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Comments

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Senate Bill Would Ban Most Bulk Surveillance

John.Banister Not just a lack of criminal penalties (176 comments)

I read through this bill, and not only do I find a lack of criminal penalties, I also don't find a means of independent confirmation of compliance, especially considering that these agencies have lied to Congress in the past. And, at the end of it, this bill extends the Patriot Act another two years from 2015 to 2017.

I like the idea of having regular attempts at declassifying FISA court decisions, but it says "where possible" and doesn't say who gets to define what's possible. I have a feeling that "if the public learns of this, they'll hate us and we might lose funding" would make declassification impossible, and "if this guy's defense learns about this, they might actually be able to defend him and we want him imprisoned" would also make declassification impossible. I didn't see a provision to ensure that the people who decide about the declassification are not people invested in the secret activity who would use the decision making ability to obtain outcomes in a manner bypassing the legal and political systems.

about 1 month ago
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Samsung Delays Tizen Phone Launch

John.Banister Re:... using non-Windows devices. (112 comments)

I'm pretty low end, and I don't want any of those things. What I would like is LibreOffice Base where it's possible for numeric fields to be dialable. That way I can input 1500 contacts and make & save queries that generate custom phone books for me. Other apps I actually use on my phone now are: the one to record my phone calls, text messaging, easypark, gnuchess, and Garnet, the Palm OS emulator where I have my 1500 contacts and BTZS ExpoDev.

about 1 month ago
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Newly Discovered Virus Widespread in Human Gut

John.Banister Re:crAss (100 comments)

And their reason not to choose xasm was...

about a month ago
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On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

John.Banister Re:Slippery Slope (186 comments)

Domain is specific to country by registrar.

So, since I'm reading Slashdot in USA, I shouldn't have to worry about links to goat.cx ?

about a month ago
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Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

John.Banister Re:Great... (582 comments)

I read the article, which was interesting. However, I don't feel any particular shock or outrage. The combination of greed, petroleum resources and fighting has been going on for a long time. East Timor provides a fine example. Biden's kid doing lawyering for Ukrainian frackers doesn't seem particularly significant, although I'm sure they intend to milk that situation for all they can get. That the US Mainstream Media doesn't have big reports on this doesn't come across to me as a result of they're being run by some conspiracy, it's because giving a damn about Biden's kid's job isn't a strong sentiment in the US.

about a month ago
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On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

John.Banister Re:And then the next step is... (186 comments)

I've seen some US laws have the same problems with the internet. There was that whole business about not being able to export public key cryptography where everyone just downloaded it from a non US server. There were (are?) a bunch of US pornography laws (no depicting a woman having sex while she's tied up, not depicting household objects used as a dildo, etc) that don't matter anymore because no one outside the US will enforce them. However there's been no problem getting every country to support enforcement of laws against child pornography or bomb making instructions. I expect that some of the cyberbullying laws that some localities in the US have made would find difficulty with enforcement if someone attempted to apply them to a person in another state in the US, much less to someone in another country.

In general, I think that when countries disagree about what sort of internet activities are permitted, either the least restrictive choice will be predominant, or some sort of filtering (like that for which China is famous) will be implemented.

about a month ago
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On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

John.Banister Re:Slippery Slope (186 comments)

If Google is censoring their results, they could do so no just on the basis of which version of Google receives the request, but on the basis of the requesting IP address. That would be a showing of making the attempt to comply, and Google could argue that people who make the effort to use a VPN are like people who get on a train and leave the EU. It's up to the EU to treat with the countries at the other end of the train ride if they want their same law to apply in those places as well.

Meanwhile, someone who isn't Google and doesn't have offices in the EU will surely make up a page of links to this information. If the page generates traffic, someone will pay for add space there.

about a month ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

John.Banister Re:Customer service? (928 comments)

If the case was containing my photo gear or test instruments along with the firearm, it wouldn't be small enough to disappear into regular luggage, but I reckon I could put a duffel around it as camouflage.

about a month ago
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Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

John.Banister Re:must they be despicable? (200 comments)

No, it's a special culling process. They start at the bottom, firing any personnel who actually show up at your house on time, and then they use the number of angry customer letters per month as the metric for low level promotion. At the higher levels, it's more about demoralization.

about a month ago
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Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress

John.Banister Re:Wikipedia Never Bans Vandals? (165 comments)

That IP is not a person. Period.

That IP is not a person. Yet. Give the Supreme Court a little time, would you. They'll have IP's making unlimited campaign contributions before you know it.

about a month ago
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Russia Posts $110,000 Bounty For Cracking Tor's Privacy

John.Banister Re:Soooo .. (98 comments)

You might want to check with these guys about promises to pay. I talked to a talented Russian once who told me that you get promises of money before you produce results and promises to let you live if you go away quietly after you produce results. Of course, if you're sufficiently talented at interpersonal politics, you may convince someone that they will see more benefit in the long run by cultivating a relationship with you now, but this money doesn't relate so much to their initial promise as to your negotiating skill.

about a month ago
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Lawrence Krauss: Congress Is Trying To Defund Scientists At Energy Department

John.Banister Re:The other Eisenhower warning (342 comments)

I've worked in commercial fishing a lot. I haven't met so many people with the reasonably prestigious degrees.

about a month ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

John.Banister Re:Customer service? (928 comments)

Thanks for the idea. I had always thought that the gun case could only have the gun. Apparently (from reading comments to this suggestion at schneier.com) there is an issue if one changes planes in Chicago as firearms are especially targeted for theft there.

about a month ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

John.Banister Re:Get the popcorn (377 comments)

Floating desalinization plants off the California coast use solar power to pump sea water through Nanoporous Graphene.

about a month ago
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"Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

John.Banister Re:Elmer Fudd (184 comments)

For some reason, Conrad Schnitzler's Tonhelm also came to mind.

about a month ago
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Lawrence Krauss: Congress Is Trying To Defund Scientists At Energy Department

John.Banister Re:The other Eisenhower warning (342 comments)

Nobody in America argues against physics or chemistry etc; there is no "war on science".

Have you met the people in America? Time and again I've met fine GED graduates who have told me that they know for a fact that basic cosmology is wrong and whatever they happen to believe is true, not to mention the whole collection of creationist idiots out here. It seems that more than half of everyone who isn't an authority is certain that their opinion is just as good anyways. People want what they want when they want it, and are anti anything that stands in their way. I like what you posted that wasn't in your last paragraph, but the claims you make at the end don't follow from those words. It's just rhetorical chicanery.

about a month ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

John.Banister Re: this is messed up.. but what's worse (928 comments)

I agree with you, but there's one possible other circumstance. Apparently Southwest rewards his type of behavior, so long as one of his kids is under four years old. If he's flown with his kids on Southwest a lot, and his youngest kid recently turned five, he could have been trained to expect something that was no longer the case.

Personally, I think Southwest should train their people encountering this request (if there's children who look to have single digit ages) to say "We only do that for families traveling with children under four, however, if you want to swipe your payment plastic right now, we'll charge you the difference and you can go ahead and board together early." Everyone will hate him for slowing down the boarding process, but I don't think they'd hate Southwest for making an allowance for busy parents who forgot.

about a month ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

John.Banister Re:Agent was wrong anyway (928 comments)

With all airlines, or with all airlines that use assigned seating? I have the impression that he could have purchased earlier seating privileges for his kids for not too much money, but chose to gamble on a (failed) sympathy play instead.

about a month ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

John.Banister Re:Customer service? (928 comments)

That doesn't help if the people who got on ahead of you have bags like that, and many people do. Bag manufacturers know the exact dimensions of those bins and make bags to match. People have so little faith that they'll find an empty bin at their seat, that often the people in the back who board first use an empty bin about halfway to their seat, perpetuating the problem. I've watched this happen more than once.

Personally, I'd check a lot more stuff if the airline gave me the option to have my checked bags flown separately on a UPS or FedEx flight where locked bags are allowed. As it is, I expect I'd better carry with me anything I want to take that might entice theft, or mail that stuff in cardboard boxes in advance.

about a month ago
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UK Cabinet Office Adopts ODF As Exclusive Standard For Sharable Documents

John.Banister Re: Why ODF? (164 comments)

So, if I use me phone, are you suggesting I should use the magnifying glass app with the camera to better see the iron filings or just use OpenDocument Reader to see the contents of the file?

about a month ago

Submissions

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Goldelico refunds Neo900 money - 86.8%

John.Banister John.Banister writes  |  about 3 months ago

John.Banister (1291556) writes "I received the following email from service@goldelico.com

Dear Neo900 customer,

You may have read on the forums and mailing lists that we need to reorganize the financial side of how the project is managed:

<http://neo900.org/news-0011-progress-update-may>
<http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=93197>

The orders Golden Delicious Computers (GDC) has received have to be "rolled back". Since the "roll back" voids your agreement with GDC, all those who sent 100 EUR or more get a refund. The amount refunded will be your original payment minus about 13% for work done in the project so far (see below for details). If your transfer was in a foreign currency, there can be additional differences due to exchange rate variations.

The refund goes either directly back to your credit card (if you used one to pay) or if you have used SEPA/IBAN bank transfer, please provide your account data where we should send the money to. Please note that we do the refund in EUR, so the resulting amount depends on the exchange rate of your local currency.

Here are the details how we have calculated the refund amount. GDC has spent (incl. VAT) so far for this project:

* 2983.66 EUR — material (e.g. PCBs, components, 1000 display connectors)
* 6924.31 EUR — engineering (R&D)
* 990.80 EUR — other expenses (e.g. shipment, credit card fees, server operation, shop, tax advisor, etc.)

Payments below 100 EUR are not refundable. They make a total of exactly 1000 EUR from 50 persons. This means that the remaining expenses of 9898.77 EUR are to be equitably shared by the customers with payments of 100 EUR or more, who donated 75 045 EUR in total. Therefore, 13.2% of the total amount has been already spent.

This amount (13.2%) will be subtracted from what you have originally paid and is equivalent to your contribution to bring the project to the status it currently has (thanks!). This includes that we make the EAGLE design files open source (under CC BY-SA) so that anyone can continue.

To view the current and complete status of your order, please open your personal order link:
[...]
We recommend to bookmark this link.

With kind regards,
Your team from Golden Delicious Computers.

Sad that they've had this problem."

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