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Comment "Reserves" (Score 3, Insightful) 104

So what are you going to do, drop by a few days each year for reserve training and if you're ever called into action you'll be issued your standard script kiddie pack? Hand a bunch of guys semi-automatic rifles and they'll be a decent fighting force but I don't see "cyberwarriors" functioning the same way...

Comment Re:Caution: website makes your info public (Score 1) 78

I probably don't do networking right, but I couldn't see the value of it.

Well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 40% of all jobs are never offered to the public, 30% are filled with a person already known to the employer and only 30% are filled by total strangers. However, the often quoted number that 70% of all jobs happen through networking is dubious at best. Managers, past and present coworkers and anyone else you come in contact with through your work will have some opinion of your skill and work performance even if you've made no effort to network at all, simply by performing your job duties. If you restrict networking to only mean actively seeking contact with other professionals above or outside your work duties I'm sure the number would be much, much lower.

I mean, even if you live in a fairly large town I'm sure the people who work with the same things end up knowing each other and are probably rotating around among a relatively narrow set of companies. That said, I have seen networks being used as icebreakers. If you get a recommendation from a friend that works in the same company you're applying to that means more to them than if a random reference of your choosing recommends you. After all a misleading reference would reflect poorly on that employee, while for anyone else it'd be of little consequence.

Comment Re:Losing the battle (Score 1) 319

You (and GP) make it sound like the free software movement has been sitting on a bench idle. But I find that there have been lots of project designed to "free" the user from the domination of large actors. (...) These projects were all presented on Slashdot, they are not small obscure stuff. Did you check them out? Did you use them? They were looking for money, did you help them?

Without any disrespect to the people trying, I feel they are small obscure stuff that I've rarely seen mentioned outside slashdot and are very far from competing with the applications they hope to replace. The latter is particularly a problem when you're talking about applications I can't use on my own, there's no point in having a Diaspora account when nobody I know has one or wants to create one. But I will take another look at what owncloud has to offer....

Comment Re:The Manifold Hinderings of Mind (Score 2) 97

Slashdotters love to drool over SpaceX successes, but just ignore all of Lockheed Martin's bloated contracts. The big step isn't private versus public, it's smart versus dumb.

That's a little simplistic. The government uses cost-plus contracts to develop new technology and craft that is being designed as they go, you can't buy an F35 off the shelf and it'd be a crazy risk for a private company to promise delivery of specific features and performance on a specific schedule at a specific price. Nobody would agree to that, so instead the government says here's a running tab to cover costs and a reasonable profit margin - if you fail to show good progress we might have to abort but the risk is all on us, you get your money anyway. Of course as a company that's a dream project, it can't fail and the normal rules of business doesn't apply so they're more like a heavily protected semi-government agency.

SpaceX shows delivering payloads to orbit is no longer the kind of exotic experiment it was in the 60s, the technology and risks are sufficiently known that you can do it on normal commercial terms where NASA pays a fixed price for a service and SpaceX delivers, taking the risk of profit or loss. It's nice that we get there, but it's very hard to get there without these "bloated contracts" to pave the way. The alternative would be for NASA to do all the bleeding edge projects in-house, which would probably get just as many complaints of public inefficiency and become a monopolist without any choice. True there aren't many candidates for such government contracts either, but you can at least pick your poison.

Comment Losing the battle (Score 4, Interesting) 319

While proprietary software won't always do things the way you want them for normal applications you could always restrict their permissions, firewall their network and most importantly unless you had a very serious leak built in the data stayed on your own computer, it might be locked up in a proprietary format with software that has forced obsolescence but I always felt the hyperbole was a bit thick. If you buy a CD you buy the mix the artist wanted you to have, you don't get the raw tracks to remix it the way you wanted it to be. Likewise when you buy a closed source game you get the game experience they wanted you to have, not all the source and assets to remake it the way you wanted it to be. All other things being equal it'd of course be desirable, but it's doesn't make it worthless or immoral to buy it without that possibility.

With "Service as a Software Substitution" as RMS calls it or as web services and the cloud as I'd call it you've got no control at all of neither the software nor the data. You can't even do the slightest change in how it works. When they want it to change, it changes and there's nothing you can do to stay on an old version the only thing you could do is to go nuclear and stop using it at all. Getting the data out and over to a competing service is often far worse and more locked up than a proprietary format. And again, they control your data. I'd be far more concerned about all my documents being on a Google Docs server somewhere than in a MS Office document on my disk under my control.

The worst part is really the way you're tied not technically to their service though, but legally. When the iTunes app store tells me they've updated their Terms of Service and asks me to answer yes or no, it's basically "Would you like to continue using your phone as normal or totally cripple all access to new software and updates?" I don't even bother reading it, it's accepting at gunpoint anyway. And I really don't feel it'd be much different with Android and the Play store. It didn't concern me much when it was primarily so I'd have a phone to play Angry Birds on (see above) because I totally don't care where my scores go, but as you start wanting to use it for more serious things it matters but there's really no opting out.

The stupid thing is that I really do like advantages of cloud syncing, I'd just like it to be against my own private server or at least in a local colo of my choice. I don't want to route it through Apple or Google or Facebook or any of the other big megacorporations. But what we need is a solid alternative, not the wailing song of RMS. He could have complained about the lack of a free kernel forever but as long as HURD wasn't an alternative it just didn't matter much until Linux came along and became usable. Give us a real alternative, based perhaps on AOSP or Ubuntu Touch (ugh) and maybe we can turn the tide. P.S. There was a poll here, 90% wouldn't change their online habits one bit after the Snowden revelations - don't assume the general public is with you.

Comment Re: FFS (Score 1) 456

Hahahah. Wow. Seriously, this is hilarious. I would think you're a troll, but you seem so level-headed about it, and you sound a lot like some Objectivists I've talked to.

If you think that's hilarious, you should read his posting history. He wants to "win" evolution, women should go back to being stay-at-home child breeders pumping out as many babies as they can and everyone else are worthless evolutionary dead ends. I think this one tops my list:

But, if every woman on Earth decided that they were going to just skip having children and focus on their careers, it would then become moral to rape them into pregnancy and force them to bear their children to term, and immoral to stand by and watch humanity become extinct because we don't have the stomach to do what needs to be done. That's a ridiculously extreme example that will never actually come to pass, of course, but it illustrates the way in which behaviors become moral or immoral depending on the situation.

Of course, he's in a way right as evolution is a game of numbers. If he's busy producing as many offspring as possible while I life my life childless and without a care in the world, he'll win evolution but I'll settle for winning life. He's thinks everyone else is working for his offspring, but that's not how it works. He's working for the future of mankind (his idea of it anyway) but I'm working for nobody but myself. He talks of young to take care of the old, but I'll be paying his young to take care of my old. He's working for me, not the other way around and he doesn't even realize it.

Comment Re:Welcome technology if (Score 2) 90

We now get to choose between the option where a small powerful elite has this technology, and the option where everyone has it.

Sorry, but just because the NSA has been listening in on everyone's phone calls doesn't make it a good idea to let everyone listen to everyone else's phone calls. The right choice is to make the NSA stop, even if the technology as such exists. It doesn't mean we have to embrace it, we already have many ways of planting stealth microphones and none of them have much legitimate use. I don't see how this one is very different.

Comment Re:Welcome technology if (Score 5, Insightful) 90

No, having the lack of privacy go both ways isn't as good as having privacy. A system where nobody can keep their actions private is a system governed by mob rule, nobody wants to engage in socially unacceptable behavior because they're instantly shunned and those who fail to participate in the shunning are also shunned for condoning it. Nobody will speak out unpopular opinions even if they feel it ought to be said, because those who don't like the message will go after the messenger. All social circles become totally transparent and people will self-censor their associations to avoid social stigma. It's freedom of the "you have freedom of speech and can say what you want, but we'll shoot you afterwards" variety.

Not to mention, it won't work. The powers to be will always find some reason why their conversations must be protected in the name of national security - after you've given up yours in the name of national security, of course. And if you don't like it you've got something to hide and is probably one of the bogeymen we're trying to catch. They can clam up any time they feel like it, while you'll stay stripped bare. Only the truly naive wants to head us in that direction, because <Admiral Ackbar>It's a trap!</Admiral Ackbar> and a pretty obvious one at that.

Comment Re:Gross, but... (Score 1) 618

Jeeze, did you even read the article you linked when pointing out heroin as the big bad or did you just look for the first article that had a bar graph with heroin seemingly on the top? It basically contradicts your entire attitude about heroin, and reaffirms the thought process of the person you're quoting, even if it was an exaggeration.

Yeah it's a blog trying to dismiss a study made in a published medical journal, which I can't link to because it's only accessible to subscribers. It would be wildly invalid to compare a few hundred prescription users who have medical needs for it with appropriate dosage for those and are probably closely monitored for addiction problems related to it compared to what a bunch of addicts would do, even if they got it cheap and pure from a pharmacy. Furthermore, the blog author doesn't have anything to back up his claims except a lot of hand waving on how he thinks it might rate. It should be noted that heroin is by far the highest ranked of all other illegal drugs as well, which should all suffer the same "illegality" effects.

Comment Re:Insurance risk (Score 1) 81

The insurance industry would like to go to one extreme and drop coverage or deny claims for people suffering from bad luck. You want the other extreme where insurance covers everything including willingly partaking in risky behavior. The logical balance is to force insurance companies to cover bad luck cases, while allowing them to distinguish and assign different rates based on riskiness of behavior. (Note that this also "solves" the DNA profiling problem. You do not control your DNA, so any problems you're genetically predisposed to are due to bad luck, and should be covered.)

There's a huge difference between risk factors you know in advance and having bad luck later. Would you let someone diagnosed with cancer take out a life insurance policy at the same rate as everyone else? No. Would you let someone who's been to a genetic review and found he has a 99% predisposition for developing cancer in the next five years take out a life insurance policy at the same rate as everyone else? Yes, it's bad luck. But he knows he has bad luck and can now hike his payout and pool his crap odds with the average odds of everyone else. That's not fair to everybody else. If you know you're about to get cancer, you should get "people about to get cancer" rates. If you want to share the risk with everyone else, you must do it in advance of learning the results.

You also didn't solve the other big issue which is that once you've had bad luck, you might be very predisposed to more bad luck but on your current insurance you started early as a low risk pool customer while if you switch you're a very high risk pool customer. For example, say you got cancer and were cured. The fallback rate is high, much higher than for the general population. No other insurance company wants to touch you with a ten foot pole or at ludicrous rates. You're trapped at one company and they want to get rid of you too, so the moment you're temporarily well they'll do anything they can do drop you, if not directly then indirectly by raising rates and being as uncooperative as possible. Miss one payment and you're out for good.

That's what I find so bizarre about the US implementation of Obamacare, everyone should have medical insurance so everyone's tab will be picked up by somebody, but the risk is not pooled. Those that the insurance companies manage to "get rid of" will go to the insurer of last resort that makes sure everyone has insurance and it will take all the costs while the other insurance companies pocket the profit. And now they can do it with better conscience because someone else will take over and they won't be dying in the streets. Both these problems are non-existent with real universal healthcare, we're all in the risk pool and come bad luck or good we'll stay there until we die.

Comment Re:Gross, but... (Score 0) 618

If heroine were legal, nobody would die.

Because heroin never killed anybody. Even in peer reviewed medical journals like the Lancet where they ranked alcohol #5, tobacco #9 and cannabis #11, heroin was by far #1. It's already the kind of drug no sane, recreational drug user would take only an addict looking to blast his mind and body into oblivion. Yes you might save a few who'd get hooked on Krokodil but if you get more heroin addicts instead you'll do way more harm than good.

Comment Re:I might not be here for Hurd 1.0 (Score 1) 206

Yet playing very briefly with a windows 8 system a few months back (it survived about 20 minutes between arrival at the office and having linux put on it), the kernel and hundreds of intimately-bound-I-don't-know-what-the-fuck-they-do-or-why-I-would-ever-want-them daemons were taking up between 5% and 10% of the CPU constantly.

OEM or corporate install full of crapware? Pure Windows (installed yourself from an OEM/retail disc) is a whole different ballgame, Microsoft actually doesn't add much crap like that. I don't have personal experience with a clean Win8 install, but at least on Win7 it's 99-100% idle when I don't do anything.

Comment Re:eat THEIR dog food? (Score 1) 169

so why don't we just look at what organizations like the US military use to secure and sign their data, and use that? (the methods of course, not their keys)

Well if we're going for the spectacularly evil I'd pick an algorithm that has many subtly flawed weak keys and a small number of secure keys, then secretly implement additional key generation checks in military software. You both use the same cipher, but they can still read your data and you can't read theirs. Vendors can even supply software built on public cipher standards to be used with government-provided keys and be none the wiser. As long as the ones issuing the keys is in on the charade, it could be a masterpiece.

Comment Re:Now it just remains to be seen... (Score 1) 205

The system will prompt the driver to take over, and if the driver does not respond, it will follow the safest course of action, which may be to continue in autonomous mode, or may be to pull over and stop. There is no way in hell that a self driving car sold to the public is going to just turn itself off while flying down the freeway.

It's not a self driving car until you're never required to actively take over control, only passively take over control when the car asks you to. And by required I mean required by law, not whether the car tells you about it or not because it might not know or understand. Nissan's car is like that, I never said it'd turn itself off but you're required to jump in whenever the "very advanced cruise control" doesn't drive safely. Those will get better and better, you will do less and less but you're still required by law to be the driver in charge at all times. Why do you keep denying that companies will sell cars like that when Nissan and others are busy building cars exactly like that????

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