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Comment: the codes are pretty simple really... (Score 5, Funny) 258

by nimbius (#49628989) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery
as a senior administrative manager for a large health insurance company I see no reason why customers are boggled over these codes. Any schoolboy (provided your school wasn't free) could decypher this kind of billing. Anyhow, to clarify:
Code 105: we've run out of those little salmon things on the yacht in the hamptons. naturally we would call upon customers for this expense.
Code 127: truffle spread in the lounging room of the manor has expired. normally we do not assess this fee, however since we've gone to the trouble to obviously dispatch a manservant for fresh baguettes, this must be accounted for.
Code 164: The good luck brandy in the maybach has been found to clash with the petit fours and as such we will need to purchase a reisling instead. Part of this fee goes to jet fuel for the arduous trip to germany.
CPT codes: 87481, 87491, 87798: These are the inventory numbers for the delightful new mercedes we intend to purchase after returning from germany. The autobahn really is delightful you know.

Comment: pretty simple really. (Score 0) 150

by nimbius (#49621749) Attached to: How the NSA Converts Spoken Words Into Searchable Text
Phrases are transcribed from things like:
"Government agencies like the NSA have illegally spied on countless americans without a warrant and continue to violate our constitutional right to free speech as well as privacy"
"Isis anchor baby bombs are protected from harming american patrio-tastic freedom time parades using secret 007 spy gear to thwart kenyan muslim abortion terrorists who hate our freedom"

Comment: works differently in the states. (Score 5, Interesting) 259

by nimbius (#49621675) Attached to: USBKill Transforms a Thumb Drive Into an "Anti-Forensic" Device
"In case the police come busting in" is a condition typically followed by a hailstorm of bullets here in the United States. Afterwards, assuming you have a winning complexion, charges are fabricated and officers exhonorated.

Our prosecution also works similar to a firehose. Typically if youre arrested for loitering or driving while black, youll be charged with resisting arrest and a large slew of other charges that may not even apply to your specific encounter. Once in jail a member of the prosecution team will approach you with a laundry list of offenses and the threat of decades of years in jail. Mercifully they will offer a plea bargain that, should you choose to simply plead guilty, youll only spend a fraction of that time in prison. If you cant afford a lawyer, and dont have a firm grasp of legal proceedings yourself, this option is generally chosen.

Wiping the contents of your laptop, or refusing to give a password in the US, is generally met with unfavourable consequences. Indefinite forcible detention at border checkpoints without charges, for example, befell moxy marlinspike. computing chicanery in general that goes beyond the relm of 'good consumer' will find you hounded to the end of your days, as was the case of the late Aaron Schwartz. Given my options, id rather feign ignorance than quietly activate a duress payload.

Comment: some that never made the list. (Score 4, Funny) 59

by nimbius (#49620793) Attached to: The BBC Looks At Rollover Bugs, Past and Approaching
Minuteman III nuclear missile: Due to an unsigned integer bug, missile resets to the year 1900 and targets Grover Clevelands presbyterian ministry as part of the clandestine war on christmas
US Presidential Limousine: Function call returns a flawed short int that causes the vehicle to lose entropy in its timekeeping, routinely deploying countermeasures and refusing to operate in the presence of a black president.
UCLA Scheduling mainframe: strconv slurps an undersized signed int, causing date/time tracking problems and resulting in comfortable, plausible and very useful class scheduling to occur.
Russian RT-23 Molodets missile: timer returns a null or negative value, resulting in an active launch thats aborted by sergei usually after he has his first cup of coffee...but sometimes after the paper.

Comment: the issue is being blown out of proportion. (Score 4, Funny) 301

As an oil and gas industry professional I dont see anything wrong here. What Pennsylvania is complaining about is their own hubris and greed. Friendly patrio-tastic drilling companies asked kindly if they could carefully remove oils and gasses in the fight against terrorism and to prevent the war on christmas. Once informed citizens understood both gasses and oils had to be removed from the ground in order for jesus to love them and no child to be left behind, companies reluctantly did that which was most needful at the time. It was difficult, but we removed gasses and oils, and converted them to fresh clean and definitely not unhealthy gasoline to power freedom loving americans SUV's and trucks. But after a time, Pennsylvanians became greedy. more, no less. We promised 2 of them to help invigorate the spleen and whiten teeth. But whats next? 4? 5? god forbid 8 Butoxyethanols?! We're being squeezed to death here.

Comment: perhaps a refreshing perspective can help (Score 4, Funny) 94

As a member of the law enforcement community I believe i can shed light on exactly what stingray is, and why we use it. American citizens are awful, vile creatures and you dont truly understand what theyre capable of until youve dealt with their "freedoms." In the US we routinely deal with conditions where Americans have the horrible ability to speak out against their government without fear of any reprisal. Police are routinely restrained in their duty. Criminal americans (which is all of them really) will even stage massive protests against totally accidental deaths of horrible criminals. Law Enforcement is just here to protect and serve, and we do it with tazer tickles and freedom massages from our fun time riot batons.

The stingray helps us learn what horrors the evil american has in store for us, so that we can dial in the proper caliber on our learning pistols and protect all that is good and wholesome about starbucks and jesus. We have to use super secret courts because evil americans sometimes demand to know all our plans to protect freedom (which they hate.)

Comment: this. exactly this. (Score 4, Insightful) 321

by nimbius (#49593575) Attached to: Mozilla Begins To Move Towards HTTPS-Only Web
Two years after snowdens revelations we're seeing a reality come to pass. After the NSA swept its most damning indictments under the rug, after congress gave a sigh and a shrug and stifled a syrupy belch from the afternoons filet mignon lunch, we still see this change. After the TV spotlights were turned back to fashion trends, civil unrest, diet pills and other nonesuch this persisted despite the best effort. and its extremely unfortunate

Instead of watching discourse spread and meaningful legislation come to pass we're watching a largely uninformed electorate occasionally mistake snowden for assange on national television, and the elected officials with whom our protection they are charged bungle through bills that dont really do much of anything. We're seeing the alternative that no nation wants, and that alternative is a two-tier us-versus-them system in which groups of dedicated hackers fight back. It sets the stage for good-versus-bad and the determinant for this assertion to eventually become the existence of crypto or passwords and ones general willingness to divulge them in the face of overwhelming yet unconstitutional authoritarian presence.

expect 3 letter government organizations to get frustrated, and angry, very quickly. Aaron Schwartz was a prime example of how, in the future, citizens who act to protect themselves with crypto and security will face the bureaucratic version of biblical retribution in the form of endless charges, indefinite espionage, and a litany of convictable offenses that would result in a lifetime of imprisonment for anyone who dares not to divulge their password.

Comment: a cursory reasoning. (Score 2) 121

The bill leaves intact surveillance programs conducted by the Drug Enforcement Agency

the average age of a congress critter is 62. These politicians still believe things like communism and the war on drugs are legitimate aspects of foreign and domestic policy, not just ginned up talking points from the administrations they floated.

and levies high penalties against those offering "material support" to terrorists.

Queue the age range again. at 62 the greyhairs on the senate and house floors respond more to "isms" like communism, socialism, and terrorism than they do independent research from political and social scientists. To them, politics is established cannon and they discern that which is sacrosanct and true from that which is patently false over a medium rare tenderloin.

It also renews the expiring parts of the Patriot Act through 2019.

Blame George Bush, but really blame politicians for making a bill thats toxic to democracy but even more toxic to repeal. Im certain you could find more than half of the house or senate willing to repeal a bill called the "spy on all people forever and build a torture prison" act, but you wont find so much as a ball of pocket lint in the carpet willing to touch "patriot" act. We've built a genuine third-rail that isnt getting dismantled until it zaps the ever-loving fuck out of someone with more brass than sense.

Comment: the $10,000 version has MORE problems. (Score 5, Funny) 399

by nimbius (#49585431) Attached to: Tattoos Found To Interfere With Apple Watch Sensors
Im sure fellow readers are concerned about the $10,000 version of the apple watch, and as an early adopter I am truly livid. If the watch comes into contact with my tattoo of the spirit of extacy riding a diamond into tattooine astride a golden dove the sensors stop working entirely. The watch is also difficult to locate as im sure most people have undoubtedly found out. I had to search all five bedrooms on the yacht just to find the darn thing! Also the watch has difficulty determining if or when I am wearing the rare jade oriental pendant of everlasting immortality, and just last weekend I had to buy a new one after I bumped into the caviar chafing dish and spilled lemon rochette truffle remoulade on the band.

Its not that apple doesnt make an excellent product, they truly do! But I for one am getting tired of having to take the same bently to the same helicopter every other week to send my manservant into the apple "store" as the common people call it to have it replaced. A man can only tolerate so much car champagne before the aftertaste of the lox comingling with the alsace vintage becomes too much to bear.

Comment: the choice was clear. (Score 5, Insightful) 437

by nimbius (#49584473) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules
Rand Paul: I want to be president...whats a guy gotta do?
Republican Party: We're glad you asked rand and happy to hear youve considered being a republican brand president. In order to best serve the interests of our constituents, their yachts, and various institutions named in their honour, we're going to ask you to toe-the-line with our conservative fiscal policy and principal of small government. Please select from one or more of the following principles we believe assists in small government and lower taxes:
1. Repealing affordable healthcare for millions of americans and replacing it with a faint mumbling noise.
2. Outlawing homosexual marriage
3. Outlawing abortion
4. obstruct or repeal a meaningful federal regulation: EPA, FDA, FCC.
5. Funnel billions of dollars into a foreign war with no clear objective other than amorphous freedom/patriotism/democracy
6. oppose decriminalization of marijuana and/or prison reform.

as a bonus you may call for a government shutdown but only while affirming 'in god we trust' on the currency.

Comment: shareholders have tanked it. (Score 1) 208

by nimbius (#49579825) Attached to: IBM CIO Thinks Agile Development Might Save Company
IBM isnt your fathers supercomputing company anymore, and cutthroat capitalism has led it to where it stands today to a large extent. 3 very public layoffs, a newfound reliance on 3-6 month contract jobs, and no tangible innovation for major consumer markets. Marketing that pushes AI supercomputing during the superbowl is great, but at the end of the day the PHB that watched that commercial is going to weigh her next desktop or server purchase in terms of Dell and Silicon Mechanics. That is to say she will certainly place a premium on the visible discounts shes already seeing in the market, instead of relying on IBM's brand name to justify the cost.

Power doesnt run things like it used to, and while IBM is pushing it for virtualization you can do the same thing big iron touts with more hardware and lower cost. Where IBM isnt challenged is in SAP and JDEdwards, markets where its written itself in as defacto hardware provider. IBM supports linux, true, and fought valiantly in its name, but what IBM represents is a client server sales model that doesnt scale to a world where even the toaster is expected to run an apache or memcache instance.

Comment: Re:Again? (Score 4, Interesting) 141

by nimbius (#49577669) Attached to: Ham Radio Fills Communication Gaps In Nepal Rescue Effort

Do we really need a story about ham radio after every disaster?

Yes, because its an efficient indicator of the immediate scope and nature of a disaster. if the most critical and arguably resillient communications systems have finally failed, Ham is your red-flag indicator that the situation is dire.

I'm sure it's being used, but not to the extent of official radio communication.

Thats exactly the point. Ham is being used because Official or commerical communications systems are either damaged, destroyed, or overwhelmed beyond inteded or effective capacity. If you're in the united states the equivalent official communication would be the Emergency Alert System over a VHF repeater, if ones still standing. If not, Hams take everything from presidential to local law enforcement messages to where they need to go in a structured, orderly manner.

"People communicating by any means possible," is not news.

People communicating by any means possible is a normal society with twitter, cellphones, and wifi. People reliant upon analog and digital communication outside thestructure of a commercial ecosystem and in lieu of direct government correspondance is news. Ham operators build and run antennas, configure messaging relay and repeater systems, repair existing infrastructure, assist in dispatching emergency services and handle every communication thats needed in an emergency from local to state and even international SOS for emergency assistance. The point is when you're now reliant on Ham in any context to assist in a rescue effort, the outlook for existing infrastructure is very bad.

Comment: can we please stop calling it skepticism? (Score 3, Insightful) 700

by nimbius (#49576961) Attached to: Pope Attacked By Climate Change Skeptics
Skeptic implies the science isnt overwhelmingly concentric on the nature and cause of climate change as a science. What we mean when we say 'skeptic' is overpaid corporate shit-lord who learned grant funding for snake oil 'research' means trading your honda hatchback for a BMW and making your student loans disappear.
Climate change is real. We are causing it. When even the leader of a cult that believes you can eat and drink the body of your dead god comes to realize this, its probably time to pack up your dog and pony show.

Money is the root of all wealth.