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Comment: Pray to God and Row Toward Shore (Score 2) 143

by Bob9113 (#48432709) Attached to: Greenwald Advises Market-Based Solution To Mass Surveillance

There's a religious refrain, "Pray to God but row toward shore." It means you should ask for God's help, but that doesn't mean you should just sit there in the boat and wait to be saved.

From the Cryptome PDF:
Yesterday the USA Freedom Act was blocked in the Senate as it failed to garner the 60 votes required to move forward. Presumably the bill would have imposed limits on NSA surveillance. Careful scrutiny of the billâ(TM)s text however reveals yet another mere gesture of reform, one that would codify and entrench existing surveillance capabilities rather than eliminate them.

We didn't really lose anything. The government chose not to pass a platitude. That's probably not going to change until we manage to fix the twin problem of fear and hatred, being stoked by those who gain from emotionalism.

In the meantime, we need to row toward shore. Keep working on all the cryptography solutions you have time to help with. If you have an interest in meme propagation on social media or propaganda, see if you can figure out some ways to weaken the grip of emotionalism. I am, and it's fun.

Sometimes your nation calls on you for service. Sometimes you have to know what it needs even if it doesn't know how to ask.

Comment: I Tried To Skeptic The Review (Score 3, Insightful) 537

by Bob9113 (#48427137) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

I saw this yesterday and tried, so hard, to be the skeptic poking holes in a feminist's overreaction -- and failed. This thing is just awful. The best I could come up with was, "Well, there are valuable people on software development teams who do design. I value them immensely, because I can't do it."

Well, sure, and maybe they should also put out a book titled, "I can be a game designer." But that's not the title, and (I can tell you from personal experience) women make fine software engineers. Some great, some awful, most somewhere in between -- just like guys. If they want to make a book with a title about Barbie being a software engineer, they should just tell that story.

+ - Obama Posts Net Neutrality Petition

Submitted by Bob9113
Bob9113 (14996) writes "President Obama has posted a petition for net neutrality, targeted at the FCC. The page reads: Stand up for net neutrality President Obama is taking a stand to keep the internet open and free. Add your name to tell the FCC you support the President's plan to protect net neutrality."

Comment: Re:So don't use Tor at home? (Score 1) 136

by Bob9113 (#48413557) Attached to: 81% of Tor Users Can Be De-anonymized By Analysing Router Information

>> when you want to do something without being watched, you use TOR with clean hardware and connectivity.

> So what is clean? I can only think of an Ubuntu VM, default install with maybe one or two addons in Firefox to delete cookies. Nothing that changes or adds fonts...

That's a fairly good version. I think it's about how extreme you want to go and how secure you feel you need to be. You could grab a fresh laptop off Craig's List and only use it for a few days. You could get a Raspberry Pi with no writable storage and change the MAC address every time you power it up. Or, at the other end of the spectrum, you could just have one laptop that you only use for your alternate persona, and always use it for that, if what you need is pseudonymity instead of anonymity (that's the most aggressive thing I do, actually, being one of those people who doesn't actually have anything to hide, but still believes in privacy as a matter of principle).

And, of course, every step you take is a good one. It all helps to confound those who would violate what I believe are inalienable rights.

Comment: Re:Can government solve government problems? (Score 1) 135

by Bob9113 (#48397161) Attached to: Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?

Frequency allocations, overseen by the FCC, are a government protected monopoly.

Frequency competition has the most clear natural limits on competition of any of the carriage technologies you mention, but they exist for all of them. If more than one carrier uses the same slice of spectrum, they all degrade. Laissez-faire does a horrible job of maximizing production with wireless spectrum. Easements for wires and the natural barrier to entry of sinking new cables create a similar problem with wired carriage.

The FCC is not creating fiat carriage monopolies, they are managing natural limitations to carriage competition.

It is worth noting that there are genuine fiat monopolies at the local and state levels, but those are almost always created by the corporations through lobbying, partnerships, or collusion, not by the unaided whim of a bureaucrat.

Comment: Re:Nov 25 or 26?, or Dec 19, 22, or 23? (Score 1) 60

by Bob9113 (#48391543) Attached to: FCC Says Net Neutrality Decision Delay Is About Courts, Not Politics

which form of Net Neutrality? A) protocol neutral? B) endpoint neutral?

Both -- the carrier should not make prioritization decisions for me. My network and software should handle that, since my ISP can't know which packets are highest priority to me.

I am convinced that government regulators will find a third definition for Net Neutrality

That is a good reason to be eternally vigilant of the FCC, and the Internet is worth our effort. It is not a good reason to abdicate the decision to the ISPs, whose financial interests and both naturally- and regulatory- limited competition ensures a market-inefficient solution. The ISPs have the privilege of operating the carriage of our network for a profit. If they don't want that privilege, they can sell their gear and rights-of-way to a competitor. Both Google and municipal operations are wiping the floor with the incumbents everywhere they pop up.

Comment: Re:Nov 25 or 26?, or Dec 19, 22, or 23? (Score 4, Insightful) 60

by Bob9113 (#48389665) Attached to: FCC Says Net Neutrality Decision Delay Is About Courts, Not Politics

As to the will of the people--we're talking net neutrality. People support it because they like the word "Neutral."

There may be some like that, but people like me, who have been working on the Internet since before hypertext, support it because the idea of letting ISPs make deals for fast lanes is about as stupid as allowing the electric company make deals with companies to cut off electricity to their competitors.

Comment: Nov 25 or 26?, or Dec 19, 22, or 23? (Score 4, Insightful) 60

by Bob9113 (#48389237) Attached to: FCC Says Net Neutrality Decision Delay Is About Courts, Not Politics

The best days to announce things like, "We've decided to completely ignore the will of the people and do what the guys with wheelbarrows full of money tell us to" are the days right before Thanksgiving and right before Christmas. My bet is on Nov. 25, leaving a day to get home to family, but Nov 26, or Dec 19, 22, or 23 would not surprise me.

We can also say with some certainty when they won't announce; Dec 2, 9, or 16 -- Tuesdays during full work weeks -- are extremely unlikely.

Comment: Re:So don't use Tor at home? (Score 4, Interesting) 136

by Bob9113 (#48388753) Attached to: 81% of Tor Users Can Be De-anonymized By Analysing Router Information

Basically what they are saying is that you should not use Tor at home or at work, but in other places, where you don't do your normal browsing.

Close, but not quite ideal. You should use TOR at home to do strictly legitimate things, to create the haystack in which the needles can be hidden. Then, when you want to do something without being watched, you use TOR with clean hardware and connectivity. Also, when travelling to your clean connectivity, leave your cell phone and other tracking devices at home, and do it somewhere with lots of other people.

Comment: Sufficient & Necessary (Score 1) 827

by Bob9113 (#48358711) Attached to: How To End Online Harassment

'With Gamergate, it's not enough to ignore the trolls.'

It may not be sufficient, and if you have good ideas to add please do. But an effective solution to any problem must be both sufficient and necessary. And in this case, ignoring the trolls is necessary, even if you do not find it to be sufficient.

Trolls gain steam from attention. Any strategy for shutting down trolls must include ignoring them. There may be additional tactics that are worth employing, like advocating courtesy in Internet communications, but "don't feed the trolls" is a required part of the solution.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 200

by Bob9113 (#48325503) Attached to: Net Neutrality Alone Won't Solve ISP Throttling Abuse, Here's Why

That it is realistic to have highways wide enough that there will never be congestion?

Obviously not, and you can't possibly think I do think that. So I can only conclude that your question is not sincere, but meant to be dismissive. That is neither mature nor productive.

In a real internet (in fact on the internet for its entire existence), the network is managed.

The provider should be managing the allocation of data based on the subscribers' contracts, not on who they are connecting to, the content of the packets, what port it is on, what protocol it is using, or anything else. People who need high speed should order high speed packages. People who need low latency should pay for low latency. People who need both should pay for both.

Different data has different priorities, it just does.

Of course it does, but the ISP cannot know which data has what priority based on the port, protocol, endpoints, or packet content. Only the end user can determine those things, and the ISP making contradictory decisions is a breach of the data carriage obligation under which we have granted them privileges like rights-of-way and protection from liability for the data they transport.

Comment: Bullshit (Score 4, Insightful) 200

by Bob9113 (#48321665) Attached to: Net Neutrality Alone Won't Solve ISP Throttling Abuse, Here's Why

Email and web traffic can tolerate significantly higher latencies, for example.

Bullshit. You don't know which of my traffic is higher priority. The end user can and should have network management tools, but the ISP better damned well not decide that my kids watching Nemo in HD is more important than my rsync transfer of a log file telling me why the master server just barfed. That is my choice, not the ISP's.

Similarly, almost everyone agrees that ISPs have some responsibility to control network performance in a manner that guarantees the best service for the most number of people,

Bullshit. Just, bullshit. Citation needed. No, people who understand networks do not believe that the pipeline providers should be doing traffic prioritization based on endpoints.

or that prioritizes certain traffic over others in the event of an emergency.

Vague fear mongering. What if the network companies prioritize the wrong things in their search for a little more revenue and something bad happens to the children? THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

These are all issues that a careful set of regulations could preserve while still mandating neutral traffic treatment in the majority of cases, but it's a level of nuance that most discussions of the topic don't touch. The larger and more serious problem with net neutrality as its often defined, however, is that it typically deals only with the "last mile," or the types and nature of the filtering an ISP can apply to your personal connection.

I don't know if this is intentional or not, but throwing piles of vaguely related and confusing facts at a story then saying, "Therefore, we shouldn't regulate now!" is a standard tactic from the Koch plalybook. Shove it.

The public, including tens of thousands of network administrators, have spoken without equivocation: We want net neutrality. Period. When the ISPs come up with better regulation, they can propose it, and we will consider it. Until then, we will not move an inch on our demand for Net Neutrality. It has worked since the first day of the Internet. It is why the Internet made so many people, including the ISPs, rich. If they don't like it, they can GTFO or DIAF.

Comment: Re:It's just business - nothing personal (Score 1) 353

by Bob9113 (#48310409) Attached to: Online Payment Firm Stripe Boots 3D Gun Designer Cody Wilson's Companies

Why should [Stripe] be forced to pick a side?

The reality is they probably were. Agreed it is probably not Stripe's choice -- but if it is, I feel that all payment processors have a duty to not pick and choose the businesses they will cut off. Trade and the economy are too important to allow payment gateways to act as a choke point for morality enforcement. If the business is illegal, it should be shut down. If it is not, all businesses should have equal right and opportunity to engage in trade.

Privately operated toll bridges shouldn't be allowed to ban FedEx trucks, electric companies shouldn't be allowed to refuse service to stores that sell cigarettes, ISPs shouldn't be allowed to throttle content providers who don't pay extra, and payment processors shouldn't be allowed to enforce morality.

But, again, I think this was more likely DOJ or ATF bullying, not Stripe's choice.

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents