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Comment Responsibilities of a publicly traded company (Score 5, Insightful) 1034

It occurs to me that, while a company shouldn't necessarily advocate for open harassment of its users, it needs to apply the policy equally if it is to be taken seriously.

Take, for example, the radical feminist Clementine Ford. She has repeatedly engaged in blatant anti-male harassment and is known to then cry wolf when a man responds with anti-female harassment and had a man fired from his job for his comment. Yet, for some reason, Clementine Ford's account is still miraculously active. No matter what Trump said he did or didn't grab, this woman should be off Twitter permanently by that same policy.

This is a pattern that repeats over and over. As it is obvious that Twitter is engaging in selective enforcement, they are not only slowly alienating a substantial portion of their user base for the minority of vocal SJWs, they are threatening their own safe harbor provisions for anything else that goes on Twitter such as terrorist communication or other criminal activity. That translates to fewer users and significant financial risk for operating as they currently do.

The real question is: why are the shareholders not demanding Dorsey's resignation for these policies? Mentioning Trump is a complete non-sequitur and clickbait for Salon's liberal slant. More importantly, it indicates that they are defocused from the real goal of shareholder returns and preserving shareholder value. The tail can't wag the dog any more, and it has to belong to the same animal in any case. Either Twitter curates content consistently or they get out of that business and respond only to complaints of criminal and terrorist activity; otherwise, this half-way house will fall on itself.

Comment Please get rid of e-voting machines now (Score 4, Insightful) 1321

Even if we had a fully open and verifiable hardware and software architecture, it doesn't prevent someone from finding weaknesses. The only solution to this potential subversion of the people's will is to get rid of e-voting entirely and go back to paper ballots.

Comment The new standard for the OS: pushing crap & sp (Score 5, Insightful) 123

It seems that those peddling your average mainstream OS these days are hellbent on pushing their views of the world on what is largely an unsuspecting and technically ignorant user base. Use Android? We'll spy on you wherever you go and push a bunch of ads for something you already bought yesterday. Use Windows? We'll create self-doubt in your choice of software to push you into our domain where we can collect information on you, and push ads on your start screen unless you jump through dozens of technical hoops. Use MacOS? We'll collect anything you do in Spotlight so we can "make our product better" for you.

Just like Farcebook and any other SaaS platform, the OS guys are trying real hard to squeeze a few extra dollars out of us users at the expense of users by making the user the product rather than the OS. That this happened with Edge in this case is merely another symptom of this greater problem. The /. crowd and people of similar technical capability can filter out this BS, but the average user will continually fall victim to this nonsense with no idea of the real consequences, both individually and for the overall browser market.

Comment The USA is a constitutional democratic republic (Score 1) 412

We do not have direct democracy because that has been shown time and again to be a form of mob rule that we cannot afford.

Also interesting how you frame your comment as "they are" rather than "we are" because that is the actual problem with this country. So many divisions have been sown along the lines of identity politics, political parties and other artifically defined divided groups such that these groups feel compelled to amplify their rhetoric to attempt to wrest power from the others. These distortions have been promoted by three primary forces: political parties (Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greens and others), the media (MSM and social), and non-state actors (e.g. Koch Brothers, George Soros).

There are three branches of the federal government as well as fifty states and a number of territories. The founding fathers laid out the structure of government brilliantly as well as the means and justification to change it. If you want to solve the problems that you are asserting, then do what the founding fathers did when this country was under British rule. Employ the four boxes of liberty - soap, ballot, jury, (and as a true last resort) ammo. Start saying "we" rather than "they" and you might actually get the other "sides" to listen to you as you should listen to them. Work to change the prevailing culture while respecting the rule of law and you change the country without passing a single new law.

For the record, all four of the major presidential candidates are fatally flawed. Clinton and Trump are populist statists through and through, while Johnson and Stein are unrealistic idealists. None of these traits is suitable for the executive, legislative or judicial branches of government. The rest have fringe ideas that will never catch on. There were no winners this year no matter who prevailed in this election, least of all the American people.

Comment What does Linux have to do with Apple hardware? (Score 1) 535

If all you wanted was to run someone's flavor of Linux, there are plenty of non-Apple hardware options better and/or cheaper right down to a Chromebook, or you just get a pre-2014 vintage Macbook. I don't think if you really needed to run Linux and only a Linux that a nearly $2.5k Macbook Pro was the first consideration, especially if you can't swap the memory/storage/battery in it.

The conclusions of this article make no sense outside of the context of an advertorial.

Comment MSM and social media are in the bag for the DNC (Score 4, Insightful) 437

There's no point in denying this any more. Journalists have always tended to lean left more than right, but 2016 has shown that all pretense of integrity and independence has completely evaporated. Rigged polls, collusion with PACs and the DNC, mudslinging directed at the RNC candidates while ignoring third party options and DNC scandals of the same magnitude as Watergate, and making unsubstantiated accusations of foreign interference by Russia while ignoring the foreign money from Soros and extreme Islamic regimes influencing the electoral process. Nothing is off limits to the same group that doctors audio recordings to falsely show racism and hypes up stories of a few cops committing criminal acts against black people while ignoring the fact that black on black violence is at epidemic levels.

Rigging the Facebook feed to promote pro-DNC pro-Clinton pro-SJW causes is IMO an effective subliminal ploy even for those that scroll past it so they can see funny pictures of their friends' kids. They're cutting off Twitter feeds and FB pages of people they don't like too even though they have not violated the user agreement. All of them will stop at nothing to brainwash and browbeat us into one mind, and use the SJWs to persecute those who disagree with the positions like useful idiots.

But it isn't just here as we've also seen in Europe with the hiding of stories and statistics on the effects on violence and crime due to mass migration from the third world. And, at this point, anyone who is a blind follower of political parties or of the media is a fool ready to be controlled to the will of an elite willing to throw us back into an effectively feudal system.

Welcome to the Ministry of Truth. We have always been at war. All dissent is doubleplusungood. You don't even need to imagine a boot stomping on a human face forever because it's already coming through your computer screen.

Comment Will the FBI prosecute politicians in the emails? (Score 1, Interesting) 55

Obviously this validates the content of the e-mail as real, indicating multiple violations of federal and state laws by the senders, recipients and those discussed in the emails. Otherwise, there'd be no point in prosecuting this person, much less releasing this information on the day of the final presidential debate.

Comment This isn't innovation Apple - you jumped the shark (Score 1) 316

How can any company in the PC market sell something without at least one USB 3.0 port??? It is the most ubiquitous data transfer connection available and has virtually universal compatibility with peripherals. Or did their marketing idiots think they can make another $39 for an adapter peripheral that's clunky and easy to lose? It can't be for space reasons and they can't pull the "we're trying to waterproof it" bullshit this time.

Topping this off is no Magsafe, which is infinitely better than the round connector I have on a couple of Dell laptops I own and saved the Macbooks I owned for years from falling.

Apple, you're not edgy or innovative any more. You're just being greedy and/or stupid and apparently don't want my business nor that of many other people? Sure, I'm a "tech nerd" but this time you're going to piss off the average buyer of your products.

Piece of advice: go back to what you had on the mid-2013 non-Retina Macbook Pro in terms of serviceability and I/O, and update it with Kaby Lake CPUs and a new Nvidia 10xx-series GPU and a non-glossy display, and you'll rip your competitors to shreds.

Comment So corporatocracy rules? (Score 2) 86

Since when did companies become immune to fraud, collusion and misrepresentation?


a. These companies become "immune" from the FTC, but lose their franchise/market exclusivity status permanently and pay the government back all of the money they were given to build infrastructure, or

b. They can be sanctioned by the FTC for breach of consumer laws, fraud, misrepresentation and other consumer problems

Between this and the now-mandatory binding arbitration clauses in consumer contracts from these companies, the American consumer is in a really bad spot.

Comment What about investigating the content in the leaks? (Score 3, Insightful) 493

Disclaimer: I don't think either Trump or Clinton is suited to be president, for different but equally important reasons, and we desperately need a real third party candidate better than Johnson or Stein.

That said, the level of political gyration in this election is beyond astounding. I and many others have lost complete faith in journalistic integrity and ethics, and we are approaching Soviet-era levels of information control with respect to the leaks. In those leaks are very serious allegations of fraud, illegal collusion with the media and with other parties inside and outside the government, perjury and other criminal acts, the hypocritical content aside.

You will also notice that no politician has forwarded these allegations for investigation to the FBI, nor has the FBI apparently undertaken any effort to investigate these allegations. You will notice that the FBI has begun investigating the source of the leaks, but this action is contradictory in and of itself. Either the leaks are false, in which case there is nothing real that was leaked, or the leaks are true, in which case both the leaked material AND the source of the leaks are investigated.

What we have now is an overt subversion of the rule of law and the distraction pointed at our old enemy Russia. Russia, of course, isn't too happy with us meddling in Ukraine or Syria because we can't get our fucking noses out of those places and nearly every other country where we have some cold war or energy interest. As much as I regret saying this, the Arab Spring has shown that having a dictator in the Arab world is preferable to having tribal religious extremism tear the country apart, destroy some of humanity's oldest heirlooms in the name of religious extremism, and spawn terrorism all over the world.

But even that isn't enough. Now there's word the CIA will organize a cyber-attack against Russia soon. I'm definitely not a big fan of Russia with their imperialistic ambitions and the oligarchs robbing common people their blind, but this country is doing everything but deescalating conflict and creating an extremely dangerous situation.

Perhaps it's finally time to clean up our own house, first and foremost. If we can't fight the level of corruption that the Wikileaks emails and subsequent actions of the current administration have shown, then there's no doubt that using yet another foreign conflict as a distraction is driving this country headlong into disaster. Too bad people can't get together and put their partisanship aside to have a million people march outside the Capitol or down Pennsylvania Avenue to attempt to get them to investigate everything and everyone impartially, foreign and domestic, Republicrat and Demican, and everyone in between.

In other words, if we don't get our shit together, welcome to the alternate version of Alien vs. Predator. Whoever wins, we lose.

Comment Enough of the IAB, ad networks and bad websites (Score 4, Insightful) 96

It is beyond unacceptable that:

* Ad networks continue to be a vector for device infections both directly and indirectly
* Ad networks track and profile users across websites without their consent
* Websites use pop-over scripts to interrupt the viewing experience
* Ad scripts and other ads use deceptive means to generate accidental clicks/taps
* Websites redirect users unwittingly to app stores, particularly when said apps have nothing to do with the website content

While I sympathize with website owners trying to monetize their content, they have left users with no choice but to block ads indiscriminately. The mobile browsing experience is particularly out of control now and shows what utter contempt or incompetence websites have regarding their user experience.

The IAB and ad networks are complicit in allowing this situation to persist, yet focus all of their attention on trying to prevent ad blocking through technical and legal means rather than actually enforcing some standards of non-obtrusive advertising that doesn't threaten to direct you to some scummy malware site with a zero-day.

Maybe it will take a few lawsuits, or boycotts, or just an overall drop in revenue for these deluded parties to stop this nonsense once and for all. Maybe it will be something else. Until the economics of serving and designing ads is tied to a positive UX, there will be an endless technological war to protect users from malicious ads.

Comment So the bureaucrats have solved all the problems? (Score 3, Insightful) 296

Have they thought of the implications this has on the trucking industry? Have they thought what this might do to low-income or fixed-income individuals who can't afford a car and suddenly left without transportation? Where is the electricity or energy to create hydrogen fuel going to come from now that they've banned nuclear and don't want fossil fuels? What will happen to the jobs of independent gasoline retailers and distributors and other people involved in that part of the economy? And what about the total cost of ownership for a vehicle with comparable range?

I understand that technology has lots of room to improve in this timeframe, but we need substantially better technology all around in order to make it viable to replace current combustion engines and we need to bring the full impact on the economy and on people in particular before we require that absolutely no vehicles are allowed to have combustion engines any more.

Comment Utter nonsense (Score 2) 290

While individuals under communism were extremely resourceful with the limited tools and materials they had on hand, they were inherently and perpetually limited due to central economic planning that failed to take into account individuality and limited access to real capital for research and development.

As my Romanian friends who escaped Ceacescu's regime always say: the reason communism doesn't work is because all people don't want to be equal to everyone else.

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