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Comment Re:WTF? (Score 2) 651

If they want to vet someone's social media presence, they can already subpoena these predominantly American companies and get this information. But what about someone who has no social media presence at all?

The feds have been trending in this general direction for years now, with suspensions of constitutional rights at border crossings that started back under Bush and Obama. Unfortunately the new administration is even less respectful of the rule of law.

You're absolutely right that officials can with this information alter the information about a person online and plant evidence and sow falsehoods (ahem alternative facts) about someone that, perhaps who an official or high-level figure does not like. And since not every person who works for these departments is strictly honest, this is going to happen. Period. Even if it's not some larger conspiracy.

Seems like the administration either has not considered this, or simply does not care. Either possibility is downright scary.

Comment Re:BS detector went off and is overheating (Score 5, Insightful) 309

Too funny. If you knew anything about the Numberphile channel, you'd know these are real mathematicians, not some BS. It's really just a math-related brain teaser. I really enjoy their videos. Even if you're not into math, they are sufficiently nerdy that I think many slashdotters would appreciate them. In fact a couple videos ago they had an interview with Ronald Rivest who was one of the inventors of RSA encryption. He's a down-to-earth, articulate person. He mentiones how he invented the MD5 hash which was later shown to be flawed.

Anyway, yes it turns out with just log, square root, and multiplication, you can assemble any whole number between 0 and infinity with just four fours. Fairly useless, but a neat puzzle.

Comment Re:Context please (Score 1) 163

The chrome (in the mozilla sense of the word) add-on system is different from the NSAPI system. Add-on extensions are programmed in Javascript and can be seen by going to about:addons

Right now the only NSAPI plugins listed are the flash plugin, the Java plugin, and a plugin from Rhythmbox that is supposed to handle itunes urls or something. None of these things I use, and all of them are disabled in my browser using the QuickJava add-on. You can see your plugins by going to the url about:plugins

Comment Re:Expand the H-1B beyond the Tech Industry . . . (Score 4, Insightful) 476

If you were a college-educated, white, unemployed Canadian, just laid off from a corporate job, are you even willing to pick pumpkins, sort potatoes, pick strawberries, or hand-weed fields (yes we do hand weed 130 acres at a time sometimes), for any wage, even with room and board? From what I've seen first-hand, the answer is no, generally. Hence TFWs, which provide a backbone of support for many agricultural industries. It's not simply a matter of wage disparity. Though it helps dramatically that Mexican laborers can make their hourly wage for half the year(not sure what it is these days... I'm not in that business) that Canadians would never be able to, and take that money back to their families and support them in Mexico where the cost of living is lower. Whether this disparity is fair or not, it's a fact of our modern global economy, and in fact our economies depend on this disparity continuing.

Education is extremely important in this day and age, but we've done ourselves all a disfavor by disparaging manual labor. Get good grades so you don't have to dig ditches, young man! Of course we need ditches dug still. As well we've bought into this idea of exponential economic growth.

Anyway I'm not saying your wrong. Just that things are much more nuanced than you seem to think.

Comment Ultimate hardware dongle for killing hacintosh (Score 2) 267

Sounds like a great way to lock OS X, or macOS or whatever they call it these days, solidly back to Apple hardware and preclude any possibility of running on stock x86 hardware. Though there's less and less reason to run a hacintosh all the time (it was always a maintenance nightmare). Though virtualization might be a way of getting around that. I've often thought Apple should sell a complete OS X (excuse me, macOS) vm for Windows users as it would provide an easy way to woo users to the platform. However the VM on your average Windows machine would probably outperform the Mac Pro, given Apple's commitment to high end users these days.

Comment Re:Owning vs Renting (Score 3, Interesting) 353

Yes OO and LO are definitely viable replacements for Office for many people. And I can believe they are making inroads, particularly in small businesses. But I have not seen any evidence that alternatives are making a dent in the overall Office hegemony, despite your anecdote. Sorry. Large organizations still use Office and Exchange for a lot of things. MS Office is going to be with us in its various forms for a long time, I'm afraid. In many large organizations it's just part of the annual MS site license that they pay the big bucks for.

Comment Re:Owning vs Renting (Score 3, Insightful) 353

To put it politely, it's wishful thinking to claim that Office competitors like iWork, LibreOffice, and Google Docs have significantly impacted MS Office's market share. Office has not gone from 100% share to 1.8% share in any real sense. Perpetual licenses for MS Office are still available and, I presume, selling well, particularly in the 99% of the market that is the business world.

What they have shown is that of the home user crowd, the relatively small number of users outside the business world, users are apparently unwilling to pay the subscription model, perhaps given the alternatives like Google Docs of LibreOffice. Or pirated copies. Or even 10 year old licenses of Office.

But make no mistake. The MS Office hegemony is still strong and is still making MS a lot of money. And if you think about it, corporate licensing is already a de facto subscription. So it's not like they are not making money hand over fist still.

Comment Re:Missing features (Score 1) 489

Actually the lack of "progress" in automobiles is partly a result of heavy safety regulation. There are lots of ideas for changing things that would probably be more usable than the current system, but they are not likely to be brought to market anytime soon due to these safety regulations. I remember seeing years ago about a design to use side sticks to control a car and they found they were quite a natural and more precise method of controlling the car. However it's unlikely the benefit outweighed the risks to clueless drivers.

Current laws include the placement of the pedals and the placement of gear positions on an automatic transmission shift lever. PRNDL is a matter of law, in case you wondered.

Comment Re:64 bit x86 (Score 1) 164

Okay I'll bite. How does MS emulate 32-bit x86 on 64-bit machines? I've got 64-bit Windows 10 on a couple of machines. I've not seen any evidence that these are 32-bit machines in disguise. Many apps out there are still 32-bit, probably for compatibility (32-bit is still supported as a platform), but many are 64-bit native. Are you telling me the software installed in Program Files--as opposed to Program Files (x86)--are all 32-bit?

Comment Re:But can it run Linux?! (Score 1) 202

Wine currently depends on certain Linux kernel features to load the COFF binaries that the WSL may or may not have emulated yet. But there's no technical reason Wine couldn't run under the WSL as Wine is a userpace program that doesn't require drivers or ring-0 instructions.

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