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Comment The absolute power of proprietary software (Score 1) 124

Once again, a proprietary software company is caught red-handed violating users' privacy. Sigh.

Why are we still trusting those companies who engage in software abuse, mistreating our digital lives? What will it take before mass resignation of such companies' employees because they're fed up from being part of immoral spying schemes?

Oh, and don't give me that food on the table bogus argument; Red Hat makes hundreds of millions profit a year with free software, and most web developers who mix and match free software make more than a decent pay. There's ways to make a living in computing without sacrificing human dignity.

Comment What shocks me (Score 2, Insightful) 56

What shocks me the most: the public reaction to the news. I'm from Quebec, saw the local news and everyone from mayors to prime ministers had their word about the incident.

It's mostly about the police's power and journalist's source protection. Almost no one mentions how the whole operation was sanctioned by law, and that *anyone* can easily be spied on the same way (that seems to involve way more than cell tower math), and almost nobody seems to question the fact that most phones are manufactured in a way where the consumer has no reasonable way to opt-out of surveillance.

Am I late to the party or is this dystopia something humanity wilfully agreed on?

Oh, right, convenience of a portable candy crush game trumps everything, don't make me think.

Submission + - Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking 1

Fudge Factor 3000 writes: Google has recently quietly changed its privacy policy to allow it to associate web tracking, which is supposed to remain anonymous, with personally identifiable user data: https://www.propublica.org/art...

This completely reneges its promise to keep a wall between ad tracking and personally identifiable user data, further eroding one's anonymity on the internet. Google's priorities are clear. All they care about is monetizing user information to rake in the big dollars from ad revenue.

Think twice before you purchase the premium priced Google Pixel. Google is getting added value from you as its product without giving you part of the revenue it is generating through tracking through lower prices.

Comment Re:Canada, eh? (Score 1) 130

I'm pretty sure Canada "ratified" the Kyoto protocol as well. Did we meet those targets? I'm thinking no.

True. Kyoto was ratified by the Liberal party then in power; they were defeated in 2006 by Conservatives (led by fossil fuel enthusiast Stephen Harper) who ruled over Canada until 2015. Liberals are back in the driver seat and odds are they will stay in control until at least 2023, as the two other significant parties (Conservatives, NDP) are now running internal leadership races without a single strong candidate on either side.

That does not mean the Liberals will follow through, of course, but at least for now Canada is not ruled by a bunch of anti-science jerks.

Comment Think and learn like humans (Score 2, Insightful) 259

The team hopes to be able to use machine learning technologies -- computers that can think and learn like humans

If your definition of a human is a retarded 4-year-old that can be trained to name colors with 75% accuracy, yes.

We're not there, we're not even close; "machine learning" is just the new buzzword in town, rising from the ashes of "big data".

Submission + - Canadians: you have until Oct 7 to weigh in on using voting machines

Presto Vivace writes: Canadians: you have until Oct 7 to weigh in on using voting machines in national elections

"Canadians have until October 7, 2016 to provide their feedback to the Parliamentary Special Committee on Electoral Reform, which is studying the possibility of national online voting, along with having consultations about using electronic voting machines in national elections."

Please Canada, don't be stupid like the US.

Comment Re:Anonymous Payment Equals Money Laudering (Score 4, Insightful) 212

The biggest problem with mass anonymous payment is that it will facilitate criminal transactions

True, but individual human privacy should always win over war on criminals. There are other ways to catch criminals; there is absolutely no need to put on file all transactions made by citizens.

I'm getting so tired of all that "security" theater going on to excuse more and more data collection. My favorite these days is the "give us a primary key to merge our datasources across the net" by the name of two-factor auth and phone numbers.

Comment Re:Incoming Security Errors (Score 4, Insightful) 86

you want to pull a js library from www.bar.com

Don't do that. You're introducing latency, you're violating the privacy of your visitors (bar.com knows about them) and you're putting them at risk, security-wise (bar.com gets 0wn3d? your visitors get 0wn3d as well). Don't be a lazy hacker and just spend the 2 minutes needed to store a local copy.

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