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Comment: I've seen some of these things. (Score 1) 32

by Mike Van Pelt (#49387803) Attached to: Angry Boss Phishing Emails Prompt Fraudulent Wire Transfers

I've investigated a half dozen or so of these. It has been going on for a while; the first one I saw was about a year ago.

Some of the common characteristics:

They know the names, email addresses, and nicknames of the CEO, and the Treasurer and/or Controller.

They address the Controller by name, a little bit of social pleasantries, and often say what account the "expenditure" should be coded to. The first contact is pleasant, but says it's urgent, and needs to be done right away. Subsequent emails get progresively more demanding.

Early ones asked for the wire transfer to go to a bank in Shanghai, Singapore, or something. More recent ones are transfers to an indivdual's account in a U.S. bank. (Doubtless belonging to some poor gullible person who answered one of those "Well Paid Part Time Job Working From Home as a Financial Agent" spams.)

Registering a .co domain to spoof a .com is popular, as are various other typosquatting tricks. Some cheapskate crooks just use a hotmail-type Reply-To, though.

If the victim sends the money, another request will follow. Then another, and another, as long as they'll keep doing it.

From last September:

Comment: Re:Geoblocking (Score 1) 57

by fyngyrz (#49387727) Attached to: EU Commission Divided Over Nation-Specific Content Blocking

Sorry, I thought I had been clear.

I wasn't talking about regional control of distribution by publishers, I was talking about arbitrary interference with materials intended for the end user, where the end user is interfered with by bad actors, most notably, government busybodies.

I own a literary agency and deal with copyright and regional issues a great deal more often, and in more ways, than most people. But that isn't what I was talking about, as it seems like a non-issue to me -- as long as we have nations and varying costs of distribution, we'll have some effective form of regional controls. So I had gone off on what I thought was an obvious tangent. Apparently not.

Comment: Re:Grossly Over-o's Here (Score 1) 120

by fyngyrz (#49384087) Attached to: Amazon Launches 'Home Services' For Repair, Installation, and Other Work

If you know of grammar errors or other writing problems / errors on my page(s), I will be delighted to fix them, and also to learn how to do better. Because doing the best one can is important. Better to strive to paint like an actual painter than to be satisfied with finger-painting like an addled child. So fire away. :)

Comment: Geoblocking (Score 2) 57

by fyngyrz (#49379307) Attached to: EU Commission Divided Over Nation-Specific Content Blocking

"Geoblocking" is just a tech-specific euphemism for "muzzling content we don't want you to see."

As such, it is entirely disrespectful, specifically in that it attempts to deny people the ability to make their own choices. It is a direct manifestation of "we know better than you what you should be able to see, read, listen to, and use."

This is about personal agency. Part of that WRT to network access is -- should be -- the choice to implement boundaries of your own using the appropriate tools. Of which there are many, ranging from user-friendly whitelists and blacklists to keeping your hosts file updated (highly recommended, btw... great for killing advertisers, too.) And of course, there's always "I'll just click away from here", an actual sane adult choice.

The one upside is that in some cases, this kind of top-down systemic oppression will just make people learn about secure proxies faster.

Comment: So worried about Microsoft (Score 4, Insightful) 196

Despite the fact that every other big software company is doing the same or worse. If you take a whizbang feature from Java and use it in Python, you're more likely to be sued by Oracle than doing the equivalent getting you sued by Microsoft. Seriously people, the level of chickenshit that formed the foundation of the Oracle-Google lawsuit would make a chicken house unusable for 5 generations and you don't see the level of "ZOMG TEH JAVA IZ RADIOACTIVE" from the people criticizing Microsoft.

The Gates/Ballmer era is over. Get over it. The petty bullshit about Microsoft makes you sound like someone who is still fighting the PPC/x86 fight.

Comment: Re: Wasted Energy? (Score 1) 196


Ameliorating $4/month waste:

$1000 / 4 = 250 months until positive ROI. Your $1000 estimate is way high, though -- what he proposed is about $300 at most, at the scale he indicated. Probably not even that. It mostly depends on the wiring. Long is costly. Short and efficient, you're way down in costs. The rest is relatively constant. Solar panels, charge regulator, inverter. I show the closer numbers along with yours in square brackets: [$300 / 4 = 75 months until +ROI]

That's 20 years. [6 years]

After that, it's a constant ~$48 / year win.

Over the working and retired lifetime, figuring age 30 is when this is done in deference to slashdot's basic demographic as I perceive it, 40 years remain, so 20 [6] of that is payment, which means the ROI is 20 x $48 = $960 [34 x $48 = $1632]

There's also the social benefit of not drawing that power. It all adds up.

There's also the benefit of not losing functionality when power goes out.

And it's fun and personally rewarding.

And it's affordable, much more so that typically larger solar projects.

So, no, no stupidity. You're not thinking clearly, and to top that off, your data is bad.

Comment: Why pay for family planning? (Score 1) 1125

but why should anyone but the individual pay for said options???

We have to start from the premise that said individual may well not be able to afford these options.

Then, we pay for the same reason that we as group pay for other things that benefit society over the long term, like roads, fire departments, public education, defense, sewers, sidewalks, dikes, rain gutters. We know certain needs are going to come up, and/or certain events will actually happen, so we prepare for them in some way that optimizes the outcome.

Unwanted children are very often a serious burden both on society at large, and often upon the parents, and often even to themselves. The workforce is diminished and damaged, and people grow up under conditions that start out with a fairly strong negative impetus.

We benefit directly by stronger parent-child relations; by prepared parents as opposed to "oh crap, I/we didn't plan on THIS!" parents; By better educated and happier citizens.

It's the future we're investing in. That's one of the best things society can do.

Lastly, the evaluation should, at least in my estimation, be based upon this criteria:

Which is worse? Unwanted children, loss of productivity, social turmoil and misery, or a very reasonable levy upon the citizens in general?

All family planning services taken together ca. 2010 account for 2.37B out of the total of 3.55 trillion spent, or .06%, or 6/10,000ths of the total expenditure. That means for every $1000.00 you paid in taxes, that 60 cents of that went to cover family planning. Not too harsh, I'm thinking.

To me, if that is the question (and I think it is), the answer is pretty much a foregone conclusion.

Comment: Re:Records? Let's look: (Score 1) 430

by fyngyrz (#49375065) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

Your cite: "the current event is the most severe drought in the last 1200 years"

Responding cite: "multiple droughts in California that lasted 10 or 20 years in a row during the past 1,000 years"

I think that in presenting this, the poster may be contending that a 20-year drought is more severe than a 3 year drought. Although that really depends on the range of conditions we call a drought. If it's a narrow range, a 20-year event is almost certainly worse than a three year event. If the range is wider, not so certain. I wonder if the tree ring data can be analyzed for severity as well as duration.

Then we have this in the responding cite:

"a 240-year-long drought that started in 850 and, 50 years after the conclusion of that one, another that stretched at least 180 years."

That means the former started 1150 years ago (within your 1200 year range) and the next one, after that.

Pretty sure the other poster has checkmated you one way or another, and perhaps both, assuming the data being cited is accurate.

The dustbowl also checkmates anything California is currently experiencing, just as an aside.

There's just no way this allows us to assign the current drought definitively to AGW, as the data shows much worse events without any such impetus.

So, could it be AGW causing the current drought? Sure. Is it? No one knows. And when people claim it is? They are full of hot air, either passing along misinformation, or being disingenuous themselves (I always assume the former, because the number of people who actually have a reasonable grasp on the situation are very few on either side.)

Comment: Re:Christian Theocracy (Score 1) 1125

a) I was well aware of the kind of punitive shaming / badging he was referring to;
b) My knowledge of the history of the 20th century isn't all that bad, try me if you like;
c) I was table-turning his (hopefully) tongue-in-cheek contextual suggestion to force armbands on gays,
d) while making fun of Christians, because superstition embodies all those weaknesses.
e) Godwin's law is the mention of Nazism or Hitler as a comparison, and WRT:
f) punitive shaming / badging is common in the US now, so no need to go prior to the 1950's:
g) therefore, Godwin's law is not in play (my references here are not a comparison.)
h) My slashdot id is "fyngyrz", not "fyngyrx"

Any questions for me, AC?

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.