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Comment: Re:"Obama pledged to end the controversial program (Score 2) 84

by StevenMaurer (#49154889) Attached to: NSA Spying Wins Another Rubber Stamp

Senator and Candidate Obama railed against "warrantless wiretapping" and pledged he'd end such activities were he elected.

"Wiretapping" - Definition: Listening to the actual conversation being made, not looking up who called who and when, which has always been subject to judicial subpoenas without the need for a warrant. Hell, in that old 1995 movie "Clueless", Alicia Silverstone's character is shown helping her lawyer dad go through call sheets of who called who in a civil lawsuit. This sort of stuff always has been so common that it was put in a rom-com.

Here's the thing. Law is very much like coding. The specifics matter.

Comment: Isn't slashdot's reaction interesting... (Score -1, Flamebait) 65

by StevenMaurer (#49081187) Attached to: 'Babar' Malware Attributed To France

Post something about the NSA spying, and the article attracts screaming spittle-flecked screeds declaring it THE WORST EVER!! NAZI NAZI NAZI NAZI!!!1!!!1!.

Something about France's SIGINT services doing the exact same thing? A bunch of "surrender" jokes.

This proves that all the whining about the NSA has little to do with actual worries (as if anyone in the government actually cares about their porn viewing habits), and more to do with overwrought anti-Americanism.

Comment: Re:Consider the denominator (Score 0) 136

by StevenMaurer (#49021129) Attached to: DEA Hands MuckRock a $1.4 Million Estimate For Responsive Documents

Possible, but on the optimistic side. As I said, if there is anything wrong with the requested fee, it is too low.

You are clearly confusing the "new" Slashdot's uninformed and not particularly bright libertarian-esque hivemind with things it doesn't like: facts and cogent analysis. May god have mercy on your soul.

Comment: Re:What I want to know is? (Score -1, Troll) 69

by StevenMaurer (#48993341) Attached to: Some Hackers Unknowingly Gathering Intel For the NSA

Speak for yourself, fascist!

Snowden did nothing whatsoever to "damage" the USA; the NSA did all the damage itself. Snowden is a hero, period.

That said, the government should not "grant clemency" to Snowden because doing so still implies that he did something wrong and the government is merely being "merciful." Instead, what the government should do is exonerate Snowden and go after the real criminals, i.e., the treasonous fuckwads at the NSA.

A few notes on the vote whoring:

  • All in all, coming out vociferously in favor of the echo chamber of the site you're posting to was a good start
  • Simply love the use of the word "fascist" right off the bat, love the understated Godwin
  • The quotes around "damage", as if the word is somehow unknown, or being used in a inappropriate context, is a nice "touch"
  • That your entire statement is an argument by assertion is also a big plus
  • The use of the words "treasonous fuckwads", simply screams insightful commentary

It hits every bullet point, so all in all, I'm sue you'll get that covered +5 from the lovers of slashtrash. We all know this site is turning into Reddit, where a well-sourced nuanced explanation that certain issues are not entirely black and white, will get half a dozen downvotes... a the same time "Dat Ass Though" comments will get +3415. Maybe you should try that next.

Carry on trooper. You assertion that America's signal intelligence organization should be criminally prosecuted for doing what Congress explicitly authorizes, directs, and pays it to do, is precious beyond words. I'm also sure you think that the United States is the only nation on the planet with such an operation.

Comment: I was briefly a Tizen developer - A big fat **NO** (Score 1) 243

by StevenMaurer (#48859023) Attached to: Could Tizen Be the Next Android?

I was once on a contract helping to develop automotive Tizen. This was about a year and a half ago. We were never able to build it without error from the officially released Intel sources. Never once. The build was a completely broken mess, with Intel basically saying that no one should really need to build from the source.

Even discounting all the obvious market problems that people mention - like Samsung obviously trying to attract customers while simultaneously competing with them - the whole thing is a listless mess. This is kind of like saying "Is [some obscure, broken, Linux binary distro] going to be then next RedHat, or maybe take over the Windows desktop?"

Um, no. Never ever ever.

Comment: Re:About Fucking Time (Score 5, Insightful) 435

by StevenMaurer (#48620517) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

While starting completely new ones. Hooray!

Indeed, Hooray! (I'm glad you get it - so few kneejerk anti-American morons do.) The US is at its best when it is saving innocent people, like Libyans and Yhazdis, from genocide. It returns us to what is best about this country.

*cough* bullshit *cough*

Yes indeed! Your quote IS bullshit! I'm glad you noticed! You can't claim a policy failed by arbitrarily changing the yardstick. We've never measured by U6. No time to start now.

Hooray though, we added 300,000 jobs in the last quarter. The economy did that in most years of the 1960s, when the population of the United States was significantly less than today. Success!

Yet again, you are completely correct! This is an amazing Success! The economy in the 1960s was aided by the fact that most of the rest of the world was still recovering from WW2, and half of it was under the ideological sway of Communist regimes fundamentally opposed to economic reality. Further, the U.S. had many more controls in place in those days to reduce economic inequality, since people still had a long memory of what Republicans did to cause the Great Depression. Tax rates on corporations in the 1960s reached as high as 90%, with fewer loopholes. This allowed many states to give a free college education to anyone who had the grades to get accepted, no matter what their economic background. All which provided massive demand for U.S. employment.

Alas, we ended all that. Self-defeating "trickle-down" is now more or less a religion (except Jesus and his miracles can't be actually disproven, like all these bullshit Republican economic theories have), so now we're stuck with people voting in Republicans on grandiose promises that this-time-it'll-work-for-sure, the inevitable economic crash, Democrats voted in to fix it, and then Republicans again to punish the Democrats for fixing the Republican mess, because this-time-it'll-work-for-sure.

Comment: Please proceed... (Score 1, Flamebait) 440

by StevenMaurer (#48610035) Attached to: Federal Court Nixes Weeks of Warrantless Video Surveillance

I find it very amusing to hear from all these one-man Supreme Courts, constitutional scholars all, willing to declare in internet chat-rooms that the President has violated some part of the law, at least in their own mind.

But please, here's your chance. Quote the relevant case law that makes you think you know more than judges who have spent their lives studying this stuff.

Comment: This isn't writers' faults (Score 1) 368

by StevenMaurer (#48544363) Attached to: Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

Have you ever tried to get science fiction published these days? I have. I've learned that publishers don't want science fiction. They want fantasy childhood adventure stories, with a veneer of unscientific "sci-fi". You can't make it unless good and evil are delineated in clear, bright, lines, and your tv-tropes run thick and hackneyed.

These days, I write only for myself. But everyone I do a reading for says "Boy, that's interesting! Why don't you publish?". Then I explain.

Comment: Re:It was an almost impossible case to prosecute (Score 1) 1128

by StevenMaurer (#48460963) Attached to: Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

In addition to there being witnesses (black males and females) who contradicted that statement, the autopsy of Michael Brown clearly contradicted it as well.

You are so completely wrong, it's laughable. First, the forensic evidence said nothing of the sort that you describe. Second, here is a link to video of the instant reaction of two bystanders seeing the event as it happened live. What do they say? "He had his F@^&#ING HANDS UP!"

This is a perfect example of cognitive bias in action. You want Wilson to be innocent, so you choose to believe rumors that are flat out untrue.

Comment: Re:Not as simple as teaching how to ... (Score 3) 328

I read the article you referenced. It's not as you describe it.

Installing secret compartments in vehicles when you know that its purpose is for doing something illegal, is itself illegal. Engaging in a criminal conspiracy to move drugs around the country is also illegal. Basically any time a drug dealer says to you "I need help to deliver this kilo of cocaine", and you say "Sure, as long as you pay me, I'll be happy to help", you're in some rather serious trouble if you get caught. The prosecutors were able to get one of the drug dealers to testify that he knew exactly what he was doing (in exchange for a reduced sentence). And the jury chose to believe the drug dealer.

You make this out as if the DEA somehow can throw people in prison for "doing nothing illegal". But the truth is that this fellow had a trial, a lawyer to defend himself, a judge to ensure that the law was followed, before a jury of his peers, and the jury chose to convict him.

I'm well aware that juries can make mistakes, but this doesn't seem at all like a miscarriage of justice. Not with the facts presented.

Comment: Re:"Threat actor" - buzzword du jour (Score 1) 101

by StevenMaurer (#48350951) Attached to: Espionage Campaign Targets Corporate Executives Traveling Abroad

Suddenly this is the new thing. You could simply say "the thief" or "the bad guy" or "the spy", but then you wouldn't sound all Matrix.

Lighten up, Slashdot.

That term is commonly used in the security industry, specifically because it is more generic than "virus writer", "thief", "foreign intelligence service", or "disgruntled worker".

Counting in octal is just like counting in decimal--if you don't use your thumbs. -- Tom Lehrer