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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

WOOFYGOOFY Problem already solved (457 comments)

This problem is already solved. It's called the "ignore user " button. Push it and you no longer see the posts from the offending troll. Troll can see your posts, but you can't see theirs. So troll has unpleasant (for a troll) experience of seeing a conversation carried on as though what he was posting simply didn't exist, because it didn't for anyone who regarded him as a troll.

If a troll is like porn, we know it when we see it, then this solution works very well. Everyone sees and ignores the troll, depriving the troll of their motivation for trolling in the first place.

The only problem we have is sites don't use the available technology.

I have been on sites where this virtually eliminated the troll problem. Of course the automated accounts that are spamming viagra require something else, but that is not what the article was complaining about. The article was complaining about civility.

I really have to wonder if there are ulterior motivations at work here. Trolls are the new "we must save our children" rallying cry, an argument designed to force people into ID ing themselves, tagging themselves as "legitimate" so they can be better tracked and monetized. I feel like these pieces are set pieces, ready to roll out as soon as their beneficiaries and creators think their might be some temporary, rising sentiment against anonymity on the web.

Current example- Robin William's daughter's recent Twitter experience.

Sure, a troll gets one off but that is all anyone will see of him.

There is no free speech without anonymity and giving it up because some asshole made someone cry is ceding my freedom to assholes. That wont' be happening.

about two weeks ago
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When Spies and Crime-Fighters Squabble Over How They Spy On You

WOOFYGOOFY It makes sense. (120 comments)

It makes sense, right? From the pov of the natsec people, these things help them secure the nation against potentially catastrophic attacks. From the pov of the LEOs , these represent the natural progression of tools they use to catch some pretty dangerous people, some of whom may also represent a significant danger to the nation, so why should they be deprived of their utility? Both sides can only be expected to strongly advocate for their side. You need 3rd party adjudication in this scenario. In general, we need much more serious 3rd party involvement in all of this spy tech. The FISA court really is nothing but a rubber tamp composed of people who have very narrow real world experience but for whom 'the system' has never given the slightest hiccup on their , largely unearned rise to power. They're political hacks, appointees lifted into place because, well, someone has to be so lifted and they never rendered any offense and they expressed the right political opinions to the right people at the right time. They think the system is just dandy- worked for them! We desperately need the NSA and the FBI to be doing their jobs with all the tech we can give them. Turf and tech wars WILL happen between well intentioned parties. That's a given. What we're missing is real, wise oversight and refereeing such that the public and both parties ultimately have real faith in the reasoning by those overseers. Really, the NSA scandal is scandal of the FISA court process. It's composed of intellectual lightweights and cowards and a few rich little girls whose chief unconscious guiding principle is they want BigMen to protect them so they can go on living their posh lives, feted and paid attention to by the powerful at clinking cocktail parties because, hey, that's what civilization is about. Get judge Richard Posner in there. Get some people who have well considered povs and a well developed sense of statesmanship and what it means to be a nation of people, rights, laws, threats and tradeoffs needed to make it all work. Of course LE grabs for everything it can. If it were your job, so would 99,999 out of 100,000 of you too. The kind of reticence and carefulness to maximizing your own advantage at the cost of some encroachment of an abstraction like civil liberties does not exist in enough people to populate the NSA so that the jobs get done. It's just not many hmans are. Thats why we have to look to oversight. Get some hardcore civil libertarians and hardcore natsec hawks into the process. It will work itself out. The civil libertarians will come to see that the worst form of civil rights violation is everyone is dead, and the natsecs will come to see that a nation that devoles into a version of 1984 is not a goal worth protecting, in fact, just the opposite. As it is, the executive looks for every fakey boo hoo slip of the tongue reason to jail or administratively silence just the people whose pov we need as input in oversight and the civil libertarians are just clueless wrt to the seriouness of the threats we face and conclude , wrongly, that the NSA has gone mad with power and has installed the Constitution as toilet paper in their bathrooms. It's a failure to maintain the necessary diversity of opinions and a failure of wise adjudication of those opinions. That's our problem.

about a month ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

WOOFYGOOFY Software patents (818 comments)

`Software patents are a near perfect example of what this paper is talking about. Few, if any, programmers want them. These are "the people" who best understand the issue and are most strongly (and detrimentally) effected by it.

The elites at the top of the corporate hierarchy have another view on the matter, and are able to press their POV through lobbying Congress, printing articles, hobnobbing with justices and paying for lawyers, which has created a ton of case law favoring their position.

Established players, the billionaire set, want them to use as a club against any upstarts who presume to enter the market their class's permission; without the financial backing of the elites - the investor class, the "angel investors" or the name brand investment capital groups.

Software patents are nothing more than a modern ofrm of feudalism, where the rich create the laws which protect and legitimize their power positions.

I am afraid that SCOTUS is not giving any signals that it's going to really decide the issue broadly. All signs are for a narrow ruling, which would leave the current system intact.

But this issue is EXACTLY what the paper is talking about. Decissions that are 1) bad for society broadly 2) bad for the average working person 3) hold an outsized benefit for the elites and also works to consolidate and legitimate their power and wealth.

So its not even an abstract thing in our own little world, It's completely in-your-face, a straight up fuck you.

about 4 months ago
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It Was the Worst Industrial Disaster In US History, and We Learned Nothing

WOOFYGOOFY Re:Oh shuit up you just hate frreedom (290 comments)

You're so fucking stupid and disengaged that you don't know the difference between the carbon cycle of living animals and plants and the mega tons of carbon that we're exhuming and igniting into the atmosphere, carbon which has been buried for millions of years . You don't know this because you could give a shit about even the most basic facts about which you boldly (AC) hold forth and in which hangs the balance of mere survival for all future generations and civilization itself. And I'm a troll.

about 5 months ago
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It Was the Worst Industrial Disaster In US History, and We Learned Nothing

WOOFYGOOFY Re:Not even close to the worst. (290 comments)

I'm not trolling shit. People can't handle reality. This is reality. Accept it now, or have it rammed down your throat later. Those are the only choices you get.

about 5 months ago
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It Was the Worst Industrial Disaster In US History, and We Learned Nothing

WOOFYGOOFY Re:Not even close to the worst. (290 comments)

Yeah you don't see one and you've been looking so hard and evaluating all the options. Here's a hint ANY option beats extinction.

Look up the "princeton wedges" concept. A combination of extant technologies and policies can stop us, right now, from the point of no return. It's not a technological question looking for a fix, it's a socio-political blockage on the part of American / Australian and UK conservatives all fueled by the denial industry which is funded by Exxon, the Koch brothers and the rest of the oil and gas industry.

BTW, each and every member of their boards might want to look over the Nuremberg trials to see what civilization DOES to people who think that 1) they're beyond the law or 2) since no law currently explicitly prevents them from doing what they're doing, they're forever beyond the reach of justice.

America will dissolve your assets. We'll seize your assets from your heirs and assignees. We'll nationalize your companies and plow the profits into doing whatever we need to do to survive. You're nothing,and America and her people are everything. In fact, you're less than nothing.

As for the mouthpieces of denial, the "think tanks" and "scientists" and PR firms don't kid yourselves. We'll hunt each and every one of you down to the ends of the earth, no matter how long it takes, no matter the cost. Rest assured the thoughts and beliefs you have which cause you to think that you'll never be brought to justice, because "you're entitled to your opinion" , because you "really believed it" because you still "really believe it", rest assured that all of that will be swept aside in a torrent of rage and justice seeking and that loophole in the law you think will save from justice will turniinto a noose just like it did at Nuremberg.

Hear my voice Exxon board? This is the first few faint strains of all that the future holds for you, your heirs, your power and your wealth, your influence and lifestyle. This is just the first tiniest brush stroke of what the future looks like for each of you personally. This is just the smallest , faintest sampling of THE RAGE.

Guess what happens when civilization starts to collapse first for a few small countries, then poor people in cities, then millions in larger cities and the countryside then tens of millions then billions of people? Guess what happens when you and the cock sucking sycophants you've populated Washington with *no longer hold any power* ? Guess that's pretty much a mere fiction , an impossibility to you.

The way Nuremberg was to that other group of mass murderers.

If I were a lawyer, PR agent, accountant , printer, developer, manager, or donation taker I'd start now , today to make pains to put on a VERY public display that you strongly disapprove the Koch - Exxon denial machine and YOU aren't taking money from them in ANY form. Yeah, I'd be thinking hard about whether I wanted to be associated however faintly, with the Great American Denial Machine. I'd be thinking about my future and what my family thinks of me, and what I was doing to them, in, and to you know, reality and the earth where they're going to have to spend the rest of their time.

about 5 months ago
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It Was the Worst Industrial Disaster In US History, and We Learned Nothing

WOOFYGOOFY Re:Not even close to the worst. (290 comments)

ah fucking men. Lioterlaly, American conservatives are en route to murdering more people than Hitler Stalin Pol Pot and Mao put together. Oh, but they don't believe it. So that makes it alright. Because if I walk into a crowded burning theater of 7 billion people and shout "no fire" it's OK... because I really believe it. The way Manson really believed it was his destiny to start an American race war by slaughtering innocent people and making it look like black people did it. That's OK, because, you know he really believed it. Like Jim Jones really believed it.

This THIS is what you get when you tell people that the surest way to evaluate reality is to look inside your own heart and pray for guidance. Because, you know, what's in your own "heart" is not a bunch of projections of your own egotism, fears and greedy impulses, oh hell no, if you're pure, that's where God lives and it's God's voice that's talking to you, not all that unconscious stuff left over from evolution, which isn't real anyways.

about 5 months ago
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It Was the Worst Industrial Disaster In US History, and We Learned Nothing

WOOFYGOOFY Oh shuit up you just hate frreedom (290 comments)

You just hate freedom. You want to take away my right to pollute the atmosphere so badly that it causes massive socio-political upheaval s around the world completely re-ordering the geopolitical landscape , uniting our enemies and making new ones under a unified belief that THIS is what America did to us, unleashing waves of suicide terrorism both abroad and domestically, all fueled by the deaths of hundreds of millions of innocent people, and unified by the theme that "this (desertification, devastating ocean rise unsurvivable heat waves, crop failures and finally, the death of large ocean life as the acidification takes out the lowest levels of the oceanic food pyramid, causing all above to collapse - THIS is what America did to us".

You just hate America and you're against freedom. That's all.

about 5 months ago
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Overuse of Bioengineered Corn Gives Rise To Resistant Pests

WOOFYGOOFY This is the whole thing with GMO (259 comments)

It doesn't exempt itself from evolution. So the question we need to be asking ourselves is, WHEN pests evolve to thwart GMO "innovations" what might those pests be able to DO how BAD will THAT be and how are we going to deal with it and how quickly can we react what happens to the food supply if we CAN'T?
 

about 5 months ago
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Full-Disclosure Security List Suspended Indefinitely

WOOFYGOOFY Because all too often, devs are assholes (162 comments)

This is what we were talking about yesterday regarding the github brouhaha . Assholism amongst the dev community appears to be so high that, statistically speaking , the odds of being able to run a site like this one, or say have a decent working atmosphere tends to zero once the company is big enough or the site is popular enough.

For significant public-interest websites, you somehow need a serious source of funding just for maintenance work to counter the effects of assholes. For companies, they're basically pirate ships populated by people who think of themselves as laws unto themselves, as glorious buccaneers . The lesson of git hub and this guy is simple. Software devs are just as bad as anyone in Exxon . They'll drop trou and take a gigantic dump on any aspect of the social contract they want to the moment it suits them.

I am not saying this is in contrast to some golden bygone era of civility. People have always been like this. Well, for a while in software development, before Bill Gates started sending out cease and desist legal notices to people who were copying the software he copied from CPM , there was s kind of golden era perhaps. But then Lucky Autisim Boy started to make real money at Microsoft and then IBM decided to start getting software patents en masse and civility retreated to the borders of academic research . Now it appears that's gone also.

We're not better and we're not going to be the ones to usher in a new way of dealing with our fellow humans. What we know for sure now is that just like our most successful exemplars, Jobs and Gates, we're as exploitative, opportunistic amoral and dehumanizing as the next industry. And that's a little sad.

about 5 months ago
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New Stanford Institute To Target Bad Science

WOOFYGOOFY Fucking good idea (86 comments)

It's a fucking good idea and one that's LONG overdue. Huh wonder why it took so long for researchers to think of it , especially since literally every other conceivable aspect of reality, meta-reality and hyper-meta-reality has been plumbed.

Next up, journal of completely worthless careers spent discovering trivial "effects" within say, Human Computer Interface "research" that just don't matter , at all.

After that let's start a record of lectures by professors' that are actually, really, I mean in reality, incomprehensible because most of the language constructs they're forming literally make no sense even to experts ion their field or are just plain factually wrong or are merely recitations of advanced findings in their fields offered without first introducing basic concepts or how about professors who make it an art to rummage around in the theoretical junk bin delivering lectures about theories no one including themselves believes at all. That's a special one too. l Loved it when i mentioned mid lecture that something about the theory didn't seem right and my prof answered "just one thing?" and then toddled on through the whole landscape the rest of the semester.

Fucking college is a scam where the admin and profs suck the financial life out of their unwitting students like vampires and then leave their victims to wander, the financial undead, trying to pay off the student loans which finance their professors' lavish and hypercompensated lifestyles:

https://chronicle.com/article/...

about 5 months ago
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Prominent GitHub Engineer Julie Ann Horvath Quits Citing Harrassment

WOOFYGOOFY Slashdot response to this article (710 comments)

From the book : The No Assholer Rule

Their (assholes) unpleasant behaviours were catalogued by Sutton as The Dirty Dozen:[6]

        Insults
        Violation of personal space
        Unsolicited touching
        Threats
        Sarcasm
        Flames
        Humiliation
        Shaming
        Interruption
        Backbiting
        Glaring

looks like she pretty much got a clean sweep of all available asshole behaviors. That deserves some kind of award.

Sorry but her story has the ring of truth for anyone in the industry more than a five years. Companies are by and large run the way a pirate ship is run and guess what, they're happily populated by would-be buccaneers who have a pirate's lawless and coersive mentality. Arbitrary authority, nepotism, verbal abuse, threats, intimiddation, you know, the above list.

What's REALLY enlightening here its to filter slashdot comments by their ratings. Filtering for "5" comments yields not the usual collection of insightful or funny stuff you want to read and reflect on because it's obviously drawn from personal experience, but rather abusive and or jocularly dismissive "rebuttals" to her story, myopically focused on some detail (hula hoops !) many of them authored by Anonymous Cowards who, presumably, started with scores of zero and "earned" their way to the top, despite the self imposed filter bubble of most readers.

I take this to mean one of a number of things. Github aficionados friends and supporters know how to jack the ratings system of Slashdot when the cause suits them. Slashdot is primarily populated by just the kind of knuckleheads the article's author is complaining about or the article itself did not attract the attention of people who accepted the headline as truthfuil and accurate, as if the headline had been: "Politicians are liars" claims small time campaign donor !

At any rate, as it stands, it's an interesting glimpse into Slashdot "culture" as it presents itself in reaction to this particular article at least. Not my tribe, that's for sure.

about 5 months ago
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Prominent GitHub Engineer Julie Ann Horvath Quits Citing Harrassment

WOOFYGOOFY Not surprising- sexism is a form of assholism (710 comments)

I am not saying my experience is despositive, but i have never worked with a group of developers in which assholism was not the order of the day. Since sexism is a form of assholism, then it's not surprising this is what she experienced.

And it's not just developers. When NASA sent up astronauts in the beginning, one of the first theigs they discovered was that sending up teams of three was a mistake *because two of them would would gang up on the remaining one* .and that represents the behavior of high functioning , high intelligence success stories.

AFAIK no one has stuidied how to identify and join groups which are not domionated by assholes or how to stop your group from devloving into a pit of vipers. aIt's a topic worthy of investigation, that's for sure. I know people who joined non- profits just to try to get away from assholism. I don't know if it worked or not for them.

For the record, assholism has been given a two part test (from Wikipedia's article on the book "The No Assoles Rule"

1 After encountering the person, do people feel oppressed, humiliated or otherwise worse about themselves?

    2 Does the person target people who are less powerful than him/her?

We'll have to see what she does in the future to asee how she solves this problem for herself. I have no solutions except two-person companies. I wonder if any readers who share this interpretatiion of these events have ideas.
The best

about 5 months ago
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Stanford Researchers Spot Medical Conditions, Guns, and More In Phone Metadata

WOOFYGOOFY And it will be made more revealing at time goes on (193 comments)

For instance, for no good reason, stories I send to myself via the "share" button on a lot of sites have an overly descriptive "header" in them that basically reveals the entire content and tone and POV of the article. It's more descriptive than even the headline. I am not comfortable with this. so I take the time to change the header to something like "read later".

Once companies get keyed into the "public nature" of metadata, - if they aren't already - believe that they will generate the most revealing metadata they possibly can for whoever pays them to do so.

Metadata is often talked about as though it were all just naturally occurring phenomena , like the particular mineral content of water in your area and we're all standing around going "golly, look at what can be teased out of this here bit of nature " when in fact it's a human controlled creation which can be engineered just as humans see fit.

about 6 months ago
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Counterpoint: Why Edward Snowden May Not Deserve Clemency

WOOFYGOOFY THIS is the results whne the NSA breaks the law (573 comments)

How about trying THAT on for size CFR? THIS is what results when the NSA breaks the law. National security is endangered. That's the REAL situation we have. Snowden would never have leaked anything if the NSA weren't breaking the law in the first place.

If you engage in mass illegal spying against Americans and work overtime to criminalize everyone who tries to correct your behavior going through official channels by firing them, raiding their houses, bankrupting them and filing bogus charges against them and throwing them in jail AND THEN AS A DIRECT CONSEQUENCE of your illegal spying and your illegal prosecution / persecution of these people, a Snowden (of which there are likely to be potentially very many owing to your own actions) breaks rank and does what he can do to alert people of your illegal activities , well :

IT"S YOUR FAULT
YOU CAUSED THIS
YOU DID THIS

get it? Get it? This breach is YOUR fault , not Snowdens.

about 8 months ago
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Counterpoint: Why Edward Snowden May Not Deserve Clemency

WOOFYGOOFY Abusers demand perfection from abused! Film at 11 (573 comments)

So some guy from The Establishment says that Snowden and all future leakers should have somehow performed a humanly impossible feat of meta analysis on millions of documents which constitute proof of widespread criminal and unconstitutional activities . THAT is the standard leakers shall be held to. Or else. They're not leakers, and it's espionage.

So says the Council on Foreign Relations.

You can just seem them breaking into workshop gorups brainstorming how to spin the Snowden Affair so as to turn the American public against him and give the NSA defenders on PBS and FOX talking points.

"Hey polls show people think he's a whistleblower , but maybe if we can split that perception by appearing to agree with the public on *some* of the stuff while damning him with the other stuff, we can split the opposition."

This from the CFR. What did you expect? I used to think that the CFR might be some kind of collective voice of wisdom, experience and expertise on world affairs. You know, people who had wide ranging real world experience and were out of their posts or retired but still engaged and concerned.

I am an asshole this way; I impugn my own idealism to the actions of others.

The CFR is a bunch of hand picked academics and fucking yes men and women drawn from previous administrations and Ivy leagues universities whose main function is to think and live and produce "solutions" within the Skinner box out of which cookies , cake and ice cream have fallen to them their whole lives . They're entirely composed of and express the perspective of government and establishment academic institutions whose "think tanks" and "department chairs" are little more than hand-up-your-ass-moving-your-mouth , you-know-who-feeds-you-baby extensions of Washington officialdom and groupthink.

Good thing they weighed in on Snowden. I know we were all breathlessly awaiting their opinion on this matter.

"I'm sorry to report he trial balloon didn't float too well."

about 8 months ago
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Cheerios To Go GMO-Free

WOOFYGOOFY Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (419 comments)

>>It takes "infinite time energy attention [sic] and perfect information" to only buy products that are labeled as non-GMO only?

Yeah I never said that. Go back and read what I actually said.Oh that's right, you already did and that's what you took away from what I said.

Well, I'll let the marketplace decide between the two of us.

about 8 months ago
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Senator Bernie Sanders Asks NSA If Agency Is Spying On Congress

WOOFYGOOFY Re:If they were, would they lie about it? (363 comments)

Yeah I think they do. It just make sense given how people in the world are. I don't have "proof" the same way I don't have "proof" we need an army either post WWII either. Basically, if we had no spy agencies, other nations would be infinitely more aggressive and bellicose leading to who knows what. The best offense is a good defense sometimes. Everything I've read about terrorism and geopolitics indicates that a strong national defense is essential if you want to remain free and spy agencies are an essential part of that picture.

about 8 months ago
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Senator Bernie Sanders Asks NSA If Agency Is Spying On Congress

WOOFYGOOFY He's trying to entrap them (363 comments)

I assume this is clear- he's trying ot entrap them, as when Wyden forced Clapper to lie. Wyden KNEW the truthful answer to his question already, he was just forcing Clapper to lie before Congress.\

Same thing here, for sure . We can take from this that the NSA spies on Congress. Snowden has a story about it spying on Obama when he was a senator. Maybe a leak is coming about this and the Senators are preparing the ground ...

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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NSA doesn't know what Snowden took.

WOOFYGOOFY WOOFYGOOFY writes  |  1 year,9 days

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) writes "Part of the assurances the NSA has given Congress and the public that the databases of internet activity can't be abused is that each database access is carefully audited and recorded. The NSA claims such audit trails are both deterrents to abuse and sure methods of catching abuse post hoc.

However, as reported by NBC News, " two separate sources briefed on the matter told NBC News that the NSA has been unable to determine the full extent of the data he removed." NBC goes on to report that "NSA had poor data compartmentalization", permitting sys admins "to roam freely across wide areas.".

The article characterizes the NSA as " “overwhelmed" trying to account for what Snowden took" . While another source said the "NSA has a poor audit capability, which is frustrating efforts to complete a damage assessment."

How unattractive a picture is going to be painted before this is over ? Poor audit trails is a wide open door to abuse, and further directly contradicts — yet again- the assurances public officials have made to Congress.

For those of us who consider that the NSA performs a desperately needed function in fighting people who want to destroy the basis of civil society itself, I want to ask the question- have you lost faith in the integrity of the intelligence gathering process and what could the NSA and the administration do to restore and maintain your faith?"

Link to Original Source
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Another one bites the dust

WOOFYGOOFY WOOFYGOOFY writes  |  1 year,26 days

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) writes "Online auction house realauction.com was driven into bankruptcy by a competitor Grant Street Group of Pittsburgh wielding this patent :

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6,161,099.PN.&OS=PN/6,161,099&RS=PN/6,161,099.

part of which reads:

In an electronic auction system including an issuer's computer having a display and at least one bidder's computer having an input device and a display, said bidder's computer being located remotely from said issuer's computer, said computers being coupled to at least one electronic network for communicating data messages between said computers, an electronic auctioning process for auctioning fixed income financial instruments comprising:

inputting data associated with at least one bid for at least one fixed income financial instrument into said bidder's computer via said input device;



and so on and so forth.

With this kind of patent junk orbiting the ideosphere, have you or your company scrapped or otherwise altered your plans to launch or even begin development of a product ? Are you hesitant to sell it in the US and other software-patent friendly jurisdictions ?

Is it possible , legally and tactically, to simply avoid the US and similar markets and still be successful?"

Link to Original Source
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Plame and Wilson characterize NSA as "completely out of control"

WOOFYGOOFY WOOFYGOOFY writes  |  about a year ago

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) writes "Writing in The Guardian, C.I.A agent Valerie Plame, whose covert identity was blown by the Bush administration in the run up to Iraq, and her husband and former U.S. ambassador Joe Wilson whose mission to Niger helped to establish that there was no WMD in Iraq characterize the "intelligence-industrial complex" as ""metastasised " and "ripe for abuse".

From the article-

"Prism and other NSA data-mining programs might indeed be very effective in hunting and capturing actual terrorists, but we don't have enough information as a society to make that decision.... (and the ) intelligence community and their friends on the Hill do not have a right to interpret our rights absent such a discussion. "

"... This position must be turned on its head and opened up to a genuine discussion about the necessary, dynamic tension between security and privacy. As it now stands, these programs are ripe for abuse unless we establish ground rules and barriers between authentic national security interests and potential political chicanery"."

Link to Original Source
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Religious fundamentailism as a rmental disorder

WOOFYGOOFY WOOFYGOOFY writes  |  about a year ago

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) writes "Kathleen Taylor, an Oxford researcher and neuroscientist, suggests religious (and other forms of ) fundamentalism ought to be considered a mental illness and in the future will be treated as a disease and not a choice."
Link to Original Source
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The multi-billion dollar patent troll

WOOFYGOOFY WOOFYGOOFY writes  |  about a year ago

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) writes "1-800-CONTACTS, which is owned by Wellpoint the largest for-profit healthcare provider in the Blue Cross Blue Shield network is suing a 15 person company over a 3D patent which permits users to see what glasses look like on their own faces prior to purchasing. Wellpoint is the owner of Glasses.com which in turn owns 1-800 CONTACTS The behemoth is suing DITTO, http://www.ditto.com/, a small 15 person company for patent infringement involving software which permits customers to upload a picture of themselves and then virtually try on glasses prior to purchasing.

Wellpoint bought the patent, which was submitted in 2001, http://www.google.com/patents/US7016824?pg=PA9&dq=7,016,824&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BOtuUbPEDcTviQKWzoGIBg&sqi=2&pjf=1&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAA from a now defunct company.

This is what software patents are- monopolies on broad ideas wielded by those who can afford the lawyering against those who can't. This case is very similar to the case of flightprep vs Runway Finder from 2010. http://www.aviationbull.com/2010/dec/18/flightprep-vs-runway-finder-alls-fair-or-money-rules . There, a company who had been rejected 7 times by the patent office finally was granted a patent on what amounted to drawing a line on a map and proceeded to pursue and finally extinguish a small one-man website with a popular flight mapper.

These cases and all the innumerable cases just like them that never get any ink from the press perfectly illustrate that patent trolls are NOT small companies wielding the awesome power of their inventions against large companies. Just the opposite. The pursuit, acquisition and wielding of software patents is a rich man's game and defacto excludes anyone who is not rich while damaging forward progress for everyone else. As such it constitutes a kind of feudal system whereby the "laws" amount to nothing more than the legal reinforcement of financial position of the elites."

Link to Original Source
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NRC Report Links Climate Change to National Security

WOOFYGOOFY WOOFYGOOFY writes  |  about 2 years ago

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) writes "The NY Times and Voice Of America amongst others are reporting on a study by the U.S. National Research Council which was released Friday linking global climate change to national security.

http://www.voanews.com/content/climate-change-security/1543127.html

http://chronicle.com/article/US-Urged-to-Step-Up-Research /135724/

The report which was developed at the request of the C.I.A. characterizes the threats posed by climate change
as "similar to and in many cases greater than those posed by terrorist attacks."

http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=14682&page=1

If the effect of unaddressed climate change is the functional equivalent of terrorist attacks on the nation, does the Executive Branch, as a matter of national security, have a duty and a right to begin to act unilaterally against climate change irrespective of what Congress currently believes?"

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Yet another call for abolishing patents, this one from the Fed

WOOFYGOOFY WOOFYGOOFY writes  |  about 2 years ago

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) writes "The most recent call for curtailing patents comes not just from an unexpected source, the St. Louis Fed, but also in its most basic form- total abolition of ALL patents.

Via the Atlantic Monthly,

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/09/the-case-for-abolishing-patents-yes-all-of-them/262913/

a new working paper from two members of the St. Louis Federal Reserve, Michele Boldrin and David Levine:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2012/2012-035.pdf

in which they argue that while a weak patent system may mildly increase innovation with limited side-effects, such a system can never be contained and will inevitably lead a stifling patent system such as that presently found in the U.S.

They argue: "...strong patent systems retard innovation with many negative side-effects. and ..political demand for stronger patent protection comes from old and stagnant industries and firms, not from new and innovative ones. Hence the best solution is to abolish patents entirely through strong constitutional measures and to find other legislative instruments, less open to lobbying and rent-seeking".

They acknowledge that some industries could suffer under a such a system, they single out pharma, and suggest that other legislative measures be found to foster innovation whenever there is clear evidence that laissez-faire under-supplies it."

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Climate Change Kills 400,000 a Year and costs 1.2 trillion

WOOFYGOOFY WOOFYGOOFY writes  |  about 2 years ago

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) writes "Climate change is currently killing 400,000 people a year and world-wide costing the global economy 1.2 trillion dollars . Are the organizations and individuals responsible which deny climate change and block action guilty of crimes against humanity? Will they be held personally accountable by the millennial generation who will bear the cost of their actions? The question is being asked:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/nov/01/climate-science-disinformation-crime"

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Israel to accept software patents

WOOFYGOOFY WOOFYGOOFY writes  |  more than 2 years ago

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) writes "Israel is going to start accepting software patents, in contrast to their previous position.

Since it about five million US to protect your company against a single software patent lawsuit:

ahref=http://www.managingip.com/Article/2089405/Cost-rel=url2html-1759http://www.managingip.com/Article/2089405/Cost- and-duration-of-patent-litigation.html>

and acquiring them, at 15K and up per, is also beyond the means of most software developers: ahref=http://www.managingip.com/Article/2089405/Cost-and-duration-of-patent-litigation.htmlrel=url2html-1759http://www.managingip.com/Article/2089405/Cost-and-duration-of-patent-litigation.html > and because doing so is no guarantee of of being able to participate in a M.A.D. standoff with a larger corporation, the question presents itself: are software developers merely share croppers for the 1% who can afford to engage in patent warfare?

If you can't afford to participate in the economic ecosystem except as paid labor, or if you're forced to supplicate yourself to the super wealthy in order to sell your own goods and services, in what sense are software developers "free" in any jurisdiction where software patents are permitted?

Is this a clear example of the top 1% creating laws which favor themselves while excluding the bottom 99% from economic participation.. of pulling the ladder up behind them?

Should start-ups simply withdraw their products from jurisdictions where software patents are recognized?"

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Bloomberg learning to code

WOOFYGOOFY WOOFYGOOFY writes  |  more than 2 years ago

WOOFYGOOFY writes "Apparently it's "Code Year" — an attempt to encourage people to learn to code- and N.Y.C. Major Bloomberg is taking part . "My New Year's resolution is to learn to code with Codeacademy in 2012!" he wrote on Twitter.

Have any suggestions for Mayor Bloomberg's new career move?

Are we cool now?"

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The real face of SOPA

WOOFYGOOFY WOOFYGOOFY writes  |  more than 2 years ago

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) writes "Govt. seizes private, law abiding domain, partially on word from RIAA exec., stonewalls and lies to the owner's lawyers for a full year, breaks all laws surrounding seizure and forfeiture, seals all court proceedings... then returns domain to owner with no explanation, no charges."
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What's Open Source worth?

WOOFYGOOFY WOOFYGOOFY writes  |  more than 5 years ago

WOOFYGOOFY writes "What's Sun's software worth to you? That's the question being put to developers at a poll at Mr. Poll. The poll asks Java developers what they would be willing to pay to guarantee continued access to and development on Sun's Open Source software including Java, Glassfish, ZFS, MySQL, etc.

The results, while limited, seem encouraging: the vast majority (92%) of independent or small company developers say they would open their wallets to the tune of U.S. $100.00 (the mode) to U.S. $$1,000.00 (9%) to keep Sun producing software while an encouraging 77% of developers in large companies say they believe that their companies should be willing to pony up U.S. $1,000.00 per developer per year to keep the Sun software machine going.

Sun seems about to set into a Big Blue sky, leaving the future of major pieces of the Java stack in question. Are developers just finding religion now that they're faced with the possible abandonment of their language of choice? Or has Sun missed out by not asking for support, reasoning that people wouldn't pay for something they could get for free?

If it would save Sun's software from oblivion (or worse) would you pay real money to keep Sun's software developers developing?"

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