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Comment Fixing Number Spoofing is Hard (Score 1) 120

Sure, it's just a simple matter of programming to re-architect the signalling system that's driven the phone companies since the mid-80s. Unfortunately, number spoofing has been an important feature for legitimate businesses - it lets them do things like always give you the number of their main office as caller-id, even if the person is calling from a remote office, or let you give the direct number of the caller, even if the call is getting routed through the company's main office PBX VOIP gateway. It also provides the ability to do a lot more complicated things. And (this mattered more back then than now) it let them run phone switches on processors that were made in the 1960s and 1970s, and with mainframes that might have 10 MIPS of CPU power (compared with the wimpy 1 MIPS VAX I was using in 1980.) My wristwatch probably has less RAM than that, but probably a much faster CPU, and my wimpy Android phone has about as much RAM as my VAX had disk.

And yes, within the next decade we may well have re-architected the world's phone systems away from the designs we used back then (and much of the implementation has changed radically already), but interface standards stick around a lot longer than implementations, and are a lot harder to get rid of.

Comment Re:Ads in the middle are far worse than at the end (Score 1) 316

I do have an ideological hatred of ads:
It is a unilateral renegotiation of terms. When they want to increase the length of ads, they do it. You get no say. When they want to increase the volume, they do it, you get no say. When they increase the (fucking annoying as hell and insulting) repetition, they do it, you get no say. FUCK ALL THAT. I pay a price to see a show, you show me the fucking show at that set price and that's that. That's the deal. You don't get to alter the terms of the deal, or I fucking shut off your media. Period.

That's what I hate about ads.

There is a set-dollar-amount that any ad is worth, because an advertiser pays for that. I want my cut, and I want it to be a stated term, up front. No changing it later, after the fact. I pay my bills, those fuckers need to pay theirs.

Comment Re:In other words, no useful improvements (Score 1) 249

Oh yeah - and just give me a single, simple networking indicator on the panel that says: 1) interface is on 2) getting good physical-layer signal 3) has a valid address 4) can ping it's lan gateway 5) can ping and tracert DNS servers across the net. 6) can ping and tracert major entities around the globe (google, amazon aws, microsoft). When the net's down, the first thing I want to know is where the fault is, and can I do anything about it. And it's always; "oh fuck open the terminal, now, do I ipconfig, or ifconfig, I don't remember, what net am I on? what's the gateway, can I ping that? can I see through the firewall? Is DNS fubared? . . . etc.

Comment Re:Just as long as tabs can be turned OFF by the u (Score 2) 249

Yes, keyboard navigation in OS X is a total shit show. Apps behave differently to the keystrokes, and some don't respond at all (if the window is "hidden" instead of minimized - why is there a fucking difference?, and if you use a laptop from the built in screen at home, and then use multiple monitors at work, good luck getting UI's and windows to scale right. So much broken.

Also, I know homebrew is nice and all, but OS X REALLY REALLY REALLY needs a decent package manager system. AND a FUCKING UNINSTALLER FOR FUCK"S SAKE. And a central way to find all of the places every app stores startup elements, configuration items, resources . . . etc.

This is all basic "list of main things every OS should do"; and OS X does not get these. Release after release.

Comment Re:With Experience of Similar Incidents... (Score 1) 596

all Teslas are automatic by default

"Manual" and "automatic" are terms used for describing how multi-ratio transmissions change which ratio is in use. Tesla only uses one ratio so there's no way to automatically, nor manually, change it. Transmissions that only use one ratio are known as a "simple".

Comment Thank you! Lost, not "denied". "Foiled" is ok. (Score 1) 245

"Denied" would be the party not accepting him because he's not a member or didn't file the right paperwork or whatever. Dude lost, not only because he didn't have the credibility with most of the party that Gary Johnson has, but also because he's too crazy and embarrassing even for us.

"Foiled" would be ok :-)

Comment Bitcoin's designed for transactions not investment (Score 1) 106

Bitcoin isn't really designed for investment, in the buy-and-hold sense where you hope the value goes up.
What it's designed for is making transactions, so you can buy and sell regular goods over the internet with lower transaction costs than credit cards or PayPal, and so you can buy and sell (ahem) less regular goods over the internet with much less traceability than credit cards or PayPal, even though you don't get the advantage of being able to cancel the payment or limit it to $50 if the seller defaults.

Of course, what it's really not designed for is storing in a bank where somebody you don't 100% trust is holding it for you, because it's also an extremely convenient transaction methods for embezzlement, either by the bank's managers or employees or other insiders, and digital safecracking lets you become an insider without all the noise and dust of using dynamite or the risks of using guns.

Comment Re:Need to replace CEO CFO with robots first (Score 1) 1023

Well, ROI isn't really what this is about. Overpaid execs is all about The Hype Train (TM), and building investor excitement, and pumping the stock price. The Hype Train (TM) is why stock PE ratios have been insane since about 1996. The more they kick the american worker in the nuts, the more erect the investor class becomes - because they no longer need to compete with a large, empowered middle-class for access to political power. They don't have to out-bid their own workers while attempting to influence politicians. The value of the stock goes up, the low-tax income of the overpaid exec goes up, the income of the board members go up, and the value of the congressmen and senators blind-trust investments roundly go up. Win-win for the ruling-class and investing-class, lose-lose for the working class.

Comment US Government Hackers worry me more (Score 1) 91

I'm really not worried about Chinese or Russian or Enemy-of-the-month-i-stani 1337 h4x0rs tracking what the US presidential campaigns are doing. I'm much more concerned about US government hackers monitoring who's involved with what political campaigns, and slightly concerned about campaigns and their totally-not-coordinated-with-the-campaign supporters' committees hacking each others' resources.

The biggest risk with foreign hackers isn't foreign governments tracking our political movements - it's foreign criminals compromising web pages, figuring that they'd be good targets, and if you're giving that $20 donation to some candidate who's not good at web security, they can redirect it to themselves.

Earth

EgyptAir Flight 804 Missing (cnn.com) 410

dark.nebulae writes: An EgyptAir flight disappeared on it's way from Paris to Egypt resulting in loss of 56 passengers and 10 crew members. The plane was flying at 37,000 feet when it vanished shortly after entering Egyptian airspace. It was suppose to land in Cairo at 3:15 a.m. Thursday after leaving Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport at 11:09 p.m. local time. CNN's aviation correspondent Richard Quest said, "Planes just do not fall out of the sky for no reason, particularly at 37,000 feet." He said the plane vanished while cruising -- the safest part of the journey. We'll update the story as more details emerge.

UPDATE 5/20/16 3:57 AM (UTC)
: Egypt's civil aviation minister says it's more likely terrorism than a technical issue. Greek officials said the plane swerved sharply and plunged from 37,000 feet down to the Mediterranean as the plane left Greek airspace for Egyptian airspace. [Source]

Comment as long as we're having this debate... (Score 2) 263

Just want to say, reading a lot of good points from both sides of the argument in this discussion.

1) Don't like WAZE; don't need advertisements, or gamification. I just want directions and traffic info. Google usually does that just fine. WAZE sucks my battery dry even when I'm not using it.
2) Google maps UX is pretty stupid, most of the time. Used to be pretty obvious and functional, but now, with each new "upgrade", I end up doing a fair amount of clicking around to try to figure out what widgets do, and try to locate functionality that's been (apparently) deprecated. It is very frustrating and annoying, but much less so than Apple maps. The bar is low.

3) A long time ago, I used to deliver pizza. I did that job for about 4 years. I can imagine that google maps can work far better than paper in some situations. But a paper map does something that you don't really ever get into when you're driving in an area frequently, over a period of time. Google doesn't let you LEARN the area. It keeps you on the main/shortest route, which is not always the best route. And you end up relying on Google to get you around. If your signal goes, or your battery goes, or for what other reason, it's not working, then you are fucked, because you don't remember the area. If you use a paper map to view the whole area, and find your route, then you actually begin to LEARN the layout. The layout of an area is important. You learn where there are rail lines, and creeks or rivers, or freeway underpasses, which are HUGE bottlenecks, and when you're improvising or navigating on the fly, you need to have that knowledge in your head, not on your phone. There are also tiny details that become VERY important; that don't show up on electronic maps. No-left-turn signs, center-dividers. When you're on a busy urban or suburban street, and you pull out somewhere, and find you can't go the direction you want, you can sometimes get fucked into having to travel several blocks in order to get turned around again. This can set you back 10, 15, 20 minutes, depending on the traffic and situation. Google does that to me CONSTANTLY; but when you LEARN an area, you know these details in your head, and you can avoid those situations. You'll still need your paper map from time to time, but you're not going to have to refer to it constantly, as you would with a GPS/online map. The other skill you miss out on, is self-location or orienteering. The phone does that for you. (unless there's a technical problem). But the skill for figuring that out by reckoning, visual landmark checks, etc - goes away if you do not use it. That's also very important for on-the-fly navigation. With an electronic device, you can end up with imperfect information, and lag, which will put you a few hundred feet away, which is another situation where you can miss an important turn, and end up having to backtrack or re-route (which, fortunately, google does for you).

There is NO substitute for having an intimate knowledge of an area's quirks and foibles, which are not available even at the most detailed level for electronic maps.

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