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Comment Re:basic income? (Score 1) 751


Now prove to me that the administrative cost saved outweighs the cost of the new program.

Can't do that? Stop right there.

What we need aren't more ideas. What we need is more transparency. Government is not lacking good ideas. Government is lacking transparency that would allow us to judge (by the numbers) whether one idea is superior to another.

Comment Re:They just don't want to get sued (Score 0) 264

Call it what you want, but there is a clear statistical significance of 18-25 year old Muslims committing most of the terrorist attacks. You call it profiling, we call it common sense.

As wasteful as it would be, I am all for treating everyone equally if you have unlimited resources. Barring that, I think profiling is the best approach so long as it is done respectfully. I routinely get patted down in airports (because it look like I fit the profile) and honestly it's not a big deal at all.

Comment Re:It's the base assumption that its invalid (Score 1) 392

the default assumption is that there is NO OTHER WAY to fight crime other than by snooping through people's data. Maybe police should stop offering us false choices and instead try to do some actual police work?

That's not what I read.

What I read is that being able to snoop through people's data is an important component of an investigation. From their point of view, being able to snoop through "bad guys' data" (since the wiretap has to get approved) is quite reasonable.

So ultimately this comes back to a question of trust: do you trust the President and the courts? I'm not saying you should, but I'm pointing out you're being asking to choose whether it is more likely that "bad guys" or the government will hurt you and if you distrust the government more than the "bad guys" then I suggest the real problem you have is with your form of government (you need election reform or something) rather than debating technology because ultimately this isn't a technology or legal debate, it's a political one.

Comment Re:It's the base assumption that its invalid (Score 1) 392

In other words, I do not give one shiny shit if the evil terrorists encrypted their data and the police can not recover it - even if it means good people (even my family) die because of it. I care about their actions - not their encryption.

You assume that has is mutually exclusive from the other. One of the major achievements that turned the tide against Nazi Germany was deciphering the Enigma machine. We knew plenty about their actions, but couldn't predict their attacks ahead of time. Deciphering Enigma allowed us to predict (and prevent) attacks. Intercepting communication between terrorist groups is no different.

As I said before ... no right exists without context. If the benefit of allowing unbreakable decryption outweighs the cost in terms of lost lives to terrorist attacks, then fine... This might be true today but don't assume that it will always be true. It wasn't true in WW2 and it might not be true in WW3. Enjoy your encryption in the meantime.

Comment Re:It's the base assumption that its invalid (Score 1) 392

This is why we established the Bill of Rights, so that we have clear guidance of where these points meet. At the end of the day encryption is protected by the 4th and 5th amendments. I would rather a few cases go unsolved than give those up.

So long as we're only talking about a "few cases" then we are in agreement. But how/when will you know if this is no longer true?

Unbreakable encryption is but one possible solution. Another approach would be breakable encryption with an auditable trail such that anyone who breaks an individual's encryption would have to defend such actions in court. I'm not saying this is better/worse than unbreakable encryption, simply pointing out that there are other options.

Comment Re:It's the base assumption that its invalid (Score 2) 392

I would just like to point out that one man's right is another man's responsibility. There is no such thing as a free lunch or unlimited rights.

I mention this because all too often I hear people bitching about *their* rights and what is owed to *them* but not a word is uttered about the flip side of the coin. Every demand you make will have an associated cost. Remember that.

Comment Capitalism missing transparency (Score 1) 585

For free markets to stand a chance, consumers need to be able to be able to quantify an employer's track record at purchase time.

Without this information being easily accessible at purchase time, lower price will always win no matter what. So instead of advocating socialism (which breaks down because who wants to work when they don't have to?) lets focus on exposing the employer-record metric.

Comment Re:Test run (Score 2) 73

And why would a Russian firm have an interest in doing so...? Oh wait.

There are plenty of top-notch cybersecurity firms across the globe. How does Kapersky magically track down all these threats that others do not, and how are they all coincidentally coming from enemies of their greatest military customer, Iran?

If you honestly think that a country the size of Israel is more active in this area than the rest of the world combined, I suggest you take a second look.

Comment Re:Not gonna happen (Score 1) 383

The only reason Iran is helping against ISIS is because of a decades-old Sunny vs Shi'a conflict. ISIS is Sunny and Iran is Shi'a. Iran is ISIS for Shi'a in every sense of the word: aspiration for world domination, use of torture and extreme violence both on its own people and its enemies, funding and carrying out of terrorism. The list goes on.

The only difference is that Iran has ICBMs capable of hitting half of the globe (hello Europe, soon hello US) and are now attempting to arm them with nuclear warheads. ISIS is 1/100th the threat by comparison.

Comment Re:If no deal, then Iran *will* get nukes (Score 1) 383


The West has sufficient military capability to bomb their nuclear weapons program back to the stone age. What is currently missing is the political willpower to do so.

This is more of a reflection on our system's short-term focus than it is about what is morally the right thing to do.

The danger with Iran is not *only* its nuclear weapons program, it is their multi-decade history of funding and carrying out terrorist actions across the globe in order to spread their political reach. If you think such a regime could be trusted to honor a deal (which does not even restrict them from continuing such terrorist actions) and give them an Internationally-approved nuclear weapons program in 10 years then I strongly disagree.

The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold