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Study: Social Networks Have Negative Effect On Individual Welfare

Iamthecheese Correlation is not causation (65 comments)

Perhaps people more likely to be depressive -- the shut-ins, the antisocial, or those without enough money to pay for real life social gatherings -- are more likely to use social networks extensively.

13 hours ago
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Researchers Hack Gmail With 92 Percent Success Rate

Iamthecheese tl;dr (87 comments)

The article indicates that popups can probably be presented (by the hostile app) at appropriate times that allow it to steal passwords and user names. That is the full extent of the vulnerability. Most of it discusses clever side-channel attacks to learn when to present the popup. (what the user is probably doing at the time) An immediate work-around would be to randomly place the log-in screen within a pre-determined area such that the hostile app would be unable to immediately overlap it. The double image will tell the user something is wrong.

Despite what the summary implies none of this is about actually reading memory in use by friendly apps. i.e. until the user gives the hostile app his account information the app knows nothing. All in all not a particularly powerful attack vector.

about a week ago
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A Better Way To Make Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Limbs

Iamthecheese I/O (27 comments)

I believe brain implants are the human-computer interface of tomorrow. They can offer I/O at speeds and bandwidths limited only by our very elastic brain tissues and the only downsides are the "ick" factor and the fact that we're still learning how to do it safely. For not only virtual limbs but control of any electronic device, typing, cursor movement, and other sensing I say bring it on!

about a week ago
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Study: Seals Infected Early Americans With Tuberculosis

Iamthecheese Re:Africa man... (74 comments)

Seriously? The chance to cause global disasters and a million war deaths (by the most off-the-wall-extreme measures for the US's war on terror) and the like are not preferable to Africa's situation?

Let me count some of the tragedies in recent years in Africa.

I'm not arguing that first world countries are utopias but to claim Africa has it better or is doing things better is silly on the face of it.

about two weeks ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

Iamthecheese ease of use (726 comments)

I use Linux, almost exclusively, but I can see one of the major problems preventing migration that many linux developers cannot. It's confusing and difficult for the average user to learn where all the configuration files are and what they do. The moment you expect a new user to open a terminal you've already placed a giant barrier to adoption in the way. Certain distros have made giant leaps of progress in this matter but it's still a problem for all.

Want to make a minor adjustment to how your sound card works? Command line. Want to tell your laptop to ignore the touchpad? Command line. Want to use Tor? Command line. Want to install software that's no on the Ubuntu Software center? Command line. I understand that GUI is a dirty word to some developers. I understand the focus on making things work before worrying about making them easy. But the path to the year of Linux on the desktop is paved with intuitive, simple, GUI driven configuration and computer usage.

about two weeks ago
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Why Chinese Hackers Would Want US Hospital Patient Data

Iamthecheese bass akwards (171 comments)

Medical records are insecure... so it's time to migrate to a system like the UK where they contain comprehensive information about each person? Am I actually reading this?

Until patient confidentiality is enshrined into laws with real teeth and my insurance company, employer, or local black market guru can't get their hands on them I think I'll pass.

about two weeks ago
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News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

Iamthecheese Re:I hope it's just me (738 comments)

Shitty behavior on Slashdot? Would you kindly point out some upmoded misogyny? I don't think I recall ever seeing things like that on Slashdot. As for other sites the sexism you perceive on Reddit (which I would bet is just people not being anti-man enough for you) is not best answered by censoring Slashdot. You just as much as admitted to wanting a feminist takeover of Slashdot.

about two weeks ago
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News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

Iamthecheese Re:I hope it's just me (738 comments)

Seconded. Slashdot is a haven for rational thought, which naturally and innately fights all ignorance including sexism. The thing is, rationalism fights antiwomen and antiman sexism alike and doesn't give either undue focus. That's not good enough for people of certain political bent.

Please leave the politics elsewhere.

about two weeks ago
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News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

Iamthecheese so now sexism=misogyny? (738 comments)

Summary writer, your bias is showing.

about two weeks ago
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Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars and the Possibility of a Robot Car Bomb

Iamthecheese Re:Been discussed before (239 comments)

I agree that the article is a waste of time but you're a little off with point number 3: There are places one can drive but not park where a bomb would be more secure. That said it's not a large change to simply disallow driverless and passengerless cars where security is a problem.

about two weeks ago
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Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars and the Possibility of a Robot Car Bomb

Iamthecheese Scare of the day (239 comments)

Dear government, Please shut up bout terrorism and get out of the way of innovation. sincerely, informed citizen

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

Iamthecheese Re:Very subjective (382 comments)

That privacy is limited to the security and independence of foo.com. I, for one, would never bet my privacy on the security of a site, nor trust my government to not interfere with my speech.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

Iamthecheese Re:Very subjective (382 comments)

There are other problems with the Reddit system. Astroturfers with some budget can pay people to make accounts and, without breaking the rules, mass-downvote dissenting opinions. It costs $20 per head per day to hire fluent English speakers to push whatever opinion you like, and it takes surprisingly few of them to influence discussion. Those with differing opinions don't bother to post because they know it will just get downvoted until it's not seen. Others then don't see contradicting arguments and assume that point of view must be right.

Another problem is that posts containing popular memes are pushed to the top raising the noise-signal ratio to an unacceptable level. Finally, allowing everyone to moderate has the effect of pushing all conversation to the lowest common denominator, such that the stories that make it to the front page tend to have a bland populist, unchallenging bias.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

Iamthecheese Re:We do not do that here? (382 comments)

How does that work anyway? It seems like malware but it's got to be pretty sophisticated to post in other users' names on Slashdot and it doesn't seem worth it for a human to make new accounts just to post that crap. Either the payoff is far higher than I imagine, it's actually a test for something else (astroturfing?) or mycleanpc lost a shitload of money for a tiny bit of SEO.

In any case I dearly hope Slashdot doesn't turn to captchas to prevent that type of post.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

Iamthecheese Re:Very subjective (382 comments)

Do trolls bother you so much that you're willing to give up a basic freedom to stop them? I just can't understand that frame of mind.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

Iamthecheese Absolutely not (382 comments)

I most certainly do NOT want anyone else defining and banning "trolls". It's a very short trip from mods deciding who a troll is to mods censoring speech they don't like. I've seen that trip taken on many forums.

Only a very short list of very obviously unacceptable behavior needs to be banned: illegal material, obvious spam, and frequently repeated copypasta. There are many things I would rather not read from frosty piss to Obama's duke to grits but it's well worth reading those to be sure my own speech is free and the opinions I read are organically derived.

about two weeks ago
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Bezos-Owned Washington Post Embeds Amazon Buy-It-Now Buttons Mid-sentence

Iamthecheese Re:Or just, y'know... (136 comments)

I agree that this would be a very cost effective and simple way to administer the program, ideal in every way. Furthermore since a tax cut (even an unearned âoeearned incomeâ tax credit) is politically much more viable.

  • Everyone likes the words âoetax breakâ.
  • Republicans have been standing behind âoetax cutsâ that amount to giving money to companies for a long time and it would be VERY exploitable to see Republican leaders try to argue against this "tax cut".
  • A tax cut avoids oversight by not being a budget item.

I feel health care is outside the appropriate scope of this conversation, so I won't address your comments on that matter.

As user sillybilly pointed out your numbers for doubling the UBI provision are off by a factor of ten. But you're underestimating the amount that can be wrung from other programs. Corporate tax cuts amount to a trillion dollars of spending. I'm not arguing that this is free money. Eliminating these cuts will have a profound and negative effect on the economy if they're not replaced with explicit measures elsewhere. Companies will stop research the tax cuts incentivise, many will try to move overseas, With all the dirty money in US politics it will be difficult to eliminate the cuts anyway. On the other hand a new law that directly eliminates the less helpful corporate tax breaks and move any incentives to a direct and openly debated form would not only help take corporate money out of politics but raise half a trillion dollars a year.

Furthermore a huge amount of the US budget and state budgets amount to welfare in the form of jobs programs. We're making hundreds of billions of dollars of unneeded military equipment to save jobs. Our military is overmanned to help keep unemployment low. We allow many governmental departments to become bloated just to keep offering those jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs. Look in any political speech and you'll find that word. What's needed is a complete change of focus. The aim isn't to keep people active, it's to keep them fed, clothed, and mentally healthy. Eliminate every jobs program. That alone will cut the military by 1/3, speed the functioning of the government, improve and permit innovation in government work, improve overall human health, and benefit every aspect of society. But more importantly it will provide 600 billion dollars to the US government and add 30% to the budgets of most states to give back as lowered tax or use for actually useful work.

Now we have increased unemployment by 20% and, combined with aggregating all dirrect welfare, raised 2.5 trillion dollars. We can hand out $646 to every man, woman and child.* But wait! There's more!

  • Giving money for each child is probably unwise
  • 12 million of those people are illegal immigrants.

  • People will refuse to work in overly dangerous jobs.
  • People will tend to not be forced to commit crimes to survive
  • People will refuse to work in particularly unpleasant jobs.
  • The extra money will give people the security they need to try and start companies, make and try to sell inventions, and go to school
  • People will quit their jobs to care for their children
  • everyone who lives for their art will have enough money to practice full time
  • People will have time to work for charity.

The net effect of these will be to disincentivise illegal immigration, (lowering the cost to prevent that) force companies to improve working conditions, encourage automation, get children off the streets (deprive gangs of new members), largely eliminate homelessness, lower crime rates, (lower the cost to prevent crime, lower the cost to house criminals) improve mental health as relates to employment, and add some further amount to the basic income that can be offered.

I recognize that many of these points are debatable but nevertheless I can't imagine anyone able to argue in good faith that UBI would be a bad idea for the US.

*This number is lower than you would have expected from the above math. I've left it conservative to account for the social programs that will still be needed to help people get off drugs, improve their mental health, and otherwise live on $646 per month if they're not used to it.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

Iamthecheese Re:American car companies... (426 comments)

I started a post with the aim to thoroughly rebuke you and refute your claim. The first place I looked was a Google search for standard warranties which gives US manufacturers' warranties as about the same lengths as foreign warranties. Next I looked for how well manufcaturers actually stand by their warranties. The number of hate articles and lawsuits over various foreign and domestic manufacturers' warranties seems about the same. Cars still on the road is another way to look at reliability. After some research I have come to the conclusion that the oldest cars longevity isn't related to quality of manufacture but rather dedication of the owners, older common cars are foreign -- but that doesn't count toward my point since the increase in US manufacturers' quality is relatively recent -- and common cars aging on the road today are about the same across country of manufacture.*

The late 1980's and early 1990's saw Honda et al. Eating Ford's lunch and US manufacturers' advertising focused on brand recognition. Later ads focused on features. Since this is a case of competing against quality with features (and because Tesla) I'm not even going to contest that US manufacturers ever fell behind on features.

Foreign cars still dominate in the mileage category but that alone is insufficient to state in the grand sweeping way I did that US made cars are inferior.

In short I stand corrected. US manufacturers have fully caught up with foreign makers in most categories of vehicle quality.

*excluding outliers.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

Iamthecheese Re:American car companies... (426 comments)

Audi, BMW, Porche, Volkswagen, Honda, Ford, Mazda, Mitssubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota weren't sitting on their thumbs in the 15 years it took GM, Ford, and Chevrolet to get their cars up to snuff.

In that time every category of safety, performance, features, and mileage received a huge improvement with no significant increase in cost. Across the board, across manufacturer and country borders. The gap has closed but foreign makers raised the bar again. Frankly I won't be surprised (or morn) if Chevy goes out of business completely. US manufacturers still have some innovation to do. They should start with expiring patents from Japan.

about two weeks ago
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Bezos-Owned Washington Post Embeds Amazon Buy-It-Now Buttons Mid-sentence

Iamthecheese Re:It's not going to work (136 comments)

It would cost no more than current systems

This is factually incorrect. Even assuming single payer medical care is done separately and paid for all the welfare in the US a generous (Obama's)probable discretionary budget generously proportioned (assume 100% of labor, agriculture, housing, veterans benefits, and internal affairs budget go to welfare) gives 320 billion to welfare. Divided by the population of the US that's a little over $1000 per person. Now add mandatory spending (the above link includes this information) and assume 100% of food and social security spending counts as welfare, again divide by the population of the US. That's about $4400 per person. Total: $5400 per person and that assumes not a cent is needed for program administration. Your proposed amount of basic income comes to $450 per person, per month. If you want that to rise to a number people can live on you're going to have to significantly raise taxes or print 33 to 50 percent more money.

Given the percentage of people who cannot be profitably employed today and given the rate at which technology is increasing that percentage I believe basic income is an absolute necessity. But we need to be realistic at how much it costs and create a realistic plan for implementing it.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Scammer's sentenced to super short, suspended stint

Iamthecheese Iamthecheese writes  |  about 5 months ago

Iamthecheese (1264298) writes "A scammer who used an Indian call center to sell free virus scanning software received a suspended sentence and a 5,000 pound fine yesterday. Members of the swindler's organization used cold calling and claimed to be Microsoft. Saying the victim's computer was infected, they tried to sell antimalware programs available free from microsoft for 50 to 100 pounds."

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