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Eric Schmidt: Our Perception of the Internet Will Fade

Catbeller Says who? Why? What if we don't want to? (228 comments)

Who asked for this?
The industry eagerness to bug and track everything is universal. Why? The first answer is always: money. The second, and most accurately stated: power. Knowing where everyone is, and what they are doing, is power. But that power is not for schmucks.
Pity we didn't have this universal eagerness to limit population growth, or control suburban land conversion, or to colonize free space with habitats. But power over others? No fucking limits.
Power, by the way, means Occupies are impossible to pull off. Protests. Contrary political movements, ultimately. Other words, any challenge to seated power is gonna be nearly impossible.
Hell, in England, they're already starting dossiers on kintergarteners. Just monitor what they read and do all their lives, and soon there won't be a population that even thinks of rebellion of any sort. Or could talk about it without systems monitoring and integrating the information for future suppression. And yes, I'm aware that that sounds "paranoid". But once again, I'm not predicting, I'm telling you what's already happened.
To take this back to the point of the article, there is no WAY that this eagerly sought supersaturated net of bugs - and that's what they are - will not be used for surveillance and control. I really don't need to know what is in my refrigerator that much.

about two weeks ago
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Police Nation-Wide Use Wall-Penetrating Radars To Peer Into Homes

Catbeller Re:Wrong issue (290 comments)

Due process is meaningless as far as limiting behavior. It sorta means "customary" or "expected". Secret charges and secret courts and secret prisons have been permanently established in this country following due process. Process just rubber-stamps whatever the madhouse wants to do. The real dichotomy is what is illegal versus what is immoral or just plain wrong. Rules are morally neutral.

about two weeks ago
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Police Nation-Wide Use Wall-Penetrating Radars To Peer Into Homes

Catbeller Re:With taxes you buy civilization, remember? (290 comments)

The people in this country cannot be trusted. The police are just an expression of the common culture. Given a choice, people prefer fascism, under whatever name you like. What was it Terry Pratchett said through the Patricican... what people want, what they really want, is that tomorrow be pretty much like today. They want stability and a perception of safety. To that end, they know no limits in restricting the efforts of their neighbors to not-be-like-every-else. From surveillance, to secret police and secret arrests, they support conformity and the Others getting their heads kicked in by the guards. The police are civilians, and they have no special belief system not held by the people they sometimes admit they work for... our culture likes authoritarian thugs (for use against troublemakers), so our police likes being authoritarian thugs when necessary.

about two weeks ago
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Twitter Bug Locks Out Many Users

Catbeller arrogance amongst revolutionaries (69 comments)

In a video game they can. In the real world, they will fail to do so; Google and others are simply positing that the robot can drive better. It can on a test track. In the real world, no.

Again, I love this posting from 2010: (Great thread on this very subject, probably influenced me.) Better informed posters than I.

http://it.slashdot.org/story/1...
This post http://it.slashdot.org/comment...

"we already fixed it. its called 'trains'. (Score:5, Insightful)
by decora(1710862) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @12:54AM (#38430976) Journal
the idea that a bunch of automatically piloted vehicles is somehow a better solution to city transport than mass-transit, it boggles my mind.
real people do not have money to maintain their cars properly. things are going to break. there are not going to be 'system administrators' to fix all the glitches that come up when cars start breaking down after a few years.
there will be problems. do i know which problems? no, but i know the main problem.
arrogance amongst revolutionaries. it is historically a pattern of the human species. declaring that nothing could go wrong is usually a precursor to a lot of things going wrong. not because the situation was unpredictable, but because human beings in an arrogant mindset tend to make a lot of mistakes, be reckless, and try to cover their asses when things go wrong.
but successful engineering is the anti-thesis of arrogance. nobody worth his salt is going to say 'what could go wrong'? they are going to have a list of 500 things that could go wrong, and all the ways they have tried to counter-act those wrong things happening."
Well said. Proof will be in the testing... on real roads with real cars. Oy.

about a month ago
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Twitter Bug Locks Out Many Users

Catbeller Re:Think about this when... (69 comments)

http://it.slashdot.org/comment... Great thread on this subject. Here's a good post by a better writer than I:

"we already fixed it. its called 'trains'. (Score:5, Insightful)
by decora(1710862) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @12:54AM (#38430976) Journal

the idea that a bunch of automatically piloted vehicles is somehow a better solution to city transport than mass-transit, it boggles my mind.

real people do not have money to maintain their cars properly. things are going to break. there are not going to be 'system administrators' to fix all the glitches that come up when cars start breaking down after a few years.

there will be problems. do i know which problems? no, but i know the main problem.

arrogance amongst revolutionaries. it is historically a pattern of the human species. declaring that nothing could go wrong is usually a precursor to a lot of things going wrong. not because the situation was unpredictable, but because human beings in an arrogant mindset tend to make a lot of mistakes, be reckless, and try to cover their asses when things go wrong.

but successful engineering is the anti-thesis of arrogance. nobody worth his salt is going to say 'what could go wrong'? they are going to have a list of 500 things that could go wrong, and all the ways they have tried to counter-act those wrong things happening."

about a month ago
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Twitter Bug Locks Out Many Users

Catbeller Re:Think about this when... (69 comments)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...

Medical[edit]
  A bug in the code controlling the Therac-25 radiation therapy machine was directly responsible for at least five patient deaths in the 1980s when it administered excessive quantities of X-rays.[13][14][15]
  A Medtronic heart device was found vulnerable to remote attacks in March 2008.[16]

Funny: I remember this story. The USS Yorktown BSODed at sea when it let Window NT helm the ship.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U...
Smart ship testbed[edit]

From 1996 Yorktown was used as the testbed for the Navy's Smart Ship program. The ship was equipped with a network of 27 dual 200 MHz Pentium Pro-based machines running Windows NT 4.0 communicating over fiber-optic cable with a Pentium Pro-based server. This network was responsible for running the integrated control center on the bridge, monitoring condition assessment, damage control, machinery control and fuel control, monitoring the engines and navigating the ship. This system was predicted to save $2.8 million per year by reducing the ship's complement by 10%.

On 21 September 1997, while on maneuvers off the coast of Cape Charles, Virginia, a crew member entered a zero into a database field causing an attempted division by zero in the ship's Remote Data Base Manager, resulting in a buffer overflow which brought down all the machines on the network, causing the ship's propulsion system to fail.[6]

Anthony DiGiorgio, a civilian contractor with a 26-year history of working on Navy control systems, reported in 1998 that Yorktown had to be towed back to Norfolk Naval Station. Ron Redman, a deputy technical director with the Aegis Program Executive Office, backed up this claim, suggesting that such system failures had required Yorktown to be towed back to port several times.[7]

In 3 August 1998 issue of Government Computer News, a retraction by DiGiorgio was published. He claims the reporter altered his statements, and insists that he did not claim the Yorktown was towed into Norfolk. GCN stands by its story.[8]

Atlantic Fleet officials also denied the towing, reporting that Yorktown was "dead in the water" for just 2 hours and 45 minutes.[7] Captain Richard Rushton, commanding officer of Yorktown at the time of the incident, also denied that the ship had to be towed back to port, stating that the ship returned under its own power.[9]

Atlantic Fleet officials acknowledged that the Yorktown experienced what they termed "an engineering local area network casualty".[7] "We are putting equipment in the engine room that we cannot maintain and, when it fails, results in a critical failure," DiGiorgio said.[7]

about a month ago
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Twitter Bug Locks Out Many Users

Catbeller Re:Think about this when... (69 comments)

You have no imagination and too much confidence in your coding abilities. The world isn't a video game. As I pointed out in my longer response, robot airliners and other craft have gone wild and hurt and killed people. Refusal to look is not a rebuttal. (But of course it is- any problem can be solved by a more expensive solution combined with a complete refusal to look at any evidence that contradicts the solution).

Software piloting is fine. On a plane, with a priesthood of techs looking after it daily, and with pilots who have (one would hope) both the opportunity and the ability to take control if the computer pilot goes fuckyup. In a car, there is no time to recover, worst case, the "pilot" is playing a video game, the car's maintenance is up to the pilot, and the car is surrounded by other cars that will be in a lot of trouble from the rogue car. No comparison.

about a month ago
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Twitter Bug Locks Out Many Users

Catbeller Re:Think about this when... (69 comments)

You can't synthesize a general rule from systemic failures? Keep It Simple Shithead.
Planes do fail by software errors.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q...
http://it.slashdot.org/story/1...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...
Antilock brakes are very simple systems, and you have a mechanical backup as well. But, for the record, I don't like computer controlled brakes. I drive a mechanical car.
If ABS do fail or malfunction, I doubt anyone is keeping track as to how or when. As no one keeps track, you can't perceive systemic failure as a problem. They'd have to fail massively for anyone to care.
Robots don't operate very much, and frankly I certainly don't want a piece of software cutting on me. It's not outlawed for the same reason automated cars aren't outlawed. Not enough experience to perceive failure, and an unwillingness to acknowledge failure when it does happen. And civilized countries allow voting via computer programs as well - the ultimate in unpercievable failure.
Pacemakers can fail via deliberate malware infestation, or an EMP attack or accident, or a software bug. Just because you don't know of a failure doesn'[t mean it doesn't happen.
Here's some automated software injuries:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...
http://www.ccnr.org/fatal_dose...

As to your point about a software bug failure on Twitter being different than a software bug in a car running half a billion lines of code:

You make my point for me. Twitter failed from one point. Just one point. Half a million lines of code have damn near an infinite chance of:
1. Failure through complexity. Any real-world programmer knows that hyper-complex systems can have cascading weirdness.
2. Failure through sensor failure, processor failures, bus failures, and similar failures we can't anticipate.
http://it.slashdot.org/story/1...
http://www.cs.tau.ac.il/~nachu...
And Google's robot car had to be rebooted twice during its certification run.
3. Failure through an the inability to program a PC to anticipate all the possibilities that a car swarming with other cars in a real world situation. One can't program that.
4. Failure through vulnerability to outside attack. Software on a network is very vulnerable; one hundred percent so. Physically, a high energy radio pulse fired at a car, or a whole highway of cars, would cause carnage. Carnage would be multilation and death, what happens when steel boxes swerve randomly around at 70 mph with no driver.
5. The problem isn't about ALL cars failing. One car can fail and crash the cars around it. For the system to work, all cars have to work 100% perfectly all the time.

An car - driver is eating a sandwich. Car computer failure would crash the car instantly, depending. Carnage.
An airplane - plane is, generally speaking, in the air most of the time. If the computers fail, somehow, the pilot can take control with time enough to avoid contact with other planes or the ground.
Car - failure, milliseconds to react, car may not even let you drive. Plane: seconds or minutes to recover and land.

I'm only pointing out the obvious failure points. Others will happen. I wistfully recall posting on Slashdot about the vulnerability of a NFC card being read without the owner's knowledge; I was mocked as an ignoramus. I just pointed out physics didn't rule out building a concealed reader, or very powerful pulse generator. Both have happened.

I await the stories of failed robot cars in the coming years, and either the panicked response or the determined refusal to acknowledge a problem

Try driving your own cars. If that isn't safe - and it ISN'T, cars kill more people than wars - think about building decent public trans.

about a month ago
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Twitter Bug Locks Out Many Users

Catbeller Think about this when... (69 comments)

Think about this when they try to sell you on computer-driven cars. No amount of crazy-preparation and cleverness will save you from one, tiny mistake that blows it all to hell. This time, nothing much. With robot cars, carnage.

about a month ago
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Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

Catbeller Re:*sips pabst* (351 comments)

Tom Bombadil served as a projection of absolute mystery in a fantasy world where much wonder was already well documented. Even the Valar didn't know who he was. Probably. Tolkien believed you should never tell all the secrets, and frankly HE didn't know what Tom was, and was happy that way. Even mysteries should have mysteries.

And TB was his young son Christopher's favorite doll, in the real world. He put it in to make his son happy, I think.

about a month ago
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Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

Catbeller Re:*sips pabst* (351 comments)

Middle Earth is never boring. I could watch a 100 hour travel documentary with NO dialogue and be fascinated. (It really would be fascinating! The place is bloody enormous, and that was just the NW tip of the northern continent)

about a month ago
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Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

Catbeller Re:print fans (351 comments)

As a cloaked and rather spiritually amnesiac Maia, Gandalf has, along with all the other Ainur now locked into Arda who listened to the Eru Illuvatar Lecture about how the new worlds would work, has sort of a feeling, based on impressive but never quite remembered foreknowledge, of how the rabbit is gonna jump. He's got prophetic mojo, in small amounts, and he's on a Really Real Mission from God, or at least God's lieutenant, Manwe.

(Ever wonder who foretold all those prophecies everyone keeps talking about? Foreknowledge is part of ME. Some have it).

about a month ago
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Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

Catbeller Re:miscreation (351 comments)

The crap was in the LOTR appendices. Tolkien just never had time enough to fill in the blanks. Christopher won't let Jackson have the other books, but the story Jackson told IS what happened off-screen, as it were, in the Hobbit book. Galdalf went off mysteriously, met with the White Council, got imprisoned, went after Sauron with the others and drove him out of his body (again). He interacted with a lot of people off-book, and Tolkien wrote a history documenting it. There are other creatures under the ground than Tolkien listed - practically an infinite number left over from when Ea was a void- inumerable other sentient species and far-off lands and continents. I was happy to see a little fill - there's so much room to grow the world. Doesn't make the movie bad, unless you think the Hobbit was bad, which it kinda was, as a novel, being a child's story. The Battle of Five Armies *was* that vicious - Tolkien simply Knocked Out the Protaganist and moved the story past the hero, keeping the violence down. ME wasn't a bonnie bucholic place, not at all.

about a month ago
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Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

Catbeller Tolkien would have changed the story if he could (351 comments)

Tolkien wrote the Hobbit for small children. Twee in tone - the dwarves had green, and yellow, and blue beards, for instance. In his short piece, A Meeting in Erebor (adapted into the movie!), he had Gandalf and Aragorn meet at the Pony, I think, and they discussed dark and grave matters in an adult tone, setting the Hobbit events up for the LOTR. Had Tolkien not had a day job, he'd probably had rewritten the Hobbit to bring in in line with the LOTR and the older stories.

Jackson had the appendices of the LOTR to work with, but nothing else from the Simarillion or Untold Tales, because the Tolkien estate doesn't like what he did. Perhaps that was shooting themselves in their own feet, as he had little story material and so had to make up filler.

Do recall that the Hobbit, as a story, is rather thin.

about a month ago
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Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

Catbeller Re:Won't work the way you think (368 comments)

Hm. what I am trying to say, I think, is never to accept tech as a panacea, or even a amelliorative to a problem that is human and structural. The buggers will squirm and put a new hold on the suspect, as it were. The beatings may go down - that would be good. The cameras will help, undoubtably, and already have. We techites tend to believe in our equipment and ingenuity. But, recall that Apple has a patent on a geofenced override command for multimedia recording (on a phone at least). At some point, police and the like may, probably will, get the capability to shut off our recorders at will. Then they could shut off theirs, and then the DA and a jury has to decide who's lying. Usually cops and the DA win that battle.

Problem is, as I noodle it, is that the cops have become non-civilians, in their minds. If the people are civilians, then they must be soldiers, and they are no longer employees but an occupying army beset by the enemy. They'd never even say that in their minds, but it is, you must admit at this point, obvious that they have dettached themselves from the civilians. Turning your back on your boss, for instance, smacks of the ol' Army has Turned Against El Presidente. I dunno. Time to tear it down and start over? Reduce the number of stupid crimes so that the police don't have to view EVERYone as the possible enemy (trim it down to assault, murder, theft, and dump the moral and chemical crimes).

about a month ago
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Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

Catbeller Re:Won't work the way you think (368 comments)

Relative impunity. Those were the cases where they were detected and punished. There will be thousands, tens of thousands of cases when they will not be caught, or if nailed, not punished much. Or simply plead technical issues - they have done so. You will of course hear about those fired; there certainly will be a small enough number so that they will be covered. The cops will adapt and adjust, and turn off the cams for the very nastiest acts. I've posted a number of links downthread where cops shut off their cams and killed someone, claiming tech issues.

And NO cop is ever presumed guilty. Infraction at most, fired at rare intervals. We won't count the number of times they get away with it, as apparently even Slashdotters aren't aware they are already disabling surveillance - what people don't know about, they don't notice. What will almost never happen, at the end of the diminishing curve of punishment, is a charge of murder.

Tens of thousands of men and women who have all the power and relative immunity and tight solidarity will wiggle this about until they have a new advantage.

about a month ago
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Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

Catbeller Re:Won't work the way you think (368 comments)

Apple got the patent. So, if implemented, a command could shut off all phone cams (airplane mode, at least, refuse to record at most) in response to legal authority in a geofenced area - movie theaters, areas around celebrities, or non-"1st Amendment" zones established by cops.

about a month ago
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Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

Catbeller Re:Won't work the way you think (368 comments)

Astounding. I document it extensively in reply to a challenge, and I'm STILL downvoted. You're downvoting reality, and substituting your own.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Tesla car log: NYT writer Broder lied

Catbeller Catbeller writes  |  about 2 years ago

Catbeller writes "Tesla has posted the driving log of the Tesla driven by NYT writer John Broder: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/most-peculiar-test-drive, and it is a hell of a tale. He sped. He turned up the heat. He undercharged. He passed a charging station. He CIRCLED a charging station, apparently to drain the battery. He detached from the chargers when he was woefully undercharged, against advice. He never ran out of power. He seems to have intentionally, maliciously tried to make that car run out of power — and he failed. The car overperformed and gave him more range than the specs indicate, despite the abuse. Let's get this liar fired, kids."
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Catbeller Catbeller writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Catbeller (118204) writes "From the "There's Your Smoking Gun Department": The AP is reporting that one Randy Wooten, mayoral candidate for Waldenburg Arkansas — a town of eighty people — discovered that the electronic voting system hadn't registered the one vote he knew had been cast for him, because he cast it himself. The Machine gave him zero votes. That would be an error rate of 3%, counting the actual votes cast — 18 and 18 for a total of 36. For those who haven't quite gotten the concept of e-voting, we have this quote:
Poinsett County Election Commissioner Junaway Payne said the issue had been discussed but no action taken yet. "It's our understanding from talking with the secretary of state's office that a court order would have to be obtained in order to open the machine and check the totals," Payne said. "The votes were cast on an electronic voting machine, but paper ballots were available."
Yep. Get the screwdrivers out, time to find that missing vote!"

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