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Comment Re:You just now started worrying? (Score 3, Interesting) 345

Unfortunately I can only read the abstract of the actual study but the article seems like crap. They state a bunch of opinions as fact. For example:

"Remember, a low-ball estimate says there are at least 11 million to 12 million illegals in the U.S., but that's based on faulty Census data. More likely estimates put the number at 20 million to 30 million."

What more likely estimates? What is your source? There are a number of different agencies and groups that estimate about the same numbers, some of whom have a vested interest in inflating the number (like the DHS). From Wikipedia:

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has estimated that 11.4 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the United States in January 2012. According to DHS estimates, "the number of illegal immigrants peaked around 12 million in 2007 and has gradually declined to closer to 11 million." The DHS estimate "is in the same ballpark as several independent organizations that study illegal immigration, including Pew Research Center (11.3 million); the Center for Migration Studies (11 million), which studies migration and promotes policies that safeguard the rights of migrants, and the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for low levels of legal immigration (11–12 million)."

"Specifically, the authors say that illegals may have cast as many as 2.8 million votes in 2008 and 2010. That's a lot of votes. And when you consider the population of illegal inhabitants has only grown since then, it's not unreasonable to suppose that their vote has, too."

The data from Pew indicates that the number has either stayed level or gone down (at least in the years they are citing). Again - what is your source of this data?

"Leftist get-out-the-vote groups openly urge noncitizens to vote during election time"

Which "leftist" groups? What did they say? This might have happened but it seems foolish just to take this on faith, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. I couldn't find too much relevant on Google (search terms "groups encouraging illegal voting california"), other than the claim (easily debunked) that Obama encouraged illegals to vote.

"Heck, even the liberal fact-checking site FactCheck.org says so."

What is your evidence that that the site is "liberal"? Is it just because they said something that disagrees with your narrative? According to their about page, We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. and publicly list all sources of their funding here.

In summation, the article seems quite bogus with a number of seemingly false or unsourced claims. This is a great example of the biased news that the site seems to rail against, but only if they are biased to the left.

Comment Re:You just now started worrying? (Score 1) 345

or like that we can let Russia come in and take control and that won't have a bad impact on the US or our allies - Where? Syria? Because that's not what I've heard at all. Most politicians on both sides of the fence are deeply troubled by Russia's involvement in Syria. Hence the support for a no-fly zone.

Define "most politicians". Because the Trump administration has stated they are willing to conduct joint operations in Syria with Russia. That doesn't sound like "deeply troubled by Russia's involvement in Syria" to me.

Comment Re: Basic income (Score 1) 680

I think we will have Basic Income one day. We have to, with more and more jobs being automated.

The problem is, if you implement it too early all it will do is cause rampant inflation and everyone will be poorer. One day it will be needed, but I think it's still too early. We're not completely taken care of by machines yet.

If you wait until the richest have all the wealth and all the means of production (the robots) then it's too late. They already effectively own the government, so legislation is a no-go at that point. The rabble might try to revolt and do away with the 1% like they did in the french revolution, but once they see the killbot armies (and the killbot factories) of the rich they'll quickly lose their nerve. Currently, capital still needs labor so there is still some semblance of control, but once labor is replaced by AI and robotics the 1% no longer has any need for the 99%.

Comment Re: Welcome to the future of capitalism (Score 1) 680

And the very small percentage of companies that are actually prosecuted for violations like this are given a slap on the wrist (generally a small fine) and nobody who was involved in making the decisions are harmed in any way, so there's not a deterrent for such behavior.

Comment Re:Self-fulfilling Prophecy (Score 1) 314

How were you middle class without any savings?

Outside of the "upper middle class", middle class Americans on average have minimal liquid savings -- they might have an IRA and some home equity, but almost no "savings".

If you look at how student aid is calculated, the formula expects a 4-year degree program student to spend nearly all student assets on tuition -- Student assets disclosed on FAFSA reduce eligibility for need-based aid by 20 percent of the net worth of the asset, each year. Any savings a student has, and 5.64% of the parent's non-IRA savings, is counted towards the "Expected Family Contribution" (EFC) each year.

I had savings when I first enrolled in college. To pay my first year's EFC, I wiped out my savings account and drew my checking account down to the minimum "no fee" balance.

Comment Re:Self-fulfilling Prophecy (Score 1) 314

If you are middle class you can't get financial aid.

If you are upper middle class, your aid options are very limited, regular old middle class can get some financial aid. Our family income was smack dab in the center of "middle" class for Chicago metro area, but I qualified for a few need-based financial aid programs.

I attended IIT, a moderately expensive private research/tech school, and I received a Federal Pell grant, a subsidized (Stafford) loan, and made up the rest from the Federal Work-Study program, and of course wiped out my personal savings account. If I had instead attended University of Illinois at Chicago, a public research university, I would have received a full scholarship -- based primarily on my test scores, not on need.

Comment Secure and Available:related, yet not synonymous (Score 1) 144

"Secure" and "Available" are related but not synonymous.

It is possible to have a system that is secure against data exfiltration, but still susceptible to intentional corruption. I'm not saying this is necessarily true in this case, but it is certainly a possibility.

Fear of data leakage is just one of many reasons why a black market will continue to exist, even with "medical" and decriminalization. There's still a social stigma against pot and THC users (stronger in certain areas and cultures than others). I still want to see Obama reschedule it, not so much because I care about the legal status of marijuana, but more because it would really piss off Mike Pence.

Submission + - Cloud based Medical Marijuana Patient/Inventory/Sales system MJFreeway hacked

t0qer writes: Hello /. Been a few years since a submission.

I'm the IT director at a MMJ dispensary. The point of sales system we were using last week was hacked. Here is The Boston Globes Coverage on it.

This system was built on Drupal in 2010. I'm guessing the more they modified the drupal core, the more bugfixed versions behind they fell behind (not to mention the rest of the LAMP stack). They've lost all customer data, meaning there was no airgapped, off the net backups. What scares me about this breach is, I have about 30,000 patients in my database alone. If this company has 1000 more customers like me, even half of that is still 15 million people on a list of people that "Smoke pot" potentially floating out there on the net. I guess because we're "Medicinal" it's no better than someone knowing a person takes Xanax for their nerves.

I feel like this company is playing on the ignorance of the general public when it comes to these types of IT security issues. I don't think people get how serious this is.What should I do? Do we still have lawyers on this site? (oldcountrylawyer?)

Comment Re:Hey, cable companies: (Score 3, Insightful) 200

No, the city only provides the pipe, an ISP provides the actual internet service.

The city IS the ISP. Lmgtfy: here: "SandyNet is the Internet Service Provider owned by the people of Sandy and operated as a public service by the City of Sandy." Now tell me again how the city only owns the pipes. Tell my how ANY municipal ISP service "only provides the pipes". If they only provide the pipes, they aren't an ISP -- BY DEFINITION.

I wasn't talking about Sandy, OR, I was talking about my local municipal fiber network, Utopia, that link is a list of the 9 different ISPs that provide service on the network. Comcast and Century Link have also been invited to provide ISP service on the network, but they prefer to lobby the state government to shut down Utopia, just like in Virginia. As the article notes, this isn't the people telling their government to ban municipal networks, this is the Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association, a cable industry group, pushing the legislation.

An open municipal network provides way more competition that currently exists because it lowers the barriers to entry for ISPs,

You have got to be joking. It increases the barriers to entry. If you know that you're going to have to charge a price for services that competes with a non-profit taxpayer backed service that can operate at a loss, you're not going to try. Your barrier is now the fight you'll have to make to get any subscribers, and a need to make a profit.

I am talking about ISPs that run over the municipal network. Any company that meets the basic requirements are free to offer internet, phone or video services on the network. The barriers of entry are much lower than a service provider that has to string cable across the city (if they are even allowed to).

If you are in favor of healthy competition you should be in favor of municipal networks.

The world of 1984 and Ministry of Truth has arrived.

No, ignorance is not truth and freedom is not slavery. This isn't 1984, and my city government is not Big Brother. How many ISPs can you get gigabit internet from? I have at least 10 that I know of, if that's not competition then what is?

At its core, government is the people banding together to provide those same people with services. It's no different than a farm co-op. Yes, government (particularly at the national level) is growing much larger than I would like to see it but at the local level there is still a great deal of control by the people and a method for firing elected officials that don't use the people's money wisely. You are just so convinced that government == bad (and probably taxation == theft) that you just can't even conceive the notion of the government providing a useful service for the people. Society doesn't exist for businesses to make a profit, it exists to better the lives of the people in the society. I think that basic services that everyone or most everyone in the city use should be provided by the government to keep costs down - because the people banding together to provide the service is more efficient (read: cheaper) than having a company do it with the associated profit margin. These services include roads, police, firefighters, water, sewer, power, and in my view, communications. If it's something that everyone needs to use then why should the people pay a middleman (a for profit company) to build such services when they can provide it themselves, via government.

Incidentally, here is a White House report on how municipal networks spur competition, but I'm sure you'll immediately discount it because Obama is the debbil.

I can see you're ideologically opposed to municipal networks and I'm unlikely to change that so I'll quit trying. I have used one for years and it works great for me. I hope the companies threatened by the network fail in their efforts to buy legislation to shut it down.

Comment Re:Hey, cable companies: (Score 2) 200

I choose my own ISP and can easily switch if they do something I don't like, which certainly can't be said of the cable company monopoly that exists in most places.

Uhh, you can chose not to use the municipal service, but you can't choose not to pay taxes. You CAN choose not to use Comcast and you won't pay Comcast a dime if you don't use them. You can switch just as easily if it is Comcast or Citycast.

No, the city only provides the pipe, an ISP provides the actual internet service. There is competition among ISPs, where there isn't among the traditional providers (telco and cableco)

And the alleged "cable monopoly" isn't really, since there is no monopoly for ISPs and never has been. The only monopoly that used to exist was for cable TV service, but "video content" no longer has any monopolies, and "Internet" has never had one.

There is a monopoly on the infrastructure. No other cable companies are allowed to run lines to each house, only the one that the government has selected. If you are so against government, why do you support a government-enforced cable monopoly? No, there isn't a monopoly on video service but there is an effective duopoly on internet service in most places (cable and telco). The telco monopoly got watered down by the government, mandating that they allow the leasing of lines to other providers. However the baby bells have a lot of experience with thwarting such regulations (horrible provisioning process for 3rd party providers, extra downtime on leased lines, etc.) but the cable companies have no such regulations and in most places have a monopoly on coaxial cable to residences and businesses. There is a reason Comcast has consistently been voted the MOST hated company in America, when you have a monopoly there's no reason to provide good service.

As you observe above, the city can provide the service cheaper than a private company because they don't need to make a profit, they just need to break even.

As I also observe, they don't need to break even. They can operate at a loss to drive out the commercial competition -- something that the FTC would be investigating were it one commercial venture trying to bankrupt another by such means. People complain vociferously about Walmart coming to town and driving the local mom and pop stores out of business because they cut prices, but at least Walmart has to make a profit overall. City run internet services don't need to do even that much, so why is it ok for them to drive out competition when it's so evil if Walmart does it?

No, they don't need to break even, but they can. They don't drive out competition, they encourage it. I can choose from a number of different ISPs instead of just one or two. You seem to think that profit is a good thing, but from a consumer's perspective it's a bad thing. Competition is a good thing but for internet service most places don't have that. An open municipal network provides way more competition that currently exists because it lowers the barriers to entry for ISPs, making a more diverse marketplace. I'm not one of the people who rail against Walmart, they were able to put mom and pops out of business because mom and pops are mostly inefficient. The cable companies and telcos are also very inefficient but they are not punished by the market because of their effective monopolies. If you are in favor of healthy competition you should be in favor of municipal networks.

Comment Re:Hey, cable companies: (Score 3, Informative) 200

It's amazing how cheap internet can be when the "company" providing it doesn't have to worry about a profit

Yes, it sure is. A normal business needs to charge cost of business+profit where government only needs to charge cost of doing business.

or keeping the shareholders happy, and they don't have to provide service to everyone who is putting money into the system.

There are tons of things that people pay taxes for where they don't receive a direct benefit. For example, childless people paying for schools or paying for public transit when you never use it. Much like municipal fiber networks, even if you don't directly utilize the service it still makes your city a better place to live. Having good schools, transit and internet encourages companies to locate in your city (which can lower your taxes) and also can encourage high-income people to locate in your city (which also can lower your taxes). Sometimes doing things for the public good is the best path even if you don't partake of the particular service.

That being said, I do live in a city with a municipal fiber network and I have used it ever since it was installed, for the last 10 years or so. I have never had a problem with it and it has always been a much better level of service than I ever got from Comcast (who was my former internet provider and my current cable provider). It's superior from a technical point of view as well as from a customer service point of view. I choose my own ISP and can easily switch if they do something I don't like, which certainly can't be said of the cable company monopoly that exists in most places. As you observe above, the city can provide the service cheaper than a private company because they don't need to make a profit, they just need to break even.

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