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FOIA Request Shows Which Printer Companies Cooperated With US Government

Geminii Re:What's the problem? (355 comments)

Four feet from you. And you need a haircut.

more than 2 years ago
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Eternal Copyright: a Modest Proposal

Geminii Re:I'm all for it (184 comments)

Make the first payment cover the first decade. It'll only be about two grand, assuming $1 for the first year. After the tenth year, payments can be paid for any integer number of years in advance.

I'd even allow for copyright payments past the tenth year to be paid back. If you've paid two years in advance, and you find you have a sudden cash flow problem, you could wind your copyright back by a year and get that second year's payment back as a check.

more than 2 years ago
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Indian Government To Track Locations of All Cell Phone Users

Geminii Re:"The GPS is there in case you need to dial 911! (151 comments)

Who needs GPS? The phone company has detected that the signal from your phone has the following strengths at the following three base stations in your area... might not be enough to pinpoint you to within a yard, but they certainly know where you are to a city block or two. And should anyone be trying to track you down afterwards, there are a lot of urban places with security cameras which may have been pointing to places inside that city block.

Plus, of course, they can take a phone of the same model as yours and walk around the whole area of possibilities, recording the resulting sets of signal strengths and matching them to the ones received from your phone. It's a lot easier to ask the staff of three shops if they saw you than to ask the staff of a hundred.

more than 2 years ago
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Indian Government To Track Locations of All Cell Phone Users

Geminii Re:and can easily be foiled with.... (151 comments)

Almost every crimesolving technique and power is aimed squarely at making it easier to identify and round up criminals who are either stupid or who forgot to account for _all_ of the evidence which might be collected.

Smart criminals are always going to be harder to catch, because they're smart. But they're also a vanishingly small percentage of the criminal element. Eventually, in order to get away with a crime, luck aside, a person is going to have to be so smart that there's not really much chance of catching them at all. Even then, if the numbers of smart, successful, lucky criminals are reduced sufficiently by the percentage slivers new processes and technologies bring, that means that more resources can be brought to bear per case, and specialist crimesolving resources and teams (including things like the FBI in America) will be able to take on a greater proportion of the top cases.

As an example, if the FBI can handle, oh, ten thousand cases a year (completely guessing this number), and you're a smart successful criminal amongst 20,000 others like you, you still have a 50% chance of having the FBI after you. If new processes allow the regular police to track down, apprehend, and charge 5,000 of those smart criminals, your chance of being on the FBI's radar go up to 67%.

(Yes, I know the FBI doesn't operate like that. Replace it with any specialist resource. The point being that the more crims that can be nicked by the plod, the better the chance that the remaining ones will come to the attention of the big guns.)

Really, the smartest criminals are the ones committing crimes for which are are no laws yet. Even if they're caught, they can't be charged with what they actually did. And the best of the best make sure they have enough influence at the right levels so that they're protected from law enforcement in the first place.

more than 2 years ago
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FCC Cracks Down on Robocalls

Geminii If anyone's interested - (210 comments)

I'm looking into getting produced a product which could not only block all of these calls, but which would be automatically updated to block new sources of telemarketing, political spam, and so on.

Landlines, smartphones, PBX system, VoIP.

I'm still not sure which version to pursue, though - the one which simply blocked the calls, or the one which forwarded them to a suite of audio-equipped Elizabots running genetic algorithms to determine which responses could keep human callers on the line the longest.

There was even an interesting post on Reddit from an ex-telemarketer who called someone who convinced the poster to not only terminate the call, but to quit his job there and then. I wonder if the concept/response tree could be automated, or weighted according to voice/stress analysis indicating what's affecting a caller emotionally. And of course, fingerprinting would mean that any telemarketer calling subsequent service subscribers would be able to be identified and the response system could pick up where it left off. (Or try a number of different approaches until it sensed a weakness, then pursue that.)

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are Daily Stand-Up Meetings More Productive?

Geminii Re:Fragile development (445 comments)

Then you're more than welcome to go back to using the too many people you speak of.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are Daily Stand-Up Meetings More Productive?

Geminii Re:No electronics rule (445 comments)

Can I have an attendance list? I have a bunch of work to hand out, and I need to know who had so much spare time in their day that they could attend an in-person meeting.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are Daily Stand-Up Meetings More Productive?

Geminii Re:stand up - sit down (445 comments)

How about "Send your status to the mailing list. If you need to discuss with one of the team members, reply to their status update." ?

Hey look, meeting is over in sixty seconds and I was able to do other work at my desk at the same time.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are Daily Stand-Up Meetings More Productive?

Geminii Re:Fragile development (445 comments)

If your investment is a software development project, and you ask that question, the answer is "When it's done, if you want it to work. Otherwise, it can be 'ready' any time you want."

If that's not an answer you can work with, you shouldn't be investing in things like that.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are Daily Stand-Up Meetings More Productive?

Geminii Re:Curious (445 comments)

Sounds like he wasn't thinking, though. Did he never realize at any point in his career that salespeople and IT people don't operate in the same way?

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are Daily Stand-Up Meetings More Productive?

Geminii Re:Curious (445 comments)

In addition: there's no point in bringing up anything in a multiperson meeting which is a straight one-to-many data dump. Put that in email. There's also no point in bringing up anything which is a one-to-one exchange - again, take it to email or have one person phone or drop by the other person's desk (or schedule a brief one-on-one meeting).

If there's actually stuff left over - things which need multiple points of input in parallel - then by all means put them in the meeting. But don't have meetings every day or every week just because it's a regular schedule. A scheduled waste of time is still a waste of time.

more than 2 years ago
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Is Facebook Becoming a Central Bank?

Geminii Re:Not a true currency. (232 comments)

If you can buy goods or services with a currency, and exchange those goods or services for US dollars (via eBay, Craigslist etc), then the currency is a de facto method of paying US tax liabilities.

more than 2 years ago
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Pirate Party UK Looks Forward To 2012

Geminii Forty countries? (116 comments)

It does kinda make me wonder - if they have representation in forty countries, you'd think they'd be able to come up with some way to hack the political system in at least one.

more than 2 years ago
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Are Brain Teasers Good Hiring Criteria?

Geminii Re:Bring puzzles as an applicant (672 comments)

You should. Tell them to hire people smarter than themselves. Then repeat the process. You now have significantly smarter employees than your competitors.

more than 2 years ago
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Are Brain Teasers Good Hiring Criteria?

Geminii Re:Test (672 comments)

"If I were to ask the other parrot which job is best for me, which one would they choose?"

Then pick the other one.

more than 2 years ago
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Are Brain Teasers Good Hiring Criteria?

Geminii Re:Well, they're a good indicator of intelligence (672 comments)

For example maybe in 5 years you expect to be a manager or a team leader but we don't expect openings.

You can predict what openings will be available in your company five years in advance?

Or are you saying that you never promote employees to managerial positions and that policy's been around for so long the chances of it changing in the next five years are pretty slim?

more than 2 years ago

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