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Comment public information (Score 1) 131

a bad actor was able to use Amazon's online chat support and a fake address to get the rep to tell him Springer's real address and phone number. That was enough to commit fraud with a couple of unrelated online services

Wait what?

Public information, stuff that shows up in phone directories ("white pages" as we used to call 'em) was enough to commit fraud with some online services?

Amazon may have a problem here -- there are many reasons that company should be burned down and the ground salted -- but thinking that your address or phone number are ever private information that can be used to authenticate you is a much deeper problem.

Comment Re:How smart? (Score 1) 464

Google for news articles about the Armatix IP1 smart gun. It's a "smart gun" that requires the user to wear a watch with an authorized RFID chip in order to fire.

Unless the watch somehow can't be worn by a child, this is not a "childproof gun".

Perhaps you're unaware of the facts about the iP1 protests? It's not the availability of misdesigned guns that got people (pardon the pun) up in arms about it, it's the fact that such availability triggers (again, pardon) yet another pointless bit of firearm criminalization in the name of the culture-war push to scapegoat guns for violent crime.

No one who owns a firearm for self-defense wants a firearm that has an additional failure mode. But those unable to see that violence is a problem rooted in people rather than things have already managed to pass a law mandating that that once such unreliable guns are available, they will be the only legally available ones in one state. (For ordinary citizens, at least. I'm sure cop privilege will apply as usual.)

A rule of thumb for evaluating this study, or any one about guns, BTW: anything coming from an institute of public health rather than an institute of criminology is not credible. Crime and violence are not diseases. We have scientific discipline that studies crime; but for prohibitionists, it keeps coming up with the "wrong" answer regarding gun control.


Comment Re:Seems really stupid (Score 1) 208

Purposeful violence against civilians is a breaking of the basic social contract and deserves a forfeiture of rights.

Yes, a forfeiture of rights...after a trial. And based on individual charges, not guilt by association.

If you think that ISIS and "Martin Luthor King, Jr" (sic) are "the same general concept, then you don't really know anything about either.

The freedom of speech of DAESH/ISIS supporters and the freedom of speech of Martin Luther King are the same general concept: the state has no right to use force to silence people, and a communications company should be required to carry all communications regardless of content. (Otherwise it's not a communications company, it's an advocacy group of some sort.)

ISIS is a bad bunch of people. I don't support them. But censorship is strategically counter-productive in the short term, and corrosive to liberty in the long term. Trying to silence a group is an admission that their message is attractive and important. It only lends them credibility, the old "forbidden fruit" syndrome.

Comment Re:Haven't noticed a thing... (Score 1) 149

My instances keep on chugging along as if nothing is wrong.

Mine haven't. :-( I'm in Atlanta, was off-line most of yesterday, came back up before I went to bed, was off again this morning. It's the suck. Not Linode's fault, but the suck.

This plus the BBC outage suggests that 2016 is that year we'll learn the net is made of tissue paper.

Comment Re:FTFY... (Score 1) 492

So Iran teaching it's schoolchildren to chant 'Death to America' is a 'dissenting political opinion'

Yes. "Death to America" is an opinion about what should happen, and it's a political one.

and you're OK with it, then?

"Okay with it" in the sense of approve and agree? No. "Okay with it" in the sense of not wanting to invoke state force to stop it, or to permit a communications company to pick-and-choose content? Yes.

So-called 'Islamic state' assholes tweeting about cutting off people's heads is a 'dissenting political opinion'?

Yes. Just like so-called "American patriots" tweeting about how Snowden should be executed.

Comment Re:Seems pretty reasonable (Score 2) 263

(Bonus points for the captcha - "Consent")

But that's the point. Consent was granted. You can't retroactively revoke it. It's polite to do so, yes, but a stunning overreach of state power to make this a law. You consent to me taking your photo, that photo is mine, and that state will have to pry it from my cold dead hand. Zero tolerance for government censorship.

Comment Re:So we're not going to over-react this time, rig (Score 2) 676

Muslims have had a beef with America as long as America has existed

Uh, no, actually. There were Muslim American soldiers in the Revolution, and the first country to recognize the United States was the Sultanate of Morocco.

Muslims have had "beef" with the US mostly since WWII, as our stupid and brutal foreign policy started to intrude more and more on the Muslim world: the CIA-backed coup in Iran, support for the rogue nation of Israel, suport for Saudi Arabia. The grievances are rooted in geopolitics, religion merely helps gives them some specifics of form.

Comment Re:Because the shooter was an American? (Score 5, Insightful) 676

The vast majority of casualties in 2015 (about 400) come from ordinary "I just felt like it" shootings.

No, they mostly came from "ordinary" criminal violence, largely gang-related. Shootingtracker.com is a source of noise: there have not been hundreds of mass shootings this year, unless you re-define the term.

Comment Re:End of open and honest? I'll disagree. (Score 1) 246

I'm pretty sure I can post open and honest comments while not being anonymous.

If you're white, middle-class, cisgendered, belong to a mainstream religion, have political views within the mainstream, and live in a cosmopolitan community, yes.

If you're a closeted gay atheist anarcho-communist in a small town in "flyover country", maybe not so much.

Comment Re:Will Any Effort Be Made To Validate The Report? (Score 1) 399

No - according to the CDC, 18.3% of women and 1.4% of men experience rape.


The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey -- source of the CDC numbers, according to your linked PDF -- doesn't include prisons. It also does not count the 4.8% of men who reported being "made to penetrate someone else" as rape victims; a definition of rape that's dependent on the topology of someone's genitals rather than issues of bodily agency is highly problematic.

If we include prison rape, evidence suggests that more men are raped than women, though we're dealing with numbers with large error bars.

(None of this is intended to downplay the seriousness of sexual assault.)

Comment Re:Tradition (Score 2) 284

If its not mandatory, its a survey.

So gather data via surveys.

Requiring residents to complete a census of their households is hardly onerous.

Disclosing private information to the state is onerous. Especially when that data may later be misused if a later government decides to change policy. (Japanese Americans who told the feds their details in the 1940s thought their data was protected by law. Then the feds changed the law. Haw haw.)

At no time has anyone ever faced a fine or spent time in jail for failing to complete the census. There is a penalty, because under law you cannot have an action declared mandatory without a statement of penalty for failing to comply.

So it's not actually mandatory. So people who don't want to complete it can trash it with no consequences. So it's a volunatry survey. You support the state lying? Saying "we'll put you in jail if you don't fill out this paperwork!" and then not doing it?

Your position seems self-contradictory. "We have to compel people to give us their data or else we won't have accurate data![*] But if we put people in jail for not giving us their data people will get upset and overturn that law. So we can't really compel people to give us their data. Se we can't get accurate data. And that's a return to rational, science and evidence based decision making." ([*] I don'r accept that, I'm trying to summarize what I read your position to be.)

Comment Re:Tradition (Score 1) 284

.., census takers are not babykillers

No, but they are assistants to concentration camp operators. That happened in the U.S. within living memory, it's not ancient history or something that can only happen in so-called "backwards" countries. It is established historical fact that census data can be used against people.

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