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Comment: Re:Responses (Score 4, Interesting) 241 241

"How frequently have people run into companies sending sensitive information (like passwords) in cleartext via e-mail?"

I see this and people sending both public and private PGP keys to outsiders more than I should from other companies. I assume it's because in general American businesses have devalued IT for so long that they're getting exactly what little they pay for now with barely trained and barely competent people who don't know anything about security.

Comment: Re:Nope! (Score 4, Informative) 379 379

This. I've also always wondered why the U.S. put all its money on the Arab countries instead of Iran. Iran at least has basic level of Democracy with presidential elections. Irans youth is, in general, more progressive and open minded that in most other islamic countries. The U.S. big ally and arch-enemy of Iran, Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is a practically an absolutist monarchy practicing extremely conservative interpretation of Sharia law. It's also interesting to point out that many high-profile terrorists, such as Osama bin Ladin, were Saudi Arabians. I wouldn't be surprised if elements in Saudi Arabia's government secretly support or at the very least condone IS in Syria and Iraq. They seem pretty single-minded about supporting Sunni Islam against everything Shia.

Basically significant segments of the Iranian government and a good number of the population (not necessarily a majority, but enough to have influence) have anti-Americanism as their raison d'être. Khomeini hated America for supporting the Shah and he passed that hatred down to his disciples. His disciples continue to be the true powers in Iran. These people have merged religion with anti-Americanism so to them, not being anti-American is like rejecting Islam. It will probably be decades before enough time has passed for mullahs to come into power in Iran who have no personal animosity towards America. Consider too that among people old enough to remember the Iran hostage situation that there is some severe hatred towards Iran so that makes it difficult for the US to make friends with Iran as portions of US power (some people in Congress and various government agencies) will never trust them because of that.

To be honest, the US would probably like to be friends with Iran, but the mullahs can't and won't allow it. The US really would be better off backing the Shiites like Iran as they are somewhat less troublesome to deal with than the Sunnis, but they can't publicly say that because the Sunnis have the numbers. Numbers of followers alone make it in the US's best interests to try to deal with Sunni governments, many of which hate the US and do things that support terrorists indirectly if not directly. The Saudi government has been pretty good friends with the USA, but unfortunately they support a version of Islam that over time has become more and more intolerant of non-Muslims and is directly or indirectly responsible for groups like ISIS and Al Queda. The Saudi rulers need US support to stay in power and the US needs them lest Saudi Arabi turn into an even bigger headache for the US than Iran.

The US governments under George W. Bush and Barack Obama have had unrealistic expectations of Middle Eastern democracy. The idea was that if given the opportunity to freely elect their leaders that they would be so grateful to the USA that they'd become our best friends. Instead it has become apparent to me that if given a free choice, the majority of Muslim voters will willingly vote to take away their own rights under oppressive religious governments and those that hate the US will come out of the shadows and work to attack the US. The only country that went through the Arab Spring and maybe came out on the better end was Egypt and they had to beg the military to overthrow the legally elected government.

Comment: Greece also had a very low retirement age (Score 1, Insightful) 358 358

Just 2 years ago the legal retirement age in Greece was 57. I think it's been changed to 61 now and there was talk of moving it to 63, but generations of Greeks have been coddled and given so many handouts by the government that they are going to riot if they have to face reality. As you point out, bit coin can't solve the problem of an entire nation so addicted to entitlements that it can't accept any way out of the crisis that doesn't involve no changes or hardships at all.

Comment: Why Republicans want to take away health insurance (Score 1) 591 591

Congress is free to amend or write a new law - but if they weren't spoiled, selfish children, they would have done that already. They could have easily clarified this, but didn't because Republicans would have used the opportunity to destroy the ACA rather than helping to make it even a little better -- especially important in light of the *fact* that the Republicans have no alternative to the ACA, except to get rid of it. Don't know why they don't want to keep the poor and middle class from getting health insurance...

As someone who lives in a red state and has a lot of Republican friends, I can tell you exactly why Republicans (including supporters and not just elected officials) want to take away health insurance from the poor. I think in Clinton's first term he signed a law that changed welfare and basically stopped most able bodied people from staying on it forever. Amongst the people I know, many of them believe that perhaps as high as 20% of the US population is permanently on welfare and has no desire at all to get off of it because they are lazy. The idea persists that those who are poor are that way simply because they want to be poor since they are willfully lazy. And there's an undercurrent of subtle racism at play as it's always "blacks" or "Mexicans" who they always blame for being on welfare forever. So since these people believe that everybody in the USA could have a good job if they only wanted to, they see the poor as being unwilling to better themselves and helping them get anything like health insurance is basically enabling behavior encouraging them to stay the same. All of the people I know who hate the ACA have jobs that give them insurance, so again, they view even middle class people who need help as being lazy or stupid because if they weren't lazy or stupid, they would get themselves jobs that had health insurance. They view all people without health insurance as having deliberately made the choice to be that way. The worst thing Ronald Reagan ever said was "Government is the problem" which 30+ years later has become a mantra for the Republican Party. So people think that the government can't do anything right, ever, and thus the ACA can't ever be good because an evil, incompetent government with a lifetime 100% failure rate is in charge of it.

Comment: Re:Prime Scalia - "Words no longer having meaning" (Score 1) 591 591

Repeal the 17th amendment. At least you would have one house that isn't campaigning all the type.

IMO, the 17th broke a fundamental safeguard of our republic.

No, it didn't. You need to spend more time understanding why this amendment got passed rather than let idiots like Hannity and Rick Perry and others lie to you about it. The reason that the amendment got passed is that the process of picking senators was completely corrupt. Back room favors and under the cover payments and all sorts of illegal things got done to get people appointed as senators. The situation couldn't be salvaged so the only way to fix it was to make people run for office. And you do realize that you are actually arguing for less democracy and more corruption by begging to return to those "good old days", right? No of course you don't because you just repeat what the right wing talking heads told you to think.

Comment: Re:This is wrong (Score 1) 333 333

Martin Luther King:

While I give you props for at least finding somebody new to quote instead of the usual American Slashdotter practice of finding some 200+ year old quote Jefferson or some other founding father said and applying it to your situation, I'd like to point out that just because you found a quote in the past from same famous person, that alone does not mean he or you are right. How I wish I could find some really completely off the charts offensive racist quote from some founding father so I could throw it up there as a retort the next time somebody offers up a quote from the past as the justification for something. I don't care what Martin Luther King said. Human beings are not perfect and the fact that he apparently (I'm not going to fact check this, so you get "apparently") said something you like in no way justifies your point.

Comment: Re:Arrest (Score 3, Interesting) 333 333

What's illegal about protesting illegal government actions? Uber is ILLEGAL in France but they continue to operate! Do you understand the concept of "protest"? The idle rich like you are SUPPOSED to be inconvenienced, it is the INTENTION that you get annoyed.

Protesting is fine. Here in the USA, we have this crazy thing in our constitution called "free speech" that covers it. Most or all of Europe has no such law. Se we are Americans are totally cool with the whole protesting thing. What myself and others are not at all cool with is blocking access to train stations, beating up people who they don't agree with, and so on. You want to set up protests and carry signs outside of train stations and such? That's great. Some people may be interested and may ask what you are protesting about and may end up on your side as a result. You want to block everybody from using the train? Screw you and your cause. At that point, all those protesters are doing is making the people who can't get to the train sympathize with the other side. I've been to France and in the past I worked for a US office of a big French company. This kind of stuff is why I have really mixed feelings about the French. This kind of a-hole "I am going to screw you over because I have a problem that's not your problem so I'm going to make it your problem too until you get so angry you make my problem go away" stuff is a perfect example of what I really don't like about them.

Comment: Re:oh such a disconnect (Score 3, Informative) 169 169

If you want to help, if your dream is space and not some aggrandized ego stroke, then you fund nasa and make mars a reality for everyone.

I got curious so I looked. I know fact checking isn't cool, but really, you couldn't be bothered? Elon Musk's net worth is about $14 billion give or take. NASA's budget for just this year is $17 billion. Mind explaining how he's going to "fund nasa" as you put it when his entire net worth won't fully fund one year?

The problem is that the public doesn't want money spent on NASA "until we fix our problems here". That day will never, ever come. There will always be "problems here". To give you an example, a guy I know at work who likes SciFi and is pretty smart doesn't want to see NASA get even the $17 billion they get now per year because he thinks the money needs to be spent here on those problems that need to be solved. There are a lot more people like him than me who think that NASA needs even more money than $17 billion.

Comment: Why I don't do polls any more (Score 1) 292 292

I actually still have a landline and I get calls every now and then for political polls. I used to participate. I don't anymore. Some of the polls are very slanted, sometimes simply in favor of one issue. I live in what is strongly a red state and most of the polls ask questions about Republican strategies I rarely agree with. I'm not really sure what the purpose is as my state is about as red as they come and it's not likely to ever be competitive for Democrats for decades. I'm not sure I feel comfortable telling strangers that no, I don't agree with whatever the Republican cause du jour is since I'm expressing what is most likely a minority opinion in a state where differences of opinion are not respected at all. The other problem I have is that the polls are too long. You can count on 5 minutes minimum, maybe 10 if you're unlucky. After a few questions I quickly get weary of the time consuming formats they insist on using and I refuse to do any of them anymore.

By the way, I've believed for years that a significant minority of people in the US deliberately lie on polls to throw them off. I've known since 2004 that you can't trust the polls at all.

Comment: nomorobo has worked great for me (Score 4, Informative) 193 193

I use normorobo (https://www.nomorobo.com/). It's free for non-business use. I have my home phone (yes I still have a home phone - my current home security system requires it) going through it and I think it's great. It only works with VOIP or wireless phone numbers though, not true land lines. It works by having you activate a feature to ring a 2nd number when a call comes in. The 2nd number is No Mo Robo's phone number. Let your phone ring once and their database will pick up the call before the 2nd ring if they feel it's fraudulent. I'd say it stops more than 95% of the robo calls I get, which to me is fantastic. Maybe once or twice a month a robo call will get through, but that's all.

Just as a point of interest, I work with a guy whose ability to judge scams is broken beyond anything I've ever seen in a non-elderly person. His ability to differentiate between the bogus and the legit is just about non-existent. Remember in the past decade when a lot of us US people were getting cold calls from some company telling us we could buy an extended warranty for our cars that would pay for any and every repair we needed for years to come? He bought one. I realized that it's guys like him who keep the robo callers in business.

Comment: Re:Update the resume (Score 3, Insightful) 229 229

Quitting allows you to leave on your own terms rather than being humiliated into training your low-pay replacements and then being fired. Are you really saying that workers should stick around at a company that was just days before trying to lay them off?

I don't think you understand something at play here. In my career of 28 years in IT, I have noticed that some people will just not leave - ever - under any circumstances until you turn out the lights and close the doors. What I mean is, no matter how bad the job is, some people will not ever leave it until they get thrown out the door or the company goes out of business. Not always, but usually it's the people who are just barely getting by. Some years ago we hired a guy who used to work for a local bank and his local bank got bought out by a much bigger bank out of state. They planned to shut down all their IT work in our city for this bank they bought, but they needed this guy and his co-workers to stay to help out with the transition. At first they were told 6 months and they'd be done. 6 months came and they got offered another 6 month extension. Then came another 6 month extension. The guy looked for another job and we hired him, but he left a co-worker behind who just didn't want to leave. Eventually after maybe 3 years, they finally closed down the IT work in our city and co-worker guy now for real has to find a job. The guy we hired asked us to hire his co-worker and we couldn't. No more openings. Even though this guy knew his job was going to end sooner rather than later, and the bank did not want to keep him on after it closed down all the local IT work they had, he refused to leave or even start looking for a job until they told him "Your job is over. Thanks. We'll send your final paycheck to you. Today is your last day." My previous employer, a European company, did some really reprehensible things to us before I left. They changed our terms of employment to favor them and enable them to cheat us out of severance pay they promised us and told us we had to either accept the new terms that let them do it or quit. Then they gave my small department 6 months notice that they were moving our jobs to another lower cost country (not India though). I was the only person in my office to find another job before the deadline. Nobody else would leave. One of the things you see at Disney is a lot of employees are big Disney fans, so they want to work there and they will put up with a lot of bs to do so. Even with these workers temporarily getting their jobs back, and yes we here all know this likely won't have a happy ending for them, more like a temporary reprieve, I guarantee you that many will still happily go back and refuse to look elsewhere for a job until they get this job taken away from them.

Comment: Kudos for an accurate submission (Score 1) 323 323

Given how many submitters will submit an article with a comment of "He said X! He said X! Definitely gonna be nothing but X!" and the article actually says "Not X at all! Definitely not X! Anything but X! Never gonna be X!", I'm impressed that nobody submitted the article and said one of the following:

1) Linus Torvald's death is imminent.
2) Linus says he's going to kill himself.
3) Linux says Linux is doomed once he dies.

Comment: Re:why is Eric snowden an expert on security (Score -1) 196 196

There is no proof that he handed secrets to the Russians or Chinese. The whole article on that was made up by its authors.

There's also no proof he didn't. While I'd admit he probably didn't hand anything over to them, I'm pretty sure that both countries separated him from his laptops and imaged them so they could shunt decryption off to a series of networked computers. It's certainly possible that they've already cracked his encryption (maybe there is a bug in it that they know about and he doesn't). It's also possible that they haven't cracked it yet. But I think there is almost zero chance that they aren't even trying to crack it.

BTW: People criticising the USA normally criticise the politics and actions of the USA. To call them America-haters is totally wrong. In two ways. First, there is a lot more America then only the USA. Use google maps if you do not believe me. Second, its the actions abroad that cause you low reputation. And three, your tourists often help to foster such reputation. Even though the last thing is hardly something that can be changed. We all have parts of our population which go on vacation and ruin our reputation. Ask the Germans and the British or even better ask the Italian and Spanish on the reputation of Germans and the British.

Keep in mind that this is Slashdot and it's very common for European members to trash the US at every turn, including all of its citizens. I've seen people insist here many times that the US is a consistent threat to world peace and the world would be so much better off if we all died as soon as possible.

Comment: Re:Mixture (Score 2) 312 312

My grandmother said that you could bitch about the government, though you would not be allowed to do that on TV or radio. Well, at least after Stalin's death.

That's sort of true in that I think if the complaints were kept to a very small group of people, like bitching to your next door neighbor, it was mostly tolerated. But you still had to be careful what you said. Complaining about a lack of bread was one thing. Complaining that Brezhnev (for example) was terrible might be something else.

There's a great old joke in Russia from the Soviet days about how a Texan came to visit Moscow.
Muscovite: How do you like Moscow and the Soviet Union?
Texan: Well it's really nice, but you have no freedom here. In America, any time I want to, I can go to the White House and stand outside it and say that the president is terrible and he needs to go and nobody will do anything to me.
Muscovite: Oh it is the same here.
Texan: Really?
Muscovite: Yes. Anytime I want, I can go outside the Kremlin and say that the American president is terrible and he needs to go and nobody will do anything to me.

Some people I know who grew up in China really liked that joke.

Comment: Re:ABC Anywhere But China (Score 2) 236 236

If I have to choose I would prefer China spying on me than the US. China doesn't care wether I download movies and music, or if I want to smoke something else than tobacco. The US can have me extradicted and put me in jail for made up charges, China much, much less likely.

My last 2 girlfriends were born and raised in China and both would argue vehemently with you about this. Search sometime for photos on the internet of houses in the middle of roads in China. Do you know why those houses are there? It's because some Communist Party official wanted a road built and an owner refused to sell for literally pennies on the dollar (offers to buy may be at 10% of true value) so they built the road completely around the house to force the owner to leave for nothing. One of my ex-girlfriends still spoke angrily about how the police interrogated her and her school friends harshly over a decade ago because they happened to be dormmates with a girl who was secretly in Falun Gong. Do you know why the Chinese government persecutes Falun Gong? Nobody in the West does. There's speculation that it may be nothing more than a loyalty test of Communist Party members -it serves no purpose other than to see if Party members will go along with it and thus be loyal. Neither of my ex-girlfriends thought very much of the Chinese government and both thought that while the US and other Western democracies might not be perfect, they were a lot better choice than China.

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