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Comment Re:I wonder... (Score 4, Interesting) 710

Speculation in a comments thread elsewhere that someone put 4chans IP address in the IRC server Anonops were using, calling it Bank of America.

It would be very amusing if 4Chan had managed to DDoS themselves. :)

That said, they've got so many enemies it's impossible to say.

Comment Re:I have to deal with this all the time.... (Score 1) 945

The normal talking point (not taking sides here) is disposable income; this is a bit of simlification, but hopefully it illustrates the idea well enough.

There's a lot of people on low incomes that live paycheque to paycheque. They literally pay rent (or mortgage, if they're luckier), food, heat and light and that's their paycheque gone. Given the rush to minimum wage following its introduction (we saw the same thing in the UK) there's a significant number of people in that position.

Someone who's got a larger income typically has disposable (or excess, if you prefer) income above and beyond what they need to maintain their quality of life, and so a larger tax burden doesn't actually impact them in the same way as it does for the lower earners - a higher tax burden might delay some purchases, but doesn't generally cause real trouble.

For the very high earners - the minority we normally think of as 'rich' - the tax burden is almost irrelevant - they literally earn more money than they can spend, and what's not spent simply heaps up in a bank account somewhere. Bearing in mind that a higher tax burden here has almost literally no impact on their quality of life (as the extra money is just a number of a statement), it becomes more a question of 'why not?'.

Bear in mind that a lot of people in this last bracket are seen to give away huge sums in aid anyway, which makes it difficult for society to argue they can't afford it.

Comment Re:I have to deal with this all the time.... (Score 1) 945

Fair enough, I may have cocked up on that one.

My understanding was based on statements made by some of the more wealthy Americans, such as Warren Buffet, and other tricks to avoid income taxes (the typical one being a salary, but high income from stock dividends which are taxed at a much lower rate). Both WB and Steve Jobs reportedly pay a lower tax burden than their secretaries - jobs pays ~15%, which is roughly the same rate as the 20k/yr example in your link.

From media reports I'd been led to believe that was fairly standard practice - apologies if that's not in fact the case.

Comment Re:technical vs political solutions (Score 1) 945

Encryption doesn't help with NN.

The problem is that NN is about preventing the selective degradation of service based on a packets origin or destination. This information has to be available to the network providers in an unencrypted form in the packet headers or the content will never get to where it's going.

Encryption bypasses something else - QOS filtering, which is based on protocol and is intended to prioritise realtime traffic such as VOIP calls. Using encryption to bypass that is actually counterproductive, as ISP's can (and probably will) simply dump encrypted traffic into the 'bulk' (lowest priority) bracket when it becomes to heavy in order to keep things moving for known realtime trade.

Comment Re:But will they listen? (Score 1) 945

Generally agreed - but I've found it's important to oversimplify when you're dealing with anything that involves politics (as NN now does). Trying to spell out the technical specifics of things such as NN has a habit of confusing the technically inadept, which tends to send them back to the talking heads or makes them apathetic towards the whole thing.

As far as oversimplifications goes, 'no ownership or control' is a position that people understand, and while not technically accurate it's at least close enough that they layfolk can get a rough understanding of the positions.

Comment Re:I have to deal with this all the time.... (Score 2) 945

Tax "cuts" are the wrong way to think about it.

The government should get enough money from the population to act as a limited social contract among free people to secure life, liberty, and property.

Anything extra should be given back to the people who payed in.

As an outsider, I'd like to point out that while I agree with this on paper, there's a problem - the people who've paid in the most have always been the poorest (their individual tax burdens far outweigh those of the extremely wealthy), yet those are also the same people getting the least back.

It's interesting to note that when it comes to taxes, the' American Left' and the 'American Right' (neither of which live up to their names imo) seem to have pretty similar policies on tax - the difference is that 'Left' see it as scalable with income (ie, Rich pay more into the pot), whereas the 'Right' see it as absolute (Rich pay the same as the poor).

Both sides seem to have the goal of increasing governments role and the size of the pot, but the difference is in how - the 'Right', through increased spending on security and military capabilities, the 'Left' through increased spending infrastructure and social support. In both cases your line about private property being used as communal property is true.

Neither are necessarily wrong, but I don't see anyone in America's political spectrum actually working to your ideal of reduced government.

Comment Re:But will they listen? (Score 1) 945

Uh... no?

Net Neutrality - when done right - is an assertation that nobody owns or controls 'the internet'.
'Net Neutrality' - when done the way the government wants - is the government taking control.
A lack of Net Neutrality is TELECOMS taking over the internet.

The problem is that the government has co-opted the term to mean something it wasn't supposed to - which serves to confuse the argument. We could try to raise true NN under a new name, but the governments likely to try the same thing there as well, so it'd need a fast and hard blitz to get the real meaning embedded in the public consciousness before they manage that. Unfortunately, there isn't the will at the moment.

Comment Re:Nope. (Score 3, Informative) 528

Companies have already tried screwing with net neutrality though.

Most recent example I can think of is Phorm, which replaced adverts on webpages on the fly with ones that paid the service provider.

Other examples would be Fox blocking viewers on Cablevision (yeah, weird reverse example), Comcast throttling video from outside its own network (they got a C&D over it from the FCC), and several examples from Canada (including one where the ISP - a phone company - was deliberately degrading VOIP traffic from competing services unless the user paid them an additional monthly tariff).

Companies like Netflix, using your example, can already get faster service through co-locating and using CDNs (essentially, data centres connected directly to the ISPs own infastructure). Net Neutrality doesn't prevent that - it doesn't stop someone taking steps to make their service faster, but stops people degrading base level service. It's an important distinction.

Comment Re:Just more extreme (Score 1) 222

I beg to differ : Most burglars are repeat offenders, and known to the police already. All it takes is one of the local police officers to recognise the guy and they *will* arrest him, since he was stupid enough to leave a calling card. They don't even need to investigate this one, just arrest him, stick him in a cell and call the prosecutors office.

Comment Re:But but but (Score 1) 536

Hmm... wasn't aware of that.

That said, there's still the issue of source code being available to other governments. One would think that they would have noticed anything obvious.

Of course, if they've added something not so obvious, then Linux might not be safe either given SELinux is also attributed to them.

Comment Re:But but but (Score 1) 536

I think it was an attempt at a joke based on the rate at which exploits against the Windows platform are discovered.

That said, Microsoft does share the Windows source code with governments (Source, and yes, I consider that to be a bloody stupid move on MS's part). That being the case, any flaws the recipient governments have found but not reported back to Microsoft could be considered back doors - assuming that any exist.

Comment Re:Ok. (Score 1) 536

Without trying to sound whack-job conspiracy nut here, the obvious answer would be sleight of hand. If they used the alleged backdoors to poison hostile infrastructure, then their enemies would eventually link their problems to the platform and move on to something else - at which point the FBI would lose its advantage.

Alternatively, if they're using them (assuming they exist) for covert intelligence gathering, they'd still have to be careful not to play too bold a hand and give away the source of their information. That means taking care not to act on information gathered solely through a hole like this. The ideal method would be to find or create a pretext to take some seemingly unrelated action (e.g., raiding a company that their 'enemy' does business with looking for evidence of tax evasion or something) and then using what they find *there* as the basis for action.

If they're careful they could potentially keep on top of a target without ever showing their hand - but the moment they take direct action based on information obtained through an exploit, their targets' going to scratch their heads and start wondering how that happened. Eventually, they'll figure it out and the FBI lose their hole... so direct action is something to be avoided if they want to retain their advantage.

Basically, prioritising long-term advantages over short term gains.

Unrelated : Slashdot, can ye please be fixing ya text box in Chrome? It's the only one that seems to break with mouse input, and there *has* to be a reason for that. :(

Comment 42 Grams. (Score 2) 536

Because mass speculation is fun!

More seriously, some of the code obfuscation competitions out there show that code auditing alone may not be enough to track down every vulnerability - a single dedicated enough individual can probably slip something past that's too subtle to notice, especially if they're making a lot of 'good' commits at the same time.

Now realise that the article suggests that there may have been several people at this and the problem becomes evident.

Basically, over reliance on the 'many eyes' security model has always been futile.

Submission + - AT&T says no to linux ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: AT&T are routinely and without any indication in their published terms and conditions refusing to allow non-windows users to set up their DSL modems. No to linux, no to MacOS, iOS, Android. Computer says no.

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Ya'll hear about the geometer who went to the beach to catch some rays and became a tangent ?