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Comment Vicious grudges (Score 1) 392

Stross notes that as with all religion, those sects with most in common are the ones who hold the most vicious grudges against one another. 'Is that clear?'"

The "grudges" that most Christian denominations hold against each other, if one can even call them grudges by now, are by and large substantially less the fighting over operating systems by geeks. The Catholics officially regard baptized Protestants as Catholics who are out of communion with Rome. The term is "separated brethren," not "those damn heretics" now. Likewise, most Protestant denominations, even conservative ones, may harshly criticize the Catholic Church on issues of doctrine but regard observant Catholics as fellow Christians. The level of animosity is significantly less except on the outliers than Stross realizes, but then as far as I know he's an atheist and like most atheists he tends to think far too highly of his knowledge of religion especially Christianity.

Comment It isn't a crime (Score 1) 215

If you think that what they are doing is not a crime, try to do the same and get caught

The same is true of taxation, but I don't see you complaining about that either. The government has natural authority which individuals do not when there exists a legitimate government. One of those is defense and intelligence gathering is now as critical to national defense as any weapon system if not more so.

Comment This is not what should outrage us (Score 4, Interesting) 215

The fact is that the NSA needs these tools for the same reason the Army needs weapons ranging from small arms to weapons of mass destruction. It needs tools that let it collect signals intelligence on foreign targets. And yes, that includes our "allies." They do it as much to as we do it to them. It's understood that it happens. Even the British and Canadians wouldn't be shy about collecting Top Secret data on our operations that we want to keep from them if they could acquire it without jeopardizing their highly productive and close relationship with the US.

Americans should be outraged that the NSA is now deeply integrated with federal law enforcement per 9/11 "reforms" that all but created an integrated security state. That puts our rights deeply at risk. Prior to 9/11, the most the NSA could legally do was inform Customs and the Coast Guard that smugglers were en route to US territorial waters or airspace. Now, they're damn near as much of an intelligence arm for law enforcement as the military.

What we need is an iron clad, black letter of the law statute that says that no data the NSA collects on Americans is legally admissible unless the communication was collected abroad, occurred entirely outside of US territory and is specifically of a nature that is dangerous to our national security.

Comment Re:Oh Boy! (Score 1) 120

Given the current state of internet-focused writing, with the brutal drive to churn out as much clickbait 'content' as possible as fast as possible, with a side of SEO fuckery, I suspect that adding analytics capabilities to books will... perhaps not... be the most helpful development in literature.


1. I can think of no way in which this could possibly compromise the quality of the TITS literary experience.
2. Let us not forget that we are at the forefront BREASTS of a new publishing paradigm.
3. Electronic distribution promises to free BOOBS authors from the shackles of the traditional publishing industry.
4. It's an agile and disruptive way of making JUGS money through the process of creative destruction.

(below the jump)

5. The end.

Submission + - Whatever happened to Sanford "Spamford" Wallace? (arstechnica.com)

Tackhead writes: People of a certain age — the age before email filters were effective, may remember a few mid-90s buzzwords like "bulletproof hosting" and "double opt-in." People may remember that Hormel itself conceded that although "SPAM" referred to their potted meat product, the term "spam" could refer to unsolicited commercial email. People may also remember AGIS, Cyberpromo, Sanford "Spam King" Wallace and Walt Rines. Ten years after a 2003 retrospective on Rines and Wallace, Ars Technica reminds us that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Comment Re:Loophole closed (Score 3, Insightful) 236

> If Italian products are being advertised to Italians, then the service tax on the adds should be paid to the Italian government

A contemporary, but yet outmoded thought, in my opinion. The internet really shows exactly how old
fashioned this line of thinking is.

What is italy ? The idea that a patch of land and history forms a magical entity which give a small group
of people the right to tax and control the people living therein seems entirely arbitrary to me.
People both within, and without italy, can access servers both within and without of italy's current ground boundaries.
The goods and services and even idle chatter moving over the internet can be in any language, sold in any currency
or other unit of account, or even be given away for free.

Why should the italian government have any special purview over what is bought and sold over the internet ?
Who's to say whether a specific ad targets italians or not, the language ? What if the ad is in english, would it still
be considered to target italians? What is the advertized product is not sold in Euro's, would it still be taxable and
subject to these regulations ?

How about a product, made in china, sold to an italian speaking community living in london, hosted by a server
which physically resides in sweden, and has a .info domain name; how many of these variables
  have to change to make it subject to these new rules?

Comment It's definitely a problem here (Score 5, Insightful) 174

DHS is clustered heavily in DC and the areas immediately outside of DC within the beltway. The cost of moving to this area just to work could easily add $10k-$12k in debt or lost savings for just a single summer. This is simply not an internship that makes sense for any student who comes from a family lacking real wealth.

Comment The problem for the NSA... (Score 1) 504

Is that the NSA is now an arm of law enforcement. The new FISA statute requires them to turn over actionable law enforcement intelligence they acquire during lawful FISA spying. That means literally any crime, not just serious violations of national security. If the NSA's spying still was only legally usable against you where your behavior intersects with federal war powers (meaning you're a terrorist, spy or foreign mole) I doubt most people would care.

What the NSA should be doing is lobbying to have that part of FISA not only removed, but replaced with black letter of the law statutory language that unequivocally makes their intelligence inadmissable in a court of law under penalty of tainting every charge prosecutors bring including ones wholly unrelated to what the NSA gathered. This would make the NSA useless to law enforcement and allow them to get back to focusing on supporting the military which was their main reason for being in the first place.

Comment Re:Rule #1 (Score 1, Insightful) 894

The "NRA mentality" is all that separates us from an authoritarian totalitarian regime.

For all we rail against the NSA's overreaching surveillance, and the ridiculousness of the patent and copyright system, there
are simply so many here on slashdot who cry and beg to give up fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the
constitutional origins of the united states...

The level of cognitive dissonance is astounding.

Its not about your penis.

Its not about whether or not more or fewer people are killed.

Its about fundamental liberties, and the role of government in our lives.

Its about being a citizen, and not a subject.

Comment Totally crazy idea here... (Score 3, Insightful) 513

How about we respect the fact that the plane is the property of the airline and let them set policy accordingly. I mean holy crap on a cracker Batman, civility will break down because someone is talking (at most likely) conversational volume on a cell phone on a long flight that already has cranky and cramped adults, babies and drunks.

Comment And many might be worth it (Score 2) 152

One thing that /. readers often fail to take into consideration is that many companies may find that it's easier to outsource to a company with a solid reputation for hiring good people than to try to hire good people on its own. For smaller companies in particular, there's a hiring bootstrap problem here. They have to hire the right people who will be able to identify the candidates to build a solid IT team. A lot can go wrong, and many companies may in fact benefit from outsourcing to a reputable company who they can sue the hell out of if there is an issue and a highly paid consultant can point the finger at them cutting corners to make a few extra bucks.

Comment Re:dreamworld (Score 1) 305

So you trust dollars implicitly and are leery of bitcoins, thats a perfectly understandable and reasonable position.

If you feel like taking part in the trendy thing, you can still sign your store up to accept bitcoins but instantly convert into dollars, and set your prices in dollars as well, so that your payment processor takes on any currency exchange risk for you.

If it gets to the point where you are leery of dollars and can buy **** anything **** with btc, then you can always
change it up and start accepting btc directly.

Comment Re:A limited number of Bitcoins (Score 1) 305

True, and insightful, however there is one difference: due to the nature of transactions,
coins are effectively melted down and recast each time they are moved. Even with
only a tiny percentage of coins having been directly stolen or used for nefarious purposes,
they would very quickly spread a taint through the whole body of moving coins.

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