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Microsoft Gets Industry Support Against US Search Of Data In Ireland

taustin Re:What is the problem here? (137 comments)

The order isn't against any person or entity in Ireland. It is against a US company, and US employees, who can access the data from their desks in the US. Under US law, it is certainly a valid order. Under Irish law, it is not. There is a conflict that the US prosecutor (and judge) do not want to (or can't, under current law) address. No matter what Microsoft does, they will break the law somewhere.

This is a surprisingly (for the source) thoughtful account of things so far, and explains the reasoning behind the order.

I doubt you will bother to ready it, and likely won't understand it if you do, and certainly won't care, but there it is.

4 days ago
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Microsoft Gets Industry Support Against US Search Of Data In Ireland

taustin Re:A matter of procedure... (137 comments)

There are provisions that the Irish government has apparently said would be the right way to go. But the US courts are a lot more lax on standards of probably cause, apparently, and for reasons unknown, prosecutors do not want to show their cards to the Irish courts.

4 days ago
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2014 Geek Gift Guide

taustin Re:The best gift? (113 comments)

He's a blowhard who takes himself far, far more seriously than anyone else does. And has no off switch.

He desperately wants to matter. And doesn't.

about a week ago
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2014 Geek Gift Guide

taustin Re:The best gift? (113 comments)

I've never taken him seriously because the first time I ever heard of him was when he was running his web site with instructions on how to bypass parental filtering software. Mind you, nothing wrong with that, but he whined like a little girl when that web site got blocked by the very software he was trying to help people defeat.

Like a little girl.

about a week ago
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Microsoft To US Gov't: the World's Servers Are Not Yours For the Taking

taustin Re:Extradition (192 comments)

There actually is a treaty that would allow prosecutors to go to a Irish court and get a search warrant. Why they haven't done so, nobody knows (though I suspect the standards of probable cause are stricter in Ireland).

about two weeks ago
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Court Orders Uber To Shut Down In Spain

taustin Re:Spanish taxis drivers against: public buses (280 comments)

Given the unemployment (about 25%), and some generally fucked up bankruptcy laws (you can't bankrupt a mortgage, for instance, no matter how underwater you are), Spain has some pretty serious problem, and it shows.

However, it's not a very good comparison to, well, anywhere else in the world.

about two weeks ago
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Court Orders Uber To Shut Down In Spain

taustin Re:Insurance? (280 comments)

But not commercial drivers licenses, or vehicle registration. And their insurance will hang them out to dry when they have a police report that says the driver was operating an illegal taxi service without the proper license. And US states, at least, are increasingly enacting regulations specifically to classify Uber and similar services as a livery service, which is a commercial use, This requires commercial license, as noted above.

Also, apparently, Uber's insurance only covers the passengers, pedestrians, and the other guy's vehicle. Not the Uber drivers's vehicle, which still isn't covered by their own personal insurance while they are driving for a livery service. And Uber's insurance only applies if their driver is at fault. If you get in an accident with an uninsured driver (and about 25% of California's drivers are, last I heard) who is at fault, you can sue the other guy for money he'll never, ever have, but neither Uber's nor their driver's insurance will ever give you a penny.

Insurance is the biggest gotcha on this kind of service. The most likely risk to bite you in the ass. And if it does, odds are, you're bankrupt, at best. Enjoy your cheap, illegal taxi ride, there, butch.

about two weeks ago
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Court Orders Uber To Shut Down In Spain

taustin Re:too late (280 comments)

My question is how insurance companies are dealing with it.

For the most part, apparently, they're hanging drivers out to dry.

Uber may claim their insurance will cover you for an accident while you have passenger, but no insurance company in the world will cover you - or Uber - if it is determined that the driver is operating illegally at the time.

And at that point, not only are you responsible for the damage to your car, and the other guy's, but also for any medical bills for passengers in either car, as well. I'm not sure my personal health insurance would cover me if I were a passenger in an illegal taxi when injured.

about two weeks ago
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Court Orders Uber To Shut Down In Spain

taustin Re:Greasing Palms. (280 comments)

Nope. You protest. And work to have them changed. You break them? You take the consequences and endure them. Hell, you do that in principle to SHOW that the current laws and regulations are dumb/wrong/immoral. So yeah, if you think the laws and regulations are not adequate, work your ass off to change them, not just ignore them.

That's the difference between real civil disobedience and the whiny little bitches we have today. Real civil disobedience is breaking the law so that you get arrested, preferably with the TV cameras watching. Not whining like a little girl that laws are enforced consistently.

about two weeks ago
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Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

taustin Speaking of doing it wrong . . . (368 comments)

Charlie Stross, of all people, should know that science fiction isn't and has never been, about the future. It's about today, told in a way that makes it easier for people to examine the hot button issues without getting too emotional. Or it's put escapism, and it just doesn't matter whether the details are right or wrong.

Plus, anybody who makes up a word like "enculturation" should be beaten with a stick.

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Founder Presents Vision For The New Republic, Many Resign In Protest

taustin Not an "or" question (346 comments)

Is Hughes a visionary cleaning out dead wood or a clueless tech star leaving destruction in his wake?

Why on earth would you think those are mutually exclusive?

about two weeks ago
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Should IT Professionals Be Exempt From Overtime Regulations?

taustin Re:In California you need to be making $83,000 (545 comments)

However, you need to know the precise definition of "computer employee" in California. It is intended to cover programmers, and specifically exempts people who work mainly with hardware. And if your primary job is manipulating data, you're an administrative employee, not a computer employee.

(I know all this because our then-new HR director tried to classify me as a computer employee, which would mean I'd have to start punching a timeclock. I objected - it'd be a pain in the ass to have to track whether or not I had to put my pants on when I got a weekend call, and, equally important, my employer does not abuse the salaried exempt status - I average about 40 hours a week, overall, despite occasionally having multiple 12+ hour days in the same week. And while I do hardware, and networking, and all those usual IT things, the majority of my time is spent manipulating data, so I managed to get reclassified as an administrative employee. I almost hope that we get audited by the labor board someday, and they object to me being exempt. I swear I'll show up at that meeting with my own lawyer, to represent me against the labor board.)

Not all employers of IT people abuse them.

about two weeks ago
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Is Chernobyl Still Dangerous? Was 60 Minutes Pushing Propaganda?

taustin Re:60 Minutes Pushing Propaganda? (409 comments)

Walter Cronkite, "The most trusted man in America", is one of the greatest journalists to ever live.
To say he had no credibility is only to prove how ignorant you are.

Cronkite's hero was Edward R. Murrow, who was the giant whose shoulders Cronkite stood on.

in fact it so colors you that we can safely assume you believe that the "mainstream media" has a liberal bias (which also indicates you have no idea what "liberal" even means), instead of a corporate one, and that you further believe that Fox isnt part of the mainstream media, even though its rating and audience and influence are larger than all the other news channels.

Indeed. News is a business, and it is, by and large, an advertising business. In other words, the viewer isn't the customer, the advertiser is. And the predominate marketing strategy for the news business for the last several decades has been to scream at us "WATCH OUR PROGRAM OR YOU WILL DIE!!! AND YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE EATEN BY DINGOS AND SOMEONE WILL KICK YOUR DOG!!!!"

Because that's what the audience will tune in for. Retarded hysteria. Says more about the audience than the news programs, but it says a lot about the news programs. And all of it is bad.

about two weeks ago
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Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

taustin Re:Why is Android allowing Uber to access the info (234 comments)

Google is evil since they allow this without doing anything about it.

Not sure why uber is being singled out, because many, many apps do the same exact invasion of privacy.

Not really. Google actively wants this crap because they are an advertising company, and their entire business model depends on destroying all privacy everywhere (except for the privacy of their proprietary database of your private information). If they put in real security for privacy settings for other people's apps, then Google can't track you either.

about three weeks ago
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2014 Hour of Code: Do Ends Justify Disney Product Placement Means?

taustin Marketspeak (125 comments)

"The purpose of product placement/product integration/branded entertainment," explains Disney in a job posting, "is to give a brand exposure outside of their traditional media buy."

Let me translate that in to normal English:

"The purpose of product placement ads is to shove advertising down people's throats until they choke to death on it so we can rifle through the corpse's pockets for loose change." Or, more realistically, "Our normal advertising is so annoying and offensive (because all advertising is, these days) that we have to find other ways to force it on to people because if advertising doesn't actually work, we'll all lose our jobs had have to actually work for a living."

Fuck Disney.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

taustin Re: Call Comcast? (405 comments)

Getting the problem cleaned up wasn't the issue, once I got off my ass and started checking the outgoing logs. But the bullshit about "this malware doesn't send email" on a list (XBL, as it happens) specifically for computers with malware that does send email was just stupid and dishonest.

The real stupidity, of course, is people using a block list without understanding what's on it.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

taustin Re:Call Comcast? (405 comments)

Spamhaus has its issues, too. I had an infected machine, and when I finally found the listing, at the top of the page it say "this list is for computers infected with malware that sends spam." Then, a paragraph down, it big red letters, it says "this malware does not send spam." From there, I concluded that Spamhaus is run by psychotic chimpanzees, and recommend not sending email to people whose email systems are run by idiots.

about a month ago
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Your Incompetent Boss Is Making You Unhappy

taustin Rubbish (204 comments)

It is not the technical competence of the boss that is the determining factor, it is the competence at managing technical people. Technical competence of their own can help this, though it doesn't always, But it's not mandatory. I have one boss (out of three) who can reliably turn a computer on and off without printed notes (with pictures), and he has very little idea what I do. But they're good people managers. They recognize that they know basically nothing of what I do, and leave me alone to do it. They know what they want - network up and running, computers not overly slow, various new toys their friends have, and they know how to tell whether or not they're getting it. Everything else they leave to me, and when I tell them "that's not going to work" or "it's going to cost this much, and you don't want to spend that much," they trust my judgment because they know I know more about my job than they do. I've been on the same job for over 20 years, and still look forward to going to work every morning.

Managing people is a specific skillset, and not an easy one to master. And it's an important one, that computer geeks wrongly dismiss in much the same way that MBAs wrongly dismiss technical skillsets. It's a popular mistake that managers have to (pretend to) be able to do every job in their department, because MBAs are taught that. But it just isn't true.

about a month ago
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Zuckerberg: Most of Facebook Will Be Video Within Five Years

taustin Re:No. (206 comments)

I don't think it could get more difficult to take Zuckerberg, or Facebook, seriously.

about a month and a half ago
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Bounties vs. Extreme Internet Harassment

taustin Re:Wait.. (716 comments)

If the same threat said face to face would result in your arrest, it should result in your arrest if you do it on the internet.

And a lot of the threats being reported would, indeed, result in prosecution if made face to face (assuming the person who made the threat lived that long).

Welcome to adulthood, kiddo. Actions have consequences, and you don't get to decide what they are.

about a month and a half ago

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