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Comment Re:Why should I care again? (Score 1) 108

Quoting parent so it will be seen by more Slashdotters, because I believe it's an important point of view.

"s 100% available to spend, immediately. Of course if it were to somehow bounce or be recalled,"

Then it's not liquid and your bank is just fucking you.

With modern computing, even taking the batch processing of banking transactions into account, there is zero reason why a bank account should ever be overdrawn. It's just fuckery from the banks to fuck with the poor people who spend their paycheque every month. It's fucking disgusting that we tolerate it as a community.

I've always wanted to start a political movement to decree that "a bank account" is now a basic necessity, like water, power, electricity, and to some extent, internet. As such, banks should be forced to offer a basic account entirely free of charge. What I consider reasonable would be free online access, free ATM use (own bank only), free over-the-counter withdrawals, no overdraft, no credit, no bullshit. Sounds good doesn't it. When banks are making huge profits, why the fuck can't we get this going?

I was thinking along similar lines just a few days ago when I was looking at my transaction record and noting how badly I was being hosed by totally spurious 'service fees'. Back when all of the tracking and calculation was done manually by paid employees, banks still paid interest on even a few dollars in a savings account. Now that the tracking is done by computers and costs WAY less than it did 50 years ago, the banksters are charging way MORE and aren't paying interest unless a customer maintains a fairly hefty minimum balance. A one-hundred-dollar balance can disappear in time, without any withdrawals, simply because of bullshit fees. The entire banking system is basically legalized theft - it's a scam, and we ought to be treating the perpetrators the same way we treat any other scammer, thief, or con artist.

Comment Re:Expected /. response (Score 1) 496

But in the end, I'd rather M$ have some details on my browsing habits than a competitor have a dump of my databases.

And isn't it just lovely being stuck between a rock and a hard place? And ain't it great that Microsoft gave you the choice between paying with money up front, and paying with privacy AND money down the road? Oh, wait... they didn't give you that choice, did they?

I get your point about visceral hate versus customer needs. OTOH, although favouring the kinder, gentler extortionist makes your and their lives easier, it still actively encourages extortion rackets.

Comment Re:Not news (Score 1) 496

...they had a plan to make a lot of money off Win 10 even if people upgraded for free (increased used of MS' services (bing, hotmail, their cloud service), data gathering, people buying from the Windows Store ...).

They had a plan to make a lot of money off of Win10 and its successors by forcing people to buy into software-as-a-service. Software that runs independently, without relying on an Internet connection, a paid-up subscription, and contact with the mothership, will soon be a thing of the past if MS has their way. Office 365 is just the thin edge of the wedge.

Comment Said before, but bears repeating (Score 4, Insightful) 188

Linux on Windows is part of Microsoft's 3-E strategy. If they can stunt the growth of Linux as an OS by co-opting Linux applications to run on Windows, they may eventually succeed in cutting the heart out of FOSS altogether. And they would LOVE to do that, because FOSS is one of the few significant forces standing between them and the conversion of the whole world to a software-as-a-service model, wherein the average user doesn't own shit and has fuck-all in the way of rights, choice, or legal recourse.

Anybody who has a choice shouldn't run Windows, and certainly shouldn't run Linux applications on Windows. And anybody who MUST run Windows, should also run Linux, and use Windows ONLY for those things that absolutely require it.

Submission + - Online Fraud Detection: Nobody seems to know what Rudy Giuliani's cybersecurity (

j0nes1k5trich writes: Rudy Giuliani has been tapped to "lend expertise" and to advise the Trump administration on cybersecurity.

The former New York mayor "will be sharing his expertise and insight as a trusted friend concerning private sector cybersecurity problems and emerging solutions developing in the private sector," said a brief statement from the incoming Trump administration.

But details about Giuliani's role were not immediately available.

Trump's pick of Giuliani for this position isn't all too surprising to security circles. It's widely known that he is the chief executive of his own private-sector cybersecurity venture, Giuliani Partners.

Giuliani spent much of his time consulting after leaving office as mayor of New York at the end of 2001. His venture claims to offer "a comprehensive range of security and crisis management services." His consulting firm has hired controversial staffers, and has worked for questionable clientele, reports have said.

Yet, even his cybersecurity venture's website, filled with clunky Flash components and "cyber" stock imagery throughout, doesn't advertise what it does.

For the past few months while Giuliani's name was floated for positions for the Republican's presidential campaign, we've tried to find out exactly what his company does, or can do better than any other security firm — to no avail. (If you have information relating to Giuliani's company, there are a number of ways to contact me securely. We want to know, and we think others do as well.)

Yet, the company has made millions of dollars in contracts with various organizations, including the 2016 Olympic Committee.

Giuliani was most recently a guest speaker at the BlackBerry Security Summit earlier this year — the day after his bizarre appearance at the Republican National Committee — to give an equally unhinged speech comparing cybercrime to cancer and hackers to the "Mafia."

The former phone maker BlackBerry just last week announced that Giuliani's company would "assess infrastructures, identify potential cyber security vulnerabilities, address gaps and secure endpoints with the goal of offering another channel to bring customers to a new standard of security."

So clearly the company is doing something right. Right?

It's not known what Giuliani can or will bring to the table. We've reached out to the presidential transition team for more and will update if we hear back.

But right now there are more questions than answers over Giuliani's involvement, given the lack of a clear and transparent directive on what his company does or how it (if at all) will benefit the transition team and the country.

Submission + - Google's New Compression Tool Uses 75% Less Bandwidth (

An anonymous reader writes: Google just released an image compression technology called RAISR (Rapid and Accurate Super Image Resolution) designed to save your precious data without sacrificing photo quality. Claiming to use up to 75 percent less bandwidth, RAISR analyzes both low and high-quality versions of the same image. Once analyzed, it learns what makes the larger version superior and simulates the differences on the smaller version. In essence, it’s using machine learning to create an Instagram-like filter to trick your eye into believing the lower-quality image is on par with its full-sized variant. Unfortunately for the majority of smartphone users, the tech only works on Google+ where Google claims to be upscaling over a billion images a week. If you don’t want to use Google+, you’ll just have to wait a little longer. Google plans to expand RAISR to more apps over the coming months. Hopefully that means Google Photos.

Submission + - Open Source Codec Encodes Voice Into Only 700 Bits Per Second (

Bruce Perens writes: David Rowe VK5DGR has been working on ultra-low-bandwidth digital voice codecs for years, and his latest quest has been to come up with a digital codec that would compete well with single-sideband modulation used by ham contesters to score the longest-distance communications using HF radio. A new codec records clear, but not hi-fi, voice in 700 bits per second, that's 88 bytes per second. Connected to an already-existing Open Source digital modem, it might beat SSB.

Obviously there are other uses for recording voice at ultra-low-bandwidth. Many smartphones could record your voice for your entire life using their existing storage. A single IP packet could carry 15 seconds of speech. Ultra-low-bandwidth codecs don't help conventional VoIP, though. The payload size for low-latency voice is only a few bytes, and the packet overhead will be at least 10 times that size.

Submission + - Trump's cyber-guru Giuliani runs ancient, utterly hackable website (

mask.of.sanity writes: US president-elect Donald Trump's freshly minted cyber tsar Rudy Giuliani runs a website so insecure that its content management system is five years out of date, unpatched and is utterly hackable. the website for Giuliani's eponymous infosec consultancy firm, runs Joomla! version 3.0, released in 2012, and since found to carry 15 separate vulnerabilities. More bugs and poor secure controls abound.

Submission + - Yahoo's billion user breach could represent the new norm in data security

isabellwiseman writes: Today, everything is online. The internet is where people go to book flights, go shopping, complete banking transactions, socialize, and so much more. It has provided a world of profound convenience and happiness for people. The only downside is that we’ve become too comfortable with uploading sensitive information which has created a field day for data theft and identity hackers. For instance, Yahoo announced in September 2016 that a massive hack on its network in 2014 saw 500 million of its user’s data breached. Yahoo then announced in December 2016 another breach of more than one billion user accounts that occurred in August 2013, separate and distinct from the previous hack. Source

Submission + - User Trust Fail: Google Chrome and the Tech Support Scams (

Lauren Weinstein writes: It’s not Google’s fault that these criminals exist. However, given Google’s excellent record at detection and blocking of malware, it is beyond puzzling why Google’s Chrome browser is so ineffective at blocking or even warning about these horrific tech support scams when they hit a user’s browser.

These scam pages should not require massive AI power for Google to target.

And critically, it’s difficult to understand why Chrome still permits most of these crooked pages to completely lock up the user’s browser — often making it impossible for the user to close the related tab or browser through any means that most users could reasonably be expected to know about.

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