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Comment Re: What the hell (Score 1) 172

It's probably best to be clear that the ones most 'worried' about encryption are the FBI (and various other Federal Law Enforcement types). It may be telling that the FBI is so big on this, while the NSA seems less so. For all that people think of the NSA as the primary bad guys in all of this, the practical problem (as opposed to ethical/moral/etc) with NSA spying wasn't even the NSA having the information, it was what happens if/when the NSA gives that information to people like the FBI or DEA, who are very much interested in targeting American citizens.

Likely he's concluded that the benefits of strong encryption in protecting U.S. Government and private sector assets outweighs the potential lost intelligence monitoring capabilities. Part of this is because anyone overseas isn't going to bother using knowingly weaker stuff - Al Qaeda, ISIS, etc won't use stuff they know the FBI can backdoor, they'll get something from Russia or China, etc. Meanwhile, weaker crypto means our stuff is more likely getting read by those same Chinese/Russian/whoever intelligence services.

Meanwhile, the FBI doesn't care about that, because they're more interested in who they can go after domestically.

Comment Re:Making money off real names (Score 1) 231

If they aren't already. Not to go all tinfoil hat, but in many ways, I've always felt that Facebook operates very much like an intelligence agency. They do everything they can to vacuum up every single bit of personal information about you they can, including who you talk to, what you do, what you like, etc... The biggest difference is in who they provide the information to, and why.

Comment Re:This ruling won't fix anything (Score 1) 201

Assuming you're correct about Microsoft's challenge to the US Justice Department on that, then it brings things to a rather interesting head. What happens then? If US companies can't move Europeans' data to the US, it seems to me that these companies will be forced to choose between:

A) Operating in the European Union
B) Keeping their headquarters in the US/being a US company

When push comes to shove, I'm inclined to think they'll all bail out for Ireland or whereever, and leave their operations in the Valley as a subsidiary.

Comment Re:weakly disguised hit-piece (Score 5, Insightful) 326

Considering she's running for president, it shouldn't be surprising at all that her record gets raked over with a fine-toothed comb.

As for the deal itself, it definitely sounds like HP tried to gain advantage, but Apple came out as the clear winner, with HP (and Fiorinia) looking entirely foolish. Given the rest of her tenure at HP (and elsewhere), I'm not surprised in the least to hear it. She's never been any sort of true visionary, and having Jobs leave her in the dust with having doubled down on what was soon to be yesterday's technology, while he focused on what was really key is exactly what I would expect.

So is it really a "hit piece" to tell what happened, and put it in proper context? Why was HP wasting its time doing things like buying Compaq, and trying to piggyback on Apple's successes? If she was really a visionary, shouldn't she have been leading the market and innovating the way Jobs was?

Comment A Neverending Struggle (Score 4, Funny) 57

Prevent? No, the cyberwar has long since started, and I fear the forces of good are steadily losing.

We continue to fight the good fight, straining endlessly against the sea of foes in the cyberwar - against politicians, government staff, corporate drones, PHBs, and even the tech journalists that have betrayed us. Standing with us, but a few ragged, weary veterans of the IT industry - the programmers, the sysadmins, the network engineers, struggling valiantly in our constant fight to get people to stop putting the prefix "cyber" in front of anything and everything.

Comment Re:Misleading Summary (Score 3, Insightful) 488

The reliability of Intelligence is very important. Bad intelligence gets our people killed, wastes resources on snipe hunts, etc. Torture is entirely counterproductive to getting good, reliable intelligence.

You know why the North Koreans/Chinese/North Vietnamese/etc tortured prisoners? It wasn't for intelligence, it was for the purpose of brainwashing and propaganda. That's why they kept doing it long after any intelligence those poor bastards had was of no more use.

Want to know what works for getting intelligence? Stuff like the time-tested tactics outlined in the Army Field Manual - not Hollywood Tough Guy bullshit.

Comment Re:Well, now we know she h8s the US Constitution (Score 5, Insightful) 488

That, and the fact that it's TORTURE, the sort of thing we prosecuted people for in the past as a war crime.

It's also completely useless for gathering information, because all you get is garbage - someone will tell you whatever they think you want to hear to make it stop, even making shit up. Jesse Ventura put it rather well when he said something on the lines of "Give me Dick Cheney strapped to a folding table and a pitcher of water, and in 5 minutes I'll get him to confess to the Manson Family murders."

Comment Re:Big Surprise (Score 4, Insightful) 488

Skepticism is certainly warranted - however, far better to go with someone whose track record indicates that they could oppose mass surveillance, or take actions to roll it back. I would choose someone who might go back on their word later over someone who PROMISES to do the very thing I don't want them to.

Comment Re:She is still a horrible person... (Score 5, Informative) 488

There's certainly very little downside to it, these days, for most candidates. Even if you gain no traction/little notice, and you drop out early, the net resultis likely that nobody really remembers so it doesn't matter.
On the other hand, if you make a splash, but you lose out after a while, you can write/sell a book, get hired as a contributor on Fox, go give speeches, etc, and do a lot more than you could have before.

The really sad/funny thing is that Fiorina ran in 2010 as a moderate for California Senate. Now she's trying to sell herself as a hard-right ultraconservative republican. It's a bunch of flimflam, and you shouldn't buy it, any more than you should hire her to run your company.

Comment Re:Excellent news (Score 1) 62

You're looking at it the wrong way. This doesn't hurt or hinder DHS in the slightest - in fact, DHS would shrivel up and choke without contractors. They're an essential part of its workforce, and they always have been since day 1.

No, this is just DHS being used as a giant cash cow by the national security contracting industry. See that reference to lobbying by Raytheon et al? It's not just lobbying to try and get contracts, it's also lobbying to have those contracts, and the agencies issuing them, to exist in the first place. It's things like this that make sure politicians want to keep lumbering hulks like DHS around.

Comment Re:Yep (Score 4, Informative) 166

The only one, arguably, would be Lincoln in 1860, since at the time the Republican Party was still an insurgent, and was still in the final stages of supplanting the Whig party, but even that one would be a stretch, as they were clearly in the top two (and would remain firmly ensconced to this day as such).

And more importantly, we haven't had an actual supplanting of either of the two parties in the 155 years since then, despite it happening twice in the preceding 50 or so years. Instead, the two parties are so thoroughly entrenched that the more successful tactic has been to infiltrate and take over one of the two parties from within. Both parties have changed noticeably on a number of issues, to the point that they're almost unrecognizable when compared with their original versions (and, more ironically, are arguably closer to the OTHER one's original beliefs/constituencies).

Comment Re:Yep (Score 4, Informative) 166

No, they don't. The RIAA/etc are unhappy with it, because in their mind it doesn't do enough. They want laws that will let them ram eternal unbreakable copyright down our throats, eliminates fair use or any other provisions that don't involve paying them truckloads of money for stuff written before most of us were even born.

They accepted DMCA as what they could get at the time, but don't make the mistake of sleeping on it, because their lobbyists and lawyers will do whatever they can to get it strengthened, whether in congress or in court rulings.

Comment Re:How long will the company stay up? (Score 1) 494

In some cases, where the conduct of a corporation is so extremely egregious and sociopathic, I do think that something needs to be done to punish those ultimately responsible. That said, as much as this stuff bothers me, it bothers me far less than what GM did. Cheating on emissions tests is bad, but deliberately ignoring and covering up safety issues that you know will get people killed, and then having lots of people get killed, is worse. Of course, GM only suffered a 900 million USD fine for that, and there are reasons why - just not good reasons: Overall, we need more accountability for the executives, and management, that either allows this sort of stuff, or sets up the corporate culture where it's tolerated or even expected. How much money is the Volkswagen CEO going to walk away with? How much money did GM's executives make off with? Do we really expect to discourage this sort of stuff if it just comes down to cost benefit analysis?

Comment Re:Weigh it up. (Score 1) 202

At this rate, you're going to see a growing impetus to move the company headquarters overseas, whether to Europe or elsewhere. Leave a subsidiary in the US to deal with the US market, but keep the parent in Ireland or Switzerland or wherever. Yes, this is patently self-defeating for the US, as a whole and for the government, but it's nothing new. The US government (on both sides of the political aisle) has been doing a great job at encouraging companies to move their operations overseas - whether it's to use the tax loopholes like the Apple/Facebook/Google/etc Ireland gambit, or shifting operation plans because other countries offered financing after the Export/Import Bank was shut down, or any number of other advantages.

There's still the social stigma of doing it, but aside from that, are there really any serious downsides? Certainly not enough it seems. The big downside is probably that the executives might have to move to the new country, and/or be subject to the tax laws there, but if the other advantages are high enough, they just might go shopping for a new spot.

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