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+ - ALCU: NSA can't stop US citizen data if it wanted to->

Submitted by sandbagger
sandbagger (654585) writes "The American Civil Liberties Association's Freedom of Information requests have revealed this tidbit in the NSA's reasoning: "As a practical matterit is not possible to determine what communications are to or from U.S, persons nearly as readily as is the case with telephony, and often is not possible at all."

In other words, since the poor guys just have to collect everything. Not their fault."

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+ - Snowden: US intelligence has employees undercover at networking manufacturers->

Submitted by sandbagger
sandbagger (654585) writes "The National Security Agency has had agents in China, Germany, and South Korea working on programs that use “physical subversion” to infiltrate and compromise networks and devices, according to documents obtained by The Intercept. Thus, it appears that the fundamental core infrastructure of the internet has been more thoroughly compromised than suspected previously."
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+ - Calling Mr Orwell, rejigged executive order makes collecting data not collecting->

Submitted by sandbagger
sandbagger (654585) writes "' is often the case that one can be led astray by relying on the generic or commonly understood definition of a particular word.' Specifically words offering constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure. TechDirt looks at the redefinition of the term collection as redefined by Executive Order 12333 to allow basically every information dragnet, provided no-one looks at it. "Collection" is now defined as "collection plus action." According to this document, ot still isn't collected, even if its been gathered, packaged and sent to a "supervisory authority." No collection happens until examination. It's Schroedinger's data, neither collected nor uncollected until the "box" has been opened. This leads to the question of aging off collected data/communications: if certain (non) collections haven't been examined at the end of the 5-year storage limit, are they allowed to be retained simply because they haven't officially been collected yet? Does the timer start when the "box" is opened or when the "box" is filled?"
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+ - European Union: We don't want public input on TAFTA/TTIP or CETA->

Submitted by sandbagger
sandbagger (654585) writes "One of the most glaring problems with TAFTA/TTIP is the lack of input from the public in whose name it is being negotiated says TechDirt. One million signatures must be gathered within one year to force the EU to respond to a public petition. Additionally, in seven EU states a specific minimum of supporters must be achieved, e.g. 72,000 signatures in Germany, 55,500 in France, or 54,750 in the United Kingdom et cetera.

This comes from a new site set up by the Stop TTIP Alliance, a pan-EU coalition that aims to seek support for the following petition: We invite the European Commission to recommend to the Council to repeal the negotiating mandate for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and not to conclude the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)."

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Comment: None, because the primary problem solved is ... (Score 1) 471

by sandbagger (#47872597) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

For Apple and not for the consumer.

Basically the iPhone is like DSLRs these days. Once you have one there's really no reason to upgrade generationally because they're THAT good. So what can Apple do? Well, sell you something for your iPhone.

So, it solves a problem for Apple. What critical-path problem does it solve for consumers? Well, you don't have to fish your phone from your pocket to see who's calling. That's a bit of an issue for those of us who live where we have winter but it's not a really, really do-or-die feature. So, really it's following the delude-yourself-into-thinking-this-will-make-you-lose-weight item like 99 per cent of the sports equipment out there.

Look, you'll either go running or you won't. You'll either play sports or you won't. It's a bit like saying you'd take up drawing if you had the right pencil.

I've not doubt that Apple will sell a lot of them but really it's a solution in search of a problem for consumers.

+ - Long weekend silliness: which was the worst Sci-Fi sequel?->

Submitted by sandbagger
sandbagger (654585) writes "The long weekend is coming and many of us will be relaxing with a good film. Or a bad one. Many geeks have strong and passionate opinions about what is the best Sci Fi but what was the worst? Specifically, what was the worst sequel? The Phantom Menace? Star Trek V? Vote and let the world know what you think?"
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Comment: We certainly can't thank Stephen Harper (Score 4, Informative) 221

by sandbagger (#47780597) Attached to: Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

That man ordered irreplaceable scientific records be taken to the dump, destroying generations of scientific data. He's closed musea in order to build up fake War of 1812 war memorials. He's closed the scientific lakes project that was the programme responsible for identifying acid rain thanks to decades of data.

This man has been utterly destructive to Canada's intellectual property, its scientific pedigree and ability to generate new knowledge. Moreover, he's gagged scientists from discussing their own peer-revirewed data. Instead, political interns get to act as mouthpieces.

Anyone in the scientific or technical community can't help but see how destructive Harper-ism is to Canada's ability to create the next generation of knowledge.

Comment: Fark's slow motion shark jump (Score 1) 748

by sandbagger (#47702973) Attached to: News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

Naturally over the years as Fark's membership has declined from the roaring highs, the owner has needed to look at ways of maximizing revenues. So, the boobies links got removed and put into a separate site etc. The core ethos of the site remained: be funny no matter how offensive you are.

This has been chipped away. Thus the core offering of Fark has been reduced.

It hasn't helped that the moderation has been inconstant, secret and users get banned or worse, shadow banned. This is the expensive way of moderating a web site because ideally you want to nudge the users so that they police themselves. One of the rules of Fark is that discussing moderation is cause for being banned. It hasn't helped that there's been no investment in the backend serving up Fark. No new features have been added, um, ever. I'd not be surprised to learn that they were using their original launch DB.

There has clearly been more of an effort to shape the conversation in Fark in recent years. The result is that the place is less interesting AND there are fewer page views. Discussions used to rocket to infinity twice a week. Discussions nearly never reach four digits these days. I understand why this was done. Many of the women posters on Fark appear to appreciate the intent. I understand. However, as a business offering, the result is that there's a smaller population mix in Fark these days making for a more uniform set of opinions. Thus, shorter discussion threads that are less likely to go to infinity and beyond.

The recent glut of MRAs blighting Fark has also been on Slashdot. I think this is a wave that will burn itself out in a year or so and turn into something else.

Comment: Bad documentation is very, very expensive (Score 1) 199

by sandbagger (#47672267) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

Being able to articulate your decisions, why and how things are built is a core competence. You will "pay" for poor documentation. It may never show up as a line item, but it can be costly.

It also needs to be someone's job. Depending upon engineers or the sales guys to generate documentation, courseware and manuals is a fast way to jack up your tech support costs.

Hold on to the root.