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+ - Rand Paul wraps up NSA "filibuster" after 10 hours->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp writes: After standing on the Senate floor for more than 10 hours in protest of the National Security Agency's sweeping surveillance programs, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, wrapped up his so-called "filibuster" just after Midnight on Thursday morning.

NSA illegal spying and data collection of innocent Americans must end. Thank you all for standing with me. #StandwithRand

— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 21, 2015
The senator and 2016 presidential candidate staged the talkathon ahead of the Senate's consideration of legislation to extend the NSA's authority to collect phone records in bulk. The controversial surveillance program — which has been deemed illegal by one federal court — is supposedly authorized by Section 215 of the Patriot Act. That section of the law is set to expire on June 1, giving Congress little time to renew it.

Paul started his "filibuster" against an extension of the Patriot Act on Wednesday afternoon, even though the Senate was actually in the middle of debate time on an entirely different issue — trade authority. Paul's efforts likely slowed down Senate business — lawmakers are trying to finish a few important bills before taking off for a weeklong recess — but the Senate is still expected to take up legislation to deal with the expiring NSA program.

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Comment: Re:jessh (Score 1) 397

by ravenscar (#48917627) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

We are now a service economy - not a manufacturing economy. Most people can do their work from home almost as well (and sometimes better) than they can do it at the office. Heck, our largest office is in Boston and it's closed today. Just about everyone is online and productive. Take into account the expense and danger associated with keeping cities open during significant natural events and it seems like a simple decision.

Comment: Re:Splits the community in half (Score 1) 823

by ravenscar (#48879807) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

Ha - I was just making a bad Fast and Furious joke.

As someone who has heavily modified a few Japanese cars, I'm well aware of what "ricers" are capable. There is a great Top Gear episode where the crew take 3 super cars to the drag strip in Vegas. They get schooled in the quarter by a bunch of modified cars. It's fun to watch.

Comment: The one mistake investors keep making (Score 1) 386

by ravenscar (#48699393) Attached to: The One Mistake Google Keeps Making

This reads like the bible for the short-term investor. As an (admittedly small time) investor, I want to put money into a company that makes solid profits with its current goods/services while pushing the envelope for the future. Be on the bleeding edge. Push boundaries. Create new markets. Fail often, kill your failures, and learn. Don't stagnate in your current market; waiting to be dethroned by competition.

Something like a driverless car could revolutionize transportation and all of the industries which rely upon it. Being on the forefront of that could spell enormous profits (not to mention entirely new industries).

Sadly, it seems the current investor is only interested in what a company has done this quarter. That results in companies that are so bent on shaving costs on their current products/services that they completely miss the thing that makes them obsolete. This is one of the reasons Buffett always argued against splitting Berkshire stock. He wasn't interested in collecting investors who couldn't commit to the long-term. Interestingly, Berkshire started as a textile manufacturer. That isn't to say they are on the bleeding edge, but they do represent a company that is willing to look for and invest in something new and different.

Comment: Re:Fine (Score 1) 293

by ravenscar (#48663245) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

It's a fair point, but not completely analogous. Given the competition that exists in the hotel space one can almost certainly find a hotel that does not try to block your hotspot. Of course I would pick that hotel over one that does block my hotspot. If I could find a theater that allowed me to bring my own food and beverages I would certainly pick it over others. I don't know of any of these (at least in my area).

To answer your question, though, I will go to the theater now and then to watch a movie, but I don't purchase the food. I generally avoid the theater for several reasons such as:
1. Major improvements in home theater have allowed me to get a satisfactory viewing experience at home (for the vast majority of content).
2. Convenience (food, bathroom, pausing, lack of annoying people texting around me, the ability to text without annoying others, etc).
3. Cost.

So, are my principles iron clad? No. Are they sound to the point I feel like expressing my opinion on the matter? I think so.

Comment: Re:Action movies are boring. (Score 5, Insightful) 332

Exactly. I'll add in: perhaps a "bad guy" that isn't so bad or a situation with no right answer. Often, neither side is completely wrong in a conflict. It all depends on the point of view one takes or the way one ranks morals (say, freedom over equality for example). One of the things I appreciated most about the Star Trek series was the willingness to present and explore morally ambiguous topics. Things such as:
1. Should they get involved?
2. Trading one life for another (or others).
3. Are some values more important than others?

I liked getting to the end of the show and wondering if the characters really made the right decision.

It seems that's all gone now. The last times I really noticed similar themes were the BSG reboot and The Wire.

Comment: Re:No, not "in other words" ... (Score 1) 293

by ravenscar (#48661461) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

This seems like people using electronic attacks to interfere with the proper operation of my own personal network. Whether the network is on their property or no, I would think electronically attacking it to cause failure should be problematic. Telling me I can't have my network there and must shut it down or leave - no problem (though I'll never come back). Attacking it to cause it to fail? There are problems there. Wireless or no, the network is a thing and it's MY thing. You don't get to break it just because I'm on your property.

Comment: Re:Fine (Score 5, Insightful) 293

by ravenscar (#48661045) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

First, I'll say that, regardless of whether their activities are or aren't legal, I will not patronize a hotel that takes part in such an activity. I equate it to not allowing me to bring my own toothpaste so that I'm forced to purchase theirs at a dramatically inflated price. I'll vote with my dollars and go to a hotel that offers an environment more suited to my needs.

Second, the legal issues are interesting here. Yes, they do own their property and should have domain there, but (for numerous reasons) broadcast rights are limited - even on one's premises. Additionally, what they are doing is interfering with the operation of your own network. I think of it a little bit like a denial of service attack. You're running your network just fine and the hotel is actively launching an attack to prevent it from functioning. It seems like they could detect your network, locate you, and ask you to turn it off or leave. Actively interfering with its proper operation...I'm not so sure.

I don't really know how the courts would rule on these legal issues. I'll just say that It appears that there is more to consider than "It's their property so they can do what they want."

+ - The Death of Voice Mail 1

Submitted by writes: Duane D. Stanford writes at Bloomberg that Coca-Cola's Atlanta Headquarters is the latest big campany to ditch its old-style voice mail, which requires users to push buttons to scroll through messages and listen to them one at a time. The change went into effect this month, and a standard outgoing message now throws up an electronic stiff arm, telling callers to try later or use “an alternative method” to contact the person. Techies have predicted the death of voice mail for years as smartphones co-opt much of the office work once performed by telephones and desktop computers. Younger employees who came of age texting while largely ignoring voice mail are bringing that habit into the workforce. “People north of 40 are schizophrenic about voice mail,” says Michael Schrage. “People under 35 scarcely ever use it.” Companies are increasingly combining telephone, e-mail, text and video systems into unified Internet-based systems that eliminate overlap. “Many people in many corporations simply don’t have the time or desire to spend 25 minutes plowing through a stack of 15 to 25 voice mails at the end or beginning of the day,” says Schrage, In 2012, Vonage reported its year-over-year voicemail volumes dropped 8%. More revealing, the number of people bothering to retrieve those messages plummeted 14%. More and more personal and corporate voicemail boxes now warn callers that their messages are rarely retrieved and that they’re better off sending emails or texts. "The truly productive have effectively abandoned voicemail, preferring to visually track who’s called them on their mobiles," concludes Schrage. "A communications medium that was once essential has become as clunky and irrelevant as Microsoft DOS and carbon paper."

+ - Hotel group asks FCC for permission to block some outside Wi-Fi->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg writes: The FCC will soon decide whether to lay down rules regarding hotels’ ability to block personal Wi-Fi hotspots inside their buildings, a practice that recently earned Marriott International a $600,000 fine. Back in August, Marriott, business partner Ryman Hospitality Properties and trade group the American Hotel and Lodging Association asked the FCC to clarify when hotels can block outside Wi-Fi hotspots in order to protect their internal Wi-Fi services.
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Comment: Umbrella Corporation (Score 1) 175

by ravenscar (#48618383) Attached to: Researchers Accidentally Discover How To Turn Off Skin Aging Gene

I'm pretty sure I played a video game that started out just like this. Maybe they'll do Dobermans next. The fact that I live north of Seattle leads makes me a little unnerved about Vancouver as Raccoon City. On the bright side, who doesn't want the chance to waste some zombies?

And on the seventh day, He exited from append mode.