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Comment there's something like that for Mechanical Turk (Score 4, Informative) 101

There was a rash of people submitting jobs to Mechanical Turk and then not paying anyone. The person paying can rate work as unacceptable and not pay, and there's no real oversight if they just do that all the time (and Amazon doesn't police this at all, or even provide a reputation mechanism). So some academics put together a third-party site, Turkopticon, that people use to rate jobs, payers, etc., which has made it a lot easier to avoid the people on the site who won't pay. Seems like a good idea to extend it to "the real world".

Comment Re: So what type of Windows PC do you need. (Score 2) 542

True, that's not far off. I think I last installed Linux in 2008. At the time, suspend/resume was very flaky, which was kind of a dealbreaker for a laptop. (It would often appear to work, but then various things would be broken in mysterious ways after resume.) It could well be reliable by now. But still, lots of Unixy people use OSX on their laptops, even when their preferred work environment on a VPS or remote server is Linux.

Comment not binding, but still useful (Score 4, Informative) 114

When courts are encountering an issue that's been decided before in another court, they often at least consider the other court's rationale, even if it's not binding precedent for them. That's termed "persuasive precedent". It's especially useful when several decisions going the same way pile up; then a party in a subsequent case can say, "every previous court to consider this issue has decided [x]", putting the onus on the other side to explain why the case here should go differently.

Comment Re:Government knows best! (Score 2) 91

In my case I don't really have a choice of either unless I quit my job, since my employer chooses them. The pension fund is particularly problematic because even if I quit my job, I couldn't move my investments to another manager for at least 5 years, when everything vests, so I'm stuck with this one for a while (and they aren't good at data protection). So yes, there is a sequence of choices that could lead to avoiding them, but they're a lot of choices awkwardly tied together with cross-linked contracts and various constraints. Which is also a little bit like how government works: I can avoid governments by not living in their jurisdiction, but there are a lot of cross-linked complications. With both, the difficulty gets higher as the entity gets bigger, with small businesses and municipal governments the easiest to say no to.

Comment Re:The next few minutes? (Score 4, Informative) 62

Depends on the wave and the ship, but just turning the ship so it faces directly into the wave can be sufficient to greatly mitigate damage in a lot of cases. Being hit by an unexpected large wave broadside is typically worse than hitting it head-on, especially by reducing the risk of capsizing.

That's actually been successfully done at least once even with current technology: the captain of a cruise ship in 1998 spotted a 90-foot (27-meter) rogue wave on radar, and turned the ship to face it head-on, avoiding serious damage.

Comment Re:Former Level3 employee here (Score 3, Informative) 124

Not sure if it's the story you were thinking of, but there was a little bit of discussion in the tech press/blogs in 2005 in response to someone noticing that Google had put out a job posting for a "strategic negotiator" with experience in "identification, selection, and negotiation of dark fiber contracts both in metropolitan areas and over long distances as part of development of a global backbone network". That led to a lot of speculation over what precisely Google was planning to do.

Comment Re:Why the steep climb (Score 2) 707

Also the company this article mentions, Shine, which provides carrier-level mobile ad blocking. Their product isn't a browser extension like uBlock Origin, it's more of an ad-blocking proxy server that they're currently rolling out on the Three mobile network. Advertisers are particularly annoyed about that because it rolls out to everyone, even the non-tech-savvy, vs. people having to install browser extensions.

Comment Re:God forbid we compromise their privacy (Score 2) 43

This doesn't seem aimed at wrongdoing by refugees (terrorism-related or otherwise), but rather at locals trying to get free food, with refugee biometrics/privacy being sort of collateral damage. The UNHCR has a database of refugees in Jordan (for example), and wants to use biometric data to tell them apart from local, non-refugee Jordanians, so that only the refugees can get food aid.

I can see why they want that for ease of bookkeeping (harder to forge biometrics than refugee papers, etc.), but this is just a bookkeeping exercise aimed at cost efficiency.

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