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Comment It's happened to me several times... (Score 1) 172

and with different banks, occasionally to the point where they forced me to get a new card (and change a zillion automated payments). I wouldn't mind so much if this actually worked, but none of these cases involved a specific fraudulent charge - it was just done because they thought there might be one later. The irony is that I keep seeing the occasional fraudulent charge that they miss. So as far as I can tell they're pretty close to 100% false positives, and probably not many legitimate blocks.

Comment Re:Amazingly stupid comment (Score 1) 354

Way to completely (deliberately, of course) miss the point. You're (deliberately) confusing tactics and specific weapon use with strategy and motivation.

the war crimes of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq

Oh, please. The Taliban had brutally taken over Afghanistan, and was harboring the group that had just killed thousands of Americans ... and refused to turn them over. Dealing with them was not a "war crime." And, Iraq? The UN authorized the use of force because, among other things, Saddam never even TRIED to honor the agreements he made as he was pushed back from his invasion of Kuwait - he was overthrown because he was continuing to attack the aircraft patrolling the no fly zones set up to prevent him from slaughtering even more ethnic minorities with WMDs, skimming UN aid money to trade in more long range weapons, blocking and lying to weapons inspectors, etc. All of this not only justified, it demanded the action taken - which was blessed by the UN as well as by the US congress. Holding Saddam's regime responsible for his ongoing hostility and cease-fire violations is not a "war crime." HE was the one who continued to commit crimes, and that was stopped.

the illegal war against Libya

You're deliberately pretending you can't tell the difference between "illegal" and "done poorly by an administration that doesn't know how to do such things."

the overthrow of Ukraine's democracy

You're pretending you don't know the difference between Russia and the US. How do you think it's helping you to appear credible when you pretend you're that confused?

the bombing of even more countries that have never been a threat to us

Ah, the ol' hand-waving vagueness tactic. Again, how do you think this helping you to sound credible?

the drone assassins that have killed hundreds of kids

You mean, the Al Qeda and Taliban and ISIS tactics of putting very bad people and their supplies in and around local women and children specifically to make sure that such deaths occur? And if that had been done with a standard F-16, depriving you of your reliance on cartoonish dwelling on the word "drone" ... then you'd have to actually address the substance of the matter instead of invoking the D-word to add some drama you hope will cover for the lack of actual knowledge?

Comment Re:Why should the FAA allow drones without COAs? (Score 1) 182

I'm not.

Then why aren't you calling for the same (or, really, much more) stringent regulations on the millions of casual noobs, instead of the comparative handful of people who happen to regularly use the technology as part of the bucket of professional tools? The vast majority of reckless behavior involving these devices is at the hands of idiotic beginners who - unlike professionals - don't think there are any consequences for operating like jackasses.

Comment Re:Why should the FAA allow drones without COAs? (Score 1) 182

You're still tap-dancing around the question. You've come up with a list of "what-if" scenarios, but only scenarios that tilt one direction. Why is it you're assuming that recreational noobs flying once or twice a month are safer than people who use the technology every day? Specifically.

Comment More like inability to prioritize or be efficient (Score 3, Insightful) 203

Every time I've been exposed to the operational aspects of a government agency (and, unfortunately, most large non-profits and even some large corporations) I see things being done in a way that costs around five times as much as we would do it in small- to mid-scale private industry, and even at that expense level the quality of work is outright appalling. When you start working with the management of these organizations, they simply don't care about setting appropriate standards for what they can achieve on a certain budget and then squeezing things to make do with what they have. Quite the contrary, their incentives are structured around having as much budget as possible. So bloat is everywhere, and the response to any additional "needs" is to demand more money. This is an endless cycle - giving them more money will never achieve their goals, because that would harm management's careers.

Privatizing these functions is its own can of worms - it's often far cheaper (see: SpaceX vs. NASA), but still a long way away from excellent, and rife with corruption and politics (see: Military-Industrial Complex, Prison-Industrail Complex, etc).

If I really wanted to have the EPA catch these things the best method I can think of would be to offer bounties paid on caught cheaters. This creates incentives to check everything everywhere, and retains the incentives to maximize efficiency.

Comment Re:Don't fly over people or private property. (Score 1) 182

Actually, it isn't that far off the mark. Any RC hobbyist that joins the AMA does have an impressive insurance coverage.

That only applies if you're flying in strict accordance with AMA rules. Flying in your neighbor's back yard, at 25', in order to help him check the shingles on his roof? AMA insurance dries up and goes away. Poof.

Comment Re:Why should the FAA allow drones without COAs? (Score 1) 182

I know what you mean, but I think you might have overlooked something: It's kind of like sex. For free it's one thing, to use it as part of your business model is clearly something else entirely.

Why? If I send I a small plastic quad-copter up to 25 feet to check my gutters for debris after a storm, and there's a guy next door doing exactly the same thing in exactly the same way for exactly the same three minutes using exactly the same equipment with exactly the same skill and exactly the same safety considerations ... but he's charging $20 to do it so he doesn't have to charge $50 to put up a ladder in five places around the house ... how is that Clearly Something Else Entirely?

And why is my own use, or that other safety-minded, business-reputation-at-stake adult's use of a small quad LESS safe than a twelve year old noobie kid who says, "Sure, mister, I'll get some pictures of your rain gutters for free! What how fast I can do it..." ? Please be specific. Personally, I trust my own skills far more than I trust some noob operating "recreationally" - and yet the FAA is implying that the guy who does it every day and cares about his reputation is more dangerous than a middle school kid flying the same equipment for fun.

Comment Re:Sandy Hook (Score 1) 1139

What's "best" about that non sequitor of a platitude? Who said killing children was bearable? It would have been just as unbearable if the mentally ill person in the Sandy Hook case had killed his mom with an axe, and then used a pressure cooker from her kitchen to build a cheap and easy Boston-style bomb, and tossed that into a classroom to kill just as many kids. The lesson from Sandy Hook was that crazy people are crazy, and that political correctness and parental delusion makes it nearly impossible to lock them up. A just as crazy guy in Japan rather famously killed a bunch of school kids ... with a single knife. Also unbearable.

You know what else is unbearable? People like you trying to leverage both crazy people and dead children in order to try to shut down a part of the constitution you don't like. Other people are just as game to do the same thing with the First Amendment. Are you on board with that, too? No? Why not?

Comment Re:What about the rights of those injured by firea (Score 1) 1139

and what about the "well regulated Militia" part?

What about it? You're mentioning it without any sort of context. The actual context: the people who wrote the Second Amendment said, essentially: "It turns out that we're going to have to have some sort of trained, standing military at one level or another. The need to have such organizations does NOT mean that the military has a monopoly on keeping and bearing arms: the government MAY NOT infringe on the people's right to keep and bear arms, even though there will be well organized militia, as well."

So what about that phrase, exactly? What's your point?

Comment Why is this even an issue? (Score 1) 57

There is a breathtaking amount of critical infrastructure that is very lightly protected on intranets if not outright exposed to the public Internet. There is simply no excuse for this. Even if things require, say, cellular monitoring it's very straightforward to use highly restricted VPNs or even MPLS over cellular (especially for an organization the size of most public utilities). The fact that this is even such a major issue is flat-out sad and stupid.

Comment Re:Kudos (Score 0, Troll) 572

Damn straight, just ask any Native American!

You mean, the people who were born here to migrants from Asia? Those "native" Americans? Anyone born in the US is just as native as those we call Native Americans. And they (that sprawling collection of stone age tribes) were quite good at using violence to take territory, possessions, and people from each others' tribes and turf. Playing the Native American card in order to distract from the problem of huge numbers of immigrants swamping Europe's entitlement states is intellectually lazy, at best.

Backed up the system lately?