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Comment: Re:Worst Response of all Time (Score 5, Insightful) 79

by AudioEfex (#47520205) Attached to: Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

It's not stupid; it's just a fact. Obviously they can't do any of that crap if they can't decrypt your data, but that's fine by me.

Exactly. Gotta love the knee-jerk, I can't have a logical thought because I'm just so ready to rant about "the man" bullshit. Especially since it sounds like it's coming from someone who doesn't even use or understand the service.

Dropbox is file storage, plain and simple. I use it to make a few music files and some reading material available across my devices. That's it's main function, to store/share files.

All that other shit he is talking about that encryption won't work with is all fluff and ancillary stuff - I name my files properly, for example, so I don't need them to search within them for me. The service works just fine with encrypted files - you just can't use the fancy doodads that you don't really need anyway.

I applaud him for being honest - if this was certain other companies they'd be telling you "oh trust us. It's secure!" He's being honest - it's a dumping spot for files, if you want encryption, BYO.

Christ some of the folks around these parts don't know their heads from their asses - use the words encryption or privacy and they don't even listen or understand wtf is being talked about they just automatically jump to tired fear mongering rhetoric. Just like the folks who take rifles strapped across their backs to Starbucks - I want to say, WTF are you so scared of? And if you do have something to be scared of - stay the fuck home, or in this case, don't be a complete retard and use a "cloud" service to begin with.

Comment: Re:Is this an achievement? (Score 1) 43

by hey! (#47519351) Attached to: Autonomous Sea-Robot Survives Massive Typhoon

Well, you are unlikely to be the *only* one who doesn't think this is all that impressive, because you're unlikely to be the only one who didn't read the article or looking up the device on the company's website.

The robot in question is designed to capture energy from surface waves for propulsion. So it is not a deep submersible, it waddles along a six meters below the surface, tethered to a streamlined surface buoy that it drags along and uses to capture wave energy. Making it through a major storm is a significant proof-of-concept for such a system.

Comment: Re:this is great news! (Score 1, Troll) 92

by AudioEfex (#47514091) Attached to: Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java

Oh god I love this "streaming is the future" nonsense.

Once data caps hit the US (and we know they are coming, the ISPs have already installed the backbone to make it happen, it's just a matter of pulling the switch - some have already been "testing" it, like Comcast) every ISP is going to follow suit rather quickly, and when folks who are now clogging up over half the Internet traffic streaming will suddenly drop like flies.

This is the "golden age" of streaming - it ain't gonna last long. I get it, it's convenient - but it's simply unable to continue on this trajectory. I personally rarely do it because no matter what resolution you are streaming at, the compression is so high that it cannot even compare to Blu-ray. Same with the illegal downloads - if you think a two hour film in true HD quality and sound can fit in a couple of gigs, you don't know wtf you are talking about. I guess if you sit and watch movies on a laptop it's good enough, but on a decent sized TV? Might as well watch DVD quality at that point, even if the file is supposedly running at 1080p.

When you add to the quality issues that the content providers have such scattered libraries and they can take any of it away at any time, I'm very happy with my "antiquated" physical media - so be nice to us that buy it, because once data caps come in you'll be coming to folks like me to borrow discs halfway through the month when you binge watched something on Netflix and ate your monthly data allowance up with a couple of weeks left to go before you get your fresh sip of bandwidth.

Comment: Re:Privacy is dead (Score 5, Insightful) 152

by AudioEfex (#47514051) Attached to: Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims

I'm sorry but anyone who is idiot enough to have an Android phone and DOESN'T know that of course since you sign into your Goggle account with it the same damn data sharing is going to happen just like wherever you use their services on any device is, well, an idiot. The question is, though, what harm comes from that - and that's up to each user to decide when they choose to use it or not. Since users sign up for and consent to the service - I see why it takes an actual technicality like this to make it actionable (even if it does highlight the often absurdity of our legal system).

Basically, I know it's all cool to get all up in arms about this stuff and the principle, etc., but the truth is - if you are going to use a single commercial device to access your entire data "life", and if you use Google services in particular, you know what you are getting at this point. It's those ads that pay for Goggle to give so many of it's services away for free. It may be wrong, it may be right, it really doesn't matter because it's the very definition of "it is what it is". It's the price you pay for using a "smart" phone because you won't find one that doesn't have privacy implications. As a user you decide - is the convenience/cache of owning one worth it? If the answer is no, go get yourself a "feature" phone burner and replace it once a month, or however often your paranoia leads you to do so - and don't access any data services on it.

My guess is, 99% of the folks who are going to make comments about this and bemoan privacy have smartphones - they are not necessary, they are a convenience/luxury - one that I use, but if I really was so concerned I wouldn't have one, or use Goggle's services - much less an OS designed by them - or iOS and their Cloud shit, etc. It's a trade off of modern life, if you want the cool toys, you can't play anonymous secret super agent spy. (Which leads to the "what are you doing that makes you think anyone gives a fuck" question, but that is a separate issue entirely.)

Comment: Re:Time will tell (Score 1) 330

by Mr. Slippery (#47512871) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

To be a real dick about it: Nobody moved your cheese, the cheese is simply no longer there.

Cheese, to extend the metaphor, does not simply disappear. If it's no longer there, someone moved it.

Fortunately, there's no shortage of free cheese in the form of torrents. The more the copyright cartel tightens its grip, the more content will slip through its fingers.

Comment: Re:There's something touching about that comment (Score 2) 102

by hey! (#47500515) Attached to: "Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

It's not the human *touch* that people crave in a complicated interaction with a system. It's human *versatility*.

Thus more personnel does no good, if those personnel are rigidly controlled, lack information to advise or authority to act. The fact that they're also expected to be jolly and upbeat as they follow their rigid and unyielding rules only turns the interaction with them into a travesty of a social interaction.

What would work better is a well-designed check-in system that handles routine situations nearly all the time, along with a few personnel who have the training and authority to solve any passenger problems that come up.

Comment: Re:String theory is not science (Score 2, Informative) 147

by Mr. Slippery (#47494263) Attached to: Can the Multiverse Be Tested Scientifically?

Uh, yeah, we can measure -1. The charge of an electron. The distance along the x-axis that I travel when I walk one meter west. The effect on a wave when it encounters an identical one 180 degrees out of phase.

Not at all. None of those things "are" -1. They are observable phenomena that we tag with the human invention, the word/concept, "-1". Mathematics is not an aspect of objective observable reality, it is a language that we have found useful for describing our observations.

Comment: Re: The issue is big publishing (Score 2) 191

by hey! (#47493819) Attached to: Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

I can only go with the experience of my friends, who've gone both routes successfully.

It's true that traditional publishers expect mid-list authors to shoulder most of the promotion efforts these days. I never said they didn't. Fiction authors are now expected to maintain a platform, which used to be a non-fiction thing. Certainly traditional publishers have become more predatory and less supportive than they were twenty years ago. I don't have an inside track on why that is, but I suspect there are several causes. One is that POD allows publishers to make an reliable though modest profit from their mid-list authors, which ironically makes them more risk averse. But publishers still provide production and editing services on a MS that'd cost you maybe ten thousand dollars if you were contracting those services out. They also get your book in bricks-and-mortar bookstores, which is a bridge too far for most indy authors, even the successful ones.

A lot of the bad feeling that publishers get from indy authors comes from two sources. First, a long history with rejection. Second the lack of respect indy authors get relative to traditionally published authors. We can see it in this discussion elsewhere, where one poster puts "authors" in quotes when referring to indy authors. And it's easy to see why because most indy authors just aren't good enough to get traditionally published. *Some* indy authors put out a product that's every bit as good as the mid-list authors from the big publishing houses, but most just dump their terrible manuscripts on Amazon with a clip-art cover and no copy editing, much less developmental editing.

The statistic that most indy authors make their investment back plus 40% didn't impress me, because (a) that counts the author's labor as free and (b) most indy authors don't invest much cash in their projects. The percentage of indy authors that clear, say, five thousand dollars in profit are very small.

It's not that indy publishing doesn't have its points, and my traditionally published friends are certainly thinking about dipping their toe in the water. But it's not as cheap as it looks if you want a comparable product, and you give up certain things. I was in Manhattan recently and went to the 5th Avenue branch of the NYPL. My traditionally published friends' books were either on the shelves our out circulating. The NYPL had *none* of my indy author friends' books, even though at least one of them has made the New York Times best seller list.

Comment: Re:The issue is big publishing (Score 1) 191

by hey! (#47492489) Attached to: Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

I don't think it's as simple as Amazon is good or Amazon is evil. Amazon is powerful, and that needs watching.

Now I have a number writer friends, one of whom is published both with traditional imprints like TOR and with Amazon's new in-house publishing imprints. She has good things to say about Amazon's imprints, but one thing you have to take into account is that nobody will stock your book *but* Amazon if you publish with them. That's giving up a lot, so they treat authors reasonably well. But that doesn't mean the corporation actually cares about authors. Amazon needs reliable mid-list authors to make their publishing ventures a success, and by cutting out the middleman can afford generous royalties. But if Amazon succeeds in putting a stake in the heart of traditional publishing, I wouldn't care to speculate on what will happen to authors.

Nor should what traditional publishers do for authors be underestimated. I have friends who are successful indy writers, but it's not like being a writer, it's more like running a small publishing house yourself. They hire story editors, copy editors and artists, and manage promotion and publicity. It's a lot of work; that plus actually writing pretty much precludes a day job. It's not for everyone.

It's a lot like being an engineer. Engineers are smart people who usually have a lot of insight into the companies they work for, but that doesn't mean that most engineers want to run businesses. Some do, but most would rather have other people take care of that stuff so they can concentrate on what they feel they're best at.

Many writers choose the indy market because it's the only way they'll ever get published. They just dump their manuscript on the market without editing, design or promotion and hope for the best. They rarely succeed. Others choose the indy route because they thrive on running and controlling their own small business, the way some engineers step naturally into the role of entrepreneur. They're well positioned for the future. But most writers need support to reach their full potential.

Comment: You forgot about Chernobyl (Score 1) 223

by SuperBanana (#47491967) Attached to: EPA Mulling Relaxed Radiation Protections For Nuclear Power

230,000 were killed by the Banquiao hydroelectric dam disaster.

Not quite. 20,000 were killed in the immediate flooding. The rest were killed in the epidemics, famines, etc that followed.

Even if the worst nuclear accident in history happened EVERY YEAR, it would still be safer than hydroelectric.

If you're going to claim indirect deaths as you did above, then I'm going to claim indirect deaths too.

Chernobyl didn't kill that many people directly/immediately, but it has impacted the health of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people. It will continue to do so, for generations. Nuclear disasters never go away.

Where X is 10-100 times larger than Y: Increasing the cancer risks for X people isn't 'better' than immediately wiping Y people off the map.

Comment: There is no "safe" amount of ionizing radiation (Score -1) 223

by SuperBanana (#47491589) Attached to: EPA Mulling Relaxed Radiation Protections For Nuclear Power

I'm sick and tired of the notion that it's OK to pollute, as long as you don't pollute "too much."

200+ chemicals found in samples of people's blood:

200+ chemicals found in newborn's umbilical core blood: http://www.scientificamerican....

These chemicals by and large don't go away...and time after time, we find chemicals that were thought to be "safe"...aren't. When are we going to learn that? When are we going to require chemicals be considered dangerous until proven otherwise, instead of the present situation, where chemicals are only later shown to be dangerous once scientists and environmental groups collect a mountain of evidence?

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