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How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy a Business

laura20 Re:Saw this the other day on SN (132 comments)

40 year old restaurants don't tank because of a Google listing; they tank because they've gone to shit, and from the reviews, that's exactly what happened. If you look back at the TripAdvisor history, they were doing Groupon and the like, which is in the case of an established restaurant is a sign of a restaurant that was already on the downswing. And a lot of those reviews were the same thing: poor quality food and poor service. If you've been around for 40 years, you should have a steady clientele that won't be looking for reviews in Google. You start pushing coupons when you've burned that established clientele by decreasing quality of experience.

I've been to restaurants like that; 40 years ago they were what was considered quality, but neither the menu nor the physical plant has been updated. The staff in the kitchen has gotten cheaper and cheaper, the skills are still 1970s level, etc. It's like eating in a ghost, and people don't come back.

about 5 months ago

Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Outed By Newsweek

laura20 Re:Why? (390 comments)

A reporter asking questions about a public, newsworthy paper you published under your own name is not a violation of your privacy.

about 9 months ago

Mars Rover Curiosity Finds Ancient Lakebed

laura20 Re:genesis of life (74 comments)

Not really true, at least in terms of conditions for life being better than on Mars. The Late Heavy Bombardment probably ended about 3.8 Ma ago, and even the more conservative estimates have life leaving identifiable marks by 3.6 Ma, and there are arguments for rocks even earlier than that -- and we don't have many of those. Life seems to have appeared on Earth not long after the crust cooled enough for such to survive.

1 year,9 days

Feds Seek Prison For Man Who Taught How To Beat a Polygraph

laura20 Read the damn background (374 comments)

He's not going to jail for teaching people how to beat polygraph; he's going to jail for conspiring to defraud. There are any number of entirely legal actions you can take that become illegal when you use them to commit crimes. Want to do sleight of hand? Lovely. Want to use sleight of hand to defraud someone? A crime. And yes, teaching someone sleight of hand for the _specific purpose of defrauding people_ becomes conspiracy to commit fraud.

about a year ago

Have eBooks Peaked?

laura20 Re:Sure... (323 comments)

Yup. They are greedy; they want all that sweet extra crash - and despite the attempts of people to mau mau the numbers to convince the naive that ebooks cost as much for the producers as paper books, it's simply not true. The fact they don't have to factor in the risk cost of returns alone makes them vastly cheaper, even before considering materials costs and storage and transportation costs.

I'm simply not going to pay hardback prices for an ebook, and I suspect there are plenty of others who feel the same way.

about a year ago

John McCain Working On Legislation For 'a La Carte' TV Channel Packages

laura20 Re:Not all providers have this capability. (614 comments)

Yeah, the result is likely to be paying the same amount of money for smaller numbers of channels -- they already know that you'll pay $100 a month for 300 channels to get the 10 you really want, so they'd just charge $10 per each of those channels. Some number of people will end up better off, some (probably larger) worse off, but they'll extract the same amount of money in the end, except you won't have access to the penumbra of channels you watch things on occasionally.

I'd probably be one of those better off, since I could care less about sports, so I'm not against it, but I wouldn't expect it to change much except perhaps killing off some more of the more generic filler channels.

about a year and a half ago

NIH Neuroscientists: Junior Seau Had Brain Disease Caused By Hits To the Head

laura20 Re:Why all the problems *now*? (240 comments)

Because the players are bigger and stronger. The average offensive lineman is 60, 70 pound bigger than even 30 years ago, much less 60. More mass, more impact.


There's probably also other factors -- I suspect training is also more intense, and all those training hits add up too. But the sheer size of your modern football player is a big one.

about 2 years ago

What To Do With a 1,000 Foot Wrecked Cruise Ship?

laura20 Re:I'd start by shooting the Captain.... (416 comments)

It's an established part of the job of the captain of a ship to remain on the ship and coordinate evacuation efforts until passengers have been evacuated. That doesn't mean they are supposed to go down with the ship, or even that they are responsible for every last one getting off -- sometimes it is impossible -- but it definitely means that while passengers are queued up for boats or going down ladders, you are supposed to still be on the ship, doing what you can.

Note that the deputy mayor of Giglio, the island they ran into, boarded the ship from a tender at 11pm, before it had even tilted, and found only a single junior officer left on board, and the evacuation in chaos. That's criminal irresponsibility, and the captain and probably some of his officers will go to jail for it. Though I agree with the other commenter who said that the truly criminal part will be the lying to the coast guard and telling passengers to go back to their cabins despite the fact that the ship was clearly hopeless. It's almost mystifying -- did he think that giant rock was going to somehow vanish?

more than 2 years ago

Two Lost Doctor Who Episodes Found

laura20 Re:National Archives of Australia have them anyway (150 comments)

The recovered episodes are broadcast versions from Australia, which had bits censored out of them. The Australian censorship board was very diligent about filing the sections they snipped out, however, so those segments still exist, we just didn't have the rest of the episodes until now. Now they can rejoin the edited version + copies of the censored sections and have two completed episodes.

about 3 years ago

Theater Professor's Firefly Poster Declared Threatening

laura20 Re:Lets see if I understand this. (566 comments)

Nope. I've worked for the government; I assure you the first amendment did not mean I got to put whatever I wanted on my office door, or do whatever I wanted on government property.

more than 3 years ago

The Cable Industry's a La Carte Bait and Switch

laura20 Re:Makes sense actually (447 comments)

In summary, the consumers are paying pretty similar prices as before, but are getting far less channels. If a movie comes up on AMC that one of us wants to watch, none of us can.

Yah, this is what I expect to happen. The cable channels know that you are willing to say, pay $50 a month for cable. If that's just because of four channels, then that's what those channels are worth and that's the price they will extract. With bonus extra profit because now they don't have to give you anything else. Some individuals will be better off, some worse, since cable won't be able to charge users individual rates, but overall customers will end up paying the same for fewer channels.

more than 3 years ago

How One Man Helps Keep Game Controllers Accessible

laura20 Re:Why is a third party manufacturer needed? (130 comments)

You're like (I used this example, because something similar really happened and is well-known):
Hey, that dude went to the back of his motor home to make a coffee *while on the freaking highway*, crashed, and now can't walk.

Nope. Long running urban legend, constantly morphing according whatever the current society or teller wants to bash (in your case, disabled people.)

more than 3 years ago

Mom Arrested After Son Makes Dry Ice "Bombs"

laura20 Re:Sounds familiar. (571 comments)

Also note that "Lectures in the Philosophy of Education" isn't written by Dewey -- it's from a student's notes during Dewey's lectures at the University of Chicago. So even if the quote exists and isn't taken out of context (i.e., "Some say that children who think for themselves..." being negated), it's still secondhand at best.

more than 4 years ago

Mom Arrested After Son Makes Dry Ice "Bombs"

laura20 Re:Sounds familiar. (571 comments)

Nah, you give too much credit to Coulter. She took it from "None Dare Call It Education" , written by crazy Bircher John Stormer. Who quotes it from Human Events, which is mostly right-wing propaganda.

Well, half of it-- the other half that she claims Dewey said, "You can't make socialists out of individualists", is actually Rosalie Gordon from "What's Happened To Our Schools", which was a rant back in the 1950s about the eeeevil of progressive education.

If the quote exists at all, it's in Dewey's "Lectures in the Philosophy of Education", but there's no electronic copy and I'm not trawling through the whole thing, given the dodgy reputations of the people claiming the quote. And given that one of Dewey's major focuses was getting a child involved in their own education instead of just sitting in a chair and being lectured at; that's part of why Christian conservatives hate him.

more than 4 years ago

US Fears Loss of ICQ Honeypot

laura20 Re:National Security Act (319 comments)

There is no British Constitution, in the sense of a piece of paper that William of Orange could have signed. It's uncodified, famously so. What you are speaking about, in a somewhat confused and uninformed way, is the British Bill of Rights, which is one of the things that make up the Constitution. And while it is an important document in the development of constitutional theory, in no way is "EVERY national constitution is based on the 1689 British Constitution".

more than 4 years ago

PA School Defends Web-Cam Spying As Security Measure, Denies Misuse

laura20 Re:In-home Reprimand (364 comments)

Cite? I've seen no claims that the student stole the laptop; there's a big difference between the school district claiming it was activated "upon a report of a suspected lost, stolen or missing laptop" and the student *actually* stole the laptop. Now maybe that's what happened -- he filed a false report or he stole someone else's -- but given that it would be a simple way to shut down the story the silence makes me doubt. "Student X reported his laptop missing, we activated the security system, he still had possession of the laptop, we disciplined him for the false report/fraud." Boom, story (mostly) dead. Instead we have them disciplining him for suspected drug use, and strangely vague and general denials.

more than 4 years ago

Police In Britain Arrest Man For Bomb-Threat Joke On Twitter

laura20 Re:This happens weekly (577 comments)

Dude, read the story. It wasn't at an airport; it was on Twitter.

more than 4 years ago

Virginia Health Database Held For Ransom

laura20 Re:Non-story? (325 comments)

Of course, this information is already tracked by private companies, and their information is just as vulnerable. Or didn't you read the original article, which noted that Express Scripts has had the same problem?

more than 5 years ago


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