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Comment: Re:Drew is cowtowing to someone. (Score 1) 734

by bughunter (#47704279) Attached to: News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

Spot on.

Only seven stories later on the main page, Fark announced a partnership with several university and private media research centers. Lots of farkers believe it's related:

http://www.fark.com/comments/8...

Of course, given that it's named DERP institute, even more people believe it's a joke.

Comment: Re:OCO2 is one of the most important sats that ... (Score 2) 143

by bughunter (#47664281) Attached to: NASA's Greenhouse Gas Observatory Captures 'First Light'

Thank you for the intelligent comment. I worked on the original instrument design at Hamilton Sundstrand over 10 years ago, and it was heartbreaking to learn of the original launch failure. A lot of us suspected but had no evidence that the failure was someone's desired outcome... now that OCO-2 is on station and collecting data we finally feel a sense of accomplishment.

And we'll not only learn who's contributing CO2 to the atmosphere, (and when, and where) but also what's consuming it, so we can not only reduce emissions but we can also sequester it better (e.g., by planting forests in the right places).

I guarantee we'll learn something we didn't expect. And scientists, being scientists, will embrace the surprises rather than reject them. This instrument will help us understand the problem better, produce better model forecasts, and plan better solutions.

Comment: Comments (Score 2) 223

by bughunter (#47416887) Attached to: Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On

Many of the comments on First Look and even here are disturbing, both in their rancor and in their bigotry. These kind of haters represent a tiny but vocal minority of the US population but they seem seem to swarm to the comments sections of any story that touches on one of their hot button issues. This is especially true at "mainstream" media sites like Yahoo News, CNN, etc. Clearly their intent is to disguise their minority status and make it appear as if their radical opinions are mainstream.

Do they have RSS feeds or Twitter Bots or something that tell them "Muslim story on First Look - Troll Force GO!" or something? It's fkn amazing.

And it does real damage to our society by promoting the kind of racism and abuse depicted in TFA, both institutional and cultural, even when the majority of the people hold no such opinions...

Comment: Re:Guy is a moron (Score 2) 358

by bughunter (#47307789) Attached to: Florida Man Faces $48k Fine For Jamming Drivers' Cellphones

This driver ignores texts received while driving. If it's important, they can place a voice call and I'll answer it using my bluetooth earpiece.

It's not that hard. Really, your phone is not your brain... you can put it to sleep while driving. It's OK, your friends can wait for you to get back to them with "OMG LOL!"

Comment: Re:What time is 12 am (Score 1, Informative) 141

by bughunter (#47274813) Attached to: I typically start my workday ...

People who think it's only confusing to idiots are idiots, because they're too stupid to be confused,

People who think those are idiots who are too stupid to be confused and think its only confusing to idiots are idiots easily confused by boundary conditions.

If you can't tell whether 12:00 pm is in the daytime or not, just add one minute, and then tell me whether or not the sun is out.

If that doesn't clear it up for you, then guess what... you're the idiot.

(People who live within the Arctic Circle are not excused. You have to be an idiot to live there anyway.)

(People who live within the Antarctic Circle aren't excused, either. You have to be a scientist to live there, and should know better.)

Comment: Needs Moar Resolution (Score 2) 44

by bughunter (#47226539) Attached to: Game Characters Controlled By Player's Emotions

There are more dimensions to emotions than just Relaxed vs. Angry. For it to be useful for something other than biofeedback this system will need to distinguish Relaxed from other states like Flow, Focused, or Bored and also distinguish Angry from Adrenaline Rushed, or Jubilant, or even Sexually Excited.

FTA, it sounds to me that this system would confuse many different emotions, so unless a player has a fetish for watching a cartoon avatar smash things, it will be just another footnote laboratory novelty.

Comment: Re:He hasn't a clue. (Score 1) 129

by bughunter (#47159465) Attached to: Whistleblowers Enter the Post-Snowden Era

national security HAS BEEN SEVERELY DAMAGED BY SNOWDEN

1 - Prove it. Snowden provided proof that laws were bent, stretched and even broken and that things for which the American people would never approve were being done in secret, and that things which don't need to be classified have been given that protection just to save the people in charge from embarassment or to intimidate whistleblowers. It's now the State Department/Pentagon's burden of proof to demonstrate the claim of damage to national security.

2 - Show why it trumps the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and possibly others, not to mention innumerable laws and statutes. No where in the Constitution does it say that "National Security" overrides the Bill of Rights. Why does the 4th Amendment get short shrift? Try pulling that shit with the 2nd amendment and see what happens.

Both are necessary for "people who fully support Snowden without acknowledging the risks to national security" to conclude he didn't act in the name of the greater good.

Snowden did break the law. Few suggest he didn't. In a perfect world, his actions could be fairly judged and his punishment determined according to the above considerations. Unfortunately, I doubt this will ever happen.

Comment: Re:Why the martydom? ... (Score 1) 129

by bughunter (#47159117) Attached to: Whistleblowers Enter the Post-Snowden Era

Because then Greenwald and Poitras and the Guardian would be under threat of imprisonment to reveal their source, and would be the target of White House retaliation for revealing classified information.

Faced with these threats, no publisher would go with a single anonymous source (unless, of course, that source is "an unnamed administration official"). They would be far more easily convinced by the White House / Pentagon to keep the documents under wraps, or destroy them. That's why Wikileaks found a niche to fill.

Also because coming forward gives him some protection from retaliation -- if Snowden remained anonymous and they found out who he is, he'd probably just be assassinated or, worse, locked in a dungeon somewhere for eternity.

All in all, I think Snowden did a fairly competent job for someone faced with an ethical dilemma: break the law to reveal a greater crime, or obey the law and conceal a greater crime. But his refusal to face the consequences of his own crime undermines his ethical position; even Manning did this. He mostly did the right thing up until he accepted Russian asylum. He needed to lawyer up and agree to turn himself in on condition that he receive a fair trial in an objective court, and monitored probation until such time as such a court could be found. If ever...

Comment: Re:If only this existed before Snowden (Score 3, Insightful) 129

by bughunter (#47158983) Attached to: Whistleblowers Enter the Post-Snowden Era

Not only this, but two successive White House administrations went to extraordinary lengths to put domestic wiretapping in place in secrecy and keep it in place, without approval or oversight from Congress, much less public opinion.

When seeking authorization for domestic wiretapping in 2004 using convoluted legalese and twisted definitions, Bush White House lawyers Andrew Card and Alberto Gonzales couldn't get approval from the acting Attorney General, James Comey, who cited a DOJ opinion that the program lacked oversight and doubt that the Executive branch had the authority to issue such an order. He later stated (I'm paraphrasing) if the American people learned of the extent of this program they'd be appalled. And so Card and Gonzales visited John Ashcroft in the hospital to go over Comey's head, knowing he was in intensive care, under heavy sedation. Comey managed to arrive in time to make his side of the argument and delay the approval. (Cite)

We're talking about John Ashcroft here, USA Patriot Act cheerleader. Even he wouldn't approve it. And now we know why.

But it was only a delay. The Bush-Cheney White House went ahead and implemented the program. There's no public information on whether or when the Ashcroft DOJ approved this, only that some oversight was added (ineffective as it was in retrospect), and by 2005 Ashcroft had been replaced by Gonzales as Attorney General, the very guy who tried to go over Comey's head. It's quite apparent now that the NSA had carte blanche from then on.

And the succeeding Administration comes in with a record of avoiding any sort of investigation or oversight of the program, granting immunity to civilian corporate participants, and goes on to aggressively prosecute ethically-motivated whistleblowers to the degree of fabricating evidence to incarcerate them.

In this kind of environment, do you think a new "you must report" order is going to improve the constitutionality of this kind of spying?

All it's going to do is weed out anyone who's not fully on board with the program, or has any ethical qualms about it, and permit even more crackdown on people who try to effect change, legally and by the books, from the inside.

Keep your nose clean, citizen.

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