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Comment No, he wasn't (Score 1) 371

Assanage's offer was always empty, given that the US isn't after him, at least not publicly. Now he contends that the US wants to get him in secret, though he's presented no evidence of this and of course one would have to question if they'd agree to a public deal for something secret.

Assanage is wanted by Sweden and the UK. Sweden for a sexual assault case, and the UK for skipping bail in that case. The US has not filed any charges against him, though I'm quite sure they don't like him. If he left the embassy he would be arrested by the UK and shipped off to Sweden. Or they might not send him off, since he's broken UK law by skipping bail and try him there for that crime, then ship him off once she's served his sentence.

So this was always a stunt.

Comment It is a problem I've talked about for a long time (Score 0) 130

And one that often gets me downvoted since Mac users don't like to hear it: Apple is a fashion company. That's why they've been able to do what they do. In fashion, a higher price can be a GOOD thing not a bad thing, whereas consumer electronics are one of the most notoriously price sensitive markets out there.

However the downside is as you say: What is fashionable changes and it is really hard to stay on top of it forever.

Comment Re:Leave. (Score 1) 427

I don't know about law in any of the US, but in the UK: a private letter is considered to be "published", for libel purposes, the moment it is opened (by someone other than the party being libelled, or someone acting as their agent and with their express permission to open it)

Yes. It is roughly the same in the U.S. See HERE, in the section headed "Publication".

Comment Re:Leave. (Score 1) 427

With the intent to cause damage. Look it up. They damaged party has to prove intent. Which is why there are almost never successful; libel or slander cases in the US.

This is not true. At least in most states, intent to harm is not required.

What IS usually required is to show that the accused knew, or reasonably should have known, that the statement was false.

That is not quite the same thing.

Comment Re:This. Libel need not be public, but must be unt (Score 1) 427

It's amazing to me how many people don't get the difference between stating an opinion and stating something as fact. I am thinking of a certain Slashdot frequenter who fits that profile.

There is a great deal of legal precedent in that regard. For example, calling someone "an ass" or similar is pretty definitely an opinion, even if it's stated as though it were fact: "You're an ass."

In college law classes there is a rather famous case study from, I think, the 17th century.

A guest at an inn told the innkeeper: "My horse can pisse better ale than you serve here."

The innkeeper sued the customer for slander. The judge ruled: "The accused did not slander the innkeeper. He complimented his horse."

So, while there are lines as to what is acceptable speech and what is not, it pays to be cognizant of where those lines are. And many people have no clue.

Comment Re:No, it wasn't (Score 1) 104

Well two things there BTChead:

1) Some currencies DO move large amounts and that is NOT considered successful. When the pound was experiencing instability, that was a big cause for concern. It was not considered a "success" as people seem to think for BTC.

2) It was 8%, not 30%. Bit of a difference there.

Like I said before: You can't have it both ways. If you want it to be a good currency, then stability is what you want. If you are happy with rapid fluctuations, then it is a speculative betting opportunity.

Comment Re:Leave. (Score 4, Informative) 427

This is quite incorrect. I would say dangerously incorrect. At least in most of the U.S.

In general, actionable defamation (of which libel and slander are particular examples) only requires that you express untrue, damaging things to someone other than the party you are referring to. There is NO specific requirement that it be public.

And "damage" is used loosely here. Damage could mean damage to their career, or damage to their public reputation, or even just damage to a single friend's opinion of them.

If you wrote untrue, damaging things in a document to your HR department, that could definitely be considered libel, and would likely be actionable. Specific cases vary, but again in general.

Of course, truth is (again in general... most U.S. states) an absolute defense. So if what you wrote is true and you can demonstrate that it is, by a preponderance of evidence, then you're probably safe. But you'd better have that evidence.

In addition, most corporations have as part of their employment conditions that you can't sue the company or other employees as a result of negative opinions expressed as part of "official" company communications, such as an employee review or exit interview.

Again in the U.S., that is simply not true. "Most" corporations do NOT have such a clause in their contract, and there is a very strong push to stop that practice in those states where it is still allowed. Because in some states such clauses are specifically prohibited by law, and the list of those states is growing.

Comment No, it wasn't (Score 3, Interesting) 104

Not just because it doesn't work as a currency, but because for currencies big swings in valuation, up or down, are no "good performance". Ideally a currency would be completely stable. What $1 buys now would be what $1 buys tomorrow, and what it buys in a thousand years. Of course in reality none of them are totally stable, but the good ones are pretty stable. They move a very small amount, and do so very gradually. They function as a good store of wealth for that reason, and more importantly make for a useful medium of exchange. Since their value is pretty constant, people have a good feeling for how much they are "worth" and can mentally price things.

Bitcoin did well as a speculative bet. If you want to play financial speculation, Bitcoin is a good target as it moves like a very thinly traded stock. That means it can swing bit and make you a lot of money. Also means it can swing big the other way and lose you a lot. So like any sort of speculation, you need to know what you are getting in to and understand the risks.

You BTC promoters can't have it both ways: If Bitcoin is a good currency then it needs to be stable. If Bitcoin is a good investment, then it isn't a currency.

Comment Ummmm (Score 3, Insightful) 531

How is this our infrastructure being vulnerable? Russia didn't hack US infrastructure, at least not that I've seen (please provide reliable sources if you know otherwise) they got in to the internal e-mails of campaigns. Also "hack" seems to be a bit of a strong word for what they did. Sounds like they got in to Podesta's e-mails by phishing his username/password. I'm not really sure what you think the federal government can do to fix/prevent that. I mean they already have information out there about "don't click on shit in e-mails" and there is training out there organizations can point people to from groups like SANS.

That aside, even if it was a hack (as in exploiting vulnerabilities) it wasn't a federal government controlled system. So again, what is the fed supposed to do? Take over private e-mail systems? Put up a national firewall on the Internet?

Comment How would that make you safe? (Score 5, Insightful) 137

You know a large number of commercial routers run on Linux, right? The Linux kernel isn't some magic sauce that makes you immune to hacking. On the contrary, we see flaws in programs that run on Linux all the time, these being one of them. An exploit like this can work on anything, it isn't limited just to prepackaged routers.

So what you mean is get an x64 system and run a Linux distro, with some built in tools for configuring routing. Ok... So long as it doesn't have any bugs they can exploit or check for, you are fine. If it does, well then you are back to having to update... if an update is available. A lot of the router-type Linux distros aren't very well maintained. Smoothwall, the one I hear the most crowing about, had its last release in 2014.

If you were going to point to something freely available, BSD would probably be a better bet in the form of PFSense as it is actually maintained and supported pretty well. Of course the fact that it runs on BSD is incidental to its security, it is (as best we know) secure because it has competent programmers who maintain it regularly.

However the real problem is that for many people, this is just not affordable. When you try and do all your routing and filtering in software on an x64 chip, you find you need a lot of power to push traffic. The CPUs aren't designed with routing in mind so they aren't super fast at it. PFSense needs about a 2.4GHz 4 core atom to push a gigabit of traffic, and then only if the ruleset is reasonably simple. That's about $550 for an appliance from Netgate that can do that, and that is with no wireless. Well for $180 a Netgear R7000 will push a gig of traffic no issue, and comes with a 3x3 802.11ac radio that does 2.4 and 5ghz at the same time. Likewise an EdgeRouter Lite gets a gig and is wired only for $100. They pull that off by having chips with dedicated routing logic on board.

For normal users it also needs to be easy. A suggestion of "Assemble a computer from parts, load Linux, configure routing in text files and you are good," is totally unreasonable. Even something like buying an appliance and loading code on to it from a cold state is out of reach for most people. They need a ready-made solution.

Comment Sure (Score 1) 189

Target is one I can think of off the top of my head. They have extremely low profit margins, in the realm of 3%. So you know that you are getting pretty much the best price they can offer you when you shop there based on what they are paying and the overhead of running their stores.

In terms of making lower margins than Apple though, that would be basically anyone. Apple's margins are INSANE. The only companies that see margins as high as they do are software companies, and then only a few. No other electronics manufacturer is even close.

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