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!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

The Software Big Oil's PR Firm Uses To "Convert Average Citizens"

Etherwalk It's a PR Firm... (101 comments)

Their job is to lie by saying things that may be true, technically. (At least when they're dealing with entrenched interests working against the public good to maximize profit.)

3 days ago
top

Congress Suggests Moat, Electronic Fence To Protect White House

Etherwalk Re:Moat? Electric fence? (211 comments)

They're just pointing out the hypocrisy of politicians being protected by guns and fences, while telling citizens they can't have guns and that a fence isn't needed on our nations borders (despite cartels and bad guys with known terrorist ties crossing daily).

Downtown Washington is littered with dozens of federal buildings, each having its own set of trained security and metal detectors and the like. We spend a fortune on it.

3 days ago
top

UK Hotel Adds Hefty Charge For Bad Reviews Online

Etherwalk Contracts (302 comments)

I agree. The other thing, though, is that IT'S A CONTRACT. Read, read read! I don't know why people who don't read the contract try to get out of it later. I know it's not kosher to put things like this in the contact, but contracts are like that. They're usually one sided in favor of one party or another. The question is, whether this was illegal (extorting money for negative reviews). If it wasn't, then I don't see how one should be able to get out of it.

This was a simple retail transaction, not a commercial negotiation.

Luckily, I doubt that this hotel will be seeing many of the latter until they come to talk to their liquidators.

Retail or not, contracts are binding.

Contracts tend to be binding even when both parties don't read--most contracts are not read but are binding. Even lawyers don't usually read the contracts they sign for everyday things--they only do it when a lot is at stake or when it is for a client.

In commercial transactions in the United States, there are default rules that vary from state to state (generally slightly modified from the Uniform Commercial Code), but almost all of the terms can be changed by a contract between the parties, so a lot of places will change them on an order form or receipt or the like.

There are exceptions--contracts can't violate the law, for example. But they can still be written to unreasonably favor one party, and usually are.

4 days ago
top

Military Laser/Radio Tech Proposed As Alternative To Laying Costly Fiber Cable

Etherwalk Vulnerable Infrastructure (150 comments)

If it was for base connectivity I would be very surprised if fiber wasn't laid. I am more likely to believe the military use for this was designed for something which can be setup quickly in forward operating locations. Fiber takes time and substantially more infrastructure to install. Theoretically this could be run off a steerable pop-up mast which could be setup in minutes.

Fiber can also be cut.

5 days ago
top

Scientists Optimistic About Getting a Mammoth Genome Complete Enough To Clone

Etherwalk Super Soldiers... (186 comments)

That's relevant to, but not the full story of, the ethical controversy over human cloning, but we're talking about mammoths. I don't think anyone's proposing that we insert mammoth DNA into human eggs.

Sounds like a military project. (Not all militaries would be willing to try this, but some certainly would.)

5 days ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Dealing With VoIP Fraud/Phishing Scams?

Etherwalk Not Copyright (139 comments)

>Hehe, so in this case a Slashdotter thinks you should be able to get details without a court order, but when the RIAA or MPAA wants details its a completely different situation...

Yes. Most Slashdotters recognize that the penalties for noncommercial copyright violation are ridiculously disproportional to the crime and have limited economic impact, and might support something small (like a $50 ticket that doesn't leave anyone with a criminal record or entry in any system) but will generally side with pirates against content-creators when you are looking at $10,000 per title, criminal penalties, dealing with the legal system, or really anything more than a slap on the wrist.

On the other hand, when someone is responsible for crimes that are much more universally recognized as deserving of criminalization, and as an actual pain in the ass, they are much more willing to support substantial actions against that person--and more, to preserve the reputation and business of the people being significantly harmed.

about a week ago
top

Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

Etherwalk Better than cars (418 comments)

> But, I ask, what is the point of a slow passenger train for commuting?

Two points--

(1) it reduces traffic congestion
(2) it still may be faster than driving.

If everyone who tooks trains into NY drove, we wouldn't have needed a large hadron collider. The Cross Bronx would have collapsed into a black hole.

The problem at this point is building trains, not that trains don't make sense. It's politically sensitive to expropriate property.

about a week ago
top

FCC Says Net Neutrality Decision Delay Is About Courts, Not Politics

Etherwalk Re:Nov 25 or 26?, or Dec 19, 22, or 23? (60 comments)

These guys don't really think like that, usually.

They'll be aware of it, sure; they will avoid making decisions that tank later opportunities in the private sector. But they are also usually not actively trying to do the wrong thing--they're trying to figure out what a fairly decent policy is that they can get traction on.

The FCC doesn't have big teeth, and it has a lot of people who have industry experience and therefore an industry point-of-view. They are realists, and will probably try to put together a policy that makes things slightly better than they would be otherwise.

If they try to be too active, Congress will whip them around. Communications vendors are major Congressional donors.

As to the will of the people--we're talking net neutrality. People support it because they like the word "Neutral." This is one of those cases where democracy is a really bad basis for decision-making; kinda like asking voters to design a network topology.

about a week ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Is Non-USB Flash Direct From China Safe?

Etherwalk There will be. (178 comments)

Well, you've just made the suggestion in a public forum monitored (at a very low-level) by multiple intelligence agencies. Some intern will now write it up and toss it up the chain, and if someone can develop such a thing, they will.

about a week ago
top

Debunking a Viral Internet Post About Breastfeeding Racism

Etherwalk Confidence (350 comments)

Sure you'll conclude that, just with low confidence.

about two weeks ago
top

Berlin's Digital Exiles: Where Tech Activists Go To Escape the NSA

Etherwalk Sue. (231 comments)

Sue.

If they have no reason to believe you're breaking the law, sue. If you are being harassed and detained by government officials for exercising your constitutional rights, that is exactly what the federal courts are for.

about two weeks ago
top

Washington Dancers Sue To Prevent Identity Disclosure

Etherwalk Age, Trafficking (461 comments)

There would be no issue here if the state didn't have a BS licensing law.

Seriously: who or what interest does the state imagine it is "protecting" with this license? It isn't there for practical purposes, it's there for the purposes of intimidation and control.

The licensing law is bad because it is the licensing law itself that led to this conflict between public's right to know and an individual's privacy. I do agree that the individual has a right to privacy away from the workplace... but it is the STATE that is violating it with this STUPID law.

Obvious answers: underage dancers, human trafficking, tax collection.

Washington State is supposed to remove certain sensitive information in records requests--like the home address of a state employee--but generally it has a very permissive open records law. The strippers can probably just argue their identity is basically sensitive information, and then the court will probably say that the identities can't be released for a request to pray for them.

about two weeks ago
top

We Are Running Out of Sand

Etherwalk Re:Sand for construction (264 comments)

I was actually thinking of mixing Portland Cement with sand; my bad for accuracy, but still a problem either way.

about two weeks ago
top

We Are Running Out of Sand

Etherwalk Sand for construction (264 comments)

I thought the article was about running out of sand for silicon semiconductors. Besides California falling into the Pacific Ocean after a big earthquake, a lack of sand would be the end of Silicon Valley.

Or sand for construction. Sand is a major ingredient in cement, so running out of sand would be a big deal.

about two weeks ago
top

Australian Post Office Opens Mail Forwarding Warehouse In the USA

Etherwalk Re:One has to expect this will be caught up with.. (142 comments)

It's not US retailers, generally, who are overcharging Australians. If the retailers also do business in Australia, they might care. But if you buy something from a company with no presence in Australia who previously wouldn't ship there themselves, then it'll be fine.

This. It's like Canada--the middle-man makes a ridiculous amount of money because there's less competition in middle-men, so products often cost more than in the states. It's not as bad as it was pre-NAFTA, but it's not great either. The cost of a tire was at least 30% higher the last time I checked, although YMMV.

about two weeks ago
top

Undersized Grouper Case Lands In Supreme Court

Etherwalk Re:If they're going literal.... (251 comments)

It's not vague, it's inclusive. They meant to criminalize the destruction of evidence in federal criminal investigations and that's what they did. Had they meant something different, they'd have chosen different words. The "strict constructionists" on the court are favoring the idea that the law doesn't mean exactly what it says, but some they're-going-to-define-it-for-us subset of what it says? This makes sense to you?

Nevermind the consequences if they limit the meaning -- it will be legal to destroy most kinds of evidence in a criminal investigation. It's all A-OK if it didn't contain financial records right? Right?

Destroying evidence is not actually legal regardless, you can just go after people differently. Obstruction of justice or accessory after the fact charges could apply in some cases, for example, and you could also get procedural punishments like an "adverse inference instruction" to the jury, where they take the fact that you've destroyed evidence as evidence that it would have gone against you. You can even get them for failing to properly preserve evidence--i.e. not saving your emails after getting notice of a lawsuit. Adverse Inference Instructions are a really stupid way to lose lawsuits.

There are probably other charges you could apply.

Disclaimer: I am not your lawyer, consult an attorney if this stuff comes up for you.

about two weeks ago
top

Marijuana Legalized In Oregon, Alaska, and Washington DC

Etherwalk Re:But DC is different,no? (588 comments)

It's still Federally illegal. Even in any state that it is "legal" it can still be prosecuted. It won't be under the current president, but that can change in 2 years.

True. Although to be entirely fair, DC isn't a big fan of enforcing federal laws. They certainly can and may, but I remember a story by a disability rights advocate where it turned out to be easier to have portions of the federal law rewritten verbatim into the DC Code than it was to convince DC officials that federal laws applied.

Aside from the anecdote, though, DC generally doesn't like the fact that Congress can meddle. A number of years ago they even changed their license plates to read "Taxation without representation," because that's what they have.

about two weeks ago
top

Ford Develops a Way To Monitor Police Driving

Etherwalk Re:Police choose not to opt in. (151 comments)

So basically, nothing they couldn't already learn by using radio scanners?

A good thought, but it would include some they couldn't learn, and more easily processed. Radio scanners show reports of certain activity; this would be publicly available monitoring that showed where police were *at all times*. So you could get patrol routes and timings much more easily, for example.

about three weeks ago
top

Russia Takes Down Steve Jobs Memorial After Apple's Tim Cook Comes Out

Etherwalk Re:ah, I understand (430 comments)

I didn't know a person could become gay-tainted after they die if their successor is gay. Hope the next person to have my job after I die isn't gay, otherwise my tombstone might set off someone's gaydar. that would be embarrassing.

Why would that be embarrassing? It's just gay. It's not embarrassing.

about three weeks ago
top

Ford Develops a Way To Monitor Police Driving

Etherwalk Re:Police choose not to opt in. (151 comments)

Yeah. "The cops were at this place an hour ago, so if I drive my de Lorean at 88 I can be sure to not get caught this time!"

No, you're thinking too small. More like "This is the neighborhood with the highest ratio of accumulated wealth to police presence, so we will pull off some big jobs there." Or "Hey, did you notice how the police never seem to drive down 4th Street?" Or "police response times to this neighborhood drop by 75% at time X."

about three weeks ago

Submissions

top

China Criticizes US For Making Weapons Plans Stealable, Alleges Attacks.

Etherwalk Etherwalk writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Etherwalk (681268) writes "Huang Chengqing, director of the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team/Coordination Center of China, alleged that United States cyber-attacks on China have been as serious as those on the United States. In response to the recent hacks of United States military designs, he replied with an observation whose obviousness is worthy of Captain Hammer: "Even following the general principle of secret-keeping, it should not have been linked to the Internet.""
Link to Original Source
top

Manhattan, 1984

Etherwalk Etherwalk writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Etherwalk writes "The New York Times (and the usual suspects) are reporting on developments in the quest to charge driving fees for all vehicles headed below 86th Street in Manhattan. Notably absent from any part of the discussion? A record is made of every car or truck that enters, together with the vehicle ownership information and the date and time of travel — either as part of EZ-Pass or in license-plate photos taken for subsequent billing."
top

Etherwalk Etherwalk writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Etherwalk writes "NY's Mayor Bloomberg announced today a series of green initiatives to reduce pollution in New York City, notably planting 1 million new trees and adding an $8 fee for all cars and $21 for commercial trucks driving below 86th Street from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM on weekdays, the fee to be levied via EZ-Pass and license photos. The system's implementation effectively would make it a crime to enter lower Manhattan in your own vehicle without creating a record of your driving habits for the state."

Journals

Etherwalk has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?