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Comment Re:This is a nonsequitur (Score 1) 207

You asked why it should be irrelevant, and I posited a reply.... that this is not sufficient to make the matter irrelevant to some people in your opinion is entirely beside the point. Why did you bother to ask the question when you were going to dismiss an answer that you didn't personally happen to agree with?

Comment Re:This is a nonsequitur (Score 1) 207

Then explain to me why the average person's most frequent use of their vehicle is irrelevant.

Because when other use-cases really exist, even though they are much less frequent, one ends up either having to own two cars, one of which hardly gets used, or they end up having to deal with renting one. The former isn't typically seen as cost effective by many (and in some cases isn't even viable on account of a lack of parking), and the latter is staggeringly inconvenient compared to just owning the car.

Comment Re:This is a nonsequitur (Score 1) 207

It's only when they think they need to drive to go on vacation that it matters.

Or if you didn't fill up/recharge last night because you forgot or what have you, and can't make it to work in the morning on what you have. With a gasoline car, it amounts to a brief five minutes of additional time on the way to work to fill up and you are good to go... with no need to think about it for several days.

Comment Re:Yeah, I've worked with a few of those (Score 1) 439

In my opinion, their description of religious and terrorist merely means that engineers are more likely to be *religious terrorists*.

Your right, although largely left wing terrorism isn't really as big an issue as it was in the 70s. I mean other than the odd punch up with cops and the rare instance of a morally confused environmentalist lighting something on fire, how often do you see marxists blowing things up these days, compared to neo-nazis and religious nutters blowing things up and killing people.

Comment ...or the difference may be totally insignificant. (Score 1) 439

The marginal increase in the probability of an someone being a terrorist given that you know he's an engineer may be startling in relative terms, but in absolute terms it's insignificant.

Estimates of total active membership in terror groups worldwide is under 200,000, but let's assume there's even million active terrorists just for the sake of having round numbers and not having to quibble over where to put the decimal point. There are seven billion people in the world, so the rate of terrorist participation in the general population is 14 thousandths of a percent; let's call that p(T), and call the probability that someone is a terrorist given that they're an engineer p(T|E). Let's look at the absolute marginal difference being an engineer makes, i.e.:P(T|E) - P(T)

i. p(T) = 0.0001428
i. p(T|E) = 9 * P(T) = 0.001286
iii. P(T|E) - P(T) = 0.001143

So being an engineer increases your chance of being a terrorist by at most about 1/10 of 1% under wildly pessimistic assumptions. In fact the marginal difference is really more like 1/50 of 1%. Now it's interesting that the rates of terrorism are so much larger among engineers than other people, but it has little practical significance and being an engineer myself that's what I'm most concerned with. If you were designing a surveillance program and were picking out groups that need keeping tabs on, 1/10 % is a grasping-at-straws number

Comment Much todo about zip--ConsoleKit2 is also supported (Score 5, Informative) 398


First, only an idiot would want a monoculture, particularly in the Linux world, so to those saying "just to systemd full bore or go to (someplace else)" the rest of us need to respond with a very loud and resounding: Fuck You.

That said, things aren't nearly as dire as this post implies. Reading from the responses to the bug he himself linked to, I find the following:

> Unless KDE is prepared to make a statement that it depends on systemd

of course not. Powerdevil recently also gained support for ConsoleKit2, see:

Which turns it into a distro problem. Your distribution configured the system in a way that suspend/hibernate is broken. It doesn't come with any of the supported solutions Plasma provides. Which makes it a distro problem. The distro integrates various parts of the software stack. This includes it's the distro's task to ensure that components work together. It failed here by ripping out systemd and replace it with well nothing.

So while I'm sure the systemd zealots would love to see KDE, Gnome3, etc. only work with systemd and drop support for all other distros, this doesn't appear to be happening. In the case of KDE, ConsoleKit2 is supported (and therefor Funtoo, Gentoo, Arch with OpenRC, etc. will continue to work just fine).

Comment Re:I think this is fair. (Score 1) 214

Port addresses are not part of the ISP's business, either. That is an internal matter for the networks/routers at source and destination, not in between.

If the ISP is doing NAT for customer traffic, they need to know the port addresses. The source and destination routers are not the only routers in the network. And if they are providing outbound connections only, they need to know what outbound ports are in use so they can allow the responses to get back while blocking the rest.

My ISP, for example, has absolutely no business knowing (or caring) whether I am doing SSH over port 22 or port 23456.

Knowing what ports are in use does not tell the ISP what kind of traffic is going over the connection. You would have a valid point had you said "whether I'm doing SSH or FTP" and stopped there.

It isn't essential for their services and it's private information.

How is what port you are using "private information"? It is in every outgoing packet you send. And it is essential for some kinds of service.

Further, if they intentionally redirect my packets, in any way that wasn't essential for internet routing, they're interfering with a private communication, which is illegal for a common carrier to do.

Ummm, so if they use a longer route for your packets because it is cheaper for them, it's illegal?

Comment Surveillance reduces sales and corrupts democracy. (Score -1, Offtopic) 311

A member of an advisory group to President Barack Obama said about surveillance, "There can be serious negative effects on other U.S. interests". -- From the Reuters article, Russian researchers expose breakthrough in U.S. spying program.

Another quote from that article: "The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world's computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives."

"China is seeking to make its own secure smartphones, in an attempt to insulate its handsets from U.S. surveillance." -- Wall Street Journal
Links: Direct, possibly paywalled, also through Google Search.

How will China react to Windows 10, which gives Microsoft complete control over any computer connected to the internet?

Articles about Microsoft spying:

Microsoft's Software is Malware. "Malware means software designed to function in ways that mistreat or harm the user." --

How Can Any Company Ever Trust Microsoft Again? -- Computerworld UK

Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages -- The Guardian

In a democracy, citizens are allowed to participate in government. Secret government projects in the U.S. make the U.S. less of a democracy and move toward hidden control.

Articles about secret agencies often assume they are managed well. But an employee of an NSA sub-contractor, Edward Snowden, was able to copy huge amounts of data. What would stop NSA employees from listening to telephone conversations of CEOs to find inside information for profiting from buying stock, for example?

NSA = No Sales for America.

Question: Other producers of spyware have been put in prison. How does Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella avoid a court case?

"Help Mr. Wizard!" -- Tennessee Tuxedo