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FCC Warned Not To Take Actions a Republican-Led FCC Would Dislike

nickmalthus Re: Infurstuctsure (338 comments)

In Texas they already are. All new highways in Texas will be toll roads. TXDOT is making sweetheart public private partnerships (read fascist) with construction companies like cintra with half century long long land leases and government bailouts for guaranteed profit! People in my area are going to freak out when they receive their flex rate toll bills for all of the new roads they are building.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Recliner For a Software Developer?

nickmalthus My setup (154 comments)

I had a similar idea and ended up with this setup:

  • A Rooms to Go leather power recliner
  • A $50 adjustable medical stand from amazon
  • A 27 inch monitor that is placed on the medical stand. I optionally mounted a second monitor by attaching a monitor arm to the medical stand.
  • A 10ft HDMI cable
  • A wireless keyboard and mouse

The recliner has a little space between the bottom of it and the floor so I can move the medical stand with the monitor on it in front of me at a fairly close distance. I can also recline the chair with the monitor in front of me and easily swing the stand out of the way with minimal effort. I place the wireless keyboard on my lap and use the mouse on the medical stand. I am a tall person with a long reach so this may not work for others. After almost two years of use I have had no ergonomic issues. I can move the monitor slightly off center so that I can double task and code while casually observing a tv show or movie with my wife. It has worked out very well for me and the complaints from my wife about me working too much have diminished significantly.

about a month ago
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The Great Taxi Upheaval

nickmalthus Re:The Free Market has the Technology Now (218 comments)

I would presume perfect information means complete information. If that is the case then why would any business be compelled to release information that could be perceived as critical to their operations without regulation or the threat of regulation? As we have seen with the GM case keeping consumers in the dark about safety issues pads the bottom line and they would have gotten away with if it weren't for those pesky NHTSA regulators. I always find it amusing when the captains of industry get on television and berate government regulation and accountability their first line of defense for impropriety is always the mantra "it may be unethical but it is not illegal".

I do think that the goals regulation should be to enforce transparency, clarity, and legal accountability more than just simply restricting certain types of activities.

about a month and a half ago
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The Department of Homeland Security Needs Its Own Edward Snowden

nickmalthus Institution of FUD (190 comments)

Homeland Security is an institution based in FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. The more they panic the populace the more Congress will capitulate and grant them ever increasing power and funding. Secrecy grants them a shield to deflect all criticism: in the event of an attack they can simply state they were underfunded or were not granted the powers they needed to protect the people regardless of whatever the truth may be and no one except initiated would be the wiser. Instead of confronting terrorism using our well accepted and established system of Justice we all get thrown into a state of complete panic when someone attacks us for political motivations. Last year 1.6 million American's died of cancer. Why don't we spend trillions of dollars combating a real threat instead of something that may kill 1 in 20 million Americans?

Ironically the point of terrorism is to effect political change based on the psychological impact of an attack. Congress seems to pay no heed to this as they accelerate the decline of America into a police state, perhaps to the desire of the terrorist boogieman. Certainly anyone who has read a history book knows what happens when a people grant their government extraordinary powers to combat a perceived threat: a dictator arises and they lose all their liberties. I speak for no one besides myself but I would rather take my chances with being killed by a malcontent than risk losing everything precious in my life to totalitarian government.

about 2 months ago
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Will Google's Dart Language Replace Javascript? (Video)

nickmalthus It would need to be submitted to a standards body (180 comments)

Dart would need to be submitted to an independent standards body and be royalty and patent free in order for any other company to even contemplate embracing it. I don't see Microsoft, Apple, or IBM handing the wheel to google to be sole dictator of the future of a critical component of web technology . Dart may be a good idea but without community support like what has happened with the HTML 5 standards group it will continue to be a proprietary browser specific language like VBScript in Internet Explorer.

about 2 months ago
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In 2012, Facebook Altered Content To Tweak Readers' Emotions

nickmalthus The father of propaganda would be proud (130 comments)

Secret psychological tests on population in a mass? Edward Bernays would have been elated to have this capability in his time.

In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.

about 3 months ago
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Why Snowden Did Right

nickmalthus Believe Glenn Greenwald's book got it perfect . . (348 comments)

Well said. Cui bono - who benefits? Government officials like Michael Hayden keep conjuring up the terrorist boogieman to rationalize totalitarian surveillance but in the end "Knowledge is Power" and that is the ultimate objective. Access to all information - virtual omniscience - can cement any party's rule and wealth and some would do anything to obtain that power. I recommend watching PBS's recent Frontline documentary for an in depth look at the surveillance state. Our government is heavily influenced by corporate interests and it stands to reason mass surveillance is more about power with access to all information than it is about the safety of ordinary citizens. Terrorism is just a psychological ruse to distract from the real prize.

A point of interest - A key criteria in the FBI's definition of terrorism is to "influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion" With that said when the revolving door government officials fear monger and institute policies contrary to Constitutional principles are they facilitating terrorism?

about 4 months ago
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SEC Chair On HFT: 'The Markets Are Not Rigged'

nickmalthus Net Neutrality (303 comments)

HFT is another sound argument for Network Neutrality. Fair open markets can not exist on top of a network where superior bandwidth and latency decide market winners instead of legitimate market forces.

about 5 months ago
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Identity Dominance: the US Military's Biometric War In Afghanistan

nickmalthus Re:Sounds like it could work here too.. (83 comments)

This is an extremely frightening abuse of power. Imaging if some foreign nation like China or Russia performed similar actions in the US. All potential dissidents documented and tracked like animals. If the US's actions in Afghanistan represent the pinnacle of Western Democracy it is no wonder they resist US presence in their country.

about 5 months ago
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They're Reading Your Mail: Microsoft's ToS, Windows 8 Leak, and Snooping

nickmalthus Re: Bad summary (206 comments)

Typical corporate behavior - lobby incessantly against regulation but when caught in blatant malfeasance shirk accountability with the excuse "it may be unethical but it is not illegal"

about 6 months ago
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Microsoft Releases Free Edition of OneNote

nickmalthus Ulterior motive (208 comments)

Who wants to bet that if one carefully reads the EULA for the free edition of OneNote that Microsoft has buried a clause in there that they can data mine all information stored in their Cloud service? Providing the OneNote client and Cloud storage for free would be a bargain given the data bonanza they would have access to: personal contact information, shopping lists, todos, etc.

about 6 months ago
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Prisoners 'could serve 1,000 year sentence in eight hours'

nickmalthus Slow-Mo drug in Judge Dredd movie (10 comments)

There is a similar theme in the latest Judge Dredd movie where the time slowing drug Slow-Mo is used to exacerbate punishment.

about 6 months ago
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OASIS Approves OData 4.0 Standards For an Open, Programmable Web

nickmalthus Re:Reinvention of RDF + SPARQL (68 comments)

SPARQL 1.1 supports updates (insert/delete) and the SPARQL CONSTRUCT operator can be used to build query results in a nested graph format. Additionally SPARQL protocol defines a standard HTTP binding protocol that can generate output in CSV and JSON formats in addition to XML. To me it appears OData is a reimagining of W3C's Semantic Web efforts.

about 5 months ago
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OASIS Approves OData 4.0 Standards For an Open, Programmable Web

nickmalthus Reinvention of RDF + SPARQL (68 comments)

Glancing over the specification it looks like a reincarnation of RDF plus SPARQL for updates. Perhaps a product of Not Invented Here syndrome? I am sure it will end up like most OASIS standards: developed in a bubble by company insiders, introduced as selling points in the next versions of said companies products, rejected by the marketplace due to complexity and lack of adoption, and then ultimately discarded in favor of the next technology fad that purportedly better solves the problem space.

about 5 months ago
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Ukraine May Have To Rearm With Nuclear Weapons Says Ukrainian MP

nickmalthus Re:How are nuclear weapons going to help though? (498 comments)

Amen to that. All those who have wargasms whenever conflict arises have the opportunity to ship out and become foreign fighters. The jihadist do that in Libya, Syria, and Afghanistan. However it much more expedient to be a chicken hawk and send kids barely out of high school to be killed and maimed in war and after the fact complain about high taxes.

about 6 months ago
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Ukraine May Have To Rearm With Nuclear Weapons Says Ukrainian MP

nickmalthus Re:How are nuclear weapons going to help though? (498 comments)

How do explain Russia taking over key pieces of infrastructure without violence? I would hazard to guess most Crimeans didn't resist because they didn't oppose it.

about 6 months ago
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Ukraine May Have To Rearm With Nuclear Weapons Says Ukrainian MP

nickmalthus Re:US troops through Gitmo == invasion of Cuba? (498 comments)

Certainly Crimea is an import port for Russia and they don't wish it to fall under control of an oppositional government. For the past decade China has been courting many Latin American countries. When political change comes to Cuba and the US were to sense Chinese influence there is no question America would militarily intervene due to the significant geopolitical consequences. I think the best policy is to deescalate the situation and let the people of Ukraine and Crimea vote for their futures and let the world respect their choices.

about 6 months ago

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