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Comment Freedom of speech as long as it's the right one (Score 5, Insightful) 832

The very asking of the headline question reeks of "freedom of speech as long as it's the right one".

People should be able to discern speech the agree with vs. speech they don't on their own after considering every opinion made.

Speech "carriers" have all the right to censor the speech in their media as they see fit (not being the government and all) but the very moment the prevent someone to speak their mind on their platform (no matter how radical they may sound) they forfeit their right to call themselves "a bastion of free speech" and become the same as every other news media: a place to broadcast the views of their owners and target audience, no more, no less.

In conclusion, every company have the right to pick and choose what they want to enable to be said on their property but as soon as they choose to censor they become yet another biased source just like every other else.

Comment Your post advocates a (Score 4, Interesting) 192

The goal is to make the data less useful and harder to tie to an individual or separate from fake data, and to increase the cost of collecting and storing such data.

Here is a new form, the same as the fighting spam one with minor changes. Feel free to use it as most of the measures proposed to fight surveillance fail for the same reasons.

Your post advocates a

( ) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based (X) vigilante

approach to fighting surveillance. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws not included here)

(X) Governments can easily use it to identify dissidents
( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
( ) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
( ) It will stop surveillance for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
(X) Users will not put up with it
(X) Microsoft will not put up with it
( ) The police will not put up with it
(X) Requires too much cooperation from everyone
(X) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
( ) Many users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
( ) Governments don't care about invalid addresses in their lists
( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
( ) Lack of centrally controlling authority for communication
( ) Open relays in foreign countries
(X) Ease of searching all text based communication
(X) Asshats
( ) Jurisdictional problems
( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
( ) Huge existing software investment in current solutions
( ) Susceptibility of other forms of encryption
( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches
( ) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
(X) Eternal arms race involved in all surveillance approaches
(X) Extreme profitability of surveillance
( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
(X) Technically illiterate politicians
(X) Extreme stupidity on the part of people
( ) Dishonesty on the part of everyone themselves
( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
( ) Outlook

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(X) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
been shown practical
( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
( ) Encryption should not be the subject of legislation
( ) Blacklists suck
( ) Whitelists suck
( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
( ) Speech should be free
( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
(X) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome
( ) I don't want the government decrypting my stuff
( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

(X) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your house down!

Comment Yellow journalism at its best (Score 4, Insightful) 365

Anonymous declares war on city of Orlando (28/Jun/2011)
Anonymous vs. Zetas: Hackers Taking On The Drug Cartel (02/Nov/2011)
Anonymous wages war on Westboro Baptist Church (17/Dez/2012)
Anonymous Declares War on Singapore (06/Nov/2013)

Given the fallback on the last weeks hoax declaration of war on ISIS by Mexican cartel leader 'El Chapo' the media is showing that the powers of "the fourth state" given to them is not being used to inform the public but to entertain them, distracting from more important issues (and of course, to sell advertisement).

Comment Re:FUD at least sort of. (Score 2, Insightful) 199

Not FUD at all. There is an expectation when you turn of a camera / motion detector that it will stop performing its main function (filming, detecting motion) and just do nothing instead.

imagine a faucet that, when turned off, instead of stopping the flow of water it simply closed the loop in the sink, storing the water somewhere locally for further reuse.

People would not appreciate the fact that it is not letting the water go away because they want the faucet to stop running water when off.

Submission + - FSF: "Microsoft's Software is Malware"

vivaoporto writes: In a sharp article the Free Software Foundation (FSF) pushes forward the argument that Microsoft software is, in fact, malware.

According to their definition, malware is "software designed to function in ways that mistreat or harm the user", not including accidental errors. The article discriminate between the following types of behaviour and gives examples of instances where it applies to Microsoft software:

* Back doors
* Sabotage
* Surveillance
* Jails — systems that impose censorship on application programs.
* Tyrants — systems that reject any operating system not “authorized” by the manufacturer.

Examples include instances of forced updates over explicit user denial, the ability to remote deletion of apps, informing NSA of unfixed bugs, among others.

it concludes with the statement that, "if you do want to clean your computer of malware, the first software to delete is Windows".

Comment The very definition of "slacktivism" (Score 0) 320

This is a feel good measure, the very definition of "slacktivism".

Reporting twitter accounts from people most likely fanboying from their comfortable homes in the west is nothing, how long until they create another account? 1 hour, 2 hours?

When one look back and look at the most remarkable hacks against high profile targets (like the one Saudi Aramco suffered in 2012.) it puts in context that this kind of initiative is well intentioned but naive and a waste of time for the volunteers.

Comment Re:Another attack on Christianity (Score 3, Insightful) 518

This is just another thinly veiled attack on Christianity and other religions.

No, it is not. It is actually a very clever way to highlight the importance of the separation between church and state.

The very first part of the First Amendment is that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" and, making explicit exceptions for religious attire in legislation breaks not only the spirit but also the letter of that text.

Making an exception in the law for religious reasons (like in this case, no head gear except for religious reasons) undermine that very principle and opens the door for other kinds of abuse and, in the future, even in the establishment of a state endorsed religion, one that may not even be the one you profess if you think about it.

Comment In Portugal "Engineer" is a regulated profession (Score 3, Informative) 568

In Portugal the title "engineer" is subject to acreditation by the Order (much like medical doctors or lawyers) and not all students that complete an engineering school can use engineer as the professional title.

It's a distinction without a difference anyway, people mostly want to use "engineer" and "doctor" as a sign of status (replacing the old system of royal and noble ranks) while professionally it carries no difference at all.

Comment YT will also remove videos that don't play ball (Score 5, Interesting) 236

A better headline (and interestingly missing from ./ summary) comes from techcrunch: YouTube Will Completely Remove Videos Of Creators Who Don't Sign Its Red Subscription Deal

YouTube made its top video creators an offer they literally couldn't refuse, or they'd have their content disappear. Today YouTube confirmed that any "partner" creator who earns a cut of ad revenue but doesn't agree to sign its revenue share deal for its new YouTube Red $9.99 ad-free subscription will have their videos hidden from public view on both the ad-supported and ad-free tiers. That includes videos by popular comedians, musicians, game commentators, and DIY instructors.

It's a tough pill to swallow that makes YouTube look like a bully. Though turning existing fans into paid subscribers instead of free viewers could earn creators more than the ad revenue, forcing them into the deal seems heavy-handed.

Google says the goal is to offer consistency, so people thinking about subscribing to Red don't have to worry about their favorite content not being available in the ad-free service. But there's no explanation why it couldn't just flag videos of those who don't sign the deal as "Not On Red", and instead had to go with a sign-or-disappear strategy.

According to Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl at today's YouTube Red launch event, 99% of content consumed on YouTube will be still available, noting that the vast majority of creators signed the deal. But they didn't have much choice, otherwise they'd lose out on both the previous ad revenue, the new subscription revenue, and the connection with fans.

Submission + - Playboy Drops Nudity as Internet Fills Demand writes: Ravi Somaiya reports in the NY Times that as part of a redesign that will be unveiled next March, the print edition of Playboy Magazine will still feature women in provocative poses but they will no longer be fully nude. “That battle has been fought and won,” says CEO Scott Flanders. “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture.” According to Somaiya, for a generation of American men, reading Playboy was a cultural rite, an illicit thrill consumed by flashlight. Now every teenage boy has an Internet-connected phone instead. Pornographic magazines, even those as storied as Playboy, have lost their shock value, their commercial value and their cultural relevance. The magazine will adopt a cleaner, more modern style. There will still be a Playmate of the Month, but the pictures will be “PG-13” and less produced — more like the racier sections of Instagram. “A little more accessible, a little more intimate,” says Flancers. It is not yet decided whether there will still be a centerfold.

It is difficult, in a media market that has been so fragmented by the web, to imagine the scope of Playboy’s influence at its peak. Hugh Hefner was successful at packaging an attitude, a mindset, a philosophy — and one that ran counter to the superficial tenets of the 1950's. "Its sexual content and glamorous depictions of bachelorhood made it roguish for the 1950s," says Elizabeth Fraterrigo, "but in its heyday, Playboy was more than a magazine filled with pictures of nude women and advice on how to make the perfect martini." It was, Fraterrigo concludes, a crucial part of "mainstream debates about society, economics, and culture in postwar America."

Submission + - Federal Court Invalidates 11-Year-old FBI gag order on NSL recipient

vivaoporto writes: The Calyx Institute reports that a federal district court has ordered the FBI to lift an eleven-year-old gag order imposed on Nicholas Merrill forbidding him from speaking about a National Security Letter ("NSL") that the FBI served on him in 2004. The ruling marks the first time that an NSL gag order has been lifted in full since the PATRIOT Act vastly expanded the scope of the FBI’s NSL authority in 2001.

For more than a decade, the government has refused to allow Mr. Merrill and other NSL recipients to tell the public just how broadly the FBI has interpreted its authority to surveil individuals’ digital lives in secret using NSLs. Tens of thousands of NSLs are issued by FBI officers every year without a warrant or judicial oversight of any kind.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero’s decision invalidated the gag order in full, finding no "good reason" to prevent Merrill from speaking about any aspect of the NSL, particularly an attachment to the NSL that lists the specific types of "electronic communication transactional records" (“ECTR”) that the FBI believed it was authorized to demand.

It is worth noting that this is the same judge that struck down a portion of the revised USA PATRIOT Act in 2007 forcing investigators to go through the courts to obtain approval before ordering ISPs to give up information on customers, instead of just sending them a National Security Letter.

Submission + - Life with the Dash button: good design for Amazon, bad for everyone else

vivaoporto writes: A scathing review published on Fast Company describes Amazon's Dash Button, the "Buy Now" button brought into the physical world as "the latest symptom of Amazon's slowly spreading disease", "an unabashed attempt to disconnect customers from the amount of money we're spending"

The author criticism focus on Amazon's lack of focus on customer experience, a core UI that doesn't make sense, limited and expensive product selection and a "store UX is no longer designed for your convenient shopping", "designed for their profitable selling".

Submission + - Ad-blocker Crystal massively reduces bandwidth usage and page load times in iOS (

Mark Wilson writes: There's a lot to look forward to in iOS 9. We already know that the new version of Safari will include the option to block ads, but the browser is not going to be alone in clearing out unwanted ads. Crystal is an ad blocker for iOS 9 created "with the goal of making web browsing with the iPhone and iPad a great experience again".

It started life as a tool for testing iOS 9's own content blocker, but grew into a stand-alone project. Crystal is currently in closed public beta but its developer, Dean Murphy, has released some figures that show how effective it is. The results show that Crystal can speed up page load times by nearly four times and reduce bandwidth consumption by 53 percent. Impressive stuff, and the stats make for extremely interesting reading — particularly for those waiting for the launch of a new iPhone.

Submission + - Google ordered to remove links to stories about Google removing links to stories (

vivaoporto writes: Ars Technica UK reports that the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has ordered Google to remove links from its search results that point to news stories reporting on earlier removals of links from its search results. The nine further results that must be removed point to Web pages with details about the links relating to a criminal offence that were removed by Google following a request from the individual concerned.

The Web pages involved in the latest ICO order repeated details of the original criminal offence, which were then included in the results displayed when searching for the complainant’s name on Google. Toe company has 35 days to comply with the enforcement notice. If it does not, it faces financial sanctions, which can be significant.

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