* Posts by Donn Bly

106 posts • joined 10 Jan 2008

Page:

Oi, idiot fanbois. DON'T buy this gun-shaped iPhone case, mmkay?

Donn Bly

Of course it is a stupid idea - but so is any the mindset of many people (officers included) that anyone with a gun is a criminal.

1
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Google harms consumers and strangles the open web, says study

Donn Bly

Re: Fools and Horses

> Then what happens when customers prefer the alternatives and reply to

> Google, "You will NOT be missed"?

Then we will have proved that Google is not and never was a monopoly, and that the claims against it are unjustified.

Good or bad, Google is # 1 because people actually LIKE it, or at least they like it better than the alternatives -- which really goes to show that there is no accounting for taste.

If someone builds a better mousetrap, people will abandon Google as they really don't have a stake in it.

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Backpage child sex trafficking lawsuit nixed thanks to 'internet freedoms'

Donn Bly

badly implemented

It isn't even so much as a bad implementation. They filtered against known keywords, asked for age and rejected anything underage, and responded to individual complaints when they were raised. Additionally they protected user privacy (and their bandwidth) by re-sampling and compressing any images uploaded.

According to these girls and their lawyer (and presumably Mr. Orlowski) if I want to sell a "tiny rose vase" those keywords should flag it as sex traffic. I disagree.

Yes, they have a section for "escorts", but the purpose of the site isn't to facilitate the sex trade - the section is there so that the pimps don't put the ad under miscellaneous, yard sales, or any other "family friendly" section and turn those sections into something seedy.

They don't charge for ads and don't put advertising on the pages, so it isn't like they are making any money on the escort pages.

If anything, those ads assist law enforcement by providing a starting point for them to identify and prosecute the criminals.

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5

Manchester car park lock hack leads to horn-blare hoo-ha

Donn Bly

Seriously?

Seriously? You press the lock button on the door (or console, depending on brand and model) and shut the door. I have never seen any vehicle that had electronic locks and a key fob that didn't also have a manual switch.

Now, I have seen a few models that required a fob to unlock the doors and didn't even have a keyway on the driver's door - but that doesn't prevent you from locking the rest of the doors.

This reminds me of the jokes about the [insert stereotype here] who couldn't unlock the door to their convertible and get in... when the top was already down.

1
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'Right to be forgotten' festers as ICO and Google come to blows

Donn Bly

Google is the arbitrator because if the job was the prerogative of the ECJ then they would be in a position to directly censor your search results. Furthermore, like any other government entity they would eventually try to get out of doing any real work, and would just rubber-stamp the requests coming in without giving them any serious evaluation on merit (example: US Patent Office)

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Tennessee sues FCC: Giving cities free rein to provide their own broadband is 'unlawful'

Donn Bly

No, Tennessee is saying that the FCC doesn't have the authority to regulate how a state governs its towns -- and they are right, the FCC doesn't. Congress may pass a law, which is then voted upon and approved by the representatives of the people - but the FCC is an appointed body without the power to usurp the power of the states to regulate their own cities.

The FCC has the right to regulate interstate communication, but its right to regulate INTRA-state communication is rather limited. Being federal does not automatically make the more powerful, Unless it crosses a state line, they really don't have a leg to stand on.

That being said, from what I understand the issue is that Tennessee has established territories in which a municipal utility can operate. Presumably this territory was defined as being an un-served or under-served area some time in the past. What Chattanooga wants to do is provide services outside of its territory, which Tennessee has regulations to prevent.

What SHOULD happen is that Chattanooga should go the state regulators and ask them to designate the under-served areas as part of their territory, then they would be free to expand into it. Instead, they wanted to do an end-run around the laws and regulations under which they were created.

The other problem is that they are an POWER company trying to provide communication services. They should have instead established a separate utility.

I don't have a problem with municipalities establishing broadband networks. I get my own connection though one, and am VERY happy with they service I am getting. But they need to be done right.

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7

Bad news: Robo-cars will make you work BILLIONS more hours. Good news: In 2040

Donn Bly

Population Growth Rate

The population growth rate and transportation needs will be such that the number of existing manually driven vehicles will probably still be higher than current levels, even if half or more of the vehicles on the road are autonomous.

Even if all of the 4 (or more) wheeled vehicles are autonomous, the population density will drive more people to smaller vehicles - bicycles and motorcycles - which aren't going to be autonomous. Those people will still need insurance, so the insurance companies don't have anything to worry about.

As such, the number of mechanics, etc. necessary to maintain the vehicles will not decline.

5
0

Nokia boss smashes net neutrality activists

Donn Bly

So I quote the FCC's own published words, and you call me a troll clouding the argument. Do you think I just make this stuff up? The problem that your definition of neutrality isn't the same as the one that the politicians and the FCC are implementing. You are certainly right that isn't about giving priority to cars or VoIP.

If you read the FCC announcement, you will even see that the FCC fully acknowledges that a cable company can still prioritize their own VoIP over any other traffic, because that traffic is on their own network and not over the public Internet. Look on page 3 under "Broad Protection".

1
0
Donn Bly

You can vote me down all you want - but it isn't going to change the fact the FCC is making it illegal to have a committed information rate or quality of service on a broadband connection.

broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration of any kind

In order words, you, the hospital, or anyone else CANNOT pay more for better service.

Once the full rules are published ways will be found around it, most likely though private circuits and splitting hairs over definitions, but blame the FCC, not me.

0
7
Donn Bly

Re: @Donn Bly

I wish I was wrong - Per the FCC Announcement, "broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices"

To identify and degrade Bit Torrent traffic in order to cut congestion, while not degrading other traffic, will now be illegal on all "broadband" circuits. Also, keep in mind that they did NOT put an exception for "reasonable network management".

The FCC hasn't made a lot of definitive statements, but the above is quoted word for word off of their own announcement.

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2
Donn Bly

The answer is simple - providers should be forced to stop selling bandwidth that they don't actually have.

If say a hospital signs up to a deal for 1 gig broadband, then that's what they should get, instead the telco will give them a congested line with ridiculous contention rates that shares 1 gig bandwidth across 50/100 customers, sure it is "capable" of 1 gig but it will NEVER see that in real life.

You are right, that is the solution. However, it also also means that instead of sharing that bandwidth pool across 50 to 100 customers, each customer is going to have to pay 50 to 100 times as much for the bandwidth.

In reality, the pool is much larger - thus the multiplier is even higher.

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Donn Bly

Re: He seems to have failed to understand

If VOIP packets get priority then ALL VOIP packets are treated equal, no matter where they came from.

VOIP packets are not allowed to have a higher priority then web browsing or bittorrent. Remember, Comcast running web traffic at a higher priority than bittorrent is one of the cases that started all of this.

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10
Donn Bly

Surely then it's for the hospital to pay for a better connection? If I as a customer want to be able to download things quicker I pay more. Similarly if hospitals and others want a better QoS then they can equally pay for it.

Under the new "Neutrality" rules, an ISP isn't allowed to sell a "better" connection. In order to be neutral all must be equal.

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Donn Bly

Nope, this is what happens when your definition of "neutrality" doesn't match up with the FCC's definition of neutrality.

FCC's Net Neutrality specifically BANS the use of packet prioritization on the public Internet - by packet protocol or content. The FCC gives lip service for VOIP and Heart Monitoring - but only when those services exist inside of a provider's network using separate, non-Internet channels.

2
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Net neutrality victory: FCC approves 'open internet' rules in 3-2 vote

Donn Bly
Boffin

Smokescreen

Having finally read in full the FCC's announcement at http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-adopts-strong-sustainable-rules-protect-open-internet I have come to realize that this is all a smokescreen.

The announcement makes very specific and repeated references to how these rules will apply to "broadband Internet" - but a few weeks ago the FCC redefined broadband Internet to encompass a threshold of 25 MBit thereby excluding any technology less than that (DSL. ADSL, 802.11b wifi, etc, 3G wireless, dialup, etc.)

The way I read this, anything 25 MBit and over will be "open", but anything less than that can be restricted. Don't you love it how politicians like to play fast and loose with definitions to try to pull the wool over the public's eyes?

Also, while they had originally said that it did away with prioritization - they didn't. They forbid PAID prioritization. Prioritization for technical reasons (and they specifically listed Voip and Heart Monitoring as examples) is allowed. Thus, the ISP is free to put a policy in place that says "no single ASN may utilize more than 50% of our upstream bandwidth so as to leave room for everyone else", as long as it is done for the purposes of network management and not for selling additional services -- and I fully expect large providers to put such policies in place.

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Donn Bly

Re: Thriving?

For Internet access, these huge corps have managed to merged and bought their way into monopoly positions. They have repeatedly offered assurances that these mergers and takeovers will result in better speeds and services for customers and, well, they generally haven't.

Really? Average Internet speeds haven't increased in the last 10 years where you live? I feel sorry for you. I pay less than half now for 16 MBit than I paid for 128K ISDN 20 years ago, and the service is more reliable. I would call that better speeds, lower cost, and better services.

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Donn Bly
Unhappy

1930's rules or 1996 rules?

The 1996 rules were very specific to a "hands off" approach to the Internet - so no, you can't say that they are the 1996 rules.

Still, that is all we know. As of right now all we know is that they voted to approve, but we don't know any specifics. Everyone who is saying that it includes "this" or "that" is blowing smoke. We don't know WHAT is in the rules, or how they are defining any of the terms.

But if we can go by the public statements of Wheeler, what I can tell you is that it is going to signal a movement of hosting AWAY from the United States. After all, if as an ISP you are precluded to providing a "fast lane", that in turn makes it illegal to provide multiple levels of CIR under different SLA. Any company that wants and and willing to pay for better service will have to host outside of the USA. This will in turn shift the infrastructure investment away from the USA as well.

Still, without the 300+ pages of what they approved, nobody knows where we are headed -- and that will drive an investment slowdown as well.

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FCC chair refuses to make net neutrality rules public before approval

Donn Bly
Holmes

Re: Republicans: Hey, tell us your plans so we can sink them.

I take it you prefer the "you have to vote on it before you can read it" stance the Democrat's took on the Affordable Care Act?

The United States is a Republic. We elect our representatives, who then are supposed to vote on our behalf. As such, as much as the populace (us) would like to know the details, we don't really need to know as we aren't the ones doing the voting. I can't really fault Wheeler there.

But this vote is especially important as the ones doing the voting in this case are not elected, they are appointed. The elected representatives which provide oversight of these appointed positions have asked for the information, and he has denied it. Those elected representatives, regardless of party affiliation, DO need to know, and trying to hide it from them is very disingenuous.

And, quite honestly, if the FCC's plans aren't seaworthy enough to survive pot shots from a few politicians who are more interested in pandering to lobbying groups then doing their jobs, then those plans probably DO need to be sunk. More likely, perhaps the weak areas would be exposed and corrected before the vote, resulting in better regulation.

1
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Google reveals bug Microsoft says is mere gnat

Donn Bly
FAIL

Re: Totally exploitable on college campuses

You have totally misunderstood the nature of the bug. Putting an HTML or batch file in the folder would not trigger it. The server housing the share would have to be modified to send a specially-crafted response so that when a request to a specific file or folder on the share is made that the requesting workstation looks at a local file instead. The server never gains access to the files to which it redirects, only the workstation.

So, lets say that you either compromise an existing server, or set up a honeypot. On that server you create a share called "downloadme" and put a file called "passwords.txt" in it.

Now, when the unsuspecting user tries to notepad \\honeypot\downloadme\passwords.txt your compromised server can instead point them to a file on their C: partition, such as c:\boot.ini

The interesting thing would be if the user tried to delete \\honeypot\downloadme\passwords.txt and would instead delete their own boot.ini -- but tricking a user into deleting a file wouldn't be very easy.

The idea behind the HTML exploit using XMLHttpRequest is that the javascript on the HTML file could make a request to the mount point and get a file off of the C: drive -- however, as the code runs on the workstation and not the server the exploit could just as easily access the file directly without having to rely on the bug.

The same exploit running on a non-compromised server pointing directly to the local file would accomplish the same thing, and would actually be easier to implement. As such, labeling this as a "security bug" is stretching things a bit.

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Broadband isn't broadband unless it's 25Mbps, mulls FCC boss

Donn Bly

Re: The heck with...

Broadband is a best effort service without a committed information rate. If you can a "minimum upload speed" then you have a committed rate, and it is no longer broadband. It make just as much sense to redefine "megabit" to something else. Come up with a new term and define it, invent a new word if necessary, but out officials need to quit trying to lie though obfuscation.

I'm tired of the government constantly changing definitions to apply rules and regulations to things to which the original rules and regulations were not intended to apply. Whether it is reclassifying broadband (originally 256K, now 4M, and soon 25M), a assault rifle (from fully automatic to an airsoft toy that looks "scary"), a drug lab (originally a complex and expensive refinery, now a soda bottle that you can stuff in your pocket), or the ever popular meaning of the word "is".

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Dairy Queen cuts the waffle, says bank cards creamed in 395 eateries

Donn Bly

List not complete

The list of locations compromised, and the dates compromised, are larger than admitted.

On May 22 my daughters card was used at Dairy Queen in Auburn Indiana

On May 23 it was used at two online file sharing services to open accounts

The card was cancelled and a new card issued

On July 22 the new card was used at the same Daily Queen

On July 23 the new card was used to open accounts at two online sharing sites

The brand new card had only been used at 2 other locations prior to being used at Dairy Queen.

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Windows 10's 'built-in keylogger'? Ha ha, says Microsoft – no, it just monitors your typing

Donn Bly
FAIL

Re: What if I'm testing forward compatibility for our bespoke software

If you are testing your software with sensitive, non-anonymized data, then it is your fault for violating the NDA and the ISO security standards.

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OMG!! With nothing but MACHINE TOOLS, STEEL and PARTS you can make a GUN!!

Donn Bly

Missing the point

The whole purpose of the 3D-printed "Liberator" or this latest folly isn't to produce a working firearm, it is produce a discussion over the US gun laws, and the utter stupidity of some of the arguments used ON BOTH SIDES of the issue.

Also, something to remember is that while the number of criminals that law abiding citizens euthanize through the legal use of their personal defense weapons is relatively small, statistics are not kept on the number of times the weapons are used to diffuse a situation but are not fired. Those situations are much more common.

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ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee

Donn Bly
FAIL

Re: Right upto the point where the Netflix exec demonstrated on camera

You mean a the Nexflix exec manually routed his traffic around the congested link by bouncing it through two uncongested links - which is all he did with the VPN - then FALSELY claimed that it was the ISP slowing it down?

What really surprises me that in a technical forum such as The Register that so many people don't have a clue how the Internet works.

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Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu

Donn Bly

Re: misleading

You do realize that IIS isn't the only webserver that runs on Windows, and web servers are not the only services that uses SSL, right?

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Donn Bly

misleading

Since Heartbleed we have found that a significant number of servers were never vulnerable, either through configuration or because they were running older versions of the library. In fact, we found that *NONE* of our Windows-based web servers had the flaw, and only slightly more than half of the linux-based ones.

Yes, the servers needed to be re-keyed, and it was a pain (especially on the multi-server wildcard certificates), but trying to claim and 97% remaining exposure rate when the number was never that high even without patching is nothing more than spreading Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt - and he is undermining his credibility and that of Venafi.

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Indie ISP to Netflix: Give it a rest about 'net neutrality' – and get your checkbook out

Donn Bly
FAIL

@vince

Glass knows very much what he is talking about - obviously much more than most of those making comments here. After all, he actually does it for a living.

The "Free" peering that the page you posted mentions requires $10K+/month connection, and the "storage appliances" draw significant amounts of power and generate a lot of heat (10 Amp @ 120 VAC each)

The storage appliances are not caching servers, they don't download content on demand and store it if a second customer requests it. They pre-download and store popular content so that it is there IF a customer requests it, and act as their CDN to push content to other servers. They require 10 GB Ethernet connections, often consume over 7 GIGABITS of internet bandwidth even when a customer isn't streaming video, and download a minimum of 7 Terabytes of data nightly for the catalog refresh.

In short, they are extensions of Netflix's infrastructure. Servers that any other company would pay to have co-located at a facility. Netflix tries to bully their way in for free co-location *AND* make the ISP pay to haul the traffic.

Since Netflix has a limited number of peering points, even if you connect to a Tier 1 peer if you aren't geographically close the connection between the peering points (the Internet backbone, outside of the ISP's network) get congested and cause viewing problems even the the ISP's connections to the backbone are nowhere near saturated.

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ICO: It's up to Google the 'POLLUTER' to tidy up 'right to be forgotten' search links

Donn Bly
Megaphone

It *IS* censorship.

From the article:

"It has been widely misread in the media - partly because it has been spuriously referred to as a "right to be forgotten" ruling, but also due to Google's efforts to wrongly claim that the decision amounted to censorship of the interwebs."

Interesting bit of spin -- but it is just that: spin and misdirection.

If a government (or in this case the ICO) says that I cannot say or publish something (in this case a link to a page) then it is, most definitely, censorship. It is cut and dried censorship, with no ambiguity.

Whether the censorship is justified is something that can be debated, but the fact that it is censorship cannot be. Thus, the question is now why this article's author is trying to misdirect our attention by publishing falsehoods?

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Cryptome pulled OFFLINE due to malware infection: Founder cries foul

Donn Bly

Agreed

Since I host web sites for other people, more than once I have had to deactivate a website because they were compromised (generally because they used old versions of joomla or wordpress and didn't keep up with patches). If they didn't hire me to take care of their site, then I am not going to go into the site and muck around looking for what is there or how it got there. The ONLY action I can take is to give the site owner notice that there is a problem, explain what the problem is and how it was detected, and take the site offline to the public until it is fixed. If it is a dedicated server or virtual machine and spewing outbound traffic I just isolate the instance or box to its own vlan and give them instructions how how to vpn into the vlan to work it. Of course, I also offer "remediation services" at extra cost, but I'm not going to do it for free.

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Yes. Facebook will KNOW you've been browsing for smut

Donn Bly

Re: Pointless adverts

Almost as pointless as all of the advertisements I got the the Mule ESB Summit here on The Register -- AFTER I had already signed up for the conference.

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Amazon turns screws on French publisher: Don't feel sorry for Hachette, it's just 'negotiation'

Donn Bly
FAIL

Re: Noise?

The France that helped with the American Revolution ceased to exist in 1799 with the conclusion of the French Revolution. While the France of today may share the name and some of the geography, they are not the same country.

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US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code

Donn Bly

Re: I don't understand the fuss

Well, since they were planning on using GPS to generate timing signals, they were already planning on putting GPS in the handsets - and thus it didn't cost them anything that they weren't already planning on doing.

iPhones already have the capability of remote lock and wipe, and Android phones already have the capability of remote lock and wipe, so I am really trying to hard to figure out what else they are trying to do here - perhaps educate the public that the features exist? Or perhaps force Microsoft to include a similar feature?

0
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NASA: Earth JUST dodged comms-killing SOLAR BLAST in 2012

Donn Bly

Re: Why would a compass not read true during this nonsense

A magnetic compass would not read true because every piece of ferrous metal would be putting out a magnetic field, that due to is close proximity to you vs the earth's poles, would throw off the compass.

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What kid uses wires? FCC supremo angry that US classrooms are filled with unused RJ45 ports

Donn Bly

Re: What is he saying?

No, it is more than likely something the teacher in the classroom COULDN'T set it up. Deploying access points in a congested environment requires things such as channel frequency coordination, something that inexpensive access points deployed by non-network engineering types cannot do. It is also a good idea to keep the student and administrative traffic on separate VLANs - again something that a cheap access point deployed by an untrained teacher won't be able to do.

Of course, deploying a wireless zone of overlapping, non-interfering access points requires a bit of engineering - and also requires the use of that CAT5 jacks and cabling that he thinks are worthless.

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Just as we said it would: HP clamps down on server fixers

Donn Bly
Thumb Down

HP is effectively stating that Proliant servers are no longer fit for purpose

As the majority of my servers are HP this really sucks. I used to own an HP-Authorized service center (sold it about 6 years ago) and was certified on every x86 server they produced from the old NT 3.5 days onward, picked up all of the Compaq certifications when the merger occurred, and am fully capable of the physical maintenance on my current mix of G4 and G6 servers and Procurve switches.

However, when I buy a server the manufacturer generally implies that the product is fit for purpose. In the past, that means that they provide hardware fixes during the initial warranty period, and software fixes over the life of the box.

Now if I have to buy a new motherboard I can’t even flash it to match the firmware of the old one. That means that any HP Proliant server over a year old now has to be considered disposable.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I generally run a server longer than a year, and I don’t buy disposable servers. I don’t expect them to warranty the hardware forever, but I do expect them to provide software fixes for as long as that model is still eligible for support. It is only fair, after all we paid a PREMIUM for HP Servers up front.

By limiting the software fixes for the warranty period, HP is saying that their Proliant servers are only fit-for-purpose for that 1-year (or depending on model, 3-year) warranty period.

Since the life cycle in the business market is longer than that, HP is effectively stating that Proliant servers are no longer fit-for-purpose for ANY business unless you pay their “rape the customer” extortion/support fee, and they are making that statement RETROACTIVE against ALL EXISTING PROLIANT SERVERS.

6
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Google Glass driver told she CAN wear techno-specs while on the road

Donn Bly

Re: Next time ...

They could try - but since the whole point of the Google Glass is that it *doesn't* obstruct your vision such a claim would fall under "knowingly and willfully making a false affidavit to the court under oath" - in short: perjury.

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Feedly coughs to cockup, KILLS Google+ login as users FLEE

Donn Bly

re: Please stop making me pick a unique username; just use my email address

The reason is that we, as web developers, realize that people CHANGE their email addresses from time to time. They switch mail platforms, change employers, get married and change their name, get mad at google and go to yahoo, get mad at yahoo and go elsewhere, etc. If you use a web application, would you really want to dump all of your content and history just because your email address changed? For that reason many of us write applications that require a unique userid and allow you to attach your email address as a secondary identifier - allowing you to use either to log on.

4
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HTC phone STOPS BULLET, saves Florida gas station clerk's life

Donn Bly

Re: Where are the gun nuts?

Of course not, but if the clerk had been wearing a holster, the perp never would have attempted the robbery - not wanting to run the risk of being shot himself.

2
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Snowden's email provider gave crypto keys to FBI – on paper printouts

Donn Bly

Re: Outrageous

No Sam, invoking the 5th does NOT confirm criminal activities.

Invoking the 5th often means that you refused to participate in a federally funded witch hunt and lynching by having your own words twisted around to mean something other than what you intended.

0
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Google FAILS in attempt to nix Gmail data-mining lawsuit

Donn Bly

Re: Well, actually…

Nope. Once sent, a letter is the property of the recipient for them to do with as they please, including but not limited to public disclosure.

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E-reader barons file FCC plea to opt out of disabled-friendly regs

Donn Bly
Megaphone

Re: Simple. If it can connect to the net, it is subject to the law.

a CAT5 patch cable connects to the Internet - should it have a text reader too? How about an Ethernet Card?

Not every device has to be designed to that everyone can use it. Designing a device for a SUBSET of the population, limiting its features so that it can be better at one thing instead of something else, is a viable business. Why force me to pay for features that I don't want or need, just because you might want or need them, on a device that you probably wouldn't even purchase? Just because something CAN do something, doesn't mean that it SHOULD do something.

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Did a bunch of bankers fax a stranger's sensitive privates to YOU?

Donn Bly

Canada Trust does it to me all of the time

I have a toll-free number on my incoming fax line. Canada Trust frequently sends me mortgage applications (to the tune of over 50 pages in the last month) and has for YEARS, despite my complaints. I've given up trying to notify them with an international phone call each time, so now when I get one I do a quick lookup on facebook for the name and if I find a match that list Canada Trust as employer I drop them a message about receiving their paperwork.

0
0

Do you really want tech companies to pay more tax?

Donn Bly
Holmes

Re: Pay more taxes?

It is true that many/most corporations don't pay much in the way of taxes - but that is because those profits are passed on to the shareholders (especially in smaller corporations) retaining little to be taxed upon. Those shareholders, however, pay the tax on that income.

So, the tax on the income IS paid, just not by the corporation.

Some people want the corporations to pay the tax, AND want the shareholders to pay the tax - basically taxing the same income twice. I prefer that governments stop spending more than they take in and live within their means just like the rest of us.

3
12

Climate scientists agree: Humans cause global warming

Donn Bly
FAIL

Lets get this straight

The study looks at 11,944 papers. Of those, only 3894 endorsed anthropogenic global warming. Still, the study is used by some to say that there is a 97% consensus amongst scientists. No, there isn't. If we were going to count papers, we would have to say that the consensus is that there ISN'T a consensus. However, that wouldn't be an accurate statement. One would have to tabulate the AUTHORS of ALL of the papers (not just the ones that expressed an opinion) and discard any duplicates, and use those numbers to compute a consensus. All we really have is a study that says that 100% of the people who have published papers concluding that AGW exists believe that AGW exists, that 100% of the people who have published papers concluding that AGW doesn't exist believe that AGW doesn't exists, and that the vast majority of papers published do not draw a conclusion on AGW.

I'm not going to say whether AGW exists or not - I'm old enough to remember when climate scientists were using the same historical data to say that we were entering into another ice age, and enough of a realist to know that politicians and businessmen will spin any facts to achieve and support whatever their near-term goal happens to be at the moment.

Is the earth warming? Probably, and it probably has since the end of the last ice age - but decade by decade numbers may significantly vary from the historical average. Are glacier's shrinking? Well, as they are the product of an ice age, I would have expected them to start shrinking 10's of thousands of years ago. Did humans cause it? Probably not, since there weren't enough of us back then to initiate the process - about 4 million worldwide (less than half of the current population of London today) by most estimates. Are we accelerating it? It is certainly possible, though it seems that cattle introduce more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than any human-built machinery - but since humans are the ones raising the cattle we can probably include those in the human-originated counts.

The reality is that there are more large non-human mammals and other animals on the planet today than there were 1000 years ago, just as there are more humans. We consume oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. Even if we turned off all machinery that introduces carbon into the atmosphere, and stopped building fires for heat and cooking, the reduction of CO2 being introduced would not be enough to turn the tide against the projections made based on the current "accepted" models. Even if we decided that euthanize half of the human populations "for the good of future generations" it wouldn't be enough - we would have to kill off non-human populations too and even then it may not be enough.

So, it comes down to whether you choose to believe the models or not. I choose to believe that the models are wrong, that they don't take into account enough of the negative feedbacks to produce an accurate picture - and because NOBODY is saying what the optimum temperature of the earth is, or whether we are above or below it. If we are above it, we are screwed, if we are below it, then why are we trying to stop it?

That does not mean that I choose to ignore climate change - I think that it should be studied, but that the emphasis should probably be on figuring out the best ways to help the human population of the planet adapt to the inevitable if the models are proven right, because there is NO WAY that you are going to get the human population to give up all of their modern energy-guzzling appliances.

Go ahead and flame me, downvote me, or whatever - but it still won't change anything. The study of climate change today has moved from an ecological movement of socially conscious people into a money and power grab by the corrupt. Go ahead and fine the companies that emit carbon - but then ask where the money goes, and where it comes from. In the end, it comes from our pockets, and into theirs, with "they" being a diverse mixture of businessmen and politicians who really don't care about the climate as much as they care about their bank statements.

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3D printed gun plans pulled after US State Department objects

Donn Bly

re: possessing-a-gun-makes-you-less-safe-not-more-safe

The biggest problem with that article is that, in the vernacular popular in the UK, "pure and utter bollocks".

Unfortunately, on multiple occasions I have had to use a firearm to defend myself or those with whom I live. I will never forget how scared I was the first time - but even though I was injured I was able to defend my roommate and prevent a murder while I waited for police to arrive. There are many problems with the statistics that they chose to use, but one of the problems is that no statistics are kept on how often a firearm in the hands of a law abiding citizen are used to diffuse or deescalate a situation. You have to realize that most of the time no weapon is even fired. The mere display of a weapon is often enough to stop an aggressor in their tracks and turn tail and run, and in those cases the counts are not considered when tabulating gun violence.

Is someone more likely to be shot in a home that has a firearm? Perhaps, just as someone who rides in a car is more likely to die in an auto accident than someone who doesn't. It just isn't an accurate measure of safety.

Now, as to the plans being forced offline... it is unfortunate that our senators and congressmen are so out of touch with the "common man" and reality that they don't know that someone can walk into a home improvement store or well-stocked hardware store and for less money than the cost of plastic to print the "liberator" they can walk out with everything that they need to build a reloadable single-shot firearm, including the necessary explosive charges, propellant, and suitable projectiles - and that such a weapon would be smaller and easier to conceal than the "liberator". Instead, some of them actually believe that if you take a bullet and wrap it in a metal case that it will be able to pass through a metal detector undetected (I'm not kidding -- I wasn't sure to laugh or cry when New York Senator Schumer gave a radio interview about it today)

7
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Movie bosses demand Google take down takedown notices

Donn Bly

Re: "And it certainly didn't negatively impact DVD sales." YES IT DID

"Yes it did?" No, even in your case it did not negatively impact DVD sales - because you would not have gone out and bought the DVD of the movies anyway.

2
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Judge: Facebook must see Timelines Inc in court over trademark

Donn Bly
FAIL

Timeline is a generic term

I am surprised that this has gone as far as it has, but in a way I am not. There is no way that you can argue that timeline is not a generic term. It has been used to describe the order of chronological events since well before I was born. TimeLines Inc. own filing uses "timeline" as a generic term,

It is also clear that TimeLines Inc. changed their website after filing the case, but their "explanation" that they had initially used the word "timeline" in titles for Search Engine Optimization, and then later removed it after filing the case because it wasn't beneficial any longer - is laughable. It isn't even thinly veiled deceit, it is transparent. Even if taken at their word, they are admitting that "timeline" was a generic term that people were searching for and that they were trying to capture that traffic - which shoots the basis of their legal case in the foot.

They are trying to say that web-based software and stand-alone software are a different class, and that "Timeline" in one does not infringe upon the other (so that they can explain away the multitude of other companies that have dynamic, software-based timeline products) - but if that were the case then I could create "word.com" and sell online word processing and not be in conflict with Microsoft's trademark on Word the software product - I don't think that would fly very far, and rightfully so.

So, as much as Facebook probably needs one of those "punches in the face", in this case timeline, with their $87K of ad revenue over 5 years, needs to realize that Facebook ISN'T going to be their large payday and exit strategy.

2
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Google's Wi-Fi sniffing to result in $7 million fine

Donn Bly
FAIL

Re: It's not stealing in the first place

No, it isn't like them having a zoom lens pointed to the second floor, it is like your daughter running naked down the street and the neighbor kids caught it on their cell phones - and they didn't even show it to their friends or upload it to facebook, but just deleted it instead.

The real problem here is that no CRIME has been committed, and most police cars these days are equipped with equipment just as capable - heck, most SMARTPHONES are just as capable of sniffing and recording the traffic. There are plenty of reasons to hate google - this isn't one of them.

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