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Comment: Re:NIMBY at its finest (Score 1) 409

Samaritan's Purse, the employer of the two patients, is an evangelical missionary outfit run by Franklin Graham. My guess is that at least part of this trip is due to the Democrats not wanting to have to explain to the electorate why they let two of God's Favorites expire in some sweaty jungle hut. If it's really "for study," they could have flown a couple of African victims over months ago.

And yeah, it's a really stupid idea.

Comment: Re:The FBI is mostly entirely comprised of Mormons (Score 1) 475

by wordsnyc (#47142663) Attached to: The Sudden Policy Change In Truecrypt Explained

Yeah, absurdly non-true today. OTOH, Hoover did prefer Mormons in his inner circle, and the FBI agents I had occasion to meet in the 60s & 70s definitely came across as uptight and straitlaced Mormon types. Fun Fact: in the 60s, FBI agents helpfully drove AMC/Rambler sedans as undercover cars and used sturdy but crappy Beseler Topcon 35 mm cameras.

Comment: Re:The real puzzle (Score 2) 382

2005: Greek 737 crew succumbed to cabin de-pressurization, plane flew on until out of gas & crashed. Helios Airways Flight 522:

Story of multiple pilot errors on top of ground mechanic's stunning mistake. I suspect something similar happened in this case.

Comment: Re:no (Score 1) 479

by wordsnyc (#46011827) Attached to: An Iowa ISP's Metered Pricing: What Will the Market Bear?

Rural Ohio, 35 miles east of Columbus. Our only choice is Frontier DSL, less than 3.5 Mb most of the time, often drops completely if it rains or there is "squirrel activity" on the lines. Netflix works, sorta, on a very small screen. We have DirecTV but soon won't be able to afford it. I read a lot of books.

Comment: Re: OMG enough (Score 2) 360

by wordsnyc (#45084597) Attached to: The Linux Backdoor Attempt of 2003

Thousands of contract employees in the past few years have had access to what Snowden revealed. It is likely that all those "secrets" were old news to every major foreign intelligence service. The NSA is like a vacuum cleaner with a punctured bag: they sweep up info and then leak it like a sieve.

And if Snowden were interested in selling info, he would never have gone public.

Comment: Re:HOW?? (Score 4, Interesting) 620

One of the more significant recent revelations is that the govt uses "parallel construction" in building a cae. If possibly illegal surveillance is used to catch you, they -- after the fact -- construct a legal scenario for how they MIGHT have caught you that will pass muster w/ a judge.

Comment: When the clue phone had a dial (Score 3, Interesting) 168

by wordsnyc (#44987853) Attached to: Everything You Needed To Know About the Internet In May, 1994

[posted as comment to article] I wrote a book for Random House in 1996 called "The Book Lover's Guide to the Internet." I spent the first half of the book explaining how the net worked and how to access it through AOL, CompuServe, Genie, Prodigy, et al. I think I still have a press account on AOL, for what that's worth. Somewhere I even have a pc with Mosaic on it.

I did an author appearance at a B&N in NYC in '97 that was covered by C-SPAN. First question from the audience was "Isn't it true that the government is watching everything you do online?" I think I answered, "Yeah, probably."

[Actually, since it was the Village, the questions veered into computers and mind control a bit later on.]

Comment: Re:I wonder... (Score 1) 212

by wordsnyc (#44845719) Attached to: Snowden Nominated For Freedom of Thought Prize

I wish you could take a step back and grasp at least a bit of the big picture because this is not some shitty LeCarre or Tom Clancy novel ...

"Shitty Tom Clancy novel" is redundant.

John LeCarre is at the other end of the spectrum. His novels happen to be about "spies" for the most part, but they stand on their own among the finest of 20th century English literature.

"Freedom is still the most radical idea of all." -- Nathaniel Branden