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Comment Don't shoot the messenger (Score 5, Insightful) 514

I am an Indian (asian) and work in SF and have worked in a few big tech companies down in the valley. I understand that people like Jesse Jackson spew a lot of rhetoric for their own cause not necessarily for upliftment of the people he supposedly represents. And, I also understand, the solution isn't as easy as making tech companies have some sort of affirmative action - if there aren't enough black people with basic tech skills or college degrees then affirmative action isn't going to help. All that said, it is bizarre - in all the places I have worked including the current, there isn't a single black person on the entire floor. And, think, places like Oakland are just right across the Bay here but so few black people on the tech workforce. It speaks volumes about the failed social integration of black people in this nation - and it has failed at so many levels - from basic primary education, healthcare, law enforcement to higher education and outright discrimination. It doesn't matter who's to blame for it, really because at end of the day, you have a population that isn't as functional as the rest and we should be fixing that. Instead, we have these arguments where people don't even seem to recognize the problem.

Comment Straw on the camel's back (Score 4, Insightful) 249

Being a Linux geek since '95 (and somewhat of annoyed-by-all-things-apple person), I bought an Android phone ever since they became available commercially. Did that for five years, ran custom roms and put in an Android patch to maintain a permissions firewall. It was one big PITA from a usability point of view. One day, I saw my banking app looking at my call log and that broke the camel's back, for me. I realized Google simply isn't interested in protecting my privacy. The whole you-can-see-what-perms-app-is-asking-for-before-install is a smokescreen. It doesn't scale. Pushing security problems to the user won't work for 99% of the userbase. Hell, it didn't even work reliably for a Linux nerd like me. By contrast, Apple only exposes a handful of data/attributes to ANY app. An iOS app can't look at or even ask look at my SMS, call log and practically most of the stuff - now, that is a sandbox. Also, from a business point of view, Apple makes money by selling me a phone so yes, they have some incentive above that to milk me for analytics but they aren't Google, who don't make much money when I buy an Android phone. For Google, I am the product. So, I switched to iOS (phones and tablets) and actually since then have switched from Gmail to Fastmail, Picasa to SmugMug. With these switches, my privacy is better protected and even usability is better (Picasa, for me, died when Google started shoving G+ Photos down everyone's throats).

Comment Push ads are dying, if not dead (Score 4, Interesting) 203

The whole ad industry and it's suppliers (Google, FB etc) are run by marketers. The fundamental theory that drives marketing is that the more you advertise, the better you sell (up to a point of marginal returns). No one has seriously looked at this approach to marketing in a long time. The result is that the billions spent on TV/Radio/Newspaper are moving to online advertising. While online advertising offers improved feedback, it basically is push advertising - shoving something in front of you in the hope that you will bite. Well, think for yourself, does that work for you? I, mostly, am supremely annoyed by push ads and I think the age of push ads will quickly die. In the future, marketers will have to engage more personally with buyers and require more humans to interact with buyers to form some sort of trust. The age of holding (and hiding behind) a big megaphone and blasting your message will quickly come to an end.

Comment This is news? (Score 2) 161

Everything, from serious works of Plato to satire like "Yes, Prime Minister" mention how fear mongering is used to prop up power.

Bernard Shaw wrote "Of government, ‘that foolish gaggle shop’, he says: you will do what pays us. You will make war when it suits us, and keep peace when it doesn’t. You will find out that trade requires certain measures when we have decided on those measures. When I want anything to keep my dividends up, you will discover that my want is a national need. When other people want something to keep my dividends down, you will call out the police and military. And in return you shall have the support and applause of my newspapers, and the delight of imagining that you are a great statesman"

Comment There isn't a problem at all (Score 1) 195

Only slashdot visitors get all worked up about privacy invasions. As far as I can tell, the rest of the world is pretty happy openly letting everyone know of their social, economic, emotional, physical, geographic or mental status. People want to share all this information. We get a kick out of it. Remember that thing about humans - Humans are social animals. Somehow, we want humans to unlearn their biological craving to share information and close themselves in? Good luck!

Comment Rogue Apps (Score 2) 172

Remember, double encrypting rogue apps in AES does not make them good. The traditional approach towards security doesn't work very well in the mobile world especially Android. You have to not only do the regular things like encrypt but have a strict login such that they cannot run any app other than authorized. Not even the HTML5 stuff because it doesn't matter how locked down the phone is - once you allow an app on the phone that can access the data, it is game over.

Comment Re:Old Pot/Kettle drama (Score 2, Interesting) 337

So anyone holding a government job, working on a government project or deemed a person of public trust is required to go through a FBI background check, except the political masters at the very top. Boy! that sure makes sense to me :-D Because we all know the masters at the top are beyond blackmail and corruption! Right.

Comment Old Pot/Kettle drama (Score 5, Insightful) 337

Wondering if the FBI does background checks on Senate, Congress and Presidential candidates? Pretty sure 99.9% would have the same issues with "dishonesty". My favourite line from the TFA is "Others mentioned that Jobs couldn’t be trusted and that he was able to create a reality-distortion field." Wondering how strong this force field was and was it able to warp the time-space continuum?? :P

Comment Undercut and destroy (Score 1) 694

“It is clear that Solyndra was a dubious investment,” representatives Fred Upton, of Michigan, and Cliff Stearns, of Florida, said in a joint statement. The company “is just the latest casualty of the Obama administration’s failed stimulus.”

Meanwhile China continues to invest is loss incurring businesses and technologies to under-cut and eradicate the competition.

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