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Comment: Re:Fuck those guys (Score 1) 569 569

>What if it's not a false alarm and there's am unstable, armed murderer on the other side?

This is precisely the thinking that leads to swatting.

The chance this is a something a polite, normally armed patrol can't handle is actually somewhere close to zero. Even in the US. And in less insane countries, the only people that can call a SWAT team are actually the police. And they don't do it upon a call by a patrol, but only once some chief back at the station has decided it's needed.

Comment: Re:Nipples and terrorism? (Score 1) 134 134

Now this is interesting
We Swiss drink the same amount as the British. But funny enough, Britain does have a kind of a "drunk" problem; because people go out, drink as much as they can, then the pubs close. In Switzerland however, restaurants and bars stay open rather longish, which leads to people spreading their drinking through the evening into the morning, and NOT get drunk.

Similarly, in France and Austria, people might drink a lot, but usually don't go binge drinking.

Comment: In contrast to cyber-arms control... (Score 1) 367 367

In contrast to cyber-arms control, which is in fact about NOT keeping vulnerabilities secret which will make everyone safer, gun control is a lost cause.

Because when it comes down to it, a gun consists of information, which is freely available; raw materials, which are freely available in the necessary quality; the abilities to really work the materials according to the information, which is available widely, from afghani weaponmakers to milling and printing machines; and finally the time to do it. Plus of course, the will to do it despite of government attempts to criminalize it.

With guns, the horse left the barn around 1350 A.D., and every attempt to close the door has been a failure.

Besides, the problem is not really the availability of the weapons, but the culture to use it. Guess why we've got nearly the same amount of guns as the USA, but our homicide-rate is ten times lower? Because it's really not the guns. It's the culture.

Of course you can excarbate the problem with making stupid laws that lead to the proliferation of criminal gangs by outlawing things like alcohol, drugs, prostitution and so on. Or by not having a social system that that takes care nobody falls between the gaps.

Comment: Wrong Question (Score 1) 47 47

The only people that CAN be interested in offensive capabilties are small communities (activists, terrorists, freedom fighters, whistleblowers), because they themselves are not vulnerable.

Any nation state on the other hand MUST be concerned about closing each and any vulnerability, because it puts them at risk. If it doesn't put the secret agency at risk, it will at least put their allies at risk: All the other branches of government, and companies deemed highly important for the running of the country (power, water, telecommunications).

So it's UTTER STUPIDITY to have bodies within your government working on "offensive capabilities". They are in fact WORKING AGAINST YOU.

The difficulty is probably to get the governments to realize this; but then, the problem is basically solved.

Comment: It's not about writers, it's about alphabetism (Score 1) 291 291

IMHO, writing code is a skill like writing a language. It's not that you're expected to become a writer, but writing helps you everywhere.

And using "Apps" as an example is of course bogus. The thing you'll probably do with your "coding experience" is more like writing word macros, or change some lines within some open source program.

A friend of mine, a climatologist, said "You can't be a scientist today -- no matter which field -- without knowing how to write code". He's right.

Comment: Re:Seriously? Look at History (Score 1) 239 239

A massive change in opinions regarding the core subject.

Slavery was deemed acceptable for a long time.

Surveillance still is. What's needed is that surveillance gets ostracized, by a large amount of people. So it becomes impossible to get elected as a surveillance-proponent.

Comment: Re:Just for fun (Score 1) 351 351

I think the labelling thing is nonsense since I don't think health risks are a big concern but I am a bit more cautious about the long term environmental effects as I suspect we're underestimating the probability of black swan events.
It's a good idea, no matter whether it's a health concern or not.

Because if I know, I can actually use the tools the free market gives me: Vote with my money if I want GMO or not. Because I want to boycott the patent-hoarding bastards that are tipping over the ecosystem.

Comment: Spying on the world is unconstitutional in the US (Score 1) 282 282

Actually, the constitution not only forbids spying against citizens of the USA, but against everyone:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Notice, it says "people" there. It's speaking of "citizen" in the context of elections, so clearly the intention was that the 4th amendment applies to everyone.

After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found on the bench.