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  • Nov 23rd, 2015 @ 5:09pm

    Probably the warning on the right side?

    Hey, here's a silly idea: Why not make more valuable email by cutting the spam?

    Anyway, as regards your question, I'm pretty sure it relates to some warnings I've been getting about an ad blocker. They pop up in the right side in an area that is probably supposed to get a Flash garbage of some kind.

    Only problem is that I'm NOT using any ad blocker that I know of. Evidently something about my security settings is triggering a false alarm. Can't say I care a hill of beans, even though I still check my Yahoo email and it would cause me a tiny bit of inconvenience of Yahoo disappeared tomorrow...

    Anyway, I want to focus on the positive side, something that Yahoo (or any of the large email providers) could do for better email: Give us tools to put the spammers out of business. Obviously not possible to eliminate all spam and all insane sociopathic spammers, but we could hurt them in their most sensitive and intelligent organ, their wallets. I really want tools to help disrupt ALL of the spammers' infrastructure, pursue ALL of the spammers' accomplices, and even help and protect ALL of the spammers' victims. Insofar as many of those victims are corporations like Yahoo itself, it's kind of hard for me to understand "Live and let spam" as a viable business model.

    Anyway, 'nuff said, but details available upon polite request.

  • Nov 18th, 2015 @ 4:32pm

    Total bogosity of the help desk idea

    No one is commenting on the ludicrous bogosity of the help desk idea? None of you see it? Or are you ignoring it just because it's peripheral to the encryption topic?

    Let me just say that the notion of ISIS/ISIL setting up such a locus of communication is completely insane. Well, yes, they are insane, but it's also completely stupid.

    The fake reports say six of their senior leaders would be working the help desk. Okay, right there is a prime target for a bomb. However, the REAL risks of such a stupid idea are vastly larger. The Daily Show did a skit on fake help, but better to leave it in place. This is a case where just tapping the metadata would be incredibly effective. Pretty safe bet that everyone who calls a 'how to be a terrorist' help desk is a person of interest.

    Even more obviously, the fundamental notion of a help desk is that you have to distribute the contact information widely. Oh, wait. How long until a copy of the contact information leaks out? Or some fool drops his wallet with the help desk number in it?

  • Nov 16th, 2015 @ 12:43pm

    Constructive responses? In a flying pig's eye.

    The pig reference was intended to offend the winners, who I predict will be the Iranians. Increased surveillance is another short-term shortsighted misdirected solution, especially since the terrorists are NOT going to hide where they know you are looking even if the light is better there. We don't need to worry too much about any terrorist who is still stupid enough to carry a phone.

    The only obvious response to this tragedy will be to unleash the Iranians, another short-term shortsighted misdirected "solution". No one else can put the boots on the ground, and insofar as the terrorists are largely the same people who attacked Iran in that nasty war, they have the revenge motivation, too.

  • Feb 15th, 2015 @ 4:34pm

    Torture is stupid, too

    This is the only reference I could find for "trap", but I wish the system was smart enough to look for obvious synonyms, etc.

    However, just to make the point clear: If your enemy knows you use torture, then they can use that against you. Not just for recruitment and motivation of their fighters, which has frequently been mentioned, but more directly, as with the baiting of traps mentioned in this post, but indirectly by relying upon complicated techniques that a person is not able to recall or use under torture. The torture may seem to authenticate the revealed information, whereas all it has actually done is authenticate the trap.

    However, I think the strongest argument against torture is that if you become as EVIL as your enemy, then your enemy has won. You can't defeat evil by becoming the greater evil.

  • Sep 11th, 2014 @ 5:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: LOTS of good charities

    Spoken like someone who truly has reason to be afraid of being linked to his "thoughts".

  • Sep 10th, 2014 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Re: LOTS of good charities

    Convince me your question is sincere (for example, by asking a more specific question), and I'll be glad to explain any specific aspect of the suggestion.

    Otherwise, I'll just dismiss you as part of the problem (or problems), which mostly seems to be the way of the world lately.

  • Sep 10th, 2014 @ 6:07pm

    LOTS of good charities

    I agree that this is an important cause, and if I was made of money, then I would probably support it. Too bad I'm not so rich.

    Hey, how about #MDFC (More Democratic Funding Campaign) options after such articles. There would be 3 to 5 links to SOLUTIONS for the problems. Aren't you just too tired of hearing about all these problems? I could look at the options and pledge some money to support one (or more). If enough people agree with me that the project is good--which includes SUCCESS criteria, in stark contrast to Kickstarter--then the project gets the money.

    Not sure if I would support TechDirt to hold the money, however... Maybe I just don't know them well enough, but I think I'd prefer a charitable foundation, though they could give TechDirt a small return for their support. (In other words, if 5,000 people pledge to support some specific project after arriving from TechDirt, then there would be a monetary incentive.)

  • Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 5:29pm

    (untitled comment)

    Which of the nine musicians from Wikipedia's giant disambiguation page do you mean? Probably the Monkey, per the earlier comment?

    Actually, I just wanted to note that I've never seen such an impression disambiguation page. They have a deep hierarchy of related articles and categories just under the human references there. On my google results for "david jones", this page was only the 3rd among 5 Wikipedia results.

    By the way, remember "All your attentions are belongs to the google." True corporate motto.

  • Feb 12th, 2014 @ 4:10pm

    Neo-GOP intellectual integrity = NIL

    Rand Paul is supposed to be one of the most principled members of the neo-GOP. I wanted to say "thinkers", but no evidence he's ever moved an inch beyond his childhood indoctrination.

    The problem here is that these NSA/CIA attacks on the Constitution are NOT a partisan issue, but a systemic dysfunction. There are so-called Republicans (no relation to Abe Lincoln or Teddy's GOP) who are just as liable and deserving of inclusion in this so-called lawsuit as anyone currently in the government. Actually, I'd say that the big dick Cheney and the big don Rumsfeld are probably the most culpable, and we can debate about whether or not Dubya has any liability for being such an ignorant clown.

    I'm not saying the named defendants don't deserve being sued, but leaving off the neo-GOP culprits makes into a trivial partisan witch hunt. So much for Rand Paul's so-called principles.

  • Mar 30th, 2013 @ 8:36pm

    (untitled comment)

    Not sure that comment was addressed to me as one of the "either", but the new comment was called to my attention, and perhaps I should clarify three points about my comment.

    First, I am taking a broad view of "project management" as including all the people and factors that contribute to the ultimate success and failure of a project. That includes knowing the criteria by which success will be evaluated BEFORE the project begins.

    Two, my wording about failures was unclear. I was referring to projects sponsored by those three websites, not the metrics of those websites. However, in terms of evaluating such websites, I think the success ratio of the sponsored projects should probably be the most important metric.

    Third, I know that I should be more trusting of people, but I am not so rich that I feel like throwing money at every nice sounding project. Of course wealthy donors will check to see how their donations are being spent, but small donors like me need help in seeing what happens, which is the essence of my suggestion. (My version of the broader topic is under "reverse auction charity shares".)

  • Mar 3rd, 2013 @ 12:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Amanda Palmer for RIAA President

    I'm not saying that you would buy anything concrete. This 'reverse auction charity share' idea is still a form of charity, and I think that all you would get for it would be mention on a list of donors. Maybe there would be an incentive program with gold stars. For example, a magazine using this mechanism might give gold stars to the 'early investors' in an article that led to something significant like a Pulitzer Prize.

    The main difference is that this is a way that would allow small donors to have some influence and control over the charitable projects. As it stands now, small donors are mostly ignored and have no real idea how their money is spent, whereas large donors get to call the shots.

  • Mar 2nd, 2013 @ 10:11pm

    Re: Amanda Palmer for RIAA President

    I think she's legit. She said she would make a bunch of music for the money. I think she was even up front about the kind of music and that not everyone will like her music. However, I have two problems with this approach:

    (1) There is no basis to say how much her music is worth. Kickstarter sort of said it was worth over $1 million. More power to her, but really?

    (2) What if she just took the money and ran away? Actually, I'm sure that happens pretty often, but I'm even more sure that Kickstarter doesn't talk about those cases on their website.

    I think there should be some control over the project. To make it concrete, the people proposing a project should say how much it will cost to do what they propose and how much they want to receive in exchange for doing it. I think the parent organization should even provide help in such things as describing projects in a meaningful way, helping them with the budgeting, and providing evaluation criteria to say whether or not a project was successful. It shouldn't be like a gold mine where people are trying to strike it rich, but if the project does succeed, then they can submit another project, hopefully a more ambitious one.

    I actually visualize it as a kind of 'charity brokerage'. Near as I can tell, Kickstarter basically runs a website, but the brokerage would support project management and have a vested interest in helping the projects succeed. My longest description is called 'reverse auction charity shares', for what little that is worth. The idea actually goes back before I ever heard of Kickstarter, IndyGogo or CrowdRise. (I bet there are others by now...)

  • Mar 2nd, 2013 @ 9:46pm

    Re: Re: Can't watch TED

    Thanks for the URL, though I already suspect it is inferior to 'reverse auction charity shares'.

    Now for the censorship topic: Ever heard of Nick Hanauer? Not on TED you won't, though his TED talk video is somewhat available elsewhere. I know that interest is a subjective thing, but I really defy you to find anyone who is unable to find at least one talk they find LESS interesting posted on TED. I personally have seen at least a dozen off the top of my head. Actually I think the keywords for this talk would be "true" and "important", or maybe even the local keyword "insightful"--but you will NOT see it on TED.

    The reason I mention "interest" is because TED claimed that was the basis for censoring it. In reality, the reason was obviously that what Mr Hanauer said would offend at least some of their rich donors, and TED is VERY interested in keeping the money flowing.

    In fact, TED says his topic is so unimportant and uninteresting that they will not even permit discussions of the matter. I actually had the temerity to suggest that it had become MORE relevant at a later time. In case you didn't know, TED moderates all comments. Not just to prevent spam, but to CENSOR topics they don't want discussed. Is it possible that Nick Hanauer's talk has become more interesting over time? I actually think so, and there will be periodic peaks into the future, too--but NOT for any discussion on TED.

    I admit that I am really sensitive about censorship. I think even the worst ideas cannot be made to go away simply by pretending they don't exist--but there are plenty of times when good ideas are censored precisely because they bother someone who is defending a worse idea. I'm not sure what is the best example to cite... Did you know that FM radio was effectively censored for many years because GE held the key patents and didn't want to interfere with their profits from AM radio? Or maybe the google's new censorship policies is a better example?

    Back to the topic at hand: TED censors certain talks and then lies about why. No TED for me.

  • Mar 2nd, 2013 @ 2:56am

    Can't watch TED

    I'm unable to support censorship by watching TED. Is there an alternative location for her talk? Has she done the same presentation elsewhere? If not a URL, then perhaps a summary?

  • Feb 22nd, 2013 @ 12:20am

    Re: Accountability for charity

    Well, that's exactly why I visit it as a kind of charity brokerage. You wouldn't invest in expectation of any profit, though you could choose to be listed on the page of sponsors, or maybe earn a gold star. However, just as a stock brokerage assesses the companies that want to be listed so they can sell shares, the charity brokerage would assess the people who want to do projects.

    Actually, at first they should be pretty cautious before they give out the money. Before they get experience in recognizing the trouble signs they should make sure the projects have lots of relatively small milestones and give the funds periodically. However, if someone has a solid track record for past projects, then they can be more flexible.

    The essential idea is to give small donors something like the power of large donors. The problem with a large donor project is that it only works until the large donor starts making mistakes. Look at Unbuntu, eh?

  • Feb 20th, 2013 @ 4:29pm

    Project management is also important, not just money

    Crowdsourced funding needs to be incorporated with project management. I don't have time to say much this morning, but look at "reverse auction charity shares" for one approach. It would basically provide detailed planning WITH a managed budget and evaluation criteria, and the projects would commit after enough donors joined in.

  • Feb 16th, 2013 @ 8:17pm

    Re: Project management is difficult and VALUABLE

    I hate typos.


  • Feb 16th, 2013 @ 7:42pm

    Project management is difficult and VALUABLE

    No, the REAL reason it failed was bad project management, though of course you can argue that is the real reason every project fails. Not limited to Kickstarter, of course, but look at the failures of IndyGoGo, CrowdRise, and my personal favorite graveyard of good ideas, SourceForge. Reiterating that I do NOT speak for my large and supposedly successful employer, but there's a reason my employer values and even highly rewards project managers.

    My own economic model to solve this problem for charitable projects actually goes back before I ever heard of Kickstarter. The idea is similar, but with integrated project management. "Reverse auction charity shares" if anyone is interesting. Or should I just wish well to an old acquaintance who also struck it rich on Kickstarter with a project that gathered vastly more money than he had proposed? I don't think crowd-based funding should be another kind of lottery or goldmine, but management is hard and I admit that I personally wouldn't want to do it.

  • Jan 13th, 2013 @ 6:40pm

    (untitled comment)

    I think that Aaron Swartz's death is mostly yet another metric of the increasing insanity of American society. While I still think things will get better over the long term, none of us get to live so long. In particular, I think that secrecy is collapsing at such a rate that pretty soon no one will be able to afford it. I'd like to think that will cure some of the problems, but at least it will change the games...

    However, this topic obviously ties to the police trying to gain privacy by deleting recordings. Are you aware that you can set your phone to immediately transfer a copy to a remote server? I use google+, though the increasingly evil google poses its own set of intrusive threats.

  • Aug 7th, 2012 @ 10:12pm

    Should close out my relatively happy story

    Well, I see that I left my story in suspense, and that was about 5 months ago. Anyway, I did receive the new ink cartridge, and it is working well, and I'm even making a bit of an effort to print on a more regular basis in hopes of preventing this one from dying prematurely. I'm not exactly thrilled, but I still think that HP is mostly being treated too harshly in most of the other posts here. (And no, I'm not working anywhere in the HP food chain, though (as mentioned below) I once sold their printers among other brands.)

    I offer my poor joke about how all printers after Benjamin Franklin are the spawn of Satan, and their only goal is to mangle and ruin as much paper as possible. Having said that, I basically think that HP is the best of the troubled lot. My own personal experience with printers has been kind of limited to three or four brands over 30+ years, but there was a period when I was in sales in a computer store, and I collected lots of stories from my customers, so I feel like I have a pretty broad view. In conclusion, I feel the printers have mostly gotten less evil over the years, and HP deserves a lot of credit for the inkjet technology that brought color printing to the masses.

    Having said that, I doubt I'll refill this particular HP again, so I'll be shopping for a new one when it dies, and support for extremely low-volume printing will be a feature that I'll be searching for.

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