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Comment Computers lie if they are told to lie (Score 1, Offtopic) 156

Point I've made in the computerized voting systems ongoing fiasco: if you are "in" the system, you control the output. This is counter intuitive for geeks and ATM users everywhere. Automated systems aren't automated if the owners of the system output have control at any point. You, as the accused or someone looking at a computerized vote counting system, cannot tell if some man in the middle changed the output.

Sometimes, tho, that isn't true, as in this case. Altering text logs. But after this, be assured that in the future the owners of systems will make sure the carpet matches the drapes.

How many times has this happened? That's the point: if the logs lie, *you can't ever know*. The truth is whatever the system owner, of a logfile or the source code itself, tells you is true.

Altering logs and calculations used to be part of my job. I was that man in the middle.

Comment Not afraid; I *know* what will happen (Score 1) 331

I'm not afraid of what will happen; I know what will happen when surveillance is universal. A quiet settling, as we modify our behavior to be "normal" and inoffensive to whomever and whatever may take an interest in us. And that's just the current generation. The next generation that is born into our worldwide prison will tend to never even think of doing anything remotely offensive to powers seen and unseen. The human race will change into an obedient horde, for good and ill (normal behavior doesn't have to be *moral* behavior). A irrevocable experiment.

And of course the people on the other end of the surveillance will not be under quite the same restrictions. Anyone trying to find out what they are up to with all this knowledge will be Manninged. The Kochs and Cheneys of the world will not allow their activities to be known to us proles. Two worlds; the powerless, under glass, and those on the other end, who only answer to each other, fighting little secret wars unknown to us.

Comment Hippies: join up (Score 1) 312

I see the little slams against RMS "cultists", silly programmer hippies and similar software flower children that the right-wing millennials and Gen-Xers love to dismiss as fools. Because Hippies.

But the reason Stallman and the open software movement despises DRM was shown to you, precisely, when your "rights" disappeared.

So, who's the fool? As usual, as in the support for civil rights, the fight against wars started for lies, the rejection of Victorian sexual repression, the rejection of environmental destruction, and all the other things that Hippies were despised for, the Hippies were god damned right and everyone else was wrong, wrong, wrong. So that's why the hate, really.

If you'd have listened to the hippies, there'd been no Vietnam, no Iraq, no Afghanistan, and computers that would actually do what they are told to do by their, you know, actual owners. Instead of a PC, you now have a set-top DRM box, pretending to be a PC, managed by the powers-that-be, among whose number you will never be counted.

Comment Sigh, my people (Score 1) 96

Americans - their idea of the future is the 1950's, only with smartphones. Like grandpas wearing their fedoras and suit-n-tie, they want to keep on looking like they did when they were young and on top of the world. Cars and freeways, only with faster cars that don't look too silly, that is, that look like something that they grew up with.

A multi-rotor platform, with a little work, *is* a flying car. A flying car will not look like a flying Delorean. It will look like what a flying car will look like. And they'll probably pop up in African countries and Japan first. Cultures that aren't wedded to their own past glories.

Comment Re:tell me again (Score 2) 1105

What happened? Obama "bargained" with the right wing in congress, and half the stimulus went to tax breaks - useless when the problem is unemployment, as no demand = no need to make as much - and the rest of the stimulus was nowhere near enough to jumpstart the economy. So, as Krugman and the other gets-it-right economists predicted, it helped, but fizzled almost immediately.

When money is cheap to borrow, and you need to get people working, you spend, and spend big. And not on contractors in Iraq who pretty much stole the money and walked away (and that was on the credit card to future generations - we never raised taxes to pay for that war). You spend it on poor people who will actually spend their money on the street and generate sufficient electromotive force that will jumpstart the motor of the economy. Instead, the money that is being accumulated is going to the top five percent or so of the population - and it is staying there. So here we are. Dead in the water - plenty of money to borrow at zero interest, and no incentive to spend it on putting people to work. Plenty of incentive to hoard it overseas.

Fix it? Start state banks, like North Dakota's, who will actually lend money to people rather than putting it into derivatives. Make that free-to-get money go to people who need it. Build roads. Replant forests. Build a real seawall for New Orleans. Rebuild Louisiana's wetlands. Build solar power farms in the desert, and build a new transmission grid to move the power to where it is needed. So much to do, but no incentive to give it to workers to do anything when financial instruments make so much more money than lending money to entrepreneurs to open factories.

Comment Re:tell me again (Score 1) 1105

Fox will blame liberals.

MS-NBC will actually hold the line, waiting for actual information to come to light. If, however, as the date suggests, it is the work of Tax Warriors, they, unlike every other news outlet on TV/Cable, WILL talk about the enormous right-wing loony terrorist networks that have been shooting people and planting bombs for years. And the fact that, less than three years ago, the FBI was told to dismantle the domestic right-wing terrorist task group because of enormous pressure from right-wing congressmen and women who felt that their constituents were being persecuted. And that Obama hadn't the balls to fight them. Again.

Comment It is not about the teachers (Score 1) 348

The issue isn't what the teachers are doing with the data. That's a grease stain from the real horror here.

The issue is, as we go forward, ebook readers will be pretty much the only way kids read library books and any other words, for that matter. When the libraries slowly shut down the paper stacks, we will be looking at a system that as a matter of course tracks every word that a human child, or adult, later, will input into their skulls.

This means: tracking for seditious or suspicious writings. Personality analysis, broken down by year, type, and growth of particular concentration of interest. I'm not saying they will be correct analyses - but they don't have to be, as credit scores and polygraph use attests.

Our society shows, doubtlessly, that such metrics will be undertaken for "security" reasons. Mostly, really, it will be done "because power". Power is all the reason they will ever need. The ability to track not only location, associations, but the very thoughts you, as a kid and beyond, are reading and processing to make you, you.

Billions of paper books will still exist, of course, and smart people will read those to keep their reading habits off the radar, but for the most part, people will accept the monitoring. Watch what you say, watch what you do, and of course watch what you read. And you have nothing to worry about, naturally, if you don't read the wrong things, we will say.

This is hell.

Comment Re:Not unexpected (Score 1) 402

I should have wrote, "determined to end all life on Earth, if that's what it took, to insure Karl Marx would never win."

Patton wanted to immediately invade the Soviet Union at the end of WWII. A hell of a lot of Congresscritters and other commieharks wanted to take them out before they could spread into our world, and sleep with our women, I suppose. These characters built up the nuke force, on rockets, long before the Soviets got started building theirs. They lied to us and themselves about the power and intent of the Russians, and made the issue of who was right into a argument that would end the world.

The sole idea was to nuke the Soviets - let's not kid ourselves - if they showed signs of winning the war for the finances of the world. The Soviets never intended to blow up the world to win - but we would have done it in a heartbeat, "for freedom". Most people alive today have no inkling how fucking crazy America was about communism back then. They would have burned life out forever to save the capitalist system. The least politically sophisticated people on the planet have held the kill switch for generations - and they still don't get that they almost wiped out life forever. And it ain't over - we still are sitting on the "kill 'em for God" switches. Hell, we're rebuilding the nuke arsenal. Power, ours, that's what it always was about, and we are still willing to kill everything to win. Not that we would do it on a whim - but we reserve the right to do so.

Comment Re:Small Boats (Score 2) 402

The ocean is big, and pirates are very small. Hard to spot. Sort of like muggers; not many, but they pop up anywhere. Also, Somali businessmen are financing theses operations for profit - ransom is lucrative. This isn't about kids on a boat. This is big business (while it lasts).

Comment Re:Not unexpected (Score 0, Troll) 402

Easier to deliver a bomb on a U-Haul. We need to let the Sixties go. Da Missiles aren't the big threat every was told to fear, never were. Bombs are small. You can put them anywhere. Don't need Rocket Boy to deliver them.

The world didn't die by fire because the world isn't suicidal. And frankly, only the US was determined to end all life on Earth, to insure Karl Marx would never win. Death before decapitalization, I guess.

Comment Austerity in action (Score 1, Funny) 402

Government spending is bad, unless of course you are mounting infrared lasers on Navy ships to shoot down Zeroes. Banzai!

Austerity my tired buttocks. They just don't like that, what was it, 48%. Spending is good when you fund jobs programs that make layzers.

Next up: lasers on planes, which will make targeted assassinations done so much more quietly.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 1145

But they kinda do make such jokes. They don't do it when you're around. If you managed to overhear it, you'd be amused and shocked, "uncomfortable", I guess.

I think, extrapolating from Richards' definition of racism, which is that only the historically powerful can be racist (white can be, black cannot be), then she doesn't believe, generally, that women can be sexist. So she can make socks-down-the-pants jokes, and have no moral qualms about making you uncomfortable. By definition, she can pretty much say what she likes; you, as a man, cannot.

I think that we've come a LONG way from, say, the atmosphere of the fifties, when men were pigs and proud of it. Consideration is now part of our modern complete breakfast.

But. At some point, being "uncomfortable" become a passive-aggressive way of acquiring iron-fisted power over others. In this case, she misheard and over-reacted to others making much the same kind of joke she herself has tweeted. If she has tweeted such, she has spoken such, so she is no stranger to silly off-color humor. So the issue, again, is who has the power here - she does.

Another issue is the atmosphere of watch what you say, watch what you do which is, frankly, VERY uncomfortable to live with. It casts a pall, not because you can't make dongle jokes, but because, today the dongle joke, tomorrow the fill-in-whatever-someone-wants-censored. The function, once written, can be supplied any argument. Power over speech, over action, should be limited, not open-ended. She ended, or tried to end, the jobs, perhaps the careers, of two men. And she managed one. And unintentionally ended her own job. Why - perhaps because she misapplied her power in the workplace.

One might wonder why I go on about surveillance in other posts, and this is one illustration why - in a world where a camera and mic can be anywhere, you are in a prison, no matter what comfy chairs there might be there. Privacy of some sort, even if it is just for talking with someone sitting next to you, is essential for a civil society - living in fear of sudden discovery and loss of career is no way for a human to live. Humans who must live like that are pretty much prisoners.

Eh, 'nuff.

Comment Re:Interesting video related to this topic (Score 1) 409

Then EVERYthing and ANYthing you do may and perhaps almost certainly will get you into trouble. Just being in a cop's presence, and catching his eye, can destroy your life. Cameras and recordings don't help; those are evidence and will be confiscated and turned over to the police and prosecutors. Or the camera will simply be yanked and destroyed at the scene, along with the box it is connected to. If not that, then if anything in those recordings is adverse to the prosecutors' case, and if they have a vested interest in hurting you, that evidence will be destroyed or lost. I've seen it happen.

We've no chance. If you aren't powerful or rich enough to hire help, you are dog food to them. The end result is a *very* compliant citizenry. Which is apparent in every way.

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