* Posts by Shannon Jacobs

743 posts • joined 9 Apr 2007

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Finally! It's the year of Linux on the desktop TITSUP

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

What's the best financial model for a dead horse?

If your horse is dead and losing all the races, why don't you flog it harder?

Seriously, the problem is the financial models, NOT the quality of the software. Companies like Microsoft, Oracle, and Apple have good financial models uber alles.

Wasting the keystrokes, but I recommend funding by selling shares to future users, with the projects broken down based on such categories as new software, new features, ongoing costs, or support.

Quick (keystroke-minimizing) example, let's say you want to continue using an old version of Ubuntu but you run into a problem and discover it is no longer supported. Then you might have options to help fund some support or to help create a replacement version. If enough people agree with you, then your option wins and the money gets allocated (from the charity-share brokerage), but if not, you can pick again until you find a solution.

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White House forced to wade into Oracle vs Google Java bickerfest

Shannon Jacobs
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Re: Huh. I would have thought the money spent by Google and associates

Yeah, but all of the recent figures I've seen indicate that the google is spending much more money on lobbying than Oracle is. Ellison is only JV evil now?

On the other hand, the google's lobbying may be more spread out than Oracle's? At this point it seems the google has something of a diffuse focus...

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Windows and OS X are malware, claims Richard Stallman

Shannon Jacobs
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Re: A fool without money will soon be ignored

Must be a Windows Vista user.

The kernel of Apple's OS was BSD... Not sure how far beyond that they've gone, so maybe they deserve more credit.

(On "major" OSes I'm running Yosemite and Windows 7, myself. I'm still using some Ubuntu, but it has mostly been sliding the wrong way for my applications...)

I should clarify as regards Apple that it is the PRINCIPLE of closing the box that I regard as anti-freedom. Microsoft has adopted the same principle, but it wasn't their idea. (Perhaps I should have included that as a count against Microsoft, but never inventing a wheel is not actually a crime, just as reinventing a wheel is also okay.)

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Shannon Jacobs
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A fool without money will soon be ignored

Actually, rms has mostly gotten ignored for many years. Simple to explain. Bad software with a good economic model works. Stallman has NO viable economic model and no interest in better economic models.

My summary is that Microsoft has gawdawful software but two clever innovations in their economic model. (1) No liability, no matter what their software does to you, and (2) Sell upstream to the manufacturers, and just force the users to take, again, no matter how bad the software is.

In contrast, Apple has devised a clever anti-freedom model of black-box fashions. You do have to give them some credit for better software than Microsoft, but the profit comes from making their technologies into fashion statements.

Linux OUGHT to be competitive, but the financial models all reek like the big dog's m0e. How about #MDFC models to fund better software with charity shares?

(Actually an email exchange with rms helped lead to the key idea of a charity share brokerage, but he wasn't interested, even though he asks exceedingly good questions. The problem in the years since then is that I'm a lousy salesman and worse evangelist. I don't really care about money, either.)

P.S. Appears to be a new feature to make the new post editable in place? Or an old feature and I have a new status? Whatever it is, I like the convenience.

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World loses John Nash, the 'Beautiful Mind'

Shannon Jacobs
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Paranoia will destroy'ya?

Yeah, I know he got better, but I have to say that it sure seems like a peculiar and unlikely way to die.

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Rand Paul stages Senate filibuster against Patriot Act

Shannon Jacobs
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My theory on supporters...

This is such a gawdawful law that I only have one theory to explain why anyone would support it. They have already been contacted by the NSA and told about their personal dirt. No, I can't prove that they are being blackmailed, but I can say that NO one is perfect, and the NSA is certainly hoovering up plenty of data that has to contain some dirt.

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Google, Twitter search deal: Did micro-blabbing site gag racy tweets to satisfy ad giant?

Shannon Jacobs
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In gawd's name why would anyone want this?

Just so. I have lots of experience with Twitter, but I certainly can't defend it. Can I claim it was moderately amusing? However, now I would get more amusement from searching a sewage treatment plant.

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We caught Chinese technology spies RED-HANDED, claims US government

Shannon Jacobs
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So naive. Must be American

No, they do NOT work and study in America "solely to pilfer" AMERICAN information, though there is plenty of it going on--in every direction, and not just limited to America and China.

Many of them are quite sincere and just want the best technical education they can get, and in most fields that still requires studying in America. The most important question is how long that will be true. Both China and India are producing far more engineers than the US these days, and even in the cases where some of those engineers got some of their advanced training in the States, the Americans are quite eager to kick them out ASAP, even in those cases where they want to stay and contribute to the American economy. America's technological head start is eroding away and quite rapidly.

(I wanted to include some citations, but it seemed difficult to find all of the data I wanted in one place... Surprisingly scattered?)

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Feds: Bloke 'HACKED PLANE controls' - from his PASSENGER seat

Shannon Jacobs
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Not even the first messenger

Actually Richard Clarke specifically mentioned the linked networks in an airplane (not sure if it was that model) in a book "Cyber War", which was published several years ago. However, I think his #1 concern was for the links between the Internet and the power grid controls.

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Penn State University network sacked by China malware blitz

Shannon Jacobs
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Re: The US will be the biggest loser in a Cyber War?

Just a mindless troll? Or you have a substantive point?

Perhaps I should be more precise.

American politicians can be legally and cheaply bribed and the practice is effectively universal. In light of so-called Citizens United and the quid pro quo interpretations of the SCOTUS, it's almost impossible to get in trouble that way. As Clarke's book put it on page 143 (writing before the google eclipsed Microsoft in lobbying): "Microsoft can buy a lot of spokesmen and lobbyists for a fraction of the cost of creating more secure systems." This was near the conclusion of a subsection called "Money Talks". (However, the book is not so old that the google is irrelevant... The authors don't see any connection to security? At least not in the first 2/3...)

In contrast, political bribery in China is expensive and risky. I don't have much data about the frequency or prevalence, but I do know that if the political winds start blowing the wrong way, your past bribery is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get shot.

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Shannon Jacobs
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The US will be the biggest loser in a Cyber War?

Interesting coincidence that I'm currently reading Cyber War by Richard Clarke and Robert Knake. The main point is that the US probably has powerful offensive capabilities but almost NO defensive capabilities, which is amplified by our extreme reliance and even dependency on our computer networks.

In contrast, China is playing BOTH offense and defense. The Great Firewall of China is actually part of the defensive perimeter, not merely censorship. Private companies don't get to tell the government that network security might reduce their profits. Even more importantly, it's much harder for them to bribe politicians to look away from the problems.

This article should be regarded as another shot across the bow.

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Jeb Bush: Repeal Obamacare and replace it with APPLE WATCHES

Shannon Jacobs
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Re: Aye

Because the friend doesn't exist. Just another lying troll. Easy to tell when they "forget" the specifics. For a while they kept trying to dig up ObamaCare horror stories, and they ALL fell flat as soon as the honest reporters started nosing around.

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Enjoying the Spring? Microsoft has 13 ways to fix that

Shannon Jacobs
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Another month, another billion bytes of new code?

Kind of hard to believe. Second month in a row with over a billion bytes (1,168.4 MB) of "routinely urgent" security patches. If I couldn't see the profits and the cash reserves, I'd have to wonder if there was something wrong with that economic model. Heaven forbid there's anything actually wrong with the software!

What's really bothering me about this never-ending flood (or at least minor torrent) of patches is that there must be more bugs where those came from. Just got Richard Clarke's "Cyber War", but the war is against us, and we already done lost. I'm quite sure the NSA has a much bigger list of Windows bugs than Microsoft knows about. (I'd be inclined to think that other national espionage agencies do, too, but perhaps not. At least I hope that none of them shares the NSA's biggest advantage of a copy of the source code...)

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FTC slaps orders on alleged diet pill spamvertising scam scum

Shannon Jacobs
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Same as it ever was: SPAM

Tiny wrinkles of improvement in email? Take the new Gmail Inbox, for example. (Please!)

Lipstick on a pig. Ugly chartreuse lipstick on a ugly wrinkled pig.

The main problem with email remains unchanged: It's the SPAM, stupid.

Why don't any of the major email systems provide us with effective anti-spammer tools? Hey, you don't have to help, but I REALLY want to destroy the spammers' business models. Cut them away from the money and the spam problem will be reduced. No, the spammers will not be magically transformed into actual human beings, but they will crawl under less visible rocks.

Today's case in point: Are you smart enough to recognize a diet-pill scam? Then you could help shut it down. Imagine an iterative webform where you would identify the exact countermeasures to hurt the spammers as badly as possible. Arbitrary example (of MANY), but imagine the spammer is using a link shortener. The best countermeasure is NOT to nuke it. The best countermeasure is to repoint it to the spammer's worst nightmare, but that needs some human help. When I recognize the diet-pill scam, then I can suggest the relinking of the spammer's shortened link to point at a website warning about fake diet pills. Voila, the scammer's own spam becomes advertising AGAINST himself.

We could do MUCH better, but the google and Microsoft are too evil to bother, and Yahoo is too near death. Sad that the spam problem will probably outlive all of them. We could do better, and most people are nice enough to want to.

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ROBOT telescope discovers ENORMOUS planetary neighbours

Shannon Jacobs
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Color me skeptical?

Well, I agree that it's pure science, but there is something about this discovery that makes me wonder if there isn't some other explanation for the evidence they've gathered. Detecting planets has become something of a scientific fetish these days. Or maybe I just lack the imagination or mathematical sophistication to understand how such a configuration could be stable...

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JP Morgan bank bod accused of flogging customer account info

Shannon Jacobs
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Want to bet on an entrapment defense?

Three thought experiments:

(1) This is just the tip of an iceberg, which is frightening or even threatening.

(2) It actually is some kind of entrapment and this guy was targeted for some reason.

(3) It's a new joint venture between the bank and the FBI for testing the ethics of bankers.

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Google polishes Chrome security with Password Alert

Shannon Jacobs
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What is the real motto of the google?

The up-to-date google motto obviously can't be anything about stopping or resisting EVIL. Here's a few sordid real-world-of-today candidates:

(1) Live and let spam!

(2) All your attentions is belonging to US.

Here's a few optimistic candidates that today's google can NOT even consider:

(3) Do not support EVIL.

(4) Share public information with the world and protect private information.

Constructive suggestion time (AKA waste of keystrokes). Most people are good (IMHO), so give us tools to do good things. The google is too lazy or incompetent or EVIL to bother the criminals, but I'd be willing to donate some of my time to help out, and I bet that most people feel similarly--if only the tools existed. Clicking on a "Spam" button is NOT sufficient. Spammers obviously can live with so-called filters, but not with defeated scam models (which is why you don't see pump-and-dump spam now).

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NINETY PER CENT of Java black hats migrate to footling Flash

Shannon Jacobs
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Is anyone suprised? And does anyone want to help out?

Nothing new here, but I guess I'm glad they reminded us. There is no way to convert these scumbags into decent human beings, but if you heat up their rocks enough, they will move to other rocks, hopefully much less visible and dangerous rocks...

I wish there were more tools that would allow the potential victims to help fight against these scumbags. You don't have to help out, but I think there are lots of people who would if they could.

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Google exec and avid climber dies on Mount Everest

Shannon Jacobs
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Agreement and confirmation that I've already seen reports of their hospitals being overloaded. However, one more wrinkle is that they need to be sure such a flight doesn't interfere with more serious relief efforts. Rather than trying to find a place to land near Mount Everest, it might be better if they use a helicopter from a less devastated area for the last leg...

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Facebook fiddles with News Feed algo. Brace yourself for CONTENTGEDDON

Shannon Jacobs
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Facebook = SPAM

Let me count the ways, in rough order of most annoying down:

(1) They host Facebook pages for spammers. About 99% certain Facebook also provided the spammers with the email address to spam at, too. Some of the spammers' pages are obvious scams, but others are just soon-to-be-bankrupt quasi-businesses that apparently think it is legitimate to spew crap to people who have absolutely NO interest in their spewage, including never having been in the cities in question or owning any related products, now or ever.

(2) They show racist and unblockable comments in my face. (There are MANY other less offensive comments, but the racist ones are most offensive.) With the vast pile of comments to select from, it is hard to conceive why they pick those, but my theory is that the most unblockable ones are linked to Facebook pages that are somehow paying Facebook and thereby getting protected from the blocking.

(3) They show racist and sort of blockable comments in my face. In this case, it is the large supply of racists that makes it offensive. At least I think these individual racists are sort of blockable, but it is difficult to be sure because of how weirdly the so-called block list works.

(4) They shove 'sponsored' ads of absolutely no interest to me.

(5) They show 'sponsored' ads that might be of interest, but which I will block and seriously try to NEVER shop from.

(6) Some spam originates from Facebook accounts using the Facebook email system. Mostly Chinese stuff, for unknown reasons.

(7) Facebook allows their users to be abused by spammers and scammers based on abuse of the Facebook reputation. You can sort of say this one is outside of Facebook's control, but I say that they should be concerned even to the point of declaring war on such scammers. Of course that's on the theory that Facebook itself isn't a scam and that they have legitimate profits that they could tap a bit from to protect their own supposedly legitimate reputation. I also think the scammers are dumb and wrong about Facebook's "valuable" reputation...

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Google it onna Google phone onna GOOGLE NETWORK. MVNO plan imminent

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Why use GPS rather than signal strength directly?

I'm having a bit of trouble understanding why they would bother with the GPS at all. If they want to know the best WiFi network to use, then the smartphone should periodically scan the available networks and CHECK the signal strengths. Even if the GPS didn't drain the battery and even if it gave accurate locations, that is not going to guarantee the best WiFi signal, even for very approximate senses of guarantee.

In general almost all google news these days supports the hypothesis of increasing EVIL, but at least this one seems neutral. Is that a good thing yet?

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Japan showcases really, really fast … whoa, WTF was that?!

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

There was at least one shinkansen accidental fatality

Guy got caught by his necktie and dragged far enough to kill him. Happened some years ago, so I'm a bit fuzzy on the details, but I think he stepped off the train to use his mobile phone at a station, and then got caught in the door as he tried to get back on board.

There is also this story from about two years ago, though I don't even remember it.

http://www.cnc-communications.com/first-fatal-shinkansen-accident/

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Health apps and wearables make you nervous, not fit, say boffins

Shannon Jacobs
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Continuous monitoring? How about BP?

I think continuous BP monitoring might be the most useful capability for most people, but the devices are still experimental and not yet approved. The continuous monitors use sound and vibration, not pressure, to track the blood pressure. However, you'd think they could start marketing some less reliable BP meters that can at least spot the critical situations?

By the way, I really want to know what the thumb down on my earlier comment was about. Mindless criticism from another mindless critic? Or was there something interesting or provocative in my comment? You'd think I'd have noticed it, eh?

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Shannon Jacobs
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But I love TOYS

Actually, it's not just love of toys, but some concerns about my health that have had me "playing" with some of these devices over the last few years. My own feeling is that most of the data is not useful, but overall I think it reduces worry because it pretty consistently indicates there isn't much to worry about. Your mileage may vary, especially if you have more severe medical problems that I do. Mostly I've concluded that I'm suffering from "getting-old-itis", but the doctors hate to say so.

Having said that, I'm in the market for a sleep meter, and the options are almost overwhelming... Does anyone know of a good database where the various models of such devices are compared on some systematic basis?

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It's 2015 and a RICH TEXT FILE or a HTTP request can own your Windows machine

Shannon Jacobs
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Re: Flash Player - or a Prayer?

That's exactly what I was going to ask. It's not just the monthly patches, but I'd estimate they average an update every week--and the Flash Player still crashes several times a day. That's going back as long as I can remember. How is it POSSIBLE to produce such buggy software and FAIL to fix it for so long?

As regards the Microsoft patches, I'm just getting overwhelmed by the sheer size of them. If you have Office 2013 installed, then this month's patches ran over a gigabyte. Also problems with the emergency patches from Microsoft--there were at least two or three of them that just went in in the last week...

AMAZING. Can you imagine they could distribute such buggy software if they they were actually liable for the damages caused by their bugs? Me neither.

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Apple, IBM jump into bed for health data love in

Shannon Jacobs
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Trying to be optimistic, but...

Given the corporate track record, it's hard to believe the personal data won't be abused...

Having said that, I confess that I'm pretty sure that I qualify as a heavy user of these devices. In fact, right now I'm in the market for a new sleep meter. Does anyone know of some good online database comparing the various features? When I was shopping for my first sleep meter about a year ago, there were only 3 or 5 options in the stores, but on my latest visit, it seemed like at least 30 options. Then there's the exercise trackers, the BP meters, and fancy scales, many of which have options to feed smartphone apps... Just feels overwhelming.

Not exactly a comprehensive solution, but let me mention that EdX is offering a class on this topic, starting next month. I think Rice is the primary sponsor, though Baylor Medical School is involved, too. Even if I can't find such a database, maybe the class will help me understand the most important evaluation criteria?

Now we return you to your regularly scheduled worrying about corporate abuse of your personal information...

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Android gets biometric voice unlocking

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

More erosion of my respect for the google--BAD security

The fix is obvious, but if they can't implement it yet, then they need to wait on voice authentication. The phone should NOT use the same password, but rather show some random text that you have to read. Not perfect, but at least it would beat the most obvious countermeasure of the recorded login.

Whatever happened to the non-EVIL and competent google of so few years ago?

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US hospital boffins demo cancer-busting smartphone kit

Shannon Jacobs
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Wrong problem

The fundamental problem with the for-profit model of medicine is that they have a vested interested in your being sick so they can profit. From the insurance side, they have no sincere interest in reducing costs because higher costs simply mean they can sell you more insurance to pay those higher costs.

By the way, I have experience with the pre-ObamaCare system, and it was outrageously expensive and I would have been bankrupted except for the detail that the other guy had enough insurance to pay for most of the damage he'd caused.

In contrast, my recent experience is with the Japanese healthcare system, which is quite a bit like the ACA (AKA ObamaCare). One major difference is that there are non-profit public insurance options that essentially keep the private insurance companies honest. A second major difference is that the government regulators are relatively competent and even respected and the bureaucrats are actually doing a pretty good job of keeping costs down. Two of the results are long lifespans and low medical costs.

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Russia pulls alleged 'Svpeng' kingpin

Shannon Jacobs
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Show us the money, google

If google hadn't become so EVIL, then they would be taking stronger action to improve Android security. Here's an obvious idea:

SHOW US THE MONEY.

If the developer has a legitimate business model, then it is much more likely that the developer is not a crook. No, it's not a guarantee, but it's the most important data to know, and in some cases it could be pretty close to a guarantee.

Each app on the Google Play website should include a tab for "Financial Model", maybe they should just call it the "Money" tab. The developer gets to say his piece, perhaps by just selecting from one of the most popular financial models, and then the google would say their piece at the bottom, in a place where the developer can't mess with it.

Concrete example of what a developer might say: "This is a free trial version of the <foobar> service, which is doing extremely well."

Concrete example from the google: "We can confirm that the <foobar> service is making substantial revenue."

Of course the more details the developer is willing to divulge, the more basis we would have to decide how much we trust the developer, but even in this simplistic case, we would know that the developer has some legitimacy and would lose that "substantial revenue" if the software is discovered to be malware in disguise. Based on my experiences on Google Play, right now it is almost impossible to get any idea about an app's legitimacy or finances, even though most of them seem to be using minor variations of a few basic models...

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Unpatched 18-year-old Windows man-in-the-middle diddle revived

Shannon Jacobs
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Typos in the first paragraph

As it stands now, there appears to be a misplaced "to" in the fist paragraph.

As the vulnerability report stands, wasn't this the same one that was reported last week? Quite possible that I read about it on the Reg...

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DARPA-funded team says it can SMELL Android malware

Shannon Jacobs
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Follow the MONEY. How does the MONEY smell?

If the google would make it possible for us to know more about the financial models of the developers, that would be the most important factor in detecting malware. If the developer has a sound business model, we don't need to see all the details. It would be sufficient if the google added an annotation something like "Yes, this developer claims to be selling lots of full-featured versions, and our records support that claim" or "This developer claims to be ad-supported, and we confirm substantial ad-related payments." In cases like that, we'd know there is good reason for the developer to be legit, but in another case "The developer claims to be independently wealthy, but we have no evidence of that claim", then the alarm bells should go off.

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Google-Twitter hookup rumours pushes up babble blog site's shares

Shannon Jacobs
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More or less EVIL?

My own opinion is that Twitter is an amazingly worthless waste of time. Stretching my brain to come up with two uses: (1) Source of stupid comments that can be mutated into actually funny jokes on @midnight, and (2) A convenient login mechanism for throwaway websites.

Now considering the worthlessness of Twitter, how would it's acquisition affect the key question: "How EVIL is the google?" YouTube has clearly made the google much more EVIL than before, while most other parts of the google are kind of morally neutral tools (used for both good and bad purposes), but what effect would the Twitter have? I think I'm too biased against stupidity?

Wait a minute. The article claims that Twitter is supposed to be worth $33.7 billion? My bad. Stupid wins again. Go ahead google. What can it hurt?

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Ex-NASA OpenStack pioneer Nebula sucked into black hole

Shannon Jacobs
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Better financial models needed

It's the financial model that matters. Look at Microsoft if you think the quality of the software is significant in comparison.

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Zombie SCO shuffles back into court seeking IBM Linux cash

Shannon Jacobs
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Nothing can stop SCO!

He may be able to divide by zero, but not even Chuck Norris can kill SCO!

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Google adds evil-code scanning to Play Store

Shannon Jacobs
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Follow the MONEY. Oh wait. Can't do that.

If the google were sincere then the most obvious thing they could do would be to offer to display the developers' financial models. I'm not saying they have to forcibly expose the money, but they should give the honest developers an option to explain where the money is coming from, and where possible, they should explain why they think it's true or false. Imagine a "Financial Model" tab with the developer's explanation of the money at the top, and the google's uneditable reaction at the bottom. This would let us make meaningful and informed decisions about the apps in most cases.

In most cases, the developers would be able to select from a relatively small number of standard models. For example, if the developer says it's ad-supported, then the google can say whether or not they have actually been paying money to the developer without giving out exact numbers. Maybe the developer claims to be independently wealthy, but all the google can say is "We don't know." That's still useful in deciding if you want to download the app. Perhaps the financial model is "Produced for a class project", then at least we will know not to count on long-term support if the app seems likely to need any.

All in all, I've lost almost all of my respect for the google. I think they are EVIL now, and the real motto of today's google is "All of your attentions is belonging to us."

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Ow.ly plus AWS plus Box roped into worm-spreading spree

Shannon Jacobs
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Is Twitter affected, too?

I saw some stuff over on Twitter that might have been related to this attack? How to check? Yes, I did report it to Twitter, but I don't recommend taking Twitter seriously as regards security or responses to attacks.

On the more general topic of abuse of link shorteners, this is mostly a solvable problem. All it would take is for the operators of those websites to get slightly serious about abuse. Instead of eventually terminating those links, they should leave them up--but repointed and locked to the abusers' worst nightmares. Easiest example is the 419 scam, where the shortened link could be repointed to a website explaining 419 scams and warning against them. Actually, if the link-shortener operator wanted to get really serious, he would resolve the location of the abusive spammer's website and repoint it to the best anti-419 website in that legal jurisdiction.

Having said that, it isn't clear how effective such a technique would have been in this case. As it appeared on Twitter, there were lots of Tweets, but they were so messed up that it wasn't at all clear what the scam was supposed to be.

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Google MURDERS Google Code, orders everyone out to GitHub and co

Shannon Jacobs
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Google is too EVIL for words these days

The google did NOT buy the Deja News archives to "preserve Usenet history". They were hoping to make their lame Groups more attractive, but they shot that idea in the head by their censorship.

As for the google worrying about spam, that's hilarious. Have you seen their miserable anti-spam webform? Probably not, because they have pretty good reason to hide such a weak-arsed travesty, but let me assure you it is nothing for the spammers to worry about. Or how about the waves of phishing and pwning spam that infest Google's YouTube? Many YEARS of futility there, but my conclusion is that the google people don't have any children or they would be bothered by the YouTube traps targeting children who just think they are trying to watch their favorite cartoon. Or maybe the Android ads are more annoying, with all the fake "You've been infected" notices to con suckers into installing gawd-knows-what malware? Spam in the blogs (as well as disappearing posts)? Lots of other examples, but I can't imagine the Google Code spam problem is high on the list. (These days my #1 EVIL pick is oscillating between the google and Facebook.)

Personal bias disclaimer: I'm one of the newsgroup posters who was shot in the head over on Groups, though I'm still not sure what term of service I might have violated. I've asked a number of times going back about 10 years, and occasionally I receive a robotic reply that my case is still under investigation or appeal or something... I suspect it was for swearing, but hey, that's not the only bad habit I picked up in the service.

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Clinton defence of personal email server fails to placate critics

Shannon Jacobs
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Boffin

Don't you UNDERSTAND?!? It was in her spam!

You see the real reason for using Gmail was so that her communist bosses could send her orders disguised as spam. Of COURSE she won't remember to reveal her spam, no matter how many times the patriotic neo-GOP politicians investigate her! What a cover up!

Need proof? Why do you think the google is so spam friendly? Why is their anti-spam webform such a sick joke? Hillery's orders! She wants lots of spam to disguise her secret communications!

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BILLION email address spam scam: Feds collar two blokes, hunt another

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

If SpamCop is so great, why is there still spam?

My own experience is that SpamCop lost their fire after the Cisco acquisition. As far as the spammers are concerned, SpamCop is just another minor nuisance to live with.

To really reduce the spam, the spammers' business models must be broken. As long as they are making money, they will continue to spam. Case in point: How much stock market pump-and-dump spam do you see now? Almost none, because the spammers' business models were targeted and shut down--but only after several academic reports showed the spammers were basically printing money there.

I wish ANY of the major email providers would take the initiative of creating really effective anti-spammer tools to allow US, the extremely annoyed masses, to break the spammers' business models. Look at the numbers. The suckers who actually feed the spammers are a relatively rare and precious resource. Such profound stupidity doesn't grow on every tree. You don't have to help, but I sure wish I could help categorize the spam and target the best countermeasures to cut the spammers away from the suckers.

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Paul Allen hunts down sunken Japanese WWII super-battleship

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Re: Not so vulnerable...

According to a book I read on the specific history of the Musashi, there were many Japanese ships nearby when she was first attacked, but the Americans focused their efforts on her until she lagged behind and was finally sunk. If I remember correctly, the Yamato may have been elsewhere in the same loosely organized convoy.

As I further recall the stories, the Japanese originally had plans to build four ships of this class, but the third was converted into a makeshift aircraft carrier and the fourth was cancelled as the war situation 'developed not necessarily to their advantage', in the famous imperial euphemism. My memory is fuzzier on the third ship, but I think it was named the Shinano and was sunk by an American submarine quite close to Japan. They had launched it and I believe it had been ordered it to head for the Philippines, too, though it was essentially without armament at that late point in the war.

P.S. More fuzzy recollection, but I think that one of the enabling technologies for Pearl Harbor was a Japanese-designed airplane-delivered torpedo that could be used in relatively shallow water.

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£280k Kickstarter camera trigger campaign crashes and burns

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

No accountability on Kickstarter

I'm very interested in supporting good projects, but Kickstarter has never made any pretense of guaranteeing results. There should be clear success criteria for ANY project that wants my money, and Kickstarter could actually earn their cut by making sure that the project proposals are well thought out and complete, that they include all the necessary resources and have a realistic schedule, that the success criteria are clear, and by evaluating the finished projects and reporting on the results.

The Kickstarter people said they'd get back to me on such suggestions. Just kidding. I did submit the suggestions, but Kickstarter said nothing that I can remember.

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Snowden 'ready to return to US', claims lawyer

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Bullets not needed

In the States they have a contractor hack your car's electronics and arrange for a completely mysterious and inexplicable accident. Did you know that Michael Hastings fractured his legs stomping on the disabled brake pedal? Based on my reading on the topic, I'm convinced Snowden is just a patsy and Greenwall is a gullible fool. Both of them are sincere, but easily manipulated, whereas Hastings was fundamentally out of control and had probably established (or was perceived as likely to son establish) a secure linkage to the real dirt.

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Windows XP's market share grows AGAIN!

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Suspicions are cheap and worth less

Whether or not 0.07% or 7% is significant is a difficult question that depends on the amount of data and how accurately it is measured. Your suspicions about the "margin of error" are therefore baseless. They might be reporting on samples in the millions where tiny fluctuations can be measured.

Having said that, it is the Register, and I'm certainly not going to invest or gamble any money based on their reporting. To me, the real focus of the Windows XP topic should be that Microsoft's threats and blackmail aren't working perfectly, and as too often happens, the Register is off chasing some codswallop.

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RIP Leonard Nimoy: He lived long and prospered

Shannon Jacobs
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Stop feeding the trolls

Which reminds me to report my own sad trollage experience on this very topic...

I basically visit Facebook only to complain about Facebook-supported spammers and scammers. If I could only prove Facebook had leaked my email address to these spammers I'd also be the first one on the sue-em-to-death bus.

On a recent visit to complain, my eye was caught by a story about President Obama expressing his regrets about the death of Leonard Nimoy. Facebook also offered two comments for my enlightenment. Both were from trolls attacking Obama for various reasons. One was from a well-known racist, but I didn't check the second. That would have required 15 seconds of research, and no vile troll is worth 3 seconds.

Of course the saddest part is that Star Trek was so optimistic about the post-racist future of the USA (in Federation disguise, of course). Did you know the first interracial kiss on (American?) TV was in an episode of Star Trek? And NBC was seriously annoyed, of course.

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NO ONE is making money from YouTube, even Google – report

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

I beg to differ. The criminals are clearly profiting

Based on observations of their behaviors, it is clear that there are some criminals who are doing quite well on YouTube. Their videos and accounts are constantly and frequently being nuked, and yet they keep recreating them. They would not be doing that if they were not profiting.

The most flagrant example I know of involves a category of copyright infringement. Not fan videos or trivial stuff. These are accounts with large numbers of not-quite-commercial videos. Actually, they claim to be the real thing, but the actual videos are just stubs intended to get the suckers to click through to other websites. The exact scams are unclear, and I don't regard myself as technically skilled enough to investigate. I suspect that they are persuading suckers to install pwnware in hopes of getting "free" TV programs and movies, but it's just as possible that they are drive-by attacks that will pwn my insufficiently protected computer on the touch. Or perhaps they are making their money from commercial suckers who think they are paying for actual clicks?

After several years of careful observations, the details don't actually matter to me that much. What is clear is that the google supports EVIL, and the criminals love the google for it.

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Russia considers keeping its own half of the ISS alive after 2024

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Vacuum is no joking matter, even for mold?

Or "mould" as you might prefer. However, I think this branch of the thread was intended as a joke of the facetious sort, but why? It would certainly seem that they could wipe out any problematic growths of any sort simply by depressurizing the affected part of the space station for a while.

Gets rid of odors, too. Take it back to that new space station smell.

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The finest weird people in the world live here, and we're proud of it

Shannon Jacobs
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Re: Expensive housing

Typical rightwing Libertarian BS to focus on rent control. Geography is the problem for SF, as in no room to expand. Various geographical constraints, but it comes back to the famous old joke of real estate agents:

Q: What three things determine the value of a piece of land?

A: Location, location, and location.

Virtual reality notwithstanding, if you have possession of the actual and physical location, a location that other people want, it's really hard to define any meaningful limit on the price. Accept no substitute because there is no substitute.

Also, I find the thought of SF vertically built up like Hong Kong rather depressing. Or perhaps frightening, considering the residential tower that just burned down...

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So long, Lenovo, and no thanks for all the super-creepy Superfish

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Which flavor of EVIL do you want today?

I'm having trouble focusing on Lenovo as the primary culprit here. Yeah, they done wrong. They even done wrong in a big time way, but these days, it's just par for the course.

Right now I'm hoping never to buy another Microsoft-infested machine. It was the end of so-called support for Windows 7 that finally blew my fuse. It's not as though the thing that Microsoft laughably calls support has ever been worth anything, but at least it was a nice theory. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit. I think I actually have found some useful information there, but mostly I remember all the times when I found nothing but infinite loops. The feeling is 2% success, but it might have been as high as 10% averaging over the last couple of decades...

Of course the punchline is that Microsoft is doing just fine. Terrible software is NOT a problem. Customer satisfaction? Pshaw. All you need is a EULA to disavow all responsibility and a sales strategy selling to the vendors, not the end victims.

Sadly, maybe I'll have no other choice. The google has clearly gone to the EVIL side, and Chromebooks seem too limited anyway, whereas Apple has always been more of a fashion statement than an exercise of meaningful freedom... Ubuntu? Ah, that was a sad joke, though it might be the most "successful" of the Linux failed economic models. *sigh*

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M0n0wall comes tumbling down as dev throws in the trowel

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Financial models matter

I've said it before, but maybe someone is listening this time?

Great software without a good financial model is meaningless. In contrast, the most awful software (AKA Microsoft) can be extremely successful if the financial model is cunning enough. MS actually has two important innovations, but none of them involve better software. (1) Sell to the makers, not the victims of your software. (2) Devise a EULA that completely absolves you from any responsibility for the egregious flaws in your software.

Yes, I do have a better idea, but no one is listening, so why waste the keystrokes (again). However, I may soon have the freedom to pursue it seriously...

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ALIENS are surely AMONG US: Average star has TWO potentially Earth-like worlds

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Finally, the Fermi Paradox mention

Not surprised the original author didn't mention the Fermi Paradox. Same blathering idiot frequently denies climate change, so probably he never heard of Fermi. "Who was Fermi? Another one of those damn fool money-grubbing so-called scientists? Oh, you say he had a Nobel thingee or such?" However, somewhat surprised to see so little mention of the Fermi Paradox here in the comments.

My amplified form is to consider a single stable civilization that started with our level of radio technology within our galaxy. If they wanted to say "hi", they could create a major radio beacon. They don't even need to run it continuously, but just let out a a few megawatts of encoded squawk when they are at their time of low power demand. To define stable, let's say we can claim 5,000 years of civilization, and our "stable civilization" is at least 20 times more stable. Then by now their signal would have reached every corner of our galaxy--and even with our primitive technology, we would have picked it up. Therefore, we can safely say there is no such civilization in our galaxy that wants to say "Hi."

Various resolutions of the Paradox, but the two I favor are:

1. A proclivity for technology is not a survival trait, and all such civilizations quickly exterminate themselves, probably by a cost-effective bio-weapon.

2. Naturally evolved intelligences like humans replace themselves with AIs, and the AIs are talking among themselves in ways we can't perceive. In this case, we can conclude the AIs are not malevolent, or they would have exterminated us by now. I'd prefer to believe they are wagering quatloos on how long we survive or genuinely interested in the various paths taken by natural evolution. However, in any version of this case, I can't imagine they would ever bother talking to us. What would you say to a flea (even if you knew the flea or its ancestors had once created a super-smart dog)?

More at:

http://eco-epistemology.blogspot.jp/2007/08/resolution-of-fermi-paradox.html

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