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Comment What a load of lies (Score 1) 237

The Snowden leaks at this point are well past issues of Constitutional rights in the US.

Actually, I think the government intentionally breaching the Constitution is a much bigger issue than any intelligence leak. 50 years from now no one will care about the data Snowden leaked. OTOH, the government of today has set the precedent that it can ignore the protections provided by the Constitution. Imagine what the government 50 years from now can and will do.

His leaks are directly damaging to the intelligence agencies of the US and its allies.

And I'm sure you will provide some proof of that.

That is before you get to the question of friction between the US and its allies and trading partners, or the domestic political turmoil.

Friction and anger which is caused by the government's acts of covert surveillance. If your neighbour tells you a pervert has been spying on you, should you be angry with your neighbour or with the pervert?

Comment Your own link proves otherwise (Score 5, Informative) 237

Did you even check the source/link you posted?

The very first entry as of now, is Bush Secretly Lifted Some Limits on Spying in U.S. After 9/11, Officials Say

Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.

Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.

Nearly a dozen current and former officials, who were granted anonymity because of the classified nature of the program, discussed it with reporters for The New York Times because of their concerns about the operation's legality and oversight.

So much for your comment that

'The United States cannot target a foreigner to intercept the communications of one of its own citizens, nor can it use a second party nation (UK, CAN, AUS, or NZ), or anyone else, to target US citizens or anyone else it would be otherwise prohibited from targeting.'

They've moved beyond that, they're targetting citizens directly, without warrants, i.e. illegally.

Comment Re:Awesome (Score 1) 582

The problem with that line is that it presupposes that there is one correct view. Who gets to decide what is correct?

The scientific method or, for matters based on opinion rather than scientific evidence, vox populi, vox dei.

Fundamentally I agree with you. However, issues only get hotly debated if they are controversial, and they often become controversial precisely because science is unable to provide any definitive answers for the very same question.

Take for example one of the current hot button topics - Climate Change. I have seen papers from reputable scientists arguing that humanity's actions are affecting our climate. I have also seen papers from reputable scientists arguing otherwise. In that kind of situation, we cannot rely on science to provide an answer, at least not at present.

As for vox populi, it is largely unworkable. Short of conducting a referendum or a vote, how do we determine the popular consensus? Every faction championing a cause will almost invariably claim to have the support of the public.

Comment Re:Awesome (Score 1) 582

Of course there is a correct view. Its called the view that corresponds to reality.

No, you've merely substituted one vaguely defined concept with another. The same objection applies- Perception of reality is subjective depending on the interpreter.

Just to use the classic example- the half-filled glass of water. A pessimist would perceive it as "the glass is half empty, I need to take action now to ensure I don't go thirsty". An optimist would perceive it as "the glass is still half full, I can just leave it alone."

Same set of facts, two different perceptions of reality. I might also add, their conclusions can be viewed as 'correct' or 'wrong' depending on which side of the fence you sit on.

Comment Re:Good for mapping political landscape though (Score 1) 57

That is a HUGE set of assumptions. You would need to go do some real research to find out if that was remotely valid.

That's fair. Interestingly enough, there is such a study conducted by the Indiana University, Bloomington on the correlation between voting patterns and tweets. I'll skip to the findings here:-

Is social media a valid indicator of political behavior? We answer this question using a random sample of 537,231,508 tweets from August 1 to November 1, 2010 and data from 406 competitive U.S. congressional elections provided
by the Federal Election Commission. Our results show that the percentage of Republican-candidate name mentions correlates with the Republican vote margin in the subsequent election. This finding persists even when controlling for incumbency, district partisanship, media coverage of the race, time, and demographic variables such as the district’s racial and gender composition.

Theres also a WashPo article discussing the same research paper.

So, there is some scientific basis for the assumptions stated in the earlier post.

Comment Not quite (Score 1) 176

Not the design, or IP though .

Under the agreement, Kodak will divest its entire digital camera manufacturing requirements to Flextronics, including assembly, production, and testing. Flextronics will also manage the operations and logistics services for Kodak's digital still cameras. Kodak will continue to develop the high- level system design, product look and feel and user experience, and will conduct advanced research and development for its digital still cameras. Kodak will also retain its intellectual property.

Comment Exceptions? (Score 1) 582

One exception I can think of is if the poster is a member of an organisation who would like to contribute something to the discussion, but cannot reveal his identity for fear of retribution from that organisation. It is quite common for corporations to issue standing instructions for the employees not to cummunicate except therough the publicity department. Ditto if you work for any government body.

It need not even be a whistleblower kind of situation. For example, if I am an airline pilot, I might want to correct some factual errors about innocuous information like pre-flight procedures in a forum. But most airlines have a strict ban on any communication made as an identified pilot, for fear that what you say may damage their brand.

Comment Re:Awesome (Score 4, Insightful) 582

I think it works fairly well. I frequently come across posts which are obviously unpopular with the majority of slashdot users (for example, advocating government surveillance). The fact that I can still read it, and/or that it is part of a chain of back-and-forth arguments which are not censored/deleted speaks well of the system.

It might just be personal bias; if you are predisposed towards thinking that unpopular posts will be censored, invariably your mind will fixate on picking up examples of that sort, ignoring the other occasions when censorship did not take place.

Comment Re:Awesome (Score 4, Interesting) 582

The problem with moderation systems is that they tend to support the populist view, which is not always the correct one.

The problem with that line is that it presupposes that there is one correct view. Who gets to decide what is correct?

The premise is that posts will be moderated up for correctness and down for incorrectness, but this is not what happens, as the posts ending up at the top usually represent the prevailing ideological belief of the majority of users

I disagree with your premise. Given that every individual invariably believes his own world view to be the correct one, I don't think its even workable. Further, the prevailing ideological belief of the majority is often reflected not just in forums, but in our society at large. Its just the way it works. I think we should strive for the more modest goal of ensuring that views that contradict the prevailing ideological belief of the majority at least get heard, which is achievable.

For sites that want to foster honest discussion, I say strip away the moderation and 'reputation' systems, and leave it anonymous.

I believe that would work counter to your intended effect, since the trolls effectively would have free reign to drown out any message that they deem 'incorrect'. Honest discussion cannot take place when other parties are working actively to prevent it, for example by spam posting, by posting vulgarities or inane comments, by burying posts and many other ways you should be familiar with.

Comment Likely its about selling ads (Score 2) 582

I doubt its about cleaning up the comments section.

AOL, the parent company of HuffPo, is currently refocusing its business on driving ad sales.

In line with its ambitions to become a platform for live broadcasting and programming, the company also said that it had acquired, a video advertising company that allows purchases across the Internet and on television. The cost was $405 million.

“AOL is a leader in online video, and the combination of AOL and will create the leading video platform in the industry,” Tim Armstrong, AOL’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement. “The founders and team are on a mission to make advertising as easy as e-commerce, and the two companies together will aggressively pursue that vision.

It's no secret that HuffPo is doing quite badly at selling ads.

When The Huffington Post’s weekly iPad magazine Huffington transitioned from a pay model to free last August, advertising was intended to sustain the tablet-native title, as consumers had resisted paying for it.

Almost a year postlaunch, it looks like advertisers are rejecting it, too.

A review of six recent issues found just one sponsor, for United Healthcare. Most issues feature a couple of promotions for HuffPost apps but no outside ads.

This part is the speculation. HuffPo has an audience, but can't sell ads. What is it that will bring advertisers to them? Targeted ads. But you can only target your ads if you know who is reading your page. How do you then convince your audience to register instead of browsing anonymously? By removing anonymous posting.


Comment Re:Why? (Score 2) 64

Easy - it's an OS that OEMs can customize heavily. It's not what Firefox brings to the table, it what's the OEMs can do to differentiate their phones in the market.

I don't see the distinction. OEMs already can (and do) customise Android. If the customisations go even further than that, essentially every OEM will be producing their own fork of Firefox, all of which will be incompatible with that of other OEMs. This will likely mean every OEM has its own small pool of proprietory apps. I don't see how that can compete with the iOS or Android ecosystem.

I'm not even going into the horror of how to manage upgrades.

Further, what's in it for the customer, the actual user of the phone? OEM customised experiences tend to be viewed as restrictive and loathed by their users (just see what Samsung users say about Touchwiz, HTC users about Sense, Motorola users about MotoBlur etc..). The demand for Nexus and stock Android phones also suggests that heavy OEM customisation is not popular.

Comment Might be a mistake (Score 2) 64

Or, maybe they realised they made a mistake after the purchase.

LG seems extremely hesitant, and even confused about its future plans for the OS. Asked how webOS could be used to create "disruptive" smart TV products absent any of the content deals that have thus far stunted TV innovation, LG CTO Dr. Skott Ahn simply said that he believes "the environment will change from an app environment to a web environment." Further asked to name the core benefit of the webOS platform for smart TVs, Dr. Ahn simply remained silent for 10 seconds, prompting LG's North American VP of smart TV Samuel Chang to add that "we're at the nascent stage" of smart TV development.

Granted this is all hearsay and subjective. But if LG bought webOS and found that it did not suit their needs, and their mobile strategy requires a separate platform from iOS and Android, that might push them towards early adoption of FirefoxOS.

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