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Comment Re:God forbid we compromise their privacy (Score 2) 43

This doesn't seem aimed at wrongdoing by refugees (terrorism-related or otherwise), but rather at locals trying to get free food, with refugee biometrics/privacy being sort of collateral damage. The UNHCR has a database of refugees in Jordan (for example), and wants to use biometric data to tell them apart from local, non-refugee Jordanians, so that only the refugees can get food aid.

I can see why they want that for ease of bookkeeping (harder to forge biometrics than refugee papers, etc.), but this is just a bookkeeping exercise aimed at cost efficiency.

Comment how about other third-party tracking? (Score 5, Interesting) 84

Knowing nothing about French law, is there anything Facebook-specific that led to this ruling? Is there a reason it wouldn't apply to other third-party tracking? For example Doubleclick and those kinds of networks track me across the web even if I've never signed up for an account with them or otherwise accepted their ToS.

Comment Re: Too late (Score 1) 454

Meanwhile, the venture capitalists have realized they can play all these sides in the culture wars just fine. Startup run by a brogrammer? Startup run by a social-justice activist? VC doesn't care either way, probably has both kinds in their portfolio.

Comment more specifically, a clustering algorithm (Score 2) 50

I guess anything but trivial clustering algorithms are "machine learning", but rather than "using machine learning" it'd be more straightforward to describe them as having "applied a clustering algorithm" to see if calls can be grouped into, well, different clusters. That is an idea that's been floating around biology now and then, with a lot of work on clustering bird calls especially.

Comment Re:can't the state do something about this? (Score 1) 220

It depends on the state and how they structure the sector, but they often have more leverage over utility companies than they would over a normal company. Utility companies typically have contracts with the state or with the state's utility districts, which at least in principle they could attach various requirements to.

Comment depends on what you're looking for (Score 4, Interesting) 271

For the short/medium-term future Bitcoin is really the only option if you want a cryptocurrency that you have any hope of using like a currency, to you know, exchange value with other people. The others, aka "altcoins", are mostly still at the stage of tech demos or niche experiments. Which can be fine if you find investigating that scene to be interesting as a hobby.

Comment Re:There's no doubt that... (Score 1) 1839

You could at least mitigate #2 a bit with better #1, especially by running fewer general-interest political articles. Sure, tech news often implicates politics, and don't avoid those stories. But stuff like the recent Trump stories (e.g., e.g.) is general election-season news with only a very thin tech veneer.

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