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Comment: Re:More technical discussion (Score 1) 607

by yabastaaa (#44782713) Attached to: NSA Foils Much Internet Encryption

(2) We need to reduce and devolve the power of government in general in all areas: defense, federal police, welfare, health care, monetary policy, economic policy, etc. And that needs to happen in both the US and Europe.

And give that power to corporations?

As can be seen by the massive amounts of data Google, Facebook et al collect on their users and even non-users, corporations already have a big interest in tracking everything we do. If they’re also responsible for physical security, they’ll only get worse.

Also—corporations are even less accountable than your average made-in-the-last-300-years democracy, thanks to ‘commercial secrecy’ etc. They never have to justify a decision or action. Governments certainly have large black spots of accountability (especially the secret services), but it’s surely easier to spread openness & accountability from a starting point of ‘part accountable’ than ‘totally secretive and unaccountable’?

Regardless, the UK has started privatising local police services—the people in blue on the streets, but also detectives etc—as seen by recent calls for tendering in various parts of England. Paragons of quality service & high morals such as Group 4 & Securitas are tendering. Wait and see how that goes.

Comment: Re:Japanese Knot Weed (Score 1) 360

by yabastaaa (#29513887) Attached to: Alabama Wages War Against the Perfect Weed

Actually, we can eat it - when it's young and bright red, cut it and boil it like it's rhubarb. Not sure if it tastes good though!

Also, it can be landfilled, but only in special sites, by appropriately-certified waste processors, where it'll be wrapped in several layers of thick plastic and buried more than seven metres underground. Any other means of disposal leaves you liable to be prosecuted for spreading a dangerous/controlled substance.

Comment: Re:Seems like a good idea (Score 1) 806

by yabastaaa (#28386713) Attached to: US Plans To Bulldoze 50 Shrinking Cities

Advantagesare less housing for homeless and drug shelters.

Does 'housing for homeless' and 'drug shelter' mean something different where you are?! Those both sound like something we need more of....

(To be clear - in the UK a drug shelter is a place people go to receive help with their problem, and housing for the homeless.... well, by definition it's what they need, no?)

Comment: Re:Wont increase taxes on middle class (Score 1) 1505

by yabastaaa (#27827917) Attached to: Battle Lines Being Drawn As Obama Plans To Curb Tax Avoidance

Please do point out which fascists have used socialist policies/principles to subdue the populace - I'm fascinated! (or maybe you mean 'subdue' as in 'enable a maximal number of people to be happy, safe and fulfilled, and therefore not go around destroying bank property'?)

Do you comprehend what fascist actually is (or socialist for that matter), or are you merely carrying on McCarthyism? (that was a proud American period, no?)

Comment: Re:Smell of blood/books in the morning, etc. (Score 1) 356

by yabastaaa (#27685577) Attached to: Copyright Lobby Targets "Pirate Bay For Books"

Sadly, despite having approx 18months of news coverage of the American presidential candidate campaigns and elections, then actual presidential campaigns then elections, then 'obama! woo!' for an extra couple of months, we in the UK have had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING regarding the european elections :(

Thanks to you I know have a date, but who's standing in my area? How do I find out? Where do I vote? The news blackout on this is complete (even from the relatively even-handed BBC) in this increasingly xenophobic shithole of a country :(

Comment: Re:Keyhole career. (Score 1) 297

by yabastaaa (#25344463) Attached to: UK Government Says More Spying Needed

Well, MPs from our third party (Liberal Democrats) have suggested an act to repeal/overwrite the acts affecting our civil liberties. This is something that could get cross-party support, and could ‘fix’ the problem in one go (or at least partially fix).

To stop this happening again, I’d say we need a written constitution - we (the UK) currently have a vague concept of a constitution, made up of various laws across many documents spanning centuries. So in the US, detention without charge is limited by what’s allowed under the constitution, but it’s not here with the result that we can now be locked up for 28 days before finding out *why* (and losing your job, scaring your family etc. in the meantime).

In the hope of helping either/both of the above happen, I’m now helping the group I linked to above (March for Liberty). So far we’re working on raising awareness of the rights we've lost, as people are often shocked when they’re presented with the list in one place. With enough support, it will lead to protests and petitions, and hopefully make this something of an election issue.

Privacy

Australia Mulling a Nationwide Vehicle-Tracking System 176

Posted by timothy
from the coming-soon-to-$yourcountry dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It seems that as political support for Australia's version of the national ID card is waning, the powers that be have found a far more effective way to catalog the populace. CrimTrac, an Australian government agency responsible for designing technical solutions to aid policing, is due to hand in a $2.2 million scoping study for the introduction of a nationwide automatic number plate recognition system (ANPR). It seems that as well as ANPR, the system will also collect images of drivers and passengers with high enough resolution for identification purposes. All ANPR data collected would be made available to participating agencies in real time, and retained for five years for future investigations."
Censorship

Debunking the Google Earth Censorship Myth 294

Posted by timothy
from the just-what-they-want-you-to-think dept.
waderoush writes "There's a persistent Web meme to the effect that Google obscures sensitive or top-secret locations in Google Maps and Google Earth at the insistence of national governments. A July IT Security article promoted on Digg, 'Blurred Out: 51 Things You Aren't Allowed to See on Google Maps,' revived this notion. But the article has been widely criticized, and I did some fact-checking this week on the six Boston-area locations mentioned in the IT Security list. As it turns out, not one of the allegedly blurred locations has degraded imagery in Google Maps, as my screen shots demonstrate. My post looks into the sources of the misleading IT Security piece, and of other mistaken rumors about Google Maps."
Censorship

W3C.org Briefly Censored In Finland 115

Posted by timothy
from the well-they-do-inspire-impure-thoughts dept.
k33l0r writes "The web site of W3C, w3.org or w3c.org, was briefly censored (Google Translation) by at least some of the local ISPs. For an unknown reason the URL was mistakenly entered into the Federal Police's censor database. Some of the Finnish ISPs use the database to filter out questionable content such as child pornography." Finnish online activist Matti Nikki describes some of the problems with this database-based censorship.
Music

Wal-Mart Ends DRM Support 231

Posted by Soulskill
from the enjoy-your-rights dept.
An anonymous reader writes "So, you thought you did well to support the fledgling music industry by purchasing your tracks legally from the Wal-Mart store? Well, forget about moving these tracks to a new PC! Since they started selling DRM-free tracks last year, there's no money to be made in maintaining the DRM support systems, and in fact, support is being shut down. Make sure you circumvent the restrictions by burning the tracks to an old-fashioned CD before Wal-mart 'will no longer be able to assist with digital rights management issues for protected WMA files purchased from Walmart.com.' Support ends October 9th."
The Internet

Demonoid Tracker Is Back Online 211

Posted by kdawson
from the score-one-for-the-mole dept.
Crymson4 writes "We discussed the shutdown of the Demonoid torrent tracker last fall. For those who don't already know, Demonoid is back up. Looks like they found a new host for the Web site and the tracker is functioning properly as well. For those with old accounts, all the old data has been saved. It's almost as if they never left."

Real Programmers don't write in FORTRAN. FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies. FORTRAN is for wimp engineers who wear white socks.

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