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Comment Re:Here's a Good Summary (Score 3, Interesting) 235

No, it is not millions of people.

BILLIONS of people will be displaced if the water level rises even a moderate amount. Here is a fun toy It only covers part of the world, but the hyperlinked areas are illuminating.

Notice how even a small increase will shut down some of the most populated regions of the world as the cities are right on the coast. China will likely see a billion displaced. India might have a a half billion displaced.

The US might see only around 40 million displaced, but having New York, San Francisco, LA, Houston, Miami, and a bunch of others at least partially underwater or seasonally flooded will be difficult enough. That means rebuilding the infrastructure for millions of people in the United States alone. When Hurricane Katrina type flooding becomes an annual event due to higher sea levels, continuously rebuilding the cities will not be an option. People will be displaced and the annually-flooded buildings looted and condemned.

Wars are very likely. Look at India losing about half of its useful land and displacing so many people; suddenly all the land to the North looks mighty inviting, even with their arsenals. The Nile Delta flooding could displace seven million; there isn't much nearby green on the map for them to move to within the country. Netherlands probably won't survive as we know it, so what about erasing the line between them and Germany? That one at least has a chance of being somewhat civil.

When you combine the stress of losing a lot of land, some countries having their land vanish almost completely, and billions of displaced individuals, tensions are going to skyrocket very quickly.

Long-term real estate investors and the filthy rich have been picking up tracts of land in places that are elevated, cool, and have fresh water sources. Most people haven't really noticed.

Comment Re:Of course it's "lawful" (Score 1) 169

... all the more reason for a "fruit of the poisoned vine" doctrine to be adopted in the UK. The whole stop should have been thrown out in the US if it were based on an unwarrented bug. Not that it will be, nor that "poisoned vine" is safe in the US.

I'm not certain that applies here.

His detention was long after the Guardian had broken the story. There were many news stories about many British organizations before that took place. It is quite reasonable that Greenwald's home was bugged because it was well known he had a large collection of documents. It is quite clear they have both audio and video feeds at his home and his office if you read the documents the court released.

It wouldn't surprise me if any number of agencies had already raided his home, copied his disk drives, and otherwise done their espionage job at the same time they were planting their bugs around the place, and he likely has people watching CCTV taking note of everybody who approaches his home. There is nothing "poison vine" about that; considering the background they are lawful (even though they are blaming the messenger for the message).

On this ruling, the court said that if Schedule 7 applies at all, it applies completely, therefore the full time can be taken.

What they didn't rule on was the fact that while on the surface it was a stop for national security reasons (likely with recordings in the home showing him loading up the classified documents and discussing how to carry them through security) they didn't touch the concern that the motives were to bully and harass, rather than protect state secrets. As a parallel, an officer may be able to legally bring me to the station for questioning every morning before I enter the office, but it would take a while before we could make a case for harassment. Similarly, this single instance fills the letter of the law, and while it strongly appears it was designed by a legal team to threaten and harass to the full extent permitted under the law, there is no proof it actually crossed the line.

Considering how much the previously-released stories had offended so many people in government, it is quite likely, nearly certain, and very probable it was an attempt to threaten, but these guys are all legal experts. They know exactly the extent of the law, exactly what to write, exactly what NOT to write, and exactly how far they can push. The conspiracy is clear to everyone at every level, including the judges. The problem is the level physical proof that is required. Considering the legal experts who launched the attack and their reasoning, you can be pretty certain that such evidence does not physically exist.

Even if one of them came out and said "Put me in jail for breaking the law. We intentionally railroaded the guy, studied exactly the limits of harassment before it broke the law", everything about it immediately becomes hearsay without physical evidence and is dismissed.

Comment Re:Shockingly high count? (Score 5, Insightful) 67

Uh, the subpoenas are for any crime where the police have reasonable cause to obtain the call or location data of a suspect, not just terrorists. To me that seems reasonable, there were 1.2M violent crimes in the US in 2011 according to the FBI, that means the police are only requesting call or location data in at most 1/3rd of such cases (probably many are for non-violent crimes, though it would have to be a fairly major property crime or spree of such for the cops to go through the trouble of doing the paperwork).

Comment Re:Still abusive (Score 1) 511

The message you're responding to actually makes it clear that this is not an example of "the bad thing". It was a correction to drivel people are posting because, well, they hear "Valve is digging through your cache" and think that Valve is indiscriminately looking at your cache, and sending private information it has no right to know.

When people are upset about "digging through your machine", they're worried not about an anti-cheat algorithm sending a yes/no answer to the question "Is Frobnicator cheating", they're worried about a long answer to "What has Frobnicator been doing recently?"

No, that is exactly the point I was trying to make. There was nothing accidental about it.

It is everywhere. Just minutes ago I read a news report on license plate scans. The police are adamant: We only send results back if there are illegal immigration concerns, we don't look at anything else, and we only transmit the data if there is a match.

That's great that they don't send the whole thing back for evaluation, because that would be blatantly evil and would invite the pitchforks.

EITHER WAY, government organizations or business organizations or criminal organizations, the organizations are paying a visit and digging in to potentially valuable, potentially incriminating, and always very sensitive personal information.

Both the government agencies and the business are clear about it: THIS TIME they are only using it for good. THIS TIME the scans won't be archived or searched. THIS TIME we use it identify specific bad guys. THIS TIME we are invading your privacy for a good cause.

The doctor may say "THIS TIME I am sticking my hand up there to check for colon cancer, nothing to worry about." I don't care how many times it happens, I want to know EVERY TIME. I want to know well in advance EVERY TIME they want to poke in. I want to know EVERY TIME what they are doing, why they are doing it. I want to know EVERY TIME so I can check the results and monitor them and make sure that THIS TIME is still acceptable to me. Because maybe THIS TIME it is not.

Comment Re:Of course it's "lawful" (Score 4, Interesting) 169

BTW, how did they know it was GCHQ docs? Did he confess? or Were they unencrypted and GCHQ attested?

That is one of many oddities in the report.

Numbers 11 and 12 of the judgement(pdf) are the most telling. In the days before he was detained, the Security Service wrote, among other things "there is a substantial risk that David MIRANDA holds material which would be severely damaging to UK national security interests." Less than 24 hours before the airport incident they wrote this: "We assess that MIRANDA is knowingly carrying material, the release of which would endanger people’s lives. Additionally the disclosure, or threat of disclosure, is designed to influence a government, and is made for the purpose of promoting a political or ideological cause. This therefore falls within the definition of terrorism and as such we request that the subject is examined under Schedule 7."

So what, exactly, does that bolded bit mean? The security services HAS ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE (not suspicion) that Mr Miranda was knowingly carrying the material. Think hard about that. They told the court that they knew the actual content of the conversation he had inside Mr Greenwald's home hours before he left. So yeah, that is a thing to think about. The bugs in that home are awful.

Now, as this is slashdot we can pontificate about how something being "made for the purpose of promoting a political or ideological cause" equates to terrorism, but that is current UK law that they need to deal with.

There is also this one in 72, that shows the justices are really out of touch: "I accept that the Schedule 7 stop constituted an indirect interference with press freedom, though no such interference was asserted by the claimant at the time." So basically the justices expected a foreign citizen (Brazilian) to properly cite the UK legal code while being locked in a room by thugs. Seriously guys?!

Overall their reasoning is frustrating but correct. If Schedule 7 applies (which it seems to) then EVERYTHING under the law applies. Even though they could have done the job in 10 minutes, the law doesn't require any kind of speed. It says the stop can last for 9 hours "for the purpose of satisfying himself ... an examining officer may [list of actions]". As long as the examining officer was "satisfying himself" (13-year-old-giggle) during that time the entire 9 hours can legally be used. It was obviously intentional that he used the full time. There is no doubt that he was trying to send a message by using the maximum time allowed, but short of declaring perjury against the investigators the court is going to accept each investigator was busy "satisfying himself" rather than punishing the guy. Unless they have some hard proof of their mental state at the time, it would be exceedingly hard to discredit their sworn statement.

Are they lying in their sworn statement about "satisfying himself"? Very likely, as it was atypical, most workers have a vague idea of the law and just follow broad training. A junior official is unlikely to ever follow along the strict edge of law, with timings down to the minute, following bullet-point by bullet-point down the law, and so it appears to be a calculated attack by legal experts. Can you PROVE it was an attack and not "satisfying himself"? Probably not without a smoking-gun document being leaked by the government.

Comment Re:But... (Score 4, Insightful) 341

I hate replying to myself, but since we don't have a way to edit...

The ones with the cameras have the power. Governments with CCTV have power. Corporate overlords with CCTV have power.

Protesters recording police abuses have power if they record it, but if they don't record it usually they lose.

Activists recording business abuses have power when challenged since they can expose problems, but no recordings and they find themselves sued to oblivion.

Drivers in Russia with dashboard cameras have power when people jump in front of their vehicles.

When the people have the cameras, they have the power. Sadly many individuals equate cameras with power so they feel powerless when they see another individual with a camera. Just give everybody cameras, let them record everything. Power to the people, and all that.

Comment Re:But... (Score 1, Interesting) 341

In public, I want ubiquitous recording BY THE INDIVIDUALS.

If I'm in a club, I want a few cameras running. Inevitably there are fights, and if we can get viewpoints from five different individuals it could clean up a lot of problems.

If I'm out dealing with a drunk, I want a few cameras running. If anything goes wrong we can get viewpoints from several angles to prove innocence against accusations.

If I'm dealing with a difficult client, I want a few cameras running. Let's have both of our viewpoints and more besides. If I did something wrong let me know, show me so I can fix it.

I'm a photographer who insists on having someone present when I shoot women alone, I really want a few cameras running. I once had baseless accusations against me, and a few cameras would have cleaned things up quick.

If I need to interact with police for anything from a speeding ticket to an arrest, I want a few cameras running. If I'm guilty, I am content to have those cameras show my guilt. If I am innocent, I want those cameras to prove not just to the court, but to show the media, to show facebook, to show youtube.

There is a HUGE difference between government run CCTV, corporate overlords monitoring our movements, versus individuals who can use recordings to preserve what they see for any use.

Individuals with cameras in public? Bring them on. When everybody (not just the authorities) have the cameras running the world will be that much better.

Comment Re:Petition to Stop Wasting Tax Money on Petitions (Score 3, Insightful) 245

True, and well-worded, but I think it's a bunch of handwaving. If he truly believed in an open internet, he'd do something about this more than just saying: "I'm gonna let them handle it"

You must be new to this whole "government" thing.

In general they do nothing. And in general that is actually the best response.

Usually when they do take fast action it is the wrong action. The kneejerk reaction laws are written by organizations that have their own aggressive agendas, they provide them to the legislators during an emergency under the promise that the bad provisions can be corrected later... but they seldom are.

The correct course, even though it is slow and tedious and painful, is for Congress to act deliberately.

Even in the best of times trying to force Congress to pass a law that benefits the people is nearly impossible. Often it requires a massive upswelling, grand marches and presentations and events that are daily on the news until the congress-critters realize they must take action or lose their jobs. In the worst of times, like today, even that wouldn't work since they cn trivially deflect the most severe upheavals with "We worked on a bill but the other party shut it down".

Examples of that were the civil rights movement, the Vietnam and Korean war protests, more recently we have the occupy movement and the tea party movement. It takes considerable force to make congress move, and even these multi-million member groups tend to produce only slight changes in government.

Sadly, the correct action is also the action we are least likely to see. It may not be the one the nation wants, but given the national attitudes and apathy, it is probably the one we deserve.

Comment Re:Still abusive (Score 1) 511

It is actually pretty funny from a distant and abstract view.

When most companies dig through your machine, evaluate records and browser caches, and otherwise dig through the garbage that is sure to exist, most people start screaming about privacy rights, corporations and governments intruding in personal lives, and the huge potential for abuse. Assertions that it is only to catch the bad actors are usually dismissed by the crowd.

Valve does exactly the same thing, searches through your machine, digs through all the garbage, and has the potential to collect quite a lot of incriminating details. Assertions that it is only to catch the bad actors are followed by ... mostly acceptance.

0.000876% -- the 570 bad actors that scanning 65 million Valve user accounts has identified.
0.0142% -- the "around 1,000,000 Terrorist Watch List names in March 2009" relative to the number of people the NSA spies on.

So... I guess that means Valve is spying on 65 million people with even less effectiveness than the NSA spying? Or maybe this make it less bad somehow because Steam is voluntary? Maybe we can vote with our wallet! That means go back in time over the past decade, choose someone else to buy the games from, locking us to their platform instead, and... wait...

Comment Re:To long, didn't check. (Score 1) 189

Doesn't seem any worse than a Zero Knowledge Proof system.

Even if we cannot prove it formally, systems like this can put together a system with a very high probability of being correct if we simply test their results. If you can get multiple automated proof systems to claim it is impossible, and you trust the automated proof systems with a moderate degree of certainty, you can trust the results with about the same certainty.

For many problems, having something "statistically proven" is good enough.

Comment Re:riiiight (Score 4, Insightful) 361

No, it has not always been this way! In fact when Akamai first started out ISP's were housing their cache boxes for free because it was cheaper to pay for the bit of power and AC for them then it was to pay for additional upstream bandwidth. Also Tier-1 ISP's have ALWAYS carried traffic in a neutral way and without charge to each other (you've been here long enough that you should know what tariff free peering is). These deals aren't about the costs, providing peering points for traffic is relatively cheap, this is about the last mile providers abusing their monopoly/duopoly positions to rent seek.

Comment Re:Seriously? What has happened to Slashdot? (Score 1) 401

But now we get childish anti-science potshots making it up to score 5, Informative? What the heck happened? Has Slashdot been taken over by commenting shrills paid by the Koch brothers? Or did all the intelligent Slashdotters simply leave long ago? If so, could someone please tell me where they went?

Natural ebb and flow.

Site is new and has mostly insiders. SNR is high. Site gets popular. Hordes arrive. SNR drops. Signal moves to clearer channels.

It is often mentioned that the Slashdot heyday ended around 2006. Much of the signal moved over to reddit. Observe that reddit went from a great ratio of insightful stories and insightful comments in the past to having today's home page mostly filled with meme-style images but occasionally containing intellectual content, very much like modern slashdot. Some of the individual moderated sub-reddits maintain a high SNR on a single topic, but the broader intelligent community vanished a few years back.

These days go for industry-based and credential-based discussion boards. IEEE and ACM both offer fairly broad geek news coverage with open discussion after the stories.

Comment Re:Ahh Kerry... (Score 1) 401

Sounds like you are falling for an obvious diversionary tactic. Kerry is in Indonesia. Indonesians are pissed at the USA for spying on them. Kerry decides to talk about climate change and lobs around hyperbola like "weapon of mass destructions threating your way of life!!11ONE!!!1"

Indeed!

We should all take action for climate change. Don't let the horrible practices of the nations of the world interrupt it.

Do what you can for climate change!

(I recommend igniting your nearby forests. After all the forests are gone there will be plenty of evidence for climate change.)

Comment Re:How to kill a market (Score 1) 191

The savings aren't enough, I looked at getting my wife a smaller vehicle to replace her minivan as we really only need the size and third row seating for the 2-3 weeks a year where we're traveling long distances. Renting a minivan for 2 weeks costs more than the fuel for her current vehicle for the entire year.

Comment Re: Use Cisco instead... (Score 4, Informative) 76

Uh, no. You just read the *headlines* on Snowden articles and not the details, didn't you?

Backdooring Cisco or Juniper equipment required physical access or someone to upload a Trojan firmware.

Huawei has a *remote upgrade* feature that allows remote firmware programming. They are very..."user" friendly.

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