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Comment: Windows you say? (Score 2) 104

by davidwr (#49485287) Attached to: The Voting Machine Anyone Can Hack

Unless this was a stripped-hown, hardened version with nothing but a custom kernel and custom-everything else with all unnecessary bits stripped out and hardening put on top of it, I wouln't trust it unless it had a voter-verified, human-manually-coutable paper ballot as part of the voting process for every vote.

Wait, what am I saying? Even if it was stripped and hardened, I wouldn't trust any voting system that didn't have a way to print a ballot that the voter actually saw which could be examined in a manual recount.

Comment: My skin is colored you insensitive clod (Score 1) 136

by davidwr (#49460825) Attached to: UW Scientists, Biotech Firm May Have Cure For Colorblindness

It's a bright shade of very pale peach/yellow. If I were any more pale, I would be almost like an albino but without the pink eyes.

Except when I get out in the sun, then it's a bright shade of red, almost like an albino with sunburn.

For the sarcasm impaired: We all have colored skin.

Comment: Job interview (Score 1) 626

by davidwr (#49453391) Attached to: Florida Teen Charged With Felony Hacking For Changing Desktop Wallpaper

I'm imagining a job interview with this guy in 15-20 years.

"So, have you ever been arrested?"
"Yes, once when I was 14"
"So what did you do?"
"I changed my teachers wallpaper on his computer to a couple of gay guys kissing."
"LOL, good job. I see you have a sense of humor. You're hired, but if you ever do that to my computer I'll fire your ass, okay?"

Sadly, when they get to the "have you ever been convicted of a felony" question, a lot of employers are forced to say "sorry, we aren't allowed to hire you for this position due to legal/contractual/insurance-carrier requirements". But that's a discussion for another time.

Comment: How much bandwidth? (Score 1) 54

1) How much of the available frequency does this chew up, and 2) if it is directional, how tight is the beam?

These are important considerations for things like mobile-service, which is typically not "narrow-beam."

If the weather issue can be worked out, I see this as being useful for "fixed-wireless" applications, such as broadcast-television (think "cable TV without the cable and without the dish") and point-to-point communications (think "wireless U-Verse").

Subject to downtime due to weather-related interference, a point-to-point/narrow-beam version of this could be used to bring very-high-bandwidth, reasonable-latency Internet- and "cable TV" to rural areas that are currently not wired and which it's not economical to put in traditional non-directional cell towers. It could also be used for wireless point-to-point backhaul connection for events that are in remote areas such as Burning Man (actually, that's a bad example as they already have their Internet connectivity solved, but if there were a "new" Burning-man-like festival out in the middle of nowhere...).

Comment: Re:A good solution for the future (Score 1) 107

by davidwr (#49451249) Attached to: ICANN Asks FTC To Rule On<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.sucks gTLD Rollout

A few hundred dollars is not reasonable. Reasonable is at most the cost of a generic, not-in-demand domain name (i.e. under $5/year) and even that is high. The cost of the block should be high enough to cover the cost to the registrar for the paperwork involved plus a token profit (no more than, $1).

Anything more is tanamount to extortion: "Pay us $HUNDREDS or some other company will buy the domain and do who knows what with it. It will cost you $THOUSANDS in legal fees to get a court to enjoin that company from using the name, so pay us $HUNDREDS now or pay someone else $THOUSANDS later."

Comment: Authenticate users (Score 1) 126

by davidwr (#49447809) Attached to: Amazon Sues To Block Fake Reviews

If you want to control this kind of thing, require that users turn over something that can be tied to their real-life identity, like a cell phone #. Then verify that what they give you is real.

Then make them swear that they have not received or been offered any compensation.

If you later discover that they probably lied, you can sue them.

As for people logging in from countries where suing the person individually is not an option, one thing you can do is limit the visibility of their comments, perhaps by limiting them to others who are from the same country.

Yes, there are ways to get around this (proxies, VPNs, disposable phones, etc.) but it will raise the cost of doing business for those companies who do "shill reviews."

Comment: A good solution for the future (Score 2) 107

by davidwr (#49447639) Attached to: ICANN Asks FTC To Rule On<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.sucks gTLD Rollout

For all future .TLD rollouts, allow trademark owners to put a "bar" on names they own and any similar spelling variants for no more than the cost of processing the paperwork - well under $5 plus a penny less for each additional name in the same request (companies typically have many trademarks, and each has many close spelling variants that typo-squatters would abuse). If a name is barred, anyone coming along later wanting to use the name would have to demonstrate that the entity holding the "bar" no longer has the trademark, or that the company wanting the name also holds a valid trademark. If two companies claim they want the name and both hold valid trademarks, then it would be handed out by lottery.

Likewise, all existing .TLDs should be required to offer the same "low-cost bar" courtesy to any legitimate trademark-owner who asks for it.

Comment: Rare arguement for jury nullification (Score 5, Insightful) 626

It's rare that a jury should exercise "jury nullification" but cases like these, where the punishment does not fit the crime, are one of them.

Acquitting a guilty person when the charge is over-the-top for the circumstances sends a loud message to prosecutors to dial-it-back to something sane the next time around.

If there wasn't a history of other students doing the same thing, filing misdemeanor criminal charges in juvenile court with a pre-arranged deal where they charges would be dismissed and the arrest expunged within 1-2 years would not be inappropriate.

Because there is such a history, even this is too much. This should have been handled as an internal disciplinary and/or re-training matter for the student and, in parallel, for the faculty so this kind of thing doesn't happen again.

Always try to do things in chronological order; it's less confusing that way.