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Comment Re:He should just go to America and face the music (Score 1) 205

I'm a former ELINT drone - when I started working for various secret 3 letter agencies I told the psych I wanted to find out if UFO's actually exist, and that I daydream almost constantly - except on work time. I kid you not. (Now it'll be someones job to actually dig through the records and check this :-) I held a TS positive vetted clearance with pretty much every brief that exists within that domain for more than a decade. Some interesting crap goes on in the world for sure, though eventually I quit and moved to Asia. Is there an analogy here? You can pick one if you want, whatever makes you feel good, but I will respectfully say you should dig your head out of the sand and use some logic - what's the difference between whistle blowing with a good conscience about something illegal and whistle blowing with the moral guidance unit turned off? I don't see one myself. Illegal is still illegal if that's what your constitution and laws say.

I have no idea what my point is though. Just thought I'd share that.

Comment Re:Get out of my personal space Microsoft (Score 4, Interesting) 110

Whenever I approach society, particularly women, I'm very quickly enlightened about my emotional state : ) I don't think hearing it again from my phone would add any useful data to that stack of baggage. One thing that would be extremely cool would be a sensor for smell, I was born completely without this so I'd love to know if I smell bad, gas is leaking, burning and so on. I never actually even knew smell existed until I was in my teens, it took another year or so after that for me to believe people weren't just faking it.

Comment Re:Finding out whose phone number it is (Score 2) 419

I think he is a lot smarter myself, yet another very carefully crafted statement that glosses over the underlying issue.

>>> Last year, fewer than 300 phone numbers were checked against the database of millions of U.S. phone records
Meh, whatever. Certainly they may have investigated fewer than 300 numbers, but...

The question remains: how many domestic telephone conversations underwent some form of traffic analysis by NSA systems? Period. What mechanism exists to tell the intercept system the difference between domestic and foreign parties? Is it enabled always such that domestic parties are never processed by NSA computers in any way at all?

Comment Re:Enough with the toy languages (Score 1) 72

I'm quite sure you have the wrong idea about this. Canvas isn't only for games. I've just finished building a DICOM viewer (similar to eRad) using HTML 5, canvas, Javascript and WebGL for a client. For sure there are stand-alone apps that are a tad faster. The advantage here is that a radiologist can read a study from anywhere that has an internect connection using a bog standard web browser.

If I thought like you I would have turned the contract down. I wasn't even sure it was possible when I started, but I'm glad I was distracted enough by horse shit theory and OOP that I said sure, why not, I'll give it a shot. Saved a few lives along the way too.

Comment Re:It could easily be focused (Score 1) 609

You're right, this will be used for traffic analysis to map out exactly who knows who right across the country - as many layers deep as they have computing power and storage space to accommodate. It'll also be valid for many years to come - tune up some random SS7 link and compare against the telco database, a few seconds later you've identified more about the entire link than you ever could with some ELINT scope goat pulling watch in a secret 3 letter basement ops room... A very sad day for the US. I never needed another reason not to visit but damn....

Comment Re:Happens All the Time (Score 1) 182

I thought the truth was pretty damn obvious myself, someones kids were killed. The tragedy for me is that they never got to experience life - very haunting, photoshopped or not. What sucks is that you get people (like this photographer) who go out of their way to use 'dead children' for propaganda, personal gain, or to push some agenda. Guy seems morally bankrupt, saw this as a money shot and used it as such.

Comment Re:English Major, Online Ad Agency Owner (Score 1) 339

He has a point though. While a college grad might come with a nice laminated certificate that covers a whole range of buzzwords to a depth of a few millimeters, you can't typically unleash them on a client without investing another 6 months in more focused training. Even with nothing else in their working lives to worry about beyond a shallow curve and a single programming language, quite a few just don't have any interest or motivation "because it's too hard" - worse, some of these graduates actually believe they are already "real programmers".

Comment Re:Jupiter Tape? (Score 2) 621

The guy from the FBI really has no clue what he is talking about. From his purview he may absolutely believe what he is saying, but he definitely has no appreciation for the technical realities. Recording voice is useless without storing the corresponding signaling system (SS7 these days) which is again useless if you don't know exactly which voice circuits the signaling system happens to be controlling. It's a very (very) tough problem to solve if you're doing the secret 3 letter agency thing somewhere along the comms path. How many CCITT7 links are there? Millions+ Each one runs at 64kbps typically.

Voice is only a tiny fraction of 'digital communications' anyway, there are millions of multiplexers running over millions of point to point radio / copper / fiber links, these in themselves use a staggeringly large number of frequencies, modulation methods, coding schemes, and so on. Some are encrypted, some are using non standard randomizers, unusual error correction, etc.

My point - the first post is correct. The problem space is far too large.

Comment Re:Surveillance (Score 4, Insightful) 212

As a former secret 3 letter agency drone I'd like to point out that the internet is the metaphorical iceberg. Time to loosen the tinfoil I think : ) Your 'probably' may (or may not) scale more appropriately as the tip of the tip of the iceberg. Some perspective; A single satellite can relay several thousand unique transmissions. A single piece of fiber can convey orders of magnitude more data again. How much data do we push around daily, not just via the internet, but all networks combined? The NSA has a finite budget, a finite number of people, finite capability, finite everything.

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