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Comment Wheeler's article needs a rebuttal, and I have som (Score 1) 1

He throws the word "anonomous" around as though it was honestly being applied or even possible to achieve. Balderdash!

He spends considerable effort pointing out the amount of money to be made by advertisers and advertising media. This argument is rooted in the premise that we live in a consumerist economy and that because advertising increases consumption it is a good thing. In case you haven't noticed, we are in economic trouble precisely because people were encouraged to spend beyond their means and it has come back to bite us. So no, that which encourages consumption is NOT automatically good for the economy or thise who comprise it.

He tries to make a case for targeted advertising, as opposed to general advertising. Other articles I have read seem to be leading to the conclusion that targeting does not increase the effectiveness of advertising. An even if it does, I don't care because I value my privacy more than his increase of sales.

Would you let someone who wanted to sell you something come into your house and poke around your pantry, your clothes closet, your medicine cabinet, and all your drawers so he could more effectively convince you that his product was something without which you could not live? And spread that knowledge around beyond your control to others unknown to you? I surely would not, and letting someone catalog everything I do on line is at least as creepy as that to me.

So if we have to invent a truly anonymous on-line micro-payment system and use it to fund the parts of the web that we use, I am willing to go that route. Meanwhile, Wheeler should get off my grass.
Privacy

Submission + - Pro-targeting guest column on CNet 1

Nofsck Ingcloo writes: CNet has published a guest column by Eric Wheeler warning the world of the evil consequences of Do Not Track. In it he makes strong (I would claim exaggerated) arguments in favor of targeted advertising. He claims the threat of political action on Do Not Track should, "strike fear into the hearts of every company that does business online...." He speaks of compromising a $300 billion industry, which I read as being the industry composed of online advertisers and all their clients. He clearly thinks the tradeoff between freedom from snooping and free access to web content always favors free acccess. He concludes his arguments by saying, "Taken as a whole, the potentially dire impact of Do Not Track is clear: the end of the free internet and a crippling blow to the technology industry." He then goes on to advocate contacting legislators and the FTC in opposition to Do Not Track.

Comment Re:spammers (Score 3, Funny) 241

I guess the reason I'm dragging my heels is my complete mystification and annoyance that the designers of IPV6 didn't do something sensible like make some small corner of the V6 address space map to the V4 address space. So instead of being simple and seamless, I have to spend some time fooling around with my equipemnt and software to work around that omission. A pox on the designer's heads.

Comment Re:Not really about Bitcoin (Score 0) 327

"virii" is not a word. The correct plural of "virus" is simply "viruses".

In current usage that is probably right. But at least give some acknowledgement to classical Latin, in which virii would, indeed, be the plural of virus. I've never figured out why we use the Latin word but refuse to use its Latin plural.

Submission + - Assange makes statement to end wishtleblowers witchunt. (bbc.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: After a statement from a window at an upper floor from the Ecuadorian Embassy, Julian Assange "... called on US President Barack Obama to "do the right thing" and for his government to "renounce its witch hunt against Wikileaks"." as reported by the BBC.

Submission + - Scientists find how ocean stores carbon (scienceaxis.com)

rosy rohangi writes: "A team of British and Australian scientists discovered how carbon is pulled down from the surface of the Southern Ocean for deep sub.The Southern Ocean is an important carbon sink in the world – about 40 percent of annual global emissions of CO2 absorbed by the oceans of the world will enter this region.”Now that we have a better understanding of mechanisms of carbon draw down, we are better placed to understand the effects of climate change and carbon uptake by the ocean future.”Dr. Jean-Baptiste Sallée, British Antarctic Survey."

Submission + - Assange Case: US "Does Not Recognise" International Law Re Diplomatic Assylum (foreignpolicy.com) 1

TrueSatan writes: Despite previously stating that it would not involve itself in the UK vs Equador dispute regarding Assange the US State Department declared today that the United States does not believe in the concept of ‘diplomatic asylum' as a matter of international law.

Following Equador's action in the Organisation of American States the US issued the following statement, "The United States is not a party to the 1954 OAS Convention on Diplomatic Asylum and does not recognize the concept of diplomatic asylum as a matter of international law," the office of Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said in a Friday statement. "We believe this is a bilateral issue between Ecuador and the United Kingdom and that the OAS has no role to play in this matter."

  This is directly contrary to previous US positions where it has given diplomatic assylum to dissidents of other regimes for instance Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty who was granted refuge in the US embassy in Budapest Oct '56 -May '71.

Medicine

Submission + - Genetically Engineering Babies a Moral Obligation says Ethicist

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Telegraph reports that Oxford Professor Julian Savulescu, an expert in practical ethics, says that creating so-called designer babies could be considered a "moral obligation" as it makes them grow up into "ethically better children" and that we should actively give parents the choice to screen out personality flaws in their children such as potential alcoholism, psychopathy and disposition to violence as it means they will then be less likely to harm themselves and others. "Surely trying to ensure that your children have the best, or a good enough, opportunity for a great life is responsible parenting?" writes Savulescu, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Ethics. "So where genetic selection aims to bring out a trait that clearly benefits an individual and society, we should allow parents the choice. To do otherwise is to consign those who come after us to the ball and chain of our squeamishness and irrationality." Savulescu says that we already routinely screen embryos and fetuses for conditions such as cystic fibrosis and Down’s syndrome and couples can test embryos for inherited bowel and breast cancer genes. "Whether we like it or not, the future of humanity is in our hands now. Rather than fearing genetics, we should embrace it. We can do better than chance.""
Privacy

Submission + - Court Dismisses (Yet Another) Case Based on State Secrets Privileg (fas.org)

Nofsck Ingcloo writes: "Secrecy News" is reporting that yet another case about the balance between the Fourth Amendment and the "State Secrets Priviledge" has been dismissed.

The case claimed that the FBI had “conducted an indiscriminate ‘dragnet’ investigation and gathered personal information about [the plaintiffs] and other innocent Muslim Americans in Southern California based on their religion.” The article reports that, "The court granted the Obama Administration’s claim that the state secrets privilege precluded litigation of the case."

The judge wrote [PDF], "...when properly invoked, [the state secret priviledge] is absolute — the interest of protecting state secrets cannot give way to any other need or interest.”

IMHO this pretty well defines a very serious problem, and it has to change.

Programming

Submission + - Which NoSQL Database Should You Use (infoworld.com) 1

snydeq writes: "Andrew Oliver provides a succinct overview to help interested developers figure out where to begin with the growing number of NoSQL data stores available today. 'Part of the reason there are so many different types of NoSQL databases lies in the CAP theorem, aka Brewer's Theorem. The CAP theorem states you can provide only two out of the following three characteristics: consistency, availability, and partition tolerance. Different datasets and different runtime rules cause you to make different trade-offs. Different database technologies focus on different trade-offs. The complexity of the data and the scalability of the system also come into play. Another reason for this divergence can be found in basic computer science or even more basic mathematics. Relational databases are based on relational algebra, which is more or less an outgrowth of set theory. Relationships based on set theory are effective for many datasets, but where parent-child or distance of relationships are required, set theory isn't very effective. You may need graph theory to efficiently design a data solution. In other words, relational databases are overkill for data that can be effectively used as key-value pairs and underkill for data that needs more context. Overkill costs you scalability; underkill costs you performance."
Science

Submission + - New discovery reveals Antarctica had a rainforest 52 million years ago (tech-stew.com) 1

techfun89 writes: "Scientists drilling into the seabed off Antarctica revealed that a rainforest grew in the icy continent 52 million years ago. Scientists warn that Antarctica could be ice-free again within decades. This new discovery is published in the journal Nature.

Kevin Welsh, an Australian scientist who was with the 2010 expedition, said that analysis of sediment cores containing fossil pollen showed it was "very warm" 52 million years ago, at 20 degrees Celsius (68 F). "There were forests existing on the land, there wouldn't have been any ice, it would have been very warm."

Higher levels of carbon dioxide are thought to be the major reason for ice-free conditions during the period. The CO2 estimates were between 990 to a couple of thousand parts per million.

The current CO2 level is 395 ppm and the most extreme predictions made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) see Antarctica being ice free by the end of the century."

Games

Submission + - What Happens to Your Used Games? (ign.com)

silentbrad writes: From IGN: "GameStop’s bosses are obviously tired of hearing about how used games are killing gaming, about how unfair they are on the producers of the games who get nothing from their resale. One astonishing stat is repeated by three different managers during presentations. 70 percent of income consumers make from trading games goes straight back into buying brand new games. GameStop argues that used games are an essential currency in supporting the games business. The normal behavior is for guys to come into stores with their plastic bags full of old games, and trade them so that they can buy the new Call of Duty, Madden, Gears of War. GameStop says 17 percent of its sales are paid in trade credits. The implication is clear — if the games industry lost 17 percent of its sales tomorrow, that would be a bad day for the publishers and developers."

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