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Comment Re:Technology is only a small part of the problem (Score 1) 129

It's a small part, but it's a part. I think Snowden has done his fair share of trying to inform laymen and stir up giving-a-fuck. If he wants to switch to working on tech, he could accomplish nothing and still come out far ahead of the rest of us. ;-)

The existence of a decent open-source router can't do much against a U.S. National Security Letter.

While we certain should care enough to force our government to stop being our adversary, there will always nevertheless be adversaries. You have to work on the tech, too. Even if you totally fixed the US government, Americans would still have to worry about other governments (and non-government parties, such as common criminals, nosey snoops, etc), where you have no vote at all. You will never, ever have a total social/civic solution which relies on, say, 4th Amendment enforcement to keep your privacy. I'm not saying your chances are slim; I'm saying they're literally 0%.

Furthermore, getting our tech more acceptable to layment acually would correct some of the problems inherent with NSLs, improving the situation even in a we-still-don't-give-a-fuck society. If you do things right, then the person they send the NSL to, is the surveillance target. The reason NSLs (coercion with silence) works is that people unnecessarily put too much trust into the wrong places.

For example, Bob sends plaintext love letters to Alice, so anyone who delivers or stores the love letters, can be coerced into giving up the contents. OTOH if they did email right, then if someone wanted to read the email Bob sent to Alice, they'd have to visit Bob or Alice. That squashes the most egregious part of NSLs, where the victim doesn't even get to know they're under attack.

That's true whether we're talking about email, or even if Bob and Alice get secure routers and VPN to each other. One of them gets the NSL ordering them to install malware on their router.

Comment Re:New SSL root certificate authority (Score 2) 129

A nice step ahead would be the establishment of a new set of root certificates...

The lesson of CA failure is that there shouldn't be root authorities. Users (or the people who set things up for them, in the case of novices) should be deciding whom they trust and how much, and certificates should be signed by many different parties, in the hopes that some of them are trusted by the person who uses it.

If you want to catch up to ~1990 tech, then you need to remove the "A" in "CA."

Comment Lame article (Score 1) 192

Clicked (thought submitter screwed up the link and linked to a page that links to the article, rather than linking to the article), expecting to find a story about a forgotten A2000: maybe someone walked into an office in 2014 and saw that one was in use. Or someone knocked down a wall in 2014 and found one bricked up but still powered up. Instead, found a page telling everyone what A2000s are. Duh. Where's the "forgotten" part? All that I can tell that was forgotten, is that the writer forgot his elementary school spelling and punctuation lessons.

Comment Re:No (Score 2) 261

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X
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.

Yep, those damn plutocrats sure did their best that the rest of us would never have a leg up. /sarcasm

I suggest that you take some time to read the Federalist Papers. I think you'll discover things aren't quite as black and white as you believe.

Comment Re:Freedom of Expression... (Score 2, Informative) 424

Not necessarily, or if it does, it'll take a very long time. Remember, the US states' cultures were all mostly from Britain, and everyone spoke English with a few exceptions (like the Pennsylvania Dutch). Early on, there were settlements by the French, Dutch, Spanish, etc, but the British settlers pushed everyone out (the French only survived in Quebec, which isn't part of the US).

Wow, this is sooo wrong. Just about the only commonality that the U.S. population started out with was that we are all, every single one (including American Indians and Eskimos), immigrants from somewhere else. The U.S. has seen waves of immigration from all over the world.

As a personal example, I'll cite my great-grandfather. He helped settle Chisholm, a small town in northern Minnesota in the first decade of the last century. He was a Serbian peasant whose family had spent about 250 years in Croatia but still considered themselves Serb, not Croatian. Still used the Cyrillic alphabet attended the Serbian Orthodox services at somebody's house rather than attend the local Catholic church. Then he gets to the U.S. and everything changed for him.

His new neighbors were Welsh, Italian, Jewish, Slovenian, Russian, German, Norwegian, Finnish, and FSM knows what else. All of those families were founded by peasants right off the boat who had come to work in the iron mines or in the logging industry.

The Welsh were coal miners who got jobs as mine foremen because they were typically the only ones underground who spoke English, which in turn meant that they were the only ones who could talk to the mine management. The rest just showed up at the mine for their shift and got by with a lot of hand waving.

Eventually, they all learned English, took night classes to earn their citizenships, made sure their kids were brought up speaking English, and generally became members of the American culture. But every last one of those families is still fiercely proud of their own distinct heritage and celebrates their differences as well as our shared commonalities.

In the past several decades, Minnesota has seen large influxes of Hmong, Vietnamese, Somali, Afghani, and a couple of other refugee groups. We've even got Mexicans who have chosen to settle here instead of following the crops. Those families have all followed similar paths. We've got a huge Cinco de Mayo celebration in the state capital every year.

(As an aside, why on earth are so many people from the tropics so happy to move to the nation's icebox? :-D)

(As another aside, the far right's screaming about illegal immigration is one of the dumber things that I've ever seen in my life. After all, compared to the Indians and Eskimos we're all newbies.)

The point to remember is that America has never really been a melting pot. We're more of a stew, where each new immigrant population adds its own distinctive flavor.

When I look at the history of Europe since about 1970, I see the same thing happening. It's slower because the national boundaries tend to contain each distinctive national flavor, but trust me. There is already far more commonality across Europe today than there was 40 years ago. It may be hard to see from the inside, but it's there.

Comment Re:Why is there a debate at all? (Score 1) 278

Why is there a debate at all?

Because people want it. Suppose (just hypothetically) you were getting a subsidy from the public, and that the subsidy served no useful purpose. Then suppose someone said, "Hey, this is getting expensive and unless we change the rules for how we compute your subsidy, it's going to get more expensive in the future."

You would call for debate. Why wouldn't you? What've you got to lose?

Futhermore, if you lost that debate, and then people started saying, "Let's change the rules for your subsidy, either eliminating or reducing it," you would call for debate, because since your subsidy serves no useful purpose, the rational course of action is going to be to eliminate your subsidy.

I think we're pretty much now at the stage, where we should start seeing some some great arguments for how pollution reduces crime (and pollution solves some other social problems as well), and that if you want to be tough on crime (and address other social ills), then we need to increase pollution. (That'll be the liberal argument, put forth by Republicans.)

This will be countered by the argument that increasing pollution just makes industries become dependent upon pollution, cleaning up the pollution is needlessly expensive, and industries that pollute could be just as productive without the pollution. (That's the conservative argument, put forth by Democrats.)

Comment Re:105 megabits per second (Score 1) 401

That's why I think internet speed should be measured in Gigabytes per month. Seriously. About once per week I get snailspam from CenturyLink, wanting me to upgrade from 7 bullshit units to 20 bullshit units. Except each "plan" is the same number of Gigabytes per month. So how it is an "upgrade?" Oh, if I give you more money, I'll be able to hit my cap faster? That's silly.

Now if you're telling me my cap will change from 200GB to 571GB, that is an upgrade I might be willing to pay for. Because then you'd be talking actually-relevant numbers.

Comment Re:OK (Score 1) 79

What I don't want to see are solutions that are dependent on outside resources

This is totally understandable but TFA is about a tech, not a product. Relax. I think the whole point of this is that people will be able to build stuff out of this. i.e. you'll google "arduino thread" and instead of just seeing programmers talk about concurrency, you'll also see some networking stuff in your search re--

Fuck. Guys, why did you have to call it "Thread?" WTF were you thinking? I declare: strike one.

Comment Re: Maybe, maybe not. (Score 1) 749

You cannot serve warrents to search property in other countries.

You can if it's controlled by someone in your country. When point a gun at someone's face who is in the same room as you, all kinds of things are possible.

If they say no or "hard drive crashed" then you do something, and then ask "who had been the second largest stockholder? You're now the largest (after us)."

Comment Re:As plain as the googgles on your face (Score 1) 56

As intrusive as the Google Glass has proven to be, it will only be worse when observation recording tech is more difficult to detect.

I disagree. The exact opposite: when people stop noticing, they will stop caring. It won't be perceived as intrusive anymore, and people will be less annoyed by it.

It's the conspicuousness of the camera in Google Glass, the constant reminder that you might be recorded, that makes most people feel creeped out. For the previous decade leading up to that product, nobody cared about small+cheap camera tech itself. And people walk/drive by fixed-position cameras all the time, and don't give a fuck there either. Peoples's behavior shows that "intrusiveness" happens when a cameras looks like a camera, and I suspect it also has something to do with being face-level, literally "in your face" and you're making eye contact with it, unlike the case with less conspicuous cameras. It was never about privacy; it's some aspect of self-consciousness kind of related to privacy, but a different thing.

You might say "maybe you, but I sure care. Hell yes it's about privacy." Of course you say that. I'm talking about how people behave and the emotions they display. Not their innermost secret thoughts that they are always terrified to express in voting booths or policy decisions, yet are happy to speak of on the Internet.

You know, the Internet, where they don't have a camera in their face making them all self-conscious! The Internet, where instead of a terrifying 1x1 pixel image that makes you think "WTF is that? That's weird! Are you watching me?" you now instead see a bunch of "like buttons" which are obviously for liking things, not getting your browser to send a request to an unrelated tracking server.

In addition, there's a certain inevitability about it all. The cameras have been there a long time, there are more today, and there will be even more tomorrow. You can't do anything about it, except stay at home. So you'll either accept or you'll go insane and get selected out. You'll handle it. (Contrast that to Google Glass, the one small camera out of the hundreds out there, that you actually recognize and is also rare enough that there's little social cost to shunning. With GG you can refuse to accept and also stay within social norms, so GG is different.)

Comment Re:Bitcoin isn't money but it's still a financial (Score 1) 135

Bitcoin's primary purpose is to traffic/launder money and goods.

Objection. Will stipulate that its primary purpose is to traffic. But I call mega-bullshit on its primary or even secondary purpose being to launder, though there might be a way one could use Bitcoin for that.

Comment nice tech, dubious products (Score 1) 150

IMHO all this tech is basically good, but I should point out that I also consider a large wooden horses to be basically good things, too. (They can be neat works of art, or convenient sources of fire wood.) That doesn't mean I'm saying you should wheel all the ones you find, through your city gates! There are other issues besides the utility value of wooden horses. It's the tech that should be celebrated, not necessarily all the products that use it. Tech and products are two very different things, even if related.

There's a pretty easy way to judge the ads for this stuff: what protocols does the product speak? Do you already have software in your repo that speaks that protocol?

And of course, you don't necessarily have to use someone else's service to get the device to work, right? (I'm not even saying you necessarily shouldn't use their service, but if you have to then the product is almost certainly garbage.)

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