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Comment: Re:The Sad Truth (Score 1) 394

Unfortunately the sad truth in the last 20 years is the US is no longer at the forefront of anything except corporate greed and government corruptness.

Most people can not see this corruption because the scale of it is so far beyond their real world experiences. Rather like an ant on a tree not being able to see the forest, only the mountains of bark that they are currently negotiating on the tree they are on.

They literally can not see the corruption.

Fortunately, small-scale corruption is frequently punished.

Comment: Depends on what social class you are in (Score 1) 220

If you are exceedingly wealthy and or powerful, intelligent aliens will be utterly feared.

If you are comfortable in your life station, intelligent aliens will be utterly feared.

Everyone else will be a mish mash of varying responses. Many will see the aliens as an upset to the status quo so will be met with happiness.

Then there are the "real" humans. Regardless of any other emotion or response, they will be dominated by curiosity.

Comment: Re:Now using TOR after WH threats to invade homes (Score 1) 282

by causality (#48937501) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

Name calling is not shunning or shaming. It is attaching the person and not the argument and therefore has no place on civil discourse.

By the way, now that I re-read this during a spare moment and once again think about it, I can again respond to you in what I hope to be a worthy way, yet this time focus on a different dimension of the thing at hand.

I would ask you to consider, simply, this other and possibly alien point of view: the "name-calling" types are simply enacting the lower (or if you like, "gutter") form of an idea that is nonetheless technically true. The name-callers are merely those who recognize this but also have a need to make you look worse in order that they know better, or otherwise focus on what they think is wrong with you, with little or no serious constructive suggestion concerning what precisely is wrong with your view and how better to regard the situation. Liike the thinking individuals, they see what the problem is; otherwise, they lack the clarity and objectivity to identify the problem and suggest a sensible solution. By contrast, they're simply bitching. But even those people are correctly identifying that somethng is amiss. They're just the least clever and easiest to ridicule among those who all arrive at the same conclusion.

Comment: X configuration or a little rewiring (Score 1) 428

by OrangeTide (#48934889) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

You can enable chord-middle (I don't like it) or setup your .Xdefaults to use a different mouse button or key stroke for past. those xrdb files are ugly, but quite powerful.

I drilled a hole in my trackball and mounted momentary switch for middle click, makes for a cool retro looking button. Since most mouse buttons are a basic switch, it's very easy to keep the original circuit in parallel without any fancy electrical knowledge.

Comment: Re:Liars figure and figures lie (Score 1) 134

by Bogtha (#48934339) Attached to: The American App Economy Is Now "Bigger Than Hollywood"

the functionality of the devices is about the same

It's very different. On Android, you have to decide whether to grant permission before you've ever run the application, and it's all or nothing. On iOS, you run the application before deciding whether or not to grant it permission. You have the ability to deny permission while still running the application. You can also allow permission for some things but not others.

This functionality is partially available to Android users who root their phones and install the right tools, but that's far from the common case.

Comment: Re:Now using TOR after WH threats to invade homes (Score 1) 282

by causality (#48931289) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

Today, all one needs to do is say the government wants it and many will assume it is bad. It is the flip side of the same coin.

That's because there is a limit to how many times they can lie to people, blatantly and without remorse, before the people stop trusting them. My grandparents grew up during a time when this went on, like it does today, but not nearly as much and was not well known (consider Hoover's FBI, or the involuntary radiation exposure experiments carried out against black people, or the use of the CIA to overthrow democratically elected foreign leaders). They saw it as a matter of honor or duty to have trust and faith in the republic and the leaders its processes have put there. That's been shattered and won't be repaired any time soon.

In the personal realm, most people become suspicious of everything someone says after the very first confirmed deliberate deception. The amazing part is that government is given so many chances, that people are so impressed with official symbols and pomp and circumstance that they would ever believe known liars who have never faced any serious consequences for their deceptions.

Comment: Re:kinda illegal already, by a rule referring to a (Score 1) 157

by phayes (#48930647) Attached to: Drone Maker Enforces No-Fly Zone Over DC, Hijacking Malware Demonstrated

TFA makes it clear that this is NOT just for Washington DC & not just for hobbyists

The FAA has a list of flight restricted zones where all aircraft are restricted unless explicitly authorized. Phantom already partially respected these regulations but are just tightening up a number of omitted areas.

Comment: Re:Now using TOR after WH threats to invade homes (Score 1) 282

by causality (#48929977) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

And how does one find those targets in the first place if they have no connection with known targets? How does one find the group to infiltrate? The point is that there are many new cells that are popping up that have no connection what so ever with known terrorists. How do you find those new cells?

The idea is that limiting police powers in order to safeguard freedoms (and with them, the balance of power between the individual and the government) is acknowledged as making the job of police harder. The polices' job being harder does, in fact, mean that some number of criminals will go free some of the time, criminals who otherwise would have been caught and prosecuted. This is why absolute security is the antithesis of absolute freedom, so the question then is how to balance the two. When you safeguard liberty as your first priority and assign a lower priority to the effectiveness of law enforcement, you understand that you are taking a higher risk that you yourself will be harmed by a criminal that law enforcement could have stopped.

That's why freedom is not for cowards. The problems you worry about are well known to people who understand and value freedom. They choose freedom anyway. They also realize that the danger with which you're so concerned has been overstated. You're much more likely to be killed by a cop than a terrorist, and any factual inquiry into that based on facts would lead you to the same conclusion. Incidentally, you're also more likely to be injured by lightning. In the last 100 years, many, many more people were killed by their own governments than by any foreign enemy, so the credibility of this danger has been well established. Limited, transparent government is a time-tested manner of managing this danger.

As an aside, if terrorism is truly such a great problem and we want to reduce it in a real and effective manner, we should also stop giving excuses to the people who hate us. It's much easier for an enemy to justify their position, raise their troops' morale, and recruit new members into their brand of exteremism when they can point to concrete acts of ruthless domination the USA has actually committed. Law enforcement would certainly be more effective if its list of potential suspects could be reduced, facilitating a more focused approach on those that remain.

Anyway, the real spirit of freedom, the more value-based, individual, and courageous part that you and so many others keep failing to even recognize, let alone try to understand, is that those who understand freedom realize that a few more guilty men may go free. They consider that a small price to pay, an exchange of a finite quantity that numbers can describe in order go gain something priceless and worthwhile. It's yet another instance of failing to comprehend a viewpoint because you do not personally share it, therefore you get sidetracked by related but irrelevant issues because you have no idea how to articulate a meaningful response to it.

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos

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