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Comment And isn't it the DGSE... (Score 2) 215

...who spends 25% of their published budget blatantly on industrial espionage on guess who...the UK, US, Canada, China, Germany, and others...

The international espionage is pretty much *yawn*. Anyone who has ever followed international politics on any level knows everybody does it to each other. And all the players certainly know it.

Where the outrage, what little there has been frankly, is the fact that those capabilities were turned inward domestically that has some people ticked off. Again many of us highly suspected this was going on, but we lacked proof. It doesn't surprise me when it comes to things like parallel construction and massive dragnets. Yes it should be illegal, but even if it is, there are ways around it such as giving our cousins over at GCHQ the access, let them do the spying on americans and pass it back in the name of "cooperation".

What saddens me is that the only thing that can stop this insanity are the people of the United States. And most don't seem to care. As long as there is Football on the weekends to keep the masses entertained...

I said after 9/11 there were some things we needed to look at like adding armored cockpit doors to airplanes, reassessing and even so far as banning sharped objects on carryon. We needed some sort of centralized intelligence operations. It was clear there was too much politicking for budgets instead of working together. US Intelligence had all the pieces, but spread across too many agencies that wouldn't work together. That needed to be addressed by eliminating and folding agencies. Instead we got DHS. It was sold as just that kind of agency. Instead we've ended up with what is increasingly turning into a domestic para-military agency. I know, they don't have M1 Abrams yet, but they do have their own helicopter gun ships and APC's. TSA has gone from airport rentacops to VIPR teams...

I remember a couple years ago they were doing drills with the US Army & MO National Guard patrolling the streets of North St. Louis as though it was a war zone (Which maybe arguably it is) in an "Urban Pacification Drill". When the news interviewed locals they welcomed the show of force. The benefit of a doubt part of me knew this was the National Guard showing off some new toys it had gotten. But there is a part of me that also raised an eyebrow.

If you look at the past 10 - 12 years there's been a chess game afoot here in the US. The governments been setting the board. They've got small scale operations down. Look at how quickly they locked down Boston earlier in the year. Look at how quickly the people followed the orders to cower indoors because of 2 kids.

We aren't quite there yet, but unless something drastic changes and soon, we're one major "event" away from waking up and no longer in the land of free.

Comment Re:I don't use providers HQ in the USA (Score 3, Informative) 178

The one thing the NSA has that other countries largely don't: a fleet of submarines with cable tapping abilities and a bunch of com intercept sats in orbit. So if your traffic crosses an ocean at any point chances are it's tapped.

This ain't new shit either. The US was doing this to the soviet union back in the cold war 30 years ago. Blind Man's Bluff...good book if you want to read about it.

Comment Re:AMD - Can't help but be a fan.. (Score 1) 212

I've been looking at getting a card to that will run Star Citizen decently during the dogfighting module. Not looking to spend more than $100 as I'll buy a new desktop computer next year as originally scheduled. Biggest problem was the weak power supply in the existing PC. Well the the R7 240 only draws 30 watts of power for about $90. I know it's not the highest performance card. Existing 7750's and 7770's beats it's performance, but with the R7 240 I didn't have to worry about spending $50 and replacing the power supply.

Comment iWork isn't bad for home use... (Score 3, Interesting) 134

I sold my last company in 2010. I bought a new MacBook Pro and decided to get iWork as it was far cheaper than Office. I needed to write a formal letter here and there, keep track of Farm expenses on a spreadsheet, and create presentations for start ups I was mentoring at a local technology incubator. Only thing that annoyed me slightly was having to buy the programs again for iOS. I felt if I bought them for mac they should have offered the iOS versions as part of the price.

Well then one of the companies I was mentoring started to take off and it went from mentoring to consulting to now being offered an executive position with the company. They were all Mac users as well, but that's when we found the problem with iWork. While documents synced between our own devices, Apple doesn't offer iCloud for small businesses where we could all sync to a company drive. Ironically to solve this we went to Microsoft SkyDrive and then eventually to Office365.

I still use iWork, especially Keynote for developing internal reports & presentations. As bad as this may sound, it's because I have a water proof case for my iPad and it's in my shower. That's where I often have my best ideas and it's handy to write them down, or go threw a presentation or write a todo list.

Where this is nice is for my Dad who now gets an office suite free with the latest version of the OS that will do everything he needs.

Comment Re:Yeah, so? (Score 2) 263

I wrote a paper and gave a presentation in college about the likelihood that internet would become balkanized by 2020, the wild west would be over, and the genie put back in the bottle. (i'm sure I'm missing a cliche there). My reasonings behind it were the increasing capabilities of off the shelf technology to then allow countries to filter and control content would come available and the legal will to do so. The professor of the class, ironically this was a cyber-philosophy class (yes liberal arts college, but it was a fun topic) and the professor did have CS undergrad (UC Berkley in the 1960's), masters in Mathematics, and PhD in Philosophy) who taught us what the idea of "hyper-text" was about back in the 1980s'. (Closest we got to how hypertext was supported to work hypothetically is Wikipedia). So the prof did have actually a good understanding of the principles of things like networking etc..

His counter argument was the "Internet sees damage and routes around it" and "Censorship = damage" and also that technology would evolve to counter what I was envisioning at the time and that the good days of the internet would continue. My main point in the paper & presentation was if you looked at the backbone of the internet, especially undersea cables and satellites, that the core infrastructure was owned at the time by about 15 companies and the first round of M&A and bankruptcies were starting back then with Worldcomm's collapse. It's very hard for the internet to "route around" as the model of the internet worked was less mesh that was envisioned and more a hub and spoke if you got to looking at it. Especially in the US where a few players own the last mile of service. So you have your last mile going back to your ISP, which then to get to someone else's ISP travels through a backbone providers' cables. While it seems like point to point it really isn't. My argument was there would be further market consolidation to around 5 big players. This consolidation would be allowed by regulators because once you got to that stage of oligopoly it would be far easier for government bodies to control them via regulation and large government contracts.

I did end up with an A for the project/paper. I think he wished the utopia ideal would continue, but even by 2000 I think things were beginning to shape up.

Comment Re:Home grown. (Score 1) 1160

Actually I've been able to find 9mm again here recently including the Hornaday Critical Duty rounds that I normally carry as my CCW weapon. And I was having trouble finding it this time last year even before the craziness with ammo began. (Have since learned it is due to manufacturing cycles of ammo. They make all the 9mm they plan to sell for a year in one production run, then go to .40, .45, etc.) I picked up 3 boxes of 9mm last time out.

I've not seen anything other than Gemtech Subsonic & Match Grade .22LR imported from England that's $12 a box of 50 since last november. And I used to buy a brick of .22 every couple months as that's what I primarily shot. I own the .22 version of my CCW pistol as well as conversion kit for my AR. .22 was $.04 a shot vs. $.25 - $.40 for .223/5.56.

Other than the brick of 22 every few months, I used to keep at most 4 - 5 boxes of ammo on hand as I'd find it on sale. I was never one of these "must keep 1000's of rounds around for the end of the world" types.

Last time I was at Bass Pro last month they had 1000 round boxes of .223 for $450. I bought one and it's now in the ammo locker. I plan to do the same for 9mm, .40S&W, and .38 Special over the next year.

Made me glad that most of my firearms I got from my Grandfather were all C&R eligible. The 1903 Springfield & M1 Garand both shoot .30-06 which I was able to find on the shelves throughout this whole mess.

Although I probably own enough firearms to be considered a Turrorist these days....

Comment Re:smug retribution (Score 1) 279

If the same thing happened on the streets of the US, chances are people would pull out their cell phones and record rather than help. I hope that I am wrong. A lot of jurisdictions have done away with good samaritan laws and the US is law suit happy. It's enough that I'd hesitate to act as I have personal net worth in the 7 figures and a family.

And I say this as someone who also has a CCW and carries daily. Bob Costas made fun of the people who "Check if they have wallet, phone, keys, and Glock before leaving the house". Well I do check to se if I have wallet, phone, keys, Walther, and spare mags before leaving the house.

While in my state it would be legal to intervene with force to stop such an attack on another it doesn't grant me any legal immunity from civil action unless happening on my personal property. I step in and pull the trigger, it's going to to cost me at least $50,000 to lawyer up. And that's if I win. If the attackers turned and come for me or my family, all bets are off. I'll pay the $50,000 in a heartbeat. Am I going to risk $50,000 to intervene on the part of a stranger when I don't know the situation. Probably not.

It may be harsh to say, but another man's life is not worth $50,000 to me.

Comment Some other things make me wonder... (Score 3, Interesting) 185

I was just in a google hangout using it as a video conference. During that conference call a particular service was mentioned. I had never heard of the service before, haven't searched for it, and yet mysteriously I'm seeing ads for it pop up all over the place undoubtedly served up by Google.

Makes me wonder....

Comment Re:DoS? (Score 1) 361

I lived in Germany for a couple years around 2000 doing study abroad and later working there. I had a German Bank Account still with Deustche bank that I recently had to close. It hadn't been that active in the past few years. I had about 15,000 Euro in it back when the exchange rate was about 1 to 1 USD to EURO. I transferred most of it back when it reached 1.6 USD to Euro a few years ago but I kept a balance of between 500 - 1000 Euro in there. I had a working ATM card that I'd go to a Bank of America branch once a month and get out 100USD. Then once a year I'd wire $1,000 or if I was going over on a business trip I might wire more before hand.

But due to FATCA they wanted me to close the account. So I had them close it and wire the remaining balance to US checking account.

Comment Meanwhile, down here in Missouri... (Score 1) 444

I own about 500 acres that I rent out. Last year we had our best yielding soybean crop yet plus the prices were up there. I know we sold most of ours at about $15 a bushel last year and even booked a bunch this year @ $14 a bushel.

Rice yields last year were up, but not by a large amount. This year's rice looks to be a slight improvement over last year and the beans are still in the field, yet is the most consistent stand I've ever seen in 20 years on the farms.

The farm income and my work income are about the same and the farms earn more than my wife's salary and she's a corporate attorney at a Fortune 300 and makes decent money.

Comment Re:Not quite (Score 1) 242

No, their supposed to be spying on every other government and country. They are all spying on us as well. It's the dirty little secret of diplomacy, everyone is spying on everyone else.

The problem has become that the lines of separation between foreign intelligence and domestic intelligence gathering is getting extremely blurred. Foreign figure A has an account on Facebook with friends in the US. NSA et. al. collects the data on Foreign figure, but now that includes data on US citizens as well...

I mean it's clear the domestic dragnet far outreaches the example above, but again the lines are getting rather fuzzy...

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