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Comment Headline is Stupid/Wrong... (Score 2) 304

Google results are literally the definition of not racist: they are not modifying their results or algorithm on the basis of race. The results are a reflection of prevalence and linkage of content online, which may reflect a societal racism, but even that is pretty tenuous based on the data presented. A more straightforward example is that online content is representative of statistical data, and/or societal perceptions, neither of which would indicate racism per se.

Moreover, the suggested "fix" to have Google bias search results on the basis of race IS LITERALLY RACISM. The people calling for Google to "fix" their results to be an inaccurate representation of online data are literally calling for Google to employ racism in generating their search results. *boggle*

I expect the twitter-verse to be stupid... but please at least try to not reflect their stupidity on Slashdot, kthanks.

Comment Re:it's ok, but that comes with a dozen qualifiers (Score 1) 982

I'd agree with the "dozen qualifiers" analysis, FWIW. The main reason to "update" to Windows 10, such as it is, is that the support period will be longer than that of Windows 7.

(I'm assuming OP is considering an update from Windows 7, the last good version of Windows... if you have Windows 8.x for some reason, the by all means, go ahead and go to 10.)

Be ware that virtually everything new in Windows 10 is a downgrade from Windows 7, though, and you'll need to do a lot of unchecking defaults and turning off things to get it into a reasonable state. You may also find yourself annoyed, as I was, with the extra click-throughs and confusing UI with control panel items before you can get to the actual controls, the non-intuitive and frustrating behavior of UAC, and the extra advertising spam in the OS. Also, most of the touted new features will be inaccessible without giving all your data to MS (eg: no MS account login, no integrated anything).

Comment Not the only downsides... (Score 1) 381

The abstract mentions the potential for job loss and security vulnerabilities, but neglects to mention the inherent problem with ubiquitous government surveillance and control, which is inherent with a system of network-connected self driving vehicles. It may not be a concern to the majority of drivers, but since nobody has anything remotely approaching a solution to the problem of the government, that problem is not declining any time soon. Whenever the news picks up on, say, politically motivated assassinations using self-driving vehicles, there's going to be a backlash which might be hard to mitigate, even with the level of media control the government currently has. That's not to mention, of course, the non-idiotic people who will simply refuse to put themselves in that situation in the first place.

Self-driving cars might be ready for sale sooner rather than later, but there are some pretty significant challenges to wide-scale adoptions which the developers of such have not yet begun to address.

Comment Apple is ahead of the legal curve here (Score 3, Informative) 367

I'm sure this won't get much visibility, but for what it's worth...

Apple has smart lawyers, which made it odd for me to read when they were basing their primary objection on first amendment grounds, rather than the more obvious undue burden defense (and/or reference to this law, and the lack of statute which would compel them to rewrite the OS). But more recently, the government made their real strategy more clear (ie: rewrite it, or give us the code), which made Apple's strategy make more sense. Although the government cannot necessarily compel Apple to rewrite the OS code, they have much better legal footing to compel Apple to give them the OS code, and presumably could write GovOS themselves fairly trivially.

That's where the freedom of speech argument comes in: although the government can, in effect, steal Apple's code (legally), it's much more clearly established that they cannot compel Apple to "say" that it's coming from Apple (in technical terms, sign the code). Without the code signature, GovOS cannot be pushed onto, or run on, iOS devices. In essence, Apple was countering the more legally persuasive argument that the DOJ was holding back as their would-be trump card, if Apple fought the initial ruling. Well played, indeed.

For the sake of everyone in the US (and not to mention all the principles the country is founded on), I sincerely hope Apple prevails. Their forethought in legal argument gives me some hope that all is not lost, privacy-wise.

Comment Re:The real resaon for this (Score 1) 199

Common... that would take far too long. You need to issue the NSL right away, and compel the backdoor RAT to be deployed immediately. That way as soon as you identify a dissonant... uh, "terrorist", you can immediately take any and all actions through the vehicle's systems to help protect the children. Who knows, the terrorist might be in his car, driving by a school, and you had to accelerate it into that tree to protect the kids. It's national security, so you can't do anything about it.

Comment Re:Bad "news" (Score 1) 122

The second paragraph where I specify what the "study" does and doesn't indicate, based on the actual study methodology, is rank with hyperbole... how?

Perhaps you meant the third paragraph, where I speculated on an alternative explanation (in which case you might want to look up "hyperbole"). Admittedly, though, the statement that vulnerability control is laughable in Oracle products is somewhat unsubstantiated, although I assumed it was common knowledge (among the knowledgeable in the field) at this point. If not, perhaps this would be an eye-opener [into the absurdity of their culture with respect to "secure" products]: http://arstechnica.com/informa...

Comment Bad "news" (Score 1) 122

At least tag articles or something if they're going to be clickbait, misleading, non-news stories.

Also, your description is wrong; from the methodology page (for the "study", http://db-engines.com/en/ranki...), the metric doesn't measure deployed instances, or usage, or even active interest. The metric measures delta in mentions online related to the DB type. The only valid conclusion you can draw is that there was a larger increase of mentions of Oracle than other databases.

I could suggest one compelling alternative explanation for the findings: the world is becoming more concerned about computer security, and since Oracle is one of the companies who's products are the most plagued with security problems (and the Oracle brand is intentionally associated with Java in all regards), that could easily explain an increase in mentions of their company. Just a thought, you know, for people who think.

Comment Don't use Microsoft account (Score 1) 314

I mean, this should be pretty old news by now, but the moral of the story is the same as the previous N stories where using a Microsoft account uploads your personal information to Microsoft's (and the government's) servers: don't use a Microsoft account. At least this is a relatively easy fix which avoids a lot of the badness of Windows 10. I view it like running an ad blocker: yeah, it's kinda bad for convenience sometimes, but it's a small price to pay to avoid malware I know about, and other malicious things in the future.

Comment Not update fatigue... crappy update fatigue (Score 1) 320

At some point, software vendors are going to need to address the issue that when they make crappy updates, people don't apply them.

Consider mobile app store updates: they rarely install other unrelated crapware, don't reconfigure your device settings, and don't require reboots... and users typically install them automatically. Conversely, Apple's PC software updates typically do all of the above, and people regularly decline them as a result.

Hence it's not a problem with update fatigue, it's just a problem with companies producing crappy updates, and users getting conditioned to expect (and decline) crap from certain vendors.

Here's hoping Apple et all get sued at some point for this, and/or something else happens to motivate some improvements to the update process. There's no reason people shouldn't be running updated software, aside from laziness and/or incompetence on the part of the vendors.

Comment Would it be that bad? (Score 2) 157

I mean, would a Chinese politician be any worse than a US politician, really? Any more corrupt? Any less likable? Moreover, the US a basically already implementing mechanisms of rights confiscation, ubiquitous domestic surveillance, state-controlled economy, a police state, etc. We're practically already China, in terms of how the government functionally operates. Would allowing Chinese politicians be all that bad?

Comment A few choices... (Score 1) 191

- Complete, firmware-level wipe (if possible, depends on phone model), re-installation of stock firmware, or...
- Complete, firmware-level wipe (if possible, depends on phone model), installation of custom ROM (which will support some of the phone functionality, depending on ROM), and...
- Avoid anything not from the google app store, and any app requiring high-level permissions, and any app requiring access you don't want it to have, or...

- Get an iPhone (which is not 100% safe, but safer than essentially any Android configuration, with the "walled garden" drawback)

Those are your options if you're concerned about malware on your mobile device at this point.

Comment Easy fix (Score 1) 192

At least there's an easy fix (as untenable as it would be to cause our government to do it):

1) $100,000 fine per incident of any unauthorized access to a vehicle through a remote mechanism (any mechanism, any access, no exceptions).
2) Force manufacturers to carry insurance to cover at least $1,000,000 in liability per car sold.

Problem solved... no more remotely exploitable surface for vehicles at all (too expensive for the manufacturer, until it's security-solid enough to afford the insurance). Won't fix general software bugs (which could still kill people), but would be immensely great for getting the scourge of telematic systems under control.

Comment Duh... (Score 1) 417

Irrespective of the fact the H1-B's are used to displace American workers with cheap foreign labor, which is blindingly obvious...

The beauty of Trump's proposal, in the abstract, is that it is beneficial regardless of how damaging the current H1-B program is to domestic workers. By preferring American workers for any jobs, and ensuring that H1-B workers are paid at least as much as any US worker filling the same job, you ensure that H1-B's are being used only for their nominal purpose: to fill high-skilled positions for which no Americans are capable and available.

If the H1-B program isn't being abused, then Trump's proposal does no effective harm to the businesses utilizing it. If it is being abused (as everyone knows, really, aside from partisan politics), then Trump's proposal could help limit the abuse. Moreover, implementing it would make clear if it was being abused or not (vis-à-vis the continued usage and/or calls for expansion). It would be a win-win-win... and by inference, you can assume that anyone arguing against it (in the abstract) has an ulterior motive.

Comment Man, I'd love to see this... (Score 1) 231

Much as I think it's unlikely, I'd LOVE to see a cyber-security bill (a good one, not a crappy destroy-your-privacy version like the government keeps trying to pass) which would impose mandatory penalties for unauthorized remote access to a system/device owned by a consumer, and a requirement that manufacturers carry minimal insurance for such.

Not only would that help the insurance industry, but we might actually get companies to actually pay attention to cyber-security, instead of blindly and idiotically connecting everything to easily exploitable remote access points (hello Chrysler, OnStar, et all). Moreover, we might get real fixes for problems, instead of the "oh well, buy the suckers identity theft protection and move on" dismissal for huge breaches. If we're really lucky, the law can include secret, unspecific, unsupported, unconstitutional orders from secret, pseudo-judicial courts under the blanket of "unauthorized access" (we can dream). At a minimum, though, it would be a good thing.

Comment Finally... (Score 1) 126

As a victim of Valve's previous refund policy (bought game which simply didn't work on my system, which they knew, but would not issue a refund, and ended up needing to charge back the purchase on my cc, resulting in a ban of that cc from Steam and much consternation), I think this is a great change. It boggles my mind that the previous policy and mechanism was so broken, and so doubly-punishing to victims of bug-riddled software.

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