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Comment Not update fatigue... crappy update fatigue (Score 1) 320

At some point, software vendors are going to need to address the issue that when they make crappy updates, people don't apply them.

Consider mobile app store updates: they rarely install other unrelated crapware, don't reconfigure your device settings, and don't require reboots... and users typically install them automatically. Conversely, Apple's PC software updates typically do all of the above, and people regularly decline them as a result.

Hence it's not a problem with update fatigue, it's just a problem with companies producing crappy updates, and users getting conditioned to expect (and decline) crap from certain vendors.

Here's hoping Apple et all get sued at some point for this, and/or something else happens to motivate some improvements to the update process. There's no reason people shouldn't be running updated software, aside from laziness and/or incompetence on the part of the vendors.

Comment Would it be that bad? (Score 2) 157

I mean, would a Chinese politician be any worse than a US politician, really? Any more corrupt? Any less likable? Moreover, the US a basically already implementing mechanisms of rights confiscation, ubiquitous domestic surveillance, state-controlled economy, a police state, etc. We're practically already China, in terms of how the government functionally operates. Would allowing Chinese politicians be all that bad?

Comment A few choices... (Score 1) 191

- Complete, firmware-level wipe (if possible, depends on phone model), re-installation of stock firmware, or...
- Complete, firmware-level wipe (if possible, depends on phone model), installation of custom ROM (which will support some of the phone functionality, depending on ROM), and...
- Avoid anything not from the google app store, and any app requiring high-level permissions, and any app requiring access you don't want it to have, or...

- Get an iPhone (which is not 100% safe, but safer than essentially any Android configuration, with the "walled garden" drawback)

Those are your options if you're concerned about malware on your mobile device at this point.

Comment Easy fix (Score 1) 192

At least there's an easy fix (as untenable as it would be to cause our government to do it):

1) $100,000 fine per incident of any unauthorized access to a vehicle through a remote mechanism (any mechanism, any access, no exceptions).
2) Force manufacturers to carry insurance to cover at least $1,000,000 in liability per car sold.

Problem solved... no more remotely exploitable surface for vehicles at all (too expensive for the manufacturer, until it's security-solid enough to afford the insurance). Won't fix general software bugs (which could still kill people), but would be immensely great for getting the scourge of telematic systems under control.

Comment Duh... (Score 1) 417

Irrespective of the fact the H1-B's are used to displace American workers with cheap foreign labor, which is blindingly obvious...

The beauty of Trump's proposal, in the abstract, is that it is beneficial regardless of how damaging the current H1-B program is to domestic workers. By preferring American workers for any jobs, and ensuring that H1-B workers are paid at least as much as any US worker filling the same job, you ensure that H1-B's are being used only for their nominal purpose: to fill high-skilled positions for which no Americans are capable and available.

If the H1-B program isn't being abused, then Trump's proposal does no effective harm to the businesses utilizing it. If it is being abused (as everyone knows, really, aside from partisan politics), then Trump's proposal could help limit the abuse. Moreover, implementing it would make clear if it was being abused or not (vis-à-vis the continued usage and/or calls for expansion). It would be a win-win-win... and by inference, you can assume that anyone arguing against it (in the abstract) has an ulterior motive.

Comment Man, I'd love to see this... (Score 1) 231

Much as I think it's unlikely, I'd LOVE to see a cyber-security bill (a good one, not a crappy destroy-your-privacy version like the government keeps trying to pass) which would impose mandatory penalties for unauthorized remote access to a system/device owned by a consumer, and a requirement that manufacturers carry minimal insurance for such.

Not only would that help the insurance industry, but we might actually get companies to actually pay attention to cyber-security, instead of blindly and idiotically connecting everything to easily exploitable remote access points (hello Chrysler, OnStar, et all). Moreover, we might get real fixes for problems, instead of the "oh well, buy the suckers identity theft protection and move on" dismissal for huge breaches. If we're really lucky, the law can include secret, unspecific, unsupported, unconstitutional orders from secret, pseudo-judicial courts under the blanket of "unauthorized access" (we can dream). At a minimum, though, it would be a good thing.

Comment Finally... (Score 1) 126

As a victim of Valve's previous refund policy (bought game which simply didn't work on my system, which they knew, but would not issue a refund, and ended up needing to charge back the purchase on my cc, resulting in a ban of that cc from Steam and much consternation), I think this is a great change. It boggles my mind that the previous policy and mechanism was so broken, and so doubly-punishing to victims of bug-riddled software.

Comment New growth business: private schools... (Score 1) 545

The intersection of people who don't want to follow the CDC's vaccination schedule (for whatever reason, legitimate or otherwise) and people with some resources has got to be somewhat reasonably sized (eg: look at all the wealthy areas with well-informed people who don't buy into the "everything is safe" propaganda). That says growth industry in servicing the desire to avoid public school to me...

Comment Re:No problems with iPhone 6 (Score 1) 484

Agreeing with this: no issues with the iPhone 6.

I've had Windows (a while ago), Android (stock, Motorola), Cyanogen, and iOS. iOS is, by a good margin, the best "just works" OS for a smart phone, imho. Second is probably Windows at the moment, although I'd favor Cyanogen if you're not going iOS, because at least then you get some additional control of your device, rather than just a different walled garden. As always, stock Android brings up the rear, because not only do vendors fill it with bloatware, and it has long-standing usability issues that the devs simply don't care to fix (looking at you, unlock-on-bluetooth bug), but it rarely gets patched longer than a year out or so, so it gets inevitably worse over time.

Comment Amplifying an existing problem (Score 1) 760

... are people just dumb, or is there an ulterior motive to this suggestion?

I mean, we already have a huge problem that the police are, in many cases, giving citations motivated much more by revenue generation then public safety. And this suggestion... would make that problem much worse.

I've got a suggestion: how about we try to address the massive corruption, spying for the government, rights violations, lack of accountability, and near-total diversion between stated goals and objective reality in law enforcement, before we worry about how to squeeze a bit more indirect taxation from the populace. Or, I don't know, maybe recognize this "suggestion" as underhanded PR for simply more taxation.

Comment Echo chamber internet (Score 1) 375

Hm... not sure extending the reddit echo chamber effect to the entire effective internet is really a good idea, especially for diversity of ideas.

Then again, as someone else mentioned, there will always be other search engines. Back in the day, Yahoo only showed you the big, popular sites... and then a search engine called google which showed everything.

Comment Two suggestions, FWIW (Score 1) 163

1. Try to innovate the controller(s), to get them closer to real instruments, while preserving the fun factor and low cost.
2. Instead of trying to squeeze hundreds of dollars out of people with DLC songs, allow people to create and share songs for free, and release a few new official songs a month for free. That way you build goodwill, and your game is perceived as a good (and increasing) value over time.

Just my 2c.

Comment What an absurd question... (Score 1) 78

I mean, it's not absurd to raise it, but it's pretty absurd that's it's considered in any way debatable. I mean, if it was a question between the law, and a contract I made with an arbitrary third party which allowed me to kill people with impunity, which has more legal power? The law, of course. By the nature of contract law, you cannot make something which is otherwise illegal legal, just because you have a contract which allows you to do it.

In the same way, the government spying on people in unconstitutional, regardless of whatever BS contracts they might make with each other and/or third parties. Duh. That's not going to stop anyone in the government from ignoring the law or human rights, of course, but it's absurd that there's any question of the technical legality.

Comment My experience, for reference (Score 1) 186

I had an Android phone which I eventually was able to root/mod; here's some advice, for what it's worth:
- Get a device which has a supported root/mod path via XDA. Some devices are more rootable than others.
- Be careful about updates; most root tools only work for specific versions, and patches regularly break rooting methods/scripts.
- If you want to preserve root, you'll want to run a cusom ROM, so find a device which has a supported mainstream ROM for it.
- Unless you are an expert, it will take a while. Plan on spending at least a week of off/on time messing with it, and be prepared if you brick it.
- If you want full control of the device, plan to make this your full-time job. Nobody really offers this, and you'll need to do it yourself.
- If you just want something with reasonable privacy controls which just works, get an IOS device; that's what I did eventually.

Also, as a side note:
- The regular web does suck, and browsing without an ad blocker these days is pretty horrible. Mainly posting to say that.

Comment Wait, what... $700M? (Score 1) 68

Hold on... I work in the private sector in info sec. DHS is nominally spending $700M annually on trying to provide value for the private sector? Huh? DHS doesn't provide value for anyone, as far as I know, much less the private sector. What kind of hallucinatory BS is this?

Intel CPUs are not defective, they just act that way. -- Henry Spencer