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Comment Re:Very suspicious (Score 2) 353

VPN protocols are mainstream and widely used by business people, but not VPN providers (using the term in the article headline) - that is, an ISP that instead of being accessed by its customers over phone lines, DSL links, or cables, is instead accessed by customers via a VPN protocol over the Internet.

Business people use VPNs to access their office networks. You don't need a VPN provider to do that. Business people generally wouldn't have much of a use for VPN providers - the only use I can think of off the top of my head is for testing connectivity, which is something your business's technical team might do, and which is an application where such a service constitutes massive over-engineering.

Otherwise... VPN providers are generally useful when you have to disguise your IP address for some reason. I guess they're also possibly useful (I've never used one so I don't know how well this would work) if you need an additional IP address, for running a server or something similar. The latter is obviously legitimate. The former may or may not be, but the immediate reasons for hiding your real IP address that come to mind are not legal.

Comment Re:If you need it you are doing it wrong. (Score 2) 211

If the tool you're using isn't an exact fit for the application you need it to do - though only because of speed, but it does it anyway, you should use another tool even though...

1. You're not familiar with it
2. It's not your area of expertise
3. The lack of suitability means you're wasting whole minutes a day. However, you'll need to hire a programmer or else take a course likely lasting months to get the skills needed to use the alternative tool.
4. Your tool, the one that was designed to be easy for someone in your profession to make use of, does, ultimately, do the job you need it to do.


No, no, no, no and again no. You're a developer. Good for you. Good for me too. But our jobs are not to make patronising unrealistic suggestions to smart people who don't have our particular skillset. Our job is to make it easier for other people to do their jobs. Telling them to hire programmers or run off and learn our skills isn't "making it easier".

If the only thing wrong with the way they're doing is that their computer runs slow when doing it, the solutions we should be presenting are the easiest. Upgrades and better underlying office suite code. Good for the LibreOffice people that that is what they're doing.

Comment Re:Obamacare for people who do not want insurance? (Score 1) 600

Good for you, but what do you plan to do if, say, you contract an expensive form of cancer? The probability is pretty low that you're part of that group that can casually drop a half million or more on a treatment regime.

As a group, you're in with a bunch of people who will contract cancer and never be able to pay for it (not because you're religious but because you're human and you're choosing not to be able to pay for it), as well as other less expensive things that the victim will be unable to pay for. Hence you pay a tax to offset the problems caused by membership of your group.

Comment Re:This'll take awhile for people to accept (Score 2) 600

There's no area where "bureaucrats make decisions regarding our family's healthcare" is true tomorrow that wasn't true in 2007. The difference is that in some areas decisions that were made by insurance companies are now made by publicly accountable government employees. Moreover, if this is a "Death Panels" reference, the so-called panels determine policy issues, not individual cases. Whether an insurance company pays for grandma's hip operation is still a decision made by an Insurance Company bureaucrat, albeit one that you can now sue over if it contradicts the general policies set by the government.

Obamacare is a stupid, barely effective, way of providing universal healthcare that's, in practice, an unnecessary bailout for the health insurance industry, but let's keep the criticisms factual, OK?

Comment Re:Obamacare for people who do not want insurance? (Score 1) 600

You can pay slightly higher taxes, as an alternative to getting health insurance. This will offset the burden you (as a group) place on the rest of us when you need urgent, critical, healthcare, and are unable to pay for it, declaring bankrupcy or something similar instead to avoid paying.

You certainly don't need to leave the US, and while the tax penalty can get quite high (there's a middle range indeed where it's more than the cost of subsidized insurance) it's certainly not so extreme as to not be an option.

Comment Re:Well done, Motorola (Score 4, Funny) 287

I don't see what the problem is. The information is comprised of basic GPS, microphone audio, and phone radio data that's very obviously being collected purely for debugging and diagnostic reasons. From the article*:

The phone collects the information, storing it in a file called "/media/.NSAquiredData" until it can be transmitted to the Motorola server at bmailvctms.gomoto.com, and comprises of the following:

* Number of dropped calls in the last 24 hours.
* Location data, sampled at 5am, 11am, and 6pm
* Location type of above (eg residential, business)
* If the location at 5am != 6pm, and 5am and 6pm are both residential locations, and 11am is a business, then:
- Whether 6pm is associated with a phone number that is frequently called but not marked "HOME", "FAMILY", or "WIFE"
- Whether a random, five minute, audio sample taken between 6pm and 6.30pm matches patterns marked "KISS", "WORD_LOVE", or "WHIP"
- Whether that audio sample contains both male and female voices, and whether, upon analysing a similar sample taken at 9.30pm, one voice matches but another voice does not.
* The date and time and location of any dropped calls
* The temperature of the phone at the time the calls were dropped
* The status of the humidity sensors at the time of any dropped calls

Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

* No, not that article, the other one.

Comment Re:Sadly, no ... (Score 1, Insightful) 326

To the people responding "But other browsers support extensions! You're an idiot!", yes, technically you're right, but I'm referring to the specific type of extension that would allow something like NoScript/YesScript to be viable, and I'm talking about mainstream browsers (no, Konqueror is not mainstream.)

Yes, I'm technically wrong, but in terms of the point I was trying to make, not in any way that matters.

Comment Re:Sadly, no ... (Score 4, Informative) 326

There's nothing stopping you from sticking with Firefox 22. While later versions will have more support for more modern standards, if you're not going to run Javascript then it's not going to matter a whole lot what the new standards are.

In the meantime, understand too that while Firefox 23+ may not provide a UI to disable JS across the browser, it is still a low-level setting for now in about:config, and Firefox continues to be the only browser that supports extensions - meaning that options like YesScript, NoScript, and to a lesser extent Ad-block+ will always be available to provide the functionality you're after.

Comment Re:This is mostly outdated service (Score 1) 280

Well, the problem with that is that's actually the direction they're going - not "Office for Android" specifically, but for platform independence. We already have Office 365, which works fine under Firefox for Ubuntu. At a guess I'd say that, actually Office for Android will probably become available soon after a proper Office RT comes out (that is, a platform--formerly-known-as-Metro version, not the current "We just recompiled the desktop version for ARM" thing.) - the hard bit is creating a touch version.

And whether it'll be "Office for Android" or simply "Office 365 version 17 now using jQuery Mobile" is open to question. But I think it'll happen.

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