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Comment Simple (Score 3, Funny) 170

I'd bet if they wanted to hear the case, they would figure out some loophole to get past the bureaucratic BS,

Just tell Thomas, Scalia and Alito that they can't get their daily "newsletter of best-of images" culled from the scanners until they hear the case.

That sucker'll be fast-tracked so fast someone's robe will burst into flames.

Comment Actually, it isn't (Score 1) 362

(Disclaimer: I used to work for a large newspaper in the online advertising department)

The cost to advertisers for running a print ad depends upon a number of things (day-of-week, ad size, section, placement [above/below the fold], etc.), but also the perceived value. One of the numbers papers live and die by are the audited circulation numbers. This is what they then turn around and say to the advertisers: run a full-page in the A section on Sunday, and you'll get your ad in front of ___ (1,000s) of people!

Advertisers believed they were getting value for the money, and all was good. Until the interwebs did two things:

  1. 1. It allowed the advertisers know how many people actually "saw" their ad ("impressions") and
  2. 2. how many people clicked their ads

Suddenly, online advertising didn't look like such a great deal at all. And as the print circulation numbers went into their death-spiral, the papers had nowhere to turn. Their revenues from online aren't enough to keep just the online part running, let alone the rest of the deal.

Partially to blame is the calcified mentality that Print Is King and online is "for kids." The other thing is the executives refused to believe their business model was dead, that their news distribution model was dead (who wants to read yesterday's news today?) and their management style (top-down) was dead.

They thought the iPad would save them (that's why newspaper apps require a 'subscription' -- they're still in that mentality).

They look on with envy at Huffington Post (ugh) and Daily Beast (puke) -- two successful online "news" organizations that are doing what they can't: make sufficient money on line.

Basically, they're dead dinos. It will take nothing short of a complete reboot (i.e., fire everyone VP/General Manager or above) to get them going again, maybe.

Comment Re:Duh. well (Score 1) 86

Anyone who understands how security works would consider php's very existence on a server to be a security hole.

There, I fixed it for you. You're welcome.

Not so much PHP (although every function is broken in some way), but the fact that any n00b can pick it up and start "programming." Without a harsh feedback loop, poor coding practices become calcified and lead to the massive security holes you've observed.

The beauty and curse of PHP is that its default fail state is to act as if nothing bad happened. This keeps unskilled, sloppy n00bs from getting so discouraged with the "NO YOU CAN'T FARKING ASSUME null AND false ARE THE SAME THING, DUMMY!" error messages that they find Something Else To Do like become Energy Meter Readers or Sportscasters or Tiger Food.

That is why PHP sucks.

Comment Re:I'd do it. (Score 1) 374

and provide me with a signed statement that the records will be destroyed

Ahh, so young, fresh and innocent. Just like those naked little froggy native boys in their tight leather aprons...

Listen. A signed statement is nothing more than a piece of paper with some ink on it. The government reneges, what are you going to do? Stomp your feet? Oh, right - you'll "sue." Good luck with that. See, the government has the power to decide if you can even sue it(!).

Maybe they allow it this time. But now you're going up against an entity with UNLIMITED resources, and you have your $100/hr lawyer. How long before you burn through your life savings? A year? Two?

And in the end you have no more assurance than when you started.

Get smart. Give it up by not taking it up.

Comment Dunno 'bout your country (Score 2) 374

Cops come to my door, I have nothing to say to them unless they have a warrant, and not even then.

No, you can't come in—in fact I'm coming outside and closing the door behind me. No, I'm not answering any questions (other than my name, as required by law).

10 I ask, "Am I under arrest?"

20 If they say, "No," then

30 I ask, "So I'm free to go back inside?"

40 If they say, "No," then

50 Goto 10

Comment Re:This could *help* fix diaspora but... (Score 2) 124

The speed issues were definitely a huge problem. Every Ruby on Rails project I've ever run on my test server, including the super-simple to-do list given in the tutorials, have ground the execution of said project to a halt; something that would take PHP milliseconds to do would take 30 seconds minimum while Ruby fired itself up.

Personal Anecdote FTW!

Unlike you, I wrote, deployed and maintained a RoR app in a professional environment that got a minimum of 40,000 hits per day, every day. It worked like a champ with no speed issues, because a) I worked with the server guys to ensure the web, application and database servers were tuned, and b) I know how to use a profiler.

I wouldn't dream of using PHP because besides being one of the few languages where every feature is broken in some way, I needed TDD and MVC baked in as well as threading support.

I would've used Java, but (as usual) the artificial deadlines required rapid deployment, and the minimum viable product would've taken too long to code in Java. I could've just as easily gone with Perl, but using some gems that allowed me to basically drop them in and go saved lots of time I would've wasted coding the same things in Perl (even though CPAN rocks).

Comment You'd be surprised (Score 1) 312

...but back in 2006, the FBI had the capability to turn a cell phone that was "off" into a remote listening device:

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan's opinion said that the eavesdropping technique "functioned whether the phone was powered on or off." Some handsets can't be fully powered down without removing the battery; for instance, some Nokia models will wake up when turned off if an alarm is set.

[snip]

The U.S. Commerce Department's security office warns that "a cellular telephone can be turned into a microphone and transmitter for the purpose of listening to conversations in the vicinity of the phone." An article in the Financial Times last year said mobile providers can "remotely install a piece of software on to any handset, without the owner's knowledge, which will activate the microphone even when its owner is not making a call."

Remember, that was 6 years ago. Those civil rights you thought you had? Hope you enjoyed them at the time.

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