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Comment: Re:Financial Natural Selection (Score 1) 92

by hink (#46938969) Attached to: Dropbox and Box Leaked Shared Private Files Through Google
In the perfect world where you only use systems you understand, the provider of the system is completely forthcoming with telling you how it works, including the limitations and things it can't do. (I suppose Richard Stallman would be the king in that world)

In the real world, sales and PR departments will shriek like banshees on a moonless night if you use the word "limitation" when describing your system.

By the way, do you understand how your city water and sewer systems work? I mean, REALLY understand it?

Comment: Re:Hiding shady practices (Score 1) 202

by hink (#46931381) Attached to: Police Departments Using Car Tracking Database Sworn To Secrecy
Not every state is like that. Must be nice.
Maryland is one example of a state where the police run tags at a whim. They used to call it in to dispatch, then they got portable terminals in their cars. On officer I know boasted of how well he could touch type a license plate number into his terminal. Then he got a laptop, and had to relearn how to type.
Many states have plate scanners so the officer doesn't have to take their hands off the wheel.

Comment: Re:Hiding shady practices (Score 1) 202

by hink (#46931299) Attached to: Police Departments Using Car Tracking Database Sworn To Secrecy
BINGO - private companies can store things for any "business purpose". They should just go commercial and sell a list of people who regularly drive around Wal-Mart to the Target marketing department for "directed marketing coupons". BTW, see the comment below this one about the guy from Florida being "flagged" by the Maryland State Police because he had a CCW permit in another state. No warrants, no record.

Comment: Re:Severla months ago... (Score 1) 202

by hink (#46931111) Attached to: Police Departments Using Car Tracking Database Sworn To Secrecy
Ugh, not sure what happened with that comment. Last paragraph should be:
The TBO article says nothing about the driver being questioned about drugs. It seemed like there was a very narrow focus by the police on the location of "the gun". No drug detection dogs. Nothing about drug suspicions.

Comment: Re:Severla months ago... (Score 1) 202

by hink (#46931067) Attached to: Police Departments Using Car Tracking Database Sworn To Secrecy
They don't have enough patrol cars to pull over all the cars on the highway with that combination. They obviously ran his plate, looked at his record, which is probably clean, since he got a CCW permit. After that, would any logic suggest he was a drug mule? The police officers I know say the condition of the car and how the driver acts is more significant than if the driver is a Latino. How they are dressed factors in, too.
The article say nothing about the driver are also usually an being questioned about drugs. It seemed like there was a very narrow focus by the police on the location of "the gun". No drug detection dogs. Nothing about drug suspicions.

Comment: Re:When you get a car you MUST (Score 1) 202

by hink (#46930877) Attached to: Police Departments Using Car Tracking Database Sworn To Secrecy
They aren't replicating the DMV records. They are storing data and can map where your car has been driving. BIG difference. When they start giving out tickets because you "obviously" had to exceed the speed limit to be seen at intersection X and then 3 minutes later at intersection Y. Then they will question everyone the scanners saw within 1/4 mile of a murder. They might start pulling over people seen entering gun store parking lots. (Actually, they probably do that already)

Comment: Re:No Car, No Service? (Score 2) 353

by hink (#46623041) Attached to: If Ridesharing Is Banned, What About Ride-Trading?
It also gives no incentive to be a driver if you don't need to be a passenger. You know, since you already have a car?
I am sure there are a fraction of the existing ride-share drivers who do it to stick it to the man. They are probably the same people who fly to another city and use that ride-sharing setup as a passenger. But then there are the probably a majority of the drivers using it as an income source. So if they have a way to exchange their accumulated and unwanted miles to cash, you are squarely in the service for a fee zone.
Sorry, but outside of hipsters, this would only work if you had some sort of "karma bank" for multiple services and goods. Then the drivers could exchange the karma miles for massages and escorts.

Comment: Re:A "shame the developer" post to Slashdot... (Score 1) 266

by hink (#46620629) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Handle Unfixed Linux Accessibility Bugs?
And yet others in the Slashdot crowd chant "use the bug tracking system". Seems like asking for a schedule to fix is part of that system.

I imagine there are more than a few Linux users who know what open-source is, but still don't know every nuance of bug tracking, They just want their stuff to keep working.

Is there any distribution that offers paid-for-support aimed at individual users?

Comment: Is Walmart hoping for a settlement? (Score 1) 455

by hink (#46602353) Attached to: Wal-Mart Sues Visa For $5 Billion For Rigging Card Swipe Fees
I wonder if the lawsuit is really driven by the second part of the summary.
I can picture the Wal-Mart lawyers saying, "Hey Visa, if you helped underwrite and expedite the Chip & PIN card hardware and software transition, this big nasty lawsuit would go away." They may have already said the same to MasterCard in a less public way. Or maybe they asked both Visa and MasterCard to help on the transition, and MasterCard said yes.

Comment: Re:Awesome - excited to read this! (Score 1) 94

by hink (#46573065) Attached to: Bring On the Monsters: Tolkien's Translation of Beowulf To Be Published
The movie "The 13th Warrior" was the movie adaptation of Michael Crichton"s 1976 book "The Eaters of the Dead". When the Banderas movie came out, the book publisher started putting "The 13th Warrior" on the cover in big print. I guess the movie studio decided people would expect to see zombies or something, and picked the simpler, more straightforward title. Personally, "Eaters of the Dead" (and a momentary binge in Crichton books) is what got me to read it.

Comment: Re:Makes perfect sense (Score 1) 142

by hink (#46562743) Attached to: Why US Gov't Retirement Involves a Hole in the Ground Near Pittsburgh

... Computers had been in use for over 30 years at that time by the US governement. By the 80's computers were in wide use for many purposes. I would suggest that many records are in computers, but one issue we have seen is that the government has not be able to get the computers to work together.

Getting the wildly heterogeneous systems to talk together is the major sticking point. I have been REQUIRED to enter duplicate information into multiple database systems during the over 20 years I have worked in the federal government. The worst offender for this duplication is systems that track "mandatory" training requirements. A major cause of the smokestacks is that the people who pay for a system do not want to pay money so that "other groups" can use the data. Another driver is the mindset that not providing an interface makes for better security.

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