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Comment Re:efficiency... (Score 3, Informative) 121

In fairness to Bill Gates, he's talking about poor farmers in poor countries where there is no real electrical grid.

He's not talking about whiny punks in rich countries and their damned cell phones. Or rich assholes with private yachts and jets.

Oddly enough, people in poor and remote areas are the ones who would stand to benefit from solar power the most, and they aren't the people who would be looking at reducing their energy consumption ... they're the people who don't have lights and really basic things.

Comment Hmmm ... (Score 1) 58

How many of these boil down to "a system and methodology for doing something we already do all the time but in the cloud"?

So many computer patents these day are pretty much garbage.

I hope these actually have some merit instead of just having "in the cloud" tacked onto existing stuff. So many patents which get issues represent nothing new or novel, just "but on a cell phone" (which is a special case of computer), or "but with a network".

Part of me suspects a good chunk is neither new nor novel.

Comment Re:Flash ... again (Score 0) 74

The problem with using IE and Flash for your shit work is that IE with Flash is SO INCREDIBLY SLOW as to be unusable. Just as an extreme example, try loading some clickbait site with IE

If you're loading something you do not need for your job in IE with Flash enabled ... that's your damned problem.

I said to keep IE for those sites you are required to use for your job, and use something with it disabled it for the rest.

Whining about how slow Flash is for random sites means you bloody well deserve malware, because you haven't been paying attention to the fact that Flash has been a gaping security hole for around 15 years.

If you're going to a click bait site with IE and Flash, you're begging to be compromised, and you'll have nobody but yourself to blame. Because you're pretty much doing the thing which is going to guarantee you get hacked.

In my best Nelson voice I say to you "Ha ha!!".

Comment Re:Flash ... again (Score 0) 74

I have found if you truly need Flash (by which I mean work not cat videos) you keep IE around as your insecure browser you only use for crap required for your job. For everything else, use a browser which doesn't have Flash enabled.

In no other circumstances should people be accessing the internet with Flash enabled for everything. Because that's just asking for it.

I've had Flash disabled for over a decade, and except one or two sites a year for something required by HR, I've never found myself thinking "gee, I really miss Flash".

Having Flash enabled by default is a self-inflicted injury I no longer feel any sympathy about. It's not like we haven't heard at least monthly for at least a decade about yet another Flash exploit.

Comment Just say no ... (Score 1) 74

You know what, stop telling us about Flash vulnerabilities ... when Flash hasn't been used in an exploit in several months, that will news worthy.

In the mean time, I assume Flash is the same old piece of shit security hole it has been for as long as it has existed.

Letting every web page execute arbitrary code on your machine has always been idiotic.

I'm with you, I'll continue to treat all ads as hostile entities and gaping security holes. Javascript will require whitelisting only if I really want your site and trust it somewhat, and Flash will always be blocked, because it's never been something you can trust.

Flash is defective, has always been defective, and it's time to make it go away.

Comment Re:Free spech is an ideal and set of laws (Score 1) 107

Well, if Facebook is provably censoring outside of Turkey, instead of inside of Turkey to comply with Turkish laws ... then, yes, this is a big deal.

I see no evidence they are, but if Facebook starts applying this censorship globally then this is a scary precedent. Because next they'll ban blasphemy, ban criticizing the Thai PM, and basically start banning anything which is banned anywhere.

Of course, the problem is there is nothing to support this except the group which claims it is true.

But if it is true, then the fallout for Facebook should be swift and severe for them. Because you can't start censoring the whole world based on whims of one idiotic government.

Turkey is free to have their own laws, but the (unsubstantiated) claim they're globally censoring is an entirely different thing.

Comment Re:Facebook will do what is best for its stock pri (Score 4, Insightful) 107

Honestly, there is not article to read here ... a link to a previous article on Slashdot, and a group on Facebook.

Is the claim that if I post something on Facebook critical of Ataturk that I will get censored?

Because if Facebook is going to censor the whole world for a single country, then that would pretty much be the worst thing they can do for their stock price.

Comment Re:However, (Score 1) 70

Honestly, if this is a problem ... let ISPs basically block anybody who is still sending out packets with this crap.

If your machine is a threat to the rest of us, cutting you off from the the internet might get your attention.

This way when you call your ISP and say the intertubes are broken they can see the flag on your account which says "banished" and tell you to fix your PC, or stay off the internet.

But let's not pretend Linux, Android, or Apple haven't had similar problems.

The problem with botnets is people might not even know they're infected. Aggressively disconnecting from the internet might actually achieve something.

Comment Trim your damned URLs ... (Score 5, Informative) 133

Come on guys, what the hell are you doing posting URLs with so much tracking crap embedded in it?

The third URL is arstechnica.com/the-multiverse/2015/08/we-can-rebuild-him-philadelphia-hackers-offer-brotherly-love-to-fallen-robot/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arstechnica%2Findex+(Ars+Technica+-+All+content)

And the entirety of "?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arstechnica%2Findex+(Ars+Technica+-+All+content)" is just tracking crap which shouldn't even be incluced.

Are you guys getting affiliate clicks? Or are you just too damned lazy to not give us URLs full of this crap?

To the guys offering to fix this, kudos and good on 'ya.

Comment Re:Privacy in danger (Score 1) 478

All corporations who have the opportunity will be salivating at the chance to do this.

They're all ran by the same kind of greedy bastard, and all the signals Microsoft is sending absolutely scream "you're either going to get ads, or you're going to pay to not get ads, or you're going to pay for what you used to have for free, or we're going to force you to use our online services ... where you're going to get ads, or pay not to get ads, and we'll sift through all your stuff".

Every damned corporation wants to monetize your experience and your data, have access to all of your stuff, and claim ownership to do anything they want to with it.

Microsoft has thus far failed to come up with a compelling way to do this because they keep putting out flops which don't catch on.

With Windows 10, between now expecting money for Solitaire without ads, or sharing your wifi password with people (including whatever government demands it), and pretty much everything else they're doing, Microsoft is trying to set the stage where they have access to all of your data, have everything in their cloud, and an EULA which says they can do anything they choose.

Everything about Windows 10 is screaming this will be terrible for the consumer. And it also tells me I want no part of it.

Microsoft is basically saying they will do anything with your computer, any time they want to, and you don't get a vote. Which means I expect Microsoft to be fucking up a lot of computers and leaving that to be someone else's problem.

Comment Re:Is that even worthwhile? (Score 1) 105

Honestly ... do you really thing do not track means a damned thing? Are you that naive?

Do not track says "gee Mr Website, will you be nice and not attempt to monetize my traffic". It doesn't mean a damned thing.

You should pretty much assume that everyone on the internet will track everything about you they can at every chance they can get. You should assume some greedy asshole with an MBA and a tendency to be a sociopath doesn't give a fuck about your desire not to be tracked is making the decision to obey no not track.

Do not track was an industry attempt to distract people from regulations which would have tried to stop them.

Do not track is a complete fucking lie.

Don't be all surprised now to find out it doesn't actually do anything or hold any weight. Which is why you should be actively blocking as many of these things as you can, instead of relying on the kindness of some greedy sociopath asshole who doesn't give a crap that your browser has pathetically announced it doesn't wish to be tracked.

Hell, do not track, when ignored like we know it is, just gives them another point of data. I don't even set it, because I know damned well it's not going to do anything.

When a company publicly says they won't respect do not track, you can pretty much assume every other company is already ignoring it anyway. There is not do not track.

Comment Re:Is that even worthwhile? Serious Question... (Score 5, Insightful) 105

Everything about you they can get, all day long, as long as the app is running.

They'll figure out what they can make money off later. Like, do people buy more gas in the winter or summer.

This is just greedy assholes maximizing both greedy and asshole. And this why I look at apps as basically ads and analytics in disguise, and why I don't feel compelled to have a smart phone with a data plan.

You can always not play the damned game.

Me, I want Android to return the ability to selectively turn off stuff that apps can do. If your app keels over because I won't let it access my contacts, I don't want your fucking app.

I view most apps as about the same as if a retail store demanded the ability to rifle through my wallet before I came in the store, only in the case of apps it's pretty much all the time.

No thanks.

Comment Re:IE all over again (Score -1, Flamebait) 367

Wasn't the ability for other browsers to set themselves as the default browser part of the DoJ settlement? So now Microsoft is deciding that doesn't apply?

Sorry, but Microsoft has gone well into the "we can do anything we want to your computer, any time we want, and unless you have an enterprise license you can't stop us".

That is complete bullshit. If they're going to assert ownership of my computer, they can help me pay for it. Until they do, it's my computer.

"What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data." -- Arthur Miller