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Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

Lord Bitman To take the opposite approach from most... (461 comments)

I agree that this is free speech, and that police should not only be okay with people reporting on their location, but should be *required* to report their location publicly, constantly.

But that's not what this post is about. Others are saying "maybe if police didn't abuse their power, people wouldn't want to circumvent police and speed traps"

To take the opposite approach: maybe if speed limits were not only sane, but actually *enforced*, people wouldn't care so much about speed traps.

Speeds traps being a thing is really a sign that something is fundamentally wrong. Speeding should not be a thing which everyone does, unless there's a speed trap. Speeding should be a thing which, when it happens, everyone on the road reports the speeder, because they are creating a dangerous situation (just as you might call the police to report a chemical truck on fire).

If we live in a world where a law exists that *only police care about*, that's a problem.

4 days ago

Google Proposes To Warn People About Non-SSL Web Sites

Lord Bitman Makes sense (396 comments)

Or at least, makes more sense than throwing up a giant red "WARNING: THIS SITE IS INSECURE!" page for HTTPS self-signed, but *not* for every other HTTP-only site.

about a month and a half ago

2014 Hour of Code: Do Ends Justify Disney Product Placement Means?

Lord Bitman "Ends justify the means" is usually meant to imply (125 comments)

"Ends justify the means" is usually meant to imply that the means are bad, but potentially excusable.

What exactly is wrong with the "means" here? I hate Disney's copyright practices, but other than that, I can't fault them. They have a dedication to quality which I wish were seen elsewhere.

about 2 months ago

Obama, Romney Data Scientists Strike Out On Their Own

Lord Bitman SEO (120 comments)

Search Engine Optimisation all boils down to, in the end, "make websites that humans want to find, and search engines will tend over time to detect sites like yours". The SEO best-practices change all the time, but the ones which stick around tend also to be general usability best-practices.

There doesn't seem to be a similar rule for elections, ie "make candidates that humans want to govern them, and people will tend over time to elect candidates like yours".

Perhaps this is because nobody has actually tried such a strategy, but I expect it has more to do with the ideas that:
  1. having lots of choices and few choosers (the choosers being chosen by the masses) tends to work-out better than having lots of choosers (the masses) and few choices
  2. letting people benefit from more than one "winner" tends to work-out better than picking the top choice and throwing out everything else.

about a year and a half ago

Have eBooks Peaked?

Lord Bitman My purchasing has certainly peaked (323 comments)

The last five books which I attempted to buy were not available for purchase in eBook format. (two of them previously were, but no longer are!)

Can someone please explain to me why it is that "publishers" don't want free money?

about a year and a half ago

After a User Dies, Apple Warns Against Counterfeit Chargers

Lord Bitman Re:Solution: Use standard charger (457 comments)

I came here to say exactly this. Apple is the one who ensured that the only manufacturers selling chargers for their products were those with no accountability.
If they did not use absurd proprietary designs, then most consumers would buy chargers from companies which have such qualifications as "an address" and "a name".

about a year and a half ago

Google Launches Cloud Printer Service For Windows

Lord Bitman Really surprised (135 comments)

As someone who's been trying to use Cloud Print since it launched, I had assumed that the project was abandoned long ago. It has always been extremely flakey, it never "just works", etc. When it works, it's great. When it doesn't, you are left staring at a screen identical to when it does, with no diagnostics, and no sign of potential progress.

There are also some rather insane missing features, like the inability to rename printers (eg: if two of your friends have an HP DeskJet 1050a, and they both left it with the default name, have fun trying to decide which one to print on. Or if they both renamed their printers, but gave them sensible names like "HP (Upstairs)")

CloudPrint was a nice idea which Google has given zero attention. I do not expect things to suddenly work now that Windows is in the mix.

about a year and a half ago

Congress Demands Answers From Google Over Google Glass Privacy Concerns

Lord Bitman Re:I would love it if (201 comments)

I would love it if google responded by saying it infringes no more than eyeballs do.

about a year and a half ago

Last Forking Warning For Bitcoin

Lord Bitman Re:Crap, the sky is falling (334 comments)

This isn't an issue of "two different currencies". What other time in history has a government issued a new currency, exchanged the "old currency" for the "new currency", and *let you keep* the "old currency" when handing you new currency?

The inability to deal with prolonged netsplits sanely is a fundamental limitation of the Bitcoin protocol.

about a year and a half ago

Federal Magistrate Rules That Fifth Amendment Applies To Encryption Keys

Lord Bitman Re:Last Sentence (322 comments)

That sounds more like the fourth amendment than the fifth, though.

about a year and a half ago

Today Is International Day Against DRM

Lord Bitman Re:Need DRM Labeling Law (256 comments)

... grab a random DVD off the shelf behind you. Look at the back of the box.

So, the market has spoken?

about a year and a half ago

Even the Ad Industry Doesn't Know Who's Tracking You

Lord Bitman Re:Use Firefox? Get Self Destructing Cookies add-o (98 comments)

Wow, a post about cookies from a privacy nut which I actually agree with!

Expiring at the end of a browser session is indeed a good default cookie policy, and I see nothing wrong with a pop-up at the top of the browser window, similar to the "Do you want to save your password?", ActiveX warnings, etc, which states "The website at xnd.garbledgunk.adserver.goo[NOT VERIFIED] would like us to send data [view data] whenever this site is accessed, until September 1st, 2013. It gives the reason "Enhanced Browsing Experience". Do you want to allow this? [Yes] [No] [Send data, but forget it when I close my browser]"

about a year and a half ago

What's Actually Wrong With DRM In HTML5?

Lord Bitman The problem with DRM: Enforcement (447 comments)

The only problem with DRM is the attempt to enforce the decisions made by the system.

I would have no problem with a DRM system which indeed *managed* rights. ie: allowed you to register your right to watch movie x because you own it and would like to format-shift. I would even be okay with it all connecting to a central database to notify you that "you have license for viewing this from a single screen, but it looks like your wife is watching it at home right now. Our system does not believe that you have the right to do this". So long as it didn't also include a system for taking over your computer to ensure that your viewing habits agree with its opinion of your rights.

I would absolutely *love* that kind of system

about 2 years ago

HTC Does What Google Wouldn't: Sell an LTE Phone That Sidesteps AT&T

Lord Bitman Re:News at elleven (290 comments)

That is a ridiculous lie.

Selling someone a cheap phone by subsidising the cost via a 2-year contract at $49/mo doesn't become any less viable with an unlocked phone.

Maybe selling someone a cheap phone by subsiding the cost via a 2-year contract of [nominal fee]+overage charges/mo would be violated by unlocking the phone, but the monthly fee on a 2-year contract doesn't change when you decide not to use the service. That's why it's called a contract.

about 2 years ago

Netflix Wants To Go HTML5, But Not Without DRM

Lord Bitman Re:not much better (394 comments)

To extend this to the general case, and ignoring the fact that DRM is an impossibility / runs contrary to basic laws of physics:

DRM requires that the output device, the final end-point, be known in advance.

This runs contrary to everything that the web is about, and so no web standards body should have anything to do with it.

Imagine if somehow HTTP had a Copyright-control mechanism which was able to enforce the fact that certain content could not be printed. Being devised in the time when HTTP was simply intended as, as it says, a "Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol", this mechanism could have been implemented as a restriction that certain content should only be output directly to a terminal.

This type of restriction would have made HTTP, and therefor the web, useless. It would be restricted to its original goals and intended scope. There is no point in creating a web standard which does not have the ability to have new uses applied to it.

about 2 years ago

Best Buy Follows Yahoo in Banning Remote Work

Lord Bitman These moves are one thing and one thing only (317 comments)

The *only* reason for these new policies is to fire people without needing to admit that these people are being fired.

Why lay off 800 people due to financial difficulties when you can lay off 400 and say that 400 chose to leave for unrelated reasons?

about 2 years ago

Warner Bros Secures Commercial Control of Superman

Lord Bitman Re:Just imagine if copyright had reasonable limits (196 comments)

Imagine if Trademark Law were limited to ensuring that producers of goods and services could be easily identified and distinguished and that such laws had no bearing on the distribution of creative works so long as such distinction were honestly made.

about 2 years ago

Third Party Debates Moderated by Larry King: Discuss

Lord Bitman Re:It's all in a name (221 comments)

The problem with "approval" voting is that it asks me which candidate I approve of.
Looking down the list of all candidates, no matter the party, I don't see one that I approve of.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Working With Awful Legacy Code?

Lord Bitman Ask to see the code. (360 comments)

Offer to sign an NDA, but don't ever take over someone else's codebase without making sure you see the code.

Employers: Don't hire anybody who offers to take over someone else's codebase without having seen the code.

This is a complete no-brainer.

more than 2 years ago

Astronomers Search For Dyson Spheres of Alien Civilizations

Lord Bitman Re:Flawed assumptions. (686 comments)

and we'd need every one of them in order to build a dyson sphere, too

more than 2 years ago



Valve seeks Software Engineer for Linux ports

Lord Bitman Lord Bitman writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Lord Bitman (95493) writes "So the rumors are true: looks like Valve is looking for a new Senior Software Engineer, with responsibilities including "Manage the operation of large clusters of machines running both Windows and Linux in a highly available system." and "Port Windows-based games to the Linux platform.""
Link to Original Source


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