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Comment: Re:boo hoo (Score 4, Informative) 112

its Street View cars were accessing email, web history and other data on unencrypted Wi-Fi networks. A Google spokesman said the company was disappointed that the Supreme Court had declined to hear the case.

Boo hoo Google. By their logic, if I leave my door unlocked, the Google Street View car driver can stop his vehicle, open my door, and read the documents on my desk? Hey, I left my door unlocked so I was asking for it!

The summary is a BS deceptive description of what happened and your analogy is a BS comparison. Google never "open[ed] your door and read the documents". Google drove around mapping streets AND had a wireless sniffer running to capture/correlate access point beacons with location data. Access point beacons are publicly broadcast, not encypted. Google saved this captured data to a file...

Oh, and by the way, it turns out countless morons are running unsecured public access points and transmitting their sensitive information over these public access points (user names/passwords/email/etc). Google inadvertently captured this very public data in the same stream as the public access point beacons.

A more fitting analogy would be:
    Thousands of morons walk down the street repeatedly shouting out their user names and passwords for anyone to hear. Google happened to be driving by at the time, dictating notes into a recorder about what features are on the street, which also captured these people shouting in the background. Morons now want Google to be held liable for "wiretapping their private communications".

Comment: Re:This (Score 1) 240

by choprboy (#47151357) Attached to: The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems

Companies aren't "cheapskates", customers are.

Here, I'll prove my point,. You can buy something for $15 today, and have it supported until tomorrow(or whenever) or you can pay $300 for the same exact thing, only support will go for a guaranteed 10 years.

And here is a counterpoint: I was evaluating a piece of robust hardware for installation at remote sites (~$5k). The hardware has a built in micro that monitors all the functions and provides configuration, it is programmed via DIP switches and a serial port, and output status on LEDs and relays (good). The company offers a $700 "TCP/IP" option that provides SNMP monitoring and configuration over IP, as well as uploads all the site info "to the cloud"... because that is all the rage these days.

... The $700 option is a rebadged BeagleBoard connected to the serial port. Do you really think this is going to be supported more than a year or two?

+ - CowboyNeal Locked In Basement For Opposing Slashdot Beta-> 23

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "Slashdot's finest editor to date has been mercilessly locked in a basement filled with fuzzy dice Dice created to furnish Google's self-driving cars. Screaming, followed by sounds of frenzied masturbation, have been reported from the subterranean dungeon. "There's no way enough ejaculatory fluid is getting sprayed on our dice to make us care about this deluded protestor's opinion." a Dice executive commented earlier. Former Slashdot owner turned professional millionaire Robert Malda, expressed support: "No porn. More dice than a casino. Lame.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Can I buy the Classic interface? 3

Submitted by Max Hyre
Max Hyre (1974) writes "LWN almost went under a number of years ago because its volunteer editors couldn't afford to keep it up. The readers rose up and insisted that they be allowed to pay for it.

Can we do the same for Classic?

I'm a nerd. I read. I'm the one in the museum ignoring the display and reading the description. I want text, easily accessible, clearly laid out, and plenty of it. I'll pay to keep the UI I know and love.

The Beta has none of those characteristics. The Beta site is repellent, unusable, and unneeded. I won't use it, and if ``Classic'' goes away, I won't visit /., and it'll be a pity.

How much do you actually receive in revenue for each user? I suspect I'll match it to keep the status quo. Ask us what it's worth to us. I'd certainly pay $1/month, and would think about $5/month. I bet that I'm not alone."

+ - Ask Slashdot: Opinion of slashdot beta? 9

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "What are your thoughts about slashdot beta? Post your complaints here so that I don't have to see them elsewhere. Additionally, if the beta is so bad that you don't want to stay, what other news website do you recommend?"

Comment: Re:beta (Score 2) 61

by choprboy (#46165177) Attached to: Weird Asteroid Itokawa Has a Dual Personality

For everyone complaining about the beta format. They put a link right up on top of the pages now. Don't just post rants here (personally I doubt anyone in charge reads the comments here) send them emails telling them how much of an abomination it is.

No one is willing to do that any more because it is quite clear that they do not read the emails. By all appearances, by sending an email you are sending your comments to /dev/null. As a side affect, no one else (read: the general Slashdot user base) will know that you also do not approve of the beta abomination. Emails to a dead mailbox, uncounted or analyzed for content, can easily be dismissed as a vocal minority.

In contrast, posting comments in the stories is a very public statement that everyone sees, everyone knows about, and can not be denied later when it is a complete failure. And the "editors" (I use that term very lightly) most definately do read the story comments... they themselves frequently comment on stories.

Over and over again for the last several months you will see long comment strings speaking very explicitly to the problems with the beta redesign, including:
  - Massive waste of screen space. Do Slashdot readers really need to see "Latest Tech Jobs" and "Top SourceForge Downloads" taking up 1/3+ of every screen? What about the massive whitespacce this leaves down in the comment sections.... you know, the portion people actually look at? What is next in the beta, to fill these areas with massive flashing/dancing graphics 'ala a Japanese bulletin board site?
  - Useless graphics that contribute nothing to content or understanding articles. Huge pictures, often taking more screen space than the story summary itself.
  - Complete disruption of comment readability and flow. With the existing format one can easily scan 15-30 comments in a single pageframe and scroll for more. The new format lets you see 3-5 at most in the page frame and you continually have to click "Load More" to see additional comments... a format that completely breaks page refresh and following a link off-page and then back.

And the many, many other insightful analysis of the existing beta problems brought up by other regular readers for months. To date, as far as I can tell, Slashdot has failed to address any of these issue, give any response to complaints, or given any accounting of acceptance rates, email/click-thru/or otherwise. Slashdot has repeatedly posted blurbs about how great the new website is, and how everyone likes it. The comments in existing stories show quite the opposite. We have all seen website crash and die, and regular readers all see Slashdot pulling a Digg death-dive with this new beta.

Comment: Video footage (Score 4, Informative) 123

by choprboy (#42922941) Attached to: Residents Report Bright Streak Over Bay Area Friday Evening

... too bad we don't have quite as many dashcams going as there are in Russia.

But there are more than enough.... This showed up on Youtube late last night, I believe this is the original poster:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLpTOc1i8_8

And then a short time later this showed up:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkF4sloZmBI

Comment: Re:Tall 'U' Shaped Structure? (Score 3, Interesting) 257

by choprboy (#42551749) Attached to: What Did Google Earth Spot In the Chinese Desert?

I don;t think that is very unique at all... Given a layman's construction viewpoint of the surrounding structures, this would appear to be an industrial/earthworks park, not a military base. The structure looks like a simple shed in a large "U" shape, with an entrance gate in the center. This is very reminiscent of the grand walls and entries you see in lots of Chinese structures, even in otherwise mundane industrial settings. You can see a similar structure here missing most of its roof.

Looking around the site, this seems to be a series of 4 brick making facilities, which are mostly in a state of disrepair. Lot the distinctive features:
- The site is on the edge of a plateau to two distinct soil types.
- The site has large scraped areas and ramps down into the secondary soil type to the north (many of which have subsequently been eroded away).
- The site has piles of earth (apparently from the scraped areas), adjacent to the building sites.
- There are multiple excavators and front end loaders, as well as dumptrucks and associated equipment.
- There are long rows of parallel molds set out to dry in the sun.
- There are additional areas that look to have been indoor (heated?) drying areas in now delapidated buildings.
- There are extra (unused) molds stacked in adjacent areas.
- There is an old power station which probably fed all the facilities when in full productions, but most seem to be derelict today.
- There are no apparent gaurd gates, road blocks, or fences/walls enclosing these surrounding areas... just an open road back to the farmland and local villages.
- There are no apparent army trucks, equipment, bunkers, runways, or barracks anywhere in the area.

Conclusion... This is a series of mud/clay brick making facilities, now mostly in a state of disrepair. The 2 (of about 5 or 6 separate facilities) that appear to have some remaining functionality no longer have production buildings or significant equipment remaining, just open air minimal facilities. Look at any old/disused mining sites in the American southwest deserts and you will see similar features.
 

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 1) 353

by choprboy (#42330979) Attached to: ISP Data Caps Just a 'Cash Cow'

Not really. Sure, building and maintaing the *capacity* costs money. But that's a fixed cost regardless of how much of that capacity you actually use. That's very different from water.

No, not really. It is a fixed cost, but capacity is explicitly limited by that initial investment. And it is a very significant cost both to initially install and upgrade. Its costs a lot of money to rip pipes out of the ground to replace a 6" main with an 10" main. Likewise, it costs a lot of money to replace a 100Mb backbone segment with a 1Gb segment.

When a subscriber upgrades their 1.5Mb line to a 10Mb line, they expect to only pay a nominal increase (or more likely get the increase for the same price). They have no concept that actually supplying that backend (an order of magnitude increase) is an immense capital cost. And that subscriber has no intention of paying that capital cost... That means the ISP has to spread that cost out over many years. Yet somehow the user now expects orders of magnitude speed increase every year or 2??? Cost wise, equipment wise, backbone capacity wise (as far as spectrum/etc.) it simply is not feasible.

And don't give me this crap argument "well then they should have built it right in the first place". The real world has real costs. I can install a hypothetical 1Gb backbone now for, lets say, $15,000. I could also install a 10Gb link for $110,000. Spread out over 2 years with 300 customers, that 1Gb backbone (one of a dozen or more you will need) amounts to an increase of $2/month on every customers bill (excluding the cost of borrowing). That 10Gb link will cost each of my customers an additional $15.28 every month.

If I have 300Mb real bandwidth requirements on that particular segment today, does it make any sense for me to install the 10Gb link today? When I will not utilize it for years? When my customers will not pay for it today? Yet somehow several years from now customer expect that 1Gb circuit to magically upgrade itself to 10Gb without any cost.... real money, it's what its all about.

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 2, Interesting) 353

by choprboy (#42329917) Attached to: ISP Data Caps Just a 'Cash Cow'

No... As someone who works for a small ISP, and runs the backbone among other things, bandwidth is exactly a commodity like water. Bandwidth is extremely cheap at the source, but the source is not where the end users of that water are. The bandwidth must be distributed across a vast area to many, many endpoints. I can get water out of a river for (nearly) free. But as an ISP, if you want that "water" delivered to your doorstep and I have to pipe it uphill, 50miles from the source, the water is no longer "free". It costs real money to distribute...

Now, my above statements are not meant to imply that the premise of bandwidth caps are not financially sourced... they are. But to extrapolate that backbone peering is cheaper now than previously and that therefore end users are being overcharged, is a complete farce. The entire premise of the article is flawed by a complete misunderstanding of the costs an ISP experiences.

As an ISP, we get offers of dirt cheap peering bandwidth all the time, on the order of a couple dollars per Mb per month for 1GB+ circuits.... But when you question their quoted price in depth the result is always the same... this isn;t bandwidth delivered to your door, to our POP, this is bandwidth delivered on a switch port at the datacenter the peering provider is already located in. I.e. selling me access to the river assuming I already have my feet in the muddy bank. Actually getting that river out of the banks and to my office door costs far far more than the river itself.

So yes, bandwidth is a commodity exactly like water....

Comment: Re:Slashdot has been trolled (Score 1) 293

by choprboy (#42136695) Attached to: NASA: Curiosity Has Found Plastic On Mars

Agreed... Once again the Slashdot editors have failed to do the most trivial investigation before posting articles. In this case the alleged JPL article is at: http://nasaupdatecenter.us/press.html.

Since when is "nasaupdatecenter.us" an official JPL website?
Why is it that this website has no content other than this article and every weblink points to the real site "marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov"?
Why is it that this site has the "news", but no such story on the real JPL website press releases: http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/

Perhaps more importantly.... do Slashdot editors enter all their bank account details on every phishing website they get any email for? What makes this any different?.....

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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