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Comment: Re:1984 (Score 1) 160

by FhnuZoag (#49266143) Attached to: LAPD Police Claim Helicopters Stop Crimes Before They Happen

1984 was not a warning *or* a how to manual. It was a novel.

It was one guy, George Orwell's imagination, mainly commenting on Stalinist Russia, as part of the wider movement of the western Left's dissatisfaction and sense of betrayal over developments in the USSR. The Cold War drove the popularity of 1984 and its sister work, Animal Farm, because they could be used in the wider struggle against Communism.

Things that are slightly like what is depicted in 1984 are not automatically bad, nor are things not in 1984 automatically okay.

Comment: Re:Useless (Score 1) 75

by FhnuZoag (#49072575) Attached to: Canada's Next-Generation Military Smart Gun Unveiled

Is sharing targetting info useful enough to justify having to recharge your gun every X hours, and risk suffering a software crash every now and then? And what if your adversary intercepts all that valuable targetting info you are broadcasting, and now know exactly where all your guys are and where they are aiming?

Comment: Re:Highly unlikely this will ever show up. (Score 1) 75

by FhnuZoag (#49072561) Attached to: Canada's Next-Generation Military Smart Gun Unveiled

Of course I do realize that the entire reason for this new weapons system is to at least get better rifles into the hands of the soldiers up there. I just don't think it'll ever get through the politicized purchasing process.

The entire reason for this new weapons system is to secure lucrative contracts for its manufacturers. If they wanted better rifles into the hands of the soldiers they would be looking into affordable tried and tested weaponry instead of new high tech ones that will almost inevitably lead to decades of expensive 'teething problems'.

Comment: Re:The End of War == First Post (Score 1) 439

by FhnuZoag (#49065597) Attached to: Will Submarines Soon Become As Obsolete As the Battleship?
It would deter *them* from doing anything in the first place, but what's to deter *us*? With our countermeasures set up, there's no downside to attacking.

And if they think we are likely to attack the moment we have these countermeasures set up, that's a pretty strong incentive to attack pre-emptively. Perfect defenses are a powerful offensive tool.

Comment: Re:Misleading Title (Score 1) 213

by FhnuZoag (#48496455) Attached to: Game Theory Analysis Shows How Evolution Favors Cooperation's Collapse

Yes. Exactly!

On the grand scale of things, I would suggest that evolution *vastly* favours cooperation. No, really. Think about all the cells in your body working together to form a multi-cellular organism. Think about the organelles in symbiosis within those same cells. Think about bacteria sharing plasmids amongst each other, and forming aggregates. Think about ecosystems where different organisms form finely balanced cycles, where no single element ever predominates. Think about the majority of encounters you have with other people in human society, and the large numbers of colony/herd/flock arrangements in wildlife.

Comment: There is no power. (Score 4, Informative) 350

by FhnuZoag (#48384579) Attached to: Debunking a Viral Internet Post About Breastfeeding Racism

I am actually a statistician. And this 'study' looks pretty worthless.

The problem is the issue of a 'huge gap'. What gap is huge? Well, we can try and do a power calculation. How big does the gap between the black and white targets *need* to be, to have a good chance of showing up in this test?

This is simple enough to calculate. Plug in some numbers:
1. Sample size in each group - 50
2. Level of Significance - 0.05
3. Power - i.e. the desired probability of finding there to be a significant difference, *if a difference exists*. I've chosen a standard number of 0.8 - i.e. allow for a 20% chance of missing a true effect by accident.

Fixing the proportion of inappropriates for the white woman at 70%, we find.... 91.8%.

In other words, with this sample size, we actually only rule out a difference of 70% vs 91.8%, or in other words, an over 2/3rds drop in the proportion of people finding the picture appropriate.

To rephrase: if the truth was that 2/3rds of the people who think a white woman is breastfeeding would *not* think a black person breastfeeding is appropriate - a situation that I think you'd agree is very racist - then we'd miss such an effect in an experiment like this over 1/5th the time. Even assuming the experiment was conducted ideally, and no one was just randomly clicking to earn money.

This article is meaningless.

Comment: Re:There can be no defense of this. (Score 1) 184

by FhnuZoag (#48335029) Attached to: British Spies Are Free To Target Lawyers and Journalists

Who said anything about practicing lawyers? The text of the rules regarding lawyers refer to all lawyers.

The reason why there is no abundance of dangerous terrorists who are simultaneously lawyers, is because there is no expectation of special legal protection for lawyers, outside of one specific thing, attorney-client communications. Thus there is no value for a terrorist or serial killer to declare themselves a lawyer. If the GCHQ rules have said something different, that *in principle, lawyers are automatically exempt from security services investigations*, without any regard to necessity or proportionality, you can bet a lot more people would declare themselves a 'lawyer' for the convenience of it.

There are no required qualifications to practice law in the UK. A blanket ban on investigating lawyers is essentially unworkable.

Comment: Re:Full passage (Score 2) 184

by FhnuZoag (#48334901) Attached to: British Spies Are Free To Target Lawyers and Journalists

In other words, despite the summary saying "British spies have been granted the authority to secretly eavesdrop on legally privileged attorney-client communications", the actually released documents say almost exactly the opposite.

British spies explictly do not have, by default, the authority to target the communications of lawyers, and even if they were granted authority, legally privileged attorney-client communications are explicitly barred from their access, being excised from transcripts by audio analysts before being passed to investigators.

Comment: Full passage (Score 1) 184

by FhnuZoag (#48334817) Attached to: British Spies Are Free To Target Lawyers and Journalists

You may in principle target the communications of lawyers. However, you must give careful consideration to necessity and proportionality, because lawyer-client communications are subject to special protection in UK law on grounds of confidentiality known as Legal Professional Privilege. If you intend to or have inadvertently targeted lawyers' communications, and it seems likely that advice to a client will or has been intercepted, you must consult Legal at GCHQ who will seek LA advice. Further information is in Communications Containing Confidential Information.

I honestly don't see anything wrong with this. The point here is multi-fold:
1. There is a distinction between targetting individuals who are lawyers, and targetting lawyer-client communications. Lawyers are human beings, and not everything they do is a client communication. Lawyers do not become uniquely immune from appropriate investigation, just because they are lawyers. Otherwise that's a pretty gigantic loophole.
2. It's clear that the approval 'in principle' is bound by rules and caveats. Spies don't actually have the authority to spy on their own in this case, they "must" escalate to someone else to grant them that authority. The rule of thumb is given on page 90, point number 5: "there must be evidence of criminal activity by the lawyer". Even then the information is to be kept from anyone involved in the trial.

Comment: WHY (Score 3, Interesting) 347

by FhnuZoag (#48211983) Attached to: The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

This is a terrible idea. The point is that the 'Modern UI' is designed around full screen apps. But system configuration is one thing that enormously benefits from opening up windows alongside the control panel (for example, to follow a set of instructions), opening up multiple control panels to refer to each other, and so on. Microsoft is basically directly removing usability.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?