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Comment Re:If you care about privacy (Score 1) 54

I hope Cole's law applies here. It involves this cabbage, see...

Your misplaced anger amuses me. "Come to the Dark Side, Luke!" ...thing is, it's not possible to avoid ubiquitous surveillance, that's part of what you should pick up out of the "ubiquitous" part. That's already done and is not going away. It's getting stronger by the minute. We would like to perhaps have some customs that say what is right. Those won't last, either, they'll be obsolete by the time you've tweeted them on your tw_t account, which the kids aren't even looking at, because they've fallen for some ridiculous Snapchat-flavored scam.

Keep up, man. Although that's ridiculous advice, no one has time enough to keep up. That's why AI is such a hot topic right now.

Comment Re:If you care about privacy (Score 1) 54

If you care about privacy then why are you putting personal information on there to begin with?

If you care about privacy, why do you use the Internet or have a computer or phone? If you care about privacy, why don't you stay locked up at home? If you care about privacy, it is your right to live in a small closet.

We had this right of not being on video 24/7. That can't stand, as much as we'd like. We'd still like to draw up a few guidelines.

Submission + - Fantasy Sports Ordered to Stop Taking Bets in New York State writes: The NYT reports that in a major blow to a multibillion-dollar industry that introduced sports betting to legions of young sports fans, the New York State attorney general has ordered the two biggest daily fantasy sports companies, DraftKings and FanDuel, to stop accepting bets from New York residents, saying their games constituted illegal gambling under state law. “It is clear that DraftKings and FanDuel are the leaders of a massive, multibillion-dollar scheme intended to evade the law and fleece sports fans across the country,” says NY attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, “Today we have sent a clear message: not in New York, and not on my watch.”

Fantasy sports companies contend that their games are not gambling because they involve more skill than luck and were legally sanctioned by a 2006 federal law that exempted fantasy sports from a prohibition against processing online financial wagering. “Fantasy sports is a game of skill and legal under New York state law," says FanDuel. "This is a politician telling hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers they are not allowed to play a game they love and share with friends, family, co-workers and players across the country.” The attorney general’s office also said that ads on the two sites “seriously mislead New York citizens about their prospects of winning.” State investigators found that to date, “the top 1 percent of DraftKings winners receive the vast majority of the winnings.” Schneiderman’s investigation was spurred after reports arose that a DraftKings employee used internal data to win $350,000 on rival site FanDuel, which the operators denied. While both companies had allowed employees to place bets on the others site, they have since banned such practices.

Submission + - DNA Data From California Newborn Blood Samples Stored, Sold To 3rd Parties (

schwit1 writes: This might come as a surprise to California natives in their 20s and early 30s: The state owns your DNA.

Every year about four million newborns in the U.S. get a heel prick at birth, to screen for congenital disorders, that if found early enough, can save their life.

But later she was shocked to find, her daughters’ leftover blood was not thrown away. “The state collects the cards and then uses them in a database,” she said. The information is buried on page 12 of the brochure about the Newborn Screening Program that hospitals give parents of newborns before they go home.

State Assemblyman Mike Gatto – introduced a bill this year that would have required signed consent on newborn screening. Opposition from the state and the industry killed it.

Submission + - Google Will Retire Chrome Support For XP, Vista, OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8 In April

An anonymous reader writes: Google today announced it is extending Chrome support for Windows XP until April 2016. The company will also end Chrome support for Windows Vista, OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, OS X 10.7 Lion, and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion at the same time. This means Google will provide regular Chrome updates and security patches for users on these operating systems for five more months. After that, the browser will still work, but it will be stuck on the last version released in April.

Submission + - How Humans Evolved Supersize Brains (

An anonymous reader writes: By uncovering and comparing other fossil skulls and endocasts, paleontologists documented one of the most dramatic transitions in human evolution. We might call it the Brain Boom. Humans, chimps and bonobos split from their last common ancestor between 6 and 8 million years ago. For the next few million years, the brains of early hominins did not grow much larger than those of our ape ancestors and cousins. Starting around 3 million years ago, however, the hominin brain began a massive expansion. By the time our species, Homo sapiens, emerged about 200,000 years ago, the human brain had swelled from about 350 grams to more than 1,300 grams. In that 3-million-year sprint, the human brain almost quadrupled the size its predecessors had attained over the previous 60 million years of primate evolution.

Fossils established the Brain Boom as fact. But they tell us next to nothing about how and why the human brain grew so large so quickly. There are plenty of theories, of course, especially regarding why: increasingly complex social networks, a culture built around tool use and collaboration, the challenge of adapting to a mercurial and often harsh climate — any or all of these evolutionary pressures could have selected for bigger brains.

Although these possibilities are fascinating, they are extremely difficult to test. In the last eight years, however, scientists have started to answer the “how” of human brain expansion — that is, the question of how the supersizing happened on a cellular level and how human physiology reconfigured itself to accommodate a dramatically enlarged and energy-guzzling brain. “It was all speculation up until now, but we finally have the tools to really get some traction,” said Gregory Wray, an evolutionary biologist at Duke University. “What kinds of mutations occurred, and what did they do? We’re starting to get answers and a deeper appreciation for just how complicated this process was.”

Comment Re:I wish... (Score 1) 51

You paid for it, it's yours forever, unless you sell it, which you can. This is ownership. This is also slightly improbable for a software resource, which is not exactly a concrete thing that can only exist in a concrete form. Hence the weird attempts to monetize it differently, which tends to make people extremely angry, although the money has to come from somewhere. Or we wind up with things like Linux, which is nice enough but not exactly world-class... but still might be a best bet. The crap Microsoft's been up to lately doesn't bear examining.

Comment Dents, chips... (Score 4, Interesting) 93

Here's the thing: my smartphones and tablets always look brand new after I've dropped them. They don't dent. They don't chip. They look perfect! They just stop working properly.

Tell me you've fixed that problem and you've got my money. In the meantime, my piece of crud $40 refurbished smartphone has the really significant advantage that I don't really care if I drop it.

Comment Re:How to get rid of the free upgrade icon? (Score 3, Insightful) 468

Seriously people are super paranoid that Microsoft is being evil by releasing a new version of their OS that is substantially better than any previous version for a free upgrade. There is no trick here. Microsoft is sick of supporting old versions and wants people to get on the evergreen windows model.

Perhaps Microsoft should create a version of Windows that people actually want to upgrade to, then? Personally, I loathe the "modern" /cough Windows 3 flat icons, and they keep dropping features that I actually use, and always, always re-arranging the furniture just so something Looks Different. Flat icons are just another ridiculous "change for the sake of change": flat, 3D this way, 3D that way, oh WTH, let's go back to flat again, we can use 3D icons in Windows 10... I mean, Windows 11, because Windows 9 is Windows 10, because, seriously... Microsoft.

I'm fine with Windows 7, thanks. I'm on a Mac/Windows machine, and I dropped using OSX because of those damned flat icons and some intrusive "you have mail!"-type notices that can't be permanently shut off. Of course, if something goes wrong on a Mac, you're not going to find useful tech support, either. If something goes wrong on Windows, in the odd event I can't fix it offhand, I'll just have to pick from the first 500,000 googled solutions.

Comment Yesterday's news. (Score 0, Offtopic) 204

If Slashdot is going to be relevant, it might start by posting news that is, you know, actually new. This story hit everywhere else days ago.

I still play WoW when I'm particularly bored. It's a dead-easy game these days, and I see no reason anyone would actually use bots. Blizz has been very slow at policing but, you can go into cities now without getting trolled by half a dozen "buy gold here" sites, any more, which is progress. To be sure, the cities tend to be empty of everyone, not just the gold-sellers.

Comment Re: Oh, Okay (Score 1) 587

If you wonder why there seems to be a big gap of 12-15 years where not a lot of new good SF authors came out in book form, except from Baen, it's because the literary elite decided SF should be about identity politics instead of about science and speculation

Or, it could be because that's what people want this decade. I'm guessing a lot of the serious SF market is spending more time on MMORPGs these days than quietly reading books in the corner, myself. At any rate, there is no gatekeeper any more, it's trivial to self-publish. Some of the big establishment names started out that way and just found it easier to let someone else handle the marketing and organization.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!