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Comment: Re:BECAUSE IDIOTS PAY IT! (Score 1) 35 35

I agree with most of what you say, although I have a hard time following some of it: For example, even on Windows, you can use basic tools like ssh and rsync, I believe. Set up a crontab'ed rsync from an external machine like you say, and you're good. One-way public key authentication. That's (relatively) easy and inexpensive.

Which leads me to the cost of such a system. In my case, I have two decommissioned laptops (even a Raspberry Pi 2 would do the job) bought for $50 in two separate locations from my house. Each has a 3 TB external USB disk, bought about three years ago. I do incremental of /home very day, and full back up twice a month. Never deleted anything. DSLR pictures comes extra (one time is enough; don't need redundant unchanged incrementals), and I don't find it necessary to back up porn and piratebay downloads. I'm currently at 30% free space left, so will probably buy a new pair of 6-8 TB disk in a year or so. Average cost per year is at around $100-150, I guess.

Granted, this is not for everybody. Then I again, this system covers my family, including parents. So yeah, not a business, if that is what you meant. However, scaling this up is not going to go exponential. Randomly picked server hosting I could find is at $1000 / year; there's probably many cheaper options out there. If that covers a business of 5 - 10 people, the cost per head is about the same.

Comment: Re:i'm going to say something potentially unpopula (Score 4, Informative) 123 123

You are mixing random concepts here, applying the same label to them, and concluding that there is no privacy. Sounds like a straw man argument to me. But let's dissect it.

The first problem is comparing privacy from your family members to society as a whole. Sorry, but there is little power to be gained from peeking through the window of your older brother. And it will definitely not affect anybody else on your block. Now, if somebody were to drive down the street with a camera, film everybody and everything and put it on the Internet, that would be a whole different story. Google tried, and they had to blur faces, lower their cameras or stop altogether in different countries. The key difference is the scale of the operation, and number of people affected.

The second problem with your argument, is comparing police, state and government surveillance with private data collection. You might think Google, Microsoft, Facebook are evil, and should not hold your private data. You're probably right. However, none of these companies will kick down your door and shoot your dog. The very purpose of government surveillance is to retain power and control. That has always been the case, and the Internet and computers didn't change it. It has just made the rulers' job so much easier.

The beauty of total government surveillance is that it doesn't have to be total in order to achieve its goal. It is enough if most people merely believe they are watched most of the time, just like you describe. We start to self-censor. We'll be more careful about what we write, what we criticize, who we associate with. It fences our thoughts and ideas, and limits our ability to seek alternatives, which is precisely its purpose. The opposite is not privacy, it is freedom and liberty.

Comment: Re:What happened? (Score 4, Insightful) 422 422

Monitors did get a lot better, and with higher resolution, though. With 4k (3840 x 2160 or 4096 x 2160), or even 8k (7680×4320) you don't have to zoom out to a fraction of the original size any more. In fact, with your S3 of some 6 MP, you can see the picture in 100%. It means details like noise, camera shake will be more apparent.

Comment: Re:No nice things (Score 1) 277 277

Most people seem to fall into the trap of associating the crime with the marketplace and payment system, and as an extension demand that those third parties be responsible. Furthermore, the crime drives hysteria, and similar to the "think of the children" line of reasoning, it's used by dishonest people to drive their agenda. The fact is, the severity of the crime is completely irrelevant to the question of responsibility here.

If she had paid with Foursquare, Visa or MasterCard, clearly those companies would not have been sued. And if she found the cab service through Bing or Google, no sane person would cry for them to vet their advertisers and links. Replace the crime with a hair in the soup at a restaurant, and suing any of those third parties would be just as ridiculous.

Last time I took a "normal" taxi in India, the driver demanded 100 USD, although I knew the price was around 800 rupees (~13 USD). The final transaction was made in cash, so who should I lodge my complaint with? The Reserve Bank of India or the US Federal Reserve? The patentable absurdity of the original case is starting to become apparent.

Finally, regarding those "normal" state and city taxi monopolies: They need to fall. In virtually any country I've been, they offer a poor service at an extortionate price. They abuse their monopoly by only having the number of drivers available they see fit and benefit from, while ignoring peek demand on weekends and other busy days and nights. And as for safety; crimes also happened in taxis before the Internet.

Comment: No nice things (Score 2, Insightful) 277 277

Any this is why we cannot have nice things. Any attempt at improvements and progress is immediately attacked by those who seek egoistical gain or cry for an ever bigger nanny-state, or as in this case both.

Blaming somebody's crime on Uber because they used the app is as absurd as blaming Tinder for failing to screen and monitor its users. (Although, I'm sure somebody will eventually sue for that as well).

Comment: Re:Some people like to tinker (Score 1) 592 592

> Apple hardware has an unparalleled build quality

You haven't tried Lenovo's T-series business laptops, have you? The common saying is, that you could kill a man with one of them, and write his obituary with it afterwards. They also support most GNU/Linux distributions well.

Most Apple laptops are so thin and fragile, carrying one by a corner might be enough to bend it, or break the fragile electronics inside. Granted the edeges are usally very thin, so maybe you could slice somebody's throat with it. However, it would probably malfunction due to liquid damage.

Comment: Re:No thanks to kiddie porn on my drive.... (Score 4, Insightful) 331 331

It is sad to see that years of propaganda and fear-mongering by the government, politicians and police have actually worked out so well for them. Twenty years ago, the response to a peer-to-peer hosting network would have been "give me some of that". Today, it's "imagine how the police could fuck you over if they wanted to".

How much more will it take to admit to ourselves that most Western nations are now police states?

Comment: Re:Daring us to use it (Score 2) 100 100

> How long can you sustain these kinds of I/O rates before burning the thing out?

If you were to sustain 1550 MByte/s write for 1 year, you'd write a total of 48 PB. (1550*60*60*24*365/1000/1000/1000), or 0.13 PB/day. In Techreport's endurance test, only two drives made it past 1.5 PB. So, if that is the bar, the drive would last only 11 days.

However, that would give you no time to read the data you'd written. Since you're not likely to write at max speed 24/7, the drive should last considerably longer.

Comment: Re:Dear SONY: (Score 3, Informative) 176 176

How about because they are part of the MPAA cartel? Suing grandmas and kids all over the world. But yeah, their dubious "family members" (aka Sony Music, Sony Computer Entertainment) doesn't really contribute to their reputation, whether Sony Pictures have control over them or not.

Watching Sony bleed has really been the greatest xmas gift of this year.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.