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Comment: Re: Sigh. (Score 1) 114

by Copid (#49506911) Attached to: DIA Polygraph Countermeasure Case Files Leaked
Add to that the percentage of the population that actuall is a spy is incredibly small and the percentage of the population that gets squeamish under interrogation is really high and you have a total classification disaster on your hands. I mean, of the thousands of NSA or CIA or FBI employees, how many of them are spies? Sure, some of them probably are. But I'm guessing it's single digits in each agency.

Comment: Re:Doug Williams - Polygraph Countermeasures? BS! (Score 1) 114

by Copid (#49506891) Attached to: DIA Polygraph Countermeasure Case Files Leaked
I love watching a dog lose its shit whenever it sees something new. Dogs have a highly tuned, "That ain't right," sense and they love to share it with all of us.

"That's the tallest guy I've ever seen. That ain't right."

"That person has wheels instead of using his legs. That ain't right."

"A big person carrying a little tiny person in a bag? That ain't right."

Comment: Re:Cloud but hear me (Score 1) 445

Exactly. Good encryption makes cloud backup a perfectly safe option. Encrypt your stuff something good and secure like GnuPG, stick it in one or more cloud providers, and then just worry about backing up your keys. Keys are small enough that you can even keep your backups as hard copies, and you only have to do the physical backup once instead of every week or whatever. It's a pain in the ass to type hard copies in correctly, but printed paper survives a lot better in a fire safe than digital media. Keep one easy to use digital copy and one heat-resistant paper copy in your fire safe and do the same in a safe deposit box somewhere.

I've been emailing myself important encrypted documents for years and letting gmail index them for easy retrieval. I can't imagine going back to dealing with having to regularly get physical media backups somewhere off-site and safe. It's just bits. Use computers to move them.

Comment: Re:Systemic and widespread? (Score 4, Insightful) 489

by Copid (#49438699) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"
This. And it's way scarier than brutality. If the cops don't cover for each other and they can't file false reports, you can usually avoid getting roughed up or shot by not getting physical with them (although recent videos show for certain that even that's no guarantee--it just protects you from malice, not incompetence). Once they start filing false reports and backing up each other's lies, they're effectively beyond any control. They can do literally anything and get away with it, and a force that has unlimited power and no oversight will attract and eventually be dominated by people who will abuse it. That kind of culture is what turns healthy democracies into pre-industrial hellholes and keeps pre-industrial hellholes from ever developing into healthy democracies.

I'm willing to cut the officer a (very) small amount of slack here. People are calling it a "cold-blooded" shooting. It looks like more of a hot-blooded shooting. They'd been struggling and he was amped up. Hitting the guy with the TASER and having him not fall probably scared the hell out of him. He wasn't able to handle himself properly and he did a very wrong thing. He should answer for that just as any of us would answer for it if we shot somebody after a fight. But falsifying the report? That's fucking cold-blooded. Planting evidence (if that's what that object is)? Terrifying. I watched the video and was distrubed by the shooting, but casually dropping an object next to the body and calling in that he had a weapon? That gave me chills. That's the sort of thing that should be a capital offense if anything should. That's a direct, premeditated attack on civilization. None of us are safe.

Comment: Re:More false information (Score 1) 104

by Copid (#49431015) Attached to: Biometrics Are Making Espionage Harder
I'm definitely interested in expert input from somebody who confuses iris scans and retinal scans.

You can "get past" an iris scan with patterned contacts, but patterned contacts are also detectable. If they're enforcing a "no patterend contacts" rule, you're going to have a very hard time going undetected.

Comment: Re:Lies, bullshit, and more lies ... (Score 1) 442

It could be even more interesting than that. My idea works something like this:

1) These things aren't so much visas as a "right to employ one foreign worker of class X." It should be transferrable with minimal friction. Just register the owner of the token and the name of the employee you're using it for.
2) If you want to hire a foreign worker, go right ahead. By his start date, you just need one of those tokens. Buy it at auction from the government when new ones are issued or buy it on the secondary market.
3) The worker himself can bring his own token. If he's a kick ass engineer with a lot of cash in the bank from kick ass engineering, there's no reason why he shouldn't be able to pay his own way and get rid of market uncertainty.
4) Those tokens can be broken down by job class (tech, medical, etc.).
5) The tokens have a shelf life before they expire. If you only need somebody for a year, you can buy one that's expiring in a year. Or by one with 2 years left on it and resell it if you're up for taking some market risk. The same can use token after token and stay here indefinitely as long as somebody is willing to pay.

The most interesting thing that I can see about it is the information it gives us. The prices of the various work classes would tell us how impacted each profession is. The prices of the tokens at different maturities will give us a "yield curve" that is actually a market projection of future demand for a given skill set.

Another benefit is that the best and the brightest really do get the right to work. We don't deport a genius who was worth an extra $150K a year just because of some paperwork snafu or bad luck in a lottery. We don't give a buffoon a visa just because he was in the right place at the right time.

I've been kicking it around for a while and I haven't figured out any obvious flaws. I'm open to hearing any if anybody has ideas.

Comment: Re:Lies, bullshit, and more lies ... (Score 1) 442

It seems like we could easily get around this problem by restructuring the system so that visas are auctioned off and can be resold. If it's possible to underpay an otherwise equally valuable foreign worker by $20K, the market price of the visa should build that in and do away with the profit in doing so. Even better, we can look at the market price for visas an decide whether the tech industry is telling the truth about shortages.

Comment: Re:Saving $35 more important to Apple (Score 1) 653

by Copid (#49420395) Attached to: Carly Fiorina Calls Apple's Tim Cook a 'Hypocrite' On Gay Rights
Unless I'm reading the statistics incorrectly, that's a difference of nearly $1.4 billion dollars in Q4 of last year alone. Mr. Cook may believe in it that much, but he's not spending his own money. If you're going to spend $1.4B in investor money, make sure you have a *really* good explanation when the investors ask you why you did it. Apple isn't just Tim Cook's vehicle for social change. It's also a company that makes tech products for profit.

Given that, it seems like he's picking his battles pretty wisely and getting a solid amount of public response for his buck.

Comment: Re:Sen. Feinstein (Score 1) 538

The simplest reason for that is that with the structure of our congress and the party discipline that both major parties maintain means that you're not voting for a person. You're voting for which party you prefer. They vote in enough lockstep that they can say whatever stupid or brilliant things they want. They can be angels or devils. As long as the parties vote together on bills, the individual doesn't matter. Most people would rather have a moron or serial killer who will reliably vote with the party that shares their preferences than a pure-of-heart genius who will reliably vote with a party that doesn't share thier policy preferences.

Comment: Re:Not gonna happen (Score 1) 383

by Copid (#49406397) Attached to: Why the Framework Nuclear Agreement With Iran Is Good For Both Sides

The problem is that the program has increased by a third in membership the span of six years (almost 48 million in 2009 to 65 million last year) while the economic base that pays for Medicaid still grows slower than the rate of growth in the program (and of health care cost as a whole).

That 1/3 increase in enrollment is not a problem so much as it's how the law was designed. More support for lower income people by expanding Medicaid and Medicaid receipts to support them. That initial growth is accounted for in the law's budgeting. As for the rate of growth, I'm wondering what data you have on that. In aggregate, the growth rate in per-capita healcare spending has declined over the past few years, averaging about 1.3% in real terms per year. Not great, but also not something that looks to be outstripping our ability to pay for it. That includes Medicare spending, so it's possible that the Medicaid data is drastically different and being averaged out, but I don't have a clean dataset in easy reach. Based on private market trends, I'd be surprised if Medicaid turned out to be growing at a uniquely high per-capita rate.

Only if you count Medicaid as part of that.

This one gets me every time. Of course you count Medicaid as part of that! A huge part of the law was getting more lower income people healthcare by providing it through Medicaid.

If they had implemented a 100% coverage single payer system, I bet there would be people who say that it didn't expand access to healthcare "unless you count that government plan." It's one thing if we accidentally made everybody too poor to afford anything but public assistance, but the Medicaid expansion was completely intentional. It was the answer to the question, "How you going to get health insurance to lower income people?"

While I don't have a lot of experience with the program, it does appear to be going downhill to me, especially with below market rates for most medical care.

I don't really know how to respond to feelings of vague unease with the quality of the program. Are you really asserting, as you imply below, that Medicaid is no better than just showing up at an emergency room? I don't think there's a lot of data to support that. The mainstream consensus is quite the opposite.

What amazes me is that the program is working more or less as designed, costs are running lower than expected, the economy has failed to collapse as predicted, and people are still saying everything was perfectly fine when stumbling into an emergency room to be stabilized and sent home was "healthcare." The idea that there have been no objectively measurable improvements to the situation baffles me.

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