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Comments

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Household Robot Jibo Nets Over $1 Million On Indiegogo

chihowa "Cloud" dependent? (61 comments)

After a bit of skimming, I couldn't really determine if this is a standalone device or something that depends on some creepy third party who will abandon it at some point? The processing demands seem a little high for a standalone, embedded processor.

about a week ago
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Ebola Outbreak Continues To Expand

chihowa Re:World War Z (169 comments)

Viri, the plural of vir (man), means 'men'.

about a week ago
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Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

chihowa Re:iDrive has the same problem (176 comments)

Just move your money (and data) to SpiderOak and be happy: good client-side crypto can be done properly.

And you're basing that on what, exactly? Marketing claims. And in reply to a post about how marketing claims ended up not being true in iDrive's case.

about a week ago
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Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

chihowa Re:No big deal (except the encryption part) (176 comments)

If you use their web interface, they will store your password on their servers. Be aware of that.

Also, your account password is the the key used to encrypt your data (easy to verify: accessing your data on a new device only requires your account password). They use PDKDF2, which expands the password into a larger key, but (obviously) doesn't add any entropy to that already present in the password. Choose your password wisely.

That password is also used to access the billing, etc web interface, so they do keep at least a hashed copy of your password on their servers.

As with any closed source and opaque solution, you shouldn't depend in any way on unverifiable claims. They could now, or at any time in the future, store your passwords. You're better off handling your own security than trusting magic black boxes.

about a week ago
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A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

chihowa Re:Yet another reason to turn off Ecmascript (194 comments)

The Amish don't reject technology so much as they reject being dependent on outsiders. This has historically meant a limited use of technology, but the main beef isn't with technology itself.

about two weeks ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

chihowa Re:let me correct that for you. (617 comments)

Consistent and shared definitions are essential for meaningful debate and discussion. Otherwise you end up with discussions like, basically, every thread in this entire story, where everybody is misunderstanding everybody else because everybody is using their own unique definitions.

Ideally, we'd define all of the essential terms before we start the discussion, but the threads invariable devolve into arguments about who's definition is correct anyway.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

chihowa Re:IBM (383 comments)

The entire gist of my comments is that everybody matters and no group of people should be thrown under the bus for any other group. I know that's not as PC as saying that Americans, white males, or your oppressors de jour don't matter and that the only way to make the world a better place is to cut them down, but you're letting your need to fit my argument into a racist context keep you from understanding what I'm actually saying.

Globalism and offshoring, the way it is currently implemented, is not a process that is making the world a more equal and fair place. Those benefitting the most from the current setup are the rich white Americans you despise so much (in fact, the richest and whitest of the lot). The fortunes they accumulate have historically been spent on directly oppressing and subjugating the poor brown people you pretend to care about (and not through their vague "privilege", but through actual East India Company style incursions into their land).

I'm not an isolationist or some jingoist "they took our jobs" guy. I'm not even white. I'm interested in an ideal solution that has a more solid chance of a long-term successful outcome. If you could at least temper your need to see everyone who disagrees with you as some sort of monster, maybe you could participate in finding solutions to our world's problems. We need fewer closed-minded, my-way-or-the-highway ideologues and more people capable of rational, non-histrionic discussion. Would you care to join us?

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

chihowa Re:IBM (383 comments)

Oh, come now.

Is that how you signal that you're done with this discussion and you just want me to shut up? You're not even arguing against anything I said at this point. Nowhere in any of my posts did I even imply that, but you've got to shoehorn that card in don't you?

Please come back when you have something intelligent to add to this discussion. I didn't agree with you, but your posts were rational up to this point.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

chihowa Re:IBM (383 comments)

Lower costs for products generally aren't of the same order as lower costs of production, and this doesn't help someone whose income has been significantly slashed. While over half of Americans may own stock, stock ownership only represents a source of income for a tiny fraction of them. Most of the owned stock is held by a small number of people. The "over half" statistic also counts participation in retirement funds, which obviously do not offset a lack of income before retirement age. The lack of income before retirement age also halts further contribution to retirement funds and limits their potential for useful growth. The largest beneficiary of the current trend is indeed some "rich guy somewhere".

How do we race toward middle class standards for all by cutting middle class jobs in first world countries and simultaneously concentrating the wealth of those countries in fewer hands?

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

chihowa Re:IBM (383 comments)

I'm aware of the differences in the context of the wages and I'm completely sympathetic to the plight of those living in abject poverty. What I don't agree with is the current method of "equalization", since it is unnecessarily destructive to the first world middle and working classes while also further increasing global wealth disparity. The social and safety nets in the first world depend on tax paying workers in those countries, so the long term prospects for the first world counties become more bleak as/if unemployment rises. The resources exist to bring everybody's lifestyle up to the level of the first world middle class, they're just poorly distributed. Equalizing almost everybody's lifestyle to just above abject poverty is a non-optimal solution.

There are other methods to achieve this uplifting effect that are truly "equalizing" across the entire range of incomes and not as destructive to to the first world middle and working classes. Avoiding participation in labor arbitration and encouraging the growth of local economies is a more ideal solution. Depending on a richer country for handouts (that they will certainly withhold when your standard of living increases) is short-term zero-sum thinking.

about two weeks ago
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Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

chihowa Re:Answer needed (390 comments)

"I want it and my government friends have guns..." Is this the best we can do?

The reason Verizon can stay in business despite having "very limited interest in what their customers want" is because of municipal and state granted monopolies, federal grants and subsidies, and the reason they even exist at all is because of a government approved corporate charter. Why is "government friends with guns" an acceptable argument for them getting their way, but not an acceptable argument against it?

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

chihowa Re:IBM (383 comments)

It isn't as though each $50,000 (say) job lost in the US or Europe leads to $50,000 worth of jobs in India or whereever, though. Jobs aren't being moved overseas out of some egalitarian desire to bring the third world up. The difference in wages is pocketed and further enriches the already wealthy. Instead of making the entire world better, you're making one place slightly better while making another significantly worse. At the moment, the people paying the salaries of those jobs are the people who are losing their own jobs. If offshoring is all about fairness, why is the whole system run as a labor arbitrage: paying third world salaries for labor but charging first world prices for products? That is wrong.

Besides that, it's nice that you and the wealthy get to decide who is more deserving of these jobs when your lot clearly isn't on the line. Why is it fair to demand that the American middle class give up their tiny portion of the pie (to make the world a better place, no less) while demanding nothing of those who hold most of the pie?

about two weeks ago
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New Raspberry Pi Model B+

chihowa Re:Slow CPU, crippled network, too little RAM (202 comments)

If you weren't dead set on saving a few bucks, you wouldn't be using a Raspberry Pi. Especially the first one, which is filled with rookie mistakes.

Touché.

HAHAHAHA. I love that you accidentally dropped a word, and that made your comment dramatically more accurate. The modules you propose people should use are not only three times the price, but they're also non-variable* — they might be better-made, but they also have inferior specifications.

Three times a small number is still a small number. I don't think $15 is too extravagant and if you need more than a one-off part, you're better off making your own anyway. The link I included was just an example, but their list includes four with adjustable output of the fourteen total. What do you mean by "variable", if not that? (Anyway, that wasn't part of the original specification, nor was that part of your original description.)

about three weeks ago
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New Raspberry Pi Model B+

chihowa Re:Slow CPU, crippled network, too little RAM (202 comments)

Unless you're dead set on saving a few bucks, you're much better off getting little modules like this from a reputable source (with schematics, test results, and so on) than from fly-by-night eBay sellers. For example, here's a decent buck-boost from Pololu that fits the bill and it's that much more expensive.

If you start looking hard at some of the anonymously produced and undocumented stuff that comes from China, you'll scream. You wouldn't believe some of the rookie mistakes made in the design of (some of) those modules. Also, in some cases there are some serious compromises made to reach the lowest possible price.

about three weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

chihowa Re:Class issue here. (753 comments)

You're claiming that ten percent of the US citizens (~32 million people) don't have Social Security numbers assigned or ID of any kind? That's hard to believe, which is why the parent suggested that you were talking about illegal aliens. Nearly 85% of the US population lives within a largish metropolitan area [], which would mean that half-to-most rural people would have to lack a SSN for your claim to be true.

That's very unlikely.

about three weeks ago
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The Oatmeal Convinces Elon Musk To Donate $1 Million To Tesla Museum

chihowa Re:The hero Gotham needs (78 comments)

Hughes' legacy is enormous, too. As a philanthropic institute, it's endowment is second only to Gates.

about three weeks ago
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India's National Informatics Centre Forged Google SSL Certificates

chihowa Re:So SSL is nothing more than an honor system? (107 comments)

That's a cop-out, though. Yes, there is always an element of trust in whatever you do. That's unavoidable, though it's smart to minimize the amount of trust you must put in others. Taken to the extreme it's ludicrous, as you've pointed out. But, that doesn't mean that there's no merit in limiting the amount of trust you put in third parties. Just because you can't completely trust your OS or compiler, doesn't mean that you should throw the entire concept of limiting trust out the window. It's dishonest to suggest that the risk is the same between trusting (your compiler), (your compiler + your OS), and (your compiler + your OS + the CA system).

The CA system is truly an honor system by design. It requires you to put your complete trust in a large, and growing, list of opaque and unfamiliar third parties and the decision to trust them is made by others though an opaque and unaccountable process. It's putatively a "security system", but is insecure by design. It depends entirely on unaccountable, secretive, and self-selected "authorities" to determine who should trust who.

Look at your OS's list of trusted CAs sometime. Any of these organizations, or anyone delegated by any single one of them, are implicitly trusted by your system. Completely trusting Microsoft, Apple, or various Linux devs is naive, but completely trusting everyone in the root CA list is absolutely insane!

about three weeks ago
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UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

chihowa Re:UK is not a free country (147 comments)

OK, to clarify... disappearances and purges are bad news, but it's not as if these historical dictatorships were all fine and dandy up until the point where people started disappearing. Holding off judgement until something is allowed to fully develop into its inevitable final product is dangerous and naive.

about three weeks ago
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UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

chihowa Re:UK is not a free country (147 comments)

So people disappearing is the line at which you think a government is atrocious? There was more wrong with the dictatorships of the past than just purges. Would a dystopia where everyone is kept locked up in cages, but nobody is missing, not compare to a real fascist dictatorship? This argument people like you keep parroting is like the No True Scotsman argument of bad government.

about three weeks ago
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Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

chihowa Re:Magical Pixie Horse (353 comments)

But everyone wants to pay the rates of the healthiest, safest, best maintained because if you have to pay more than that you must be getting ripped off.

Because you are getting ripped off (at both ends of the risk pool). Insurance is about pooling risk so that the cost of unlikely events are spread among more people. If statistical analysis allows insurance companies to segregate and condense those pools by risk, then eventually all of the individuals (high and low risk) end up paying what they'd normally pay if they didn't have insurance plus the profit that the insurance company is collecting. Insurance companies are profitable because the risks of the insured are increasingly well known, but withheld from the insured.

You're getting ripped off by being moved between the risk pools without any regard to what you've already payed into the system. When you're young and healthy, your premiums are pure profit as you never collect on them. When you're old and sick, your premiums rise to cover your costs (plus profit). If increased data mining allows even finer grained risk assessment (and adjusted premiums), where is the benefit in having insurance?

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Catblock finally becomes a reality

chihowa chihowa writes  |  more than 2 years ago

chihowa (366380) writes "First seen as an April Fool's gag from the author of ChromeAdblock, Catblock can now be a permanent part of your Chrome or Safari browsing experience. Replacing ads with pictures of adorable cats, Catblock allows you to avoid ads (while seeing how full of ads most websites are!) while getting your needed daily dose of cat."
Link to Original Source
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Is Siri competitor, Vlingo, a DHS spy app?

chihowa chihowa writes  |  more than 2 years ago

chihowa (366380) writes "This morning I finally decided to give Vlingo, a competitor of Apple's Siri, a try on my iPhone 3GS. When I hit the "Listen" button, though, the app attempted to connect to system32.dhs.gov. I blocked this connection (using Firewall iP) and the app no longer works, complaining "Oops... Can't connect to server."

Is Vlingo some sort of spy app collecting voices of citizens or something? Can anyone else confirm this?"

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