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Comment On the Internet: MS Windows is unsafe for any need (Score 1) 40

This story is so old and happens so often that it isn't news. That it continues is very frustrating for anyone who has been in the Internet industry since the Internet became popular around the release of Windows 3.1.

Windows is impossible to secure. I'm sure that if I bother to search a few darker spots of the net I will find current working unpatched Windows "total takeover" exploits.

The only good news appears to be that it used to take years rather than only 9 months for Microsoft to respond with effective patches.

Until Microsoft can be held responsible for the losses associated with using their software none of this will ever change. There is a very good reason that most Internet startups do NOT use Windows on their customer facing servers. It is just not maintainable.

Open source isn't perfectly secure, but at least knowledgeable persons can debug and patch it much, much faster than 9 months.

Microsoft usually ignores or spends a long time fixing severe bugs or design issues which can kill any business dumb enough to adopt Windows even with all kinds of regularly ineffective "3rd party protection."

Apple is better than Microsoft, but still weak in so many areas that it is also a non-starter for Internet facing servers.

Here is a simple test: If you need to add Anti-virus software or added firewalls you are using an insecure operating system unfit for use on the Internet.

Comment "Old skool cool and fun" almost exclusively Linux (Score 2) 449

The only platform that you can still get the hood open now is Linux. I personally prefer Arch Linux or OpenWRT depending on the hardware and expected use for a project.

But even with Linux you need to choose carefully as vendors work to close even the many products built upon Linux. Just buying hardware with Linux doesn't mean it's open enough to be useful for example: Android as generally sold. AOSP is the exception.

If you want to intro someone to "old skool" look at the Raspberry Pi platform or OpenWRT. NOTE: even those have proprietary components and BLOBs of proprietary binary only code in almost ALL circumstances.

General consumer computers like Windows PCs and Macs are becoming like current cars with less and less access with each new generation. You can work on them yourself less and less. This is driven by both manufacturers wanting more control particularly as advances in CPU power have slowed and government regulations that lock down what were previously tweak-able components like WiFi router hardware.

Right now the most interesting stuff is in "do it yourself" IoT devices. But you better "do it yourself" rather than simply buy it. Otherwise it is likely "ownable" by someone other than you straight out of the box or ALREADY owned by the manufacturer who is spying on you using it. And given that there are no monetary or legal penalties for the complete lack of security this is unlikely to change regardless of various government solicited reports.

Comment IoT stuff only works EARLY in the disease! (Score 2) 58

Dementia is not just memory loss. It is also cognitive decline, mis-remembering and at times hallucinations.

IoT only works in the "dementia use case" when the patient can remember what to do when a light flashes, the pill door opens or some other device alert occurs. And as the patient declines and there are fewer and fewer "cognitive enough" periods, these systems will not produce the expected reaction from the patient. And after a while (a pretty short while actually) the patient won't know and won't care. After that another human is necessary to make sure things happen at the correct time. This won't change until the smart AI assistant robots arrive.

The promise of the current generation of IoT gadgets like GPS tracking watches, motion/occupancy detectors, remotely controlled door locks, switches that monitor the refrigerator door to automated pill dispensers are only useful during a pretty short transition period between self-care and a locked memory care assisted living campus.

Companies selling these IoT devices for this use case are really selling false hope.

I've seen other posts here that suggest that the afflicted should be allowed to commit suicide. But very few now actually commit suicide before they are already too far gone to be considered legally competent. Because you can't be competent when you can't remember what happened a minute ago.

Dementia patients don't even notice they aren't remembering or thinking properly unless someone or the physical universe points it out. Then the general reaction is likely frustration or anger, because what they think is going on is not.

Look at the documentary on singer Glen Campbell called "Glen Campbell... I'll Be Me." to get an idea of what dementia is like.

And while watching think about how applicable IoT is to him.

Comment Re:Capitalism? (Score 2) 310

Pure Capitalism over time only exacerbates inequality for all but a very few who accumulate the vast majority of capital. And given that "corporations are immortal people" with less liability than real people, capital accumulated by all means fair or foul will simply flow to such entities that never are forced to disperse that capital at death unlike real "people." In addition, multi-national immortal corporations will play arbitrage games with income, finance, currency, futures, derivatives, employment, externalities, and property to maximize their returns across the world by gaming various separately governed regions against each other while propagandizing that they are "making the world better" without ever revealing the real trade-offs and consequences of their deliberate actions to the populations of the regions they operate across or the "shareholders of planet earth"


It's more complex than that and a post is inadequate to fully explain all the issues. But capitalism without regulation and checks on accumulation is and will create a guaranteed dystopia of corporate kings, their goons and human serfs given the changes in law that have accelerated since the Reagan Administration.


This is what happens when the only responsibility of a corporation is to provide the best return to shareholders and executives.

Comment He's just a tech CEO Was Re:Ellison is a terrorist (Score 1) 157

None of these tech company leaders are "nice guys." Most of them exaggerate for effect and press. Most of them treat employees as "replaceable cogs." Many lie about what their company's have to ship and only fix it later (if ever) with an update.... of course such "misrepresentation" will get them the customers money now, rather than later or never.

Comment Re:Russia would have nada If the US system was hon (Score 1) 531

Except Russia is not the source of the leaks, the DNC is. Russia is only a suspected, but not proven, conduit, but the sources of the info have so far not said that the information is not accurate.

The source of the information is Hillary's campaign and the DNC. The deliverer or messenger *might* be Russia. And that makes a great narrative, but that really does not matter and is an attempt by Hillary and the DNC to discredit content that they already acknowledge as accurate.

Comment It didn't work for Roger Ebert (Score 1) 145

Roger Ebert, popular movie critic, lost his voice to when his jaw was removed to fight the cancer that eventually killed him.

Like Majel he had 25+ years of recorded material from TV shows like At the Movies. He even hired a firm to create a voice from that material. As it turned out, that 25+ years of recording was inadequate to create a working synthetic voice.

I suspect Roger had more material than Majel as he was doing 22 minute review shows for some many years compared to Majel's occasional appearances and scripted "computer voice" work.

Comment Russia would have nada If the US system was honest (Score 5, Informative) 531

Russia would have no negative information if the US system was run honestly and transparently. It is not and I thank *ALL* disclosures that wake up the US citizenry. The info source does not matter.


The current 2 party duopoly is a corrupt manipulative mess as the US presidential candidate choices.


Both Hillary and Trump are AWFUL candidates. So a huge number of voters are stuck voting against who they think is worse. There is NO positive choice.

Comment Re:If the content was once freely available... (Score 1) 154

> When was the last time you put an ad blocker on an app?


I do that now for everything. I've got an ad filter running through a local VPN that filters content from advertising sites. It takes out almost everything except in apps that use their own ads rather than the ad networks.

Works on Android Apps and Linux and Macs and PCs can use it as a proxy.

Comment Re:The problem isn't that they're old... (Score 2) 194

Quality is not an issue when you have a monopoly. That monopoly may be via Intellectual Property or due to control of service. In either case you can get the cheapest dumbest workers and still make more than you would with better qualified workers. Being the member of an Oligopoly can work similarly. Just match the competence of your limited competitors usually via standardization of service or product and again only a very few workers need to be competent. If you want to know why IT looks the way it does just start thinking like an MBA.

Comment Re:Shouldn't a good ad-blocker be undetectable? (Score 1) 534

The only way to prevent users from blocking ads is to make every webpage unique, so that each refresh is not really even the same page.

That would make ad blocking really hard since there'd be no way to identify the Ad via URL or Javascript.

So here's to a much less cached Internet to make sure we all see Ads. WooHoo! Soon no connection will be fast!

Comment Re:A bubble that doesn't pop? (Score 1) 244

If old age becomes obsolete you can expect government sponsored retirement benefits will too. In fact, I would expect a regulation that requires you forfeit SS and medicare at age X if you accept effective anti-aging therapies.

With appropriate regulation this just one more path to make both SS and Medicare solvent because less people are using either.

Comment It is still here (was Re:What happened to C?) (Score 1) 172

Why do so many of the "new" languages remind of good ol' fashioned UCSD Pascal p-code or even original Microsoft BASIC where everything is compiled to a tokenized intermediate platform independent pseudo assembly language that is interpreted or JIT compiled to the native CPU on the fly.

In the 70s and 80s and 90s the stuff designed this way ran slow slow slow. And all the new similar designs still do compared to code compiled or assembled to run on the target processor.

Give me a safer C like what Rust appears to be. Something that produces fast native code, but prevents programmers from doing stupid stuff.

Let's not even get into the disaster that Javascript is in the browser: Download a tarball of Javascript and execute: What browser am I running in? If this is browser of version X run this pile of code instead of all these other special piles for other browsers with multiple versions.

C hasn't gone away because it continues to be the best tool we have for producing fast code.

Don't believe me? Write almost any program in both C and ??? (except assembler) then run them on the same platform. Compare.

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