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Comment: Re:Could be (Score 1) 184

by Crashmarik (#48947837) Attached to: The NSA Is Viewed Favorably By Most Young People

If it's not a party line, then why does end-to-end encryption exist, oh yes, it's because you clearly haven't thought out what you just said.

Well lets first fix what you said so it says what you actually wanted it to say. If I am mistaken and what you wrote is what you meant well there is no need to reply because it's gibberish.

If it's a party line, then why does end-to-end encryption exist,

Now what you are saying is that it is not a party line because it's possible to encrypt communication on it ?

Well first it being a party line or not being a party line has nothing to do with encryption.

There is a good definition of how old style party lines work. In the internet case every router listens in on your traffic. So the first part of your statement is a fail.

Now the second part of your statement, Encryption makes the fact that it is a party line somehow makes the internet ? Aside from being irrelevant in the first place, and the fact that the net is overwhelmingly unencrypted (just an instance check the security on this site), you can very easily use encryption on open communication mediums it in no way hinders third party's ability to listen in.

Now if you would like argue about HF radio, ill be happy to laugh at you a little more.

Comment: Re:Not my findings (Score 1) 184

by IamTheRealMike (#48947635) Attached to: The NSA Is Viewed Favorably By Most Young People

So, now you have strong evidence that the people you talk to are not representative of America as a whole.

I would not put it that way. I'd say we have strong evidence that opinion polling can easily result in confusing or apparently contradictory results. The first sentence of the linked blog post has an air of mild surprise about it, and not surprisingly - when polled, 75% of Americans disagree that their government is trustworthy all or most of the time, yet they view most departments favourably? That makes little sense.

Something else doesn't make much sense. This result can easily be read as "people approve of what the NSA is doing". That must be what favourable means, right? Yet this very same polling agency has found a year ago that a majority of Americans oppose NSA practices. It's possible things have changed in the span of 2014, but other polls frequently return contradictory results too. This one by the Washington Post says, in the same set of questions, most people think monitoring all online activity to prevent terrorism isn't worth it, but monitoring all phone calls is. Why the difference?

At any rate, it's certainly true that the civil liberties wing of western societies has done a really appalling job of explaining to people why this sort of behaviour by governments is so risky, and Americans don't have recent local experience to fall back on. Unlike, say, people in former Soviet bloc countries, or Germans.

Comment: Re:In other news... (Score 1) 184

by IamTheRealMike (#48947567) Attached to: The NSA Is Viewed Favorably By Most Young People

TFA is actually covering opinion polls relating to several government agencies, but in typical Slashdot form, TFS only focuses on the NSA section, because that will be more inflammatory.

.... or maybe, just of more interest to a tech/geek focused site? I guess the NSA is a lot more relevant than the VA, especially to non-American slashdotters like me.

The poll isn't very surprising given its consistency with previous polls, but that doesn't change the fact that the attitudes of Americans don't seem to be very internally consistent or easily explainable. Either American people are just strangely illogical or there's some subtle issue with the polling method (or both?). The big question mark this survey leaves hanging is why trust in government is at an all time low (along with falling trust in most institutions), yet iterating specific parts of the government yields mostly favourable views. This is such an odd result that the very first sentence in the poll writeup says:

The public continues to express positive views of many agencies of the federal government, even though overall trust in government is near historic lows.

Yes, indeed. The public does A even though B. How strange.

The way the poll works means there's little information that can be used to explain this. Perhaps the 8 departments they chose to ask people about aren't the reason people distrust government. Perhaps their distrust falls exclusively on Congress, or on the judicial branch. We can't tell from this result alone.

Another possibility is that the wording of the poll - although superficially neutral - does trigger bias. The question was "do you trust the government in Washington always or most of the time?". People might be distinguishing between "the government in Washington" and "other bits of the government", e.g. the NSA is not actually in the city of Washington whereas Congress is. Ditto for various other departments and especially the military which does a great job of spreading itself around the country.

My final thought is that people might be more naturally inclined to take out their dissatisfaction on Congress than on the executive branch, because getting mad at Congress feels like it might achieve something due to voting, whereas getting mad at the NSA is about as useful as getting mad at a brick wall. They answer to no one and can't be controlled, so it's a lot more comfortable if you can convince yourself they're on your side rather than not.

Comment: Newer apps expect beefier hardware (Score 1) 304

by tepples (#48946845) Attached to: How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft

iPhone 4s was a $600 phone. Now you can get a much better device for under $50.

A $50 phone doesn't help if the current versions of applications don't run well on a $50 phone. Sure, applications from roughly the iPhone 4s era would have run well, but these applications have since been replaced with newer versions that expect beefier hardware to be available. (See Wirth's law.)

Entropy requires no maintenance. -- Markoff Chaney