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Comment Re:Just askin... (Score 1) 221

Did they? I'd be interested to hear how you know that, given that the court opinions are secret. Is there actually oversight, or are the information requests simply rubber-stamped? We don't know, and that's the problem.

I can read. Details of the process, as well as the count of times that warrants were issued with and without changes are public record.

Comment Re:Just askin... (Score 1) 221

Your premise is wrong if it's "government is an entity that follows laws", because this completely ignores the fact that government is made up of individuals, with personal agendas. The data they collect may not be used against you right now, but that's only because you're not in someone's way yet. Once you step into the crosshairs of someone in power, do you still think all that data is innocent and inert? Do you think regulation is going to save you? Are you willing to accept a society where you cannot poke your head up too high, unless you're of a chosen breed and have greased the right palms?

And do you honestly think someone who could bypass the access controls at the *NSA* would have the slightest problem doing so directly with the companies involved? Hell, when younger and stupider, I'm sure lots of people on Slashdot socially engineered their way to getting information they shouldn't have had. Its not rocket science.

If you've pissed off someone who can do that with the NSA, you've probably got bigger problems than the records of your calls to some tranny chatline or something.

Comment Re:Just askin... (Score 1) 221

Interesting points about openness and democratic oversight in government as opposed to the corporate world.

So shouldn't you be up in arms about the lack of both openness and democratic oversight shown in the NSA affair? You can't defend the virtues of one system over another, then turn a blind eye when it reneges on those virtues.

The US isn't a democracy. Its a republic, and the people who have been elected into positions to provide that oversight did. They are elected to make those decisions precisely because the "mindless masses" don't have the collective intelligence to make the right ones. (Like "the best way to do covert surveillance is to make sure everyone knows its happening"!)

Comment Re:Just askin... (Score 2) 221

One has your consent, the other doesn't?

One needs your consent. One just needs a courts consent.

One has no legal oversight, one does.

The thing I find puzzling about the PRISM uproar is that there's not actually any allegations by Snowden that the NSA ever looks at records without a court order. Only employees with superuser-level access who commit felonies have.

At least there are laws to appropriately punish people like Snowden who step well beyond the legal limits of their roles and violate privacy. Do you think there's anything protecting your personal information at ATT or Verizon from any schmuck who wants to do the same thing? Do you think, even if PRISM wasn't there, that an analyst who is willing to break federal law couldn't do the exact same thing, anyway?

Hell, I'd comfortably argue there is vastly less of a privacy risk having all of that data in NSA systems, than having the NSA one-off requests for each and every bit of data. Assuming an analyst isn't breaking the law, no one but the NSA knows if I'm being investigated. And when it comes to nothing, no one is the wiser. If I happened to be standing too close to a terrorist suspect, and the NSA wanted to verify I hadn't had any contact with that individual, and that request was sent to ATT, my local Telco, maybe my financial institutions -- under a court order, just as legal as with PRISM -- now every one of those institutions knows I was being investigated *and there's no controls about the ramifications of it*. It also reduces the risk of my personal information to social engineering.

Hell, the history of organized crime in the US makes it pretty clear why its a problem for a Telco to know about a wiretap -- because it wasn't at all uncommon to have the telephone engineers who had to do them on the take, not 20 or 30 years ago.

I honestly am baffled how any reasonably intelligent person who has spent more than ten seconds thinking about it is up in arms about PRISM. Its just bizarre.

Comment Re:Pilot error? (Score 1) 506

You cannot autoland all the time. Well you could, but the pilots would lose their ability to handle the aircraft by hand. It is almost certain that Asiana Flight 214 could have auto-landed, and that would have saved at least 2 lives. How many lives would it cost if pilots never did any flying except in emergencies?

One day that trade-off is probably going to swing towards not letting the pilots do anything useful...

Comment Re:Whatever you do.... Use papyrus (Score 1) 329

This old myth again? OP, use paper or papyrus. It won't make much of a difference as long as you learn the real lesson from the Egyptians: Live in the desert and bury yourself and your belongings in large stone vaults.

Worse yet, unless you know how much material was printed on papyrus by the Egyptians, you have literally no data to base the claim on, anyway. You don't know if 99%, 1%, or .000001% of things printed on it survived.

Comment Re:Easy (Score 1) 329

SD cards might not survive very long either. Some of the expensive ones claim 100 years data retention, but so do expensive CD-Rs/DVD-Rs. They key is that they assume ideal conditions, which a locked strong box probably isn't.

Same goes for USB drives and hard drives.

And they're estimated by broad sampling MTBF, and calculating how long data "should" last.

I.e., the estimates mean absolutely nothing.

Comment Re:Not Long Lasting (Score 2) 329

The shelf life is FAR longer than Slashdot nerds would have you believe.
No one specified a time frame here, certainly not the original story.

As far as I'm concerned, 100 years is more than adequate. Beyond that its someone elses problem.

The technology will change and people will have to move the data to another media well before then.

I've been burning optical media since about 1995. Back then a CD burner cost almost $2000 and the discs were $15 each.

I can say, with certainty, that well stored optical discs absolutely do NOT come anywhere close to meeting the shelf lives that are claimed by manufacturers today.

Of the gold discs I have from the mid 90's 100% of them are still readable, but beyond that, virtually every make and brand of media I've got has varying levels of failures up to about four or five years ago. So far I haven't had any fail since then. The failure rate approaches 100% for discs, regardless of brand, bought and burned between maybe nine and twelve years ago. I stopped burning CDs around that range of time, but my DVDs from that period have nearly as high failure rates, as well. I'd say the interim years its probably more like 10-20%, but it'll be five more years until I know if they start to fail at the same rate.

Keep in mind the warranty periods are based on two things -- the fact that virtually no one will ever file a claim for a replacement media, and the fact that the warranties explicitly do not cover losses of the data on the media. They can say 100 year shelf life because in five years if the media fails, no one is going to exchange it for a new version of a media they no longer use regularly, anyway.

The fact is, there's *no* single media durable enough for even mid-term storage at modern data densities. (And by mid-term, I mean "boy I'd like this pictures of my kids to still be readable when they get married" kind of range. Old megabyte-sized harddrives and old 80, 160, maybe 320KB floppies are largely still readable, if you can find the interfaces and hardware. Older low-density tapes are, too, but as I learned the hard way, if you don't write on the tape what software you used to record it, you're pretty much SOL if you want to read it in the future.

Effortless media-shifting is the only real solution these days -- keep copying them from one computer to another.

Comment Re:All for cost saving (Score 1) 123

You mean F counters as in "First Class"? Even then my experience (not with BA) is that there are lineups. Much shorter, usually only one or two passengers ahead of me.

Yes. I guess I get to the airport at the right time. My last flight was sin-syd, and I arrived at t-120 as I had a meeting to phone in for at t-90. Not a ingle person at any of the counters, including the economy ones.

At hong long there was a queue, I just walked to the front.

Frequent flyers tend not to suffer the same way tht infrequent flyers that fly once a month or something do. t least at checkin. Queues at security, boarding, even at the lounge, are all far higher.

Try recently removed the people checking your bp at Manchester and put in an automated scanner. It's now slower than it used to be, but Manchester's profits have presumably increased now they've laid off a dozen people.

At heathrow they have "e-passport" desks. These take 15 seconds to clear the average person. They are manned by 3 people, and can pass 3 people at a time.

The manual border desks take 12 seconds to clear the average person, therefore faster than e-passport.

Iris is better, they aren't manned, tale about 15 seconds, but suffer from people who arent registered trying to use them.

In my experience, technology is brought in to airports to reduce staffing levels, and increases the time taken for the average passenger.

Comment Re:All for cost saving (Score 1) 123

Saving 2 minutes will make diddly squat when you've still got conformance at t-35, and close of bag drop at t-40.

There's that, but I wish they would design airports better. Why, when I'm transiting a counrty, do I need to exit the secure part of the airport and have to pass through security yet again to get to my next gate.

Because the country the airport is in doesn't trust arrivin flight security.

If you fly man-lhr-nbo, you don't pass through security at heathrow.

Some terrible airports like AMS and SIN have security at the gate in any case. There's a reason I connect through t5 on ba, not ams on klm.

I believe when flying domestically in the u.s you don't need to reclear security.

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