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Comment A number of ways... (Score 2) 84

You can be tracked and identified by a large number of ways. Its not just cookies, its anything you click on, its hidden variables, its the URL, applets, javascript, and even your IP address. Have you heard of a Firefox plugin called Ghostery? Look at all the things it blocks. That will give you more clues about how you are being tracked. Cookies are not in themselves bad. They were designed for developers to cache information so that they could remember what the user was doing when they clicked. Advertisers decided to use them for different purposes. Then agains, the web sites are partly to blame. They want to know what you were doing, what pages you liked, where you spend time. It lets them know what interests people. But the sites have found that by signing up for programs that track users across multiple sites, they can get a deeper understanding of their customer. So, they deploy tracking code/cookies/pictures so that the companies who track across multiple sites can get info to share with them. Its really complicated.

Comment Radio jamming (Score 1) 398

It was in a paper I read not too long ago that thieves use a radio jammer so that the car never gets the signal to lock. Some cars lock the doors silently and some do it with a short honk of the horn. So, if its the type that is silent, then most people never notice the car did not lock when they pushed the button and walked away.

Comment Re:Creates a near monopoly (Score 1) 268

> Checking against a particular table to see the sales tax rate and then calculating it and adding it to a particular line item wouldn't be all that complicated.

Each state has a table. You have to look up the zip code to cross to a county to see what the county's tax rate is because some county's add 0.5 to 1% above the state's. Some cities have a tax, too, so this has to be taken into account. These tables change all the time. Then you have some goods that are taxable and some that are not. Florida, for example, does not tax foods. Then you also have "tax free" periods like back to school. Which state is doing that which weekend or week? Its a huge mess for any small company to deal with. Only the big companies can navigate this.

It would be a wise business strategy for the incumbents to back this idea/bill as a way of sealing off any new comers.

Comment Creates a near monopoly (Score 5, Insightful) 268

By forcing web sites to collect sales tax for all 50 states and the territories will create an accounting nightmare. The only companies that can afford to hire the people to do it would be the dominant players like Amazon. So, all the small start ups would be stifled right out of the gate. The end result will be a near monopoly and very few start ups bringing new ideas to market.

Security

Submission + - DARPA Hunting for Backdoors (informationweek.com)

CowboyRobot writes: "The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Thursday published details of its new Vetting Commodity IT Software and Firmware (VET) program, which the agency said is designed to find "innovative, large-scale approaches to verifying the security and functionality of commodity IT devices — those commercial information technology devices bought by DOD — to ensure they are free of hidden backdoors and malicious functionality."

The launch of DARPA's new program comes after the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in October 2012 issued a scathing report on Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE, saying that they "cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems." The committee "strongly encouraged" businesses in the United States to look elsewhere for their technology."

Comment This is funny (Score 1) 282

If you try to download Adobe Acrobat Reader, Google toolbar is injected into the download with no way to stop it. It installs before acrobat - I guess so you can't cancel it. If you download the Adobe Flash Player, Google Chrome is injected into the download and you cannot stop it. Uninstalling brings up an app asking why you uninstalled Google's product. Is it fair to play both sides of having your product injected without consent and then cry foul in another area of competition? (Admittedly this may be Adobe's decision alone, but Google probably knows it.)

Comment Pole Reversal? (Score 1) 325

With the South Atlantic Anomaly getting bigger, going back to compass readings might not be reliable during a pole flip either. GPS might need some hardening to prevent spoofing. But I thought it would be a good system to have in place when magnetic poles move.

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