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The Hidden Cost of Your New Xfinity Router

Memophage Service in exchange for a free modem? (224 comments)

I actually think this could be pretty cool if Comcast would offer customers *something* in exchange for them hosting a public hotspot out of their house.

How about a free modem, instead of charging them $3/mo to rent one?

I own my modem outright, so have negative incentive to upgrade. But if they were to offer me a free basic IP phone line, or a free upgrade to the next speed tier, or free access to this service I'm hosting, or *anything*, I'd certainly consider it.

But otherwise, yeah, it seems like they're forcing everyone to pay for their network electricity as a requirement of getting their own internet, with no added benefit in return.

about 2 months ago
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Mystery of FBI Documents Posted To US Press In 1971 Solved

Memophage Revealed FBI attempt to blackmail MLK into suicide (108 comments)

"Among the grim litany of revelations was a blackmail letter F.B.I. agents had sent anonymously to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., threatening to expose his extramarital affairs if he did not commit suicide."

From the NY Times Article

The corollary to the "you shouldn't worry if you don't have anything to hide" argument apparently is "you'd better not ever have anything to hide or the government will use it against you".

about 9 months ago
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How Safe Is Cycling?

Memophage As a driver... (947 comments)

God no! Never lose the helmet. Never, ever. When on a bike, at any point, no matter how safe you are, you're about a half-second from smashing your forehead into the pavement. Never forget that.

I love bike commuting, and would love to do it if I didn't have a 30-mile commute over the hills. As a paranoid driver though, I've noticed I have some technical problems with bike lanes.

In Portland, many streets have bike lanes along the right side of the road, between traffic and the sidewalk. All in all, I think this is preferable to forcing cyclists to ride in traffic. However, it puts me in the position of, if I want to make a right turn, effectively having to turn right across a lane of a traffic, which would be otherwise illegal if that were a lane of cars and not a lane of bikes.

If I'm in a car stopped at an intersection next to a bike lane, and want to turn right, I have to do the following:
Look left for oncoming traffic
Look ahead for oncoming traffic turning left (my right)
Look at the far-right corner for pedestrians
Look at the near-right corner for pedestrians
Look to the right of me to see if there are any cyclists also waiting
Look in my right-mirror to see if there are any cyclists approaching from behind
Look over my shoulder to double-check my blind spot

By the time I've done that, enough time has passed that I want to look left again.

There are also places where, in order to turn right, you have to move to a new lane on the other side of the bike lane (which is now marked with dotted lines). This makes me paranoid to no end. It puts me in the position of effectively merging to change across an entire lane of traffic, which again would be otherwise illegal. Bicyclists generally go slower than cars and don't maintain the same spacings, so it is harder to judge at a glance how many cyclists there are and how fast they're going (one may have been passing another) to make sure they're all out of your blind spot before you quickly barrel across their lane.

I don't know if there are better solutions aside from creating entire bike-only roads and bridges, but I think there are technical problems with bike lanes that are likely to result in accidents that are not entirely the fault of either party. I do my best as a driver to be paranoid, and still constantly worry I'm going to not manage to spot a cyclist just that one time.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Permanent Preservation of Human Knowledge?

Memophage The Long Now Foundation (277 comments)

If you're not familiar with The Long Now Foundation you should check them out. They have a project to build a clock that will last 10,000 years (about as long again as there's been civilization on earth), and are making progress constructing it in a cave in a mountain in Nevada.

Of course, the next questions are things like "well, who is going to be around to read it?" and "how will they read it?", and "how do we maintain a level of civilization where people can create replacement parts for it?"

Neal Stephenson consulted with them for his book Anathem, which I highly recommend, which is based around these sorts of questions.

about a year ago
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Senator Feinstein: We Need Video Game Control

Memophage 90% of crime rate changes linked to lead exposure (424 comments)

Mother Jones recently published an article America's Real Criminal Element: Lead, detailing the correlation between decrease in environmental lead levels (mostly due to unleaded gasoline laws) and the decrease in crime rates (with a 20-year delay). The numbers are impressive, and they've correlated across areas of the country that enacted lead control laws at different times. The research is thorough and they make bold claims: "Gasoline lead may explain as much as 90 percent of the rise and fall of violent crime over the past half century." I highly recommend giving it a thorough read.

about a year and a half ago
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Six of Hanford's Nuclear Waste Tanks Leaking Badly

Memophage Radioactive rabbits (221 comments)

Right, there's no immediate threat to the environment. That's why they keep trapping radioactive wildlife.

about a year and a half ago
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Facebook Testing $100 Fee To Mail Mark Zuckerberg

Memophage Re:It's one thing for him to sell access (228 comments)

No, this is awesome! I want the feature available so we can all charge people money to send us messages. Then everyone can just put on their business card and e-mail footer how much it costs to talk to them, and then nobody has to ever talk to anyone who isn't willing to pay (or can't afford) to talk to them.

You know, this started out as snark, but then I realized that that's actually how the real world works ($1000/plate political dinners, lobbyists, conventions), and just got depressed.

about a year and a half ago
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.xxx Registrar To Launch Pr0n Search Engine

Memophage Poor Google (149 comments)

It'll be interesting to watch the dip in Google's search traffic as half the web searches instantly move over to this site.

about 2 years ago
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Is the Can Worse Than the Soda?

Memophage Beer Drinkers? (388 comments)

Similarly, is there any statistically significant weight difference between people who drink beer from cans vs. glass bottles?

about 2 years ago
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NSA Claims It Would Violate Americans' Privacy To Say How Many of Us It Spied On

Memophage Re:This makes sense if they're recording *raw* dat (221 comments)

That sounds frighteningly accurate.
From a different Wired article: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/nsa-whistleblower/

NSA can intercept millions of domestic communications and store them in a data center like Bluffdale and still be able to say it has not “intercepted” any domestic communications. This is because of its definition of the word. “Intercept,” in NSA’s lexicon, only takes place when the communications are “processed” “into an intelligible form intended for human inspection,” not as they pass through NSA listening posts and transferred to data warehouses.

So, the short, accurate answer to Wyden's question would be "We're spying on everyone. Literally. It would take too much work to even calculate the number of people we're spying on. Go away."

more than 2 years ago
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Solar Cells That Emit Light Break Efficiency Record

Memophage No joke (139 comments)

Guess I can't tell that joke about a solar-powered flashlight anymore.

more than 2 years ago
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Oklahoma Politician Wants To Tax Violent Video Games

Memophage Re:Sounds completely logical (312 comments)

Right. Because historically, the kids buying video games are the ones out there beating up other kids and stealing their lunch money. Why don't we leverage a 1% tax on footballs and jerseys as well, or maybe weight-lifting equipment?

What a great message. "If you buy this video game, someone may come along and kick your ass, so we're going to charge you extra so the government can try to prevent that."

more than 2 years ago
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Verizon Announces Pay-Per-Use 'Turbo Boost' For Smartphones

Memophage Re:In other words... (129 comments)

Right. Giving Verizon incentive to slow down your traffic in the middle of your Skype call so you'll pay them more money? Doesn't sound like a good idea. I'm pretty sure that would be a deal-breaker for me.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Kevin Mitnick

Memophage Crossing Paths (285 comments)

Kevin,

Every time I see your name mentioned in an article written by Kevin Poulsen, I wonder how many people reading it know the connection. Do you have any interesting stories of crossing paths with someone your knew from your "ghost in the wire" days, or unexpected relationships you've developed or continued with people who either impacted your life, or were impacted by your actions back then?

more than 3 years ago
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Designer Tweets Egyptian Riots Due to His New Line Coming Out

Memophage kennethcoletweets (142 comments)

The more amusing footnotes to this story are the #kennethcoletweets tweets that everyone is making up now:
http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23kennethcoletweets

@KennethColePR: "People from New Orleans are flooding into Kenneth Cole stores!" #KennethColeTweets
@KennethColePR: Jeffrey Dahmer would have eaten up our spring collection! #KennethColeTweets
And many more...

more than 3 years ago
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Unsecured IP Cameras Accessible To Everyone

Memophage Re:ChumbySpy has been around for years (146 comments)

I had the OSX version of surveillancesaver installed on my mac, but when I upgraded to Snow Leopard it quit working. Found out it was written in Quartz, so I re-compiled it with the new version, and got it working again.

Then I found out that the guys who wrote the original went on to found the Public Viewpoint Project, which searches for publicly available webcams and creates an RSS feed. I can't find their web site anymore, but the RSS feed is still up. I added to the screen saver the ability to connect to their RSS feed, d/l camera URLs and test them out before showing them.

I recently created a Google Code space for it, it's available here: http://code.google.com/p/surveillancesaverosx [google.com]

It still has some bugs, if there are any "expert" Quartz developers out there, I'd love to get some pointers.

more than 3 years ago
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Unsecured IP Cameras Accessible To Everyone

Memophage SurveillanceSaverOSX (146 comments)

A while back I ran across the SurveillanceSaver project - a simple screen saver which contained a small list of webcams it would cycle through. I had the OSX version installed on my mac, but when I upgraded to Snow Leopard it quit working. Found out it was written in Quartz, so I re-compiled it with the new version, and got it working again.

Then I found out that the guys who wrote it went on to found the Public Viewpoint Project, which searches for publicly available webcams and creates an RSS feed. I can't find their web site anymore, but the RSS feed is still up. I added to their screen saver the ability to connect to their RSS feed, d/l camera URLs and test them out before showing them.

I recently created a Google Code space for it, it's available here: http://code.google.com/p/surveillancesaverosx

It still has some bugs, if there are any "expert" Quartz developers out there, I'd love to get some pointers.

more than 3 years ago
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A Nude Awakening — the TSA and Privacy

Memophage Re:The real problem with TSA and US govt... (728 comments)

While I understand your point, there are two current news items that I could see as possibly generating some desire to search Americans before letting them on a plane.

First, the attempted bombing of the Christmas tree lighting here in Portland, OR. (Although you could argue he wasn't born in America)
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5heQPp2NpOwvN6VdSOuy2LexQ4vXg?docId=fe013ab41f744f9899844b7e3164e48b

Second, the discovery of a house in California so laden with explosives that they have to try and burn it in place:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iz-NoJ-t4_P-of2SabmaoRq0tD-w?docId=fd581bf34cf841e5a767fddc4a11993e

That being said, I think the only security changes that have done any real good since 9/11 are:
1. Strengthening cockpit doors.
2. Scanning checked baggage.
3. The fact that passengers on a plane don't take for granted anymore that people just want to hijack a plane and land it somewhere safely, and will likely tear anyone limb from limb who tries to take one over, or die trying.

more than 3 years ago

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