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Comment Re: ADVERTISING (Score 1) 198

Just from a risk perspective, I trust Google far less than a random Chinese company. But, even ignoring the risks in each and looking at it from a technical perspective: Google has more technica prowess, more brand power, more politicians on their side, and they've been repeatedly caught doing EXTREMELY sketchy shit.

Comment Re:Maybe a reddit user can provide more insight (Score 3, Informative) 410

I've spoken with reddit users and have heard accusations that shadow bans are being abused. What's involved in shadow banning someone?

A shadow ban is a ban that is difficult for a bot to figure out (in theory, but it doesn't seem difficult to me). The user cannot tell the difference when logged in. However, their content is not being shown to anyone else. It should be as easy as clicking a permalink to one of your comments, then logging out and viewing the same permalink. If the comment is there when logged out, you are not shadow banned. I believe you can be shadow banned on both a subreddit and sitewide basis.

I have one non-throwaway reddit account, and I keep it away from the front page or anything controversial. For front paging, I used to use throwaways. Nowadays, I pretty much try to avoid reddit. But, yes in the past, shadow bans seemed to be quite zealously applied. Sure, I've said some controversial and even borderline trolling things. You can basically get shadow banned from a subreddit for offending a moderator. In my experience, shadow banning happens usually because you merely expressed an opinion that diverges from the normative or expected normative position of userbase at reddit, the so-called hivemind. It's permanent. That account is effectively toast.

Are people being shadow banned for being involved in unpopular sub-reddits?

That I do not know. Maybe someone should do some experiments.

Comment Re:It's weird... (Score 1) 258

How can you provide complete secrecy of the voter's choice? Let's say I want to buy a vote. In the current system, the person I am paying disappears into a booth, and I actually have no idea how they voted. Better yet, the ballot does not contain their name! Not a very useful thing to try to buy votes because there is total secrecy of the voters choice. The LACK of verification is a feature, not a bug. How can we provide this very important property (unverifiability of voter's actual choice even by an extremely powerful adversary) with internet voting?

Comment Pretty amazing, but not much cheaper than RPi (Score 4, Insightful) 180

This is pretty amazing if they can actually sell those for $9. Definitely one of the better kickstarters I've seen recently, so I am glad to see its successful.

However, once you add the HDMI, it's essentially the same price as a raspberry pi model A.

Comment Re:At this point? Really? (Score 4, Insightful) 76

Is it? I can't tell which bias he has. He's expressing a desire for more regulation, which is a left-leaning bias, but a disdain for Obama, even using his middle name, which a right-leaning bias. I think he's just showing that he's pissed at the corporate cock sucking, fascist pile of shit that is the US federal government.

Comment Re:It's good if they don't code like 90s C++ devs (Score 1) 298

I think a lot of people don't really understand how the compiler actually works. Not even at a basic level. If I make three different loop variables (int types) for three different loops which run at different times in a function (let's say this improves readability), any modern compiler worth its salt will only use the space of a single int for these three (because they are never used together). In my experience, many programmers, even mid-level, would not know that. And, this doesn't even require an understanding of how a compiler works. This is SUPER basic compiler understanding. This leads to poor attempts at "optimized" code which saves nothing (because they compiler will do the same thing to the machine code) and detracts from readability and maintainability.

Comment Re:Benefits are Overstated (Score 1) 172

I never said that the technology itself is evil. In a world with a trustworthy government and corporations which care about security, this could be an amazing technology. I am a security professional. It's not enough to merely evaluate what the product does. We have to evaluate what other things it COULD do once installed. Western governments are famous for scope creep with their technological endeavors. And, western corporations are famous for their sleaziness.

Comment Benefits are Overstated (Score 2, Insightful) 172

First of all, the government has acted irresponsibly with the powers it already has. Giving them the ability to remotely control our appliances is a terrible idea. We have to fix the problem with the unaccountable government and lack of societal trust before we start even thinking about these sorts of pie-in-the-sky, cooperative efforts which require a VERY high amount of accountability by those in control.

Second of all, even if the government can be trusted, the companies that will build these things will not take security seriously. I won't say maybe; I won't say possibly. Definitely. These things will definitely not be secure. Most companies still think they can just take a half-hearted crack at security, let marketing make it sound impermeable to the masses and act surprised when it comes out that the security was crap in the first place. It's pretty much the industry model at this point.

Finally, and most importantly, it's not even clear that smart meters will have the intended effect, that people adjust usage. As another commenter pointed out, when everyone is using electricity at the same time, there is usually a reason for that.

My fear is that these devices will be forced upon the public (they already are forcing the "smart" meters on us), and when the evidence is gathered that consumers don't adjust usage voluntarily, it will be done by force. And, the government does absolutely nothing to make me think this won't happen. Why should we, the public, accept this?

Comment Re:Thanks, assholes (Score 1) 573

Have you pondered that the purpose is to cut the "think of the children" argument off at the pass? It's up to the rest of us to defeat that logic now before it's too late. I, personally, support Defense Distributed pushing the envelope with both 3D printers and gun rights. What value does a free society have if we cannot tackle the difficult questions like adults?

Comment Is It Worth Getting a New Job Over? (Score 1) 420

At what point does a bad office layout drive you to seek new employment? It might seem ridiculous at first cut, but if you work in a terrible office, it really drags on you. And, better yet, how does one find out at a new job exactly what the work environment is like? Interviews are not usually done near the cube farm. Do you ask to see an example section of the building?

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.