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User Journal

Journal Journal: Verizon Privacy Policy Changes = Privacy WTFAGE 2

Dear Valued Customer, en español

Your privacy is an important priority at Verizon. We want to let you know that Verizon will soon participate in a program that will improve the ability of advertisers to reach our Verizon Online customers based on your physical address. The goal is to provide online ads that may be more relevant to you.

This program uses your address to determine whether you reside in a local area an advertiser is trying to reach. However, Verizon wonâ(TM)t share your address with advertisers as part of this process. Advertisers wonâ(TM)t know itâ(TM)s you specifically or where you actually live. If you do not want us to allow advertisers to send you ads based on your geographic area you can let us know by selecting here.

What does this mean for you?

Certain ads youâ(TM)ll see while browsing the Internet may be directed to you and other Verizon Online customers in your area, so these ads may be of more interest to you. For example, a pizza chain may want to deliver their ad to give a special offer to people living in a particular area. Using this program, national brands and local businesses can tailor their offers, coupons, and incentives to your local area.

Protection of Your Personal Information

Verizon protects your personal information as described in our privacy policy. You can learn about Verizonâ(TM)s ad practices or let us know that you do not want to participate by selecting here. If you donâ(TM)t want to participate, you will need your User ID and Password to access the opt-out page. Please note that declining to participate wonâ(TM)t impact the number of ads you see, just their potential relevance to you.

For answers to your frequently asked questions, select here.



User Journal

Journal Journal: Regarding R*cism and such 5

It is hateful and bad to dislike someone for what they are (e.g. their skin color).
It is NOT hateful NOR wrong to dislike someone for what they think or believe in.

It's as simple as that!

User Journal

Journal Journal: That's all folks! 3

That's all folks, this is it!

Please feel free to enjoy any humorous, and/or clever and/or childish April Fool's anecdotes around my office, my ex-office, my family, the continents, and the dubloo-dubloo-dubloo.dot.www.com's out there, this fine and snowy New England April 1st morning. Rest assured, I'm celebrating with you in spirit wherever you are.

I'm in the middle of a sleepless and hectic release week and as such unable to indulge in, participate in or share any lolhappyfunrofl pranks with all of you, my friends, family and colleagues, current and past.

Let this be an April Fool's Day to commemorate all of the past fun April Fool's days we've shared together.

If you've ever been enjoyed a memorable April fool's please feel free to share the lulz with your near and dear ones over a cold beer and/or adult recreational beverage of your choice.

Or go watch a movie, refresh thats_all_folks.gif or something.

Just leave me alone.

User Journal

Journal Journal: One more checklist

Your post advocates a conspiracy theory which is

( ) paranoid
( ) delusional
(x) impossible to confirm
(x) impossible to refute

Specifically, your theory fails to account for

( ) Stupidity of the general population
( ) Stupidity of the politicians
(x) Lack of supporting evidence
(x) Plenty of contradictory evidence
(x) Lack of a centrally controlling authority for conspiracies
(x) The facts can be explained without need for real conspiracy
(x) Scientists generally don't participate in conspiracies
(x) Failure to mention the Illuminati

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

( ) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been proven
(x) That's what they WANT us to think

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

( ) Sorry dude, you're batshit crazy
(x) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your house down!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Drug patents threatening cheap drugs

This was a story I tried to submit but was rejected by Slashdot's editorial staff. Not grousing, saving my composition here for posterity, as I do with other of my rejected stories.

The BBC is reporting that a recent court challenge to India's patent laws by pharmaceutical giant Novartis may cut the supply of affordable medicines to treat AIDS and other epidemics in the developing world. Based on the rejection of it's patent on a drug, Novartis is arguing that India's requirement for drugs to be "new and innovative" is not in line with the WTO TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement that India is party to. India came to be called the "pharmacy of the world's poor" since it stopped issuing patents for medicines in 1970 allowing its many drug producers to create generic copies of medicines still patent-protected in other countries - at a fraction of the price charged by Western drug firms. In 2005, however, it changed it's patent laws to comply with international regulations. NGOs including Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and Oxfam say that if Novartis succeeds, pharmaceutical firms will be able to put newer AIDS treatments based on existing drugs under patent protection in India, preventing cheap generic versions being exported to Africa and elsewhere. In 2005, Slashdot carried a story about efforts to put India's ancient traditional medicine and Yoga online, so as to make it visible as public domain to patent examiners. More recently, Slashdot carried a similar story about Tiwan's decision to violate Roche's patent on a bird flu drug for the benefit of it's people.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Deal on International nuclear fusion plant signed

Rejected: 13:35 21st November, 2006

The Telegraph and several other news outlets are reporting on the international deal to build the world's most advanced nuclear fusion reactor that was signed in today. Representatives of the EU, the US, Japan, India, Russia, South Korea and China signed the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) agreement in Paris, finalising the project which aims to develop nuclear fusion as a viable energy source to fossil fuels. According to the ITER consortium, fusion power offers the potential of "environmentally benign, widely applicable and essentially inexhaustible" electricity, properties that they believe will be needed as world energy demands increase while simultaneously greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced,justifying the expensive research project.

User Journal

Journal Journal: life, n:

life, n: The whim of several billion cells to be you for a while.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Papercraft pinhole camera 2

Papercraft pinhole camera 19:22 22nd May, 2006 Rejected

Just happened to see this cool looking, do-it-yourself paper pinhole camera on BoingBoing.net. This camera, which you can download the design for, cut and build is capable of capturing an image on any 35mm film through a pinhole instead of a lens. Though the design was first published in 1979, it was converted to a digital design recently.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Firefox "memory leak" quick fix

From here: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=185737&cid=15329817

As reported before [slashdot.org], Firefox does not have memory problems - it has a feature that is very memory intensive. To disable this feature, do the following: 1. type about:config in you address bar 2. scroll down to browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers 3. set its value to 0 (zero)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Rejected story "Google unveils new search tools"

Submitted: Thursday May 11, 2006, @09:38AM
Rejected : Thursday May 11, 2006, @09:42AM

Google has unveiled two new search tools in it's growing inventory of products. Today Google released Google Trends and Google Coop. More information is available at their respective faq pages. While Google Trends seems like a variation of Google Zeitgeist, Google Coop seems like an effort to actively incorporate user feedback into their search engine. No word about this in the Google Blog yet.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Insightful PPP/wage/exchange_rate related comments

It annoys me every time some smartalecky Slashdot "journalist" comments that the pay in other countries is only $5 an hour OMG, while failing to take into account the Purchasing Power Parity and other niceties that would actually make sense. A couple of posts from this story http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/04/30/0541254 ( "Life on the Other End of the Tech Support Line") that I wish to save for quick later reference.

The first by me: http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=184468&cid=15231430

(Score:5, Informative)
by GillBates0 (664202) on Sunday April 30, @08:14AM (#15231430)
(http://slashdot.org/~GillBates0 | Last Journal: Thursday October 20, @02:54PM)
...comparing salaries in absolute Dollar terms (as the article summary does) makes _no_ sense, really without taking into account the Purchasing Power Parity [wikipedia.org]. In short, $1.00 would go significantly further in India than it would in the US.

As a rough of comparison, a loaf of bread which costs $2.50 in the US costs a little less than 25 Indian Rupees ($0.50). US $13000 is a little less than 600k INR [google.com] which by all means is quite a _comfortable_ if not princely salary to get by in India.

And another one my KFG: http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=184468&cid=15231489

(Score:5, Insightful)
by kfg (145172) FriendFriend of a Friend on Sunday April 30, @08:52AM (#15231489)
A "dollar" is what a dollar buys. It has no fixed value.

In third world economies a "dime" may well be "ten bucks," so long as you stick within the local economy for food, clothing and shelter. Living is actually quite cheap, which is why so many people from the first world choose to vacation/retire to the third. You may well find you can live, and live well, for a year for less than what it would cost you to spend two weeks at Disney/land/world/universe/whatever.

The rub is that things from outside the local economy, imports, are priced at what a "dollar" is worth where they are made, and can thus be beyond the means of someone who would otherwise be considered middle class. Things like a simple radio or portable television may require the investment of an entire community which otherwise lacks nothing needed for sustaining a good life.

One can see the same affect in the first world when comparing rural vs. urban living. I turned down $60k/yr in Manhatten awhile ago, because $60k in Manhatten cannot buy me what I could get working a cruddy retail job upstate.

When comparing disparate economies you cannot think in terms of dollars. You have think in terms of hours per pound of rice/place to sleep. When you do this you may find that lower wages are often greater wealth. Money is not wealth. It is an abstraction. What your money buys you is wealth. The "stuff" itself.


User Journal

Journal Journal: Finding UID ranges

Construct a URL like this:

Thanks to Zobier for pointing it out here:

User Journal

Journal Journal: More friends to add

Add following to Friends list when the maximum of 100 f/f limit is resolved or worked around:


User Journal

Journal Journal: Yet another checklist

I picked on in a /. comment today:

Your post involves a

( ) technical (x) social ( ) moral

comment about computer security. This comment is incorrect. Here's why it's incorrect:

( ) You have no idea how system security works
(x) You assume that popularity is inversely proportional to security
( ) You make improper use of technical language
(x) You assume that part of the problem is the entire problem
(x) You fail to account for different security models.

Specifically, your comment fails to consider that:

( ) Security flaws can be exploited in an automated manner
(x) Not all bugs are security flaws
( ) Security flaws can be exploited manually
( ) Legions of script kiddies use point-and-drool tools
( ) Dedicated black-hats can cause damage using home-designed tools
(x) Privilege separation prevents many problems
( ) Some security flaws are strictly theoretical
(x) Different systems are inherently more or less vulnerable to exploits
( ) Security flaws can be independently discovered
( ) Security flaw discovery and exploit does not require source code
(x) Not all security flaws are of the same severity
(x) Running as root is almost always a problem, no matter the system
( ) Not all viruses are transmitted by e-mail
( ) Not all viruses are self-propagating
( ) Not all security flaws are buffer overruns
( ) Stupid people do stupid things

and the following general objections may also apply:

( ) Full disclosure completely informs affected system administrators
( ) Exploit code has legitimate uses
(x) Security is by design, not accident
( ) Security isn't magic, and thinking of it that way is harmful
( ) Hackers/crackers aren't evil magicians who can get around anything
( ) Security starts with the user
( ) Why should we trust the government?
( ) Why should we trust you?

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

(x) Nice idea, but it's been said before and that doesn't make it any more true.
( ) That's an incredibly stupid idea, and you're stupid for suggesting it.
( ) You're a moron, and I'm surprised you have enough brain cells to continue breathing.

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