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The W3C Sells Out Users Without Seeming To Get Anything In Return

IanCal Re:Anyone noticed (348 comments)

Someone only needs to write a drm plugin for linux, which could quite easily be reused by different streaming partners. Currently they'd be writing an entire video player for each platform, or writing one player that works on a whole different VM on each platform (thus requiring porting the whole vm, not just the decryption bit). The goal would be to have a common drm plugin between apps (but distinct for each OS) and a common video player.

about 9 months ago
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All Your Child's Data Are Belong To InBloom

IanCal Re:What's the problem? (211 comments)

1984 had nothing to do with the problems of selling peoples information to companies.

about 10 months ago
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Valve Announces Linux-Based SteamOS

IanCal Re:This is straight from Microsoft's playbook (510 comments)

It just needs to work well enough to be more of a hassle than simply buying the legal copy on Steam.

And given the ease of paying on steam, as well as the low cost, you don't need to have much of a barrier for it to be effective.

about 10 months ago
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Abandoned UK National Health Service IT System Has Cost $16bn... So Far

IanCal Re:This is what Ronald Regan protected us from (220 comments)

The US has a higher per capita cost than any other country in the world, is that because you have the best healthcare in the world?

The United States life expectancy of 78.4 years at birth, up from 75.2 years in 1990, ranks it 50th among 221 nations, and 27th out of the 34 industrialized OECD countries, down from 20th in 1990.[2][3] Of 17 high-income countries studied by the National Institutes of Health in 2013, the United States had the highest or near-highest prevalence of infant mortality, heart and lung disease, sexually transmitted infections, adolescent pregnancies, injuries, homicides, and disability. Together, such issues place the U.S. at the bottom of the list for life expectancy. On average, a U.S. male can be expected to live almost four fewer years than those in the top-ranked country.[4] According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States spent more on health care per capita ($8,608), and more on health care as percentage of its GDP (17.9%), than any other nation in 2011. The Commonwealth Fund ranked the United States last in the quality of health care among similar countries, and notes U.S. care costs the most. In a 2013 Bloomberg ranking of nations with the most efficient health care systems, the United States ranks 46th among the 48 countries included in the study.[5]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_the_United_States
And finally, you can get private healthcare in the UK too.

about 10 months ago
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Abandoned UK National Health Service IT System Has Cost $16bn... So Far

IanCal Re:This is what Ronald Regan protected us from (220 comments)

The problem outlined by this news is that, when the insurer has no competition, they can continue raising their premiums to no end and survive any sort of idiotic inefficiencies and waste.

Yep, which is why the US has such a low per capita cost for healthcare and the UK has such a high per capita cost.

about 10 months ago
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How Much Should You Worry About an Arctic Methane Bomb?

IanCal Re:How much? (416 comments)

. The assumption that the greenhouse effect will "run away" and kill all life is preposterous. If it were going to do so, it would have happened billions of years ago, and we wouldn't be here having this discussion.

It can kill all of *us* though. I don't see it as OK if we all die but some bacteria survive.

Or even, you know, *lots of people*. The Earth has been incredibly inhospitable for long periods of time

So at some point, things will get bad enough that people will decide to commit resources to it. At that point, we'll pull ourselves up out of the hole.

Awesome, so the plan is to wait until lots of people are dying and everythings pretty fucked up, *then* start solving the problems. Sounds perfect, can't see a flaw there.

about a year ago
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Subversion 1.8 Released But Will You Still Use Git?

IanCal Re:Git is much better for large repos (378 comments)

git clone --depth 1

To add to this, last time I used SVN, it seemed to transfer each file individually which was really slow. Git compresses the files and then transfers everything

about a year ago
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In France, a Showcase of What Can Go Wrong With Online Voting

IanCal Re:Oxymoron? (177 comments)

I didn't say it'd scramble the fighter jets, but if someone enters a "I"M BEING COERCED INTO VOTING FOR SOMEONE" signal, that's pretty serious. If I entered it, I'd expect someone to follow up on it (not send around a S.W.A.T team, but have someone follow up over the next week).

This is a side issue though, as there's already the problem of how someone actually enters this duress signal. How is this done without anyone but the person entering it knowing it's the duress signal?

but otherwise sounds to me you're trying to come up with some absurd argument against online voting because you've run out of proper arguments.

I'm describing just one problem in a theoretically perfectly secure online voting system. In fact, the problem with the duress signal is the delivery of it to a person without anyone else knowing. I was describing a problem even if *that* system was also perfect. Overall, I don't see the point in online voting. Going to a nearby school/church/town hall and ticking a box on a bit of paper behind a curtain is simple, cheap and pretty hard to fuck up. It solves many of the problems with coercion (the wonderful technology of an opaque curtain), fraud is harder because there are physical items to fake/destroy with people around.

about a year ago
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In France, a Showcase of What Can Go Wrong With Online Voting

IanCal Re:Oxymoron? (177 comments)

Frankly, I see no difference between Internet voting and voting by mail when it comes to security.

Scale. Voting by mail is done in fairly small numbers and importantly is not the standard. You have to go through extra hoops to do it. As it's implemented, it certainly has the problems of coercion, but is probably better than stopping those people voting at all.

Internet voting, however, would be something I'd see as standard. Not a special case for those who can't make it to the polls, but for everyone. And that's where it starts to worry me.

about a year ago
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In France, a Showcase of What Can Go Wrong With Online Voting

IanCal Re:Oxymoron? (177 comments)

Sounds quite complicated.
It'd need to be unique to each person, and have been delivered to them without anyone else seeing (you don't want the person you're afraid of knowing you're signalling duress). Then, given that someone is likely to turn up at the house (voter fraud is very serious, I'd expect the police to be involved) you could be found out.
If it's a workplace thing, do you want to risk getting fired?
The problem is you need to this to be indistinguishable from a normal vote to any observer, and however you do this cannot be intercepted or detected.

about a year ago
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In France, a Showcase of What Can Go Wrong With Online Voting

IanCal Re:Oxymoron? (177 comments)

It isn't possible, because you can no longer have any reasonable guarantee that there was no coercion. You need to control the location the vote is cast.

about a year ago
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Regulator Blocks BBC DRM Plans

IanCal Re:Consumer? Pah. (177 comments)

Yes, if only the BBC were more like ITV or Channel 5. Why, then we'd be able to watch reality TV without being interrupted by nature documentaries with Attenborough, quality news or original comedies. What a blissful world that would be!

more than 4 years ago
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Why Is Linux Notebook Battery Life Still Poor?

IanCal Re:power saving tip: disable the optical drive (907 comments)

This might be solving the user's immediate issue (if he has time/inclination to rip the disk ahead of time, and assuming that the battery isn't dying even when the DVD is not in use), but it also neatly avoids the need to address the actual problem (crap battery life).

Well, unless the replier is going to quickly solve the underlying problem, the only useful response is the one given. The replier didn't give what was asked, but gave what was needed.

more than 4 years ago
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Yahoo Revives Pay-Per-Email, With Charitable Twist

IanCal Re:How Exactly Does This Fight Spam? (287 comments)

But who learned from that? Only that individual advertiser. Even if each advertiser never makes money, as long as there is another sucker in line, there will be no end to spam.

You're assuming here that if *some* people will still send spam that the problem will be the same. Sure, some people will advertise through email. However, you're now limited to people willing to pay quite large sums for modest exposure.

I'm most concerned about people who have a legitimate reason to send out lots of emails. Anyone running a newsletter for example. You'd need a way of allowing people to send emails without it costing them.

more than 4 years ago
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New Lithium-Air Battery Delivers 10 Times the Energy Density

IanCal Re:Explosions (281 comments)

energy output, it's ten times the energy density (e.g. watt hours per pound), and that means you can have a device powered by a battery that's of similar capacity to current designs but ten times smaller.

10 times *lighter*.

more than 5 years ago
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Ray Bradbury Loves Libraries, Hates the Internet

IanCal Re:God Bless Him (600 comments)

Ultimately it boils down to the fact that Wikipedia is not a primary source

How about Scholarpedia?

What of the thousands of online copies of peer-reviewed papers?

So let's try a different exercise: look up a bunch of Wikipedia articles on various subjects and follow the references. How many of those references are available online? How many of those references would require a visit to the library (or, for those who can afford it, a book purchase)?

Why only wikipedia?

A second challenge, try to find academic papers in a library. How many could you not find there?

more than 5 years ago

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