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Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

Jason Levine Re:Can Iowa handle a circus that large? (409 comments)

They might be a small portion, but they seem to be a very vocal portion. It seems like nearly every Republican candidate needs - to be taken seriously as a GOP candidate - to decry all science (especially Evolution) as wrong and the Bible as the only truth America needs. Any Republican who puts science above the bible is DOA as a candidate.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

Jason Levine Re: Storage (495 comments)

In our case, the trees were planted several owners before us. The reason I didn't want to take care of it myself was that the branches criss-crossed around various wires. One slip up and I've taken out a major power/cable/whatever line. And even if I ignored it, one bad storm and the branches would snap taking down the lines. All we wanted them to do was some trimming to prevent this, but nobody was willing to do it. (Not a problem now since we took down our trees, obviously.)

yesterday
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Hacker Threatened With 44 Felony Charges Escapes With Misdemeanor

Jason Levine Re:Need automatic "loser pays" in jurisprudence (200 comments)

One caveat: The legal fees should be capped, not set to all legal fees. Otherwise, small guy sues big company. Small guy stretches his budget and pays $10,000 in legal fees. Big company's legal budget is $10 million. Big company wins and now small guy is on the hook for $10 million. With this situation, the possibility of losing and needing to pay Big Company's legal fees will become an incentive not to sue big companies.

yesterday
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Hacker Threatened With 44 Felony Charges Escapes With Misdemeanor

Jason Levine Re:Duh ... (200 comments)

They're interested in high profile retribution which is intended to send a message which says "don't mess with us, or we'll do this to you".

Because this lets the prosecutor appear "tough on crime" which plays well when he tries to advance his political career.

And, somehow, at the CEO level when there's massive fraud and malfeasance ... absolutely nothing happens.

Because that CEO is also a major campaign contributor.

It's sad how much of this goes back to politics.

yesterday
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Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

Jason Levine Re:George HW Bush (409 comments)

He also knew how to stand up to the hawks in his party. After Kuwait was freed, people in his party/administration called for the US to keep marching past the Kuwait border and all the way to Baghdad. Bush Sr refused to do so, rightly seeing that this would be a disaster. Too bad Bush Jr listened to those exact same people and made the mistake his father avoided.

yesterday
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Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

Jason Levine Re:Can Iowa handle a circus that large? (409 comments)

The irony is that, were a candidate to arise that held Ronald Reagan's values, he (or she) would be kicked out of the GOP for not being conservative enough.

My fondest hope is that the GOP splits in two. One half can be made up of the actual conservatives and the other half can be made up of the nut jobs. This way, the crazy-GOP can fade away to the side-lines and the serious-GOP can actually get stuff done without needing to worry about appeasing the crazy elements of their party.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

Jason Levine Re: Storage (495 comments)

We had two big trees in our backyard whose branches went around various wires in our backyard. We called the power company to trim them and they claimed it was the cable company's responsibility because it was closer to those lines. We called the cable company and they claimed it was the power company's job. Meanwhile, every storm we would worry about a branch snapping and taking out our power. (We wound up taking down our trees for unrelated reasons - one was dead and the second dropped berries all over our lawn rendering our back yard unusable and attracting flies.)

yesterday
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Sony To Offer Partial Refunds For PS Vita

Jason Levine Re:Personal social media accounts (57 comments)

I disagree. My employer actually knows about my Twitter account. However, I don't tweet anything about my day job. I don't even mention where I work ever. The things I discuss on Twitter are totally separate from my work. If my employer ever told me to start posting glowingly positive things about my company on my personal Twitter account, I'd refuse on the grounds that it is my personal account, not a work account. If they wanted to open a company Twitter account and have me manage it - posting positive things about my company during working hours - I'd be more than happy to. I just refuse to let my work life bleed into my personal life.

yesterday
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Cameron Accuses Internet Companies Of Giving Terrorists Safe Haven

Jason Levine Re:Keys to the kingdom ... (178 comments)

Sure they care. They care a lot. They just don't care in the way that you care. They care about whether their efforts to maintain the status quo succeed

Actually, I think politicians like this care about three things:

1) Getting Re-elected. Unfortunately, they have found that scaring people ("terrorists are hiding behind your chair RIGHT NOW!!!!") is a good way to shut down people's critical thinking skills (or what rudimentary ones some people have). When people are scared, they look for an immediate solution and the politician is right there with a proposal ("I'll ban chairs and then terrorists won't be able to hide behind them!"). It doesn't matter if the proposal is idiotic, the politician is good at making it sound reasonable enough if you are scared. Plus, if his proposal fails and something bad happens, they can blame the "bad event" on the fact that their proposal wasn't enacted (even if it wouldn't have prevented it). This can be used against any politician that tries using reason in the face of scare tactics. (There are a few of these, but they are a rare and endangered species.)

2) Obtaining Power: Being re-elected is good, but getting power is better. The more power you have, the less you have to rely on the whims of others and the more you can shape things to be how you want them to be. When you scare people, you can make them give up liberties in exchange for freedom. ("We need to put cameras in everyone's home to look out for terrorists hiding behind your chairs.") The more freedoms the populace gives up, the more power the politician has and the more he can misuse this power to crush his opponents. (That last part must never be spoken out loud to a crowd, though.)

3) Obtaining Money: Putting all these "security" systems in place requires a lot of equipment. Who's going to supply it? Obviously, the politician isn't going to be spending his time hand-crafting chair-terrorist cameras in his basement. No, he'll just contract it out to a big company. Which big company? Why the one who is willing to give him the biggest kick-back and/or perk, of course. This way, the company profits, the politician profits, and everyone is happy. Well, except those people with cameras in their homes, but they don't matter.

2 days ago
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Halting Problem Proves That Lethal Robots Cannot Correctly Decide To Kill Humans

Jason Levine Re:Ummm ... duh? (332 comments)

Should use of force be solely reserved for the state? And if the state refuses to exercise its authority?

The problem with this is that you then get every nut-job taking the law into their own hands for every perceived slight against "what should be done." To some, homosexuality is a horrible sin deserving of death. However, the government (in the USA at least) stubbornly refuses to round up homosexuals and execute them. Therefore (in the mind of this delusional person), going around shooting people based on sexual preference is acceptable since he is just righting the wrongs of the world.

If the government doesn't punish behavior that you think ought to be punished, you can lobby for this behavior to be punished. You can speak with your politicians and vote for candidates willing to punish this behavior. If, however, the majority doesn't see this behavior as wrong and refuses to punish everyone for it, you have to just accept that it won't be punished right now. You can keep railing against it in the hopes that people will listen and side with you, but you can't take the law into your own hands and bring punishment down upon those you feel did wrong.

2 days ago
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Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

Jason Levine Still a lot of potential life out there (304 comments)

So only 1 in 10 galaxies can possibly support life? Out of 100 billion galaxies, this means "just" 10 billion galaxies might be life-friendly (relatively speaking). In each of those, there are billions of potential stars hosting billions of potential planets for complex life to reside on. I still think the odds of there being complex life - or even intelligent life - out there is staggeringly huge. (Communicating with said life is a completely different story, unfortunately.)

On the other hand, perhaps life in the gamma ray burst galaxies developed a taste for gamma ray bursts. After all, we have bacteria that can live off of nuclear waste. Is it that much of a leap to imagine organisms evolving protection against the intense bursts of radiation? Every time we think we've spotted life's limits, we find life that endures and even thrives in those environments. Of course, life in those galaxies may look nothing like what we think of when we envision life, but it'd still be life.

3 days ago
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Married Woman Claims Facebook Info Sharing Created Dating Profile For Her

Jason Levine Re:She thought she was the customer (188 comments)

"This clause saying they can harvest my organs and sell my kids is outrageous! I'm going to start a Facebook page protesting this at once!"

3 days ago
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Nuclear Weapons Create Their Own Security Codes With Radiation

Jason Levine Re:cell phone (104 comments)

The good news is that your phone's battery life will now outlive you.

The bad news is that your phone was designed to have a battery life of one year.

3 days ago
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Class-Action Suit Claims Copyright Enforcement Company Made Harassing Robo-calls

Jason Levine Re:Answering machines? (67 comments)

I like Google Voice for this reason. If I mark a caller as "spam", they get a message saying "This number has been disconnected." My phones don't even ring. I think Google even auto-marks numbers as spam if enough people do so. (Similar to how, if enough people mark an e-mail as spam, all further instances of that e-mail will be marked as spam.)

3 days ago
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Class-Action Suit Claims Copyright Enforcement Company Made Harassing Robo-calls

Jason Levine Re:If the FCC actually did its job (67 comments)

I want to consider this a victory but since then 2 more telemarketers have taken their place. What kind of hydra bullshit is this??

Hey, don't blame Hydra. Sure, they are a ruthless, evil organization dedicated to world domination but even they have standards!

3 days ago
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Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

Jason Levine Re:Confused (474 comments)

That was my first reaction too. I don't live in NYC but remember that the new mayor made a big deal about stopping Stop and Frisk. Looking at Wikipedia, it looks like de Blasio only promised to "reform" the program. Stop and Frisk was reduced but still happens (mostly in Latino and African-American neighborhoods).

3 days ago
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Aereo Files For Bankruptcy

Jason Levine Re:One solution (137 comments)

My kids watch TV, but they prefer to watch on demand content such as Netflix over scheduled TV. Very rarely do they watch live TV (unless it is being used as background noise while they play with something else).

about a week ago
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Aereo Files For Bankruptcy

Jason Levine Re:innovation thwarted (137 comments)

Normally, no there wouldn't be. The cable ISPs, however, own a monopoly on wired broadband Internet access, however. This means that there are different rules in play. You can't use your monopoly good/service to boost your non-monopoly good/service above its competitors.

about a week ago
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Aereo Files For Bankruptcy

Jason Levine Re:innovation thwarted (137 comments)

I would think this would run afoul of laws governing monopolies. Cable companies have - for the most part - a monopoly on wired broadband Internet access. Sure, there are some telecoms here and there, but that mostly brings those areas into duopoly. When it comes to television service, though, there is competition. Not just from people cutting the cord, but from people who go to satellite TV (Dish, DirectTV) over cable TV.

When the cable companies price Internet only over the cost of Internet + Cable TV, they are unfairly using their ISP monopoly to gain a competitive advantage over other TV providers.

about a week ago
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Leaked Documents Show EU Council Presidency Wants To Impair Net Neutrality

Jason Levine In Order To Meet Contract Obligations (76 comments)

in order to meet "obligations under a contract"

Coming soon from ISPs: Legalese buried deep in your contract with them that essentially states "We [the ISP] have the contractual obligation to muck with any website as we see fit whenever we want to do so."

They're contractually obligated to slow down your Netflix speeds because they really wanted to and the contract means they are now obligated to slow down Netflix.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Back Up Photos With Amazon's Unlimited Photos Cloud Drive?

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  about three weeks ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "I currently use external hard drives as my backup method. While not as foolproof as automated online backup, it has proved less expensive for me considering that my backups are pushing 1 TB. Around 600GB of that amount are photos or videos. Today, Amazon announced that they are making Cloud Drive storage for photos unlimited for Amazon Prime members. Assuming you kept a local backup as well and that you were already an Amazon Prime member (which I am), would you trust Amazon Cloud Drive to backup 600GB of photos?"
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What To Do With Old Domains

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  1 year,29 days

Jason Levine (196982) writes "While looking to buy a new domain for a website idea I had, I realized that over the years I've purchased quite a few domain names. I'm not a domain hoarder by any stretch of the imagination, but 14 domains isn't a small number either. Of those domains, only 6 are actively being used. Many of the others were used for web projects that died out or that never launched. I could let the domains expire or possibly sell them (some might actually take in some cash), but I'm afraid of the domains being grabbed by spammers or other nefarious individuals. Holding onto them is an option, but increasingly I'm wondering why I'm paying annual fees for domain names that I'm not using and likely will never use again.

How do you handle old domain names in your possession that you no longer need?"
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Best Science Fiction/Fantasy for 8 Year Olds

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "My son is 8 years old. I'd love to get him interested in Science Fiction, but most of the books I can think of seem to be targeted to older kids/adults.

Thinking that the length of some novels might be off-putting to him, I read him some of the short stories in Isaac Asimov's "I, Robot". He liked these but I could tell he was having a hard time keeping up. I think the wording of the stories was too advanced and there was too much talking and not enough action. Personally, I love Asimov, but I think much of it just went over his head.

Which science fiction and/or fantasy books would you recommend for an 8 year old? (Either stories he could read himself or that we could read together over the course of a few weeks.)"
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Teaching Your Children Computer Skills At Home

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "My son's school district, like many across the country, is facing budget issues. Already, art and music are being cut and two elementary schools are likely to be shut down. (One of which my son currently attends.) My wife recently found out that our school doesn't even have a computer teacher. Nobody's teaching the kids how to use word processing programs, how to browse the Internet, etc. They have "computer time" in which someone watches over them while the kids are allowed to visit PBSKids.org and similar websites.

My son is very bright and computer savvy for a first grader, but obviously I want him to know how to do more than simply load up a website. We've discussed home schooling with varying degrees of seriousness. Even if we don't home school, we might want to supplement what he's learning in school with computer lessons at home. My wife is a teacher and has access to various resources, but I was wondering what resources the Slashdot community might recommend.

How do you teach your children about computers and how to use them? Do you know of any websites or programs that would be appropriate for my first grade son to use? (I've already introduced him to TuxPaint, TuxMath and TuxTyping.)"
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Theft of Services Claim with Honor System Paywall

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "Towards the end of the day yesterday, I received an e-mail from someone claiming that my company's employees had been stealing his services. I always take claims like this seriously, so I read on. Apparently, his website is called the North Country Gazette. It appears to be a "news" site, but structured like a blog. Each article contains the text: "Free access to The North Country Gazette is limited to one visit, one article, no exceptions. After your free trial, a subscription is needed and without same, your access will be denied. To sign up, see subscription ad on this page. If you have questions, contact us at news@northcountrygazette.org"

The e-mail claimed theft of services because an employee visited two articles without paying. I thought it might be a scam (the threatening tone of the e-mail didn't help) so I visited the site to make sure it was legit. Soon after my one article view, I received a second e-mail calling me "obstinate", telling me to "do your job instead of surfing the internet" and threatening legal action if we visited his site again.

The thing is, though, he doesn't seem to have any kind of paywall in place. No mechanism to detect if a user has viewed an article and stop them from viewing more like other paywalls I've encountered. Just a system to detect when his honor system isn't honored. How seriously should I take his threats? Can someone really sue over theft of services due to three page views (four if you count me accessing his home page)? Can some small text on a website (which doesn't even contain a "pay here" link) really bind you into paying for a subscription? I will definitely be informing my company's legal counsel, but I was wondering if anyone on Slashdot has heard of anything like this?"
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Killer Sue Wikipedia To Remove Their Names

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  about 5 years ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "Wolfgang Werlé and Manfred Lauber killed a German actor in 1990. Now that they are out of prison, German law states that they can't be referred to by name in relation to the killings. Therefore, they have sued to get Wikipedia to remove their names from the Wikipedia article about the killings. The German edition of Wikipedia has already complied, but the English edition is citing US freedom of speech and a lack of presence in Germany as reasons why they don't need to remove the name. In a bit of irony, their lawyer e-mailed the NY Times: “In the spirit of this discussion, I trust that you will not mention my clients’ names in your article.""
Link to Original Source
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Ask Slashdot: Inexpensively Streaming Media?

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "I recently won a Roku box and my family and I have been enjoying watching Netflix movies/TV shows via it. So much so, in fact, that we are considering canceling our cable service. Canceling cable would save us $65 a month. Of course, this would mean the loss of a big entertainment source for my children (age 6 and 2), my wife and me. We have a decent DVD collection, but it tends to be hard to find the right DVD and play it for the boys. (The DVDs are in stacks and tend to get disorganized.) I'd rather rip them to my upstairs computer and stream the video, but I need some help.

First of all, we don't have a large budget to work with. Yes, we'd be saving per month without the cable bill, but my wife won't let me spend thousands on equipment so that we can save $800 a year. That said, our requirements are low. We don't have any HD televisions in the house and don't have plans to upgrade our existing sets anytime soon. So while it might be nice if the solutions can handle HD, there's no need to spend more money on an HD-compatible product.

Secondly, running ethernet cable is out of the question. My wife refuses to let me drill holes in the walls/floor and to be honest, I don't blame her. My wireless network (current router a Netgear WGR614 v5) tends to cut out at times. Powerline networking intrigues me, but the wiring in the house is old and I'm afraid that it won't be a stable connection. Another option I found was ethernet-over-coax. Would I be better off upgrading my wireless network (replacing the router and/or adding an access point somewhere) or going with a powerline or coax solution?

Third, ditching cable would mean we would lose our cable-provided DVR. While most shows we watch would be viewable via Hulu, we would like to still be able to record shows (especially kids shows on PBS) and play them later. What kind of DVR system would you recommend?

Lastly, my desktop computer isn't exactly the newest system in the world. It is 6 years old and, while not underpowered, might not be up to handling some tasks. Would I be better off building or buying a DVR/Media Center box? If so, how much would I wind up paying for this?

Thanks for any advice you can give."
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Wii outsells 360, PS3, PS2, PSP combined in April

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Jason Levine writes "Ars Technica is reporting that, during the month of April, the Nintendo Wii outsold not only the XBox 360 and the Sony PS3, but the 360, PS3, PS2, and PSP combined. The Nintendo Wii sold 714,200 units. Microsoft's XBox 360 sold 188,000 units and Sony's PS3 sold 187,100 units. The PSP moved 192,700 units and the PS2 moved 124,400 units. In addition, six of the top 10 games sold in April were Nintendo Wii games."
Link to Original Source

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