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Comment: Re:skating on the edge of legal? (Score 2) 224

by poetmatt (#49630191) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

This is hilariously dishonest.

Conventional taxis don't have to go out of business - that's a strawman/misnomer. Why don't they provide their own apps to provide service to riders? Oh, right. Uber is doing what taxi services refuse to in a lot of instances. Uber isn't the problem here, but old outdated legislation is.

Taxi services don't operate 24/7 with 100% coverage, that is and never can be the case anywhere. Meanwhile, uber is opening up to other competition and enabling better coverage than the taxi services themselves provide.

Comment: Re:Laws that need to be made in secret (Score 1) 144

by DarkOx (#49629737) Attached to: Extreme Secrecy Eroding Support For Trans-Pacific Partnership

So write your congress person. I think its important we express the view that perhaps outside the limited scope of defense; secret law making is an unacceptable practice that undermines democracy.

How can I express my wishes to you as a constituent if I can't know what is being discussed. Even if you take the view that as my representative after the election I am supposed to trust you to look out for my interests, how can evaluate you and decide if I should help re-elect you if I can't know what legislating you did until after the end of your term when it goes into effect.

I think as the public we need to send the message that unless there is a clear direct immediate relationship to the secrecy and national security our expectation is "Just vote no."

"We have to pass the bill to see what is in it" is just irresponsible in the context of our core value of government by the people for the people.

Comment: Re:Laws that need to be made in secret (Score 4, Insightful) 144

by DarkOx (#49629631) Attached to: Extreme Secrecy Eroding Support For Trans-Pacific Partnership

The could publish the entire text of the bill if that was the reason with blanks for country specific percentages. They could let congress persons make notes and just check that they have not noted the percentages before they leave.

The reason offered is 100% pure bull shit, but its not even quality bull shit, its the kind that leaves you to wonder what they fed the poor bull.

Comment: Re:Wouldn't using this if it were seized... (Score 2) 267

by DarkOx (#49622053) Attached to: USBKill Transforms a Thumb Drive Into an "Anti-Forensic" Device

Its kind of grey area. Full disk encryption could itself be though of in those terms. I mean why are ciphering literally every block of information your store? Certainly it must be because you have something to hide right.

If you immediate start destroying the equipment when the cops show up that is a problems but in the case we have a device that has a normal operating behavior of putting itself into a secured state (by shutting down) whenever your wrist leave its proximity. Its not illegal (yet) to use a secure device. I would expect a good lawyer could spin this one to your favor.

Comment: Re:Industry attacks it (Score 1) 308

The problem is the so call conservatives and their regulations. A libertarian would say you can put whatever you want in the ground on your property but if it leaks onto mine, I'll see you court.

A properly run court would arrange fair compensation for the loss of use. Stop passing laws that protect industrial polluters for liability and we would stop having these problems, stop having government recognize fictions legal entities so the real ownership escapes liability. The incentive to conceal problems with technology like injection wells would disappear because we all know it comes to light eventually if the problems are real you will be sued with the possibility of loosing far more than you ever made from the activity.

Comment: Re:All aboard the FAIL train (Score 1) 549

by DarkOx (#49614691) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Announces Bid For White House

This is exactly what's wrong in politics these days. Politics is not a spectator sport. There aren't simply two teams vying for the prize of being elected and using that as the trophy to put in one's case. Treating it like a spectator sport completely ignores the whole point of the exercise, which is to effectively govern the wealthiest nation in the world, and to see to the interests of both the nation and the persons in that nation.

Its a matter of perspective though. From my perspective as a voter you are correct. If you are Reince Priebus, or Debbie Wasserman Schultz than it is a "team sport." You job is to maintain the influence of you party, you do that by winning the most elections for the most powerful offices; the most trophies so to speak.

Looking at in those terms to do you spend most of resources practicing the beat the least funded teams in the league, lets call them the Green party, the Libertarians, who you will likely beat anyway or do spend your efforts to try and defeat the big rival? Additionally do you look at your problems in things you have some control over brands, marketing strategy etc; or do spend your effort on broad policy research and development only to have half your people go rogue once elected anyway?

I think understanding politics and being effective no matter who your requires looking at it both ways, as purely competitive game, and a system of government.

Comment: Re:All aboard the FAIL train (Score 1) 549

by DarkOx (#49613301) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Announces Bid For White House

Except that just like in Broad terms Hillary's tenure as Sec State IS a failure.

I am not talking about Benghazi specifically in scandal machine since that she should have anticipated and prevent the specific attack where our ambassador was killed. However in a more abstract sense its a fine example of Hillarys failure, we "went in to Libya" with a certain set of objectives and the outcome looks nothing like that, the security and human rights situations are both worse.

Ditto for her handling of the rest of the "Arab spring". Tunisia is about the only thing you could call a policy success that happened are her watch and we had a very limited role there.

I don't think there is any major foreign policy success she can point at, other than USAID handing out a money (Which isn't exactly difficult). Our security and influence certainly did improve on her watch. She does not have any major legislative successes either as a senator. The most we can charitably say is her service in these roles was "adequate."

Back to Benghazi she immediately tried to blame it on that stupid youTube movie "the innocence Islam" or whatever the title was, and proceeded to try and prosecute the person who made it. From a communications perspective which is it? Are Islam and its followers peaceful members of a global community we can live side by side with our are they violent lunatics who consider an insult on youTube a just pretext for warfare? Do we support freedom of expression or do with stand behind the idea that censorship is sometimes called for? A leader ought to have strong positions on things things, yet only a couple short years later her take on Charlie Hebdo is almost opposite.

This is a pattern with Hillary, sure I can agree her views on crime might have reasonably evolved since the 90's if she was to run away from her husbands era of "tough on crime" fine, but in lots of other areas she is doing an awful lots of evolving awful quick, so quick it starts to look more like responding to opinion polls to me.

Then we have her handling of the "e-mail" scandal I am not saying she did anything but her handling of it did more to make it look like a coverup, which gets back to the messaging and communications problems. She should have turned the operation of that server over to a trusted 3rd party immediately, she didn't. Its a lot like all of her memory and record keeping problems from the "White water" era.

Here again even if I set the whole scandal and legal aspects aside, we are left with someone who thought in 2009 that doing State Department business on her private mail server was a good idea. What sort of judgement is that? Next Bradly Manning happens and thought all that and the opsec questions it raised she never considers that her personal IT contractors might pose the sort of risk. Apparently the vetting and monitoring of active duty intelligence personnel (however junior) did not cut it, but Clintons' "guy" could be trusted?

Near as I can tell Hillary is where she is because she married Bill, who had the talent to get himself elected governor than president. Hillary got thrust into money/power/politics and has since not blown it so badly as to loose it, but never could have got where she is on her own. Which isn't to say Carly is any better a choice. Hillary's candidacy however would be a joke (like Carly's) but for the fact the rest of the national Democratic party lacks anyone with a decent brand. They are either unknown, older than igneous rock, or the special kinda of crazy that if allowed to speak more publicly risks making Ted Cruz sound normal.

The GOP is like the Red Skins, relatively few like the brand but the individual players all find their fans, the DNC is like the Starts & Stripes, more people have a favorable view of the team just don't ask them to try and name any players.

Comment: Barren Landscapes. Related. Depressing. (Score 4, Insightful) 146

by bmo (#49607477) Attached to: Empty Landscape Looms, If Large Herbivores Continue to Die Out

Copypasta from FARK. Slightly cleaned up for formatting.

Rik01 4 hours ago
Folks have heard me biatch about changes in my own city in the State of Florida -- and changes in the State itself. Basically the response has been (1) progress old man, (2) change the onion on your belt, (3) yelling at clouds, (4) who cares -- it's Floraduh!

However, these changes have been going on in other states.

I've watched politicians promise Eco-improvements with one hand and sell the voters down the river with the other. [For example] We had a massive oyster bed in the Indian River placed off limits to the public for preservation and ecological reasons for close to 20 years. That thing had huge oysters in it and the water in its cove was nearly crystal clear. The local police arrested scores of people sneaking down there to poach oysters and the shores were dotted with piles of empty shells. The cove was absolutely packed with the things, no river bottom exposed. Then, during the Housing Boom, an upscale development went it around it. Since the cove was too shallow for wealthy owners to park their boats at the planned docks behind the cove-side homes, it was dredged. No warning to anyone who wanted to get these delicious oysters. Dredges came in, ripped thousands of them out and disposed of them. The cove is now full of dark water and few oysters, making a lot of folks like myself wonder why we preserved them.

Water use in the state has quadrupled. Florida used to be very swampy, but the water table was shallow. Now, after sucking so much out and changing the lay of the land, plus paving over every square inch they could, we're the capitol of the US when it comes to sink holes. Water shortages began to pop up years ago, where before, we never had any.

Millions of acres of wild woods have been developed, endangering a host of native species of animals we used to have and the amount of fish in the rivers has diminished to the point that you need a license and a fishing season for Mullet -- once so plentiful that it was considered 'garbage fish' and caught mainly for bait. Within the last 40 years, the Indian River has to be closed to shellfish harvesting and fishing periodically during the summer because of massive human fecal bacteria contamination.

The previously crystal clear air of my seaside town now shows signs of grey pollution. They stopped dump burning ages ago, along with burning huge piles of used tires. Land clearing agencies have to use these massive air blowers that surround burn pits to burn stumps and brush with, creating a hotter, less smoke making fires. However, the local traffic, even with more eco-friendly cars, has quadrupled and quadrupled again. Their lesser pollution has, by the sheer weight of volume, has surpassed that which was present in times of less pollution control, when you used to have 'smokers' rolling down the roads.

Major advertising campaigns have convinced the public that instead of one or two cars per family, everyone except the dog needs one, plus a couple of ATVs, a boat and a couple of those fast, small watercraft good for nothing except going fast on the water and making a lot of noise. Prior to that, dirt bikes were the thing, tearing up thousands of acres of wild woods and chasing out local animals for fun. To round things out for the macho man, we have air boats, running on aircraft engines, no mufflers, tearing up the diminishing acres of wild swamps and annoying the crap out of neighbors when the owners 'test' them in their yards.

We have fewer forest fires than when I was a kid, thanks to sophisticated fire equipment -- but then again, the acres of undeveloped woods has fallen by 3/4, so there's less to burn. Where lightening would hit decades old pine trees and forest floors thick with dry pine needles, it hits houses, paved streets, power poles and grassy lawns.

My yard has an 'old growth' pine in it. Around 60 feet tall and nearly three feet around. It was 6 feet tall when we moved in around 1958. Across the street used to be a forest of even older trees, around two miles square. Some reached 100 feet tall. That area is now made up of a couple of housing developments. 98% of the trees are gone.

The main drainage ditch in front of my home, which was shaded by Oaks along the banks, was more like a shallow creek, brimming with clear water, frogs, colorful minnows, several types of turtles -- including the irritable snapper -- gar fish and other freshwater versions. Us kids played in it, sheltered from the hot summer sun. Now it's a deep, sluggish stream of dark water, covered by algae, few minnows and most of the Oaks were removed when the housing developments went in. Their 'salvage ponds' drain into it. Even if I was a kid, I wouldn't want to play in that mess.

Yet according to statistics, we need more homes because rents are too high because people can't buy homes whose prices nearly doubled due to the Housing Boom.

We had a landmark here made by a great old man called Ralph Waldo Sexton, who did much for the community with his wealth and eccentric ideas. The land was deeded to the city with the restriction that it never be town down. The city agreed -- until explosive development hit and a business needed the tiny patch of land to add to it's parking lot. The city had let the landmark deteriorate anyhow (known as Sexton's Mountain) and as the value of the Oceanside land soared, that plot became worth much more than the hand built land mark.

They sold it and it was plowed under and paved over. Adding to the destruction of the beach itself from over development. Even the Great Red Land-crab Migration, that used to cover blocks in hundreds of thousands of the small crustations, covering the land for blocks in nearly a solid wave has stopped.

Their nests on a swampy salt marsh have been plowed under as houses went up and covered every square foot, which means a lot of cranes and other animals who fed on them are gone also. Plus their holes helped the ground absorb rain water, which filtered into the aquifer -- those hundreds of thousands of gallons of which now roll off the paved streets and manicured lawns and harder fill into the salt marsh waters and out into the sea.

Each time a politician enacts an eco-friendly program, he quietly passes two which undermine the efforts of the first and benefits development companies or other businessmen. When we had a good city manager who was not thrilled with explosive development, he didn't last long. Appointed by the Mayor, he was removed and his replacement arrived, all hyper about explosive development.
So, now you all can see the nationwide results -- and it ain't gonna stop anytime soon. We protected the birds -- and they tore down the forests. Gopher turtle nests could stop a development -- until no one noticed them until after the bulldozers had plowed them under. We built a huge, new eco-friendly dump, closing all of the others -- and then they had to sink huge pipes into it to vent the not-so-eco-friendly methane gas, making no attempt to even capture, compress it and use it. (You can smell our dump long before you see it.) Around the 4th of july, dump managers are secretly terrified some kids with fireworks might manage to ignite some of those vapor spilling pipes.

Crime, illness, irritability and cost have soared within my city. We went from a small Mayberry-type jail to a fortress-like prison, plus built a sprawling juvenile facility. Where you could walk the streets at late night with no fear, you need to go in groups now. Home burglaries have just soared. (I even got hit, for the first time in over 50 years.) We had 4 good schools. Now we have about 10 mediocre ones and they have chain link fences around them. Kids are no longer allowed to play on the exercise fields during summer vacation. Shootings are on the rise.

The cost of living keeps climbing. More and more funds are needed to keep the infrastructure going to maintain the city and county, while they keep reducing benefits for the workers who do the actual work. We now spend millions a year on keeping our beaches nice -- something they did for just a few thousand 30 years ago when thousands of folks didn't tear them up and build right up against them.

BTW, rents here are just obnoxious, unless you want to live in a place made up of termites and roaches holding hands. We were also a major citrus provider -- but the majority of the old, labor intensive groves which produced magnificent fruit have been sold and housing developments put in their place. (It takes 4 years of work to prepare the ground for citrus saplings then another 4 years to harvest good fruit. Working in a grove for the summer was almost every high school kids rite of passage. Old, established groves were gold mines.)

I once reported a new Sea Turtle Nest I found on a beach, not wanting the heavy, tractor-like sand groomers (yeah, we have to have those now) to roll over it and crush the eggs. The response I got from the Federal and State agency I contacted was 'what do you want us to do about it?' Yet had I dug up the eggs to move them, cops would have popped out of the weeds to arrest and fine me.

I think the beach groomers crushed the nest.

Comment: Re:Prior art (Score 1) 60

Unfortunately, their incentives are diametrically opposed to common sense. There is literally no downside for a USPTO examiner to rubber-stamp everything on his or her desk. They get to go home early to beat the traffic, while productive society is left to deal with the legal fallout. The net effect is to devalue legitimate IP while rewarding the trolls.


It's because of this and copyright abuse that I think, sometimes, that we should just chuck it all and rely on trade secrets and a free-for-all on copyright. These jerks are not just poisoning the well, they're throwing dead goats in it.


Comment: Re:Many years ago ... (Score 2) 210

by DarkOx (#49589327) Attached to: Yes, You Can Blame Your Pointy-Haired Boss On the Peter Principle

his is how societal norms distort what economists like to imagine is the free market.

That is why there are two areas of study micro-economics and macro-economics. On the micro-scale, it usually is better to fire 10% of your staff. After all the people who are working hard and doing good work usually know it. If you give them a 10% pay cut they will be butt hurt about it, they won't work as hard, or do as good a work. You will most likely see a greater than 10% loss in productivity.

On the other hand hand if you fire 10% of workforce, those that "survive" will feel threatened and if anything the need to continually show how valuable they are. You probably see less than a 10% decrease in productivity, over the short term; inside the limited scope of your organization.

Now on the macro scale all the other firms out there do essentially the same thing. When hiring starts up again its done at the new wage level the market has valued the skill at. So the prevailing wage ends up just at the value supply and demand expect. Economics works you just have to be careful not to zoom in to much when applying maco-principles or zoom out to much when you try and use micro-principles.

Comment: Re:Not sure this is deserved in this case (Score 1) 437

by DarkOx (#49584611) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

I consider myself a true Libertarian but I still support neutrality at least until such time this organizations are stripped of their rights-way across MY property and local, state, and federal governments surrender the right to use eminent domain to facilitate anything that will have private ownership.

Lift the restrictions on me from demanding a rent on pain of eviction from the cable co to use my property to host their wire, then they can use their wire however they like, once I am being fair compensated for the use of what is mine. Until then I think the I should have some say via representative government what they can do with.

Empower individual land owners, when the cable co wants to over charge and under deliver, I'll just respond that's fine raise your rates all you like, double dip if you want to I don't care, I'll just raise your rent. Sure dig up your wire and run around my property but my neighbors will probably do the same things to you so, just pay up. The problem will be fixed in a hurry. Mutual cooperation will ensure fairness.

Comment: Re:Supported != Secure (Score 1) 137

True, but if you had a working exploit that was no patch to fix, and you knew that your target was about to go off support and loose the ability to submit issues and expect a fast fix turnaround, would you:

A) Go for it the moment you have a working sploit grab all you can.

B) Wait a little while before you take the big risk of using it widely and trying to ex-filtrate the loot to avoid discovery. Then after the support is up and you know the response will be hampered make your move. You know either it will likely take longer for your infiltration to be stopped or the victim will have to accept some self inflicted harm like off-lining production systems until they can find a fix (Which in the case of a government might mean a drone strike, but that is another issue).

If it wasn't for Newton, we wouldn't have to eat bruised apples.