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Submission + - Why are GitHub and WordPress.com censoring content? (networkworld.com)

Miche67 writes: The internet is known for the free and rapid dissemination of uncensored information, but lately sites and services have been censoring content--including GitHub and WordPress.com.

Bryan Lunduke says: "GitHub, a service primarily used for open source and free culture projects, recently censored a repository that contained information proving the NSA developed malware targeting numerous systems." And WordPress.com "censored content posted by “Guccifer 2” that was potentially damaging to the reputation of the Democratic party."

Neither organizations have responded to requests by Lunduke to find out why they took those actions.

This comes after Twitter and Facebook came under fire for their censorship actions.

Lunduke poses the question:

When something that many people feel is important to their lives occurs and the major online platforms for disseminating that information censor them, what does that say about those platforms?

Comment Simple answer: (Score 1) 161

Charge for the non-security feature updates -- maybe even do it through the app store. Customers have to pay for updates one way or the other, so you should be able to sell a competitively priced phone and then make just as much money selling fewer physical phones and more software updates as you would under the status quo. That'd be good for the environment too.

The one sticking point is, as always, the carriers. They'd much rather you trade in your perfectly good phone for another one whose price is rolled into a contract extension. I'm convinced that Verizon on several occasions deliberately botched upgrades to force you to buy a new phone with more RAM.

Comment Re:Pet Rock (Score 2) 170

Sure, the only really unpredictable aspect of this scenario is the size of the peak. If their business plans were predicated on maintaining usage near the initial peak indefinitely, then they were stupid plans.

I'm guessing that the plans for this product aren't that stupid. In that case a sensible goal will be to maintain a modest but loyal group of regular users and to periodically introduce new features that will entice usage jags out of occasional players.

Submission + - SPAM: Dying HP Printers: coincidence?

Stenboj writes: My westside home printer, an old HP75xx series recently died displaying "initializing" and unable to do anyting else including turn off. Today, now arriving at my eastside office for the first time since that event, I found that my somewhat younger HP310 series printer, when turned on, died displaying — you guessed it — "initializing", and unable to do anything else. Both have Wi-Fi network capability, but both are connected to the computer by USB. Both have aftermarket continuous-feed ink systems installed.

"Once is a misfortune; twice is a coincidence; three times is enemy action." Has it happened a third time to anyone, or perhaps more than one?

As a result of this I am dumping them both so the point is not to troubleshoot, but to pursue what might be an interesting story.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Hoping FCC Regulations Can Stop Unjust Police Spying

Presto Vivace writes: Civil rights organizations are pursuing a novel strategy to stop the Baltimore Police Department's dragnet surveillance.

Color Of Change, Center for Media Justice and New America’s Open Technology Institute filed a complaint this week with the Federal Communications Commission, charging that the BDP’s use of mass cell phone surveillance devices known as Stingrays violates regulations of radio waves and cellular networks

Comment Why not public transit instead? (Score 1) 440

Public transit provides a service that complements as well as competes -- especially in an old, dense city like Boston where there isn't a lot of room to add cars and public transit carries about half the commuters despite being in dire financial straits.

Think about what would happen to Uber and Lyft in a place like that if you doubled the number of people using surface roads.

Comment Re:The targets aren't fixed points. (Score 1) 191

"Maybe you should see a few of those things up close before deciding drugs are ok, mmmkay?"

Forget about whether or not "drugs are ok". How about looking at it in terms of a government claiming that it has the authority to regulate your personal consumption habits? Does government own your body or do YOU own your body? Drugs may be "bad", but what gives government the just power to tell you what you can and can't inhale, imbibe, snort or inject?

The number of opiate ODs would definitely go down in an environment where drugs were decriminalized. Most of the ODs are due to the fact that in a black market, people don't really know what they are buying. Do a web search on "rash of ODs". You'll find 100s of results from all over the country. A particularly potent batch of heroin (or fentanyl that people think is heroin) hits the streets in a certain area and suddenly there's a spike in ODs.

Alcoholism also has horrific consequences for the individual but an alcohol ban was a complete disaster. Why is the "war on drugs" any different? If a person wants to ruin their life and/or health with drugs, it's ultimately their decision, and most of them are going to do it regardless of what idiotic laws are passed.

Comment Re:How do you ban someone from passing on this cos (Score 1) 440

"....bans ride-sharing services from passing those costs on to their drivers or riders."

What a bunch of bullshit. The government wants to tax them on a ride-by-ride basis, and the government also demands that the company eat the entire cost?

Taxes are bad enough without Big Brother sticking its fat nose into your business and telling you exactly how to pay them.

Comment Re:Broken Windows Policing (Score 4, Insightful) 191

The problem in any kind of engineering -- and we're talking about social engineering here -- is that everything has its drawbacks.

The foundation of modern policing is a focus on two functions: bringing people to justice, and keeping the peace. You can unquestionably obtain gains in controlling certain kinds of disorder by adding a third function to he police: acting as an instrument behavioral control on the populace. The drawback is that this puts police into a position of habitual conflict with populations they serve, undermining the Peelian principle that the police are the people, and the people the police.

Over time the police begin to be viewed less as public servants and more like an occupying army. Since this process takes time, we ought to be skeptical of short term results that show improvements in statistical measures of public order. Think of public respect and cooperation for the police as a kind of social capital. If in toting up progress you ignore the capital you're spending you're not getting a true picture.

Public cooperation has been the foundation of successful policing for almost two hundred years, since Robert Peel established the Metropolitan Police in 1829. We should think long and hard about abandoning, or even tinkering with that model.

Comment Re:konqueror best filemanager (Score 3, Insightful) 505

Konqueror would seem to be the best file manager for power users and programmers.

As far as I can see, file management really isn't a big deal for programmers. IDE, source control system, build automation tools, web browser, and of course a shell with the usual POSIX utility suite -- each of those things is a big deal. But Finder vs. Windows File Explorer vs. Thunar vs. Nautilus? I'd be curious if anyone can show that the choice has any measurable impact on productivity. It seems to me purely a matter of taste.

I stopped using KDE and Gnome years ago, except to try them out periodically to see where they're headed. And pretty much it's places I don't particularly care about. I won't be arrogant and say that makes them bad or stupid, it's just means they're not for me. To me the desktop wars are like college basketball; if other people are into it that's fine by me, as long as it isn't compulsory.

If there are enough people who DO want to go where these projects are heading, then KDE and Gnome will do fine. If they aren't, well, I'd feel sorry for all the people who put so much work into them. There was a time when these projects were critical to the future of software, but not anymore. Pretty much any one desktop system could disappear over night -- even (or perhaps especially) Windows. -- and it wouldn't be the end of the world. There's a healthy field of choices now, which is good for users if rough on the legacy of pioneering developers.

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