* Posts by Public Citizen

133 posts • joined 28 Oct 2015


Lovely website you got there. Would be a shame if we, er, someone were to sink it: Google warns EU link tax will magnify media monetary misery

Public Citizen

Re: Slow learners

I seem to recall, back in the mists of time when the Internet was young, that my primary email address and the software to make it go were provided as part of the monthly fee paid to my internet service provider.

Public Citizen

Re: Ah, capitalism at its best

Here's a better idea:

Do a web search on the matter that doesn't involve the use of Google.

By the time you figure out how to do that you should have no problem setting your browser so that it won't change back to Google because you haven't figured out how to set a different search engine.

Furious Apple revokes Facebook's enty app cert after Zuck's crew abused it to slurp private data

Public Citizen

Re: There was...

Fakebook needs to be broken down to and at the atomic level.

Anything less, such as a Standard Oil type breakup, only creates multiple seeds [already having the corrupted corporate culture in their new corporate DNA] for wider dissemination of the corruption.

Public Citizen

Re: They literally have a scandal every week

I believe the intention was to make reference to the intelligence of the aggregate population, in which case the statement is not only valid but relevant.

I certainly interpreted it that way.

Public Citizen

Re: I'll help Facebook do better!

And would provide a much better visual for a "teachable moment".

And I'm not inferring that Facebook is teachable or amenable to any sort of disciplinary action.

It is a rotten corporate culture and if it was up to me an explosive demolition company would be hired and every single piece of hardware they own, from a pencil sharpener on up would be destroyed and used for landfill.

Fake 'U's! Phishing creeps use homebrew fonts as message ciphers to evade filters

Public Citizen

Re: People stil falling for the fake email.

In order to achieve true invincibility you need to add a White Hardhat.

Heard the one where the boss calls in an Oracle consultant who couldn't fix the database?

Public Citizen

Re: Naming conventions

I see much potential here for a digital version of an Abbott and Costello Routine.

Ho ho ho! Washington DC sends Zuckerberg a sueball-shaped present

Public Citizen

Re: Now EU use GDPR

And it's even worse than the 19th Century Trusts because Internet Monopolies like FB pry into your private business on the internet even when ~you~ aren't a user, and have taken measures to keep them from "tracking" you.

It would be the equivalent of Standard Oil driving a pipe into your house and then turning on the tap and billing you for the "service" they've provided, when you don't own an automobile and your entire consumption of petroleum products amounts to a gallon of kerosene every year for your oil lamps, purchased from a non-Standard Oil supplier.

Public Citizen

Re: @AC Good. Now close FB down

If you think that liquor has been "on sale" for most of the time you've been buying it then you missed the point of Sun Tsu.

It's a Loss Leader designed to bait you into coming into their store, sold at cost or maybe slightly above, and evidently it's working as intended.

Public Citizen

How about compensation for those of us who have tried to shut Fakebook out of our lives and away from our internet usage?

Zburgs aggressive attempts to snare everybody in his web of deceit amount to the internet equivalent of mugging at a minimum and go all the way up to forcible rape.

What a meth: Woman held for 3 months after cops mistake candy floss for hard drugs

Public Citizen

At a minimum treble damages apply and 10x damages are not out of order.

Townsfolk left deeply unsatisfied by Bury St Edmunds' 'twig' of a Christmas tree

Public Citizen

The careful reader will note that it is TWO trees that have been donated.

Dawn of the dead: NASA space probe runs out of gas in asteroid belt after 6.4 billion-mile trip

Public Citizen

Re: Reinvest in a small nuclear powered engines program. NOW!

But the fissionables aren't "dead mass" they are fuel mass.

SQLite creator crucified after code of conduct warns devs to love God, and not kill, commit adultery, steal, curse...

Public Citizen

"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you"

Has always looked well for me.

Uncle Sam gives itself the right to shoot down any drone, anywhere, any time, any how

Public Citizen

One easy solution would be to develop a drone identification system symilar to IFF but lower powered and on one of the bands already designated for low power commercial usage, think bluetooth but slightly more power.

FCC boss slams new Californian net neutrality law, brands it illegal

Public Citizen

Slow Motion Train Wreck

The Core Problem being that the elected officials in California, from city councils all the way up suffer from the delusion that they are "showing the rest of the nation and the world how it should be done".

Every one convinced inside his or her head that they are "the greatest statesman to ever walk the planet".

Meanwhile back on planet earth, the state is virtually bankrupt and it's only some fast pencil-work on the ledgers that keep the fact from becoming apparent to all the punters. When the aging bureaucrats start retiring in larger numbers [projected to start occurring within the next three years] their magic accounting tricks won't be able to paper over the "financial embarrassment".

It looks like tech-savvy drivers will have to lead connected car data purge

Public Citizen

Re: Factory reset option?

Which is easily avoided by a keep alive device inserted into the cigarette lighter socket.

Facebook flat-out 'lies' about how many people can see its ads – lawsuit

Public Citizen

Re: This is another easy win for Facebook

It's only an "error" when the public tumbles to the Con.

As long as the punters keep buying the PR Propaganda without doing any independent research and verification the game is on.

Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave

Public Citizen

Re: Shareholders Carry the Can?

Shareholders have the ultimate "voting right" which they exercise with every buy or sell transaction.

When the investors start to move toward the door in significant numbers the share price drops, which means the value of the company is lessened, making it less attractive to new investors.

This big a fine is newsworthy enough to stampede a noticeable number of the small investors. If too many of them join the sidle to the exit the stock price can drop enough to bring attention from the financial regulators.

Public Citizen

Re: Big fines are just a cost of doing big business

And if the ongoing fine, which is expressed as a percentage of their daily business [Finally! set dollar amounts are easily factored into the business model and become less painful over time] isn't effective they can just up the percentage of the total business that goes to pay the fines until the company capitulates.

Ice cliffs found on Mars and NASA says they’re a tap for astronauts

Public Citizen

Based on the description, a more efficient collection device might be something similar to the design of a solar evaporative distillers collection film.

Since the ice is sublimating it should be possible to capture the sublimate and through suitable processes using currently available tech convert it to a usable product with minimal energy input.

NASA spots asteroid on crash course with Earth – with just hours to go

Public Citizen

Re: velocity of a sheep in a vacuum in El Reg units

The calculation also needs a correction factor for the drag coefficient caused by the difference between a sheared and an unsheared sheep.

President Trump broke US Constitution with Twitter bans – judge

Public Citizen

Re: Actually, this decision doesn't matter anyway.

You won't find the answer to your question in the US Constitution.

That's part of the reason why the USA has such a large body of Judicial Rulings on questions of Constitutional Law.

You need to look for your answer there, and you won't find a clear ruling because this is one area that the US Supreme Court has tiptoed around for over Two Centuries now.

Public Citizen

Re: First Amendment Violation?

You make some excellent points.

The comparison with the operation of the White House internal Postal System is particularly appropriate.

There are multiple levels of filtering that occur before any mail gets to the Oval Office. Since the White House receives and estimated 10,000 pieces of mail a day. Compare that to the potential for a Twitter account, or any other social media account, to be flooded to the point of uselessness by spammers and bots by the judicial insistence that nothing can be blocked.

This is an old judge, with a limited grasp of how the digital world functions or how it can be abused. This decision will be appealed. Hopefully more technically educated heads will make a ruling at the appellate level.

US Congress mulls expanding copyright yet again – to 144 years

Public Citizen

Re: The current scheme is not too bad.

The protection goes to the disseminator [be it publisher/distributor/exhibitor] not to the creator.

Example: Walt Disney was only a middling fair draftsman/animator. His real talent was recognizing and developing the people with superior talent and molding them into teams that produced popular and profitable works. The actual creators were fairly compensated for their work, the Disney Brothers made their fortunes from it.

All these people are long dead now, yet the company, with which the surviving members of the family have no connection other than stock ownership, seeks to assert an ever extending copyright to the work of those not just long past but generations past.

Public Citizen

Re: Actually, good photography requires skill

Any really good photographer will tell you that it requires taking a lot of bad, not so good, and good but not great photographs to get that One Great Image.

There is also the element of training that happens while taking and then reviewing those not so spectacular photos.

As time goes on and skill improves the overall quality improves but it still requires a percentage of luck, which includes being at the right place at the right time with the right equipment to make those world class shots.

Public Citizen

Re: Next act will be titled: "To infinity - and beyond!"

And the foundation of the "Big Rodents" Empire [and subsidiary Kingdoms] was the need to develop a knock off of the Character "Oswald The Lucky Rabbit" when the copyright holder decided that they could produce the product for less than the Disney Brothers by the simple expedient of hiring the majority of the Disney Brothers staff away.

If you look at the Oswald Character and the Mouse Characters early drawing that were contemporary to Oswald the genesis of the Rodent becomes obvious.

Also, look at the copyright status of most of the stories that became the classic "Disney Animated Features". They were mostly out of copyright. Later on, when Disney had to work with the authors of works still in Copyright the relationships were often unsatisfactory to the copyright holder, case in point Mary Poppins.

It should be noted that the members of the Disney Family who were at one time actively involved in the management of the enterprise have all left the company, including surrendering all seats on the Board of Directors. They still have ownership of large amounts of stock but no longer have control of the name, likeness, or work product of the members of the family who are responsible for the creative work.

In other words, the entire enterprise is in control of Lawyers and other suits who have no legitimate claim to the pre 1965 work under any Law of Copyright in effect at the time of the principals death.

Tech giants' payouts go to everyone but affected citizens. US Supremes now urged to sort it out

Public Citizen

Ninth Circus

It should be noted that the US Ninth Circuit Court is the most overturned District Court in the entire jurisdiction of the US Federal Courts.

It is so bad that there has been serious discussion about breaking up this court and forming two new Federal Circuit Courts.

The court is notorious for the convoluted levels that the liberal judges it has will go to to legislate from the bench a pre-determined outcome.

'WHAT THE F*CK IS GOING ON?' Linus Torvalds explodes at Intel spinning Spectre fix as a security feature

Public Citizen

This is what happens when Lawyers and Accountants ["assisted" by Marketing Weasels] are making decisions that should be the exclusive purview of Engineers.

Torvalds has good reason to be pissed.

Destroying the city to save the robocar

Public Citizen

Re: F**K the Disabled

Here's a better and more cost effective solution.

Make it a requirement for the electric vehicles to make enough nose so that they can be identified and positioned in the same fashion as those powered by internal combustion engines.

Please don't even comment if all you have to contribute is "can't be done" or "cost too much". A simple noise generator and amplifier coupled to a loud speaker will accomplish the goal, and using off the shelf hardware.

It shouldn't be the responsibility of society to adapt to the "new technology" which isn't new, electric cars were popular in the early 1900s, but of those marketing the technology to make it compatible with society.

Public Citizen

Re: Obviously the solution is....

Then it all burns down so the next time it rains there are torrential mudslides.

Public Citizen

Re: Obviously the solution is....

Your thesis blows up as soon as you factor in those of us with mobility issues.

Or those of us who have both mobility issues and live in sub-urban/rural areas where "public transportation", if available at all, is only available during limited hours.

Public Citizen

Re: Obviously the solution is....

The major problem with bicyclists in the USA is that they flagrantly ignore the rules of the road that every other vehicle, and pedestrians, follow as a matter of course.

Then, when this ignoring of common sense gets them in trouble, the endorphen overloaded spandex commandos get self righteously angry at the motorist who was/is exercising usual care in the use of the highways and roadways that are paid for with fuel and licensing taxes upon those motor vehicles, a financial burden that the bicyclists avoid and vociferously object to every time the issue is brought up.

US authorities swallow security-free script for pill that knows when you're off your meds

Public Citizen

The fatal flaw in the logic connected to this is that certain people on psych meds regularly and deliberately go off meds.

How on earth are they going to get these same people to wear a bluetooth patch? They will just rip off the patch the same way they toss their meds now.

In addition, this assumes a bluetooth connectible phone in the loop, which is not necessarily a given.

Dot-Amazon spat latest: Brazil tells ICANN to go fsck itself, only 'govts control the internet'

Public Citizen

Re: The whole thing's stupid

The ones who are late to the party *always* complain.

Since it was all US Money that paid the development and deployment costs for what developed into the "World Wide Web" it's only natural that US Companies staked out the choicest territory.

Brazil's complaining is why it's difficult for the world to have "nice toys" for very long.

Seems I recall the naysayers predicting something similar to this happening when ICANN came out from under the protective wings of US control.

Noise-canceling headphones with a DO NOT DISTURB light can't silence your critics

Public Citizen

If you work in that sort of an environment then you need the "Take A Number" stand with the attached dummy hand grenade connected to the Number 1.

Public Citizen

Re: Warning

Somehow I found the mental image of the "professionally fitted mouse" to be the most discomfiting.

Public Citizen

Re: Lower frequencies only

Sennheiser PXC 450

Come reasonable close to the Bose in terms of noise cancellation and they have bigger cans - something of importance when you have big ears and need to wear them for extended periods of time [as in 6 plus hours at a time for several successive days at a time].

I've been using the same pair, my second in the last 7 years for nearly 3 years and they are still going strong with only a fresh set of foam pads about once a year to keep the seal tight.

They have a removable cable so don't have to deal with the aggravation of a dangling wire trying to strangle me when I just want the noise canceling.

Excellent battery life as well, operating for circa 20 hours on a single AAA alkaline cell.

Public Citizen

Re: Do not disturb notice.

Thanks to an accident caused by a Drunk Driver I suffer with Hyperacusis.

In order for me to function outside of my home I have to wear Noise-Canceling Headphones and quite often industrial grade earplugs as well.

Before I started wearing a little hand made sign in a plastic conventioneers ID badge holder people would come up to me and start shouting, assuming I was listening to music or some sports broadcast. Since I started using the sign very few people speak before reading the sign, saving me considerable annoyance and them the ensuing embarrassment of being asked to please talk at a normal level, I can hear you just fine.

A simple "Please Do Not Disturb" sign should have a similar effect on your co-workers.

SpaceX releases Pythonesque video of rocket failures

Public Citizen

"Learning Experiences"

Seeing this and remembering NASAs early failures as the succession of "learning experiences" unreeled I couldn't but think about how far SpaceX has come and that every upcoming generation of engineers needs to have these lessons graphically presented early and often.

Glad to see that Musk still retains enough "humbleness" to show these "not quite a complete success" episodes to the public in collected form.

User demanded PC be moved to move to a sunny desk – because it needed Windows

Public Citizen

Re: As any good medical professional will tell you

We had great fun aboard ship [aircraft carrier] one day sending a so-new-that-he-squeaked seaman all over the ship for a Box of Fallopian Tubes. The ships phone system was buzzing for several hours as each location would report back where they had sent the poor sod next in his quest to bring back this item that he was informed was desperately needed for a critical repair.

Equifax mega-leak: Security wonks smack firm over breach notification plan

Public Citizen

What isn't covered in this article is the action taken by high level executives of Equifax between the time the breach was discovered and when it was disclosed.

At least 3 high level executives sold large amounts of Equifax stock, probably in violation of US Securities Law.

This whole situation stinks on ice.

Dude who claimed he invented email is told by judge: It's safe to say you didn't invent email

Public Citizen

Re: Only the best will do

I take that to mean that Massachusetts only needs ~good or better~ liars in government.

Am I correct in my interpretation?

Big Tech slams Trump on plan to deport kids

Public Citizen

Re: Big Tech slams Trump on plan to enforce US immigration law properly because Obama wouldn't...

In the 1950s and early '60s there was a program for seasonal agricultural workers called "The Brasero Program" the farmers got their cheap seasonal labor, the Mexican Workers got money for labor and then went home.

Everyone involved received a benefit and the laws were obeyed. Things started going off the rails durring the Johnson Administration, in this and many other areas of US society.

Public Citizen


James Buchanan was a peach compared to Andrew Johnson.

Johnson was put on the ticket for the 1864 Election s a sop to those who still believed in slavery in the North. It was never conceived that he would become president either so soon or in the fashion that occured when Pres. Lincoln was assinated.

Johnson basically saw to it that the carefully worked out plan for reconciliation and reintegration of the southern states was thrown out the window and the period known as "the Carpetbagger Era" which was responsible for sowing even more strife and salting the already bleeding wounds caused by 4 years of Civil War became the operational reality for too much of the south.

Public Citizen

The Fortune 500 Companies have used these "Dreamers" to tick off the check boxes for qualification for satisfying multiple special programs qualifications that ualify them for :

A. Reduction in tx obligation

B. Access to Federal Grant Monies

They are only woried about how this will affect their bottom lines, despite all the political posturing and posing.

What they >should< be worried about is the potential for proecution for hiring illegals, which is a portion of the federal law that has generally been ignored by the last couple of administrations.

Should the Trump Administration get >really serious< about enforcing these statutes and regulations many of the executives of these companies could be looking at multiple counts of violation of statutes/regulations with heavy fines and or substantial jail/prison time.

The problem isn't just with those who were brought here as minors but also those who have come here on a legitimate visa and just disappeared into the underground communities when their visas ran out. Th "dreamers" are just the tip of the iceberg, ad being the tip, the easiest to identify and start the process of unwinding the mess that has been made of the orderly imigration proceedure.

General Point: Every Year the USA issues more temporary visas and permanent resident approvals than any other nation on the planet. Without this ordrly process, one key element of which is the screenig for disease carriers who pose the threat of bringing in diseases that have been eradicated from the United Stats for decades, chaos soon follows. this is being demonstrated on a daily basis in those ares of the USA where illegals are found in the greatest numbers just in the disease reporting statistics. There are now diseases, in some cases highly drug resistant forms of these diseases, appearing that have not been reported for decades, if ever, since reporting standards were first implemented in the late 19th century. Part of what is showing up is tropical and sub-tropical diseases that hve never before been seen in the USA.

It is all comming in through illegal channels, being brought by people who have avoided the statutorily required health examinations and certifications that are a routine part of the Legal Immigration and Visa Process.

Steve Bannon wants Facebook, Google 'regulated like utilities'

Public Citizen

Here's a better idea...

Since Facebook, Google, Amazon, and a number of other virtual internet monopolies are behaving in a manner similar to that which led to Standard Oil Company being broken up into a number of separate and distinct corporate entities, why not do that instead of building ~yet another~ government bureaucracy that will quickly fall behind in its ability to react and respond and then be co-opted by the very entities it is tasked to regulate?

Kid found a way to travel for free in Budapest. He filed a bug report. And was promptly arrested

Public Citizen

""you can notify a company of a breach WITHOUT using the weakness.""

Says the IT professional with more than a decade of experience.

This is an 18 year old under discussion, not somebody with years of experience in the IT School Of Hard Knocks to help shape the way they deal with duplicitous bureaucrats.

FUKE NEWS: Robot snaps inside drowned Fukushima nuke plant

Public Citizen

Re: Go nuclear

The problem isn't with the Nuclear Industry, its with the bureaucrats who are mortally in fear of having a Fukushima Level Event in their backyard, and the hordes of pitchfork waving eco-phreak peasants who show up whenever the N Word is mentioned.


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