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Comment: Re:I found this article to be more informative (Score 1) 188

by ultranova (#47429977) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

The Gestapo actually wasn't that good at spying. The German people were, however, quite good at turning their neighbors in to the Gestapo.

Which means Gestapo was good at spying. The indicator is whether you get results, after all, not whether you get them because you're smart or scary.

There's a lot of myth concerning the Nazi police force. It's unfortunate that even today people repeat it without thinking.

"He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you."

Tyrants stay in power, not because they're stronger than their very source of power, but because they're good at building myths. A nation, company or any other organization is nothing more than a myth shared by its members. And the myth of the Third Reich is so strong it still persists, long after its embodiment is gone, as a kind of ghost nation. Time will tell whether Hitler will take up permanent residence in our collective pantheon along the Caesar's and Napoleon.

Comment: Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (Score 1) 171

A draft is possible, and I believe would be somewhat automatic if war were declared. Certain types of rationing would be.

The thing that stops the draft is the reality of the fact that military organizations have no means of dealing with large numbers of people who *really* don't want to be there. In the '60s, the military system had a distinct benefit with the fact that the primary opposition to the draft was a counterculture which was relatively unified in a commitment to non-violent protest.

The age bracket in question is, today, decidedly not non-violent. Opposition to a draft today might not take the form of "flower power" and "sit ins." More likely, it would provoke the militia movement into actual violence.

Comment: Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (Score 1) 171

It's much easier to imagine a draft than it is to imagine some of the other things that would happen in a declared war.

For example, rationing of commodities. Compulsory conversion of industrial production from civilian to war efforts. Seizure of raw materials.
Requirements for businesses to take compensation in the form of interest-bearing bonds which are not redeemable during the conflict.

All things that my parents were subjected to...

I can't imagine the post "greed is good" generation or the "corporate personhood" set to accept any of this, or even to believe that it happened within living memory.

Comment: First and most important question: (Score 1) 391

Are you a consumer of audio, or are you producing it?

The requirements and objectives of these two groups are wildly different. These discussions generally divide consumers into groups, instead of dividing consumers ("audiophiles" and "casual listeners") from producers ("recording" and "synthesizing").

I don't know if the people from the "consumers" group can understand just how important my "sound cards" are (a good old Delta 1010 and a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20), and my system would probably be a royal pain for someone whose objective is A/V theatre, gaming, or music listening.

It's good that some of the consumer gear has been converging on pro gear, because it means that for playback at least, we now have inexpensive systems with audio fidelity beyond the threshold of human perception. Awesome as that is, other things are important to people who are producing audio, and not all of us have "audio production budgets."

Comment: Re:Moron Judge (Score 1) 118

by ultranova (#47427225) Attached to: Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

Fortunately we have laws that define those pieces of paper as legal tender, which differentiates them from little bits of hash solutions and things that people define in internet forums.

"Legal tender" where? I don't have to accept your funny paper. Not that you could send it to me anyway, since only fools tell their Real Life adress over the Internet, and even if I did, it would take days - and neither of us would have proof that the transaction actually happened. And of course, it's not like I'm obligated to give you credit in the first place, especially not in an Internet forum.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin isn't money but it's still a financial (Score 1) 118

by ultranova (#47427085) Attached to: Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

Silk Road used it is to launder money.

Silk Road didn't use Bitcoin to launder money, Silk Road used Bitcoin to transfer money and a tumbler - a series of transactions meant to disguise the "border" transactions between Silk Road and the rest of Bitcoin economy by blending into the crowd - to launder it.

Except it was not really even proper money laundering, since it didn't invent a legal source for the Bitcoins being withdrawn from the system. That would had required a cover firm, a suspiciously succesful gambling site or something.

Comment: Re: "Emergency" laws. (Score 1) 136

by ultranova (#47426909) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

The British actually need to learn the difference between a pedophile and a child molester.

Alas, they're too stupid to do that.

To be fair, the words are used interchangeably outside of medical profession. A pedophile would gain nothing by coming out, and likely lose a lot, so the only ones the public knows about are those caught molesting.

So it's not necessarily a matter of not knowing, but not having any reason to care.

Comment: Re:UK is not a free country (Score 1) 136

by ultranova (#47426841) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

Democracy without constitutional limitations is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.

Democracy with constitutional limitations is the same, except the wolves have toilet paper. And every other form of government is the wolves skipping formalities.

If the majority of your population are wolves, you're screwed, no matter what form of government you have.

Comment: Re:UK is not a free country (Score 1) 136

by ultranova (#47426777) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

Many people appear to have a great deal of faith in both politicians and governments.

Or little faith in their own ability to fight monsters. Or even little ability to even perceive monstrous as monstrous anymore, having been socialized into believing that the strong should dominate over weak and the only issue in question is the specific form this takes.

Once you've been conditioned into believing it's just and right you lose your livelihood because it happens to benefit a higher-up, is it really that much a stretch to believe they can just plain kill you? It enhances shareholder value to not have you dirty bum begging on the street, and using tax money to feed you would violate sacred property rights. And you're just a looter anyway, not welcome in Galt's Gulch.

Comment: Re:Who do they think they are? (Score 1) 105

by ultranova (#47425593) Attached to: India's National Informatics Centre Forged Google SSL Certificates

All countries conduct espionage to the extent that they prioritize their capabilities, and against targets where they perceive threats and/or opportunities.

All countries keep an eye on their neighbours, just like all people keep a general awareness of their surroundings. All countries don't tap the phones of their neighbours's leaders, or install malware on equipment sold to them, or even spies over. Morals aside, taking hostile action tends to backfire, as the US is learning. Reputation is a resource, and it's stupid to waste it.

The problem with Machtpolitik is that even if you win a few rounds, you can't stop playing without giving away all your ill-gotten gains, and sooner or later you lose. And when you do, you don't get back what you've lost, even if you quit. And sometimes the house wins and everyone loses big time. And the Devil's the dealer.

The US is a good case study: the country is hopelessly in debt and the infrastructure is crumbling, yet it's going to be spending $ 1 trillion for a new fighter. It's madness, but that's the price US pays for the way it fought the Cold War. Ruthlessness doesn't go away and leave you alone just because whatever enemy you conjured it up to win has. That's why it's foolish to ignore morality, even in international politics - especially in international politics, since there's no nice constable to run to if you manage to get in over your head.

Comment: Re:Come now. (Score 1) 102

by ultranova (#47422463) Attached to: How Japan Lost Track of 640kg of Plutonium

You seem to think that double entry bookkeeping doesn't require extra work (significant increase in costs),

No, it doesn't. Entering the numbers into a cell in Excel spreadsheet or to the field of a bookkeeping software require the exact same amount of work.

Also, this is plutonium. It sits in storage and gets moved around only occasionally. And when it does, accounting is the least of the expenses - or do you simply send it in mail?

that it wouldn't reduce usability (far more difficult to produce reports on wider issues),

This is a thoroughly bizarre statement. How is a software specifically designed to handle this type of task less usable than a generic spreadsheet? What "wider issues" does it keep you from reporting?

or that it would make system immune to human errors.

No system is immune to mistakes, but some are inherently more resistant than others.

You are incorrect on all accounts.

And you are making such bizarre statements I doubt you know what double-entry bookkeeping means.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 1) 388

by ultranova (#47418623) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

Problem is that skeptical scientists such as Richard Lindzen agree with that 'consensus', because the question is too narrow. Ask something more interesting like, "should we replace all our coal power with renewables because to prevent AGW?" or "is AGW going to be catastrophic?" and you will find that there is no consensus.

And should such consensus emerge, you can always rephrase the question again. Or maybe you'll claim the answer should be ignored since climatologists are not, after all, engineers. Perhaps you'll come up with something more creative. Just as long as it lets you dismiss science that's saying things you don't want to hear while pretending to be scientific.

Climate change scepticism certainly serves as a wonderful demonstration about human capacity for self-deception.

Comment: Re:Why yes, we should blame the victim here (Score 1) 308

by ultranova (#47418131) Attached to: Tor Project Sued Over a Revenge Porn Business That Used Its Service

The whole concept of "revenge porn," insofar as it applies to nudes and porn freely made and disseminated, is ever so much "I want my freedom.... but I don't want my choices to have consequences of which I don't approve."

Does this only apply to revenge porn, or would you also blame someone who gets mugged for being out after dark?

We have a term for that behavior. It's called behaving like a child.

No, that's just you attempting to use rhetoric to dismiss a position without actually analysing it.

A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost.