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Comment Theories on Indonesia and Pacifica abound (Score 1) 142

One of my favorite was from a book in '05 that pinned it pretty definitively in Indonesia. Although the author passed away soon after, fans of his (and some relatives) have been commenting upon some of the research at atlan.org, which was the first thing I thought of when news of this broke.

Comment Re:I only hope (Score 1) 157

Why was THIS modded down? This would actually work... to some degree, if you had all the ad networks in there and didn't visit any malicious sites. (At least as far as for the *JavaScript* vector that is.)

That's basically ludicrous. You're better off disabling javascript and flash and leaving your hosts file untouched.

Actually, if you wanted a way to make the web more secure? Make all the browsers default only to Javascript 1.1 or some other ancient version with just enough built-in support for DOM tweaking to maybe update the status ticker, and then ban all cross-site loading of js files that's not HTTPS.

Comment Well, yes. As they should. (Score 4, Informative) 502

Apparently we've forgotten the folks (San Bernardino, etc) who had "clear evidence of ISIS sympathies" on their Facebook profiles and other public social media that we then asked why hadn't been caught when they were entering the country.

As the SCOTUS has repeatedly stated, aliens have no Right of Entry to the US, and non-citizens have reduced guarantees (and certainly reduced privileges). Even a US citizen may be searched on entry if anything unusual is suspected, and is legally obligated to declare possessions in a way that basically happens nowhere else domestically (except agricultural goods going into California).

This is a Good Thing. How is this not a Good Thing? That's what customs/border inspection is supposed to be doing.

Comment iPhones just one affected component (Score 1, Interesting) 128

I realize that was a consumer-level link, but still... I expect better from Slashdot.

There are plenty of other devices out there that are still liable to use 2G that are now effectively bricked. The iPhone is probably the least likely of them to cause a real concern for people. (Though, hell, until 2 years ago my parents were still on 2G PCS phones (not through AT&T though).)

How is rural 3G coverage these days? I remember when the analog shut down happened, there were folks out there who needed lots of repeaters to get anything... Some of whom decided to go back to HAM repeaters to patch into the phone network.

Comment Re:We are back to square one (Score 1) 212

So are you proposing a consumer pay-per search model, or a monthly subscription? Or is the search company supposed to be taking money from the sites who'll pay for higher rankings? Mapping probably only makes sense as a consumer subscription service.

Mapping companies could make money from advertising (cf. Mapquest) or subscription fees (other GPS navigation services). What they can't do is compete against Google Maps and Google Maps' backend, both of which are completely subsidized by Google's vertical monopoly but don't display ads on their own and couldn't survive *solely* through the apps they do display from AdWords independently. Using the market-dominant position in one industry (ads) to subsidize their position in another industry (online mapping), keeping prices (subscription and/or annoyance) artificially too low to make it worthwhile for anyone else to try to compete... is classic monopoly behavior.

Comment Re:While warehouse-based factory farming. . . (Score 1) 131

1. food deserts are by and large a myth

2. if there is a food desert, using that space to sell food (grown elsewhere) 365 days a year is a better solution than spending 360 days farming for 5 days of produce.

Mod parent up on accord of both comments.

Outside of, perhaps, Detroit, "urban farming" doesn't make sense as a purely economic policy. If you want to keep people out of trouble, or increase vegetation in the area, or improve agricultural skillsets, fine. But "localvores" are eating locally because they're willing and able to pay for inefficiently-grown food by choice. If you need food in the area, you can get it there cheaper by transporting it from somewhere it's cheaper to grow it. Period.

Comment Re:We are back to square one (Score 2) 212

In your hypothetical breakup, only the advertising company stands a chance of surviving. Advertising is the only Google (sorry, Alphabet) company that actually makes money, and it subsidizes all of the others. Conversely, all the others slurp up user data to enhance the functionality of the advertising company. So post-breakup, the advertising company would be crippled, starved of the data that makes it valuable, and all the others will die from having zero funding to run them. So congratulations, you just killed Google.

Well, yes. That's the point. One of the largest reasons for breaking up huge vertical monopolies is that the cost of entry for other participants is too high because the monopoly can subsidize one side of the business with the others. Can anyone else create a viable mapping, searching, or other business competing with them? No, not really. The only competitor they have in any of these is in Smartphone Mobile OS -- which is a duopoly with Apple.

Google needs to be broken up, for the good of the tech industry and of the country as a whole.

Comment Re:We are back to square one (Score 2) 212

Yeah, that worked out so well for the phone companies. Oh wait, they've all merged back together again. Breaking up companies because you think they're too powerful are the thoughts of short sighted people.

There's an argument to be made that physical high-capital network infrastructure creates a natural monopoly, which ultimately ends up regulated.

But Google warehousing "all the world's information" and vertically integrating every aspect of this into myriad levels of myriad electronic devices is not the same thing. That's what MS was saying back in the '90s (private, in-house Windows API access by the Office and IE teams was a net benefit) and the industry wasn't having it.

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