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Comment Mobile sites more secure than social apps (Score 4, Insightful) 155

Mobile sites tend to be far more secure for users than social apps (you can say "privacy" instead if you want, though many people don't understand the difference). Most social apps, like this one, want total ownership of your phone - and therefore they own you. They demand access to your microphone, camera, location, contact list, and everything else. Big Brother never got so much data. In contrast, the websites don't get access to all that stuff. Facebook doesn't pay me enough to completely give up all my privacy.

Comment But Internet is *NOT* generic (Score 2) 211

Tom Kent falsely claims that, "The argument for lowercasing Internet is that is has become wholly generic, like electricity and the telephone." Here's a thought experiment: I'll create a few disconnected networks, interconnect them, but *not* to the Internet. By definition, any set of interconnected networks is an internet (but not *the* Internet). Then I'll sell a service that lets people access my internet... which lacks Google, Wikipedia, and many other things. I bet he'll suddenly find that "the Internet" is *NOT* generic - it is a *specific* set of interconnected networks, which has a proper name. Governments still routinely create interconnected networks that use TCP/IP, but do *NOT* connect to the Internet - especially when security is critical. AP may be unaware of this, but it's still true. Upper/lower casing in the end isn't THAT critical. The REAL problem is that too many reporters do not understand what they're reporting about, nor do they check their sources to find out. The difference between "Internet" and "internet" have been documented for decades. Failure to understand, and failure to check sources, is the REAL problem here.

Comment How about... (Score 2) 62

I think a lot of Android users would like a phone that (1) gets security updates in a timely way, (2) has reasonably current features, (3) is generally trustworthy, and and (4) isn't force-loaded with lots of uninstallable crapware. Android is a nice OS, but a lot of the smartphone manufacturers seem to assume that users don't care about these things.

Comment Please post "% days safe to use the phone" (Score 1) 85

I think a great measure would be the percent (or number) of days in the year where there were no publicly-known unfixed vulnerabilities. Many phones still have Stagefright vulnerabilities - there were changes that fixed some Stagefright vulnerabilities, but NOT all of them, and thus the phones are still vulnerable.

Copyright Trolls Rightscorp Are Teetering On The Verge Of Bankruptcy ( 94

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: Rightscorp, the copyright trolls whose business model was convincing ISPs to freeze their customers' Internet access in response to unsubstantiated copyright accusations, and then ransom those connections back for $20 each, will be out of money by the end of this quarter. Despite a massive courtroom win against Cox Cable in 2015 (and a counterbalancing gigantic fine for its robocalls), the company couldn't win a technology cat-and-mouse game against its prey -- the wily file-sharers who switched to VPNs and other anonymizing technologies. For the moment, the company is teetering on the brink of financial collapse. It raised $500,000 on February 22, the company reported, but it needs another $1 million to stay afloat. It has only enough cash on hand to continue "into the second quarter of 2016," according to the company's latest financial report.

Comment Non-binding treaty? Wake me up later. (Score 2, Insightful) 138

Wake me up later when something important happens. The fine article says: "The non-binding treaty, approved in Paris in December after years of U.N. climate negotiations, aims to slow the rise of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, blamed for putting Earth on a dangerous warming path." A "non-binding treaty" doesn't actually do anything, other than create photo opportunities.

Comment Speed reading is awesome (Score 1) 207

Speed reading is awesome, but there's more than one speed. There's at least "speed with full comprehension", and "skimming to get the gist". I strongly recommend training yourself, overtime, to increase both speeds. You CAN'T do this all at once, but you can train your brain to recognize words more quickly. I used a training device so that I could recognize individual words more quickly, and that really helps you to read more quickly with full comprehension. Basically, as brain gets faster recognizing individual words, you'll naturally read faster with full comprehension. (You should also know how to sound out unfamiliar words, but familiar words should be recognzied quickly.) When you're skimming to get the gist, it's more about strategy - figuring out what parts of the text you need to read first (in most technical documents you read the abstract carefully, then skim the conclusions, then skim the introduction if looks like it might be useful.

I also recommend training listening speed. I listen to lots of podcasts, and I've slowly increased my listening speed by +10% over time. I can now listen to podcasts, with full comprehension, at 2x through 2.5x (depending on the original speed of the speakers).

Your brain can be trained to do things more quickly, but you have to train it. It's worth it.

Comment He has a point (Score 2) 82

I think he has a point. Most people (especially non-technical people) primarily only post and interact with others using sites owned by strangers (typically big companies). Just look at the URLs - is the domain is owned by someone other than the poster? If it is, then that other organization decides what you can do or not do. I've long owned my own domain, and I can post what I please on my webiste. If I want to move sites, I can just move hosting organization - the URLs come with me, because I own the domain. I don't think the problem is the existence of big companies at all - the problem is the difficulty of exiting. I don't mind others hosting my material as long as I can leave. If you can't practically leave, then you're no longer in control. Currently it's impractical always own the domain, but even in those cases, it's worth considering the exit cost. For example, git makes it *easier* to move to other hosting organizations (though by no means trivial).

Comment Re:Why stay? (Score 5, Insightful) 729

because you people made it illegal for teachers to live in your area

Strawman. No one made it illegal to be a teacher (or fireman or whatever), and no one made anyone take that job either. If it's too expensive to live in SF as a teacher or fireman, then teachers and firemen start to disappear. If they are important, then their local salaries will get raised until they stop disappearing. That's how economics works.

Now clearly this causes lots of undesirable dislocations. But the fundamental problem here, as far as I can tell, is that SF's government appears to have discouraged building new housing, and been depending on mechanisms like rent controls which have KNOWN serious problems. You can pretend economics doesn't matter, but it does, and it causes lots of easily predictable effects. The SF city government appears to have let a problem fester, with (again) predictable consequences. It is entirely appropriate to be sympathetic to the many people harmed by the SF government's bad policies. Yes, they need help, and I think they SHOULD get help. But part of that help needs to be acknowledging that ignoring economics doesn't work.

Comment No right to $500 rent in SF (Score 5, Insightful) 729

We're talking past each other; let me try again. No one is saying, "you may not live in SF". Anyone can live in SF, as long as you can pay for it. The problem is that SF housing costs more than many can afford. There's no human right to $500/month rents in SF. You may believe that it's good policy, and that's a different question. I suspect that SF has a long history of pretending that economics don't apply to its housing, based on the little I've read about it.

Comment Supply and demand (Score 1) 729

My heart goes out to those evicted, or fearing eviction. To my untrained eye, the problems seem like an obvious result of supply-and-demand. SF has limited land, hasn't built much in the way of housing for a long time, and is in high demand. Of course the housing prices will go way up. The only solutions are to make it less desirable (lower demand), or increase housing (increase supply). Here's an interesting article:

Other cities have done this, e.g., DC has aggressively added new units.

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