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Comment: Re:What's it good for? (Score 3, Insightful) 225

by N1AK (#48432717) Attached to: Russia May Be Planning National Space Station To Replace ISS

Consider Philae - if it had landed a few meters in another direction it would still be working. If it had been a manned expedition, that wouldn't have been an issue.

For the cost of getting humans to and from an asteroid on a decade long mission (in anything approaching a functional state) we could have sent thousands of unmanned landers. Sending people adds a gigantic cost premium. It's nonsense to suggest the rover mission would have been better with people, it wouldn't have happened with people due to cost, and if we could afford the cost of sending people we could do hundreds of unmanned missions for the same cost as one manned one.

Comment: Re:Buyer Beware (Score 3, Insightful) 468

by N1AK (#48409287) Attached to: Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

If you're getting something in return, it's NOT a donation. In this case, it is prepayment for early access to a product. Of course, when you get nothing, or something below your expectations, it's more like a ripoff.

It's a crowdfunding platform. Perpetuating the falsehood that it is more than that just encourages more people to put money into the platform expecting more than they should.

Comment: Re:Nothing I'd like better... (Score 1) 106

by N1AK (#48406637) Attached to: Tor Eyes Crowdfunding Campaign To Upgrade Its Hidden Services

Save me the "When Good Men Do Nothing," I have family and other considerations outside Slashdot idealism.

It's a shame you don't see the irony in that statement. If anyone can afford to throw some money at Tor it is the people who don't do anything overly contentious, it's a shame that your cowardice is stopping you from doing relatively safe things now that could protect your freedoms later, at which point doing something about it would be far more dangerous.

Comment: Re:uh, no? (Score 1) 339

by N1AK (#48397071) Attached to: Alleged Satellite Photo Says Ukraine Shootdown of MH17
Perhaps you'd like to share some, with a reasonable analysis of why they are fake. Seriously, stop imagining the kind of obvious bullshit that works with some in Russia and the odd person elsewhere is going to have any influence. When one side is so obviously wrong, so obviously lying and doing it so incredibly badly even a good attempt to muddy the water would fail and that was a poor attempt at best.

Comment: Re: uh, no? (Score 1) 339

by N1AK (#48397035) Attached to: Alleged Satellite Photo Says Ukraine Shootdown of MH17

If you were the Ukrainian equivalent of the CIA, and the Russians had started to swat down your military planes like flies, how far would you be willing to go to stop them?

Anythings possible, but given the strong circumstantial evidence against the rebels/Russians I really don't see the need to imagine up implausible conspiracies. Have you see any western news showing blatantly faked evidence that Russia did it? Why is Russian state media so keen to muddy the water that it would put stuff like this out? We know the answer: It suits them to confuse the half informed, ignorant and those wanting to believe it wasn't Russia.

Comment: Re: uh, no? (Score 1) 339

by N1AK (#48397017) Attached to: Alleged Satellite Photo Says Ukraine Shootdown of MH17

Those sanctions worked great on Iraq... How well are sanctions working out for the north Koreans?

Compared to what? I think the actions of Saddam under the sanction regime look pretty damn good compared to what happened when we decided to use military force to topple him instead, or perhaps you think we should just have buckled and left him to gas the Kurds and conquer Kuwait. I'm yet to see an argument made against sanctions that didn't come from someone who could see beyond the end of their nose, let alone to what the likely consequences of the alternative options were.

Comment: Re:If this were ten years ago, I would have (Score 1) 268

by N1AK (#48363421) Attached to: GNOME Project Seeks Donations For Trademark Battle With Groupon
Surely that's a pretty puerile way to judge whether to support a cause or not? Personally I think the GNOME team's case is pretty tenuous. An open source organisation, of all organisations, should not be over-reaching in using trademark or copyright protections. I expect a large majority of people interested in the Gnome PoS software will not of heard of GNOME, the ones who have will know enough not to be confused by it. It doesn't seem that Groupon is trying to trade on GNOMEs good reputation, or that GNOME will be disadvantaged by the existence of a tablet app called Gnome so although I have little love for Groupon I would wish to support over-aggressive defence of trademark by GNOME even less.

Comment: Re:Money isn't everything (Score 1) 224

by N1AK (#48348759) Attached to: Mayday PAC Goes 2 For 8

Basically he seems to think that money buys elections. It helps, BUT YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT.

Both parties do know what to do with it. Massive spending on advertising gives you the edge to establish your narrative on issues (all other things being equal). Take an issue like abortion. It's an emotive issue and a politicians position will decide, or heavily influence, a lot of votes. If you have media dominance then you can influence the perspective of voters either way:
Anti-Abortion: Put on adds about how developed fetuses are at the abortion age limit, horrow stories about parents who regret the decision, graphic images etc
Pro-Choice: Put on adds about women who's lives were saved, who suffered mental anguish due to being forced to have a child as a result of rape, put out stats informing about how undeveloped most fetuses are at abortion.

Money in politics gives those with more money more influence. I think there are arguments for and against and I honestly don't know which is right; though I am in no rush to reform British rules that heavily restrict both funding in politics and lobbying.

Comment: Re:Nothing's gonna change. (Score 1) 224

by N1AK (#48348719) Attached to: Mayday PAC Goes 2 For 8

Proctor and gamble needs to advertise 24/7/365. Politicians don't.

Orly? Do you have any evidence to back up the claim that politicians that don't advertise or have people advertise on their behalf, in a country that allows it, aren't at a disadvantage vs those that do? Frankly I doubt it, and if you're going to suggest that a large group of people are spending billions for no benefit then I think most people are going to require something approaching a logical argument to back it up.

Comment: Re:There can be no defense of this. (Score 1) 184

by N1AK (#48333969) Attached to: British Spies Are Free To Target Lawyers and Journalists
I agree, which is why I said I could see why in principle allowing this makes sense but in practice it should be opposed because we're crap at controlling abuses of laws like this. That said, I doubt it matters at this point. If they couldn't admit to doing it, they'd still do it and just find a way to keep it secret instead.

Comment: Re:There can be no defense of this. (Score 1) 184

by N1AK (#48333923) Attached to: British Spies Are Free To Target Lawyers and Journalists
What's your point? Could you show me the abundance of doctors who are or should they be excepted from spying as well? Serial killer bankers or should we except them? I can't think of many terrorist fish farmers, we can probably protect them as well right?

The issue has fuck all to do with whether lawyers are terrorists or not. I've already said that although I can see why, in theory, there's reason to allow spying on lawyers that I think we should oppose it anyway, but you like most /. posters it seems stop thinking the moment you think you see a point you disagree with and go into attack mode.

Comment: Re:Not acceptable (Score 0) 184

by N1AK (#48333881) Attached to: British Spies Are Free To Target Lawyers and Journalists
I had a feeling that the majority of responses to this would come from people who wouldn't bother understanding my post first. You'd have noticed, had you bothered to comprehend my post before replying that I said, in that post that you and others are responding to, that measures like this should be opposed because in practice we don't put sufficient safeguards in place.

All this BS about rubber stamp courts etc as a reason to oppose this is naive at best. You think conversations between lawyers and clients aren't picking hoovered up by some of the drag net data capture already being done? You think in the world of Gitmo what the laws 'say' is what matters? Even our most abusive laws are nothing in comparison to the abuses that happen outside them or in secret outright ignoring them.

Comment: Re:There can be no defense of this. (Score 1, Insightful) 184

by N1AK (#48332711) Attached to: British Spies Are Free To Target Lawyers and Journalists

There can be no defense of this. This is the government engaging in totalitarianism as standard practice. There cannot possibly be a moral or ethical defense of this practice.

I'm conflicted. On the one hand my initial response was like yours. Yet on the other I don't see why, if you were trying to stop a serious threat, spies shouldn't be able to monitor these communications in principle, with some clear restrictions:
1/ If the information gathered by spying was specifically barred from being used in court
2/ If additional authority had to be granted by the judiciary for the act
3/ If there were clear checks and balances in place to deal with abuse.

Obviously, the issue in practice is that we don't put restrictions in place, allow abuses to go unpunished etc so any expansion of powers is to be opposed. The sad truth is that the only thing that's news here is that we now know they are doing it. I wouldn't have been shocked to here that they've been doing it for years already.

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