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Comment: Maybe they're misinterpreting the results (Score 4, Interesting) 175

by stalkedlongtime (#33994882) Attached to: Hard-to-Read Fonts Improve Learning
If you're asking someone to absorb fluff (like nonsense about aliens) then perhaps it's a good idea to manufacture 'disfluency' with odd fonts and the like.

If you're asking someone to absorb difficult material (like Knuth or advanced physics) then you want to minimize other sources of 'disfluency'.

Comment: vexatious surveillance (Score 1) 214

by stalkedlongtime (#33806074) Attached to: New CCTV Site In UK Pays People To Watch
You might see instances of vexatious surveillance. Imagine a group of people like the fine folks at 4chan with their hands on this technology, using the tech to stalk individuals the 4chan group mind has decided to go after.
Some people will be getting much more attention from this system than others, I'm guessing.

Comment: Problem-Reaction-Solution (Score 2, Interesting) 214

by stalkedlongtime (#33806060) Attached to: New CCTV Site In UK Pays People To Watch
The brits are using a time-proven formula to make their citizens demand previously unpopular policies. It's called Problem-Reaction-Solution. Once a problem is allowed to get bad enough (say, crime) there will be a reaction from the enraged populace, and they will eagerly embrace the solution (say, snitching) offered by the people who engineered the problem to begin with. Governments do it again and again because the public falls for it every time.

Comment: Let's try this again. "If only he knew..." (Score 2, Interesting) 215

by stalkedlongtime (#33480150) Attached to: Dubai's Police Chief Calls BlackBerry a Spy Tool
It's practically a given that TEMPEST-like capabilities moved to satellites, decades ago. Combine that with ECHELON or something like it, and everything that everyone is displaying on their screens (Internet-connected or not) is probably being hoovered up by at least one intelligence agency. Including what's on the screens of those precious Blackberries.

Comment: Re:Electronic tax filing should be FREE (Score 3, Interesting) 374

by stalkedlongtime (#33114688) Attached to: Intuit Still Fighting Government Tax Software

In theory, you'd think this would be the case. In practice, most people filing on April 15th are filing to get their money back, not send money in.

There are actually no incentives for governments to make it easier for taxpayers to get refunds. Taxpayers can create those incentives by reducing their withholdings to $0 so that they owe the government on April 15th rather than the other way around. Given California's problems, that seems like a pretty good idea anyway.

Comment: Re:Conflicted (Score 2, Insightful) 966

by stalkedlongtime (#33025994) Attached to: WikiLeaks Publishes Afghan War Secrets

Assange and his staff are probably experiencing COINTELPRO style conspicuous surveillance and harassment campaigns (sometimes misleadingly called "organized stalking"). The agents would be going out of the way to let Assange's people know that they were being followed and surveilled, using techniques such as public messages that conveyed highly personal information from their lives. The highly personal and embarrasing information revealed in the conspicuous surveillance would be of such a nature that the target(s) would not want to talk about the details.

That would explain why they were being 'vague' and 'conspiratorial' in their explanations.

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay

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