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Comment: Says who? Why? What if we don't want to? (Score 2) 225

by Catbeller (#48884105) Attached to: Eric Schmidt: Our Perception of the Internet Will Fade

Who asked for this?
The industry eagerness to bug and track everything is universal. Why? The first answer is always: money. The second, and most accurately stated: power. Knowing where everyone is, and what they are doing, is power. But that power is not for schmucks.
Pity we didn't have this universal eagerness to limit population growth, or control suburban land conversion, or to colonize free space with habitats. But power over others? No fucking limits.
Power, by the way, means Occupies are impossible to pull off. Protests. Contrary political movements, ultimately. Other words, any challenge to seated power is gonna be nearly impossible.
Hell, in England, they're already starting dossiers on kintergarteners. Just monitor what they read and do all their lives, and soon there won't be a population that even thinks of rebellion of any sort. Or could talk about it without systems monitoring and integrating the information for future suppression. And yes, I'm aware that that sounds "paranoid". But once again, I'm not predicting, I'm telling you what's already happened.
To take this back to the point of the article, there is no WAY that this eagerly sought supersaturated net of bugs - and that's what they are - will not be used for surveillance and control. I really don't need to know what is in my refrigerator that much.

Comment: Re:Wrong issue (Score 1) 289

by Catbeller (#48861223) Attached to: Police Nation-Wide Use Wall-Penetrating Radars To Peer Into Homes

Due process is meaningless as far as limiting behavior. It sorta means "customary" or "expected". Secret charges and secret courts and secret prisons have been permanently established in this country following due process. Process just rubber-stamps whatever the madhouse wants to do. The real dichotomy is what is illegal versus what is immoral or just plain wrong. Rules are morally neutral.

Comment: Re:With taxes you buy civilization, remember? (Score 1) 289

by Catbeller (#48861157) Attached to: Police Nation-Wide Use Wall-Penetrating Radars To Peer Into Homes

The people in this country cannot be trusted. The police are just an expression of the common culture. Given a choice, people prefer fascism, under whatever name you like. What was it Terry Pratchett said through the Patricican... what people want, what they really want, is that tomorrow be pretty much like today. They want stability and a perception of safety. To that end, they know no limits in restricting the efforts of their neighbors to not-be-like-every-else. From surveillance, to secret police and secret arrests, they support conformity and the Others getting their heads kicked in by the guards. The police are civilians, and they have no special belief system not held by the people they sometimes admit they work for... our culture likes authoritarian thugs (for use against troublemakers), so our police likes being authoritarian thugs when necessary.


Google Thinks the Insurance Industry May Be Ripe For Disruption 237

Posted by Soulskill
from the think-twice-about-googling-your-symptoms dept.
HughPickens.com writes: The insurance industry is a fat target — there's were about $481 billion in premiums in 2013, and agents' commissions of about $50 billion. Now Conor Dougherty writes in the NYT that the boring but lucrative trade has been attracting big names like Google, which has formed a partnership with Comparenow, an American auto insurance comparison site that will give Google access to insurers in Comparenow's network. "A lot of people are waking up to the fact that it's a massive industry, it's old-fashioned, they still use human agents and the commissions are pretty big," says Jennifer Fitzgerald. It may seem like an odd match for Google, whose projects include driverless cars, delivery drones and a pill to detect cancer, but the key to insurance is having lots of data about people's backgrounds and habits, which is perhaps the company's greatest strength. "They have a ton of data on where people drive, how people drive," says Jon McNeill. "It's the holy grail of being able to price auto insurance correctly."

People in the industry and Silicon Valley say it is only a matter of time before online agencies attack the armies of intermediaries that are the backbone of the trade, and Google could present formidable competition for other insurance sellers. As many as two-thirds of insurance customers say they would consider purchasing insurance products from organizations other than insurers, including 23 percent who would consider buying from online service providers such as Google and Amazon. Google Compare auto insurance site has already been operating in Britain for two years as a search engine for auto insurance prices.

FBI Seeks To Legally Hack You If You're Connected To TOR Or a VPN 371

Posted by timothy
from the well-you-look-guilty-from-here dept.
SonicSpike writes The investigative arm of the Department of Justice is attempting to short-circuit the legal checks of the Fourth Amendment by requesting a change in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. These procedural rules dictate how law enforcement agencies must conduct criminal prosecutions, from investigation to trial. Any deviations from the rules can have serious consequences, including dismissal of a case. The specific rule the FBI is targeting outlines the terms for obtaining a search warrant. It's called Federal Rule 41(b), and the requested change would allow law enforcement to obtain a warrant to search electronic data without providing any specific details as long as the target computer location has been hidden through a technical tool like Tor or a virtual private network. It would also allow nonspecific search warrants where computers have been intentionally damaged (such as through botnets, but also through common malware and viruses) and are in five or more separate federal judicial districts. Furthermore, the provision would allow investigators to seize electronically stored information regardless of whether that information is stored inside or outside the court's jurisdiction.

Moscow To Track Cell-phone Users In 2015 For Traffic Analysis 63

Posted by timothy
from the why-do-you-hate-freedom? dept.
An anonymous reader links to this story at The Stack (based on this translated report) that "The Moscow authorities will begin using the signal from Muscovites' cell-phones in 2015 to research patterns of traffic and points of congestion, with a view to changes in travel infrastructure including roads, the Moscow metro and bus services. The tracking, which appears to opt all users in unilaterally, promises not to identify individual cell-phone numbers, and will use GSM in most cases, but also GPS in more densely-constructed areas of the old city. The system is already in limited use on the roads, but will be extended to pedestrians and subway users in 2015. The city of 11.5 million people has three main cell providers, all of whom cooperate fully with authorities' request for information. A representative of one, Beeline, said: "We prepare reports that detail where our subscribers work, live, move, and other aspects."

Regular Exercise Not Enough To Make Up For Sitting All Day 348

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-you-tell-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Toronto researchers have found the amount of time a person sits during the day is associated with a higher risk of disease and death, regardless of regular exercise. The paper, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine (abstract), found that prolonged sedentary behavior was associated with a 15 to 20 per cent higher risk of death from any cause; a 15 to 20 per cent higher risk of heart disease, death from heart disease, cancer, death from cancer; and as much as a 90 per cent increased risk of developing diabetes, said Alter. And that was after adjusting for the effects of regular exercise. ... Engaging in 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous daily exercise does not mean it's OK to then "sit on your rear" for the rest of the day.

Japanese Nobel Laureate Blasts His Country's Treatment of Inventors 190

Posted by Soulskill
from the let-the-makers-make dept.
schwit1 writes: Shuji Nakamura won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics (along with two other scientists) for his work inventing blue LEDs. But long ago he abandoned Japan for the U.S. because his country's culture and patent law did not favor him as an inventor. Nakamura has now blasted Japan for considering further legislation that would do more harm to inventors.

"In the early 2000s, Nakamura had a falling out with his employer and, it seemed, all of Japan. Relying on a clause in Japan's patent law, article 35, that assigns patents to individual inventors, he took the unprecedented step of suing his former employer for a share of the profits his invention was generating. He eventually agreed to a court-mediated $8 million settlement, moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and became an American citizen. During this period he bitterly complained about Japan's treatment of inventors, the country's educational system and its legal procedures. 'The problem is now the Japanese government wants to eliminate patent law article 35 and give all patent rights to the company. If the Japanese government changes the patent law it means basically there would no compensation [for inventors].'"

There is a similar problem with copyright law in the U.S., where changes to the law in the 1970s and 1990s have made it almost impossible for copyrights to ever expire. The changes favor the corporations rather than the individuals who might actually create the work.

Comment: Re:I hope not (Score 1) 487

by 0123456 (#48850991) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

Pre-PC days, you had to develop for a specific target OS/machine combo, and if you wanted to port across it was nearly impossible (even dealing with things like little/big endian systems).

Uh, wut?

Back in the EVIL PRE-PC DAYS--or, at least, the EVIL PRE-WINDOWS DOMINANCE DAYS--we cross-compiled our code onto at least half a dozen Unix variants, and Macs, with a mix of big- and little-endian, and 32-bit and 64-bit.

Only dumb companies built in dependencies on endianness or word size that made their code not work. Almost all the OS inconsistencies for us were hidden in a low-level OS-specific wrapper, except for the places where we had to use hand-coded assembler.

Comment: Re:It will never happen (Score 1) 487

by 0123456 (#48850867) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

New machines with Windows XP were still on sale two or three years before they stopped supporting it.

And the reasons Microsoft have to keep supporting old versions are:

1. They make you pay for new versions.
2. New versions often suck so bad that no-one wants them.
3. They change the driver model so old drivers for crusty old hardware don't work.

If new versions were free, or actually provided enough value to users that they were worth paying for, rather than usually making users go 'WTF were they thinking?' this wouldn't be required. ME, Vista and Window 8 have all been crap that no sane person would pay for and made users stick to their old OS.

Comment: Re:This idea failed in the 1990s (Score 4, Insightful) 105

SpaceX need something to launch to generate the economies of scale required in the launch market to really slash launch costs (i.e by mass-producing reusable rockets and flying them a lot). This isn't a bad one, and it could be much cheaper than previous attempts.

Most public domain software is free, at least at first glance.