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Comment Re:Heh. (Score 4, Insightful) 256

What irks me is people's reactionary "teh guv'ment's tryin' to take away mah freedomz!" to every discussion presented about government surveillance and/or intelligence activities. They have to know that it's necessary at some level, but they reduce this wide breadth of space from no surveillance to police society to a binary. I don't understand why so many people engage in black and white thinking when the problem so obviously isn't as clear cut as the overwhelmingly vast majority of people argue it is.

I'd suggest the overreaction is caused by the government's actions. Looking at the level of lying going on with NSA, and how many abuses the war on terror has been used to justified, I can't fathom how anyone would make a "lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater." They've justified an overreaction toward the side of freedom rather than security. I think at this point it's only safe to assume the worst of the government.

It seems pretty black and white to them. There seem to be alarmingly few voices inside the government expressing concern over moving to a police state. Those few that do seem to be expelled through groupthink, see Snowden and Manning for examples. Even very high government officials who voiced opposition were subject to backlash. Ashcroft decided stellar wind went too far. Bush sent people to harass him in the hospital trying to get him to cave. The attorney general, they did this to. And Bush went around him anyway. There seems to be no line the government isn't willing to cross.

Partisan politics as of late have also convinced me that the only way to fight determined zealots is with equally determination in the opposite direction. When you try to be reasonable with such stubbornness, you don't arrive at a middle ground that's a good balance for all, you end up being pushed backwards more and more. So if the government is willing to go full throttle towards police state, the only response is for us to go full throttle... whatever the opposite is. No state secrets. Ever. Oh, that will potentially endanger people? I'm dubious. There's two giant oceans between us and most people who would harm us, we have enough military might to literally kill everyone on earth, and anyone who would attack us is too dumb to cause any real damage. Moreover, we've faced bigger threats before without spying on everyone. You can't tell me we need the NSA spy program to defeat a bunch of islamic cultists but we DIDN'T need it to defeat the Nazis or get through the Cold War.

Even if it does endanger some people, I can live with that on my conscience better than I can live with allowing big brother to develop.

Comment Re:IMO, it is not going to work (Score 1) 166

Sure, but there are still going to be benefits to this. A lot of people do have broadband (be that broadband in the true sense or broadband as defined by ISPs.) If you don't have broadband, you likely aren't playing games online anyway. And I'd rather have one less bottleneck. If it's just my connection limiting game performance rather than my console, that's at least one less barrier to more advanced games.

(That said, I'm not going to be buying a console anytime soon, do not have broadband, and don't have time to be playing console games anyway.)

Comment Re:OK let's get something straight here - (Score 1) 211

If HR is paying people to go through your friends' photos on facebook and find ones you aren't tagged in, that's a major red flag you should get out of that company. For one thing, what kind of company goes to such lengths to spy on their employees? For another, that's just wasteful spending.

Not trying to commit a just world fallacy, I think privacy even in untagged photos is a concern, just that specific example doesn't strike me as very good.

Comment Re:Control... (Score 1) 926

I think the sheep metaphor should probably be dropped. What's wrong with being a follower rather than a leader when things are going pretty well? For that matter, what better about being a dog than a sheep?

Our society places a lot of value on being leaders, being independent. Which is fine, but everything in balance. Sheep following each other work better as a group than a group of animals which are independent (hence the metaphor of herding cats.) Teaching everyone that they are a unique little snowflake who should reject all authority is good in moderation, but I suspect we're going a little overboard, telling people they need to question anything they hear and accept none of it, be it doctors telling them they need to get vaccinated, be it people saying "Hey, uh, taxes are kind of necessary for nice things" or be it "don't act like a fucking asshole in public."

At a minimum, why do we need to compare people to animals. Leaders vs followers is not a terribly complex concept. I don't think we need a metaphor, all it seems to do is make being a follower seem unattractive compared to being, I dunno, a wolf or sheepdog or tiger other animal you'd rather be compared to.

Comment Re:Not sure which is more understandable... (Score 1) 16

It's clearly meant to be fun and engage people in scientific research, not replace reading actual journal articles. The main benefit might be getting researchers to think about how to present their ideas in different ways. It's an issue with many scientists.

If I asked a friend how his research was going, he would start rattling off gene name acronyms and abbreviations for experiments and I would get totally lost a minute into it.
Interkin3tic: "Hey man, how's the research going?"
Friend:"Well we did a co-ip of MAD when conjugated at the kinetochore of a meiosis haploid culture with GFP tail swap nup52 and then quantified pixel intensity based on subresolution microscopy on the spinning disc and found the number was 410 instead of 320."
Interkin3tic: "Uh... oh. You still work on plants, right?"

That sounds like something like he would say and I would get out of it about as much as you got out of it. And I was familiar with his research: I proofread his papers and discussed it with him regularly. We're not the best communicators, we get way too technical way too quick. Making us communicate without technical terms is a good way to encourage better communication. And without communication, there's little point to science.

That said, I would never want to see him dance anything, let alone plant molecular biology.

Comment Re:It's why I stick with Nexus devices (Score 2) 201

Personally, I get a sort of satisfaction out of rooting my phone when samsung or whoever clearly doesn't want me to. Same with jailbreaking. After installing cyanogenmod on my samsung, and after jailbreaking, I really didn't do much with either. If I wasn't flipping the bird to someone telling me how to use my stuff, it became a lot more boring.

It's nerdy and ineffective, I know.

Comment Re:Disable is disabled (Score 1) 201

Actually, for most people it's cheaper, since the big networks don't give you a discount for buying your own phone. If you're talking about switching from AT&T or verizon, then sure it would be cheaper, but staying within those two as most people do, no, it's cheaper to subsidize a phone, since you pay the same price anyway.

Comment Re:Accountable? (Score 2) 559

I'm sure she's taking a lot more shit in the press than your average Secretary does, especially when you consider the ACA battle. Not saying feel sorry for her, just that she probably thought it would be a cushy job, and she instead deals with a lot of outrage, both manufactured and real. Maybe she means accountable for her expectations, not accountable as in what you or I would consider accountable.

Comment Re: O'rly? No wai! (Score 2) 201

Just to be clear, I think that's a function of online services, not google specifically, and not android. Facebook is worse. It keeps asking me where I work, where I went to high school etc. It clearly has enough information to guess, as it makes suggestions which are pretty spot on based on my friends' data.

My android phone, I never get nuisances like that. My ipad is actually worse. It keeps asking me to sign in with gamecenter.

Not to say that google is superior, just that online services you use for "free" will always pester you like virtual paparazzi.

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