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Comment Re:Standard GUI? (Score 1) 173

What would they be enforcing specifically?

First off, let me remind everyone that cookies left in your browser's cookie cache can only be read by the domain that gave them to you. So maps.google.com can read cookies issued by mail.google.com but www.amazon.com cannot read or in any way know about cookies issued from www.newegg.com. Cookies were designed that way for the exact reason of protecting privacy. Additionally, cookies that you receive on sites that you have not logged in to are not linked to your name, your street address, your email address or some secret serial number stamped on the back of your CPU; they are random numbers like you get at the DMV to know your place in line. Until you deliberately give a website some piece of identifying information by actually typing it in yourself, they know absolutely nothing about who you are.

Would "opting out" mean that anonymous users (ones that have not signed in to or otherwise given personal details to a website) can't receive session id cookies? That would mean that shopping at Newegg, Amazon, eBay and etc. would require a user to give actual personal details to the website before using any sort of shopping cart feature. Trying to work around that with any sort of ajax, HTTP/POST or HTTP/GET tricks would still be "tracking" per se and would be similarly banned.

Would "opting out" mean that the web server cannot log IP addresses? That would be a free pass for every damned script kiddie in every corner of the world to openly attack US web servers. If they have the "opt out" flag up then logging the IP to create firewall rules or report them to the authorities would be implicit admission of breaking the "opt out" rules. As a sysadmin it would also mean that I can't use Apache logs like this:
173.201.18.xxx - - [01/Dec/2010:11:33:00 -0500] "GET /ne
173.201.18.xxx - - [01/Dec/2010:11:33:02 -0500] "POST /w
209.220.104.xxx - - [01/Dec/2010:12:04:09 -0500] "GET /n
209.220.104.xxx - - [01/Dec/2010:12:04:10 -0500] "POST /
10.209.187.xxx - - [01/Dec/2010:14:23:54 -0500] "POST /wp
184.154.62.xxx - - [01/Dec/2010:14:23:54 -0500] "GET http
216.113.191.xxx - - [01/Dec/2010:15:44:59 -0500] "POST /s
220.181.7.xxx - - [01/Dec/2010:15:46:50 -0500] "GET /robo
184.154.62.xxx - - [01/Dec/2010:16:01:49 -0500] "GET http
187.87.203.xxx - - [01/Dec/2010:16:12:25 -0500] "GET /ne
187.87.203.xxx - - [01/Dec/2010:16:12:42 -0500] "POST /w
119.63.198.xxx - - [01/Dec/2010:17:16:24 -0500] "HEAD /w
to figure out if things like 404 errors are coming from links on my site or some stale link on someone else's.

I could go on, but I'm not.

Getting our panties in a twist over "tracking" is idiotic. Most people like it when businesses remember them. I like it when a bartender knows that I like dark beers and recommends I try something based on that knowledge. I like it when I walk into a convenience store and the cashier has my brand of cigarettes on the counter before I'm even finished saying "hello". I like it when my bus driver knows to wait at the downtown station an extra 5 min because he knows that I'll be arriving there on another bus about the same time he's scheduled to depart.

How is tracking like this in real life, with your real face attached to your real body good while tracking your web browser is bad?

If anyone want's to legislate or ban anything, how about banning the sale of privileged information collected during signup? You could even leave off any language that would make it specific to the internet and have it protect your grocery store club card records from being sold off to the highest bidder the way that the Florida DMV just recently sold off the personal information of everyone with a FL driver's license.

Comment Re:Booooo!! (Score 1) 173

Technically the Earth, Sun and all other massive bodies in this solar system all orbit each other simultaneously. But the sun is the most massive so it gets to be close to the center of the system.

Ditto for our solar system and every other solar system in the Milky Way.

It might also hold true for the whole of the universe but I'm not sure how many times we'll circle the drain before we meet the big bang's evil twin, the big squeeze.

Comment Re:The industry can take all the time it needs (Score 1) 313

Recorded media (both analog and digital forms of photographs, audio and video) are as much a part of our cultural heritage as paintings and sculptures from previous eras.

Losing the last copy of a TV show or movie is not much different from losing the last copy of a book. It isn't just the great works that deserve archival, since future generations can learn about the state of society from both low budget movies and merchant ledgers.

And to more directly answer the question in your first sentence, I think it's unfortunate that several of the early episodes of Doctor Who were lost for the purpose of saving warehouse space.

Comment Re:don't bother (Score 2, Insightful) 565

Java isn't that tough. If he were to find a local college willing to let him audit or, if necessary, pay for just a Java class then it would probably be a worthwhile investment. If he has experience with procedural languages and programming then a good Java course would let him catch up with OOP design.

I think Java still makes a good poster child for OOP design and is more portable and accessible than C# or any other .NET language.

Wireless Networking

Android Users Aren't As Disloyal As Reported 246

ergo98 writes "As we discussed recently, a CNN article had a statement that '77% of iPhone owners say they'll buy another iPhone, compared to 20% of Android customers who say they'll buy another Android phone.' This was a gross misrepresentation. The CNN story now has up this note: 'Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that 20% of Android customers say they'll buy another Android phone. The survey actually revealed that 20% of all smartphone customers say they'll buy an Android phone.' The Yankee Group has further sought to clarify the situation by saying that the 20% are people who explicitly said they would buy a 'Google-branded' phone (which excludes the overwhelming majority of popular Android phones) — as Google gets out of the business of selling branded phones. Summarizing their position on Android: 'Yankee Group still believes that Android will become the next breakout mobile phone platform, making it the third most popular platform behind iPhone and RIM's Blackberry in installed base for at least the next five years.'"
Wireless Networking

Starbucks Frees Wi-Fi 241

CWmike sends in this excerpt from Computerworld: "Free unlimited Wi-Fi is coming to nearly 7,000 company-operated Starbucks stores in the US beginning July 1, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said on Monday. Schultz also said that Starbucks is partnering with Yahoo! to debut the Starbucks Digital Network this fall. Starbucks customers will have free unrestricted access to various paid sites and services, such as wsj.com, as well as other free downloads Starbucks didn't detail. A spokeswoman said the access will be 'unlimited' and 'simplified, one-click.' By comparison, first-time Wi-Fi users in Starbucks stores now get up to two hours free after registering, but then must purchase additional time at the rate of $3.99 for two consecutive hours. That Wi-Fi access is already free to AT&T DSL home customers and AT&T mobile customers, according to the Starbucks website, but the connection process requires up to nine steps. McDonald's added free Wi-Fi to 11,500 locations earlier this year."

Comment Re:Best SSID (Score 2, Insightful) 422

Doesn't matter what the key is if it's using WEP. That's barely a couple minutes of number crunching for a cheap when it was new 3 years ago laptop. Seriously, it takes longer for a seasoned chain smoker to finish a Marb 72.

WPA-TKIP has been shown to have exploitable weaknesses so it will likely be cracked and then trivialized soon as well (if it hasn't been already). WAP-AES is reasonably secure at the moment but I wouldn't be surprised if that falls within the next few years as well.

Encryption is, and always has been, an arms race.

Comment Re:Blue print company (Score 1) 235

Except that, from the poster's description, these maps are in no condition to survive any sort of feed mechanism.

My layman's recommendation would be to follow Wilschon's advice above and use a digital camera to digitize them. You'll probably want to rig a mount system that will allow you to move the camera on a parallel plane to whatever surface you have the map on.

Depending on how accurate you want the digitization to be, you'll probably want to use much better lenses that are built in to a typical snapshot camera. You should solicit the advice of a photography expert to find out what lens setup would work best for capturing images of a flat plane at .3 to .6 meters with no distortion and consistent focus.

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