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Comment Re:Insurance (Score 5, Interesting) 253

Encrypt the hard drive. Insure against theft. Forget about it if it's stolen.

Right, your data integrity is almost always worth more than the hardware itself. In order to install a tracker, you have to permit the attacker access to your filesystem. Don't do that.

If my laptop is stolen, they'll see a grub screen, and then dracut asking them for a password. I'm SoL on ever seeing it again but I don't have to go explain to clients how their security may have been compromised.

I guess ... you could try to bait them with a Windows boot option in grub. Maybe even make it the default if you think it's really likely that your laptop will be stolen. Install the tracker there, perhaps. One could continue along that train of thought with silent grub options and delays to make a deadman's switch of sorts, that would automatically bring up wireless, connect to any routable AP and send a help packet. Hey, there's an opportunity for the next guy who wants to make a new micro linux distro that does something unique - the more silent, slim, and faster the better. Maybe even a fake Windows splash screen while it's doing its business.

Comment Re:No shit (Score 5, Insightful) 491

I knew that pretty much from the get-go.

No, you strongly suspected that from the get-go. It was a good hunch which panned out. Many tech geeks understood this was likely, but most common folks didn't even know about it. Most press was happy to not make a big deal about it.

But now everybody knows what's been going on with near certainty (due to the corroborations, including Senators, lack of denials, and willingness to use a NATO air blockade, an act of war, to apprehend Snowden (just "a 29-year-old hacker")).

Everybody now knowing has changed the public debate, causing the Snowden Effect.

Comment Re:QR codes? (Score 5, Informative) 329

Here's a link for Paperbak:

PaperBack is a free application that allows you to back up your precious files on the ordinary paper in the form of the oversized bitmaps. If you have a good laser printer with the 600 dpi resolution, you can save up to 500,000 bytes of uncompressed data on the single A4/Letter sheet. Integrated packer allows for much better data density - up to 3,000,000+ (three megabytes) of C code per page. ....

Actual version is for Windows only, but it's free and open source, and there is nothing that prevents you from porting PaperBack to Linux or Mac, and the chances are good that it still will work under Windows XXXP or Trillenium Edition. And, of course, you can mail your printouts to the recipients anywhere in the world, even if they have no Internet access or live in the countries where such access is restricted by the regiment.

Comment Re:Pilot error? (Score 1) 506

if he picked the wrong beacon to guild his descent he would have been too high, dropped steeper than usual to get down once he noticed the discrepancy, and didn't have the necessary power to flare and ascend at the end of the runway, so he tailstruck.

Another comment links to a data visualization of the approach and that's just what it looks like.

That makes it pilot error, but confounded and mitigated by most (if not all) the regular guidance and assistance systems they rely on being out of commission.

Regulators are saying months to years to figure out what happened. I'm plunking down a dollar on your analysis here and hope to link back to it when the final report comes out.

Comment Re:Except, in that case there was an actual war (Score 1) 343

Err, what? The seceding states publicly declared [] that they were fighting to defend slavery

Yes, but that's a separate issue than whether slavery would have persisted in the South.

To put it another way: do you think that without the attack by the Union against the Confederacy that there would be a slavery-based agricultural economy in the South today? If not, why not and when would it have ended? If so, why would it have persisted when the rest of the world switched to mechanization?

Comment Re:It was wrong. (Score 1) 343

But it is silly to talk about America being founded on the consent of the governed. Between women, native Americans, and slaves,

The Declaration of Independence is clear and is the establishing document. The subsequent forms of government that the States imposed did not live up to its ideals.

Comment Re:No point being a whistleblower anymore (Score 2) 658

He did tremendous damage to Obama's reputation ... there may be more fallout of the next few years.

Yeah, there is more to come. We know this based on the NATO-wide blockade against Evo Morales's sovereign immunity and Biden's personal intervention (threats) in Ecuador. Whatever the secrets are, it goes to the highest levels. The only reason for a politician to take a war-like stance against a neutral country like Bolivia is if they're likely to personally lose their office over the matter.

Comment Re:but but but (Score 2) 343

You can't tell facts about Lincoln or you are a racist.

Correct. Lincoln detractors are racists because Lincoln was sent from heaven to save the United States from their original sin. Him and his big blue ox. I learned it in government schools.

I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.
- Abraham Lincoln, 4th Lincoln/Douglas Debate, 1858

Comment Re:It was wrong. (Score 0) 343

Was he right or wrong? I really can't say, and it's a question I've struggled with

He was wrong because he assumed powers he did not have, taking away the 'consent of the governed' from his Presidency, thereby rendering it illegitimate.

Those mods giving you 'Troll' points, clearly haven't read The Real Lincoln and probably are defending the folklore version of Lincoln they were taught to revere in government schools. Because, hey, the socialist loyalty pledge they were forced to recite thousands of times says 'indivisible' and 'God', so it must be true.

Comment Re:Except, in that case there was an actual war (Score 3, Informative) 343

The simple fact is that, had the North lost, or not fought, millions of people would have been doomed to a life of slavery.

Complete and utter propaganda, entirely contradicted by the facts. The facts are that slavery was being abolished all over the world before the Civil War as mechanism replaced slaves, and economists have determined that slaves would have been unprofitable by 1890 without a war. Slavery ended in the rest of the world for that reason, not because they had bloody civil wars all over the world. Lincoln himself said that he would keep slavery if it would hold the Union together - his only concern was of keeping the economy of the North going by forcing the South to provide it with raw materials for its factories.

And those million people did die - the old estimates of 600,000 war casualties have been revised up over 900,000 based on recently discovered data.

And that's not counting the additional millions killed in subsequent wars by the all-power central government that arose from the end of the Republic of Republics and the beginning of the Corporate Empire.

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