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Comment: Re:It's all bullshit (Score 2) 142

by jenningsthecat (#48432707) Attached to: Greenwald Advises Market-Based Solution To Mass Surveillance

government malfunction can be blamed on people who do not vote, and are then dissatisfied with the outcome

Funny, I was just about to say that government malfunction can be blamed on people who DO vote. Don't get me wrong - I vote. But I'm starting to feel like a sucker for doing so, 'cause the new boss is always the same as the old boss, and nothing ever changes except the facade and the window dressing.

Voting only works so long as there are truly, fundamentally, meaningfully different choices to vote for, and currently there aren't any to speak of. Sure, there are independent candidates nibbling at the frozen fringes of the political landscape. But they don't have organizations nearly big enough to take on the Repubmocrats, and they are pretty well starved right out of contention by the incumbents, who entirely control the media.

Right now, voting with our feet is the only vote that will have any impact. We need to walk away from playing the game, from the bread and circuses, from the latest piece of shiny being purveyed by the corporations who rule the world with the money and the hard work which we freely give to them. It's time to turn off the tap.

But who wants to be first? Snowden tried, and although I consider him a hero, I wouldn't want to be in his shoes right now. And really, how much support has he gotten, other than cheering from the sidelines from people like us on sites like Slashdot? Even at that, a very large percentage of Slashdot comments that are at odds with the current regime's rhetoric are posted AC. If we won't openly even speak our minds, never mind act on what we believe, what chance do we have?

As far as I'm concerned, voting is an opportunity to claim "I did my part", not a chance to actually do anything substantial. Elections are just one of the acts in the three-ring circus that governments and corporations employ to keep us distracted and divided. Other acts in that circus? The war on drugs. The war on terror. The Kardashians. The economy. Facebook. Twitter. Slashdot. And on and on and on. We are being distracted and amused unto the death of our essential freedoms and of any claim to autonomy.

Until we can get our shit together well enough to take action en masse, (or even directed inaction), we'll get more of the same crap from our 'governorations'. And arguably, we'll deserve it.

Comment: Re:Migration away from Google? (Score 1) 382

It works very well for most people. Google is popular precisely because that mode works well for most people. And virtually everyone I'm talking to right now, geek and non-geek alike, agrees Google's new search mode is shit.

Google search has been very obviously moving towards shit for several years now - the latest round of 'enhancements' is just the coliform-filled icing on a crappy cake. But what I fail to see is why they have to cripple the damn thing for people who DO have some search savvy. It seems to me they could just as easily have a default brain-dead mode for all those people searching for Kardashian gossip, AND a 'strict mode' for people who actually have a clue. It's gotten really hard to get useful results, especially with Google insisting that I must want what it thinks are synonyms for my search terms. I have to put quotes around every fucking term now - and that has its own associated problems. Plus, an 'allintext' search often produces WAY more hits than the same search without allintext. WTF?

Google search has gotten so ugly that it makes me long for Alta Vista. Even so, Yahoo search is a bad joke by comparison.

Comment: Re:Fear (Score 3, Insightful) 58

And the reason for this all: fear... Every day we do things that are more dangerous than the things we fear most... Respond to it with logic and common sense and not with fear and emotion.

Your sane, logical argument almost tempts me to forget my belief that the source of all these silly, over-the-top 'precautions' is not fear - it's greed, and lust for power. The fear you speak of does exist among the people, but it is a fear that has been purposely manufactured and is carefully nourished. Entire industries have sprung up around 'terrorism'; millions of (entirely parasitic) jobs are on the line, as well as minor and not-so-minor financial empires. Creating and fuelling paranoia is big business - hell, it's a growth industry, and a saviour to the military-industrial complex once threatened by the end of the Cold War.

The question to ask, always, is "cui bono?" Governments, (i.e. the executive branches of trans-national corporations), use propaganda as advertising, to sell fear and to promote compliance with authority.

Comment: Re:More RAM is easy for A/A+, Faster is Hard (Score 2) 107

by jenningsthecat (#48372993) Attached to: Eben Upton Explains the Raspberry Pi Model A+'s Redesign

That's fine if you plan on personal/small-scale use only. The BeagleBone folks expressly do not want people using their products as a part of other products-for-sale without discussing it with them first and, (presumably), getting their permission. So if you were to start ordering in production quantities you might find yourself suddenly without a supply of BBBs.

The RPi has no such restriction.

Comment: Re:Not particularly useful (Score 3, Informative) 19

by jenningsthecat (#48367463) Attached to: Researchers Demonstrate Electrically Activated Micro-Muscles

The field of artificial muscles already has multiple competing technologies which are superior to this.

Superior to this, for now. The techniques described may be refined to increase the strength-to-area ratio. The new technology described may also be superior with regard to granularity of control, repeatability/consistency of motion, power efficiency, or other factors not immediately evident.

Comment: At Last! (Score 1) 59

by jenningsthecat (#48359053) Attached to: German Spy Agency Seeks Millions To Monitor Social Networks

A nation that's focusing its cyber-spying efforts outside its own country! We'll finally have a country that honours the privacy of its own citizens!

Yeah, right. From the country whose formerly Communist half gave us the Stasi. Still, it's kinda hard to blame them for ramping up their spying efforts - sometimes "do unto others as they insist on doing unto you" is necessary for survival.

Any chance we humans will ever come to terms with our animal origins in a way that doesn't involve dominating each other and pissing on each other's territory?

Comment: Re:Does it know if I've been bad or good? (Score 1) 185

by jenningsthecat (#48333825) Attached to: Big Data Knows When You Are About To Quit Your Job

...Given the trajectory of technology and how ubiquitous it becomes over time, what starts out as optional turns into mandatory. Same thing with all these health monitoring devices. Somehow they will be used to fuck you over for engaging in bad behavior...

We can only hope that, as has largely happened with DRM, technology will help to address the problems it's being used to create. I can imagine a whole industry, (much of it underground), devoted to taking back the privacy that is being stolen. Of course, for that to happen, an awful lot of sheeple out there are going to have to stop bleating and start shouting. I'm not holding my breath though....

Comment: Re:There can be no defense of this. (Score 1) 184

by jenningsthecat (#48332819) Attached to: British Spies Are Free To Target Lawyers and Journalists

...I don't see why, if you were trying to stop a serious threat, spies shouldn't be able to monitor these communications in principle, with some clear restrictions:
1/ If the information gathered by spying was specifically barred from being used in court

This would still allow for 'fruits of the poison tree' attacks in court, assumin the Brit system has this concept.

2/ If additional authority had to be granted by the judiciary for the act
3/ If there were clear checks and balances in place to deal with abuse.

I have absolutely NO trust in a governent and judiciary that would allow such eavesdropping in the first place, to use "additional authority" wisely and fairly, nor to put in plae and maintain "checks and balances" with any integrity. Once exceptions like this are allowed, it's a steep slippery slope towards totalitarianism.

Totally off topic for a moment, is it just me, or is Dice finally starting to slip Beta crap into the interface in an attempted 'stealth attack'? All of a sudden commenting seems a lot more awkward than it used to.

+ - Ft. Lauderdale Men Charged for Feeding the Homeless

Submitted by jenningsthecat
jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "90-year-old Fort Lauderdale resident Arnold Abbott and two local pastors were charged on Sunday with "feeding the homeless in public". Abbott was told by police to "drop that plate right now" when he was attempting to distribute food. The three men were charged under a new city ordinance banning public food sharing, and face up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. The ordinance "limits where outdoor feeding sites can be located, requires the permission of property owners and says the groups have to provide portable toilets".

Mayor Jack Seiler was quoted as saying "Just because of media attention we don't stop enforcing the law. We enforce the laws here in Fort Lauderdale". He believes that "Providing them with a meal and keeping them in that cycle on the street is not productive."

Really, I have no words for this other than "heartless jackbooted fuckwits"."

Comment: Digital Landlord? (Score 1) 42

by jenningsthecat (#48318341) Attached to: Government Data Requests To Facebook Up By 24%


The ruling defined Facebook as a "digital landlord".

Last time I checked, landlords charge tenants money. Since Facebook users don't pay for the service in any recognized currency, (and somehow I doubt privacy is recognized as a barterable thing), how can Facebook be a landlord?

The attempt to treat Facebook servers as the equivalent of physical premises is disturbing. Judicial over-reach, much?

Everyone can be taught to sculpt: Michelangelo would have had to be taught how not to. So it is with the great programmers.