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The NSA Has an Advice Columnist

pentadecagon Re:And that's my problem with Snowden... (77 comments)

Is there any reason this should have stayed private? This is certainly interesting information, and nobody gets hurt by having this publicly. In fact it is very interesting information, because it reveals the sort of mindset within that agency: People do to others what they don't accept being done to themselves. This is sick.

about 6 months ago

UK Retailer Mistakenly Sends PS Vitas, Threatens Legal Action To Get Them Back

pentadecagon Re:Jackpot (617 comments)

Why do people always cry for law and lawyers? This case here is blindingly obvious, no need for lawyers. Somebody made a mistake, an accident. The easy solution would be to just send it back, everything is back to normal, nobody gets harmed. Lawyers are only required here because apparently quite a few people are happy to exploit that mistake for personal benefit.

about 9 months ago

UK Court Orders Two Sisters Must Receive MMR Vaccine

pentadecagon Re:Good. (699 comments)

This is a very selfish view. Sure, you probably won't be harmed if you don't vaccinate against chicken pox, but only because everybody else does. We already do have a high degree of herd immunity and this is the only reason for the very low risk here. Before widespread vaccination we had 4 million cases each year, with 100..150 dead in the USA. In other words, more than half the population was affected. So this is the deal: either vaccinate, or take a 50% risk of being knocked out for a week, maybe hospitalized or even dead.

about a year ago

Google Dropping Netscape Plugin API Support In Chrome/Blink

pentadecagon Re:The new IE is here (170 comments)

Except that Google makes everything free and open, everybody is invited to copy it. There is nothing else they can do, short of bribing standard bodies.

about a year ago

Google Play Services Supplants Android As Google's "Platform"

pentadecagon Re:So then... (182 comments)

This affects only Google APIs. So if you disable the Google-Service, any apps talking to Google-Services won't work anymore. Big surprise.

1 year,12 days

Forget Apple: Samsung Could Be Google's Next Big Rival

pentadecagon Re:Apple isn't Google's rival (223 comments)

Apple sells end users to advertisers as well, so they are direct competitors.

about a year ago

Forget Apple: Samsung Could Be Google's Next Big Rival

pentadecagon Re:this is ridiculous (223 comments)

For a Google-account you don't have to give up any private information, they just want your name and an email-address.
Do you use any other registration-based service with any other company? If yes you are a hypocrite, because the others are not better than Google when it comes to privacy. If no you are lying, you do have an account at least with Slashdot, and for sure your contributions here tell a lot about you. Are you aware that this page here sends *plenty* of information all around the world? Ghostery finds Google-doubleclick, Google-Adsense, Google-Analytics, Amazon and some other trackers here. So probably Google already knows a lot about you and you gain exactly nothing by not having an account there.

about a year ago

Google Storing WLAN Passwords In the Clear

pentadecagon Re:Too much trust (242 comments)

Just curious ... when have they intentionally broken trust?

about a year ago

Lake Vostok Found Teeming With Life

pentadecagon "More than" (62 comments)

Could we please stop saying "more than" in scientific contexts, except when needed? This phrase is intended to denote situations where we just know a lower boundary of the correct value, but in recent time it's being (ab-)used mostly for a dramatic effect. I really wish people would either give precise figures, or when this is not practical, use the words invented to mark numbers as approximations, like "roughly" or "about". Statistically speaking, the difference is that "roughly" implies an effort to find a "simple" number close to the correct expectation value, but "more than" implies we picked just some number that's surely below the confidence interval.

about a year ago

Motorola Is Listening

pentadecagon Re:It is owned by Google (287 comments)

The Droid X2 runs Android which is made by Google.

And what does this have to do with the problem at hand? The graphics chip is made by NVidia. But you can blame neither company for creepy software created by Motorola. The worst you can blame Google for is being remiss when it comes to cleaning up the existing infrastructure.

about a year ago

Electric Vehicles Might Not Benefit the Environment After All

pentadecagon Noise (775 comments)

In addition to the local air pollution, electric cars greatly decrease the noise level in cities, which currently for many people is an even bigger problem.

about a year ago

Why Engineering Freshmen Should Take Humanities Courses

pentadecagon Re:Useless (564 comments)

History is certainly one of the subjects that could be useful because we could learn something and avoid making the same mistakes over and over. Unfortunately that's not the focus of the historians, they are in it more for the spectacular things. So they spend endless time and money discussing if some ancient piece of fabric in some church belonged to some guy who lived around there. On the other hand they ignore many of the things that could help us today. So yes, as we do it right now history is mostly useless because we don't focus on usefulness here.

about a year ago

Why Engineering Freshmen Should Take Humanities Courses

pentadecagon Useless (564 comments)

Research within the humanities is mostly useless for the society at large. Useless as in "without them we wouldn't miss anything". Doubt it? Then try to find at least one useful result coming out of philosophy or sociology within the last twenty years. On the other hand, teaching humanities may include a gem or two, although I haven't met a scientist yet who had problems because he skipped humanities entirely.

about a year ago

California Sends a Cease and Desist Order To the Bitcoin Foundation

pentadecagon Re:Catch-22 (396 comments)

It's more about intimidation. Now everybody knows the government doesn't like bitcoins, and considering the recently discussed surveillance capabilities nobody can pretend anymore bitcoins are anonymous. The result is 1984-like:
Most people will think twice before using a presumably monitored internet for engaging in something the government doesn't like.

about a year ago

Transgendered Folks Encountering Document/Database ID Hassles

pentadecagon Re:WTF (814 comments)

Most technical and social structures are designed in a way to maximize performance of the average case. If they wanted to improve worst case performance they had to sacrifice average performance. Or in non-technical terms: They typically cannot just add resources to better support the minority, they would have to pull the resources from somewhere else, where the same resources would help many more people. Is it worth it? Maybe sometimes, but certainly not always.

about a year ago

Sexism Still a Problem At E3

pentadecagon Get over it (737 comments)

We do not accept the religious bullshit from extremist, but here we do exactly the same thing: We attack people only because they do not follow the official doctrine of decent american behavior. Which in fact is even worse than religious bullshit, because many (most?) Americans are just hypocrites here. Those booth-girls don't hurt or offend anybody. And no, it's not an offence just because somebody claims it is. In fact even here, among all those pathetic voices, it's hard to find anybody who even claims that he/she is personally offended. Rational people would just go for the easiest solution of this problem: Just ignore it, and let those booth-girls have fun. There wouldn't be any problem if everybody just ignored it.

about a year ago

Sexism Still a Problem At E3

pentadecagon Re:Problem? (737 comments)

The basic idea here is freedom and tolerance. Why can't people just ignore what they don't like? Can anybody explain how a woman can possibly be offended by the behavior of other, completely unrelated women? It's not like they attack or hurt anybody personally. Those booth-girls have fun, many people looking at them have fun, and those who don't have fun can just ignore them.

about a year ago

NetBSD 6.1 Has Shipped

pentadecagon That's all? (105 comments)

You dodged the most important question: What is it good for? If I just want to get a job done, is there any kind of "job" beside "having fun setting up a strange OS" where NetBSD would be the appropriate choice?

about a year ago

Google Glass and Surveillance Culture

pentadecagon ... a company no one trusts (318 comments)

This gives him away, because it's hardly objective. Too bad he doesn't tell which company he actually does trust, because then we'd know who's paying him.

about a year and a half ago


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