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Comment: not enough evidence against conspiracy theory (Score 3, Interesting) 56

I'm not convinced this wasn't an intentional effort to backdoor OpenSSL.

Code was submitted on new year's eve. A moment when the fewest people would be available to review it. Many people are on vacation and likely to gloss over the pile of code submitted while they were gone.

Just because he's a professor doesn't mean he wasn't compromised. A common page out of spycraft textbook would be to get an agent to seduce the professor and then document his infidelity. With this hanging over his head, he'll plant the requested vulnerability and even after it's discovered, he'll stick to the cover story to prevent those photos from being sent to his wife. For further reading on this topic, see the wikipedia page on Julian Assange.

Comment: Re:If Fuckupshima had not been designed by idiots. (Score 1) 216

by amorsen (#46795513) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

Coal kills at least thousands, most probably hundreds of thousands, every year. If we had a Deepwater Horizon, an Exxon Valdez, a Chernobyl, and a Fukushima every year, the harm from all other types of power generation would still not be as great as the harm that coal does.

Comment: Re:Useful Idiot (Score 1) 391

Fox and the BBC are in no way comparable. While BBC has lost some of its teeth lately, it is still far from harmless to the government.

Also, compare how the main Russian media speak about Putin with how Fox News speaks about Obama. For a third example, note that Rush Limbaugh does not, AFAIK, live in perpetual fear that thugs will beat him to a pulp and leave him dying in a ditch somewhere. Yet that is what tends to happen when journalists don't do as they are told in Russia.

Comment: Re:Useful Idiot (Score 1) 391

It was fairly obvious that Russia was far from the top of the list of places Snowden wanted to flee to. When the US is able to arrange for even presidential planes to be forced down, it is difficult to escape.

This will no doubt not be the last uncomfortable thing that he will have to do. Let us just hope that it stays at "uncomfortable".

Comment: Re:WTF?? (Score 1) 791

Hey, thanks for that. I find it kind of odd that "wiretapping" has come to refer to live conversations. Though for that matter, I find it kind of odd that it extends even to the two parties a phone call; yes, there's a wire, but both are speaking voluntarily, and the term "wiretapping" was coined to refer to a third party listening in.

I know that people have an idea that there's some kind of privacy even in public: you want to be able to do stuff with other people around but not be remembered. I find that expectation kind of odd; cameras and recording devices are older than anybody alive and we've all grown up with it. So people are apparently trying to legislate a forgetfulness, but I suspect that expectation is gradually going to change.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1580

by jfengel (#46769797) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

I don't think that's necessarily the case. Rather, the Second Amendment can be seen as vague, yielding several interpretations, especially in light of its ungrammatical "prefatory clause".The Supreme Court's current interpretation of it effectively ignores that clause; the notion of a "militia" simply doesn't enter into its reading one way or the other. The Founders' intent is unclear, and Stevens is proposing to clear it up... in his direction.

Now that the Supreme Court has spoken, it becomes the law of the land. If 500 Floridians had voted differently back in 2000, maybe the justices would have spoken differently, but they didn't. So now, the only way to change the interpretation of that baffling "militia" clause is to change the wording.

Which is a notion so utterly quixotic that I can't imagine why Stevens is wasting his time penning the editorial. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it reinforces just what you said: since there is less chance of altering the Second Amendment than there is of me flapping my arms and flying to the moon, the current interpretation will stand. Whether that's what the Founders intended is irrelevant.

(And given the changes in what "arms" are over the past two centuries, I don't think that's unreasonable. What's unreasonable, sadly, is that the divide is so deep among Americans, and the legislative processes so focused on stasis, that there's absolutely no forum in which we can meaningfully discuss the possibility of change.)

Comment: External touchscreen (Score 1) 193

by amorsen (#46762609) Attached to: How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

All I want from a car unit is a touchscreen + audio. Alas, while most phones can handle external displays, external touchscreens are generally unsupported.

A car has to last at least a decade. Trying to build in intelligence is futile, and adding 3G/4G is not much better. In a decade, CPU's and software and data transfer standards will hopefully have advanced greatly.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.