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

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) 126 126

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) 545 545

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) 484 484

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) 760 760

... 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) 375 375

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) 163 163

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 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) 186 186

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 CurrentC is dead-tech (Score 1) 631 631

I'm not sure Apple Pay will "win", but I'm absolutely certain CurretC will "lose". It's a great change for the merchants, and horrible for the consumers (in contrast to Apple Pay, which is neutral for merchants, and positive for consumers). Unless the merchants stop taking credit cards (and I think that's unlikely), CurrentC is already dead.

Comment This begs for something like ubiquitous TOR... (Score 2) 126 126

Sure, everyone running TOR on their gateway for all internet traffic would be horribly inefficient. Sure, it would preclude some things, like IP multi-casting and content geo-caching.

But you know what? It would pretty much make net neutrality a de facto standard, irrespective of what the horribly corrupt FCC decides. And you know what else? It would effectively end the NSA's collection of everyone online activity. Oh, and you would get all the privacy benefits for free, forever.

On balance, given the openly hostile actors in the government, I think it would be worth it.

Comment The reason the government wants this... (Score 3, Informative) 254 254

For those who don't see why this is bad, consider this:

In order to route/cache by data, the data must be visible to the routing nodes; in essence, you would no longer be able to use end-to-end encryption. You could still have point-to-point (eg: encryption for wireless connections), but everything would be visible to routing nodes, by necessity. This means no more hiding communications from the government (who taps all the backbone routers), no TOR routing, no protection from MTM attacks, by design. You get the promise of more efficiency, at the cost of your privacy/freedom... and guess what, you'll get neither in this case, too.

Comment Data point (Score 1) 348 348

I don't run a local firewall on my work system, for reference. As a developer, it's common to need to have "random" ports open for various things for testing, and having to deal with a firewall is one more nuisance I don't want to account for. A local (on system) firewall won't prevent most attacks anyway, so I don't feel I'm giving up much real security.

I do run a local firewall at home, but only because it has not annoyed me enough to be disabled yet.

I don't know how useful that information is; consider it a data point.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein

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