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Comment: Re:Oh For Crying Out Loud (Score 4, Insightful) 161

by aaaaaaargh! (#49368869) Attached to: Europol Chief Warns About Computer Encryption

They are crying now because some companies no longer want to cooperate with them by developing deliberately weak standards (e.g. cell phone encryption) and by providing illegal backdoors for wiretapping without warrant. So they want to be able to force them by law, which means that they need to convince politicians first.

In my pessimistic opinion, the most probable outcome of this debate is that companies will bow (again) to the authorities like they did before and provide the backdoors voluntarily, presumably in the form of vulnerabilities that are not published.

Comment: I don't care about hoax papers (Score 2) 61

by aaaaaaargh! (#49358369) Attached to: Hoax-Detecting Software Spots Fake Papers

What bothers me is that in the humanities there are whole communities and sub-disciplines in which there is barely any real peer reviewing. These are small niche areas in which everyone knows everyone and basically the whole research is based on invited contributions and papers that are not properly blind peer reviewed - they are cursorily scanned by colleagues who know who wrote the article. In such a field there are about 5-10 journals in total and the authors jump back and forth between them. Most of them are unable to publish articles in top journals of the discipline as a whole. I personally know professors who have built a whole career on the basis of quoting themselves and by doing light editorial work. I know a cross-disciplinary field of study in the humanities that is entirely dominated by two professors, all the rest are scholars of them, and each of them wrote around 40 books, always on the same topic, and all of them more or less repeating the same two pseudo-competing themes over and over.

It's pretty sad to see these people recognized as experts when at the same time in other fields there is hard work and real progress.

Comment: Re:Yeah: Europe - The Shithouse Of Humanity (Score 2) 213

by aaaaaaargh! (#49318657) Attached to: Finland's Education System Supersedes "Subjects" With "Topics"

LOL, another right-wing history crackpot...

Einstein lived one year as a toddler in Württemberg, he was educated in Munich and Switzerland (Aarau and Zürich). Later he worked at Zürich, Bern and Prague, and then for the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Prussian Academy of Sciences, before he emigrated to the US because of the nazis in 1933, where he spent the rest of his life mostly at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton.

He loved your Eberhard's Württemberg so much, he even denounced his citizenship of Württemberg in 1896 in order to avoid military service!

Comment: Re:Not a watch (Score 1) 111

That's not entirely true. There are watches with standard movements that are not handmade except for final assembly. These are relatively cheap, and most of the popular garbage/fake brands belong to this category. Some of them bought a name that rings a bell, but has in reality no real tradition in watch making or has been revived only for the branding.

But there are also chronographs whose movements are assembled by hand, and these are, for obvious reasons, very expensive. There are also huge differences in overall quality and precision of mechanical watches. For example, you will definitely not find a cheap mechanical watch that is in fact waterproof (and doesn't just claim to be). That's because it's damn hard to make a mechanical watch waterproof.

Comment: Re:It's win-win. (Score 2) 111

There is nothing ridiculous about paying lots of money for a watch if you have enough of it.

However, I was under the impression that most luxury watches are mechanical (as opposed to quartz) and not watches either, but rather chronometers. They are much less precise than any quartz watch and it very hard to make them water proof. People buy them because they are engineering marvels and will last for generations if they are overhauled regularly by a watchmaker certified for the brand. I wonder whether there is any overlap between this group of buyers and potential smartwatch customers at all.

On the other hand, if you look around you'll find that there are collectors for just about everything, so why not luxury smartwatches.

Comment: Re:Who says it's "illegal"? Timothy? (Score 1) 57

by aaaaaaargh! (#49290635) Attached to: UK's GCHQ Admits To Using Vulnerabilities To Hack Target Systems

There are plenty of laws prohibiting GCHQ from hacking third parties, e.g. they are in direct violation of European and German law (both civil and criminal law). That's why ISPs have sued them.

The problem is just that it's damned hard to prove it, since GCHQ is somewhat sneaky and backed up by a corrupt and fascist government.

Comment: Yes he's right (Score 5, Interesting) 214

by aaaaaaargh! (#49281717) Attached to: The GNU Manifesto Turns Thirty

He's right about most of the things he says, and that's also the reason why there are so many haters.

If you look closely at the opponents of the free software movement you'll find out that most of them have no good arguments at all (except lame ad hominem attempts). Or they use weak fake arguments they do not believe in themselves, because they are (i) working for a large company dealing with proprietary software, or (ii) are disgruntled independent developers who really really would like to use some GNU libraries but at the same time refuse to respect to the licence.

Comment: Not enough helicopters (Score 1) 160

by aaaaaaargh! (#49249337) Attached to: LAPD Police Claim Helicopters Stop Crimes Before They Happen

I think it would be a good idea to have helicopters flying above the whole city the whole, constantly covering every square inch and monitoring the behavior of the citizens. They should be painted black, and in order to keep noise levels at a minimum, it might be a good idea to make them special stealth helicopters who are hard to hear.

But we shouldn't stop there. LAPD should use portable brain scanners to question citizens randomly in some sort of improvised lie detector and loyalty tests. Another useful idea would be to implant RFID chips under the skin that allow LAPD to track the movements of all citizens in realtime. That could e.g. be done during vaccination campaigns. It would be very useful for tracking supects via helicopter.

Oh, and death squads would be cool.

Just some ideas in order to fight the spread of burglary and petty theft.

Time-sharing is the junk-mail part of the computer business. -- H.R.J. Grosch (attributed)