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Marriot Back-Pedals On Wireless Blocking

mrbene Re:How could they? (179 comments)

How uneducated do you have to be on the topic to believe this? Me? I'm betting some corporate lawyer said they could probably get away with it.

I don't think that running a hotel requires any knowledge about spectrum licensing. The move to block was probably motivated on two fronts:

  1. Potential for additional profit
  2. Support requests from guests having problems with their personal hotspots

Also, when it comes down to it, once they'd made the initial plans to roll out blocking, the best possible path forward (legally, at least) would be to operate as if you fully thought it was legal, and to not document any dissent.

"Innocent mistake" is a much more defensible position than "informed infringement."

about two weeks ago

Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

mrbene False Comparison (493 comments)

Sure, the fundamentals are similar - building a list of people who are threats to the health of the rest of the population.

But, while super/mutant power are generally something innate and unselected, not getting vaccinated is, by and large, a choice.

If you are making a choice to ignore what science has earned human society, and that choice is putting other people at risk, get on the list.

Additionally, if I could not get vaccinated against something for some specific medical reason, I'd want to be on a list to be notified in case of an outbreak, so that I could lock myself away until it passed.

about 8 months ago

Interviews: Ask Travis Kalanick About Startups and Uber

mrbene Transparancy (79 comments)

As I understand it, during surge pricing, Uber sets the price multipliers, which incentivizes additional drivers while simultaneously reducing demand, ensuring a consistently good experience for those customers who choose to go ahead with their trip.

How do consumers trust that Uber is acting responsibly with this ability to set prices?

about 8 months ago

Rand Paul Suggests Backing Bitcoin With Stocks

mrbene Rand Paul - Next Great Idea? (404 comments)

Dear Rand Paul,

Maybe we should back gold with a basket of stocks too?


about 9 months ago

Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

mrbene Slashdot Poster RTFA Please (914 comments)

The original article is here, which was obviously not read.

The question asked of Roache was a continuation of a thread about radical life extension, where people are expected to live 1,000 years or more, where Roache has already argued that denying convicts access to life-extending treatments would probably be considered inhumane, and also that it would be like punishing a series of completely different people for the crime of one.

The interviewer then asks:

Would it be unethical to tinker with the brain so that this person experiences a 1,000-year jail sentence in his or her mind?

To which Roache replies:

[...]there is a widely held view that any amount of tinkering with a person’s brain is unacceptably invasive. But you might not need to interfere with the brain directly. There is a long history of using the prison environment itself to affect prisoners’ subjective experience.


Through the entire piece, Roache argues for proportional and reasonable punishment, and finishes with the amazingly sensible:

When we ask ourselves whether it’s inhumane to inflict a certain technology on someone, we have to make sure it’s not just the unfamiliarity that spooks us. And more importantly, we have to ask ourselves whether punishments like imprisonment are only considered humane because they are familiar, because we’ve all grown up in a world where imprisonment is what happens to people who commit crimes. Is it really OK to lock someone up for the best part of the only life they will ever have, or might it be more humane to tinker with their brains and set them free?


I may be expecting more of Slashdotters than they're actually able to deliver, but seriously, imagine a two physical day session at a rehabilitation center that, in the criminal's mind, was a 5 virtual year punitive sentence followed by 3 virtual years of training/rehab. Costs of maintaining imprisonment and reintegration of ex-cons into society is significantly reduced. Prison "culture" is eliminated, because there's no longer any concurrency.

about 10 months ago

Google Blurring Distinction Between Ads and Organic Search Results

mrbene Sponsored Links are now MORE obvious (187 comments)

I'm in the test group.

It may be my eyes, the angle at which I use my screen, the brightness and contrast I prefer, or something else, but the background color has always been almost undetectable to me.

The new configuration, a simple yet obvious graphical element indicating "Ad" indenting the sponsored links, highlights them much more effectively for me.

+1 for this change.

about 10 months ago

The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery

mrbene Re:Misunderstanding of risk (461 comments)

I came here to harp on the same things as many other posters have already said. DriedClexler says it best so far.

There are at minimum 20k planes, but possibly up to 100k. Let's estimate that half of 20k planes have this installed, at an expenditure of one trillion dollars.

This would result in this particular flight having a 50% chance of having a bit of extra information about where it crashed.

Sounds like a pretty expensive method for retrieving dead bodies. But then, I've always wanted to be buried at sea.

about 10 months ago

Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

mrbene Still Flogging That Horse, Quebec? (506 comments)

In the late 90s, I worked at an internet software company in Quebec - we developed software for servers and sold it over the internet. No boxed copies, but your standard suite of services - a knowledge base, online documentation, phone and email access to sales and support staff, all of which was based in the province of Quebec.

Eventually, we got big enough to be noticed by the Quebec language police. They sent a letter, and then there were phone calls. They provided us with a list of requirements - you must answer your phones in French first, your web site must have all content that is available in English available in French as well, and so on.

We started costing out the implications of this, especially the confusion of the majority of our international (as in, American) clients. Then someone asked the important question - what happens if we don't comply?

"Well, you won't be allowed to sell to anyone in Quebec!" came the indignant response.

From then on, I took so much pleasure in informing the our small number of Quebec government clients that no, they would no longer be able to buy upgrades, tech support contracts, or anything else. The 98% of our out-of-province sales were unaffected.

Unfortunately, it sounds like Eva runs a brick-and-mortar store, so will need to comply or face actual fines.

about a year ago

CmdrTaco Launches Trove, a Curated News Startup

mrbene I thought that Trove (221 comments)

Was the new game coming from Trion Worlds...

Yeah, like Trove.

1 year,2 days

Short Notice: LogMeIn To Discontinue Free Access

mrbene Re:Chrome Remote Desktop (408 comments)

Important note - Chrome Remote Desktop works by default as a screen scraper, so that anyone physically near the computer you've remotely logged in to can see what you're doing on the monitor. However, there's a simple registry key that you can add to enable "curtain" mode, which spins up an instance of Remote Desktop and connects to that, instead.

More information here.

1 year,4 days

NSA Uses Google Cookies To Pinpoint Targets For Hacking

mrbene Not even an advertising cookie! (174 comments)

I guess it would have been a less compelling story if it didn't have the anti-advertising bent, and was more along the lines of "NSA uses web analytics cookies to pinpoint users."

Uniquely identifying web browsers by assigning a unique ID into a cookie has been a core behavior of the web analytics industry for over 15 years. You want to know how many unique visitors are coming to your web site? Assign an ID!

If advertising didn't exist, and Google remained the most popular website, the NSA would still have a unique client identifier. They'd also probably have more details, since the main alternative to advertising is subscription, which would require (with current technology) disclosure of actual personal information.

about a year ago

Bitcoin Miners Bundled With PUPs In Legitimate Applications Backed By EULA

mrbene Doesn't Digsby do something like this? (194 comments)

Pretty sure that "free" chat client aggregater Digsby has been using CPU time on machines it's been installed on for ages - one of the reasons I don't recommend people use it.

It's in section 15 of their TOS.

Don't know if they've ever used this specifically for Bitcoin mining, but there's no reason they couldn't.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: How Best To Synchronize Projects Between Shared Drive and PCs?

mrbene Re:Wow, Windows is really still that bad? (238 comments)

Robocopy ( http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc733145.aspx ) is included in all desktop versions of Windows (so, not RT or Phone). Extensive copying/moving/mirroring options, CLI-only. Great for integrating into scheduled scripts.

I'd still agree with other poster here, and recommend git over Robocopy to the OP. However, Windows does have a robust tool for syncing files between multiple computers built in.

In fact, Robocopy has been available since Windows NT 4.0.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: 4G Networking Advice For Large Outdoor Festival?

mrbene Re:Stop making this way too hard (140 comments)

+1 on this for sure.

The OP hasn't been super clear with regards to their requirements - is the goal to provide:

  1. - Internet to all festival goers?
  2. - Internet to festival organizers only?

If it's the former, then the question is whether the OP wants to provide this as part of the ticket price, then consider whether to bring in a 3rd party either as a sponsorship or as a business. If it's the latter, then the question is whether the festival organizers actually need the internet, or just a bunch of organizer resources. A private WLAN with a local web server hosting all the festival resources should significantly reduce the need for internet access.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Most Secure Browser In an Age of Surveillance?

mrbene Failure of Premise (391 comments)

OP says "what browser should I use" I automatically add "for the Facebooks".

Here's the low-down:

  1. If you install any software, it can identify your machine uniquely. This goes for apps, doubly.
  2. If you use an ISP without TOR or other proxy, your ISP knows exactly what sites you're going to.
  3. Even if you use obfuscation techniques (TOR, other proxy), the exit node knows where you're going. TOR is designed to prevent the exit node from knowing where you entered from, but this fails if you send unencrypted identifying data across the wire.
  4. Additionally, using TOR obfuscates your country of origin, thereby giving NSA the freedom to retain your activity indefinitely.
  5. If you authenticate anywhere, you've provided that party (and the NSA) with a unique ID for yourself.
  6. If you authenticate and also provide actual information about yourself, a link to your physical self can be made. Remember, there's an 87% chance that your DOB, ZIP, and Gender are a unique combination. And if it isn't unique, you probably only share these with one or two other people.

That's just off the top of my head. The software you use to disclose the information isn't the problem - you are.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Would You Accept 'Bitcoin-Ware' Apps?

mrbene Oh you mean like the Digsby Research module? (232 comments)

In 2008, there was a bit of a stink raised when chat client Digsby implemented a "Research Module" that used local CPU resources while the machine was not active. Their blog post announcing the fact was in 2008, and I'm not sure that they ever removed this functionality.

It was reason enough for me to force anyone I knew to uninstall the tool - I'm not keen on subscriptions, especially fluctuating cost ones.

about a year and a half ago

RSA: Phish Me If You Can (Video)

mrbene Guide for Eliminating Background Noise (171 comments)

Three videos posted over the last couple of days - all of which purport to provide insight, at least in summary. I've not made it through more than a few seconds of each since there is excessive background noise.

Use a more targeted mic? Do some post-processing? Find a quieter room to interview your subject in? Provide a transcript?

Otherwise, it's just a waste of effort.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Best To Set Up a Parent's PC?

mrbene Re:Remote desktop (418 comments)

I'm not sure how AOL internet access works, but Remote Desktop only works if the target is on a public IP address.

Software/services like LogMeIn, Chrome Remote Desktop, and (until recently) Windows Live Mesh provide server-mediated remote desktop, which allows connection to a target machine even when that machine is on a private IP.

about 2 years ago

Feedback On Simcity Gets User Banned From EA Forums

mrbene Re:Use a proxy (386 comments)

If they're using the most basic of authorization schemes, yes. However, their implementation is stateful - the saved games are stored server-side, so your "responder" would have to implement at least partially the feature-set implemented by EAs servers.

It's probably not quite as complex as implementing a "responder" for an MMO, but the featureset is definitely trending in that direction with cross-city interactivity.

about 2 years ago



Google Reads Brain Waves To Determine Ad Impact

mrbene mrbene writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mrbene (1380531) writes "Google is measuring brain waves and other physiological responses to brand ads served on YouTube reports ZDNet:

Google, along with MediaVest are releasing information about ad quality determined by reading brain waves and psychological responses to ads on video content.


Link to Original Source


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