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Comment Why do I need SSL? (Score 1) 216

So my simple web server, serving up some basic info - like maybe my most recent cat photos.. Are you saying that I *must* use SSL to do this? And to make SSL work I have to pay to get a certificate (cuz I don't really trust the freebie options yet). All so that visitors to my site will *know* that they are looking at cat pictures securely? That doesn't really make too much sense, and seems to suggest a broad assumption about the main purpose of web sites. Not everything requires an encrypted channel. Won't someone think of the kitties? All this hype about safeguarding the Internet for the kids, and not enough to remember that kitties need love too.

Comment Full rights (Score 1) 539

Your rights to publish revenue generating advertisements stops the moment that ad attempts to appear on my screen. The screen belongs to me. The hardware that runs it belongs to me. The bandwidth to retrieve your ad belongs to me (by virtue of the fact I am paying for it). What I choose to have appear on my screen is MY choice - not yours. If I choose to replace all advertisements of one-eyed midget Unicorns, that is up to me. If I choose to utilize a tool to prevent the ads from using my bandwidth in the first place, that is up to me. If I choose to blacklist all the IPs that your ads appear on, that is also up to me. You have every right to publish your ad. You do NOT have the right to force me to look at it.

Comment So the gov knowingly ran a child porn site? (Score 2, Insightful) 138

I haven't seen it in the comments yet, but by seizing the site and NOT shutting it down, the government chose to run a child porn server. Does that not then put them under the same legal scrutiny as those they were investigating? Of course I did not read the article and may be missing a bunch of detail, but if the gov was actively serving child porn, then THAT is a crime in my eyes - regardless if it was a honeypot or not.

Comment I wonder (Score 3, Insightful) 129

putting on my skeptical hat here to consider alternate views. One could easily wonder about the "anonymous" nature of this disclosure and how the message is about instilling fear. Who profits? It would be easy to conclude that this is a propaganda release with the aim of softening up the sheeple's perspective to allow for increased budget expenses, or even direct action at the supposed culprits. Blaming a nation-state on flimsy evidence such as what language was used suggests a preconception being reinforced by circumstancial tidbits. Afterall, there can't ever be anyone else in the world that speaks that language, perhaps even within one of the superpowers known to be fairly multicultural. Or those who hirer foreign workers. Yep, a sceptic would be wary of reports like this - even if the infiltration is 100% true.

Comment Upgrade hell (Score 1, Insightful) 39

Between keeping the core WP system up to date, and keeping all the plugins up to date, the maintenance needs for a WP system discounts it for most of my customers. If you fail to keep the updates in place - almost daily, then your site quickly becomes owned and requires even more maintenance to fix. There are times and places for WP, but if all "fixes" and content updates are going to the consultants and tech team anyway, then why not just use static HTML?

Comment Re:Your ISP doesn't care (Score 1) 269

Run your own server? You got to be kidding with advice like this. It is simple enough to get such a server up and operational. But, the maintenance effort needed on that server quickly outweighs any benefits. Ensuring the server has appropriate spam / virus protections, keeping these up to date, dealing with blacklistings, etc. It just is not worth it unless it is your job to maintain a server like this. If this is NOT your job, that job will suffer due to less time being available while you deal with email server maintenance.

In the end, it is much better to ask yourself two simple questions - How many mail boxes do I need? and How much storage is needed for each mail box? Using that information you can shop around and find a suitable solution where it is someone else's business to do that server maintenance. Prices and capabilities vary. Places like Rackspace offers an email services only option that costs much less than the time needed to host your own server. Gmail and the ilk become options as well. I hesitate to use the "free" services from companies like Google though - it is bad enough that I am relinquishing control of an essential service, I want to know that I am getting what I pay for. The contracts for free services are rather one sided with limited liabilities, IMO.

Comment Interesting (Score 4, Interesting) 62

... "attributable to the inaccurate data Spokeo collected on him." If a company is in the clear for publishing inaccurate data about an individual, are they also in the clear for just fabricating data? What's to say that any of the names in their lists represent real and physical people with the same name? In theory the users entered the data at one point or another and that should be enough to tie the data to a real human. BUT any coder knows it's not rocket science to write a script to fill in a form and submit it. Consider tools like Faker

Comment Re:Awesome Models (Score -1) 235

From the NASA website ( "The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere "behaves" over relatively long periods of time." So weather IS climate, just on a much shorter scale. Weather is TODAY's climate, and the collective weather over the past XX years defines a generic "climate" statement. With that in mind, predictions of Climate change should be relatively reliably reflected in current weather patterns. I would fully expect the predictions to be wrong occasionally, but there seems to be a growing trend of glaring wrongs with the current state of climate predictions. Therefore I submit that the current climate models are not yet good enough to be the defining factor in public policy, as many would have us believe they should be now.

Comment Awesome Models (Score 0, Troll) 235

So these awesome weather models that have been driving so much controversy over global warming and everything else are not quite right? Hmm, soo let me get this straight. They can't predict the weather next week very accurately, but we are supposed to "trust" the experts when they tell us what is going to happen in the next few years or longer? And we are seeing constant reminders like this that their models are broken and prone to human error. Forgive me if I take ALL weather predictions with a degree of doubt, like I have for almost all my life.

Submission + - Google Gets Into Car Insurance Comparison Business in US (

mpicpp writes: Google has made it official: It’s getting into car insurance in the U.S.

The tech giant announced Thursday that it’s launching a new feature called “Google Compare for Auto Insurance.”

It’s a comparison shopping site that lets consumers compare rates from different insurance carriers.

The option to compare rates will pop up when a consumer searches on Google for “car insurance.”

At the outset, the service is available to California residents, but Google said it will expand to other states later this year.

Google already offers auto, travel and mortgage quotes in the United Kingdom.

It also operates a credit card comparison service in the U.S. under the “Google Compare” umbrella.

Several major U.S. insurance carriers are reportedly reluctant to work with Google. The tech giant does not list major carriers such as State Farm, GEICO, Progressive and Allstate among its current partners.

Comment FOP? (Score 2) 132

Not sure how current it is, but when I was looking for the same a few years back all that was really available for PHP was HTML->PDF libraries which were not sufficient for anything but the most basic forms. A decent invoice form was hard to get right with these tools. Then I came across FOP. Or more specifically XML-FOP. Combine that with a little XSL and the output was amazing, and could do more than the HTML converters. The only problem is that the FOP tool was a Java based program so PHP would need to execute a shell command to call it. With tight control of what info was passed to that shell command, it seemed an appropriate trade-off for the job at hand. You can still get FOP in the ubuntu repos - apt-get install fop. The learning curve for FOP is a little steep to begin, but no more than any other XML dialect. And being XML, you have a lot of options in building the required FOP file. I opted to put my data into my own XML file, then utilize an XSL file to convert it if/when needed. More details here:

Comment Re:At least it wasn't an Aztek (Score 1) 94

I was told something similar about Ford/Mercury Sables a few years back. I think it has a lot to do with how many of the cars were sold in a given year, and how long that model can expect before a break down. If there were a LOT of PT Cruisers sold in a given year, and we could expect a 5 year average (for example) before a significant malfunction, then in that 5th year tow truck drivers would see a significant number of PT Cruisers on their hoists - regardless of the quality of the vehicle.

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