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Obamacare Software Glitch Will Limit Penalties Charged To Smokers

ruin20 Re:The Hat Trick (490 comments)

Scientologists should get a discount because they don't believe in healthcare and won't use the systems.

about a year and a half ago
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Proposed NJ Law Allows Cops To Search Phones At Crash Scenes

ruin20 Re:Yes (397 comments)

The cell network can't tell if you're preparing a text message, only if you sent one. Actively using a phone is largely dependant on the phone's state, not the networks. Especially with smart phones. I can read comics, play games, watch videos, and if they are stored locally on the phone, the network would be unable to tell you. I'm pretty sure if I wrecked someone elses car that I would kill all the processes on my phone, may initiate a wipe to factory settings.

about a year and a half ago
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The Case Against Net Neutrality

ruin20 Re:Unfettered free market = Jesus (702 comments)

I disagree. What got us into this meltdown was bad regulation. A Free market does not mean a market without rules and regulations. It means a market that is free from active outside government interference. The system went so horribly bad because in part, government created and allowed people to preform shady and underhanded lending practices and then convinced people that they were safe because the market was regulated. Uncle Sam has for the past 60 years tried to turn the stock market and housing market into savings tools for the masses and has distorted them from their original intent. They told the american people that it was safe to buy a house and created programs to help low income people purchase houses as a way out of poverty. And they claimed that it was safe because it was regulated. Then it hiked the long term interest rate while keeping short term rates low, which increased the amount of 5/1 and 7/1 ARM loans that then catastrophically failed across both prime and sub-prime markets. people blame the subprime market because it is mostly ARM and not fixed rate but the failure rate of ARM loans across both prime and subprime were the same. Then when the industry executed its contingency plans it realized that all the promises made by the regulators that this was safe were wrong. You would like to go back to this model? Regulation dilutes the value of reputation and makes entities whose intentions are less than honorable seem trust worthy. It increases the cost of entry to the market and therefore increases the minimum profit margin required to run a successful business. It almost always favors incumbents and limits the ability to enter the market and compete on value and values. it may stop the bleeding of a broken system but also prevents the wound from healing. There is as science to developing systems that self regulate. In order to do this you need transparency and clear penalties. The end customer needs to understand what they are getting into and bad business practices have to be cost prohibitive. Instead we get regulation where individual regulators are making inconsistent calls on how companies do business and that is not a good solution. I think that there needs to be a combination of regulatory reform and competition incentives in order to solve the teleco problem. Incentives have to be given to build out networks and more attention has to be paid in the M&A space to incumbents acquiring start ups for purely anti-competitive reasons. And lastly municipalities have to stop signing exclusive deals and start standards based access to right-of-ways which are the primary barrier competition in the teleco field.

more than 4 years ago
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Companies Skeptical of Commercial Space Market

ruin20 fish tanks (192 comments)

Bigelow Aerospace is likely out there to put the mile high club to shame. the owner cleans fish tanks as a second job.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Serves a Cease and Desist On Android Modder

ruin20 Re:What is confusing? (336 comments)

If google maps lead people to drive off a cliff I would applaud them for helping eliminate people too stupid to realize that even if the map tells you to drive off a cliff that its still not a good idea. And I don't pity people who run apps from an untrusted source and get burned. I understand where you're coming from but the reason this software is being distributed is because people want the functionality. Don't send a C&D, come up with your own solution which should be that much better being it's authorized and verified with all the cozy protections from coming with the google brand attached.

that's the real problem, cyanogen is becoming a better brand than google, and that's what they're trying to stop.

more than 5 years ago
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What the US Can Learn From Europe's Pollution Credit System

ruin20 Re:Huh? (425 comments)

N. Dakota and Germany may appear to be on the same latitude, but that doesn't mean they get the same amount of sun. weather conditions and topography play a large part in that. And since germany imports the majority of their panels, it would make sense that they would have a surplus, since they didn't pay the generation costs. Since the repayment period is close to 20 years on solar panels in that latitude. that means that GW that you so proud of caused 20 GW of pollution at some point of time.

I'm a free market capitalist, and as such, understand why this is a bad idea. There are internal and external costs to a product, and the free market has been shown to be a very good regulator of internal costs (cost of product to the user) but not very good at external (cost of product to society). Therefore it's the governments job to come up with a way to internalize those external costs (pollution and health hazards in this example) in the form of taxes or other disincentives.

the problem is that with cap and trade, you don't take an integrated approach to the problem. it doesn't change the equation. truly clean tech is cost effective over the life cycle. the problem with clean tech is it's capital intensive, requiring a company to save before adopting and what cap and trade does is harm the ability of companies to come up with that capital.

I'm not against a pollution tax. but I think it should work based on inspections and targeted cuts. if a company can cut their output and demonstrate it has taken measures to reduce emissions by x%, then they don't have to pay. otherwise tax by output. Then the dirtiest players pay the most making them the most motivated and everyone still needs to clean up. Cap and trade only focuses on making direct pollution costs high, but as long as some power is generated from fossil fuels, being wasteful with clean energy consumes resources that would otherwise go offsetting production by non-clean sources.

so again it's unfair. Just cause I live in AZ or Cali where there's an abundance of clean power, doesn't mean i should be able to use as much as I want. Two companies running at the same efficiency consuming the same power should not be taxed differently. cap and trade doesn't effectively internalize the expense cause it doesn't focus on cutting consumption. and until we have a policy that does that, it's going to have negligible effect.

more than 5 years ago
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What the US Can Learn From Europe's Pollution Credit System

ruin20 Re:Huh? (425 comments)

you can't just say "oh well then they'll be motivated to make an investment in solar and wind" and that will solve anything

solar and wind are not blanket solutions. in places like North Dakota, a solar panel never repays the energy it takes to make it! it does nothing for the environment then! You can't put solar panels in Alaska where it's dark half the year round. And wind turbines might have problems in the winter.

goes back to my point, it's HARD to implement those technologies in those states and with a cap and TRADE system clean states tend to benefit ALOT by selling excess credits to states in the bread basket. it's not about the environment. it's about one state with a ton of money trying to screw a bunch of other states who are less fortunate. It's one thing if they had alternatives, but wind and solar don't work everywhere.

this plan takes money from the states that need the most development in terms of clean energy and gives it to the states that need it the least, which is a very inefficient way of doing things! Now the states not only have to pay a tax, but develop technologies that work with their climate, and do so with less resources then were available before the plan. my opinion? what will happen is they'll end up switching to bio fuels and drive the price of food way up, because they don't have other options. Then we all lose.

more than 5 years ago
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What the US Can Learn From Europe's Pollution Credit System

ruin20 Re:The thing about a carbon tax... (425 comments)

Most greening techniques are capital intensive, solar takes 5-10 years for ROI, LED bulbs require about 5 years as well. Insulating your home, replacing your windows, it all takes money up front. so although I agree mother nature doesn't care if you have a job, it might be more effective to get the economy out of the quagmire it's in before trying to green it.

more than 5 years ago
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What the US Can Learn From Europe's Pollution Credit System

ruin20 Re:Huh? (425 comments)

no we don't have one. the reason why it's been defeated every time is that the proponents of the bill (typically California, Washington, Arizona, Nevada) receive a large portion of their power from hydroelectric power. So they have renewable sources available. Essentially this is a tax on the breadbasket states who have less clean resources available to them, and who's economies are based more on industry then the states on the coasts. It's been proposed several times, and several times defeated. Cap and trade makes sense if alternatives are more evenly distributed, but unfortunately they're not.

more than 5 years ago
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Jim Zemlin Pitches Linux App Stores For Telcos

ruin20 Shiny package managment system? (83 comments)

Isn't an "app store" just a shiny package management system for small programs? 99% of linux distros have this already. What, we need to skin it prettier and put it on the web? That should be easy enough. I don't know why we need to copy something from apple when the idea creating a repository for programs and working out interdependence started in the *nix environments. Getting useful usable programs onto the computer is the main barrier for adoption. Cost has nothing to do with it, they'll put out the cheapest item that will sell. If linux won't sell netbooks, then they won't use it.

more than 5 years ago
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RIAA Victory Over Usenet.com In Copyright Case

ruin20 Re:So can you sue Google for finding my ISO files? (289 comments)

Technically, there's nothing in the law against it despite DCMA safe harbors.

Ever since the Grokster case got settled, courts have been ruling for "contributory infringement" on a I-know-it-when-I-see-it type basis. Usenet actively promoted the fact that it had lots of infringing content and used that as a selling point in it's business model. And despite disagreeing with the model, they are EXACTLY what is pictured and depicted as "contributory infringement". Until we can reverse it, if your going to run a file sharing site or network, then don't advertise you're doing so.

more than 5 years ago
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Direct-To-Consumer Genetics Testing Makes a Splash In Boston

ruin20 Re:What about epigenetics? (78 comments)

We're not looking for a complete work up here. Genetic testing becoming more available and consumable is a good thing as it should spur development in the industry. Additionally there are a lot of conditions for which people can have genetic predisposition and knowing that predisposition may change their treatment and behavior in ways that may actually save money. Being able to better focus and tailor one's individual medical care is a good thing and will hopefully lead to long term cost savings. I hope genetic testing for serious, long term disabilities that can drive up end of life care becomes common place as it could be used as a mitigation for rising cost of treatment.

more than 5 years ago
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Timeglider Software Outlines Rosenberg Spy Case

ruin20 Re:Massacre or fight for freedom (99 comments)

Ok, so he hung 200 people publicly a year. From 1991 to 2003 is 12 years so 2400 people.
Then add a conservative 5000 (Probably closer to 10000 since many of the injured died of complicationis) from the Halabja poison gas attack and we're just getting started. That was just one part of the Al-Anfal Campaign where he killed roughly 100,000. That's just violence against the Kurds which is the most well documented. And the hangings don't account for the shootings and killings post Gulf War when he quelled the Shiite Rebellion. Body count puts the Iraq war collateral damage total at about 100,000. So in fact we haven't killed as many Iraqis as Saddam.

Motivations for war aside, the operation has been exceedingly poorly executed, and may be inexcusable. But lets not delude ourselves into thinking "Well, Saddam wasn't that bad". He was worse.

more than 5 years ago
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Hard Drive With Clinton-Era Data Missing From Nat'l Archives

ruin20 Re:A "secure" area (180 comments)

"beware of the leopard"

I didn't know anyone in the government used a mac!

more than 5 years ago
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FSF Settles Suit Against Cisco

ruin20 Re:I'm nervous about this (194 comments)

I'm not saying that the code shouldn't be released. I'm saying there should be some remediation prior to it being released. Cisco should have to release a new version of their firmware that is completely closed source, or they should offer new routers running open software. I'm saying that everyone is so concerned about getting the code out there NOW and I'm of the opinion that's not necessarily the responsible thing. If I was a major Cisco client, I'd be furious about this. But no one's talking about that.

I'm not defending Cisco, I'm not saying the FSF is wrong. I'm saying there's a big part of the story that seems to be missing and should be discussed.

more than 5 years ago
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FSF Settles Suit Against Cisco

ruin20 Re:Yeah, thank god Windows is closed source. I (194 comments)

You misunderstand. Just because you release the code, it doesn't magically become as secure because it's "open source". Open Source is secure because it goes through a process. A process this code didn't see. That process allows for corrections when errors are made. This process takes time. And what I said in my original post is that there is going to be a window between when we, the community, improve the quality of product up to other open source standards, and when the source code is released, during which time there is an elevated threat.

Nearly all software products have vulnerabilities. With open source products, those vulnerabilities get fixed faster, making them more secure. They get developed in ways that are security conscience because the community is watching. With closed source vulnerabilities get discovered slower, but get fixed slower so there's no gain. Additionally, they don't go through the same focus and scrutiny during development, so they tend to have more vulnerabilities at release. Taking something that was developed in secret, widely implemented and then divulging the source doesn't get you any of the benefits of either. Vulnerabilities and exploits are near instantly apparent and discovered, and you don't have the benefit of open development.

If just having the source open to everyone is more secure, then don't ever bother to update firefox or whatever browser your running ever again. Keep doing your banking online with it. Knowing something has security holes is one thing. Telling the world what those security holes are is another thing, especially since there's not development process ready to respond to the vulnerabilities yet. This is like taking a browser that hasn't been patched for two years and pushing it to every third computer in the US. There's going to be a race to patch the system to make it secure and exploit the vulnerabilities and I'm not sure that's something I like.

more than 5 years ago
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FSF Settles Suit Against Cisco

ruin20 I'm nervous about this (194 comments)

Cisco releasing the source code for thousands of routers doesn't strike me as being a good thing. I mean it's one thing to develop in an open environment and being open from the start, and I agree security though obscurity is bound to fail but as someone running Linksys routers on my network, I would expect there to be some stepped process, as I don't trust Cisco was totally competent in their development. Imagine if windows source was suddenly made available to the masses, the time it would take to identify, patch, and distribute a fix vs the time it takes to just identify and exploit is a significant window of vulnerability. Security through obscurity doesn't work because it assumes no one will ever find out and people will. But dissemination of that information takes time. Discovery of defect takes time. Opening the source of a previously closed product greatly reduces that time and therefore intensifies the threat. Overall this will lead for a much stronger product but I fear what is going to happen in the first few weeks.

more than 5 years ago
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ODF Alliance Warns Governments About Office 2007 ODF Support

ruin20 Re:what's good for the goose... (312 comments)

kinda like "They're violating our patents but we won't tell you which ones" right?

more than 5 years ago
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Privacy In BitTorrent By Hiding In the Crowd

ruin20 Re:Summary of Story (240 comments)

I wouldn't worry about being taken to trail for this, I'd be worried about search warrants being issued based on this data. In other words, if you fall into a community downloading mixed materials, some public domain, some copyrighted, a conviction on one member of the community would be used to subpoena the other members. The idea of "Because you are part of a community illegally distributing protected works, we want to search your hard drive for illegal obtained data" doesn't seem like it would be too far of a leap for the courts. By that time they're done, you've lost productivity and probably hired a lawyer... so just the accusation is a big enough pain that it'd be a hassle.

Of course I don't see how this program protects you from that. It simply obscures which data and connections are important to you, but it doesn't hide the connections. I would imagine that you'd want to identify a person by "his connections contain this subset" and that answer would still be true with or without the program.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Alcohol smoking new fad, still stupid

ruin20 ruin20 writes  |  about a year and a half ago

ruin20 (1242396) writes "Apparently people believe that pouring alcohol over dry ice causes alcohol vapors to be released and that inhaling the smoke can get you drunk. I fail to see how this is possible. I can only explain the intoxication as mild CO poisoning and the high experinced from lower O2 in the blood. Perhaps you can explain it..."
Link to Original Source
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Cellphone like input for text on media center PC

ruin20 ruin20 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ruin20 (1242396) writes "I've been thinking about the control issues surrounding media center pc's for a while now. The big problem I have is that my living room, and most living rooms I come across, don't have sufficient flat surfaces for mousing and keyboards are cumbersome and uncomfortable if not sitting at a desk. I've come to accept the idea of a joystick or motion control embedded in a remote like object for pointing but I have yet to find a controller that has a good solution for text input. Then I realized that if the controller had some form of T9 or Word recognition like cellphones, then the process might not be so bad. It would allow use of something similar to this or even just strait cellphones in a manner that wouldn't painfully unfamiliar. Does anyone know anything that actually works like this? I would love to get rid of my cable subscription and instead rely on video RSS but I have two very non-technical roommates that will pitch a fit if they couldn't do everything with just a remote in a semi-familiar fashion."
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Pattent suit in haptic feedback...about sex toys

ruin20 ruin20 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ruin20 (1242396) writes "Techdirt just posted a story on a haptic feedback lawsuit. The article opens up to discuss:

Joe Mullin has the details of a rather bizarre patent dispute involving a patent covering the user interface of force feedback technology used in "cybersex" or "teledildonics."
Now this is a sticky situation becasue the company pressing the suit doesn't want to the bad pr of being associated in this industry so they licenced the dirty work to a shell patent troll, who now wants a piece of their other settlements with more mainstream products. So it looks like we got a pattent threesome cluster, well you get the idea..."
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Aptra almost comes clean with plug in hybrid

ruin20 ruin20 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ruin20 writes "Aptra has been hyping a 300 mpg hybrid car. After ignoring it, like most plug-in hybrids, I decided to check it out after it had crossed my eyes six or seven times. I was shocked, not because I think it's a good concept, but because their details section was shockingly honest. Not quite completely honest But pretty damn close. From the link:

With the Plug-in Electric Hybrid version of the Aptera(typ-1h) the mileage of the vehicle is difficult to describe with one number. For example, the Typ-1h can drive 40 to 60 miles on electric power alone. Perhaps for such a trip, the engine may only be duty-cycled for a few seconds or minutes. This would produce a fantastic number, an incredible number that, though factually true, would have no useful context, i.e. it's just a point on a graph.
Now although they do go on to continue to crunch MPG numbers further on in the article, at least they cop to the fact that they're not real. This goes forward to my point we need a weighted kilojoule per mile calculation for reporting efficiency of hybrid vehicles. People should have an understanding of how efficiently they use the electric energy, and that it doesn't just run on gas with fantastic efficiency, that the energy used in making that MPG number first came from your wall socket."

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