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Comment Idiot. (Score 5, Interesting) 198

It didn't seem to occur to him that if he hacked them, it would make the answer to the question of "will he be fired?" a very definite "yes".

Of course, that's if we take his claims at face value; he was clearly looking to get a lot of other stuff, and that's the best excuse he could find. But he's still an idiot for thinking he wouldn't get caught and admitting in an email that he did it.

Comment Re:tracking (Score 1) 366

What this kind of paranoid person doesn't understand is that they can already track you to an incredible degree

In Australia not so much. People disappear all the time just because they don't want to be found. Sometimes (eg. battered wives with a homicidal spouse looking for them for extreme examples (which do happen)) it's not a bad thing.

I am talking in Australia. Certainly people can basically disappear from their social circle or their employer or even their family relatively easily, but dropping off the official radar would take a lot more doing.

Comment Re:tracking (Score 1) 366

... so ultimately all you're doing is arguing against having the convenience.

Isn't that enough to oppose this? How many reasons do I need to tell the government to get out of my personal business? Assuming the government can already track all my monetary transactions that does not mean I am somehow obligated to make it easier for them.

Maybe, maybe not. In my view, the government is less inconvenienced by me not using cards than I am. Feel free to disagree (which I'm sure you will, given the libertarian flavour your post has), but I just don't think it's worth making things significantly more difficult for myself just for the sake of making things slightly more difficult for the government.

Comment Re:tracking (Score 1) 366

You'd be surprised how many paranoid people don't actually understand what it is they're being paranoid about. There are people who, for example, won't enter their credit card number into an electronic system because they're worried someone will steal the details, so instead speak it aloud over the phone in a room full of people.

Here in Australia there was also some kind of single card for some array of services or other (health, maybe?) that the government wanted to introduce, being sold to the public on the basis of it being a convenient way for them to co-ordinate all these services, rather than getting Form A from Department A to submit to Department B so they could get Form C to submit to Department C so they can get Form B so they can go and get what they actually want from Department D. People raised a huge fuss over privacy concerns, and how this card would be used to track people, and all that, and eventually it was scrapped. The people celebrated because they'd defended their privacy. But the various departments talk to each other behind the scenes anyway, and bit by bit legislation to allow the departments to do what they were going to with peoples data passed, leading to the end result where people are tracked anyway but don't have the convenience they could have had.

So the moral of the story is, if you're objecting to some offered convenience because privacy, either think about and object to all the other ways the involved parties could get your info anyway, or just take the convenience on the basis that you might as well have that if your info is going to be passed around anyway.

Comment Re:tracking (Score 1) 366

Who is "they"? The NSA probably has access to my credit card transactions. But my neighbor doesn't, nor does my mother-in-law, nor do the local police.

The local police, if they have any reason to care to, can easily get access to it. There's been things in the news about how most of the time when the police go to someone - particularly ISPs and financial institutions - asking for something, it's just handed over without so much as asking if there's a warrant. There's also been things in the news about cops just accessing whatever records they like, so if your neighbour or mother-in-law happen to know a cop could use a few more dollars or a favour, they could have access too.

But more generally, even without actual access to bank records, plenty of larger businesses and institutions can track other things from which a creepily complete picture of you can be inferred.

Comment Re:Yeah, nah. (Score 1) 366

The breakdowns that I've encountered, while rare, are generally moderately severe, i.e. not just out for a few minutes, but hours, or overnight.

The breakdowns I've encountered are not by any means rare, though severe issues such as being unavailable for hours at a time are. More times a day than I can be bothered counting, the transaction takes long enough to process that my customers get worried, say there should be enough money in the account, ask if it always takes this long, etc. At least once or twice a day it fails to get through to the bank at all - on a good day. On a bad day, we might get a couple of dozen times where it won't get through to the bank at all. And not even on a "well, their systems must have been down for half an hour" sort of basis; out of say ten consecutive attempted transactions, maybe three at random points work.

Comment Re:That's not a 3d printed house (Score 2) 88

True, but the point isn't really "this is right now better in every way than current conventional construction methods", but that this is a significant milestone along the way to being able to put a machine down on a vacant lot, set it going and having a completed house a day or two later. And in practical terms, no residential construction job is ever done with teams working at full tilt around the clock, but this does. And as noted, it's not a huge leap from here to automated systems laying down plumbing and wiring during the process and then painting it.

Comment Re:Never. (Score 2) 158

You are probably thinking about the boss monitoring every movement of his employees in order to punish them later if they take too many breaks. Truth is : the boss doesn't give a shit.

A good boss doesn't give a shit. A bad boss is under the mistaken impression that employees must be going full throttle 100% of the time and tries to find ways to enforce that.

Comment Mostly perception, not reality (Score 1) 449

There's a couple of basic problems the submitter and his circle of friends have here that makes it appear that it's not as cool or fun anymore. The first is that they're old enough to start seeing things that are different from how they were in their childhoods as not as good. The second is that they're looking at the designed to be idiot-proof mass market and expecting to see DIY where you can get your hands dirty messing with the inner workings of things.

Games being tied to DRM is an issue, but it can be avoided. It does mean giving up certain games, but that's the reality. If you're a vegetarian, it means living with not eating that steak you'd really like. Otherwise, most of the "basic freedoms" are still there. Use Linux (or BSD, if you prefer) and you can tinker with your software setup to your heart's content. Sure, you don't get these specific de facto standard software suites, but there's by and large a way to do what they do.

The problem that does exist is that everything's more complex, but that doesn't necessarily make things less fun. There's a ton of cool shit that you can do that was simply not possible back then, because you don't have to re-invent the wheel at the lower levels to do anything. If you do want to screw around at that kind of lower level, there are things you can get to do that with, but it's unrealistic to still expect to be able to do that with the same kind of personal computer that everyone else uses to do other stuff with.

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