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Comment Re:Germany has reciprocal spying agreements (Score 1) 107 107

I think you forget about one little thing - the point of intelligence gathering may be exactly this. Everybody does it of course. It should be doing it rather with means accepted by the guys who pay or else face consequences. That is the basic thing about democracy. This activity may include cooperating with others in spying on enemies of the state within the country as long as that remains at least superficially legal or outside. It does not include however allowing gross spying on own people including government members. This is a failure for the nation and depending for whom Merkel works is a failure or success for German government.
This is one way of rationally approach this situation. Another is to look at any great things in the past. None of them were easily possible. None of t he freedoms that people got were for free. Keeping those freedoms is also not free of charge. You are not willing to pay then they privilege may and will be revoked. As for being a fool - people taking part in any activity against establishment like civil rights movement in US or siblings Scholl had when they started no reasonable way to believe in their success. Some of them succeeded. Some of them died in vain. It is foolish to believe however that even those that failed completely did not help us in some way. By showing that something bigger than few cents and one more day to live is there. It is there not because dear god gave it to us but because we decided it is. That is what I think. Not sure if I would do what people doing this stuff did. But I value their sacrifice.
There is also another thing which one may consider. Willingly or not federal prosecutors in Germany are bringing some energy into this fault line so we may eventually see some conclusion some day. Even if they succeed this may be what Pyrrhus got long time ago.

Comment easy (Score 2) 107 107

job to attack journalists. If it charge fails - freedom of press is the highest priority. If the charge succeeds then the country was saved against evil conspiracy.
No such fortunate situation when real culprits from Verfassungschutz and other federal institutions including the chief master boss Frau Merkel would be charged with anything.
The lists of triggers are still not analyzed by the parliamentary commission because NSA did not give its permission. Either German government is just a vassal of Murica on own wish or Murica has (thanx among others NSA activities) something nasty on key figures in government. Either way it is time to resign for some of them or be forcibly removed from office. That would be pity of course as they were not damaging(*) all too much so far, which is already good thing for any government.

* - they did not manage to destroy the luck that Germany had in riding the waves of economic disruptions of late.

Comment Re:Does this surprise anyone!? (Score 1) 85 85

I am for well educated and well meaning fellow humans that use reason, are considerate and have enough time and competence to do all this. Unfortunately most of us humans are stupid, incompetent and lazy and that is not even so bad. The fact is - a tool that requires you to jump a lots of loops to make it work is good for a hobbyist but not for a busy person with multitude of obligations. This is a design failure that may have dire consequences thus it belongs to be fixed. Possibly the home network design needs features that allow it to be relatively safe without major investment in time and effort. OC if somebody wants to have it on the cheap and without any sort of security then please go for it. Put a label with an appropriate warning on it and it is ok. The sad reality is however that we cannot allow this to continue because at the end we will have everything with labels and warning that do not increase anybody's awareness.

Comment Re:Why do you need this stuff on the internet at l (Score 1) 85 85

The home control allows for instance turning heating/AC on when coming home from holidays earlier than expected - for this, a normal user would use his mobile and web interface or an app. If this is done over vpn then it is (in theory) not exposed but I have serious doubts if normal users would expect vpn to be be necessary for it. In any case it was apparently not in the cards to use vpn.
There are other uses too. Clearly they are not a must but if you can control some of the house functions from your phone then why not from outside of the house?
At one thing you are correct - having multiple house is not a must with this technology and probably not even most used albeit a summer house at the seaside is a multihome situation already.

Comment Re:Do we care? (Score 1) 247 247

So your argument is that because the local laws governing the taxi service are different from location to location then this is sign that these regulations are invalid? This is nice - the wording of laws protecting property and life of citizens in the world different from location to location as well - are they thus invalid (and we can extract some kidneys for profit) ?
As for the laws that are BS - would you be more specific? Which parts of insurance and safety requirements are wrong? The limit on taxis in some places - maybe? But that is not even the main issue in many of the places where Uber has legal problems and Uber still says 'fuck it'.
I do not like cabbies all that much but I do not care about Uber either. Yet I see Uber as a global monopolist in making and I dislike it even more. Uber owner and managers behave like UFC back in first half of previous century. Only difference now is that Marines get sent less and mostly to fight terrorism these days. Trade treaties and lawyers are used instead to ensure US corps are well. I guess if Uber were forced to obey the law in EU after EU and US signed the TTIP we in EU would have to pay Uber a nice sum of money for lost profits or?

Comment Re:We're a tech company... (Score 1) 247 247

... To say that any law that prevents maximal profits is good, because anyone who wants to maximize profits is automatically wrong, is kind of silly.

Does anybody say that actually? Maximizing profits is how companies do business. Maximizing profits in certain ways - not following rules like everbody else - maybe questionable. If violating existing laws provide a company economic advantage and disadvantage to everybody else then I'd say such maximizing of profits is not beneficial to society. It is arguably a question of values. I value society that prevents such a thing. Uber owner does not unless I suppose his property and well being is in question.
It is oversimplification to say that in case of Uber it is only other corporation that gets profits. The way Uber acts means that not only additional costs are incurred locally by somebody else than Uber but also the bigger profits are taken out of the local context too. Frankly I do not see how that benefits me as a citizen or customer.

Comment Re:We're a tech company... (Score 1) 247 247

I seriously doubt that 'cheering Uber..." (assuming it works) is how we (society) are getting much of value.
From what I see Uber as providing global money skimming service over the taxi market. In some places that provides allegedly better service to customers. The technology Uber provides is not new either and apps hiring local cabbies are there for some years already. I can imagine however that some US businessmen see advantage in mcTaxi service and investors celebrate a company fighting 'red tape' and against 'workers rights'. Does not look like I should be celebrating anything unless I am Uber shareholder or live in jurisdiction where Uber profits arrive after long hard traveling all over world.

Comment Re:We're a tech company... (Score 1) 247 247

I donno - seems like shooting at more or less random people is something that US accept as a fact of life or else US laws would be modified. But then again similarly to Uber's situation - huge mountain of money prevents any meaningful action in this direction. This let me think that money mountains have more rights than people. That is of course true in all other places in the world but there is I think only one jurisdiction on earth where money mountain in from of a corporation have almost the same rights as a citizen (quite frankly I consider this a rumour as I cannot believe that is true).

Comment Re:We're a tech company... (Score 1) 247 247

Yes that is how the system should work. We know that it should be so. At the very end however it is survival of the fittest and Uber being bigger than most of its opponents financially, can outlast them.
We the people have a say only in minority of cases. Th civil rights era was bloody and its fight still did not end apparently. I do not see how people would raise in such case where worker's rights (oops sorry - freelancers working for Uber voluntarily on contract bases) or public safety or property rights (due to insufficient insurance for instance) of some individuals are/can be affected. This is not racial discrimination that made some substantial number of white people to sympathize with oppressed. In this case costs to society is spread and individualized while benefits are mostly concentrated in Uber.
Uber is attacking with the sun and down the hill on isolated enemy positions, the only thing better would be if enemy gave up.

Comment Re:We're a tech company... (Score 1) 247 247

This (laws needing a fix because of some reason) could have been used as argument but if one looks at Uber (managers and owner) behaviour one can see that it is not about fixing some laws so that businesses could operate better and (which is vital for society actually) provide better service. The main reason given is usually law is old and does not fit with modern times because Uber says so. I am for fixing old and flowed laws but Uber is not even trying to do that - it wants it all and fuck the rest. If so then society has a good right to say 'fuck you' to Uber. The only legal way to do it is to sue it as apparently many authorities do not see the point in enforcement. The problem with it is that companies like Uber can just last longer and win argument by endurance because have more money for lawyers and do not accept NO as an answer.
It is somewhat entertaining watching all the sociopaths joining the ranks Uber. The good thing is that even if Uber wins it will be forced by forces in the business itself to comply with some laws and will be tamed this way. It happened to all big companies and it will happen to Uber too. The question is whether it is good for us all to wait till that happens or to tame Uber directly.

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