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Comment: Unsafe Advice (Score 3, Informative) 39

Any marginal blocks mapped out before you encrypt will remain unencrypted and may be available to a determined attacker. Same goes for hard drives, and SATA secure erase is not provably trustworthy. Always encrypt your storage before you put any data on it. If you do not trust your hardware AES to not be backdoored then use software crypto.

Comment: Re:Not France vs US (Score 1) 186

As someone who has lived for a time in Europe (various times in France, Germany, and Italy), I can firmly state that I'd take their small food markets and shops over the U.S. any day

Sure, and you can do that by shopping there.

But Europe went through this process too. In the UK lots of people wailed about how Tesco and other big supermarkets were killing off the small local shops (implicitly assumed to be good). In fact, when pushed, many people would admit that the small local grocers often weren't really that great, that variety was non-existent and quality highly variable. Supermarkets crushed the little local shops because they were better and all the nostalgia in the world couldn't change that fundamental reality. And this isn't something restricted to the USA. Supermarkets did the same thing everywhere. It was just a better model.

BTW I don't buy it that America doesn't have small local food shops. At least when I've been in California there have often been open air markets with local produce. They aren't a scalable way for an entire population to get their food, of course.

Comment: Re:Not France vs US (Score 1) 186

No? I keep reading about how the economic recovery is creating lots of part time jobs.

What you're saying is that those jobs don't pay the same as a full time job. No, obviously not, but if the things around people keep getting cheaper then it doesn't matter: they can still end up objectively more wealthy. For instance, let's say 20 years from now everyone buys books cheap via e-readers and nobody has to own a car or parking spot anymore, because all the cars drive themselves and turn up on demand. People in such a world would have objectively better lives than ours - they'd be able to read any book they desired whilst on a long journey, get drunk if they wanted to when they were there, and get back home again, all for less than what they spend today and with more convenience. If they worked part time, they'd still earn less than a full time person would in that future world, but they'd still be better off than a full time worker in today's world who doesn't have those great things even though they have full employment.

Comment: Re:Not France vs US (Score 1) 186

Big internet sites make the economy more efficient. But the problem is an efficient economy doesn't need workers. And if there are no workers, there's no one to purchase the goods.

"Workers" can find something else to do, possibly newer and more interesting kinds of work, or possibly less work on a four day week, etc.

Look, humanity is stuck on this rock, we aren't going anywhere unless someone figures out how to do the impossible and fly around the galaxy faster than light. So our society needs an eventual end goal, and it seems widely agreed that this end goal should be that we all live lives of leisure and can do/go/explore/build whatever the hell we like, whenever we like it. Obviously along the way that means we'll end up doing less and less work until hardly anyone is doing any real work at all and it's all done by robots a la the world of Manna which was discussed here on Slashdot not that long ago.

So if books get delivered by radio to a device with a battery that lasts for a month and gives me access to the whole world's library for a pittance, how is that not a giant step towards the kind of utopia I described above? Small local bookshops staffed by smart shop assistant girls with cute French accents are great until you realise they don't have the book you want and you had to haul your ass into town in order to discover this fact (assuming the shop was even open by the time you got there). It's not something I would trade progress for.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 1) 278

And before _whatever_date_is_inconvenient_for_somebody_else Beersheba was a town of Jews. You can go back as far or as close as you want and find somebody living here. I mention that in my other posts.

Yes, but going back indefinitely is pointless. Memories have half-lives. What matters most for resolution of conflict is what people who are alive today remember and feel, not what some goat herder did a thousand years ago (maybe, assuming the historical texts are accurate).

Within living memory, Beersheba started out as being Palestinian. That's the start date that matters. If in 50-100 years or so when everyone who remembers that is dead, pointing this out will be as stale as the statement I quoted above. But not today.

Honestly, when ordinary people outside that place look at the state of Israel and Gaza it's hard not to conclude that Israel should never have been created at all. The Jews who were living around the world could have stayed there, or moved to places with no anti-semitic political forces.

Comment: Re:Why the assumption.... (Score 2) 186

Why the assumption that it is good for for-profit companies to find loopholes and avoid the will of democratically elected governments.

Democratically elected does not equal democratic.

The most democratic place I know of is Switzerland, where there is an absolutely constant stream of referendums on absolutely everything, mostly things that in other countries would be all be lumped under an umbrella vote for left or right. For example the Swiss recently voted on the question of whether to buy new Gripen fighter jets. The French, in contrast, have a system so undemocratic that the President doesn't even need the authority of parliament to start a war!

I think it's very corrosive to imply that people a huge bloc of people get a vote between two or three possibilities every four or five years, that somehow legitimises everything that government does in the meantime. It doesn't. The system of voting we have was decided on hundreds of years ago when most people couldn't even read and letters took days or weeks to cross countries. Representatives chosen locally every few years made total sense in such a world. It's now obsolete, much better possibilities can be imagined or even implemented. Western democracy is merely the least worst system tried so far, not the best.

In this case, there's no justification for the French government to be messing with Amazon. As pointed out in other replies to your comment, if the French people truly prefer their local bookshops over Amazon then they'll vote with their wallet, a far fairer and more democratic way of doing things than central government mandate. This idea isn't stupid, there are parts of the world that places big chain stores and brands don't make much progress in because of local culture. But times change and countries are very large. Take McDonalds in France. In 2013 we have this story about an anti-McDonalds protest and the local government attempting to block construction of a restaurant there. But then in 2014 we have another story where the French are protesting for a McDonald's, they're upset because it's been delayed and they want it to open.

These sorts of disputes are best left to ordinary people to work out economically.

Comment: Re:Not France vs US (Score 5, Interesting) 186

Yeah, and so what?

The underlying assumption behind this kind of move seems to be the belief that small local bookshops are inherently worth protecting. Why is that? It's not like if a bookshop closes the land it occupied is salted with radioactive waste. Something else, possibly something more useful will move in.

The real problem here is not Amazon or books or even Google, it's the French mindset that things should never change, that the old ways are always the best ways. Perhaps France has an unusually elderly set of politicians or voters, but you see this in all its areas, most notoriously agriculture. Old ways of farming were put on a quasi-religious pedestal and vast amounts of EU policy and budget were redirected towards preserving them.

Fetishing bookshops doesn't have any emotional appeal to me - they're just buildings stacked with a small and limited selection of reading materials, which inefficiently deploy land and people. Given the rise of the e-book even large chain bookshops will likely disappear over the coming decades, and who will cry for them?

Perhaps the space the bookshops used up can be replaced by coffee shops - spaces for social interaction and work, where reading an e-book and then meeting a friend and having a nice conversation at ordinary volume is a perfectly acceptable way to spend your time.

Comment: And done elsewhere (Score 1) 210

by Sycraft-fu (#47440405) Attached to: Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water

In Tucson 10%ish of the drinking water comes from reclaimed water (aka filtered sewage). Makes sense in an area with not a lot of fresh water resources. Also in those areas you can have different kinds. You can purchase a non-potable (not for consumption) water source for irrigation. Again, reclaimed water, but it undergoes less filtering and thus is cheaper. Plenty of larger places get a hookup to keep their watering costs down.

It is a very sensible way of doing things and you actually have more control of purity than water that comes out of the ground.

Comment: Re:Sure It's The Original? (Score 1) 124

by Reziac (#47439025) Attached to: Child Thought To Be Cured of HIV Relapses, Tests Positive Again

I had the thought that yeah, since mom is infected it could be a re-infection, but not necessarily through what I suspect you're thinking. Any accidental exchange of bodily fluids can suffice. Did mom have a cold sore and kiss the child on the lips? (Remember kids have potential breaks in the mouth due to new teeth) Might be enough.

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. -- Robert Benchley