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Comment: As long as NYC benefits, screw everybody else? (Score 1) 262

by s13g3 (#48271131) Attached to: Power and Free Broadband To the People
So, let me get this straight: he's willing to let Comcast get even bigger - and almost certainly even worse as a service, much less as a company - and effectively cement Comcast's monopoly on cable internet service throughout much of the nation, as long as poor New Yorkers benefit? How is that even remotely ethical in any sense? For that matter why would people make the effort to educate themselves and gain useful new skills necessary to get better jobs when you just give them luxuries that would otherwise serve as an incentive for improvement and mobility?

Comment: Fallacious (Score 1) 839

by s13g3 (#48161615) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right
Author's assertions are patently fallacious, based on a failed analysis resulting from disregarding a crucial point: we have not had anything remotely like "unchecked capitalism" in this country (or in any other First World nation on the planet) since WWII and/or FDR's "New Deal", at the absolute latest, and really not since the creation of the Federal Reserve and the beginning of its meddling with our economy.

To blame "income inequality" and all the rest of the world's ills on "unchecked capitalism" that hasn't existed in most people's lifetimes just plain fails on every front, given the ever increasing interference, meddling and "regulation" of industry and economy by the government, especially as "income inequality" has largely only worsened ever since the government started meddling more and more with the economy, introducing more and more regulation, giving unions patently anti-liberty powers they should never have to fulfill a purpose that shouldn't even be necessary, and in return, businesses use the regulation and legal process to bring about ever more and more laws that are patently anti-capitalist in order to protect them from competition and to game the economy.

The failure of this analysis becomes only more evident when you consider the fact that when you compare America - arguably the closest thing to "unrestricted capitalism" you'll find among First World nations today, regardless of how far it is from being completely true - to the rest of the world, our "income inequality" gap is as narrow - or narrower - here than almost anywhere else on the planet, and certainly among nations with a population exceeding 20 million.

What, does Piketty think that there was no "income inequality" anywhere else in the world, prior to the existence of Capitalism as we know it today? That it is somehow worse today than it was in the 18th century? That there's no "income inequality" in nations with heavily "managed" (i.e., meddled-with) economies? That all government will always work towards the betterment of "the people" by default, more so than private industry will?

Sorry, but Piketty's analysis is just plain flawed on too many levels to be worth taking seriously, as it is premised entirely on the falsehood that "unrestricted capitalism" has ever even existed recently enough in this country - or anywhere else in the world - recently enough to be a cause of income inequality, when it is readily shown that the ever-increasing regulations imposed by government have led to ever increasing meddling by that government in the operation of business, paving the way for other businesses to then abuse the political process to create ever more anti-capitalist laws and regulations, and that a great deal of that very same regulation, taxation, and interference is very often itself a factor in income inequality.

In a truly "unrestricted, free-market capitalist" economy, under a strong, just and ethical system of reasonable laws based on liberty and freedom that are equally enforced regardless of wealth, influence or social station, the only restriction on wealth and income (aside, perhaps, from physical/mental health) is one's own industry and willingness to work, learn, and create industry where none exists.

"The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits."
--Thomas Jefferson to M. L'Hommande, 1787

"[...] a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government..."
--Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, Washington, D.C. March 4, 1801

"[Ours is a] policy of not embarking the public in enterprises better managed by individuals, and which might occupy as much of our time as those political duties for which the public functionaries are particularly instituted."
--Thomas Jefferson to W. C. C. Claiborne, 1808

"Taxes on consumption, like those on capital or income, to be just, must be uniform."
--Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Smith, 1823

"And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."
--Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816

Comment: Reports still serve a purpose (Score 3, Insightful) 179

by s13g3 (#47995155) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Reporting Still Relevant?
Granted, it may be primarily of a bureaucratic bent that many geeks - professional or otherwise - may not be terribly keen on, nor interested in, however reports - especially those of the "mailed-daily-to-your-inbox" variety fulfill a number of functions within a business ecosystem.

Reports of the "traditional" variety provide an accountability chain and historical record that a dashboard cannot. They can be accessed locally, outside of any other application or access requirements - including email - meaning a connection to said dashboard is not required when someone must review those reports for whatever reason.

Reports can be printed off readily, and due to their very nature, are often formatted to present data to the viewer in such a way that they retain their usefulness after being printed to hardcopy, whereas a screen-cap and printout of a dashboard is quite often one of the least efficient ways to consume the type of data these more traditional reports display.

Last but certainly not least, they make it possible for data to be shared easily with other interested parties, on demand, at any time, without having to carve out user accounts or VPN tunnels to internal networks or mission-critical systems, with no requirement greater than being able to read whatever format the report is stored in - again, unlike dashboards, no few of which also require Java or some other extension to be installed on the user's computer, often necessitating IT support for non-Administrative end-users, which is itself a special and often painful consideration when this data needs to be provided to customers or vendors with their own IT processes, procedures and issues to deal with.

Dashboards have their uses and purposes, especially for live, changing data, things that need to be regularly and closely monitored, or even things that just need occasional monitoring, however for many other purposes, such as those involving accounting or other applications where historical data is of a concern, they fall dramatically short of being able to adequately - much less completely - supplant reports as they have traditionally been used.

Comment: In other words, retritbution... (Score 1) 157

by s13g3 (#47786069) Attached to: Software Error Caused Soyuz/Galileo Failure
Revenge is a dish best served in the wrong orbit?

Funny, isn't it, in the midst of all these sanctions and general brou-ha-ha over the Ukraine, with Russia taking all kinds of tit-for-tat punitive measure in response by EU attempts use economic fines in order to restrain their bad behavior, that, âoeThe nonstandard operation of the integrated management system was likely caused by an error in the embedded software," which manages to cost the EU the full use of a multi-million dollar satellite whose purpose was to provide competition with Russia's GLONASS system (in addition to American GPS)?

They didn't even have to do anything fancy, just twiddle a few lines of code to send it off course, then blame it on random "unforeseeable" coding error that they'll refuse to accept responsibility for.

Comment: Forget Federal funding... (Score 1) 643

by s13g3 (#47778879) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras
Forget Federal funding, this needs to be Federal law , plain and simple. As in, no officer testimony or evidence gathered or submitted without corresponding and complete video+audio evidence shall be admissible in a court of law, absent other strong, irrefutable and corroborating testimony or evidence originating from a non-police/non-governmental source. After all, anybody who took a basic logic or philosophy class should know that the burden of proof lies on the accuser, not the accused, and anyone who has been paying attention should know that there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe that police officers are somehow more honest than everyone else, or incapable of lying simply because they took some classes, swore and oath, and had a shiny piece of metal pinned on them: they are caught lying in and out of court ALL the time, on a daily basis, so why should their word be considered more reliable than anyone else's?

Frankly, the behavior of the police has been so questionable lately that there's no reason for anyone - especially otherwise honest judges - to take them at their word, especially when they're the ones completely in control of the entire evidence-gathering process, and thus have every opportunity to rig it in their favor.

There's just no excuse for officers NOT to be wearing cameras (particularly cell-enabled body-cameras that are constantly uploading to a remote server), much less for them to ever make an arrest or gather evidence without one running. Cost is not relevant: even if they are $1000 or $3000 each, that's still vastly cheaper than the lawsuits cities regularly pay out to as a result of police misconduct, alleged, factual, or otherwise. Cameras will help ensure officers conduct themselves professionally, knowing their behavior is being recorded impartially and will be subject to review, while simultaneously reducing false claims and ensuring that when such claims are made there is sufficient evidence to disprove them.

Comment: Re:This guy might be overvaluing his files (Score 4, Insightful) 100

by s13g3 (#47664633) Attached to: Password Gropers Hit Peak Stupid, Take the Spamtrap Bait
I designed a honeypot built on similar principles at the last data center I worked for, whereby I had at least two different VM's comprising at least two different OS' on each and every subnet on our network.

Using a custom implementation of PSAD and a bunch of PERL, the basic idea was that any time a specific IP (external *or* internal) scanned more than eight ports per IP across two or more subnets, it was unquestionably an illegitimate scan of our network, and the IP originating the scan in question was immediately submitted for null routing, because nobody could possibly have a legitimate reason for doing such a scan.

Port scans from internal IP's, along with those matching other patterns (such as multiple scans within a single subnet or attempting certain exploits/attacks that can be deduced from snort's output in /var/log/messages, like the slammer worm, etc.) were output to a file that was reviewed daily, and could then be fed either in whole or in part(s) to a script that would process the desired actions. Before I knew it, I was blackholing hundreds or even thousands of addresses a day... ~70% of which were from China Telecom, followed immediately by Russia, Brazil, and Moldova, with less than 5% of attacks originating from U.S. or European addresses. The number of compromised customer servers on our network plummeted, along with a corresponding and by-no-means-insignificant dip in network traffic.

What got me started on this project was that, among other things, hackers were scanning our network for Plesk's default admin login port (as Plesk at that time *had* a default admin login and password), and any time they got a response from port 8443 on an IP that previously did not have that port open, they would jump in and root new installs often before the customer ever logged in for the first time. Needless to say, I put an end to that nonsense.

However, calling spammers dumb as others have above is probably a mistake: they can often be fairly smart, but what they really are - usually - is Peak Lazy, and are aiming for low hanging fruit. Eventually, the more sophisticated ones will create or adapt new techniques to defeat - or at least cope with - this particular methodology, and the cat-and-mouse-arms-race game of security will continue on as it always has, with one side or the other evolving new defenses or offenses, and the other evolving an appropriate response. The fact that a particular batch of spammers got caught and will find the emails from their current spam campaigns not reaching their intended audience on this go round will only slow them down for a time on the domains this list covers, but to say the spammers have hit "Peak Stupid" as a result of excessive automation is, in fact, an NP-Dumb analysis.

Comment: assumption fail (Score 1) 426

by s13g3 (#46955433) Attached to: Mathematical Model Suggests That Human Consciousness Is Noncomputable
"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong." ~Arthur C. Clarke

Just because they can't figure out HOW a digital machine would compute it does not mean that machine consciousness isn't possible... merely highly unlikely with the current state of the art.

Semi-/organic systems or components or other radically new or different implementations and designs of hardware, new materials, as well as new software techniques could blow their assertion out of the water next month as easily as in the next decade.

Pretty much every time someone says "you cannot", someone eventually comes along and develops something to prove them wrong. Just like they said no one would ever break the sound barrier, or put a man in orbit, or that there's only a need for a handful of computers globally. You know, like every time someone says "tape is a dead storage medium", or "ZOMG Moore's Law is going to fail in the next 5 years", and are consistently proven wrong. This scenario is no different, and merely indicates a lack of understanding of science on the part of the researchers, as well as a lack of imagination. Just because they can't figure out HOW it could be done does not mean it is not possible.

Comment: Not even remotely... (Score 1) 179

Star Wars didn't even remotely do this first... in fact, it wasn't even the first in major media, seeing as how this was the whole point of the "deflector dish" in Star Trek.

Also, they've "proven" or "demonstrated" precisely nothing, as they have tested - and derived results from - precisely nothing.

Finally, the feasibility of this was demonstrated long ago by an "odd" occurrence in a 3M plant making polypropylene film, not to mention the high-strength electro-magnetic fields (or "bottles") currently in use in experimental fusion reactors.

Just because I noticed that birds and other creatures can fly and write about it in a paper, does not mean that constitutes demonstration or proof of an assertion that human-powered flight is feasible, nor does it demonstrate the actual principle in any useful way.

Comment: By this logic fire should have been banned (Score 1) 178

by s13g3 (#46861295) Attached to: DOJ Complains About Getting a Warrant To Search Mobile Phones
If this exact same logic had been applied during the time the Constitution was written, these people would have attempted to ban anyone from possessing or using fire in any place where any document that any government agency might one day want to read is created or stored, because "the criminals might burn the papers we think might contain evidence against them, therefore nobody should be allowed to have fire and paper at the same time because it would inconvenience us."

Comment: Re:Let it die (Score 1) 510

by s13g3 (#46717013) Attached to: How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture
Agreed entirely.

"Wah, technology is making our extremely self-isolated, often xenophobic culture irrelevant and unnecessary, and we're losing children to the 'normals' because the 'normals' want our precious deaf babies to be able to hear just like them, and then they won't be able to identify with our problems and won't want to be part of our little culture. Waaaaaahhhhhhhh."

It's a bit like the tiny backwards religions and cults (like the ones that preach total abstinence, for example) who can't figure out why their children don't want to remain part of their tiny little self-isolated ultra-religious, extremely narrow-minded and often rather intolerant communities for the larger world of opportunities without the shackles of self-imposed dogmas or bigotries. "We just can't figure out why these children would want to leave our perfect little nest and see or be part of the wider world."

That's part of what technology does: encourages progress, and helps us ablate away the slough and callouses on our society and cultures. 100+ years ago there were whole, relatively mainstream cultures focused on death because it was such an unavoidable part of life, during an age where you were lucky if 1 in 3 children survived to adolescence, much less adulthood. Since then, medical science drastically increased survival rates, and those cults faded away as fewer and fewer people suffered agonizing, tragic, or otherwise preventable losses, and thus as fewer people needed social support in their grief or hardships, such cults largely disappeared.

Deaf "culture" should be no different. It's a crutch, a support group, for people with similar problems to band together, however it very often creates as many problems as it solves. By pulling people away or serving to isolate them from their larger culture, not as an individual wishing to remain unique, but as someone who sees themselves as irrevocably different from, and outside the groups that would otherwise be their peers, if not for their disability, it creates a barrier to participation or feelings of inclusion in society at large, and in the end can do as much harm as good by fostering resentment toward a society they see as rejecting them, all while they isolate themselves from it further and further.

Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences 914

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the miles-was-never-the-same dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Like something out of the movie Inception, Rhiannon Williams reports in the Telegraph that Dr. Rebecca Roache, in charge of a team of scholars focused upon the ways futuristic technologies might transform punishment, claims the prison sentences of serious criminals could be made worse by distorting prisoners' minds into thinking time was passing more slowly. 'There are a number of psychoactive drugs that distort people's sense of time, so you could imagine developing a pill or a liquid that made someone feel like they were serving a 1,000-year sentence,' says Roache. Roache says when she began researching this topic, she was thinking a lot about Daniel Pelka, a four-year-old boy who was starved and beaten to death by his mother and stepfather.

'I had wondered whether the best way to achieve justice in cases like that was to prolong death as long as possible. Some crimes are so bad they require a really long period of punishment, and a lot of people seem to get out of that punishment by dying. And so I thought, why not make prison sentences for particularly odious criminals worse by extending their lives?' Thirty years in prison is currently the most severe punishment available in the UK legal system. 'To me, these questions about technology are interesting because they force us to rethink the truisms we currently hold about punishment. When we ask ourselves whether it's inhumane to inflict a certain technology on someone, we have to make sure it's not just the unfamiliarity that spooks us,' says Roache. 'Is it really OK to lock someone up for the best part of the only life they will ever have, or might it be more humane to tinker with their brains and set them free? When we ask that question, the goal isn't simply to imagine a bunch of futuristic punishments — the goal is to look at today's punishments through the lens of the future.'"

Comment: In a word... (Score 1) 81

by s13g3 (#46474967) Attached to: Replicant Hackers Find and Close Samsung Galaxy Back-door
> "is a 100% free software mobile device important to you?"

In a word: Yes.

The borderline (and sometimes not-so-borderline) criminal behavior of some software/hardware makers, coupled with often exorbitant costs for a device that will either be destroyed (via being cheaply made) or totally obsolete in a few years makes me quite leery of trusting or relying on a modern smartphone, much less actually spending my own money on one. Especially when my company provides me with a phone, POS though it may be.

No user-servicable parts inside. Refer to qualified service personnel.