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How FBI Informant Sabu Helped Anonymous Hack Brazil

tom's a-cold Re: That's how they did it! (59 comments)

You can only say that all things can be addictive if your definition of additctiveness is stretched to the point of meaninglessness. A more sensible definition is that, unless there are physical withdrawal symptoms, it's not an addictive substance. It can still be possible to be a compulsive user of non-addictive substances, just like you can be a compulsive watcher of TV or a compulsive eater of grapefruit. But those things are just metaphorically "addictive."

about 4 months ago
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JPL Background Check Case Reaches Supreme Court

tom's a-cold Re:I'm not clear on what their case is... (112 comments)

And as a consequence of this filtering (if it's successful), only church-going, teetotaling heterosexual monogamists (or the undersexed) who have no political interests will be allowed employment. What they're really trying to promote is compliance to authority. In short, selecting exactly the kind of people who are likely to unquestioningly follow orders, no matter how criminal.

more than 4 years ago
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JPL Background Check Case Reaches Supreme Court

tom's a-cold Re:I'm not clear on what their case is... (112 comments)

it isn't unusual for government jobs to require background checks.

It wasn't usual for employers to refuse to hire people because of their race either. If we really care about rights, then we're going to have to constrain the behavior of not only government, but private entities. And "don't work there if you don't like it" won't solve the problem. What do you do when all employers impose such intrusive conditions of employment? Piss testing, polygraphs, what next? Most of the unaccountable power that we face on a daily basis comes from private business. At some point, though, enough is enough, and there's nothing wrong with passing laws to prevent them from such abusive practices.

more than 4 years ago
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BSkyB Wins £709m Lawsuit Against HP-EDS

tom's a-cold Re:It's the relationship, stupid! (187 comments)

I always build in a reserve for goodwill. That way I don't have to go to the mat everytime there's a nitpicky change to make. But I also make it clear that there's a limit to the freebies. I've had plenty of clients who would have tried to bleed me dry with upscopes if there were no limits set. Reciprocity is the goal. If you're being fair, they'll respect you for it. If you're screwing yourself to please them, they'll chew you up and spit you out.

more than 4 years ago
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BSkyB Wins £709m Lawsuit Against HP-EDS

tom's a-cold Re:It's the relationship, stupid! (187 comments)

Of course it is going to fail if you're trying to hit a moving target.

But it's surprising and somewhat depressing how few consultants are willing to give their management that kind of tough love.

more than 4 years ago
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Why Counter-Terrorism Is In Shambles

tom's a-cold Re:We are focused on symptoms and fear (370 comments)

Look, the main thing is we forgot that terrorism is a tactic, and let ourselves get swept up in Fear.

First, who is the "we" in that sentence? For example, I'm not afraid, and the government certainly isn't listening to me or representing me in any way... though I am very concerned that the government will do something idiotic that will mess up my life in some way.

Second, I am not at all convinced that fear is the motivation for many of the government's actions. It's more likely that it's an excuse, or a tactic that they use, in order to get more power or to enrich certain insiders. I don't think they're afraid either. Or rather, they're more afraid of us finding out what they're doing than they are of terrorists.

So the problem isn't that we are afraid. The problem is that we need to put our so-called leaders back in their place. In many cases that place will be a non-leadership position, and in a few cases, a federal prison.

more than 4 years ago
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Obama Wants Computer Privacy Ruling Overturned

tom's a-cold What Do You Expect? (670 comments)

If you want change, why vote for a centrist?

more than 4 years ago
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What Questions Should a Prospective Employee Ask?

tom's a-cold Re:Details on benefits (569 comments)

Why do you think foreigners and young people in that situation in France riot? Is it because they are happy with the laws that keep them unemployable?

No, it's generally because of racism or because a cop has murdered another kid.

And your whole "freedom-to-be-exploited" argument is similarly off-target.

more than 5 years ago
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CA Vs. MA In Battle Over Non-Compete Clause

tom's a-cold Re:So why are there non-competes in California? (248 comments)

They do it to intimidate you, even though they know that they're not legally binding. Also, companies that operate in multiple states will try to impose terms of employment that can be enforced in whichever states are most anti-employee. If they're not enforceable somewhere else, they hope the employee won't realize that.

They really should be abolished nationwide. It's just another way of asserting control over you even when you're receiving no compensation for the restrictions they're forcing on you.

more than 5 years ago
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CA Vs. MA In Battle Over Non-Compete Clause

tom's a-cold Re:IP (248 comments)

It seems IP doesn't only belong to the company- but also at least to some degree to the person who actually developed said IP.

Most employment contracts say differently. Unless your employer is less slimy than most, they claim sole ownership of everything you create for the term of your employment. I redlined my contract to say explicitly that what I create outside working hours, and not using company resources, belongs to me and me only. My main motivation for that was being able to contribute to open-source projects on my own nickel. Their legal department looked it over and they still hired me. But every time there's a revision to the terms of employment, we go through the same redline dance.

more than 5 years ago
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Looking Back At Copyright Predictions

tom's a-cold Re:Participation and contribution over quality (148 comments)

If this rebellion against copyright comes to pass, nobody will create anything as polished as what we see and hear today.

Meaning we'll have to settle for Shakespeare and do without Britney? May as well bring on the apocalypse.

more than 5 years ago
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What Do You Call People Who "Do HTML"?

tom's a-cold Re:I just call them Web Designers (586 comments)

I think the same should be true for the software field.

When that happens, we'll know for sure that the field is completely brain-dead.

The majority of so-called "professions" that require certifications do so precisely because they require no particularly rare skills, therefore they need further barriers to entry to protect the incumbents from competition. In the case of software, you can usually find out very quickly who's a bullshitter.

more than 5 years ago
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The Net — Democratic Panacea Or Autocratic Tool?

tom's a-cold Re:Difference: (204 comments)

Yeah, if in the course of getting the government off our backs, we have to radically refashion or abandon copyright, fine. That's an egg I don't mind breaking in order to enjoy my omelette.

more than 5 years ago
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Time Warner To Offer Unlimited Bandwidth For $150

tom's a-cold Re:Anyone? (479 comments)

It's called the shell game.

more than 5 years ago
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Contest For a Better Open-WRT Wireless Router GUI

tom's a-cold Re:open source and usability (217 comments)

Usability is all about making the device simple for someone with limited knowledge or experience to use.

Better to say that it's about making easy tasks easy, and difficult tasks possible. Not original, but very much in line with my experience.

In some contexts, all you have is a population of power users. Their usability requirements are not the same as those of naive users of a mass consumer item. Horses for courses, that's the ticket.

more than 5 years ago
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RIAA, Stop Suing Tech Investors!

tom's a-cold About Time (114 comments)

I'm glad that they've finally been so blinded by their greed that they are finally attacking people who can afford to fight back.

more than 5 years ago
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6 Pennsylvania Teens Face Child Porn Charges For Pics of Selves

tom's a-cold Re:Not good enough. (1044 comments)

No, what we're seeing is a law that originates in a deep-seated fear of sexuality and the belief that legislation can control it. It's not about preventing victimization of children: it's about preventing sexual expression. Just control for its own sake. This can be seen by the inane overreaching of these poorly-formulated laws.

more than 5 years ago
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6 Pennsylvania Teens Face Child Porn Charges For Pics of Selves

tom's a-cold Re:Not good enough. (1044 comments)

The whole hijab controversy in Europe was just inept marketing. It should have been called an "anti-sexual-harassment women's self-defense garment," then many European and American feminists of the uncritical kind would have embraced it.

more than 5 years ago
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Feds To Offer Cash For Your Clunker

tom's a-cold Re:Cost of policing illegal traffic in recycled ca (740 comments)

The U.S. government has NO money.

You don't understand much about fiscal policy, do you? Or for that matter the government's role in manipulating the money supply.

more than 5 years ago

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