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Enceladus's 101 Geysers Blast From Hidden Ocean

stoploss Re:Astrobiology (39 comments)

Prions are "alive" the way that an earworm is "alive". Contact with others will cause them to have the earworm as well, but it's not like the earworm replicates itself.

3 days ago

The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

stoploss Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (140 comments)

There has never been a warhead that "provided" any freedom, not in my lifetime, and not in yours.

Interesting consideration: as you know, the founders feared the outcome of having a standing army, and we aren't supposed to have one. Thanks to our nuclear warheads, we could disband our army and still have an effective deterrent against nuclear attack or invasion. In this (sadly far-fetched) scenario, the existence of warheads that enabled the safe disbanding of the army would implicitly "provide" freedom.

about a week ago

Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims

stoploss Re:What? (175 comments)

It's hard to find apps whose manifest doesn't request the INTERNET permission. Is there some sort of control within Google Play Store that would let the user filter apps by permissions?

I presume you understand that your desired mode of operation is far outside the typical user's goal of having things Just Work(tm). Concordantly, you are likely going to have to accept non-maintstream solutions.

That said, I share your goals.

I rooted my phone and installed DroidWall to configure the built-in Android iptables firewall in whitelist mode. I whitelist the apps I wish to have internet access (either over WiFi, cellular network, or both); all other apps are blocked from accessing the network at all. For the apps that I do allow to access the network, I use XPrivacy to block access to my device identification/serial number, access to my internal storage, access to my clipboard, control access to location services on a per-app basis, etc.

Between DroidWall and XPrivacy, I no longer care what permissions are listed in the Play store. I control what permissions the apps are allowed to have, regardless of what their store manifest indicates. It's easier for me that way, but I have no illusions that a typical smartphone user would want to have to learn and control this type of configuration.

I hope you find a solution to your liking.

about a week ago

Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims

stoploss Re:Showroom; hardware warranty (175 comments)

I'm whining about the possibility that Google might be coercing manufacturers into adding this warranty condition.

I think that's paranoia, given that the Nexus line of devices has an unlockable bootloader and Google provides factory images. More plainly, on devices made by Google, Google allows you to trivially load a different ROM and then subsequently flash the device back to pristine factory condition if you so desire.

Of course, YMMV with other manufacturers. For example, Samsung is evil and has e-fuses that permanently void the warranty if you unlock the bootloader. However, this is public knowledge and you can easily determine if any given manufacturer is an evil bastard.

Also, CyanogenMod and other ROMs are kind of old and busted. The new hotness is using the vanilla ROM that came with your phone, rooted, and with the XPosed framework installed.

XPosed allows all the customization of a ROM without the heavyweight ROM installation process. Also, you get to pick and choose which mods you want, while with a ROM it's all or nothing. Furthermore, with XPosed you can still use OTA updates.

As for XPosed modules, XPrivacy is even better than PDroid for privacy/Android permissions override, and GravityBox gives me all the UI tweaks I want. Hell, I wrote my own XPosed module to allow a delay between screen off and security keyguard activation, replacing the keyguard with a simple slide to unlock in that interim interval.

Naturally, I don't care what you do... it's your decision.

about a week ago

The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

stoploss Re:How does the current POTUS fair ... (242 comments)

That's a Stanley Kubrick kind of question and I can picture something of a Kubrickian rendition of an answer...

Kubrick? I'm thinking this is more of a David Lynch work, presuming we're constraining ourselves to use film analogies. Otherwise, this is effectively the definition of Kafkaesque.

about a week ago

Firefox 33 Integrates Cisco's OpenH264

stoploss Re:Is anyone left to care? (194 comments)

"Living 4 years ago" is a claim that's incompatible with you referencing features that aren't officially released yet. Thanks to your flame I actually googled again about it, and like the past 7 years I have checked, there are "plans" to multiprocess Firefox.

However, multiple process Firefox doesn't actually exist in practice yet. Go ahead and enable your multiprocess flags in about:config. Spawn a bunch of tabs and windows and admire the "pretty underlining" on the tab titles. Now check your task manager and count the number of Firefox instances. What's that, you say? There's only one?

Now kill the single Firefox process that's there and see how many FF windows stay open. Zero is the answer.


Instead of astroturfing for FF, perhaps you should sit down at your desk at Mozilla and get back to coding your has-been product.

about two weeks ago

Firefox 33 Integrates Cisco's OpenH264

stoploss Re:Is anyone left to care? (194 comments)

I may have control over this plugin, but I don't have control over my whole browsing experience the way that I did 8 versions ago.

AKA "last month". Mozilla really lost the community's goodwill with that move. There was no compelling rationale to support FF after that. Their insistence on using a single-process model really destabilizes their browser, for example. Every release seems to remove functionality or force you to change the way you use the browser in ways you don't want. It's like they hired Gnome 3/Unity/Windows Metro program managers and asked them how best to fuck up their main product.

Thanks to this change to their support model I relegated FF to rare use when I need to check to confirm if another browser is being flaky or if the site itself is to blame.

about two weeks ago

Australia Repeals Carbon Tax

stoploss Re:it is the wrong way... (291 comments)

It is usually expected that highly-developed countries will use less power in the future, because of more efficient technology.

O rly. I'll just leave this here: Jevons paradox.

about two weeks ago

Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

stoploss Burning platforms (383 comments)

I guess Nokia's platform really was burning after all. It's just that it was arson.

about two weeks ago

Pseudonyms Now Allowed On Google+

stoploss Re:This is bad (238 comments)

"Fallacies (sic) logic and inaccurate claims"? Geekoid, I suggest you consider your own self-referential sig regarding the Dunning-Kruger effect, as once again it applies to your own posted content.

I hope that was sufficiently clear to get through your addled mind.

I can perceive why you might seek out others who are discussing matters logically, as observing those people may allow you to someday learn how to engage in logical discussion yourself.

about two weeks ago

Pseudonyms Now Allowed On Google+

stoploss Re:This is bad (238 comments)

having to use real names has made it far less trollish then other places.

Enjoy yourself over there with the other people like you. Personally, I don't perceive why you would be trolled when you can just make an insular group of associates and block everyone else.

FWIW, I don't think that having your identity known by others has influenced you to dial back your trolling on this site. Then again, given that it's you, I'm not surprised that you prefer a highly structured social construct with many regulations.

about two weeks ago

Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

stoploss Re:Useless coins (753 comments)

Just an FYI, all those stamps you buy from the APC kiosk at a Post Office have unique serial numbers printed on them and are linked to your credit card and photograph. Couple that with the Mail Covers program the USPS has been running for the government since the 70's, and they know exactly to whom you are mailing that stamped letter (you know, because they literally log every single one of them).

Just look at the QR code-looking eIndicia barcodes on the stamps. Postal documentation indicates they are unique, but each APC printed stamp is obviously different upon close visual inspection.

Oh, and try covering that black plastic window by the keypad when you're using the APC... it will give you a nonspecific error message when you try to complete the transaction if you do that. It wants your photo for the log.

Buy your stamps from the counter or the grocery store.

about three weeks ago

Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

stoploss Re:Congrats! (381 comments)

My wife bought me my dream watch: a Citizen solar powered watch with auto synch with the atomic clock service. I have wanted atomic time synch in a watch since 1996, but only recently found this one.

It's nice that it has a sapphire face, because I want this thing to last me for 20 years and my old watch's face got rather scratched.

My perspective is that if the primary reason one is excited about a possession is its features and capabilities, then it's not a status symbol. It may be a luxury, of course. If this watch is still working/synching in 20 years, I will probably be as happy with it as the day I got it. Happier, probably, because I like durable and reliable possessions.

You know, I have never discussed my watch with anyone in person. Perhaps others who have the same watch are treating it as a status symbol. Maybe it is to them.

about three weeks ago

FTC Files Suit Against Amazon For In-App Purchases

stoploss Re:too bad for the FTC (47 comments)

Don't they have this right under the "Commerce Clause". [which is indeed known to have been abused, but still]

Your opinion, publicly stated, might negatively affect commerce, which could have ripple effects in the economy of another state. Ergo, your ability to state your opinion publicly is regulable under the commerce clause. Don't worry: you're free to express your ideas in your mind, so long as you do not communicate them to anyone else in any form.

This line of reasoning is consistent with the Supreme Court's ruling in Gonzalez v Raich, Wickard v Filburn, et al.

The Commerce Clause has been blatantly twisted into an unconstitutional interpretation. They baldly lie and say it means something it clearly does not (remember, those decisions I cited defined commerce as including "not commerce"). Once you assert B AND NOT B == TRUE, then you can apply this logical fault to reason to any conclusion you wish.

So, to answer your question: yes, they assert they have this power under the constitution (technically, it's improper to say the government has "rights").

It might even be one of those rare constitutional applications of federal enumerated powers if it were limited to interstate commerce, but we all know that's not the case.

about three weeks ago

Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

stoploss Re:They have a great fab process (502 comments)

Don't forget the RF shielded optical fiber interconnects, for true fidelity at high frequencies, and a mellow bass.

Old and busted. I don't know how you can tolerate listening to the harshness and small sound stage caused by RF shielded optical fiber interconnects that aren't impedance matched as well.

about three weeks ago

Autonomous Trucking

stoploss Re:Inherent problems (142 comments)

£10 surcharge is equivalent to the tax on £15.63 of fuel... somehow, I am guessing that 2400 L costs more than that.

Unless there is some sort of tax recapture reciprocity/equalization between the UK and the rest of Europe, that fee doesn't do much of anything to level your playing field.

about three weeks ago

ESA Shows Off Quadcopter Landing Concept For Mars Rovers

stoploss Re:Well done everybody (104 comments)

... on completely missing the point. This project is about testing autonomous visual landing site selection and guidance, NOT proposing that quadcopters can fly on Mars. To be fair, the linked article isn't especially clear on that point either.

To be fair, the ESA's own site insinuates that this project is a quadcopter for Mars.

"The dramatic conclusion to ESA’s latest StarTiger project: a ‘dropship’ quadcopter steers itself to lower a rover gently onto a safe patch of the rocky martian surface."

about three weeks ago

Study: Global Warming Solvable If Fossil Fuel Subsidies Given To Clean Energy

stoploss Re:all for ending subsidies (385 comments)

every time someone tries to use that term they start claiming things like military spending, business expenses, etc.

Precisely. Don't simply accept their disingenuous talking points. The "subsidies" for fossil fuels are a lie. These people include things like "the cost of road congestion" when they are fabricating their claims.

They refuse to honestly report the direct subsidies to fossil fuels, because their imaginary number is close to $2 trillion per annum, whereas the actual amount is many orders of magnitude less.

Read the IMF's "fossil fuel subsidies" definition and decide for yourself.

about a month ago

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

stoploss Re:Gee Catholic judges (1330 comments)

You fail reading comprehension.

I swear, I don't understand how people can miss the first sentence of a post and then draw conclusions that blatantly contradict that.

In case you missed the first sentence of the post (again): you fail reading comprehension.

You have an interesting set of definitions, though. If W changed none of his politics, but he officially joined the Democratic party and became a card-carrying Democrat (again, while retaining his well-loved-by-liberals neoconservative values), apparently you would allege No True Scotsman if I claimed he wasn't a Democrat.

Bloomberg was alleged to be a RINO (a term which people here claimed is a No True Scotsman fallacy). Turns out, he wasn't actually a Republican after all.

Oh, hey, in case you missed it before: you fail reading comprehension. I specifically said I wasn't debating Sotomayor's claim of being Catholic.

about a month ago

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

stoploss Re:Gee Catholic judges (1330 comments)

I see you agree with me, then. As I have stated before, the present national debate context (suppressing employer religious beliefs or employee self-determination wrt contraception) is a false dichotomy predicated on the retarded idea that people should obtain their insurance through their employer.

We have spent 50+ years shoring up this brain-damaged paradigm. I support this Supreme Court ruling while also supporting contraception choice... the real solution is that we need to terminate the employer insurance model with extreme prejudice.

If someone insinuated that people should be practically forced to obtain their housing or groceries via their employer, and in order to ensure people didn't starve or freeze we would pass myriad unconstitutional laws to keep the model even semi-viable, everyone would rightly mock the idea as absurd. The employer health insurance model is no more or less an absurdity.

It needs to end.

about a month ago


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