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Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

I understand your point about view land being desirable even though it's a flood risk. I live a mile or so from the Hayward fault. But I have California's risk pool earthquake insurance. The government wouldn't be paying me except from a fund that I've already paid into. I imagine that the government does pay some rich people in similar situations, but as far as I'm aware disaster funds go to the States from the federal government and should not in general become a form of rich people's welfare. Maybe you can find some direct evidence to show me that would make the situation more clear.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

What you are observing is economics. As a city or town population grows, the best land becomes unavailable and those who arrive later or have less funds available must settle for less desirable land. Thus many cities have been extended using landfill which liquifies as the San Francisco Marina District did in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, or floods. Risks may not be disclosed by developers, or may be discounted by authorities as the risks of global warming are today.

Efforts to protect people who might otherwise buy such land or to mitigate the risks are often labeled as government over-reach or nanny state.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

Oh, of course they were caused by misguided engineering efforts. Everything from the Army Corps of Engineers to Smoky Bear goes under that heading. The most basic problem is the fact that we locate cities next to resources and transportation, which means water, without realizing where the 400-year flood plane is. Etc. We have learned something since then.

Our problem, today, is fixing these things. Which is blocked by folks who don't believe in anthropogenic climate change, or even cause and effect at all. They don't, for the most part, register Democratic.

Comment The problem with your explanation (Score 5, Insightful) 307

The problem with your explanation is that it's fact-based, and stands on good science. This is the post-truth era. Thus, the counter to your argument will be:

  • Evidence for a human cause of erosion is thin and controversial, and is being pushed by loony liberals.
  • We need those oil and shipping jobs, and jobs building and maintaining levees, not more regulation that stifles them!
  • Cause and effect is not a real thing, except for one cause, God is behind everything.
  • This is part of God's plan for us. The end time is coming, and when the Rapture arrives it will not matter that Louisiana's coast has eroded. Cease your pursuit of unholy science and pray to save your soul!

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 347

so far hasn't done anything irreversible.

I think the first victims have been farmers who can't bring in their crops. Just the people who voted for him in California's central valley and wherever else we depend on guest workers. I don't see citizens lining up to pick those crops. The small family farmers, what's left of them, will feel this worse, the large corporate ones have the lawyers necessary to help them break the rules and truck people in from South of the border.

The second group of victims will be the ones who need health care that doesn't come from a big company. It's a lot more difficult to start a small business when there is no affordable way to get health care. And that is the case for my own small business - I'd be in bad shape if my wife left the University. I think that's the real goal - to keep people from leaving employment in larger companies and going off on their own.

Comment Re:So... (Score 4, Interesting) 347

Donald Trump, unfortunately, satisfies a common desire among the populance to right things by means that won't actually right them. It's a desire to rid Washington of inaction by cleaning it out of the current folks who don't seem to get anything done: and then you find that the things they were working on are harder than you understood. It's the feeling that you can get things going right by having a manager who lights a fire under the responsible people: just the way that bank managers pressured employees to increase revenue or be fired until those employees started opening accounts fraudulently for customers who hadn't asked for them.

What I am having a hard time with is how our country gets back out of this. I fear Humpty has had such a great fall that there is no peaceful recovery.

Comment Re:Lack of torrents is a bad sign (Score 1) 84

I'll let you in on a little secret: As you can see from the Kickstarter page, people who contributed at a certain level and above were granted access to downloadable copies of the entire season -- all fourteen episodes.

However, throughout the entire production and post-production process, Joel has sent out updates to all the Kickstarter backers explaining that, if MST3K proves successful, Netflix may pick it up for another season. But in order for that to happen, Netflix needs to see that the viewing numbers would support such an investment. Therefore, he has firmly but respectfully asked backers not to share their downloadable copies with anyone. Since you claim that no torrents of the season are available, it would appear his request has, so far, been honored.

...Which is, kind of, y'know, what we've been saying the model should be all this time, right? Respect the artist's work and wishes? Well, so far, it looks like that's what's happening, so he can keep doing it.

Comment Re:Oh come on (Score 5, Informative) 606

You are in seriously [sic] need of some perspective.

I *HAVE* perspective, you twit.

I was around when Canter and Siegel "discovered" spamming, and suddenly the burden of deflecting what became billions of unwanted, exploitative, obnoxious emails fell upon the end-users, the people least equipped to deal with it. (And no, spam is by no means a, "solved problem," or a large chunk of Barracuda Networks' business would no longer exist.)

I was around when that chowderhead Brendan Eich kluged JavaScript into Netscape and fscking enabled it by default, even though the massive problems with macro viruses in Microsoft Word in the years prior clearly showed what that would lead to. Now we have scripts being uncritically yanked in from thousands of sources, rampaging around in our browsers looking for any datum they can exploit to our disadvantage.

Mark my words: If BK and its ad agency aren't smacked for this, hard, it will get worse very quickly. Every media source will become an attack vector. And sophists such as you will dryly intone, "Get better security," fully aware that that aphorism will solve nothing.

And lest you think I'm merely a member of the Tinfoil Hat Brigade: I, too, can be a smug shit about this. I have never trusted cookies or JavaScript, keep my browsers thoroughly nerfed, and I use a console-based mail reader. The result is I have only moderate patience for people victimized by advertising, malware, or phishing. The tools are there; they have but to learn how to use them. Don't even cost nothin'. But there is a boundary when you stop being a Clever Clogs for making the other guy's computer unexpectedly go beep and you become an active exploiter and victimizer of the weak and ignorant.

BK crossed that line. They need to be smacked.

Comment Re:Oh come on (Score 1) 606

If you had a gun in your house that went off every time someone on tv said "shoot" would you blame the film maker?

If the filmmaker put "Shoot" in the film with the express intention of making my gun go off -- even after I took affirmative steps to keep it from happening -- then... YES. I would unhesitatingly toss their ass in prison for negligent firearm discharge and/or sue them for everything they've got.

Comment Re:Oh come on (Score 1) 606

ERROR: INVALID REASONING

Sophistry such as yours is what led to this problem. Leaving your front door unlocked does not absolve a thief from stealing or misappropriating your property. While your insurance carrier may have something to say about how much of the loss they'll cover, the fact of the theft is not erased; the thief will still be charged with a crime.

Burger King made unauthorized use of computing resources that did not belong to them. In this respect, they are no different from any other spammer or purveyor of malware, and their act should be regarded in that light. Computer intrusion laws are fairly clear on this point: Only the system's owner gets to decide what constitutes authorized use. Abusing weak security in the name of delivering a fscking TV ad cannot by any reasonable, honest measure be described as authorized, and Burger King's actions both before and after the fact likewise cannot be said to be inadvertent or accidental.

Submission + - Burger King Won't Take Hint; Alters TV Ad to Evade Google's Block (washingtonpost.com) 1

ewhac writes: Earlier this week, Burger King released a broadcast television ad that opened with an actor saying, "Ok, Google: What is The Whopper?" thereby triggering any Google Home device in hearing range to respond to the injected request with the first line from the Whopper's Wikipedia page. Google very properly responded to the injection attack by fingerprinting the sound sample and blocking it from triggering responses. However, it seems Burger King and/or its ad agency are either unwilling or congenitally incapable of getting the hint, and has released an altered version of the ad to evade Google's block. According to spokesperson Dara Schopp, BK regards the ad as a success, as it has increased the brand's "social conversation" on Twitter by some 300%. It seems that Burger King thinks that malware-laden advertising infesting Web pages is a perfectly wonderful idea (in principle, at least), and taken it to the next level by reaching through your TV speakers and directly messing with your digital devices. You may wish to consider alternate vendors for your burger needs.

Submission + - Inside the Tech Support Scam Ecosystem

Trailrunner7 writes: A team of three doctoral students, looking for insights into the inner workings of tech support scams, spent eight months collecting data on and studying the tactics and infrastructure of the scammers, using a purpose-built tool. What they uncovered is a complex, technically sophisticated ecosystem supported by malvertising and victimizing people around the world.

The study is the first analysis of its kind on tech support scams, and it’s the work of three PhD candidates at Stony Brook University. The team built a custom tool called RoboVic that performed a “systematic analysis of technical support scam pages: identified their techniques, abused infrastructure, and campaigns”. The tool includes a man-in-the-middle proxy that catalogs requests and responses and also will click on pop-up ads, which are key to many tech-support scams.

In their study, the researchers found that the source for many of these scams were “malvertisements”, advertisements on legitimate websites, particularly using ad-based URL shorteners, that advertised for malicious scams. This gives the scammers an opportunity to strike on what would seem like a relatively safe page. Although victims of these scams can be anywhere, the researchers found that 85.4 percentof the IP addresses in these scams were located across different regions of India, with 9.7 percentlocated in the United States and 4.9 percent in Costa Rica. Scammers typically asked users for an average of $291, with prices ranging from $70 to $1,000.

Submission + - New Season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 Premiers on Netflix

ewhac writes: In 1988, comedian Joel Hodgson launched what is possibly one of the silliest ideas for a television show yet conceived: A man and two sentient robots sit in a theater and heckle a bad movie. Improbably, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) became a smash success on cable, spawned a feature-length film, and ran for ten official seasons on Comedy Central and The Sci-Fi Channel, its last episode airing on 8 August, 1999. Now, 17 years later, Season 11 of MST3K debuts today on Netflix. A full season has been produced, including a stretch-goal Christmas special, funded by the highest-earning Kickstarter Film & Video campaign to date ($5.76 million) – thousands of contributors are listed in the show’s end credits, spread across all fourteen episodes.

The show remains true to its low-budget roots, relying almost exclusively on models and practical effects, including a very inventive new door sequence. The backstory for the new season is very swiftly established in the opening to Experiment 1101, as Jonah Heston (played by co-producer Jonah Ray) is abducted by the evil mad scientist Kinga Forrester (Felicia Day) and her sidekick Max a/k/a TV’s son of TV’s Frank (Patton Oswalt). Together with Gypsy (Rebecca Hanson), Tom Servo (Baron Vaughn), and Crow (Hampton Yount), Jonah quips his way through a barrage of bad movies, including Reptilicus, Starcrash, The Loves of Hercules, and The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t.

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