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Comment The "problem" of carrying cash (Score 1) 285

To put things in perspective: The problem "It is bothersome to carry all the cash I have" has to be the ultimate first world problem. Seriously! Control question: Can you name one single first world problem that is more ultimate than this?

And secondly, an economic system which allows for a government to spy on every single transaction will be an enormous gift to totalitarian regimes. We as people living in fairly free countries have a responsibility to keep cash as a fully functional alternative and not export such gift to governments violating human rights and persecuting dissidents. Regardless of the lack of "modern" feel to it, the (minor) cost of doing this, or any other reason.

Comment Also phone service was fucking expensive (Score 1) 202

Back in the day phone lines were so much, you didn't get to have your own phone line. You had a "party line". What's that? That's where everyone in your area as the same phone line. One line, multiple houses. It would ring a different number of times to tell you who the call was for, and if you wanted to call out and someone else was using the line you had to wait. Also this meant everyone could listen in on your calls, of course. However, that was the only way phone was affordable for most people. That's not to mention the cost of long distance, which in the old days was anything off your local exchange.

And for all the bitching about Internet service, it does keep getting better, by a lot. When I first got connected to the 'net 14.4kbps was all I could get. Faster modems were out at the time, but that's all my ISP supported. As time has gone on, I've got a steady and fairly regular set of speed increases until now I have a 300mbit connection. About 21,000 times speed increase in around 21 years. Not too bad, overall. Price is in the same ballpark too. Currently I pay $100/month for that connection. Back in the day it was $20/month for Internet and about $25/month for a second phone line, I can't remember precisely. So about $70/month in today's dollars. For that price I'd have to step down to 150mbit Internet, if we wanted to keep all things far. Still 10,000x faster. Not really that bad for a couple decades, particularly compared to a lot of other, more mature technologies. My electric service sure isn't 10,000x as good as it was in the 90s.

So ya, fiber and gig or 10gig Internet hasn't come to everywhere yet. So what? It is getting rolled out, perhaps not as fast as we geeks would like, but it is still happening, and tech improvements are increasing bandwidth on copper formats as well. What we have now works well for most people, and the improvements we've seen are not insignificant.

Comment Contact the ISPs in your area (Score 1) 202

You can get fiber, if you are actually willing to pay. You just aren't willing to pay for it.

What I mean is they'll sell you a fiber connection, as fast as you'd like, but you'll have to pay the full costs. You pay what it takes to have the line run and installed, and then you pay the full rate for an unmetered dedicated connection and they'll do it. Real enterprise class service with a nice SLA and all that. Thing is, that is going to run 5 figured (maybe 6) on the install and 4 figures or more for the monthly. That's what it really costs, that's what actually running dedicated fiber costs and what dedicated bandwidth costs.

What you want is CHEAP fiber. You want them to roll out a PON network on their dollar, and then sell you can your neighbours access to share that bandwidth for a low price. That's fine to want, but demanding it as if they owe you is unreasonable. Particularly since for something like that to be economically feasible everyone needs to be willing to pay, not just you. If it is a shared network, with the costs not being paid upfront, then a bunch of people need to pay, and need to do so for a fair bit of time.

If you look in to it, you'll find more than a few people that have no fucks to give about fast Internet. any modern service is "fast enough" for them. You can't convince them to spend on higher speed connections. My parents are like that. They have 12mbit cable. They can buy at least 100mbit where they live, maybe more (I haven't checked lately). They just won't. They are happy with what they have. They've used faster Internet, when they visit me they get to use mine which is 300mbit, but they don't care. To them what they have is good enough and they would rather spend the money on other things.

So if you are really willing to pay, and I mean pay the actual installation, operation, and bandwidth costs for dedicated fiber line, you can have that. However if you aren't willing to, and I can't blame you if you aren't, you can't then demand that they should give you stuff for cheap.

Comment That last bit is the real trick (Score 1) 202

We are pretty good these days about keeping track of shit. Probably not as good as we should be, but still pretty good. However we have LOTS of old infrastructure. The documentation can be bad or non-existent. There's not an easy way to deal with, unfortunately, since it isn't like we can just open up an access panel and have a look at what's there. It'll continue to be a problem for a long time, perhaps forever.

Comment That's not what they did though. (Score 1) 430

They went in and searched everyone's phones. Unless there's an important detail we aren't being told here, that's unconstitutional. The 4th amendment says "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The important part there is "particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." That is in there specifically to ban general search warrants. The idea is the police can't go to a judge and say "We think there is something illegal in a house somewhere in this 500 home neighbourhood, we'd like a warrant to search the houses," and the judge issues them a blanket warrant allowing them to search any home there, and look through anything in said home. That isn't allowed. They have to say specifically where it is they want to search, and what it is they are looking for, and also why they have probable cause to believe that what they are looking for is there.

If you read the article they say right at the bottom "I think it's very questionable whether the 4th Amendment" -- which protects citizens against unreasonable search and seizure -- "allows such an open-ended extension of the search warrant."

Comment 5th amendment and it would seem so yes (Score 3, Informative) 430

It isn't 100% clear, there is no cut and dried supreme court ruling and there have been some conflicting lower court rulings but in general the opinion of the courts seems to be that you can't be forced to hand over a password/code/etc because that is something in your head, which falls under 5th amendment protections against self incrimination.

The 4th amendment is what would be used to challenge a broad search warrant like was issued in this case. Without knowing the specifics I can't say for sure but this sounds like it would be an illegal search since it was a general warrant and that isn't allowed. The police aren't (supposed to be) able to get a warrant to just search anyone or anything in a given place, they have to be specific. This doesn't sound like it was, and so would probably be a 4th amendment violation.

Comment Skyrim is a 2011 game though (Score 1) 269

I mean nothing wrong with having it on the platform, but it isn't exactly the pinnacle of modern tech. It was released in 2011, and the console versions were designed to target systems with 512MB of RAM (unified for the 360, 256/256 system/GPU for the PS3) at 1280x720@30fps. That was fairly low spec then, since the consoles were old (remember Oblivion released in 2006 as one of the first flight titles on the Xbox 360) and is really low spec now. It wouldn't at all surprise me if my Shield Tablet could handle it easily. It has more RAM, and its GPU seems to be at least as powerful as the 360/PS3 era stuff.

So while there's nothing wrong with Nintendo getting games like this, it isn't really some major win, or proof of a high spec system. We saw the same kind of thing happen with the Wii U where it got games that previously the Wii hadn't because of a lack of power.

The issue in the long run is that being too low spec can exclude games from being released on your platform. While people like to claim "graphics don't matter" they do and they sell games. That aside, there are a lot of things you could want to put in a game that will require more memory, more CPU, more GPU and so on. Developers aren't always going to be interested in either compromising on what they want to make, or producing a cut-down version to target the lower spec hardware.

Comment Ahh yes, the most accurate source of infomration (Score 1) 315

The AC who posts doomsday scenarios with absolutely no sources :P.

Seriously man, if you think this crap you are peddling is real, then some sources please. If not then fuck off.

I'd imagine the reason you don't is because, of course, the real story is far less dramatic than you make it out to be. NatWest is closing RT's account why is not known, as they haven't said. There is no "at the behest of the US" reported anywhere. They also aren't doing anything dodgy like seizing funds, they've notified RT "We don't want to do business with you anymore," and they will close the account down next month.

Here's a source, since you can't be bothered: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-...

Comment It does feel that way (Score 1) 315

Particularly with the "state actor" thing. I mean there is no reason to use that language I can think of other than to insinuate it was the US (or maybe UK) that did it. Yes, it is correct, that Ecuador is a "state actor" but if you knew it was them, well the just say so up front. If my ISP cut off my Internet access I would say "Cox cut off my Internet," not "A corporate actor cut off my Internet," even though both are true.

Now if they didn't know who cut it off, fair enough, but then saying a state actor did it would be again misleading, implying knowledge they didn't have. Then it would have been accurate to say "Assanage's Internet was cut off by an unknown party."

To me it seems like just another way to try and drum up more attention, which is all these leaks have been so far.

As I said in my other post, the leaks have been exceedingly "meh" for anyone who's looked at Clinton with anything even approaching a critical eye in the past. I can't see them changing anyone's mind. Die hard Clinton supporters will ignore them, claim they are made up, or claim they don't matter. Die hard Trump supporters will scream and shout about how evil Clinton is... just like they have been since day one, they have convinced themselves she's done much worse. All the rest like the Bernie supporters will just say "Ya, we knew all that shit, that's why we wanted Sanders. What a crap election. Oh well, better her than Trump."

Plus if they had anything major they'd really better reveal it now-ish. Early voting is already happening in many states.

Comment You can buy them for like $20 (Score 2) 204

And they'll dump the data out as keyboard output, if you like. We used to use them at the university I work at to do pay for printing. You'd swipe your student ID which would feed the info to the print program that could then contact the card office database and look up your account. Same idea as a credit card terminal, but just for printing (Pharos, if you are wondering).

We also used them just to let students register for events. When they'd come to an open house they'd sign in, which in the past meant writing their name and e-mail on a sheet, which got entered manually later. Now instead they could just swipe their student ID and the data dumped in to a text file. That could later be fed in to the student information database to get an e-mail address (the whole point of signing in was because you wanted your e-mail on the list for contact with job recruiters). Made it much easier for the students.

The actual data on the card was nothing more than your name and the card number (both printed on the front) and a checksum to validate. Credit cards tend to be the same, just name and number matching what is embossed on the card, plus checksum. There's no security or special hidden information, mag stripes were developed WAAAAY back in the day and it just stores identifying information. Hence the push to move to chip cards.

If the purpose was just to verify that the information on the mag stripe matched the information on the card, one would need little more than the reader hardware and text editor of your choice.

Comment Doesn't really matter how she comes off (Score 4, Insightful) 315

The real thing is so far, I haven't seen anything I didn't already know. I mean maybe some of the "bombshell" revelations are news to some people, but not to anybody who has followed Clinton for any amount of time. She's cozy with Wall St.? Oh so fucking shit, tell us something we didn't already know :P.

Perhaps I've just missed it (I haven't gone and read everything, I've been relying on synopses provided by others) but I've seen nothing that would change my opinion, nor would I think anyone else's. Everything "revealed" was already known: She's cozy with big business, favours free trade, had the Democratic establishment behind her, etc. All the reasons why I would much prefer that Sanders was the Democratic candidate.

However, none of it makes me think any better of Trump. Like Senator Sanders himself, I can be pragmatic about what happened.

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 313

Yep, basically the only way I can see it working would be with automated group sharding. Probably not even AI needed, just a system that learn your preferences based on others who behave similar with blocking to you and would allow social predictive blocking.

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 313

It's barely profitable and the user base has stagnated. Essentially, it's just 'still around' rather than a big thing. And worse, it doesn't seem to have any idea about how to resolve the issues.

Frankly, I don't think it can and remain 'twitter'. I don't think the particular communication pattern that twitter supports is sustainable; it's essentially built to guarantee a devolution of conversation into the worst human communication forms, flamewars, bullying, etc.

Comment Precisely (Score 3, Insightful) 394

The issue is NOT language, that's something that Trump's PR people have been trying to spin it as, and you are eating that spin if you believe it. The issue is what he's saying: That he commits sexual assault because he's a star, because he can. THAT'S the deal. The terminology he used isn't the issue, it is what he's claiming he's done.

Trevor Noah put it pretty well: https://youtu.be/LiPjWUn-PUo?t...

Anyone who thinks this is just "normal guy talk" needs to reevaluate who the fuck they hang out with. None of my friends have ever said anything like this. We've said vulgar things to each other, we've talked about sex, but none of us have ever said we have forced ourselves on a woman without consent. If your friends talk about doing shit like this, no matter if the language they use to describe it is crass or refined, you need better friends.

Comment So far there has been nothing interesting (Score 1) 394

At least nothing interesting to people who have looked at Clinton's past at all. She's cozy with Wall St. Well no fucking shit. Nobody except for everyone knew that one :P

I've been very underwhelmed with the leaks given the "bombshell" claims about them. It's all shit that was already known about her, or shit that is totally unsurprising about any politician. I can't see it changing anyone's mind.

Now maybe I've missed something juicy or there's something major yet to come, but if there's a big thing they think will change shit, they'd better release it soon since the election is very near. A non-trivial number of people have already voted by mail, or will in the next few days.

It seems like Wikileaks didn't really find anything great in the e-mails, and so instead is playing a PR game with them, since they don't, in fact, have a bombshell that'll have any effect on the election.

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