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Cuba's Pending Tech Revolution

fafalone Re: Did Congress pass a law? (122 comments)

Eric holder just gutted civil forfeiture. That's a good move, should have been repealed 30 years ago, I'm all for it.

I see you've fallen for the PR-spin version. The administration loves making it SEEM like they're reformers when they really did very little. What Holder actually did was limit the ability of state and local governments to seize assets under federal law, then later have a federal agency 'adopt' the seizure and take a percent cut under the 'equitable sharing' program. This is bypassed by simply categorizing something as a joint investigation and sticking some feds name on the papers. As if that wasn't a hole big enough to drive a truck through, there's also an exemption where the seizure 'protects public safety' where the feds may still adopt it (this was in the damn headline of the announcement on justice.gov)
The bigger deal is that this is ultimately trivial, as it does nothing to stop seizures under state law. The yet even bigger than that deal is that STILL not a god damn thing has been done about the fact that seizures still require no criminal activity; they can (and do) seize property without ever even filing charges against the owner, who must now go to court and PROVE HE'S INNOCENT to get it back. Nor does it address highway patrols that seize any large amount of cash they find. That's right, when police find you with a lot of money, they'll take it and you'll have to pay for a lawyer to go to court and prove it's NOT drug money. Nothing in Holder's new policy even touches on any of this.
Even with criminal activity... your kid got caught selling a little pot? The car you bought for him and your house are now subject to seizure under state law, and the new federal policy won't help you there either.

about two weeks ago

How Civilizations Can Spread Across a Galaxy

fafalone Re:"Take your time for a thoughtful response" (272 comments)

Due to relativistic effects, our ability to accelerate to and then to maintain safe flight (such as your ship not being annihilated by hitting small particles of matter) at the higher velocities is very challenging

Somebody's never heard of a Deflector Shield.

What's the time dilation like at warp? I doubt we'll be worrying about speeds slower than light if we're ever traveling between stars (and the presumption that our knowledge of physics, with our not-even-500-years-of-electric lights infant knowledge, is absolutely correct and 50,000 or 200,000 years from now we won't have found a solution, is laughable on its face).

about three weeks ago

6 Terabyte Hard Drive Round-Up: WD Red, WD Green and Seagate Enterprise 6TB

fafalone Re:Who cares about rotational speed these days? (190 comments)

Even for home-based use, these big HDDs are increasingly being relegated to little more than mass media storage (oftentimes NAS-based), while SSDs are taking over everything else.

[citation needed]

I don't know what universe you live in, but unless you're talking about laptops/mobile, very few mass-market systems are being shipped with only an SSD. SSDs won't take over for many many years, unless there's a big change in how fast they catch up on price per GB. Mass market systems will continue to ship with one drive, and that drive will be a spinner for years to come. People into computers will certainly continue to ADD an SSD, but we're a small minority.

about a month ago

6 Terabyte Hard Drive Round-Up: WD Red, WD Green and Seagate Enterprise 6TB

fafalone Re:Who cares about rotational speed these days? (190 comments)

Is anyone with significant amounts of data not caching their frequently accessed data on SSD?

Poor people who can't afford an SSD? Being mostly employed, middle class people here, or talking about business instead of home use, you guys still seem to forget that SSDs are still the Lexus' of the HD world (with PCIx ssds being the ferraris).
I can barely meet my storage needs, so on the rare occasion I have $100-200 to spend on drives (maybe once per year), I have to add as much space as I can. Already have 10 different drives between my tower and a 4-bay NAS I got lucky and found in the trash, 250GBx2, 500GBx4, 750GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB because I can't afford to just buy 2-3 huge drives; and they're all almost full. Next time I can scrape together the money, I'd sure love an SSD, but at $150 I can't choose 250GB over 3-4TB no matter how sweet it would be, because I don't want to delete anything to make room for new data.
When people start throwing out their old SSDs like their old 500GB hard drives that I keep getting, then I might be able to add one. The 6TB and 8TB drives are great news because they might finally drive down the price of a 4TB drive, which has only dropped like $10 in a year for the cheapest model on Newegg, while 2-3TB drives dropped significantly more (this was right before xmas; they just dropped more... but still, $100 for 3TB, $140 for 4TB). Even for most regular people, the size of SSDs is just too tiny to justify the expense when they have significant data requirements.

And rotational disks days may be numbered, but it's a fairly large number. SSDs are not even remotely price competitive when you have multi-TB storage needs. A few businesses might feel the speed makes it worth while, but for the vast majority of use cases rotational disks are fast enough for, we're looking at 10+ years, IF SSDs keep dropping continuously, which isn't always the case, before SSDs can compare price-per-GB (rotational disks are dropping too).

about a month ago

Sony Hack Reveals MPAA's Big '$80 Million' Settlement With Hotfile Was a Lie

fafalone Re:Is this actually legal? (117 comments)

Not if you had enough politicians bought and paid for like any respectable industry group, like the [MP,RI]AA.

about a month ago

Peter Sunde: the Pirate Bay Should Stay Down

fafalone Re:TPB Decentralized (251 comments)

The best torrent sites I use are the ones that are specialized in a particular type of content i want, they organize their material and they have detailed relevant information on each torrent which is relevant to the type of content in a way that TPB could never do.

Well how nice for you. Meanwhile the 99% of people that don't have connections or large sums of money for invites or file lockers have to rely on more public means. I'd love to get on one of the HD tv/movie private sites, but the ones that are good are impossible to access without knowing someone or paying through the nose.
And I'm not quite sure what information TPB lacked. I can't ever recall downloading a mislabeled torrent, and the descriptions always covered source, quality, contents, file names/sizes, and most even have detailed encoding information or scene readmes for software.

about a month and a half ago

Music Publishers Sue Cox Communications Over Piracy

fafalone Re:No proof (187 comments)

It's worse than that; Rightscorp doesn't even verify that your computer is actually capable of sending the file. The one and only notice I ever received was on a torrent that I uploaded 0 bytes on since it was all seeders when I connected, dl'd, and disconnected 5 minutes later. They don't even download a single byte of the file, let alone enough to verify it is in fact their content. I can't say if they connected but didn't download and used that as "verification"; but I strongly suspect the connection was/would have been refused entirely since I run up to date blacklisting. And since the notice specifically claimed I was 'sharing' it I doubt they hosted the material, let me download it from, and want to claim that as infringement.
So my IP was listed in a swarm for 5 minutes and didn't upload a single byte of their content, and my ISP took the time and money to respond their bs and pay to send me a physical letter about it. What I did to that notice is not just not appropriate to talk about here... /b/ would sure appreciate it though.

about 2 months ago

Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

fafalone Uh... (481 comments)

"It's unlikely that a high school student would come away with any other conclusion than the police are a fearful group to be avoided at all costs,"

That's because THEY ARE. Unless you're a mid to upper class white person who's been the victim of a violent crime, you have exactly zero to gain from interacting with the police, and tons to lose since to them, you're the enemy. And if they're the ones approaching you? No one but ultra-sheltered white people who've never had a run in the police before are stupid enough to not fear a situation like that, and they'll only make that mistake once. That's who I was... I thought because I wasn't breaking the law it would be ok to talk to them. Worst fuckup of my life.

about 2 months ago

Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

fafalone Re:Let's do the math (307 comments)

Yes because we know everything now and anything that hasn't been discovered or disagrees with our current understanding simply will not ever exist. We haven't even had electricity for half a millennium... who are we to presume that our understanding and ability is absolute and won't change in the next 10,000 years or 100,000 years. Of course we wouldn't ever see it barring something extraordinary, but to say our primitive baby civilization has all the answers.. how sad it must be to think like that.

about 2 months ago

Firefox Signs Five-Year Deal With Yahoo, Drops Google as Default Search Engine

fafalone Re:Migration away from Google? (400 comments)

frequently Google will substitute terms (that don't belong)

If you put the search term in quotes google won't make substitutions.

about 2 months ago

Former Police Officer Indicted For Teaching How To Pass a Polygraph Test

fafalone Re:Not as simple as teaching how to ... (328 comments)

If the only evidence that he knew the use was a guy who was caught dealing and told 'spend 20 years in prison, or say this guy knew and get probation'; sounds like a miscarriage of justice to me. And since anyone not willing to do exactly what the judge instructs is excluded from a jury, combined with the already biased pool of jurors, I find your faith in juries quite naive.

about 2 months ago

Judge Says Public Has a Right To Know About FBI's Facial Recognition Database

fafalone Re:As a Federal Inmate... (79 comments)

Unfortunate? MORE people like you, who commit actual crimes with actual victims, who get away with it because of power, difficulty to prove, and great lawyers, need to be in prison. Do you have any idea how many people who committed crimes with NO victim are serving sentences vastly longer than 5 years? And people who are factually innocent whose massively overworked public defender talked them into a plea? THAT is unfortunate. And this is coming from a fellow high-IQ privileged white male who has served time, albeit 1 year for being randomly searched and having the wrong 0.01g of an arbitrarily prohibited chemical.

about 3 months ago

It's Time To Revive Hypercard

fafalone Re:For the rest of us (299 comments)

VB6 is a very useful and underrated tool. Not only is it good for programs like that, there's countless other things it's useful for. But the big draw is despite its age, it can take advantage of modern graphical styles, and many other goodies introduced in Vista and 7. Think you need a modern language to put forward and back buttons on the taskbar preview picture? Can be done on VB6. Think you can't use the latest file operation dialogs since SHFileOperation isn't able to? That was true until last week when I brought IFileOperation support to VB6. Using COM like that, class modules, subclassing/hooking/callback support, inline assembly support... it's still extraordinarily useful, and a modernized VB6 app looks identical to any other modern app. It's a shame MS replaced it with a "VB.NET" that has almost no relation and is just like C#.

about 3 months ago

Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease

fafalone Re:So they got their reservation using deception? (1007 comments)

At some point, it's not "silencing a dissenting view", it's refusing to waste time and lend credibility to idiots. That homeless guy screaming on the corner has some theories about god and the government too, maybe he should also not be silenced and have universities let him use their facilities to promote his agenda? These are not people who respond to facts, logic, and argument. Pretending every factually wrong, impervious to evidence and reason nutjob theory out there is just a "dissenting view" that's worthy of being seriously discussed in an academic forum isn't even just a waste of time, it's actually harmful to give that status. There's plenty of venues where they're free to speak their message, the academic community should not be obligated to provide another.

about 3 months ago

Law Lets IRS Seize Accounts On Suspicion, No Crime Required

fafalone Re:Yeah - nothing bad happens when a cop finds cas (424 comments)

Hey, it could be worse right? It's not like they'll forcibly rape you in the ass without evidence.

Oh, wait.

Thinking of cops as anything but thugs that view everyone else as the enemy, who they can lie to, kidnap, steal from, and beat/tase/mace with total impunity, is naivete now reserved only for the people who have not yet been unfortunate enough to catch a cops eye (which doesn't require doing anything illegal). These people think that not all cops are bad simply because they see them not abusing someone, and the fact that many targets of the police are criminals who need to be removed from society. That doesn't excuse the fact that any cop who doesn't, at least sometimes, violate peoples rights (the friendly cop who helped you out probably also civilly forfeited his department a new margarita machine/zamboni/trip to disney-all real, btw), is at a minimum covering for his buddies that do. The entire system is rotten to the core: there are no good cops, only cops that are less pure evil and closer to how cops should act (that is, they occasionally arrest someone who deserves it without violating their rights).

about 3 months ago

FBI Says It Will Hire No One Who Lies About Illegal Downloading

fafalone Re:Ironic. (580 comments)

The FBI doesn't want its agents to lie

Or it wants them to be very good liars; to stay calm, smooth, and convincing while feeding someone a whole load of bullshit; like a judge, or a reporter asking about civil rights violations.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: An Accurate Broadband Speed Test?

fafalone Re:None (294 comments)

That site reported my downstream as 40mbps (close)... but pegged my upload at 7mbps. My downstream is advertised as 50, but I see 58 in my tests. But my upstream is also 50, and I get 50 in my tests. Why it's so grossly off I don't know; it says the server is very close to me. But a lot of speed tests are off. My testing method is the real world: either start several torrents, or open multiple downloads from file locker sites (which, btw, advertise 'uncapped speeds', but cap per-file... so I can saturate my connection but it takes 6-7 concurrent transfers from the same server). Single-connection transfers have saturated my line at 58/50, but it's fairly rare.

about 4 months ago

DHL Goes Live With 'Parcelcopter' Drone Delivery Service

fafalone Re:Poop bombs - go! (92 comments)

Technological advances solved the problem of sending poop a while ago, no need for drones. PoopSenders.com has a wide variety of poop to choose from. I really hoped this was a joke, but the internet has in fact sank to that level.

about 4 months ago

Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

fafalone Re:Sanity... (504 comments)

the police have more than enough tools for catching criminals without needing to violate the constitution.

Well, actually they don't.
-You have something for your own use in your own home, that you don't talk about publicly. Except it's illegal.
-You purchase a product from a willing seller, and you're both happy with the transaction. Except the product is illegal.
Not only are these two scenarios just illegal, but society has demanded that they need to be extremely aggressively enforced. There is simply no way for the police to do that without large scale and unambiguous violations of our rights. What needs to happen first is ending this ridiculous war on (some) drugs, which was the original justification for shredding the constitution (and also the vast majority of 'anti-terrorism' powers: they say they're to prevent terrorism, but are almost always used instead for domestic drug war cases).

about 4 months ago

Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?

fafalone Re:Fairly often, but nothing serious: (231 comments)

Oh lord, good old AOL. That was my online coming of age; I left just after leaking AOL6 Beta a couple days before it hit public beta. Most of the opssec team knew me personally. I was one of the guys who reverse engineered their FDO scripting language and did things like invoke all sorts of forms and libraries directly by resource number, hunting for staff only resources, which I frequently found. A very clever use allowed you to bypass RSA SecurID login for high level employees, and of course created banned screen names, 2 chars, fake 3 chars/indented names. But being kids, far and away most of our effort was focused on getting into or terminating other peoples accounts, which one way or another could almost certainly be accomplished. Star tool (aka Master AOL, a developer tool left accessible in the public release via a leaked trigger file) was a gift from the gods for those of us who really learned its power.

about 5 months ago


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