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Comment Re:Well there is a little problem (Score 1) 158

George W. has been out of office for eight years. Time to let go and move on.

Yeah, very Republican answer that. Of course it's time to let it go - it was just a war based on lies, only hundreds of thousands of lives lost and trillions of dollars wasted. Not a serious issue, like Pizzagate or Benghazi. And reviewing how we got in such a bad situation, shining a light on the mistakes or bad intentions of the actors, and maybe fixing some issues in the process isn't important to America. What's important is to make sure under no circumstances would the party be put in a bad light.

Comment Re:Well there is a little problem (Score 1) 158

That's a big problem for the Republicans.

Why would it be a problem? It's not like Republicans have done anything good for America in the last twenty years or more, and they still got elected. There is no requirement for responsibility in the Republican party. Their strategy for elections is not to deliver solutions, to solve problems - or even to address them. They don't need to. They have instead perfected the art of divide et impera. They whip their voters in a frenzy over all kinds of crazy or made up bullshit, confuse all discussions, blame their own sins on the Democrats and lie, lie, lie and lie again.

See how Bush the second got reelected after some of the most catastrophic policy decisions in the last fifty years. Did Republican politicians care? I haven't heard any of them ask for a review or an independent commission to investigate how and why the whole Iraq debacle happened. I guess for Republicans independent investigators should only be used for important things, like spots on a dress, not for trivial stuff like a war. Did Republican voters care? No, they were distracted with "flip-flopping" and swift boats. I mean, for them it's more important that Kerry changed their mind once or twice than that Bush and his administration created a casus belli out of whole cloth, caused the whole Middle East crisis we're still going through now and cost the lives of thousands of Americans and who knows how many others in the process.

Comment Re:Just like the DNC an GOP (Score 1) 321

The Left will vote for what they consider the lesser of two evils

Of course, only "The Left" do that. Shouldn't you at least attempt to appear to challenge your own biases from time to time?

No, he's correct - history shows us the Right will consistently vote for the greater of two evils.

Comment Re:until IE 10 broke it (Score 0) 300

Your post is just another case of rabid anti-Microsoftism leading to reverse logic. The standard you mention has been written by Google and their pet browser company, Mozilla, so of course it says the default preference should be to allow ads. That's deeply wrong and anti-consumer (but pro-ad companies).

There has been a lot of discussion on Slashdot and everywhere else about opt-in versus opt-out - and the consensus is that opt-in is the correct choice in pretty much all cases. By default, users should always be opted out of things that infringe their privacy. Exactly the same here: only if they specifically opt in should they be tracked. Well, IE does this correctly. Not knowing about do not track (or not being technically savvy enough to disable it) IS NOT AN OPT IN, and people who do want to be a product can disable the do-not-track flag.

Of course, Yahoo and Google profit from the vast number of users who don't know about the intricacies of the do not track standards and options. The fact remains that those users did not specifically opt in, and their privacy is abused. The standard is broken (I believe intentionally), so don't try to make it sound like it's somehow Microsoft's fault.

Comment Re:Why .Net? (Score 2) 247

So please tell me how your going to fit any other language on a microcontroller with 1MB of flash memory. Nah, I'll be nice, how about 2MB of flash memory. Dont forget the roughly 512KB of RAM your going to have. And those specs are just guessing at what most industry will be using in 5-10 years. Most of us are still on ~256KB ROM.

The .Net micro framework matches your requirements pretty well: from the Wikipedia link: The .NET Micro Framework (NETMF) is an open source .NET platform for resource-constrained devices with at least 256 KBytes of flash and 64 KBytes of RAM. You can use Visual Studio and C# for pretty small devices.

Comment Re:Huh (Score 1) 567

they eventually end up charging each individual exactly what it will cost the insurance company to pay each individual's claims plus their profit margin. At that point, the insurance company is a useless middle man and everyone may as well be self-insured.

That doesn't make sense. The only way insurance companies can charge "exactly what it will cost to pay each individual's claims" is if they discover a magic ball that lets them see the future. They know that *on average* the chances for a member of a group to get in an accident are X, but have no way of telling which one of the members of the group will pull the short straw. Improved tracking allows them to define their populations better, and know the value of X more precisely, but even if they trace every move everyone makes, the companies have no way to know beforehand how much a particular individual will cost them.

If you add up the insurance premiums paid by the members of the defined population, you will indeed end up with a bigger amount that the actual costs of accidents etc. But an individual member only pays the premiums, even if he's the one involved in the accident. That's the whole point of insurance.

The problem is different: insurance companies can and do refuse service to people perceived to be high risk - or else, they charge them huge amounts. As they track the customers better, companies will eliminate all members of high risk populations from the pools, so those individuals will have no recourse if something happens to them (which, since they're high risk, very probably will).

Comment Re:Give it up. (Score 1) 200

This is good advice, but note that it still leaves your vulnerable to traffic analysis; if this level of security matters to you, consider doing regular updates of fixed size to the cloud even if your local data hasn't changed. For example, put your data in a TrueCrypt volume, and run a script to do minor changes on a regular basis and upload the whole file to the cloud. This will cost more bandwidth (obviously) but the attacker will only see your regular daily/weekly/whatever upload of a fixed length binary lump and won't be able to correlate the changes in the churn and size of your data to your other activities.

Submission + - Piracy site IsoHunt to shut down and pay $110m (blogspot.com.au)

quantr writes: IsoHunt, a popular website offering BitTorrents of mostly pirated material, is to shut down following a court settlement.
The site's owner, Canadian Gary Fung, has agreed to pay $110m (£68m) to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
MPAA chairman Chris Dodd said the move was a "major step forward" for legitimate commerce online.
In a blog post, Mr Fung said: "It's sad to see my baby go."
The site is currently still online, but will soon be shut. It is one of the most popular sites of its kind on the internet.
A group of companies, including Disney, Paramount and Twentieth Century Fox, accused the site of wilfully infringing copyright by listing millions of popular movies and TV programmes — in a court battle that has lasted for more than seven years.
Now Mr Fung has agreed to settle. He added: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race and I have remained faithful. 10.5 years of IsoHunt has been a long journey by any business definition and forever in internet start-up time.
"It started as a programming hobby in my university days that has become so, so much more."
Court documents acknowledged that it is unlikely that Mr Fung's company could pay $110m, and that the MPAA would probably receive between $2m and $4m

Submission + - Open Rights Group International: Virgin and Sky blindly blocking innocent sites (openrightsgroup.org)

stewartrob70 writes: As reported by PC Pro, the systems implemented by both Virgin and Sky to stop access to websites blocked by the courts appear to be blocking innocent third-party sites with apparently little or no human oversight. For example the website http://radiotimes.com/ was reported to have been blocked.

In order to understand why this specific issue happened, you need to be familiar with a quirk in how DNS is commonly used in third-party load-balanced site deployments.

Many third-party load balanced systems, for example those using Amazon's AWS infrastructure, are enabled by pointing CNAME records at names controlled by those third-party systems. For example www.example.com may be pointed at loadbalancer.example.net. However, "example.com" usually cannot be directly given a CNAME record (CNAME records cannot be mixed with the other record types needed such as those pointing to nameservers and mailservers). A common approach is to point "example.com" to a server that merely redirects all requests to "www.example.com".

From forum posts we can see that it's this redirection system, in this specific case an A record used for "http-redirection-a.dnsmadeeasy.com", that has been blocked by the ISPs — probably a court-order-blocked site is also using the service — making numerous sites unavailable for any request made without the "www" prefix.

These incidents strongly suggest that the opaque approach to website blocking by ISPs, and the apparent lack of oversight, has the potential to be hugely damaging to the internet. Open Rights Group calls for greater transparency in this area, beginning with making the court orders available for public inspection.

Source: https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2013/more-virgin-sky-blocking

Comment Re:stop trying, use git instead (Score 1) 238

However I definitely have seen the syndrome of people not acknowledging software not created by Microsoft

Yup, seen that. And I also saw the reverse: people going to insane lengths to refuse to use a Microsoft tool or system, despite it obviously being the best fit for their particular problem. There are quite a few such specimens (of both categories) on Slashdot, and, while the logic contortions can be funny at times, I'm annoyed to see how often misunderstood ideological purity trumps technical arguments.

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Truly simple systems... require infinite testing. -- Norman Augustine