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

You're missing the point. It's absurd that the right - even ignoring the reality that he did - considers it a scandal that he didn't condemn the attack by describing it as "terrorism."

That. Is. Not. A. Scandal. Not even if it were true. And neither is me accurately using the term "flawed" and rightly avoiding the term "evil" to describe the NSA. The insistence that you're not pure enough unless you condemn $THING_YOU_DO_NOT_LIKE using terminology that involves words you consider carry the minimum sense of negativity is ridiculous.

Your thought process is exactly the same as Joe Biden's when he describes Snowden as a "terrorist", or when a Slashdotter describes having to pay slightly more than they would want for a piece of music as "being raped". It does not add to discourse, it does not add to the sum of knowledge, and it specifically avoids reason in favor of rhetorical extremism.

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

What about the evidence that the NSA's network is being used for industrial espionage?

What about it? It seems that 90% of the responses to my comment are along the lines of "By saying they're flawed you were saying they're wonderful and perfect." Even when I point this out, by making reference to the absurd "Obama sucks because on hearing about BENGHAZIII!!!! he didn't RIP HIS SHIRT OFF and scream TERRORISM! TERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAA!", I still get responses like yours.

The NSA is trying to gather information to protect American interests. Sometimes it crosses the line. You've just given another example of this. You haven't given an example of the NSA being evil per-se, just flawed.

And yes, I'm aware you're claiming it's different because it's not to protect America's National Security, but I never claimed that the mandate they're trying to follow was purely related to security. Perhaps it should be, it is called the National Security Agency after all, but it isn't. It's mandate is about data interception and collection to protect American interests. That's what it's doing, but it's going too far in many instances.

FWIW, and I'm not justifying it, just pointing out context which is important if you want to understand why an NSA agent might think something we consider crossing the line is standard practice, the NSA is hardly the only governmental agency engaging in industrial espionage. Pro-tip: if you have secrets you want to keep from a French competitor, do NOT, fly Air France (or at least, if you do, take carry-on luggage only and don't let it out of your sight.)

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

Most of their concerns were about what would happen when the next administration got its hands on the reins.

That would be nice if it happened, but there never was any right wing opposition to the PATRIOT Act.

That means they opposed it blanket out of principle as a bad law, not only because of who's in the white house.

No, actually, were it true, it would mean the opposite. It would mean they were happy with the PATRIOT Act's powers as long as an administration like Bush/Cheney is in power.

So, congratulations, the invisible conservative anti-PATRIOT Act people you're inventing would actually have proven and emphasized my point if they existed, not debunked it.

As it is, Teahadists didn't say a damned thing during the Bush administration. Now they're up in arms simply because Obama's "doing it". And meanwhile liberals like Glenn Greenwald, are leading the charge against the NSA and what it's doing, with Teahadists merely turning up.

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.

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