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Average American Cable Subscriber Gets 189 Channels and Views 17

ChatHuant Re:Oh yeah right (340 comments)

You're assuming everybody subscribes to all the popular channels. At least in my case, that's not true; I'd be interested in at most a couple of them, so even if the total monthly cost is spread over only the top say 10 channels, I'd still save quite a bit.

about 7 months ago

Yahoo Stops Honoring 'Do-Not-Track' Settings

ChatHuant Re:until IE 10 broke it (300 comments)

Your post is just another case of rabid anti-Microsoftism leading to reverse logic. The standard you mention has been written by Google and their pet browser company, Mozilla, so of course it says the default preference should be to allow ads. That's deeply wrong and anti-consumer (but pro-ad companies).

There has been a lot of discussion on Slashdot and everywhere else about opt-in versus opt-out - and the consensus is that opt-in is the correct choice in pretty much all cases. By default, users should always be opted out of things that infringe their privacy. Exactly the same here: only if they specifically opt in should they be tracked. Well, IE does this correctly. Not knowing about do not track (or not being technically savvy enough to disable it) IS NOT AN OPT IN, and people who do want to be a product can disable the do-not-track flag.

Of course, Yahoo and Google profit from the vast number of users who don't know about the intricacies of the do not track standards and options. The fact remains that those users did not specifically opt in, and their privacy is abused. The standard is broken (I believe intentionally), so don't try to make it sound like it's somehow Microsoft's fault.

about 8 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What's New In Legacy Languages?

ChatHuant Re:Why .Net? (247 comments)

So please tell me how your going to fit any other language on a microcontroller with 1MB of flash memory. Nah, I'll be nice, how about 2MB of flash memory. Dont forget the roughly 512KB of RAM your going to have. And those specs are just guessing at what most industry will be using in 5-10 years. Most of us are still on ~256KB ROM.

The .Net micro framework matches your requirements pretty well: from the Wikipedia link: The .NET Micro Framework (NETMF) is an open source .NET platform for resource-constrained devices with at least 256 KBytes of flash and 64 KBytes of RAM. You can use Visual Studio and C# for pretty small devices.

about 9 months ago

Why Letting Your Insurance Company Monitor How You Drive Can Be a Good Thing

ChatHuant Re:Huh (567 comments)

they eventually end up charging each individual exactly what it will cost the insurance company to pay each individual's claims plus their profit margin. At that point, the insurance company is a useless middle man and everyone may as well be self-insured.

That doesn't make sense. The only way insurance companies can charge "exactly what it will cost to pay each individual's claims" is if they discover a magic ball that lets them see the future. They know that *on average* the chances for a member of a group to get in an accident are X, but have no way of telling which one of the members of the group will pull the short straw. Improved tracking allows them to define their populations better, and know the value of X more precisely, but even if they trace every move everyone makes, the companies have no way to know beforehand how much a particular individual will cost them.

If you add up the insurance premiums paid by the members of the defined population, you will indeed end up with a bigger amount that the actual costs of accidents etc. But an individual member only pays the premiums, even if he's the one involved in the accident. That's the whole point of insurance.

The problem is different: insurance companies can and do refuse service to people perceived to be high risk - or else, they charge them huge amounts. As they track the customers better, companies will eliminate all members of high risk populations from the pools, so those individuals will have no recourse if something happens to them (which, since they're high risk, very probably will).

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Which Encrypted Cloud Storage Provider?

ChatHuant Re:Give it up. (200 comments)

This is good advice, but note that it still leaves your vulnerable to traffic analysis; if this level of security matters to you, consider doing regular updates of fixed size to the cloud even if your local data hasn't changed. For example, put your data in a TrueCrypt volume, and run a script to do minor changes on a regular basis and upload the whole file to the cloud. This will cost more bandwidth (obviously) but the attacker will only see your regular daily/weekly/whatever upload of a fixed length binary lump and won't be able to correlate the changes in the churn and size of your data to your other activities.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: How Best To Synchronize Projects Between Shared Drive and PCs?

ChatHuant Re:stop trying, use git instead (238 comments)

However I definitely have seen the syndrome of people not acknowledging software not created by Microsoft

Yup, seen that. And I also saw the reverse: people going to insane lengths to refuse to use a Microsoft tool or system, despite it obviously being the best fit for their particular problem. There are quite a few such specimens (of both categories) on Slashdot, and, while the logic contortions can be funny at times, I'm annoyed to see how often misunderstood ideological purity trumps technical arguments.

about a year ago

Geeks.com Online Shop Has Closed

ChatHuant Re:You should have told me it existed! (187 comments)

I wonder about the wisdom of advertising on a site dedicated to a community that has both a very negative view of ads and the technical knowhow to block them...

about a year ago

I'd most rather, of the following, search with:

ChatHuant Re:AltaVista? (277 comments)

FWIW, you can use near: on Bing queries - it's a bit limited, because it defaults to 10 words distance, but still better than nothing. See here.

about a year and a half ago

Google Glass and Surveillance Culture

ChatHuant Re:minority report (318 comments)

I don't get this kind of reaction. So what if the one out of the box does this? We'll just learn to jailbreak it (if needed) and install an adblocker

Because the one out of the box does this, and most people won't have the knowledge or time to change it. Google will probably not make it easy either and will add some cheap baubles for users of unmodified glasses, who won't know or care about their privacy. And this will impact you because Google can now argue that many or even most people use their services unmodified and therefore whatever way they destroy your privacy is acceptable under "community values" and should not be legally restricted.

about a year and a half ago

Cryptography 'Becoming Less Important,' Adi Shamir Says

ChatHuant Re:He put the S in RSA (250 comments)


Eh? How is RSA a Diffie-Hellman rip off? One is an asymmetric encryption algorithm, the other one a key-exchange protocol. While there are some things where you could use either of them, their capabitilies don't overlap completely. Or is it because they both work on groups of integers modulo n? But then they're both rip-offs of the table of multiplication!

about 2 years ago

NOAA Report: World Labor Capacity Dropping Because of Increased Temperatures

ChatHuant Re:NO sense at all! (337 comments)

Dude, the difference is SLAVERY. All large civilizations are built on the backs of slaves...

Not, they aren't; it may be PC to say so, but it's just not true. No large modern civilization was built mainly on slavery, because slavery is just not efficient and productive enough. It's risky and expensive to educate slaves, so you can't build serious industrial capacity on slavery, their mobility as a workforce is minimal, you get lots of extra expenses for security, not to mention motivation.
Even in America, where slavery was much more prevalent and lasted more than in most other world powers, the productivity of the industrialized North (based mostly on immigrant labor) was far ahead of the productivity of the slave-owning South. Look at the 1850 census, especially here http://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/1850c-06.pdf (table CXCV, on page 11) to see how the gross manufacturing production of non-slaveholding states dwarfs the GP of slave-holding states. Though the difference isn't as great, the agricultural production (http://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/1850c-05.pdf) AND productivity was also larger in the North.
Of course, this doesn't mean the slaves didn't contribute, or had it easy, but, if you really want America to have been build on somebody's back, that back would belong to the immigrant laborer.

about 2 years ago

Islamists In Bangladesh Demand Murder of More Bloggers

ChatHuant Re:Before commenting, please remember... (389 comments)

Hitler was an avowed atheist. He went to Christian functions as a child, which most Christian parents have their children do.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Adolf_Hitler

I have to call you on that: you complain about misinformation but declare Hitler an atheist, while linking to a page that repeatedly states, specifically and clearly, that Hitler was NOT an atheist. If you decide to lie for Jesus, at least don't post links that immediately refute your affirmation - what did you think, nobody was going to check your source?. For Chrissake, there is a whole section in the Wikipedia article named "[Hitler's]Statements against atheism"! Here are some choice quotes from this section:

"Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith."

"National Socialism neither opposes the Church nor is it anti-religious, but on the contrary, it stands on the ground of a real Christianity. The Church's interests cannot fail to coincide with ours alike in our fight against the symptoms of degeneracy in the world of today, in our fight against the Bolshevist culture, against an atheistic movement"

"We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out."

"For eight months we have been waging a heroic battle against the Communist threat to our Volk, the decomposition of our culture, the subversion of our art, and the poisoning of our public morality. We have put an end to denial of God and abuse of religion. "

It's beyond me how, after reading this, you can with a straight face declare Hitler an atheist, and avowed, no less.

about 2 years ago

Can Dell and HP Keep Pace With An Asia-Centric PC World?

ChatHuant Re:Easily fixed (218 comments)

I vaguely remember a saying about those in glass houses

Hmmm... Those living in glass houses shouldn't try nailing their paintings to the walls?

about 2 years ago

What Early Software Was Influential Enough To Deserve Acclaim?

ChatHuant Re:VisiCalc (704 comments)

Bah, math failure, 1982 was only 31 years ago. Still more than the 30 the GP asked for.

about 2 years ago

What Early Software Was Influential Enough To Deserve Acclaim?

ChatHuant Re:VisiCalc (704 comments)

Tell me, Microsoft, what games of YOURS are still being played 20 to 30 years later?

Well, Microsoft Flight Simulator was launched in 1982, that is almost 35 years ago; Solitaire came with Windows 3.0, in 1990 (and believe me, there are many more people still playing Solitaire than ever played Colossal Cave or Zork). Minesweeper was originally part of the MS Entertainment Pack (also 1990) but was bundled with Windows I believe starting with Windows for Workgroups. Freecell came a bit later, can't remember exactly when, but was there before Win95, which makes it at least 18 years old, I'm sure there are more.

about 2 years ago

Open Source Software Licenses Versus Business Models

ChatHuant Re:I'm sorry but he is wrong.. (95 comments)

Google is not a business that is built around distributing FOSS.


You're confusing the means with the end: it's like saying a fishing company has built its business around distributing free bait. The fishing company wants to catch fish, and Google wants to catch eyeballs; those are the products the companies sell. Both the bait and the code are just production expenses, and not part of the business model.

about 2 years ago

How Much Beef Is In Your Burger?

ChatHuant Not just burgers... (709 comments)

They never tell us how much dog is in our hot dogs either :(

about a year ago

Android Botnet Infects 1 Million Plus Phones

ChatHuant Re:Excellent fact-checking as usual (92 comments)

The price of freedom is that people are free to install malware.

Which makes Windows the freest platform of all by far.

about 2 years ago

Standard Kilogram Gains Weight

ChatHuant Re:begs the question... (177 comments)

(IIRC two different methods for determining avagadros number were giving slighly different results).

I wonder if it may be easier to define Avogadro's number as a given constant and derive the kilogram as a fraction of a mole of a known isotope, like 1/12 of a kmole of C-12 (or maybe 1/4 of a kmole of He-4, to reduce the loss of energy in chemical bonds). Of course, this moves the difficulty to counting an exact number of similar atoms and measuring their mass precisely but at least it ties the kg to a physical value instead on an arbitrary metal lump.

about 2 years ago

In a Symbolic Shift, IBM's India Workforce Likely Exceeds That In US

ChatHuant Re:What happems (491 comments)

So, WTF isn't our US government doing it best to try to fight this trend.

They are there, after all.....supposedly...to fight for our interests above all other countries.

Why don't we fight anymore to try to fucking win??

I think you're a bit confused about whose interests the government is fighting for; it's only "our interests above all other countries", if you define "our" as pretty much overlapping with the one percenters. Most of the moves the US government made in the last 20 or more years have been very beneficial to the richest Americans, and neutral or harmful to the rest (just look at the evolution of the inequality index in the USA). The first to be affected were blue collar workers and the really poor, but the process continues, and the impact on the middle class in the USA is growing and I believe will do so for the foreseeable future.

The big losers in this are the middle classes in the developed countries (especially the USA). The US rich are doing great, as they have the US government fighting for them, and, interestingly, workers in other countries have gained quite a bit from the US policies. With the relaxation in trade and regulations, the lot of the average worker in China, Vietnam or some of the Eastern European countries (or even places like Bangladesh) has improved considerably. Of course, long term the economy is not a zero sum game, but short term, the increase of the quality of life for the average Chinese or Vietnamese comes at the expense of stagnant salaries, trade deficits and growing unemployment in the developed world.
So most people on Slashdot should expect their income to grow slowly (if not remain stagnant or even go down) during their lifetime, as globalization forces the worldwide equalization of incomes - which equalization will, for basic economic reasons, happen close to the lower end of the income spectrum. I expect the whole global economy will eventually grow enough for middle class incomes to get back to what the developed countries have enjoyed until recently, but i'm afraid for most of us it may be a rather long time.

about 2 years ago


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