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Comment: French prosecutors discover VPN (Score 1) 337 337

... news at 11 :)

Look at it from their PoV: the French have a law, and their civil-code attitude to the law is to enforce on principle, not to the letter as English common law. Loophole closing rather than toleration (which might be applied wholesale to certain violators.)

Some well-intentioned person probably argued against RTBF by pointing out that VPN bypasses geolocation. So the Prosecutors were informed and instead of abandoning an impractical (if not stupid) law, they figured out how to close the loophole.

Les procureurs [correctly] figured they could not stop VPNs, but Google was there for the muscling. Like all impractical laws, even worse measures are required for enforcement (eg.drugs).

It will be interesting to watch. The French and EU courts could go either way. At one extreme it is an act of war (blockade) and the other Google leaves France. Most likely a deal for a hidden something France wants.

Comment: Why high power ? (Score 1) 558 558

FWIW, for my main desktop I run a nice cute ECS Liva (dual 1.7 Celerons, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB flash 3W). It replaced an Asus 900 Mhz EEE 10W. This machine is up 24/7 along with a few headless power-sipper Atoms & Raspberries. Fit for purpose

I have some compute monster 3 Ghz quad 16 GB, but they seldom see power more than once per week. Just not needed unless I have a big job like transcoding GBs or a major project build.

For me, instant availability is worth more than wait-time. In fact, I would rather wait and know I've got a bloated page than have the flash whiz past. More important are the HID -- like a great screen (I prefer portrait 1200x1960) and good kbd/mse.

Comment: B I N G O ! (Score 1) 200 200

People do not realize the US has always exerted strong export controls. These accelerometers are most likely ECCN 7A001 (maybe 7A101) and software for their control 7D001 and drawings/specs 7E002 . All highly controlled.

I see no legal reason the border search exemption should be symmetric (incoming/outgoing) since the consequences are different -- inbound contraband can always be later seized; what is lost to outside is gone. DHS should have searched laptop and seized it if controlled material found (as in imminent danger of being experted.) Copy & release was very wrong.

I strongly suspect this ruling will be appealed and overturned, at least in part.

Comment: They reveal themselves ! (Score 5, Interesting) 65 65

Hmm ... Iran has blueprints ... sounds bad. But of _course_ they have blueprints of that model helo -- the Shah bought them prior to 1979! Marine One is [usually] a Sikorski VH-3 "Sea King" which first flew in 1959.

When advocates make inflammatory claims that have innocent explanations, I consider them confidence crooks. They know their best arguments and have made them. Yet another example of lies being more revealing than the truth (so long as you already know it.)

Comment: Intimidating Cops guilty of assault with firearm ? (Score 1) 509 509

Most cops are polite -- with good reason: If anyone approaches you in a menacing tone, stance or attitude, they _are_ guilty of assault, with firearm if armed. Cops have no legal immunity except when arresting. Assault is the _threat_ of violence, battery/mayhem is the act.

With confidence they will not be prosecuted, some cops push the line. They make forceful requests they mean to be taken as orders. (Plausible deniability) One remedy is to ask: "Is this a request or an order?" "Will you use force if I refuse?" A longer-term remedy is to remove the cofidence, and particularly to have bad cops fear indictment by untampered grand juries and conviction by un-behelden prosecutors.

Comment: Technically possible ? (Score 1) 195 195

Leaving aside all the political questions, I doubt blackboxes are _technically_ possible. The summary said "communications from customers", so that means upstream traffic. With cloud sync data (especially of photos/vids), that's _a_lot_ of data:

Say uplink is 10 MB/d per user. Over 40M users that is a manageable 400 TB/d, but these laws typically have retention periods, 6 mo being the shortest. That takes 73,000 TB which even over a few dozen ISP sites is a major undertaking. Metadata is ~1% so might work. Download is 50+times so would not.

Comment: Re:x86 ecosphere horribly FIXABLE (Score 2) 134 134

This mem.thrasher pgm will be a very fat piggy -- load one core 100% and slow everything else _way_ down. I don't know about you, but I slaughter such beasts on principle.

Should this mem watching ever become a threat (keystroke time-gap reading?) then an easy counter-measure is to detune the high-res timers, say zero out the lower 24 bits of rdtsc() in the JSlib. Still leaves ~10ms resolution but will break any attempt to time cache-reloads.

Comment: Re:High-tech "An armed society is a polite society (Score 1) 254 254

I said nothing about combat being allowed. You assume a "Wild West" lack of law enforcement. Like today, anyone threatening or using firearms without justification would be caught on camera, warrents would be issued, and police would serve them with a justified level of force (including SWAT for the really aggressive).

Comment: Re:Doh! Natural Selection (Score 1) 385 385

I would consider current [techno-]society as very much homo-sapiens "in the wild". Any outside influences/zookeepers are carefully hidden :)

But I agree hunter-gatherer societies find other traits more advantageous. Even industrialized societies have lower intelligence advantages than information societies. "Mate attraction" is obviously a second-order effect with lags (it is what used to pay). We are 10 generations into the start of industrialization but only 4 into info.

The gross advantages of intelligence are quite apparent and quite large. That intelligence is only slowly taking over implies the net advantages (after deducting disadvantages) are much smaller.

Comment: Re:Doh! Natural Selection (Score 1) 385 385

Certainly -- renorming measures the Flynn Effect. If it helps your understanding, please read the quoted sentence as "... moved the IQ average intelligence level to what we currently consider 130, 150 ...". And since you apparently like pedantry, please learn the difference between ignorance and stupidity.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.