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Comment: Re:Hasn't been involved with Greenpeace since 1985 (Score 4, Informative) 572

by guises (#49310973) Attached to: Greenpeace Co-Founder Declares Himself a Climate Change Skeptic

$106 billion was spent by US government on climate research by 2010

I... don't know where to begin with this figure. If "by 2010" you mean the amount which has been cumulatively spent on climate research since the United States was first conceived as a country, I probably would still not believe you. But maybe, at the outside. And only if you adjusted for inflation and you included work to address the 1930's Dust Bowl as "climate research."

That is a staggeringly ridiculous number, and the fact that you would present it here as though it were true, as though it were a plausible thing to say, represents a deep myopia. The total R&D budget for the US for 2015 is $135B, most of that goes to defense research.

Comment: Re:Hasn't been involved with Greenpeace since 1985 (Score 3, Informative) 572

by guises (#49310903) Attached to: Greenpeace Co-Founder Declares Himself a Climate Change Skeptic
Are you trying to suggest that Democrats have never been right-wing? The fact that Southern segregationists were Democratic prior to the modern reformulation of the parties does not make John Calhoun any less right-wing. I don't know what you're trying to suggest with the Lincoln quote, that has nothing to do with anything. Though, admittedly, this whole thread is nothing but mud-slinging... maybe you're just trying to fit in.

Comment: Re:the establishment really does not like competit (Score 3, Informative) 366

by guises (#49289545) Attached to: Uber Shut Down In Multiple Countries Following Raids
I know that established taxi companies are fighting this, and I'm sure that's a big part of why Uber is getting harassed, but Uber is a really sleazy company. If Uber were more sympathetic I imagine there'd be more of a push to defend them.

Look at AirBNB. Same crowd-sourcing business plan, competing with heavily regulated established players, but a wholly more endearing image. They do get some guff, but no where near what Uber has been facing.

Comment: Re:EA got too greedy (as usual) (Score 1) 256

by guises (#49280937) Attached to: SimCity's Empire Has Fallen and Skylines Is Picking Up the Pieces
Well... Except none of those advantages are exclusive to Steam. I'll grant you mention some that are worse, so I'll give Steam that much credit, but I get all of the advantages that you do from Steam through Good Old Games, with none of the DRM and without being tied to the service (though, of course, I must use the service to get the benefits which go above and beyond the games).

Also: Steam takes a crazy-high-but-now-standard-because-of-Steam 30% of sales. GOG takes the same, but the Humble Store takes 25%, of which 2/5 goes to charity. Now maybe that doesn't matter to a gamer directly, but it sure does indirectly whether or not they realize it. And tying your whole games library to Steam, with DRM lock-in, means that this revenue share is pretty well set in stone. There can be no market forces driving that down.

Comment: Well at least we'll have some more space combat (Score 0, Redundant) 124

by guises (#49263749) Attached to: Valve's SteamVR: Solves Big Problems, Raises Bigger Questions
Being old enough to have lived through the last VR fad, the Oculus Rift and its imitators hold no excitement for me. On the other hand, some new space combat games would be terrific - Freespace 2 is getting a little long in the tooth. Presumably we'll be able to play them on regular, non-head-mounted displays as well. Just need some new force-feedback joysticks. Don't know why, maybe it's for lack of space sims, but they've pretty well disappeared.

Comment: Incremental movement (Score 1) 100

by guises (#49259009) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Mouse/Pointer For a Person With Poor Motor Control
It seems to me that the right approach is incremental movement. I don't have the same problem as the person in the story, but I find that I do much better in paint programs, for example, when I use the trackpad on my laptop then when I use an attached mouse. Part of that is because the sensitivity is lower, but part of it is because I don't rest my hand on the trackpad - so that unintentional motions don't register in the way that they do with a mouse.

With that in mind, a trackpad wouldn't be a bad choice. Contour Design also makes a product called a roller mouse which attaches to the bottom of your keyboard. The intent is ergonomics, but the effect is a pointing device which you touch only when you need it. (I also like their variation on the standard mouse, though it's not a solution to this problem.)

Comment: Re: Reason for delay? (Score 1) 347

by guises (#49255129) Attached to: FCC Posts Its 400-Page Net Neutrality Order
Well, that's certainly a story about Google lobbyists and net neutrality, but it doesn't say what you're suggesting about secret edits sprung on the republican commissioners at the last minute. It says that the changes "came to light" a day before the vote, i.e.: this is when their existence was made public.

It does say that the bulk of the late-stage negotiating was between the democratic commissioners. This makes sense, given that the republican commissioners had already made up their minds about the whole thing, independent of any little tweaks to the language.

I don't think it refutes the Vice article at all.

Comment: Re:depressed (Score 1) 123

by guises (#49255073) Attached to: Mass Surveillance: Can We Blame It All On the Government?
Either I was unclear or you completely misunderstood my meaning, but let me try again:

The person I was responding to said that it was hopeless because it's practically impossible to avoid targeted surveillance of sufficient scope by the NSA. I said that this didn't matter because targeted surveillance is not the problem, mass surveillance is. Then I outlined some ways to obstruct mass surveillance.

Comment: Re: Reason for delay? (Score 1) 347

by guises (#49254517) Attached to: FCC Posts Its 400-Page Net Neutrality Order

the fact (which was widely reported at the time of the article) that the Republican Commissioners were not allowed to read the final version of the rule until immediately before voting on it

Okay, that might be something. I'm willing to look into it at least, but this widely reported fact is not one that I've heard. Also, it's not one that I seem to be able to find, I've searched for "republican FCC commissioners not allowed to read bill" and come up with nothing from both Duck Duck Go and Google. Can you provide a link?

Comment: Re:depressed (Score 3, Informative) 123

by guises (#49254329) Attached to: Mass Surveillance: Can We Blame It All On the Government?

There is no way to avoid being the target of the NSA and CIA if they really want to get your data.

This is too tin-foil-hatish. The thing is, they don't really want your data. They don't care about you, you are just one person who has gotten caught in their wide-ranging net. And further: I don't want to stop them from getting the data of people who they're really going after. If they have a genuine reason to pursue someone, sufficient to pass that tiny speedbump of getting a FISA warrant, then that is what they should do.

What I do want to stop them from doing is sweeping up everyone, including people who they don't really care about, in that wide-ranging net. So the objective is not to absolutely secure my emails and instant messages and phone calls, it's to ensure that getting those personal bits of data is sufficiently difficult that they're not going to do it for no reason. More than that: I am a lot less concerned with the NSA and the CIA doing this, who have some marginal level of oversight, than I am concerned with private companies doing this. The above poster "doesn't want to step out of the mainstream phone ecosystem," but what does that mean exactly?

Let's take it as a given that if you're running a closed-source operating system then you have no control over your own privacy. This rules out iPhones, but you can still use an Android phone with a third-party ROM. That's still mainstream, you can still run standard Android apps with that. Of course, you may have to turn to non-Google sources to get them (I get all my Android games from the Humble bundle, DRM-free). But those apps could be doing who-knows-what, so you'll need to firewall them. Not a problem, we're partway there. How about emails, phone calls, text messages, and location data? Well emails and text messages are essentially the same thing, and securing them means the same thing, the only roadblock comes from the lack of widespread adoption. If we want to noticeably increase our privacy, pushing GPG out there as hard as we can as something which everyone should be using is probably the largest difference that we can make. For you and your privacy, at least, getting your friends to use it should be your goal.

Location data: we've stopped our phone from sending back location data directly, but the phone company can still track us, and they do, by following what cell towers we're connecting to. Can we do something about that? Eh... you can get a SIM card with a pay-as-you-go plan which you register for using a fake name (or no name), paid in cash. This will help a little, but location data can never really be anonymous - how many people live in your house and travel to your workplace and back every day? Probably not too many. The same is mostly true for phone calls, they're not very securable. Encrypted VoIP doesn't work (at least in the US) with the way that data plans are structured, and if you're on a pay-as-you-go program then you don't have a data plan anyway. You could not use your cell service for calls, and only make VoIP calls from wifi hotspots, but this largely nulls the benefits of having a cell phone. I don't know what to say here, if you want to both own a cell phone and use it then regulation is really your only hope for privacy. On the plus side, by cutting out the phone manufacturer and and the various app developers there's only a single point of failure where your privacy is compromised: your phone company. If you can address that problem, somehow, then you've achieved a reasonable, but not bulletproof, level of personal privacy.

Have you stepped out of the mainstream phone ecosystem to do this? Partly. A lot of popular apps which rely on a network connection are off limits in this scenario. Facebook, first and foremost, but you're also excluding yourself from all of the other fad-of-the-moment social networking tchotchkes: Instagram, Yik-Yak, SnapChat, etc. It's not mainstream to care about privacy. I don't know what to say about that. If this is a problem for you, you can either give up or get better friends.

Comment: Re: Reason for delay? (Score 1) 347

by guises (#49252343) Attached to: FCC Posts Its 400-Page Net Neutrality Order
... Right. You made a claim: "Your Vice article ... is provably factually inaccurate."

My vice article said: "the two Republican commissioners ... have refused to submit basic edits on the order." And your proof is simply that they eventually did submit basic edits. I'm going to put scare quotes around that - "proof."

You have failed at logic. There are any number of reasons why they could have changed their strategy, maybe they've come around and seen the light on net neutrality? (Unlikely, given how partisan it has become. Changing your mind is weakness after all.) More likely: maybe they decided that their stonewalling strategy wasn't as effective as they wanted it to be? Maybe the lobbyists who own them decided that the right approach was to focus on the lawsuits and attempts at legislation, and the commissioners' obstinance was slowing that down? Maybe too many people were linking to that Vice article and they felt that continued delays would be counterproductive? Who knows what the real reason is? Not you. Not me either, but at least I can recognize that.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982