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Comment: Re:No WMD's...Really? (Score 4, Insightful) 376

by demachina (#48153565) Attached to: Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

Its no secret Iraq had chemical weapons. They used them liberally against Iranian human wave attacks during the Iran Iraq war.

The reason they were hushed up is because they were provided by western countries. You do know the U.S. and Europe backed Saddam in the Iran Iraq war and most probably encouraged the use of chemical weapons against Iranian teenagers right? Iran had a huge population advantage, Iraqi Shias weren't that keen on fighting Iranian Shia, so Iraq needed technology to level the field and the West helped with that edge.

The West was really happy about a lengthy, bloody stalemate in that war bleeding both countries white.

Comment: IronNet Cybersecurity is the ethics issue (Score 5, Informative) 59

Most of the ethics questions around Alexander involve his company IronNet Cybersecurity. He founded it when he retired. He's charging big banks $1,000,000 a month to protect them in cyberspace, and its not exactly clear what he has to offer to justify the price tag, other than classified insider knowledge of cyber threats from his NSA years, he probably shouldn't be selling to the highest bidder.

Comment: Re:Boeing bought more politicians. (Score 4, Insightful) 127

by demachina (#48011513) Attached to: Sierra Nevada Corp. Files Legal Challenge Against NASA Commercial Contracts

This contact is for carrying people in to LEO, not satellites or cargo. Your argument doesn't work for human rated launchers.

First, it is difficult and expensive to human rate a launch vehicle so not very many companies are going to do it without a reasonable chance of getting business.

It is also probably not a place you want a company cutting corners to low ball a contract bid. The first priority is keeping the cargo alive, not saving a few dollars by going with launch-by-night Rockets-R-US.

Comment: Re:It's a bad sign (Score 1) 223

by demachina (#47886947) Attached to: U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

When you are about to have an economic crash groups like Occupy and the Tea Party are an inevitability, whatever the names or politcal leaning may be. When you are about to have an economic crash the powers that be prepare to suppress revolt and domestic spying is job one. Militarizing the police is job two.

During the Great Depression Fascism was where economically desperate people turned as they are doing in Greece today.

Comment: Re:It's a bad sign (Score 5, Interesting) 223

by demachina (#47886151) Attached to: U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

Note the date, 2008, not 2002. Approximately the time financial markets started crashing and the Occupy and Tea Party movements started building. Ya think the U.S. government was more worried about Islamic terrorists or ordinary Americans who would soon be fed up with massive corruption in D.C. and Wall Street. Were they trying to prevent another 9/11 or building the capacity to suppress the backlash when millions of ordinary people would soon be thrown out of their jobs and homes, while Wall Street would get massively bailed out, and return to business as usual, getting rich.

The U.S. did a spectacularly good job of crushing Occupy. Did they use domestic spying to do it.

War is when your government tells you who the enemy is, revolution is when you figure it out for yourself.

Comment: Business relationship (Score 4, Interesting) 109

by demachina (#47684425) Attached to: Why the Universe Didn't Become a Black Hole

So does ./ have some kind of promotional relationship with startswithabang? If so you should disclose it.

The blog does have interesting material, and its appropriate for /., so its not like its bad that every article on there is making the /. front page. But its kind of odd that every article on there is making the ./ front page.

Comment: Re:What underlying platform? (Score 4, Insightful) 46

by demachina (#47644033) Attached to: Silent Circle's Blackphone Exploited at Def Con

Not clear if Case is claiming Blackberry's were never of interest to hackers or are just of no interest lately.

Blackberrys were until recent years very high value targets, they were the phone of choice on Wall Street, for politicians and reporters.

It wasn't that long ago repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia were telling Blackberry to back door their phones/servers or get locked out of their market which tends to suggest they must have been pretty good at something.

There is probably something to be said for phones without a third party app market if security is job one. Android in particular is a pretty juicy target for malware.

Comment: Re:When will we... (Score 3, Informative) 266

"Neither Americans nor the rest of the world signed up for a fucking security agency which is no longer under anyone's control except people who feel they can do anything they want."

Uh, the CIA has been pretty much like this since its inception during World War II as the OSS and the CIA immediately after. It was reined in briefly by the Churck and Pike Committees in the 70's but that oversight and those reforms were pretty much rolled back by Reagan. Sure, they got to reach new lows after 9/11 with no hold barred torture, but the CIA has been torturing people through proxies for its entire history, so that wasn't exactly new either.

Not exactly sure why everyone is acting like this is some kind of revelation or anything new, other than its kind of amazing Brennan was foolish enough to admit to it. I predict his career at the CIA will soon come to an end, and he will be replaced with someone with larger brass balls.

The chances you all are gonna change any of this airing your indignation on /. are vanishingly small.

Comment: Re:Why stop there? (Score 1) 114

by demachina (#47553681) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

Didn't say it was. I just said NASA should abandon it to whomever wants to pay to keep it operating. Prettty sure its past its original end of life anyway which I think was 2010.

If Russia doesn't want to play nice, or pay to run it themselves, I doubt ESA, Canada or Japan will be able to keep it going if the U.S. pulls out.

Comment: Re:Why stop there? (Score 2, Insightful) 114

by demachina (#47545081) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

Probably one of the best things NASA could do at this point is abandon ISS, stop paying for it, and tell the Russians its all theirs. There is a fair chance they would fly Americans to it for free rather than get saddled with that boat anchor.

If the Russians don't want it either its time to deorbit it. It would free up a LOT of money for more useful endeavors. Its never been good for much of anything, certainly nothing to justify the staggering price tag

SpaceX will have the ability to put astronauts in to LEO in a few years. Its not like its a crisis, there is very little for people to do in LEO at the moment other than to be lab rats for zero G physiology studies. You would think they would have done most of that work by now.

About the only point in putting people in space at all is as colonists, persumably on Mars. You can do just about everything else way better and cheaper with robots.

So until you are ready to fly people to Mars to stay, stop getting your panties in a bunch about getting them to LEO.

Wernher von Braun settled for a V-2 when he coulda had a V-8.

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