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Comment: Re:What's your suggestion for intelligence work? (Score 1) 503

by daveschroeder (#47938235) Attached to: Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

An oversimplification. The US, UK, and allies variously broke many cipher systems throughout WWII. Still the US benefitted from this.

What if the Germans were using, say, Windows, Android phones, SSL, Gmail, Yahoo, and Skype, instead of Enigma machines?

Comment: What's your suggestion for intelligence work? (Score 1) 503

by daveschroeder (#47938053) Attached to: Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

I presume you wouldn't say it was "wrong" of the United States to crack the German and Japanese codes in WWII...

...so when US adversaries (and lets just caveat this by saying people YOU, personally, agree are legitimate US adversaries) don't use their own "codes", but instead share the same systems, networks, services, devices, cloud providers, operating systems, encryption schemes, and so on, that Americans and much of the rest of the world uses, would you suggest that they should be off limits?

This isn't so much a law enforcement question as a question of how to do SIGINT in the modern digital world, but given the above, and given that intelligence requires secrecy in order to be effective, how would you suggest the United States go after legitimate targets? Or should we not be able to, because that power "might" be able to be abused -- as can any/all government powers, by definition?

This simplistic view that the only purpose of the government in a free and democratic society must be to somehow subjugate, spy on, and violate the rights of its citizens is insane, while actual totalitarian and non-free states, to say nothing of myriad terrorist and other groups, press their advantage. And why wouldn't they? The US and its ever-imperfect system of law is not the great villain in the world.

Take a step back and get some perspective. And this is not a rhetorical question: if someone can tell me their solution for how we should be able to target technologies that are fundamentally shared with innocent Americans and foreigners everywhere while still keeping such sources, methods, capabilities, and techniques secret, I'm all ears. And if you believe the second a technology is shared it should become magically off-limits because power might be abused, you are insane -- or, more to the point, you believe you have some moral high ground which, ironically, would actually result in severe disadvantages for the system of free society you would claim to support.

Comment: Re:If it happened in China or North Korea or Iran (Score 1) 223

by Pharmboy (#47893669) Attached to: U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

As you point out, not all birds of a feather stick together. I'm not a Tea Party guy. I'm just not closed minded enough to judge a friend by their politics. If you only have friends that agree with your politics, you are probably narrow minded or take politics too seriously.

Comment: Re:If it happened in China or North Korea or Iran (Score 1) 223

by Pharmboy (#47890547) Attached to: U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

Has the United States of America become a member of The Totalitarian Club ?

Yes. Each President has been moving in this direction more and more, but Obama has managed to overreach even more than those before him. Take the IRS, for instance. I personally know of people who have been getting involved with Tea Party politics and now are getting audited. Like their politics or not (it doesn't matter), that is totalitarianism, which means the next time a GOP'er gets in, he can do the same thing. It isn't a good time to be an American.

Comment: Re:Define technology (Score 2) 231

by Pharmboy (#47833829) Attached to: Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?

Slingshots (ie: wrist rockets) are better for squirrel, faster projectile. You need perfectly round projectiles, like marbles, so they don't wobble in flight. And yes, I've eaten squirrel, usually "Squirrel and dumplings". Not bad if the squirrels aren't too gamey, it just takes a lot of squirrels to make a pot. We ate normal food most of the time, but my parents made sure all 7 of us tasted squirrel, turtle, rabbit and lots of deer, dove, quail, duck, lake fish, wild turkey and other game. Most parents don't teach self-sufficiency and basic survival skills, except those that the majority snidely call "rednecks".

And the "wrist rocket" IS technology: the taking of an old concept, and updating it with the most modern materials. You can do some serious damage with one of those.

Comment: Re:Discrimination (Score 1) 579

by Pharmboy (#47809923) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

That is a Foundation issue, not something we at WER can do much about. I think they have spent a great deal of money and resources on the issue, but I've yet to see anything come of it, to be honest. Child rearing is probably to blame in part, if we are honest and accept that our culture still has a divide between the genders. Men tend to have a bit more free time, and perhaps that is the threshold: free time. I notice a lot of unemployed people editing, for example.

Comment: Re:Discrimination (Score 1) 579

by Pharmboy (#47785875) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

Wikipedia's WikiProject Editor Retention has looked at the same problem, but from a retention point rather than the perspective of attracting new women. There were no real answers, just lots of speculation. Lots of people blame the culture, or say the place is too "rough and tumble" but I found that conclusion rather sexist, as it says that women can't compete for ideas in the same environment as men. There doesn't seems to be a difference in retention of men and women, they just aren't coming to Wikipedia to begin with.

Comment: Re:What trolls (Score 2) 382

by Pharmboy (#47697915) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

Exactly and literally. Smokey and the Bandit was still in or just coming out of theaters when I was 14. And yes, we were trolls (not on CB though). We did real world trolling. Smoke bombs, bottle rockets, bb guns, sling shots, chunking wax balls from those stupid wax sippy candy at cars (no damage, in case you got busted) etc. We used to do all kinds of crap that would have gotten our asses kicked if we didn't know the alleys and yards you could jump fences in without a dog biting you. Trolling on the internet is for pussies. We were bored, but we got a good work out, without inflicting TOO much damage. I don't recommend what I did, but kids that think that they are breaking the rules, trolling, from behind a laptop that mummy and daddy bought them aren't exactly rebels. They are just cowards.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann

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