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Submission + - Intelligence Official Says He Was Fired For Not Lying To Congress (techdirt.com)

An anonymous reader writes: We knew this already, but we are only being told what the NSA wants us to know and no defections from the Official Spin are allowed.

As more and more details come out about the NSA surveillance programs, the federal government is looking more and more ridiculous. The latest comes from a column by John Fund at the National Review Online — a publication which has been a pretty strong supporter of the surveillance state. The column highlights that even the NSA's staunchest defenders are beginning to get fed up with the NSA as more leaks come out (especially last week's revelation of thousands of abuses). But the really interesting tidbit is buried a bit:

A veteran intelligence official with decades of experience at various agencies identified to me what he sees as the real problem with the current NSA: “It’s increasingly become a culture of arrogance. They tell Congress what they want to tell them. Mike Rogers and Dianne Feinstein at the Intelligence Committees don’t know what they don’t know about the programs.” He himself was asked to skew the data an intelligence agency submitted to Congress, in an effort to get a bigger piece of the intelligence budget. He refused and was promptly replaced in his job, presumably by someone who would do as told.

Comment Re:Patriotism (Score 4, Insightful) 218

he has sacrificed more A bank robber who gets killed during the robbery sacrifices a lot, he lost his life and his future. Does that automatically make the bank robber a Patriot? Of course not.

The difference is that the bank robber is doing his thing for his own benefite whereas Snowden gets no benefit, all the benefit goes to his countrymen.

Comment Re:LPT bit banging (Score 1) 520

I've got one program that runs on DOS. It's been running continously since 1995 (24x365). The only crashes are when power goes out and it comes back from those crashes with no corruption and no need for a manual restart. When power comes back it just picks up where it went down. My Linux systems don't have that kind of uptime. If it weren't for hardware becoming hard to get I would keep it on DOS. It's a nice simple OS that does what it's told to do.

Comment Re:Indeed there must be many ehtical companies ... (Score 1) 390

"If only because their helmsmen are required, by law, to maximise shareholder value."

This shows up on almost every discussion of companies. It is false. There is no legal requirement for management to maximise the value of the company or maximise the share price. Management would have to do something really, really obviously deliberately bad for the company before anyone would have a chance of a legal recourse. Merely bankrupting the company with rediculous lawsuits (ala SCO) isn't going to get management into legal trouble. Shareholders might sue but that's a different issue.

Comment c# vs java (Score 1) 437

I thought the main reason to use java was to be OS independent. When your web page on Linux couldn't handle the load you could just move your code to a bigger Solaris or IBM box. Or when the PHB says he doesn't trust BSD to be secure he can move it all to Windows.

I've not worked with c#. Is it multiplatform like java or are you stuck with running it on Windows?

Comment Re:Damn... (Score 4, Informative) 602

Labels can be an issue. I am dsylexic and have met other dsylexics. Being labeled dsylexic is almost like being labeled stupid. I was lucky that no one figured it out until late enough in my life that the label didn't bother me. A dsylexic thinks different than "normal" people. A lot of my thinking is 3D visualization. While in high school I was getting some training in patternmaking. The dsylexica made that job so easy I was doing stuff that my trainer couldn't understand. Once when I walked into the boss' office (the trainer) he was on the phone telling a customer that he couldn't make the part they wanted. The blue print was on the desk in front of me and a two second glance at it let me figure out why he thought it couldn't be made and that I could make it. So right at the end of him saying "it can't be made" I quietly said "I can make it." He was used to me by then and said into the phone "I just had an idea. Let me get back to you." After I explained how I can make it, he still didn't understand it. He asked me if I were sure I could make it. I said yes and we bid and got the job. I had no problem making the pattern. So I'm color blind, dsylexic and have the signs of an aspie. Those issues have caused me problems at times but they also helped me do things normal people can't do. The issue is that the label is often considered to be a negitive trait rather than just a different way of thinking. The aspie traits made me a good sysadmin and a good coder though it made dating very difficult. The dsylexia made me a good patternmaker but makes spelling and balancing a check book almost impossible. The color blindness makes it easy for me to see through camouflage which is useful in hunting or war but makes wiring a network cable very difficult. Beware the label.

Comment books that were important to me (Score 1) 700

In high school I read all the Sherlock Holmes books. Later I found the charactor was based on a real person, Dr. John Bell.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein was an indirect study in how society is affected by resources.

Stranger in a Strange Land also by Heinlein also about choices society makes that they aren't always aware of.

Comment Re:No, coding is useless to an entrepreneur (Score 5, Interesting) 202

One time I was writing some code to control hardware and the boss wanted it to watch for a condition and then alert the supervisors. I thought it was a good idea and asked him what symptoms defined this condition he wanted to watch for. He said "just let the computer figure it out." I don't think I ever got him to understand the computer doesn't think but just follows rules and until the rules are defined the computer won't know what to do. I ended up making a guess for rules and kept tweeking as I watched for false positives and negatives.

A entrepreneur needs to understand how computes work and how algorithms work or it's going to be a cluster.

Comment bandwidth expectations (Score 1) 365

Depending on what type of job you are doing, bandwidth could be an issue. As a sysadmin, when a server goes down my boss expects me to fix it "right now". Excuses like storms took down my internet connection aren't acceptable. I was expected to have alternate internet and as a last resort, drive into the data center to fix the problem.

Some Linux servers only had GUI interfaces for the hardware connection. Dial-up wasn't fast enough for these.

A programmer could be off line for a few days and still be productive as long as phone service was available so conversations with coworkers could still take place.

Comment slash code should work on more browsers. (Score 1) 410

I've tried 6 different browsers on 4 different platforms and none of them render slashdot properly. All of them render something different than the others. Firefox on Solaris was so bad I gave up reading slashdot at work. I would think Firefox on Linux would render it properly but it leaves out major chunks of screen that show up in Opera.

Is anyone going to acturally quality test your changes this time?

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