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Comment: Re:Backups and Redundancy (Score 1) 117

by wvmarle (#49152967) Attached to: Vandalism In Arizona Shuts Down Internet and Phone Service

Part of the problem this is not that big news may be that it's about the US, where power outages and the like are the order of the day. Just ask around on /.: how many of you Americans routinely install a UPS in your home? How many have a generator on hand? Now compare this to the non-Americans that live in what we commonly call the "developed world".

Even emergency services were affected. Something that many Americans find so important that it's always used as a major argument against banning/jamming mobile phones in movie theatres and so, or as key reason primary school kids must carry a phone on them at all times. Even this major service was disrupted. So no matter what, something was terribly wrong here, and some company did not get their redundancies and automatic rerouting right.

Comment: Re:Major Version == Major Changes (Score 1) 199

by wvmarle (#49046751) Attached to: Torvalds Polls Desire for Linux's Next Major Version Bump

Lots and lots of minor fixes and changes add up to serious architectural rework. Ground-breaking new features are added when ready - one by one - every few months it seems I read about another major change to the kernel - so after a while you have several such major features added, it's unreasonable to add a major number every time.

So while I agree with your general ideas, it's certainly not that easy in the "release early, release fast" world of open source software, as with the fairly rapid addition of many bigger and smaller features to the kernel, and the fairly frequent release of new versions. Alternatively you may just have stick to major versions, like recently Firefox (currently my Firefox is at version 35) and Chrome (no idea what number they're at now) are doing, and as a result indeed the numbers are big enough that you can't really distinguish them. Which is bound to happen sooner or later to any piece of software that's under active development for a prolonged time.

Comment: Re:Don't give your bitcoins to someone else!! (Score 1) 148

by wvmarle (#49025565) Attached to: Alleged Bitcoin Scam Leaves Millions Missing

Not sure about this, but the SCMP (local HK news paper) reported about people sending cheques to this company. That's real money, not BTC, that they gave that company. Details are thin, but it seems that this company asked for payment for to-be-mined BTC. At least they were running a BTC mining operation as well.

Comment: Re:Proof that there's too much money in the world (Score 1) 148

by wvmarle (#49025547) Attached to: Alleged Bitcoin Scam Leaves Millions Missing

Maybe they bought a flat in 2003 (end of the SARS period), and sold it recently. They'd have easily tripled their money in that period of time (the housing market has gone up by that much, and it still going up fast - Hong Kong property prices are currently between ridiculous and simply out of this world). If they bought a $2M flat in 2008, they could sell it for like $6M now. That'd be $4M cash profit in hand, plus whatever they have left after paying off the original mortgage. Or take out a new mortgage based on the current value, mortgage interests are around 3% with banks all too happy to sell you mortgages.

Comment: Re:Cry wolf (Score 1) 127

by wvmarle (#48984807) Attached to: FBI Put Hactivist Jeremy Hammond On a Terrorist Watchlist

Why would they have the right to "preferential treatment" compared to, say, the parents of the children killed at Sandy Hook?

That perpetrator was not considered "terrorist". Yet his victims were children (who did nothing to him), while this Jordanian pilot was a fighter himself, who knowingly and willingly put himself in harms way.

Comment: Re:I don't mind some ads... (Score 1) 619

by wvmarle (#48977057) Attached to: Google, Amazon, Microsoft Reportedly Paid AdBlock Plus To Unblock

With click-through rates in the ppm range nowadays, that's probably not worth the effort.

Lots of advertising on the Internet is probably going back to basics: designed as non-interactive, like in newspapers or magazines, just making sure people see a brand name again and again and that way when they are in a shop making a decision to buy a phone, they go for the brand that they know so well from the advertising.

Comment: Re:Bound to happen (Score 1) 619

by wvmarle (#48977031) Attached to: Google, Amazon, Microsoft Reportedly Paid AdBlock Plus To Unblock

I'm not particularly interested in the 'sustainability' of the Internet. Google and a couple of other companies that have more money than the Catholic Church can worry about that. I'm interested in my privacy and peace of mind.

I am not going to cry if the commercial ventures on the Internet die. IMHO, the Internet was better back in 1994-5 anyway when it largely was NOT commercial!

Define "commercial".

I have a web site that I pay for and maintain myself. It's a purely commercial web site, yet it's free and there are no ads: this as it's the front of my company. It's advertising my tour business, and is visited by people that are interested in my tours, and allows them to book tickets to tours. I also add general information on hiking in Hong Kong, which people may use to set out by themselves. It's set up for purely commercial reasons, and I think such commercial sites are by and large a great addition to the Internet. I'm using such sites myself: to find information on products, to order stuff from. The Internet would lose a lot of its value if such commercial sites would all disappear and we would have to resort to calling companies, visiting their shops (which may be the other side of the world) to get a catalogue, etc.

For my business it is a great help to have this site, I sell a lot through it. It makes the whole ticket sales easier as well (very little manual interaction from my side needed). I wouldn't want to do without - people can't find me nor can they easily get the information about my tours that they need to make a decision on whether to join, ticket sales would become cumbersome; basically I'd have to close this part of my business.

What would be great if lots of this "targeted advertising" and collection of personal information goes. So I'm still running AdBlock Plus and Flashblock, and recently installed Self Destruct Cookies - an add-on that destroys cookies moments after you leave the site. Sure you have to re-login all the time, which LastPass makes dead easy, it does take care of most of the tracking across sites by outfits like Google and Facebook. This is just one aspect of the commercialisation of the Internet, something that my commercial use of the network can perfectly do without. I'm even collecting only the most basic information of my clients: name (I don't care if it's their real name - they just have to give me that name when they show up at the start), telephone and e-mail. All I need to be able to contact them, and for them to claim their place on the tour.

Comment: Re:Cry wolf (Score 1) 127

by wvmarle (#48976341) Attached to: FBI Put Hactivist Jeremy Hammond On a Terrorist Watchlist

I think the problem in labelling every cyber criminal a terrorist is that it dilutes the whole importance of the label when you're dealing with actual terrorsts.

I'd call that an advantage.

At the moment, the governments of various countries (the UK and the US most notably, but there are more) can take away many civil liberties and civil rights from people just by labelling them "terror suspect". No actual evidence is needed, just a suspicion. This can block you from flying, for example. They can throw you in jail, possibly for years without charge (see Guantanamo Bay for example). Can't do that with even rape or murder suspects: you can't keep them in jail indefinitely without charge and without trial. You're possibly better off suspected being the director of a snuff movie which shows how to prepare and cook a human child, than you are after talking to your long lost uncle who happened to have made a small donation to a Muslim organisation which is affiliated to a mosque which is attended by a suspected Al Quaeda sympathiser.

Terrorists should be dealt with the same way other criminals are dealt with. They're criminals, plain and simple. They may do it for political, ideological or even religious reasons - they're still criminals: murderers, extortionists, computer hackers, whatever. That are the more appropriate labels.

Comment: Re: Not a laywer. (Score 2) 224

by wvmarle (#48967869) Attached to: If a Financial Institution Mishandles My Data, What Recourse Do I Have?

Encrypted e-mail is to this day not straightforward, if possible at all. I just checked my e-mail client, Claws Mail. It doesn't have an option to encrypt e-mail. Maybe in an extension; it's not in the client itself. Using encryption securely is hard, really hard. So many ways it can go wrong, so easy to make a mistake and compromise your key making the whole thing moot.

Furthermore, I don't know of any current standard for e-mail encryption that is widely supported. No idea on how to create a key - let alone how to securely and easily exchange keys with random recipients (like a client who calls me asking me to send them some information by e-mail).

Now imagine e-mail encryption is commonplace. The obvious way to send an encrypted mail to someone would be to pull their public key from some kind of repository (which as yet doesn't exist but let's just imagine it does and that every e-mail address that's in use has a key pair) - the one that belongs to their e-mail address - the e-mail address you're going to send the information to - and which may be someone else's entirely as I wrote it down incorrectly. So while anyone in transit can not read it, the recipient of the e-mail will have the private key (after all, it's the public key that belongs to that e-mail address). So this doesn't solve the problem at hand!

I won't say e-mail encryption is useless, it does help snooping on the way, but it is also definitely not the one all end all.

Comment: I've long given up on this "food science". (Score 1) 958

by wvmarle (#48965751) Attached to: Science's Biggest Failure: Everything About Diet and Fitness

Food science is just crazy. Too much pseudo-science. All those fancy diets, not mixing carbs, fats and proteins in one meal, the current superfoods ("it's all you need!") - it just doesn't make sense.

I've never limited the amount of food I take, though I generally try to go for natural and avoid processed food. I cook my own dinners at home (most days), and make sure there's vegetable included as well. Snacks are often fruit (fresh or dried), rather than crisps or biscuits. Another thing is that I try to keep my diet varied, eating many different things. All this should ensure I get all I need, in sufficient quantities, and in the meantime I can really enjoy what I'm eating. It seems to work really well, without much thought (or worries) about it I do keep myself in shape. I've lost quite some of my waistline over the past year, in part due to my current job as tourist guide which means I'm walking a lot - easily 8 hours a day on my feet, for several days a week.

The problem for most people nowadays is most likely 1) lack of movement, and 2) lots of processed foods (high nutrient density - doesn't make you feel full nearly as fast as natural food does).

Many people nowadays sit in their office all day, then sit in the car going home, pass by a drive-through restaurant to pick up junk food and sit in the car eating it (this part for the Americans typically), and sit on the couch most of the evening watching TV before going to bed. No walking. Not even the walk to the train station, no sports, no physical exertion ever. That's asking for problems. People are designed to be active, to walk around all day, construct things with their hands. We're designed to handle natural food sources which by nature are unprocessed and very varied: there's simply a lot of edible things around in this world.

This is why I got to my rather simple philosophy of remaining active, eating varied, and basically eating as much as you like when it comes to unprocessed foods.

Comment: Re:Let's get this straight (Score 1) 145

by wvmarle (#48924525) Attached to: How One Small Company Blocked 15.1 Million Robocalls Last Year

In that case, they would be allowed to block any robocalls originating from their network (because those customers are violating their contract); not the ones entering their network. That'd be a legal quagmire: how do they know for sure it's a robocall until it's answered and listened in to? They're not legally allowed to listen in to calls, a warrant is needed for that.

"An entire fraternity of strapping Wall-Street-bound youth. Hell - this is going to be a blood bath!" -- Post Bros. Comics