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Comment: Re:Surprised? (Score 2) 144

by SQL Error (#46815857) Attached to: VK CEO Fired, Says Company Under Kremlin Control


Perhaps the simplest thing would be to point out that while America might be building walls to keep unwelcome visitors out, the Soviet Union built walls to keep its people in. A state that needs to imprison its entire population is not a state that has any right to exist.

I'm really not sure why we even need to discuss this. Assuming people are too young to personally remember this, were they also asleep during their history classes?

Comment: Re:Surprised? (Score 2) 144

by SQL Error (#46815741) Attached to: VK CEO Fired, Says Company Under Kremlin Control

Communism is an economic theory that can't work in theory - it centralises economic planning leading to an insoluble information processing scaling problem, while at the same time destroying precisely the information (prices) that are needed to make sensible decisions - and has been proven not to work in practice. There have been plenty of Communist states. They all failed spectacularly, generally displaying massive corruption and brutal oppression as they did so.

They may not have looked like you imagine Communism should look, but that's because Communism cannot function at the scale of a nation-state, not in the real world, not with real people. And an economic theory that doesn't work unless people stop acting like people is not a very good theory.

Comment: Re:Surprised? (Score 5, Insightful) 144

by SQL Error (#46815647) Attached to: VK CEO Fired, Says Company Under Kremlin Control

Would it really be such a bad thing for the Soviet Union to come back?

Yes. The Soviet Union was a nightmare state.

The offered a balance of power. With the exception of a couple proxy wars (not that they weren't bad) we kept each other in check, but never checkmate. Compared to now, the world did its own thing.

Tell that to Poland, Hungary, the Czech and Slovak republics, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Not to mention North Korea and Vietnam. I'm sure they enjoyed doing their "own thing".

After the fall of the Soviet Union, we immediately elevated ourselves to the status of, "United States of America: Full-Time World Cop." That has not gone well. I sometimes miss the sanity of mutually assured destruction.

What? Seriously, what? How old are you? Do you actually remember the Cold War?

The fact that America is a flawed nation is no excuse for false equivalencies with brutal totalitarian regimes like the Soviet Union under Stalin or China under Mao. Those countries, under those leaders, deliberately killed tens of millions of their own people. We never want to see anything like that again.

Comment: Re:Surprised? (Score 4, Informative) 144

by SQL Error (#46815585) Attached to: VK CEO Fired, Says Company Under Kremlin Control

There is no meaningful difference between totalitarian regimens in practice. The only real difference are the excuses. Fascism, Communism and Nazism are one and the same, and no it s not possible to have a non totalitarian communist country. Communism needs big and all powerful governments and those governments as they grow become more and more totalitarian. There is no way to avoid it.

I agree with that for the most part (and history bears you out with regards to Communism). However, Fascism doesn't tie itself to a specific, unworkable, economic theory; it accepts capitalism so long as the state maintains control. Which is is a very prominent factor in Russia of late, possibly even more than in China.

The Almighty Buck

Comcast PAC Gave Money To Every Senator Examining Time Warner Cable Merger 133

Posted by samzenpus
from the best-government-money-can-buy dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with news about money and politics that is sure to shock no one."It's no surprise that Comcast donates money to members of Congress. Political connections come in handy for a company seeking government approval of mergers, like Comcast's 2011 purchase of NBCUniversal and its proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC). But just how many politicians have accepted money from Comcast's political arm? In the case of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held the first congressional hearing on the Comcast/TWC merger yesterday, the answer is all of them."

Comment: Cheap (Score 4, Insightful) 341

£5.5M for a year's support for hundreds of thousands of of XP systems is extremely good value, and far cheaper than any other option.

Of course, they'll still be in the same position a year from now. But in government, if you pass the buck for long enough, it becomes someone else's problem.


Ad Tracking: Is Anything Being Done? 303

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-track-me-bro dept.
bsk_cw (1202181) writes "The W3C's Tracking Protection Working Group has been trying to come up with a way to make targeted ads acceptable to users and useful to advertisers — and so far, hasn't gotten very far. Computerworld's Robert Mitchell has interviewed people on all sides of the issue — consumer privacy advocates, vendors of ad-blocking tools, advertisers and website publishers — to try to unravel the issues and see if any solution is possible at all."

Comment: Re:Also how is the backhaul? (Score 1) 142

by alienmole (#46643665) Attached to: How Far Will You Go For Highest Speed Internet?

In this case, the connection out of Svalbard is decent - 10 Gb/s, "with a future potential capacity of 2,500 Gbit/s" via currently unused fiber. See Svalbard Undersea Cable System.

One imagines that with the $50 million cost partly funded by NASA, that they also paid some attention to the peering connection at Harstad, where the connection terminates.


Why Movie Streaming Services Are Unsatisfying — and Will Stay That Way 323

Posted by Soulskill
from the shut-up-and-take-my-money dept.
mendax sends this excerpt from a New York Times op-ed: "like Napster in the late 1990s, [torrent-streaming app Popcorn Time] offered a glimpse of what seemed like the future, a model for how painless it should be to stream movies and TV shows online. The app also highlighted something we've all felt when settling in for a night with today’s popular streaming services, whether Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Hulu, or Google or Microsoft’s media stores: They just aren't good enough. ... In the music business, Napster’s vision eventually became a reality. Today, with services like Spotify and Rdio, you can pay a monthly fee to listen to whatever you want, whenever you want. But in the movie and TV business, such a glorious future isn't in the offing anytime soon.

According to industry experts, some of whom declined to be quoted on the record because of the sensitivities of the nexus of media deals involved, we aren’t anywhere close to getting a service that allows customers to pay a single monthly fee for access to a wide range of top-notch movies and TV shows.Instead of a single comprehensive service, the future of digital TV and movies is destined to be fragmented across several services, at least for the next few years. We’ll all face a complex decision tree when choosing what to watch, and we’ll have to settle for something less than ideal."

Comment: Re: x.509 WTF? (Score 1, Insightful) 110

by maswan (#46553291) Attached to: Fake PGP Keys For Crypto Developers Found

Of course attacking SSL on the protocol level is by far more useful, since you can just silently sit there and eat all the "secret" data, instead of having to actively MITM particular connections.

But do you really think there is a single US CA out there that would say no to a national security letter requiring them to issue a certificate if they actually needed it? Especially given how Joseph Nacchio was treated for resisting voluntary assistance to the NSA? Or that the Chinese ones wouldn't issue whatever was asked if the Ministry of Public Security turned up and wanted some certificates?

Stuxnet actually proves another part of why the CA system is utterly broken. Because they just had to break in *somewhere* in order to get a key signed by *any* CA in order to sign their stuff. To impersonate Tor developers, they'd have to steal the Tor developers keys, or make up new ones that looks plausable enough. Unlike the X.509 CA system where any attacker might just as well steal the keys of any random project and they'd be just as acceptable since they are signed by a CA.

But you're right, that it isn't a CA-level compromise, unlike DigiNotar who shows that particular line of attack. And were only found out by widespread intercerption of Iranian connections to Gmail.

"The chain which can be yanked is not the eternal chain." -- G. Fitch