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Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

N1AK Misleading summary as usual (321 comments)

Leigh Lewis, superintendent of the Triad district, told me that if a student refuses to cooperate, the district could presumably press criminal charges.

The school district aren't saying that the law gives them the power to compel students to give them their passwords. It also doesn't suggest that refusing to give the password is breaking the law. The school can ask, just as I could walk up to someone in the street and say they need to give me £5 or I will report them to the police for "being a moron", but as long as I don't threaten them, stray into harassment territory or impersonate a police officer (or other protected role).

That doesn't mean that the schools don't deserve to be chastised for sending out threatening, intentionally technical and misleading letters though.

5 days ago
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Could Tizen Be the Next Android?

N1AK Re:Android is being improved too. Catching up will (241 comments)

That isn't automatically a massive issue. Apple came into the smartphone market (shock horror for some that they didn't actually create it) after MS and some others. Google themselves came into the market after Apple. Apple continues to sell devices even though they were considerably behind Google on some functionality (and I'm sure the reverse is true).

If Samsung can ensure that Android apps run perfectly well on Tizen, including Google apps like maps etc, then they're 80%+ to offering a mobile OS I'd move to if the handset was one I wanted.

about a week ago
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Elon Musk Plans To Build Hyperloop Test Track

N1AK Re:Finally (165 comments)

If you need to be obsessed with something to remember something this notable then you've got memorisation issues. Just because hamburger was a dick responding to you, doesn't mean that the SSC wasn't big enough that it's reasonable to expect people to remember it.

about two weeks ago
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Uber Suspends Australian Transport Inspector Accounts To Block Stings

N1AK Re:The most beautiful thing ever! (299 comments)

Scores of women have now be raped by Uber drivers, who don't need to show any credentials, but just pretend to be someone providing a ride.

Citation needed. Beyond which I'm sure Taxis are no different. You're likely trolling, but if you're not then just look at the number of places where some of the most common scams include false/unregulated taxis.

about two weeks ago
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Uber Suspends Australian Transport Inspector Accounts To Block Stings

N1AK Re:Are you trying to get legislation? (299 comments)

A bigger question here is should part-time, low-paid freelancers like uber drivers be allowed to force out full-time taxi drivers by eating into their business?

It's a small, but I tend to think it important, difference but you really should look at the premise as "whether we should restrict people some from being allowed to offer the service in order to protect medallion owners and taxi drivers?". You don't need to do anything to allow something, so the question should by default be whether we should be doing anything.

As to protecting taxi drivers. Firstly I'm not entirely sure that it is Taxi drivers suffering the most, that would be medallion owners, who have shown they only care about protecting their profits not customers. Secondly, progress requires that some roles become less attractive or even cease to exist. Lamp lighters, stable hands, farm workers etc were all massive sources of employment prior to technology making them largely obsolete. Taxi driver is just one of many jobs slowly following the same path. Personally I think autonomous vehicles will almost entirely kill the field within a decade anyway, so Uber is the least of their issues.

about two weeks ago
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Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

N1AK Re: Makes sense. (629 comments)

Upgrades are not the issue, unpatched security vulnerabilities are.

If a free upgrade is available for the device which patch the security vulnerability, then it isn't an unpatched vulnerability. It might be the norm with PCs to expect the same OS version to be supported for a decade, but that clearly isn't the case with mobile OSs.

about two weeks ago
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Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

N1AK Re: Makes sense. (629 comments)

FACT Google abandons their devices less than 2 years after release.

FACT: You appear to be too dumb to tell the difference between devices and software versions. FACT: You can upgrade a 7 year old Galaxy S3 to 4.4.2 released over 6 years after the phone FOR FREE.

about two weeks ago
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Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

N1AK Re: Makes sense. (629 comments)

this is more like MS not patching Windows 2012, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and so on. 2012 is so recently, that is scary.

No it isn't. Aside from the obvious fact that smartphones during that period have tended to have shorter active lifespans than PCs or Laptops, Google don't require you to pay for major releases. The Galaxy S3 was released in 2008 (before Windows 7 was released) yet can be upgraded to 4.4.2 (admittedly limited by carriers pushing updates out for some models) which was released a year after Windows 8.1 came out. If Microsoft was giving people free upgrades to the latest OS for 7 years then maybe you'd have something to shame Google for.

about two weeks ago
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Several European Countries Lay Groundwork For Heavier Internet Censorhip

N1AK Re:WTF (319 comments)

Anti-Semitism is racism. That is unacceptable.

I agree with you that Charlie Hebdo is a useful, if pretty shocking by British standards, force for a better society.

The difference I was alluding to is that cartoons equivalent to the ones Charlie Hebdo publish about Muslims have been attacked for being anti-semitic when they are about Jews in Europe. People can say things about Muslims virtually without consequence in Europe (with rare tragic exceptions) that if they had been said about Jews would have gotten them fired or arrested. I'm not suggesting we all go out and insult Judaism, and call Jews greedy, but highlighting that this behavior would be at least as controversial in America or Europe as insulting Islam and calling Muslims terrorists; which the person I was originally responding to ignored when he suggested that it is only Islam that you cannot speak freely about.

about two weeks ago
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Several European Countries Lay Groundwork For Heavier Internet Censorhip

N1AK Re:WTF (319 comments)

No. I'm free in most of Europe you'd be absolutely free to blaspheme Jesus, Moses, the Bible, Torah, Pope etc -- but anything Islam related is off limits

Charlie Hebdo fired a cartoonist for being 'anti-Semitic' but revelled in publishing cartoons mocking Islam. Why Dieudonne is ostracised for his anti-Israel statements, shunned as anti-Semitic. Why footballers across Europe who dared to use the quenelle gesture to show support for him were banned from matches. Dieudonne has been blocked from entering the UK, but Murdoch who questions whether all Muslims aren't violent and says they are all responsible for the actions of a vanishingly small minority owns a collection of our most popular newspapers and TV channels.

Does any of that make it acceptable that a radicalised bunch of nuts threaten to, and sometimes do, attack journalists? Of course not. But only someone wilfully ignorant would think that their is only de facto censorship of Islam and not other religions.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

N1AK Re:I guess that means ... (340 comments)

The point is that it will always play optimally and eventually statistics will win out and you'll lose to it. Also note that although it's perfect, it's not necessarily as profitable as a human player as it won't attempt to capitalise when you make an error.

The issue is that ignoring the betting element of poker when claiming a system is perfect or optimal is nonsense. A 'perfect' poker system would need to be able to decide based on opponent behaviour etc the right amounts to bid to minimise losses and maximise winnings.

about two weeks ago
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The Search For Starivores, Intelligent Life That Could Eat the Sun

N1AK Re:Look for what you can see. (300 comments)

There was an interesting, short, interview about Kepler's observations of other earth like planets. One thing mentioned was that we can now analyse the atmospheres of planets reasonably close to us if we can observe the light from the star they orbit going through it. Because there are elements in our atmosphere that couldn't be their naturally, another species doing the same thing to us could tell that there was, or had been, life on our planet.

about three weeks ago
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Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

N1AK Re:Ya, Sure. (303 comments)

Yeah the blanket dislike for anthropomorphizing surprised me as well. The example of how discussing program behavior/structure as though it is an example of the issues this causes is useful and informative; refusing to use words like 'know', 'tries' etc when discussing programs outright, rather than keeping in mind that they can be potentially misleading abstractions, seems like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

about three weeks ago
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2015 Means EU Tax Increase On Cloud Storage, E-books and Smartphone Applications

N1AK Re:$1B in new tax revenue! (164 comments)

Almost no small sites were doing there own checkout process, those that are can use VAT MOSS in the UK (I'm sure equivalents exist in other EU countries) to avoid registering with ANY new tax authorities. Did you ignore that because it doesn't gel with your hyperbolic or did you not even know about it?

Short of setting an EU VAT rate there's not much else the EU could do. Let one country undercut others on VAT and you'll get big players like Amazon/Tesco setting up firms with 'headquarters' there to pay the lowest rate.

about three weeks ago
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FBI Monitoring Hacking Targets For Retaliation

N1AK Re:If the government can't defend you... (96 comments)

Better to spend your resources... on public awareness campaigns about malware (since all DDoS "attacks", and a lot of other attacks, come from compromised bystanders).

I'm sure the first thing people should think of when someone is shooting at them is that they should be putting more money into lobby educating people not to give guns to violent people!

about a month ago
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United and Orbitz Sue 22-Year-Old Programmer For Compiling Public Info

N1AK Re:how is this more expensive for the airline? (349 comments)

We aren't. However airlines have made it a clear part of the terms we accept to fly with them not to intentionally do this, and have from time to time enforced them with people who do it extensively. We aren't obligated to support their model, but we aren't entitled to be immune to the consequences of breaching a contract either.

about a month ago
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United and Orbitz Sue 22-Year-Old Programmer For Compiling Public Info

N1AK Re:Cheaper (349 comments)

To give an example. British Airways were doing some aggressive promotions to get Scandinavian business for US flights last summer, which they route through their hub at Heathrow. I was able to get flights from Oslo to LA and back from Ontario to Copenhagen for ~$310 economy return. The same flights starting in London would have cost considerably more because they weren't discounting UK business at that time.

about a month ago
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Being Colder May Be Good For Your Health

N1AK Re:what else is new (234 comments)

It'd take people 5 mins to get acquanted with any number of outdated and replaced measurements it doesn't mean that they either desire to or should. When I give monetary values on here I tend to give them in US$ rather than GBP because it's an international forum and dollars provide better context. Thoughtful people communicate in ways that help others understand...

about a month ago
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Being Colder May Be Good For Your Health

N1AK Re: It's amazing to me! (234 comments)

It was your desire for warmt that made you sick, not the temperature.

He lived in a cold house, got ill, but you think it was the fact he desired for warmt (sp) that made him sick. Yeah, that doesn't sound stupid at all

about a month ago
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How Amazon's Ebook Subscriptions Are Changing the Writing Industry

N1AK Re:Rubbish (250 comments)

Yes. But I also KEEP and REREAD my books. So I ammortize out the cost of the book over multiple years.

Amortising the cost doesn't decrease it, it just spreads it over a period of time. If you're spending more money buying books than on 'renting' them then it costs more regardless of how you choose to account for it. I'll keep buying physical books but not because I have delusions that it is cheaper; I've got an irrational desire to own paper books and prefer reading them to using a screen.

about a month ago

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