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Verizon Injects Unique IDs Into HTTP Traffic

Bob9113 Re:Is there a way to prevent this? (148 comments)

When soldiering becomes less of a duty and more of a way to delay starting out your life of dismal poverty, you start making the wrong kind of army.

Wait, we can do worse; how about making enlistment an alternative to a prison sentence for newly convicted criminals? (actually, that sounds so awful, I'm surprised it isn't already in place)

8 hours ago

Verizon Injects Unique IDs Into HTTP Traffic

Bob9113 Re:Free market? (148 comments)

I suggest we find out why there is only one fast ISP per area,

Here's a hint: It's the same reason there is only one electricity provider in most areas. Generally, it is not cost efficient to run multiple sets of wires, but everyone wants electricity.

and fix that problem.

The solution is the same as with electricity. We've tried all the other solutions, many, many, many times over, and we keep coming back to the same small set of best answers; all over the world, in all kinds of cultures and every shade of Western economics.

8 hours ago

Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

Bob9113 Re:Politics (383 comments)

That's just endless buck-passing. The reality is that the kind of fuck ups that could happen, did happen, like a storyline from some cheap zombie/biothriller novel.

And only two people got infected. Yes, errors in protocol happen, and can be expected to happen, and did happen, and will happen again. And only two people got infected. That is because of exactly what the CDC has said from the outset. Ebola is hard to get. Even with the errors in protocol that we know can, do, and will happen, particularly at the beginning when some people have there guard down, Ebola does not magically leap tall buildings to infect everyone within a thousand yards.

More people in the US will get infected, and more will die. But if you want to reduce your risk of death, worrying about Ebola comes way further down the list than, for example, eating healthier, exercising, and keeping your blood pressure down by not worrying about insignificant threats like Ebola. Wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough, and if it's wet and it isn't yours, don't touch it; but those are always good ideas. Now go on about your business and tell people to stop being panic-addled nitwits.

2 days ago

White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Bob9113 Re:One word: (351 comments)

even if we were to go 100% solar tomorrow, we wouldn't have enough energy for this world. Period.

You're way off.

about a week ago

Confidence Shaken In Open Source Security Idealism

Bob9113 Open Source is More Easily Auditable (265 comments)

As such, the trust is left to the open source community, and is that really so different than leaving it to a corporation with closed source?

Yes, it really is so different. Open Source provides an additional avenue for security auditing. With closed source software, any auditing body must be authorized to view the source code by the owner of the software. With Open Source, anyone can audit it. That does not mean that anyone has audited it, but being able to do so without having to contact the software distributor and get their permission is a substantial difference.

If you want highly secure software, you have to verify that one or more trusted third parties have audited the code. You can't skip that step with either kind of software, it's just easier to get it done with Open Source.

about two weeks ago

Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated

Bob9113 Re: That's not the reason you're being ignored. (405 comments)

Remember the miracle on the Hudson? It was the flight attendants who made sure everyone was safe and made sure they evacuated in an orderly fashion. They were the last ones off the plane. THAT is why they are there and I for one am glad to see them.

Does the math work? How many lives per year would flight attendants have to save to justify the price?

There's just short of 10m flights per year in the US, and a US life is worth about $7m for prime-aged workers. If a flight costs an average of 10 flight attendant hours (I'm guessing that's low), that means we spend 100m flight attendant hours per year.

Starting pay for flight attendants is $16/hr. So that's 1.6 billion dollars per year, plus overhead, that we pay for flight attendants.

If safety is 50% of their job, and overhead is 50% of base pay, that means we're spending $1.2b per year on flight attendants for safety purposes.

At $7m per life, that means they have to provide safety benefits equal to saving 170 lives per year. In the US, we currently lose about 15.3 lives per year to air travel fatalities.

Just ballpark figures, but it feels like we're overpaying.

about two weeks ago

Why the Trolls Will Always Win

Bob9113 Re:The more things change the more the stay the sa (728 comments)

In any unmoderated discussion the loudest and most insistent voices win. This has been true since democracy started - "politic" meaning roughly in the original Greek "To shout down"

Would be awesome if it were true: The modern word 'political' derives from the Greek politikos, 'of, or pertaining to, the polis'. (The Greek term polis will be translated here as 'city-state'. It is also translated as 'city' or 'polis', or simply anglicized as 'polis'. City-states like Athens and Sparta were relatively small and cohesive units, in which political, religious, and cultural concerns were intertwined. The extent of their similarity to modern nation-states is controversial.)

about two weeks ago

Why the Trolls Will Always Win

Bob9113 Re:WHY are men trying to scare women away from gam (728 comments)

When I was a young awkward geek with very specific interests, I would have absolutely LOVED there to be women around with those same interests... Yet today we see guys trying to scare the women away. What the hell changed?

Nothing but the volume. I loved geeky women back then, and some geeky men were hostile. Now, I still like geeky women, and some geeky men are still hostile.

Nothing has changed, except the amplification of the extremists on both sides. The extremists on both sides want to drive a wedge to consolidate their base, just like the Republicans and Democrats. They use kernels of truth wrapped in emotionalist rhetoric to do it.

Black people aren't gangbangers. Muslims aren't terrorists. White men aren't aryan supremecists. Women aren't hyperemotional basket cases.

And male geeks aren't misogynists.

When you pick a bad characteristic of a subset of a group and label the whole group with it, that is prejudicial sterotyping. Doing so does not help feminism or technology.

Men aren't trying to scare women away from gaming, assholes are.

about two weeks ago

The Malware of the Future May Come Bearing Real Gifts

Bob9113 Adobe Digital Editions 4 (103 comments)

Research by Prof. Giovanni Vigna of the University of California leads him to believe that the malware of the future will come in a friendly form, be genuinely useful and may not reveal its intentions for a protracted period of time.

Some of it will even turn the American public library system into an infectious host. Adobe Digital Editions 4 scans your hard drive and sends some of the data it finds, in the clear, back to Adobe.

about two weeks ago

US Says It Can Hack Foreign Servers Without Warrants

Bob9113 "Known to Contain" (335 comments)

a search of foreign property known to contain criminal evidence, for which a warrant was not necessary.

The reason we require you to get a warrant is to distinguish between the two meanings of "known to contain":

1. I can reasonably demonstrate the probability that this server contains.
2. I have a gut feeling that this server contains.

The problem is not that the actual Silk Road server got hacked, which is what the FBI is arguing. The problem is servers that do not contain criminal evidence getting hacked based gut feelings. That is why we require a warrant. We don't want our government hacking into servers on a whim and without a record, regardless of where those servers are physically located.

about two weeks ago

Why Do Contextual Ads Fail?

Bob9113 Not Beautiful In Economic Terms (249 comments)

Personal data harvesting for contextual ads and content should be a beautiful thing. They do it privately and securely, and it's all automated so that no human being actually learns anything about you.

Leaving the "privately and securely" bit to other commenters who will roundly correct you, I'm sure.

I've done personalized targeting of ads, and it is not necessarily a beautiful thing. The problem is a mismatch in the objectives of the advertiser, the objectives of the consumer, and the GDP maximizing outcome.

The GDP maximizing outcome is the thing that maximizes the total satisfaction of wants for the entire society. In theory, that should match the objective of the consumer. In practice, it does not, because the consumer is rarely perfectly informed or perfectly rational. Flaws at this level result in reduced consumer satisfaction, which result in reduced economic activity, and lackluster GDP growth in the long run.

In advertising, these flaws can be either explicitly or implicitly induced. The explicit way is the world of Edward Bernays and the world of PR; a fascinating subject in its own right. The advertisement targeting mismatch is about how success is measured and iterated into the targeting algorithm.

The personalized advertiser's objective is generally either to maximize revenue or earnings during the run of the ad campaign. This results in short-run oriented behavior which can be significantly mismatched with maximal satisfaction -- not necessarily intentionally, but because the system has no regard for satisfaction. Consumer satisfaction doesn't go into the algorithm explicitly and since campaign success can be most easily measured in the relative short run (did this impression result in a sale during the 30 day window that the customer is considered "owned" by this ad campaign), long run satisfaction cannot even show up implicitly. Most notably, impulse purchasing is strongly favored by the most profitable ad personalization strategies.

Ad personalization is good for short term revenue or earnings (or whatever is being measured), but it is not very good for long run GDP. From a strict economic standpoint, algorithmic targeting optimizes for flashy, shoddy products.

I know, because I did it.

about two weeks ago

Lennart Poettering: Open Source Community "Quite a Sick Place To Be In"

Bob9113 Troll Trolls Trolls, Stop Feeding (993 comments)

the Open Source community is full of a#@&oles, and I probably more than most others am one of their most favourite targets.

So he's a troll who specializes in trolling trolls. Why are we feeding him?

Do Not Feed The Trolls

about three weeks ago

Why the FCC Will Probably Ignore the Public On Network Neutrality

Bob9113 Re:Changes require systematic, reliable evidence.. (336 comments)

The government hasn't shown that there is any actual harm caused by the model that folks like Comcast intend to use

Yes, we have. We have tested it with telegraph, and telephone, and physical carriage. Your insistence that we haven't only shows that you have not studied the history of common carrier.

about three weeks ago

Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?

Bob9113 Allocation of Scarce Resources, Oh My! (652 comments)

Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?

Oh my god! Whatever will we do?!? We'll have to come up with some way to allocate scarce resouces based on competing wants! If only there were a science that studies economic activity to gain an understanding of the processes that govern the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services in an economy. If we had that, then it would imply we already have an enormous, global system for handling this exact problem.

Not that it doesn't need tweeking, and we need to internalize the cost of carbon emissions, but this isn't just a solved problem; it is one of the most intensely studied and tested fields of sociopolitical theory that there is. And it doesn't mean we banned recreation. As it turns out, some recreation is actually good for the system, because it increases productivity.

And can we produce five times as much energy? Ummm, yeah. Real easy. There is a shitload of energy falling out of the clear blue sky at all times. If we have the resources, we can grab more of it. So that completes the whole "productivity" loop back to increasing production of energy.

about three weeks ago

Why the FCC Will Probably Ignore the Public On Network Neutrality

Bob9113 Re:Changes require systematic, reliable evidence.. (336 comments)

it has an obligation to show that such control is the least burdensome method of achieving a compelling state interest. And - frankly - it's not.

Yes, it is. See common carrier. It has been tested empirically for more than a century including physical carriage networks. The empirical testing has shown that when carriers are prohibited from discriminatory behavior, the resulting increase in competition among merchants and manufacturers who use the carriage networks results in greater overall economic expansion. It is why FedEx is not permitted to negotiate preferred carrier status with one manufacturer to inhibit shipments made by a competing manufacturer.

about three weeks ago

FCC Puts Comcast and Time Warner Merger On Hold

Bob9113 Re:A Strategic Delay (132 comments)

Anyone else think this is simply an attempt to let the issue calm down and be forgotten by the public?

I'd toss in that they're probably negotiating the sequence of events; they have to kill net neutrality soon as well. And, expect the announcements to be timed for minimal coverage, so Friday afternoon. They might even hold the net neutrality announcement to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

about three weeks ago

Test Version Windows 10 Includes Keylogger

Bob9113 Re:What do you expect? (367 comments)

What do you expect?

Informed consent; a condition not satisfied by something buried in dozens of pages of legal boilerplate. "We're watching everything you do" is not something that falls into reasonable expectation, even for an early test program. Requiring consent as a condition of use may be fine; failing to place a large, explicit notice on screen is utterly disrespectful to the user and an unconscionable violation of the most basic security practices.

about three weeks ago

Marriott Fined $600,000 For Jamming Guest Hotspots

Bob9113 Re:Not surprised in the least (278 comments)

I'll also add that our Director of Events is fairly convinced a new Marriott property in Washington, DC is doing this right now.

Has your Director of Events considered not doing business with Marriott, or at least putting them on the "only if nothing else is available" list?

about three weeks ago

Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

Bob9113 Re:Update to Godwin's law? (575 comments)

Democrats: The New GOP.

Hey, come on, now. That's not fair. The old GOP was not nearly as militaristic and bankster owned as the current Democrats.

about three weeks ago

Ebola Has Made It To the United States

Bob9113 Re:Contagiousness (475 comments)

I'd feel better if some smart people from the CDC or WHO or USAMRIID were trying to figure out what us different this time.

Good post and all, but on this specific point: Go ahead and feel better. All three are. The people there with the right expertise are probably working extensive overtime, owing both to the vigor of their superiors and their own intense desire to beat this thing. We know they are; we intentionally imported two victims early on, so we could get more data to work with.

about three weeks ago



GamerGate May Have Been an Op

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about a month and a half ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "Casey Johnston at Ars Technica has a story on GamerGate: "A set of IRC logs released Saturday appear to show that a handful of 4chan users were ultimately behind #GamerGate, the supposedly grass-roots movement aimed at exposing ethical lapses in gaming journalism. The logs show a small group of users orchestrating a "hashtag campaign" to perpetuate misogynistic attacks by wrapping them in a debate about ethics in gaming journalism....""

Electric Neutrality: An Alternative Perspective on Net Neutrality

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about 5 months ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "I have been trying to frame Net Neutrality to explain it to a broader audience. I have been comparing it to the shipping carrier networks, but that works best with people who already understand common carrier and how it relates to physical carriage. A couple days ago, I thought of a different service to compare it to, and it is proving much easier to explain to people who are less familiar with limited competition networks. I created a YouTube video that explores how electricity network neutrality is critical to protecting the free market in electric appliances."

May 15 FCC Protest to Support Net Neutrality

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about 5 months ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "On Thursday, May 15, hundreds will rally outside the Federal Communications Commission’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., to protest Chairman Wheeler’s proposal that has the potential to stop the flow of a free and open Internet. On this same day, thousands of activists, organizations and companies will take action online to save the Internet. “Chairman Wheeler is feeling the grassroots pressure against his pay-for-prioritization proposal. But he still isn’t giving Internet users the Net Neutrality protections they demand,” said Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron. “He needs to abandon the flimsy and failed legal approach of his predecessors and reclassify Internet service providers as the common carriers they are. If preventing fast and slow lanes on the Internet is the goal, reclassification is the way forward.""

NSA Tampers With US Made Routers Before Export

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about 5 months ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "According to Glenn Greenwald, reporting at The Guardian: 'A June 2010 report from the head of the NSA's Access and Target Development department is shockingly explicit. The NSA routinely receives – or intercepts – routers, servers, and other computer network devices being exported from the US before they are delivered to the international customers. The agency then implants backdoor surveillance tools, repackages the devices with a factory seal, and sends them on. The NSA thus gains access to entire networks and all their users. The document gleefully observes that some "SIGINT tradecraft is very hands-on (literally!)".'"

Final Surge Needed for Net Neutrality Petition

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about 5 months ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "We need one more big surge of traffic, ideally starting Monday or Tuesday morning at around 10 AM Eastern, to get the Net Neutrality petition to 100k votes on time. I've been tracking the vote rate and it runs fastest on Tuesday, during the work day. We will get the most traction if as many people as possible promote the petition on their social network channels starting early this week. Please consider raising the issue and the petition on your social network channels to help generate the final surge in traffic we need to hit 100k signatures. The petition may not have as much legal authority as we would like, but at least it is a potent rhetorical device for Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn, the two FCC commissioners who are already raising opposition to allowing a fast lane."

New White House Petition for Net Neutrality

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about 6 months ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "On the heels of yesterday's FCC bombshell, there is a new petition on the White House petition site titled, "Maintain true net neutrality to protect the freedom of information in the United States." The body reads: "True net neutrality means the free exchange of information between people and organizations. Information is key to a society's well being. One of the most effective tactics of an invading military is to inhibit the flow of information in a population; this includes which information is shared and by who. Today we see this war being waged on American citizens. Recently the FCC has moved to redefine "net neutrality" to mean that corporations and organizations can pay to have their information heard, or worse, the message of their competitors silenced. We as a nation must settle for nothing less than complete neutrality in our communication channels. This is not a request, but a demand by the citizens of this nation. No bandwidth modifications of information based on content or its source.""

RNC Calls For Halt To Unconstitutional Surveillance

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about 8 months ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "According to an article on Ars Technica, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has passed a resolution that "encourages Republican lawmakers to immediately take action to halt current unconstitutional surveillance programs and provide a full public accounting of the NSA's data collection programs." The resolution, according to Time, was approved by an overwhelming majority voice vote at the Republican National Committee's Winter Meeting General Session, going on this week in Washington, DC."

The Patent Problem Is Bigger Than Trolls

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about a year ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "Ars Technica reports the following: "Canada-based telecom Nortel went bankrupt in 2009 and sold its biggest asset--a portfolio of more than 6,000 patents covering 4G wireless innovations and a range of technologies--at an auction in 2011. Google bid for the patents, but didn't get them. Instead, they went to a group of competitors--Microsoft, Apple, RIM, Ericsson, and Sony--operating under the name "Rockstar Bidco." The companies together bid the shocking sum of $4.5 billion. This afternoon, that stockpile was finally used for what pretty much everyone suspected it would be used for--launching an all-out patent attack on Google and Android. The smartphone patent wars have been underway for a few years now, and the eight lawsuits filed in federal court today by Rockstar Consortium mean that the conflict just hit DEFCON 1.""

Defense Distributed Liberator Takedown

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "The top of the download page for the 3D model files of the Liberator — the 3D printable handgun from Defense Distributed — now bears the following notice: "DEFCAD files are being removed from public access at the request of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls. Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information." There are no links on the page to download the .stl model files. The Wikipedia page for Defense Distributed suggests that the model files can still be found on torrent sites, though torrenting those files may have significant legal implications."

Khanna Axed Over Copyright Memo

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about 2 years ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "Ars Technica reports that Derek Khanna is getting axed over his memo detailing the conflict between laissez-faire-oriented free market ideals and the regulatory monopoly that is copyright.
"The Republican Study Committee, a caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives, has told staffer Derek Khanna that he will be out of a job when Congress re-convenes in January. The incoming chairman of the RSC, Steve Scalise (R-LA) was approached by several Republican members of Congress who were upset about a memo Khanna wrote advocating reform of copyright law. They asked that Khanna not be retained, and Scalise agreed to their request.""

Link to Original Source

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Bob9113 writes "Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, posted the following. Doing what you believe is right, what your customers believe is right, in the face of impossible odds — that is honor. The following is copied verbatim.

Digg This: 09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0

by Kevin Rose at 9pm, May 1st, 2007 in Digg Website

Today was an insane day. And as the founder of Digg, I just wanted to post my thoughts...

In building and shaping the site I've always tried to stay as hands on as possible. We've always given site moderation (digging/burying) power to the community. Occasionally we step in to remove stories that violate our terms of use (eg. linking to pornography, illegal downloads, racial hate sites, etc.). So today was a difficult day for us. We had to decide whether to remove stories containing a single code based on a cease and desist declaration. We had to make a call, and in our desire to avoid a scenario where Digg would be interrupted or shut down, we decided to comply and remove the stories with the code.

But now, after seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you've made it clear. You'd rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won't delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be.

If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying.

Digg on,



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