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Comment: Re:Ask Snowden! (Score 1) 189

by TubeSteak (#47445937) Attached to: NSA Says Snowden Emails Exempt From Public Disclosure

Snowden should fill out one of these for Greenwald and have him send the FOIA request:

Authorization for the Release of Records to Another Individual
http://foia.state.gov/Request/ThirdPartyAuthorization.aspx

/The link is for the State Department, but the release is part of the FOIA law and (AFAIK) applies to any FOIA requests.

Comment: I found this article to be more informative (Score 3, Interesting) 215

by TubeSteak (#47426743) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

Retaliation for Spying: Germany Asks CIA Official to Leave Country

Initially, there had been talk of a formal expulsion of the CIA employee, who is officially accredited as the so-called chief of station and is responsible for the US intelligence service's activities in Germany. A short time later, the government backpedalled and said it had only recommended that he leave. Although it cannot be compared with a formal explusion, it remains an unfriendly gesture.

On a diplomatic level, it is no less than an earthquake and represents a measure that until Thursday would have only been implemented against pariah states like North Korea or Iran. It also underscores just how deep tensions have grown between Berlin and Washington over the spying affair.

The USA's response has been something along the lines of "you expected us not to conducting traditional spying activities?"

Comment: Re:As plain as the googgles on your face (Score 4, Insightful) 56

by TubeSteak (#47422311) Attached to: The Future of Wearables: Standalone, Unobtrusive, and Everywhere

It is actually the intrusiveness that bothers people. Most people don't really care if they are recorded, as long as it isn't obvious and in their face. Not many people are bothered by store security cameras, etc.

The difference is that we know what a store security camera is going to do with the recording: record over it in XY days.
We don't know what [random glasshole] is going to do with the recording they make of us.

So it really doesn't matter what the recorder's unspoken intent is, what causes discomfort is the recordee's uncertainty.

Comment: Re:Dubai has bigger problems (Score 3, Informative) 265

Forget the fact that once the oil's gone the wealth remaining in the region will leach away as there's so few people (though it'll take a very long time).

Dubai and the other Emirates are acutely aware of the limits to their oil reserves.
They've been very busy turning their States into financial and trade hubs for the Arabian Peninsula,
with plenty of free trade zones (no taxes on corporate income) in order to draw in international corporations.

My advice: Bilk Dubai for all its worth now, because in 50 years it'll be a distant memory of largesse gone awry by modern standards.

Your advice is wrong.
Abu Dhabi is the 800 lb gorilla in the UAE and has the 2nd largest sovereign wealth fund in the world.
As long as Dubai's royal family goes along with Abu Dhabi's Sheikh, Dubai can keep borrowing money until the end of time.
/The last time Dubai needed cash, they had to reform some laws as a condition set by Abu Dhabi.

Comment: Re:What difference now does it make? :) Sunk costs (Score 4, Informative) 358

by TubeSteak (#47420239) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

You cannot continue to go out and fight with older weapons though.
Nominally, the F-15/F-16/F-18 are not as survivable in a modern air war.

The F-35 is a compromise design.
Mostly it compromises its ability to loiter on the target, carry large amounts of munitions, and dogfight.
So as long as you don't want to do any of those things, the F-35 is better than older weapons.

A proven fighter is one that has been through the teething problems that the F-35 is going through now.

Ha! The F-35's issues are not "teething problems," they are R&D problems.
The F-35 is a procurement disaster of such epic proportions that tomes will be written to warn future generations on what not to do.

Just to stay on topic, one of those tomes will talk about engine problems and why the military should source 2 different engine designs.
It will also mention that, because of the F-35's unprecedented budget overruns, the second design was canceled.

Comment: Re:Probable cause (Score 4, Insightful) 222

by TubeSteak (#47416385) Attached to: Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On

What a Muslim American Said to Defend His Patriotism
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/07/what-a-muslim-american-said-to-defend-his-patriotism/374137/

-"You should be active in your community. And I have done that. The fact that I was surveilled in spite of doing all thatâ"it just goes to show you the hysteria that everybody feels."
-"I've never given a speech where I've said any ill feelings toward the United States."
-"I was a very conservative, Reagan-loving Republican."
-"I watch sports. I watch football. My kids are all raised here. My kids at that time went to Catholic school. It isn't as if I was raising them in a different way ..."

Gill correctly perceives that we'll all know what he means when he invokes the characteristics he possesses that would seem to make him less suspicious. The fact that most people internalize these judgments to some degree illustrates how chilling effects work: Americans, especially those who belong to minority groups, formulate a sense of what speech and actions will cast suspicion on or away from them.

Chilling Effects.

Comment: Re:And in 20 years (Score 2) 95

by TubeSteak (#47407881) Attached to: Thousands of Leaked KGB Files Are Now Open To the Public

Allen Packwood, Director of the Churchill Archives Centre, said: âoeThis collection is a wonderful illustration of the value of archives and the power of archivists. It was Mitrokhin's position as archivist that allowed him his unprecedented access and overview of the KGB files. It was his commitment to preserving and providing access to the truth that led him to make his copies, at huge personal risk. We are therefore proud to house his papers and to honour his wish that they should be made freely available for research."

It's a "commitment to preserving and providing access to the truth" when they spy for [my team].
Otherwise they should be brought home and prosecuted for treason and espionage.

Comment: Re:no supercomputer needed (Score 1) 63

by TubeSteak (#47403641) Attached to: IBM Tries To Forecast and Control Beijing's Air Pollution

yes but if we spend the next 5-20 years modeling we don't actually have to do anything real about it.

China isn't like the USA.
They tend to move purposefully and quickly when goals are set.

In the run up to the Olympics, China unilaterally closed coal power plants, various heavy industries, and took cars off the road, all in a bid to reduce pollution in Beijing.
It took the USA 40 years to tell grandfathered coal plants to either shape up or shut down.
  Compare to China:

Beijing plans to limit the total number of cars on the road to 5.6 million this year, with the number allowed to rise to 6 million by 2017, the local government has said.

It will also aim to meet its 2011-2015 targets to cut outdated capacity in sectors like steel, glassmaking and cement by the end of this year, one year ahead of schedule. On top of the original targets, it will also close an additional 15 million tonnes of steel smelting capacity and 100 million tonnes of cement making capacity next year.

The key idea here is that all this is happening unilaterally.
Their actions probably wouldn't even be constitutional in the USA.

Comment: Re: Now thats incentive (Score 2) 556

The average human is only of average intelligence, and average intelligence isn't all that smart.

If we ever get to the point where there are self-aware machines, it is infinitely more likely they will be borg-like with a collective consciousness than not, which means no one machine needs to "know" or be able to "remember" everything, just to know where in the network to access the knowledge repository.

And saying "only natural" about artificial constructs completely invalidates your conclusion, as does thinking humans optimize. People, in general, follow the path of least resistance. See my first sentence above for why.

Comment: Re:Fear Mongers Didn't Want to Let Cassini Fly (Score 1) 45

by prgrmr (#47399933) Attached to: Cassini's Space Odyssey To Saturn
It's more complex than that: Cassini has 3 RTGs, plus a dozen or so pellets in the Huygens probe to keep its instruments from completely freezing during the 7 year trip to Saturn. The ultimate "doomsday" scenario would have to have the entire spacecraft vaporizing less than a mile over a major metropolitan area, scattering plutonium dust as it goes. However, I would be much more concerned if it exploded over a fresh-water lake or reservoir, tainting the water supply. Given that 70% of the Earth's surface is covered by water, an ocean landing would have been much more likely had it crashed. The biggest risk was the launch: 1 in 40 rocket launches blow-up on the pad or before maximum velocity is reached.

Comment: Re:What haven't they lied about? (Score 2) 201

Due to "security concerns" the NSA operates relatively autonomously, and, by design, even the president and courts have limited oversight.

This isn't true at all
The President has ultimate authority over the actions of the intelligence agencies.
The Congress has ultimate control of funding for the intelligence agencies.
Further, both houses of Congress have intelligence oversight committees that were formed in the wake of multiple scandals from the 1960s and 1970s.

None of this is new. FISA was written as a direct result of the US Army spying on domestic protests by American citizens.
The domestic and overbroad spying by the NSA is exactly the type of thing that FISA was originally intended to halt.

Every time we pass a law to stop some shitty corporate or military behavior, it gets slowly watered down over the years until it's incapable of meeting its original goals.

Comment: Re:Not surprising. (Score 4, Insightful) 713

by TubeSteak (#47393449) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

Do you have a case study that you can reference which substantiates this claim?

I'm not sure why you need a case study to support research that was originally done almost 150 years ago,
but If you'll accept "not allowing the undesirables to breed" as a proxy for "murder them,"
here's a more recent long term study: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domesticated_silver_fox

Or you could just read about Mendel's original research with pea plants and honey bees.

Polymer physicists are into chains.

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