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Comment: Re:I'm Okay With It (Score 5, Insightful) 404

by brucek2 (#43931577) Attached to: US Mining Data Directly From 9 Silicon Valley Companies

Its a good thing your ancestors had a little more guts and a lot more principal. They were willing to die, if necessary, first to free America from being ruled by Kings and then to fight other countries who wished to force their ideologies onto the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, all that most of us from this generation had to do was not screw it up. Which it looks like we are. Hopefully these disclosures will remind everyone that the reason we have a national security apparatus is to protect our liberty.

Comment: Re:Single Supplier (Score 3, Insightful) 100

by brucek2 (#42059159) Attached to: NTSB Dumps BlackBerry In Favor of iPhone 5

Unless there's a big software development project on top of iOS involved, I don't see where the "single-supplier" risk is.

If what NTSB needs is a modern smart phone, they have multiple suppliers to choose from today, and are proving that point by potentially switching from one brand to another. Presumably all these phones can make and receive phone calls between brands; make and receive text messages, emails, etc. NTSB can mix and match between suppliers at any time unless they enter into deal terms that keep them from doing so.

Now if they've built a bunch of custom IT 'solutions' on top of the phone that prevent them from doing this, I'd argue that's an issue not in choosing a specific phone but in how they set up their workflow in the first place.

Comment: polish? (Score 2) 505

by brucek2 (#41196127) Attached to: The True Challenges of Desktop Linux

The reasons listed make good sense to me and most could help explain why a comparable or even a better desktop experience could still fail to get adoption, especially in the enterprise.

But is it really the case that the desktop linux experience really is as polished as the windows or Mac? Please understand I am not trying to start a flame war, I like all these platforms, I use Windows mostly for my personal desktop use and Linux mostly for my servers.

I have not spent time recently trying to configure the best possible Linux desktop experience, but I have at times in the past, and while its plenty functional it has never felt as mature to me. The font rendering looks like mid-90s technology. The GUI looks three generations behind too, both as to static elements and to animations. It doesn’t seem like hardware graphics acceleration is active.

The linux desktop may get the job done but to me it feels like the computing equivalent of choosing to live in a factory or office building instead of a nice house. And for personal use, I’d just rather live in the nice house.

Comment: Re:split. (Score 1) 503

by brucek2 (#41170441) Attached to: Misunderstanding of Prior Art May Have Led to Apple-Samsung Verdict

Is it a conflict of interest if a jury member feels that he needed to send a murderer to jail because he didn't want himself or his family or anyone else to be injured by that person?

Laws are made to protect society. On balance you'd expect a jury of 12 people to include just the sort of the people who are being protected by those laws.

None of which necessarily means all laws are necessarily good or right, especially ones in rapidly evolving areas like we have here.

Comment: jury system a poor match for something so complex (Score 2, Insightful) 503

by brucek2 (#41170291) Attached to: Misunderstanding of Prior Art May Have Led to Apple-Samsung Verdict

What I've seen & heard is that most juries and jury members take their role seriously, are diligent, want to do it right, and do so to the best of their ability.

And in a lot of more common cases -- especially the more basic ones like those from centuries ago when this system was just getting started -- they do fine. Their ability to judge who's lying, who's not, etc. is as good as anyone else's. Its all human nature.

But when that system got expanded to very intricate cases of highly technical laws and subject matter, the fundamental premise of the system was stretched past its breaking point. I've seen some of the closing instructions for cases like this. Even as a person with a top notch graduate degree, and directly relevant experience, and the luxury of seeing the instructions in print, and being able to review them at my leisure at the computer while looking up any more confusing terms, it can still be very difficult to follow.

The chance of a random juror, whose training and experience is in other areas, and has to hear many instructions primarily verbally, and at great length in one sitting, and without any modern technologies for making it better, actually fully understanding the material, is essentially zero. And that's no knock on the juror.

The article could well be right that jurors misunderstood. In fact most of the time, they almost certainly do. Its a problem with the system and not with the individual.

Comment: Downloading is how I like to consume (Score 2) 1004

by brucek2 (#40059615) Attached to: Who's Pirating Game of Thrones, and Why?

I have been a continuously active subscriber of HBO for at least several years, including all the times during which Game of Thrones aired. I bought the BluRay of season 1 the day it was released and anticipate doing the same for all future seasons. I have access to HBO Go (and like it, especially for the bonus content.)

Yet even with all that, downloading is still the way I like to watch. I watch most TV on computer, for starters. Sometimes the timing works out better for me to watch the captured east coast feed rather than wait a little longer for my west coast airing. And while HBO Go has some nice features, it typically has streaming issues and/or decreased quality during peak demand as top shows are airing, while conversely BitTorrent works great at peak demand (for me at least.) I also enjoy the random access to scenes and replayability, both of which I'll probably make good use of during the next several days since its such a great show.

Anyway, just more examples of why "pirating" is not always primarily or even at all about avoiding paying for content.

Comment: Originating vs Infiltrating (Score 1, Interesting) 573

by brucek2 (#39862889) Attached to: NY Times: 'FBI Foils Its Own Terrorist Plots'

There's a world of difference between initiating your own terrorist attack, vs infiltrating someone else's.

This would be a scandal if the FBI was making up its own attacks, recruiting people to join them, and then arresting those people.

But what it seems its doing is much more appropriate than that -- flooding the pools of potential recruits with undercover agents, flooding the supply chain for explosives etc with informers, etc so anyone who tries to get a major attack off the ground ends up running into one of the traps and ultimately arrested before the plot can come to fruition.

I'm glad they're doing it. I really hope they are doing even more along the same lines for anyone seeking experts or parts required for WMD. And shame on the NY Times for trying to make this out to be something its not.

(Reposted: wasn't logged in first time.)

Comment: Re:We don't care. We don't use iPhones. (Score 5, Insightful) 148

by brucek2 (#37888874) Attached to: iPhone 4S Has Been Jailbroken, Hack Enables Siri on iPhone 4

I would hope a more fair assessment of the Slashdot "we" would categorize us as people who recognize that Android and iOS are both very significant mobile platforms, and are thus neither surprised nor outraged when an important milestone on a product with millions of current or future users is reported here. Especially a milestone likely to be directly of interest to a "hacker" community.

So I would instead say: the rest of us are well-adjusted enough not to take the slightest pretext to open up a platform religious war of in which everyone is already fully aware of the pros and cons on both sides.

Comment: No more Gamestop purchases (Score 1) 343

by brucek2 (#37197594) Attached to: GameStop Opening <em>Deus Ex</em> Boxes, Removing Free Game Coupon

I don't see the gray area here. Imagine if they had removed the other collector's edition content so they could keep it for themselves, yet still sold it at full price as the collector's edition. It may be legal for them to take the content while they own it, but reselling it without disclosure after modifying it has to be fraud.

Plus you really have to wonder, if a retailer is willing to screw you over this way, what else are they willing to do to you?

Fortunately there are dozens of choices for who to buy games from. There's no hardship to removing Gamestop from the list.

Comment: Useless Article - Court Reasoning Not Explained (Score 5, Insightful) 93

by brucek2 (#36335534) Attached to: Court Demands American Airlines List Its Flights On Orbitz

I hate reading press accounts of court decisions that provide no useful information on what exactly the court was ruling on or how it reached its decision. Without this information, we have no idea if this decision was as broad as whether all airlines must list with central clearing houses (and why), as short-term / technical as over a paperwork error resulting in a temporary win for Orbitz until corrected by AA, or about something else altogether (ie there was a previously agreed to contract between the two companies that was still valid and that AA was trying to terminate early without sufficient justification.)

To be sure wait until the court decision is linked before forming any opinions, or at the very least until an article presents a credible explanation of what the issue being litigated is and how the court ruled on it.

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