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Comment: Re:Jealous much? (Score 1) 412

by tnk1 (#48935053) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

Ness didn't have to hack Capone's PC.

Legwork worked in the 1940s because the criminals were on the same level. Your mobsters were generally within reach because to remain in control, they had to remain in communication range, which was usually in person.

Today, criminals can sit in Afghanistan and manage loose groupings of local networks very effectively. Drug cartels operate from Mexico. Criminals have the same capabilities that states had in the 1940s. Did we expect legwork to break codes? There is always legwork involved, but we were using SIGINT to get good information even then.

And bear in mind that we used to have the option of the wiretap, even in the days of Capone. Useless now with encrypted communications.

Comment: Re:No it isn't (Score 3, Insightful) 161

by tnk1 (#48934901) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

I don't think any other country is unduly concerned about us not opening up bids on a project like AF1. It's one or two planes. The symbolic value of the plane is significant, and honestly, isn't really what is beggaring the country.

No foreign corporation is going to seriously complain that they didn't get to build the one plane for the head of state for another country over a local builder.

The symbolic requirement isn't good enough to force the rest of the government to buy all Boeing, but unless the 747-8 was a complete pile of shit or twice the price of the comparable Airbus model, that one plane is not really a big deal.

Comment: Re:track record (Score 3, Insightful) 161

by tnk1 (#48934655) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

"Because America" is a legitimate requirement for a Presidential aircraft. The President and what he uses is a powerful statement about the strength of US industry. That's why Queen Elizabeth II has a Bentley, and the French President is driven around in a Peugeot or a Citroën.

It is legitimate for politicians to have political reasoning behind the selection of their conveyances. I'd be surprised that they'd even consider Airbus for AF1, even if it was cheaper or slightly better.

Comment: Re:Jealous much? (Score 1) 412

by tnk1 (#48927069) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

Yeah, except that doesn't work well for a service. If they have people abusing it, they fire them, and/or prosecute them. And that is what needs discussion.

Its more like if an adult got some DWIs and they took their license away. Yeah, they can't be trusted with a car, but they still need to get to work because it isn't a matter of not getting their allowance money, they need to do their job to support their family and even their job place will suffer if they can't work.

In that case, the solution is public transit, or taxis, or someone driving them. Or in lesser cases, they still let you drive with an interlock device.

You really can't just say the law enforcement can't do something like this and take it away for awhile. Otherwise, you can't enforce laws and regulations. And when that happens, people get hurt, physically and financially. They either need it or not. If they need it, they can abuse it just as well later as they can now. We need a real solution other than taking it away.

Comment: Re:Jealous much? (Score 1) 412

by tnk1 (#48925035) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

I don't think that this has to be a FUD scenario. I think law enforcement has a job to do, and they get to use certain tools to do it. If one of those tools becomes ineffective, then they have more trouble doing their job. Then they will complain because they are still expected to do their jobs.

We can certainly look at it from the approach of seeing all of the ways that power can be abused, but we have to balance that by pretending that there is a non-corrupt cop out there who needs to build a case against someone who they legitimately believe to be guilty of a crime. What happens if pervasive encryption now permits that criminal to get away with something that could have been detected by a properly executed wiretap in the past?

I'm not saying that we take away encryption, but pointing out the problem and looking for a solution is not FUD, its a legitimate concern that needs discussion. You can't just tell the cops, "you can't tap us anymore? Too bad, so sad," unless you also accept the relative step down in their ability to prosecute certain crimes.

Comment: Re:Sucks to be law enforcement in a Republic (Score 1) 412

by tnk1 (#48924779) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

The Founding Fathers individually had different views.

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson would not have agreed on this, for instance.

The Bill of Rights was a compromise requirement attached to the initial Constitution. The original Constitution has no such rights in it, although the amendments were added so immediately afterward that the Constitution proper has no historical significance on its own except to show that not everyone in the Convention was as concerned about those rights as others were.

Comment: Re:Some Nobody On Earth: Who Started? (Score 1) 412

by tnk1 (#48924591) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

Sympathy for authorities, if something like that has ever happened, is an oscillation rather than something lost permanently.

This tends to change based on perceived need for more control to protect against threats. If we all feel in danger, we'll go along with, or even celebrate certain activities that might be considered to be unacceptable at some other time. If we feel safe, then the imposition of authority on people will chafe, because it is intrusive and there is no counteracting threat to make it necessary.

Comment: Re:jessh (Score 1) 394

by tnk1 (#48918373) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

You can't reduce risk to zero. And I think that's the major problem with how we think of things. Instead of taking some common sense improvements incrementally these days, we go overboard. If the risk aversion outpaces our advancement in processes and tech, then we start suffering opportunity costs when we keep trying to remove risk.

If you can use a VPN to do your work, by all means, do it at home. If you're a garbage collector... the more time you can't work, the less you get done. And the more trash piles up. You want to protect those workers, but if you start becoming overprotective, shit starts piling up. Literally.

Comment: Re:jessh (Score 1) 394

by tnk1 (#48918345) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

Only if you're talking about office drones. There are a lot of those in a city, to be sure, but many people in a service economy need to go to a workplace.

Fact is, there are a great deal of people who lose out when they aren't able to go to work. There are even IT types who need still need to visit data centers on occasion.

And perhaps compared to the past, we have fewer manufacturing jobs, but we still do have those too. Again, worked at by people who probably need the money.

Comment: Re:This doesn't sound... sound (Score 1) 323

by tnk1 (#48917029) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

I do understand the problem of a limited money supply, but I don't think they're seriously considering leaving the euro, so talking about an independent monetary policy is pointless. They need to bring in more money, and while they maintain the euro, they either need to borrow or somehow change monetary policy related to the euro to suit them. Borrowing still seems more likely than a change in Eurozone monetary policy.

Comment: Re: This doesn't sound... sound (Score 2) 323

by tnk1 (#48916785) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

That consideration is a factor, but governments tend to be long lasting entities, so they could certainly eventually pay off the debt, if they shrunk or even deferred payments for awhile. Something is usually better than nothing for a vendor, as long as the cost of administering the debt is less than what they bring in.

The best thing for Greece to do financially is to restore solvency. Austerity may not be the best solution, but it is certainly on the right track. Defaults or borrow and spend can work, but *only* if they take the short term windfall and do something useful with it. Otherwise, they've trashed their financial future.

Unfortunately, financial solvency doesn't provide for retirement for people directly, although for any realistic social insurance program, you need to have long term financial stability and capacity. That means that even though austerity may actually work, there is clearly not the will to see it through.

It may be a good idea for Greece to default and deal with it, but that will end their ability to get anything like good loans in the near future. And I don't think the extra money from no longer paying on the debt will fix the quality of life problems that the people in Greece have right now.

Comment: Re:HOAs (Score 1) 94

by tnk1 (#48916503) Attached to: FCC Fines Verizon For Failing To Investigate Rural Phone Problems

Don't really care what you think of HOAs. Not incredibly fond of them myself and I am on the board of one.

Point is, there are enforcement options that are more than just fines. They can work, if they apply the correct sort of pressure. Example being: I can't always force you to pay your dues, but I sure as heck don't have to let you use common area resources that those dues directly support. That might include a privilege you care about.

Same goes for government and utilities.

Comment: Re:Money *needs* to be removed from Politics ... (Score 1) 179

That is the crux of the issue. You can spend 1 trillion dollars on a campaign and that doesn't mean I'll vote for that candidate.

The real problem is that it *does* work for larger blocs of voters. But the money is only the means of taking advantage of that flaw, not actually a corruption of democracy or free speech.

Citizens United has zero impact on who I will vote for. In fact, it has zero impact on anyone who has a well formed political position that they have researched. However, we know that money means that people who get to vote, but who get their "facts" from TV ads, will be affected. This is unfortunate, but not the fault of free speech. It is a flaw of our democracy (and possibly every realistic democracy based in the current era).

Comment: Re:Money *needs* to be removed from Politics ... (Score 1) 179

You can't really say this isn't democracy, when the democracy is actually functioning more or less as designed.

Granted, there are different forms of democracy, but good luck finding one where someone isn't in power who doesn't represent the people exactly.

Democracy is useful only for legitimacy of government, not for coming up with right answers. If you want a *better* government, democracy may be some small part of it, but there is nothing about true democracy that prevents it from supporting an elected oligarchy. And that elected oligarchy, if the actual cheating and forced votes are kept to a minimum, is as much a democratic system as one that elects a great leadership team.

There is no system in existence that prevents the intelligent, the rich or the ambitious from obtaining power. There is only, perhaps, a system that is able to direct that influence to ends that are less bad than others.

There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923