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Comment: Re:Bush White House Email Controversy (Score 1) 535

The administration officials had been using a private Internet domain, called, owned by and hosted on an email server run by the Republican National Committee, for various communications of unknown content or purpose. The domain name is an acronym standing for "George W. Bush, 43rd" President of the United States. The server came public when it was discovered that J. Scott Jennings, the White House's deputy director of political affairs, was using a email address to discuss the firing of the U.S. attorney for Arkansas. Communications by federal employees were also found on (registered to "Bush-Cheney '04, Inc.") and (registered to "Republican National Committee"), but, unlike these two servers, has no Web server connected to it — it is used only for email.

That would have been a hell of a spear phishing target. Imagine if you or I had sent emails to a million potential email addresses consisting of permutations of Bush's and his subordinates' names. We're talking about a bunch of middle aged guys who grew up without email. You'd think the chances of gaining access to a super high value computer system would be rather high. This should be a big deal whether it is done by GWB, Hillary, or anyone else.

Comment: Re:Isn't constant GUI changing bad design? (Score 1) 514

by bluegutang (#49138099) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10

I've always been puzzled that some of the best minds in user interface design get together and say "obviously, the best solution is to throw out everything the users have learned and give them something totally different."

Because if all the design problems are solved, then they're out of a job.

Comment: Re:Forget mice - consider dogs, horses, cats, and (Score 1) 193

by bluegutang (#49093367) Attached to: Human DNA Enlarges Mouse Brains

Dogs are genetically disposed to imprint on their owners. Imagine a dog that really does understand human language... complete with grammar. Lassie, sort my mail then bring me bills and magazines.

Consider a horse that isn't stupid. Able to know when it is needed, what it is to do, and when it is to leave. And possibly the damn things could be taught to take care of themselves a bit better so that the owners don't have to spend as much time fussing over them.

Imagine cats that are not only bred by instinct to depopulate the rat population in the area but that understand that is why you keep them there. Possibly useful as lookouts etc in ways that they're not today.

You mean, imagine having slaves?

Comment: Re:It was for the bulk of human history, too (Score 2) 111

by bluegutang (#49076165) Attached to: Privacy: the 21st Century's Newest Luxury Item

As usual, what matters is not what has been gained or lost, but the imbalance in who is gaining or losing.

Corporations know everything about what you do. You know little about what corporations do.
The government know everything about what you do. You know little about what the government does.

This is just like the problem with automation of jobs. If jobs can be done by robots and humans can relax and have fun, that's good. If all the robots are owned by a handful of corporations, so all the profits go to them while normal people starve, that's bad.

In each case all the benefits go to a very small number of people, while the costs come from everyone.

I would be OK with the police recording me if I could also record the police - but somehow, it's not working out that way in practice.

Comment: Re:This is needed (Score 1) 196

by bluegutang (#49036953) Attached to: Firefox To Mandate Extension Signing

1) "Trustworthy" extensions that get sold (with no clue to users) to shady third parties which then update the extension with adware, malware, etc. taking advantage of the userbase. Which extensions can you trust not to do this?

How would signing prevent this? The shady third party would buy the certificate as well as the extension.

Comment: Re:Ride-share + Parcel Delivery (Score 1) 77

by bluegutang (#49023887) Attached to: The Prickly Partnership Between Uber and Google

Better yet, use an unmanned delivery vehicle which has absolutely no dependence on human schedules. It would deliver a parcel (or groceries or whatever) to your curb at a time you specify, then give you a call to come outside and pick it up, then drive itself back to the warehouse. The ideal form would probably be a small vehicle like a tricycle.

Comment: Re: I've got this (Score 1) 400

by bluegutang (#49015955) Attached to: An Argument For Not Taking Down Horrific Videos

Maybe it is.

On Tuesday evening, big screens were set up on the streets and squares of the Syrian town Raqqa, the stronghold of the self-styled Islamic State. As word spread of the show that was about to begin, thousands of men and young boys gathered around the screens and the projectors. ... [M]ale residents stood transfixed watching the entire 22-minute segment, many chanting "Allahu Ahkbar" and "Takbir" (another form of "God is greatest") as the caged Kassasbeh was consumed by flames. "I would have burnt the pilot with my own hands," said one boy who looked on in fascination as the clip was replayed over and over.

Comment: Re:Oh, some rich are a huge part of the problem (Score 1) 297

by bluegutang (#48992165) Attached to: Mississippi - the Nation's Leader In Vaccination Rates

So, why don't we see in the past the same rates of autism we see today? It's brutally simple. The children born with such genetic differences mostly didn't survive to reproductive age. They were murdered.

Evidence? The number of people with reported autism has increased by hundreds of percent over the last couple decades. Were Americans killing off large numbers of their children before then? I don't think so.

When you go out to buy, don't show your silver.