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Submission + - The 265 members of Congress who sold you out to ISPs

Presto Vivace writes: They betrayed you for chump change

Republicans in Congress just voted to reverse a landmark FCC privacy rule that opens the door for ISPs to sell customer data. Lawmakers provided no credible reason for this being in the interest of Americans, except for vague platitudes about “consumer choice” and “free markets,” as if consumers at the mercy of their local internet monopoly are craving to have their web history quietly sold to marketers and any other 3rd party willing to pay. ... The only people who seem to want this are the people who are going to make lots of money from it. (Hint: they work for companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T.) Incidentally, these people and their companies routinely give lots of money to members of Congress.

Submission + - California prosecutes couple for filming officials (ap.org) 2

mi writes: California prosecutors on Tuesday charged two activists who made undercover videos of themselves interacting with officials of a taxpayer-supported organization with 15 felonies, saying they invaded privacy by filming without consent. State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a longtime Congressional Democrat who took over the investigation in January, said in a statement that the state "will not tolerate the criminal recording of conversations."

Didn't we just determine, that filming officials is not merely a right, but a First Amendment right?

Comment Re: Mint (Score 1) 499

I've found that the trick is to search for "how to fix X in Ubuntu", rather than "how to fix X in Linux". World of difference. Same probably applies for Mint.

The thing is this: a lot of people use Linux for the 'cred', rather than to address a specific need. They feel that they're better than the average computer user, and have a deeper understanding of how their computer works. Look at Kjella. He thinks of himself as a doctor at a doctor's conference who can smugly ignore any medical advice you have to give, or as some mathematician in the presence of ignoramuses. He's incredibly proud of himself, and how smart he is, and how much he knows about computers.

But I'll be blunt: it's mostly all worthless knowledge. You're learning very little about your computer, and mostly about the inner guts of the particular sub-system you're configuring. There is no mental advantage to fiddling around for two days getting your soundcard working. It does not give you some advantage. It does not teach you worthwhile skills. I was so happy when alsa and alsaconf came along, since I could get my sound up and running in under an hour. And when pulseaudio came out, I simply stopped having to think about sound at all, it would just work. In no way have I lost anything valuable here. Ditto for anything else that used to be a bitch to set up but usually isn't anymore.

You can avoid these people by using Ubuntu or Mint, since they deride it as a newbie-only OS. Their pride will simply not allow most of them to use it. And yet, you get all of the same functionality. Hell, even Linus Torvalds uses Fedora Workstation because it's easy to install.

Submission + - John Goodenough responds to skeptics of his new lithium-on battery (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: John Goodenough, the University of Texas researcher who this week demonstrated new battery cells that are safer and have at least three times as much energy density as today's standard Li-on batteries, responded to skeptics who said the technology described in research published in a peer-reviewed journal, appear to defy the laws of thermodynamics. In an article published Monday by Quartz , various energy experts took exception to Goodenough's claims, even calling them "unbelievable." Goodenough is also co-inventor of the original lithium-ion battery. In an email to Computerworld, Goodenough said "any new discovery invites strong skepticism." In this case, the skeptical scientists wondered how it is possible to strip lithium from the anode and plate it on a cathode current collector to obtain a battery voltage since the voltage is the difference in the chemical potentials (Fermi energies) between the two metallic electrodes,. "The answer is that if the lithium plated on the cathode current collector is thin enough for its reaction with the current collector to have its Fermi energy lowered to that of the current collector, the Fermi energy of the lithium anode is higher than that of the thin lithium plated on the cathode current collector," Goodenough said.

Comment Re:Well, butt then (Score 5, Insightful) 419

If you DON'T stay current, then you have as little choice as to what happens to your linux kernel and distro as any Windows user has over their OS.

Not quite true. I don't care about kernel release notes and distro package changes until they matter. That is, it either breaks something I care about, or adds something I care about. When it comes to things I care about, I have complete control over my own computer.

And that's all that matters to me. (By definition) If I can't configure one distro to suit my needs, there has always been another one available.

No one has time to go through every single fucking line of code for every driver, utility, application, etc. So you end up "trusting" the open source community.

Open source doesn't mean the code is perfect. I don't think anyone believes that. There will always be security holes, whether added maliciously or accidentally, in virtually every operating system I am aware of. But that's not the same as having the vendor introduce unwanted features, or deliberately degrade user experience, or preventing the user from modifying their own settings, or preventing them from running software that didn't come from an approved app store. ...all of which have been done in recent years. It's gotten to the point where it's debatable who actually owns the computer, you or the OS vendor.

I have not seen this to the same extent in open source OSes, even including Android.

Some of us would rather skip the illusion of safety and open-ness and get on with our lives without kidding ourselves.

Safety is never guaranteed with code of any significant complexity. Openness can be.

Submission + - ASK SLASHDOT: Which VR system is worth the investment? 1

Quantus347 writes: Straightforward question: I held off for a year to let the various manufacturers shake out the bugs, but now it's down to either a VR system or a new gen console. So I ask you, the Slashdot community, what are your personal experiences with any of the various VR systems out there? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What little things annoy you the most? What features make a given product the best (or worst) option?

"Sprinkle us with Wisdom from your Mighty Brain!"

Submission + - SPAM: The Manhoff Archives: Stalin's Soviet Union comes to life in full color

schwit1 writes: Major Martin Manhoff spent more than two years in the Soviet Union in the early 1950s, serving as assistant army attaché at the U.S. Embassy, which was located just off Red Square at the beginning of his time in Moscow.

He took full advantage of his post, using his gifted photographic eye to capture hundreds of images of everyday life in Moscow and across the U.S.S.R.

When he left the country in 1954 amid accusations of espionage, Major Manhoff took with him reels of 16 millimeter film and hundreds of color slides and negatives he shot during his travels – including of one of the Soviet Union's pivotal events, Josef Stalin's funeral.

But after his return to the United States, the trove of rare images lay forgotten, stored in cardboard boxes in a former auto body shop in the Pacific Northwest until its discovery by a Seattle-based historian.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Norway says half of new cars now electric or hybrid (phys.org)

AmiMoJo writes: Norway, which already boasts the world's highest number of electric cars per capita, said Monday that electric or hybrid cars represented half of new registrations in the country so far this year. Sales of electric cars accounted for 17.6 percent of new vehicle registrations in January and hybrid cars accounted for 33.8 percent, for a combined 51.4 percent, according to figures from the Road Traffic Information Council (OVF). In February, those proportions fell slightly but remained high at 15.8 percent and 32 percent, respectively. While cars with combustion engines are heavily taxed, electric vehicles are exempt from almost all taxes. Their owners also benefit from numerous advantages such as free access to toll roads, ferries and parking at public car parks, as well as the possibility of driving in bus lanes.

Comment Re:Public roads? (Score 1) 469

I'd rather not live in a society where they have to try and legislate good manners.

A lot of the people on that freeway have rather hellish lives. They have insane commute times, parking fees, sit in polluted gridlock, shitty jobs, not enough sleep, etc. But you want to force them to spend hours stuck in traffic every week, because their tires will eventually wear out the road by your house, which you want to remain pristine. I can only say that it seems like the lesser of two evils by far, and that courtesy and manners are a two-way street.

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