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Comment Re:Boring (Score 1) 40

Re-read ;) I stated the first two retailers gave you enough data to get the full CC number. I added the other two as an example of piecing more data together from more sources. Each piece by itself isn't very meaningful, and may not even be personally identifiable data. But taken together, it is. I'm personally pretty mixed-feelings about the whole thing. One one hand, it's kind of inevitable for personal details to end up out there, on the other, we should protect them. CC companies, banks, etc, could do a lot better at protecting us than they do though. But that would take major changes. It may also take some trusted third party or at least soem sort of trusted protocol ala GPG/PGP and web of trust.

Even today though, not all vendors ask for and validate CSC/CVV2 numbers from the back of the card. The industry is also very against anything that causes credit cards (and more recently, debit cards) to be perceived as more difficult than cash. Major source of revenue, and they jealously guard that.

Comment Re:Boring (Score 1) 40

One of the things people are more and more concerned about is correlation of data from disparate sources to get the original data back. Take for example credit card receipts. If retailer A blacks out all but the last 4 digits, and retailer B blacks out only the last 4 digits, get the two receipts together, and you have at least a credit card number. Maybe retailer C gives only the last 4 digits but also prints a name, and retailer D only prints an expiration date and the first four digits. Get all of these together and you have all you need to make charges at many places to the card. Same thing can happen with disparate pieces of data anywhere, assemble enough together, and you can say exactly who did what, when.

Whether thats a "valid" fear or not I can't personally say. I know it's completely feasible. I have very little doubt that many entities (government and non) are doing exactly this.

Comment Re:Distracted by semantics (Score 4, Insightful) 40

GPS itself is most definitely one way. The constellation of satellites blanket the earth with their signals. A GPS receiver decodes all of them, and needs to decode at least 3 in parallel to get a location fix, the more it can decode in parallel the closer the fix will be. Add WAAS data which will help the GPS device to correct for minor atmospheric variations too. But it is all one way, receive only. The only way for location data to get off of a device is via some non-GPS medium. 3G/4G/WiFi are the most common. Some devices (iPhone) and software (Google Latitude/Maps) log and correllate this data in various ways, and upload it.

A telephone carriers systems have, at any given point in time, at least rough knowledge of a location of every single phone on it's network. It has to, it's part of the system and protocols, and they don't work without this knowledge. That is NOT the same as people/persons having the data and having access to it. It is also not the same as having a historical record, or archive/log of this location data, but that data is strictly limited to the 3G/4G/CDMA/GSM/etc network coverage information and signal strength information. During a 911/E911 call that data, along with the phones own location data is used to get a position fix on the phone that is passed along to E911 capable centers, I don't know exactly how this works since I've never worked that side of things.

So it's not really GPS, so much as publishing the results of a GPS fix (location data) by some other means. I haven't looked at the case or anything, and I REALLY hope that they're not making such an elementary mistake. Since GPS in and of itself is one way, and one way only.

Comment Re:America = world terrorist (Score 1) 208

Americans on the whole don't support Obama's illegal wars. We know by now that getting involved in Mid-East countries results in a giant quagmire with nothing good as a result. So please don't think it's all the US who want this to happen, it's our government that been hijacked by a very small number of elites and Obama is just doing their bidding.

Uhm well, reality check here. *BUSH* started this. Obama is being forced to continue it by congress, the military leaders, and corporate america. In case you haven't noticed, the president is barely more than a figurehead anymore due to congress.

Submission + - US Army Unveils New $35,000 "Rifle" (

rbrander writes: Don't call it a "rifle", call it the "XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System" and get your $35,000 worth. Much more than a projector of high-speed lead, this device hurls small grenades that automatically detonate in mid-flight with 1-metre accuracy over nearly 800m. The vital field feature is the ability to explode 1m behind the wall you just lazed, the one with the enemy hiding behind it.

Comment Medicare/Medicaid fraud could save as much... (Score 1) 311

Medicare/Medicaid fraud is far more rampant than they would like you to believe. Part of it is the mandatory short timelines, part of it is the sheer number of claims, but the BIGGEST reason of all is that they don't behave like any private company would and protect their (OUR, the PUBLICs) assets responsibly. A big part of this is risk analysis, and pattern detection, watching out for and stopping fraudulent payments before they're made, not after.

Comment How about being a PARENT instead? (Score 0, Troll) 478

First off it's not the store's problem. Parents need to BE PARENTS. If you don't want your children buying/playing those games then you as a parent need to get your lazy butt off the couch and go be a parent. Or away from your computer, or maybe, come home early a few times a week and spend time with your kids. Stop making society try to (very very poorly) parent your kids.

Next basically all retailers are following a (voluntary?) good practice of IDing anyone buying an M or T rated or above game, or requiring a parent. Secondly, theres not one shred of evidence linking video games to violence of any kind. None. Some kids who have committed violence have yes played violent video games, but if you look at their history, their psychological profile, it wasn't the games that caused it at all. In fact there is research that indicates there might be a link to video games and LESS violence. Why? Think about it, if you can kill the school bully in your head 100x -- or -- beat him on the virtual battlefield (if he or she also plays) then it's likely to defuse the conflict by letting the aggression out in a safe, virtual, manner.

Comment Re:How companies set "high" prices... (Score 1) 107

Keep in mind it's not Amazon holding the prices higher, it's the publishing houses. With Amazon's self publishing the publisher sets teh list price, it is required to be a "MFN" meaning they get the lowest price, and can compete/sell at that price in any market you have the rights to distribute your content in.

Amazon takes 0.15/mb, and passes 70% of the rest to the publisher (or author if they're self publishing) int he US market. 35% in other markets (no distribution charges per mb).

This is probably better than the *BEST* offer you'd ever get from a publishing house, and the publishing house is going to set their own price, as high as they can, make as much money as they can from the customers, and keep as much of that money as they can from the authors. MPAA and RIAA learned from these guys.

IDK about Apple, but Amazon has CLEARLY fought for eBooks to be the lowest price option. Actually Amazon wants to be the lowest price option, eBook or not. And Amazon makes off of *LIST* price in the eBook world. Since the list price is essentially all profit.

Comment Did the AG miss the MacMillan/Amazon Standoff? (Score 1) 107

MacMillan, etc, have *no* incentive to lower prices, in fact, MacMillan and Amazon just went head to head and Amazon lost. MacMillan *RAISED* prices, significantly. And they want to do it across the board, and raise them even MORE. They don't want competition from eBooks with brick and mortar distributors, nor do brick and mortar distributors. They want to be protected from thenew scary digital world. They argue "its for our authors" when what they mean is "its for *our* bottom lines because we're scared" because the authors, in my understanding, don't get any more for eBook royalties (in fact may get less) than dead tree media. Publishers would raise them *MORE* across the board if Amazon hadn't fought so hard to keep them lower. The publishers want to protect their dying dead tree paper industry. PERIOD. They want eBooks to be priced on level, or MORE than regular dead trees. Amazon and Apple are on the consumer's side in this case. They do have a stake, they want to get rid of traditional publishers, lock people into their platform, and move more content to more hands, and become the publisher of choice. Why? Because THEY GET IT. Amazon likely pays very little for each Kindle's network connectivity. So they're more than happy taking "just" 30% in the US market (65% elsewhere, higher telecom costs for amazon, thats not saying the costs are higher, just for amazon). Why the lower price, SELL MORE MORE MORE! It's 100% profit. 80% on 1 copy is 0.80. 35% on 4 is 1.40. So you've made more. Yes there's the argument for "lost potential" - but if you sell 4x the copies, of a product that costs NOTHING to make copies of? Even if you only sell 3x as many of the same product after you cut your prices in half. The actual equations are a bit more complicated mind you, but Amazon at least wants to bet that prices for eBooks will be significantly lower and sell significantly more in the long run, making up for the lower dollars profit per unit sold in volume. In the meantime it's a new line of business. I think they lose money on each Kindle sold but they hope to make that up through the 35-70% royalties, which, I'm betting in many cases they do.

I don't know what kind of deals others are offering authors, but according to Amazon's own pricing you can as an author/self publisher (or other publisher) choose from 35% or 70% -- the 70% is after $0.15/megabyte (1024 based megabyte, which they define specifically) for distribution. This is only for US customers, all other customers you'll get the 35% rate. I'm willing to bet 35% is better than any traditional publisher especially if you're an unknown, and 70% is probably better than anyone ever gets at any traditional publisher.

So as an author, protect your rights to distribute electronic copies. If you already sold all your distribution rights to a traditional publisher for penny smarter on your next deal. It's a very valuable market becoming more valuable by the day, and given half a chance the traditional publishers will strangle every author wanting to publish their material in these new markets. Amazon does require you give them the lesser list price yes. Why not though? eBooks have very nearly 0 cost per copy! IT'S GRAVY. The Connecticut AG is likely acting on behalf of or for the publishing companies in some way shape or form, and should probably educate himself or herself on the reality.

Comment What often really happens... (Score 2, Informative) 253

Is that sets of images are purchased or downloaded. There may be many THOUSANDS of images in these sets. And if even *ONE* is what the courts consider child pornography, or is found in the innocent images archive, then the individual is said to have been downloading child porn and charged and prosecuted as such. Even if 1) they never looked at the image/image (possibly buried in the thousands of others) and 2) even if they can't prove it was that individual who was at the computer and not a secretary, visitor, or other person who had access to the machine.

The same thing happens with sex offenders. *KIDS* are being charged as sex offenders if they have a picture of their girlfriend on their cell phone. If Either party (or even BOTH parties) are under the age of consent then one of them is getting charged with sex offenses, including child pornography, usually the one with the image, even if they had no desire to have the image, and it was simply given to them.

C'mon, a LOT of kids played "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" -- difference is now we charge them as sex offenders and child pornographers, especially if a digital device is used.

But back to the original post. Whatever your feelings on pornography, looking at pictures of other naked humans isn't a crime in itself. Child porn is because the children are unwilling, or unable, to consent due to not knowing what they're consenting to etc. But just because a thorough investigation found child porn on a persons computer, doesn't mean a damned thing. It doesn't mean they're a child porno freak, or anything like that. It means that the computer they use had child porn on it, thats IT. PERIOD. And prosecutors should not even be allowed to bring a case up based on utter crap like that. It is NOT evidence of a person being a child pornographer. It *IS* evidence of the child porn existing and spreading, but just finding images on a machine does not prove that 1) the user of the machine put them there 2) the user of the machine wanted them there, 3) the user of the machine ever even looked at them or had ANY knowledge they were there.

It would be like the police arresting you for being the unabomber because you received a package from the unabomber, even if you hadn't even opened the package.

I'm not saying these people aren't, but it's a LOT less likely than the inflammatory prosecution and media makes it out to be. The presence (or absence) of child porn images doesn't mean crap by itself. And all to often it's being used atleast by the media as the standard of proof, and even, much more frighteningly, by the courts.

Comment I hate glossy screens... (Score 1) 646

They're great when you can get them in ideal conditions, but on a laptop, they're a stupid idea. It makes it impossible to use in many situations.

3M Makes a privacy filter that helps, but last time I used one, it was not a thin film that you could easily apply (like the shields that various companies make for your touch screen phone) but was a sort of clip on affair. They may have made some improvement in that area.

While the display IS more color accurate, it's less useful on a display that you'll be not using exclusively indoors in a dim indirectly lit setting. Even normal overhead lights completely ruin their color.

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