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Comment Terrible track record (Score 1) 29

The FBI tried to pressure Apple into developing a back door to their iPhone. Whenever a company revealed that they provided a back door to the feds, their customers abandoned their devices. Obama and Nixon have both demonstrated the danger of abusing agencies as political weapons. It is safe the say that the federal government should stay the f--- out of cybersecurity standards, and OEMs already know it will be bad for business to rush to adopt them.

Comment Re:What is it that you say? (Score 1) 445

Taxing one private company for another's direct subsidy is just un-American.

And it has never worked. After WWII, governments had levied predatory taxes on railroads to subsidize highways and airports for decades. The airlines got their landing strips and airports free of charge, and trucking companies didn't have to maintain their roads. Railroads have to use their own revenue to maintain their tracks and pay property taxes, there was no way they could compete against subsidized transportation modes that was funded through their taxes. Amongst other reasons, this was a primary nail in the coffin for northeastern railroads as the taxes and unfair competition drove six major northeast railroads into bankruptcy and the entire rail transportation quadrant was in danger of closing down, threatening an entire mode of transportation. It took federal government intervention via Conrail in 1976 to dislodge predatory taxes and loosen the iron grip of asphyxiating regulation and labor restrictions/obligations, but the irreversible damage with miles of track routes wiped out was done.

Comment Repeat of old Bell Co tactic (Score 2) 198

Before cell phones and tablets existed, the Bell Companies sold their white page listings to third party marketers without customers' consent.

Then when customers started complaining about telemarketers, the Bell Companies offered to sell them tools to block them. They never told the customers about the sale of their personal data.

The Bell Companies pocketed money twice - from the marketers, then from the customers.

I'm seeing a similar pattern from Verizon. They sell direct install apps to marketers, then customers complain and Verizon offers to sell tools to block those apps.

Comment Scammers harvest LinkedIn for victims (Score 4, Interesting) 112

I was a (brief) victim of a dating scam. After I got wise and cut them off, I wondered where how they profiled me. My "date" claimed she found me on a FB group but scammers hide their tricks. Googling a quick ego surf revealed that the only place any profile of mine shows up is LinkedIn, which I thought was private. Seeing that I got zero benefit from LinkedIn and I had no other profile stored anywhere, I promptly deleted my LinkedIn account.

Comment Re:Tampa here, rejected move to Seattle (Score 1) 100

Similar story here, turned down a job offer near NYC for the same reasons. Not only did salary barely cover the outrageous living expenses, if that job were to go away there was no other company there where my skills were marketable. There was no way I could afford to own a house much less live there, and I don't make chump change for a salary.

Comment Fool me once: Cable TV (Score 1) 316

I'm old enough to remember when most of the channels on Cable TV had few or no commercials. I was more than happy to pay $$$ to get away from the marketing junk on ABC/CBS/NBC back then. Then the ads started creeping in and getting more frequent. Then cable news outlets started showing ads disguised as "news stories". Then the "ticker ads" started rolling in the margins during programs. Then a 90 minute movie stretched to three hours with commercials every ten minutes.

The ads were so intrusive that I pulled the plug back in 2000. While staying at some hotels while traveling I found cable TV to be utterly worthless to watch so I'm not missing much.

The abuse of ads soured my experience enough that I refuse to pay $$$ for any media that shows ads. I will cancel any service with no hesitation. Ads on DVD with fast forward or skip disabled get played with the sound off and I leave the room to do something else until the main menu of the feature movie is displayed. The marketers pushed too far and I'm sick of ads.

It's another reason why I enjoy traveling by train anymore - I'm tired of the billboards on the highway (trucks trailers included), tired of the marketing in airports, tired of the ads played on the screen in my face on the seat of the plane.

Comment Most News Websites are Tabloids (Score 1) 159

I'm 53 years old and have seen a lot of rot in journalism. Journalism is going through a serious identity crisis the last twenty years. Due to very biased influences infiltrating the news sources such as newspapers and broadcast news, very rarely are we getting the whole story and many stories deemed important are getting suppressed. I look for a healthy balance of all views (Faux News does NOT count). I took a very interesting college course that highlighted the manipulation of journalism, especially in broadcast TV.

I ceased watching broadcast news since 2000. They only report part of the story and they emphasize anything that can be sensationalized in a visual context. I also got tired of ads for movies and TV shows disguised as "news". The bias is far worse today as the power of reporting is too concentrated in too few hands.

Newspapers are getting more biased. It doesn't help that many areas only have one local newspapers when fifty years ago there were multiple resources. That concentrated the source of news into one place which was exploited when powerful interests infiltrated a central source and exerted their influence. I live in a small community and we actually have two newspapers - one has a healthy balance while the other is blatantly biased. Many times both have the same story, but the biased one omits some text that changes the story. I don't like that manipulation and deception.

Having abandoned TV and largely print news, that leaves the internet. But many news websites are NOT journalism, they are tabloids disguised as news outlets. I stopped visiting some legitimate news sources because the ad content is too dense or too disruptive. The decent news outlets are few and far between and it really takes some cherry picking to find them. The bright side of legitimate news websites is that as more people have abandoned the biased print media they are showing signs of collapsing, which may finally break the cycle of power concentrated into too few hands.

FB is hardly a beacon of journalistic integrity. I ignore the trending section. Too many news stories in my feed are blatantly false or biased. When a headline uses tabloid catch-phrases like "This is HUGE!" I get really p!ssed for them wasting my time. I make it a point to do fact checking before passing on a story on my timeline, and even then I seldom do that more than once a month if at all. I block many of these because my FB friends keep passing around the junk and don't take the effort to check the source. I block some of my friends from my feed because they spout some really offensive stuff.

A lot of the junk tabloid websites bring up pop-under ads that can be potential malware if I close them (telltale sign "Are you sure you really want to close this?"), so I have to pull the internet and use Activity Monitor (I'm on a Mac) to safely force the application to close. Any tabloid that spreads malware really grinds my gears so I maintain a list of websites to avoid.

Comment Re:Maximum Transaction Time exceeded (Score 2) 365

Three months ago I cut off a dating scam. It dawned on me that the only place the scammers would had seen any public profile was LinkedIn, which can be found easily on Google. So I promptly deleted my LinkedIn account, which has never been any value to me anyway.

Seeing the mass exodus after M$ announced their acquisition, I am glad I had the foresight to delete my account before the "Slashdot" effect.

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