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Comment: Re:We must not allow a spy gap! (Score 1) 54

by Travis Mansbridge (#47328095) Attached to: Australian Government Seeks To Boost Spy Agencies' Powers
"We" are still the leaders in spying, considering we (if you're referring to the US) are one of the members of the ECHELON group, a.k.a. the "five eyes" or AUSCANNZUKUS (for the five members: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US). As long as each member is permitted to spy on "foreign" countries, they are free to exchange data gathered on citizens of them all. If the NSA gets quashed, ASIO, GCHQ and the rest of them can just pick up the slack.

Comment: Re:De-fund the NSA Completely (Score 5, Insightful) 63

by Travis Mansbridge (#47276975) Attached to: How Secret Partners Expand NSA's Surveillance Dragnet
The way they operate (at least within ECHELON a.k.a. "five eyes" / AUSCANNZUKUS) is that we spy on their citizens while they spy on ours, and then information is exchanged after the fact, thereby avoiding any country "spying on its own citizens." It's essentially a loophole in the 4th amendment and its counterparts in those countries.

Comment: Re:A minority view? (Score 1) 649

Science relies on hypotheses which can either be demonstrated or falsified by data derived from experimentation or observation in a fashion that is repeatable by independent researchers. In this way, while you feel that "the power of the Holy Spirit is proof of God's existence," this cannot be universally demonstrated or observed, and is thus not science.

On the other hand, evolution has been evident through both experimentation and observation by independent researchers for many years, and we've yet to find data that contradicts this.

As an exercise, I'd like you to think about traits passed from parents to children. Would you agree that children inherit traits from their parents, such as facial features? ("Oh, you have your mother's eyes") If these traits are passed down, consider that some traits (the shape of the hand or foot, for an easy example) might allow a greater chance at surviving and reproducing, while other traits (exceptionally small lungs, or a predisposition to heart disease from an early age) might preclude survival to the point of reproduction, thus allowing successful traits to carry on to new children and lowering the chance of unsuccessful traits to be passed down. If you can understand how this is possible, evolution seems all but unavoidable.

Comment: Re:Yep. (Score 2) 649

No religion in schools was one of the few things I envied about the US school system, here in Oz most private schools are Catholic or other Christian denomination.

Many private schools here in the US can and do teach religion, largely Christianity. That restriction is for state-funded schools only as part of the separation of church and state.

Comment: Re:Blur (Score 4, Interesting) 215

by Travis Mansbridge (#47267019) Attached to: Was <em>Watch Dogs</em> For PC Handicapped On Purpose?
In any game, depth-of-field looks amazing for screenshots but in order to work the camera has to refocus on whatever is in the center of the screen, so focus can change rapidly and drastically as you swing your view around, and anything the player might be looking at that's not in the center is going to be out-of-focus. The only way to really pull it off would be something like eye-tracking to find what the player is actually looking at and bring that into focus. Or design a 2-D-ish game where all the action is guaranteed to happen at the same depth.

Comment: Re:It's Britain (Score 2) 104

The NSA and GCHQ are still working together today. The ECHELON group, also known as the "five eyes" spying network or referred to as AUSCANNZUKUS (for the five members, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US) simply get around each individual nation's constitutional rights to privacy by spying on each others' citizens and then exchanging the information after-the-fact. If GCHQ considers these "foreign" sites to be fair game, there's nothing preventing them from then making the information available to the other members, including the NSA.

Luck, that's when preparation and opportunity meet. -- P.E. Trudeau