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Comment Re:world ramifications... (Score 1, Insightful) 388

This comment reminds me of the people that insist it was a major scandal that Obama didn't call Benghazi an act of "terror" (he did, but that doesn't stop people insisting on it.)

I wouldn't say "flawed" is a synonym for "reasonable". In fact, I'd say the opposite. However, use of the word "evil" requires an assumption about the motives of the NSA, that I don't think you're willing to address, and I see no evidence, quite honestly, that the NSA has the wrong motives. Everything's it's done is in line with the concept of an organization that gathers intelligence to help protect national security. What it's done is cross the line, and in some cases done so terribly.

Comment Re:world ramifications... (Score 2, Insightful) 388

For all Its faults, the NSA is more of a flawed character than an evil one. It does have a particular job to do, the job it's supposed to do is a worthwhile one, and for the most part "our"* criticism of it has to do with its methods, not its mandate. We do, actually, want to know what foreign governments are up to, especially in terms of what those governments might be planning that severely affects America's interests. We do, actually, want our government to know what terrorists are up to, as part of a combined good faith effort to counter-act them.

We also, of course, want a lot of other things, but just as the most pacifist of us would stop short of demanding an end to the US military - at least, while other governments have one - few would demand an intelligence gathering organization cease to exist simply because of privacy issues. In both cases we might want to rein in the excesses, but we don't want to do away with them altogether.

So no, I don't see it as completely unreasonable that the NSA would recruit from the nerd communities, leaving aside the somewhat inconvenient fact that they kinda need our skills these days...

Would I take a job there? Probably not, largely because (post Snowden) I'd be concerned I'd be put in a position whether I have to choose between betraying my principles or betraying my promises. But others may feel much more comfortable with the possible boundaries the job has.

* as left wing nerds - teahadists can pretend you're against it too, but be honest, you supported the darkest of Cheney's fantasies, we don't believe your sudden opposition to the NSA to be anything other than related to who's in the White House.

Comment Re:Passwords are property of the employer (Score 1) 599

He doesn't, but he does know that the City of San Francisco needs the passwords, and if he'd forgotten, the person contacting him would have been reminding him in the process.

So, like I said, if he'd chosen not to be a dick about it, the right approach would have been to say "Sure! I'll be over there in five minutes, meet you at City Hall", rather than "No, because I don't know for sure you are authorized and I'm going to argue about this until the MAYOR meets me in person."

Comment Re:They will never learn (Score 1) 276

There are no secrets.. They eventually get out.

Who killed Lincoln? Who killed JFK? Who planned 9/11?

Tip: money makes truths.

Lincoln? The guy my great-grand-uncle rented the horses to escape afterwards to. His name was Booth, a reputable actor at the time.

JFK? I'm sorry, but you're not cleared to know that. Let's just say Germans do very good work.

9-11? He's at the bottom of the ocean. Having Pakistan as your buddies won't save you from us.

Comment Was reading about this in Seattle Times (Score 1) 292

After thinking about it, as someone who worked at Microsoft and has friends who work there, I think Elon has a very good idea there.

Going off mission like Ballmer did the last decade may feel good, but it's the wrong direction.

I may prefer LibreOffice or some other solution other friends are working on, but they really need to shake up the doom spiral that Microsoft is in, and get their heads back in gear.

Comment Re:It tried to follow the plot (Score 1) 726

I know many people who still act as if they don't have Internet.

Shows like Spartacus and Game of Thrones are their only boob intake. And they will proudly tell you they will watch them almost solely for the boobs. And spend hours discussing how great the boobs are, if you give them a chance.

Looking this sort of thing up on the Internet apparently will offend the wife, or their inner sensibilities, or something. But seeing it on HBO is just a-OK.

We still live in an eerily puritanical society.

Comment Oh please, get real (Score 1) 274

I mean, if jellyfish were planning to take over the world, they'd have the largest ones in the world in Puget Sound, where the Pacific Ocean is right next to Seattle ...

Oh.

Wait.

And we'd be bioengineering jellyfish genes into other DNA sequences here at the UW.

Um. ...

I for one welcome our Jellyfish Overlords!

Comment Re:Not to worry, the NSA already has copies of vid (Score 1) 180

It's hard to use something that has been on the front page of newspapers as blackmail material. "Oh no, if I don't do what you say you'll publish this information that was on the front page of the paper? Oh anything but that! What if someone finds out?"

Unless you release the vids on the internal networks in France and make sure they show up during broadcasts ..

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