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Comment Oh I believe it (Score 1, Interesting) 171

The auto industry is utterly clueless compared to most industries about just how important security is when you "computerize" something. It's a toss up as to whether they or the medical device companies will be the first to produce a product with such shoddy security that a script kiddy can actually kill someone with a kit.

And no, that's not sensationalism. You don't see any of them reacting to the news of hacked vehicles at various conferences with a bold corporate initiative to hire a Chief Security Architect to implement a security process for all of their engineering teams to ensure the reduced hackability of their vehicles. You see "meh."

Comment Unnecessary (Score 1, Interesting) 420

Just prosecute the ones that violate their visas and if they violated them to make money, asset strip them. How many Mexicans do you think would come here illegally if CBP or local law enforcement had an explicit grant to use civil asset forfeiture to take everything they own?

Comment The elephant in the room (Score 4, Insightful) 173

Is that the main reason the black community struggles much harder today (proportionally) than it did in the 1950s and 1960s is the total collapse of the nuclear family in many areas. Every reputable study of marriage and family life has shown that kids from even semi-stable nuclear families tend to be significantly less prone to the pathologies common in the black lower class (where out of wedlock birth is the norm, not exception). Ever deal with white trash (not rednecks, white trash; there is a major difference)? It's the same sociological situation and even the same set of behavior problems and stunted options despite "white privilege."

A large part of the problem is that there is an active segment of society that doesn't want to deal with the moral issues that lead to this situation, denouncing that as "moralizing" and instead wants to focus purely on politics as though it's not all intertwined. Yet those issues are precisely the personal choices, enabled by public policy and culture, that lead to the destruction of the stable nuclear family in much of the black community. Blaming external factors for everything, which is the politically correct solution, is like Josh Duggar attempting to blame porn and Satan for why he graduated from molesting his sisters to serial adultery against his wife.

Comment She deserves to be in prison (Score 5, Insightful) 303

Even the average person who reads the news knows by now that TS/SCI materials can't legitimately end up in unclassified email systems. The very best she could argue is "I had no idea what it was and deleted it immediately" at which rate she's still guilty of not handing over the machine(s) to the federal government to verify that the data is actually gone.

She needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law because the alternative is that we live in a country where contractors and lower level civil servants go to Leavenworth while the elite gets to make cutesy jokes about destruction of evidence in a national security scandal.

Comment Not like here... (Score 2) 39

Such a mandatory registration would not pass the first amendment, and even if the courts were cowed into accepting it, the government would have to face a public that is armed to the teeth compared to what Malaysia faces. The US is one of the worst societies in human history for its political class to say "let's see how far we can push the public."

The reason why the Snowden thing worked for them is that Snowden went too far. He revealed a lot of information about how we deal with foreign targets, which a majority consider fair game. Had he stuck to the domestic programs, he'd have been hailed a hero by a majority.

Comment Depends (Score 1) 242

I know some older developers that have forgotten more than I've ever known and are still more knowledgeable than I am. We've also interviewed older candidates who seriously think that anything involving Struts is an acceptable answer for "how would you build a new web app if given the choice." If you're a business software developer, then you had better keep up with the trends.

Comment Just wait for round 3 (Score 1) 301

When the federal government didn't revoke the clearances of the users of AM that were cleared and one of them gets blackmailed by the Chinese into doing something illegal. I'd bet good money that the Chinese scrambled to get ahold of this data and cross reference it for some easy targets.

Funny thing is, this data isn't time sensitive. Most of the people on the list probably won't be caught by their spouse because it's unlikely that most spouses will think they need to check. That and the federal employee and contractor labor force is several million people and only a few tens of thousands of email addresses were implicated.

Comment No excuse for them to be "unemployed" (Score 2, Insightful) 751

I know some elderly people who barely worked an honest day in their life. Now they expect to live on Social Security because it's what a "civilized society does." When I've brought up the subject and suggested that they are morally obligated to give something back for the nearly $10k/year they get from a fund that they never felt the need to contribute to they freak out about how selfish that suggestion is.

And that's why it won't work in the long run. It'll acclimate people to the idea that they have a right to public money just because they showed up, not because they're part of society and it's part of a set of reciprocal rights and duties.

Comment But but he's bad with women! (Score 5, Interesting) 492

It's amazing that we live in a society where people constantly complain that bad boys clean up with women and we have a bad boy worth billions, saying what's on the minds of 10s of millions while the "respectable candidates" dither and call for "civility" and people think he's going to lose hard with women.

My prediction: if it's Sanders or O'Malley, he'll clean their clock with the female vote. Even Hillary will be shocked to find a lot of women defecting because Trump will be the first alpha maleish candidate we've had since at least Kennedy.

People will vote for him because his response to things like China will not be civil, but "fuck you and fuck the horse you rode in on." Trump is a candidate that Putin will respect; most of the candidates from either party, not so much.

Comment Not cherry-picking (Score 4, Interesting) 124

You're cherry-picking two cases of worst-case scenarios, one of which wasn't even really a democracy.

The Soviet vs. Imperial Russia example was to show that the general argument applies across all forms of government.

1: There continue to be many attempts to disenfranchise voters in many states through various means. Statistically the number of attempts at voter fraud are non-existent compared to the number of people whose legal votes are denied, but it makes better show to pretend otherwise.

Most of those efforts are simply symptoms of our use of districts. A simple shift to a proportional representation system chosen across the entire polity would eliminate the most pernicious form which is gerrymandering.

In actuality, most of what is called efforts to disenfranchise are actually efforts to add integrity to the system such as voter ID laws. The idea that you should be allowed to wield any political power without being positively identified as a citizen eligible to wield it is utterly insane, but par for the course for certain types of ideologues (don't know if that applies to you personally)

2: The US tends to fail on both the systemic and systematic levels. As a society we're not providing enough support for the education system, and when it comes to elections allow ourselves to fall prey to the spectacle of network news soundbites and commercial advertising too easily, rather than really educating ourselves about the people and issues involved.

Funding is certainly not where we're failing. Many of the worst districts are funded with the same devil-may-care attitude toward how much we're spending that is used on the military at the national level. The problem is that our educational system is structurally flawed in ways that are politically impossible to fix. It's a problem of culture and political will to address the culture.

4 & 5: These two are rather tied up together, and contribute greatly to the issues with #3. A first past the goalposts election system almost inevitable leads to a two party system, in which the voters grudgingly and unenthusiastically vote for the (perceived) lesser of two evils and in which the winner feels only a vague sense of responsibility to those who elected them. (If you piss off your constituents what are they going to do? Vote for the greater evil instead of the lesser one? Not likely!)

It also doesn't help the situation that politicians know that the majority of voters are low-information voters. Point #1 greatly exacerbates that. The easiest way for politicians to destroy the influence of the more informed voters is to drown them in a sea of low-information voters who are the sort of people that are congenitally more interested in their own immediate creature needs than the public weal.

Like it or not, most low information voters are not that way because there's an informed citizen waiting for an excuse to burst forth from them. They are simple people who have simple needs and expectations. A lot of them are even smart people. Some of the dumbest arguments I've had on politics were with badly informed people with high IQs.

Expanding to a more democratic system provides a great deal of cover for the political class because democracy feels like we have power, feels like "we chose this." If we had a monarchy like Imperial Germany, the King would have feared a violent revolution over some of the scandals that have come out in the last 20 years because the public couldn't just say "we'll vote the King out." Consequently, I think a less democratic system would have likely chosen a more moderate and accountable course of action because the lack of an illusion of control would have channeled the public outrage directly at them.

Comment Enough with the "democracy=freedom" tripe (Score 4, Insightful) 124

"...it's significant that someday a large portion of the world's traffic will flow through networks controlled by governments that are, at least to some extent, hostile to the core values of Western democracies."

Some of the very worst offenders on surveillance are "democracies." It's time for us to stop living cliche to cliche and start realizing that things like personal freedom are correlated with, not caused by, particular structural forms of government. Ask a Jew in 1940 if they missed the Kaiser, who was a strong monarch, not a figurehead. Ask the average Russian pleb under Stalin if they'd not have given a small body part to be back under the Tsar.

Some of the worst governments in the modern age were ones built on being "for the people." Let's start judging governments based on what they do, not their structure.

Comment On the American side... (Score 1) 392

Our prosecutors are notorious for doing things like ignoring the Brady Rule. Why the hell should we listen to their whining and complaining about how others should "think of the public good" when they, themselves, often cannot even be bothered to follow the law in ways that gets innocent people convicted.

Comment Radical idea... (Score 4, Insightful) 312

How about we punish people who abuse the welfare system with blacklisting from it? In the US, our Office of the Inspector General for Social Security found that the Social Security Administration was committing black letter of the law violations on about 25% of the Social Security Disability payments it was awarding. That means the floor for how much corruption is 25% of all transfer payments. Send the employees involved to prison and blacklist the fraudulent recipients from receiving it, even if later they end up needing it after all. Cruel? You bet. That's a feature in dealing with welfare cheats. If they're going to cheat the current recipients who need it and the tax payers, then by God society isn't going to have a wad of cash ready for when they do need it.

Comment It's human nature (Score 3, Insightful) 273

It happens everywhere, in every field. Great statesmen the same treatment, famous activists, artists, etc. as well. Even Martin Luther King and Gandhi were highly fallible human beings who would probably not withstand the scrutiny of the public eye in the 21st century if they were active today. Why do I use them? They're secular saints.

On some level, people need giants and heroes. It's just part of who we are. It's why monarchy and quasi-monarchy like presidential systems are the norm for political systems, not purer republics and democracy. The public naturally wants to believe that great people are running things and leading the way. The alternative is subtly felt as chaos.

If anything makes the public less able to understand what goes into technology, it's the media making it seem like so many products are successful. If the public actually knew the truth that, for example, the overwhelming majority of app developers are working day jobs or living near poverty, that would help to understand that this stuff is **hard** even when it's just making apps, let alone electric cars.

Comment Free spech is an ideal and set of laws (Score 1) 121

Hey, if you don't like it, just go start a competitor to Facebook. That's what all the pedantic school marms who come onto Slashdot say when you assert that freedom of speech is equal parts a cultural value and that businesses have no business weighing in on speech most of the time.

Marriage is the sole cause of divorce.

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