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Comment Re:Enemies of the State (Score 1) 446

FBI has files on every politician. Government does not trust politicians and trusts it's officials nd employees the least.

Good story, bro. And yet, officials are exempt, as described above.

The concept behind how the government is supposed to balance itself for the benefit of all is a good thing. I'm sure FBI and the the government is full of good people, much like me and you, who honestly believe and try to follow the letter and the spirit of the Republic.

That said, when plain facts continuously mismatch the theory, the scientific method says your mental model of reality needs an adjustment.

Comment Re:Why would you refuse a breathalyzer? (Score 1) 1219

I just don't understand any legitimate concern to decline a breathalyzer test.

As always the issue is more complicated than it seems. On one hand we have people who reject these tests as an unwanted externality, failing to understand it decreases the risk of a drunk driver ramming into your vehicle.

When an article speaks of "DUI tests on drivers", you never think of the other drivers, you think about yourself.

On the other hand, breathalyzers give false positives. At which point your only course of correction is a blood test. Whoops, they got your DNA (which you noticed).

Let's say they do nothing scary and sci-fi with the DNA, except to put markers in a database to look up DNA evidence against.

Unfortunately DNA markers work like a (weak) hash algorithm: they give false positives (collisions), although they don't give false negatives. This is largely unaccounted for in courts, where a match may be considered direct evidence, especially if you have some past criminal offense that seems convenient, and you have a bad lawyer (most of the cheap ones are).

So let's see the chain of honest and good intentions here:

1) Breathalyzers reduce risk of driving drunk.
2) Mandatory breathalyzers reduce risk further.
3) Blood tests correct for breathalyzer false positives.
4) Reasonable chance your blood test will be sent off in other departments, and end up in a DNA marker database.
5) Chance you may end up inflicted in a crime based on a DNA marker false positive during evidence look-up
6) Hell.

Of course, I'm barely scratching the surface, we've yet to see all side effects once this enters into mass application.

Comment Re:Enemies of the State (Score 1) 446

Thats because they are federal officials. If they have clearance of course the government trusts them, the government knows every little detail about their life.

You may be confusing "they have every little detail about their life" with the more generic and less useful "they have a lot of arbitrary data about their life".

If there is something a government is good at, it's making you fill in endless forms of data that is neither conclusive, neither guaranteed verified, and in the end rarely useful.

If the government could easily know every little detail of the life of government officials, it'd be quite hard to explain the constant stream of corruption schemes discovered around the country, often randomly, accidentally, and years after the fact.

Until recently, pilots of airplanes themselves had to be scanned every time before flight. You'd think if you trust someone to operate what's basically a giant winged bomb full of people, you might as well trust him not wear a bomb in his pants.

What you see is rather a simple after-effect of basic human psychology and lack of public control. Left to their own devices, lawmakers see the world as any human would: me, us, and them. Me is me, I trust myself. Us are my colleagues and the people who fund my campaigns. Them is everyone else.

As it goes, inconveniencing "us" is a big problem as we have serious work to do, which we know in detail and we discuss in corridors every day. That's ok, because we know each other and you can trust "us".

While "them", a quick scan and grope shouldn't really harm "them" much, especially considering you can't trust "them".

Comment Re:Excelent (Score 1) 446

Seriously - this is an excellent thing.

The ridiculousness of the watch list will never be fixed, as long as it's only a small fraction of people who are inconvenienced.

I'm waiting for the day someone gets a hold of every airline's list of frequent fliers with more than 300 miles/month and gets them added to the list. When that happens, the airlines are going to go apeshit, the entire industry collapse and the economy take a massive hit. And then we'll know if it's there as actual security or just a show to make people feel safer.

And what exactly would bring upon such a perfect scenario? Reductio ad absurdum is a quite costly approach to making a point when actual human lives are involved.

It's quite likely you are underestimating how absurd things may become before people finally decide enough is enough.

Who knows, maybe even someone jokingly said to Hitler "hey what if we invade half of Europe, lol" just to prove him wrong, and he took it seriously.

Comment Re:The Republic (Score 3, Interesting) 446

Things are grim in terms of economy and human rights in USA, I'd agree thus far, but I wouldn't worry about WWIII. USA even had to stop dead in its plans to attack Iran due to waning economy and internal political issues.

The word is out: getting rid of the US dollar as the backup currency has become a priority for every bigger nation/union in the world.

The process has started, with the Middle East working on moving towards the Euro, and China/Russia recently opening a new exchange market in their own currencies (to replace the USD they use now) and the rest are to follow soon.

Without this backup, the dollar will quickly devalue, USA will not have the ability anymore to loan resources for its empire ambitions, even if Hitler himself was revived and elected for the next president.

Comment Re:Enemies of the State (Score 4, Informative) 446

I'd love to hear about Glenn Beck not being able to fly, or Sarah Palin strip-searched and groped at the airport. Now that might make FOX reverse some of their propaganda. If anything, when it comes to security theater, that's actually one of the very few things Glenn Beck and I agree on.

Don't get your hopes up.

The X-ray scans and groping procedures are applicable for the "small people" only.

I wish I was kidding, but if you are a government official or rich enough to have your own security people travel with you, you get an officially sanctioned bypass. It's literally in the rules.

At most what would happen if you try to troll the TSA by adding popular people on the lists is to get unwanted attention to your own persona.

The reason you can't play the system against itself is that, after all, the people on top work hard every day on changing the system to play you. They have the capability, head start and experience to make sure you follow the rules and don't yap or object too much, like all small people should.

Comment Re:Take take take (Score 0) 198

That sums up most Android vendors, they develop their own GUIs and improvements and don't give much or anything back to the project.

Hardly in the spirit of open source is it?

If I understand correctly, the spirit of open source goes like this:

A community of loudmouths who have not contributed a line of code to Android, are constantly complaining that those who *are* involved with producing Android software/hardware do not "give back" enough.

If anyone dares to use and ship Android devices, they should, just in case, be blamed of eating babies until proven innocent.

Am I doing it right?

Comment Re:The difference engineering makes (Score 1) 361

Stuxnet shows what a truly determined adversary can do. One who knows your internal processes.

Gee, I wonder who would that be. *cough* IAEA *cough*

They tried but found nothing to show Iran is enriching fuel for military purposes. But they got all info they needed to commission the development of a sophisticated, precisely targeted worm...

Comment Re:Freedom of press...but watch what you say! (Score 1) 614

Freedom is what we let you have until you piss us off. Then we'll trump up some charges and call you a rapist.

In US, when you get unlimited internet, it's unlimited until you hit the limit.

When you get FREE items, they're free until you see your credit card bill.

The low low prices are low only if you don't skip a comma on the rebate form.

It's very fitting that this would be also the country where freedom means "you're free to obey".

Comment Re:very disappointing, but perhaps inevitable (Score 5, Interesting) 130

No, they don't. Wikipedia will not be getting a SINGLE DOLLAR out of this, and this is almost certainly not something that was decided by any of the wikipedia administrators.

Aww, don't be so cynical. Not a single dollar? Do you know what Wikipedia's biggest expense is? Serving their pages. It's a burden for them.

Answers.com, Amazon and a bunch of other sites host mirrors of Wikipedia for free, in exchange for putting some of their own ads on it. Wikipedia serves their information to more people, while serving less traffic directly.

Everybody wins.

Comment Re:Personality Rights (Score 2, Informative) 172

The real kicker is that, as the lawyer on Techdirt mentions, there's no clear motive for this, is Apple making a competing figurine that they're losing sales on?

the figurine is sitting on a big perfectly Apple-logo-shaped stand, the device in the figurine's hand has an iPhone UI sticker, and again, Apple logo on its back.

Not suing is setting a precedent that you can sell, literally, Apple branded merchandise without Apple's involvement.

Allowing people to make Apple-like products and Steve Jobs-like products also means Apple is losing control over the message of what Apple says to people.

The only way to not say something wrong to people, is to never say anything, and as we know Apple is notoriously tight-lipped. If third parties shape Apple's brand and perception, they lose a huge advantage they have in the moment in terms of control.

Apple is an extremely valuable brand, and you surely realize if they let one company sell these, thousands will follow soon.

Of course, many other companies may choose to ignore it, but that is not a problem of "morality". It's a matter of choice: Apple have the right under law to avoid those figures being produced, and they're using their rights.

Comment Re:Bloody idiots (Score 1) 266

Instead of showing the page, what do you get? I'll tell you... a blank page with the following title:

You need to use a real browser in order to use Diaspora!

I'm not a IE fan, but this happens with Internet Explorer 8 for goodness sakes.

With this move they ignore about 70% of users on the client side. But it doesn't stop there. On the server side, what they opted to use was Ruby on Rails with MongoDB. For a project that purports to be all about being able to run a node yourself, they have cut about 90% of their userbase by using technology that's rare on shared hosts (RoR) or downright exotic (MongoDB).

And despite being so picky on technology, they clearly produce sub-par code anyway.

This really does piss me off. Makes the rest of us "open" FOSS users look like a pack of childish geeks who have no idea.

I wouldn't go there. Sure, they're amateur kids, and Diaspora is trully going nowhere, I agree thus far. But don't put everything FOSS in one pile. The bar for entry into the FOSS world is non-existent. You need to be able to type and publish a piece of code. But the FOSS world has projects like Linux, Apache, Mozilla, TrueCrypt, to randomly name a few, which are clearly in a different category. Diaspora doesn't shame a community, they just shame themselves.

Comment Cart before horse (Score 4, Insightful) 118

I love the guys at Mozilla, but damn they're good at digging a hole for themselves.

All mobile platforms have stores that offer apps. Including web stack apps, as both for iPhone, Symbian and Android, *officially approved* SDK-s exists that compile cross-platform apps driven by the built-in WebKit (plus extra API-s exposed to it, to make it an app).

This means Mozilla will be creating a niche no one is asking for, and potentially shooting their chances of being on the iPhone, as Apple has shown it may approve video players and web browsers in some cases, but it'll never approve an App Store app.

Everyone *everyone* I have seen install Mozilla's browser on a mobile says the same thing: make it faster, make it more efficient. I guess they thought this is not fancy enough, so let's put an app store clone... Sigh.

Comment Re:Adobe Reader, now even slower! (Score 1) 201

Adobe Reader, now even slower!

Really? How did you find out. Did you install it?

I did. Here is what I found:

It seems significantly snappier than Reader 9, except for the very first startup after install, where it copies some first use files and pops up a license agreement.

It starts instantly every time, but it has added "Adobe Reader SpeedLauncher" to my autorun items. I didn't notice slower Windows boot or noticable RAM loss due to it, however.

The UI has been simplified, it looks decent, and the after-install base is 111MB, from 140MB for ver.9. The latter may be due to accumulated updates over time, but it shows the new version is definitely not larger.

If you want to recommend FoxIt, you're welcome to, I use it myself on some machines, it's a decent PDF viewer.

But don't spread your ill-informed "I mean really" FUD about Adobe Reader as a means of achieving it.

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