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Comment: Re:Not surprised (Score 4, Interesting) 170

by BlueStrat (#47373769) Attached to: Privacy Oversight Board Gives NSA Surveillance a Pass

Why do you think it is sudden? Congress, with the courts approval, have been infringing on Constitutional rights since the Constitution was written. They make exceptions all the time: when you can speak (no "fire" in a crowded theater); when you can assemble (Sorry "Occupy", move along... move along...); which guns you're allowed to buy (all without infringing on your right to keep & bear!); and when a warrant is required to execute you (Drone, zooooom, boom!).

The ends justify the means in each of those cases, so it does now too, and will again in the future.

All that shows is that we're not the 'land of the free and the home of the brave,' and never have been. Of course, things like slavery made that obvious anyway. Our government is and always was full of freedom-hating scumbags.

Nothing is ever perfect. The US Constitution sets the standard, or the bar against which the government must constantly be measured against and corrected when government strays/errs.

Through the history of the US, it has been both closer to that ideal and farther away, and in different areas and in different ways to different people at different times. Since government size has expanded so greatly since the 1920s, likewise so has its' power and control over ever more aspects of our lives and control of ever more US business, health, resource, & economic infrastructure. That expands the severity and scope of such bad government behavior.

We are in yet another moment in US history where we must decide how far we allow government power to reach, how many of our choices it can eliminate/control, and how much monitoring & control over our speech and communications it can be allowed to achieve.

Remember; If the capability exists, it will be misused regardless of any laws or oversight put in place. It's human nature, and especially human political nature.

Strat

Comment: Re: They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone r (Score 2) 268

by BlueStrat (#47342023) Attached to: That Toy Is Now a Drone

Note that the amendment does not presume to be granting the right to keep and bear arms. It acknowledges the right as pre-existing, and explicitly prohibits the government from infringing it.

NO, it doesn't, and had NEVER been interpreted that way until the 1970s/80s.

Learn some damn history before talking about it.

It is YOU who needs to learn some history.

The Rights outlined in the US Constitution are the Rights every person is born with as they are the rights of "Nature and Nature's God" (as described by the founders).

Every person has a natural right to protect themselves. Every person has a right to voice their opinion. The US Constitution merely highlights and emphasizes what the Founders considered some of the most important of these rights in order to emphasize that the government may not infringe upon them.

The Constitution incorporates a negative list of Rights, that is, it is a non-exclusive list of some of the natural individual Rights that every person is born with that the government may not infringe upon.

It is always disturbing when the ignorant speak out with such vehemence and confidence upon matters in which they have no clue. Such public ignorance is what allows tyranny to take root.

Please, for all our sakes and for your own, educate yourself rather than parroting partisan political talking points.

Strat

Comment: Re:True in theory (Score 1) 186

by BlueStrat (#47339641) Attached to: Larry Page: Healthcare Data Mining Could Save 100,000 Lives a Year

I would *presume* that any large-scale collection and analysis of medical information will eventually be abused by someone. That still leaves the question of whether its a reasonable tradeoff.

Data is power. The more data that is collected about people, the easier they are to control. Just look at every single authoritarian police state and how they always gather as much data on people as possible. It's a means of control.

I don't know about you, but I don't feel like I have any surplus freedom. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact.

A free and open society is not without risks and responsibilities for the individuals in it. Data collection and mining to the extent that people like Larry Page desire is incompatible with a free and open society. He's just trying to convince people that the freedom you have is not that important, heck you barely use it and "look! ooooh, shiny!".

Every nation that became an authoritarian state that arose from within, started with convincing the people the freedoms they were losing were for the "greater good".

I'll take my chances with a free and open society where so much data about me is not collected & mined, and in the control of others with power over me who do not necessarily have my personal best interests in mind, thanks anyway Mr. Page.

No sale.

Strat

Comment: Re:The headline is juicy, but hides a real problem (Score 1) 212

Hmm, I just now replaced a TV that was15 years old, only replaced because it was breaking down. (I still have it though, it's too heavy to drag down to the recyclers)

Remember several decades back when there were still television repair shops, so you'd go to have it fixed, replace the picture tubes, tune the chokes, etc?

There's a perfectly functional Sanyo TV, matching DVD player, and VHS tape deck from 2002 sitting in my entertainment center.

Right next to a 1970s Lafayette Electronics (remember their electronics kits and Ham/CB radios?) analog stereo receiver, the kind with slide-rule AM/FM dial for the tuner portion, and an analog signal-strength/FM-stereo-signal-centering meter. That powers two pairs of 12"-woofer Rat-Shack "Optimus" speakers from the early 1980s. Still sounds great, and easily powerful/loud enough to rattle the windows and bring the local constabulary.

I also feed video/audio to the system from my 2001 and 2006 PCs, as well as my SGI Octane system from ~1998.

My cellphone is a 'soapbar' style basic LG from 2005.

*I* and people like me who do not throw money at them every other year for the latest "Oooh, shiny!" are their enemy and their target. Africa just has a higher proportion who don't (and/or can't afford to) buy their products according to an "optimum upgrade schedule" designed to maximize their profits.

The e-waste angle is just another tool being (mis-)used to "nudge" people to keep paying them over and over, and not repair, reuse, and/or re-sell their products.

A *government* tool that would not exist, or at least not in a form that would allow the corrupt politicians to use in this way, if we did not allow governments to grow large enough to have so much power and control over everything and everybody's life that holding those in government accountable becomes impossible as a practical, peaceful matter. We've seen this recently with the DoJ, IRS, NSA, GCHQ, etc etc.

Strat

Earth

UK Man Sentenced To 16 Months For Exporting 'E-Waste' Despite 91% Reuse 212

Posted by Soulskill
from the be-careful-not-to-solve-problems-without-the-express-consent-of-government dept.
retroworks writes: The Guardian uses a stock photo of obvious electronic junk in its coverage of the sentencing of Joseph Benson of BJ Electronics. But film of the actual containers showed fairly uniform, sorted televisions which typically work for 20 years. In 2013, the Basel Convention Secretariat released findings on a two-year study of the seized sea containers containing the alleged "e-waste," including Benson's in Nigeria, and found 91% of the devices were working or repairable. The study, covered by Slashdot in Feb. 2013, declared the shipments legal, and further reported that they were more likely to work than new product sent to Africa (which may be shelf returns from bad lots, part of the reason Africans prefer used TVs from nations with strong warranty laws).

Director of regulated industry Harvey Bradshaw of the U.K. tells the Guardian: "This sentence is a landmark ruling because it's the first time anyone has been sent to prison for illegal waste exports." But five separate university research projects question what the crime was, and whether prohibition in trade is really the best way to reduce the percentage of bad product (less than 100% waste). Admittedly, I have been following this case from the beginning and interviewed both Benson and the Basel Secretariat Executive Director, and am shocked that the U.K. judge went ahead with the sentencing following the publication of the E-Waste Assessment Study last year. But what do Slashdotters think about the campaign to arrest African geeks who pay 10 times the value of scrap for used products replaced in rich nations?
United States

German Intel Agency Helped NSA Tap Fiber Optic Cables In Germany 103

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-i-in-team dept.
An anonymous reader writes Der Spiegel has written a piece on the extent of collaboration between Germany's intelligence agency, Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), and the U.S.'s National Security Agency (NSA). The sources cited in the piece do reveal BND's enthusiastic collusion in enabling the NSA to tap fiber optic cables in Germany, but they seem inconclusive as to how much information from the NSA's collection activity in the country is actually shared between the NSA and BND. Of note is evidence that the NSA's collection methods do not automatically exclude German companies and organizations from their data sweep; intelligence personnel have to rectro-actively do so on an individual basis when they realize that they are surveilling German targets. Germany's constitution protects against un-warranted surveillance of correspondence, either by post or telecommunications, of German citizens in Germany or abroad and foreigners on German soil.

Comment: Re:Logical Consequences (Score 1) 398

by BlueStrat (#47269423) Attached to: Why China Is Worried About Japan's Plutonium Stocks

There are US bases in Japan as well as South Korea. Any attack by China on either would be the launching point for another World War. Ukraine doesn't rank in the same region of US interests as Japan does. Not in the same Galaxy.

All true.

Except that the current US administration would do nothing except make PR statements and call for sanctions. Maybe.

"I just heard about the Chinese attack on Japan in the news just like you did. I will make a strongly-worded statement...as soon as my teleprompter tells me what it is."

I wonder which YouTube video would be blamed? Or would those emails suddenly disappear like 2 years of IRS emails just conveniently did?

And both the major US political Parties are equally as deceitful, corrupt, and power-hungry. There really is only one US political Party, the Government Party vs We the People.

Strat

Government

Brownsville SpaceX Space Port Faces More Regulatory Hurdles 78

Posted by samzenpus
from the hurry-up-and-wait dept.
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "It turns out that the recent FAA environmental impact statement that seemed to give a stamp of approval for the proposed SpaceX space port in south Texas is not the end of the regulatory process, but the end of the beginning. A story in the Brownsville Herald reminds us that the report has kicked off a 30 day review period after which the FAA can allow SpaceX to apply for a launch license to start work on the Brownsville area launch facility. And that in turn kicks off a 180 day process during which the FAA makes the decision whether or not to grant the required licensing and permits.

But even that is not the end of the regulatory hurdles that SpaceX must face before the first Falcon rocket roars into the skies over the Gulf of Mexico. The Longview News-Journal reports that a number of state and federal agencies must give their approval for various aspects of the space port before it becomes operational. For instance, the Texas Department of Transportation must give approval for the movement of utility lines. Environment Texas still opposes the space port since it is close to a wild life reserve and a state park. SpaceX has already agreed to enact measures to minimize the impact the space port would have on the environment, 'such as containing waste materials from the construction and enforcing a speed limit in the control center area.' Environment Texas is not impressed, however. Whether it is disposed to make trouble in the courts is an open question."
The Almighty Buck

Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage 1040

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the only-sort-of-starving-now dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Seattle City Council announced on Monday that it has unanimously approved a $15 per hour minimum wage mandate. The new rate will go into effect starting April 1, 2015 in a tiered, gradual manner that depends on employer size. In the first year of implementation, hourly minimum wage will be raised to either $10 or $11 according to the employer size category. By 2021, hourly minimum wage across the board should be at or above $15. Seattle is the first city to implement a living wage for its lowest earners."
Privacy

German Intelligence Agency Planning To Follow Big NSA Brother On Shoestring 80

Posted by timothy
from the ironie-und-sarcasmus dept.
An anonymous reader, tongue in cheek, writes"Facebook, Twitter, et al are tools for terrorists planning to do whatever terrorists do, Germany's BND has discovered. Inevitably, real-time monitoring of these sites is necessary and urgently required [original, in German], not least because that Snowden chap has shown we're running behind the U.S. and UK. And Spain. And Italy. In short, it's a national emergency — 300 million euros, presto please — and if we do this smartly, we could even get a sense of what the population outside Germany thinks. And while we're at it, why not throw in automated enemy face recognition too — and biometry and-and a program to deform the faces of our own spies' selfies, so the enemy cannot google them. Time to invest in national security startups."
Crime

US Gov't Seeks 7-Month Sentence For LulzSec's Sabu 76

Posted by timothy
from the just-call-it-good dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this news from Wired: "As a reward for his extensive cooperation helping prosecutors hunt down his fellow hackers, the government is seeking time served for the long-awaited sentencing of top LulzSec leader Hector Xavier Monsegur, also known as 'Sabu.' After delaying his sentencing for nearly three years, the government has asked a federal court to sentence Monsegur to time served — just seven months — calling him an 'extremely valuable and productive cooperator' in a document that details for the first time his extensive cooperation providing 'unprecedented access to LulzSec.'" That's much less than the 317 months in prison he might otherwise face.
Earth

ESA's Cryosat Mission Sees Antarctic Ice Losses Double 162

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-getting-hot-in-here dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with news that seems to confirm the alarming reports last week about Antarctic ice melting. "The new assessment comes from Europe's Cryosat spacecraft, which has a radar instrument specifically designed to measure the shape of the ice sheet. The melt loss from the White Continent is sufficient to push up global sea levels by around 0.43mm per year. Scientists report the data in the journal Geophysical Research Letters (abstract). The new study incorporates three years of measurements from 2010 to 2013, and updates a synthesis of observations made by other satellites over the period 2005 to 2010. Cryosat has been using its altimeter to trace changes in the height of the ice sheet — as it gains mass through snowfall, and loses mass through melting."

Comment: Re:Boo hoo. (Score 1) 238

Cry me a river. I'm sure that we could reduce that possibility ten fold if we placed cameras and microphones inside everyone's house. Does that mean we should do it? Absolutely not.

But, but...we have to destroy freedom in order to protect Freedom(tm)!

Why do you hate Freedom(tm) and America(tm)??

"Those who would give up essential liberties for..."

Ah, screw it! Apparently most people are fine with sacrificing any and all of their individual liberties and rights as long as the talking heads tell them it makes them more safe. Or, that changing this slide into totalitarianism in America is someone else's job.

There will always be the risk of people doing bad things in a free and open society. If there was not the ability for individuals and groups in a society to do bad things, then that society by definition would be neither free nor open.

Strat

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