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How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

PTBarnum Re:Economy Class Only (145 comments)

Right, because they fly enough that they can get free uprades on almost every flight, or worst case they can afford to pay for the upgrade out of pocket.

5 days ago
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Carmakers Keep Data On Drivers' Locations From Navigation Systems

PTBarnum Re:Tracking Needs to be Illegal (189 comments)

Getting a signature on a piece of paper is a bit impractical in the internet age, don't you think?

Would this prevent sites from counting how many visiters their site received? How about the number of visiters using Comcast? How about the number of visiters using Comcast in Dallas? The number of visiters with IP 142.14.8.63?

Would this mean that Amazon's fraud team would have to shut down, because they look for suspicious pattens of activity? For that matter, would credit card companies be able to do fraud analysis on your purchase history? Would they even be able to send you a bill?

The right to be forgotten is a good goal, but there are a lot of messy details to be worked out.

about 3 months ago
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US Postal Service To Make Sunday Deliveries For Amazon

PTBarnum Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (258 comments)

As I understand it, for regulated services USPS is not allowed to offer any negotiated prices to any company. Sunday delivery is presumably an unregulated add-on, but for normal weekday package delivery Amazon has to pay the same prices as any other shipper. One way Amazon gets around that is by using their own trucks to move packages as close to the consumer as possible, then mailing the package only a short distance. The post office can also unofficially rebate money by doing joint advertising.

about 5 months ago
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A Plan To Fix Daylight Savings Time By Creating Two National Time Zones

PTBarnum Re:Sunrise (545 comments)

Of course if we start schools later, parents will want their work schedules later too. And if we do that, stores will need to adjust their hours to accomodate both employees and customers, and evening entertainment will probably want to start later. Coordinating all of that sounds tricky, so what if we just get together and chose an arbitrary date on which we will all start things an hour later?

about 6 months ago
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Why Amazon Fights State Sales Tax, But Supports It Nationally

PTBarnum Re:For the record (165 comments)

You have to collect the correct taxes for every jurisdiction, but you submit them to the states, not to local jurisdictions. The state then distributes the funds according to the data in your filing.

about 6 months ago
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NSA Hacked Email Account of Mexican President

PTBarnum NSA doing its job (242 comments)

Spying on foreign governments is pretty much the job description of the NSA. Spying on domestic communications is something they get away with, spying on foreign communications is what they were created to do.

I imagine the Mexican government will be publicly shocked to learn these details, but their counterintelligence teams have likely privately detected and thwarted other US hacking attempts.

about 6 months ago
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NSA Hacked Email Account of Mexican President

PTBarnum Re:So what is this about? (242 comments)

Could I get a citation on Snowden claiming to know all about China's and Russia's intelligence?

about 6 months ago
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Instagram "Likes" Worth More Than Stolen Credit Cards

PTBarnum Re:Do the CCs work? (106 comments)

I used to do that. However, there are some cashiers (even rarer than the ones who ask for ID), who know and care that credit cards aren't valid unless signed and will not accept a card with "Ask for ID" on it.

about 8 months ago
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Amazon Forbids Crossing State Lines With Rented Textbooks

PTBarnum Re:Covering butt (125 comments)

Oddly enough, computers are not typically good at making complex judgement calls, like determining whether or not a given product is "food" under the arcane definitions in various cities, counties, and states. That requires a person to research the product, research the law, and apply the latter to the former.

Years ago, before Amazon changed to supporting sales taxes, there was an effort by several online retailers to negotiate with states to create a uniform set of taxable categories, so products could be classified once, and only the tax rate would be variable from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Regrettably, this effort did not succeed.

about 8 months ago
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Is New York City Ready For Digital Voting?

PTBarnum Sensationalist headline (93 comments)

Aside from the headline, I don't see a single mention of electronic voting in the summary, the article, or the candidate's website. Somebody at Motherboard just thought "digital voting" sounded more exciting then "digital campaigning".

about 8 months ago
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Firefox 23 Makes JavaScript Obligatory

PTBarnum Re:why? (778 comments)

Are you confusing Firefox with NoScript? I haven't looked recently, but the whole reason I installed NoScript was that Firefox only allowed enabling or disabling JavaScript globally, and disabling it globally broke too many sites. So I partially agree with the GP that turning off Javascript entirely removes some of the motivation to upgrade the browser.

On the other hand, the concept of trust circles is also somewhat flawed, because there are sites that I've trusted and that have used JavaScript for good reasons, that have been hacked and had malicious Javascript inserted. Maybe that's just my poor choice of who to trust, but judging somebody's security from the outside is hard.

about 10 months ago
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ATMs Compromised, $45M Taken

PTBarnum Re:Why wouldn't they work? (196 comments)

Actually, there are several varieties of magstrips that require different writers. They are all read compatible, though, which is what is important for this purpose.

about a year ago
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US Senate Passes Internet Tax Bill 69 To 27

PTBarnum Re:National Sales Tax (678 comments)

Your own land? What makes this particular plot of land yours? Oh that's right, a government decree.

about a year ago
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US Senate Passes Internet Tax Bill 69 To 27

PTBarnum Re:bollocks (678 comments)

That sounds fine to me, since you are clearly the kind of person who has never relied on anyone else for help. God created you as a fully formed human being in the middle of the wilderness, and everything you have you made for yourself, never seeing or talking to other humans. Therefore, you can proudly claim to owe nothing to human society.

about a year ago
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The Smart Grid Has Arrived

PTBarnum Re:Really? (121 comments)

One upon a time, power utilies ran their lines underground. One result of this is that idiots in backhoes and other similar events would disrupt power.

Underground lines may be less vulnerable to disruption, but they are not immune. Plus, I don't think very many countries have their high voltage distribution lines underground for long distances.

I'm not sure how the "smart grid" is supposed to reduce power outages; most outages are caused by the last mile medium and low voltage systems, and I don't think that has enough redundancy to route around damage. Maybe they can use the smart grid to pinpoint damage more accurately? I suppose the TFA probably explains that, but this is slashdot so I didn't read it.

about a year ago
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Microsoft Ad Campaign Puts a Hotspot Inside a Magazine

PTBarnum Re:Security breach (194 comments)

So it's just like employee smart phones, then? If random devices can extract sensitive data from your WiFi network, you're doing your security wrong.

about a year ago
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SkyDrive 3.0: Microsoft Gave Up Fighting Apple's 30% Cut

PTBarnum Re:Maybe I'm not reading this right, but (121 comments)

If Apple were charging the kind of rates that credit card companies charge (1-3%), a lot fewer people would have a problem with that.

Also, Apple wants to collect the fees even if you don't use their payment systems (e.g. provide an in-app link to a web page).

1 year,16 days
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A Glimpse of a Truly Elastic Cloud

PTBarnum Re:"stop using OSes"? (201 comments)

I think this means no guest OS. You can argue about whether the Erlang runtime constitutes an OS of sorts, but in their example they are not booting a general purpose kernel. Presumably they could port this to run on bare metal instead of Xen, although the boot times for physical hardware would never be as good as starting a new Xen instance.

1 year,27 days
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Windfarm Sickness Spreads By Word of Mouth

PTBarnum Re:It's spread by word of mouth? (482 comments)

I thought that RLS had been banned in the US? Clinical trials showed that it had potentially dangerous side effects, such as questioning authority.

about a year ago

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