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Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists

PraiseBob Re:There's not a lot to say, this is scummy (299 comments)

Hitchiking is actually illegal in many states. Most of them only reference soliciting a ride on the street itself, but some outlaw the whole concept.

None of the hotel regulations apply to taking $20 for someone crashing in a spare bedroom for a night.

Thats not actually true. Lots of states Attornery Generals have filed legal paperwork again Airbnb and couchsurfing homes to class them as hotels, subject to normal hotel / bed&breakfast regulations.

about a week ago
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How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

PraiseBob Re:So, does water cost more? (377 comments)

Every single person on this earth is motivated to get food, and have food, and if possible, have even more food. It is genetically programmed to the infinite degree. Particular farming practices, and particular strains of crops may work better in different regions of the world, but every farmer wants more food. The ONLY farmers who may not care about increased yields are suburbanites who have plenty of money and food, and farm as a fun hobby. ALL commercial farmers want more. ALL subsistence farmers want more.

about two weeks ago
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US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

PraiseBob Re:Dumb idea ... Lots of assumptions .... (698 comments)

A lot of schools, maybe the vast majority(?), already have video surveillance systems.
Where do you think that video footage of the Columbine shooters walking around inside the school came from??
That was 15 years ago, and cameras have gotten much cheaper and more widespread since then.

about two weeks ago
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Apple's Luxembourg Tax Deals

PraiseBob Re:Simple fix (158 comments)

I wish them the best of luck in sales to the good people of Luxembourg, Ireland, and small carribean islands. I'm sure their total revenues after dropping the costly US market will improve tremendously.

about two weeks ago
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Scientists Discover a Virus That Changes the Brain To "Make Humans More Stupid"

PraiseBob Re:Virus Name (275 comments)

People who watch no news of any kind, are more informed about current events than viewers of Fox News. For sure you can expect certain kinds of distortion for left and right wing biases from every station, but Fox News takes viewers several steps beyond political slant, to full on fabrications that suit their storyline.

about two weeks ago
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Too Much Privacy: Finnish Police Want Big Euro Notes Taken Out of Circulation

PraiseBob Re:To their defense (314 comments)

Nobody is stealing 500 euro bills, because normal people don't carry them. If you stole them from a bank, any attempt to spend those bills would get way too much attention. It also follows then that any attempt to pass off counterfeit bills that are huge values, will also get a lot of extra scrutiny, which is not productive. There are more $20 counterfeit bills in active circulation than $100 bills.

That leaves criminals with really only one reason to use the extra large bills, laundering & transferring money. Now, where does the money that needs to be laundered come from? This conversation is entirely about cracking down on drugs, gambling & prostitution.

about a month and a half ago
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Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

PraiseBob Re:symbols, caps, numbers (549 comments)

IT companies like Microsoft? You've just described the exact password policy that the largest software company in the world uses to enforce a "strong password", under the guises of best practices. I don't know why you blame the end user, when the manufacturer is the one perpetuating this system through documentation, training certifications, and the operating system itself.

But all that aside, those passwords are plenty good enough. Any system that allows an attacker to brute force passwords, especially online, has a design problem. It would take an idiot to build a system that allows 1000 password guesses per second without a timeout. Guess wrong 5 times, and you get locked out for 10 minutes, and a warning email sent. Suddenly you've increased the brute force time to thousands of years, and the target is aware. This is basic stuff, and just about any dictionary word is safe.

Ever increasing complexity is an unnecessary solution. Password breaches are not being done through brute force, there's no real reason to make brute force harder.

about a month and a half ago
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ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

PraiseBob Re: they will defeat themselves (981 comments)

It must be some magical coincidence that civilizations with better mineral resources, better weather patterns and better access to domesticated animals & crops for centuries of development time, are now in a better position globally. Or you could falsely attribute it to "cultural superiority", and assume that you are by extension, racially superior. However, please note that a lot of people will call you a racist. You are essentially saying there are no geographic differences between different places in the world, that thousands of years of history are meaningless, and that everything boils down to the type of music you listen to. I suspect you've been called racist many many times.

about 2 months ago
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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

PraiseBob Re:So what was the plan? (848 comments)

Exactly. Who would ever think that Russia is seizing a warm water port but is ok with having zero access to it? Surely no world leader is surprised.

about 3 months ago
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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

PraiseBob Re:Send in the drones! (848 comments)

Would Russia invade if Ukraine still had their nukes? Will any other nuclear country disarm in the future given this scenario?
In the end, a treaty is just words on paper. Russia clearly isn't honoring the treaty so it goes to line 6:

"The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will consult in the event a situation arises which raises a question concerning these commitments."

about 3 months ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

PraiseBob Re:let me correct that for you. (619 comments)

[citation needed]

Here you go: http://media.wix.com/ugd/80ea2... - Academic journal with the title "Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior"

This shows some of the other social experiments conducted on the topic of wealth and entitlement: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb...

It appears to be using rigorous methodology along with peer review to reach what could be considered the scientific conclusion: in a capitalist society, the rich are more likely to cheat.

about 4 months ago
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Point-of-Sale System Bought On eBay Yields Treasure Trove of Private Data

PraiseBob Re:It's not really a treasure trove (68 comments)

Do you think waitstaff have great credit scores? Most don't even have bank accounts, much less any way to get credit cards. That's not exactly the most lucrative job to target for identity theft.

about 4 months ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

PraiseBob Re:the joker in the formula (686 comments)

Another way of looking at it, is to use aggregate outcomes, rather than a raw species count. We have one planet with life, and have thus far evolved one lifeform capable of spaceflight. Our knowledge thus far is to say that 100% of planets with life on them have produced space travel. And of course you can't forget that humans are very aggressive. We've exterminated thousands of other species, why would you assume that we didn't eliminate intelligent competitors in pre-history? There is quite a bit of discussion over the idea of humans destroying neanderthals, a different intelligent species that even had a larger brain than humans, and perhaps could have evolved into space travel themselves.

Ultimately, life keeps evolving. We are fairly certain that dolphins & whales were originally born from the ocean... then they evolved to live on land... and then evolved back to living in the water. They evolved to filled a gap, a habitable environment in the ocean, while other species evolved to fill the gaps on the land, and use the available resources on land. Tool & fire use opens up more environments to live in. We have multiple examples of species that use tools to a lesser degree, such as chimpanzees. It seems inevitable, given the right environment, that eventually a species will branch off and master tools.

Life is life is life. It evolves. We won't get SETI signals from an ocean planet, almost certainly. But all the evidence shows that life will evolve into tool-makers given the right land-water ratio.

As for dolphin speech, pods use about 50 different whistles to communicate with each other identifying both their surroundings and themselves, and to coordinate pack hunting in some instances. There is definitely some level of content. Does that count as complex information, and intelligence? Thats why I said it's open to debate.

about 5 months ago
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EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

PraiseBob Re: on behalf of america (625 comments)

He had weapons inspectors in his country from 1991 onwards, for the express purpose of finding and removing said WMD's. In 1995 he acknowledged hiding some manufacturing that happened before 1990. While he may have acted in various ways to obstruct the weapons inspectors mission, at no point after 1991 did he claim to still have those weapons.

According to this story, you have fallen victim to govt propaganda and are blindly believing the politicians:
http://fair.org/extra-online-articles/saddams-secret/

about 5 months ago
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FWD.us: GOP Voters To Be Targeted By Data Scientists

PraiseBob Re:This will hugely backfire... (422 comments)

However, the disenfranchising of African Americans by creating another protected political class is going to hurt the DNC in the long run.

Huh? How do immigrants take away black votes? A larger voting population reduces everyone elses voting power equally.

And how on earth do you figure that immigrants, legal or otherwise, are part of a "protected" class? Are you saying the group that is nearly always defined by referencing lower than minimum wages and rampant victimization from fear of calling the police will be treated like bankers and the very wealthy in the future? Or am I using a different definition of "protected political class"?

The new influx of workers that will compete for low paying jobs is really going to hurt the African American community pretty hard.

Did you forget something- those workers are already here, and sometimes get paid less than minimum wage. Giving immigrants the same wage protections means that citizens will be able to compete on equal footing without being undercut. This helps low wage workers. If you were talking about H1-B's, that would be a different story.

about 5 months ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

PraiseBob Re:the joker in the formula (686 comments)

See, the fact that we are highly mutated primates does not imply that all primates would eventually get there, unless the mutation is *required* for survival. And clearly, it hasn't been. For any species. Even our own. We were just lucky.

That's not really an accurate portrayal of evolution. Homo sapiens are the "most fit to survive" in a huge variety of environments on the planet, entirely because of our intelligence and tools that we've created. Dolphins and elephants are very intelligent, demonstrating a number of traits that we once thought were exclusive to humans, such as speech, future planning, and mourning the dead. Living in the ocean is a big handicap for dolphins when it comes to tool use and fire, yet they have evolved intelligence and (arguably) speech as a way to enhance their survival rate.

Opposable thumbs gave us a gigantic head-start in tool creation, and environmental control. But its really just a head-start, nothing more than that.

about 5 months ago
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The Spy In Our Living Room

PraiseBob Parallel Construction (148 comments)

This is the entire point of parallel construction. They can't or won't reveal how they are monitoring you secretly. Instead they can claim that you were acting suspicious based on something else you've done which has nominally taken place in some kind of public space. Then they get a warrant based on that, and "find" the threats you are making, and charge you with that too.

about 9 months ago
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3D Maps Reveal a Lead-Laced Ocean

PraiseBob Re:Not everything observed... (266 comments)

If you read the article, you might see this paragraph: "Still, the maps show there are places where lead contamination is a continuing problem. Off the southern tip of Africa, surface waters with relatively high traces of lead are flowing into the South Atlantic from the Indian Ocean. That’s probably due to the continuing use of leaded gasoline in parts of Africa and Asia"

There appears to be a direct correlation... Guess it wasn't so difficult after all?

about 9 months ago
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Krugman: Say No To Comcast Acquisition of Time Warner

PraiseBob Re:Paul Krugman, 1998 (187 comments)

What can be known is that the company tried to stay in business and it died, but not before government prevented it from trying to change its business model.

Did you know that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings TRIED to sell Netflix to Blockbuster? Blockbuster turned him down.

Blockbuster instead wanted to buy more brick and mortar stores, and continue their existing dying business model rather than invest (very cheaply), in a new distribution model. How is Hollywood Video a new model?? Its the literal exact same model! Both companies went out of business! So you can blame the government all you want for killing Blockbuster, but that's complete nonsense. If neither one can survive as a small company, why on earth do you think they could survive as a giant company? Go ahead and say the magic words "economies of scale", as if Netflix and Redbox and On-Demand, and Hulu, and Amazon, and DVD's at Walmart for the same price as a rental and a million other efficient ways to get your movie don't exist...

Honest question: Are there ANY video rental chains still in existence?

about 9 months ago
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Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

PraiseBob Re:Misleading liability claim (731 comments)

Lol, fair enough. Always nice to get different perspectives. But... your compliance officer is wrong. They are side by side technologies, EMV is intended to complement rather than replace.

PCI is still required. You just won't have to pass that fun annual review to prove you are PCI compliant. You still MUST be compliant to avoid major fines in the event of a breach. This only applies to certain size merchants, AFAIK, but this article doesn't go into detail: http://www.pcidssguru.com/comp...

about 9 months ago

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