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Comment: Re:A company saved on its health insurance plan (Score 1) 347

by niftymitch (#47410259) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

by distributing FitBits to employees.
Did they also provide FitBit winders?

No but a FitBit worn 7x24x356.25 smells a lot like
a lot of overtime to me.

If they want to monitor you 7x24 it seems like they
need to compensate you 7x24.

And more importantly the employee pool profile as
well as the FitBit data reflects on age and sex which
are "parameters" that enable discrimination against
groups based on sex and age.

Someone mentioned Stephen Hawking in jest but
again a FitBit program monitored by the company directly
or indirectly by rate changes is very much in violation
of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

It is one thing to give and encourage... it is another
to monitor, track and make financial decisions that
negatively affect any of these protected groups which is
clearly the intent.

Sad, sad, sad....

+ - Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Python has surpassed Java as the top language used to introduce U.S. students to programming and computer science, according to a recent survey posted by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Eight of the top 10 computer science departments now use Python to teach coding, as well as 27 of the top 39 schools, indicating that it is the most popular language for teaching introductory computer science courses, according to Philip Guo, a computer science researcher who compiled the survey for ACM."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Postal Dump (Score 1) 60

The US Postal Service already does this... ...snip...

Meta-data is not secret, not private, not protected. .....snip...

False military meta-data is classified secret or higher.
Its classification is a study in why meta data is interesting
and I suspect shows why it is both an invasion of privacy and a powerful tool.

The document that contains the COLLECTED set of meta data that
maps units, individuals, locations and postal delivery information is classified.

Anyone with family in the service knows that they can sent to
PFC Joe Soldier APO/FPO/DPO and it gets delivered.

Also see:
And see:

The classified document is classified not because of the the individual line entry
it is "the collection of meta data entries" that gets stamped. Apparently some of
the locations of some of the units are classified a little or a lot. Layers of routing contain layers
of security management for each of the associated documents.

Unlike SMTP mail there are no progress stamps.... for good reasons.

The analysis of the security risks associated with these documents predates
modern large data analysis tools. And may need to be reconsidered in light
of modern statistical analysis. i.e. Local agencies that have the tools to collect
meta data could use that equipment under the guise of training to spy on family
of active duty service and pose a national security risk. This risk IMO is inherent
in both phone and other digital connection data.

To speculate further is foolish for me....

Comment: Re:Non-compete agreements are BS. (Score 1) 272

by niftymitch (#47389949) Attached to: Amazon Sues After Ex-Worker Takes Google Job

Just scrawl 'I don't agree' on the signature line. Let them enforce that.

Better to scrawl -- "non compete and other limitations on employment post separation or termination must be compensated."
i.e. If they enjoin you from working at a $500,000.00/year job they must compensate at that level.

Or scrawl "below signature is without the advice of legal counsel".

It is interesting that in a divorce it important to pay for legal advice for both sides.

Comment: Re:alternative already exists (Score 1) 142

by niftymitch (#47389625) Attached to: Autonomous Trucking


The advantage of the cars in this model is that they speed up unloading. Go and watch a freight train being unloaded some time, it's a massive endeavour. Now imagine if each of the trucks could just drive off along the roads on its own as soon as the train arrived at its destination.

Consider extensive automation of the loading and contrast with the extensive automation and risks of
automated trucking.

Scheduling driver pickup and routing is the nut none have cracked yet.

Comment: Re:Okay, so this has what to do with fracking then (Score 2) 154

by niftymitch (#47389391) Attached to: Oklahoma's Earthquakes Linked To Fracking

A majority of them are too small to be felt, but we have had 5.9's and 4.0's before. .....
The big deal is that it's starting to damage buildings. ......

Historic building codes in OK are not seismic risk aware.
Only recently have the codes in the hot spot around New Madrid
been partly addressed. In Calif there is a major industry
retrofitting buildings. It is costly and it is being driven by
an industry that profits from it. It is a good thing to reinforce
buildings, it is less good when the invoice arrives.

The cost of seismic retrofit in the Midwest could bankrupt
many states... and for the same reason tornado shelters
are not part of all schools, offices, shopping malls and homes
are not going to happen over night.

First building codes for new construction need to
be considered. Trailer houses like many single
story wood frame houses have less risk from quakes
than they do from tornadoes.... I hope regulators do
not bankrupt the Midwest....

Comment: Re: Okay, so this has what to do with fracking the (Score 2) 154

by niftymitch (#47389327) Attached to: Oklahoma's Earthquakes Linked To Fracking

So what this has to do with fracking is that they thought that just pumping fluid back in would hold things up, but clearly that's not true.

That's not at all how it works. The fluid exists to create hydraulic pressure. They put sand or tiny ceramic balls in the water to fill the voids created by the fractures to "hold things up."


And the interesting part is that there are quakes and there are QUAKES.

Not just energy but location. The serious risk of quakes involves some darn
deep structures. Deeper than any well and with vastly greater risk to
life and property.

Hydraulic fracturing and pumping waste to include CO2 into deep wells
can be expected to generate measurable seismic events. Some might
be felt without instruments.

Recall the coal fire and collapse in Utah generated a 3.9 on the Richter scale.

This is a far cry from the New Madrid quakes.
with magnitudes of 7.0 to 8.1.

The seismic risk of the central US is not well understood and is not well considered in
building and construction codes. Also no large quake is well considered in disaster
planning. Worse the impact of a large mid-west quake has much larger geographic
reach than a similar quake in Alaska or California.

Sadly the fracking fools will take this as a reason to stop fracking at any depth.
Most of the New Madrid seismicity is located between 3 and 15 miles (4.8 and 24.1 km) beneath the Earth's surface.
Most fracking in OK is shallow by comparison (1-2 miles).

Some believe that shallow releases of energy is a good thing and minimizes the
size and impact of deeper quakes. I am of the opinion that injecting fluids
does not increase the energy of natural quakes but might alter the
timing and energy dispersal profile. My opinion like most is not supported
by experimental facts and is just that opinion.

Hidden in the report is a disclosure of many seismic sensors and
plans to obtain funding for more. More science is good but the
social media and news outlet ignorance is being manipulated by
a plethora of interests one of which is network ratings where facts
are not an issue.

Comment: I want to know more (Score 1) 349

by niftymitch (#47385417) Attached to: Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

Taking down a project repository requires taking down
content from many sources with many copyrights.

For Qualcom to take down CyanogenMod and Sony Xperia
tells me that the take down could involve hundreds of OTHER Copyright holders
not Qualcom. I expect to see copyrights from Netscape, Texas Instruments,
Free Software Foundation, University of Illinois, Nokia, Intel, Red Hat, Carnegie Mellon
University, University of California Regents, Imagination Technologies, Samsung,
Apple, Torch Mobile and hundreds of individuals.

It is one thing to specify individual files but to reach out and assert ownership on
the Copyright of hundreds of others is theft on a grand scale. As a minimum it
is denial of service which is covered by modern internet law.

Comment: Mitigation would be easy... (Score 1) 110

by niftymitch (#47385305) Attached to: Android Leaks Location Data Via Wi-Fi

It is possible on an unlocked device to spoof this data by
collecting data from other phones in passing or from a
mesh of friends that pull data from their device and share
it with others.

i.e. should my WiFi device hear such a broadcast.
It could save parts of it, format those and insert the data
randomly into the list of devices my device appears to know about.

After anyone publishes enough to prove the possibility
then the information can no longer be used with impunity against
an individual because data stamps could be changed and
data inserted.... by a third party.

As we know from Snowden papers, TLAs do exploit flaws
and coerce vendors to insert and unlock side doors in devices .
Further all such activity is classified so any jury can
now be presented with reasonable doubt that the evidence
of this type on a phone or laptop has any validity.

Scan recent history for "surveillance equipment is known as a Stingray, an innovative way
for law enforcement to track cellphones used by suspects and gather evidence.
The equipment tricks cellphones into identifying some of their owners’ account information,..."

I am reminded of a plugin to firefox that did much the same thing by randomly
making HTTP connections hither and yon triggered by a chain of "interesting" words.
The intent was to pollute the search history etc.... again to add uncertainty
that the individual was doing anything "of interest" to the prosecution.

On occasion I still fire it up from time to time not because I wish to hide anything I did but because
I wish to protect myself from those that would hide stuff on my system via tricks like
a 1x1 pixel display of a high resolution image download or mouse over abusive
use of JavaScript or modern HTML5 canvases and many many more abusive things.

Comment: Re:Ob (Score 1) 125

...p2p caching...

Not a good idea if there are caps on your service. The one and only solution is to elect politicians who will turn the ISPs into common carriers and make the internet a public utility (and defund the NSA, bring the troops home, and legalize weed, etc) Everything else is lipstick on a pig and polishing turds.

Good point about capacity limits, but my thought is that the local modem being property of the service would have
local memory or flash and tools to manage bandwidth billing. i.e. the p2p bandwidth your modem
generates is not covered by your service cap. Download service caps likewise can be
adjusted because the expensive long haul links are not involved. AND the p2p channels
are fully managed (and sold as service, see also Akami) by the ISP.

Have you ever noticed that on a phone or IPV6 link that your location can move half
a continent away... Why because the network is not well meshed and well connected.
This lack of mesh and connections is one of the big problems.

Comment: Re:no, it's not true (Score 1) 125

According to the bill a threat is anything which is anything which is part of an unauthorized effort to deny access. Netflix streaming which inadvertently leads to a denial of access would not be part of an effort to deny access.

Here is the bill.


Thanks for the link....
I think Feinstein is missing a detail.
A better approach might be to reserve bandwidth for demand use by state
and local government. Sure this is a glass half full/ half empty thing but
it is important to identify what services we wish to protect from denial of

I have not checked the math and details but "sbrook" on a forum noted:
"Remember that through that same cable you have to push a lot of TV channels and
Radio channels, Digital phone and internet.

"The top frequency is about 900 MHz, so that gives you just shy of 1500 channels
times 42 Mbps would be the theoretical max down a single coax ... absolutely
stunning! But you've got to share upstream channels.

"Now depending on the company, you might have about 100 to 500 customers passed
by a single coax. (More TV etc channels, few customers) But in theory you could
have 600,000 customers on one coax ... wouldn't work too well though!"

My point is the cable providers give themselves almost 1500 channels to deliver their content
and only eight or so for other content providers like Netflix.

A law needs to look at the 1500 channels as a single pool and if bandwidth is
to be throttled the eight that the likes of Netflix use can only be throttled
if the 1500-(8+4) used by my provider for their content are throttled in a like

Yes behind the cable is optical and other hardware but no one discusses
the fundamental lack of cross sectional bandwidth possibilities that modern
network provides. All conversations are centered on the one to many service
model where the internet design was many to many with multicast tossed
in later for the one to many case.

This single minded power centric ego centric flawed thinking by regulators
and legislators needs to be changed (by education) and IMO is
at the heart of most of the stupidity we see.

Comment: Re:Ob (Score 4, Interesting) 125

CISPA was authored by corporations, for the purpose of reigning in "pirates" and the like. Every "rights holder" in the world will become partners with the government, and search out any of us who don't comply with every draconian rule they can think up.

CISPA is most definitely unconstitutional.

Freedom of speech implies freedom to listen. Since there are more listeners than speakers
the value of "listener" needs to be strongly considered in all of this.

Manipulation of bandwidth to listeners as a whole must be even handed.
If a content delivery company __Your_Cable_Company__ does not throttle
their content in the same way they throttle the likes of Netflix, HBO-Go, NBC,
etc. they are crossing a line I do not want crossed.

If they throttle content because of a phone call from a branch of the government
we have a larger problem!

There are technologies that can help. Much content from Netflix and others
has a large audience and is ideal for p2p caching and bandwidth boost in
the same way that bittorrent amplifies the bandwidth of a single seeding
site. My DOCSIS 3 modem is an eight down four up device and could host
a p2p caching service that amplifies the cross sectional bandwidth of my
cable service. Xfinity is already selling "spare bandwidth" as WiFi connectivity.

My digital TV recorder and decoder uses different channels
and different tricks to deliver on demand and live content. It is already one
of the most serious power consumers in the house and could be replaced by
a more power efficient unit that also has p2p caching abilities that utilize the
multi channel bandwidth of cable coax a couple fold locally and orders of
magnitude better in a community.

Sadly they are looking for a political power grabbing solution and not
at a more net neutral technical solution.

Comment: Re:Private entities? (Score 1) 534

It'll be interesting because they are going to be sued now for something they did and the lawyer is going to trot in the letter claiming they are a private corporation not subject to the government regulations. I have no doubt it's a very short countdown till that letter is used against them in a court case.

I can see a class action to release all arrested and convicted criminals becauses these alleged criminals
violated the rights of the accused. Count to ten and the ACLU will be there.

They also do not comply with constitutional protections as a well regulated militia
as they are not regulated. OK that is a different stretch but as the original article
noted they cannot have it both ways.

There is also the premise by which they get paid. They may have been paid outside
of the law with state and federal public funds and officials of the government and the officials of the
company may find themselves sharing a cell block (I suspect a lot of them).

All actions by the officers that claim to be outside the public domain are now
subject to civil action because that is how they swore and attested the legality
of their actions were framed.

This is trouble and I suspect there is behind the curtain legislative contributions
and lobby actions that further complicate this.

The IRS needs to serve them with a document retention order ASAP to preserve
any email that shows how badly they have acted.

Power corrupts. And atomic power corrupts atomically.