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Comment: Re:Don't forget slashdot (Score 2) 156

by StikyPad (#49824355) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

Yeah, sorry, the Pauls take great positions on one or two issues and the rest of them are batshit crazy. That's a reflection of reality, not a conspiracy theory.

That said, I might actually vote for Rand, because I think it's time for the pendulum to swing back to the other end of the spectrum for a while. Not all of the changes will be for the best, assuming he manages to make any, but we really need to take a break from the national security/world police routine.

Comment: Re:When do we get a real boost over 2013 speeds? (Score 1) 84

by mrchaotica (#49824149) Attached to: Intel Releases Broadwell Desktop CPUs: Core i7-5775C and i5-5675C

I didn't think to mention it in my previous post, but a dual-socket AMD Opteron 63xx system might be a reasonable alternative. Opterons appear to be significantly cheaper than Xeons (and in some cases, cheaper than I7s), to the point that you could get a 16-24 core AMD system for close to the same price as a high-end i7 (let alone a Xeon). I have no idea which would win on the benchmarks, though.

By the way, what sort of open-source GIS tools do you use? I occasionally find myself wanting to do GIS-related stuff, but I don't know where to start.

Comment: Re:You're Talking About a Different Scale (Score 5, Insightful) 156

by eldavojohn (#49824103) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

Frankly put, I'm unaware of "American organized political trolling" that rivals this.

Americans are quick to believe the Official Narrative, no matter how absurd. Mass media is the professional 'troll' that gets people to fight each here.

Again, you're conflating two things that are significant enough that I don't see a simple one-to-one comparison here.

The clear difference here is that the trolls in the article are a nebulous entity whereas the media trolls are not. I know to laugh at Glenn Beck and Katie Couric. I know who they are. I recognize their blubbering stupid talking heads. They're a trainwreck of lies and half truths. On the other hand, you can't stop google from returning search results that confirm what you're looking for. When it's a "trending hastag" on Twitter, you can't figure out if it's legit or not. How do I know that podonski432 on Twitter is the same individual on Youtube named ashirefort posting videos of an explosion is the same person retweeting podonski432 and adding ashirefort's video to their tweet?

Mass media doesn't employ subterfuge and I sure as hell can stop reading the New York Post & Washington Times & CNSNews & Huffington Post and all that other drivel. I can't, however, identify easily that this account on Twitter is just the new troll account that tricked me last time.

You do know that it's news if the New York Times is caught lying or spreading known falsities, right? I watched Jon Stewart hold a "reporters" feet to the WMD fire on one of his recent episodes. There's no self-policing mechanism like that among trolls.

Comment: You're Talking About a Different Scale (Score 5, Insightful) 156

by eldavojohn (#49823955) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

It's just about time to drag the American organized political trolling on sites like reddit, twitter, and tumblr into the open too, right?

Well, astroturfing is no new tactic but ... I think what this article deals with is scale. 400 clearly skilled (bilingual at the least) individuals running multiple catfish personalities online day in and day out ... the whole thing on a budget of $400k a month? That level and size is probably unparalleled by ... say, Digg's conservative idiots.

You have one entity orchestrating the 12 hours a day work of 400 individuals on topics that are pro-Russian and tangentially pro-Russian. They are sophisticated enough to "hit play" at a certain time to unfold a natural disaster or assassination or anything to destabilize/confuse a region and they do so over many accounts on multiple social media platforms. They create video, screenshots, websites, etc. And they use proxies and sufficiently sophisticated means to appear to be disjoint at first glance.

They appear to have run an exercise on a rubber plant explosion in Louisiana for no other discernible purpose than to test out their new super powers or demonstrate their abilities to their customers/leaders.

Frankly put, I'm unaware of "American organized political trolling" that rivals this. This is paid. This is tightly controlled. This is prepared. This is unified. American organized political trolling is just a run-of-the-mill monkey shitfight with the occasional Koch Bros/Soros website (usually easily sourceable) thrown in.

Now if you can point me to a faked ISIS attack on American soil right before an election that was done by some political group stateside, I'd be interested to hear about it.

Comment: And? (Score 4, Insightful) 156

by gstoddart (#49823817) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

Is anybody pretending that corporations and politicians aren't already effectively doing the same thing?

Only they pretty it up with foundations and think tanks who put out position papers to benefit the talking points of the people paying for them.

Propaganda comes in many forms. And from many sources.

And even some of the people who will be hand-wringing about this propaganda will be endorsing some other stuff.

Comment: Re:probably a fair sentence (Score 2) 150

by gstoddart (#49823751) Attached to: Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison, and ...

"He didn't sell any actual drugs, he just ran the site for people who did."

IANAL, but that sounds like racketeering to me

OK, let's go with an extreme version of this in a thought experiment.

Say I buy a bunch of stuff from eBay which the seller and I wink at one another and say "why no, this isn't stolen" ... is eBay guilt of racketeering?

Americans like to talk about the free market, so does providing a marketplace for people to exchange goods automatically provide culpability for crimes?

What about Craigslist or Backpage? There's definitely some shady stuff which happens there, are they liable?

Lawyers and CEOs conspire to break laws en masse all the time, but I don't see any of them being charged.

Federal law agencies are collectively committing perjury in the form of "parallel construction". Is that racketeering?

Hell, the meltdown of 2008 was caused by companies laundering bad debt (that they chose to give in the first place), getting the ratings agencies to sign off on it as AAA debt, and pawning it off on some other suckers ... and half the people here said "well, caveat emptor". Arguably those clowns caused far more damage than Silk Road did.

So, what is the threshold here? Is it uniformly applied? Or do we seem to selectively say that some people are more culpable than others for the same act?

I'm inclined to think there is a little selectivity being applied here.

Comment: Re:Missing option (Score 4, Insightful) 150

by gstoddart (#49823651) Attached to: Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison, and ...

Do you debate that it happened?

I have no idea if it happened or not ... I'm saying you can't sentence someone based on things you allege they did but never charged or proved.

Otherwise prosecutors could make any old shit up, not prove it, and sentence people based on unproven innuendo.

And if that's the case, then America really needs to stop thinking of itself as a free society with a legal system which isn't about political persecution instead of actual facts.

Comment: Re:Share your "encryption network" with Suckerberg (Score 1) 126

by StikyPad (#49823555) Attached to: Facebook Now Supports PGP To Send You Encrypted Emails

Wrong. That sound you just heard was the NSA's head asploding. These guys are *not* fans of end-to-end encryption by the public, or any entity other than themselves. It doesn't matter if they supposedly know who to focus on if they don't have the ability to decrypt the communications (unless they manage endpoint intrusion, but that's a separate problem). They want communications to be either a) unencrypted, or b) encrypted with a backdoor. Nevermind the fact that criminals and black hats would be just as happy to intercept communications, and are only slightly less well positioned to do so. The NSA is leaning heavily on tech companies to abandon end-to-end encryption; even Apple's version, which was intentionally made vulnerable to MITM.

But even if you don't care if the NSA intercepts your communications -- many people don't, and I respect that position -- let's agree that that's the very best case. It could just as easily be China, Russia, or Joe Hacker. Any one of them would be happy to lean on you if they can piece together that you have access to anything they want. Interception of communications is just as big of a risk to national security as it is a tool to protect it. It's a double-edged sword, and I don't think we're respecting that to the degree that we should. So far, by most indications, we've managed to stay ahead of most of the world, but past performance is no guarantee of future results. You don't bet on a team to win the Super Bowl next year just because they won last year.

Comment: Re:Missing option (Score 4, Insightful) 150

by gstoddart (#49823385) Attached to: Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison, and ...

Dang do you read anything? He was soliciting murder for hire and other charges

Do you? Because he wasn't convicted of that, and the charges were dropped.

Are you suggesting you should sentence people based on the things you didn't charge them with and didn't prove?

Because you're an idiot if you are.

Comment: Re:Missing option (Score 0) 150

by gstoddart (#49823329) Attached to: Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison, and ...

To me that is worth 20 years. Life should only be used as an alternative to the death penalty, not a as 'really stiff sentence'.

To me this is more to show other people who might be tempted to do something that the politically motivated criminal charges for anything to do with drugs will be brought against you.

And, besides, you have to keep your for-profit prison industry (which uses people as effectively slave labor) filled up with people to maximize shareholder value.

Don't for a minute think this has anything to do with "justice", so much as "politics, vengeance, retribution, and cheap labor".

There's huge amounts of profits which would be lost if penalties weren't like this.

The crooks on Wall Street profit from the incarceration of people who have done far lesser crimes.

And the prison system in the US is as much about politics and profits than anything else.

Surely you don't think you live in a just society, do you?

Repel them. Repel them. Induce them to relinquish the spheroid. - Indiana University fans' chant for their perennially bad football team