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Comment: summary of SCOTUS case law: "pppphhhhhhtttttt, no" (Score 1, Interesting) 249

by xeno (#48603963) Attached to: Sony Demands Press Destroy Leaked Documents

Mod parent up! (crap, I had points left yesterday.... :)

Parent makes the important point: There's existing SCOTUS case law for this, and Sony's legal-ish threats and demand for press et al to refrain from looking at embarrassing things wouldn't stand up in a stiff breeze, much less in a lower court.

Frankly I'm kind of surprised to see a relatively experienced lawyer such as Boies make a demand like this, even if he is a distinguished douchebag. Usually lawyers like him are concerned about appearances, and making laughable demands that evoke a Streisand effect is bad for business.

Comment: No, Windows 8 pulled a Unity, not the reverse (Score 2) 125

by xeno (#48556367) Attached to: Unity 8 Will Bring 'Pure' Linux Experience To Mobile Devices

OP gets things turned around: Canonical released the Unity interface for Ubuntu in the summer of 2010, and then made it the mandatory desktop on Ubuntu in mid-2011 sparking an exodus of users to other distros, Windows, and OSX. Without getting into some curious timing... Just about a year later in the summer of 2012, Microsoft released the Metro interface for Windows 8, copying many of the tiled UI ideas and touch/gesture-on-the-desktop that had been rejected by more geeky and novice users alike -- only this time into a far larger market.

Honestly, from inside Redmond it was very strange to watch this happen, with a lot of people asking 'what the hell are we doing?' and variations on 'didn't the little guy fall on his face when he tried this?' The parallels were almost comical; with Ballmer and Sinofsky insisting that "customers like this!" in words almost identical to Shuttleworth two years earlier, and similar expressions of dismay and denial of the humiliating reception that followed. Though Ballmer and Sinofsky wielded market power Shuttleworth could only dream of, the outcomes were predictable and there had been plenty of warning. The hard part for these guys to accept is that when your ideas are so thoroughly rejected by people/consumers/end users -- and you keep doing the unwanted thing anyway -- it's not like the audience remains as motivated to see what you come up with next**. They just start ignoring you.

** (even if the very same UI concepts work well in another context -- in this case, on a mobile handset)


Comment: Re:Unwanted video on top of Australis mess? I'm ou (Score 1) 237

by xeno (#48504103) Attached to: Firefox 34 Arrives With Video Chat, Yahoo Search As Default

I did. They didn't give a shit. And lest you think me a whiner, I also contributed work and donated a bunch of money to the Mint project (among many others), and whaddya know, they listen to both technical and nontechnical contributors... and produce a polished product with great flexibility across a wider audience. So don't tell me it can't be done; it's just that the FF team decided their first principles were "oo shiny" and "I know best" instead of "do the needful things" and "listen."

Comment: Unwanted video on top of Australis mess? I'm out. (Score 2, Insightful) 237

by xeno (#48502687) Attached to: Firefox 34 Arrives With Video Chat, Yahoo Search As Default

Make that STILL out.

When the naval-gazing derpfest at FF rolled out that hideous chrome-knockoff "Australis" interface revamp in v29, I used the debian equivalent of the middle finger: sudo apt-mark hold firefox
to stem the tide of f**ck-the-user UI design, common features hidden behind weird hamburger buttons, and unreadably huge defaults.

That gave a me a little time to explore options. With a little work, I can make Seamonkey usable, but I do lament the loss of an easy choice that IU can recommend to less geeky friends. IE is a lost cause even on my work machines and msft doesn't remotely give a shit about user feedback. Chrome's entire skeletal structure is made from IE spyware toolbars working together as a virtualized/rootkit OS. And Firefox's UI team has gone full "Grinch paradigm" [To quote the original: "Here's our new, wonderful product. Isn't it wonderful? Don't you just love it? What do you mean it doesn't do something essential that you've been able to do for years and you don't like it? You ingrate! You're GOING to like our new product! We're not going to fix it just because you and 100,000 whiny little dweebs claim to need those missing functions!" ]

Screw this. I'm gonna donate a little more money to the upstarts, because Firefox is lost.

Comment: share those add/mod/deletes/config script ideas? (Score 1) 89

by xeno (#48501493) Attached to: Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon and MATE Editions Released

Do tell. I just updated my custom-stuff-after-installing-Mint script (which has become a go-to for friends and associates), and it's almost clean enough to share and/or xpost to the Mint forums. I'd love to add good ideas from others, and just as importantly, pull out or modify stuff that needs it.

What packages do you find objectionable?
          (e.g. this thread. Care to share that list of 50? Does removal break anything major? )

What are must-haves to add?
          (e.g. little stuff like acpi? mainstream stuff like ms core fonts, and cups-pdf so there's always something that behaves like a printer?)

Any elegant or specific fixes that you consider worth sharing?
          (e.g. have a sed one-liner to change "Label:0" to "Label:1" in /etc/cups/cups-pdf.conf so that pdf print jobs don't overwrite each other, but still want a cmd line install of firefox extensions like noscript and ghostery?)

Comment: Re:About time for a Free baseband processor (Score 2) 202

by Safety Cap (#48388761) Attached to: Department of Justice Harvests Cell Phone Data Using Planes

Sure they don't sell bombers and guided missiles, but then if we ever get to that point, there won't be much of a military left for the gov't to use against us, because they are US.

LOL. It is so cute when someone who has never served brings out the "they'll never attack US citizens!!! DERP!" line.

Here's how it goes down. First, the military brass will come up with some disparaging name for the citizens who are the new enemy, just as they did for every other war:

"Haji" is the troops' term of choice for an Iraqi. It's used the way "gook" or "Charlie" was used in Vietnam. "From 'Gook' to 'Raghead'"

Next, the citizens (the bad ones) are depicted as subhuman. (The government will also direct the news to depict the new enemy as dangerous psychopaths, so the average citizen will not join in the revolt.)

Final step: 6-round burst, every time. Change barrels every 10 minutes.

Comment: Re:and for students that don't want to be tracked? (Score 1) 168

by hesiod (#48312625) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Single Sign-On To Link Google Apps and Active Directory?

If a person discusses their own medical history with someone else, HIPAA does not apply. If they talk about it in public and someone overhears it and somehow uses that information, including a marketer, somehow, HIPAA has nothing to do with that.

Now, there may be an expectation of a certain amount of privacy when discussing something over email, but if that information is somehow obtained -- even by a breach of the email servers, and assuming neither server/individual is a hospital/doctor/insurer/etc or an employee of such -- HIPAA does not somehow magically apply. Just because it is medical information, it is not immediately protected by HIPAA.

Comment: Re:Fuck you american money (Score 1) 57

A huge amount of the patents approved in the US boil down to "a system and methodology for doing something well known, but with a (computer|cell phone|tablet)". They're crap patents.

You're not innovating,

Yes, we are! We have increased efficiency! Used to be that one had to actually invent something useful, but we've found a way to go around all that, going directly from "something already done often, and by many" to "magic computer pixie dust, nyeh!" in one step.

And the vast majority of these patents are paid for by your asshole corporations with the full knowledge they're lousy patents to begin with.

It is the nature of capitalism to do the least possible to get the most profit. Reduce effort to zero and profit goes to infinity!

Fuck America and your deluded view about how awesome you are.

And yet, "Canada's Pants" runs the whole show.

You're a country which started off ignoring everyone else's patents and copyrights. So why the hell should the rest of the world give a shit about the stuff you do? Especially since you often just patent things other people have already invented.

Because we convinced you that we're too legit to quit. NOW who's the sucker?

Americunts go fuck yourself.

We do, regularly, and dry, too. Ever hear of Ferguson?

Comment: Re:Just tell me (Score 3, Interesting) 463

by daveschroeder (#48152325) Attached to: Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

No, it didn't. It was "some sort" of droplet transmission by monkeys in adjacent cages.

That is NOT -- repeat, NOT -- "airborne" transmission.

And no, it didn't go through the ventilation system; it was later learned that sick monkeys sneezing while they were being transported past well monkeys did indeed transmit the virus in this case.

It was also a completely different strain than the one we are talking about.

Airborne transmission occurs when an infectious agent is able to cling to particulates in the air and ride air currents for significant amounts of time, over significant distances, through ventilation systems, etc., long after the infected person who expelled the virus is no longer in the area.

Droplet transmission is NOT "airborne" transmission. It is projecting bodily fluids directly onto a well person in close quarters...usually less than 3 feet, but under optimal conditions, perhaps further. That is still not airborne transmission.

Furthermore, coughing/sneezing is probably one of the least effective ways to spread Ebola, even via droplets. Blood, feces, and vomit are the primary ways this will be spread. Yes, virus "could" be in saliva, mucous, semen, etc. But that's not the primary way Ebola spreads.

Airborne transmission would be very bad, but the Ebola virus is too large to spread this way. It would have to shed about 75% of its genome to be small enough for airborne transmission in sub-5um droplet nuclei that could ride on particulates. And if it did that, it wouldn't be "Ebola" anymore -- it would be something very different; perhaps still deadly, perhaps not, and so much different from what we are talking about right now that it is next to meaningless to discuss.

So, in closing: no, Ebola is not airborne.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie