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Comment: Re:FBI Director James Comey may not care. (Score 1) 82

by IamTheRealMike (#48427861) Attached to: WhatsApp To Offer End-to-End Encryption

it's all, once again, a lot of buzzwords, and zero security.

That's a bit unfair. Yes, any security system that tries to be entirely transparent cannot really be end to end secure, but nobody has ever built a mainstream, successful deployment of end to end encryption that lets you use a service even if you don't trust it. There are many difficult problems to solve here. Forward secure end to end encryption behind the scenes is clearly an important stepping stone, and OWS has said they will expose things like key verification in future updates. Just because they haven't done everything all at once, and solved every hard problem, does not mean it's just a lot of buzzwords.

Comment: And as such, is actionable. (Score 1) 150

by davecb (#48427785) Attached to: US Gov't Seeks To Keep Megaupload Assets Because Kim Dotcom Is a Fugitive
Lawyers often study "conflict of laws", where law A says "X is a crime" and B says "do X". Good legal draftsmen will therefor say something like "not withstanding A, do X", but not everyone is a good draftsman(/woman/shark). It would be amusing and very embarassing to charge a district attorney with possession of stolen property (;-))

Comment: Re:Simple (Score 1) 187

by JaredOfEuropa (#48426017) Attached to: Lessons Learned From Google's Green Energy Bust
Solar is being improved on all the time, and it's getting to the point where solar can compete with the grid at consumer price levels. Which is good enough, as solar power installations are well suited to be owned and operated by individual households. There are still some technical and economical issues, such as consumers effectively using the grid as an energy store without paying for the infra. it makes sense to continue to improve on solar power. With that said, I think no sane energy policy should focus on one single "way to go". Given the issues around renewables, projected timelines for practical fusion, environmental concerns, dwindling fossil fuel supplies and the questionable safety of existing nuclear plants, we need to bet on several horses here: fusion, safer fission (thorium), better renewables, energy storage, cleaner coal, etc.

Comment: Re:Bad sign. (Score 2) 187

by JaredOfEuropa (#48425867) Attached to: Lessons Learned From Google's Green Energy Bust
I've no idea how Google approached this challenge, but in a lot of companies, innovation consists of clever and novel applications and combinations of existing technologies, or making good use of a couple of incremental improvements. It often does yield results: this is what Google did to reduce power requirements in their data centers. And it's in itself a useful exercise to identify gaps (e.g. "For a practical electric vehicle, we need a battery that is this good"), then focus on closing those gaps with a focused effort (researching new battery tech). It appears that Google either found too many gaps and concluded that the state of the art hadn't advanced far enough, or that they weren't prepared to do such fundamental research.

Comment: Re:Beware the T E R R O R I S T S !! (Score 2) 414

by IamTheRealMike (#48417807) Attached to: Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

You're willing to sit on the sidelines while ISIS engages in a campaign of genocide and ethnic/religious cleansing? ...... They're barbarians and they need to be terminated with extreme prejudice.

You're against ethnic/religious cleansing but want to "terminate with extreme prejudice" an entire very large group of people largely defined along ethnic and religious lines .........

words fail me

Comment: Re:So basically (Score 1) 414

by IamTheRealMike (#48417785) Attached to: Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

If the entire government became Libertarian today, it would take less than 10 years for corporations to take total control of governance and we'd have just as much (or probably more) squashing of individual liberties, but no longer any accountability to voters.

Isn't that a contradiction? I'd think a libertarian government would not want anyone, owners of large corporations included, to take over governance. That's kind of the definition of libertarianism, I thought.

Additionally, I'm having a hard time recalling the last occasion on which a company squashed my civil liberties. Actually I don't think it ever happened. Companies, even big ones, are typically very simple creatures compared to governments - they have simple needs and simple desires. Even companies that can't be easily reduced down to the profit motive (most obviously Google in this day and age) still have quite simple motivations, in their case "build sci fi stuff".

On the other hand, our awesome western governments routinely kill people for merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time or receiving a text message from the "wrong" person (see: signature driven drone strikes).

Whilst these governments aren't quite at the stage of drone striking people who are physically in western countries yet, they certainly are willing to do lots of other nasty things, as residents of gitmo will attest. So given a choice between a government that did very little and mostly let corporations get on with it, or the current state of affairs, it's pretty hard to choose the current state of affairs given the very very low likelyhood of companies deciding to nuke people out of existence of their own accord.

There are many powerful players in society and I'm not one of them. Does it make me a crony capitalist or a welfare queen when I decide I'd rather the power go to those I can vote out of office than those I can't?

No, it doesn't make you either of those things. It does mean you have a lot more faith in voting than other people do. This can be described as either very reasonable or perhaps naive, depending on where you live. E.g. in places like America or the UK voting is driven almost entirely by the economy and matters of foreign policy or the justice system have no impact on elections, politicians know that so they do more or less whatever they like. In places like Switzerland where there are referendums four times a year, preferring voting power to market power would make a lot more sense.

Comment: Re:Uber is a Pump-n-Dump scheme (Score 1) 297

by JaredOfEuropa (#48411575) Attached to: Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists

Does anyone really think a ride sharing app is really worth 84% of an airline that operates 5,400 flights daily over an international network that includes 333 destinations in 64 countries on six continents... and has its own mobile apps?

Yes because eyeballs and "social" and disruptive. And data. At least that's what these fast growing startups are being valued for these days.

Comment: Re:Incorrect statement about Dutch health care sys (Score 1) 228

by JaredOfEuropa (#48409433) Attached to: The Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia
Rising costs are no surprise. There doesn't appear to be direct collusion between insurers, but there is no real competition either. Do you think an insurer would prefer to charge a €100 monthly premium to cover a €1000 average yearly medical bill, or charge €200 premium for a €2000 bill? And prices are further inflated by empire building, ie. setting up and staffing a bunch of auxiliary functions and services that are not directly related to healthcare (and in practise do not work to benefit health either)

Since everybody has mandatory insurance for a fixed package of health care items, what added value do the insurers actually have? There's a few things that are mentioned from time to time:
- efficiency in operation. State-run schemes are notoriously bureaucratic, but there's no indication that private insurers are any more efficient; on the contrary. Especially since there are multiple companies, each with separate administration and management.
- purchasing savvy. Again, there's no indication that they are better at buying care and medicine than, for instance, the New Zealand govt which managed to get a massive discount on medicine.
- value added services like fitness programmes, health awareness campaigns, etc. this amounts to little more than the aforementioned empire building, and appears to add very little value.
I'd much prefer the Dutch government to handle basic insurance themselves, leaving the insurance companies to handle additional insurance packages (additional dental, homeopathic, acupuncture etc). I'm no commie, but universal health care has clear benefits, and if it's truly universal and socialised, it's better to let the state run it instead of a (in case of Dutch health insurance) dysfunctional market.

Comment: Re:And it won't be (Score 1) 142

by davecb (#48407395) Attached to: What the US Can Learn From Canada's Internet Policy
More correctly, they want to control the news. One man controlled roughly 1/3 of the news at one point, and pushed for his preferred party and leader. The leader face-planted on a seadoo and the party had to do an unfriendly takeover of another party (mine!) to get into power. The newspaper chain in question is barely alive any more.

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?