better" and "Nobody Loves You Like Me"?

Do, please keep up the Wonderful Work! Great, insightful and thought-provoking body of work, BTW!

Comment: Monitor the Airwaves (Score 1) 137

by X!0mbarg (#46452925) Attached to: Drones Used To Smuggle Drugs Into Prison

Bluetooth is short range, and R/C uses audible signals on CB channel 14 or so.

Just monitor the CB band for activity that seems weird, and broadcast something that can knock them down. Whistling into a mic often works. An R/C hobby enthusiast could easily override such a signal, and take control with a much stronger local unit. Any decent computer tech should be able to snoop out a Bluetooth signal, if that's what they're using.

Triangulate on the broadcast before the takeover, and you have a place to look for the perps, while having taken down the drone for analysis and follow-up.

Two birds with one stone, there.

Comment: Interesting Precident to Set (Score 1) 236

by X!0mbarg (#46428683) Attached to: Drone Pilot Wins Case Against FAA

Looks like 'we' will have to right to use drones of our own to do fairly non-invasive things like monitor our own property, take aerial images and videos, and patrol for intrusion.
Expect corporate drones to roll out fairly soon now that it's not considered illegal.

Next step: Armed Drones. They'll probably start will paint-ball chemical/visual tags, and work up the lethality scale slowly, but surely from there.
At least the paint-balls aren't too directly life-threatening... unless you're knocked off a high-rise structure...

+ - It's the End of (XP) Support as we Know It->

Submitted by X!0mbarg
X!0mbarg (470366) writes "We've all heard about the inevitability of it, but M$ has started sending out Downloaded Notifications of its End Of Support for Windows XP as part of Automatic Updates. Has anyone else seen these pop up on their XP systems? I certainly did.

(Apologies in advance for my poor code-fu here.)

Many links abound for reference here:
  • and the Google-it-for-you reference:

Anyone else see this as an attempt to scare users into upgrades directly from the desktop?

Yes, we all knew this day would be upon us, but surely we didn't see M$ being so downright aggressive, did we?

Ultimately, what is everyone's opinion on this effort and its' ultimate affect to their usage of the admittedly antiquated OS?

I for one, will still be chugging along on a few systems until the system finally just Dies on me.

Any theories on actual support and afterlife cycle predictions? Anyone still patching together their Win98 systems? Win3.11? What duties have they been relegated to and why? What plans does everyone have in the Upgrade department? Are you waiting for anything specific from M$ before taking the Win8.1 plunge, or planning on holding onto your Win7 systems 'till they pry the code from its cold, dead drive?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Build in Blighted Areas? Seriously? (Score 1) 606

by X!0mbarg (#46358563) Attached to: 'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

Maybe cities just don't have the right mix of amenities, price, space, parking, and other factors to make them better places to put certain businesses.

As is, any decent business that intends to be economical, will build in a place that is of advantage to them, while convenient to their clientele.

If a city area does not have the attributes a company is looking for, why would they locate anywhere else? If they are willing to bus in their employees, bully for them! The city should be happy that there's an employer willing to add to the local economy.

If a city truly wants to revitalize an area, they need to make it appealing to a company to set up there. Tax incentives, for example. Perhaps a city could petition for companies of certain types and demographics to build a neighborhood of sorts, including residential units for employees of the core.

Want to build a community? Plan it out, and fill in the blocks. Leaving it to market whims, and dumb luck doesn't exactly promote growth.

Comment: People will always feel threatened (Score 1) 921

by X!0mbarg (#46357879) Attached to: Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

...what will it take for general acceptance to finally take hold?

When nearly everyone has the tech, it will be a mutually assured disclosure situation, and only those who don't have it will feel threatened and/or left out.

In a nutshell: If you have it, you accept it on others, and if you don't have it, you will feel exposed, and therefore resent the presence of it on others.

Widespread adoption will be about the only thing that can allow it to take hold. Sadly, this will also create even more backlash against it.

I doubt it will ever be truly widespread. Isn't it still illegal in most places to record people without prior permission, and threatening to record can also be seen as a threat? Every new phone has a camera as it is. You want to see people get twitchy? Walk into any bar actively recording as you go and post the results! That's not even Glass backlash, just blatant recording reaction!

Maybe there will be a string of clubs spring up that having Glass (or something else similar) is the only way you get in.

Watch for signs to pop up Banning the use of such devices in various establishments. Theaters will likely lead the pack there. I'm surprised that the MPAA/RIAA haven't jumped on this bandwagon yet, as ambient recording of copyrighted material is (at least in their mind) illegal, and recording club music could be a goldmine for them...

Comment: M$ has repeated it's sins (Score 3, Interesting) 742

by X!0mbarg (#46316669) Attached to: "Microsoft Killed My Pappy"
Nothing sets a mind into cement like being forced into something painful repeatedly.

It's called a "Conditioned Response" and becomes automatic. Hence the term "knee-jerk reaction".

People tend to teach their kids to avoid something that they had to learn the hard way in an attempt to spare them the suffering they had to endure themselves.

"What have they done?", you ask? Pushed flawed OSes out, forced upgrades that slow or break older systems, actively discontinued support for decent hardware (like printers and scanners) to force more purchases, yank support for older OSes that have been working in the industry in some capacity for years in a vain attempt to generate revenue, forcibly downgrade or out-mode existing suites of software that at least work (now that people have been forced to use them for so long) so that they will have to retrain in something completely different so they can simply continue to work, "bundling" software together in ways that make it obscenely difficult to remove without knocking down their house of cards...




Windows ME was a seriously flawed OS.

Windows Vista was as well.

Windows 8 has so far shown many of the same trends as it's failed predecessors, but M$ still pushes it out as if everyone never had to break the bank for the last two serious failures on their part, and wonders why people are slow to adopt anything new from them.

Seriously? We need to look at this with fresh eyes?

I'll be checking mine for a M$ logo before I adopt anything like that wetware into my body.

Heck, I don't think I'd want a Google logo on it, either...

Comment: Swansong time for FaceBook? (Score 1) 462

by X!0mbarg (#46245719) Attached to: Facebook Debuts New Gender Options, Pronoun Choices

"... we want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self."

I wonder if they include things like Futa, Loli and Trap with their many gender-obfuscating references...

It just seems to me that many will abuse the whole Net-Annonimity thing, and post their Fantasy selves, as opposed to their "true, authentic" self-image.

What's to keep people from having alts, anyway? There's plenty of those already.

Well, Good Luck with all that, FaceBook! I hope you can last long enough to make a Graceful exit when the Next Big Thing gets here.

Comment: Reminds me of why some cinemas BAN cell phones... (Score 1, Insightful) 1431

by X!0mbarg (#45952937) Attached to: Man Shot To Death For Texting During Movie
There was a theatre in Texas that bans the use of cell phones during the show completely. Even goes so far as to eject without refund and offending patrons. They made a wonderful ad from a caller who left a message complaining after she was ejected for using her cell phone "as a flashlight' since it was so dark". The simple fact that she was terribly drunk made it so hilarious.

See references:

In this age of decreasing levels of common decency, and manners in public places, (theaters being nearly the antithesis of private) people still feel they have a false sense of entitlement to do rude things without consequences.

Not play down that someone DIED here, but that level of offense is going to get more common as the texters drain what enjoyment might be left in going for a Big Screen Experience.

I still remember when they first banned cigarettes in theaters, and how terribly offended people were on both sides of the ban.

Maybe, I'm just getting Old and Cranky... Good thing I'm Canadian, and guns are nowhere near as available to us up here.

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!