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Comment: Re: Amost sounds like a good deal ... (Score 5, Insightful) 373

by causality (#47699789) Attached to: Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

You cannot prove a negative.

Sure you fucking can. Anything defined in such a way as to exclude other possible definitions can have the latter definitions be proven in the negative just as surely as the former definition can be in the positive.

3 != 4. A triangle is not a square. Red is not blue. Hydrogen is not helium. A dog is not a cat. If the coin landed heads-up, the coin did not land tails-up. If someone was in location A at time T, they could not have been in location B at time T committing crime C. You are not smart.

In your examples you are not actually proving a negative (that something didn't happen). You are proving that something is not possible or could not have happened.

Possible or not possible are easy by comparison. Proving a negative means, "take this thing that really could have possibly happened, and prove that it didn't happen". A shape cannot both be a triangle and a square. A pure color at a single wavelength cannot both be red and blue. You are drastically underestimating the scope of how difficult it is to prove a negative. "This couldn't have happened because it is impossible" is actually a positive claim and as such, can be proven.

Comment: Re:Can't trust the hardware. (Score 1) 38

There's no reason the populace cannot both a) harden against as many security vulnerabilities as you reasonably can, and b) take back the political power from the ruling elite and institute oversight against massive surveillance and other governmental abuses, including severe criminal penalties against officials supporting them.

Comment: Re:Can't trust the hardware. (Score 4, Insightful) 38

All you need a ethernet firmware that speaks to the CPU over DMA and reads out memory allowing the NSA to attack any OS running on top of that router.
Buy a non-router based piece of hardware and use that. You seriously cannot trust what you'll find inside a Linksys router people. The bug is below the software level so your fancy firmware does *nothing*.

There certainly are countermeasures you can (and should) take, but generally, applying technical solutions to political and social problems doesn't work long-term.

Comment: Re:To be satirical... (Score 1) 158

by causality (#47670327) Attached to: Murder Suspect Asked Siri Where To Hide a Dead Body

Real reporters and the jury actually noticed that the accused had an iPhone 4 at the time, which DOES NOT support accessing Siri [unless jailbroken, of which there was no evidence supplied to indicate it was], AND that all the prosecution introduced was a screen-shot of the Siri request.

Look, just because the guy was allegedly willing to kill someone in cold blood, that doesn't also mean he's willing to do something as drastic as infringe on anyone's intellectual property rights. I mean, let's be fair! There's no need to jump to such extreme conclusions.


Comment: Re:Won't help my ass (Score 1) 164

by causality (#47647271) Attached to: F-Secure: Xiaomi Smartphones Do Secretly Steal Your Data

libertarians are all about personal property, until it conflicts with another of their interests (often big business, but not always).

it's a quick way to tell what they really want. there's no really fundamental libertarian reason to not protect personal data as property; it's just that the vogue in pop-libertarianism right now is to strip consumer rights in favor of tech companies. why? well, maybe because pop-libertarians are techies, and they want that shit.

What I call the genuine form of libertarianism (small 'l') is about maximizing personal freedom, in the "life, liberty, and property" sense. The basic idea is that my right to swing my hand ends at the tip of your nose. Adult people should be able to do whatever they want that does not infringe on the rights of others, and then reap the consequences. For example: if you can manage to responsibly use any drugs you like, you should be able to; if you drive impaired because you refuse to do it responsibly, society has a legitimate reason to apprehend and punish you. Someone else who thinks drug use is always a horrible practice is free to practice that belief by not doing it themselves, but has no legitimate justification for persecuting a responsible user.

Privacy should be this way: your choice. I'm in favor of strong privacy protections in law because right now there is not much choice in the matter. If I want the Googles of the world to have my information, it should be because I knowingly, personally, actively, and deliberately gave it to them myself. Anything less is an infringement of my privacy rights. There is a clear intent behind burying such things in Page Y of a legalese EULA and that intent is to make it as difficult as possible to exercise this choice. A device that transfers my data to someone else on my behalf, by default, without my actively configuring it that way, shows the same intent.

There is a movement or an effort, more prominent and vocal the last several years, to deliberately misrepresent that all libertarian thought is the same thing as anarcho-capitalism. Observe carefully and you'll find that most any idea that, if popular, would threaten the status quo has multitudes of deceptive propaganda-technique-using PR efforts directed against it, the goal of which is to tarnish that idea in the popular mind. Most liberterian philosophies have a concept of inalienable human rights and include the desire for a government, the main purpose of which is to protect those rights. Regulation of business is necessary because otherwise, corporations will use their intense concentrations of wealth, market power, and political clout to infringe on the rights of individuals. This is legitimate and not some kind of control-freak idea or Puritannical fantasy of telling others how to live. Anyone who is against it and represents themselves as the only libertarians in existence (and not a particularly extreme form) is lying to you, it's as simple as that.

Comment: Re:Irrelevant (Score 1) 74

No, EVUL CORPORATION is a distractionary meme.

Like the author Jeffrey Grupp explains, corporatism (as Mussolini called it) is the idea that the government, the major corporations, and the military function as one entity. It's always been this way since the kings of old; read up on the East India Company sometime. Eisenhower focused on the military and defense contract aspects and referred to it as the military-industrial complex. Sometimes it's called the military-industrial-media complex (so how 'bout those scary WMDs Iraq was supposedly threatening us with?). To focus on "government being evil" or "evil corporation" is a form of tunnel vision that denies the scope of the problem. It's one of those "pet causes" people get caught up in while nothing changes.

The problem with the marketing datamining is that many of these organizations are in bed with the government. There's a definite double standard here. If you hired someone to perform an illegal act on your behalf, both you and your hireling would be guilty of a crime. Yet somehow the government can pay companies for data that would be illegal for the government to directly collect itself and this is legal.

So if it were merely about trying to sell you "adult diapers" versus the regular kind, it would be more benign. At least in G. Gordon Liddy's day, surveillance was expensive, required a certain determination and commitment of resources, and consequently would only be done on targets considered important enough. With modern tech, the idea that "obviously I'm not interesting enough to spy on" is obsolete. This didn't happen though without plenty of support from government, media, marketers, and various other corporations all working towards their own common interests.

Comment: Re:You dorks (Score 1) 418

by causality (#47494565) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

Instead of holding the people who commit crimes responsible for their crimes, you blame advertising for making them want to commit crimes. Typical liberal bullshit.

There is such a concept as aiding and abetting, or being an accessory to, a crime. Many people have been tried and convicted who themselves did not directly commit a crime.

If you don't believe that concept is applicable here, I'd like to know why. If someone else believes it does apply, I'd like to know their reasoning as well. I don't see how "liberal" or "conservative" has anything to do with it. It's a question of ethical responsibility, not political ideology. By failing to understand that, you're handwaving and dismissing a valid and worthy question about the nature of pervasive advertising and its effect on the population.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 4, Insightful) 608

by causality (#47415533) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

But the real problem is this impression that you have to be born 80% as smart as Einstein to get into this field, and that the learning curve is impossible for regular people. That's totally wrong. Average intelligence plus persistence is all you need.

What you really need is to deal with this anti-intellectualism that's so popular in the culture today, and replace it with genuine curiosity, a joy of discovery, and a delight at learning new things.

Do that, and the rest will naturally follow, and not just in software development.

Comment: Re:It's Intended (Score 4, Interesting) 137

by causality (#47389651) Attached to: Amazon Fighting FTC Over In-App Purchases Fine

in some cases they're no better than gambling (ie: buy tokens to feed into this jackpot like system to win a random digital item!)

Not that I disagree with you, but what part of the gaming industry isn't preying off of exactly the same neurons as gambling? Nearly every game, be you buying the game itself, in-game purchases, or DLC, is getting its revenue almost entirely due to exploiting pleasure-seeking behavior.

Gaming typically relies on skill, not chance. If you play most games long enough, you'll be able to consistently beat certain levels. If you win at the roulette wheel, you're no more likely than before to win again. That's the difference. Otherwise, "exploiting pleasure-seeking behavior" could be stretched to describe every last industry in existence beyond the sales of food, water, shelter, and basic utilities.

With the model of directly purchasing the game itself (and no in-game purchases, like standard PC/console gaming) you can at least read about the game and have a reasonable expectation about what you are paying for. The real problem with in-game purchases is that the game is "free" or low-cost in the most technical sense, but after you invest many hours advancing the game you find that you can't really prosper without making additional purchases. It could be construed as a form of bait-and-switch.

The other problem would be that many of these games are aimed at children who make purchases the parents later get stuck with, but this problem begins in the home and should be solved within the home by actual parenting. That's not as convenient as using the tablet like a cheap babysitter but it would certainly be more worthwhile. If you wanted to solve this by government action, that's simple too: declare that these purchases are contractual in nature (the parent agreed to pay charges made to the phone bill or whatever) and that minors who make them cannot be held to a contract, therefore the companies cannot collect money when children make them. *Poof* - end of shitty business model.

Comment: Re:So....far more than guns (Score 1) 454

by causality (#47344847) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

Once every couple of years, I see a post that needs to be +6 or higher. This was one of them.

Your words are calm, clear, rational, logical, and point out the real issue.

Thank you for sharing.

Reading your kind words is humbling, sir. You honor yourself by being one of the minority who read something like that and try to understand where it is coming from and how it could work, rather than playing the hostile audience and trying your best to tear it down because it opposes a common notion.

Comment: Re:So What (Score 1) 454

by causality (#47344737) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

I don't care if you drink yourself to an early grave. I don't care if you smoke yourself to an early grave. I don't care if you eat yourself to an early grave.

"I don't care if you live or die..."

This is all about more gov control, taxes, regulation to protect us from ourselves.

"...but I do think you should listen to my opinion."

Well, at least you gave us fair warning! Antisocial people are, paradoxically, the first to give their opinion on how the world should be run.

There's nothing more profoundly anti-social than trying to control other people and force them to live only the way that you want them to.

Perhaps you've just heard of this thing called society. It has been all about conforming to social norms with punishments for doing tabboo things for thousands of years now. The only real changes have been what is a norm and what is a tabboo.

Rather than patronizingly talking down to me like this, try to understand where I'm coming from. I'm not talking about crimes that have victims here, like robbery and murder. Preventing those is legitimately within the purpose of having a government and a society. I'm talking about the wrong of trying to dictate lifestyles, of trying to micromanage the way others live based not on crimes but on approval. It's not terribly different from dictating to people what they may read, listen to, watch, and discuss.

American tyranny is what they call a soft tyranny. It's not so much jack-booted thugs waving guns around, demanding compliance. That's hard tyranny. Soft tyranny is when you no longer treat adult people like responsible adults because "you know what's good for them". The only way to have a healthy, long-term viable society is to expect adults to be responsible, to make their own decisions in any instance that does not involve a crime with a victim, and then (importantly) to accept the consequences of those decisions. Any effort to circumvent this will eventually destroy the very society itself.

Comment: Re:Hey Larry ... (Score 3, Insightful) 186

How many fingers am I holding up?

Screw you Google. "Do no evil" my ass.

This is just another instance of him saying "trust us, we're google, give us all your private information, what could possibly go wrong".

Yes, at some point it's quite rational to decide "this one entity has enough power". He's really very smooth, though. I'll hand him that:

By "these things," he means privacy concerns and fear that the data might be misused. But he also pointed to Street View as a case where privacy concerns mostly melted away after people used it and found it helpful. "In the early days of Street View, this was a huge issue, but it's not really a huge issue now. People understand it now and it's very useful. And it doesn't really change your privacy that much. A lot of these things are like that."

That's a very diplomatic way to go about it. People often mistake that for honesty and openness in fact. It's basically a highly polished way of saying, "if you were educated you would agree with me."

Comment: Re:So What (Score 1) 454

by causality (#47333693) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

I don't care if you drink yourself to an early grave. I don't care if you smoke yourself to an early grave. I don't care if you eat yourself to an early grave.

"I don't care if you live or die..."

This is all about more gov control, taxes, regulation to protect us from ourselves.

"...but I do think you should listen to my opinion."

Well, at least you gave us fair warning! Antisocial people are, paradoxically, the first to give their opinion on how the world should be run.

There's nothing more profoundly anti-social than trying to control other people and force them to live only the way that you want them to.

GP has the right idea. "I don't care if you ... " means "I don't care to force my will on you". If you want advice from someone, you're free to ask.

Comment: Re:So....far more than guns (Score 5, Insightful) 454

by causality (#47333649) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

I am not making any statement on gun control (not derailing an article about drinking deaths) other than that there isn't a comparison that's both simple and reasonable between gun control and prohibition.

The one thing they both have absolutely in common: the implicit assumption that inanimate objects are the cause of social problems, and the belief that controlling those inanimate objects will magically make social problems go away. Perhaps you can see how childish this viewpoint is?

The way I see it, the underlying cause of the social problems is a form of energy. It doesn't ever really go away, it just changes form. Guns and booze happen to be powerful, readily available tools allowing this energy to express itself. It can't be done, but if you somehow could make absolutely 100% of all guns and booze disappear overnight, you would find that this energy will move on to the next most convenient methods of expressing itself. Perhaps stabbings and abuse of some other drug would rise. Perhaps some other, unforeseen methods would emerge.

What no one really seems interested in doing is really understanding the underlying causes for why people want to abuse alcohol instead of using it responsibly, why people want to shoot either themselves or others absent provocation, and what can be done to transform this energy into something better. Actually understanding and beginning to change this would start with a complete restructuring of governments, corporations, educational institutions, and other institutions to make them adhere to their true purposes and to treat people like human beings rather than automatons. Where it would end, I couldn't tell you.

The real obstacle is that no one with the power to move in that direction has any incentive to do it: the current model is too profitable for them. But blaming our problems on objects that have no volition and no desire of their own certainly makes for a great distraction! It lets us waste time debating frivolous non-solutions with no hope of convincing "the opposition" of anything, meanwhile we avoid all these uncomfortable questions about the way we live, whom that serves, and precisely how we were taught to live that way.

Comment: Re:So....far more than guns (Score 1) 454

by causality (#47333527) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking
The amount of regulation and consideration is driven by who can write the best, most emotional propaganda and purchase the finest access to mass media while operating through various PR firms and front groups to make it less obvious that they are doing so.

Fixed that for you. It's been that way for a long time, ever since Sigmund Freud's nephew decided that calling propaganda "public relations" was much more euphemistic than Woodrow Wilson and Walter Lippmann's term for it which was "manufactured consent".

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long