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+ - Should Google stop reading Gmail?

Submitted by cpaglee
cpaglee (665238) writes "The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story revealing that Google took the federal government to court over National Security Letters. But Google lawyers will go to court today to argue that Google has the right to continue scanning Gmail. This comes after Google's legal counsel says Google users should have no legitimate expectation of privacy when they use Gmail.

Gmail is a fantastic product and it has been incredibly successful with over 425 million active users. Gmail registration allows Google to track all the websites I visit through Google.com and the news articles I read if those websites partner with Google. Google uses this data to build highly valuable user profiles to focus advertisements. Does Google really need to read my emails too?

Google pulled out of China because of censorship required by the Chinese government while they were allowing NSA to plug a pipe into Google central and spy on the whole world? Like any typical teenager, Google seems to be stuck deciding whether it wants to be good or evil.

Should Google muzzle their lawyers, focus on brand equity and customer good will and just agree to stop reading customer emails?"

+ - US electrical grid on the edge of failure->

Submitted by ananyo
ananyo (2519492) writes "Facebook can lose a few users and remain a perfectly stable network, but where the national grid is concerned simple geography dictates that it is always just a few transmission lines from collapse, according to a mathematical study of spatial networks. The upshot of the study is that spatial networks are necessarily dependent on any number of critical nodes whose failure can lead to abrupt — and unpredictable — collapse.
The warning comes ten years after a blackout that crippled parts of the midwest and northeastern United States and parts of Canada. In that case, a series of errors resulted in the loss of three transmission lines in Ohio over the course of about an hour. Once the third line went down, the outage cascaded towards the coast, cutting power to some 50 million people. The authors say that this outage is an example of the inherent instability the study describes. But others question whether the team’s conclusions can really be extrapolated to the real world. “The problem is that this doesn’t reflect the physics of how the power grid operates,” says Jeff Dagle, an electrical engineer at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, who served on the government task force that investigated the 2003 outage."

Link to Original Source

+ - The Hypocrisy of Larry Page and Sergey Brin - Don't Be Evil. Year right!

Submitted by cpaglee
cpaglee (665238) writes "The Wall Street Journal ran a story yesterday revealing that Google did indeed take the federal government to court over National Security Letters. This comes after Google's legal counsel says Google users should have no legitimate expectation of privacy when they use Gmail.

Larry and Sergey have completely lost all credibility. They pulled out of China because of censorship required by the Chinacoms while they were allowing NSA to plug a pipe into Google central and spy on all Americans??? Like typical Internet billionaires they completely sold out the principle they founded the company on 1.5 decades ago: Don't Be Evil. If they still believed in their 'don't be evil' mantra they would just pull NSA's plug and dare the feds to shut Google down. Larry and Sergey are the only people who can stare down the NSA because Congress would field 200 Million calls a day if Google went down. The two most powerful people in the Internet world instead allow NSA to spy on all Americans so Google can continue to make money selling ads.

Of course we all knew that Google forgot about 'Don't Be Evil' when they started charging small startups to use Google Email. Hey Sergey, do you still remember that feeling of being spied upon by the Soviet government when you were growing up? When do you plan to pull Google out of the USA?"

Comment: Re:Developers in Beijing, Summit in Hong Kong??? (Score 1) 42

by cpaglee (#44259729) Attached to: Can OpenStack Avoid Fragmentation In China?

Not going to debate IT wages in China / Chinese airplane ticket prices / advanced purchase plane ticket discounts or walking across the Shenzhen border on Slashdot. Maybe I exaggerated a little. My point is plenty people will refrain from attending because of the cost of the airplane ticket alone.

If "More people visit the OpenStack Web site from Beijing than any other city in the world and developers in China account for the second largest number of code commits." then hold the conference in Beijing!

Comment: Developers in Beijing, Summit in Hong Kong??? (Score 1) 42

by cpaglee (#44256499) Attached to: Can OpenStack Avoid Fragmentation In China?

Of course that will not work. Very few people who live and work in Beijing are going to fly down to Hong Kong to attend some stupid Summit. Hold the Summit in Beijing and you might have some impact and get some participation. Hold the summit in Hong Kong and you cut that to 1/10.

It's a 3 hour flight down and a 3 hour flight back, air tickets cost about 2 weeks worth of wages for the average IT guy. And you need a special travel document which most people in China don't have, so they'll have to apply for it. And if you don't have a Beijing ID then Chinese people need a visa to travel to Hong Kong. And the hotels in Hong Kong are $100 minimum per night. Hotels in Beijing are as cheap as $25 per night.

Who planned this?

Comment: Re:Relevance? (Score 1) 615

Why does it matter what the public thinks? I mean seriously, is this a decision you want to leave to some welfare queen, union boss or monster truck driver? Or to a medical doctor, college English professor or stay at home mom with a PhD in psychology? Do they have the knowledge or training to make an informed decision? Do they even have access to secret data regarding the proliferation of nuclear weapons worldwide? Do they have the engineering background to understand nuclear weapon reliability? Have they studied military strategy or international diplomatic relations?

I will not argue the case one way or another because I don't know all the facts (and I have better things to do). But I believe decisions like this would be better off made by a politically neutral entity, through a series of debates using an objective scoring algorithm or even by computer, if an objective algorithm could ever be developed. The problem is in our world everybody brings along their political opinions and we are unable to choose the best course of action. This is especially the case with the present administration.

Comment: Admission for Everyone (Score 1) 215

by cpaglee (#42962521) Attached to: The Two Big Problems With Online College Courses

Online education offers an incredibly equalizing opportunity for people all over the world. At the same time it destroys the notion that everybody is equal and everybody should be given the opportunity to succeed. The reality is if you cannot hack it then you should not be wasting a university's resources.

"Struggling students who make up a significant portion of college enrollment" should not be wasting seats which could be offered to students who are more motivated and better prepared to learn. Harvard, Yale and Columbia should eliminate the admissions process all together and allow anybody who thinks they can make it at one of these leading schools to enroll. Fill classroom seats according to SAT scores. Allow online students and classroom students to compete for seats during the four year process. If you are an online student and you get an 'A' then you will have a seat. If you have a seat and you get a 'C' or lower then you become an online student until you become a top performer.

Students who "show up at college (or junior college) unprepared to learn, unable to manage time and having failed to master basics like math and English" should not be in university. If they were too lazy to learn English they probably lack the financial wherewithal to stay in school - lack of money is the real reason most online students don't get degrees. The problem is not the online school, the problem is the student. Students "lacking confidence as well as competence" need to spend more time reading and less time doing bong hits.

Comment: TPB Claim of Infringement Against CIAPC is Valid (Score 5, Informative) 268

by cpaglee (#42940985) Attached to: TPB Files Police Complaint Against CPIAC for Copying Website

Making a parody site may be 'fair use', but actually copying CSS and HTML is infringement. If CIAPC wants to create a parody site they can write their own HTML and CSS to mimic TPB look and feel. Actually copying CSS and HTML is a violation of copyright which 'fair use' will technically not protect.

Software

+ - Toyota to show off autonomous prototype car at CES show->

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "Toyota is going to show off its autonomous car/accident avoidance technology at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas nest week. The 2013 Lexus LS uses what the car company calls its Intelligent Transport System and is fitted with on-board radar, video cameras and sensors to monitor the road, surroundings, and the driver all with the goal of preventing accidents and avoiding problems."
Link to Original Source
Apple

+ - What's THAT, you say? Apple MIGHT be making a NEW iPHONE, iOS?->

Submitted by
iComp
iComp writes "Apple is now testing the next version of its iPhone and accompanying software, according to developers or anyone with an ounce of common sense.

Third-party programmers have claimed a gadget identifying itself as an "iPhone 6.1" running "iOS 7" has turned up in usage log files, which record information about the devices used to run their apps.

The "new" phone was observed sporting an IP address associated with Apple's Cupertino campus, fuelling speculation that the company's engineers are not laughing atop a huge cash mountain while twiddling their thumbs, and instead they're getting on with their work.

The discovery also kills off any indication that Apple was about to give up on the lucrative smartphone market or switch to Windows Phone 8, not that anyone sane was suggesting that. The iPhone 5 went on sale in October along with iOS 6."

Link to Original Source
Cellphones

+ - Nokia N9: The World's Most Underrated Smartphone?->

Submitted by
jrepin
jrepin writes "Eighteen months ago, Nokia announced a smartphone unlike any other it has produced before. It was a proper smartphone, one that looked miles away from previous Nokia phones: it was sleek, modern and simple at the same time. The hardware was pretty modern, too; no underpowered processors with severely limited RAM issues to be seen here. And, it runs on an operating system that Nokia had announced dead months before the phone’s announcement. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Nokia N9."
Link to Original Source

+ - Iranian ex-muslim tells story->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "For too long I have been publicly quite. For the longest time for a good reason: public apostasy in a theocratic state is not good for physical health. Recent events in my home country and worldwide, however, make it a responsibility for any rational secularist to speak out. In the country where I'm from, I am less of a person that my east asian wife [1]. In the country that accepts me as a person, I could be apprehended without cause by DHS as a potential terrorist and with no phone rights. And to top it off, we live in an era in which the president of the first and only constitutionally secular country cannot get away with not spurting religious nonsense even in the event of public devastation [2].

I am 29 and I am a PhD student in the US. I am originally from Iran, born and raised in a mildly conservative, but educated family. I denounced God, Islam and Mohammad when I was 16. You may say it was a logical progression of some doubts I had been developing since I was 13. And it all really started because I could not understand the arguments for the existence of God. In addition, all the magical mythical supporting stories for the truth of the so called prophet and the Quran seemed self-contradictory, and every single person I met with strong religious belief turned out to be a total liar, hypocrite and a fake. So at some point I decided that the non-existing hell with Mohammad and his family and his God and his book. The only problem was I couldn't say that outside of my home because I would be executed. But they can't touch me now can they?

In this blog, I will debunk all the reasons we were given as students to believe in Islam and God and so on. And believe me you don't even need even a high school diploma to see through the nonsense of religion, specially Islam, specially the way it is practiced in middle east, and in particular in Iran. I welcome all positive and negative comments, but I ask you to ridicule ideas not individuals. For obvious reasons, I will be blogging anonymously and I will also anonymize my stories if need be. I hope I can contribute to the global destruction of religion specially Islam. It is time we passed dogma and nonsensical beliefs and call religion for what it is.

My regards,
Concerned Voice"

Link to Original Source

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