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Comments

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CIA Director Brennan Admits He Was Lying: CIA Really Did Spy On Congress

ATMAvatar Re:A senior administration official LIED?!?!?! (129 comments)

Given the Snowden leaks, it *is* the most transparent administration ever. It's too bad that it took leaks to become transparent, but we may as well take what we can get.

2 hours ago
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Comcast Confessions

ATMAvatar Re:I must be the outlier (228 comments)

I'm not quite sure why Comcast hasn't emiserated the in-store situation yet; but apparently they haven't, and it's not as though the front-line peons are fucking with you for their pleasure, so if they aren't forced to they generally won't.

That's easy. Someone deliberately screwing with you to prevent your cancellation in person could escalate the situation to violence. Over the phone, the most that can happen is a shouting match, and if the customer gets frustrated enough, they hang up, which is a win.

yesterday
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Amputee Is German Long Jump Champion

ATMAvatar Re:No, no unfair advantage at all... (175 comments)

I can't imagine why anyone would accuses him of 'cheating' ...

The device is like a spring, so it stores energy as well as having extra length and mechanical advantage, and better still its far stronger and requires much more force to break.

I'm sorry he lost his leg, but there is no why this is 'fair' by any sense of the word.

Oh, and I suppose Pitch-O-Mat 5000 was just a modified howitzer?

4 days ago
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US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

ATMAvatar Re:Free market economy (529 comments)

Every so often we get to vote, but we are limited to two choices,

The only thing limiting you to two choices is you. Many ballots have third parties. You are free to run in those that don't. By stating to yourself and others that there are only two choices, you are part of the problem.

about two weeks ago
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William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

ATMAvatar Re:bill hicks said something like, (278 comments)

your choice as a citizen voter is, there's really only two teams on the field, no matter your third-party dreams. next best hope is to knock the next weakest player off the field.

AND "NOT VOTING" - IS SURRENDER.

If you limit yourself to the two main parties, you have surrendered even more. You are legitimizing the system as a whole by casting your vote, and you are legitimizing the actions of the major parties by giving it to one of them. Vote for a third party or don't vote at all. By reinforcing the idea that you should only go D or R, you are part of the problem.

about three weeks ago
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US Tech Firms Recruiting High Schoolers (And Younger)

ATMAvatar Re:Not new (253 comments)

History in general doesn't change quite as quickly as computer science - only recent history does.

about three weeks ago
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DC Entertainment Won't Allow Superman Logo On Murdered Child's Memorial Statue

ATMAvatar Re:Superman (249 comments)

I think at this point, IP law is mostly parody.

about three weeks ago
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IEEE Spectrum Ranks the Top Programming Languages

ATMAvatar Re:Verilog? (197 comments)

Yes. SQL is a turing-complete language. Whether you want to actually write full-blown programs with it or stick to the queries it was designed for, however...

about a month ago
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Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

ATMAvatar Re:There need to be costs (349 comments)

That will only work if each repository shut down counts as a separate infraction. $10k overall is a pittance. Even if they all counted as separate infractions at $10k apiece, it may still be seen as a valid business expense to shut down certain projects temporarily with bad faith takedown notices. After all, a project owner would have to bring this to court and prove that the notice was issued in bad faith before the fine would be issued, and the legal expenses to do so would probably cost more than the fine.

about a month ago
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Court Releases DOJ Memo Justifying Drone Strike On US Citizen

ATMAvatar Re:Yeah sure (371 comments)

Being an accessory to murder as often as Anwar al-Awlaki was would earn you enough 20 year sentences to fill a hundred lifetimes.

The part that's missing is the murder trial before sentencing.

about a month ago
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Age Discrimination In the Tech Industry

ATMAvatar Re:Stamina (370 comments)

If you were to compare the avg. lines of code generated by 100 programmers in age range 21 to 30 versus 100 programmers in age range 42 to 50, which one likely to win?

If the only metric you use is LOC, you have already lost.

'Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.'

about a month ago
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Age Discrimination In the Tech Industry

ATMAvatar Re:You are the only one. (370 comments)

Not just willingness to learn, but active interest in continuing learning. ...and I've found a lack of that in older folks, true, but also in kids fresh out of uni.

I'm too old to know everything.

about a month ago
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The Supreme Court Doesn't Understand Software

ATMAvatar Re:Why not patent compression algorithm? (263 comments)

Because if the can't, then they likely won't bother investing the time, energy and money needed to create the new compression algorithm.

Citation needed.

Inventions of all kinds occurred before the patent system was created. Additionally, we currently have a free software movement devoid of profit motive which actively avoids patents. To get even more specific to your point, gzip is patent-free, and it was specifically created to side-step patented compression algorithms.

about a month ago
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Judge Orders DOJ To Turn Over FISA Surveillance Documents

ATMAvatar Re:OCA (184 comments)

Those in power have convinced themselves that they can squash a revolt or prevent one from even happening. With the ubiquitous surveillance and militarized local police forces, they may be right.

about a month and a half ago
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Report: Watch Dogs Game May Have Influenced Highway Sign Hacking

ATMAvatar Re:Well then the SOLUTION is obvious (154 comments)

"Road closed from June 1st to June 14th" Oh, shit, now we need one that says "No left turn from 8a-5p until August 1st", I guess will order a new sign...

"Road Closed" and "No Left Turn" work just as well, and those signs have existed for longer than most of us here have. You don't have to worry about hacking, they're sturdy against most impact damage, and you don't need electricity keep them going..

about 2 months ago
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The Ethics Cloud Over Ballmer's $2 Billion B-Ball Buy

ATMAvatar Re:Racism or Thought Police? (398 comments)

Privacy and free speech apply to government entities, not to ex girlfriends and basketball associations.

Privacy means that what you do with another person should remain between you two, so long as both of you keep it as such

. All bets are off when one of the individuals involved in the private activity decide to disclose what happened. The moral here is to better choose who you decide to associate with in private.

Free speech doesn't mean that you can say anything you want without consequence - it means that the government cannot be the one to bring about those consequences. Public shaming and ostracization are perfectly OK. In this case, it also happens that the statements ran afoul of NBA policy, which Sterling agreed to when be purchased the team in the first place.

Sterling isn't serving any jail time, and he's getting a giant return on investment. I don't see why the right is to up in arms over the outcome. Sterling probably got more money for the sale of the team now (due to the expediency everyone else felt to buy the team out from under him) than he probably would have putting it up for sale on his own before the controversy.

about 2 months ago
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$10k Reward For Info On Anyone Who Points a Laser At Planes Goes Nationwide

ATMAvatar Re:huh (264 comments)

You may take note that the lasers pictured in that article are a far cry from the 5mw laser pointers which are most commonly available. Instead, those look like the 100mW-1W lasers you get off a site like wickedlasers.

The fear mongering is that the FBI is not making any distinction between 5mW lasers, which are too low power to damage eyesight easily, and higher-powered lasers, which will not only damage eyesight, but can also be used to pop balloons and burn through things like black electrical tape.

about 2 months ago
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Study: Royalty Charges Almost On Par With Component Costs For Smartphones

ATMAvatar Re:Shoulders of giants (131 comments)

It's not really pro- or anti-patent, unless you believe the absence of patents would cause most companies to resort to trade secrets, in which case, it's a pro-patent notion.

One of the main purposes of the patent system (aside from royalties) is to document innovations for the public benefit. Of course, this holds more value for things like a schematic to build a steam engine versus more trivial things like design patents.

It is more difficult to stand on the shoulders of giants if none of them come out in public.

On the other hand, if you believe that many modern technologies and standards would be open anyways, the statement is patent-neutral.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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The Business of Spam

ATMAvatar ATMAvatar writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ATMAvatar (648864) writes "The IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy hosted in Oakland nearly three weeks ago featured a study on the economics of spam. It attempts to identify and analyze the chain of businesses behind spam and the products that are featured. The goal was to take a more comprehensive look at the mechanics behind the industry in an attempt to identify better, alternative means to combat spam.

Special credit to Bruce Schneier's blog for the original link."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Moderation

ATMAvatar ATMAvatar writes  |  more than 10 years ago I've noticed that I've had to metamoderate quite a few things "unfair" as of late.

It seems some mods would automatically moderate a response to a troll or flamebait similarly to its parent. In some cases, this is warranted, but in the ones I've seen, it isn't. IMO, replying to a troll or flamebait message with an emotionally-charged, but still informative/insightful post is hardly a troll or flamebait in itself. A lack of tact perhaps warrants a lack of positive moderation, but if someone responds with real information or insight, it shouldn't be modded down.

I've also noticed quite a few "funny" moderations lately for post that simply aren't funny. I'm sorry, but cliche posts about 1. Do something 2. Do something else 3. ??? 4. Profit! are not funny. They are old and tiresome. This is true for the "I welcome our new ______ overlords" or "In Soviet Russia, ________ _______ you!" posts as well. Posts like me remind me of some kid in school that tells a joke, and after hearing some laughter, tells it every time you meet him. With this in mind, I'm probably going to start modding any of these cliche jokes "Redundant."

Last, but not least - there's a difference between insightful, informative, and interesting posts. Learn the difference, mods. I've seen quite a few posts while metamoderating that were marked as one when it should have been another, and I've felt obligated to mod it "fair" because the post truly deserved to be modded up, even if it should have been modded up as something else. It's almost painful to see something moderated "Insightful" if it doesn't provide any insight, and similarly so with "Informative" posts with no real information or "Interesting" posts that are more than just interesting.

I know "Insightful" is the default +1 mod for posts, but it shouldn't be. "Insightful" mods should be reserved for truly insightful posts. To me, "Interesting" should really be the default. It's the consolation prize mod. Something which is insightful is generally also interesting. Funny posts are interesting. Informative posts are usually interesting. To me, any post that stays on-topic will catch my interest, and any post that deserves one of the other +1 mods would be equally deserving of "Interesting." We simply use "Insightful," "Informative," "Funny," etc. because they're more accurate and descriptive. If you can't decide which one of those a post may be, then "Interesting" either fits the bill, or the post probably shouldn't be modded up.

Oh well... enough of my rant for now.

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