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Comment: I found this article to be more informative (Score 1) 100

by TubeSteak (#47426743) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

Retaliation for Spying: Germany Asks CIA Official to Leave Country

Initially, there had been talk of a formal expulsion of the CIA employee, who is officially accredited as the so-called chief of station and is responsible for the US intelligence service's activities in Germany. A short time later, the government backpedalled and said it had only recommended that he leave. Although it cannot be compared with a formal explusion, it remains an unfriendly gesture.

On a diplomatic level, it is no less than an earthquake and represents a measure that until Thursday would have only been implemented against pariah states like North Korea or Iran. It also underscores just how deep tensions have grown between Berlin and Washington over the spying affair.

The USA's response has been something along the lines of "you expected us not to conducting traditional spying activities?"

Comment: Re:As plain as the googgles on your face (Score 4, Insightful) 55

by TubeSteak (#47422311) Attached to: The Future of Wearables: Standalone, Unobtrusive, and Everywhere

It is actually the intrusiveness that bothers people. Most people don't really care if they are recorded, as long as it isn't obvious and in their face. Not many people are bothered by store security cameras, etc.

The difference is that we know what a store security camera is going to do with the recording: record over it in XY days.
We don't know what [random glasshole] is going to do with the recording they make of us.

So it really doesn't matter what the recorder's unspoken intent is, what causes discomfort is the recordee's uncertainty.

Comment: Re:Dubai has bigger problems (Score 3, Informative) 260

Forget the fact that once the oil's gone the wealth remaining in the region will leach away as there's so few people (though it'll take a very long time).

Dubai and the other Emirates are acutely aware of the limits to their oil reserves.
They've been very busy turning their States into financial and trade hubs for the Arabian Peninsula,
with plenty of free trade zones (no taxes on corporate income) in order to draw in international corporations.

My advice: Bilk Dubai for all its worth now, because in 50 years it'll be a distant memory of largesse gone awry by modern standards.

Your advice is wrong.
Abu Dhabi is the 800 lb gorilla in the UAE and has the 2nd largest sovereign wealth fund in the world.
As long as Dubai's royal family goes along with Abu Dhabi's Sheikh, Dubai can keep borrowing money until the end of time.
/The last time Dubai needed cash, they had to reform some laws as a condition set by Abu Dhabi.

Comment: Re:What difference now does it make? :) Sunk costs (Score 4, Informative) 324

by TubeSteak (#47420239) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

You cannot continue to go out and fight with older weapons though.
Nominally, the F-15/F-16/F-18 are not as survivable in a modern air war.

The F-35 is a compromise design.
Mostly it compromises its ability to loiter on the target, carry large amounts of munitions, and dogfight.
So as long as you don't want to do any of those things, the F-35 is better than older weapons.

A proven fighter is one that has been through the teething problems that the F-35 is going through now.

Ha! The F-35's issues are not "teething problems," they are R&D problems.
The F-35 is a procurement disaster of such epic proportions that tomes will be written to warn future generations on what not to do.

Just to stay on topic, one of those tomes will talk about engine problems and why the military should source 2 different engine designs.
It will also mention that, because of the F-35's unprecedented budget overruns, the second design was canceled.

Comment: Re:Probable cause (Score 4, Insightful) 212

by TubeSteak (#47416385) Attached to: Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On

What a Muslim American Said to Defend His Patriotism
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/07/what-a-muslim-american-said-to-defend-his-patriotism/374137/

-"You should be active in your community. And I have done that. The fact that I was surveilled in spite of doing all thatâ"it just goes to show you the hysteria that everybody feels."
-"I've never given a speech where I've said any ill feelings toward the United States."
-"I was a very conservative, Reagan-loving Republican."
-"I watch sports. I watch football. My kids are all raised here. My kids at that time went to Catholic school. It isn't as if I was raising them in a different way ..."

Gill correctly perceives that we'll all know what he means when he invokes the characteristics he possesses that would seem to make him less suspicious. The fact that most people internalize these judgments to some degree illustrates how chilling effects work: Americans, especially those who belong to minority groups, formulate a sense of what speech and actions will cast suspicion on or away from them.

Chilling Effects.

Comment: Re:And in 20 years (Score 2) 95

by TubeSteak (#47407881) Attached to: Thousands of Leaked KGB Files Are Now Open To the Public

Allen Packwood, Director of the Churchill Archives Centre, said: âoeThis collection is a wonderful illustration of the value of archives and the power of archivists. It was Mitrokhin's position as archivist that allowed him his unprecedented access and overview of the KGB files. It was his commitment to preserving and providing access to the truth that led him to make his copies, at huge personal risk. We are therefore proud to house his papers and to honour his wish that they should be made freely available for research."

It's a "commitment to preserving and providing access to the truth" when they spy for [my team].
Otherwise they should be brought home and prosecuted for treason and espionage.

Comment: Re:no supercomputer needed (Score 1) 63

by TubeSteak (#47403641) Attached to: IBM Tries To Forecast and Control Beijing's Air Pollution

yes but if we spend the next 5-20 years modeling we don't actually have to do anything real about it.

China isn't like the USA.
They tend to move purposefully and quickly when goals are set.

In the run up to the Olympics, China unilaterally closed coal power plants, various heavy industries, and took cars off the road, all in a bid to reduce pollution in Beijing.
It took the USA 40 years to tell grandfathered coal plants to either shape up or shut down.
  Compare to China:

Beijing plans to limit the total number of cars on the road to 5.6 million this year, with the number allowed to rise to 6 million by 2017, the local government has said.

It will also aim to meet its 2011-2015 targets to cut outdated capacity in sectors like steel, glassmaking and cement by the end of this year, one year ahead of schedule. On top of the original targets, it will also close an additional 15 million tonnes of steel smelting capacity and 100 million tonnes of cement making capacity next year.

The key idea here is that all this is happening unilaterally.
Their actions probably wouldn't even be constitutional in the USA.

Comment: Re:What haven't they lied about? (Score 2) 201

Due to "security concerns" the NSA operates relatively autonomously, and, by design, even the president and courts have limited oversight.

This isn't true at all
The President has ultimate authority over the actions of the intelligence agencies.
The Congress has ultimate control of funding for the intelligence agencies.
Further, both houses of Congress have intelligence oversight committees that were formed in the wake of multiple scandals from the 1960s and 1970s.

None of this is new. FISA was written as a direct result of the US Army spying on domestic protests by American citizens.
The domestic and overbroad spying by the NSA is exactly the type of thing that FISA was originally intended to halt.

Every time we pass a law to stop some shitty corporate or military behavior, it gets slowly watered down over the years until it's incapable of meeting its original goals.

Comment: Re:Not surprising. (Score 4, Insightful) 688

by TubeSteak (#47393449) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

Do you have a case study that you can reference which substantiates this claim?

I'm not sure why you need a case study to support research that was originally done almost 150 years ago,
but If you'll accept "not allowing the undesirables to breed" as a proxy for "murder them,"
here's a more recent long term study: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domesticated_silver_fox

Or you could just read about Mendel's original research with pea plants and honey bees.

Comment: What haven't they lied about? (Score 5, Insightful) 201

As recently as May, shortly after he retired as NSA director, Gen. Keith Alexander denied that Snowden could have passed FISA content to journalists.

âoeHe didnâ(TM)t get this data,â Alexander told a New Yorker reporter. âoeThey didnâ(TM)t touch â"â

âoeThe operational data?â the reporter asked.

âoeThey didnâ(TM)t touch the FISA data,â Alexander replied. He added, âoeThat database, he didnâ(TM)t have access to.â

Robert S. Litt, the general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said in a prepared statement that Alexander and other officials were speaking only about âoerawâ intelligence, the term for intercepted content that has not yet been evaluated, stamped with classification markings or minimized to mask U.S. identities.

Every step of the way, the NSA has been forced to go back and qualify its previous statements.
And not just statements to the American people, but to Congress as well.

One analyst rests her claim that a target is foreign on the fact that his e-mails are written in a foreign language, a quality shared by tens of millions of Americans. Others are allowed to presume that anyone on the chat âoebuddy listâ of a known foreign national is also foreign.

In many other cases, analysts seek and obtain approval to treat an account as âoeforeignâ if someone connects to it from a computer address that seems to be overseas. âoeThe best foreignness explanations have the selector being accessed via a foreign IP address,â an NSA supervisor instructs an allied analyst in Australia.

And these are the carefully vetted selectors that are being used to not-spy on Americans.
It might be faster for the NSA to just make a list of the things they haven't publicly lied about.
What a farce.

Comment: Re:Political/Moral (Score 4, Interesting) 305

by TubeSteak (#47357397) Attached to: How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?

Remember the collapse from the housing bubble burst? Who predicted that? Precious few men and women knew it was coming, and damned near none had any idea how bad it could be.

A bunch of people predicted it. They were ignored.
"Irrational exuberance" Greenspan called it

Here's a website devoted to documenting the people who predicted the bubble
http://investorhome.com/predicted.htm
They even quote Warren Buffet calling derivatives "time bombs."

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard

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