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Comment Re:But to really propel Russia Today to the fore.. (Score 2) 254

You will rarely if ever hear one of those outlets cast a critical eye towards liberal policies. They are are just as biased left as fox is biased right.

You might try looking at the networks' coverage of Snowden to see how wrong this is. "Liberal" MSNBC and NPR (can't speak for the others) have actually been mostly neutral, sometimes supportive, toward him; Fox is the one insisting he's a traitor or bringing on Washington talking heads who do.

But no, don't do anything drastic like examine your beliefs. Just keep it up with the "both sides are equally bad" meme, but actually requires no critical thought whatsoever.

Comment Re:If the policy makers astually traded (Score 1) 476

Person A: The government ought to regulate [X], because [reason].
Person B: You idiot, do you also want the government to regulate [something completely unrelated to X where [reason] does not apply]?

Is there a name for this specific argument? It's straw-manning I guess, but I see it often enough that it deserves to have its own name.

Comment Re:Last Sentence (Score 1) 322

It brings encryption keys to pretty much the same status as locked safes. The government can't just order you to open it on a whim, but they can if they have reasonable prior evidence that there is illegal material contained within. To illustrate:

Scenario 1: As a citizen, I step off the plane after getting back from a foreign country. Not knowing who I am, ICE goons randomly pull me aside and order me to give up the encryption key to my laptop. They have NO reasonable suspicion that doing so will yield illicit material or evidence of wrongdoing, so the Fifth Amendment applies.

Scenario 2: I'm a corporate officer cooking my books, and I brag to my friend that the feds will never catch me because all the incriminating evidence is encrypted. Unfortunately my friend has agreed to cooperate in a plea deal, and relays the details of this conversation. Now the government has reasonable suspicion (actually, at this point I think it's probable cause) that my encryption key is concealing material evidence, and they can probably force me to reveal it.

/. probably won't be happy with that last sentence, but IMO as long as judges interpret "reasonable suspicion" correctly (which is usually the case), it's probably the right call. The government always has been able to force you to open your safe deposit box if they have a warrant, after all. This is nothing new.

Submission + - Twitter-shaming can cost you your job - whether you're giving or receiving (

tsamsoniw writes: "Hoping to strike a blow against sexism in the tech industry, developer and tech evangelist Adria Richards took to Twitter to complain about two male developers swapping purportedly offensive jokes at PyCon. The decision has set into motion a chain of events that illustrate the impact a tweet or two can make in this age of social networking: One the developers and Richards have since lost their jobs, and even the chair of PyCon has been harassed for his minor role in the incident."

Submission + - Sinofsky leaves Microsoft, Julie Larson-Green now in charge of Windows Division (

BogenDorpher writes: Steven Sinofsky, the man who was behind the development and marketing of Windows (including the recently released Windows 8), Internet Explorer,, and SkyDrive had apparently left the company. In his place, Julie Larson-Green will run the Windows division while Tami Reller will take charge of the business of Windows.

Comment Re:1st Amendment (Score 4, Insightful) 383

No, there is a very good reason for this law: if you can show which way you voted to third parties, then it's possible for you to sell your vote to those third parties. As it stands, it's not possible to "sell votes" (at least, not in the direct sense), because you could just take the money and say you voted a certain way, when you didn't.

(Incidentally, I see a lot of people proposing reformed voting systems that include a hard confirmation that your vote for X was counted. Voting reform is good, but that particular idea is bad, for this exact reason. Cut it out).

If someone tried to defend their right to post a picture of their ballot on First Amendment grounds, I'd be willing to bet that a court would rule that a fair election represents the overriding concern and would still prosecute.

Comment D-Wave might actually be legitimate (Score 5, Interesting) 73

Just a quick FYI: for those of you still assuming that D-Wave is a bunch of snake-oil salesman (like I did for a long time), take a look at this bit from Ars Technica. Basically what they've built is not a genuine quantum computer, but a sort of "quantum optimizer" that delivers speedups for some kinds of problems. Their crime might be that they just use too much marketing hyperbole, instead of being complete frauds.
Open Source

Submission + - 4chan undergoing major revision, getting public API ( 1

AdmiralXyz writes: Even the darkest corners of the internet aren't immune to the Web 2.0 boom: BoingBoing reports that 4chan is working on the largest codebase update in its history. The new 4chan will include as standard the functionality of popular browser plugins for using the site, as well as a JSON API so- hooray?- anyone can have immediate access to the contents of 4chan for any purpose they like. This represents a significant update to the heretofore haphazard development process of 4chan, and opens up the possibility of third-party 4chan apps... though probably not on the App Store.

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