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Swedish Police Raid the Pirate Bay Again

torkus ...and here we go again (184 comments)

Site down, random shuffle, site comes back. I wonder if they'll find someone else to arrest this time around.

Though I thought they finally got smart and started hosting elsewhere?

about a week ago
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Should IT Professionals Be Exempt From Overtime Regulations?

torkus Re:I have nothing better to do... (545 comments)

The entire concept of a salary was for people that owned a chunk of the business. 99% of people should be hourly.

Mostly agreed. It's also for individuals who have a direct link between success and compensation. What used to be managers with large stock portfolios and bonuses tied to performance...who also had the ability to set their own schedule. Basically people who it makes more financial sense to take compensation besides hourly pay and overtime.

Then they started including geeks in this somehow. If you manage, develop, design or implement 'computer systems' you're typically in the bucket for exemption. That rule stands apart from the others - ability to commit the company in substantive financial matters, high level business decisions, managing staff or a budget.

about a week ago
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Should IT Professionals Be Exempt From Overtime Regulations?

torkus Re:I have nothing better to do... (545 comments)

However, whenever we interview people to come in and work here, certain folks on the interview committee pretty much require the applicant to genuflect to the common "whatever it takes to get the job done" belief that over 40 hours is no big deal and that they do that "all" the time. Even though that is technically completely against the rules for contracting.

Not only against the rules, but it's against the law. There's quite a bit of employment law and case law that most companies basically ignore outright in the US. Example: if your hired as an exempt employee (not OT) for 40 hour weeks but are routinely scheduled/work more than that to the point it becomes your normal work then you're entitled to compensation (I think at OT rates) for it. Exempt is intended to cover occasional extra time - not mandatory extended hours every week.

However very people sue over it due to various (likely illegal) terms in employment agreements, severance packages, etc.

Annoyed at being a perma-temp or long term consultant alongside people getting paid more, bonuses, vacation, and benefits that you don't get? Google co-employment laws. You probably could sue (or threaten to sue) and win all the back benefits you didn't get. But you're also a consultant and your position would be gone the first hint that you might even know those rights exist.

Welcome to abusive corporate america where the shareholder and stock price is far, FAR more important than doing what's legal or moral.

about a week ago
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Top Counter-Strike Players Embroiled In Hacking Scandal

torkus Re:Various hacking tools? (224 comments)

So...like the stock market essentially.

As gaming becomes worth more money I can only see this expanding right in line. The more you stand to win, the more you can invest in doing so.

about three weeks ago
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Espionage Campaign Targets Corporate Executives Traveling Abroad

torkus Re:marketing (101 comments)

Agreed in many cases.

Some things - like VPN and Citrix are relatively secure. Unfortunately many executives also use things like gmail, facebook, SMS, chat, xyz-gaming-app and so on during their travel. I've seen plenty of senior people send confidential information outside of accepted/expected channels. They don't want to remember passwords, much less change them. There's a lot of 'I'm too busy and it won't happen to me anyhow' mentality with data security.

'Sorry, we don't allow abc gizmo you have to use the standard whatever for your presentation'
'Ok, fine'

'You need a 12 character password changed every 30 days for administrative access the core production servers'
'Well I'm just checking on data for meetings from my iPhone, I can't type all that in. Set it the same as my windows password that never changes'

'This computer connects to a real-time stock market trading network, it has a password and 15 minute screen saver timeout'
'I can't waste time entering passwords, that's way too much work and complexity. I just need to do my trades!'

about a month ago
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Rhode Island Comic Con Oversold, Overcrowded

torkus Re:First hand report (126 comments)

Because that would 1) take work and 2) not let the fire marshal punish the con.

about a month and a half ago
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Rhode Island Comic Con Oversold, Overcrowded

torkus Re:First hand report (126 comments)

Having been to some conventions in RI ... I will say the fire marshals aren't known for what's between their ears. Silly rules and pointless enforcement are only the beginning. Wielding power for amusement, revenge, and personal gain is considered much more the norm.

Maybe it's the NYer in me but I always keep my important things on my person. I'd never be stuck without a phone, keys, or money (or my special needs child!?) because I left them at a convention.

I figure RICC is getting hit with tons of reversed CC charges today.

about a month and a half ago
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First Detailed Data Analysis Shows Exactly How Comcast Jammed Netflix

torkus Re:Yes it is a peering problem ... (243 comments)

Erm...but netflix will drop a cache server in the ISP's datacenter, configure it, and maintain it. Oh, and it's free. The ISP saves on bandwidth/interconnect at the cost of a few U of rackspace and a couple bucks in power/cooling.

But then why would they comcast or TW want to do something to help their competition even if it also benefits their customers. Monopoly and conflict of interest. Good job politicians.

about a month and a half ago
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First Detailed Data Analysis Shows Exactly How Comcast Jammed Netflix

torkus Re:How many engineers does it take to screw netfli (243 comments)

Actually netflix offered to foot the bill for upgrading the bandwidth - it's literally a couple cross-connects in a datacenter, maybe a fiber card or two.

Oh, and netflix ALSO offers to drop a server in your datacenter *free* which caches all the common netflix streams. This reduces the internet bandwidth demands by something like 90+% since it lives within the ISP's datacenter and just needs to download each stream once.

But the last line is exactly the point. The ISPs are also TV providers and they don't want you to have a good netflix experience. If they can passively let that happen...well of course they will. No one can accuse them of taking any action to damage your netflix streaming...it's their complete inaction that's resulting in it.

about a month and a half ago
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A Mixed Review For CBS's "All Access" Online Video Streaming

torkus Re:Price of commercials (85 comments)

They all have viable streaming avenues...unfortunately they don't often belong to the networks :)

It's amusing how underground, pirate, and other groups have done (with little to no funding) what the companies have been unable (or unwilling) to effectively do despite having the ability to easily throw $millions at the problem. Bad CBS, no cookie.

about a month and a half ago
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Stan Lee Media and Disney Battle For Ownership of Marvel Characters

torkus Re:We can be certain of one thing (152 comments)

Is it though?

It's not like hiring them guarantees they will create the next superman. Plenty are paid "fair" wages to create comics ... and then there's the times where something new and special is created, catches on, and becomes the Next Big Thing. You can't exactly just make it happen.

about a month and a half ago
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Stan Lee Media and Disney Battle For Ownership of Marvel Characters

torkus Re:what a showboat (152 comments)

So...it's OK to disrespect and yell at people until you know who they are? (and perhaps only if they've done something you find worthwhile) I mean ... it's off-topic but that's still more than a little messed up.

It's sad though that the creators of these things don't get something more out of it, but if you do 'works for hire' and assign copyright in return for a salary that's how it goes. If you failed to negotiate good contract terms you dun goofed. Plus how many comic characters do people get paid to make that /don't/ do anything special? We're talking about the exception, not the rule here. COnsider the gazillion indie bands that make music no one ever hears until a record company waves it's magic wand, picks one, and ding ding ding...played twice an hour on every radio station and suddenly they're #1.

about a month and a half ago
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Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

torkus Re:Total nonsense (631 comments)

I love my cash back, but not at the expense of proper, well-proven fraud protection.

10% off? Sure I'll sign up and use it for a big purchase or two then remove all my info/cancel. Otherwise it's about the same as regular cash back, without the net-30 terms and proven history of consumer protection.

As it stands, if I get a bad TV from w-mart and the d*ck manager decides it's my fault it I just dispute the charge. Then Amex goes to bat for me and I typically get my way. If the entity that processed the charge is owned/run by w-mart to begin with how do you think that will go over?

Yah...I'm with you. No thanks, no way. Nothing about this seems enticing, interesting, or worth the trouble.

Plus many people use their CC because they don't have $ immediately available in their bank account. "Sorry, I can't go out tonight my credit cards are maxed"

about a month and a half ago
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Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

torkus Re:Point is you would not STOP paying (631 comments)

Exactly. When the retailers offer an across-the-board 1% discount I'll stop and pay attention to what else they're including. As it stands 1% is the *minimum* cash back I get on everything I spend via CC. More at places like gas stations and restaurants. Plus basically net-30 terms as long as I pay my CC in full each month.

Oh, and all the other perks that CC's offer (travel insurance, discounts, etc.) which typically come to higher-tier spenders.

What's CurrenC going to do for me? Automatically integrate my frequent-shopper card? Pretty sure there's an app for that ... oh passbook. (among others)

about a month and a half ago
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Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

torkus Re:Not a chance (631 comments)

Isn't it wonderful? Two numbers and the assumption that you're not a bad actor, especially if you have inside access. Even better, the routing numbers are public information!

I'm rather shocked there hasn't been a whole lot more fraud along these lines...especially among smaller/older banks using consecutive account numbers.

You can undo all the transactions you want ... except when someone then wires the money elsewhere, withdraws it via non-retractable means, etc. :) Granted that takes some doing without it being obvious who-dun-it unless you have access to someone else's identity...and that *never* happens. Oh crap wait...

about a month and a half ago
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Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

torkus Re: Not a chance (631 comments)

Bitcoin sounds like an answer but, from someone who recently went through buying something in bitcoin, it's not quite a simple as "use teh bitcoinz" ... not by a long shot.

Buying "anonymous" bitcoins often involves more information than getting a car loan unless you want to meet someone face to face. Are there other ways? Sure. Are they easily accessible, reasonably legit (seeming at least), and not complex? Erm...not at all. Tempted to buy a few anyhow in hopes they pop back up to the $ range they peaked at. I remember when people would give away 1BTC to anyone willing to create a wallet just for cool-factor. Oops!

about a month and a half ago
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CHP Officers Steal, Forward Nude Pictures From Arrestee Smartphones

torkus Re:Prison time (275 comments)

There's the part about willfully violating someone's privacy to obtain the image in the first place. Digital trespass laws the gov't throw around when they don't have anything else useful to arrest someone probably cover it.

If something is already on the internet it's very difficult to make a convincing argument that it's actually private anymore. Doesn't make it right to share those ex-girlfriend nudies you downloaded but on a totally different level.

about 1 month ago
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CHP Officers Steal, Forward Nude Pictures From Arrestee Smartphones

torkus Re:Prison time (275 comments)

No no...they need some kind of premise to do it. You'd have to be guilty of speeding-while-minority or causing-officer-rage or committing a minor offense that's getting 'targeted-enforcement'. Oh and there's the ever convenient felony-broken-taillight to watch out for.

Seriously though all these horrific things are the vast, vast minority of police interactions. That doesn't excuse them in any way and I think they should be prosecuted of course. It's one thing to use poor judgment (guy waves a gun around screaming in a public place so you shoot him and find out it was a toy) and another to do things obviously illegal, immoral, and unwarranted (without consent ... going into someone's phone to look for nude pictures and sharing them with your friends). Verify the former happened as reported, apologize as appropriate. Prosecute the latter.

If cops have special laws that protect them (assaulting an officer is far different than assaulting joe 6-pack) then there should be mirroring laws that have similarly elevated punishments when they misbehave.

about 1 month ago
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Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour

torkus Re:$3500 fine? (286 comments)

Take a trip down to mexico for example. A few years I went to Cancun on vacation and they were installing something (probably electrical conduit) in the ground alongside the highway.

No backhoe. No construction trucks in sight. Just a dozen guys with shovels that were apparently dropped off there to do their work. Oh, and no supervisor in a vest standing around or silly 'flag men' mindlessly waiving traffic.

about 2 months ago
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Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour

torkus Re:$3500 fine? (286 comments)

It's no so much the cost of products needs to go up...but the excessive compensation of executives and shareholders needs to go DOWN.

about 2 months ago

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