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Uber Limits 'God View' To Improve Rider Privacy 76

mpicpp sends this report from CNN: Uber has rolled back employee access to its "God view" mode, which allows the company to track riders' locations and other data. The ride service company was faced with questions about its privacy policies from U.S. Senator Al Franken, following a series of recent privacy debacles. Uber's updated policy is detailed in its response to the senator's questions. Franken sent Uber a letter (PDF, Uber's response) in November after news reports made two things clear: The ride service company collects lots of data on customers — and some executives don't exercise that power responsibly. In one case, an Uber employee using "God View" easily tracked a reporter's movements on her way to a meeting.

Comment Re:There is a reason for this! (Score 1) 317

I took the Windows 2000 and 2003 MCSE tests. There was definitely subnetting involved. Granted, it's been 11 years, but I specifically recall things like "How many hosts can you have on network, what's the first, last, broadcast IP address" etc. It's not CCNA level stuff, but there's definitely more going on than just memorizing the classes. You needed to know this stuff to setup the RRAS server IIRC.

Why Google Went Offline Today 110

New submitter mc10 points out a post on the CloudFlare blog about the circumstances behind Google's services being inaccessible for a brief time earlier today. Quoting: "To understand what went wrong you need to understand a bit about how networking on the Internet works. The Internet is a collection of networks, known as "Autonomous Systems" (AS). Each network has a unique number to identify it known as AS number. CloudFlare's AS number is 13335, Google's is 15169. The networks are connected together by what is known as Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). BGP is the glue of the Internet — announcing what IP addresses belong to each network and establishing the routes from one AS to another. An Internet "route" is exactly what it sounds like: a path from the IP address on one AS to an IP address on another AS. ... Unfortunately, if a network starts to send out an announcement of a particular IP address or network behind it, when in fact it is not, if that network is trusted by its upstreams and peers then packets can end up misrouted. That is what was happening here. I looked at the BGP Routes for a Google IP Address. The route traversed Moratel (23947), an Indonesian ISP. Given that I'm looking at the routing from California and Google is operating Data Centre's not far from our office, packets should never be routed via Indonesia."

Solving Climate Change By Bioengineering Humans? 363

derekmead writes "Forget CFLs, hybrid cars, and organic jeans. Buying our way out of climate change — even if it's green consumption — won't get us far. A new paper (PDF), published in Ethics, Policy, and the Environment by NYU bioethics professor S. Matthew Liao, poses an answer: engineer humans to use less. The general plan laid out by Liao is straightforward, ranging from using pharmacological behavior modification to create an aversion to meat in people, to using gene therapy to create smaller, less resource-intensive children. The philosophical and ethical questions, on the other hand, are absurdly complicated. The Atlantic also has a great interview with Liao, in which he talks about gene therapy and making humans hate the taste of meat."

Comment Re:Viewsonic G-Tablet (Score 1) 396

If you read the reviews, there seem to be two categories. People who are disappointed with the out-of-the-box Tap-n-Tap interface and return it, and those who spend an hour or two updating the software and are happy with it.

I got a G tablet for Xmas. I'm in category 2. The out-of-the-box experience is utter shit. I Rooted it, downloaded a custom ROM, and now it's really awesome. It's ridiculously easy to do this.

I'm running TNTlite 4.0, and it's really snappy. It seems like it should be upgradable to Honeycomb when the time comes. It's supposedly possible to run Ubuntu on it, but I haven't tried this yet.

Comment Re:I agree (Score 1) 785

You can come up with whatever justifications to 'give rights' to whatever you want, but in reality 'rights' are an abstract idea defined by humans.

When in the Course of dolphin events it becomes necessary for one pod to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the sea, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of dolphinkind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Dolphins are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Herring.


The history of the Humans is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these Waters. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.

Comment Re:Not on National Basis - Some Local Solutions, Y (Score 1) 1139

However, extending high speed rail across the US makes no economic sense now, and would place the government into direct competition with private commercial transport.

There is no such thing as private commercial transport. The highways are all built and maintained by the goverment. The airline industry gets "bailed out" with public monies every other day. Airport authorities are not private corporations, either. Saying transport mode X can't "compete" with transport mode Y is just another way of saying that X is less heavily subsidized.


Climategate and the Need For Greater Scientific Openness 701

The Guardian follows up on the recent news that CRU climate scientists were cleared of scientific misconduct with an article that focuses on how the controversy could have been avoided, and public trust retained, had the scientists made more of an effort to be open about their research. You may recall our discussion of a report from Pennsylvania State University; that was followed by another review with similar conclusions. Quoting: "The review, led by Sir Muir Russell, does not mention the media. Instead, it examines the reaction of the scientists at the UEA's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) to the pressure exerted by bloggers: 'An important feature of the blogosphere is the extent to which it demands openness and access to data. A failure to recognize this and to act appropriately can lead to immense reputational damage by feeding allegations of cover-up.' The review adds: 'We found a lack of recognition of the extent to which earlier action to release information might have minimized the problems.' Pressure on the scientists, whose once esoteric work creating records of past temperatures had gained global significance, was intense. In 2005, CRU head Phil Jones replied to a request: 'We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?' But, the review implies, the more they blocked, the more the Freedom of Information requests flooded in."

Comment Re:what do you expect (Score 1) 256

Because it is impossible to pirate books to a Kindle?

It is trivially easy to read pirated books on Kindle. Not that I have done this, mind you, but I hear that there are websites out there with ebook torrents on them, and there's this program you can get to convert them into a Kindle-readable format.

The Kindle device doesn't require DRM, the Amazon bookstore does. These are two separate things that people seem to keep mixing up.

Two is not equal to three, even for large values of two.