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Comment Re:I RTFA (Score 1) 142


Don't bitch at me just because you don't know what a common term actually MEANS.

You seem to think running software on your software that runs on your hardware is magically and unintuitively going to work better than software on hardware.

There's no magic about it. Having lower-level, centralized control of network equipment can be a huge improvement over the current mess. A fringe benefit is that works the same from vendor to vendor, across different models of equipment from the same vendor, and eliminates the need for all the higher-layer crap, bypassing a huge number of those firmware bugs.

Comment Re:Why is there an assumption of privacy? (Score 2) 262

If Google or Facebook can haul in billions in revenues from tracking you across the web, this is the next step and it's wide open. Someone has probably already been working on it.

I believe google has been so busy working on the autonomous car for that very reason too. Inside such a vehicle, one would be a captive audience to their ad service on some level, and definitely subject to their consumer data collecting efforts.

"I see you are on your way to Morro Bay, why not stop at [paid advertisement] Foobie's Tofu Barbecue? Just think of those succulent cubes of soy protein, marinated in delectable sauces and grilled with fresh vegetables and served with steamed or fried rice! Google rating ****"

Comment Re:Why is there an assumption of privacy? (Score 1) 262

digital billboards that use prisms to target personal adds to each car. You were web searching for a new pair of shoes last night, so on your commute to work, you keep seeing Nike, Zappos, and ADIDAS everywhere. It'll happen. Just give it time.


If Google or Facebook can haul in billions in revenues from tracking you across the web, this is the next step and it's wide open. Someone has probably already been working on it.

Comment Re:Why is there an assumption of privacy? (Score 3, Informative) 262

It's an illusion held by the paranoid or genuinely guilty.

This is the mainstream mindset, ladies and gentlemen. Those who are concerned about privacy from the government as a default stance, even in public, are "paranoid or genuinely guilty". Yup. No room for the truly innocent to object on moral grounds, if you object to the government being able to track you then you must have something to hide, and to people like this that is the excuse they will then use to violate your privacy in a much worse way. "What have you got to hide, Citizen? SUBMIT"

You missed the key word up there. I'll highlight it for you.

We have limited privacy. We have phone numbers, email addresses, house numbers, apartment units, SSNs, Drivers Licence numbers, credit card numbers, etc. We have been tracked, recorded and our info shared for decades. It's only increasing now as the storage and processing means have reached a level necessary to maintain our info. The speed with which Philip Markoff, the Craigslist Killer, was tracked and apprehended should have made that clear.

Comment Re:Why is there an assumption of privacy? (Score 3, Informative) 262

On public property?!? Who said anything about that? Dang, haven't you ever see a billboard ?!?

You think private enterprise couldn't do the same thing, renting a few square feet of land or roof top to place a scanner? Heck, they could put these things in billboards, perfect spot already staked out. Watch your car go by, share info, know where you frequent, when you are there, etc. You think the tracking of your web surfing habits can't be extended out from the screen into the physical environment?!?


Comment Re:Why is there an assumption of privacy? (Score 1, Funny) 262

lol @ liberals..
"I voted for the benevolent dictator and all I got was this panoptic totalitarian police state."

It's like the Republicans put this into place, but a Democratic administration was figuring how to use it.

Reminds me of an old political saw: The Democrats invented the Deficit, but the Republicans figured out how to use it.

Comment Re:Wow, Modesto Bee on slashdot (Score 1) 262

Well, now I've seen everything. Time to hang it up and get off this crazy thing they call the "Interwebs".

Really! Consider how yesterday we had an article about Valley Fever around Avenal from the BBC. Now we're getting closer to the source. I think this may be the start of an invasion of privacy. You know, like when you find a Slashdot camera duct-taped outside your front door.

Comment Re:privacy? (Score 2) 262

who here thinks that licensure and displayed serial numbering EVER intended to protect privacy?

"Name Tags" could betray anonymity!

As one example of how police wanted to share this info... A CHP car is sitting at a ramp, tracking cars going by, all doing the speed limit, but posting the info to central computer. Another CHP car is sitting 20 miles down the highway at another ramp, scanning cars coming by and comparing time and information held in the central computer. Simple math and you find who has been speeding between points.

Comment Re:Why is there an assumption of privacy? (Score 1) 262

While I'm not wild about being tracked, I simply don't feel that I have an assumption of privacy while driving around on a public road.

It's an illusion held by the paranoid or genuinely guilty.

But think about this ... by order of the Supreme Court the police can't keep and share tracking information, unless there's a search warrant. Nothing bars private companies putting plate scanners out there to keep track of where you go.

Comment Re:Quantity has a quality all its own? (Score 2) 154

As for police, the problem is that police investigations reveal irrelevant private information. That's something we've just got to accept if we want the police to do anything at all. However, we don't have to let the police collect irrelevant private information when that isn't part of an investigation of a crime. In other words, the ratio of criminals caught to private information collected is too low.

There's also the general problem of "false positives", which have been notoriously common in previous security-related data collection. This was especially common in the "Red Scare" investigations of the 1950s to 1980s.

Back in the 1970s, there was an example that got a bit of coverage in the scientific press. There was a researcher (in Detroit as I recall) who had applied for lots of federal grants, and had been turned down for all of them with no explanation. Eventually, via the FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act), he eventually found the explanation.

It seems that earlier, his teenage son had been using his car frequently to visit his girlfriend in another part of town. Some agencies looking for "subversives" listed a local group that held meetings occasionally in the same block. When the meetings were scheduled, the investigators visited the block, and wrote down all the license-plate numbers. They compared these with the registry, and the owners of all the cars who didn't live in the area were listed as suspected members of the group. So the father was listed as a suspected subversive, and that information was given to funding agencies.

Presumably the investigators didn't notice that his car was there on lots of other days, because they didn't do their scans on non-meeting evenings. This is one good way to get a false positive.

I never read any followups to this story. It's unlikely he had any legal recourse, since failing to give grant money so someone on the basis of false data about them isn't exactly a crime.

Those who use the "we have nothing to hide" argument should probably consider stories like this. Political investigative agencies have a long, sordid history of such false positives, and they've ruined a lot of lives as a result, while typically catching few "true positivies" in their nets.

I wonder if it would be possible to set up a list of such stories, for the education of the general population. It could be useful to impress on people that, no matter how much of a "good citizen" they consider themselves, they can easily be victimized in this way.

Comment Re:Testla is good... (Score 4, Funny) 452

No Tesla car is worthy of his name without it being able to generate 5 meter long arcs of electricity on demand.

Think if it ... as a project.

Get one of these cars, wire a transformer into it and place a couple electrodes on the hood. While you are waiting at lights you could press a button and make arcs dance across the hood of your car and impress the homeboys with their pitiful flatulent exhausts and audio with something massively cool.

You could also work it into vehicle protection. (Please be neat and carry a whisk broom to sweep away the dust of those who attempted to break in.)

Comment Re:Two Other Outspoken Politicians (Score 4, Insightful) 424

Reminds me of an old Cold War joke.

Russian: You think your country is so great. Why?

American: In my country I can go on TV, in front of millions of people, and call the president of the United States an idiot.

Russian: So what, in my country I too can go on TV, in front of millions of people, and call the president of the United States an idiot.

P.S. At the time that was true in the United States. It was a less dangerous time. The biggest problem we faced was nuclear annihilation in less time than it takes to eat dinner. Now we face guys who put black powder in pressure cookers.

One of the things I appreciate about Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert, keep us laughing at our own foibles, don't ignore those foibles, but recognize the idiocy of how we behave as parties, people and country. Under the Bush administration I felt we were approaching something vaguely Stalinist, where laughing at our mistakes was felt to be unpatriotic - when France challenged our information and motives for going into Iraq we had people re-naming French Fries as Freedom Fries - I think that was a very worrying thing and showed an extreme depth of stupidity. Turned out France was right to do so. Questioning government is the most patriotic thing we can do, not call ourselves pretend PATRIOTS and wrap ourselves up in the flag.

I do agree with Carter, the exposure of this sort of thing is healthy. Perhaps the government needs to do some of these things, but not under a cloak of double secrecy.

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