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Comments

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Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical

david_thornley Re:They. Just. Don't. Know. Here's what that means (287 comments)

The vast majority of smart people who intensively study such things say that the climate is changing, the planet is warming up, and it's mostly due to burning fossil fuels. You're at liberty to study what you like to confirm this.

I'd call any process that raised CO2 from 280ppm to 400ppm climate engineering. Why is any other form objectionable?

Not to mention that "not acting" and continuing to raise atmospheric CO2 is actually acting, and problems are usually easier to solve before they get really bad.

8 hours ago
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Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical

david_thornley Re:Easy, India or China (287 comments)

Well, Anonymous Coward, do you want to own up to all the incredibly stupid posts under your username?

8 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

david_thornley Re:Pick a different job. (459 comments)

Unions vary widely. Some form around those hired, and aren't any sort of employment filter. Some try to control who works.

Also, businesses in the US go to considerable lengths to avoid competition, including setting up artificial barriers to entry and attempting price-fixing. Why shouldn't workers get some protection from competition?

8 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

david_thornley Re:Pick a different job. (459 comments)

Remember the Mariel boat lift, when Castro got rid of problem people by pushing them off on the US? There were a fair number of them in the Minneapolis area that summer, and my wife found them mildly obnoxious. Then winter came. Keeps the bugs down, also.

Of course, now that I'm getting older, every winter I think about moving.

9 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

david_thornley Re:C++ is not the language you start with (459 comments)

There's one thing C# has that C++ doesn't: easy parsing. That leads to a lot of good things.

Not that I want to use C# when I can use C++, but that's me.

9 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

david_thornley Re:C++ is not the language you start with (459 comments)

Depends. C++, properly taught, isn't a bad beginners' language. However, as far as I can see, it's not usually properly taught.

If you're going to concentrate on the C aspects, and use C-style strings and arrays and such, teach C. Don't encourage people to use such things in C++.

9 hours ago
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Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

david_thornley Re:The biggest positive effect of no ads (462 comments)

Nope. Your $230 would have to be divided somehow and sent to the various web sites you go to. This means that, instead of clickbait to get you to a page with ads on it so the site gets paid for the ads, there'd be clickbait to get you to a page where the site would be paid directly.

9 hours ago
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Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

david_thornley Re:I'd pay it but... (462 comments)

Your experience was not universal. Trust me.

9 hours ago
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Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year

david_thornley Re:I'd love to be in his class (174 comments)

What's the difference?

What matters to Microsoft is Windows sales per unit time. These are cut down for several reasons. First, computers are lasting longer. There are no longer massive improvements in performance in a few years, and so the number of replacements sold is down. Second, lots of people don't really need Windows, but can get by just fine with tablets and Chromebooks and such. Third, and this is probably minor, Windows 8 bombed because Microsoft insisted on pushing a crappy UI on it.

9 hours ago
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Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?

david_thornley Re:Kill switches are probably a bad idea (283 comments)

It isn't enough to simply look at the world as is. You must consider the world with universal deployment of kill switches and fully understand likely consequences as much as possible.

Yup. It isn't that bad. The addition of kill switches (to phones that don't already have them) isn't going to contribute significantly to possible oppression.

Stolen phones can be taken apart and sold for parts... Thieves doing this may well end up making more money than phone as a whole can be sold in an underground market.

Which doesn't seem to happen. iPhone thefts dropped after Apple introduced a kill switch. Lots of places have killable phones, and have found that thefts go down. This does appear to be an effective anti-crime measure, and that is good. That's empirical evidence, and I'm giving that a greater weight than your theorizing.

Note that phone thefts tend to be the snatch-and-grab type, not the holdup type. Holdups have a good many more dangers, and making them longer by interrogating the victim for credentials makes them more risky. Also, we don't have to wipe out phone thefts as a practice for such a measure to be good.

10 hours ago
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Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?

david_thornley Re:Bricking or Tracking? (283 comments)

As far as cross-country driving went....

Shortly before WWII, the Army told a colonel to take a road convoy across the US and report how it went. The applicable word is "badly". Roads didn't connect up in any sensible fashion, weren't reliable, etc.

During WWII, this particular colonel had a really impressive career, getting multiple promotions. After WWII, when former colonel Eisenhower became president he started the Interstate highways as a defense program.

11 hours ago
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Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?

david_thornley Re:Why such paranoia ? (283 comments)

I'd bet that all cell towers have legally-mandated abilities to shut down for normal calls, and only respond to 911 calls and government emergency communications. I'm still not seeing remote bricking as particularly useful for a police state.

12 hours ago
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Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?

david_thornley Re:Why such paranoia ? (283 comments)

What would this accomplish that shutting off the cell towers wouldn't?

12 hours ago
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Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?

david_thornley Re:Why such paranoia ? (283 comments)

Okay, I'm at a critical situation, shooting video of the police doing something controversial. Assuming I'm not transmitting the video to somewhere else as I shoot it, how are the police supposed to know who I am and which phone to brick? They could always have an officer come over and talk to me, but the officer could always confiscate and/or destroy my phone at that time.

I'm having a real hard time thinking of real-life situations in which remotely bricking a phone is a real threat more than than shutting down cell towers or using a Stingray or whatever,, or physical confrontation.

12 hours ago
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How To Read a Microbiome Study Like a Scientist.

david_thornley Re:Ask about everything (52 comments)

A friend of mine, who worked for the FDA, insisted on taking any herbal stuff as teas. She said that was somewhat regulated, while a pill claiming to be a herbal dietary supplement could contain pretty much anything.

12 hours ago
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Google Receives Takedown Request Every 8 Milliseconds

david_thornley Re:Google don't be evil (155 comments)

Except that it's really easy and fast to put up something that is legitimately infringing on a legitimate copyright (assuming you philosophically aren't completely opposed to copyright, and hence consider some copyrights legitimate - I consider copyrights morally legitimate if they're less than 28 years old, for example). Either you drop the idea of copyright enforcement, or you allow rapid-fire DMCA notices, or you make it easy to file life-destroying lawsuits.

The DMCA is a real problem, but so is the situation.

12 hours ago
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Google Receives Takedown Request Every 8 Milliseconds

david_thornley Re:First hand experience (155 comments)

What's going to stop you from taking everything down? The fact that nobody will take you seriously. The DMCA process isn't mandatory to follow. What it does is protect the host from liability.

Somebody sends a DMCA request. The recipient can do a takedown and then the recipient has done its legal duty, and has no liability from the alleged copyright holder. The recipient can pass this along to whoever put up the allegedly infringing content, and allow a counterclaim, and then the recipient is completely off the hook legally.

If I'm running a site, and I get a DMCA notice from a RIAA member, I'm at serious risk of looking down the barrel of a lawsuit if I don't comply. If I get a DMCA notice from amoeba1911, I'm not going to feel threatened.

12 hours ago
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Google Receives Takedown Request Every 8 Milliseconds

david_thornley Re:They'd become liable,thanks to DMCA (1998) (155 comments)

The DMCA requires that the person complaining have a copyright, or is authorized by a copyright author. This post is copyright by me, in the US and most of the civilized world, and so I can accuse any music site of infringing on it without committing perjury. (I believe that, if you can show that I knew the music sited didn't infringe on this post, you can sue me for actual damages, which are likely to be trivial.)

As far as computer systems, I don't think the law recognizes autonomous machine action. You're responsible for what you make a computer send out on your behalf.

Note: I'm not a lawyer, and this isn't legal advice. If this becomes important for you, a quick consultation with a real lawyer isn't very expensive and can save you a lot of money.

12 hours ago
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Qt Upgrades From LGPLv2.1 to LGPLv3

david_thornley Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (113 comments)

My son's school district had a no-weapons policy, and they defined a weapon as anything that might be used to harm another.

Therefore, I was technically in violation every time I entered a school with my shoelaces, pens, keys, etc. I decided this wasn't a useful definition.

13 hours ago
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Qt Upgrades From LGPLv2.1 to LGPLv3

david_thornley Re:What about OSS license that respects other righ (113 comments)

I don't consider weapons to be inherently immoral. The use of weapons does bring up moral questions real fast, but sometimes the best way to enforce the peace is to have a weapon. Sometimes the best counter to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, although not nearly as often as the NRA apparently believes.

Look, you may be a pacifist, which is a perfectly respectable philosophical opinion, if not one I share. (If you're not, then you really shouldn't object to weapons just because they're weapons.) Lots of people aren't pacifists in a strong sense. Lots of people have other philosophies or religions, which may forbid other things.

Should OSS be required to fail to work on days holy to various religions? It's really about as sensible as a no-weapons clause: it would satisfy a small minority of people with their own ethics.

13 hours ago

Submissions

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Apple makes iBricks

david_thornley david_thornley writes  |  more than 6 years ago

david_thornley (598059) writes "Adrian Kingsley-Hughes at ZDNet has some early reports on Apple turning iPhones into iBricks. Apparently it's happening not only to unlocked iPhones, but to standard locked iPhones where the customer hasn't done anything out of the ordinary. Once bricked, it may be possible to return it to factory settings, losing all photos, mail, contacts, and other things. This isn't good, folks. If you have iPhones of any description, except newly purchased, don't sync with the new update."

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