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Comment Re:T-Mobile breached? (Score 1) 161

Does this actually have anything to do with T-Mobile? From the sounds of it, it's Experian that was breached, and the attackers mostly (though not exclusively) took TMo subscriber info. TMo's own security wasn't compromised.

I suppose you could argue that TMo should have gone with somebody more responsible / secure than Experian, but is there actually any such entity that provides the necessary services? As low as Experian sets the "not complete shit" bar, are the other credit agencies actually any better? They all suck.

It would be nice to have a not-shit option here, of course. Naively, one would expect the free market to take care of it, but in practice there seems to only be the three agencies, all in a race to the bottom, with nobody actually interested in providing good service instead.

Comment Re:Dumb question here... (Score 1) 182

There are decent post-paid plans, if you look for them. No contract, month-to-month, unlimited data (yes, really!), unlimited talk, unlimited messages. It's from a little-known operator - only the third-biggest in the country - called T-Mobile USA.

There's not even a risk of throttling on my data, though I do pay a bit extra to avoid that. They'll try to limit tethering, but you can bypass that easily enough by running a proxy app on the phone. Bring your own phone or finance one with a clearly-defined loan that is a separate line item on the bill and goes away when the phone is paid off.

TMoUS isn't perfect, but they're a hell of a lot better than what people in the US seem to expect of a mobile operator. I also get great data speeds (over 30Mbps download at nearly all times, peaking well higher than that) and have good coverage (even on mountain hikes and ski trips), though it may help that I live near their corporate headquarters

Comment Re:Oh, it's never a surprise (Score 1) 182

I'm pretty sure T-Mobile would text me to let me know if I ever hit 75% of my cap, too. Fortunately, I've never even hit 1%, despite the fact that I stream music all day long. Turns out it's mathematically impossible to hit 1% of infinite (and I don't even mean infinite-but-we-throttle-you-past-X-gigs, though I do pay slightly more to avoid the throttling threat).

Comment Re:Misleading Summary (Score 2) 488

Think of it as truth serum that never fails.

Do you work at the Pentagon? Because that is some weapons-grade bullshit right there!

Torture will produce *some* answer, sure, but if you think it's true I've got an "enhanced interrogation" technique to sell you. The FBI knows it doesn't work. The army knew that too, and in fact still does (pages 97 and 351, or just search for "unreliable").

As for rapists and such, a bullet is good enough for them, once guilt is established beyond a shadow of a doubt. I feel the same way about anybody who permits or engages in the use of torture, whatever side they're on, by the way.

Comment Re:Fiorina and the ruling class (Score 4, Insightful) 488

I know the AnCaps hate to hear it, but you do actually need a government even to have a chance of making capitalism work. It's all very noble to talk about how using force is unethical, but the violent will laugh in your stupid face while they rob you blind. Without an official government - authorized, equipped, and publicly funded to commit violence - all that you'll get is an unofficial one built by the best warlord to rise up to pluck all you idiots busily making economic value that you can't protect. At that point you'll have a choice: produce for the warlord (keeping a fraction, if any, of the profit), fight for the warlord's army, or a shallow grave courtesy of that army. Your option to pay off the warlord will last until the amount you pay + the cost of just rolling over you becomes less than could be squeezed out of you at gunpoint. Don't bother pretending you can hire you own armed protection agency to protect you; that's just setting up your own warlord whose guns point at your back instead of at your face.

That's not even considering external threats, which of course do exist. You can't overhaul humanity as a whole. An invader doesn't care that they'll wreck your pretty little fairy-tale economy; they want your land, your natural resources, your skilled laborers who will work for them if the only other alternative is a taking a bullet, and your technology. You know what the easiest way to get somebody's trade secrets is? Point a gun at them and ask.

Any way you cut it, if you don't publicly set up a government to enforce the will of the populace and fund it through social contract that says it's OK to coerce payment (and you'll still have defectors even then), you're just going to get a tyrannical government run by whoever has the biggest / best-trained guns and/or the best ability to convince others to fight on their behalf (and believe me, people are always willing to do that). The odds are very strongly in favor of you being nearer the bottom of the new government - possibly a couple feet underground - than being anywhere near the top.

Comment Re:Big Surprise (Score 1) 488

I mean, I agree with you... but given how good politicians are at keeping promises, maybe we *should* want one "who PROMISES to do the very thing I don't want them to"! I mean, which do you think is more likely: a politician keeping a promise to do something that is in the public good, or a politician lying *regardless* of reason?

I'm joking. I hope...

Comment Re:The Science In a SciFi movie... (Score 1) 163

The concept of Hard Sci-Fi is over 60 years old. Not all SF needs to be hard SF, but any near-future SF worth its salt will be pretty hard, simply because people will recognize stuff that is bullshit. Occasionally, writers go the extra mile. Besides, without at least *some* degree of scientific accuracy, science fiction just becomes... fiction.

I'm not sure which is stupider, what you said (in the context of a movie like this), or that it got modded up.

Comment Re: Gravity (Score 2) 163

Or, having just spent forever showing how you'll keep going in a straight line (ignoring curvature from gravity, here) until something pulls you, they get to the station, manage to catch on... and have this whole painfully cliché "I'm slipping! I can't hold on!" "Don't let go! I'll never let you go!" "Fine, if you won't, I will!" [Unclips and flies away] scene. Um, what the fuck? You were, more or less, at rest relative to the station (and each other). What was pulling you? How was it strong enough that it was going to pull *both* of you away? Why, if his jetpack was empty, didn't he detach it and throw it away to gain some momentum in the opposite direction (or at least to reduce his mass, since apparently something is tugging on him)?

I damn near walked out at that scene. The whole idiocy of an explosion in low-earth orbit taking out communication satellites up in geosynch was blatantly moronic to anybody who knows jack shit about orbital mechanics - GEO is at 22 *thousand* miles above the surface, compared to the 250 miles for the ISS; you're talking about the equivalent of debris from an ordinary bomb dropped on Iraq managing to derail every train in America (in seconds!) - but at least they didn't *show* why that was so bloody stupid with a long, hammer-it-into-your-head. scene showing that the relevant satellites are tens of thousands of miles apart. Of course, then there's the absurd thing where she can't contact anybody on earth, despite the fact that even HAM radio (which uses no satellites) has the range and sensitivity easily, and that in a disaster like that every HAM would be at their set helping people communicate (it's what we do); the radio waves would have been *full* of people's voices, and she'd have been patched in to NASA immediately even if they somehow didn't have any radios that could reach directly.

Or there's the thing with the "debris cloud" that somehow repeatedly intersects the ISS' orbit despite not happening anywhere near the ISS. If the debris is moving fast enough to *catch* the ISS, it would move into a higher orbit. If it was moving *slower* than the ISS (the ISS sweeps into it), then it would de-orbit almost immediately (never mind the blatant bullshit of how quickly the Chinese station de-orbits). Or the completely invalid way she aims her capsule's flight to the other station. Or... so many things.

I might have been able to enjoy the movie if it had been billed as a Hollywood suspense/drama flick with no more realistic of science than Armageddon. But no, they had to be *insulting* about it!

Comment Re:Nope (Score 2) 35

That... that is actually a really good point. For all the talk about NSA backdoors, the tech giants of the US have, for the most part, resisted government backdoors. They are probably even less happy with allowing foreign government backdoors, which means having India-based workers would become very difficult. That's a *lot* of money (taxes, for the government) lost, and a lot of ill will from the populace.

Comment Who approved this? (Score 1) 54

Daaaamn, that is a train wreck of an app. There's nothing at all that excuses such a complete disaster security-wise. Those issues are the kind that should have been caught by even a completely cursory security review of the app, though anybody doing their job here damn well should have insisted on a lot more than a cursory review.

So... what was the approval process for these apps like? Who approved this app? How nice is their new yacht?

Comment Re: Don't we (the US) already have that... (Score 1) 1291

It's a lot easier to start your own business when you don't have to worry about paying your people a living wage, and having enough left over to keep your lights on at home.
It's a lot easier to take the risk of leaving a steady but soul-sucking job to join an interesting startup when you know you can keep making the mortgage even if the startup folds in three months.
It's a lot easier to quit your day job to focus on your big project that probably will (but may not) pay off in a few years when your kids won't go hungry because the paychecks stopped.
I'd expect entrepreneurs to be massively in favor of this idea.

A bug in the hand is better than one as yet undetected.