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Comment EEE is not dead; look at systemd (Score 4, Insightful) 394

I guess he forgot about the old Microsoft motto: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. It's still alive today, albeit a bit more subtle than it used to be.

The industry as a whole seems to have forgotten the events of 15-20 years ago (as is common in human society).

If it hadn't, we wouldn't have let systemd do the exact same thing with regards to compatibility with non-systemd distributions, let alone other Unices.

"Sure, all you have to do is add a hard dependency on our library!"
"They way you've been doing for 30 years is incorrect, here make a chance that will force mindshare onto your entire userbase."
"Distributions CAN use something other than the defaults, but we want them to use the defaults and there's no guarantee that not using the defaults will ever continue to work."

Comment Re:Day job (Score 3, Interesting) 343

This sums things up perfectly. I keep seeing "news stories" about things that have been going on since mankind first drug itself out of whatever cave it was living in being rebranded as something that these newfangled kids are doing.

I don't get it.

The current generally has virtually no historical awareness for anything pre-2005. This is beyond the "normal" cyclic view of history and re-inventions, many of them have only the barest knowledge of life before YouTube. I grew up well after the '70s, but somehow I had cultural awareness of the Vietnam War and its influence on the then-present-day as I was a teen and into my twenties.

The current generation (I don't like the term "Millennial" since I find it to be too broad ... let's say the "Digital Natives" (vs. Generation Y, which was roughly born 1980-1992)) is living in the eternal present, unable to re-contextualize current events. Gen Y and Gen X are doing this too, but at least we're doing it ironically. We still remember the critical thinking thought processes we were raised on, whereas they never really got that to begin with.

Comment Re:Free time (Score 4, Interesting) 343

Fuck you.

For decades they have been telling kids to work hard and achieve all they can. To get a good job you need a degree, they said. And she enough, all the good jobs list a degree as a requirement.

Degrees used to be free of course, or at least quite cheap. And there were good jobs that paid the debt off.

Millennials made the decision to get an education based on the advice they had at the time. They were 18, younger even. And it worked out well for their parents.

But oh, sorry, we broke the economy and well, someone's gotta pay... And it won't be us, we've got ours.

I pity the H/S graduating classes of 2007 and 2008, who didn't really know any better but weren't in a position to change course. Anyone afterwards knew damn well that they had to think carefully about their major, about getting a job, and about vocational schooling as an option.

Anyone before then should have remembered the echo from the dot-com implosion and recession, and/or was old enough to know that their degree in Religious Studies and Art History was not going to pay the bills. I remember telling people that, but they continued anyway. That was a *conscious* choice for them that they had plenty of time to reconsider their huge incoming student loan debt -- and with a decent job market, they had options.

Comment Re:TFA is not terribly clear... (Score 3, Informative) 227

Or, more specifically, obstruction of justice.

If you refuse to give a legible fingerprint when your fingerprints are being taken at the jail, for example by trying to move your fingers back and forth so the ink smudges, the bailiff or other police official will just hold you down until they can get a valid read. You have no right to prevent that from being done.

If you do the same thing, but in a way that surreptitiously destroys the evidence on the phone in the process (knowledge of the switch, and your awareness that you're using the wrong finger to do it), you're destroying evidence. That's not just contempt, that's obstruction of justice .. and a nice federal jail sentence.

Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 5, Insightful) 526

It wears out ridiculously fast. I've had to find the "sweet spot" on an untold number of 3.5mm jacks. You either have to twist the plug to the perfect angle or apply pressure on the correct side, or else you get no sound or severely diminished sound.

This has been my experience as well. Not every jack fails - but it still happens more often than for any other jack type that I commonly use.

This is cray. I've used tons of audio jacks over the years (being both an audio person and a mobile DJ). I've worn our FAR more micro-USB ports (and more expensively to replace) than I've ever had problems with headphone jacks. And the two times I've had problems with headphones, a tiny amount of solder fixed it.

More to the point -- simpler is better.

Comment Something off the rails (Score 5, Insightful) 117

Something has seriously gone off the rails when an ad/image designer either a) cares directly, and/or b) has insight into device power management and usage.

You're doing it wrong.

How about devices, firmware writers, OS writers, library writers, and application writers (browsers in this case) focus on the power management and we keep remote content creators out of the loop. If you need end-to-end awareness of things like this, it's a sign that your different layers are unable to make sane design choices or write sane platform specifications internally. It's also a sign that you don't care about leaking data far and wide to things that should have no need for that info. (cf. Uber and pricing changes when your battery is low.)

Comment Congrats, you've rediscovered Marx poorly (Score 4, Insightful) 505

If there's ever been a story worthy of the "whatcouldpossiblygowrong" slashdot tag, it's this.

Technological Solutionism didn't begin with oblivious Bay Area Millennials who never learned any history thinking that any problem can be solved if you just throw enough data, tech, money, cloud, systemd, Elon Musk, VC money, Obama, and Nate Silver's at it.

Unfortunately, that lack of awareness leads to the hubris in central planning, except that you've moved it from a technocratic paper pusher to a technocratic algorithm writer, an ethically oblivious data scientist, or -- scariest of all -- an app developer. That's how you get Giant Leaps Forward and jackboots.

Well, it’s a bit of an exaggeration to call it a failure.

Communism has killed far more people than all the 20th Century wars combined, while Western Capitalism has raised the standard of living. It was a failure. That's why the capitalists won and will continue to win. The ONLY thing that will change this will be a fundamental rewrite of the laws of economics and/or human nature. Humans don't change, and the laws of economics won't change globally until a replicator is invented along with locally-free energy and is actually distributed worldwide. *Then* we can talk about TNG-style post-scarcity. Anyone who thinks we're living in a post-scarcity economy in 2016 is confusing their parents' house for the real world.

Comment Business is Business (Score 1, Informative) 420

Look, there's nothing wrong with being a rational actor on both sides here. The original contract is over and every single person on one of these plans is month to month. A partnership or business relationship not otherwise restricted will only exist for as long as it makes sense for both sides.

You idiots abusing a shared resource have pushed Verizon into accepting a PR hit in exchange for not having to deal with your douchebaggery any more. So be it. This is why we can't have nice things.

Anyone who's ever worked at an ISP knows about the predictions network engineers have to make when deciding how oversubscribed one network segment will be, and what kind of utilization can be allowed. These are consumer plans, not business SLA hookups, and if they can save themselves headaches by kicking the %.00001 off their network, it's fine by them. If you want to pay $500/month for 100GB of transfer, find a local ISP who can metro-link you an Ethernet hand-off and be done with it. Wireless networks were not meant for that level of individual usage.

Comment Re:Emergencies? (Score 2) 161

This might have been a troll, but it's a valid point. In the US, any phone that is turned on needs to be able to make an emergency 911 call, regardless of network access / bill payment / identity / SIM card / etc.

For a phone already turned on, you can do this from the lock screen. On my new LG G5 with PIN required on boot, you can do this from the PIN/boot entry screen.

It does raise the valid question: Is this a further check prior to the ... boot loader? PIN boot phase? If so, how much of the phone is and isn't running prior to the remainder of the OS load and what is or isn't "secure"... The meta has to bottom out somewhere, and unless the phone is actually broken, regs might require at least the phone connection to work.

Comment Any Data Collection can be accessed (Score 1) 41

By FAR the easiest SIGINT on a subject in a first world country will be via telemetry they're sending from their smartphone and computers, either consciously, not-really-thinking-about-it consciously, or via a hack.

It's safe to say that Google and Apple (smartphones/browsers) and Facebook (link tracking that's not done via Ad Words) have more raw data collection ability than the NSA natively does. That makes it trivial to tap into that feed as needed... But that's because anything the government *can* do there, *IS* being done by the commercial entities as part of their data aggregation business.

Comment Re: DOS was terrible (Score 1) 211

As I remember, merely inserting the diskette would do absolutely nothing. You had to either run a program from the diskette, or forget to take it out of the drive when you (re)booted the machine in order to actually "catch" anything from it.

Autorun didn't come along until Windows 95.

Maybe they're thinking of the Mac's System software... There were several viruses on the Mac that could be spread just by insertion since the Finder (or System) would load the Desktop file on the disk insert event.

Comment Re:honesty (Score 5, Insightful) 57

Slashdot used to be very pro-uber.

What happened? Is this the result of the new owners? Are people's opinions so easily swayed? Is this a case of not thinking it through originally?

Anyone who's been around here long enough remembers how we all felt about M$ back in the day, and the removal of shackles that Linux and OSS represented (both to that and to the traditional Unixes), and for a long time crowd-sourced [anything] was seen as an inherent good by analogy. Hell, it worked for everything else!

Fetishizing data collection (knowledge!) and rapidity (disruption!) over philosophic understanding is bad, but that's basically all of the larger tech industry right now, *especially* those to dumb/stupid/oblivious/young to know their history and who haven't taken enough critical thinking and theory of knowledge courses.

a) Uber intentionally breaks the law first and asks questions later
b) Uber's success comes from the breaking of the laws relating to taxicab services and employment
c) Uber's fucking evil. They spy on political enemies and journalists they don't like.

We tried unregulated taxicabs in America. We decided to regulate them because of external factors (strange people; crime; discrimination; pricing). If the taxi companies were deregulated as well, then I suppose they could fight fairly, but Uber's winning only because of that, and then abusing its IC workforce in the courts. They're everything that's wrong with the "gig economy" that millennials are convincing themselves is somehow a good.

Comment Surprising... (Score 5, Insightful) 284

... only that they didn't already have a content block like this up already. (I'm sure it was already against the click-through ToS, but that's basically meaningless anyway.) There's nothing unreasonable about this. It's a public place, it's a private service, etc. I seem to recall a case a while back about public libraries being OK with blocking this on community-standards grounds in some jurisdictions.

And seriously, if you need to go to McDonalds and configure a VPN to watch porn you should probably try to put that effort into improving your career prospects so you can afford an internet connection at home.

Comment Re:Too cautious (Score 1) 330

If I recall correctly, Consumer Reports was the same organization that demerited cars for having electric power windows because they said something to the effect that you'd be trapped in the event your car sank in a body of water.

Actually that does happen on occasion. It's usually not blamed on the electric windows unless someone else managed to survive and can say what happened, but it factors into it. Do you carry a glass-break device (hammer or whatever) with easy reach in the passenger compartment? If not, you're at risk with automatic locks on a way that someone with a manual override -- that is... a crank -- isn't.

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