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New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

JeffOwl Re:Most taxes are legalized theft (228 comments)

Please. It doesn't matter what is or isn't mandated by the Constitution. Congress will selectively interpret "general welfare" and "interstate commerce" in any way they see fit.

9 hours ago
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New Details About NSA's Exhaustive Search of Edward Snowden's Emails

JeffOwl This is the guy who decides? (192 comments)

If this guy gets to decide what's classified, then could he have decided that the Snowden "concern" email is classified and therefore he doesn't have to admit its existence?

/Tinfoil hat

2 days ago
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Net Neutrality Comments Surge Past 1.7M, an All-Time Record For the FCC

JeffOwl Re:Good (81 comments)

Wish I had points so I could mod you as funny.

5 days ago
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Using Wearable Tech To Track Gun Use

JeffOwl You get what you measure (258 comments)

This may slow them down a bit, but they will learn how to trick it... they will learn to shoot off-hand; they will use lighter, lower velocity ammunition; they will drill ports in the top of the barrels; they will add weight to the front of the gun; they will learn to shoot with the gun inverted using the pinky to pull the trigger (I saw it in one of the Bourne movies so it's real)...

about a week ago
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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Says Switching ISPs Is Too Hard

JeffOwl Re:Switching is too hard? (145 comments)

I live in a metro area with lot sizes measured in 1000s of square feet and I only have one option. Go a quarter mile in any of three directions and they have at least two. Turns out this was a deal struck between the developer and the provider.

about two weeks ago
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How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

JeffOwl What should they be teaching (359 comments)

Why are teachers teaching how to use a specific calculator? Why isn't it simply a homework assignment? Teach the problem and then tell them to go home and figure it out for their calculator. Have students gotten that spoiled by technology that they cannot read and comprehend a manual on how to use a calculator to solve a class of problems? I used an HP-48G for those classes that required it (still have it 20 years later) and used a cheap scientific calculator for those tests where the HP wasn't allowed. The Casio users and the two of us HP users got along in class just fine.

about two weeks ago
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In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

JeffOwl Zero tolerance (441 comments)

It's not just for students anymore. Hopefully this puts more visibility on this nonsense.

about two weeks ago
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NSA Agents Leak Tor Bugs To Developers

JeffOwl Yes Google and FB are the ones to protect us? (116 comments)

He suggests a massive company like Google or Facebook will eventually have to take up the task of making Tor scale up to millions of users.

If one of those guys gets their hands on it you can forget about using it to hide anything from the government.

about three weeks ago
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Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

JeffOwl Re:Business decisions (371 comments)

The biggest problem I run into is that the management assumes that the engineers are completely unable to talk to customers and look at outside non-technical specifications. I have found that engineers tend to be better at it than managers and all but the best business analysts.

I think that the generalization has gone too far both ways. There are certainly engineers that are very good at talking to customers. There are some that absolutely should not be talking to customers... Example, we have engineers that panic at the slightest bump in the road and will tell everyone who will listen how screwed up things are. If you press them on it, most of the time they haven't done their homework and when they do, it isn't such a big deal after all. A lot of the time it is a couple of hours rework on a year long project, yes it needed to be fixed, no it wasn't something that needed to be brought to the customer before being investigated. We have learned by experience which engineers should be put in front of the customer and which ones shouldn't. Same goes for which ones to put in front of executive management, put the wrong one there and suffer needless extra work for the next month.

about a month ago
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How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

JeffOwl Forget about it (285 comments)

They can't figure out how to allocate bandwidth to prevent starving out the critical users of their network and they want to run their own ISP?

about 2 months ago
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Economist: File Sharing's Impact On Movies Is Modest At Most

JeffOwl Re:Pointless (214 comments)

Not at all. You asked the question "How many movies do you have to download to make the economics work?" (Note that you are the one that said "economics" not morals) and I was pointing out that it is completely dependent upon the individual situation. Not only that, but there may be other than economic factors that drive people to do this. I didn't say anywhere that it was morally or legally justified.

about 2 months ago
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Economist: File Sharing's Impact On Movies Is Modest At Most

JeffOwl Re:Pointless (214 comments)

You don't know why each person does it.

Is it financial? How many people are going to watch it? How many times? Do they have time to actually go when the prices are cheaper? Do they already have the computer and high speed internet for some other reason so the delta cost is just time? Or is there some other reason that makes it difficult to go to the theater? Do they have kids that are of an age where they can't behave for two hours and you have difficulty finding babysitters, for example? Do they just hate being around people?

about 2 months ago
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Larry Page: Healthcare Data Mining Could Save 100,000 Lives a Year

JeffOwl Research yes, insurance and govt NO! (186 comments)

If data were only provided to doctors and legitimate research institutions I would be fine. Google would never do that as there would not be enough money in it. If the data is going to be sold to the insurance industry, then no, I'm not fine. If the data is going to be sent to the government (CDC, HHS) without being aggregated and having personally identifying information removed, then no, I'm not fine.

about 3 months ago
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Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

JeffOwl Re:Digital vs Physical (560 comments)

The difference is that a locked file cabinet is trivial to circumvent without the cooperation of the key or combination holder. Once they had the warrant the police wouldn't bother with the courts, they would hire a locksmith or some other such expert to break open the cabinet or safe. Apparently the encryption on the hard drive in this case is much more difficult if not impossible for anyone at the state level to break it within a reasonable time period. So to avoid waiting 5 years and spending lots of $ on super computer time, they went to a judge to see if the threat of jail would shortcut the process.

Oblig: http://xkcd.com/538/

about 3 months ago
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Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

JeffOwl 94%, really? (710 comments)

Does anyone else find that 94% figure for professionals working more than 50 hours a week rather high? I know it isn't anywhere near that where I work and we are relatively well paid.

about 3 months ago
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China Builds Artificial Islands In South China Sea

JeffOwl Re:All wars ... (192 comments)

Wow. You might want to slow down on the Kool-Aid. China is making a sea grab. Do they have a moral or legal right to control of that part of the ocean? It doesn't matter, they don't care and aren't interested in the debate because nobody is going to stop them. China is using the fact that the US has spent most of it's political capital over the last decade and even if it hadn't it would be in no position for any kind of trade war and neither is the rest of the world. They are going to gradually ramp up their presence until there is nothing that can be done short of embargo or actual military conflict, which aren't going to happen. I do give them credit for creating an artificial island. That is a bit of genius. They are able to stake a claim and nobody else can claim prior possession of the land.

about 3 months ago
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Age Discrimination In the Tech Industry

JeffOwl Re:I used to be an engineer. I worked for Motorola (370 comments)

I actually know someone who did just exactly this and I know someone else who became a pharmacist. So while this may not be common, it does happen.

about 3 months ago
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Girls Take All In $50 Million Google Learn-to-Code Initiative

JeffOwl Re:Want to code? (548 comments)

How about "why is ~50% of the country not pursuing early primary education?" Seeing as a good early education is key to successful education later which is key to a strong economy and a health society, and half the population isn't interested in taking part in it, it seems like something that should be investigated. Particularly since boys are falling way behind in primary and secondary education in the last few decades.

about 3 months ago
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Girls Take All In $50 Million Google Learn-to-Code Initiative

JeffOwl Re:Want to code? (548 comments)

The problem is that young women are being systematically discouraged from even trying to be part of the 1%. This is, of course, not restricted to just CS/IT topics.

How is that exactly? Everywhere I turn it's girls and STEM, women and STEM. There are school programs everywhere to get girls interested in STEM, universities are actively recruiting females to STEM majors, corporations are actively engaged in programs to encourage females to pursue STEM education and then actively recruiting them as employees.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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USB flash drives used in robbery of ATMs

JeffOwl JeffOwl writes  |  about 9 months ago

JeffOwl (2858633) writes "BBC is reporting that thieves are infecting ATMs with malware using USB sticks. The malware creates a backdoor that can be accessed at the front panel. The thieves are damaging the ATM to access a USB port then patching it back up to avoid notice. This indicates that the crew is highly familiar with the ATMs in question. Once the ATM is infected, the thieves use a 12 digit code to bring up the alternate interface. The thieves, not wanting their crew to go rogue, have built a challenge-response access control into their software and must call another member who can generate the response for them. Maybe they believe in the saying "no honor among thieves.""
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