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Comment: Who needs food banks? (Score 1) 440

by Kasar (#46618545) Attached to: Million Jars of Peanut Butter Dumped In New Mexico Landfill
It seems nobody has seen what putrid stuff food banks have to sift through. Some companies will "donate" anything they can't sell, like leaking cans and food with obvious mold. The food banks can't do anything with it either, but they are routinely dealing with potentially substandard food products.

I assumed the story would be something related to federal peanut farm subsidies that have remained ever since the peanut crisis when Carter was in office. Between diversion of food to energy products and $500 million paid annually to farmers to NOT grow peanuts, the government is the more common reason for any shortages.

Comment: Government angry it was left out (Score 1, Insightful) 148

by Kasar (#46612797) Attached to: Apple, Google Go On Trial For Wage Fixing On May 27
These same companies went to Congress many, many times to get more H1B visas when even technical call center wages were being pressured up to median income levels. It was fine to intervene in market forces when politicians were getting checks, but not if they were left out of the "negotiations".

Comment: Re:New Strategy: Make them save EVERYTHING! (Score 1) 59

by Kasar (#46373641) Attached to: Privacy Lawsuits Over NSA Spying Force Retention of Metadata
That was the gist of a Wired article a couple of years ago with statements about the Utah facility, it was designed to have the capacity to archive the internet ten times over and have a supercomputer for cracking encryption. Their stated goal was to capture all digital traffic, especially archiving all encrypted traffic until they could decrypt it. Now that the multi-billion dollar facility is online (and an expansion is being built elsewhere), it turns out that part of Utah doesn't have enough electricity on the grid to feed their facility. This is what happens when you give bureaucrats a blank check.

Comment: Re:Ohhh, Slashdot beta makes sense now (Score 1) 299

by Kasar (#46208289) Attached to: Online, You're Being Watched At All Times; Act Accordingly.
Eschelon started some time ago, and people didn't get too worked up about it. It's the billions being spent to create a vast archive of everything, in case they (or their political allies) have a use for such information now or in the future. I think I find most disturbing that few on Capitol Hill currently are resistant to this, though they also vote overwhelmingly to renew the NDAA without amending to restore habeus corpus and Constitutional legal protections so it's not surprising.

Comment: Re:All that information that they are collecting. (Score 4, Insightful) 264

by Kasar (#46115403) Attached to: Federal Agency Data-Mining Hundreds of Millions of Credit Card Accounts
The difference between private companies gathering data to create files and profiles on people is that they lack the legal standing of government. They can't arrest anyone based on a suspicion of anything, even if that a person is a deadbeat, while the government doesn't need a warrant or any specific law violation under the NDAA to incarcerate a person indefinitely.

Alternatively, tie the financial with the capture and collection of all electronic communications and interactions, and finding dirt on anyone who becomes a political opponent or a valuable blackmail target becomes easier for those with access.

/tinfoil hat off

Comment: Re:These systems are a product liability nightmare (Score 2) 195

by Kasar (#45938425) Attached to: Hackers Gain "Full Control" of Critical SCADA Systems
Government regulations keep changing. The local hydro system here was so antiquated that they used simplex 1200 baud modem communication on the SCADA system. In modernizing, they initially had an isolated network, but the government wanted monitoring capabilities, since they have rules like no more than 1/2 inch of downstream water height variance (because natural rivers never fluctuate) and assorted other lunacy. I don't know which way the wind has blown with regulators lately, but it seemed to be a mess only exacerbated by federal dabbling.