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Verizon Is Rebranding Yahoo, AOL As 'Oath' ( 106

Nathan Ingraham reports via Engadget: Somewhere along the way, Verizon's planned purchase of Yahoo got real complicated. Thanks to security breaches of gargantuan proportions, Yahoo has lost a ton of value -- and the company was struggling even when Verizon announced its intentions to buy the former internet juggernaut. Part of the value lost is in the Yahoo brand, which Verizon apparently considers toxic at this point. To that end, Verizon is changing the name of the combined Yahoo and AOL company. Business Insider first reported that "Oath" will be the new name of the company (which would be the parent company of Engadget). Minutes after we published this story, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong confirmed the change in a tweet. Engadget also makes note of a Recode report, which indicates that current Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will not continue with the new company.

Comment Re:Is it apathy? Or helplessness? (Score 1) 308

You are absolutely correct. It falls within their job description. Perhaps I should have said "the problem is that they cannot be held accountable when they misuse those abilities."

Much as the whole idea of espionage leaves a sour taste in my mouth, I understand its necessity. But you're spot on in that the NSA got lazy, and they slipped the scope of their jurisdiction, and they were never brought to heel over it. Truth be told, there were a lot of politicians drooling over the potential that technology held, and were sad to see it brought to light – those same politicians we supposedly elected to protect and serve our interests. And no amount of waving the 'national security' flag will ever make this sort of mass surveillance in my – or anyone's – best interests.

Comment Re:Is it apathy? Or helplessness? (Score 2) 308

I appreciate the sentiment of this. I truly do.
Self-sustaining, anarchistic self-governance sounds fantastic.

As long as the whole world moves to it.

The problem with anarchy is (paradoxically) that governments are a necessary evil because other governments exist. The moment America descends into chaotic anarchy or ascends into a utopian anarchy, every other nation on earth will see it as weakness and attack. Russia will take out a century of cold war hostilities. China. Iran. ISIS. North Korea might even take a swing. And that's just with today's "villains."

And none of that even supposes the problems with anarchy in practicality. Anarchy only works so long as the table is level, so long as everyone holds equal force and equal voice. The moment two people group together to better get their way, it starts an arms race that leads us back to right where we're sitting. The moment one person finds enough leverage to overturn the vote on that road, or pays off enough people to pass the vote regardless, the system is broken again. Our current government is, for better or worse, the end result of an attempt to actualize a utopian anarchy. After all, wasn't America founded on the ideals of self-determination and freedom from power hungry tyrants?

The problem isn't government. The problem is people. Or rather, the problem is that the greed and corruption exist within people, and in fact cannot exist outside of people. Government is only corrupt because it is a product of people working together to achieve an end, and people are inherently corrupt.

And yes, the system is rigged, in ways far deeper and more pervasive than any Trump dreamed up during the campaign. And yes, voting doesn't meaningfully change anything above the local level, if even there. And this is, I think, where the hopelessness stems from: people know that it's broken, but the monumental task of fixing it will likely topple our government rather than reform it, and that will likely get us killed before we could recover from it. For the survival of the average American citizen, a broken system is better than no system at all. Because of the enemies we have made (or nations who have decided we are enemies regardless of our actions)...a coup or a revolution would mean war on our soil. People are beginning to realize that fixing our government means the deaths of millions, and not from a civil war.

Comment Is it apathy? Or helplessness? (Score 5, Insightful) 308

What are we supposed to do about it?

The real issue isn't the fact that the CIA/NSA/ [insert bureau here] can do these things. The issue is that they can't be held accountable for it.

We saw this in the financial crash of '08 (albeit in the private sector) as well: no one who is actually responsible for these things will ever see jail time. This won't end anyone's career. There's just not much the American people can do about it, and I think there's a sense among the general populace that they know this, even if only on a subconscious level. It's not apathy. It's a helpless resignation.

Comment Re:Pretty Dang Exciting (Score 1) 87

If they remove the headphone jack, it's solely for market lock-in reasons. Same as on the iPhone.

If, as you mentioned, we can already achieve wireless audio through third-parties, then how does the removal of a jack signify or aid "market lock-in"? I'm not beholden to apple to buy their headphones. Bluetooth is bluetooth. I'm not sure I see how we're being locked in to anything here. I could switch from my apple phone to my android phone with no issue. A proprietary plug, I could understand as lock-in (although I do like the "non 4-dimensional" qualities of the lightning adapter).

I do agree that the modern office space is not necessarily prepared for people to do meetings with no audio jack option. I will say, people thought Apple was crazy when they dumped the CD/DVD drive as well, but I can't say I've missed mine yet. I'm not sure I would call it "bravery", but I might call it "an unwillingness to allow the status quo to prevent our vision of progress", which sounds much more like Apple.

Comment Re:Please don't (Score 1) 566

Airport? Conference? eduroam?

Honestly, how often is wired internet even available in these situations? Do you want to wait in line for a booth with wired internet at every airport and con and conference and ted talk? Should we be adding an RJ45 in the back of every convention hall chair? The logistics you're describing are untenable, especially in light of wifi's existence. The beauty of wifi is that many people can connect from a single point, without being tethered to a cord. That freedom is worth the latency for all but some of the most critical tasks. These are the problems wifi was invented to solve. It sounds like you're wanting to return us all to 1999.

Am I missing something in your post? Because based on your complaints it sounds like we'd be better off if we could solve some of wifi's issues, instead.

Submission + - C Code On GitHub Has the Most 'Ugly Hacks' (

itwbennett writes: An analysis of GitHub data shows that C developers are creating the most ugly hacks — or are at least the most willing to admit to it. To answer the question of which programming language produces the most ugly hacks, ITworld's Phil Johnson first used the search feature on GitHub, looking for code files that contained the string 'ugly hack'. In that case, C comes up first by a wide margin, with over 181,000 code files containing that string. The rest of the top ten languages were PHP (79k files), JavaScript (38k), C++ (22k), Python (19k), Text (11k), Makefile (11k), HTML, (10k), Java (7k), and Perl (4k). Even when controlling for the number of repositories, C wins the ugly-hack-athon by a landslide, Johnson found.

Submission + - caught sharing DNA database with government (

SonicSpike writes: In 1996, a young woman named Angie Dodge was murdered in her apartment in a small town in Idaho. Although the police collected DNA from semen left at the crime scene, they haven’t been able to match the DNA to existing profiles in any criminal database, and the murder has never been solved.

Fast forward to 2014. The Idaho police sent the semen sample to a private lab to extract a DNA profile that included YSTR and mtDNA—the two genetic markers used to determine patrilineal and matrilineal relationships (it’s unclear why they reopened the case after nearly 20 years). These markers would allow investigators to search some existing databases to try to find a match between the sample and genetic relatives.

The cops chose to use a lab linked to a private collection of genetic genealogical data called the Sorenson Database (now owned by, which claims it’s “the foremost collection of genetic genealogy data in the world.” The reason the Sorenson Database can make such an audacious claim is because it has obtained its more than 100,000 DNA samples and documented multi-generational family histories from “volunteers in more than 100 countries around the world.”

Sorenson promised volunteers their genetic data would only be used for “genealogical services, including the determination of family migration patterns and geographic origins” and would not be shared outside Sorenson.

Despite this promise, Sorenson shared its vast collection of data with the Idaho police. Without a warrant or court order, investigators asked the lab to run the crime scene DNA against Sorenson’s private genealogical DNA database. Sorenson found 41 potential familial matches, one of which matched on 34 out of 35 alleles—a very close match that would generally indicate a close familial relationship. The cops then asked, not only for the “protected” name associated with that profile, but also for all “all information including full names, date of births, date and other information pertaining to the original donor to the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy project.”

Submission + - SPAM: The 10 places in the world that wants to hide from Google

group786cool writes: You can see any place all around the world with the help of on Google Earth map. Everyone can see the pictures and maps of earth. Actually any map which we see with help of Google map are made from space-satellites and that’s why we can see whole world map on our computer screen or Mobile.
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