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Comment Additional ID Check (Score 1) 400

I was on a list. I don't know what list. Or why. Or how I got added. Or how I (eventually) got removed (I think the latter has something to do with a review process that my senator's staff helped initiate.)

For me it took the form of an additional ID check. When flying, I was not permitted to print boarding passes in advance or check in at a kiosk in the airport - I received a non-specific error message if I tried either of those things and was told to check in with an agent. Then, when I would check in with an airline agent, when they pulled up my reservation they would see some kind of flag on the record which required them to take my photo ID and go into the back room and make a phone call before I could be cleared for boarding. Sometimes it took 5 minutes, sometimes it took 45 minutes -- I missed a couple of flights because of delays due to this before I realized it was happening every time and I needed to allow extra time for it.

The odd (and to me, stupid) thing about it is that I never received any additional screening at the security checkpoints as a result of this list. You would think that if I was suspected of being a risk in any way they would have done at least that (not that I'm sorry they didn't, it's just that there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to their system and it was completely opaque. A couple of the check-in agents admitted to me unofficially that it was a TSA thing but they were forbidden from saying anything officially.

Comment Re:Do you _really_ need to be list to be watched? (Score 2) 400

If you are on a list, then there is a trail of it.

Yes, but not one that you can access or prove that you're on. When I got put on a list that required additional ID checks every time I checked in for a flight there was no way to verify officially that I was on the list or determine what list I was on or challenge my inclusion on the list.

Even the aide from my U.S. Senator's staff (I live in a small state and our elected officials usually try to be helpful with constituents' complaints) who was assigned to help me with the matter could not get verification that I was on a list.

Eventually I got taken off of it (I think -- at any rate I no longer get consistently stopped before check-in and required to undergo additional checks) but there was never any explanation how or what or why.

Comment It was all over for them when I bought one. (Score 1) 80

I admit it. I killed this phone. I'm the commercial kiss-of-death and when I bought one back in January the Fire Phone's fate was sealed.

I just needed a cheap unlocked multi-band GSM phone that I could activate while traveling in Europe. Once I turned off the battery-eating perspective-tracking feature and side-loaded the Google Play store so I could get Google Maps and a few other necessities it wasn't a bad phone -- a little on the chunky side, but a nice enough screen and decent build quality. I'm sure history will record my purchase as the death blow, but the way it came from the factory (with gimmicky battery-killing features of dubious utility turned on and lock-in to Amazon's second-rate app store) surely didn't do it any favors.

Comment Missing Critical Information (Score 5, Interesting) 499

It's a shame that the summary and the article omit the most important information needed to judge whether this is reasonable or not -- details and evidence in support of the characterization of the groups Barr belonged as "linked" to the group responsible for the armored car robbery & murder. What does "linked" mean in this context: members in common? command structure? who knows? The article doesn't say, and without that information none of us can have a really informed opinion on the topic.

Since there's not much to discuss from TFA, I'm going to tell you a little story from back when I was in school, because it's conceivably relevant (but then, as I've said, we don't really have the details we need to know..

Annnnyyyyway.. Once upon a time, long ago (but still some years after this woman was in school) I was a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. During the time I was on campus there were a group of chuckleheads who fancied themselves the vanguard of the socialist revolution that was sure to sweep the country Real Soon Now (tm). They were the scourge of all of the small clubs on campus because of a trick that they pulled, over and over, quite successfully until the other student groups learned to defend themselves against it.

Here's what would happen.. A small, inoffensive campus group having little or nothing to do with the main goals of the revolutionary organization in question would have a meeting at the beginning of the year to welcome new members and to elect leadership positions for the coming school year. Let's imagine we're talking about the Campus Knitting Society.. Well, a group like that might have 8-10 members who attended meetings regularly, and a few more who would drop in when their schedules allowed. The Revolutionary Chuckleheads League (not their real name) would descend en masse on the Campus Knitting Society the week that group was electing new officers and since a lot of groups had open membership the RCL would nominate its own slate of officers and take over the Campus Knitting Society. They'd use the small budgetary stipend the group got from the student government activities fund to print up flyers and the next thing you'd know, every kiosk on campus would be covered with fluorescent orange flyers saying "U of M Campus Knitting Society DEMANDS AN END TO US IMPERIALISM" and "U of M Campus Society Says: Free Mumia!". Then the Revolutionary Chuckleheads League would abandon the burned-out husk of the club they'd taken over and move on to play the same trick on some other organization. The shellshocked original club members, if they weren't completely soured by the experience, might form a new club to replace the one that had been stolen from them, which is why from time to time you'd see flyers pop up on campus saying things like "First Meeting Sunday Night: Michigan Knitting Club (NOT THE Revolutionary Chuckleheads League)"

So.. I've got no idea from the article what Barr's politics were at the time, what they are now, and what her level of involvement with the banned group might be. But it wouldn't surprise me if there were a lot of people that I went to school with who belonged to perfectly harmless clubs who could conceivably fall afoul of the same shadow that blighted Barr's career just because they belonged to a club that got infiltrated and taken over by a group of radicals whose interests were only tangentially related to the club's original goals. I don't think that happens very often, but I would like for the government to have a higher standard than "affiliated" or at the very least to make clear what they mean by that.

Comment Re:OpenSSL (Score 1) 77

Does anyone outside of the vanishingly small and shrinking circle of OpenSSL developers know what that number means or why they persist on inflicting whatever stupid, parochial numbering convention it's the fault of on everyone?

Yes, why can't they use alphabetically-sequenced Alliterative Animal names, or maybe choose selections in no particular sequence from an unordered set such as large cat species?

Sure, they could be clearer, but they're very far from the worst version naming out there.. Count your blessings.


Samsung Ups Ante In Smartphone Size Wars: 6.3 Inches 221

New submitter jarold writes to note that Samsung has launched two extra-large cellphones: a 6.3 inch LTE ready version, and a 5.8 inch version. "Branded as Galaxy Mega, one would struggle to fit [either in a] pocket or use it with just one hand. The good thing, it is only 8mm thin and weighs under 200 grams. More portable than a tablet, it comes with a durable polycarbonate body. Unlike most of Samsung's latest smartphones, it does not have a super AMOLED panel. Instead, it has an HD super clear LCD display, which is bright enough to please most users. It features split screen and multitasking between video and other apps." For a phone that big, users might need to brush up on their side-talking skills.

Heartland Institute Threatens To Sue Anyone Who Comments On Leaked Documents 517

Layzej writes "Bloggers around the world have been commenting on recently leaked Heartland Institute documents that reveal their internal strategies to discredit climate science. These posters are now under threat of legal action. According to the Heartland Institute 'the individuals who have commented so far on these documents did not wait for Heartland to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents. We believe their actions constitute civil and possibly criminal offenses for which we plan to pursue charges and collect payment for damages'"

Comment Re:Guess the Party (Score 4, Informative) 370

Lieberman is a Democrat. Just saying, if he was a Republican, all the trolls woulld be out about "OMG Republicans are teh evil."

He once was a Democrat but the last time he ran for office he was defeated in his party's primaries by a candidate that Connecticut Democrats apparently felt better reflected the values of their party. Subsequently Lieberman ran, and was re-elected as, an independent.

Comment Re:"No ecosystem" (Score 1) 280

I keep all of my O’Reilly books and my company’s own documentation on my iPad. Very handy in my line of work (I’m frequently onsite with customers and need quick access to technical documentation, and I often don’t have access to the Internet from a customer’s network.) Yes, I could use my laptop but the iPad is simple much more convenient in a lot of situations (e.g. I’m sitting at someone else’s desk and can comfortably read from it without having to clear any space on the customer’s desk)

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 51

Why? Why can't I expect a book on a piece of software that has to do with editing and mixing audio to teach me those things? That's like saying you can't expect a book on Windows to actually teach you how to use Windows.

It's more like expecting a book on Microsoft Word to teach you how to write.

Comment The Cynical Take.. (Score 4, Insightful) 84

Services like Spotify already exist and are hugely popular in the UK meaning BT will have to go the extra mile to convince users they have a service worth using."

Let's hope they don't simply find it easier to degrade the quality of competing services. I get nervous (and cynical) when my ISP wants to sell me anything other than a pipe for bits.

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