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Comment Re:The plural of anecdote is data? (Score 1) 480

Yeah, but they didn't "gather enough data to draw broad conclusions." They didn't gather enough data to draw any conclusions at all. That didn't stop them from drawing conclusions and publishing them.

Just as an example, suppose that marking your package "Fragile" actually results in better handling on average. Telling people the opposite of that is not just publishing entertaining stories, it's doing actual harm.

Yes, I read the article. But many people won't, so putting that crap in the summary without any caveats isn't much better than just making stuff up. Slashdot is supposed to be "stuff that matters."

Comment Re:Why the hate.... (Score 1) 186

You're entitled to your opinions, but your factual assertions about Telnet and SMTP are just plain wrong. The closest thing to "several RFC patches" is the simple statement in RFC 1123 that "A host MUST carefully follow the rules of RFC-854 to avoid option-negotiation loops." In other words, if you don't follow the protocol, then the not-the-actual-protocol that you are using may not work right. And other commenters have already pointed out that SMTP poses no restrictions on the text of a message body, although some implementations change the message body when delivering to a mailbox.

FTP uses two connections partly because it was designed to allow a third party to initiate a transfer. Whether that's a reasonable requirement is a matter of opinion, but there's no way to meet that requirement without separating the control and data channels. FTP was designed, for better or for worse, with interactive use in mind. And a truly ancient hacker would know that some of the operating systems where ASCII and binary modes actually make a difference don't support the distinction in the filesystem, so putting that requirement in the protocol would simply make it impossible to implement for those OSes (which were common and important at that time).

Comment Re:Wrong about US' DMCA (Score 1) 258

Are you a lawyer? Neither am I, but your "plain reading" is not what I see in the words you quoted. Your interpretation seems to be, if a "technological measure" (some DRM system) is ever used on any non-copyrighted work, then it suddenly loses its special status as a technological measure protecting a copyrighted work, and anyone can circumvent it with impunity.

The straight-forward reading is that any technological measure that is ever used to protect any copyrighted work acquires the special status that makes it illegal to circumvent it, regardless of the whether the circumvention is to enable a legal use.

The fact that a DRM system was once used on something that didn't have copyright protection wouldn't have any more bearing on its coverage by DMCA than, say, the fact that I'm breaking the DRM for a legal purpose such as fair use. But lawyers seem to agree that the DMCA makes it illegal to break DRM for legal uses. So, I'd go with the assumption that the DMCA was written by clever lawyers who did not leave a huge hole in it which has not been spotted by other clever lawyers.

Comment News flash: summary makes stuff up! (Score 1) 278

I like this line..."Bronfman contended that this revenue comes nowhere near what they need in compensation for each individual's enjoyment of each work" - it's a complete summary of the way the labels are thinking.

It might be that, but it's also a complete fabrication. Here's what TFA actually said:

Free streaming services still pay royalties for each song played, usually supported by ads. But Bronfman contends that those royalties are far less than what Warner earns on download sales or from its cut of a monthly subscription.

Kind of different, no? In particular, the one that isn't made up says nothing about "needing" compensation for "enjoyment," it just says they make more money doing it this way than doing it that way. But that just makes them sound like good businessmen rather than social parasites. That won't do at all.

Comment Re:Yes Virginia, there is such a thing as lost sal (Score 1) 144

Are you intentionally dense or is english not your first, second or third language?

Are you intentionally dense or do you fail to understand the difference between nouns and verbs in English?

I do insist to not call them "costs"

Cost (transitive verb): cause the loss of

As in, "Responding to your nonsense cost me more time than it was worth."

Comment Article can't decide which fear it is mongering (Score 1) 276

I'm not sure what point TFA (the Fox article) is trying to make, but it jumps all over the map and pretty much throws everything at the wall to see what sticks. For example, "making sure everyone carries an RFID tag linked to a biometric data file" is certainly scary sounding, but what does the biometric data have to do with tracking people's locations?

And if RFID tags are easily copied, isn't that a good thing? It will discourage attempts to use them for surveillance.

The comparison of RFID tags and Social Security numbers is entertaining, but the risk with SSNs is largely because they are treated as if they are secret when they are not. (Okay, they've also been overused as a primary key because too many public and private organizations were too lazy to generate their own unique ids, which does make it easier to aggregate information *once you have access to it*.)

The article refers to "Paget's cloning experiment." But it doesn't actually say that any cloning was involved, only reading at a distance. Is cloning as easy as reading? I don't know, and neither does the article's author, I would guess.

Comment Re:I don't get... (Score 1) 112

I don't understand why magazine publishers think that we need to pay for their content twice. I mean, I'm already paying for their content via the magazine subscription fee so why should I even have ads? Either get rid of the subscription fees or get rid of the ads. This is like paying for a "premium" website only to get hit by pop ups on every page. I mean, I could even understand an ad or two at the start and after the end of an article, but why do they think they need to have pages of ads for every issue when I'm already paying for their content?

Comment Article is somewhat inventive (Score 5, Insightful) 62

That part about "mostly college students" comes from the interviewer, not from Google:

JP: So are these raters college students or random folks responding to a job post? What are the requirements?

SH: It's a pretty wide range of folks. The job requirements are not super-specific. Essentially, we require a basic level of education, mainly because we need them to be able to communicate back and forth with us, give us comments and things like that in writing.

Funny how the introduction restates the interviewer's preconception even though the actual interview implies otherwise.

Wireless Networking

Submission + - Duke wireless problem due to Cisco, not iPhone (

jpallas writes: Contrary to a previous story, it now turns out that the widely reported problems with Duke University's wireless network were not caused by Apple's iPhone. The problem was actually with their Cisco network. Duke's Chief Information Officer praises the work of their technical staff. Does that include the assistant director for communications infrastructure who was quoted as saying, "I don't believe it's a Cisco problem in any way, shape, or form?"

Submission + - CEO used pseudonym to post on stock bboard (

jpallas writes: The Wall Street Journal reports that court filings by the FTC about Whole Foods' plan to acquire Wild Oats reveal an unusual detail: The CEO of Whole Foods regularly posted to a Yahoo! stock bulletin board under a pseudonym. His alter ego was feisty, to say the least, and regularly disparaged the company that he later decided to acquire. A former SEC chairman called the behavior "bizarre and ill-advised, even if it isn't illegal." This certainly raises questions about online rights to free speech and anonymity, especially when the line between free speech and regulated speech depends on who is speaking as much as what they are saying.

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