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Comment: Re:I'm shocked! (Score 1) 262

by MrL0G1C (#47437307) Attached to: William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

Whilst I can't say I've mentioned ECHELON, I've certainly known about it for at least 13 years. And why would anyone bother mentioning it when you would just have been labelled a tin-foil hat loon.

Dated 2001:

It's been on Wikipedia since then too.

I think the consensus (amongst people who knew about ECHELON) back then was that all calls were recorded but they couldn't keep them for long.

How much evidence do you need considering that the NSA habitually lie and that whistle-blowers have said they record everything. They are spending a billion plus on a data centre when $27 million is estimated to be enough for the hardware to record all calls. If that doesn't sound like an attempt to record everything then I don't know what does.

And a couple of slashdot links for good measure:
NSA Tapping Underwater Fiber Optics

One mentioning ECHELON:

Comment: Re:Consipricy nuts, go! (Score 1) 98

That was me. Russian oligarch's are the "it" boys which maldives so attractive to Russians with money. And once again. They became oligarchs before Putin tightened the screws. The fact that they survived and thrived in the environment in which murder and fraud were par for the course of doing business should tell you that they are prepared for almost any contingency. Their wealth is virtually guaranteed to be impossible to connect to them or to trace in its entirety. The only real restrictions on them is that they cannot receive US visas at the moment. But 5-50 people having visa restrictions is hardly rises to the level of what is called "sanctions."

Comment: Re:Consipricy nuts, go! (Score 1) 98

Actually, the US sanctions are currently an ongoing joke in Russia. I saw someone post a photograph showing that some local gym was advertising that they were having sanctions against McCain and Harry Reid. The sanctions cover a few (very few) individuals. They are about as much "sanctions" as Obama's administration is "the most transparent in history." The Oligarchs managed to make their money in Russia in which every business, at the time, was ran the way the narco businesses are ran in the US (in complete absence of the law). Having a few accounts frozen is hardly a contingency they haven't anticipated.

Comment: Games are a team effort (Score 1) 78

by Kohath (#47435167) Attached to: What Happens When Gaming Auteurs Try To Go It Alone?

If these guys go it alone, we will learn that the rest of the people in the teams they left behind can make good games without them. I think the main benefit of having a big name in charge is that you need a creative authority figure to keep the corporate types from messing up the end product.

Comment: Re:Umm yeah (Score 1) 98

Maldives is yielding to pressure both from the US (which probably did kidnap the guy) and from Russia. Russians see Maldives as THE PRIME DESTINATION for anyone with money. The name "Maldives" in very, very common in modern Russia. But the reason they were pressured to take responsibility is that kidnapping a direct relative of a Parliament Member makes this potentially an Act Of War. US doesn't want the possibility of such such interpretation being made. And neither does Russia. Russia is in no position to let go of even a minor act of war right now. The internal Russian media has been blaming the West for Ukraine's asserted independence and has created a war-path climate. Russia would HAVE TO respond to even a minor act of war at this point. And they don't want to be forced into this position over someone nabbed on fraud charges.

Comment: Re:Consipricy nuts, go! (Score 1) 98

Maldives doesn't give two craps about the US. The reason it would lie (if it were to lie) would be to placate Russia. Russian tourism money is one of its main sources of revenue. Not just general tourism, but specifically Russian. Vacationing in Maldives is the considered the main indication that one "has arrived" in modern Russia. It's where the Russian Big Money go when they want to prove that they are BIg Money. If there is even a hint that they served as US lap dogs, this particular little vacation destination will be abandoned. They are gonna have to prove now that a son of an MP was on Interpol watch list. Because he almost certainly was travelling on a diplomatic passport and was most likely outside of the reach of Interpol's jurisdiction.

Comment: That and DACs aren't the issue anyhow (Score 2) 476

It is easy to make good DACs these days. Basically any DAC, barring a messed up implementation, is likely to sound sonically transparent to any other in a normal system. When you look at the other limiting factors (amp, noise in the room, speaker response, room reflections, etc) you find that their noise and distortion are just way below audibility. Ya, maybe if you have a really nice setup with a quiet treated room, good amps, and have it set for reference (105dB peak) levels you start to need something better than normal, but that isn't very common. Even then you usually don't have to go that high up the chain to get something where again the DAC is way better than other components.

Now that said, there can be a reason to get a soundcard given certain uses. For example you don't always want to go to an external unit, maybe you use headphones. In that case, having a good headphone amp matters and onboard sound is often remiss in that respect (then again, so are some soundcards). Also even if you do use an external setup, you might wish to have the soundcard do processing of some kind. Not so useful these days, but some games like to have hardware accelerated OpenAL.

Regardless, not a big deal in most cases. Certainly not the first thing to spend money on. If you have $50 speakers, don't go and buy a $100 soundcard. If you have a $5000 setup, ok maybe a soundcard could be useful, but only in certain circumstances.

As a side note, the noise in a PC isn't a big issue. Properly grounding/shielding the card deals with it. A simple example is the professional LynxTWO, which is all internal yet has top notch specs, even by today's standards.

Comment: Re:Cab companies are not LLCs (Score 1) 139

by MrL0G1C (#47413799) Attached to: Uber Is Now Cheaper Than a New York City Taxi

It's $1,7100,000 due to exchange rate. And it doesn't cost more, I think it's less on average due to better standard of driving here. Yes insurance on average costs about 20% more this is partly due to the pound being strong, dollar weak. Also of note is that there is a fraud epidemic happening at the moment, the price of insurance here has doubled over the last 7 years.

So higher liability does not equal higher insurance because those higher amounts are extremely rarely if ever claimed.

Comment: Re:Kidnapping. (Score 1) 175

by superwiz (#47412887) Attached to: US Arrests Son of Russian MP In Maldives For Hacking
What's more interesting is that Maldives almost definitely would not have agreed with it. It depends on Russian tourist money because Russians somehow think it's the destination of those at the very top of the pecking order. There is almost no way Maldives would have agreed to piss off Russia over a mild fraud case. So this was in violation of the local laws. Given that he may have had a diplomatic passport, it could have been an act of war, too.

"Call immediately. Time is running out. We both need to do something monstrous before we die." -- Message from Ralph Steadman to Hunter Thompson