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Comment: The Amazon AppStore Auto-consent (Score 5, Informative) 133

by Frobnicator (#47389409) Attached to: Amazon Fighting FTC Over In-App Purchases Fine

Nope, they need the penalty.

The Amazon AppStore app seems to have an update every two weeks. Every time it updates itself, it resets the values for IAP and parental controls. You need to manually go in after every update, disable IAP and confirm with the password, then manually reset the parental controls and confirm with the password. EVERY FREAKING TIME.

There was one instance (that I know of) that I didn't reset the parental controls and IAP flags after an update, and sure enough, that was when the kids discovered it and went on a spending spree.

NO EXCUSE for resetting the flags every update. They know about it. It isn't a bug, it is a feature that enables profits.

Comment: Re:Well, duh... (Score 4, Informative) 210

I think the big problem here is that Google are expected to be the judge, jury and executioner and are getting smacked down when someone thinks they made the wrong judgement call. This stuff should be going to an independent judge instead of expecting Google to uphold a new law that has a fairly vague scope.

Yeah, that would work.

The article states that Google alone is getting over 1000 requests per day. How many other companies are getting requests, and at what rate?

While it would be ideal for some humans to look at the tens of thousands of requests made daily and carefully judge the merits of the request, it won't happen.

It won't happen for the same reason real people don't look at the DMCA takedown lists.

There are too many, and it is easier to just automate the system than to validate that every single line item is an actually infringing item. It won't take long before the requests become fully automated much like the DMCA lists are. People will download a simple tool that scours the interwebz for your name, then submits takedown requests for every match. There will be many incorrect matches made as the plebeian masses use the simple automated tools.

Comment: Re:Well, duh... (Score 4, Interesting) 210

...but that's exactly what the ruling does. The original case was a businessman objecting to Google links to newpaper stories about his life.

The whole concept of the law applying to everybody is surprising sometimes. ;-)

Anybody can request that data about themselves can be deleted. The law also allows links to be removed. The business can comply, or claim they have a reason outlined in the law, such as a business need for record keeping. If they fight it the person can fight it through the courts. If enough people fight it the company will suffer the pains of thousands of lawsuits.

While the news stories themselves can remain under the terms of the law, it is no surprise that people absolutely will try to make things hard to find. That's the entire point of the law. It applies to not just convicted criminals but also to politicians and prominent figures. ANYBODY can request that data be deleted under the terms of the law.

The law is to allow things to fade from the collective memory and makes it difficult for them to be found.

Removing the link to unsavory things IS the purpose. This IS what the law was designed for.

The expressed right to be forgotten includes forgetting about news stories.

I suppose next people will be upset when links to all negative stories related to upcoming politicians will suddenly vanish under the requests.

Comment: Um, this is how it's supposed to work. (Score 3) 109

Journals aren't arbiters of Truth (capital T), they're just what they say they are: JOURNALS of the ongoing work of science.

Someone records that they have done X in a journal. Because said journal is available to other scientists, other scientists get to try to make use of the same notes/information/processes. If they are able to do so, they journal it as well. Get enough mentions in enough journals that something works, and we can begin to presume that it does.

If only one mention in one journal is ever made, then it is just another record in another journal of another thing that one scientist (or group of scientists) claim to have done.

Peer review is just to keep journals from expanding to the point that there is too much for anyone to keep track of or read. It is emphatically NOT the place at which the factuality or truthfulness of notes/information/processes are established once and for all. That happens AFTER publication as other scientists get ahold of things and put them through their paces.

Seriously, this is all exactly as it is supposed to work. I have no idea why there is such hoopla about this. There is nothing to see here. One group journaled something, other groups couldn't replicate it, they no doubt will reference this failure in future articles, and "what happened" is recorded out in the open for all of science, thereby expanding our pool of knowledge, both about what consistently works in many situations and of what someone claims has worked once in one situation but appears either not to work in the general case or requires more understanding and research.

Again, there is nothing to see here. Let's move on.

Comment: Regardless of the accuracy of the numbers, (Score 1) 190

by aussersterne (#47352519) Attached to: NASA Launching Satellite To Track Carbon

this would seem to be moot to me. Humans have only been here for the briefest of very *recent* moments, but we do have a particular interest in keeping earth habitable for *human* life.

Assuming your numbers are correct, it still doesn't do us any good to say that gosh, a few million years ago there was a lot more carbon dioxide, if for the purposes of *human* life a particular (and lower) level is necessary.

The goal is for us, not for the earth itself, to survive.

Comment: Re:Question... -- ? (Score 1) 215

by Ed Avis (#47348819) Attached to: Exploiting Wildcards On Linux/Unix
Yes, there is a workaround you can use, if you know about it and remember it every time, to enable the safe behaviour. That does *not* count as 'problem solved'. To solve the problem, the safe behaviour needs to be the default, with the funky and unsafe behaviour of treating filenames as extra switches being the one you have to enable specially. Really - what are the odds that the user or programmer *intends* for a file called --foo to be treated as an option specifier when they expand a wildcard? Conceptually the fix is not hard. Each element in argv gets an associated flag saying whether it is a filename - and if it is marked as a filename, getopt() or whatever does not treat it as an option specifier even if it begins with the - character. Alternatively, filenames beginning - could simply be disallowed.

Comment: Re:criminal defense attorney and programmer here (Score 2) 560

by Svartalf (#47328231) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

Precisely. There's several copies of a prominent law professor's lecture on the subject and spells out PRECISELY why you don't do things like that.

Now, the burning question would be, "how did they get access to his encrypted system files?"- without a warrant, they're just as screwed in light of the recent Supreme Court rulings. You need a warrant for those things- and you need to state you're looking for a specific on them before they can legitimately reach the conclusion the Mass Supreme Court arrived at. Without that, it's just like the Fourth Amendment violation I experienced about 5 years ago. No *VALID* warrant? No case. No seizure allowed.

Comment: Re:WTF? How is this not self incrimination? (Score 1) 560

by Svartalf (#47328165) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

If so, it's not hard to have them get a warrant that specifies this, not a court order to relinquish the password. They're distinctly differing notions- and the Judges there overstepped their authority. If it's legit, they could've issued a warrant for specific information and as a part thereof, compelled the unlock of the secured device for that specific information. Since they didn't...doesn't meet the sniff test in light of current precedent.

Comment: Re:WTF? How is this not self incrimination? (Score 1) 560

by Svartalf (#47328153) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

Heh... Actually, that line of bullshit might be at risk with the recent unanimous decision that law enforcement needed a warrant for mucking about on a defendent's phone. Basically, this is the same thing and it's expected to be overturned by the SCOTUS if it gets before them.

Comment: Re:I lost the password (Score 1) 560

by Svartalf (#47328137) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

And, in recent times (as in within THIS month...) the Supreme Court of the US handed down a UNANIMOUS decision that they had to get a warrant to go digging about on a defendant's phone- this is the same thing.

You have to have a legitimate reason and a warrant to do this. It's expected that this will go to the Supreme Court and be overturned just like the mobile phone story went down.

Comment: Not tell time. (Score 1) 427

by aussersterne (#47321563) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

1) Monitor and keep and continuous chart of blood glucose, sleep cycles, blood pressure and pulse rate, blood oxygenation. Don't even know if the tech is viable for these, but they'd interest me.
2) Be part of a payments system that actually gets traction out there. Let me import all of my cards of various kinds and then provide them wirelessly to others without having to pull out a card (and/or a phone with a specialized app).
3) Same thing, but hold all of my tickets for entry into events.
4) Connect to a voice-to-text service to enable personal logging/journal-keeping just by talking at it.
5) Find a way to operate clearly and reliably using gestures and voice recognition rather than touch input when desired.
6) Have built-in GPS and voice navigation.
7) Have a built-in high-resolution camera to enable convenient visual capture of information.
8) Do all of this in a cloud-based manner so that everything that the watch did/tracked was available from all of my other tech devices.
9) Have a between-recharges time measured in weeks.

I don't know, it would have to be pretty freaking fabulous. But there are some basic things that I *don't* care if a smartwatch does, and those are probably more telling. I absolutely do not care about doing these things on a smartwatch:

1) Calls
2) Web
3) Email
4) Facebook
5) SMS
6) Linking it to my phone via bluetooth
7) Telling time

Number 6 in particular is a non-starter for me. Battery life on phones is already too short. And phones are the devices that I use for web, email, and other informational tasks on the go because they (not a smartwatch) have the screens suitable for reading/editing. I need them to last as long as possible, and I have no interest in duplicating their functions on a smartwatch. So I refuse to enable bluetooth on my phone all the time just to get some additional "watch" features.

It needs to be a "standalone" device in the sense of no other devices needed for it to operate normally, but a completely cloud-integrated device in the sense of "but I can access everything it does and it can access everything I do on my other devices over the network."

Number 7 is also pointedly interesting. I don't care if something on my wrist can tell time. Social "time" as a concept is more ambient than ever. Everything has a clock on it. Your computer. Your phone. Your thermostat. Your radio. Your car dash. Every ticket machine of every kind, from movies to transit to events. Public spaces and the sides of buildings and billboards and retail shop signs. I don't look at my wrist or my phone to know what time it is. I do a quick visual 360 and in general, I find what I'm looking for, wherever I happen to be. A "time-telling device" is frankly a bit 19th/early-20th century a this point.

Comment: Nonsense, it's union greed (Score 1) 538

by unassimilatible (#47291889) Attached to: Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job

I know math is hard, but there simply are not enough administrators to account for all the money. This is the typical union canard.

The truth is, at many colleges, the full time faculty have gobbled up all the salary and benefits, despite teaching a small minority (~25%) of the courses. They limit the pay and hours of the part timers who teach 3/4 of the classes. So the part time faculty are limited to 60% weekly load hours, less per hour, and locked into a cycle of lower middle class or outright poverty.

Typical union greed: They accrue all the goods for a small minority, at the expense of the unemployed or underemployed.

The best part is, even the janitors have tenure. So what gets cut first? Classes - the ones taught by part timers.

Ask me how I know...

Comment: Re:multiple inputs for 4k? (Score 1) 186

by Ed Avis (#47280767) Attached to: 4K Monitors: Not Now, But Soon
That's how the later model IBM T221s worked (with additional converter boxes dangling off the monitor). Each half of the screen was seen as a 1920x2400 display. Some newer 4k monitors work similarly using multi-stream transport (MST). The video card sees two 1920x2160 displays. But there is only one DisplayPort cable. Dell's 24" and 32" 4k monitors are like this. Video drivers usually have special support for gluing the two halves back into a single display, but the extra complication can expose bugs in either the driver or the monitor's firmware.

Comment: Re:Supported (Score 1) 164

by Ed Avis (#47280569) Attached to: Endurance Experiment Writes One Petabyte To Six Consumer SSDs
I think that's what I was saying: a random mixture of disk sizes is not supported by this particular RAID implementation - it will only use the same size across each disk, meaning you are constrained to the size of the smallest disk in the pool. You have to upgrade all of the disks to a larger size before starting to use that size. Btrfs and ZFS sound like they handle it much better.

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire