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Comment Re: Reasons to use Snail Mail (Score 1) 113

It's not dying for bills in my house. The billers have really screwed up electronic billing around here. They don't email you the actual bill, just a notice that your bill is available on their web site. For 'n' billers I am expected to maintain 'n' user-IDs, and passwords and go fetch 'n' bills. Pox on that. USPS has business with me until the e-bills are pushed to me.

Submission + - BMW's Plug-In Hybrid X5 Prototype Surfaced Yesterday, In Camouflage

cartechboy writes: Tesla got us past the "electric cars are nerdy" stage, but the first electric BMW--the i3 hatchback--is a European-style city car, not a big, practical American-style hauler for 4-5 people and their stuff. And the i3 doesn't say "BMW" to most people either. So how 'bout an X5 crossover that plugs in, runs all electrically for your short trips, and can still take you cross-country as a plug-in hybrid? It won't be here for 18 months, but the first U.S. drive report is out.

Submission + - Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants to "Fix" the Second Amendment ( 1

CanHasDIY writes: In his yet-to-be-released book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, John Paul Stevens, who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court for 35 years, believes he has the key to stopping the seeming recent spate of mass killings — amend the Constitution to exclude private citizens from armament ownership. Specifically, he recommends adding 5 words to the 2nd Amendment, so that it would read as follows:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

What I find interesting is how Stevens maintains that the Amendment only protects armament ownership for those actively serving in a state or federal military unit, in spite of the fact that the Amendment specifically names "the People" as a benefactor (just like the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth) and of course, ignoring the traditional definition of the term militia. I'm personally curious as to what his other 5 suggested changes are, but I guess we'll have towait until the end of April to find out.

Comment Re:Sites that prevent the browser from remembering (Score 1) 538

It turns out that the numbnuts at PogoPlug have somehow arranged to forbid pasting userid or password into their login form. I emailed them about it and their response was that they would consider changing it as a feature enhancement. So keepass is useless there and I have to hand type my complex password. Idiots!

Comment Re:I consider that a pretty good analogy... (Score 1) 248

Would you like some cheese with that whine?

It is not necessary for our inability to achieve perfection to get in the way of having good practices. A few commonly accepted things could form the start of a set of best practices. Stuff like handling passwords correctly and preventing buffer overflows. We need some sort of professional organization a-la AMA or the Bar Association or various engineering groups to manage and promulgate a set of best practices. And yes, if we could develop that and then a systems engineer or programmer or their management were to ignore best practices and foist really stupid stuff on the public, especially fo money, I would support a trip to civil court.

We have lived too long with the "not responsible for anything" license and it is time to start moving toward making that disclaimer "against public policy".

Comment The root problem with this: (Score 0) 398

I went through most of the comments on this article and I can not find any that address the root problem, which is this: Where the hell does Intel get off telling its customers what they have to build with their chips? If I were a designer of equipment and considering these chips I would tell Intel to ESAD.

Comment Wheeler's article needs a rebuttal, and I have som (Score 1) 1

He throws the word "anonomous" around as though it was honestly being applied or even possible to achieve. Balderdash!

He spends considerable effort pointing out the amount of money to be made by advertisers and advertising media. This argument is rooted in the premise that we live in a consumerist economy and that because advertising increases consumption it is a good thing. In case you haven't noticed, we are in economic trouble precisely because people were encouraged to spend beyond their means and it has come back to bite us. So no, that which encourages consumption is NOT automatically good for the economy or thise who comprise it.

He tries to make a case for targeted advertising, as opposed to general advertising. Other articles I have read seem to be leading to the conclusion that targeting does not increase the effectiveness of advertising. An even if it does, I don't care because I value my privacy more than his increase of sales.

Would you let someone who wanted to sell you something come into your house and poke around your pantry, your clothes closet, your medicine cabinet, and all your drawers so he could more effectively convince you that his product was something without which you could not live? And spread that knowledge around beyond your control to others unknown to you? I surely would not, and letting someone catalog everything I do on line is at least as creepy as that to me.

So if we have to invent a truly anonymous on-line micro-payment system and use it to fund the parts of the web that we use, I am willing to go that route. Meanwhile, Wheeler should get off my grass.

Submission + - Pro-targeting guest column on CNet 1

Nofsck Ingcloo writes: CNet has published a guest column by Eric Wheeler warning the world of the evil consequences of Do Not Track. In it he makes strong (I would claim exaggerated) arguments in favor of targeted advertising. He claims the threat of political action on Do Not Track should, "strike fear into the hearts of every company that does business online...." He speaks of compromising a $300 billion industry, which I read as being the industry composed of online advertisers and all their clients. He clearly thinks the tradeoff between freedom from snooping and free access to web content always favors free acccess. He concludes his arguments by saying, "Taken as a whole, the potentially dire impact of Do Not Track is clear: the end of the free internet and a crippling blow to the technology industry." He then goes on to advocate contacting legislators and the FTC in opposition to Do Not Track.

Comment Re:spammers (Score 3, Funny) 241

I guess the reason I'm dragging my heels is my complete mystification and annoyance that the designers of IPV6 didn't do something sensible like make some small corner of the V6 address space map to the V4 address space. So instead of being simple and seamless, I have to spend some time fooling around with my equipemnt and software to work around that omission. A pox on the designer's heads.

Comment Re:Not really about Bitcoin (Score 0) 327

"virii" is not a word. The correct plural of "virus" is simply "viruses".

In current usage that is probably right. But at least give some acknowledgement to classical Latin, in which virii would, indeed, be the plural of virus. I've never figured out why we use the Latin word but refuse to use its Latin plural.

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