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Comment: What this is more likely about ... (Score 1) 178

Microsoft is giving other governments the possibility to install their own backdoors by cooperating in special "transparency centers", provided they pay for it and are buying enough Microsoft products instead of switching to open source alternatives.

Comment: Re:Overdue (Score 1) 495

by aaaaaaargh! (#47359573) Attached to: Microsoft Takes Down Domains

First, malware is primarily spread by Microsoft Windows. And secondly, I want to access my home server, which does provably not spread malware, and Microsoft and some US court have just cut down the dynamic IP system I need for this.

One more evidence that using a .com domain is insecure. I'll be sure to only support business with a .eu domain in future.

Comment: Well, fuck you very much (Score 1) 495

by aaaaaaargh! (#47359343) Attached to: Microsoft Takes Down Domains

As someone who is also affected by this sudden outage, I have to agree with you. Noip was the last free service that my home router supports. Thanks to Microsoft, I can now log into my computer, curl the external url, note it down, and adjust my remote access scripts every day.

I cannot believe that this is apparently legal. In my book this proves beyond any doubt that the US legal system is totally fucked up and that we need international treaties to protect non-US users and customers from this system. This is also the first time I am seriously considering taking a lawyer and press charges against Microsoft and/or the court responsible for this. It is probably not going to happen, though -- much too expensive and not many chances of success.

Is there anything else that can be done about this?

Comment: Unethical (Score 1) 219

I'm a postdoc at university, though not in a field in which you usually study human behavior. Anyway, if I experminted on humans without their prior consent, I'd loose my job. In every application for a project that involves studies on animals or humans there is an ethics form to fill out, and I must wonder how they got funding without cheating in one of those forms.

Lying to tests subjects is to some extent necessary, of course, or otherwise research in pschology would be almost impossible. However, conducting experiments on humans without their prior consent is unethical. Everybody knows that. Whoever conducted this study needs to be investigated by an ethics committee.

My 2 cents.

Comment: Re:bridge for sale (Score 1) 138

by aaaaaaargh! (#47331139) Attached to: Former NSA Chief Warned Against Selling NSA Secrets

Yes, Snowden was a loss for the NSA, but not a fatal loss.

That's perhaps what they think but it's a questionable. Without his disclosures they would never have fixed their utterly ridiculous internal security. If it took just one external consultant to grabb all this information, they cannot seriously believe that a foreign intelligence agency hadn't been capable of doing the same.

What is strange is that neither Clapper nor Alexander are being prosecuted for Contempt of Congress.

Comment: Re:the internet doesnt know what a superpac is (Score 1) 209

by aaaaaaargh! (#47283031) Attached to: Steve Wozniak Endorses Lessig's Mayday Super PAC

Apparently yes. I went to their site, read the FAQ, and still have no particularly lucid idea of what a Super PAC might be, let alone a PAC. Perhaps I should look it up on Wikipedia, but I wonder whether the founders of this campaign do not overestimate the general political education level of their fellow compatriots.

Anyway, it seems to have something to do with buying politicians, which apparently is legal in the US.

Comment: Re:Not today though - America has no honour left (Score 1) 519

Snowden did not release these documents, he doesn't cherry pick what things is worthy for the US public to know. He handed the documents over to journalists a long time ago and left it entirely up to them which of them to release. The only thing he decided for himself was to make sure that no personal information (about field agents, colleagues, etc.) gets leaked, and he did so by not grabbing these kind of documents.

It seems to me that you have never watched a Snowden interview or chose to ignore the reasons he gives why he did what he thought he had to do. The NSA's and GHCHQ's mass surveillance is so pervasive that it seriously endangers society in the long run. The same could probably be said about other agencies, but he happened to be a contractor for the NSA and stumbled across *their* problem. Apart from the fact that it is completely obvious that the NSA is collecting more information than Google, because they have access to Google like everybody else, we already know fairly well which information Google is collecting but did not know how and still don't know sufficiently well how much the NSA is collecting. Snowden has made it clear that he wanted to start a public debate about the relation of this pervasive data collection to the US constitution. He's not against the work of the NSA. (On a side note, it is also not such a bad idea to think about whether it is a good idea that private companies can collect so much data about us, isn't it? If Google offered a special paid data information service, say, for politicians to provide them with extra information on the private surfing habits of their political adversaries, would you agree with that?)

You might disagree with his assessment of the situation, of course, but do not forget that this is not a matter of mere personal or political opinion just because it concerns our future. Whether is assessment is right or wrong hinges mostly on factual matters. And then there is also the question of what you would have done if you had come to the same conclusion as he, and for which motives you would have acted. Some people trust in authority and chain of command more than others - a standard defense in the military although I don't want to invoke 'Godwin's Law' here. Others give more weight to acting according to what they have come to believe after they have carefully studied the evidence.

Comment: Re:Speculation (Score 5, Funny) 475

by aaaaaaargh! (#47142781) Attached to: The Sudden Policy Change In Truecrypt Explained

That's exactly what I thought first. But then it came to my mind that Bitlocker is much more secure than Truecrypt, because it has been developed and carefully audited by a corporation with a proven track record in cyber security. That fact makes it practically 100% certain that the developers of Truecrypt just thought "nah, fuck it, we now have Bitlocker, which uses military-grade encryption against all kinds of criminals and cyber-threads, and there are minor to medium potential problems with our code, so we just throw the towel and give up all the work on Truecrypt."

That's obvious, right?

Comment: The problem is time (Score 1) 93

by aaaaaaargh! (#47117523) Attached to: Hunt Intensifies For Aliens On Kepler's Planets

The problem is the time window. We use radio waves a bit longer than 100 years and I'd be surprised if we didn't switch to something else within another hundred years. In fact, we have already switch a lot to optical fiber, and who knows what advances in science will bring? Who still uses smoke signals? Combine the probability that some planetary system is inhabited by intelligent aliens right now, which is probably very low, with the time window for radio waves and the probability of stumbling upon aliens will be extremely low.

The good news is that if FTL travel is possible and if we ever invent it, extraterrestrial archaeology will boom like no other science - there may be hundreds of thousands extinct species out there!

We all like praise, but a hike in our pay is the best kind of ways.