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Comment: Re:As plain as the googgles on your face (Score 1) 56

by Sloppy (#47427477) Attached to: The Future of Wearables: Standalone, Unobtrusive, and Everywhere

As intrusive as the Google Glass has proven to be, it will only be worse when observation recording tech is more difficult to detect.

I disagree. The exact opposite: when people stop noticing, they will stop caring. It won't be perceived as intrusive anymore, and people will be less annoyed by it.

It's the conspicuousness of the camera in Google Glass, the constant reminder that you might be recorded, that makes most people feel creeped out. For the previous decade leading up to that product, nobody cared about small+cheap camera tech itself. And people walk/drive by fixed-position cameras all the time, and don't give a fuck there either. Peoples's behavior shows that "intrusiveness" happens when a cameras looks like a camera, and I suspect it also has something to do with being face-level, literally "in your face" and you're making eye contact with it, unlike the case with less conspicuous cameras. It was never about privacy; it's some aspect of self-consciousness kind of related to privacy, but a different thing.

You might say "maybe you, but I sure care. Hell yes it's about privacy." Of course you say that. I'm talking about how people behave and the emotions they display. Not their innermost secret thoughts that they are always terrified to express in voting booths or policy decisions, yet are happy to speak of on the Internet.

You know, the Internet, where they don't have a camera in their face making them all self-conscious! The Internet, where instead of a terrifying 1x1 pixel image that makes you think "WTF is that? That's weird! Are you watching me?" you now instead see a bunch of "like buttons" which are obviously for liking things, not getting your browser to send a request to an unrelated tracking server.

In addition, there's a certain inevitability about it all. The cameras have been there a long time, there are more today, and there will be even more tomorrow. You can't do anything about it, except stay at home. So you'll either accept or you'll go insane and get selected out. You'll handle it. (Contrast that to Google Glass, the one small camera out of the hundreds out there, that you actually recognize and is also rare enough that there's little social cost to shunning. With GG you can refuse to accept and also stay within social norms, so GG is different.)

Comment: Re:Bitcoin isn't money but it's still a financial (Score 1) 132

by Sloppy (#47424471) Attached to: Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

Bitcoin's primary purpose is to traffic/launder money and goods.

Objection. Will stipulate that its primary purpose is to traffic. But I call mega-bullshit on its primary or even secondary purpose being to launder, though there might be a way one could use Bitcoin for that.

Comment: nice tech, dubious products (Score 1) 150

by Sloppy (#47408181) Attached to: Coddled, Surveilled, and Monetized: How Modern Houses Can Watch You

IMHO all this tech is basically good, but I should point out that I also consider a large wooden horses to be basically good things, too. (They can be neat works of art, or convenient sources of fire wood.) That doesn't mean I'm saying you should wheel all the ones you find, through your city gates! There are other issues besides the utility value of wooden horses. It's the tech that should be celebrated, not necessarily all the products that use it. Tech and products are two very different things, even if related.

There's a pretty easy way to judge the ads for this stuff: what protocols does the product speak? Do you already have software in your repo that speaks that protocol?

And of course, you don't necessarily have to use someone else's service to get the device to work, right? (I'm not even saying you necessarily shouldn't use their service, but if you have to then the product is almost certainly garbage.)

Comment: Re:Actually makes good sense (Score 1) 685

by Sloppy (#47401455) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

Nice. "Darn it, this amusingly tiny-capacity obsolete tape drive isn't powering up. I must have forgotten to bring its .. uh .. [glance around suspiciously] battery. But I paid $800 for it in 1996! *sigh* Ok, TSA agent, you can have my tape drive.. and .. oh no! My ink jet printer isn't working either! You mean I forgot both batteries!? Dammit! So much for printing those colored pie charts on the plane for my .. uh .. presentation. Boy are your kids going to be happy Xmas morning. [glare slightly unconvincingly at TSA agent]"

[Later, on Xmas morning] "Here you go, Billy. You were a bad boy. I never loved you."

[But Billy turns out to be cool] "Whoa! I can salvage the head servo and reel motor from this tape drive, and build something nifty with my Arduino! OMG, does this printer have a stepper motor?"

I think this idea is getting up into the "three birds, one stone" territory.

Comment: Re:Tits and swords (Score 2) 153

by Sloppy (#47400683) Attached to: New Zealand ISP's Anti-Geoblocking Service Makes Waves

Tried to read the first book. Barely literate drivel.

Sometimes people need a little help. Often (but not always!) they'll half-suspect the problem, and will prefix their remark with "is it just me, or..."

You didn't do that, but I'm going to be a pal and pretend you did, and then answer the question for you:

Yes, it's just you.

Comment: Re:Can an "atheist company" refuse too? (Score 1) 1330

by Sloppy (#47361247) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

Here's an idea: let's form a religion (or teaching within an existing religion) which mystically believes that insurance should be based on hedging against risk of catastrophically-large expenses, rather than dealing with small predictable non-emergent expenses. The key is it would be based on dogmatic belief in a supernaturally-conveyed (and impossible to disprove) command that we must only use insurance that way. Whenever anyone asks you why insurance should be about spreading risk, we'll always use our faith in paranormal phenomenon to explain.

NEVER will we discuss game theory, limiting overhead, common sense, etc. Let's keep this religious.

Q: "Why do you think insurance shouldn't cover these $10 pills?"

A: "He wrote it thus, when his arm was moved by the will of The Noodly One."

Q: "Do you think it is more efficient that the patient directly pay the supplier of the pills rather without going through a middleman or filing a claim to get reimbursed?"

A: "I have no opinion about that. I do not know nor do I care."

Q: "But don't you at least agree that if the patient shops around, the might be able to get the pills for $8 here instead of $10 there?"

A: "The questions is impertinent. You're missing the point: the cost is irrelevant. This is a matter of good versus evil, and recognizing the essential basil oil in our souls. We transact directly with our sellers because we must, not because it reduces cost."

Q: "What if you don't? Suppose I could reduce claims processing overhead so that--"

A: "Overhead is irrelevant!"

Q: "Ok, but what if I had you file a claim for an $8 bottle of pills?"

A: "The horror!! No, please, no. That is the Shadow Sauce speaking through you. I cannot transact a drug purchase in such a manner!"

Q: "Wait a minute. How do you know all this?"

A: "I just do."

The big question is: do you think you can handle doing this? Mystics make this stuff all look so easy but you have to understand, they train this behavior their whole lives, guided from the time they are children. It's a way of life.

Comment: need remote-controlled floodgate (Score 1) 66

by Sloppy (#47354235) Attached to: The Internet of Things Comes To Your Garden

Handling water may possibly become my first Arduino or RaspPi project, if I can get through my newbie ignorance, and learn some new tricks as an old dog.

We have flood irrigation that comes in from an acequia every couple weeks (used to be every week, but times are changing) at an irregular rate at irregular time-of-day. (You can't deal with this, just using timers, and the amount of water pressure is tiny compared to what you usually have on a typical garden hose, so lots of cheap ubiquitous gadgets don't work here.) I leave a floodgate open (i.e. remove a coffee can from the end of a tube), go to work, go back home for lunch, go back to work, go home at end of day. For various reasons that you can probably imagine, it's bad to leave the floodgate open after we have collected a certain amount of water. Things work out fine if it happens to finish at lunch time (or if it's so slow that it hasn't finished until end of day), but otherwise, someone has to leave their workplace and go home to deal with it.

That is lame, in a way that really does (slightly) matter.

Thus I'm tempted to either build a sensor (or just cheeze out with a webcam, though that's less geeky) and some kind of remote-controllable motorized floodgate.

AFAICT nobody sells anything for this; it's up to me. As it happens, there are lots of guides online for building this kind of stuff, but they're all within the context of Dwarf Fortress! Yeah, right, as if I want a gate that'll remain stuck open just because there's a butterfly or elephant carcass in the way.

Lower tech solution: find retired neighbor to do it, in exchange for beer or something. This is actually the cheapest/smartest way to do, but rubs me the wrong way. I'm sure you all understand.

Comment: Mystery Antecedent (Score 1) 454

by Sloppy (#47337385) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

This is all about more gov control, taxes, regulation to protect us from ourselves.

Sorry, I clicked the links but I think I might have missed an important part of one them. Could someone please tell me what the word "this" in the above quotation refers to? What is about more government control, taxes and regulations?

Comment: Re:No plans to wear a watch (Score 1) 427

by Sloppy (#47320135) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

Maybe what you need is an anti-watch that uses anti-time: not only does it not tell you what time it is, but suppresses other clocks around you.

"What time is it?"

"It's time for me to press the 'temporary disable' button on my anti-watch. Ah, according to Big Ben, it's 10:38."

Comment: Re:Sudden outbreak of common sense (Score 1) 276

by Sloppy (#47315205) Attached to: Federal Judge Rules US No-fly List Violates Constitution

Our greatest protection was giving-a-fuck.

It's still available, and occasionally used in some limited contexts. There's pretty much no problem that won't be quickly fixed by the people exercising this power.

But we usually refuse. Giving-a-fuck is somehow a "nuclear option" these days, not to be exercised lightly. "Whoa there, this might be a crappy situation, but I'm not going to 'throw away' my vote!"

Comment: Re:Good! (Score 4, Insightful) 619

by Sloppy (#47275951) Attached to: 2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

Hey man, maybe this tax is a good idea, but the whole "Gas is much too cheap in the US," thing is a pretty dumb thing to say. There is no such thing as "too cheap." By all means, end the gas subsidies and externalities (e.g, middle east wars, not having to pay to plant forests to soak up CO2 pollution, etc) and add any taxes that are appropriate (e.g. fuel usage and road wear maybe aren't an exact match but they're pretty close; so I'd say gax taxes to pay for highways are a pretty decent idea), but even 10 cents per gallon wouldn't be "too cheap" because nothing can ever possibly be too cheap.

That said, gas sure is cheap. I can buy gas cheaper than I can buy Coca Cola and it's sure worth a lot more.

Comment: Re:Thumbs up so far... (Score 1) 100

by Sloppy (#47172233) Attached to: Google Announces 'End-To-End' Encryption Extension For Chrome

However, anything is better than nothing,

The only thing worse than knowledge that you are insecure enabling you to behave accordingly, is a false sense of security so that you don't.

That one is easy: don't assume a false sense of security. There, problem solved. I don't know how anyone would ever get into that position, but I agree that if they do, we should give them a common-sense reality check.

you can't trust google to provide the endpoints if you want to be secure FROM google.

I think everybody gets that. It's irrelevant to the problem at hand (that a quarter century after PGP, people are still sending plaintext) though, and all implementations of OpenPGP fall outside the scope of addressing the "is my computer running the software that I think it's running?" question. Don't get me wrong, it's a good question for people to be asking. But it doesn't necessarily mean it's stupid to run Google's code; running Google's code merely comes with a convenience/security tradeoff that most people here won't want to pay, or won't want to pay in certain situations. Please, see beyond that point.

You face that same issue every time you use https in your web browser. That doesn't mean you have stopped using https, does it? Do you really get a sense of security (which you know is always going to be false) when you use https? Of course not. You get a sense of securER. The same thing will apply to users of this extension.

We really have to stop bringing up the "false sense of security" bugbear every time someone tries to make things better. Think about what users are going to do, after they have been using Google's version for a few years, have absorbed some of the concepts and habits, and then a story eventually gets out that Google (or a middle) got caught sending a compromised version to someone. That will be a good day, not a bad one.

A large number of installed systems work by fiat. That is, they work by being declared to work. -- Anatol Holt

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