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Comment Re:Drivers are responsible for accidents, not came (Score 1) 348

I must say I do not associate myself with any political party and do not even live in US.

But anyway, since you mentioned DOT, I'd assume you are in US. And as a matter of fact there is a standard 'Yellow change intervals' in US: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/signtech/signdel/trafficmanual-current.htm , chapter 9, section 9-04.5. It didn't take me too long to find that.

So, this effectively means that either US authorities on some levels were engaging in awfully dangerous and illegal activities by shortening yellow light time or that shortening is purely perceptual. I'm not sure which one it is :).

You got it. It's the first one. Dangerous and illegal. As measured in the real world. How are you not sure? I just told you which it is.

But RLCs have really nothing to do with any of this. If some authority can go against the law and make yellow light shorter than required - that is the problem unrelated to RLCs. It's like banning bullet proof vests after some policeman suffocates his wife in it.

RLCs act as a deterrent for some drivers to run red lights, and as such they can save lives, and so they should be used, not banned.

Wait, no, you didn't get it at all. And that's the most nonsensical analogy I've heard in a long time.

Statistically red light cameras DO NOT increase safety. Statistically they DECREASE safety. We have years of actual traffic and accident data now to support the statistics. These are now established facts. We know WHY they don't increase safety. How the hell is this difficult to understand? Stop listening to the echo in your own head. Just because you think something SHOULD work in theory doesn't mean that it WILL work in the real world. Red light cameras DON'T work to increase traffic safety in the real world. Fact, not opinion.

I can't rightly fathom how anyone could have such poor reading comprehension as to continue to fail to understand how the yellow light delays and increase in accidents at red lights is directly related to the (usually marred by corrupt profit motives) installation of red light cameras. I was as explicit and thorough as I could be. I'm sorry that I've failed you.

Comment Re:Drivers are responsible for accidents, not came (Score 1) 348

Wow. Lemme guess. Ultra-conservative Republican?

Simple question: If they set yellow light delays in your area to be so short that the yellow light changes before you can count to "one" out loud, would you blame yourself for running all the red lights, or do you think you might start blaming some external cause?

If you could get off the moralistic "I'm superior to everyone else" high-horse tirade for a moment you might be able to open your eyes to the fact that yellow light delay timing has been routinely shortened at traffic stops where red light cameras are installed. There are documented cases of the delay being shortened from something reasonable and safe like 4 seconds to something completely UNREASONABLE and UNSAFE like 0.9 seconds. Yes, that's zero-point-nine seconds. This has two side effects. First, it makes it almost physically impossible to successfully come to a safe stop from the posted speed limit without running the red light. Your moral fortitude or superior driving ability will not help you do the impossible. At least, not safely.

Second, after local drivers (even morally-superior drivers just like you!) get a few red light tickets in the mail, it strongly encourages one of two behaviors (or both): (1) Approaching all traffic lights at a crawl in order to have some chance of avoiding a red light ticket, or (2) slamming on the brakes as hard as possible the instant you see the yellow light. Both of these behaviors, in direct response to the shortened yellow light delays, have drastically increased the risk of both rear-ending and t-boning accidents at traffic lights where red light cameras are installed. Of course I guess it also encourages drivers to slam on the gas and try to get through the intersection if they happen to think they're close enough and can't stop in time. So, short yellow light delays are bad news all around.

Couple this with the fact that this shortening of the yellow light delay provides an increased revenue stream to both the local law enforcement department and THE COMPANY THAT INSTALLED AND RUNS THE RED LIGHT CAMERAS, and you have what some people like to refer to as a HIGHLY CORRUPT MONEY GRAB that just makes red light stops far more dangerous than they ever have been. The accident statistics at RLC stops speak for themselves. An increase in accidents are in fact being CAUSED by the installation of red light cameras and the corresponding shortening of yellow light delays, and the corresponding behaviors that are a DIRECT response to the new traffic signal conditions.

This is absolutely NOT just a bunch of bad drivers complaining about getting tickets and blaming the red light cameras for their own bad behavior. Believe me, I'll be happy to go on all day about bad drivers and the stupidity of insisting we both have the right and that it's perfectly safe to constantly drive 15 MPH above any posted speed limits and follow too closely at freeway speeds and other things like that, but this is not a case of bad drivers being stupid. This is a case of humans being human and physics being physics and corrupt and unsafe law enforcement practices being corrupt and unsafe law enforcement practices. And we need to put this unsafe practice to a stop or put some very tight regulations on how the departments are allowed to set up an RLC stop, such as mandating that they absolutely WILL NOT under any circumstances shorten the yellow light delay. That delay should be entirely up to the D.O.T. traffic safety studies and I don't know how anybody got away with changing it in the first place.

And you know, the world is not just a black & white choice between ultra-draconian law enforcement and total anarchy. There is usually a place somewhere in the middle where things actually work out pretty well. Your attitude reminds of the classic Reagan-era Bloom County strip where they had a hooded executioner posted at the checkout counter of a supermarket to execute people for silly things like squeezing the Charmin. But hey, I'm all for jailing the corrupt creeps in law enforcement who ILLEGALLY shortened the yellow light delays below well-established D.O.T. safety minimums so they could make themselves and the red light camera companies more money while completely disregarding actual traffic safety concerns.

If red light cameras have a place in our traffic system at all they should be used only to monitor traffic patterns and single out those few drivers that are actually bad drivers, who routinely fail to stop at red lights or have a bad habit of always speeding up instead of slowing down on yellow. Those drivers should be identified and sent to remedial training or have their licenses revoked if they continue to endanger people with bad driving.

But if we had acceptable and federally mandated standards of yellow light delay timing, especially with the new timer displays I've seen appearing that tell you exactly how much time you have before the light turns red, I have a strong suspicion that speeding up on yellow can be almost completely eliminated. A reliable and reasonable yellow light delay would automatically condition drivers to have a correct and reasonable response to seeing a yellow light. And as has been pointed out by others, the very simple addition of a slight 1-2 second delay where both sides of the intersection are red would do wonders for reducing t-boning accidents, especially in bad weather conditions.

Comment Re:Really, Slashdot? (Score 1) 135

Look closer. It's not the part of a URL - it's a part of form data.

If you track back, you'll see that URL is just "http://gmail.com/", and then follows "application/x-www-form-urlencoded", which contains that login and password.

It doesn't show up on the screen like that - it's sent as a POST request, and "restoring the session" this way in this specific case sounds weird - there's that thing called "cookie", which keeps your session open between browser shutdowns, is not replayable and doesn't contain the auth info to steal...

If this is true (and it certainly appears to be), then I guess that implies that the user credential data was in fact constructed by Safari and not included in a URL by the website, and I'm a moron and most of my previous posts should be modded down to oblivion. Also, Apple should be slapped for bad security practices and revealing user passwords and logins in plain text outside of the keychain. Unfortunately I am at my limit of knowing how to parse the information from the screenshot and know where it really came from. So, I'll shut up now.

I can at least confirm that passwords are not revealed in this way with Safari 7.0 on Mavericks. When I log in to Gmail and grep for my password in LastSession.plist I get no match.

Comment Re:Really, Slashdot? (Score 1) 135

The LastSession.plist file stores way, way more data than just URL's.

When I log into my bank account, my username and password are not in the URL and certainly not passed unencrypted over the wire. They are happily stored in the LastSession.plist file though.

I'm using Safari 7 on Mavericks, so it clearly isn't fixed in the latest version.

So you're saying you found your banking website login credentials stored in plain text in your LastSession.plist file while you were using Safari 7, and that information is absolutely not in the URL of the web page?

I can't replicate this using my banking site with Safari 7.0 on Mavericks. Nothing shows up when I grep my LastSession.plist file after logging in to my bank's website. Not my username or my password. By all means report it if true. I can't imagine how Apple would really be dumb enough to store secure login data that belongs in the keychain in a simple plain text plist file, but if you have evidence that they are that dumb, reveal it. They should by all means be slapped if so.

The only evidence that I've so far seen is a screenshot of login credentials revealed in a URL, which they just didn't encrypt in exactly the same way that bookmarks aren't encrypted. What you're claiming you've seen would be a far worse security screw up than just storing URLs unencrypted.

Comment Re:Really, Slashdot? (Score 1) 135

SSL (https) only sends the HOST as part of the request header unencrypted, the /GET (i.e. path and variables) are transmitted encrypted. Therefore the full URL with paths and variables exposes more than what would normally be visible "over the wire".

Thanks, I didn't know that.

Nevertheless the practice of putting login credentials in the URL is extremely bad and the session file with saved URLs is just one of several places where someone accessing your computer can see URLs, like in the address bar itself and in saved bookmarks. Encrypting the session file is sort of like putting a bandaid on a severed femoral artery. Another bandaid would be encrypting HTTPS bookmarks and obscuring the text in the address bar on HTTPS sites unless you enter a master password to reveal it. But that would be kind of ridiculous, wouldn't it?

The websites that are still putting your username and password in their URLs are the ones who should be named and shamed. Whether they are using SSL or not, it's a terrible practice, for precisely the reason that you have no idea how the URLs may be stored or revealed by the end user's computer.

Comment Re:Really, Slashdot? (Score 5, Informative) 135

...Second, as already pointed out on the MacRumors forums, the stored "session" data is merely the URLs of the web pages you have open, which is passed over the wire in plain text anyway when you open or reopen the URL.

along with the password and login.

from the article: "the login and password are not encrypted (see the red oval in the screenshot).

Yes, I know. The login and password credentials in the red oval are encoded in the stored URL of a web page that was open in a tab in a Safari browsing session. Those URLs are created by the websites you visit, not by Safari. Safari just stores the URLs so that your tabs can be reloaded when you reopen the browser. Safari isn't secretly copying your login data in plain text and then failing to encrypt it, it's just storing the URLs you currently have open in your browsing session. There's nothing sinister or incompetent going on here.

It's good that they are now encrypting the stored browser session file. It certainly doesn't hurt anything to have another layer of protection. But that same URL information will be stored, unencrypted, in any bookmark that you make when visiting such a website while you are logged in. If someone sits at your computer and examines your bookmarks or looks at the URL in your open tabs they will see your login credentials in such URLs. Unless you want to be forced to enter a master password every time you try to edit a bookmark, use a bookmark, or examine the URL in the address bar, there is no solution to this. The solution for protecting the saved session file is FileVault, and locking your computer when you aren't sitting in front of it, which is exactly the same way you protect all the other vulnerable data in your user account.

The root cause of the login credentials being revealed in plain text in bookmarks, the session file and the address bar is the deplorable practice of websites putting your login and password in the URL in plain text. The solution to this is to smack the websites upside the head until they modify their security practices.

Comment Really, Slashdot? (Score 4, Informative) 135

Again?

First, it's previous versions of Safari that are affected. Interesting how that isn't even mentioned.

Second, as already pointed out on the MacRumors forums, the stored "session" data is merely the URLs of the web pages you have open, which is passed over the wire in plain text anyway when you open or reopen the URL.

If you're encrypting your drive with FileVault and have a decent password on your user account, this becomes entirely an issue with the piss-poor security practices of the STUPID WEBSITES that are revealing your login information in plain text right in the URL. Any bookmark of such a URL with also "reveal" your "unencrypted" login credentials. Which is entirely the fault of the website.

Also, it's fixed in latest Safari.

So... yeah. End of the world, apparently.

Comment Re:Ups and Downs (Score 2) 324

It bugs me to see the crap google gets when they are the least abusive of all big companies by just about any measure, and actually HAVE fought for the user on several occasions (China, warrantless data requests, posting takedowns to Chilling Effects / working with the EFF).

I mean I guess you can cross your fingers and hope that companies like Yahoo and MS dont do things like spill the beans on Chinese dissident bloggers or work with the Chinese gov't to create a bugged version of Skype for China, but I wouldnt hold your breath.

I guess why it irritates me so much is that Google really does seem to try to be the good guy, and they get crap for it because people seem to want to forget what their business model is and give them a hard time for being for-profit. Maybe we should boycott them, THAT will teach them to fight extrajudicial data requests!

I imagine the baitfish has a similar mental state at any point in time prior to being eaten by an anglerfish.

Any perceived benevolence, animosity or innocuousness in a completely amoral organism like a corporation is an illusion. For your own safety you should learn to pierce that illusion. There is no reason to "feel bad" for a steamroller when its operator is being reprimanded for running over a dog. The fact that the steamroller was, up until that moment, being used to help create a road system that you will personally benefit from does not negate nor excuse the canine compression incident. It is the dog and/or the machine operator that you should have an emotional interaction with. Not the machine.

Google is neither friend nor foe overall, and is quite capable of being commanded by its human operators to perform both highly benevolent and highly antagonistic activities simultaneously at any given point in space and time. Also, its past behavior has little bearing on its present or future behavior. Your entire argument is therefore pointless.

Comment Slashdot fails (Score 1) 586

The truly unfortunate thing about this article is that the only way to complain that it is pure unadulterated trolling clickbait that should never have appeared on Slashdot is to come in here and comment... which is exactly what they want us to do. More comments and more eyeballs means more ad impressions. They get rewarded for being stupid.

This is exactly how all the major news networks devolved from actual journalism into nothing but talking-head pundits screaming anti-factual idiocy at each other to feed their chosen audience's pre-conceived biases.

There really needs to be a separate, independent website somewhere where we can all get together and plan mini-boycotts every time the Slashdot editors put something utterly idiotic and biased like this in the lineup. Maybe after literally NOBODY comes in and comments on the stupider articles they'll get the picture and hire some smarter editors. Maybe in this way we could keep Slashdot from descending into total tabloidism and paid slashvertising.

Something simple, like the ability to nominate and then vote yea or nay on boycotting a nominated Slashdot article. Maybe the ability to make a one-line comment explaining your vote. If it gets too many nays, we boycott that particular Slashdot article by neither entering that page nor commenting on it. Thus, drastically reduced ad impressions for bad posts. Posts that aren't stupid enough don't get nominated, or don't get enough nays. Simple. A meta-Slashdot.

Maybe somebody could even turn it into a browser plugin that would let us nominate, vote and check the boycott/no-boycott status of each article on the main page by injecting some code right into the page as it loads, like a GreaseMonkey script.

Hit 'em where it hurts. In the coin purse. No pun intended.

Comment Re:Avoid cancer (Score 1) 175

Cancer doesn't just happen. If you can, avoid all the synthetic chemicals you get in your system from your food and environment. Avoid processed foods, and those full of food colorings, sweeteners, preservatives, and others. Get rid of all the plastics from your kitchen, and if you can, avoid food that comes in plastic containers, especially wet foods with extreme shelf life that sit and soak in the plastic container for months before being consumed. Put more fat, protein and fiber in your diet and get rid of the carb. Avoid the typical western high-carb diet which is rocket fuel for cancer cells.

Yes, that's why all of Asia has extremely high incidence of cancer, because they eat nothing but carbs. Oh, wait...

Cancer does in fact "just happen" all the time. In fact you have cancerous cells inside you right now. Normally, the immune system targets them and kills them. Sometimes they get out of control, which we refer to as "having cancer".

All those things you mention are just loosely correlated risk factors. But by all means keep ignorantly telling everyone you know how to prevent all forms of cancer. It's hilarious.

Comment Re:Good health in a pill? Sure, why not? (Score 1) 670

Junkie logic.

That's all this is. "Look, normal weight people can be unhealthy too!" (So it's okay that I'm obese...) "Personal responsibility never works!" (So I shouldn't even try...)

If we really want to solve the societal pandemic of obesity we need to completely discard the idea that it's caused by some personal moral failing

(It's not my fault that I can't control my diet or be bothered to exercise regularly. It's society!)

I've little doubt that this post will justify that package of Oreos you'll shovel down later. Damn society, keeping you fat.

No, it's called science, jackass. I never said anything about blaming "society" for any individual's obesity. That would be silly.

Feel free to go lecture the ever-increasing numbers of morbidly obese six-month-old infants about how they're using "junkie logic" and failing to take "personal responsibility" for their lives. You can start out early telling them how they're useless losers who are just a drag on society while they giggle and drool and chew on their little fat fingers. You'll still be wrong, and you'll still be an ignorant asshole.

By all means tell us how it's all their parents' fault and how it's been perfectly normal throughout human history to put INFANTS on restricted calorie diets and forced exercise programs to keep them from becoming MORBIDLY OBESE starting IN THE WOMB.

The war on fat will continue to be precisely as effective as the war on drugs as long as yours is the prevailing attitude.

In other words, it will continue to be a dismal and ever-more-costly failure that is damaging our society rather than helping it.

Comment Re:I agree that good health is not exactly simple (Score 1) 670

The tone of the following should be interpreted as: Congenially argumentative.

Okay, let me see if I can be even more clear. You don't seem to understand what I actually mean when I say "very loosely linked" and "co-incidental". So let me spell out what I've been trying to say. What it means is exactly this:

The condition of having excess deposits of adipose tissue is CANNOT be referred to as the _CAUSE_ of ANY of the associated diseases we are discussing, and it is MEDICALLY DETRIMENTAL to continue to imply that excess adipose tissue is even a partial cause. Period.

REPHRASING: The entire idea of obesity being the CAUSE of any of the related conditions is COMPLETELY WRONG.

By implying that obesity even partially helps to CAUSE any of the SOMETIMES co-incidental diseases you simply continue to feed into the already almost unassailable idea that the obese, and obesity itself, is the root cause of our societal health issues and increased health care costs, when it straight-up flat-out IS NOT.

REPHRASING AGAIN: Medical science is telling us quite clearly that having excess adipose tissue is NOT UNHEALTHY in and of itself, therefore promoting the decrease of excess adipose tissue CANNOT and WILL NOT result in increased "health" because it does NOTHING to address the ACTUAL CAUSES of disease, and just feeds into the stereotype that the obese are "unhealthy" which is contributing to societal blindness about the fact that both obese and non-obese people are dying of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in droves, and it has NOTHING to do with the obesity or lack thereof. The "link" between obesity and disease is statistically NON-EXISTENT. It isn't just "weak".

REPHRASING YET A THIRD TIME: Excessive adipose tissue storage is NOT a disease that needs to be treated. Rather, it is an almost entirely medically HARMLESS symptom of a broken homeostatic metabolic system that normally regulates adipose tissue storage with mind-boggling accuracy. Accuracy that is actually completely impossible for anyone to consciously replicate. Discarding such non-solutions as "diet pills" outright will help us focus on finding and fixing the actual root cause of all these metabolic issues, and when we succeed all the related SYMPTOMS will go away BY THEMSELVES as ACTUAL "HEALTH" INCREASES.

Let me restate that last part because it's very important. Fixing the underlying root cause of these metabolic issues will cause the obese to simply start automatically losing excess adipose deposits, in exactly the same way they started automatically gaining excess adipose deposits, without any conscious planning, until eventually we will be back to 10% or lower societal obesity. Without dieting or diet pills.

I stand by my original assertion that "diet pills", no matter how effective or side-effect free, cannot increase the "health" of any individual or group, and are quite likely to be detrimental to "health".

I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to clarify how I communicate about this issue. Have a great day.

Comment Re:No way walled garden Re:Kindle Fire (Score 1) 370

Unless OP's father's memories of "like I used to use" were being stuck in AOL's or Prodigy's walled gardens, why would anybody recommend a "married to Jeff Bezos" Kindle Fire tablet?

Crippled Android fork of a very old version, no access to Google Play or other app stores, nor sideloading (you rooters go away, we're talking about normals here).

If you must recommend a bookstore-based Android-derived tablet, a Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet or, my choice which I own, a Kobo Arc family tablet, are now essentially open Android. Sure, they have their own launchers, own look-and-feel, and work auto-magically with their own bookstores. But they have full access to Google Play right out of the box. I love my Kobo Arc tablet - Android Jellybean, open access to sideloading, other than Kobo's home screen it looks and feels mostly like Android. My Kobo is my Nook eReader, my Google Play Books eReader, my general-EPUB Aldiko eReader, and one of my Kindle eReaders.

A Kindle Fire is a Kindle eReader. Other competing book apps are blocked. Same with many other competing content marketplaces and apps.

Walled garden paradigms are particularly well suited to giving small children and very old people a safer, simpler environment in which to learn and explore. Your objection is nonsensical in regard to this particular use case.

Being an Apple and iDevice fan for several years I would not hesitate to recommend an iPad 2 if cost is an issue. An iPad Air is advisable if only because it's so much lighter and thus more comfortable to hold for long periods. But people also seem to be saying very good things about the latest Kindle Fire HDX 8.9". Good screen, good speakers and very light, just like the iPad Air. For the life of me I can't imagine how it would be a bad thing to provide an elderly person who doesn't "get" the Internet with a simplified, safer app store choice and brain-dead easy access to millions of books.

Between the Kindle Fire HDX and an iPad with the Kindle app installed, it's a toss-up. Either would probably be excellent for this use case.

Comment Re:I agree that good health is not exactly simple (Score 1) 670

However, a weight-loss pill would at least address all those issues caused by simply being overweight alone, such as joint issues, high blood pressure, and some fraction of diabetes incidence.

What's more, the less you weigh, the easier it is to exercise. Just imagine a 300 pounder trying to huff away on a hike or something. Losing the weight might be the springboard to a healthier lifestyle overall--something that perhaps would be unachievable with the extra 150lbs that are now gone.

And as you point out, obesity is partly due to consumption of low quality food. Low quality food is cheap--it costs maybe $2k more a year for a family to eat healther, I see in the news today. $2k isn't exactly peanuts to someone on minimum wage, and it could be "$2k and a lot of time" for someone who lives in a food desert.

Safe & effective "diet pills" might mitigate the damage and cost of a low-cost, low quality cheap diet--which is a win for everyone who pays into the medical system.

I agree that pills like "Pen Fen" or whatever it was called, that cause heart issues, need to be treated with caution. However, the premise of the article was that pills that are safer and still effective have come out, but they're not being used.

While it would be better for everyone to eat quality food and get appropriate amounts of exercise, a pill that mitigates the damage of NOT doing those things is just a big win for everyone.

The perfect should not be the enemy of the good, and we shouldn't leave an 80% solution on the table just because it isn't a 99% solution.

--PM

You've completely missed the point of my post. Yes, diet pills may successfully cause fat loss, but they will fail to cause an increase in "health" because all the health problems you talk about are NOT strongly linked to having excess body fat. It's not that it's only an 80% solution, it isn't a solution AT ALL and does nothing to address the problem of living off a high fructose, high sodium, low fiber type of diet.

In other words, if we use this "solution" you're advocating, you'll just end up with a few somewhat skinnier people that still have diabetes, high blood pressure, joint inflammation, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, etc. This is what nobody seems to get yet. All the medical evidence is telling us that all these health issues that the common person assumes are caused by obesity are really just loosely co-incidental. Depending on what method you use to lose the excess body fat you can easily end up making the co-incidental conditions, and thus health outcomes, far worse instead of better.

So no, your insistence that "diet pills" will help make people "healthier" and thus end up reducing health insurance costs is still wrong. Your viewpoint is far too simplistic and essentially does just what everyone else does; incorrectly blaming obesity as being the source of all the major health issues that are actually killing us, rather than just a loosely related symptom. And continuing to try to pin our increasing healthcare costs on the obese is completely and utterly missing the truth of what all current medical evidence is telling us.

Comment Re:I have a better solution than running into this (Score 0) 157

Opt out of Obamacare entirely. Don't apply for it and don't pay the fine and set up your taxation such that there's no refund for them to snag.

I don't suppose you're ever actually going to realize that you don't apply for "ObamaCare" at healthcare.gov. You apply for... shoot, what was that phrase, now I can't remember...

Oh, yeah. It's called "health insurance".

It's the same goddamn magical PRIVATE SECTOR health insurance we had before. The only real difference being that now, due to the law called the Affordable Care Act, the insurance companies aren't allowed to refuse to provide health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions. Pre-existing conditions such as the horribly expensive "disease" we refer to as "being a female human who is pregnant or plans to become pregnant in the next twelve months".

The "gubmint" hasn't taken over the health care system. There is no "ObamaCare" that we are all being forced to sign up for. Get a grip. If you choose not to get health insurance coverage, well, that's your choice. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act. But don't act like you're some kind of hero for "fighting the tyranny of ObamaCare". Because that doesn't exist.

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