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Comment Re:Whistle blower (Score 0) 468 468

Agree 100%.

The definition of "conspiracy" is: two or more people hiding their actions from one or more other people. (Like: surprise party; or, the mafia.)

Thus, if the government "classifies" something, it is a conspiracy by definition! They (one or more people) are hiding their actions from the public (one or more people).

So it's no stretch to say government conspires. Does government classify? Yes. Thus, government conspires.

Comment Re:No it is not (Score 1) 351 351

The only effect web ads have on me, at least until the IP shows up in my hosts list, is to slow pages down.

Wrong. Advertisement works, that is why it's a billion dollar industry. You think you don't read billboards and ignore other ads? Think again. Your brain picks them up long before it even tells your conscious mind about it. Filtering it out is an intentional process that takes effort (tiny, but effort). And images and emotions are processed by your mind if you want it or not.

Comment Re:Absolutely (Score 2) 351 351

It is pretty much the only way to fund "free" services of all kinds that have large reach but no direct income

No, it is not.

Advertisement created this idea of free services being paid by advertisement. There was a different time in this world, when you paid for your newspaper at the kiosk, and if you wanted to have a website for your journal, you would pay a hosting company.

There were also shared-cost services long before things became commerzialised. Back in FIDOnet days, email was transported by phone lines, and a bunch of people would come together, one of them set up a small server that would do the long-distance delivery and the others would pay him a buck or two a month to cover his phone bills while they got their mail for free or very cheap at local rates.

There is no reason that Facebook could not charge for its service. Except that the advertisement industry has created the concept of everything being free. Nowadays, having a pay service is not viable, not for any sane reasons, but simply because of this parlour trick.

Radio and TV in the time when they were sent by radio waves (and not digitally via cable) are about the only things where there are actual technical reasons why a pay service is not going to work. You can use encryption, but in pre-ubiquituous-computing times, it dramatically raises costs for new customers who need a hardware box.

But those times are over. Today, I challenge you to name one service that for technical or other reasons that were not artificially created (i.e. the expectation of customers that it should be free) has to use advertisement. I don't think you can. Everything that can be monetized by advertisement could be monetized in other ways.
The "there are no alternatives" claim is a damned lie, in politics as well as in business.

Comment not really (Score 3, Interesting) 351 351

philosopher Thomas Wells is out to change the way you think about Google and its ilk.

Not really, no. He's just saying what I've been thinking (and saying, but since I'm not a reknown philosopher, few listen) for many years.

If you know anything at all about the mind and the brain, you understand that attention isn't free. That even "filtering out" advertisement (and we don't really, we just consume it unconsciously) takes up valuable mind-effort. That living in a city is stressful in parts because our brains are constantly busy, busy, busy with the environment, running a million-year-old program that constantly scans the area for potential threats or mates, and advertisement intentionally triggers those subroutines all the time (why do you think "sex sells"?).

Advertisement is a massive drain of resources, and the best thing I've ever done for myself was to throw out my television and stop listening to the radio. At least the inside of my home is mostly ad-free.

Comment Q4 2016 is really fast dev time (Score 2) 111 111

their deal with Microsoft prevents them from getting back into the phone business until Q4 2016, so we won't be seeing Nokia phones soon either way.

New phones typically take years to develop and bring to market. I don't think Q4 2016 is prohibitive at all.

That's about a year...even if Nokia started today designing a new phone it would be kind of amazing if they had it ready to go to market by Q4 2016.

They say "You have to go away to come back" and Nokia definitely went away so....

Submission + - XKEYSCORE: NSA'S Google for the World's Private Communications->

Advocatus Diaboli writes: "The NSA’s ability to piggyback off of private companies’ tracking of their own users is a vital instrument that allows the agency to trace the data it collects to individual users. It makes no difference if visitors switch to public Wi-Fi networks or connect to VPNs to change their IP addresses: the tracking cookie will follow them around as long as they are using the same web browser and fail to clear their cookies. Apps that run on tablets and smartphones also use analytics services that uniquely track users. Almost every time a user sees an advertisement (in an app or in a web browser), the ad network is tracking users in the same way. A secret GCHQ and CSE program called BADASS, which is similar to XKEYSCORE but with a much narrower scope, mines as much valuable information from leaky smartphone apps as possible, including unique tracking identifiers that app developers use to track their own users."

also

"Other information gained via XKEYSCORE facilitates the remote exploitation of target computers. By extracting browser fingerprint and operating system versions from Internet traffic, the system allows analysts to quickly assess the exploitability of a target. Brossard, the security researcher, said that “NSA has built an impressively complete set of automated hacking tools for their analysts to use.” Given the breadth of information collected by XKEYSCORE, accessing and exploiting a target’s online activity is a matter of a few mouse clicks. Brossard explains: “The amount of work an analyst has to perform to actually break into remote computers over the Internet seems ridiculously reduced — we are talking minutes, if not seconds. Simple. As easy as typing a few words in Google.”

Link to Original Source
The Courts

8 Yelp Reviewers Hit With $1.2 Million Defamation Suits 210 210

New submitter goodboi writes: A Silicon Valley building contractor is suing 8 of its critics over the reviews they posted on Yelp. The negative reviews were filtered out by Yelp's secretive ranking system, but in court documents filed earlier this month, Link Corporation claims that the bad publicity cost over $165,000 in lost business.
Programming

To Learn (Or Not Learn) JQuery 126 126

Nerval's Lobster writes: jQuery isn't without its controversies, and some developers distrust its use in larger projects because (some say) it ultimately leads to breakage-prone code that's harder to maintain. But given its prevalence, jQuery is probably essential to know, but what are the most important elements to learn in order to become adept-enough at it? Chaining commands, understanding when the document is finished loading (and how to write code that safely accesses elements only after said loading), and learning CSS selectors are all key. The harder part is picking up jQuery's quirks and tricks, of which there are many... but is it worth studying to the point where you know every possible eccentricity?
Google

SCOTUS Denies Google's Request To Appeal Oracle API Case 181 181

New submitter Neil_Brown writes: The Supreme Court of the United States has today denied Google's request to appeal against the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's ruling (PDF) that the structure, sequence and organization of 37 of Oracle's APIs (application program interfaces) was capable of copyright protection. The case is not over, as Google can now seek to argue that, despite the APIs being restricted by copyright, its handling amounts to "fair use". Professor Pamela Samuelson has previously commented (PDF) on the implications if SCOTUS declined to hear the appeal. The Verge reports: "A district court ruled in Google's favor back in 2012, calling the API "a utilitarian and functional set of symbols" that couldn't be tied up by copyrights. Last May, a federal appeals court overturned that ruling by calling the Java API copyrightable. However, the court said that Google could still have lawfully used the APIs under fair use, sending the case back to a lower court to argue the issue. That's where Google will have to go next, now that the Supreme Court has declined to hear the issue over copyright itself.

Comment fully half baked (Score 1) 171 171

the idea might be a bit half-baked

imho, it's not a bit half-baked, it's all the way...*this idea is awful*

my first thought was, in order to detect on females you have to have intercourse first, which kind of defeats the purpose...also, checking the color (i can just see the antics w/ attempting to use a cell phone light...) is also going to be more awkward than any of the alternatives

these ideas never leave the concept stage

if something like a condom can indicate this, just make a test swab or something...it's already awkward having to stop and turn on the light to check the color...

The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to work.

Working...