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The L.A. Times Names Its Favorite Flops of the Year

DrgnDancer Re:Facebook IPO (145 comments)

Indeed, the greatest success of Apple Maps was getting Google to finally release a function version of Google Maps for the iPhone. It's so much better than the service I used to use for turn by turn directions.

about a year ago
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UK Government Changes Tack and Demands Default Porn Block

DrgnDancer Re:Wow! The UK is... (163 comments)

This is somewhat misleading. States actually determine the age at which all of these things are legal. While it's true that all states fall into line with federal policy on drinking and tobacco ages, this hasn't always been the case. The legal drinking age in Louisiana was 18 well into the 1990's. It didn't change until 1996 or 1997 (I remember becasue I'd just graduated college, and my girlfriend at the time was only 20. She was "grandfathered" in and could drink, as could anyone who at least 18 the day the new law went into effect). Age of consent varies wildly state by state and can be as low as 14. In theory any state can change any of these ages independently (though in practice funding rules from the feds make it unlikely that they will for drinking or tobacco)

about a year ago
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Hacker Behind Leaked Nude Celebrity Photos Gets 10 Years

DrgnDancer Re:Have we completed the road to serfdom yet? (346 comments)

Not really true. I know normal people that his sort of thing has happened to and the perpetrators went to jail. Maybe not for ten years, but remember that this guy was charged with 26 counts. He did this to *a lot* of people. Surprisingly enough you go to jail for a longer time when you rob four stores than when you rob one store.

about a year ago
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Hacker Behind Leaked Nude Celebrity Photos Gets 10 Years

DrgnDancer Re:Wake up call (346 comments)

You are correct. The article states that he could have gotten 121 years if he'd been convicted on all 26 counts he was indited for. Real world third degree burglary adds up too when you've broken into a couple dozen stores. If the information in the article is correct, it looks like the average maximum sentence for each indictment is around 4.5 years, so 2.5 years less than you say for third degree burglary. It's just that he did it lots and lots of times. Sounds like he got off pretty easy, about 3 months per count.

about a year ago
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Adam Lanza Destroyed His Computer Before Rampage

DrgnDancer Re:Why physically damage the drive? (1719 comments)

Ordinarily you'd be right, but the profile on this is too big. They'll pour whatever resources are required in if they think there's a chance of getting anything. If it's a lost cause, it's a lost cause, but they'll make pretty damned sure before they give up.

about a year ago
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Adam Lanza Destroyed His Computer Before Rampage

DrgnDancer Re:No online footprint? Bullshit. (1719 comments)

So when his logs reveal that his IP address has been hooked up to an encrypted annonymizing service pretty much 24/7, and that all traffic from his computer went to IP addresses in the Cayman Islands before it ever went onto the Internet? It's really not that hard to make it difficult to track your online history. Given a lot of time and resources the police and FBI can probably dig up at least part of his online footprint eventually, but it's only been a few days. If he was employing forensic countermeasures on his online activities, it's certainly possible that it will be quicker and easier to get the info from his computer. Especially since it seems like his data destruction attempts were somewhat amateurish.

about a year ago
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Adam Lanza Destroyed His Computer Before Rampage

DrgnDancer Re:Why physically damage the drive? (1719 comments)

The guy killed 28 people, including 20 small kids, in a international media circus that included the personal attention of the POTUS. Every single piece of that hard drive is in an FBI clean lab with specialists trying every trick they know, and NSA consultants coming in just to see if they help. If there's anything the FBI and NSA specialists can't figure out, any university in the country will be happy to lend whatever professor is most appropriate out, and the national intelligences services of any county in western world and a good chunk of the developing world will be available for consult should it be required.

Trust me, for something like this, resources are not going to be an issue.

about a year ago
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NCTC Gets Vast Powers To Spy On U.S. Citizens

DrgnDancer Re:Paywalled (332 comments)

OK, I'm willing to go along with the concept that the US Federal government has gotten even more intrusive however, a little real info would be nice.

I'm not even sure about that much. If the info in the summary is accurate, this agency isn't collecting information on you, merely compiling information that other agencies already collected. I'm frankly a little shocked this isn't already happening. From the summary this sounds like a paranoid tempest in a teakettle, but I can't read the article either.

about a year ago
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Apple CEO Tim Cook On Apple's US Manufacturing Move

DrgnDancer Re:What dividend promise? (266 comments)

I don't disagree, but if the uncertain tax situation means that Apple wants to wait on delivering the dividend until it's more sure of exactly what it's giving out, that seems reasonable. Maybe they'll do it next year once the whole fiscal cliff mess is over. My parent's point seems to that Apple has tons of money, so they shouldn't worry about what they do with it.

about a year ago
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Apple CEO Tim Cook On Apple's US Manufacturing Move

DrgnDancer Re:The Insourcing Boom (266 comments)

It's not a bad word (or phrase), it's just inadequately descriptive. Similar things are happening (to lesser a extent, due to the economy) in Western Europe. It's more of a generic move to reverse some of the "outsourcing" of the last 20 years; hence "insourcing". this particular article is about returning to the "made in the USA" label, but the overall trend is global, and thus larger than just the US.

about a year ago
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Apple CEO Tim Cook On Apple's US Manufacturing Move

DrgnDancer Re:What dividend promise? (266 comments)

Instead they should pointlessly waste it?

about a year ago
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You Can't Say That On the Internet

DrgnDancer Re:If you don't like it... (432 comments)

First, we aren't talking about corporate porn filters on their own networks. In fact, at no point in the article or the summary is such a thing even mentioned. This is about the big technology companies that run the major sites used throughout the world: Facebook, Google, Twitter, Youtube, Amazon, and how they used filters and censorship on the customer facing side of their network (not their internal networks), despite their vocal public appeals for the net to be free and open. I don't see how you can possibly miss the hypocrisy. I'm not saying they're wrong, I'm not saying that some level of censorship is not probably necessary for them to dodge regulators, concerned parents, and prudes, I'm just saying there's a level of hypocrisy.

Doesn't bother you? Fine. It really doesn't bother me either, though there are a few places in which a few of these companies are skirting a line close to something that would bother me. Do I care that Google's predictive text searches won't complete the word "penis" for me? No, not at all. Would I care if Goggle simply wouldn't search for "penis"? Yes, I would and I'd start looking for alternatives.

about a year and a half ago
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You Can't Say That On the Internet

DrgnDancer Re:Sounds like a campus speech code (432 comments)

Which is fine if you concentrate on the parts of the New Testament that focus on Jesus himself (or at least mostly so, every so often Jesus gets all "I am the Son of God, cower before me!", but I tend to think those might have been later edits), but honestly that's less than half of the New Testament. Once Paul, to a lesser extent Peter, and to great extent John of the Apocalypse, get their say things get a lot murkier. One could certainly argue that since Christianity is about Christ, we should ignore the bits where Peter, Paul, and John get extremely un-Christ-like, but that's pretty much flying in the face of the last 2000 years of mainstream Christian tradition.

about a year and a half ago
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You Can't Say That On the Internet

DrgnDancer Re:If you don't like it... (432 comments)

This guy isn't saying that these companies are violating the law, or that they should be somehow forced to change their algorithms. He's simply pointing out the hypocrisy of their advocating for free access to information while simultaneously directly and indirectly censoring the content they present. Whether the hypocrisy is a problem or not probably depends on who your are, what your goals are, and what level of censorship the company is presenting you with. Google for instance doesn't censor its results (except in rare cases where it's required to by law), but does censor indirectly through blocking certain search terms in auto-complete. Arguably that's a pretty mild and indirect form of censorship (you can after all simply type the your search terms out completely), and it may not bother many people. Facebook is more explicit in its censorship, but also arguably has a greater legal compliance requirement.

It's a discussion that's worth having, even if the most we can do about it is avoid or support companies that either support or reject our own opinions on the matter. It's certainly not as important a subject as some others, but it's not trivial either. It's worth looking at.

about a year and a half ago
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You Can't Say That On the Internet

DrgnDancer Re:Sounds like a campus speech code (432 comments)

Not that I agree with your parent; I've met prickly people of almost every faith and creed who can become unreasonable at the least provocation. That said, your reply is a pretty poor counter. Such a "No True Scotsman" argument can be applied to almost anything: "No true Muslim would be so offended, after all Islam means "peace"", "No true liberal would be so offended, we're all about inclusiveness of ideas", "No true conservative would be so offended, we always argue from a position of logic", No true Buddhist..." etc.

"Love thy neighbor as thyself" is only one line from one Testament, from one half of the book. There's plenty of arguments in Christian scripture for being an asshole too, and lots of Christians use those to justify the very behavior you say they shouldn't engage in. There are lots of Christians in the world. There are lots of prickly easily offended people in the world. The intersection of those two sets is also quite large.

about a year and a half ago
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Little Miss Sunshine Screenwriter Gets Nod For Star Wars: Episode VII

DrgnDancer Re:I don't want to see an animated kids movie (321 comments)

I screamed my head off in the trash compactor scene when I first saw Episode IV, but I was 3. I think my parents may have been slightly over enthusiastic about "family friendly". Certainly any kid older than 7 or 8 could easily watch the original trilogy, follow the major plot points, and not be scared or upset.

about a year and a half ago
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Little Miss Sunshine Screenwriter Gets Nod For Star Wars: Episode VII

DrgnDancer Re:There goes... (321 comments)

New stories don't, by default, throw out the expanded universe. The characters in the Expanded Universe are approximately the age of the actors, and efforts have even been made by the EU authors to make Luke kinda beat up and looking like Mark Hamill (whether consciously hoping he might one day reprise the role, or just unconsciously making him look like his template.) The biggest obstacle to using the three original actors in a film that takes the EU into account is Carrie Fisher. She'd need to get in shape (not that's she's hideously fat or anything, just not Jedi Knight fit.) Last I saw Hamill and Ford they could believably play an aging Luke and Han in the EU assuming lots of special effects for Luke's more athletic capabilities (but that would be required no matter what).

about a year and a half ago
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Blizzard Sued Over Battle.net Authentication

DrgnDancer Re:How exactly does it work? (217 comments)

So your computer is so close to minimum spec that you can't run the login screen for a game and the simulator simultaneously? I mean, sure, a lot of these games are somewhat resource intensive during actual play, especially if you have the settings turned way up, but if you can't run the login screen at the same time as an Android emulator, chances are the game will be unplayable anyway.

about a year and a half ago
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Blizzard Sued Over Battle.net Authentication

DrgnDancer Re:This is ridiculous (217 comments)

But there's free options for authenticators. You can use a phone app. If you don't have a smart phone, the phone apps work on the iPod Touch, the iPad, or any Android tablet or "smart" MP3 player; they even work in the phone simulators that Apple and Google provide for free with their developer kits. Granted installing a phone simulator to run an authenticator is a pain in the ass, but it is free.

about a year and a half ago
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'World of Warcraft' Candidate For Maine State Senate Wins Election

DrgnDancer Re:So what? (220 comments)

No, she gets recognition because she won her election after her opponent tried to use her WoW playing against her. Given that most of us here have played games at one point or another, it annoys us when some tries to imply that doing so is disqualification for "important" jobs. It's vindicating that the voters did not agree. It's true that her playing WoW doesn't make her a better person of a better politician, but it the point is that it doesn't inherently make her a worse person or politician.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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Nations Differ on "Information Weapons"

DrgnDancer DrgnDancer writes  |  more than 3 years ago

DrgnDancer (137700) writes "There's an interesting story on NPR's website about recent efforts to control so called "information weapons" on the Internet. What's interesting here is that the term "information weapon", as defined by many of the countries trying to limit them, doesn't mean what you would think. From the article:

"At a U.N. disarmament conference in 2008, Sergei Korotkov of the Russian Defense Ministry argued that anytime a government promotes ideas on the Internet with the goal of subverting another country's government — even in the name of democratic reform — it should qualify as "aggression." And that, in turn, would make it illegal under the U.N. Charter.

"Practically any information operation conducted by a state or a number of states against another state would be qualified as an interference into internal affairs," Korotkov said through an interpreter. So any good cause, like [the] promotion of democracy, cannot be used as a justification for such actions.""

The Russians, and a lot of other countries (Iran and China notable among them), apparently consider the free exchange of information to be an information technology threat. One that must be managed by treaty."

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