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Comment: Re:I found this article to be more informative (Score 1) 165

by ultranova (#47429977) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

The Gestapo actually wasn't that good at spying. The German people were, however, quite good at turning their neighbors in to the Gestapo.

Which means Gestapo was good at spying. The indicator is whether you get results, after all, not whether you get them because you're smart or scary.

There's a lot of myth concerning the Nazi police force. It's unfortunate that even today people repeat it without thinking.

"He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you."

Tyrants stay in power, not because they're stronger than their very source of power, but because they're good at building myths. A nation, company or any other organization is nothing more than a myth shared by its members. And the myth of the Third Reich is so strong it still persists, long after its embodiment is gone, as a kind of ghost nation. Time will tell whether Hitler will take up permanent residence in our collective pantheon along the Caesar's and Napoleon.

Comment: Board with a Display System or without? (Score 1) 172

One of the cool things about the Beaglebone Black and the Raspberry Pi is that they've got GPUs powerful enough to drive an HDMI display, and give you 1080p graphics if you make sure there's enough electric power and not too much interference (my RPi was a bit wonky on the last display I tried), so you can drive a decent monitor for programming or use it as a TV video player.

But if you don't need that, because you're doing X windows or just doing a bunch of ssh terminal sessions, you've got more potential choices, possibly lower power, possibly more memory. It depends a lot on what the target platform for your development is going to be, and on how much effort you plan to spend getting things set up, compared to just taking the BBB or RPi and calling it a day.

Comment: Who's the Spook? (Score 1) 165

You may or may not have noticed that the US press hasn't mentioned the name of the departing CIA Station Chief, but they haven't. Why not? Because it's A Secret! The Germans know who they're kicking out, but the US press goes along with the pretense that it's secret, and other people he might spy on in the future won't know he's a spy, and people who he's hung out with in the past might be exposed as having been spies too. In some cases it's illegal for US government officials to reveal the names of spies, but if they leak them for administration political purposes, like Scooter Libby outing Valerie Plame, they get pardoned, and if they get leaked by accident, like a White House Press Release "notice what name is missing" oops a few months back, the press politely pretends they didn't see anything.

If the Germans are really mad? Merkel can tell the German press the guy's name, and ask them to print it and put it online.

Comment: Re:What is life? What is a virus? (Score 1) 79

by Dan East (#47428925) Attached to: Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus

Everything is a continuum. Humans divide the continuum up using acts of selective attention

Your generalization is quite wrong. Humans classify organisms based on the evidence in front of them. Can you show me this continuum between a platypus and some other animal? How does that fit into the "everything is a continuum" that you speak of?

"Species" do not have particularly crisp boundaries in the general case:

Uh, they most certainly have extremely crisp boundaries. Species are classified by the ability of two organisms to breed with one another. There isn't any "crisper" boundary than that. Once two lineages are different enough, it is no longer possible for them to reproduce sexually with one another. That is a quantum leap, a boolean yes or no situation (at least in 99.9% of the cases). Humans have nothing to do with defining that boundary. It is merely what we have observed and appropriately classified.

Comment: Re:Considering Bush did this... (Score 1) 165

by Grishnakh (#47428559) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

You sound like a typical Democrat voter: anyone who disagrees with the Democrat party line is automatically a "nutcake gun-owning, violent conservative", Obama somehow isn't at fault for anything his administration does but Bush can be blamed for all current Democrat policies, and calling Obama on his pro-Bush policies is somehow "hatred of technology and science" and makes one a Holocaust denier.

Honestly, I used to think the Republicans were the nutty ones, but these days I'm starting to believe it's really the Democrats who are insane.

Comment: Re:Moron Judge (Score 1) 118

by ultranova (#47427225) Attached to: Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

Fortunately we have laws that define those pieces of paper as legal tender, which differentiates them from little bits of hash solutions and things that people define in internet forums.

"Legal tender" where? I don't have to accept your funny paper. Not that you could send it to me anyway, since only fools tell their Real Life adress over the Internet, and even if I did, it would take days - and neither of us would have proof that the transaction actually happened. And of course, it's not like I'm obligated to give you credit in the first place, especially not in an Internet forum.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin isn't money but it's still a financial (Score 1) 118

by ultranova (#47427085) Attached to: Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

Silk Road used it is to launder money.

Silk Road didn't use Bitcoin to launder money, Silk Road used Bitcoin to transfer money and a tumbler - a series of transactions meant to disguise the "border" transactions between Silk Road and the rest of Bitcoin economy by blending into the crowd - to launder it.

Except it was not really even proper money laundering, since it didn't invent a legal source for the Bitcoins being withdrawn from the system. That would had required a cover firm, a suspiciously succesful gambling site or something.

Comment: Re: "Emergency" laws. (Score 1) 134

by ultranova (#47426909) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

The British actually need to learn the difference between a pedophile and a child molester.

Alas, they're too stupid to do that.

To be fair, the words are used interchangeably outside of medical profession. A pedophile would gain nothing by coming out, and likely lose a lot, so the only ones the public knows about are those caught molesting.

So it's not necessarily a matter of not knowing, but not having any reason to care.

Comment: Translation (Score 1) 165

by Opportunist (#47426863) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

You just outed our spies in your network and you expect us to sign a no-spy list? Come again when we have undermined your security enough that you're as safe as the other countries we pretty much already own.

In other words, we'll only not spy on you if you hand over what we want willingly.

Comment: Re:UK is not a free country (Score 1) 134

by ultranova (#47426841) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

Democracy without constitutional limitations is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.

Democracy with constitutional limitations is the same, except the wolves have toilet paper. And every other form of government is the wolves skipping formalities.

If the majority of your population are wolves, you're screwed, no matter what form of government you have.

Comment: Re:UK is not a free country (Score 1) 134

by ultranova (#47426777) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

Many people appear to have a great deal of faith in both politicians and governments.

Or little faith in their own ability to fight monsters. Or even little ability to even perceive monstrous as monstrous anymore, having been socialized into believing that the strong should dominate over weak and the only issue in question is the specific form this takes.

Once you've been conditioned into believing it's just and right you lose your livelihood because it happens to benefit a higher-up, is it really that much a stretch to believe they can just plain kill you? It enhances shareholder value to not have you dirty bum begging on the street, and using tax money to feed you would violate sacred property rights. And you're just a looter anyway, not welcome in Galt's Gulch.

If this is timesharing, give me my share right now.

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