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Comment: Re:Voluntary? (Score 4, Interesting) 387

Getting from Hong Kong to Ecuador (or wherever he was going) without flying over any US or allied territory requires strange routes - just go to a flight booking flight and notice that the returned results mostly involve changes in the USA.

Taking such a route was wise - look at how US allies forced down the presidential jet of a LatAm leader just to search for Snowden.

But I'm really not sure why you're arguing with me about this. What happened to Snowden is a matter of public record, it's not something that's up for debate. He got stuck in Russia because the USA revoked his passport and he then wasn't allowed to board his onward flight. But once it became clear that no plane was safe, not even those with diplomatic immunity, if it flew over any US allied territory, he would have been an idiot to leave anyway because that would have been a direct flight into a lifetime of solitary confinement.

Comment: Re:wouldn't matter if it weren't canned (Score 1) 387

Fox News is the last place anyone would turn to learn about abuses of power by the government, especially with anything related to national security. It is however VERY effective at making it look like there's real accountability and competition in governance, by turning everything into a personal popularity contest between two men who are little more than figureheads.

Comment: Re:Wow... Snowden just lost me. (Score 3, Insightful) 387

Congratulations. Your post wins the "who can represent the worst stereotypes about Americans" prize for this thread.

Let's recap. Snowden revealed gross abuses and illegality in your government. Doing this results in the same sort of punishments as it does in many other countries with overly authoritarian leadership: lifetime in jail, as you request. So to do the big reveal you admit is something you "really needed", he had to run. His first choice was Hong Kong, but when it appeared the Chinese might hand him over or keep him jailed for years in diplomatic limbo he decided to go to Latin America, probably Ecuador. He was en-route there when the US Govt revoked his passport, leaving him stranded in Russia which happened to be on the way.

Your post and general mentality have multiple failures, but don't worry, they are correctable.

  1. An absurdly strong "us vs them" complex.
  2. A garbled and factually incorrect belief about events in very recent history.
  3. A desire to see someone who did something "really needed" severely punished because he did it for "the wrong reasons", you of course don't elaborate on what those wrong reasons were. He has stated his reasons many times: he saw illegal behaviour and knew it had led to dangerous territory and serious abuses. He did not do it for personal fame or fortune, as evidenced by the fact that he is now broke and vanished from the scene almost entirely for months after he got let out of the Russian airport. Pretty hard to argue he had the wrong reasons.
  4. Finally, a strong quasi-religious belief that the USA is better than Russia, despite the fact that they are both remarkably aggressive and corrupt societies, run by oligarchies, in which democracy is barely functional and anyone who challenges the status quo has to run away lest they end up with a life sentence from a kangaroo court. In addition, the populations of both countries are easily manipulated by telling them how glorious and special they are. There are far more similarities than you dare imagine.

There's a simple fix for your predicament - never use the word "traitor" ever again. It describes a state of fevered flag-waving tribalism which allows your own government to blind you and switch off your critical thinking. The people in power are not better than you or anyone else, they are just ..... the people in power. Your country is not better than other countries, it's just .... the place where you were born. Your rulers deserve no loyalty, no special breaks. They are corrupt and untrustworthy to the core, they need to be watched constantly lest they abuse the powers they were temporarily granted for some purpose or another. You cannot be a traitor to such people, the concept simply has no meaning.

Once you get into this mentality, your recollection of historical events will probably improve.

Comment: Re:Voluntary? (Score 5, Insightful) 387

He didn't choose Moscow. He chose Latin America and got stuck in Russia when the USA revoked his passport. It's the US governments fault he's now in Russia and yet they try and paint him as a traitor who ran to the Russians - yet more US hypocrisy and propaganda.

Comment: Re:wouldn't matter if it weren't canned (Score 2) 387

You wont be arrested for insulting or protesting Obama. You wont be arrested for reporting on his failings; there are huge websites dedicated to it.

Of course you will. The Obama administration has prosecuted journalists and leakers at a far higher rate than before. How is one supposed to report on his failings, if the act of revealing them triggers immediate accusations of being a traitor and guaranteed prosecution? The US based papers who reported the Snowden leaks took big risks to do so, and of course their source is now in exile ...

Comment: Re:Useful Idiot (Score 2) 387

These propaganda sessions for Putin are pre-staged so Snowden has allowed himself to be used as a "propaganda tool". Considering how freedoms are curtailed in Russia, it seriously deminishes Snowden's reputation.

No it doesn't.

Snowden asked a simple and direct question, as is the norm at Putin's Q&A sessions (he does them with press corps too). Putin gave a simple and direct answer. Whether you believe the answer is a lie or not, it's a question that anyone could have asked and got the same response.

Also, do you actually know these sessions are entirely pre-staged? Can you give a cite for that? Putin had to ask for help with a translation of Snowden's question, why would he make himself look linguistically weak like that if it was all pre-staged and he already knew the question was coming? Far better for him to look fluent.

Comment: Re:It's crap (Score 1) 1571

by IamTheRealMike (#46781043) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Are you kidding?

What's going on in places like Yemen and Afghanistan where lots of people are heavily armed is exactly the reason widespread gun ownership in the USA makes no sense. You can't beat modern governments by having lots of people own light weapons, it's a stupid idea. If one lone gunman decides the Feds have overstepped and takes them on, he ends up shot or committing suicide and being described as mentally ill (was he? hard to tell now he's dead). If a group of people try to build a conspiracy to attack government installations the NSA will find them and they'll be prosecuted for terrorism or simply vanished before they even make the first move.

The second amendment is obsolete and should just be deleted entirely. The USA is quite clearly not Switzerland, which has a notable absence of mass shootings. A heavily armed population has not stopped the US Govt sliding more and more towards full-blown authoritarianism, nor is it going to. So there are no benefits to this rule. Other countries that got serious about gun control have seen positive results over the long term (eg UK and Australia)

Comment: Re:Right! (Score 1) 578

by Tyler Durden (#46729409) Attached to: Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

Having technical skills doesn't necessarily mean that someone is smart, especially when it comes naturally to them.

Sure it does. If someone's a natural mathematician (like Euler or Ramanujan for instance) or physicist or (to a lesser extent) programmer then they are naturally smart. These topics engage the intellect. Being a natural people-person is an innate skill that does not require any proper definition of intelligence, and they don't need to appeal to the intellect much at all to be successful at it.

That isn't to say that being good with people isn't an important skill; it is vitally important. But being good at it does not always require or engage smarts.

Comment: Re:Right! (Score 1) 578

by Tyler Durden (#46727165) Attached to: Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

Meh. Having people-person skills doesn't necessarily mean that someone is smart, especially when it comes naturally to them. Someone without natural people skills and are able to apply their intellect to gain them are very intelligent, however. But a lot of people out there don't have to think about it much. Must be nice.

Comment: Re:Quantum fluctuations != nothing (Score 1) 594

- "cool and what made the universe forcibly logical? all you did so far is to prove the universe can't help but follow the same logic that you derived from the behavior of the universe itself."

Well logic is a property of the universe only insofar as there are parts of the universe (like us) who use logic to try and understand the thing. Logic is something you have to obey in order to describe the universe because saying something illogical is equivalent to making a meaningless statement.

Comment: Re:Low even for Slashdot (Score 1) 313

I think if James Clapper or Keith Alexander joined the board of DropBox you'd see the same issues. But they haven't.

Being a donor to one of two political choices (or often both) is one thing. That's very, very far removed from power. Actually having started wars whilst being Secretary of State is entirely different.

Comment: Re:Oh why not? (Score 2) 313

She gave speeches strongly advocating war in Iraq, and was an integral part of the whole process that led to a war which killed over 100,000 people. It was later solidly established that the people at the very top of the Bush administration knew their excuses for war were BS and kept repeating them anyway, and ignoring all the evidence that they were wrong.

I keep reading about how intelligent this woman is. But given the things she's done, she sounds pretty goddamn dumb to me. It's not everyone who can say their mistakes led directly to mass death.

Comment: Re:Unfortunately, this analysis seems to be spot-o (Score 1) 301

by IamTheRealMike (#46716227) Attached to: Theo De Raadt's Small Rant On OpenSSL

Much though I love NSA related conspiracy theories, especially lately, I think "the NSA writes a pile of crap and gives it away for free in the hope it becomes inexplicably popular" is perhaps not the best one available. OpenSSL has been around for a loooong time with virtually no resources put into it, which is one reason it sucks. The other reason being that the original author wrote OpenSSL in order to teach himself C (and it shows).

Recall that SSL was not very widely used up until a few years ago, and it's only in the last 18 months that suddenly every man and his dog wants a secure website. It's not surprising that core libraries that do it are subpar. Even very large companies like Google or Microsoft have typically only had one or two people who really understood and cared about SSL.

Comment: Re:So what is an alternative to OpenSSL? (Score 1) 301

by IamTheRealMike (#46716183) Attached to: Theo De Raadt's Small Rant On OpenSSL

Unpopular though it is, if you can take a small(ish) performance hit, you could use a Java HTTPS server that proxies to your app. The Sun/Oracle JSSE SSL stack (in the Oracle VM, not Android) is pure Java and thus immune to these sorts of errors. In JDK8 it supports TLS 1.2, ECDSA, perfect forward secrecy and the use of AES-NI for hardware accelerated constant time stream ciphering.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.

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