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Comment: Re:Why 80% (Score 5, Informative) 278

by arobatino (#47436773) Attached to: William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

Incidentally, didn't Obama announce some changes he was going to make to fix the NSA?

This is the guy who disingenuously said "Nobody is listening to your telephone calls", knowing the monitoring is done by speech recognition and only a tiny fraction needs to be listened to by humans, and who appointed Clapper to establish an NSA review board, knowing he had already lied to Congress to protect the NSA.

Comment: After 1975, Mount Palomar wasn't the biggest (Score 1) 129

And this was in turn superseded by the 200-inch telescope at nearby Mount Palomar in 1947 which remained the largest telescope in the world until 1993.

Not true - in 1975, BTA-6 in the Soviet Union became the biggest at 236 inches, though it never worked properly.

Comment: Re:The problem with calorie restriction. (Score 1) 66

Foods-and-nutrition experts have known for decades that calorie restriction itself is a dead-end - and not for the reasons given so far in this article.

Turns out that, while calorie restriction does retard aging, it also retards the functionality of the immune system.

Since most humans now live in an environment which is much more shielded than what we evolved in, and evolution hasn't had time to catch up, it's plausible that a tradeoff like that might be worthwhile.

Comment: Re:The right to remember (Score 1) 153

by arobatino (#46997153) Attached to: EU Court Backs 'Right To Be Forgotten'

Everyone already has the right to remember something. It is as simple as saving the web page or printing it to PDF.

How can anyone exercise their "right" to "be forgotten" if saving local copies is allowed?

Nobody can stop you saving it.

Although this particular legislation doesn't ban that, laws already exist making it illegal to make local copies of certain content. Plugging the "local copy" loophole would be the next step.

The summary says that LINKS to outdated and irrelevant information should be removed on request. It doesn't say anything about the data itself.

You left out the quotes around the word "irrelevant", which were there because it's subjective. Who gets to decide that? Same for "outdated", even there were no quotes in the article.

Thus if a newspaper publishes a story about you being drunk at college when you're 21, in 20 years time you might ask Google to delete the link from its cache (the link is now to outdated and irrelevant information)

Even if said person is about to run for public office? (Just one example.)

but you can't ask the newspaper to withdraw publishing of the article for it owns the copyright, etc. Now it might be hard to find that information once the link is removed by Google but that's another matter.

If the newspaper is allowed to continue publishing the article, then the incident isn't "forgotten". Another loophole. To "protect" people's "right" to be forgotten, it's necessary to ban search engine links to the content, posting the content itself, and the making of local copies of it. If any copies survive, anywhere, the job isn't done. On the other hand, if your belief is that the goal should be to make access not impossible, but merely difficult, that just means that only the rich and/or powerful will be able to find the information. How is that a good thing?

Comment: Re:USPS should offer a subscription service (Score 1) 338

by arobatino (#46874289) Attached to: How the USPS Killed Digital Mail

Think about it -- for $n/year, USPS would filter out your junk mail for you. People would pay for this.

True, but the reason there's so much junk mail is that the USPS is "required" (I put it in quotes because they don't exactly need a gun to their head) to deliver it, so the junk mailers are effectively able to force it down people's throats. If people could pay to opt out, the junk mail would be much less lucrative, so the USPS would lose most of it. And then they'd lose the money for opting out, too, since most people wouldn't get enough junk mail to bother anymore.

Comment: Re:Taxes are full of scams... (Score 1) 423

by arobatino (#46762421) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

The service you mention is only available to those with low incomes, and generally they don't support itemized deductions.

Wrong on both counts. If you go to the freefile link mentioned above, there are two options: "Income below $58,000: Free File Software" and "Income above $58,000: Free File Fillable Forms". The second does not require software, though if you're running Linux, the site might not work properly with Firefox (I use Konqueror as a workaround). Note that you don't have to have income above $58,000 to use the second option. And the list of Forms you can use includes Schedule A (Itemized Deductions).

Comment: Re:It's not a bug (Score 1) 149

by arobatino (#46730887) Attached to: NSA Allegedly Exploited Heartbleed

The fact that they didn't tell anyone though shows that the S is NSA is bullshit. They cared more about being able to exploit the vulnerability themselves than making their country's computers more secure.

It's a basic conflict of interest with police/defense/intelligence agencies. They gain power from the existence of threats, so it's in their self interest to favor policies that perpetuate them while pretending to do the opposite. The War on Drugs, Cuban Embargo, etc.

Comment: Re:Don't bother. (Score 1) 509

by arobatino (#46662089) Attached to: The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

The problem is that these people aren't just ignorant. People who are ignorant can be educated and then they're fine. These people are willfully ignorant. They are purposefully ignorant. They take pride in their ignorance and will do everything in their power to stay ignorant. Trying to educate these people is a losing proposition because they won't listen no matter what you say or how much proof you show them.

Which is exactly what you would expect from someone who needs to have enough general intelligence to get elected, but at the same time cater to the ignorance of their constituents, for the same reason. Ultimately, it's the voter's fault.

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe