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Comment Re:4K is stunning (Score 1) 559

The problem with in-store comparisons like that is it is easy for Sony and the shop to game the system so that the 4K TV looks better than the comparison. Just display different content, tweak settings on the TVs (lower contrast, saturation and sharpening on HDTV, bump up the same on 4K), use lower bitrate HDTV stream than Bluray, etc. etc. etc.

They do the same every day to convince you to buy the more expensive (read: higher margin) TVs, which have lots of buzz words in the ad.

Having said that, I've seen 4K in person as well, and it is incredible. I'll be upgrading my 1080p projector to 4K next time it dies - if there is a distribution method for 4K movies (physical preferred).

Submission + - Privacy Implications Of Shops Which Don't Accept Cash 2

MotorMachineMercenar writes: As I went to buy a nice bottle of wine at a shop in Amsterdam, I was shocked when the shopkeeper told me "we don't accept cash, only cards." This was the second time I've run into a shop like this. He further told me that these types of shops will become more common, as it is "safer." Safer for who?

Do we really want everything that we buy to be a matter of record to be recorded and saved for indefinite period of time by banks and credit card companies? Amsterdam especially has services and goods on sale which might not look too good on a credit card bill. Even if all you bought was perfectly legal, who knows what conclusions current and future databases or officials will make? Will I receive an "enhanced" security check if I buy box cutters on the way to the airport?

While such shops are rare now, they might become more popular unless people are aware of the loss of privacy, and potential for abuse by unscrupulous people with access to the data. At least currently I have the choice of paying cash. I don't want that choice to be taken away, replaced by an ever-wider reach of the surveillance state.

Comment Re:Six words would seem to work a lot better (Score 1) 478

For instance, the 'what3words' for the famous Peter Pan statue in London's Hyde Park is 'union.prop.enjoy'

What's wrong with ""?

It works great for such famous, unique places. But it is impossible to describe a bend in a random stream in Siberia with three words and have someone know which bend in which stream you're talking about - and that's what the site is for.

Submission + - Artists asking for sanity in copyright law

MotorMachineMercenar writes: Effi (Electronic Frontier Finland) has arranged an art exhibit (in Finnish) with several artists as part of a grassroots copyright reform campaign. A citizen-written petition (in Finnish, summary in English) on an official government site — similar to the White House petition site in the US — asks for "sanity in copyright law". It has 40,000 signatures, with 10,000 more required for consideration by the the Finnish parliament. There is one more week to gather signatures until deadline.

The coordinator points out that the exhibit does not advocate piratism, since artists "need to get paid" for their art. Instead, the exhibit features works which question the sanity of punishing pirates with similar harshness as aggravated assault, for example. Related, the petition calls for reducing the classification of piratism from a crime to a misdemeanor.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How to drive change against pervasive surveillance?

An anonymous reader writes: Recent revelations about NSA and GCHQ and others confirmed what I've been fearing and warning about since the 90s. Naively I expected I'd welcome this day, but I'm feeling dejected. Telling my friends "I told you so!" is not nearly as satisfying as I thought. But it has re-ignited the desire to do something about it.

So, I'd like to make a difference. To drive change in mindsets, laws and regulations, so that my children don't have to grow up in a Panopticon world where their entire lives will be indiscriminately and indefinitely recorded and retained by governments, corporations and individuals, where they will be guilty by association or breaking secret laws, judged in secret courts based on secret evidence, or their business empire destroyed by a stray words they said thirty years ago; who knows what is considered wildly inappropriate or treasonous in 2040.

The options I have come up with are:
  • Become a politician. Joining the pirate party in my country of residence might be a great option, as they can take active part in writing laws and regulations, and reach a wide audience via interviews in mainstream newspapers.
  • Become an activist. Highest risk, as you are not protected by the same explicit and implicit rules and regulations protecting members of the parliament. Even if you follow the law — which I would — your life is subject to "enhanced" scrutiny and might end up on all kinds of lists making your life a living hell. If you slip up like Julian Assange arguably and allegedly did in Sweden, you will be chained up and fed to the lions.
  • Become a blogger. The blogosphere has a high noise, and there are already many bloggers out there talking about privacy. Worst of all, blogging will likely only reach those with similar disposition, thus you will not be able to make a as much of an impact unless you already have a name — which I don't — or manage to become popular outside the geek community. Just as risky as being an activist.
  • Make it a business. I'm not a programmer or a techie, but perhaps I should seek employment in a trustworthy company producing security-related products. The most obvious choice with less tangible personal input, but potentially real and large real-world impact. Moderate to low risk.

What other options are there?

Comment Re:Shutting out competitor or buying up talent? (Score 1, Insightful) 95

So you and thousands of others are working for free for a for-profit company on a proprietary platform? And people wonder why there's so much unemployment...

Nothing new, though. Games have done this for years with open betas. Hell, some games charge people to beta test their games!

While that in itself boggles the mind, wouldn't your time be better spent contributing to Openstreetmap, which is open and can't be appropriated by a megacorp?

Comment Re:Will they answer the question... (Score 1) 326

Mr Scott doesn't get to make that call. He's the director, but the viewer interprets the film.

And he made the same mistake later with Prometheus. He gave some hackneyed explanation for the story - it had something to do with Jesus of all people ffs -, which I violently disagreed and stuck to my own opinion - has to do with genetic technology and creating sentient weapons we can't control.

See, that's what makes a good movie: you get to form your own opinion which can be opposed to what the creator had in mind, yet both can be perfectly valid.

And that's why he's a genius.

Comment Re:Will they answer the question... (Score 1) 326

Ambiguity is part of the beauty of the film, which has kept us discussing the film for quarter of a century. Answering it definitively won't make BR any better, and can only detract from it. Of course us fans can just ignore the existence of BR2 and not admit it to the BR canon - like Terminator 3.

Besides not even the creators can't even agree on it. I believe Ridley Scott thinks he's a replicant, while Harrison Ford doesn't.

Submission + - Google converts links sent via Google Chat to referral links 1

MotorMachineMercenar writes: Google has apparently introduced a new feature to track user behavior in the revamped Google Chat, called Hangouts.

A friend of mine sent me a link, incidentally about an MIT study about the futility of folio hats in blocking the thought police. I use Chrome for Gmail, but being the folio-hat -wearing type, I do all my other browsing in a tightly locked down FF. I copy-pasted the link to FF, and noticed that there was flash of a Google URL before it went to the right URL.

After pasting the link to a note, I noticed it's a Google referral link, similar to the ones most (all?) links on Google search are — in case you weren't aware. So now Google knows who sent what link to whom. The only way around that is to select the entire link, and copy the text.

Now, I'm aware that by definition of me being on a Google platform they implicitly know our conversations. But the fact that they bother to make a referral link means there is even more datamining going on behind the scenes than what we already knew of.

Submission + - How to simplify online privacy? 1

MotorMachineMercenar writes: Google moving all their services under the same TOS was the final straw for me, and I started taking my online privacy seriously. My resolve has been reinvigorated due to reports of people getting on no-fly lists due to tasteless jokes online, fired for jokes overheard in meatspace reported on Twitter, and the likelihood of everything I do online being tracked, stored, cataloged and cross-referenced increasing due to cloud storage and other online services.

I guarantee something I've said online could be taken out of context and used against me, someone I've been in contact will become a socially unacceptable person, or maybe some of my legal online activities will be part of a character assassination in the hands of a disgruntled ex, or if I ever decide to run for office. Social mores change so rapidly these days, that something that was fine just a few years ago could be compared to bloody murder these days. Who knows what I do today will be viewed in ten, twenty years?

My Firefox has Ghostery, AdBlock Plus, DoNotTrackMe and CustomizeGoogle add-ons installed to limit my exposure to different trackers, exploits, ads, and spying. This only works on Firefox, though. Unfortunately so many add-ons break some websites that I use regularly. For those I use Opera.

I still have Gmail since it's a really good service. I use Chrome for Gmail-only activities so that my other browsing habits are not easily tracked by Google. Getting rid of Gmail, other Google services, and my Android phone would probably be the biggest step in improving my privacy — but Google is not the only aggregator out there.

While setting up the scheme above is not complicated, there must be an easier way. I'd like to use just one browser, not get ads, not get tracked, and ideally get a non-unique result on EFF's Panopticlick — my (perhaps mis-guided) gold standard for privacy.

I don't mind spending a few hours to set up a private proxy or spending some money on a hardware proxy. But while I'm tech savvy, I don't understand proxies etc. well enough to make an informed decision how well and what kind of threats they do protect me from — and what other measures I need to take.

Therefore I'd like to ask you to help me and others put us in the right direction. What is a workable solution to strengthen online privacy, lock up my browsing habits, and separate my numerous online identities?

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