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Comment Entirely in line... (Score 1) 548

Supporting Trump's election campaign is entirely in line with hedge fund managers' and billionaires' lack of moral compass. Don't forget that Google and Microsoft have enthusiastically supported the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) which are responsible for actual laws and policies that are just as abhorrent as Trump's on- and off-screen behaviour. We shouldn't pretend that there are any "ethical billionaires." They'll all murder your grandmother if the price is right.

Comment Re:Obvious takeaway here? (Score 1) 41

One obvious take away is that too many people who can write big checks are too easily swayed by the media reporting rare and special coincidences as if they were predicted by algorithms in so called "big data." We only ever hear about the hits because, well, who's going to report on all those misses? (Remember the one about parents finding out that their teenage daughter was pregnant?) It's simply statistical noise that happens to coincide into what appears to be a pattern. It happens whenever a dataset is big enough.

Comment Re:Putting 12-year-olds in prison (Score 1) 100

Agreed, Rick :) Also, I don't think it's addressing the cause of the problem, i.e. that so much people's personal data is available on the web. We can't do anything online, with credit/debit cards, or with mobile phones without tonnes of data about us being captured and stored online. And as soon as anything's online, it's not secure; we only hear about the massive, impossible to hide data breaches but nothing about the constant leakage through poor security and employees selling their companies' data illegally to 3rd parties, including criminals. We can't opt out of the kinds of surveillance we're under and we have no control over what happens to our personal data. We simply have to stop those organisations from collecting that data and make sure that anyone offering online data storage as a service, e.g. online docs, photos, etc., uses practical and reasonable security measures such as strong end-to-end encryption and the user is responsible for holding their own keys. Somehow, I don't think Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, et al. are going to let that happen - Their business models depend on weak privacy and security.

Comment Re:Skype alternatives (Score 1) 42

Yes, it's called WebRTC and is a cross-platform standard. The article itself refers to Skype for Linux being a WebRTC version. There are plenty of WebRTC browser and desktop clients and free services available. Skype has 2 advantages over most other internet telephony services: #1 - A lot of people use Skype so the chances that people you know are on it are higher, #2 - You can make (cheap) calls to regular land-line and mobile telephone services.

The biggest issue with any internet communications service is compatibility: In practical terms, none of the services I've seen are compatible with each other. They're all walled gardens. This is why regular phones are still king; despite the much higher cost, everyone uses them because they can call everyone else on the same service, no matter which service provider they're with.

Comment We don't do it like Yahoo!... (Score 2) 139

...we're much better than them. We've developed our own proprietary systems to streamline and automate the surveillance process and increase our productivity in keeping the American public, and their children, safe... blah... blah... blah...

Isn't it also Google (Alphabet?) that are vigorously promoting and selling their surveillance systems as a service to repressive regimes around the world?

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