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Comment Re:Windows 10 (Score 1) 200

The final straw was when they wanted to essentially remove my local account on the machine and replace it with me using a Microsoft account for my local login.

Apple actually it too.

And in both cases, you can simply say No. It's not as obvious as it should be, but its also pretty trivial to say no, and since saying no, it hasn't bugged me about it again.

Perhaps I'm being overly negative, but it's just too much

I tend to think so too. But some people actually seem to like it.

I may just have to bite the bullet and do my PC gaming on Linux

Or you could just run a local account on your PC as you've always done. And not use Bing, edge, and outlook, and turn off Cortana.

Windows 10 is a product of the times, so anticipate stuff with cloud integration shit to be all over the place... everyone else is doing it. Apple. Google. even Canonical (Ubuntu)...

Comment Re:Ironic (Score 1) 213

I think that Annalee thinks that her target audience is politicians.

I'd expect it's people that read a lot of gizmodo ... which sort of says all that needs to be said.

The most genius part of this entire scam is that the men will never go to the authorities if they figure it out.


getting a real insider peak at how a dating site actually operates,

Also agreed. I almost think this 'reveal' should prompt some regulation of dating sites. They should be obligated to provide the services people think they are buying. Sites like OK Cupid and eHarmony etc... I'm sure they are better... we all know people who have met someone there... but is it really all on the up and up or is there a lot of shady going on there too?

Comment Re:Ironic (Score 1) 213

There's actually an update to the Gizmodo article since I'd last read it. I'm reading the new article now.

Its quite interesting.

You're looking at a single metric or two (inbox opened, messages replied to) and trying to extrapolate additional information that is simply not there.

You are right. I conflated "replied to" with "sent". That changes things significantly. But the debate is somewhat mooted by the new article.


Comment on the upside... (Score 3, Insightful) 140

Most birds have trouble passing large bits of plastic, and they build up in the stomach, sometimes taking up so much room that the birds canâ(TM)t consume enough food to stay healthy.

We can start harvesting bird carcasses for plastic, taking it out of the environment, and acting as a source of plastic. Win-win. /sarcasm (that shouldn't be needed here... but...)

Comment Re: Sorry, but Apple still deserves most of the cr (Score 1) 335

I use my OSX box at work (MacBook Pro) and I can manage Unix systems with no issues

Assuming the OS works well enough connect to the network and open an SSH terminal session you'd have no issues managing Unix systems.

It would take a pretty catastrophically bad OS to fail as a dumb SSH terminal. Even DOS was pretty passable at it.

I think he means actually managing and fixing screwed up OSX systems from OSX. That's where OSX really gets in the way.

Comment Re:Ironic (Score 1) 213

I'm specifically trying to determine the number of actual women on the site as opposed to fake accounts. I'm not interested in, and cannot guess, their motivations for being there. The data does not provide a way to estimate that and, again, I'm less interested in opinions than statistical evidence.

One CAN determine to an extent their level of engagement. Never checking the inbox, or sending messages tells us a LOT.

Obviously, I disagree, and a statistician would agree with me.

A statistician would tell you that there are between 0 and 20,000,000 women on the site with an VERY high level of confidence.

They would agree with you that there are between 12,000 and 2.1 million with a high level of confidence; based on the paid deletes and the fact that it is a wide range.

And they would agree with me that there are between 5,000 and 15,000 women ENGAGED with the site with a high level of confidence, based on the strong evidence of a total lack of engagement with the site from the overwhelming majority of female accounts, despite it being a much narrower range.

You're looking at this from a psychological perspective, and I'm looking at it from a statistical perspective. That's the difference.

Not really, I'm looking it from a statistical perspective too. I consider the paid deletes to be something of an outlier; and don't see any evidence to support an assumption that men and women would pay to delete in the same proportion.

Further I am more specifically interested in female accounts that are ENGAGED with the site, as opposed to those who merely had accounts, but clearly did nothing with them, since they never checked their inbox or sent a single message.

I freely admit I am speculating that millions of those un-engaged accounts don't really even belong to women. But lets say I'm wrong and they were created by 'real women'... so what? they weren't checking or responding to messages.

Its misleading to the point of fraud to mischaracterize that many users. Facebook sells advertising based on the number of people on the site, and so forth. People buying the ads know that some percentage of those users aren't real and facebook acknowledges this... but you pay for "millions of users" and you expect to reach "millions" of users. It might not be quite as many millions as they have users, but it should be in the right ballpark. If it came out that only a few thousand people on facebook actually were seeing the ads you were paying for instead of the millions they promised? That would still be fraud.

Similarly, AM was charging money to send messages to millions of women on their site, while they had actual knowledge that only a few thousand were actually even looking at messages... that's fraud in my eyes. And they were withholding that information to entice men to spend more money sending more messages to women that weren't receiving them. That they KNEW weren't receiving them.

Comment Re:Ironic (Score 2) 213

OK then tell me which presidential candidate in the history of American politics, has ever admitted that some of his campaign promises might be for entertainment purposes only.

The president isn't the king. Anyone with basic civics knows that the president isn't really empowered to do all that much without the support of Congress; and is subject to the law and consitution, at least in theory :) and that even on something he can act on, may be challenged in court and tied up.

So an "election promise" by a presidential candidate amounts to little more than a policy statement.

That said, 45% kept, another 25% compromised isn't bad, and 7% more "in the works"...

And even the GOP leadership, fairs pretty well all things considered.

Really, if a politician really actually succeeded in doing everything they said they'd do, I'd be pretty worried that the entire democratic government system had collapsed. Putin maybe has the clout to do almost anything he says... not necessarily a good thing.

Comment Re:Ironic (Score 3, Insightful) 213

Yes, I know where and how you calculated based on paid deletes.

The paid delete functionality is the one good indication that an account was genuine,

a) First, no. I think "responded to at least one message" is FAR more telling. In theory they could have been faking reponses etc making that metric useless... but the fact that it is SO RIDICULOUSLY LOW tells us that they weren't, and it tells us that however many women joined only an insigifcant number deleted.

b) Also no. I think women may have been significantly more inclined to use the paid delete option then men for a variety of reasons. So your calculation is suspect. Further it evidently counts women who created an account only to lurk or see if their husband joined. Even if you want to count them as "members", the fact that they weren't responding to any messages at all is material evidence that even though they joined they simply weren't engaging in the site.

Look at "responded to at least one message" and "checked inbox".

Less than 10,000. You don't need to "correspond that with men" to come up with a number of women engaged in the site. It stands on its own. Less than 10000 accounts belonging to a female ever responded to a single message, fewer still ever checked there inbox. Half the men responded (to what exactly, I wonder?!!) and nearly all of them checked their inboxes.

You can't tell me there 2 million women on the site, when fewer than 10k ever responded to a single message or checked their inbox or enaged in chat. If they were "there" they may as well not have been as far as the men were concerned. And more likely than not, they weren't really there, or were signed up en-masse at A.M sponsored ladies night events. And they never used the site at all, beyond filling out a paper ballot with some info to get a free drink or something. (I admit I'm speculating here.) To count such accounts, where there is no evidence they logged in more than once, no evidence they logged in even once... is dishonest to say the least.

There is evidence 20,000,000+ men used the site. There is evidence fewer 10,000 women did. Whereas you call the paid deletes the "one good bit of data" I disagree... I suspect more women paid to remove there info from the site than actually used it, under a variety of scenarios.

I'm not talking about "at any one time".

I know. I brought that up after the fact to illustrate that not only was 10,000 the upper maximum of responsive women, but its extremely unlikely there were even that many women. 2 million simply lacks any credibility at all whatsoever.

Comment Re:He should be going to jail (Score 5, Insightful) 213

I imagine they had those bases covered with ToS language.

A judge may not side with them just due to ToS. And A.M. misrepresented the facts pretty grossly here, and failed to live up to its obligations (paid delete).

Canada is pretty pragmatic about contracts; and its pretty common to side with the "little guy" if the contract is deemed to be deliberately constructed to weasel out of what a reasonable person should think they were signing up for.

There's also the fact that once a female made a response in that sort of environment, you'd probably have a date and be able to take it off the site,

Even so... only 9700 accounts by women ever sent a single message. And we don't know how many of those 9700 sent only one and then vanished, or how many of them had been online in the last 3 years... the number of active women on the site could well have been in the middle HUNDREDS.

As you pointed out, the numbers of women actually participating were overwhelmingly dwarfed by number of males, just as they are on most dating sites

1) Were not talking overwhemlingly dwarfed. I consider 10 or 20 to 1 to be overwhelmingly dwared. We're talking thousands to 1, maybe even 10s of thousands to 1. You could spend your whole month sending female profiles messages without getting a response... not because the women weren't interested in you, but because you never actually sent it to an account a woman actually even used.

Given that AM is charging you to send messages to these women (over and above "membership")... they are literally taking money so you can send a message to a fake account that no woman has ever used. Men may have to accept that not every message they send will be responded too, or even read, but to accept (without clear disclosure) that they have *vanishingly small odds* the messages they are paying to send will even be delivered to an account a real person even uses is beyond the pale. That's fraud.

just as they are on most dating sites. Most of the money in those sites is getting males to stay interested enough to keep shelling out money.

All that suggests is that fraud is probably pervasive in the industry and perhaps we should regulate these sites to disclose membership numbers, and for those numbers to be independently audited.

So that consumers can make an informed buying decision.

It's like ladies night at the bars.

I can see pretty clearly whether or not there are any ladies at the bar. And its not terribly hard to tell if they are all hookers and hostesses paid by the bar itself to be there.

Comment Re:I'm not sure this is the right response (Score 1) 213

Are you suggesting that the hackers are some sort of vigilante activist group out to stomp out infidelity or immorality in general?

Huh? I felt the hackers made a stand against the fraud perpetrated by the company, not infidelity in general. Where did you infer infidelity from my post?

From the first statements by the hackers it seemed pretty obvious that this was personal, an attack against that specific company (and the CEO personally) for fraud,

Agreed. (emphasis mine)

What was the point of that post?

Primarily to refute the claim made in the post I replied to that "because the hackers committed an illegal act that what they did was immoral, and it's immoral to 'celebrate' their hack."

I didn't raise the topic of infidelity or its morality at all in my post.

Comment Re:inside job (Score 1) 213

I mean things like using the same password for root on every server.

Gotcha; one can do that on windows too. Every server has a local admin account. So if that were reused you could jump from server to server even without a domain admin.

I've even seen places that had admin users' usernames all given UID 0, so they didn't have to bother with sudo or su.

Heh. That just seems dangerous. I'm not sure it really makes things more vulnerable though to penetration.

So no, Linux isn't invulnerable by any means, but you can certainly make it much worse.

Fair enough. But the reality is that even a competent active linux admin is going to have the equivalent ease of access to his server pools as a domain admins in windows.

I just felt that by contrasting windows and linux admins the way you did and your use of the word lazy, implied that somehow only an incompetent linux admin would have the equivalent vulnerability as a windows domain admin has by default. And that implication isn't really true.

Comment Re:Ironic (Score 3, Informative) 213

Like I said, I doubt we'll ever know the exact number, but the truth is probably somewhere between 12,000 and 2.1 million.

The truth is probably somewhere below 15,000 'real' members, and probably much lower, like 1000. After all, someone joining and responding to a couple messages and then never coming back is being counted as an "active" member here. I'm willing to bet of the 10k women who had replied to "at least 1 message", a majority of even them were gone within a week or two. And that 15,000 includes people who were active in the past but might not have used the site in 2 years... how many active women were there in the last 3 months? I think one could credibly suggest it was in the hundreds.

Only 1,492 women had ever checked their inbox. (20 million men had)
Only 9,700 women had ever replied to a single message. (Note the article explains how this number can be higher than the above number.) (6 million men did)
Only 2,400 women had engaged in chat. (11 million men did)

The higher portion of paid deletes for women also lines up with the large number of female accounts that basically existed for one day and never came back; a good number of those may have opted for the paid delete. Especially if they were only checking to see if their husband had an account.

The proportions don't line up 100% (although it makes sense that more men checked their inboxes; they weren't getting all the messages on login that women did. So women would answer their messages directly from login, and rarely check their inbox, while men would futilely check their inbox looking for messages that would never come.)

Frankly, as I said, based on what I see there. I don't think the site even credibly had even 1000 active women on it at any one time.

Comment Re:inside job (Score 1) 213

Well, compromise a Domain Admin account, and you pretty much own all of the servers an all-Microsoft shop.

Pretty much.

Lazy Linux administration can lead to a similar fate

I'm not sure why you are calling it "Lazy" for a Linux admin?? even a competent and proactive linux admin would still be thoroughly vulnerable if his credentials were compromised.

This company really wouldn't need to be terribly big or complicated, so the IT team probably had keys to everything, like pretty much any small/medium business with a small IT team, or it could have been via outsourced IT or credentials used by outsourced IT...

Or the attack just needed to be against the backups. If the whole company was having its nightlies managed by a single tape sytem (and why not? Those are expensive. And it's not that big of a company, there's not THAT much data... so it would be reasonable to have it all managed by one backup regime, local tapes, near-line backups on spinning drives, plus offsite tape storage, maybe a cloud provider. Easily managed by one or two people. So if they're credentials are compromised...

Comment Re:I'm not sure this is the right response (Score 3, Insightful) 213

Make no mistake, I don't like what Ashley Madison did. . They've been exposed for running a scam web site designed to sucker men out of lots of money quickly. However, that doesn't justify the hack - which is almost certainly a criminal offense at this level.

Just because they used illegal techniques to attack a morally reprehensible company doesn't mean their techniques are magically vindicated. Celebrating the hack is immoral as well.

And Rosa Parks should have gone to jail for disobeying a bus driver right? If an activist didn't break the law, they probably aren't getting anything done.

The "protesters" holding signs and singing songs in the designated free speech zone behind parking lot D and signing petititions... those guys are accomplishing jack and shit.

You want real change? You need need real activism, a few hundred thousand people blocking all the streets around the state capital, and refusing to disperse... protesting with out a permit?! gasp. But they're breaking the law... and we shouldn't celebrate them.

Whether its Rosa Parks breaking the law that said she had to move to the back when the bus driver said so. Or activist journalists violating the law in some state preventing them from videoing or photographing animal treatment in farm facilities. Breaking the law is sometimes the right thing to do; sometimes the necessary thing to do.

At the same time, yes, vigilantism, bypassing the legal system to mete out punishment directly is often a miscarriage of justice, and that is immoral.

The upshot is that morality of an illegal act hinges on a lot more than simple legality.

The law tries to reflect morality... not the other way around.

Celebrating the hack is immoral as well.

In this case maybe. Or maybe not. The fact that the hack was illegal does not automatically make it immoral. Given the extent of fraud perpetrated, maybe it was moral. Given the "innocent" victims... maybe it wasn't.

So far, I think the balance is that it was moral.

We want to create puppets that pull their own strings. - Ann Marion