* Posts by Charles 9

8622 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Hack attack fear scares Canadian exam board away from online tests

Charles 9
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Re: If Exams are unworkable online,

The problem is a Catch-22. How can you be positive every vote is BOTH true AND anonymous at the same time. The true requirement is obvious; the anonymous is to prevent voter pressure. It also prevents any kind of personal review outside the poll, lest a frog march ensues.

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It's now illegal in the US to punish customers for posting bad web reviews

Charles 9
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Re: @Olius -- What a world

"The employee is basically screwed in that even if they win, they've lost the time the court case takes."

Isn't that countered with punitive damage settlements which can take hardships (such as being out of work) into consideration?

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Charles 9
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Re: What a world

But those rights aren't constitutional. The Bill of Rights only protects you against government encroachment of your rights. They say nothing about private encroachment of your rights when it's just between the two of you.

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Charles 9
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Re: What a world

"If this kind of thing didn't exist, then people (employers or otherwise) would be able to coerce others in to signing contracts which essentially say "You are now my bitch". In my example, one employer would be able to stop you from ever working again, via that non-compete clause. Contract law should not be able to trump other laws or rights."

So noted, but businesses are bigger and richer than your average person as well as more focused, so they tend to have greater influence over legislators. Which is why legislation in the long run tends to favor them barring something "going too far" and either triggering a crisis or raising public outcry. I think in this case it's the last: increasing outcry forced their hand before things got taken to the courts, which are (at the moment) more people-friendly-versus-business.

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Charles 9
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Re: What a world

"This isn't about govts overturning contracts willy nilly, it is about you not being coerced in to signing a contract which gives away certain basic rights - in my example, the right to work, and in the article, the right to free speech."

But freedom of speech in the Constitution (as well as all the other freedoms and rights accorded in the Bill of Rights) are specifically written to prevent government action against the individual. Action between private entities are subject to negotiable terms and conditions.

That being said, the law here is about balancing knowledge in common, which is critical for capitalism to work properly. People can only make informed decisions if they're informed of both strengths and faults. That's why we have fraud laws. But the catch is that it's hard to nail a fraud case due to lack of knowledge (misinformation by absence). If the seller has the ability to bias the public knowledge, this increases the imbalance of knowledge (which already inherently favors the seller--they know more about the product than the buyer does because they usually make it).

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Charles 9
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Re: My approach

"I also hate anonymous cowards and tend to ignore their views as probably being trolls (some cases are different where they could be putting themselves at risk but otherwise....). If you write something because you mean it then you should have the guts to put your name (or user ID) against it and not hide behind anonymity."

Unless, like you said earlier, some sellers don't like taking flak and start firing back. That's the reason for anonymity in the first place: to protect against retaliation.

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Charles 9
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Re: Trump will revoke that law

That's the thing. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Neither side has had 60 Senators (what you need to invoke cloture which breaks a filibuster) for a long time, so if the GOP expect to get a lot through their administration they have another thing coming.

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Charles 9
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Re: Trump will revoke that law

"I can see Trump removing that law pretty quick. There will be no negative reviews allowed of Trump."

How when the Republicans lack cloture power in the Senate?

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US Supreme Court to hear case that may ruin Lone Star patent trolls

Charles 9
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Re: So if this goes through, everyone has to be sued in their state of incorporation

"Patents are limited to 20 years; the original Patent Act limited them to 14 years."

For machinery patents (machines tend to be used for decades) and medical patents (which take almost that long just to pass the testing to see they're safe), that's OK. But software and other nonphysical patents live in a world running at breakneck speed, and this length is now inappropriate. While some would say you shouldn't patent ideas, the flip side is that people won't divulge their ideas without some protection. And ideas that go to the grave can be lost forever, defeating one of the purposes of the USPTO of bringing ideas to the light of day. So the most suitable compromise would be to shorten the length of a nonphysical patent (with loophole protection to prevent them being presented in things like ICs which ARE physical) to reflect the speed of that industry (say, 3-5 years at most).

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Charles 9
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Re: patent laws federal; districts and judges to blame

Only one thing. Some of the trolls have deep pockets, too, and don't so much troll as bully you.

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Charles 9
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Isn't a Court of Appeals panel a fixed size, though, somewhere around 13 (at least 3 since that's the minimum needed to hear an appeal)?

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Charles 9
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Re: So if this goes through, everyone has to be sued in their state of incorporation

"The fact that they seem inclined (and even incentivised) to grant patents and let the courts sort it out is a big part of this problem."

That's due to the USPTO's biggest problem: shoestring budgets.

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Charles 9
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I believe the judges in question are federal. ALL Federal judges, per the Constitution, Article III, MUST be nominated, then confirmed.

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Charles 9
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Re: So if this goes through, everyone has to be sued in their state of incorporation

"So, I'm an engineer. If I was to spend years designing and developing, say, a radically new car engine design, it is acceptable for another company to come along and copy my design? I should not be allowed to make a penny from my own design, which I have spent years on?

I would have to disagree with you on that. While I believe patent law, especially in the USA, needs reform, it certainly should NOT be abandoned."

For really, REALLY big companies, patents are just ink on a page. They can simply bully you nonstop until either your patent expires, you cave, or they engineer a way to get around your patent.

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Charles 9
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But Courts of Appeal are never ruled by juries but by panels of judges: in this case, usually a panel of three but sometimes the entire court. Thing is, this particular district is, as noted, very patent-friendly. The reasons judges don't get spanked is because they're supposed to be insulated from that kind of discipline. Once confirmed, they serve until death or voluntary retirement. The only exception to that case is to be impeached in the House and then convicted in the Senate (which requires a 2/3 majority).

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DDoS in 2017: Strap yourself in for a bumpy ride

Charles 9
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Re: This is just like Rascal Scooters at Disney World all over again

How do you stop cheapskate vendors from cheating, then?

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Banks 'not doing enough' to protect against bank-transfer scams

Charles 9
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Re: Don't blame the bank

Still indirect. A bank transfer can't stop your heart, but inhaling hydrogen cyanide vapors can and probably will.

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Charles 9
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Re: Don't blame the bank

No, chemicals can kill. Directly. So they're exceptions, subject to extra regulation. Since when has wire stupidity directly killed anyone?

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Charles 9
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Potential collateral damage, as honest shareholders may not be able to sell, either.

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Give us encrypted camera storage, please – filmmakers, journos

Charles 9
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Re: Fast data transfer

Even against radio jammers?

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Charles 9
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Re: Encrypted USB Datastcks

No, the REAL goal is preventing ANYONE (local OR international) from being able to access it. And once it's out of their sovereign control, the genie's out of the bottle, so to speak, so a paranoid State will take any measures within their sovereign borders to block bad news. By controlling the airwaves and employing radio sniffers, they can block pirate broadcasts and mesh networks. By searching photographers at the points of exit, they can seize (and destroy) anything that could hold compromising footage. Heck, there are even ways to guard against things being smuggled inside the photographer's body. And since they DO hold sovereign power, there's sod all the photographer can do to stop these countermeasures being used.

And last I checked, these countermeasures ARE being used in places like Iran, so it's not just theoretical, either.

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Charles 9
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Re: Encrypted USB Datastcks

ANY form of storage could be found and destroyed by a paranoid state.

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Charles 9
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Re: Picking the wrong end of the problem

Except the plods are well aware of mesh networks, dead drops, and the like. Moles, control of the airwaves, and radio sniffers will make your proposition quite dangerous. I believe Iran itself has used these tactics to smothering effect.

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Charles 9
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Re: Anyone else find it amusing ....

It's not so much privacy they're after as safety of their work. If they can't get out of there with their material intact, they might as well have not gone at all. Thing is, it's VERY hard to get such things past a paranoid state. There are only so many ways to hide footage, and the State's probably aware of all of them.

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Charles 9
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The plods aren't dumb. They can run various analyses to determine the picture's hiding something: not the least of which would have to be that the mask picture seems unusually low quality for something so big. Ergo, you're hiding something. Any technology that attempts to conceal something, the plods would become aware and assume you're using it. Thus it makes things worse for honest people: how do you prove you're not using something whose whole purpose is to conceal its very existence?

The article makes a point that no amount of concealment is going to work all the time against a paranoid State power. They're the gatekeepers and have sovereign power, so if they don't like you, you're pretty much screwed.

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Blue sky basic income thinking is b****cks

Charles 9
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Stop

Answer this question.

As the article notes, any talk about UBI is going to hit a very hard wall.

Who's going to PAY for this UBI when practically the only people you can draw payments from are also the most mobile, able to just pack up and leave if you try?

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Charles 9
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Re: Cat among the pigeons

Bureaucratic nightmare of the highest order. You forget one of the most fundamental aspects of the human condition: people are going to CHEAT...AND find ways to get away with it. If money doesn't talk, how about a tank or a nuke instead?

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Charles 9
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Re: Citizens Dividend

Haven't you noticed that the 1% can play governments like cheap whores? If a government tries to intervene, they'll pack up and leave, taking everything with them regardless of the laws in place. When you've got money like the 1% do, the laws are just ink on a page, ink you can work around.

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Charles 9
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Re: Too many people

Reality has never gotten in the way of the delusions of people up top. If they believe a population crash is imminent, nothing will stop them from believing it, just as believing that God has ordered Christians to go forth and multiply means they will do in spite of a lack of resources. God shall provide, after all.

Note that I do no believe any of this, but many up top DO. It's the kind of thing that makes me want to challenge Churchill's statement about democracy with this question.

"But what if the least-worst form of government out there is still insufficient?"

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Charles 9
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Re: Right Wing Hell

Unless they just decide to dispense with sales associates alrogether, a la redbox...

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Charles 9
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Re: Citizens Dividend

"This is the future but we will have to fight for it from the 1% who want everything for themselves."

But what's to stop the 1% from fighting back and closing off the walled garden and turning on the Terminators?

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Charles 9
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Nah, you're pretty much reading it right. Most of the population's pretty much holding onto one giant rope for dear life and hoping it doesn't break before something else comes along to help them. Because at this juncture, that's all they can do.

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Charles 9
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Re: Too many people

They're afraid of a downward spiral. Fewer kids results in even fewer kids next generation until the point of no return hits and the population crashes. As noted by the baby boom of the 60's generation, populations can get extremely volatile under certain conditions.

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Charles 9
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Re: Too many people

I was the one who brought it up, and the real problem is both political and instinctive. No one wants to be told "You lose, game over, better luck next life." This in turn makes "overpopulation" a dirty word: political suicide. Meaning the only real solution is the one no one would enact willingly. Worst thing is, if it's forced upon us, there's a very, VERY real chance the human race won't survive the fallout.

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Charles 9
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Re: UBI has issues, but there's a better solution.

But hoe do you convince the existing capital holders to play aling?

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Charles 9
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"Basic Income is a perfectly sensible idea, BTW, just not for any of the reasons advanced in the article."

Except for one fundamental problem which the article notes. Who PAYS for it? And how do you keep those who are left to pay for it from simply packing up and leaving?

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Charles 9
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Re: Regarding fulfilling all desires

But what happens if the pace of technology is such that newly-unfulfilled desires turn out to already be fulfillable with current tech. That's the big scare with this technological displacement: the avalanche effect of finding any new field you try can already be done by an application of the technology. Even supposedly-sacrosanct positions like the cashier are making way for self-checkouts. If it's a choice between a self-checkout and starvation, the former wins. And don't think people will automatically gravitate towards a human over a machine. Would people prefer a jerk to a machine. for example?

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Charles 9
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No, in a capitalist system, that is precisely and completely the purpose of a business. In fact, that's the purpose of anything: to fill a demand and be compensated for it. If it isn't worth the money, the demand doesn't get filled (which is what happens when P and Q fail to intersect). No one HAS to supply the service, remember that.

No, the most fundamental problem is that the market's too skewed, in this case with labor supply. The economics of labor have changed to such a degree that the labor pool is massively overprovisioned. The only rational solution is to find a way to reduce the surplus, but that run flat into the irrational factor that is self-preservation.

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Charles 9
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Re: Biology my friend ...

Unless they turn inward, close the walled garden, and hash it out amongst themselves.

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Charles 9
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Re: Mixed feelings

So what do you do when there are 12 people stranded in the middle of the desert but only 6 bottles of water.

Because that's essentially the problem right now. And putting it this way, it becomes clear there's no happy ending in store.

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NASA – get this – just launched 8 satellites from a rocket dropped from a plane at 40,000ft

Charles 9
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Re: Only perfect storms ?

"Called a basement."

You didn't invoke the Joke Alert. After all, how do you install a basement in the middle of the ocean? And big ships already have below-sea-level areas due to their displacement (meaning, technically, they already exist).

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Charles 9
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Re: well it makes a change...

Not really. The more sheer info there is, the more that can be claimed is fake. Remember, you can never convince an irrational person.

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If you bought a dildo in Denver, the government must legally be told

Charles 9
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Re: Use a different tax

"The answer is obvious: don't charge sales tax. Set that tax rate to zero, and adjust the income tax to make up the shortfall, with the emphasis on those having the free cash available."

Some of the richest technically don't have taxable income due to them borrowing against their assets instead (buy, borrow, die, aka Tax Planning 101). Last I checked, loans can't be taxed as income, and since asset value is ephemeral, a lot of it normally can't be taxed while they're held, only when they're sold (when a real value if finally attached to it).

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Charles 9
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Heck, many of these depend on those tax revenues for their continued operation since they don't trust the higher authorities to pinch in. How else does a country maintain its police and fire departments if the state government isn't willing to pay for them?

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Charles 9
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Re: Obvious answer

The tax reporting periods provide a default.

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Experts to Congress: You must act on IoT security. Congress: Encourage industry to develop best practices, you say?

Charles 9
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Re: Standards in the US would also affect china, due to dev costs

Why do you think the US can't use LTE Band III? Because it's already in use. That's an example right there.

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'Emoji translator' sought by translations firm

Charles 9
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Re: What a load of bollocks...

"Anyone that claims "a picture is worth a thousand words" need only close their eyes to prove that little lump of shite to be false."

Oh? I recall it's devlishly hard to properly convey what makes the Mona Lisa so intriguing to a blind person. So my view stands. A picture can easily be worth MORE than a thousand words. In fact, the best are beyond words altogether and, sadly, beyond the ability of a sightless person to comprehend due to lack of common ground.

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Take that, creationists: Boffins witness birth of new species in the lab

Charles 9
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"In the meantime, the movement of genes between unrelated organisms was discovered. It would appear that horizontal/lateral gene transfer (HGT/LGT) plays a far more important role than point mutation of genes in situ. As an example there's a cnidarian (jellyfish) with perfect lenses, but lacking the necessary retina and brain to process visual information."

According to some articles I've read in Nature, the lenses still serve a purpose though not in the way we use eyes.

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Reschedule the holiday party, Patch Tuesday is here and it's a big one

Charles 9
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Re: No reschedule needed here

"The Linux native versions of steam games run faster (including on Windows!) than the Windows native versions do. The irony is rather amusing. Good luck with your next attempt :-)"

Really? TF2 chugged for me. I consistently got 59-60fps on a Windows setup. Same machine, same servers, only using Xubuntu? Usually drops below 50, sometimes below 30. So, no my firsthand experience doesn't agree with you. And emulation is not an option, especially if the game is performance heavy or happens to rely on new tech like DX12 which doesn't translate well if at all.

And no, I haven't found a serious game that's on Linux and nowhere else.

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