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Comment: Re:perception (Score 1) 234

Actually, the total tax burden for the working and middle classes in the USA is not that different from much of Europe. If you deduct the amount that the US citizen pays for health insurance from the amount that the EU citizen pays in taxes (while receiving socialised medical coverage), it's often quite a lot more. Part of the reason that the US has what appears from the outside to be an irrational distrust of government is that they get such poor value for money from their taxes. This leads to a nasty feedback loop (population expects the government to be incompetent, so it's hard to get competent people to want to work for the government, so the government becomes more incompetent, so the population expects...).

Comment: McArdle is astute (Score 1) 4

by smitty_one_each (#46777299) Attached to: Obamacare is Not a Single-Payer Conspiracy [Bloomberg]
McArdle is astute, combining some actual knowledge of economics (in contrast to Krugman).
However, if there is anything in which I have confidence, it is this administration's commitment to slow, methodical, blame-laden screwings of the lower- and middle-class.

But we're not getting the National Health Service anytime soon.

No, that suppository arrives with the Clinton Administration. I reckon she's wreckin'.

Comment: Re:Sorry (Score 1) 12

This is where I'm going with the argument. It's one thing to say "we cannot take any direct action now". It's quite another to lay zero foundation for any future action. As an example, we have NATO allies in the Baltics. Have we signaled anything to them other than "You are effed"?
Let's see: we've had some Navy presence in the Black Sea. I guess that's not fully nothing.

+ - Vintage 1960s era film shows IRS defending its use of computers ->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "It’s impossible to imagine the Internal Revenue Service or most other number-crunching agencies or companies working without computers. But when the IRS went to computers — the Automatic Data Processing system --there was an uproar. The agency went so far as to produce a short film on the topic called Right On The Button, to convince the public computers were a good thing."
Link to Original Source
United States

FBI Drone Deployment Timeline 30

Posted by samzenpus
from the when-and-where dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The FBI insists that it uses drone technology to conduct surveillance in 'very limited circumstances.' What those particular circumstances are remain a mystery, particularly since the Bureau refuses to identify instances where agents deployed unmanned aerial vehicles, even as far back as 2006. In a letter to Senator Ron Paul last July, the FBI indicated that it had used drones a total of ten times since late 2006—eight criminal cases and two national security cases—and had authorized drone deployments in three additional cases, but did not actually fly them. The sole specific case where the FBI is willing to confirm using a drone was in February 2013, as surveillance support for a child kidnapping case in Alabama. New documents obtained by MuckRock as part of the Drone Census flesh out the timeline of FBI drone deployments in detail that was previously unavailable. While heavily redacted—censors deemed even basic facts that were already public about the Alabama case to be too sensitive for release, apparently—these flight orders, after action reviews and mission reports contain new details of FBI drone flights."

Comment: Re:I remember Y2K, do you? (Score 1) 93

by angel'o'sphere (#46775121) Attached to: Lack of US Cybersecurity Across the Electric Grid

It is hard, as before 2000 it was no FUD.
About current day cyber attacks I have no opinion.
Except: would take me 5 minutes to cause a USA wide power outage. Well, worst case 50 ... in fact every one with google skills likely needs less than 24h to figure how to take it down. I would call that a serious thread and not FUD.

Comment: Re:Bad, Bad idea (Score 4, Insightful) 119

by timeOday (#46774967) Attached to: Industry-Wide Smartphone "Kill Switch" Closer To Reality
What you describe is probably exactly how the kill switch will be implemented. (How else would it be implemented?)

All the hyperbole in here is silly. Try not paying your phone bill and you will discover there is already a "kill switch." The questions at issue are administrative - how to share the list of stolen phones between carriers, set the criteria for putting a phone on the list, etc.

+ - 'Kill switch' may be standard on U.S. phones in 2015->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "The "kill switch," a system for remotely disabling smartphones and wiping their data, will become standard in 2015, according to a pledge backed by most of the mobile world's major players.

Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft, along with the five biggest cellular carriers in the United States, are among those that have signed on to a voluntary program announced Tuesday by the industry's largest trade group.

All smartphones manufactured for sale in the United States after July 2015 must have the technology, according to the program from CTIA-The Wireless Association.

Advocates say the feature would deter thieves from taking mobile devices by rendering phones useless while allowing people to protect personal information if their phone is lost or stolen. Its proponents include law enforcement officials concerned about the rising problem of smartphone theft."

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FORTRAN rots the brain. -- John McQuillin