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Comment: Finally! (Score 2) 51

by jenningsthecat (#48639135) Attached to: T-Mobile To Pay $90M For Unauthorized Charges On Customers' Bills

A penalty that stands a chance of getting the offender's attention, rather than one that's considered simply a cost of doing business. The fine should have been higher though - perhaps an additional $90M as purely punitive damages. Companies need to learn that wilfully screwing over their customers really, really hurts their bottom line. Also, an award approaching a fifth of a billion would likely piss off enough shareholders that several heads would roll.

Comment: Re:Is Yahoo! still a thing? (Score 1) 222

by jenningsthecat (#48631111) Attached to: Marissa Mayer's Reinvention of Yahoo! Stumbles

I don't use mobile email, and don't use Yahoo as my primary email anyway. But on the desktop Yahoo is pretty useable if you disable JavaScript. (In fact I find the non-JS version to be better than Gmail's incredibly annoying "we know what you want even though you don't think you want it" set of 'features'). You get a stupid warning on login and have to click a link to use the non-JS version. But after that, a lot of the annoying, bloated bling disappears. And as a bonus, you can have multiple emails open in multiple tabs - something the braindead JS version is incapable of.

Unfortunately, adding attachments to an email requires JavaScript. I just temporarily allow scripts for Yahoo, then revoke the permissions when I'm done.

Comment: Here's an idea (Score 1) 110

by jenningsthecat (#48624601) Attached to: RFID-Blocking Blazer and Jeans Could Stop Wireless Identity Theft

Just stop with all the RFID bullshit on credit and debit cards! Really, is that extra few seconds taken to insert and enter a PIN such an onerous burden? People in that much of a hurry aren't likely to use that precious sliver of time to stop and smell the roses anyway.

For those worried about cell phones and the like, I suspect the new-style duds will do little or nothing to impede those signals. They're a couple of orders of magnitude higher in frequency than the current RFID payment systems, and they use far-field RF, whose intensity falls off with with the square of distance. The intensity of Near-Field Communications falls off with the cube of distance, and is more 'magnetic' than 'electro' in nature, so the shielding mechanism tends to be different.

For myself, I plan on de-activating all of my contactless payment cards by breaking the antenna loop with a drill, as soon as I can get them imaged so I know where the antenna traces are. I've already had my banks disable the feature, so in theory I shouldn't be able to make contactless payments, but that won't stop info theft via unauthorized readers.

And yes, I DO wear my tinfoil hat proudly...

Comment: Re:Fucking Hell, Harper needs to go! (Score 1) 122

by jenningsthecat (#48591581) Attached to: Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems

...Harper is seemingly doing everything he can to keep Canadians out of Canadian jobs.

Fucking neocons.

Fucking neocons? Fucking traitors, I say. I also despair for our country under Harper's dict - er, leadership. His ultimate goal seems to be to turn Canada into America's bitch and/or the stooge of any multinational corporation wanting to bend us over and take advantage of us. We used to have a good reputation internationally and some influence on the world stage - hell, we used to have *autonomy*. Now we're increasingly sticking our nose into other countries' business at the behest of our cousins north of the border, we're a target for ISIS terrorists, and our environmental record sucks. Government scientists have government handlers to 'advise' them before they talk to the press - North Korea, anyone? We have gone downhill in so many ways and been sold out so many times under Stephen 'Brown-nose' Harper's regime, I'll be doing a dance when Canadians finally wake up come next election and give him the bum's rush.

Comment: Why TPB and not the banks? (Score 4, Interesting) 184

by jenningsthecat (#48563591) Attached to: Swedish Police Raid the Pirate Bay Again

Banks in EVERY jurisdiction carry out transactions with and pay interest on money deposited by criminals of various stripes, from tax evaders to mobsters to drug lords to terrorists. And in many cases the banksters know the provenance of those funds, and simply don't care, 'cause business is business after all. Not to mention the thefts the banks themselves commit, which are only not considered illegal via the legal legerdemain of calling them 'service fees'. So why do governments, (and by extension, their corporate masters), have such a hate on for the TPB? Yeah, I know, it's a rhetorical question, but I had to ask it.

So Pirate Bay is raided and shut down, and its founders thrown in prison, while bank CEO's are allowed to conduct business freely and in full daylight with impunity. It seems that a lot of somebodies in a lot of places consider the facilitation of file sharing a more heinous crime than the facilitation of theft, murder, gun running, etc. Gee, that disconnect wouldn't have anything at all to do with the profits of big corporations, would it?

Comment: Re:Full-circle (Score 1) 415

Along came guys like Jobs, Wozniak and Gates who took on that old system and trashed it by saying to small business "you can own your system, have full control of your data, and pay for your software only once". Using this model, they defeated to old corporate giants while competing against eachother and bringing the consumer innovation and value. Now that they have become the corporate titans with near a monoply grip on the market, they have seen what the old titans saw: to keep growing your profits and keep your shareholders happy when you already have essentially all the available customers, you must find a way to get more cash out of your existing customer base.

Too bad I already posted - I SOOO want to mod you up!

Comment: Re:Boy that will win more users.... (Score 1) 415

...the way they price their OS upgrades make a lot of sense. Small yearly upgrade - small price.

Apple can do that because they own their hardware market. Microsoft can't even manage to own a decent-sized piece of a free-for-all hardware market, much less create their own viable hardware ecosystem.

+ - Why does Google Maps need to track who I'm calling on my cell phone? 5

Submitted by cyanman
cyanman (833646) writes "I see the latest update to Google maps for Android wants permission to monitor phone numbers I talk to on my phone?

Specifically the new permissions for v9.1.2 (Dec 5 2014) require:
Maps also needs access to:
"Allows the app to determine the phone number and Device ID's, whether a call is active, and the remote number connected by a call."

As I see this, you give Google carte blanche to monitor and record who you talk to on your phone. Maybe this is while you are connected to Google Maps, but it is not restricted by the terms I read here. WTF? The least invasive thing I can think of here is that Google wants to start leveraging the numbers you call for marketing purposes. As if the fact that I spoke to someone on my hone means they want Google tracking them too.

Looking at from Google Play the update (or maybe just Maps) has been downloaded over a billion times. I'm sure that 99.99% of the folks never read a thing and just click the "gimme free update please" button, but surely I'm not the only person foolish enough to ask how much arm twisting the NSA had to do to get Google to monitor who I call on my phone within Google Maps."

Comment: Re:I like that they don't (Score 1) 76

by jenningsthecat (#48508573) Attached to: Big Banks Will Vie For Your Attention With Cardless ATMs and VR

"none of the shops I frequent don't have them." Does this mean all of the shops you frequent have them?

I'm pretty sure that's exactly what he meant. Also, Grammar Nazi says that "none" is singular, so the quote should have read "none of the shops I frequent doesn't have them".

+ - Wikipedia sits on $60 million while begging for money to keep the site ad-free 2

Submitted by Andreas Kolbe
Andreas Kolbe (2591067) writes "The latest financial statements for the Wikimedia Foundation, the charity behind Wikipedia, show it has assets of $60 million, including $27 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $23 million in investments. Yet its aggressive banner ads suggest disaster may be imminent if people don't donate and imply that Wikipedia may be forced to run commercial advertising to survive. Jimmy Wales counters complaints by saying the Foundation are merely prudent in ensuring they always have a reserve equal to one year's spending, but the fact is that Wikimedia spending has increased by 1,000 percent in the course of a few years. And by a process of circular logic, as spending increases, so the reserve has to increase, meaning that donors are asked to donate millions more each year. Unlike the suggestion made by the fundraising banners, most of these budget increases have nothing to do with keeping Wikipedia online and ad-free, and nothing to do with generating and curating Wikipedia content, a task that is handled entirely by the unpaid volunteer base. The skyrocketing budget increases are instead the result of a massive expansion of paid software engineering staff at the Foundation – whose work in recent years has been heavily criticised by the unpaid volunteer base. The aggressive fundraising banners too are controversial within the Wikimedia community itself."

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