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Comment: the naivety is painful (Score 3, Interesting) 247

by xappax (#47202477) Attached to: Mayday Anti-PAC On Its Second Round of Funding

Really? You're going to end the corrupting influence of corporate money in politics by out-fundraising them?

Having money is the one thing corporations are good at, and they're really, really good at it. If your strategy hinges on using money as influence, you're always going to lose, because they are FAR better and more practiced at that game than you are.

The only way to advance this particular agenda is to exploit the strengths that we have which corporations don't. We can fill the streets with real people, we can make disruptive spectacles and speak earnestly about social problems. Unlike corporations, we don't need to hide behind spokespeople and PACs, because we have authenticity. We are genuinely concerned about the future of our democracy, and though corporations can try hard to simulate that concern, it's never as authentic as the real thing.

The MAYDAY PAC is like David trying to beat Goliath in a fist fight. Don't fight on his terms, use the sling, idiot!

Comment: Re:When talking to a prosecutor in the US. (Score 5, Insightful) 409

by xappax (#43084445) Attached to: The Accidental Betrayal of Aaron Swartz

When you're called before a Grand Jury in the US, you don't have the right to remain silent. The prosecution can effectively force you to answer questions, and if you refuse, you can be jailed for years.

It's still good advice to say absolutely nothing, but it's not as simple as most of you seem to believe. By saying nothing, you are condemning yourself to jail.

This is why pretty much only anarchists refuse to cooperate with Grand Juries, because they have a fundamental ideological opposition to the legal system and will never cooperate with the prosecution, even when their right not to cooperate is suspended. It's one thing to legally exercise your rights, it's another to be willing to go to jail for them.

Comment: security and society (Score 2) 70

by xappax (#38151412) Attached to: Ask Hacker and Security Gadfly Moxie Marlinspike

In addition to being a very sharp security researcher, you seem to have a strong interest in issues of social and political control.
What emerging security trends do you see as being most important or helpful for authoritarians (at home and abroad)?
What security trends are most important for anti-establishment movements?

Comment: Re:Aptitude (Score 1) 769

by xappax (#33609550) Attached to: Why Are Terrorists Often Engineers?

They certainly are a better training ground for learning to spout pseudo-intellectual-sounding commentary. And hey, that does have its place, especially when you need to sound smart about something you don't know much about. But I already knew how to do that just fine, so when I went to school I studied how to actually do useful things.

Comment: Re:Sad to see this happen (Score 2, Interesting) 258

by xappax (#32761080) Attached to: With World Watching, Wikileaks Falls Into Disrepair

They did tell what happened. In fact, they release the entire raw footage to the entire internet, so that any random person could analyze it independently or make their own edited version. That's way WAY different from how the mainstream media operates.

But they also released an edited version, and that's all you watched, because you don't actually care enough to do the work of reviewing the primary source yourself. If you're too lazy to interpret the raw footage yourself, you're going to be stuck with someone else's interpretation.

Comment: From The Air (Score 1) 215

by xappax (#32515004) Attached to: FAA Adds a Study On Adding Drones To Commercial Aviation

Good evening. This is your Captain.
We are about to attempt a crash landing.
Please extinguish all cigarettes.
Place your tray tables in their
upright, locked position.
Your Captain says: Put your head on your knees.
Your Captain says: Put your head in your hands.
Put your hands on your hips. Heh heh.
This is your Captain--and we are going down.
We are all going down, together.
And I said: Uh oh. This is gonna be some day.
Standby. This is the time.
And this is the record of the time.
This is the time. And this is the record of the time.

Uh--this is your Captain again.
You know, I've got a funny feeling I've seen this all before.
Why? Cause I'm a caveman.
Why? Cause I've got eyes in the back of my head.
Why? It's the heat. Standby.
This is the time. And this is the record of the time.
This is the time. And this is the record of the time.

Put your hands over your eyes. Jump out of the plane.
There is not pilot. You are not alone. Standby.
This is the time. And this is the record of the time.
This is the time. And this is the record of the time.

Comment: Re:Not for this reason (Score 1) 421

by xappax (#31625634) Attached to: Perelman Urged To Accept $1m Prize
That's not a logical response. If having money obligates one to use it to "correct wrongs", then he is pretty clearly already saddled with that obligation. Just because he doesn't legally have the money in his name doesn't mean he doesn't have access to it, and therefore the power to use it to "correct wrongs" if he so chooses. It's like if Bill Gates turned down a starving kid because he didn't have any money in pocket. If he really cared, he would go get the money he has access to and share it. When you have the possibility of accessing tons of money with little effort, the excuse "I don't have anything to spare" is no excuse at all.

On the other hand he could just say "I really don't care about charity or the well-being of others, I'd prefer if everyone just left me alone." Which would at least be honest. After all, his work for the field of mathematics is more charity than could reasonably be expected out of anyone.

Comment: Re:Refreshment of memory (Score 1) 1255

by xappax (#29732701) Attached to: FOSS Sexism Claims Met With Ire and Denial
I see that you have produced 4 quotes, only 2 of which are actually relevant to the idea that women are better than men (a.k.a. sexism). Based purely on these quotes (though I'm meant to believe that "there's tons more") you claim to have accurately represented the entirety (or at least "the bulk") of feminism, and the many differing schools of thought and movements which make up "the feminist movement".

Why make such generalizations? If those quotes piss you off, why not hate the people who said them, or the people who agree with them? Why instead put words into the mouths of a huge group of people who don't hate men, nor think women are any better? Why equate feminism with misandry? My guess - and that's all it can be - is that you hate feminism for other, unrelated reasons. That when women are assertive, uncompromising, and demand respect and recognition, it feels threatening. It feels as though they must hate you and all other men, because otherwise they wouldn't be so disruptive and annoying. So you make assumptions about their motivations. Because it's much easier to dismiss people who simply irrationally hate you than people with legitimate points to consider and discuss.

Comment: Re:Refreshment of memory (Score 1) 1255

by xappax (#29732351) Attached to: FOSS Sexism Claims Met With Ire and Denial
You describe an extremely antiseptic environment, where nobody ever talks about anything not directly related to the code, and they only talk about it in a bland tech-manual style. That's not reality.

Reality is that people in the FOSS community enjoy FOSS, but they also enjoy community. Community often involves informal discussions, jokes, etc. and as you mention, interaction outside official channels. And that's all fantastic, and a big part of what keeps people engaged and excited about a project. Even something as simple as being informal and silly in the way you comment your code or explain your algorithm on the dev list can make the project more fun and satisfying, less like corporate work.

The problem is that the very community so many men enjoy is currently alienating for the vast majority of women. Because currently, some of those jokes, discussions and silliness are misogynistic. So while women technically can participate in the coding, the "reward" of getting to be part of a fun community and getting respect from peers is worthless or undesirable to them.

Comment: Re:Refreshment of memory (Score 2, Interesting) 1255

by xappax (#29732061) Attached to: FOSS Sexism Claims Met With Ire and Denial
That's an interesting point, but sometimes, you have to draw attention to a particular kind of "bullying" because most people don't even realize it's going on. Maybe they're not even doing it on purpose, they just never stopped to think. For example, if I'm American and so are all the other coders I know, we're not necessarily going to notice if we're doing things in a way that are inconvenient or annoying or offensive to people from other cultures or parts of the world.

Often, we don't fully get these things even when someone mentions it. We're just like "Huh." and move on to the things that actually affect us directly. It takes a pretty high-profile and involved community discourse to a) get enough attention drawn to the problem and b) work out as a community how we should respond to it.

+ - 70% Of Banks Say Their Employees Committed Fraud->

Submitted by yahoi
yahoi (1239028) writes "The financial crisis appears to be exacerbating fraud by bank employees: a new survey found that 70 percent of financial institutions say that in the last 12 months they have experienced a case of data theft by one of their workers. Meanwhile, most banks don't want to talk about the insider threat problem and remain in denial, says a former Wachovia Bank executive who handled insider fraud incidents at the bank and has co-authored a new book called Insidious — How Trusted Employees Steal Millions and Why It's So Hard for Banks to Stop Them that investigates several real-world insider fraud cases at banks."
Link to Original Source

+ - G20 Protesters Arrested for Using Twitter-> 1

Submitted by xappax
xappax (876447) writes "Two hackers set up a real-time "information clearinghouse" system during the recent protests of the G20 summit in Pittsburgh. The system used custom software combined with Twitter to allow them to receive and send instant updates on what was happening during the protests, such as food servings, changes in schedule, and police activity on the streets.
They have both been arrested for "criminal use of a communication facility", and one had his home in Queens raided by FBI anti-terrorism agents.
Is using Twitter to aggregate publicly available information a crime?"

Link to Original Source

"Success covers a multitude of blunders." -- George Bernard Shaw