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Airbnb Partners With Cities For Disaster Preparedness

John Jorsett This is brilliant (50 comments)

I have to admire this strategy to wrap AirBnB in the banner of helping disaster victims. Besides being a valuable service for those victims and great PR for the company, it gives them a very effective argument to counter the rent-seeking behavior of the industry they're displacing and to attack enabling bureaucrats and politicians with ("Joe Smith wants to deny aid to disaster victims. Vote Mary Doaks for City Council.") I hope Uber is watching and learning from this.

3 hours ago

Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

John Jorsett Re:Mod parent DOWN (305 comments)

If Jesse wants to wage the next race war, he should start by getting more black kids interested in STEM and education in general.

Jackson isn't interested in waging race war, he wants to shakedown businesses for money for his organization and those of his cronies. Making it about race is just his form of extortion. Notice that whenever he goes after some company, it's suddenly made all better when it makes a donation to his cause and/or hires one or more people of Jackson's designation. I really admire the way the CEO of Cypress Semiconductor refused to knuckle under to Jackson back in 2001 after Jackson labeled Cypress a "white supremacist hate group.’” I hope every Silicon Valley target of his does the same.

4 hours ago

Utility Wants $17,500 Refund After Failure To Scrub Negative Search Results

John Jorsett Carrasco is doubly stupid and possibly criminal (110 comments)

What I found more interesting was the story mentioned in the SEO story that Carrasco got scammed by a couple of faux "Native Americans," who made off with 41 thousand pounds of the utility's scrap copper after conning Carrasco into donating it to their non-existent children's crafts program. Even though originally it was supposed to be a "small amount", since Seattle City Lights is publicly owned, I would think donations, unless authorized by the city government, would be considered gifts of public funds. I can see why this guy wants to scrub his record, cuz it ain't good. And amazingly, City Lights keeps paying him a quarter of a mil a year.

about two weeks ago

When Beliefs and Facts Collide

John Jorsett The problem doesn't come from identity (725 comments)

The problem does't come from, "If I'm in group A, then I must have beliefs X," it comes from the recognition that an issue will be seized upon by a faction and used to pump their wider agenda. Use climate change, since the OP brought it up: Rather than a rational discussion of whether it's really happening, whether it's human-caused if so, and what to do about it if anything, we've got one side using it to justify all manner of intrusive measures, while the other wants to ignore the issue entirely. The same thing happens with any talk about WMD, terrorism, abortion, etc. The issue itself is the carrier wave for a lot of additional modulation that's usually far off the topic but important to one side or the other. It's the, "Never let a crisis go to waste" mentality. I don't know how you fix that.

about three weeks ago

The Rise and Fall of the Cheat Code

John Jorsett Deep dive (178 comments)

Yesterday I got several Google results with "deep dive" in them. Today I turn to a Salon story and there it is in paragraph 1. Now Slashdot. Looks like a new catchphrase has hit critical mass.

about a month ago

San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

John Jorsett Re:Law (404 comments)

And what exact public law is being broken now?

I'll take a wild guess and say it's illegal to sublet public property without some kind of special permit. I wager that if there is a free open-air concert in the park you can't set out a dozen blankets in a good spot and charge people for the reserved seating. This seems very similar to that.

On the sublet issue: you're not charging them to park there, you're accepting a bribe to incentivize you to leave. I see this as the same as some guy cruising around and offering you a sawbuck to pull out and let him take your spot.

about a month ago

San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

John Jorsett Sounds workaroundable (404 comments)

Change the app so that a "seller" isn't demanding payment, he just makes it known that if, say, $20 shows up in his account from some generous donor, he'll be so anxious to spend his windfall that he'll drive away immediately. The "buyer" would wait until he was right there, transfer the money via cell phone, and pull in the spot. The "seller" doesn't know who his benefactor is, it could have been anyone. Think of it as a variant of the Amazon wishlist. Since there's no direct quid pro quo, no laws were violated.

about a month ago

Congressman Asks NSA To Provide Metadata For "Lost" IRS Emails

John Jorsett Re:Just imagine "if" (347 comments)

This is hilarious. If they CAN get the info, it makes everyone in government VERY nervous, if they can't get it, then the next thing this congressman should bring up is "why the heck are we funding the NSA if they don't actually seem to do anything?" Ok, the NSA's answer to that is "we do lots of stuff, but we can't tell you about it, it's secret".

If you can't use it, what's it for? The phrase, "write-only memory" comes to mind.

about a month and a half ago

Congressman Asks NSA To Provide Metadata For "Lost" IRS Emails

John Jorsett Re:Just imagine "if" (347 comments)

Amazing how you have made this into the GOP being slimy when the whole issue is due to the Democrat controlled IRS (during that time-period) losing all relevant emails from a large period of time. That is what is slimy here.

Not to mention that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified back in March that the IRS emails "get taken off and stored in servers." One can conclude that this latest story was fabricated between then and now.

about a month and a half ago

California Regulators Tell Ride-Shares No Airport Runs

John Jorsett Lyft will have it worse than Uber (314 comments)

This kind of crap is where the Lyft cars, with their visible mustaches, are more vulnerable to enforcement. The airport cops will be able to spot them easily and bust the drivers.

about a month and a half ago

Uber Demonstrations Snarl Traffic In London, Madrid, Berlin

John Jorsett Re:Competition Sucks (507 comments)

How the heck does this make the public safer? It makes it more likely to get money from your opponent's insurance if he kills you on the street, but that's about it.

Insurances never make anything more secure. They make the loss more bearable. At best.

If insurance is a requirement and you can't get it because you're a risk, then you can't legally operate and the public is safer. QED. The big question is whether you'll enforce the requirement. If you don't enforce a law, it may as well not exist.

about a month and a half ago

House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary

John Jorsett Re:hahaha! (932 comments)

It's so overwhelming that 97% of climate scientists agree with that.

I wonder what percentage of contemporary scientists thought Galileo and Copernicus were all wet.

about a month and a half ago

Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

John Jorsett Re:Strict government control is not good (519 comments)

Seems to me that strict government control over government funded education (i.e. public schools) is legitimate. I await your argument as to why it's not.

Bear in mind, I'm advocating loose government control instead of strict and not complete lack of control.

When you say "loose government control", some people hear, "anarchy". Just like when you say, "lower taxes", they hear, "elimination of all taxation". No intermediate states are contemplated, or even considered possible.

about a month and a half ago

Facebook Refuses To Share Employee Race and Gender Data

John Jorsett What race do you want to be today? (250 comments)

Given that gender identity is now apparently whatever the individual says it is when it comes to bath- and locker-room assignments, should we all be asked to pick the race we feel most simpatico with and be that for reporting purposes?

The last few mortgages I refinanced, I took note that the paperwork said that if I didn't disclose my race the broker would do it for me and put that on the form in my stead. So now any time I have to put down my race, I pick one at random. Since I have no idea what's back there in my ancestry, all possibilities are in play and one choice is as good as another.

about 2 months ago

Fiat Chrysler CEO: Please Don't Buy Our Electric Car

John Jorsett Re:That's one way to look at it (462 comments)

another way is to say that automakers are shifting their costs. Dirty air and smog lead to lung disease and cancer, ergo higher medical costs. The health problems also lower worker productivity. Why should I have to pay for the damage done by cheap cars? -- Hi! I make Firefox Plug-ins. Check 'em out @

Browser plug-in software makes people spend more time at their computers becoming sedentary and isolated, leading to health problems , ergo higher medical costs. The health problems also lower worker productivity. Why should I have to pay for the damage done by browser plug-ins?

about 2 months ago

Researchers Experiment With Explosives To Fight Wildfires

John Jorsett Bomb The Trees (80 comments)

Nice slogan. What's next, Nuke The Whales?

about 2 months ago

eBay Compromised

John Jorsett Re:I've had it with these motherfucking breaches! (193 comments)

I'm getting so tired of these. It seems like every few months now I'm getting affected by one. Last year my bank replaced my debit card three times (Adobe breach, Target breach, and who knows what the third one was)! Consequently, I'm no longer using my debit card as a debit card, but only at ATMs. I use my credit card for any card-based purchases now. But it doesn't stop. You name it: zappos breach, dropbox breach, a breach at an old community college I attended years ago, and probably others that I've forgotten about in the last year or two. Fuck me running.

By the way, the stories about this breach claim that no financial data was compromised. That's fine, except that the data that was compromised may be used for identity theft: your name, date of birth, and street address. I'm pretty much getting ready to use the option that the credit reporting agencies offer to lock down my credit so that no one can obtain credit in my name without me unlocking it. It's a pain, but I don't think it's a choice anymore at the rate these breaches are going.

One thing I've done for a while now is use Citicards' Virtual Account Number service for any online credit card purchases. It generates a unique number that can be used one time (sorta - if the purchase has multiple stages like Amazon does for example, the retailer can place several charges) by one retailer. It's a bit of trouble, but I don't have to concern myself that a compromise at one business will cause me to have to replace the card. Plus, if a compromise ever happens, it'll be immediately apparent which retailer is to blame.

about 2 months ago

eBay Compromised

John Jorsett Great, now I need credit monitoring (193 comments)

It's nice that "no financial information" got compromised, but with my name, address, and date of birth, the crackers won't have any trouble accessing credit in my name. Sigh. Looks like I'm going to have to activate credit monitoring. If eBay has any sense, it'll offer that service for free for everyone whose data was vulnerable.

about 2 months ago

Climate Journal Publishes Referees' Report In Response To "Witch-Hunt" Claims

John Jorsett That's rich (330 comments)

FTFA: The Daily Mail, much loved for its objective reporting on climate change (and other stuff)
And just prior to that: Rupert Murdoch apparently trying (and failing) to look as harmless as possible.
And: Absurd anti-science faux journalism flares up again - as usual, it's Big Oil that's set to benefit, not the public

Self-introspection isn't the Guardian's strong suit, is it?

about 2 months ago

EU Court Backs 'Right To Be Forgotten'

John Jorsett Re:Unworkable (153 comments)

I like the idea of being able to make someone like facebook delete all your personal information but that's not how this tool is going to be used. It's going to be used by a politician to force Google to delete links to all stories about an affair they had. It will be used to censor the news not to maintain privacy as claimed. Frankly it's a politicians wet dream.

It would be fun if Google took the position that in order to keep something from accidentally slipping through, it has to nuke all mention of them anywhere, Just To Be Sure. How many politicians would take the bargain that erasing their misdeeds means they'll never appear again in search results, period?

about 3 months ago



A new form of click fraud?

John Jorsett John Jorsett writes  |  more than 2 years ago

John Jorsett writes "Lately I've been getting a lot of calls from various outfits saying that I'd filled out an online form asking for more information on sleep apnea, college financial aid, etc. At first I thought that I had pissed off some telemarketer and this was revenge harassment. Now as the calls have continued for weeks with a widening array of solicitors, I'm beginning to think that it's a new form of click fraud. If these companies are paying for these leads, my name and number might be being sold as phony online submissions. Are any other Slashdotters experiencing this?"

Ask Slashdot: Telling vendor email was compromised

John Jorsett John Jorsett writes  |  more than 3 years ago

John Jorsett (171560) writes "I create for myself a unique email address for every vendor with which I do business, and that address isn't kept in my address book. When a spammer sends something to that address, I know that the vendor's email address database has been compromised. Trouble is, when I notify the vendor that their customer's email addresses are leaking and that they should check their security, I get no response and, as far as I can tell, no action is ever taken. I just change to a different email address, so should I even be bothering with notification, and if so, what's the best way to inform a vendor that their security needs attention?"

Google to offer encrypted searches next week

John Jorsett John Jorsett writes  |  more than 4 years ago

John Jorsett (171560) writes "CNet reports that, embarrassed by the revelation that its Street View program had improperly collected usage data from WiFi hot spots, Google attempted to repair its image by announcing Friday that it would begin offering an encrypted version of its search service next week."
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