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  • May 24th, 2018 @ 12:02pm

    (untitled comment)

    Also unsurprising, bad Alexa: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/05/amazon-confirms-that-echo-device-secretly-shared-users-priva te-audio/

  • May 23rd, 2018 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Chicago, the joke that tells itself

    Given that the differences between the two major parties on a national scale are mainly in the details - just voting the bastards out of office isn't enough.

    1. People need to stop voting in the other bastard to replace the last one.

    I'm thinking that the most important part of voting occurs at those times when we are NOT voting, before campaign seasons start. Choices become limited once politics degrade to a question of which candidate and which party. Significant power is in deciding who can run for office and what issues are important. The electorate's power is weak if that power is concentrated only on election days.

    The root problem is that politics is a route to consequence-free power.

    Not quite. As a society we tolerate or even promote responsibility-free power (even outside politics). The difference can be subtle, at times, but still important. Responsibility requires us to understand where power truly lies. Consequences requires us to understand where blame truly lies. The first is proactive and can help build future progress. The second is reactive and can create negative incentives... Summary?: "Consequences" as a lead motivator is an aggression, a limited use tool.

  • May 23rd, 2018 @ 7:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Chicago, the joke that tells itself

    I find the fact that some corrupt officials went to jail to be evidence that Chicago isn't the most corrupt.

    The most corrupt city would be one where no one goes to jail for their corruption.

    You took the words right out of my mouth [next time, ask first :)].

    I remember a long time ago someone telling me about a "bad neighborhood" because someone got mugged. I said, "nope!". A bad neighborhood is where you mugged out in the open, in broad daylight, with lots of witnesses and no justice... We've got a lot of "bad neighborhoods" these days. A situation 'we' could have seen coming.

  • May 16th, 2018 @ 7:49am


    ..."Comcast charges $90 install fee at homes that already have Comcast installed" "$90 fee may be required even if you buy your own modem and plug it in yourself."

    As a trend: this type of blatant, visible, apparently legal fraud is so common that we only sometimes consider it unacceptable.

    IMHO, "Free Market Economy" is an unreasonable way to summarize today's economic reality. The term (I made up) "Fraud Based Economy" seems more reasonable and more supportable by available evidence.

  • May 14th, 2018 @ 9:57am

    Re: Sounds like a get out of DUI free card to me

    Not really. Powerful defendants with high priced lawyers will get these tests tossed easily. The poor(er), not so much.

  • May 1st, 2018 @ 4:43pm

    (untitled comment)

    Town supervisor Gary Stevens has been trying to get to the bottom of this outsized stockpile... A recall campaign has been started by farmer Eugene Lehr, who has 21 pieces of military surplus equipment on his property.

    And yet, time and time again, corrupt elected officials won't be or can't be touched.

    Not until after more than $1 million in equipment was routed to a place that did not have a pressing need for the items did the DoD finally step in and suspend the department's participation in the program.

    It routinely seems that our military has more money than they know what to do with.

    This is a waste of tax dollars...

    "War profiting" has come to American soil. Whatever happened to money and equipment will disappear over there so we don’t have to disappear them here.

  • May 1st, 2018 @ 6:17am

    (untitled comment)

    When I saw my first DNA matching commercial, I was immediately suspicious. Do medical privacy laws permit the access and use of DNA info? No worries, if you gladly give it up, everything is fine, *wink*. It's like social media for your biology.

  • Apr 30th, 2018 @ 1:48pm


    It's a sad statement on the state of copyright law that people -- including multiple judges -- seem to accept that interpretation.

    What saddens me most is how often I see bad ideas take on a plague like quality. A sort of idea poisoning. Corporations are especially well positioned to take advantage of such a widespread weakness (they're "beginning" to rival governments). One could ask, can this copyright problem be solved without addressing the more fundamental issue? It might depend on what one thinks "solved" means....

  • Apr 30th, 2018 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: Often it seems to be heading that way.

    Probably the reason they don't attack libraries, books stores and the like, NOW, is because of the fear of backlash for attacking established rights. However, as a generation passes, technology progresses, attitudes/culture change and physical book exchange becomes less important this kind of attack will become doable and you can bet the farm that it will be done.

  • Apr 25th, 2018 @ 12:12pm

    Which dystopia?

    I should start a pool. Which old sci-fi movie dystopia will get here first? One of the boxes will be "all of them".

  • Apr 25th, 2018 @ 12:08pm

    That's how it goes

    ...the pretense that Comcast is a Robin-Hood-esque champion of the poor and downtrodden has proven immeasurably successful and profitable for what's arguably the least liked company in America.

    That's just how it tends to go these days. Doing genuinely, what Comcast pretends to do, would result in a 'beat down'. 'We' mostly respond to the application of power. The benefits of applying social conscience and altruism mostly go to those who fake it. The fate of the honest acts as an example to others.

  • Apr 16th, 2018 @ 10:12am


    Fake News has been a thing for a while, and while it never looked towards the leaders they ignored it. Chemtrails, Anti-Vaxxers, Flat Earth, Man walked with dinosaurs, the earth is 100 years old, anything on Infowars....

    Your use of "Fake News" as a weaponized label undermines your whole comment. It appears you are doing the same thing you claim to object to.

    It costs the economy billions of dollars in advance fee scams, love scams, nigerian price e-mails because despite every warning & every segment on all the talk shows... people believe the words on the screen more than anyone else. Those hundred other people were just suckers or didn't wait long enough... I'm smarter than them.

    You clearly don't understand the problem or its scope. I don't feel like doing a full account, so I'll try at a summary. Its not truly a function of smarts, but more of conformity. "Smarter" people, often coincidentally, take on attitudes that causes them to resist conformity in more scenarios than others would. Conformity is not a bad thing if done thoughtfully and required of others responsibly. Unfortunately, that's not the reality. One. As a society we increasingly punish a lack of arbitrary conformity. Two. Our 'fraud based economy' (quoting myself) is buffeted by the phenomenon that I summarize using the seemingly self-contracting term 'legal scams'. [Scams don't cost the economy billions, scams MAKE 'the economy' billions.]

    People fall for scams because they are taught, required and conditioned to tolerate and think in ways that make them vulnerable to other scams. Of course, this also incentivizes more scams and scammers... That said, one may now recognize that anti-scam messaging is itself arbitrary and possibly mostly insincere. Who is guilty? Those who are 'caught' and recognized as scammers? Who should be punished, and how?...

    Everyone lies. Everyone seems to forget this. The only person you can fully trust is yourself (and somedays that's sketchy).


    ...but to get it we need to learn to trust but verify what they tell you.


    Learn to look at more than one source, seek out the opposing viewpoint on the same topic... the truth will be somewhere in the middle of the 2 stories.

    Noooooo. Truth (notice I didn't write "the truth") may be completely unrelated to either viewpoint. A discussion based on opposing viewpoints usually means a limitation to the scope of tolerated arguments. If a discussion's scope is arbitrary or improper then the relevant truths or a reasonable way forward won't be represented. [Perhaps this comment was related to the 'your side, my side and the truth' cliche.]

  • Mar 12th, 2018 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: "mandatory service requirement"

    There seems to be a sad societal tendency to stumble upon revolutionary ideas and then decide 'no that can't be right" and then scale them back. Like Einstein declaring that god does not play dice with the world upon stumbling upon quantum mechanics after figuring out relativity and time dilattion or the Pythagoreans freaking out and suppressing the truth about irrational numbers. Personally I take the view we need to accept the truth even when the implications are disconcerting and uncomfortable, no especially then. That feeling means we were all wrong and have the potential to be more right than ever conceived as possible before.

    <Emphasis added>

    Yikes! No, No, No, No... Noooo! I'm making a presumption, but you should avoid excessive certainty, ESPECIALLY when your information does not come from first hand knowledge. NOT "the truth", but theories, ideas, conventions, tools, etc... That comment was written as if from understanding but it reads as if from blind faith (and perhaps a couple of other things).

  • Mar 5th, 2018 @ 1:15pm


    Casual desensitization to violence. Check.

    Insults used to suggest obviousness and credibility. Check.

    The 'hero of the story' acts righteously. Check.

    Interpreting an event from the POV of the powerful. Check.

    Justification after the fact based on arbitrary narrative that could seem reasonable to the unfamiliar. Check.

    Suspicious and unnecessary hostility. Check.

    Made up information presented as fact. Check.

    I see these things in comments, internet or otherwise, constantly. This comment does more of it with fewer words. Kudos.

  • Mar 5th, 2018 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: And yet...

    Could you not express everything in rant form?

    You claim driver-less cars are like other internet of broken things. EXPLAIN! As in why do you say that? In non-self-evident terms.

    Will the cars require the internet to function? Can they be controlled by remote? Can they be remotely shut down by force?... IOT is not the same as yelling BOO! I want a driver-less car, perhaps I shouldn't.

  • Mar 5th, 2018 @ 12:18pm

    (untitled comment)

    Most of our leaders are persistently irresponsible and unresponsive to the people their supposed to serve. One could argue that the problem is now systemic. In cases like this, under these conditions, we get a result from the intersection of Idle Hands and Power Corrupts problems (plus a third intersection for another comment).

    They have power, they are not using it towards valid responsibilities, but, they want to keep that power. How do they respond to this combination of need and circumstance? Create the illusion of responsibility (much easier and more controllable than the real thing) and attack and/or control the perceived rivals to that power: like the masses and "internet companies".

  • Mar 5th, 2018 @ 8:03am

    Re: And yet...

    ...there are ignorant newbies who think driverless vehicles are a good idea...

    I don't understand the need for an insult, here... I like the idea of a driverless car (I am biased though: I sometimes don't like driving) so as long as I am ultimately in control. Your comment is worthless, as is, but I suspect that in the existing climate, driverless cars will be executed in an irresponsible manner and be hostile to consumers in some way(s).

    conveniently ignoring the fact that they're just another thing in the IoT. They're not magically exempt from this dumpster fire.

    Please defend this statement.

  • Feb 23rd, 2018 @ 8:07am

    Re: You would think that, but no

    If I may offer some advice, try not to internalize stuff like this too much. Experience makes me think these comments are a reaction to savoring despair about something. Step back to see thinks more clearly. You can be right(ish) and still be wrong.

  • Feb 23rd, 2018 @ 7:56am


    Unambiguously criminal.

  • Feb 22nd, 2018 @ 12:59pm

    (untitled comment)

    I've never read or heard an argument in support of video games causing violence that I found credible. Most of the accusations were obvious scapegoating.

    However, our (American) media is not so innocent, IMO. The main problem isn't how overt media violence is, but how media often smooths over social reaction to violence (not just physical violence). Media treats the roots of violence in an irresponsibly casual manner. In defense, media cannot cause violence on its own. Media does act as a filter and cultivator of violence, but only at the bidding of a dominate aspect of society itself.

    A society cannot cultivate violence narrowly or in a controlled way. If violence is cultivated at all, it will ultimately be impossible to contain. Fetishizing the tools of violence provides an excellent negative contribution.

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