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Oregon Signs Up Just 44 People For Obamacare Despite Spending $300 Million

undeadbill Re:News for Nerds? (586 comments)

The term you may be looking for is Fascist, rather than Communist

  "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." --Benito Mussolini

about a year ago

Obama Praises NSA But Promises To Rein It In

undeadbill Re:Next time.. (306 comments)

"Common conception" isn't always fact based, either. In fact, that is a primary basis for logical fallacy- ad populem. I'm not sure how you got voted up for invoking one fallacy while using another, but that is how fallacies work in rhetorical discourse. Nice job on the example!

Ron Paul would eliminate NIST. If you don't know how NIST is important to running the Internet, then go look it up on Google- "NIST time servers"- critical to shipping, flying, and not having trains crash into each other. He would also defund NOAA, which means that cities would lose the kind of weather prediction that could result in millions dead without the correct advance warning (Katrina, Sandy, etc). He also would axe NIH, NSF, and NASA. In my opinion, any US citizen who values America's technological edge over the rest of the world should shun Ron Paul.

List of fallacies:

For those who don't remember what Ron Paul has promised in the past, from this very site:

For those who are simply going to go to the FTA from /., not read the linked article, and cherry pick the comments:

*List of links for the motivationally challenged

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Protect Your Privacy These Days? Or Do You?

undeadbill I protect the privacy that I can control (319 comments)

I can't control what providers do with my data. If my dentist sells my information to a marketing firm, and then that gets sold to someone looking at setting up new id's for people, I don't have much control over that. I also don't have a lot of control over how my phone can be used to track me (which is why I use it a lot less, and am going to be installing CyanogenMod to reduce that control footprint).

What I can do are two things- put as much of my information under my direct control as possible, and make it easier for myself and others to continue doing so.

I'm still migrating off of Google services. I didn't realize just how much they have taken over so many aspects of "making things easy". Looking back on it, it was naive to put things there, but at the time there really weren't any affordable services that offered me what I needed. If anything, the only reason I used Google for free was because there wasn't anything low cost and reliable that I could have used instead. That included self-hosting. And it wouldn't have mattered if I had everything in another cloud or vps, because it still would have been a US based service, and that means it would still have to migrate to a server in my home or on a vps in someplace like Switzerland. The end goal is to get everything important being served out of my home off of equipment that I have secured and verified, and to stop using external services (even the ones in places like Switzerland, because laws can and do change). I'm also no longer sharing services that I do host on my own, because I do not want to be considered an ISP for the purposes of receiving something like an NSL.

The second thing is what is causing me to do this slowly. I'm critically looking at all the things that I need to do and use, and what I am finding to be really important and what isn't. I'm keeping track of my time in setting all of this up, and figuring out what is a time sink and what isn't. Going forward, I'm developing my own installation packages under my favorite OS to streamline my effort to make the hard things I've had to do easy for other people, and at some point I will probably contact a hardware shop that deals in small production runs of ARM microsystems and have a platform put together so I can make it easy for people just to "plug and play" darknet services. And, more importantly, I'm helping anyone out who is doing the same in whatever small ways that I can. It is one thing to tap the communications of most Americans and others in the world by working with willing partners (Google, MSoft, Apple, etc), it is quite another to try to monitor millions of systems that all have major differences and none of which are going to be open to cooperation.

about a year ago

Sears To Convert Old Auto Centers Into National Chain of Data Centers

undeadbill Re:Trying a new business model (167 comments)

I think it would be reasonable to assume that it could work. To go after under served markets like this, that is pure genius. Most of the cities that they will be targeting desperately need some kind of modern IT infrastructure for hire. I'm thinking of counties, school districts, and other municipal services tapping into this immediately. This also opens up markets for startups to migrate to, as well. Another thing to consider is that these small secondary market data centers can also serve as a showcase for selling services in building out data center space- again, Sears could offer their expertise to under served markets to local governments and such to update their infrastructure based on the Sears model (and I'm thinking about this because Sears used to sell flatpack houses in a similar manner).

Sears auto centers have been built with a highly standardized construction model. This means that the installations of the data center equipment can be modularized and costs will be standardized, which leads to an overall savings when replicated across multiple sites. Most of the management for these sites can be handled remotely, requiring maybe one onsite technical staffer and a regional team of specialist consultants on dispatch. Everything else could be handled from a central data center, including updates, upgrades, site to site failover, etc. Sears's overall costs for doing this are going to be much lower than anyone else attempting this sort of venture.

The buildings are already structurally sound, because they have to handle vehicle loads. Electricity is absolutely not an issue- they ran high draw equipment at the auto centers to begin with. Alarm system infrastructure is already there, and only needs modification. Sears very likely have easements in place already for data lines, so all they have to do is update existing connectivity (which has gotten much cheaper to do).

about a year ago

Aging Linux Kernel Community Is Looking For Younger Participants

undeadbill The real problem is in not hiring junior anybody (332 comments)

When Linux was first released, it was relatively easy to break into the IT field and get directly into programming with limited experience and resources. The fact that the Linux kernel was initially created by a 15 year old kid on a home computer says much about that. My saying so doesn't lessen Linus Torvald's genius in any way, but it does underscore how those opportunities to create haven't been extended to future 15 year olds in the same manner.

Or anyone of working age. When was the last time a company hired junior admins and other flunkies specifically for the purpose of training them up to a competent level of expertise? That was common in the 90s, and is almost non-existent 20 years later. The last two companies I've worked for flat out refuse to hire junior staff and train them. Many companies refuse to future proof their IT (ops and dev) staffing in any way. This has led to a huge gap in expertise.

The final issue that was birthed out of refusing to hire inexperienced staff is all of the certification programs that arose as a result of such parsimony. Am I the only one who thinks that being able to turn on a few services *doesn't* make someone a systems administrator? I'd be more concerned about their ability to write and update their own changes to services, and to the man pages, and submitting complete work back to the relevant project- but THAT isn't (generally) taught in the cert programs, even though that will make someone a better administrator and/or developer. This just weakens expectations in the field, and severely limits a self-selected candidate pool of future kernel programmers.

about a year ago

Amazon Gets Blow-Back Over Plan To Sell Kindles At Small Bookshops

undeadbill Re:May as well get SOME money (176 comments)

I still use bookstores, but I go there to buy high quality hardbound prints of books that I like to re-read, or older paperbacks. The small bookstores I go to have always catered to this market, so while there may be some issues with bookstores staying afloat, the ones I go to have been expanding their selection of quality bound books. I've bought several copies as gifts as well, all from the same two stores near where I live. I never considered doing that on Amazon, as I can't gauge the print quality over the internet.

Another thing is that certain specialty book stores (like scifi/fantasy genre stores) will always have the best fiction on their shelves, vs the metric assload of poor quality stories I find as the majority of Amazon selections, with a very limited ability to refine searches based upon preferences that I can more easily communicate to a person.

And I'm saying this as an Amazon Prime user with an extensive selection of kindle titles. Most of those are copies that I own and keep for travel purposes. What I would like to see are book publishers distributing download codes with their books, so I could get an ebook copy after I pay for a high quality printing. I really don't consider the burgeoning ebook reader market of people who are rediscovering books on marketplaces like Amazon as the same market of avid readers who like the feel of a good book in their hands- if anything, I'd wager that many Amazon users will start buying hardbounds in the future much as I am doing now.

about a year ago

Critics Reassess Starship Troopers As a Misunderstood Masterpiece

undeadbill Re:It tried to follow the plot (726 comments)

Not thinly disguised at all, really. The book was as much about the downsides and the (few) upsides of living in a militaristic culture taken to its extremes. What most people don't get is that, being told from the perspective of the people living in that society, it is not going to really analyze morality from our point of view. That was the point of the book- to give people an insight into what it could be like to fall down that slippery slope into a militaristic tyranny of the majority, regardless of the reasons.

Heinlein made up cultures in order to address different societal issues and try to view them in another light, and try out different moral compasses and points of view from the perspective of people that would have a good reason to espouse them (such as the reasons for various polygamous marriage arrangements among lunar settlers, for example). He regularly switched gender and ethnicity of characters on readers, allowing them to presume one thing and then find out another later on. Some of his work was fairly cringe-worthy. Some I enjoyed greatly. He was also a man of post WWII US with all of the biases that implies, and it was decades before he came to understand some of that within his writing. Was he a great writer? I don't know, but he did provoke a lot of thought and consideration as a result of publishing his works.

about a year ago

Feinstein and Rogers: No Clemency For Snowden

undeadbill Re:Vote Feinstein for moar war!1!! (504 comments)

She doesn't.

She did, however, have two complete loons run against her in the last state election. The Republican was some religious frothy mouthed nut job, and the other was a nut job from the Libertarian party. What do I mean by nut job? Campaigning against all of the other things that Feinstein knows to stay the hell away from- gutting labor protections for workers, gutting educational funding, and generally bringing California back to the religious roots in never had in the first place. Also, both candidates wanted to repeal rules that would then enable them to be even more corrupt than Feinstein. All any candidate had to do was hit Feinstein on known issues of crony power brokering and corruption as relates to her own family and business associates, or her voting record on privacy and civil rights, or any number of issues that many Californians hold dear but are otherwise not informed of by the local news on a nightly basis.

Nope. Lets turn CA into Californiastan, the newest Tea Party Republic while I line my pockets! - that was the Republican and Libertarian solution offered.

So, um, no... nobody likes her, but nobody with more than half a brain has run against her. Until then, people will vote *AGAINST* worse candidates, which is what happened in the last election.

about a year ago

Cisco Releases Open Source "Binary Module" For H.264 In WebRTC

undeadbill Re:Open Source Binary Module (95 comments)

FTA: "Cisco is going to release, under the BSD license, an H.264 stack, and build it into binary modules compiled for all popular or feasibly supportable platforms, which can be loaded into any application (including Firefox)."

From your comment: ..."since it lacks copyleft provisions to actually make the source open."

Looks like the source will be open, since they are releasing the stack under the BSD license. Looks like people will be able to do anything they want with it, including making baby mulchers, angel summoning portals, and *gasp* video player implementations. Oh, HORRORS, people might not submit their code back to Cisco after attributing their source to them (as simply doing so will allow people to find, oh, I don't know, the source that Cisco is offering for free under a BSD license?).

The only issue is with the fact that Cisco is having to provide a shield using the BSD license between MPEG LA and the rest of the world, while paying a hefty licensing fee for the privilege. However, using a BSD license means they cannot have any unreasonable hold over the source once it is out in the open. If anything, Cisco is a good guy in this (god, did I just say that?).

about a year ago

F-Secure's Hypponen: The Internet Is a 'US Colony'

undeadbill Well, I've bought at least one Swedish product (263 comments)

and I really like it. However, I found it more by luck than it finding me (cubieboard).

If the folks in the EU want Americans to use their services:
1- Advertise in the US. I haven't seen many ads for VPN, secure email, cloud services, etc, on the media I read in the US.
2- Be cost effective. No, $15-$20USD for an email account isn't cost effective. I run my own VPS with SSL for about the same cost in the US, and I could probably do that more cheaply. There are other services based out of the EU that I've looked at, and they have all been more costly than I could justify to myself or my boss.
3- Most Americans wanting that extra warm feeling of security away from snooping need to have the limitations of the local regulations clearly spelled out to them. I have no idea what jurisdictional differences there are between Norway, Switzerland, and Monaco. I know what they are in the US, and am familiar with some of the limitations of our neighbor states. Likewise, I wouldn't expect anyone coming from outside the US to know what our limitations are, but typically US businesses have a very clear Terms of Service that lays all of that out. Most EU based service providers I've looked at do not spell things out very clearly in terms of jurisdictional limitations, etc.
4- Unfortunately, because of US geographical limits, we 'Muricans also don't speak many more languages than just US English, which makes it even more difficult.

about a year ago

Glenn Greenwald Leaves the Guardian To Start His Own Site

undeadbill Re:And there's more... (94 comments)

Oh, that is interesting. Jeremy Scahill was one of Amy Goodman's star interns at Democracy Now!, and is the kind of person who would work very well within the kind of journalism that Greenwald does.

As far as leaving the Guardian is concerned, the British government came in and literally smashed computers in the Guardian's own offices over Greenwald's work- having some organizational separation between Greenwald might be a good thing.

about a year ago

Google Offers Cash For Security Fixes To Linux and Other FOSS Projects

undeadbill Why not pay the OpenSSH project, Google? (94 comments)

From the OpenSSH FAQ- http://openssh.org/donations.html
"OpenSSH has no wealthy sponsors, nor a business model. In fact, no Commercial Unix or Linux vendor has ever given our project a cent. Naturally, the OpenSSH project requires funds to operate -- particularly so that our team members can meet in person once in a while (at OpenBSD hackathons) to design new ideas."

From the OpenSSH Security page- If you wish to report a security issue in OpenSSH, please contact the private developers list openssh@openssh.com.

A way of ensuring that bugs are proactively found in essential projects like this *isn't* to muddy the development process by establishing a separate security reporting structure, it is to fully fund the one that already exists and works very well. Google rakes in BILLIONS and can't annually fund one developer's worth of money to a project like OpenSSH as a tax deductible donation or written off as R&D? Really?

about a year ago

Middle-Click Paste? Not For Long

undeadbill Re:GNOME: We don't want Microsoft to have all the (729 comments)

Absolutely. I've switched back to OpenBSD running Windowmaker to get away from all of the broken abstraction layers I've been having to deal with for several years under other OS's.

about a year ago

The Dash Is Now Anonymized In Ubuntu 13.10

undeadbill Re:It works! (183 comments)

You missed the part with the patches and ssl/tls/dso already built in to the default install, which is for people who don't want to let go of Apache. They also have Apache 2 packages that don't come as part of the default install (kind of like people have to do with Linux). And the fact that they also ship patched Nginx as part of the default install.

Oh, and they are responsible for a number of security fixups, applications, and feature sets that a lot of people take for granted on a daily basis. Do they ship teh shiney desktop? No. That isn't their focus, and it isn't their focus to install spyware by default either.

about a year ago

Intel Rolls Out Raspberry Pi Competitor

undeadbill Re:GMA 600? Last years Atom? $200?!? (214 comments)

Well, in terms of having onboard sata on an itty bitty board, I could go with a cubieboard for $49-$69, depending upon features desired. It is about the size of a beagleboard, and runs an ARM A10.

If I wanted faster for less money, I could go with an Asus fanless series board, and have more configurability.

The only thing I can see this board competing with is Jetway, which already is within this price point.

about a year ago

DoD Declassifies Flu Pandemic Plan Containing Sobering Assumptions

undeadbill Re:Sounds like an episode of Doomsday Preppers (337 comments)

You do understand that the idea of prepping for a zombie apocalypse is an allegorical exercise, right? The biggest danger during any large scale disaster isn't the disaster itself, but in how masses of people react to it.

about a year ago

PayPal Freezes MailPile's Account

undeadbill Re:Indiegogo (443 comments)

And this is why I keep wondering why people say "Stop using Paypal!". It isn't as if they have a choice on which payment options are offered by Indiegogo. If anybody deserves complaints in this regard, it is Indiegogo for continuing to use an abusive payment service.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Good Ideas For Creative Gaming With Girlfriend?

undeadbill Re:Minecraft (337 comments)

Have to second the recommendation. I play minecraft with my kid when I am out of town. We either meet on public servers, or have family time on our own world.

about a year and a half ago

Former Lockheed Skunkworks Engineer Auctioning a Prototype "Spy Rock"

undeadbill Re:Totally bogus (119 comments)

Lockheed does a lot more than just aviation design, and it is also fairly typical for government contractors to sub out work to outside companies, especially if the top tier contractor doesn't have the internal expertise or can't pay the expertise enough to join Lockheed.

about a year and a half ago


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