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Comment: Re:Not kill the messenger ... (Score 1) 113 113

The cause as much grief as possible argument fails since he was not arrested or charged with anything. He buys a new computer, restores from backups, and continues on with his research. Yes, a great inconvenience, hardly silencing a researcher or inflicting as much pain as possible for a government. Its way premature to cry censorship, its crying wolf as things stand at the moment.

Or is it an inconvenience for his employer? A work computer that gets replaced?

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 883 883

That bears repeating with regards to Germany's debts: What happened after WWI was the winning countries said "You have to pay us back for all the costs of the war." Never mind any of the other problems, something like that was totally unsustainable. Germany was being made to pay the (often inflated) costs incurred by other countries in the war. That was devastating economically. Forgiving that is really a no brainer as it should not have happened int eh first place.

Also let's not forget the other part of the post war issues: Germany got occupied and told what was what (same with Japan). It isn't like this was a negotiation where they said "Can you forgive some of our debt?" and the allies said "Oh ok." No, they surrendered, unconditionally, and the country was occupied and split. On the East side it was straight out annexed and made part of the USSR, and on the West side there was heavy allied military presence and participation in running the country.

I mean I guess if Greece wants the same, they want someone else to come in and take over their country and dictate how things are going to be for years, or decades, then ok. However seems a little silly to say you want the kind of financial consideration that happened in wartime, but none of the rest of what came with it.

Comment: Plenty of differences (Score 3, Informative) 883 883

A big one is just that the US controls both its currency and its monetary policy (meaning taxing and spending). That manes that it can take the steps it feels necessary to deal with loan repayments, such as increased inflation and/or a weaker currency. It doesn't have to convince other countries of it, it runs the currency.

An even bigger one at this point is that the dollar is the world's reserve currency. Things are settled in dollars on the international stage, meaning that the US can't have a current account crisis. It makes the dollars, things are paid for in dollars, so it can make more dollars to pay for things. It is unique in that situation. While it could change, that is how it stands.

In fact, that is part of the reason the US is able to borrow so much, and in some ways needs to. People and nations want to put their money in what they see as a safe reserve, and the dollar is one they seek. To make that possible, the US has to issue debt instruments. They have to be able to buy US dollars.

Yet another difference is that the US has high tax compliance. Most people in the US pay their taxes. There are those that cheat or outright evade, but they are the minority. That, combined with a generally quite low tax burden (compared to most first world nations the US has very low taxes), means that raising taxes in the US is a very valid strategy. People won't be happy, but they'll pay. Greece has real issues with tax avoidance which makes tax increases problematic.

Still another difference is in what the economy produces. Despite what you may have heard on whiny online sites, the US makes a lot of stuff. It is the #2 producer of durable goods after China, and only slightly. It builds lots of things that others in the world want. A good example would be microprocessors. Both Intel and AMD are US companies, and Intel fabs most of their newest CPUs in the US. The chips that run most computers in the world come from the US. Makes the economic situation rather different than a place that relies heavily on tourism.

Finally there's the issue of who owns the debt. Most of the US's debt, about 65%, is owned by the US itself. Of that a large part is intragovernmental holdings, and then debt held by the federal reserve. Of the nations that do hold US foreign debt the two largest, Japan and China, do so for strategic reasons to keep their currency cheap compared to the dollar and thus have a strategic interest in keeping that debt. Greece on the other hand, owes most of its debt to other countries.

It is far to simplistic to look and say "Oh this is all the same!" Public debt is actually a pretty complex issue.

Comment: Re: No, Apple doesn't restore some user metadata (Score 1) 256 256

Funny, apple always restores my Matches, even after deleting the original with the name and composer I've given it. As I listen to a lot of international music and can read Cyrillic and Hanzi I prefer to have the names in the original language

Are you sure its a match? Check the iCloud Status of files. Its either Purchased, Matched or Uploaded.

If Matched is this in the same iTunes session?

You sure its your edits and not that Apple is also using the original language?

Comment: Re:Not kill the messenger ... (Score 1) 113 113

it might be that the censorship is an unintentional consequence of a police investigation of a genuine criminal activity with genuine probable cause.

That's my point, with the caveat that its not really censorship since the goal is not to silence anyone but to investigate a crime.

Again, all I'm saying is that its premature to claim censorship. As I said in the beginning all we can say for sure at this point is that it was rude to seize the equipment without asking for cooperation. Facts and opinions may change as more info unfolds.

But the above actions indicate the police did not think the researcher would be cooperative in the investigation. Why?

Might be standard procedure to seize evidence without warning to prevent tampering.

A researcher might want to not disclose contact with a black hat, a source of information. Removing evidence of any contact. The black hat might be the actual target of the police investigation.

Comment: No, Apple doesn't restore some user metadata (Score 4, Informative) 256 256

Apple destroys user data


No, Apple doesn't restore some user data. You don't get Apple's version of the file unless you delete your copy or never had it on a particular device in the first place.

Apple looks for matches in your library with Apple's library. If it finds a match it makes note of it. If it does not find a match it uploads your copy of the file to Apple's servers. When you restore files you get Apple's copy for matches and your copy for non-matches.

The issue is that Apple only analyzes the music to determine a match. It does not consider the meta data. So the same music with different metadata is a match according to Apple so your edited copy is not saved on Apple's servers. This makes sense given that there is no standard metadata for ripped songs. When ripping a CD one often finds multiple incarnations of metadata to apply.

Comment: Re:Not blue eyed ... (Score 1) 218 218

Sure. "Ballast" need not be rock too. However the valuable stuff was the focus of the journey in the first place and why the investment in the journey was made. The valuable stuff had to pay for any dead-head leg too. They'd pack in as much of the valuable stuff they could find and fit in. The remaining space and any necessary ballast could be anything, including nearly all the cargo space on a dead-head leg where the only other option is empty.

Comment: Re:Lawrence (Score 2) 218 218

I don't understand why you're calling them heretics.

Because that was what the moderate muslims who put down these movements called these fundamentalist extremists. That is the language arabs used to explain things to Lawrence. It is neither Lawrence's nor my phrasing, it was the mainstream arab phrasing of the day.

You see the same thing today when modern moderate muslims say that Al-Qaeda, ISIS, etc are preaching a false interpretation of Islam. This false, heretical, etc interpretation is not a modern invention, it is one that popped up once or twice a century for many centuries according the arabs explaining things to Lawrence.

Back then they were not referring to, nor are we referring to today, conservatives muslims who preach simple/strict personal practices for one's self but also conform to the tolerant practices of traditional Islam with respect to others who have different beliefs. Tolerance of moderate muslims as well as Jews and Christians.

Comment: Re: FWIW - suggest book over kindle (Score 1) 218 218

On paper many of the Arabic personal and place names are spelled strangely. Lawrence favored his own style of transliteration.

Its pretty clear the many digital errors are OCR based. One can often see how the original likely letters were erroneously joined, split, etc. OCR sometimes uses "dictionaries" to detect and repair such errors, dictionaries developed from a training/learning phase of development. I think no training or Arabic name friendly dictionaries were used.

Comment: Re:Not kill the messenger ... (Score 2) 113 113

It remains to be seen if there is censorship. Impounding material evidence is not necessarily suppression.

But heavy-handed behavior is a good indication that such suppression is going on. After all, why wouldn't this researcher cooperate with the police?

There was no censorship. The researcher who published the exploits was not arrested. His computers were impounded as part of an investigation. He may not be the target, they may be searching for a 3rd party he was in contact with, perhaps a black hat. Seizing evidence in such a case removes the opportunity for the evidence's destruction. Its a pretty standard thing in North America and Europe too.

As for the "definition". In a region where a generation or two ago "kill the messenger" was literal not figurative, the figurative definition doesn't work.

Bullshit. When the figurative definition is ignored the literal one comes back. Throwing elections (and thuggish suppression of evidence of that) is a phase I'd expect in a return to such tyranny.

The existence of an exploit is not evidence that anyone, government or not, is actually rigging an election. Its evidence of risk. There are most likely exploits in every electronic balloting device and in every web voting system ever made.

Comment: Re:Lawrence (Score 1) 218 218

within their "religious beliefs" because those things are permissible when the victim is a non-believer and has been given the opportunity to convert; That is nonsense.

Yes, but that remains what these heretical fundamentalists believe.

There are three so called "book religions", Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Islam honours all those as "believers". Some fanatics in any of those religions might disagree.

Do you realize we agree? Yes, traditional Islam considers Jews and Christians "people of the book", people at different levels of God's revelations depending on what prophet they are following. A string of prophets, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and finally Mohammed. All prophets of the same monotheistic God. However the non-Muslims were not on a par with Muslims, they were merely "protected people". They had to pay a special tax, were not allowed to bear arms, however they were allowed to practice their religion in private, establish their own courts among their people for certain levels of crimes and the Muslim government was completely obligated to protect them as they would a muslim citizen. This changed over time as European power grew, moderates not requiring the tax and recognizing more equality for civil matters.

However as a matter of fact: all those religions pray to the same god. And actually there are a few more religions that pray to that god, eg. the Yazidis.

The "people of the book" concept and certainly the "protected people" status was also extended to Hindus by some rulers/scholars and to Buddhists as well. Although the arguments for the later were a little more complicated.

However Jews and Christians are not necessarily considered "people of the book" by some of the more conservative believers. They require a certain amount of faith and adherence to a person's respective religious laws to be so qualified. And for even more conservative minds a Jew or Christian in Islamic lands not paying the special tax and otherwise behaving under a "protected people" contract were also not considered "people of the book". So yes Jews and Christians can become fair game with respect to be treated as unbelievers. In short, believers must act as believers to some degree, expectations varying.

And of course, the heretical fundamentalist level of expectation is something that has always existed to some degree. Again, Lawrence was specifically warned to travel in native clothing with guards because there were heretics who would kill him for no other reason than being a Christian in Islamic lands, even with the blessing of the Saudi king.

Centuries of central and north african slave trade was founded upon this idea that a non-believer was fair game. No, it was founded on the fact that Christians payed a fair amount of money for black slaves!

No. Internal slavery predated and coexisted with the North American slave trade. Various African kingdoms had a long tradition of slavery and would participate in the North American trade. This included several Islamic governments. I believe that Lawrence also witnessed some slaves among the Arabian nobles. Admittedly their situation seemed closer to what in North America would have been temporary indentured servitude, so perhaps something was lost in translation. However it remains a fact that slavery in its most brutal and dehumanizing fashion was practiced by some Islamic african governments and that being classified as a "non-believer" made one fair game, a "non-believer" in the eyes of that government to be specific.

Comment: Re:Not kill the messenger ... (Score 1) 113 113

Having to buy a new computer and restore from backups is not in the same league.

Doesn't have to be in order to fit the definition. And milder forms of censorship and suppression are often preludes to greater forms especially in places where there's already a history of such tyranny.

It remains to be seen if there is censorship. Impounding material evidence is not necessarily suppression. Its not clear that the researcher is the target, he may merely possess evidence that would make some black hat less anonymous. It premature to claim "kill the messenger" using any definition of that phrase.

As for the "definition". In a region where a generation or two ago "kill the messenger" was literal not figurative, the figurative definition doesn't work.

Comment: Re:Not kill the messenger ... (Score 4, Insightful) 113 113

So why would the next messenger bring any message?

Because the next messenger would be smart enough to realize that if they have any electronic data more valuable than school assignment, video game save game files, selfies and letters to grandma then they should have offsite backups. Whether your data burns up in a fire, gets destroyed in a flood, gets stolen by non-government agents or impounded by government agents does not really matter; except that in the impounding case you might get it back. Back it up and there is much less to fear.

And perhaps this first messenger has a backup too.

In this case everybody has the information: "As reported Telam a specialist who preferred anonymity, which leaked on the web are "SSL certificates terminals that send data from the schools to the datacenter," which were published "on the site http: / /caba.operaciones.com.ar by poor settings on your servers. "" (translated version).

The desired "evidence" may be unreported information. For example things that make otherwise anonymous people less anonymous. Again, the researcher is not necessarily the target.

Comment: Re:Not blue eyed ... (Score 1) 218 218

Actually, the cool parallel you forgot is that melange was essential to the Guild Navigators, they couldn't navigate ships between stars without constant heavy use of melange to make them future-seeing. The rest of melange properties were merely valuable; this one kept universal trade going, essential to the economy. In short, it was the absolutely necessary strategic resource that kept transportation working. Now that's a parallel.

Well we did have many centuries of land and sea transportation before oil. Admittedly the long range transportation usually involved more important stuff. The less important and simpler stuff coming from more local sources, unlike today where even this comes from the other side of the world. Our society has alternative, historical and modern. The imperial society of Herbert's Dune had no alternative, they were interstellar not terrestrial. The absence of melange meant planetary isolation with the loss of instantaneous travel (folding space, even better than light/warp speed). By comparison our strategic resource is a convenience.

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.