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Comment MSM and social media are in the bag for the DNC (Score 4, Insightful) 427

There's no point in denying this any more. Journalists have always tended to lean left more than right, but 2016 has shown that all pretense of integrity and independence has completely evaporated. Rigged polls, collusion with PACs and the DNC, mudslinging directed at the RNC candidates while ignoring third party options and DNC scandals of the same magnitude as Watergate, and making unsubstantiated accusations of foreign interference by Russia while ignoring the foreign money from Soros and extreme Islamic regimes influencing the electoral process. Nothing is off limits to the same group that doctors audio recordings to falsely show racism and hypes up stories of a few cops committing criminal acts against black people while ignoring the fact that black on black violence is at epidemic levels.

Rigging the Facebook feed to promote pro-DNC pro-Clinton pro-SJW causes is IMO an effective subliminal ploy even for those that scroll past it so they can see funny pictures of their friends' kids. They're cutting off Twitter feeds and FB pages of people they don't like too even though they have not violated the user agreement. All of them will stop at nothing to brainwash and browbeat us into one mind, and use the SJWs to persecute those who disagree with the positions like useful idiots.

But it isn't just here as we've also seen in Europe with the hiding of stories and statistics on the effects on violence and crime due to mass migration from the third world. And, at this point, anyone who is a blind follower of political parties or of the media is a fool ready to be controlled to the will of an elite willing to throw us back into an effectively feudal system.

Welcome to the Ministry of Truth. We have always been at war. All dissent is doubleplusungood. You don't even need to imagine a boot stomping on a human face forever because it's already coming through your computer screen.

Comment Will the FBI prosecute politicians in the emails? (Score 1, Interesting) 55

Obviously this validates the content of the e-mail as real, indicating multiple violations of federal and state laws by the senders, recipients and those discussed in the emails. Otherwise, there'd be no point in prosecuting this person, much less releasing this information on the day of the final presidential debate.

Comment This isn't innovation Apple - you jumped the shark (Score 1) 315

How can any company in the PC market sell something without at least one USB 3.0 port??? It is the most ubiquitous data transfer connection available and has virtually universal compatibility with peripherals. Or did their marketing idiots think they can make another $39 for an adapter peripheral that's clunky and easy to lose? It can't be for space reasons and they can't pull the "we're trying to waterproof it" bullshit this time.

Topping this off is no Magsafe, which is infinitely better than the round connector I have on a couple of Dell laptops I own and saved the Macbooks I owned for years from falling.

Apple, you're not edgy or innovative any more. You're just being greedy and/or stupid and apparently don't want my business nor that of many other people? Sure, I'm a "tech nerd" but this time you're going to piss off the average buyer of your products.

Piece of advice: go back to what you had on the mid-2013 non-Retina Macbook Pro in terms of serviceability and I/O, and update it with Kaby Lake CPUs and a new Nvidia 10xx-series GPU and a non-glossy display, and you'll rip your competitors to shreds.

Comment So corporatocracy rules? (Score 2) 86

Since when did companies become immune to fraud, collusion and misrepresentation?


a. These companies become "immune" from the FTC, but lose their franchise/market exclusivity status permanently and pay the government back all of the money they were given to build infrastructure, or

b. They can be sanctioned by the FTC for breach of consumer laws, fraud, misrepresentation and other consumer problems

Between this and the now-mandatory binding arbitration clauses in consumer contracts from these companies, the American consumer is in a really bad spot.

Comment What about investigating the content in the leaks? (Score 3, Insightful) 491

Disclaimer: I don't think either Trump or Clinton is suited to be president, for different but equally important reasons, and we desperately need a real third party candidate better than Johnson or Stein.

That said, the level of political gyration in this election is beyond astounding. I and many others have lost complete faith in journalistic integrity and ethics, and we are approaching Soviet-era levels of information control with respect to the leaks. In those leaks are very serious allegations of fraud, illegal collusion with the media and with other parties inside and outside the government, perjury and other criminal acts, the hypocritical content aside.

You will also notice that no politician has forwarded these allegations for investigation to the FBI, nor has the FBI apparently undertaken any effort to investigate these allegations. You will notice that the FBI has begun investigating the source of the leaks, but this action is contradictory in and of itself. Either the leaks are false, in which case there is nothing real that was leaked, or the leaks are true, in which case both the leaked material AND the source of the leaks are investigated.

What we have now is an overt subversion of the rule of law and the distraction pointed at our old enemy Russia. Russia, of course, isn't too happy with us meddling in Ukraine or Syria because we can't get our fucking noses out of those places and nearly every other country where we have some cold war or energy interest. As much as I regret saying this, the Arab Spring has shown that having a dictator in the Arab world is preferable to having tribal religious extremism tear the country apart, destroy some of humanity's oldest heirlooms in the name of religious extremism, and spawn terrorism all over the world.

But even that isn't enough. Now there's word the CIA will organize a cyber-attack against Russia soon. I'm definitely not a big fan of Russia with their imperialistic ambitions and the oligarchs robbing common people their blind, but this country is doing everything but deescalating conflict and creating an extremely dangerous situation.

Perhaps it's finally time to clean up our own house, first and foremost. If we can't fight the level of corruption that the Wikileaks emails and subsequent actions of the current administration have shown, then there's no doubt that using yet another foreign conflict as a distraction is driving this country headlong into disaster. Too bad people can't get together and put their partisanship aside to have a million people march outside the Capitol or down Pennsylvania Avenue to attempt to get them to investigate everything and everyone impartially, foreign and domestic, Republicrat and Demican, and everyone in between.

In other words, if we don't get our shit together, welcome to the alternate version of Alien vs. Predator. Whoever wins, we lose.

Comment Enough of the IAB, ad networks and bad websites (Score 4, Insightful) 96

It is beyond unacceptable that:

* Ad networks continue to be a vector for device infections both directly and indirectly
* Ad networks track and profile users across websites without their consent
* Websites use pop-over scripts to interrupt the viewing experience
* Ad scripts and other ads use deceptive means to generate accidental clicks/taps
* Websites redirect users unwittingly to app stores, particularly when said apps have nothing to do with the website content

While I sympathize with website owners trying to monetize their content, they have left users with no choice but to block ads indiscriminately. The mobile browsing experience is particularly out of control now and shows what utter contempt or incompetence websites have regarding their user experience.

The IAB and ad networks are complicit in allowing this situation to persist, yet focus all of their attention on trying to prevent ad blocking through technical and legal means rather than actually enforcing some standards of non-obtrusive advertising that doesn't threaten to direct you to some scummy malware site with a zero-day.

Maybe it will take a few lawsuits, or boycotts, or just an overall drop in revenue for these deluded parties to stop this nonsense once and for all. Maybe it will be something else. Until the economics of serving and designing ads is tied to a positive UX, there will be an endless technological war to protect users from malicious ads.

Comment So the bureaucrats have solved all the problems? (Score 3, Insightful) 296

Have they thought of the implications this has on the trucking industry? Have they thought what this might do to low-income or fixed-income individuals who can't afford a car and suddenly left without transportation? Where is the electricity or energy to create hydrogen fuel going to come from now that they've banned nuclear and don't want fossil fuels? What will happen to the jobs of independent gasoline retailers and distributors and other people involved in that part of the economy? And what about the total cost of ownership for a vehicle with comparable range?

I understand that technology has lots of room to improve in this timeframe, but we need substantially better technology all around in order to make it viable to replace current combustion engines and we need to bring the full impact on the economy and on people in particular before we require that absolutely no vehicles are allowed to have combustion engines any more.

Comment Utter nonsense (Score 2) 290

While individuals under communism were extremely resourceful with the limited tools and materials they had on hand, they were inherently and perpetually limited due to central economic planning that failed to take into account individuality and limited access to real capital for research and development.

As my Romanian friends who escaped Ceacescu's regime always say: the reason communism doesn't work is because all people don't want to be equal to everyone else.

Comment Re:Not enough (Score 1) 111

You're 100% right. Anything but the death penalty for a CA after thorough independent investigation send the message that this behavior will be tolerated in some fashion. That should never ever be the case with a CA in particular, or the viability of web commerce and trusted information exchange would be at substantial risk.

We have enough security problems with clients, data breaches and end user stupidity to have to deal with this.

Comment Expensive & hard to coordinate (Score 1) 111

The certificate business is big money. It's possible some companies may be able to purchase certs from multiple vendors but it adds up very quickly, and coordinating activities like expiration dates have to be aligned among the vendors which is tricky with multiple large contracts. Only the biggest companies will be able to do this, leaving the rest to single and/or smaller CAs.

Yet does that really make an entity's presence on the public Internet inherently more trustworthy? If I was to get certs from Verisign, Thawte and Let's Encrypt, that's not saying much since Let's Encrypt does DV and not EV certs. If you have a breach of one CA but not the other, who do you trust and why? What does that result even mean? Best two out of three or three of five? It's not entirely out of the realm of possibility that smaller CAs could be simultaneously compromised, which is why the larger companies mostly go to that company based in Northern Virginia that has been rock solid if nothing else.

I think smaller lesser-known entities like these Chinese CAs will be perpetually more risky to obtain certs from. It's just what it is. As you go up the chain the certs get progressively more expensive but more trusted as well. As long as there is a commercial interest in selling certs, I don't think the current situation will change. It's just another warning just like Diginotar and others have demonstrated and Mozilla is IMO being overly lenient and perpetuating the problems currently supporting the "list of trusted CAs in the browser" model.

Comment Re:Fire the management that pulled VR support (Score 1) 657

I am really talking about the owners, who a board would normally represent. If they're too small to have a board, then it is the primary owners or investors. If the management bankrolled the company 100% themselves, then they can do what they wish. Nevertheless, it's still monumentally stupid to mix your business with politics rather than take a neutral stance and appeal to a broad audience unless you have concrete data that your revenue will be impacted less by not developing for VR than from the customers that you would lose if you did.

Comment Fire the management that pulled VR support (Score 2, Insightful) 657

What is astonishing to me is the level of rhetoric and the stretch of logic that has come into place since our Alien vs. Predator presidential race (i.e. whoever wins, we lose). Now we have a situation just like the Mozilla debacle with Brendan Eich except that it is much much flimsier an argument this time around.

But here's the thing, Insomniac and Polytron management: your job is to make money for the investors of your company, not to use them as some political tool because you disagree with the politics of one of the employees of Oculus. Period.

These decisions will only harm these companies financially because of diminished interest from people who own an Oculus. Unless the management has concrete data that their continued support of the Oculus will harm their sales due to the political connection (and I'll bet diamonds to dollars that they don't), then the boards of directors of all of these companies should direct the executive management of the companies that withdrew support for Oculus to reverse their decision or be terminated for breach of fiduciary duty.

Enough of this SJW bullshit, especially when investor money and returns are at stake and the backlash from these actions could be worse. E McNeill is totally correct - if you want to fight a Trump supporter, put your own money up rather than trying to suppress others as if you were some Soviet-era state enterprise licking the boots of the party you support.

Comment Will be a huge victory for hams if signed into law (Score 4, Informative) 195

There is an entire body of stealth antennas that have been developed for legally and space-constrained homes, such as flagpole antennas, magnetic loops, folded attic dipoles, and even tuned metal gutters! Yet these are all compromise antennas due to their limited height from the ground , proximity to metal objects and wiring, and size (for the 40m band on HF, you need at least a 10m/33ft vertical plus one or more counterpoises of that length on the ground). Some HOAs are even more draconian and allow nothing outside of a strict approved list of items per the HOA contract. This means that even a 1/4 wavelength vertical wire antenna that is barely visible to the eye is disallowed. Ironically, it's these same antennas that contribute to RFI issues for neighbors, increase RF exposure and worsen problems that would not be present with a properly deployed non-compromise antenna. HOA agreements have a disproportionate impact on hams who tend to be older and often use ham radio to communicate with their friends. Some of these are ex-military and civilian volunteers who are part of the Military Auxiliary Radio System or Civil Air Patrol, or participate in volunteer civil safety services such as Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service and Skywarn that use HF frequencies as well.

The HOAs have been vociferously opposed to this act as an infringement of civil liberties and have written both to the FCC and to congress opposing this. Yet there are already FCC-mandated requirements for such things as satellite antennas on HOA-governed properties that supersede any restrictions that may be contained in HOA contracts on spectrum which is technically regulated by the FCC. The intent is not to replicated a nearly 200' tall antenna tower with stacked Yagis, but to provide reasonable accommodation. A 1/4 wavelength vertical wire antenna barely visible to the eye can literally communicate with the entire world, yet somehow the HOA board fanatics claim that even these should be restricted. Even one of the trapped multiband vertical antennas in a back yard can make a big difference in getting out and participating in radio, but they again want no part of it.

There is bias against what we don't know or don't want to know. Heck, people think that there is an environmental impact to these antennas. I'm hopeful this will get passed and withstand scrutiny in the inevitable court battle that will ensue over it. But in a country turning its back on science for sports, maybe even the discussion with the non-ham folks might actually activate a few brain cells.

Comment Apple is jumping the shark pretty hard now (Score 5, Insightful) 495

There is no excuse to eliminate an audio jack from a phone, much less a Macbook. Too many complications with wireless headphones and microphones, and peripherals to add the functionality back just add to clutter for a portable device.

This isn't edgy, or brave, or futuristic. It's simply the beginning of the end for a once-innovative company who is practically trying to alienate its customer base. I really wonder if the same idiots who were in charge of the Final Cut Pro 10 transition were the same ones involved in these decisions.

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