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Comment Re: Backups? (!= archives) (Score 1) 131

For me, the difference between an archive and a backup is that a backup is usually offline (i.e. unavailable and not intended to be available) while an archive is usually 'live' in some way. It makes sense to me to make backups of your archives (although possibly at a lower frequency than your 'live' data). It also makes perfect sense to use your backups to make an archive.

By this rule 'live backups' that are (semi) online and available for users without other human interaction are actually archives. They don't technically become backups until you put them in vault or take them off-site. (and put them in storage).

The reason why I make this distinction is that archives (like RAID) are still vulnerable to online corruption.

Comment way too expensive. (Score 1) 101

That's $300/month. Still cheaper to buy a burner phone and forward my calls. The big three cell companies in Canada have similar plans.. they suck. I'm with Wind Mobile (now Freedom Mobile since they got bought out). They have a plan for roaming in the US for about $10/month.

That's the kind of pricing that you should be paying. The cost of dealing with roamers for the companies are probably in the pennies per day. Those plans are almost 100% profit. The only reason why they get away with it is that "everybody does it" .. and regulators allow them to get away with it because lawmakers are paid off by the companies making these massive profits (earned off of our backs).

Comment Re:Pardon Manning and Snowden (Score 1) 384

Manning's freedom was lost because (s)he thought that the public knowing what was really going on in Iraq was important enough to make the risk worthwhile. In return, i'd say it's the least we can do to refer to her by her preferred gender. It's a lot easier than losing your freedom, don't you think?

Comment Re:Pardon Manning and Snowden (Score 1) 384

This. If you want to be a whistle blower, there are already avenues that are perfectly legal, up to and including finding a friendly senator or congressperson, who are charged with oversight of the rest of the government, and passing one (or the entire legislature) the information. They can then make public with immunity and/or take action against others inside the government. Leaking directly to the press is a last resort because it is both illegal and potentially life threatening to covert operatives.

A great idea -- until the first senator you go to turns out to be not so supportive and turns you in. So much for getting the data out at all.

Comment Re:Lucky (Score 1) 161

It crosses our orbit which means that -- now that we know where it is -- we will probably notice that it comes 'near' earth on a semi-regular basis, and it may impact us sooner or later (sooner rather than later).. I, for one, am happy that it's not big enough to destroy more than a town or two if hits in a populated area -- rather than leaving a hole big enough to be noticed on a full-world map.

Comment Investigating IF this is a criminal act?? (Score 1) 264

At the very least it's criminal mischief -- denying someone the legal use of their property. You can add all sorts of cyber crimes to the pool as well -- like using zombie servers means accessing (hundreds of) thousands of people's computers without authorization or permission.

The next thing to look at is whether or not this is just a dress rehearsal for a real attack. My guess is that this is just a test... They want to know what it takes to shut down a chunk of the internet. Next time will be the real act of 'terrorism'.

Comment Re:What part of this is hard to understand? (Score 1) 183

QOS is built into the Internet standard, and allow apps to self identify to qualify for a type of service.. -- but an ISP can't randomly (after payment!) put google mail ahead of hotmail, or charge people different for one vs the other.

So when every yahoo on your segment fires up BitTorrent your VoIP stops working? No thank you.

Basic prioritization: 1. Realtime Communications Traffic (VoIP) 2. Remote interactive sessions (RDP/SSH/Games/etc..) .....

Comment It all comes back to the patent system (Score 5, Insightful) 198

With the patent system as it is, where genetic codes and proteins can be patented, and where protection for drug profits is long and deep, there are situations like this that come up that allow unscrupulous companies to hike drug costs ridiculously like these clowns at Mylan.

Yes, many drug research efforts don't pan out. But Epinephrine has been out for a long time. Is anyone seriously going to try to tell me that $50 in 2007 became $304 in 2017? Even given the bogusly low inflation rates that are officially reported, that's insane.

This is profiteering. If the company didn't need to profiteer in 2007, why do they in 2017? No good reason methinks.

How about the definition of sole source is 'no equivalent product available at present'?

And how about you cap the rates at which drug costs can increase unless the providers can show material evidence that their costs have escalated so much?

I don't have $608 to shell out (US) for something I have to replace every 1-2 years. I'm carrying an old epi-pen that's probably not as efficacious now, but it's likely still better than no pen. I just can't afford the money to get a new one (let alone two, since protocol says you hit yourself with the first and about 30 minutes later the second if you haven't reached emergency medical care).

This should be a true generic. There should be equipment whose patents have an earlier mandatory expiry because they exist in the space called 'in the interest of public health'. I'm not suggesting these guys shouldn't have got their money back, but seems to me they are well beyond that point now.

On the other hand, this is exactly why the government or NGOs should be investing in some sorts of medical research in the public interest and making the product patents entirely open and available.

Epinephrine isn't patented. Its the injector. This seems like the kind of thing a Gates Foundation or even the Government could underwrite the development of (and may have already for Atropine and the like in prior days, if we call those syrettes an early version). Make the injector patent available and then it truly is generic because epinephrine is not patented.

The reality is that big Pharma has great lobbyists, political connections, and lawyers and the whole US patent system around biomedical issues defies any sort of common sense or rational thinking.

I hear rumours of alternatives, but I'm not sure they are available beyond the US borders. The Epipen fiasco and the price rise has hit many of us living in other countries too, but I'm not sure any alternatives exist where I live. I am going to look into that now though.

Patents should help protect innovation, but not form monopolies artificially (well, that may be other legislation that does that but that also needs looked at), should not have extensive duration, and should have clauses surrounding medical equipment that if the equipment price rises too quickly or if the provider becomes sole source, that the patent becomes licenseable by other companies for a very modest fee. At some point, the public interest has merit at least as great as profits for corporations.

Comment $5million for 1.5million accounts??! (Score 1) 341

That's about $3/account. I'm pretty sure that they made more than $3 per improperly opened account. My guess is that they're going to wait for people to complain, and hope that most people don't take the time to go through the bureaucratic process needed to claim the refunds (a process that will probably be much more involved than the one needed to open the fake accounts in the first place.

Cynical?? yep!

Comment Re:rotten at the top (Score 1) 341

You find me a bank that's not making money! They were making money. They just weren't making enough money for the executives' liking -- so they were pressured into increasing their profits 'or else'.

Executives and senior managers got their bonuses, and the line staff ultimately got the shaft.

Comment Re:A vote worse than wasted--but only in America (Score 1) 993

The US has gone through a whole list of third parties that grew into a primary party. Yes, it's disturbing to vote for a third party that you really want in power -- at the cost of possibly allowing the party you least want get into power. On the other hand, you sometimes have to take the road less traveled in order to get to where you really want to go.

That having been said, for this election, Trump is probably the worst 'worst case' I've seen in the US in a long, long time. as much as I'd like to see someone like the Greens gain stature, The risk of trump getting in is (IMHO), too disturbing to advocate a third party vote in this election (at least, not for president. For congress is an entirely different matter).

Comment Different answer if that weren't the intent (Score 4, Interesting) 186

Is a gun responsible for a shooting? If I build a Rube-Goldberg machine to drop a rock on your head, is the machine responsible?

In this case, doing harm was the intent of the machine and/or it's programming. As such, the maker is clearly responsible. If the harm was unintended/unexpected and there were no clear negligence, then I'd have a completely different conversation on this.

Things get more difficult as you get further away from the original source, but -- generally speaking -- if the result is generally what you intended from an action (or series of actions), then it's pretty clear that you're responsible. This is even true where there is a human intermediary. If I pay a hitman to kill my ex wife, I can still be arrested for first degree murder -- even if he kills the wrong person by mistake.

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