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Comment Re:Give him a Nobel Prize (Score 1) 628

Ah, yes, because wars are fought and won by grunts with rifles. I suppose there's nothing vital about keeping radar tracking capabilities classified. And why on earth should we care if bad guys know what's in our missile uplinks and downlinks? Why don't we just fill everyone in on how we combat jamming? While we're at it, let's tell them all the capabilities of our ships, land-based weapons platforms, and so on. There's nothing there that could come back to bite us.

You know, to be honest with you, politically, I have serious libertarian leanings and I'm not sure we should even have a standing army, and I'm definitely sure we shouldn't have troops stationed in a hundred and some odd countries around the world. But to sit here and act like we should just think military capability isn't something that should be safeguarded is simply asinine.

There are an awful lot of people in this world that would kill us tomorrow if they had our capability instead of their own. That's not terror fear-mongering, it's a fact. Some would argue that it would be us reaping what we've sown. Maybe that's true, but if you think I'm going to help you find out, you're nuts.

Comment Re:Give him a Nobel Prize (Score 1) 628

The more comments I read, the more clear it is to me that the vast majority of people here are not entrusted with classified data of any kind.

Look, I understand your concern, I really do. But information is classified for a reason. I read a lot of comments here where people seem to think that this is simply a huge pile of embarrassing information so let's release it and give some people red faces. And some of it might be. But that's irrelevant.

Those of us who are entrusted with classified information are trusted to safeguard that information. We are required to safeguard that information under penalty of law. I'm not saying that bad things can't or don't get covered up, but as I said, information is classified for a reason and in 250,000 pages of documents, you're not going to be able to convince me that we're just talking about a pile of embarrassing memos.

I think part of the problem is that people assume that most classified documents are flashy, interesting things like nuclear secrets or stuff about Area 51. Unfortunately, the reality is that while that kind of thing exists, foreign operatives work tirelessly to reconstruct capabilities, situations, policies, and other, less sexy, things by piecing together little bits of information (not that they don't want the big stuff too). A confidential document might seem innocuous, when, in reality, it contains pieces to a larger puzzle.

You might think that exposing the puzzle to the world is the right thing to do, but I implore you to believe me when I say it's not. There are ways to combat wrong-doing and I know it stings to know that there are people in high places getting away with bad stuff here and there. There are checks and balances in place and there will always be whistle blowers keeping people honest. But releasing confidential documents to the outside world is just plain wrong. The soldier that did that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law because not only did he promise to protect the classified data that he leaked, but he also knows as well as I do that releasing it can do harm to all of us, not just the people that he wants to expose.

Comment Re:Hidden agenda (Score 1) 355

I follow, but my point is, systems should be made to follow your current identity.

There's almost no point in having a fingerprint point to an entry in a database that represents a previous identity. The old "person" ceases to exist so if someone wants to find that person, it's a dead end.

I think your real fear is that a person will have a link to who a person used to be and who they are now which can be abused, and yes, I think your concern is valid. But doesn't the government keep those links somewhere anyway? When you legally change your name, does the government (I'm thinking in the U.S. - I don't know about anywhere else) keep that record?

The library or your job or other places wouldn't really have much reason to keep that connection because they're invested in who you are now.

Also, in case we're on different pages, I'm assuming for this discussion that there isn't one huge thumbprint database somewhere, and that the library just has a server sitting there with their own. If we're talking about a big server somewhere, especially government, then I'm switching to your side.

Comment Re:Hidden agenda (Score 1) 355

I'm not sure I understand your point. Yes, you can change your legal identity. Are you saying that you wouldn't then provide that new identity to the library to continue checking out books? So, then wouldn't your library card still be connected (or reconnected) to your legal identity?

Or is it that you just want to be able to check out books under a false identity? You might think that's your right, but I certainly think it is my right to know to whom, exactly, I'm loaning something.

Comment Re:Hidden agenda (Score 1) 355

Well, presumably, if you present a library card to someone to check out a book, that card acts as a key to your legal identity in a database or filing cabinet of some kind. So, in either case, the end result is that the library has access to your legal identity which you gave them in the first place because you wanted to be able to check out books.

Comment Re:Wait till swine flu appears again (Score 4, Insightful) 355

Well then, we'd better hurry up and get rid of door knobs, vending machines, elevator buttons, and the myriad of other things that a lot of people touch on a daily basis. I'm sure that children aren't already touching each others toys, school supplies, desks, etc. already, though, so good catch on this one. In fact, we'd better hurry up and get them all into bubbles before the swine flu gets them!!

Or maybe the librarian could just hit the reader with a little sanitizing wipe every so often. Germ phobia is hardly a reason not to do this. Not when a thumb print reader is just one more thing among a slew of others that a lot of children might touch in a day.

Comment Re:Was Not Impressed at All (Score 1) 955

It's not that it could only be enjoyed by people of high intellect, it's that to truly enjoy it, you have to be willing to think. You have to be willing to interpret events and think through their meaning without expecting a bullet list of answers to guide you through the process.

Comment Isolated Networks (Score 1) 497

It really irks me when I have to have ridiculous passwords on networks that are physically isolated from the outside world. They used to physically assign us passwords for two separate networks (that are not isolated from each other) that were synchronized. Then, the Windows domain got a much stronger password requirement. So, instead of just assigning us a new stronger password synchronized across the two networks, they make us pick a new, ridiculous password for the Windows domain and still assign us a password on the other one, and the Windows passwords change several times per year instead of once like the other network.

So, not only do I have to memorize a new stronger password that changes frequently, but I have to remember another less strict one too. And both on networks where the only way for someone to steal my password is to physically stand there and watch me type it anyway, which is only marginally more difficult while typing a longer password with more special characters in it.

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 1) 377

There's nothing stopping you, that's the point.

And what do you mean, who am I to decide it? I didn't decide anything other than to like the way Scrabble has been played for my entire life. Am I wrong for wanting it to stay that way? Who are you to decide that proper nouns should be allowed?

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 3, Insightful) 377

Not only that, but if people really want to use proper nouns, then what's to stop them currently? Because it's not written on the rules paper? Scrabble is about vocabulary, not about knowledge of popular culture.

Most surprising to me is that I even care, but the more I think about it, the more I do. Come on, Mattel!

Comment Re:I smoke... (Score 1) 561

Hide in the can for five minutes. Or better yet, briskly walk around with a determined look and it will be assumed that you're off doing something relevant. There are plenty of ways to keep the PHBs at bay while you clear your mind for the better.

Comment Re:I smoke... (Score 2, Insightful) 561

Or, (since I'd be forbidden from having a water boiler at my desk) simply take a couple of minutes to make the tea and then walk away somewhere quiet for a few minutes. There are a dazzling number of possibilities for things to do to give oneself a break to clear the mind that don't significantly increase the likelihood of chemo and radiation treatments later in life and that don't cause one to drag around a foul stench in the more immediate point in time.

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