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Comment A stupid idea made even worse (Score 5, Insightful) 219

Electronic voting is one of the most stupid ideas that politicians have croaked up so far. And that means a lot, even after gerrymandering, lobbyism, and two-party-systems.

Electronic voting is basically outright stupid. You cannot control if your vote was really counted, or if it was counted for the correct party or candidate. Votes can be manipulated by inside jobs or hacking, and with a political voting result being a very profitable target, and the voting machines safety and security record far from being unblemished, voting fraud is a very interesting goal for many, not only political, parties.

The problem is that electronic voting cannot fulfill the legal and philosophical demands for a democratic voting. This is not a failure of the planners, programmers, or hardware developers, this is system inherent, as many aspects cannot be implemented correctly without invalidating other important aspects of the same.

Now there is this totally broken idea and they want make it available online, opening the doors to fraud and abuse even wider.

Comment 100% normal and expected behavior (Score 1) 75

That's what the "Five Eyes" group is primarily for: Hacking citizens in other countries, for those countries.

So the US spy agencies can not "work" on American citizens without a lot of legal problems. They might suspect someone, but the evidence is weak, to weak to use the normal, legal ways to find out more. So they ask their friends, e.g. the Australians: Could you please hack this guy? For the Aussies, this guy is a foreigner and therefor a legal target. If they find something that would make the person report-worthy, they hand back their finds to the US as in "This guy has been reported to us by a foreign law enforcement agency as part of their investigations". And the US suddenly has the evidence it needs to proceed further.

And the next time that the Australian agencies have someone they need investigated, they turn to the US and ask for a similar favor. Avoiding the law and denying legal due process is just a phone call away today. And while catching a terrorist or child molester is a worthy cause, the laws protecting the citizens due rights are there for a reason.

Comment They don't ask - National Security Letter (Score 1) 136

They don't need a proper court order to force the cloud providers turning over the data. All they need is a "National Security Letter", then the cloud provider has to drop its pants and bend over. No nasty court order necessary. Forget "Due Cause" and "Fourth Amendment", that's a thing of a past long gone.

Comment American Business Espionage (Score 1) 136

One important aspect of all the primarily American underwear sniffing is that the US services also do business espionage as part of their mission, as they see an strategic asset in this. And they supply American companies with results from these actions, like Boeing, who got information on Airbus contracts to undermine bids.

So with some cloud providers willingly spreading their legs to be raped by the TLAs, for a non-US company to put business to put data in a cloud system could be considered gross neglect or even willful damaging.

Comment Family Safety (Score 1) 376

One of the things I liked in Win8.1 was the ability to limit my children's login time and web access, and I could prevent them from using certain software on the machine like the banking software.

With Win10, Family Safety has gone through the chimney. According to the net, I would have to use Microsoft accounts for all of us to be able to use something like the old Family Safety feature, but in good old Microsoft security manner, the kids would be able to just disable the whole package at login. WTF! On top of that, it would not work like the old system, as some features like "give them another 15 minutes once to finish what they were doing" do not exist anymore.

The safety of it reminds me of Microsoft Bob - if you entered your password wrong three times, it asked something like "You seem to have forgotten your password - do you want to set a new one?"

Comment Re:Interesting ... but not things I use much (Score 1) 375

actual buttons where there is something to press. Grey on grey without border doesn't fucking count. I have to click at random on your stupid shit of a user interface to figure out where the buttons are and where the comments are yah fucking cunts.

Yep. They totally forgot their own rules here, and the number one rule when it comes to UIs: What does a UI and a joke have in common? - If you have to explain it, it missed the point.

Comment Re: Basically... (Score 1) 375

Yes, there is one (well, at least one).

I installed Win10 on one of our PCs and noticed a big step backward from 8.1. We had the "Family Safety" installed to limit our kids access time. After the installation I was looking for the settings to see whether they have been ported correctly and learned a) There is no local Family Safety feature anymore, b) it is only available if both the parents and the kids have Microsoft accounts, c) even then, features like "give them another 15 minutes to finish that level" are gone (you can give them additional time, but you have to login to Microsoft for that, and if you forget to take this back later, the addition is permanent, because you can only change the daily total time), and d) the kids can easily use the local account instead to simply disable all limitations.

A typical Microsoft fuckup.

Comment Banana Software (Score 2) 108

I tried it, and I'm wondering what the hype is about. Not because of the idea, which is nice, but the implementation, which totally sucks. Very regular and very annoying crashes that waste items, severe server problems, burning through the battery as if it was calculating PI to a gazillion digits (this app is the only one to make my phone *hot*!), etc.

For some in-game advances (hatching pokemon-eggs) you have to walk certain distances. Ok, I know my regular morning walk distance, which is 2.4km. I had to restart this app eight times during this course, and it only "got" about 1.5km due to that fact that it does not count while being crashed (crashing is not that obvious, the display still follows your path on then virtual map, but the background process(es) that count distance, provide new pokemons, or allow intercations or item access is/are gone). Or you try to catch a pokemon - you spend a bunch of those "pokeballs" to catch it, and when you got it, the game freezes. The pokeballs are gone, and of course the pokemon is, too, after you restart the app. Well, and restarting (or starting in the first place) is just trying your luck. During the day it is "just" difficult to start, but after work or on weekends, the app does not even complete the loading screen. It usually hangs at the point where it connects to their server(s?) and thats it. As the server capacity problems have not been fixed after a week, I guess the server side simply does not scale (which perfectly matches the apps quality). That I get the game to start during my walk might be due to the fact that I walk while most of the teenagers are still in bed ;-)

Worse of all, people complained about the loss of bought items (e.g. you can buy those pokeballs if you are to impatient to "harvest" them), so I and maybe some other, more cautious people will wait for the software to getting into proper production status before spending a single cent on anything).

The version number of the app tells an developer that this software is basically not ready for production (0.29.2, a clear indicator for it being beta, if not alpha), and as unripe and buggy it is, it is an insult to the user. No reaction to the bug reports (they just generate an auto-answer that they won't reply to bug reports), and nearly 200k users giving that app only one star due to the bugs. And even those who give more stars more often than not complain that the app is buggy. I don't understand those idiots - If an app crashes regularly, why do they give five stars?

All in all, a nice new gaming idea, but with a total failure of an implementation. I have not heard of the development company (Niantic, Inc.) before, but from this experience, I would not let them develop even a "hello, world!" program for me.

Comment I'm a regular switcher (Score 1) 331

I work at the real bottom of it. While other people think about "which OS (version) do I have to work on?", I sometimes don't even have a processor to work with.
I do FPGAs with VHDL, ARM CPUs in C and assembler, usually without any OS at all (think graphical UI on a machine with 2 kilobytes of RAM!), maybe with some library routines (not a full OS) for networking. Sometimes I have to work on the PC side of things, so I have a good part of my build chain (anything after the C and VHDL compilers to create update packages, etc), the communication libraries for my PC programmers, or simple tools in C and Perl, and sometimes BASH. And if it comes to worse, I do a bit of SQL, PHP, HTML, and even Lotus Script.

Switching between VHDL and C is so common, at the moment I have two VHDL and one C project open, and I work both - usually, while the VHDL synthesizes (10-15 minutes for one build), I write the test routines in C.

Comment And what's next? (Score 5, Insightful) 397

And in the next iteration, account names will be mandatory, together with the passwords for them (verified on the spot by your friendly customs people) and the PINs for your banking cards?

The PSA (Paranoid States of America) still shit their pants because of one terrorist incident a decade ago, while local yokels with guns (including the police) kill ten times that much people per year.

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