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Comment Re:It's true (Score 2) 259

Pixar was unique in Silicon Valley companies in that we had deadlines that could not move. The film had to be in theaters before Christmas, etc. I'd see employees families come to Pixar to have dinner with them. I took the technical director training but decided to stay in studio tools, first because Pixar needed better software more than they needed another TD, and second because of the crazy hours.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

If you look in the FEMA site, they say that they provide gramts to perform repairs not covered by insurance. And no, they don't do a needs test. Now, the typical rich person does not let their insurance lapse just so that they can get a FEMA grant. Because such a grant is no sure thing. They also point out that SBA loans are the main source of assistance following a disaster. You get a break on interest, but you have to pay them back.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

I understand your point about view land being desirable even though it's a flood risk. I live a mile or so from the Hayward fault. But I have California's risk pool earthquake insurance. The government wouldn't be paying me except from a fund that I've already paid into. I imagine that the government does pay some rich people in similar situations, but as far as I'm aware disaster funds go to the States from the federal government and should not in general become a form of rich people's welfare. Maybe you can find some direct evidence to show me that would make the situation more clear.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

What you are observing is economics. As a city or town population grows, the best land becomes unavailable and those who arrive later or have less funds available must settle for less desirable land. Thus many cities have been extended using landfill which liquifies as the San Francisco Marina District did in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, or floods. Risks may not be disclosed by developers, or may be discounted by authorities as the risks of global warming are today.

Efforts to protect people who might otherwise buy such land or to mitigate the risks are often labeled as government over-reach or nanny state.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

Oh, of course they were caused by misguided engineering efforts. Everything from the Army Corps of Engineers to Smoky Bear goes under that heading. The most basic problem is the fact that we locate cities next to resources and transportation, which means water, without realizing where the 400-year flood plane is. Etc. We have learned something since then.

Our problem, today, is fixing these things. Which is blocked by folks who don't believe in anthropogenic climate change, or even cause and effect at all. They don't, for the most part, register Democratic.

Comment The problem with your explanation (Score 5, Insightful) 307

The problem with your explanation is that it's fact-based, and stands on good science. This is the post-truth era. Thus, the counter to your argument will be:

  • Evidence for a human cause of erosion is thin and controversial, and is being pushed by loony liberals.
  • We need those oil and shipping jobs, and jobs building and maintaining levees, not more regulation that stifles them!
  • Cause and effect is not a real thing, except for one cause, God is behind everything.
  • This is part of God's plan for us. The end time is coming, and when the Rapture arrives it will not matter that Louisiana's coast has eroded. Cease your pursuit of unholy science and pray to save your soul!

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 341

so far hasn't done anything irreversible.

I think the first victims have been farmers who can't bring in their crops. Just the people who voted for him in California's central valley and wherever else we depend on guest workers. I don't see citizens lining up to pick those crops. The small family farmers, what's left of them, will feel this worse, the large corporate ones have the lawyers necessary to help them break the rules and truck people in from South of the border.

The second group of victims will be the ones who need health care that doesn't come from a big company. It's a lot more difficult to start a small business when there is no affordable way to get health care. And that is the case for my own small business - I'd be in bad shape if my wife left the University. I think that's the real goal - to keep people from leaving employment in larger companies and going off on their own.

Comment Re:So... (Score 4, Interesting) 341

Donald Trump, unfortunately, satisfies a common desire among the populance to right things by means that won't actually right them. It's a desire to rid Washington of inaction by cleaning it out of the current folks who don't seem to get anything done: and then you find that the things they were working on are harder than you understood. It's the feeling that you can get things going right by having a manager who lights a fire under the responsible people: just the way that bank managers pressured employees to increase revenue or be fired until those employees started opening accounts fraudulently for customers who hadn't asked for them.

What I am having a hard time with is how our country gets back out of this. I fear Humpty has had such a great fall that there is no peaceful recovery.

Comment Re: Someone triggered a /. dupe? (Score 2) 448

Well, that's kind of the thing, isn't it? It's *hard* to draw that boundary and the CFAA is really vague about what constitutes unauthorized. I mean, do we commit a felony if we link to perfectly accessible sites where the owner has written a ToS that purports to give them full control? How do we even know that we weren't authorized? Clearly we need to have some kind of notice. And the web is full of programs, it's not reasonable to expect everyone to read every ToS on the web, clearly we should have some expectation that if the site gives us access when we ask for it that we're allowed to actually view the page. But at the same time, we can't go too far in legitimizing those who hack the websites into giving access. At the same time, I'd hate to see felonies for people who put an anonymous email into anonymous FTP or who don't feed some website all their personal details when signing up.

That's why I think that access should be authorized as long as it is given and there's no important deception. Here 'important' simply means that if you hadn't deceived the site, it wouldn't have granted access. It also requires actual deception--something untrue. For example, pretending that you were the owner of some account and trying to reset the password, lying to the support staff to get access, or simply brute forcing an account that isn't yours. It'd be best to add in some minimum amount of damages that have to have been suffered, too, so that some technical violations that cause no actual harm don't get treated as federal crimes. Say, for example, if some kid claims to be 18 to access a porn site.

I find this to be a more balanced idea that focuses the criminal penalties on people who are actually up to no good, without giving websites carte blanche to dictate what is and is not a felony.

Comment I learned another lesson from the same history (Score 1) 606

I remember all the same history you do, back to Usenet. I also can tell you that decades of anti-spam laws haven't put a dent in the problem, only better technology has had a real effect. I can also tell you how much of the spam is sent via botnets nowadays, which are poorly secured machines that got compromised.

So inasmuch as we want to fix this, we need to focus on dealing with easily compromised devices. Like Google's, which has no meaningful user authentication built into it. Have we already forgotten the entire Full Disclosure era, which finally pushed vendors into making security a priority?

Sure, fine, BK were dicks to exploit it. Whatever. But focusing on them isn't going to solve anything and the very history you recite shows that legal and social approaches are almost completely ineffective compared to technological fixes.

Comment Re:"alternate vendors" (Score 1) 606

If they want to win decisively, they should add some kind of meaningful user authentication so that just any random person can't trigger it. Otherwise they'll be playing whack-a-mole and the last several decades of internet history should tell you that doesn't work worth a damn and it never has.

Comment Re:A lot to chuckle about (Score 1) 606

> The first attack they barely could get away with, the second attack is definitively prosecutable, the only defence, Google's laughable security with regards to securing that network between the user whose control of the device is being subverted and Google's servers which are being abused to steal commercial advertising space.

Please recite the elements of the CFAA (or whatever law you believe to have been broken) and explain how BK meets those?

I can't find anything in there about "stealing commercial advertising space" and I kind of feel that most ads I see are about as bad. Someone chose to watch the TV with the BK ads, so getting a second ad from Google seems like exactly what happens when I search for literally anything with Google.

I'd rather that something stupid and very public like a BK ad showed people what it means for the device to have no user authentication than something making malicious purchases or such. We should have learned decades ago that if you leave a bunch of devices around with no authentication, they will get taken over.

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