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Comment: Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 1) 176

by drinkypoo (#48930655) Attached to: One-in-five Developers Now Works On IoT Projects

A cellphone phone is a thing and it's usually connected to the internet. An internet of things no less.

I'm pretty sure that you know that these "things" are things which have a purpose other than being a computer, which a cellphone doesn't. (POTS being obsolete today, though still useful)

Comment: Re:What's more irritating? (Score 1) 176

by drinkypoo (#48930643) Attached to: One-in-five Developers Now Works On IoT Projects

As if "the internet of things" is somehow more special than the idea that as the tech gets cheaper, more and more things will connect to wireless networks.

Yes, the idea is that this time has come. It hasn't, but believing that it has will usher it in as the increased demand produces the parts we need to actually do the thing. In the meantime a lot of startups will rise and asplode.

Comment: Re:Best way to block ads (Score 1) 173

by bmo (#48930427) Attached to: Adobe's Latest Zero-Day Exploit Repurposed, Targeting Adult Websites

Alex, your multiple repostings of identical content is spam.

I have used your software. It works as advertised. However, it doesn't justify multiple copies of the same message in the same thread. That doesn't do anything except make people tune you out as "mere noise" even if what you have to contribute might not be.

Honestly.

And you don't have to talk about yourself in the third person. OK?

Peace.

--
BMO/Dan

Comment: Re:Now using TOR after WH threats to invade homes (Score 1) 275

by causality (#48929977) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

And how does one find those targets in the first place if they have no connection with known targets? How does one find the group to infiltrate? The point is that there are many new cells that are popping up that have no connection what so ever with known terrorists. How do you find those new cells?

The idea is that limiting police powers in order to safeguard freedoms (and with them, the balance of power between the individual and the government) is acknowledged as making the job of police harder. The polices' job being harder does, in fact, mean that some number of criminals will go free some of the time, criminals who otherwise would have been caught and prosecuted. This is why absolute security is the antithesis of absolute freedom, so the question then is how to balance the two. When you safeguard liberty as your first priority and assign a lower priority to the effectiveness of law enforcement, you understand that you are taking a higher risk that you yourself will be harmed by a criminal that law enforcement could have stopped.

That's why freedom is not for cowards. The problems you worry about are well known to people who understand and value freedom. They choose freedom anyway. They also realize that the danger with which you're so concerned has been overstated. You're much more likely to be killed by a cop than a terrorist, and any factual inquiry into that based on facts would lead you to the same conclusion. Incidentally, you're also more likely to be injured by lightning. In the last 100 years, many, many more people were killed by their own governments than by any foreign enemy, so the credibility of this danger has been well established. Limited, transparent government is a time-tested manner of managing this danger.

As an aside, if terrorism is truly such a great problem and we want to reduce it in a real and effective manner, we should also stop giving excuses to the people who hate us. It's much easier for an enemy to justify their position, raise their troops' morale, and recruit new members into their brand of exteremism when they can point to concrete acts of ruthless domination the USA has actually committed. Law enforcement would certainly be more effective if its list of potential suspects could be reduced, facilitating a more focused approach on those that remain.

Anyway, the real spirit of freedom, the more value-based, individual, and courageous part that you and so many others keep failing to even recognize, let alone try to understand, is that those who understand freedom realize that a few more guilty men may go free. They consider that a small price to pay, an exchange of a finite quantity that numbers can describe in order go gain something priceless and worthwhile. It's yet another instance of failing to comprehend a viewpoint because you do not personally share it, therefore you get sidetracked by related but irrelevant issues because you have no idea how to articulate a meaningful response to it.

Comment: Re:Well I guess it's a good thing... (Score 1) 173

by bmo (#48929683) Attached to: Adobe's Latest Zero-Day Exploit Repurposed, Targeting Adult Websites

They feel entitled to make a profit by any means necessary, while you feel entitled to their content or service by any means necessary.

The former is true

The latter isn't. If the "content providers" suddenly put all their stuff behind paywalls, I'd ignore them. I wouldn't even bother trying to "subvert" such paywalls. You know that "you've used up your free views for this month" BS that you run into with the NYT and such? My panties don't get in a twist, I just close the window and go elsewhere. I don't use bugmenot even today. I'm one of very many people who feel this way.

Let me reiterate: I block ads. They post their content and they take their chances. If they put up the paywalls, they "disappear" for me and I'm fine with it.

So let's ask the "what if everyone did that" evaluation of human behavior to examine what damage might be done if all that revenue disappeared from the Internet: Many "content providers" that depend purely on ad revenue would close (like Gawker Media, Dice, etc.,) and it would wind up like it was back in the mid 1990s shortly before the explosion of commercial "content."

Please, please let this happen.

--
BMO

Comment: Re:Privacy (Score 1) 45

by drinkypoo (#48929643) Attached to: Amazon Takes On Microsoft, Google With WorkMail For Businesses

Google is working on enabling OpenPGP-encrypted e-mail for Gmail with a Chrome extension: https://github.com/google/end-...

Or you can have it on Firefox right now with enigmail. Or well, you could. Maybe it doesn't work any more. I had nobody to exchange encrypted email with, so I no longer have it installed.

Comment: Re:Now using TOR after WH threats to invade homes (Score 1) 275

by causality (#48929619) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

Berating me is doing nothing to change my mind. I do not respond well to bullies.

Actually, the social shunning/shaming of those who advocate positions that are detrimental to society does serve a useful and positive function. Consider the way most people would respond to someone who openly advocates racism, for example. The response such a person receives would not be a pleasant one and really would discourage them. This is a good thing and it's a service to everyone else.

The only difference between racist views and pro-authoritarian views is the method by which they damage society for everyone else. Honestly the idea that your safety is in terrible danger from terrorism, and that giving up freedom and privacy is an acceptable solution, is a form of cowardice. It enables tyranny and those who advocate it are enablers. It's also inconsistent with reality: you're more likely to be injured by lightning than by terrorists, and you're very much more likely to be harmed by police or other members of your own government than any terrorist. If you were truly interested in your safety you would religiously monitor weather reports and you would advocate that the federal government be reduced in size and power.

Meanwhile, it's a fact of life that not all opinions are equally valid. Some, like yours, are rooted in ignorance and cowardice and have proven extremely dangerous each time they are put into practice, as an honest reading of history would reveal to you. Yes, the USA is not the first nation to use the idea of a foreign threat as an excuse to curtail civil liberties. The delusional among us seem to believe that it does happen to be the very first nation that will do this without causing a complete disaster (which has always taken the form of a totalitarian government under which human life is without value). Neither an understanding of history nor of human nature could possibly support this delusion.

I'd like to leave you with two quotations that this conversation reminds me of. You see, we (collectively) keep rehashing these same old debates not realizing that great effort has already been poured into thinking about what are not new issues. The first is from C. S. Lewis:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

The other is a dialog between Hermann Goring, a leading member of the Nazi Party, and a man named Gilbert, during an interview conduced in Goering's prison cell during the Nuremburg trials, on April 18, 1946:

-----

Goring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

----

Something I hope you will consider.

Comment: Re:Privacy (Score 5, Informative) 45

by swillden (#48929123) Attached to: Amazon Takes On Microsoft, Google With WorkMail For Businesses

Though you have to trust AWS with the plain text at some time since every mail server and client has to hand the message over in plain text (it may come in over an encrypted tunnel, but it needs to be decrypted by their mailservers).

No, it doesn't. S/MIME, PGP-mail, etc. Of course that only works if the party you're e-mailing can also use client-side e-mail encryption.

Google is working on enabling OpenPGP-encrypted e-mail for Gmail with a Chrome extension: https://github.com/google/end-...

Comment: Everything is bigger than Hollywood (Score 1) 129

by swillden (#48928943) Attached to: The American App Economy Is Now "Bigger Than Hollywood"

Meh. Everything is bigger than Hollywood.

Okay, that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but honestly, on the scale of major first-world institutions that people know and recognize, Hollywood is pretty small potatoes. Apple alone rakes in more than double the entire worldwide film industry's take. 2013 worldwide film industry revenues: $88B, and Hollywood is only about 2/3 of that. 2014 Apple revenues: $183B. IBM also is also bigger than Hollywood. Google is about as big as Hollywood. Ford is bigger than Hollywood. GM is bigger than Hollywood. Exxon Mobil is more than six times as large as Hollywoood.

The film industry is almost noise in the US national economy. It's chump change.

Where Hollywood is a heavyweight, though, is in politics. It has massively disproportionate power in comparison to its segment of the economy. Why? Simple: political power is about influence, not money, and Hollywood has direct access to the voters' brains. Large quantities of money can also buy access to said brains, but there is no amount of money that could buy as much political advertising as Hollywood can pack into its entertainment output. And any individual actor of note can stand up and say something and get press coverage that would cost tens of millions if purchased, free.

Luckily, Hollywood isn't politically homogeneous, so to a large degree the politics of our entertainment media reflect the same varied sets of opinions found in the nation as a whole. Not perfectly, but largely. There are some areas in which the interests of Hollywood are highly homogeneous, however, such as around copyright law, and there they wield incredible clout.

Anyway, my core point here isn't about that, it's just that Hollywood's visibility and influence makes it seem much bigger than its actual economic status.

+ - Spider spins electrically charged silk->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "In their quest to make ultrastrong yet ultrasmall fibers, the polymer industry may soon take a lesson from Uloborus spiders. Uloborids are cribellate spiders, meaning that instead of spinning wet, sticky webs to catch their prey, they produce a fluffy, charged, wool-like silk. A paper published online today in Biology Letters details the process for the first time. It all starts with the silk-producing cribellar gland. In contrast with other spiders, whose silk comes out of the gland intact, scientists were surprised to discover that uloborids’ silk is in a liquid state when it surfaces. As the spider yanks the silk from the duct, it solidifies into nanoscale filaments. This “violent hackling” has the effect of stretching and freezing the fibers into shape. It may even be responsible for increasing their strength, because filaments on the nanoscale become stronger as they are stretched. In order to endow the fibers with an electrostatic charge, the spider pulls them over a comblike plate located on its hind legs. The technique is not unlike the so-called hackling of flax stems over a metal brush in order to soften and prepare them for thread-spinning, but in the spider’s case it also gives them a charge. The electrostatic fibers are thought to attract prey to the web in the same way a towel pulled from the dryer is able to attract stray socks."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Obviously didn't work so well... (Score 3, Interesting) 84

by bmo (#48928673) Attached to: Snowden Documents: CSE Tracks Millions of Downloads Daily

That's the problem isn't it?

Collect everything means that all your intelligence is hidden by piles and piles of cat memes.

Because the Internet isn't a series of tubes, it's a single cat with infinite meowing heads and infinite tails to pull.

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat." -- Attributed to Albert Einstein.

--
BMO

OS/2 must die!

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