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Submission + - Enemy of HRM, Paul Revere, Identified Using Metadata (kieranhealy.org)

cervesaebraciator writes: In the wake of recent revelations from Edward Snowden, apologists for the state security apparatus are predictably hitting the airwaves. Some are even 'glad' the NSA has been doing this. A major point they emphasize is that the content of calls have remained private and it is only the metadata that they're interested in. But given how much one can tell from interpersonal connections, does the surveillance only represent "modest encroachments on privacy"? It is easy enough to imagine how metadata on phone calls made to and from a medical specialist could be more revealing than we'd like. But social network analysis can reveal far more. Duke sociologist Kieran Healy, in a light-hearted but telling article, shows how one father of the American Revolution could have been identified using the simplest tools of social network analysis and only a limited dataset.

Comment You're missing the point (Score 2) 153

There are several security loopholes here that China could theoretically exploit. Lenovo moving some manufacturing here is an attempt by them to deliberately close one of the big ones, which is what happens to goods in transit between them and their customers. The Chinese intelligence services are extremely unlikely to send people to US soil to pull some stunt because the last thing they'd want is for people connected to a program to sabotage American computer products to be practically in the federal government's lap.

Comment No, it does do some good (Score 4, Insightful) 153

A computer built in the US and shipped via American carriers is significantly less likely to be tampered with in transit. In China, you're trusting that there are no "stops" between the factory and the dock.

It's just a step in the right direction. In that sense and that sense alone you are more correct than wrong.

Comment Fanbois don't want to face the truth (Score 0, Flamebait) 277

Apple's products are now just very expensive toys built for an economy that has gone away. The days of a $500-$800 media consumption device aka the iPad are numbered. At the rate the global economy is deterioriating products like the MacBook Pro with Retina Display which is a $3000 boondoggle of barely fixable badness will be considered a sign of mental degradation or material excess.

My next upgrade cycle, after having been with OS X since 10.0 and iOS since the iPhone 3G is looking increasingly like a $500-$1000 PC laptop with Haswell, Linux, a BlackBerry Z10 (or its successor) which has a replaceable battery and a XBox One and Wii U for gaming. All of that together, cheaper and just as good as a midrange MacBook Pro.

Comment How about... (Score 0, Offtopic) 307

You revive gun rights instead. Let's dispense with the boilerplate bullshit about how having a gun might not have saved him and just face a simple fact here. This would be substantially less likely to work in the US because terrorists know that such acts of violence would very likely end with them being met with a hail of bullets from bystanders or the police. In the US, random acts of savagery typically only happen in those areas where criminals know the citizenry cannot be lawfully armed. That those areas also tend to be minimally secured by the government to counter this fact is probably also a feature to them as well...

Comment They just had to ruin it (Score 1) 395

All they had to do was make the installation process work just like it does on the 360 where you have to put the DVD in on start up to prove you own a copy or have physical possession of one. They could have improved on that for convenience simply by making a feature to tie it to your profile and require the Internet for that. That way, the worst that could happen is two gamers share the same disk.

Comment We need a real tax revolt in the US (Score 1) 327

We need millions of taxpayers, especially small businesses to not only refuse to pay their taxes but dare the government to arrest them for tax evasion until we have a fair and easy to enforce tax code. When I say dare, I mean in the sense of forcing the government to literally go to war or back down and fix the system.

Comment College isn't a "good investment for most people" (Score 1) 368

Because for most people, college is trade school for people "too good" to go to trade school. That's putting it charitably since for the majority, it's probably just a 4 year extended vacation with some academics.

The reality is that most people would be substantially better off if they had parents that actually stayed together by that age in their lives and would let them work full time while living at home to build a really large amount of savings. In terms of material prosperity they'd have little to no debt, 4 years work experience toward their future and a massive pile of cash even if they were making minimum wage for the whole time.

Comment Yeah? (Score 3, Interesting) 578

And after 9/11, you could probably have gotten the same results for warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detention, etc. This is why we have a republic, not a democracy. The rightness of a public policy is not measured by popular support. The only real reason to go by what is popular is that if you constantly ignore the popular will on things that are neutral or right, you risk delegitimizing the government.

Submission + - FBI Considers CALEA II - Mandatory Wiretapping on End Users' Devices (freedom-to-tinker.com) 1

Techmeology writes: In response to declining utility of CALEA mandated wiretapping backdoors due to more widespread use of cryptography, the FBI is considering a revamped version that would mandate wiretapping facilities in end users' computers and software. Critics have argued that this would be bad for security, as such systems must be more complex and thus harder to secure. CALEA has also enabled criminals to wiretap conversations by hacking the infrastructure used by the authorities. I wonder how this could ever be implemented in FOSS.

Comment Re:CPU=Critical Patch Update (Score 5, Funny) 183

Its not like they could have just said Critical update patch...oh no, we need to make things confusing.

What happens when admins get confused and pour the contents of their beverage containers into their servers?

We apologize for the confusion in the Critical Patch Updates. The individuals responsible have been sacked. To avoid further confusion, all CPUs will be processed through CUPS, the Critical Update Patch Server.

And now the goddamn printer doesn't work.

Comment Not about race or science (Score 2) 1078

The BB gun incident seems to have happened off of school property. If she did this at home the charges applied (explosives, dangerous toys, blah blah blah at school) would not have been applicable. The government's standard response with stuff involving schools and "danger" is "kill it with fire" to appease the parents who might freak out if something HAD happened and the few squeaky wheels who are such bed-wetters that they'll call into question the integrity, intelligence, etc. of people who "let this happen."

Comment Re:Errr... that makes no sense (Score 1) 342

Given that the patent office is self-funded, and rejections only make more time-consuming work, it'd be silly for some Machiavellian Patent Office executive to hand out incentives for rejecting patents.

Au contraire. Given that the patent office is self-funded, and rejections only generate more filing fees, it'd be Machiavellian for some silly Patent Office executive to hand out incentives for rejecting patents.

Comment One doesn't avoid responsibility in our religions (Score 1) 931

I suppose it's easier to overcome mental health problems if one believes that they bear no responsibility for their troubles and that an infinitely powerful being will make everything okay if they just believe. A metaphysical placebo.

You stumbled into a very obvious false dichotomy trying to make a dig at believers here. It's perfectly possible, even necessary from an Abrahamic (as in all 3 religions) perspective to say that you bear responsibility and that God will deliver you. Far from being an avoidance of responsibility it becomes a rallying point to take responsibility and move forward.

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