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Comment You know what else prefers safety over freedom? (Score 4, Insightful) 395


Yes, I agree the government - at least if it's not nefariously self-serving, which I doubt, but let's assume... - WOULD have an easier time finding bad guys by violating fundamental rights. But they should NEVER have the right to do so, because fundamental rights are the last line of defense against tyranny and dictatorship,

If the government has a hard time fighting crime and terrorism because they have to preserve individual rights, well, tough titties. That's their problem. People should never accept any debasing of their rights for the promise that their government will have an easier time keeping them safe. Those who think it's an acceptable tradeoff deserve to be carted off to the sheep pen.

Comment It's as old as search engines (Score 5, Insightful) 163

People rarely realize how much stuff they put on the internet about themselves, willingly or not. Since the internet never forgets, it's usually quite easy to dig up a lot of information about almost everybody. All it takes is a lot of time and knowing how to look.

Do the exercize: try to unearth bits of information about yourself: it's scary how much you can find out (or rediscover) about yourself in a mere couple hours...

What surprises me here is that government agencies who should know better dismiss plain old search engine stalking as a valid method for finding out what someone is up to, or has done.

Comment Re:Why not self-driving trains first? (Score 1) 143

I still don't understand, why we don't have self-driving trains already — the task is so much simpler with one-dimensional roads, no size/weight restrictions on the necessary equipment, and full control of the signs and signals — without having to teach the computer to understand, what's meant for humans...

We do have self-driving trains, and have had them for ages. The most immediate example that springs to mind is the Paris Metro, which has an entire line that is fully automated.

It has carried well in excess of 100 million passengers with only a handful of minor incidents.

Comment Re:Ads are not acceptable. (Score 5, Insightful) 523

Speak for yourself. Ads are the reason why a lot of good content can stay afloat on the web without asking for money directly, I get that.

I get it too, when I think about it rationally. The trouble is, I've been so bombarded with ads since I was born (and I'm not that young), be it on newspapers, roadside signs, television, the internet when it started to become commercially attractive... that I have a visceral hate of it, whatever product it plugs and whomever forces it onto me. I find any and all adverts vulgar, disgusting and a gross intrusion on my right to choose what I want to stuff my brain with.

As a result, I too block all ads on the internet. Yes, I know many sites couldn't live without it, but... well, if they can't, I'd rather they disappeared than have to look at ads.

Also, when I can't block, skip or hide ads, I *remember* what product was advertised, and by whom, and I make a mental note never to buy that product, and if possible, any other product from that company. That's what decades of wanton advertising has done to me. Talk about well poisoning...

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