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Comment: Fair enough, if... (Score 1) 319

by scottme (#49360803) Attached to: Amazon Requires Non-Compete Agreements.. For Warehouse Workers

I can't take any job involving "any product or service sold, offered, or otherwise provided by Amazon (or intended to be sold, offered, or otherwise provided by Amazon in the future)" then I'm absolutely going to need Amazon to keep me fully informed about all their future plans throughout my employment with Amazon.

This would be purely so I can be sure I won't inadvertently engage in any subsequent activity that would fall foul of that non-compete clause.

Heh heh.

Comment: Re:Just in tech? (Score 1) 341

= = = Women make less than men over their careers because they have babies, = = =

Last time I checked, the vast majority of people in the US who have babies are married. It takes two to have a baby, and care of the child is both parents' responsibility. So you're basically saying that men in the tech industry shirk their childrearing responsibilities too.

Comment: Re:Just in tech? (Score 1) 341

= = = Then men and women hit their 50s. Kids are out of the house and on their own. Men starting taking months at a time off for prostate cancer and heart surgery, while women are hitting their stride at work. And yet oddly the salaries and titles of the 50-something men are never reduced to match their lower productivity. What a meritocracy! = = =


Comment: Re:Just in tech? (Score 0) 341

Then men and women hit their 50s. Kids are out of the house and on their own. Men starting taking months at a time off for prostate cancer and heart surgery, while women are hitting their stride at work. And yet oddly the salaries and titles of the 50-something men are never reduced to match their lower productivity. What a meritocracy!


Comment: Re:Google wants a monopoly... (Score 2) 133

by swillden (#49332903) Attached to: Chinese CA Issues Certificates To Impersonate Google

Google is completely OK with sharing personal info with all governments

Not true, not in the slightest. Google has fought hard to minimize the information they have to give to governments, and to be as transparent as the law will allow about what they do give. Remember that Google created the transparency report, and was the company that managed to negotiate permission to share aggregated data about National Security Letters. Many other companies have followed suit, but Google led the way.

They have already been caught supplying users' data to the US government.

No, Google has been shown to comply with legal requirements, and to fight questionable requests in court. Snowden also revealed that the NSA was tapping Google's fiber. Google responded by encrypting the data on that fiber.

They make money on that as well because they charge the US government a fee for that service.

Cite? Since Google is a publicly-traded company, it should be easy to point to that line item in their SEC filings.

Stood up and achieved what? Get told by the Chinese government to STFU or GTFO?

No, told by the Chinese government to participate in government-mandated censorship or GFTO. Google participated for a while and then decided it wasn't what they ought to be doing, and so chose to GTFO of the biggest market on the planet (albeit one in which they had a small market share.

Comment: Re:Sooo .. (Score 1) 127

except that polling it continuously will keep the device from going to sleep (have an impact on battery life).

It doesn't seem to have a significant impact, AFAICT. I haven't benchmarked with and without, but at leas on my Nexus 6 I didn't observe any obvious decrease in battery life when I turned it on.

Comment: Re:Sooo .. (Score 1) 127

I've been using this feature for a few months now (I work for Google) and I think on balance it significantly improves my security. It means that I can set my phone to lock instantly on display timeout, with a one-minute timeout, lock instantly on power button press, and use a long, complex password... and not be inconvenienced by having to constantly re-enter a long password. This is a security win, because if I did have to enter a long password two dozen times per day, I wouldn't do it; I'd choose a simpler password and settings that lock my device less aggressively. Even better, I find myself subtly encouraged by the phone to keep it in my pocket, rather than setting it down on tables, desks, etc., because if I put it down somewhere I'll have to re-enter my password.

If I were mugged, I'd just hit the power button as I remove the phone from my pocket. Actually, what I'd really like to do in that case is to power it down, but I'm not sure I could get away with that, since it requires holding the power button for a couple of seconds, then tapping the confirmation dialog. Since my phone is encrypted, getting it into a powered-down state makes my data quite secure. Not that the lockscreen is necessarily easy to bypass, but it's part of a large, complex system, which means there's a lot of attack surface. Once the device is powered down, the risk model is very simple and well-understood: If the attacker can't guess my password, he can't get at my data. Thanks to the hardware-backed encryption used in Lollipop, password guessing is rate-limited by the hardware to a level that would require, on average, about 70 years of continuous trials. Even if the attacker were that patient (a) nothing on my phone would be worth anything after a decade or so and (b) I doubt the device would last that long. Mobile devices aren't built to run flat out for years.

I've also used the bluetooth proximity Smart Lock, paired to a smartwatch, but I've decided I like the "Trusted behavior" feature better, so I've stopped trusting proximity to my watch. The range on bluetooth is large enough that I can set my phone down and be far enough away that someone could use it but still within range for keeping unlocked. Plus, I really like the encouragement to keep the device on my body. In the long run, that user training will, I think, do more for my device security than anything else.

I do still use bluetooth, but paired to my car's bluetooth, so I can put the phone in a cradle or on the center console and have it stay unlocked. I also set the phone to trust proximity to the bluetooth headset I use when cycling, because I put the phone in a cradle mounted on the handlebars and want it to stay unlocked as I use it to track my ride.

The discussion on this thread about phones being snatched from hands, though, makes me think that perhaps I should re-enable trust of my smartwatch. That would address high-speed theft pretty well. I just tested and taking the phone out of range of my smartwatch does lock the phone, even if it's in my pocket. So a thief couldn't just grab it from my hands and drop it in their pocket to keep it unlocked.

However, this means I lose the on-body self-training. I suppose if I turn the smartwatch linkage on only when I'm outside my home or office, I'd get the on-body training most of the time but the smartwatch linkage all of the rest. Hmm... I wonder if I can create a Tasker profile to automate that...

Comment: Re:Sooo .. (Score 1) 127

you do want the screen to turn off and lock from input when you place the phone in your pocket, unless you enjoy random stuff happening.

The proximity sensor (same one that prevents you from hitting buttons with your cheek while talking on the phone) should turn the screen off and disable input without locking the screen when it senses your leg/hip.

Comment: Re:Featured apps only will be analyzed? (Score 4, Informative) 139

by swillden (#49288849) Attached to: Google 'Experts' To Screen Android Apps For Banned Content

So this is telling me that the apps that Google "Features" currently are not inspected or analyzed by any humans before they become featured. "Featured," to my way of thinking, means recommended. So, currently, are algorithms recommending apps, not people? And if so, how long before algorithms recommend movies, books, music? (Currently, Wikibooks notes that "Featured books are books that the Wiki community believes to be the best . . .")

No. "Apps featured in Google Play" isn't the same as "Featured Apps in Google Play". Neither phrase was from Google, either, but from the summary.

The summary is wrong in others ways, too. It says that Google is going to begin screening apps. The actual announcement says that this has been going on for several months. It also says that the process is "human-based", which the announcement doesn't say, just that the process "involves a team of experts who are responsible for identifying violations of our developer policies earlier in the app lifecycle." This leaves open the possibility that the team in question automates the actual screening, which is obviously much more normal for Google.

Really, your best bet is to ignore the summary and the linked article and just read the post from Google: http://android-developers.blog...

Comment: Don't get a new one (Score 4, Interesting) 385

by scottme (#49286607) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Laptop To Support Physics Research?

Thinkpads have always been very Linux-friendly laptops, as well as being well-designed and built, robust, and there are masses of ~3 year old ex-corporate units available via brokers, some in virtually as-new condition, at a small fraction of their original price. I've recently bought two top-condition X220s with 8GB RAM for around £300 each (I'm in UK, I got them from Tier 1 Online) and I expect them to serve me well for at least another 3-4 years. Add an SSD for a welcome performance boost for a modest outlay.

Comment: Re:its worth noting they arent independent. (Score 1) 269

by swillden (#49275915) Attached to: Fraud Rampant In Apple Pay

Mastercard and Visa are the only two companies that handle credit card transactions at the end of the day

Actually, Mastercard and Visa aren't even companies. They're associations of banks. There are incorporated entities under those names (many of them, actually, one per country, plus Mastercard International and Visa International, which themselves have many national subsidiaries), but they don't issue credit cards, and only operate some pieces of the transaction processing networks.

theyve often admitted theyre effectively the same company.

As someone who regularly meets with representatives from both, discussing areas where the competitors are trying to collaborate on standards but without giving up any edges, I call bullshit on this claim. They're most definitely separate, and competitors. It is true that their interests align in some cases, and they work together almost as much as they compete, but your claim that they're the same company is just ludicrous.

Comment: Re:Why I won't be using Google Wallet (Score 1) 269

by swillden (#49275869) Attached to: Fraud Rampant In Apple Pay

Just think of the absolute treasure trove of personal data... that google has OCR'd, indexed, and MONETIZED! Damn. I'm with you. Fuq em.

Google doesn't use the ID verification data for anything else. Actually, it's not clear what it would be useful FOR. How does knowing your driver's license number help Google to decide what ads to show you?

Plus, the vast majority of users of Google Wallet don't have to submit this data. It's not the normal case.

Administration: An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. -- Ambrose Bierce