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Comment: They are expanding to other markets... (Score 1) 79

by bhmit1 (#48457095) Attached to: Slack Now Letting Employers Tap Workers' Private Chats

... not exploiting existing ones, at least not intentionally. This is a requirement for places like financial firms that have to show there was no insider trading going on, so phone calls and messaging systems have to have full logs. Every other system is simply banned for compliance. So if Slack wants to be used in those companies, they have to have this capability.

Seems like a story of company expansion more than privacy being exploited, but of course, like others say, if it's not on your computer, don't assume that it's private.

Comment: Re:Let's call it what it is: SPAM (Score 1) 418

by bhmit1 (#47493473) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

That's a terrible analogy. Email is paid by each end of the connection paying their ISP for the network and possibly mail server access, and the sender being willing to do the work of creating the email for free (or getting paid through an outside mechanism). Contrast that with youtube where the provider of the video needs to make some money to keep their lights on and pay for their end of the network traffic. Either you have ads to pay for the other end of that network connection, hosting fees, and the content creator, or you need to workout a subscription or micropayment system.

Besides, SPAM works completely outside of the email payment system by frequently hijacking a host with malware and use their resources to send the junk. Ads, on the other hand, pay the person that is providing the service or content, and are only pushed to you when you request the content. Don't want to see an ad? Then don't go to an ad supported website. Don't want to see SPAM? Sorry, there's no easy opt out for that.

Comment: Re:Nope, still not working for me (Score 1) 644

by bhmit1 (#45567335) Attached to: Officials Say HealthCare.gov Site Now Performing Well

Same here, still waiting for my identity verification.

Got all the way to the "verifying identity" step a week or two after launch and have been stuck there ever since. Sent in my drivers license and SSN scans and never heard back. All I received (before my ID had a chance to be verified) was a file called "IndentityProfingFailureNotice.pdf" (sic) that cannot be opened. It's been over a month waiting for them to check my credentials. Apparently I have a message according to a banner that I can close, but I don't see anywhere on the site to check messages.

Unfortunately, since I applied during the initial rush, the phone number to the 3rd party credit reporting bureau was not taking any calls, and I'm not longer able to use that method to verify my identity. And I still question why the credit reporting bureau thought I had pets that I'd taken to a vet and a phone number on the other side of the state. Seems like they were mixing up my identity with someone else. (Yes I check my credit reports for identity theft, nothing there. And you can't report a bad security question to the bureaus, at least not that I can see.)

Comment: Everyone is a criminal, by design (Score 1) 238

by bhmit1 (#44236105) Attached to: Florida Law May Accidentally Ban Computers and Smartphones

That's the goal of far too much legislation. This way law enforcement always has something they can charge people with that they don't like and lets everyone else go about their business. We no longer have a "rule of law" in this country, we have a "rule of staying on law enforcement's good side." In all likelihood, you committed 3 felonies yesterday and will do so again today:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704471504574438900830760842.html

When I see my local politicians doing this, it just shows how much they like the current setup:

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/06/ken-cuccinelli-virginia-oral-anal-sex-sodomy

Comment: Welcome to our life (Score 1) 99

by bhmit1 (#44193677) Attached to: State Dept. Bureau Spent $630k On Facebook 'Likes'

It must be terrible to have to constantly pay more and feel like your getting less and less in return.

Welcome to the life of every tax payer, cable TV subscriber, health insurance purchaser, etc. I feel both the laugher of irony and the sorrow of more wasted tax payer dollars when private companies turn things around and "tax" the government.

Comment: Re:Defeated in one... (Score 2) 467

by bhmit1 (#44048055) Attached to: Altering Text In eBooks To Track Pirates

This isn't designed to stop the determined thief, there will still be plenty of piracy. Instead, it's designed to maximize profits from average users. Friends no longer let other friends borrow a copy of their book like they would have done with a physical book, because they are afraid that it could get shared publicly.

It's not so different from how dvd DRM isn't to stop people from making copies of movies, it's to prevent the manufacturers of players from adding features that customers would like, such as region free playing and the ability to skip ads at the beginning of the disk.

In both cases, criminals can easily do what they've always done, but the law abiding users are less and less able to use the product in ways that used to be legal.

Comment: Uber? Stop aiming so low (Score 2) 278

by bhmit1 (#43827379) Attached to: Mayor Bloomberg Battles Fleet Owners Over NYC 'Taxi of Tomorrow'

If you really want to "destroy an industry" then allow self driving vehicles to replace cab services. People could subscribe to a car service or pay per use to have a car when they need it. The cars would automatically recharge when not needed, automatically deploy to areas of high demand, be callable with a smart phone app and station themselves at predetermined locations for non-app users. Google can integrate voice commands, local search, maps, and their field trip app so there isn't even a need to talk to a cab driver again.

When cab drivers are finding alternate ways to get customers, you've altered an industry. When cab drivers are looking for a different career, you've destroyed an industry.

Comment: Re:Just wait.. (Score 1) 404

by bhmit1 (#43290017) Attached to: T-Mobile Ends Contracts and Subsidies

I've been with them for 2 years without a contract (they used to hide the option in the past, and they didn't allow you to pay for the phone over time). Not once have they changed my plan, features, or my monthly charges. The only thing that changed was my 3rd party insurance plan reduced their coverage.

The great thing about T-Mobile phones from 2 years ago was that they weren't crippled. They allowed the portable wifi hotspot feature out of the box, without any extra charge. And they included a "call out over wifi" option for people in a bad coverage area (though that didn't fix incoming calls).

Comment: In other news... (Score 5, Insightful) 108

by bhmit1 (#43060749) Attached to: Nearly Every NYC Crime Involves Computers, Says Manhattan DA

Nearly every crime involves transportation and communication. This is less of a story about how cybercrime is a threat and we should all unplug from the dangerous internet and worry about the next attack on a major utility company. Rather it's a realization that technology is an extension of our lives now, everything is impacted by it, and that's no different for criminals.

Comment: There's no pleasing an angry mob (Score 4, Insightful) 307

by bhmit1 (#42927183) Attached to: Tax Peculiarities Mean Facebook Paid No Net Taxes For 2012

When corporations keep record profits internally and pay their people minimum wage, we scream that it's not fair and they need to pay their employees more. When they pay no taxes because they paid their employees with large stock options, they aren't paying their fair share, even though the marginal rate for employees is typically higher than the tax rate of a corporation. And contrary to the implications of the article, stock options do cost the company something, they cost the company the future ability to use those shares of the company to raise investor funds.

This all said, I do agree there's an inherent unfairness to small businesses who can't easily utilize international laws to move profits to a location where corporate income isn't taxed. But unless you're trying to move more business out of the US, I don't agree that the right answer is to force companies to pay taxes on foreign income. Rather, we should be doing more to eliminate red tape and other barriers to entry faced by people that want to start a company and hire people.

Comment: Re:Comcast routers (Score 1) 154

by bhmit1 (#41966219) Attached to: Australia's Biggest Telco Sold Routers With Hardcoded Passwords

Hardcoded initial passwords should never be used for anything other than the first access to a device (after a reset) to configure it with the customers own password and settings. It should also not be usable from any public facing interfaces, but that's a side issue. This is no different from being given a temporary password and told to change it when you first login to a computer or web site.

Leaving default passwords, even if they are unique per device, exposes the security risk that someone will discover those passwords. With unique passwords, all someone needs to find is the database or printing records used to create all those unique labels, or they can discover an algorithm used to generate the unique passwords. Once hacked, unique passwords provide only marginally better security than identical default passwords, but they create a bigger issue because of the false sense of security they have given users that assume they are secure.

The solution of problems is the most characteristic and peculiar sort of voluntary thinking. -- William James

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