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Comment That would ruin the economy (Score 1) 286

Really, if we'd only let people that are actually good at driving behind the wheel of cars, 90% of current driving license holders would be without transport. Driving licenses aren't about people being a danger to the people around them out cars. They are about keeping the ones that would cost more than they'd ever be able to put back into the economy from causing disasters.

Statistically, people are dangerous in cars, no matter what they do. We have to limit the good drivers to prevent the average and below drivers from doing a lot of damage as well. It's all about "getting by" without major things going wrong and having an objective system setting an acceptable risk factor on traffic for society, not about actual skill or safety of individuals.

Driving licenses are about "minimal requirements to possibly be able to operate a vehicle", nothing more, nothing less. You could in reality be a dangerous fucktard, but as long as you don't show any fucktarding wile you are taking your driving exam, you get the license if you show you are capable of mechanically operating a vehicle, looking around you to observe other traffic and show sufficient knowledge of traffic laws and regulations. You don't have to convince the inspector that you'd be doing all that for the rest of your life.

Comment That's not an equivalent (Score 3, Insightful) 183

That's not an equivalent. That's the only way you can try and get "justice" if law enforcement doesn't take care of the perpetrators, but it's not a digital equivalent. Let me put it to you this way: If someone was to come into your house and murder your significant other. Would it be okay if the police were to find them and kill their significant other, without trial? Because that would be an equivalent too. The law deals with these things not by revenge or "an eye for an eye", but by (hopefully) proper research, apprehension of the suspects and a fair trial. Hacking back isn't any of those.

Comment Okay (Score 2) 89

There's got to be a morning after
If we can hold on through the night
We have a chance to find the sunshine
Let's keep on lookin' for the light

Oh, can't you see the morning after
It's waiting right outside the storm
Why don't we cross the bridge together
And find a place that's safe and warm

It's not too late, we should be giving
Only with love can we climb
It's not too late, not while we're living
Let's put our hands out in time

There's got to be a morning after
We're moving closer to the shore
I know we'll be there by tomorrow
And we'll escape the darkness
We won't be searchin' any more
There's got to be a morning after

Comment Re:Run your own servers and use encryption (Score 1) 622

Even there, however, the government can still potentially gain information on who you may be sharing the data with. We have encrypted VPN pipes to our branch offices. Yes, the government cannot (likely) determine the content that goes through those encrypted pipes, but it can sure tell where the data is going. You only gain partial privacy. Even anonymizing networks are potentially vulnerable at their boundaries.

Comment not about killswitch, but locking for owner (Score 4, Insightful) 321

This is *not* about permanently disabling or blacklisting a phone. This is about making the phone unusable for the thief, but keeping it technically sound so the rightful owner could still use it if it has been recovered. It'd be trivial to blacklist an IMEI, just as it would be to circumvent the blacklist by reprogramming the baseband controller. It'd be trivial to implement a "self destruct" on the phone that could be triggered remotely, but then you'd have a phone that would need at least one chip replaced before it'd work again. This is about non-destructive locking and it relies on the OS not being rooted. They may find a way to do that on newer hardware, but as I understand it, all current hardware has been "owned" sufficiently for a software-only compromise to be sufficient.

Comment Re:Out of curiosity... (Score 2) 323

20cm over hundreds of miles is not significant. You'd have more run down from surrounding hills adding to the water level than the inflow of one of the oceans. In essence, you'd have a river that would flow both ways. You probably still want locks though, if only to make sure that you don't have to dig your canal incredibly deep. It may be feasible to build the channel (mostly) at sea level, but there may still be some areas where placing a lock would save you so much money in digging that you can't ever get that back in fares.

Comment economic opportunity and freedom? (Score 1) 341

What economic opportunity and freedom are you talking about exactly? Please give relevant examples that are true today and not 50 years ago.

The US export economy is currently mostly about exporting genetically modified soy and weapons. While the main export product in terms of money spent obviously is war, the USA is doing this at a loss, so it doesn't count. Software and IT services are an export product, but the money made from that is rapidly decreasing and in fact, due to taxes, is not in fact made or stored in the USA and does not benefit it's economy.

The internal economy is mostly centred around flipping burgers in fast food restaurants, producing marijuana (most profitable crop in the USA), waitressing and lawsuits over copyrights. While tax brackets for high income are slightly favourable compared to a lot of other "first world countries" the chance of actually making that much money is much lower in the USA than in most other "first world" countries.

The USA is currently importing most of it's (high) tech, clothing and most other mass manufactured products apart from about half of it's food. They are spending more money on things going abroad than they are making selling stuff abroad. In terms of US dollar value that may not look bad, but if you look at the amount of foreign currency spent and made, the USA is getting poor rapidly. This may mean that at higher poverty rates some plans that wouldn't work in a rich country suddenly are feasible and may count as an "economic opportunity", but apart from a few exceptions, nobody in the USA will have a fighting chance to benefit from this.

The USA is actually rather low on most rankings of things like press freedom, human rights organizations and such. Also, the USA has one of the highest percentages of their population in a stereotypical location for the anti-definition of free, in jail. Your definition of free may very well be rather unique compared to that of the rest of the world, or you haven't yet looked at how your definition of free would hold up in other countries.

Typical freedom arguments like "the right to bear arms" apply to a lot more countries than most Americans are aware of and are in general not required if you have a government and law enforcement that you can actually trust.

There is one USA freedom that I would actually really would like to see happening in Europe: The right to be forgotten. With all my metadata being stored by the USA government, I really doubt that the USA is taking that right seriously themselves, so I guess the value of that right isn't what it used to be....

Comment Human auditory sensation? (Score 1) 197

What sort of definition is that? It's the first time I've seen it mentioned. Maybe you mean that mp3 uses a psycho-acoustic model that takes out "definition", spatial information and volume dynamics? Depending on the amount of "loss" in the compression, mp3 is somewhere in between "some musicians and audio purists are statistically able to distinguish between the compressed and non compressed format" to "a casual listener on a mediocre audio device may not hear the difference in a noisy environment." Both FLAC and MP3 encoded files with a lossless source file usually don't contain any frequencies above 20 KHz, so your dog will probably not hear things a human with non-damaged ears wouldn't. FLAC may be capable of storing such formats, but even straight-from-the-stylus-to-the-DAC style LP rips just don't contain these frequencies because the original artist never recorded them.

Comment Re:Circular logic (Score 1) 331

Been there, done that.

I was invited into a company that was going through bankruptcy, and the previous C-level folks had already been indited for federal crimes.

I was given a short list of people to invite to leave, and full control to clear the slate of the entire IT staff, should I decide to.. Basically, I was to cut them all loose and start over, which as we all know is suicide. When I was ready for those who weren't team players, and detrimental to the company, the CEO said no. Hrm.

I was given laundry lists of things to do, and no budget to do it with. Some were little things like, desktops that were a decade old. Servers that were past EOL by any standards. I presented very reasonable plans for both, which were indefinitely delayed until they were almost too late.

I kept things mostly moving forward for the duration. When the bankruptcy was done, I was promised lots of things. Eventually, the new owner cut loose everyone that was not primarily at the home office. That was directly contrary to the CEO's continued assurances.

That night, I drank heavily and celebrated.

Now I'm doing SysAdmin work again. I get stuff done. I don't have to make grand decisions. I don't do presentations for company changing projects. I don't even have to hire or fire anyone. I understand more of the crap that management goes through, even though I do my best to isolate myself away from office politics. I have the luxury of going home when the work is done, and no one bothers me until the next work morning.

Comment Is It Wrong? (Score 0, Troll) 99

Is it wrong for me to hope you die of the most unimaginably awful cancer, that will cause you to ooze horrible puss-like fluids that reek so awfully you're family won't be able to bear to be around you, and they will pray to God each and every night that you finally die... but you don't, and just linger in that state for years.

Is that wrong?

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We must believe that it is the darkest before the dawn of a beautiful new world. We will see it when we believe it. -- Saul Alinsky