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Comment Re:Wow. Talk about misreading, and missing the poi (Score 1) 94

Yeah, and guess what?

Smith v Maryland (1979) says that phone call records, as "business records" provided to a third party, do not have an expectation of privacy, and are not covered by the Fourth Amendment. And the only data within that haystack that we care about are the foreign intelligence needles. I know that's difficult to comprehend, but it's the law of the land, unless and until SCOTUS reverses that ruling. And they very well may.

Until that happens, "We're pretty aggressive within the law. As a professional, Iâ(TM)m troubled if I'm not using the full authority allowed by law." -- General Michael Hayden

Comment Re:Correct. Including the US government. (Score -1, Troll) 94

Here's your mistake, and the mistake of everyone who thinks the way you do:

You cherry-pick examples of abuse -- and that's exactly what it is, illegal abuse -- and extrapolate it, in your mind, to being a systemic problem. You imagine it's happening all the time, and that people just sit around at their desks looking up their friends, girlfriends, neighbors, and ex-spouses for fun.

You then cherry-pick completely unrelated, long-ago-condemned examples of things that happened decades ago under the Hoover FBI, which is about 180 degrees opposite from what NSA does for foreign intelligence, and before there was any semblance of anything that could remotely be called intel oversight, and pretend it's exactly the same.

Your mistake is that you think isolated examples of abuse are not isolated, without proof; then you believe that any such examples indicate what, to you, is obviously a systemic, widespread problem. Abuse will ALWAYS happen, and it will never stop. This is true at all levels of government, and anywhere a human being exists. The answer to that is oversight (something you also think doesn't exist, but is actually so overbearing and restrictive that if you could actually witness it, you wouldn't believe it), not removing any authority that "could" be abused, because then we would necessarily have to remove them all.

Yes, intentional abuse, unintentional abuse, simple mistakes, human or machine error, and all manner of things happen in intelligence work. And those errors are such a vanishingly small proportion of what NSA does that it is nearly zero -- and they are still taken seriously. In fact, this is one of the single most important things drilled into anyone doing foreign SIGINT, military or civilian, every single day. It's not some kind of a joke.

I hate to break it to you, but how things actually work might disappoint you if you think there is rampant abuse everywhere.

Comment Wow. Talk about misreading, and missing the point. (Score 0, Troll) 94

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen ... you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide.

No. That's not what I said, at all.

What I said was -- all arguments about crypto aside -- was precisely what I said:

If you're an American (or frankly, any innocent person) anywhere in the world who isn't an active member of a foreign terrorist organization or an agent of a foreign power, the Intelligence Community DOES NOT CARE ABOUT and actually DOES NOT WANT your data.

That is in no way, shape, or form akin to saying, "you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide." It is not making an argument that the government "should" have your data. It is saying that the Intelligence Community, in the form of the foreign intelligence agencies, does not want your data -- doesn't want to touch it, doesn't want to see it, doesn't want to read it, whether it's encrypted or not. And no, using crypto does not "make you a suspect". (And the FBI doesn't want the data of innocent people, either. What the FBI wishes for is a state of affairs where criminals for whom exist actual individualized warrants wouldn't be able to employ the digital equivalent of an impenetrable fortress, out of reach of the legitimate authority of enforcement mechanisms in a democratic society. But it may have to come to terms with that reality.)

If you believe you defend these things by undermining what they actually mean, then I'm afraid you don't deserve to have these things defended since you've already given up on them.

Talk about missing the point. You are basing your entire argument on a false premise, and false assumption of what you believe my argument to be; namely, that we should be giving up our rights in order to protect them. Not only am I not making that argument, I am making the precise opposite: that if you believe those rights are important, you need to understand that we can and do take steps to execute military and intelligence actions against our adversaries, whether they be terrorists or nation-states.

You crow about all these rights you think you and Americans, collectively, have "given up", when in reality, nothing substantive has actually changed (oh, I realize you think it's changed, and that you're living in a borderline police state). You believe your rights are being trampled, when you are, from a real and practical standpoint, more free while living in organized, civil society than any other people throughout history -- at least as free as is possible without living in a vacuum with no connection to humanity.

You hold out WWII codebreakers as heroes, practically idolizing them, and vilify the modern day equivalent, while ignoring the reality that US adversaries coexist in the same web of global digital communications as we do, utilizing the same devices, systems, services, networks, operating systems, encryption standards, and so on, and then act surprised when elements of the US government actually dare develop ways to exploit those systems, just because Americans also happen to use them -- totally misunderstanding the landscape.

This is exactly what I am talking about when I say people need to gain some perspective on history, or reality. Either would do.

Comment Correct. Including the US government. (Score 2, Insightful) 94

And two former DIRNSAs agree.

So does ADM Rogers -- except that every interpretation of various US officials' arguments on encryption wildly conflate multiple issues (such as domestic law enforcement, which can and does sometimes have a foreign intelligence connection, and foreign signals intelligence purposes), or utterly misunderstand the purpose, function, and targets of foreign intelligence.

Yes, I know you (not OP, the "royal you") think you know it all, because you have taken things you think of as "proof" utterly out-of-context with zero understanding about things like foreign SIGINT actually works, and have seen 3-4 unrelated pieces of a 1000 piece puzzle, with some of those pieces actually parts of different puzzles, and believe you have the full picture.

People continually and willfully seem to want to forget or ignore that actual, no-shit foreign intelligence targets also -- gasp! -- use things like iPhones, Gmail, Hotmail, WhatsApp, and so on. And, when foreign intelligence targets use these modes of communication, amazingly, we actually want to target them.

If you're an American (or frankly, any innocent person) anywhere in the world who isn't an active member of a foreign terrorist organization or an agent of a foreign power, the Intelligence Community DOES NOT CARE ABOUT and actually DOES NOT WANT your data. Sounds crazy and bizarre for foreign intelligence agencies to care about things like foreign intelligence, I know, but it's true. Weird!

I guess it's easier to believe that functioning democracies* all are constantly looking for ways to illegally spy on their own citizens who have done nothing wrong, rather than to believe that intelligence work in the digital age where the only distinction is no longer the physical location or even the technology used, but simply the target -- the person at the other end, is actually extremely complicated, and not fun.

* If you don't think the Western liberal democracies of the world are worth a shit, or laugh at the term "functioning democracies" when used in reference to the US, warts and all, that simply means you have lost all perspective of reality, and are part of the problem. And it will be to our peril, because there actually are governments in the world who do spy on their own citizens, and wherein the people don't have anywhere NEAR the level of freedoms we have, no matter how terrible you think we are. And guess what? It's our national security and intelligence apparatus that we use to defend ourselves. If you're now so jaded that you don't actually believe the US and its allies, and their principles, are something worth defending and fighting for, then everything I have said here means nothing to you anyway. Just be advised that your perception of history and reality is fatally skewed.

Comment Re:Best way to lose soul is to drive out source (Score 1) 366

The soul comes from many things, small shops being one of them. Another thing is a vibrant arts scene,

Who require supplies and are there because of the cool coffee shop around the corner....

something which is helped massively by increases in minimum wage.

Arts scene in Seattle is a ghost town in two years.

Comment It's the regulations that are a sham (Score 1) 347

If you look at air pollution statistics from any first-world country, you'll find they have been getting significantly better over the last decade.

The ONLY way forward from this "cheating" mess it to raise the standards to allow what cars are already emitting - because we know for a FACT that pollution has gone down with those levels of emissions actually allowed.

Comment For general use? Hell no. (Score 4, Insightful) 75

The summary is horrific because it paints the pulling of these apps as negative when in fact it's one of the better demonstrations as to why non-technical people need a curated app store.

Be honest, your mom or other family member is is not as technically knowledgeable tells you they installed an app that routes all mobile traffic through some VPN the developer runs (never mind how they knew enough to explain that to you!).

Would you SERIOUSLY let that stay installed, or would you run to un-install it?

This is nothing more than a giant security breach. If you really are STUPID enough to want to run all your traffic through some strangers VPN, you can do so easily with existing mobile VPN support on any platform. They can scrub ad blockers and run MITM attacks on your bank or what have you, but at least it would have required more effort on your part to get yourself into trouble.

Comment losing its soul in the same way (Score 2) 366

"It's that the San Francisco and Silicon Valley communities have gotten themselves into a trap where preservationists and local politics have basically guaranteed buying a house will cost at least $1 million. Already in Seattle, it costs half-a-million, so we're well on our way."

Seattle mayor Ed Murray says he wants to keep the working-class roots of Seattle, a city with a major port, fishing fleet and even a steel mill. After taking office last year, Murray made the minimum-wage increase a priority, [...] and has set a goal of creating 50,000 homes — 40 percent of them affordable for low-income residents

Sounds to me like Seattle is following in San Francisco's footsteps, with "preservationists and local politics" doing pretty much the same things they did in San Francisco.

I just wish they'd stop blaming the "tech boom" or software developers for their failed policies.

Comment Re:Show us the data (Score 1) 415

First of all it is not peak but nameplate

For non-dispatchable power, particularly renewable energy, nameplate capacity refers to generation under ideal conditions.

It doesn't make sense for renewable energy to continuously generate more power than possible "under ideal conditions". And, in fact, actual capacity factors for renewables are somewhere between 5% and 35%, as the reference I gave you shows.

In any case, you introduced "capacity factors" and then did an analysis assuming that your power output stays in the high double digits with high probability. That's, of course, bullshit. Solar and wind frequently generate zero power, no matter what their peak output or capacity factor. Your introduction of "capacity factors" was a red herring.

Comment Re:We trust what Uber says now? (Score 1) 101

Why should you care about those things?

The track record should be self evident. Financials and insurance are good measures because they reflect the confidence of investors and insurance risk estimators, people who have actual money at stake when a plane crashes and hence have an incentive to make correct risk assessments.

Comment Re:We trust what Uber says now? (Score 1) 101

In this post you are claiming to believe that we live in a universe where inspections are fundamentally impossible of providing any value or accomplishing anything in any way.

Some inspections are very valuable, namely the inspections where the inspector and his organization faces stiff personal and corporate liabilities and hence have a strong economic incentive to assess risks correctly. Accountants and insurance companies perform those kinds of inspections.

Government regulators and government inspection programs generally lack these incentives, and that makes their inspections pretty much worthless.

Comment Best way to lose soul is to drive out source (Score 1) 366

Where does Seattle think the "soul" of a city comes from?

It comes somewhat from architecture, though that is just shape.

The main area where the soul of a place is from, lies in the businesses that are located there - and I'm specifically talking about the smaller local shops that provide maximum "flavor" to an area.

Those are EXACTLY the places driven to close by a minimum wage hike. They can no longer afford to pay workers, many of whom might have been teens - why should TEENS get $20/hour? They don't need to live on what they earn, they just need to earn a bit of money.

Seattle by passing the minimum wage hike has ensured they will become a soulless husk much faster than SF ever did (though one could argue the soul of SF is now embodied in urine, which will persist).

Many small quaint businesses in Seattle will close, replaced by Starbucks (the one place where I guess that is fine).

People are always available for work in the past tense.