Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

Altrag Re:Wow ... (417 comments)

The article isn't clear. It states the override was "against the instructions of Chase Bank," but it sounds like the instructions are just a generic "overrides are bad mmkay" (in which case what's the point of having them at all?)

The vagueness of the article means we really have no idea what the basis of any case that Apple might bring against .. anyone .. or if they even have a case. A few possibilities:

1) The bank just issues a generic "we recommend you don't do overrides" and calls it a day. They're still shitty for even allowing an unauthorized transaction but they've taken the EULA way out and instead of fixing a problem, just outright disclaim any liability and walk away.

2) The bank issued a specific recommendation to deny this particular authorization. 100% on Apple's shoulders in this case.

3) Some third party equipment or software manufacturer accepts the override on the bank's behalf and does it in a shitty way, unbeknownst to Apple. The Bank's generic warning in this case may be due to the equipment in question so that they don't take liability for some third party's problem, but the third party may still have some liability.

You're right though that the bank probably doesn't have any liability, even if its just due to the #1 scenario of them flat out disclaiming it.

2 days ago
top

One Trillion Bq Released By Nuclear Debris Removal At Fukushima So Far

Altrag Re:I also measure distance (190 comments)

Just measure in Planck units. Don't get much more base than that!

I think his issue wasn't in the units but in the dimensional analysis. Its like saying "I walked a total of 3mph!" Uhhh.. total? You can't really compute a total of "X per unit time." At least not in any way that makes physical sense. You could add up all of the individual units (or integrate over it if you want to go continuous) but then you're effectively removing that "per unit time" bit and the original statement still doesn't make sense (and even that doesn't work without knowing how many hours I spent walking.)

about a week ago
top

Can the Multiverse Be Tested Scientifically?

Altrag Re: String theory is not science (147 comments)

The question was whether math > reality, not whether math (minus all the stuff that doesn't fit reality) > reality.

I'm also assuming a relatively complete model. Its pretty obvious that the math of "only the positive integers" is not a superset of reality because we already know that reality includes things that aren't integers. (Then again we CAN define parts of the integers that are not available in reality. "The total number of countable things in the universe, plus one" is not something that can exist in the universe basically by definition. And yet we know its an integer because we defined it as a countable value plus an integer.

That's the fun thing about Godel's theorem. Even though he expressed it in a fairly limited context, you can usually find an analogue to it in any mathematical model of sufficient complexity. I mean yes you can add "excluding stuff that doesn't make sense" as part of the description of your model but to use your words, that's more just side-stepping the issue than solving it (and there's probably still a way that you could contradict that part of the description if you try hard enough!)

So yes right, it is a leap of logic to go from one to the other, but its not an entirely unfounded leap. And yes, it is (in theory) possible to create a "model" of the universe that doesn't have this issue (for example, individually enumerating every single thing in the universe rather than using generalized mathematical relationships) but that gets back to the "of sufficient complexity" disclaimer -- an enumerated list, no matter how long, isn't really "complex" its just big.

about two weeks ago
top

World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use

Altrag Re:Finally! (474 comments)

From all I've heard, its pretty high cost housing even if its mostly filled with low income tenants.

about two weeks ago
top

Can the Multiverse Be Tested Scientifically?

Altrag Re:Missed Point (147 comments)

More of a problem in this bubble universe idea of the multiverse is that even if it exists, its far more likely to be akin to particles in empty space rather than particles in a lattice as the video suggested -- that is to say, the chance that we would have been hit is probably extremely slim even if the underlying theory is correct.

And an even bigger problem is.. if we find a multiverse outside of our universe.. then what's outside of the multiverse?

about two weeks ago
top

Can the Multiverse Be Tested Scientifically?

Altrag Re:My favorite test (147 comments)

Actually, thanks to our exponential growth explosion over the last couple hundred years, there's more humans _alive_ today than in all previous history. Meaning there has been less than 14 billion humans to ever live.

Pretty sure most of them still eventually die in all universes though, unless there's a universe where humans are legitimately immortal and not just statistically unable to kill themselves.

about two weeks ago
top

Can the Multiverse Be Tested Scientifically?

Altrag Re: String theory is not science (147 comments)

Yes. Godel (essentially) showed this in his incompleteness theorem -- any theory of sufficient complexity will necessarily include statements that can be written in the language of the theory but constitute a paradox within that theory.

So any model of reality you can think of will also include at least one statement that can't exist in the reality. Generally this isn't a problem because we tend to ignore things that don't exist anyway, even if they theoretically could exist. (Well sometimes we stop to check out something that could exist but doesn't just in case "doesn't" is an observational failure rather than a fact of reality.)

about two weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

Altrag Re:Maybe, maybe not. (749 comments)

Perhaps. But none of that is relevant to the topic at hand. This is governments intruding into the affairs of corporations. Has fuck all to do with you individual people (directly, at least.)

Also just to feed the troll: If you trust corporations, you're just as gullible as anyone who trusts their government. Perhaps moreso. At least governments have to pay token heed to their voters. Corporations don't even have to pretend they care.

about two weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

Altrag Re:Obama apologetists? (749 comments)

Yeah Obama's turned into a pretty sour disappointment. Had high hopes for him but I guess either it was all rhetoric from the start, or he just ended up caving to pressures he wasn't expecting when he got the job. Either way, he certainly hasn't lived up to his promises.

Bush was still bad though. Its hard to say these days who's worse. Bush' worst atrocities at least were (mostly) confined to the areas where he started pointless wars. Obama's rights-eroding policies have the potential to affect the entire world thanks to the US' position as schoolyard bully (especially on the internet which is still fairly US-centric.)

China will likely stand up to the US sooner or later but well.. China's track record with human rights is not exactly a shining beacon of hope.

about three weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

Altrag Re:A larger legal question arises here (749 comments)

MS transfers US data to Ireland and Irish data to the US and now neither government has subpoena power? Yeah, something's going to break there.

This only works if you can also prevent the same companies from just transferring data around. Borders have to apply to everyone equally (at least in theory) or they're meaningless.

As long as the companies are free to transfer data out of the country, the government is going to want to be able to transfer that data back into the country when required. Tax havens still exist because they disproportionately benefit the politicians that could put a stop to the practice. Data havens so far do not enjoy that level of political protection and will, one way or the other, get snubbed out.

The only way to stop this practice is to find a way that having data stored out of country benefits the politicians in a significant manner. Currently privacy laws, ignored as they are for the general populace, can protect a politician's data sufficiently that data havens aren't necessary to protect them.

about three weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

Altrag Re:Will this affect overseas profits tax evasion? (749 comments)

they always forget to mention that they are the ones with the power to fix it, if they chose to.

They also forget to mention that most of them have ties to the very companies that benefit from these tricks.

about three weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

Altrag Re:Goodbye foreign markets (749 comments)

There's a bit of a fallacy in that comment -- we have no proof that Iceland wouldn't be just as bad if they had the opportunity. If Iceland had the same vendor presence internationally that the US and China do, there's a fairly good chance that sooner or later someone would come into power who feels a need to abuse their position.

What will (and in a lot of places has started to) happen is that all of the countries will just turn inwards and shut out everyone.

Canada for example has started building our own backbones after relying on the US ones for decades because we no longer trust our data passing over US carriers after PRISM was revealed.

Similarly, many countries and companies have stopped buying routers made in China after the talk a few years about back doors being built in (I'm not even sure that was proven but just the rumor was enough to make people look to other vendors.)

about three weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

Altrag Re:Maybe, maybe not. (749 comments)

There's a difference between the US being coercive and the foreign entity giving in (bullying tactics) as compared to a legal requirement (actual law.)

Of course none of that is particularly relevant in this case as its a question of the US government placing demands on US companies to produce (presumably) US data and the companies basically saying "nyah nyah I don't have it with me!"

Others have mentioned the idea that the internet is international and then use that fact to claim the US government should suck it up because borders. I'd say though that the real argument is in the reverse -- just as the company has no barrier to transferring data out of the country, the US government should have no barrier against having that data transferred back into the country.

Assuming of course its actually US data that's only been transferred out in an attempt to hide it (which I did assume above.) If they're trying to subpoena data generated in another country and stored in another country well, that's another story.

about three weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

Altrag Re: Maybe, maybe not. (749 comments)

The more troubling question is how long before other governments enact similar laws? Companies like Microsoft and Google that have operations in most major countries and many of the smaller ones as well will basically be in a position where they're forced to either share everybody's information with everyone in the world or essentially shut down operations.

There's some potential trickery though. What if MS "closed" their Ireland operation and replaced with with "MS-Ireland," a wholly-owned subsidiary. Does that subsidiary's data fall under the US' new laws over the parent company? What if they made the US operation the subsidiary and their legal "Headquarters" was in some third country (ie: a loophole similar to tax havens?) Would the US laws have the applicability to force some (again, legally) unrelated company to fork over data just because they have a shared parent in some out-of-both-jurisdictions country?

All that said, and much as I don't like the idea of my data spreading around even further without my authorization, I can't exactly disagree with it either. A natural person who gains dual citizenship is theoretically subject to the laws of both countries, regardless of which one they're currently residing in. I'm not sure there's a good argument for corporations to have more leeway than a real person on that count.

about three weeks ago
top

Microsoft Backs Open Source For the Internet of Things

Altrag History! (136 comments)

1. Embrace <-- you are here
2. Extend
3. Extinguish

about a month ago
top

The Higgs Boson Should Have Crushed the Universe

Altrag Re: our Universe shouldn't exist. (188 comments)

Math working out isn't evidence. We construct math to describe the universe, not the other way around. Interesting mathematical findings (particularly symmetries) can suggest areas to look for new physics, but can never in themselves be evidence of physics.

A corollary of this is that there is no such thing as a universe that doesn't follow the "laws" of math -- if a universe was constructed that it couldn't be described using our known math, we'd just come up with new math that can describe it. Excluding Godel-like degenerates such as "this universe can not be described by any math" of course.

about a month ago
top

Wireless Industry Lobbying Hard to Keep Net Neutrality Out

Altrag Re:Everything is based on finite bandwitdh (85 comments)

I meant "wire" in the more general sense of "not wireless." The exact technology wasn't really relevant.

Divvying it up into small segments (geographically) only works to a certain level. If my phone has 100 tiny little towers all within its range, its going to have a hell of a time deciding which one to use.

But then I'm not a wireless technician so maybe they've come up with ways of handling that such that they can divide an area the size of a stadium (ie: much smaller than your average cell phone's reach) in such a way that everyone can use the same piece of spectrum at the same time without confusing the hell out of the handsets. My impression so far though from what I HAVE seen is that this isn't really how its done and they mostly just divide the spectrum itself into smaller and smaller chunks.

Ie: instead of having 100 little towers that each use one chunk of spectrum, they have one big tower that can use 100 chunks of spectrum simultaneously. Or something. I'm sure my gross oversimplification doesn't really do the problem justice but hopefully it at least gets my point across.

about a month and a half ago
top

Wireless Industry Lobbying Hard to Keep Net Neutrality Out

Altrag Re:They may be correct... (85 comments)

My argument did not ignore competitive voice offerings. In fact I specifically pointed out exactly such a case (where AT&T removes regular the regular call function and replaces it with a direct VoIP competitor.)

Skype may be an alternative, but it is NOT a direct competitor. Its kind of like comparing Coke to tea vs comparing Coke to Pepsi. In both cases you're comparing beverages, but in the former its not really a direct comparison except at the very vaguest "its a beverage" level.

As for how they identify the "type" of traffic.. they have lots of ways. They're free to prioritize RTP over BitTorrent. But if some clever person comes up with a way to run her BT client over RTP in such a way that they can't be distinguished well... onus is on the carrier to deal with that. And if they can't figure it out then tough shit. (Though in this case, I can't really think of an argument for prioritizing voice over radio anyway -- choppy tunes are as annoying if not moreso than a choppy telephone chat.)

Its similar logic to why so many protocols have an "over HTTP" mode -- HTTP is open pretty much everywhere whereas many firewalls (and most business-level ones) are set to block pretty much everything else.

As for how the carriers can do it.. things like deep packet inspection exist. And while DPI has gotten a bad wrap due to its potential ability to be a massive privacy invasion, it also has plenty of non-nefarious purposes such as differentiating different types of traffic that happen to use the same protocol. And I'm sure more tricks will exist in the future.

The thing that we really want to avoid when we talk about "net neutrality" in the common understanding is carriers shaping traffic purely for profit (things like selling preferential treatment.) Shaping traffic to deal with actual network limitations is fine and in some cases necessary.

about a month and a half ago
top

Wireless Industry Lobbying Hard to Keep Net Neutrality Out

Altrag Re:spot the mistake (85 comments)

Area doesn't mean a whole lot given that your iPhone has to work just as well at a stadium packed with 50,000 people as it does when you go back to the 'burbs and there's only 100 people in the tower's service area. I mean there will definitely be some realistic upper limit on the number of cell devices you can expect to be in use in a certain area at a certain time, but you basically have to plan for that upper limit regardless of how often its likely to be hit because eventually it will be hit.

And there's a limit to how much you can divide up the spectrum no matter what you do. Whereas there's not really a limit to "run another fat wire out to the backbone" for physical connections (well, at least up to the point that the backbone gets full but that's an upper limit no matter what tech you use to get there. Not that backbones can't also be upgraded of course!)

about a month and a half ago
top

Wireless Industry Lobbying Hard to Keep Net Neutrality Out

Altrag Re:They may be correct... (85 comments)

Net neutrality only affects certain aspects of traffic shaping.

Prioritizing a type of traffic is generally fine under net neutrality. And since phones are generally tied to a single carrier (at least at one time.. even if you unlock your phone you generally can't have more than one SIM card installed,) voice services will pretty much by definition always have to be prioritized to that carrier.

Now if voice calling stops being an integral part of the phone and AT&T just runs voice through a standard app installed right beside Skype's app, then net neutrality would apply because you're talking about the same type of service.

Its true that QoS shaping is not technically "neutral" but its rarely what people are referring to when they're talking about the common term "net neutrality." Typically that term is used to mean provider-neutral service rather than protocol-neutral.

It wouldn't be hard to codify that difference in law. But of course AT&T and friends don't want any law. Equating standard voice calling with VoIP would be a huge boon to AT&T's position because it would mean you can't apply net neutrality without (theoretically) screwing up the regular telephone service.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

Altrag hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

Altrag has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>