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Comment: Nothing could possibly go wrong. (Score 1) 239

by smclean (#33525054) Attached to: Robots Taught to Deceive

I gotta say, I'm kind of tired of stories like this and then the parade of 'whatcouldpossiblygowrong' and 'thiswillendwell' and all the comments talking about how this is the beginning of Skynet.

You know what's going to happen from this? Two little robots that look like RC cars will act out a prescribed game of hide and seek. It will end just fine. Nothing could possibly go wrong. There is no way that the deception which is 'taught' to these robots will end up magically transferring itself to our cell phones, computers and toaster ovens. Self-checkout counters will not begin to suddenly shave pennies off transactions.

Of all people, the readers of slashdot should know that. I know it's fun to joke but people here seem to be taking the joke seriously.

Comment: Re:change the port. (Score 1) 185

by smclean (#32667776) Attached to: Coming Soon, Web Ads Tailored To Your Zip+4
They can't "snoop" on port 443. That's the beauty of SSL. If any man-in-the-middle could read and alter HTTP headers then SSL wouldn't do us much good. As for using random ports, I don't want to begin explaining why that wouldn't be feasible, but just know that even if traffic were on a different port a router could identify it as HTTP traffic and perform the header injection anyway. Takes slightly more CPU to do.. My take on this is what others have said here. My ISP injecting headers in to my HTTP requests is unacceptable, period. If I wanted to advertise my zip+4 in an HTTP header I am perfectly capable of doing that myself. There is no reason for my ISP to read, inspect or alter ANY of my connections on ANY port of ANY content.

Comment: Is this a local incident? Of course not! (Score 1) 976

by smclean (#31824458) Attached to: Red-Light Camera Ticket Revenue and Short Yellows

This is not a local incident. Cities have been caught illegally shortening red lights in a ton of different cases over the last few years.

http://www.motorists.org/blog/6-cities-that-were-caught-shortening-yellow-light-times-for-profit and many more at http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=yellow+light+short+red+light+camera

Comment: Re:Easy (Score 4, Informative) 228

by smclean (#31038258) Attached to: Stay Off the Grid, Win $10,000

In the Wired article, Evan regularly logged in to the internet and even conversed with people involved in the hunt.

Clearly this is not the way to disappear from society, so I wouldn't be surprised if the contest includes rules mandating you to do certain things that make you catchable.

If someone with outdoor experience just walked off in to the wilderness, they would not be found. The Appalachian Trail might as well be an interstate freeway compared to the isolation that's possible if you just wander off cross-country.

I'd love 10 grand to go on a month long backpacking trip, and you better believe a lot of other people would too!

Comment: Re:This is just baffling! (Score 2, Interesting) 549

by smclean (#30040152) Attached to: Murdoch To Explore Blocking Google Searches

I agree with your take on this, but what I don't get is how Murdoch is able to continue in this campaign.

It seems to me that he is damaging his reputation and the reputation of his companies with all the press this idea is generating. Does he not have advisors that he consults with before making these press releases? ...I wonder if he just fires anyone who attempts to talk him out of it? The whole thing seems starkly suicidal. Who would invest in such an idea? Are there actually people who believe it can work?

Comment: Advertising Price Difference (Score 1) 420

by smclean (#29903477) Attached to: Decline In US Newspaper Readership Accelerates
It seems strange to me that the advertising price is so different, can anyone give me a good explanation why an advertiser's paper advertisement would be more successful than the same advertisement on the web? The only good argument I can come up with is AdBlock, but given AdBlock's install base, I don't see this as being enough of a factor to account for the difference. Why would a printed ad be more successful than an online ad?

Comment: Re:You reap what you sow (Score 4, Insightful) 221

by smclean (#29099345) Attached to: Microsoft Files "Emergency Motion" To Ship Word

i4i is an actual company, that sells actual products. They worked with Microsoft, and Microsoft, line for line, stole their code. i4i subsequently sued them, and won.

Hi, uninformed person here. If they stole code line for line, why is this a patent case and not a copyright infringement case?

Comment: Re:How is this even a fucking question? (Score 1) 204

by smclean (#28911055) Attached to: FCC Probing Apple, AT&T Rejection of Google Voice

Now that I think of it, this might be the reason that Apple removes all the Apps with profanity on them, because they're operating under a different set of regulations (i.e. the ones the FCC covers) with a mobile transmitter than with a normal computing device.

The FCC regulating the content of a subscription service? Sounds unlikely.

Real programmers don't write in BASIC. Actually, no programmers write in BASIC after reaching puberty.