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Comment Goodbye Orwell (Score 1, Interesting) 124

The marginalization of long-term data storage can only be a good thing -- the big advertising and other firms get the analytical data that actually matters to their bottom line, and to the extent that the average joe's privacy is being invaded at the very least the fruits of that invasion will become increasingly accessible.

Comment VENONA (Score 4, Interesting) 200

Encryption is only as strong as the idiots who implement it. The Soviets learned that the hard way during the early part of the Cold War, when they accidentally reused random one-time pad encryptors. That led to the NSA's VENONA project, and we decrypted a pretty good amount of Soviet diplomatic and spy traffic before they were tipped off.

Comment Re:Investing in the Future won't get you votes tod (Score 1) 760

Yeah, but Goddard's work never went anywhere until German scientists working under the Nazis recognized its military potential, and then Uncle Sam figured out these rocket thingies might be a cool thing and spent a bundle on them. Of course Goddard died before he could see what his rockets could really do because private interests with money refused to support him in the 30s, but hey, you can't make a soulless capitalist dystopia without crushing a few souls, or something.

Try to name one private rocket manufacturer not beholden to Uncle Sam between 1950 and 1990 and you'll see what I mean.

Comment Re:I'll sit over here (Score 1, Insightful) 193

Sorry, the Republicans only fight government intrusion if it lacks the magic words "national security" and your annual income is above $250,000.

In this instance what they can do for you is a visit from Ann Coulter, who will shriek "why do you hate America SO MUCH" loud and shrill enough to shatter all the glass in your house.

Comment Re:teh snappy!!!! (Score 1) 603

That's actually a really good point. I expect there's some solid reasoning as to why it should be singlethreaded if so many environments run things that way. The only two I'm intensely familiar with are Cocoa and UIKit, which are pretty similar.

Is the logic there just your basic "DON'T FSCK UP THE FRAMEBUFFER" stuff, or is something else at work? I know that the guts of screen drawing were much nastier back in the days when you had to sync your VRAM writes with the HBlank and VBlank periods on CRTs.

Comment Re:As I recall (Score 2, Insightful) 417

For better or worse, laws against computer hacking are generally phrased in terms of "unauthorized access" to computer resources, "unauthorized" meaning when you know or ought to know you have no right to them. The law isn't cognizant of how involved or intricate the legwork necessary to obtain access is. A similar situation obtains with the DMCA and its poorly worded prohibition of "circumvention" of "effective" anticopying measures. Is ROT-26 "effective" as a matter of law? What about ROT-13?

You might compare someone being charged with breaking and entering into a house, the door to which was secured with a strip of masking tape.

Comment Re:As opposed to... what? (Score 2, Interesting) 200

You know, given the choice between my retained personal information being used to (a) sell me pizza or (b) imprison me for expressing an unpopular political viewpoint, I think (b) is a way bigger deal than (a). And given Europe's track record on (b) (hint: 1936-1945 in one bit, and 1917-1991 in another), I'm going to have to say that the Eurofascists scare me a lot more than social media does.

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