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United States

Trump Will Get Power To Send Unblockable Mass Text Messages To All Americans (nymag.com) 555

President-elect Donald Trump will have access to a system which can send unblockable texts to every phone in the United States once he becomes the president. From a report on NYMag: These 90-character messages, known as Wireless Emergency Alerts (or WEAs), are part of a program put in place after Congress passed the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act, in 2006. WEAs allow for targeted messages to be sent to every cell phone getting a signal from certain geographically relevant cell towers (or, in a national emergency, all of them). While it'd be a true nightmare to get screeching alerts from your phone that "Loser Senate Democrats still won't confirm great man Peter Thiel to Supreme Court. Sad!", there are some checks and balances on this. While President-elect Trump hasn't shown much impulse control when it comes to his favorite mass-messaging service, Twitter, the process for issuing a WEA isn't as simple as typing out a 90-character alert from a presidential smartphone and hitting "Send." All WEAs must be issued through FEMA's Integrated Public Alert Warning System, meaning that an emergency alert from the president still has at least one layer to pass through before being issued. While FEMA is under control of the executive branch (the head of FEMA is selected by the president, and reports to the Department of Homeland Security), the agency would have a vested interest in not seeing their alert system bent toward, uh, non-emergency ends.

Comment Yes, if you're on your phone for nine hours a day (Score 4, Informative) 113

This ihas been on Facebook all day and driving me up a wall. Take a look at the actual report, something no journalists seem willing or able to do. From the report:

"Exposures to RFR were initiated in utero beginning with the exposure of pregnant dams..."
"All RF exposures were conducted over a period of approximately 18 hours using a continuous cycle of 10 minutes on (exposed) and 10 minutes off (not exposed), for a total daily exposure time of approximately 9 hours a day, 7 days/week."

So yes, if you have been using a cell phone since before you were born, and using it for NINE HOURS A DAY, you have cause to be worried.

Otherwise, take a deep breath, read the Australian study that said there have been no increases in brain cancer over the past 29 years, and give me a call. I'll be on my cell phone.

Submission + - SourceForge MITM Projects (github.io) 2

lister king of smeg writes: What happened?

SourceForge, once a trustworthy source code hosting site, started to place misleading ads (like fake download buttons) a few years ago. They are also bundling third-party adware/malware directly with their Windows installer.

Some project managers decided to leave SourceForge – partly because of this, partly just because there are better options today. SF staff hijacked some of these abandoned accounts, partly to bundle the crapware with their installers. It has become just another sleazy garbage site with downloads of fake antivirus programs and such.

How can I help?

If you agree that SourceForge is in fact distributing malicious software under the guise of open source projects, report them to google. Ideally this will help remove them from search results, prevent others from suffering their malware and provide them with incentive to change their behavior.

As this story has been submitted several times in the past several days, by various submitter and is going around various other tech forums( https://news.ycombinator.com/i... , https://soylentnews.org/articl... , https://www.reddit.com/r/progr... ,) this submitter wonders has our shared "glorious Dice Corporate overloads" been shooting this story down?

Comment Re:And Apple (Score 3, Interesting) 189

Just picked up a Moto X to replace my aging Galaxy Nexus. I'm on Verizon, which makes me skeptical I'll see another Nexus phone anytime soon. I like the near-stock Moto X setup, and the little tweaks (active notifications, touchless control, etc) are pretty fun. It's a pretty great phone, and I hope it helps boost Motorola in the Android world. I do think they priced it too high (although I still bought it, so take that as you will..) but I highly recommend the phone to anyone who plays the occasional, not to graphic-intensive games, wants their phone to be quick and responsive, likes stock Android, etc. It's an awesome phone.

Comment Re:nanny-state government ruining our kids (Score 4, Insightful) 478

I'm not sure how that's the fault of a "nanny state government" rather than overprotective parents. Mind you, I agree that - on the whole - kids today are overly sheltered. (Ugh, as someone not even 30 it pains me to write 'kids today.') But as someone who works with middle and high school students, I also don't think the problem is as bad as it is made out to be. It's usually one parent out of ten or twenty who are truly the obnoxious ones. They're just loud enough, and insistent enough, to paint ALL parents as whiney and over-protective, and thus all youth as sheltered.

But there are still kids running through parks and cities, spending money on candy, and going to play at the skate park. You may just not be hanging out with them.

PS - I'm from a major city in the US, which shapes my view. It sounds like, from some of your language, that you're not from the US. I'd be curious how/if things differ elsewhere, but can only speak from my experience.

Comment Re:Of course not (Score 1) 470

I think you're honestly on the right track, but that the problem is pinning down how to carry out abstract ideals. We shouldn't ignore our differences, and (as I said in a previous post) a goal of exact and numerical gender equity in science or sports or video games or interior design is both futile and counterproductive. I suspect the desire for a 50/50 split comes out of gains in women's rights over the last century: as women's voices have been heard more and more in decision making processes, it seemed "natural" to try and go for a 50/50 split. But you're right, in many situations a 50/50 split isn't "natural." The problem is that a goal of anything other than 50/50 runs the risk of playing into cultural/institutional/social/etc sexism (or racism, or whatever bigotry is under discussion).

Now, just because it's difficult to figure out a proper gender split doesn't mean we shouldn't try. ("Proper" meaning "what would happen in the absence of cultural/institutional/social/etc sexism and false social pressures pushing people toward or away from certain activities.") I don't pretend do know how to do that, but making sure that there's equal representation in a decision making process - and honest discussions about how and why gender disparities happen - seems like a good start.

One more thing...

Recognizing differences and telling someone they aren't good enough are two completely different things.

This may be picking hairs, but I think recognizing differences and telling someone they aren't good enough are different things, and yet not completely different things. What I mean is that saying "men and women are different" has - historically - often led to "...and men are smarter and better." That's why I think many feminists - myself included - are skeptical of sentences beginning with "men and women are different." It's not because we pretend men and women are identical. (Well, some so-called feminists do, but I think they're wrong.) It's because we think men and women should be afforded the same opportunities. Noting differences is often (although certainly not always) a precursor to trying to enforce such differences, even when it's not warranted. I think that's why some people immediately try to squash any real and legitimate discussions of differences, and where the "everyone must be treated exactly the same" movement came from. That concept is in the right place, just with the wrong tactics.

Does that help explain why someone like VoidCrow might react so negatively to a claim that men and women are "just different?"

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