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Comments

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Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

guanxi Re:do they have a progressive view? (336 comments)

It may seem to fit that partisan narrative, but you don't really know Detroit politics. The Big Three run Detroit, in any meaningful sense. The economy of the city is completely dependent on them, and as auto company jobs have declined since the 1950s, so has Detroit. GM just went bankrupt and Chrysler nearly did; it's hard to blame that on local Detroit politics.

Race problems have been huge. Much of the city's talent was effectively barred from eduction, productive employment, or decent housing for a long time. The riots in 1967 did not come from a vacuum, but from decades of oppression by the white population. You probably haven't read about the riots that would happen when a black person dared to move into a white neighborhood. George Wallace (former Alabama governor and ardent segregationist) won the 1968 Democratic primary in the city!

If you really want to understand Detroit and urban politics, and the role of race, read this history (which won the Bancroft Prize, among others):

The Origins of the Urban Crisis by Thomas Sugrue

4 days ago
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How Nest and FitBit Might Spy On You For Cash

guanxi Re:Depends on if it is in aggregate. (93 comments)

Will they care? It all depends on the data being shared is in aggregate. I don't care if people know that the average person in my city walks a thousand steps a day, and that still has a lot of value for health care companies, and I'm happy to contribute to that. I *DO* care if they know the details about me *individually*. There is a big difference.

That data is worth a lot more than you think, and they can learn a lot more about you as an individual. Also, knowing the value of that data, why give it away?

4 days ago
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How Nest and FitBit Might Spy On You For Cash

guanxi Everyone who can spy on you, will (93 comments)

Isn't it obvious at this point that everyone who can spy on you, will? There is no legal regulation, or simple pragmatic or moral restraint.

Remember Obama saying about the NSA, 'maybe just because we can gather some data doesn't mean we should' (paraphrased). It doesn't seem like others are even thinking about it, except Mozilla.

4 days ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

guanxi The spoils are for the elite (580 comments)

I don't know about Bloomberg in particular, but it now seems almost common wisdom among the elite that college isn't for everyone and now skills like programming aren't either.

While those words are true, what they mean in practice is that 'not for everyone' means 'not for the poor and working class' (poverty is a strong predictor of college eduction). I bet Bloomberg's kids go to college and he wouldn't doubt his non-technical buddies' ability to learn to code based on their job descriptions

What happened to the American Dream? Where is the land of opportunity, where anyone can succeed if they work hard enough? Apparently, Bloomberg et al believe that only the elite live in that land and that we should abandon that dream for the working class and poor. Why don't they just accept their places?

about two weeks ago
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London's Public Bike Data Can Tell Everyone Where You've Been

guanxi Is it any surprise at this point? (41 comments)

Is it any surprise they are tracking you at this point? Wouldn't you be more surprised if they were not?

Why shouldn't they? There are no consequences.

about two weeks ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

guanxi Re:I think this is bullshit (1746 comments)

glamorizing Che Guevara is deemed perfectly acceptable

IME, of those supporting gay marriage, a very small number support or glamorize Che Guevara. I would guess only a minority knows who he was.

I suspect many with the poster/shirt just think it looks cool.

about three weeks ago
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Canonical's Troubles With the Free Software Community

guanxi Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (155 comments)

NOTHING on linux even close to a real business accounting package

Try Moneydance, which is close to QuickBooks for a small business, depending on your needs:
http://moneydance.com/

In my limited experience it's well-designed, well-supported, and geek-friendly (extensible with Python, open API, etc.). It appears to be multi-user but I've never tried that feature.

about a month ago
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Mozilla Scraps Firefox For Windows 8, Citing Low Adoption of Metro

guanxi Does Firefox still run on Win8 desktop UI? (200 comments)

I assume it still runs on the Win8 desktop UI? Or are Win8 users unable to use Firefox outside a VM?

about a month ago
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Jewish School Removes Evolution Questions From Exams

guanxi Re:Well it IS the BBC (431 comments)

As you demonstrate, ignorant, hateful people can be found everywhere. One way to spot them is that they depict the world as one group vs. another (Jews vs. Muslims), and talk about a group of people as if they are a single-minded whole (Jews do this, Muslims do that) rather than as millions or billions of individuals.

My reading of history is that the hateful people are the ones that cause the most trouble, independently of what other group they belong to.

about a month and a half ago
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Bill Gates curses at Windows 8.1

guanxi Source is satire? (1 comments)

The Borowitz Report is, or at least used to be, satire -- kind of like the Onion.

about 3 months ago
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How Voter Shortsightedness Skews Elections

guanxi Are you earning more since Reagan was elected? (269 comments)

Ironically, income for most Americans has not increased since Reagan became President.

It is surprising that cutting taxes and reducing regulations for corporations and the wealthy, while undermining unions and cutting government services to everyone else, results in the wealthy getting wealthier and the rest standing still. Who could have imagined such an outcome?

When will the " trickle down" that Reagan promised start happening? I feel like it could be any day now.

about 3 months ago
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Linus Torvalds Gives 'Thumbs Up' To Nvidia For Nouveau Contributions

guanxi Why do Free/Open Source gurus use Google+? (169 comments)

Aren't there plenty of other, and Free, ways to publish? It's not the end of the world but when someone like Linus Torvalds does it I think it sends a message that undermines the value placed on FOSS systems. If end-user control isn't important for Torvalds' personal communication, when is it?

And yes, I'm aware I'm publishing this on Slashdot, but they say "Comments owned by the poster" and in this case, there's not a functional alternative for participating on this discussion.

about 3 months ago
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EU Secretly Plans To Put a Back Door In Every Car By 2020

guanxi If it's legitimate, why is it secret? (364 comments)

People like to argue that these kinds of surveillance and control are legitimate and nobody cares about them; if so, then why are they done in secret?

about 3 months ago
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Controversial Execution In Ohio Uses New Lethal Drug Combination

guanxi Re:Why are we testing drugs on humans? (1038 comments)

Would you rather test an intentionally lethal drug cocktail on law abiding people?

No, we should follow the same rules as any drug tests. Whether people are law-abiding or not has no bearing on whether we can do experiments on them.

about 3 months ago
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Controversial Execution In Ohio Uses New Lethal Drug Combination

guanxi Why are we testing drugs on humans? (1038 comments)

I thought testing drugs on humans -- without their informed consent and successful prior testing -- was banned long ago.

It doesn't matter that the person is a prisoner; in fact the standards are higher for them, because they are much less able to refuse consent. It also doesn't matter that they will die soon; terminally ill patients also must give informed consent.

What kind of sick society experiments on helpless prisoners?

about 3 months ago
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Orbital Becomes Second Private Firm To Send Cargo Craft To ISS

guanxi Re:A field of Two (69 comments)

So, you're claiming that government developed and funded the 747 and 787?

The government invested and invests very heavily in the technology, including R&D, both through the military and NASA (and maybe via other agencies I'm not thinking of). For example, here is NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.

Boeing is a leading beneficiary of these funds. Also, have Boeing and their competitors received tax breaks and other aid?

about 3 months ago
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2014 Will Be a Big Year For Commercial Space Travel

guanxi Missing the obvious (61 comments)

If these companies achieve those long-awaited, and sometimes long-delayed, major milestones, it will go far to erase any lingering doubts that suborbital space tourism is a real market

How does a successful test of a prototype tell you anything about the demand for it? Silicon Valley landfills are filled with successful prototypes of products you've never heard of.

They need someplace to go and something to do up there. Until consumers can spend a weekend in orbit doing entertaining activities, it's hard to imagine many people willing spend six figures (?) on the trip.

(I'm all for commercial space flight, by the way, I just don't see much consumer demand for it.)

about 3 months ago
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How to Avoid a Target-Style Credit Card Security Breach (Video)

guanxi Re:Could someone explain EMV chips? (146 comments)

With EMV, the customer is liable if the transaction was completed as an EMV transaction.

That's a very big change. 'Our security is so perfect that any fraud must be perpetrated by the user''?

about 4 months ago
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How to Avoid a Target-Style Credit Card Security Breach (Video)

guanxi Re:Could someone explain EMV chips? (146 comments)

Thanks, that makes sense.

The chip stores the specific cards signing cert and it can't be accessed

Hmmm ... given the amount of money involved, doesn't it seem likely that methods for breaking the security are already known?

about 4 months ago
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How to Avoid a Target-Style Credit Card Security Breach (Video)

guanxi Could someone explain EMV chips? (146 comments)

Could someone explain how EMV chips work, especially,

1) If every consumer and retailer in the world will be able to utilize them to process purchases, how can we stop people from using the same devices fraudulently? If the answer is that they use a PIN, then why not use the old mag-stripes with a PIN?

2) Is anything stored on them besides payment data, such as other personal data? In addition to a payment mechanism, is it also yet another way to track and collect information about people? Could other data potentially be stored on them?

3) Is wireless necessary or even a good idea? Why not require contact with the credit card machine?

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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(Ex-)CIA analyst writes insider study of Counterterrorism Center

guanxi guanxi writes  |  about 7 months ago

guanxi (216397) writes "(Spoiler: It turns our their jobs are even more bureaucratic as most of ours; in fact, some ask if the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) is too large to function efffectively.) CIA analyst and sociology Ph.D. candidate Bridget Nolan suggested to her superiors that she write her dissertation on her workplace. They said no; she said yes; Bridget won. She had to quit the CIA, but now her study is in the public domain. Imagine a workplace where "ordinary conversations ... involve a kind of competitive one-upsmanship, "in which intelligence officers ‘out-correct’ and ‘out-logic’ each other in the course of routine conversation to the point where any increased accuracy in what has been said no longer seems meaningful." Maybe that doesn't take much imagination."
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The National Surveillance State, founded 1917

guanxi guanxi writes  |  about 10 months ago

guanxi (216397) writes "The NSA programs may be new, but in the United States government surveillance of its citizens is not. The Surveillance State's origins are in 1917, as Woodrow Wilson looked to rally support (and suppress dissent) for World War I: "Postmaster General Albert S. Burleson read mail and revoked publications’ mailable status that was then used by prosecutors as proof that those publishers were seditious in court cases. ... Soldiers went undercover, such as one who broke into the National Civil Liberties Bureau’s offices ... Prosecutors convicted Eugene V. Debs for seditious speech when he offered praise to three socialists recently convicted under the Espionage Act. ... some 20,000 civilian volunteers of the vigilante American Protective League ... detained about 60,000 men for possible draft dodging, even though they had no legal authority to do so. This same organization investigated their fellow Americans for most of the major intelligence agencies, barging into peoples’ homes and offices. ..." With modern networks, data collection and analysis, we won't need as many vigilantes or to physically break into offices and homes."
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Is your antivirus made by the Chinese gov't?

guanxi guanxi writes  |  about 3 years ago

guanxi (216397) writes "Huawei, a large Chinese telecom and IT company with close ties to the Chinese military has faced obstacles doing business in other countries, because governments are concerned about giving Huawei access to critical infrastructure. That hasn't stopped them completely, though. Huawei Symantec is a joint venture with one of the world's largest IT security companies which sells security products in the U.S. And the Chinese government is not alone. Would the Chinese or other governments take the opportunity to create back doors into western IT networks? Wouldn't they be crazy not to?"
Link to Original Source
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Congress scandalized over personal privacy!

guanxi guanxi writes  |  about 6 years ago

guanxi (216397) writes "You know those privacy issues that lawmakers have completely disregarded, leading to widespread government abuses and identity theft? Suddenly privacy is a priority among Congressional staffers — meetings are being held, action is being demanded, and fear for the personal security of Americans is rampant. No, no, not you Americans who are reading these words, they're worried about themselves. You see, LegiStorm has posted the staffers' financial disclosure forms. It's an outrage! The Hill quotes one staffer as saying, "I've researched identity theft and how much of a goldmine this information is for people who deal in that world" and says the House and Senate could have a "liability problem". Others "are livid House Administration has not at least threatened legal action against LegiStorm". I truly sympathize 100%, but do you think it has crossed their minds to find a solution for the 300 million Americans who don't work in the Capitol? Legistorm so far is holding the line."
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Thane Heinz (electric motor) for Ask Slashdot

guanxi guanxi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

guanxi (216397) writes "Just a suggestion — invite Thane Heinz, maker of the inexplicably efficient electric motor featured in this Slashdot post to Ask Slashdot. Many Slashdotters have ideas and would love to know more about the motor (see the discussion), Thane seems reasonable (he's very hesitant to call it 'perpetual motion'), and Prof. Zahn from MIT thinks it's worth investigating (per the article). Thane might like the publicity and/or a more sophisticated forum than what journalists discuss. (I have no connection to Thane Heinz. This is a suggestion, not an offer.)"
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guanxi guanxi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

guanxi (216397) writes "In an NPR interview NASA chief Michael Griffin, a rocket scientist, put the reputation of his famous research organization (not to mention the United States) behind this statement: "I have no doubt that ... a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with." I was going to add commentary, but there's little you can add to statements like this one: "To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn't change. First of all, I don't think it's within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown. And second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings — where and when — are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings." To most people, of course, the words of the head of NASA are authoritative."
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guanxi guanxi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

guanxi (216397) writes "PayPerPost is a site any Slashdotter *might* appreciate: It helps businesses with a marketing need find for bloggers (and I suppose Slashdot posters) who need a little cash — and are willing to blog whatever is necessary to earn it. That's right, they bid for shills. It's even spawned some competition, like ReviewMe and LoudLaunch. Now that powers-that-be recognize blogs as a way to influence the public, how can you decide which ones to trust?"
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guanxi guanxi writes  |  about 7 years ago

guanxi (216397) writes "One of the fastest growing markets for news has no interest in sex, celebrity gossip, or partisan hackery — it's computers. Financial traders looking for an edge no longer want to wait for people to read, analyze, and communicate the latest events; they want the news fed right into their computers so they can process trades immediately. The turnaround time from a "PS3 sales slow" story to dumping the stock is milliseconds. Reuters met this demand with NewsScope Real-Time, which outputs machine-readable news, and reportedly Thomson Financial (which already sells computer-generated news) and Bloomberg offer similar products. Would you trust your money to an unskeptical computer reading the news? Can bloggers compete? Will Jon Stewart have a feed?"
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guanxi guanxi writes  |  more than 7 years ago

guanxi (216397) writes ""As simple as possible, and no simpler", you might have heard a few times; or KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). No more! The new hot trend is complexity: "[I]f you think simplicity means ... "does one thing and does it well," then I applaud your integrity but you can't go that far" says Joel Spolsky. "Why are Yahoo! and MSN such complex-looking places? Because their systems are easier to use [than Google]" explains Donald Norman, who also also tells us that Simplicity Is Highly Overrated. Are they trying to make a subtler point, are they just consultants making a splash, or complexity the Next Big Thing in design?"
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guanxi guanxi writes  |  more than 7 years ago

guanxi (216397) writes "Gannett, one of the largest newspaper publishers in the U.S., plans to change its newsrooms to utilize Crowdsourcing, a new term for something Slashdot readers have been familiar with for years: From the article, they will "use crowdsourcing methods to put readers to work as watchdogs, whistle-blowers and researchers in large, investigative features." Last summer, the The News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida asked readers to help investigate a local scandal. The response was overwhelming: "Readers spontaneously organized their own investigations: Retired engineers analyzed blueprints, accountants pored over balance sheets, and an inside whistle-blower leaked documents showing evidence of bid-rigging." Public service isn't their only concern, of course: "We've learned that no one wants to read a 400-column-inch investigative feature online. But when you make them a part of the process they get incredibly engaged." Is this the beginning of a revolution at major media organizations? Can they successfully duplicate what online communities have been doing for years?"
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guanxi guanxi writes  |  more than 7 years ago

guanxi writes "Two members of NASA's Advisory Council have been "asked to leave" and one resigned, according to Forbes. All opposed cuts to NASA's science programs. With the current budgetary constraints, we can't have it all. NASA already cut earth science from it's mission statement, so we'd better decide fast before the decision is made for us: What is more important? Science or manned spaceflight?"

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