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Submission + - AT&T Maintains Call Database for the DEA Going Back to 1987 (nytimes.com) 1

Jah-Wren Ryel writes: Forget the NSA — the DEA has been working hand-in-hand with AT&T on the Hemisphere database of records of every call that passes through AT&T's phone switches going back as far as 1987. The government pays AT&T for contractors who site side-by-side with DEA agents and do phone records searches for them.

Comment Re:Thanks Kovid! (Score 1) 193

that is the tragedy and beauty of Calibre.

it *is* amazingly good at what it does. there really is nothing else that does anything close to what it does.

but Calibre's user interface is shit, and the main programmer thinks his expertise in ebook formats makes him an expert in everything else (including user-interfaces, sending email, how to use http/https proxies, security and more).

he really is an expert in ebook formats. probably one of the world's leading experts in the field.

sadly, he's not an expert - or even competent - in most of the other things he thinks he is.

worse, his initial response to almost every bug report is rude and arrogant, along the lines of "fuck off, you don't know what you're talking about. it's a user error and i'm sick of idiot users reporting bugs in my perfect program". if you persist, you might after 5 or 10 messages going back and forth eventually get him to acknowledge that he might perhaps be just ever-so-slightly wrong about something, and he may even accept the patch that fixes whatever it is you posted the bug report about (but more likely he'll just ignore it and hope you go away).

he's sort of like a dan bernstein but far more arrogant and far less likely to actually be correct in what he says and in his opinions.

i've had this response with three of my own bug reports and seen the same with dozens of others - pretty nearly every calibre bug report i've read. so i've given up reporting bugs in calibre - there's just no point and it's not worth the hassle. i still use calibre, but i'll jump ship as soon as there's an alternative.

Comment Terms of Use (Score 1) 216

I wonder what would happen if you sent a nice letter to Facebook's CS department, copied to Legal, saying:

You have stated that you wish to use my likeness in commercial content that will earn you revenue. If you wish to do so, my standard rate is $10 per view of said likeness. You may not use my likeness without compensation to me. By using my likeness you agree to pay my standard rate for each view. If you do not wish to pay, you must refrain from using my likeness. By using my likeness you agree that the terms of this agreement and the rates stated therein apply to you, that you will pay them, that this agreement supersedes any and all prior agreements and that no future agreements may supersede this agreement without an express agreement in writing between myself and Facebook.

Comment Re:Where is the innovation? (Score 1) 179

Punching holes in NAT is a fucking nightmare

I thought it was just a case of getting both parties to attempt to send packets to each other on an agreed UDP port - that's how I thought Skype did it anyway.

Depends on the NAT. There is absolutely no guarantee that the NAT won't alter your source port (which means the traffic from the other end that is directed at that port won't get to you). This stuff isn't too bad if one end is behind a NAT, but it becomes unreliable once you have both ends behind a NAT because there's just no way to guarantee the NAT will behave how you need it to behave.

Comment Re:Amazing idea (Score 2, Interesting) 732

What kind of grade A moron would make a car brake to match a speed limit? It'll just turn the engine off to slowly reduce speed.

The same grade-A idiots that make you brake by reducing the speed limit too sharply to meet by engine braking alone and then whacks a speed camera in to catch anyone who didn't slam on the brakes.

An example I drive with reasonable frequency - the variable speed limit on the west-bound M4 near Newport, Wales. When they decide to reduce the limit to 50, the first 50 sign you see is too close to slow from 70 before passing it without braking. And every other gantry has a set of speed cameras in it, so you've basically got to hit the brakes on a motorway to avoid getting a NIP. This could be easilly solved by making the first sign a 60, and the next one a 50 to give you plenty of slowing down time.

Comment Re:Three reasons why this won't work (Score 1) 732

1. Cars will fail to read the road signs correctly
2. Someone will hack the road signs, leading to mayhem
3. Only a certain percentage of road fatalities are caused by people exceeding the listed speed limit

Why not fit cars with a voluntary limiter that users can enable themselves?

4. Automating all this stuff probably makes drivers less aware, which in itself may be bad for safety.

Also, the speed limits are frequently completely nonsensical - there are a number of roads I drive down with 30mph limits, which have "traffic calming" that would likely destroy your car if you did more than 10mph. In these situations, speed limits seem to serve no purpose - they used to tell you how fast you could safely drive in good conditions, but these days they are frequently intentionally making it dangerous to go anywhere near the speed limit...

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