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Comment Re:Unionize (Score 1) 350

Then consider the corrupting influence of such power. How would such power would play out, given the relatively mild symbiotic Union and (currently, Democratic) Party relationship that is essentially a money laundering scheme of the highest order of corruption? The result would be a cartel that would make current Chicago look like a middle school student government in comparison. “All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.” -- FRANK HERBERT ("Heretics of Dune")

Comment Re:Unionize (Score 2) 350

The issue is neither pro, nor anti, union. The whole H1B situation is a clear instance of raw political corruption. The real Beltway Bandits, in Congress and the Administration, are essentially selling out American workers for quid pro quo of campaign finance. Don't get me wrong. I do not blame the corporations, who are supposed to be motivated by profit, albeit bounded by laws and regulations, like this one, of society in which they operate and are themselves a part. Rather, I lay the blame squarely on a corrupt political class in Washington whose loyalties, even fundamental affinities, are increasingly distant from those whom they were chosen to represent, to a degree that many see themselves less as the citizens' representatives in a Republic, than rulers over distant subjects in Fly-Over Country.

Comment Re:When you didn't ask to install it. (Score 1) 165

The problem is that consumers who are "users" of off-the-shelf software may only "intend" that key advertised and user-visible functionality should exist in any application. Consumers, by and large, unconsciously assume that any additional and hidden functions are somehow in good-faith support of the user-visible functionality. However, those same consumers really have no knowledge or insight into any functionality of compiled code other than advertised and user-visible functions. For an application of any common complexity, invisible functionality may be a majority of the code base. So, "functions only as intended" begs the further definition, "intended by whom"? -- the user or the developer? For custom code, the developer can be held responsible contractually to deliver specific users requirements, and can be further bound to deliver no more. But, for consumers of off-the-shelf software, the user assumes the risk that the application was coded in good faith to the advertised draw that sold the software. Perhaps an "Underwriters Laboratory" type assertion that the "software functions only as advertised and no more" is needed for consumers to trust that their software is secure. Trust is achieved through visibility.

Comment Re:What a clusterfuck (Score 1) 676

"Spillage" is the term applied to the improper movement of informations across security domains. For us Little People, spillage is likely to result in consequences to all parties involved ranging from very inconvenient to very, very, very, bad. Just receiving spillage through no fault of ones own often results, at the very least, in temporary loss of the computer as it's sanitized (or replaced), and possibly the results an investigation to resolve how it got there. Inadvertant transmission of spillage is likely to result, at the very least, in an investigation and serious administrative consequences ranging from suspension of access while an investigation completes, punitive letters of reprimand, loss of security clearance, and/or loss of job. Spillage found to be a result of negligence or culpable misconduct results in criminal charges. Every government computer has a login banner that displays the highest classification that the host computer and network are cleared to process, the government's right to continuously monitor the computer's activities, and the potential legal consequence of willful mis-use. Ignorance, given the banner and required training that must be renewed annually, is made extremely unlikely. The big question that I have is how did high security domain traffic even get to the unclassified domain servers, apparently over and over again, without some human intervention, without, essentially, mis-use? Oh well. Security rules for us Little People clearly have differed from those that apply to Party Royalty in this case, by demonstration of the fact that it was allowed to go on for so long. Ms. Clinton, including her cooperating cohorts and minions who were culpable in this mess, need to be punished in order to restore, if nothing else, trust and confidence in the just administration of the system.

Comment Re:I'd have said space x... (Score 2) 126

NASA is a government agency. Why should anyone trust what they say? It's always going to be in their best interests to spin the public and for the bureaucrats who socialize the risks to maximizing their share of tax revenues. See how that works? Corporations are aggregates of people. Bureaucracies too, are made up of people. People behave, in aggregate, like people, their trustworthiness every changing, highly circumstantial, and always on a spectrum. Trust, which is a shared mental state between people, is a function of transparency. I trust you as long as I can either see what you are doing, or observe their effects over time. By that measure, NASA has been pretty damned good. Space-x has a way to go, but can build trust by delivering successful launches over time. Even NASA has flubbed its share of launches, especially pre-Mercury. Gratuitous "evil corporations" jibes, however, can make one look a little nutty. Just my take.

Comment Re:One small problem (Score 1) 509

I rise in full agreement, and offer my applause to your eloquence. Individuals have rights. Governments have powers. I hope that there might some in this forum who might find this explanation of the basic principle somewhat familiar: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

Comment Re:It has an acronym , so it will fail. (Score 1) 149

The sciences are harder, less subjective and more rigorous, so of course GPA's are lower. Now, lets willingly suspend disbelief and stipulate that injecting money into STEM "programs" for women and minorities substantially increases STEM graduates in the U.S. Does that mean we will be able to reduce H1B visas because the workforce size is sufficient for demand? Or, does that mean we will have more STEM degrees working at Walmart, because H1B's will still cost less than indigenous workers? By the way, I can remember living in California in the early 70's when the lottery was being passed by proposition and promise that all of it would go to education. A lot of it did, and school facilities and staff, especially auxiliary non-teaching staff, increased significantly. Student achievement measured in standardized test scores, however, improved not a whit. So it goes.

Uncertain fortune is thoroughly mastered by the equity of the calculation. - Blaise Pascal