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Comment Re:You what? (Score 1) 726

Look, I was in my teens when I saw it in the theater, and I was not a fan or defender of Heinlein's (still have not read any of his books).

I still thought the movie sucked.

I got that it was satire, in fact I thought it was trying too hard to be satire. There was no subtlety and none of it was clever or funny. Nor did it lampoon the military in ways that actually challenged militarism or war on an intellectual level, it just made fun of the surface aspects of it (hurrr grunts are dumb, look at this parody of propaganda, etc). It felt like the director was just trying to bash his views onto the viewer without any introspection or intellect. Basically my reaction.

You know your movie sucks when a teenage boy thinks it lacks subtlety and intellect.

Comment Re:It was a myth (Score 1) 986

What? No, this is objectively not true: The US still doesn't have the equivalent to the UK's Official Secrets Act, for example. The UK law can compel people who are not part of the military or contracted civillians to destroy data or be jailed for revealing state secrets, whereas US law can only punish those who were directly contractually obligatged to keep state secrets, like Manning and Snowden.

Notably, the Guardian itself has said would not be able to report on equivalent disclosures about the UK under their official secrets act, but they are protected by the First Amendment in the US.

As for the past, the US was definitely far freer than most of western Europe through WWII, not having a permanent secret intelligence service for example. But since the end of the Cold War, the human rights situation in Euroope has probably caught up with the US, and exceeded it in some ways.

Submission + - MasterCard lifts Wikileaks donation block (reuters.com)

identity0 writes: Reuters and Russia Today are reporting that MasterCard has unblocked donations to Wikileaks, according to a press release. Their Icelandic data center won a lawsuit against the local credit card processor VALITOR, and their MasterCard account has been activated. Wikileaks says Julian Assange's legal defense is paid from a separate fund. Donations to Wikileaks went down 95 percent after the major credit card companies blocked their account in 2010. Their PayPal account is still frozen.

Comment Re:Just how much storage capacity would one requir (Score 1) 621

No, re-read his comments. He only mentions that they are recording all voice traffic, not all data. He goes on to say that all digital communications is insecure, but not that they're actively recording all data traffic.

Voice comms is very low in bitrate, and it hasn't scaled up exponentially like general internet traffic, so I have no doubt that the technical capability to do what he says exists. Whether they are actually doing it is a separate question.

Comment Re:Well the ultimate value of Bitcoin is (Score 2) 605

I am not a economist, but I am related to one...

While it's technically true to say that "Currency is only worth what people think it's worth" and that it's a socailly-constructed value, you are ignoring the underlying economic reasons why people assign greater value to one than the other.

The value of a US dollar is based on the power and stability of the US economy and Federal Government. No matter how bad things may seem right now for the US economy, it is much better than trusting a random internet craze, and no one doubts that it will be around in 100 years, hence people buy 100 year bonds. Even the currency of a small country like Sweden is a better bet than bitcoin.

I've looked into bitcoin, and while I think the idea is cryptographically sound, there is one problem with the concept: While there are built-in limits to inflation within bitcoin, there is nothing preventing someone else from building "Bitcoin 2" or "Crypto-coins" with the same concept but different keys. If merchants are willing to take bitcoin, what is to prevent them from also accepting any other crypto currency, thus devaluing the whole pool?

The value of currency as an investment is dependent on how much it will be worth in the long run, and while I am sure "bitcoins" will be around in 10 years, what will its value be? Will be around in 100 years?

And this is ignoring the issue this article bring up, that with a newly-consructed pool of currency with much fewer users, it is much more prone to currency manipulation than dollars or euros.

Comment Re:"it isn't real, you are a flake" (Score 1) 800

The counter-argument to that would be that when John Brown attempted an insurrection against the country, they tried him in a court and executed him. When a individual or some conspirators attempt to fight the country, that is well within the bounds of the regular law enforcement.

It's when you have entire governments and literally tens of thousands of men forming an insurrection that you bring out the canons.

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