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Journal Journal: Letter to WA state senators; RE: CISPA

In the name of security we have the TSA, I am sure you are familiar with their current situation. Allow me a moment to elaborate: strip-searching old women, patting down an 4 year old girl, targeting female passengers with full-body scans, smuggling...all in the name of fighting terrorism while at the same time providing the largest terrorist threat: insecure security checkpoints. For more details, a quick search on Google will yield sufficient results.

User Journal

Journal Journal: To Congressman Doc Hastings; RE CISPA

In the name of security we have the TSA, I am sure you are familiar with their current situation. Allow me a moment to elaborate: strip-searching old women, patting down an 4 year old girl, targeting female passengers with full-body scans, smuggling...all in the name of fighting terrorism while at the same time providing the largest terrorist threat: insecure security checkpoints. For more details, a quick search on Google will yield sufficient results.

Government

Submission + - Microsoft backs away from CISPA support, citing privacy (cnet.com)

suraj.sun writes: Microsoft has been counted as a supporter of CISPA since the beginning. Now the company tells CNET any new law must allow "us to honor the privacy and security promises we make to our customers" and protect "consumer privacy." Microsoft is no longer as enthusiastic about a controversial cybersecurity bill that would allow Internet and telecommunications companies to divulge confidential customer information to the National Security Agency. The U.S. House of Representatives approved CISPA by a 248 to 168 margin on Thursday, in spite of a presidential veto threat and warnings from some House members that the measure represented "Big Brother writ large."

Microsoft added that it wants to "ensure the final legislation helps to tackle the real threat of cybercrime while protecting consumer privacy." That's a noticeable change — albeit not a complete reversal — from Microsoft's position when CISPA was introduced in November 2011. To be sure, Microsoft's initial reaction to CISPA came before many of the privacy concerns had been raised. An anti-CISPA coalition letter (PDF) wasn't sent out until April 16, and a petition that garnered nearly 800,000 signatures wasn't set up until April 5.

What makes CISPA so controversial is a section saying that, "notwithstanding any other provision of law," companies may share information with Homeland Security, the IRS, the NSA, or other agencies. By including the word "notwithstanding," CISPA's drafters intended to make their legislation trump all existing federal and state laws, including ones dealing with wiretaps, educational records, medical privacy, and more.

Games

Submission + - Max Payne 3 is a 35GB install on PC

An anonymous reader writes: If you’re a fan of the Max Payne games, and intend playing it on PC, be glad that hard drive prices are returning back to normal following the flooding last year. The reason being, Rockstar Games seems to be going for a world record in storage requirements for Max Payne 3.

The system specifications for the third game in the series have been released, and the hard drive requirements certainly stand out. The minimum space required on your disk? 35GB.

What implications does that have? Game will ship on at least 4 DVDs, the digital download version will take forever to complete, and I'm concerned about level load times if this much data is needed for the game...

Submission + - Squadron of lost WWII Spitfires to be exhumed in Burma (foxnews.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Like a treasure chest stuffed with priceless booty, as many as 20 World War II-era Spitfire planes are perfectly preserved, buried in crates beneath Burma — and after 67 years underground, they're set to be uncovered. The planes were shipped in standard fashion in 1945 from their manufacturer in England to the Far East country: waxed, wrapped in greased paper and tarred to protect against the elements. They were then buried in the crates they were shipped in, rather than let them fall into enemy hands, said David Cundall, an aviation enthusiast who has spent 15 years and about $200,000 in his efforts to reveal the lost planes.
Science

Submission + - Graphene Helps A Robot Creep Like An Inchworm (acs.org) 1

LilaG writes: To develop new materials for robotics, scientists have developed graphene-based actuators that convert electricity into motion. In robots, actuators act like muscles, driving the movement of mechanical arms and fins. Most actuator materials, such as ceramics and conductive polymers, respond slowly, require a lot of power, or provide very little force. To make speedy, strong actuators, Chinese researchers coated graphene paper with the polymer polydiacetylene. Graphene provides a highly conductive, flexible backing for the fragile polymer crystals, which deform in response to electrical current. The actuators can bend 200 times per second and generate more force than most current materials. Using a sheet of the material, the scientists built a simple inchworm robot that arches and relaxes to crawl forward.

Comment Re:Democracy at its best (Score 3, Insightful) 616

Rough draft. Edited to protect MY privacy:

In the name of security we have the TSA, I am sure you are familiar with their current situation. If not, Google. And allow me a moment to give you a brief overview: strip-searching old women, patting down an 4 year old girl, targeting female passengers with full-body scans, smuggling...all in the name of fighting terrorism while at the same time providing the largest terrorist threat: insecure security checkpoints.

TSA needs to be shut down, they accomplish nothing but necessitating a ridiculously large crowd that is easy for a bomber to target. Since these crowds don't get bombed, there is no significant terrorist threat, and the TSA is uselss. But I digress.

In the name of security we now have the CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act). The goal again being a more secure internet. What we don't need is a more secure internet, the internet is secure enough for those who care enough (encryption via PGP, VPN's, E-mail anonymizers, etc.). What we do need is privacy. This bill threatens privacy too much; it is also too similar in scope to SOPA. I sent you a letter about SOPA, and though it wasn't in your consideration, you said you would keep these views in mind "should legislation regarding internet regulation come before the House of Representatives" (Letter to REDACTED, Jan 19, 2012). You also state "It is imperative that we recognize the need to balance the freedom promised by the Internet with the responsibility to protect the rights of consumers and businesses."

You have failed.

The 4th Amendment to our Constitution, which I am sure you swore an oath to uphold, states that "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." CISPA is in direct conflict with our Constitutional rights.

There are better ways that the goals of CISPA can be achieved, and they do not involve disclosure of private data to determine online threats. If you are unaware of these better ways, then you have no reason to be voting on such issues until you become better informed.

One of the goals of CISPA is to assist in reporting/detecting cybersecurity. That is all well and good, and can be done with ONLY IP Addresses and does not need to contain personal information of any sort.

In the name of security we have allowed ourselves to be deluded into abandoning our rights and allowing the government to strip us of our rights and convenience so that we can be safer. Catchall phrases such as "to protect against terrorism," "for the children," and "for national security" have been used all too much to justify blatant abuses of the government's power.

In the name of security our country has maintained the USA PATRIOT act, an act originally intended to be short-lived.

In the name of security we have become absurdly inconvenienced when traveling, had our privacy dissolved, and many basic rights washed away. This needs to end.

In the name of security we have allowed the terrorists to win: we have a government consistently and continually crushing our rights and eroding our freedoms, and this once-great nation is now the laughing stock of the free world because we are a disturbingly pitiful former shadow of ourselves.

As a US Marine Corps infantry machinegunner, I am ashamed of our government.

Comment Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (Score 0, Troll) 515

The first amendment doesn't apply here anyway.

I quote: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Emphasis mine. People forget the Constitution limits FEDERAL powers, but that

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." (10th Amendment)

So a state, not being specifically forbidden from limiting free speech, may in fact do so. They shouldn't, but they can.

Comment Re:nonsense (Score 2) 178

and by the way, if you can't steer your car without power steering assist you're a pussy who should stay in the basement. parallel parking with a broken power steering belt is merely annoying

...saith the guy who obviously doesn't drive a diesel pickup.

Seriously though, dead power steering is worse than no power steering...but with a heavier vehicle, it become exceedingly difficult. It takes all 180 pounds of me to turn the wheel of a HMMWV with dead power steering, and that can only be done when it's moving, and I'm far from a pussy, though some days it would be nice to stay in a basement. My Dodge Ram, on the other hand...well, I'm sure that's just as difficult, but I haven't had my power steering pump die. But in a simple passenger car, yes, you are entirely correct.

Comment Re:Some things should probably be left alone (Score 1) 178

I'd hate to die in a huge interstate pileup because some dipshit decided to push the overclocking on his car too far and it blue-screened on him at 80 mph.

Of course, many will point out that people have been tinkering with cars since they were invented, and that's true. But generally in the past, it took at least a modicum of skill to work on a car. Letting any douchebag with a computer plug in and play with any aspect of his car's functions is a little more scaring than a grease monkey putting in new headers on his 66 Mustang.

I'd hate to die in a huge interstate pileup because some dipshit decided to change the tires on his car and didn't tighten the lug nuts properly and the wheel fell off at 80 mph.

True story: My dad's wheel fell off his car doing 75mph north on I-25 outside of Colorado Springs in rush hour traffic. The reason: a cotter pin wasn't placed through the axle nut BY A PROFESSIONAL MECHANIC. These things happen every day, even those we trust fuck stuff up, we know this.

Your analogy of tweaking a car's computer to replacing headers is bogus. Headers are simple. Tweaking the computer takes much more technical savvy than does replacing headers, even factoring in the more technical aspect of a computer. People tweak their computers every day, ever see ads for a performance chip?

Yes there's a danger, but that's easily mitigated by using specialized connectors and interfacing to the system. The amount of people with the ability to fuck up changing wheels on a car compared to the amount that actually do is very minimal, and still most that can still have a professional do it.

There would undoubtedly be options to flash the car back to its original state, possibly requiring a dealership to do so. And other safeguards would be put in to ensure that a catastrophic failure does not occur: Oops, your software tweaks destroyed your valves, this isn't going to affect your brakes. Trying to make your brakes more efficient by turning up the generator that does your regenerative braking and fuck it up? I'm sure that particular safeguard is already in place. Some other unforeseen problem that could escalate to a catastrophic failure? Firmware kicks in and puts the car into limp mode

Overall, I say go for it. It might not be the best idea, but since when has the auto industry worked on best ideas?

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