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Comment Re:Internet access in Cuba (Score 1) 69

I am certain nobody could had trouble for looking up a web site at that time, since the web did not exist,.

You attempt to deflect. It was then, and remains now, a dictatorship run by Fidel and now his brother Raul who operate domestically as most dictatorships of those type always have. Any changes have been mostly a matter of degree for now but could change at their whim. Just because, for now, they are not engaging in extreme and overt oppression/pacification tactics does not mean anything has changed in principle.

it is easy to find people that went to Cuba recently for tourism and could speak freely with cuban people.

The same is true in China. You can tour the Great Wall and other sights. One can vacation in Russia as well. The people you meet are invariably great. They also aren't about to start talking to some random foreign tourist about overthrowing the government or smuggling in weapons/contraband etc etc. That has nothing to do with whether authoritarian tyrannies are OK any more than whether authoritarian theocracies are OK or how free or oppressed the people may or may not be.

Sorry, but I believe that individual freedom and natural rights take precedence over collectivist/socialist/communist/theocratic governments or dictatorships/tyrannies which put the state's desires and goals over that of the individual's interests and natural rights as a human being. I will always stand in opposition to such.


Comment Re:Internet access in Cuba (Score 1) 69

How about "monitored, with a high probability of being 'disappeared', murdered, or simply arrested & imprisoned for visiting the 'wrong' kind of sites

A bit better, but who told you that kind of things happen in Cuba?

Besides history books, there were also the stories I was told directly from Cubans in Florida who had escaped the Castro regime. I lived in FL in the '70s.


Comment Re:Lini batteries (Score 1) 62

PS: I'm SO disappointed that United Nuclear took down their .GIF that was on their main page for years.

Sorry, correction.

Ack! They still have the .gif on the main page, but it's tiny since they changed the page payout, and one must scroll down to see it. It used to be large and took up most of the main page!


Comment Re:Lini batteries (Score 2) 62

Still need to work out a few problems with the Plutonium-Lithium battery I'm developing. Those pesky laws about who can buy the raw materials is making development difficult.

Psst! Wanna buy some uranium?

Radioactive isotopes also, at bargain prices!

PS: I'm SO disappointed that United Nuclear took down their .GIF that was on their main page for years.


Comment Re:Internet access in Cuba (Score 1) 69

Providing internet connection without government's permission would be illegal and doing that one would certainly risk getting jailed.

I'd bet many would take the risk.

but any unlicenced satellite dishes are quickly dealth with.

Well then do it in a way that doesn't require big, easily-spotted satellite dishes. Super-powerful WiFi hardware on ships in international waters, maybe? Micro-drone swarms with WiFi mesh network capabilities and satellite internet linkage?

There is not much one can do until the Cuban government stops ETECSA monopoly and allows competition.

That's only true if one accepts defeat before one even begins to try to create solutions. Just look at Voice of America radio stations during the Cold War. This problem is not unsolvable, it just requires sufficient motivation and the will to move forward.

Abolishment of US embargo would probably do more than anything else at this moment.

I'm torn on this, as it also works to keep the Cuban dictatorship in place by giving it more international legitimacy and weakening Cuban domestic resistance by 'softening' the impact of Cuban tyranny on Cubans. I suppose it would make sense if one is basically OK with the idea of dictatorships and oppression being legitimate forms and behaviors of national governments, but I am not OK with dictatorships and oppression.


Comment Re:Internet access in Cuba (Score -1, Flamebait) 69

provide uncensored and free wireless internet access to Cubans

Who told you it was censored?

It may have been a poor choice of words. How about "monitored, with a high probability of being 'disappeared', murdered, or simply arrested & imprisoned for visiting the 'wrong' kind of sites or making the 'wrong' kind of comments or transmitting or receiving the 'wrong' kind of information/data."



Comment Re:Internet access in Cuba (Score 2) 69

Yes, the public access points make it easier to connect, but there is only a single ISP: the Cuban national telecommunications monopoly, ETECSA. To use the Internet, you must buy their scratch-off cards at their offices, which involves waiting in line. You can then use them on your own devices or at the aging Windows machines at ETECSA's centers. The cost of access has dropped to $1.50/hour, but that's a lot of money in a country where the average monthly income is $25. If you are associated with one of the universities, particularly the Universidad de Ciencias Informaticas west of Havana, Internet access is reasonably good (and free), but outside of that, only about 4% of Cubans connect to the Internet. Others get information from "The Packet", whose managers download and assemble materials, including books, movies, news, etc., onto electronic media and make it available to all.

The good news is that the Cuban government isn't blocking access to websites, and that smartphones are becoming more widely available, but the absence of alternatives to ETECSA means that costs are likely to remain prohibitive for the vast majority of Cubans for the foreseeable future.

Sounds like figuring out a way to provide uncensored and free wireless internet access to Cubans by bypassing ETECSA would be a great project. I'm not really knowledgeable enough in this area to offer more than random ideas. Maybe crowd-sourcing the money for satellite internet? Relay ships in international waters off the Cuban coast? I know both of those are rather impractical and expensive, so does anyone have some actually good/practical ideas that might work?


Comment Re:Seems like a good thing to me... (Score 1) 174

Damage done by guns can be tremendous, it's the manufacturers that really do deserve severe penalties.

Since in the US guns are used far more often by law abiding citizens to protect themselves and others than they are used by criminals, do we then give gun makers rewards? Fair is fair, right?



And those were just the examples that hit the news (most never do) in the last couple weeks that popped up at the top of Google results. There were many more.

We need a national program to treat the mass-hoplophobia that seems to be spreading at an alarming rate. You appear to be exhibiting some of the symptoms. Perhaps you should get yourself checked.


Comment Re:Pot meet Kettle (Score 1) 69

I think you're right, but I think it's a similar situation across the globe - realistically spy agencies in Russia, China and so forth shouldn't be doing those things to innocent citizens either so I don't think it's entirely a Western problem.

Well, it's the same problem in Western nations and Russia, China, etc. Government gaining too much power and control. The only difference being that Russia, China, etc are just further down the same road. We here in Western nations can realistically only affect change in our own nations.

Because our nations are already heading down the total-surveillance road, we can only offer minimal support to those in Russia, China, etc attempting to change things in those nations. We in the West, in order to be able to offer real assistance to the people of those nations, must first get a handle on our own governments, as our governments are our people's main instrument in dealing in foreign affairs. The clock is ticking, as history shows us that once freedom is lost it is highly unlikely to be regained until multiple generations have passed, that is if it is regained at all, which is not assured and becomes less and less likely as time passes.


Comment Re:Pot meet Kettle (Score 1) 69

I'm actually rather concerned that contrary to the implication in the summary that this is no longer simply citizen hacking but in fact escalation of state sponsored hacking.

As true as the things you bring up may be re: State-sponsored hacking, none of that really matters and nor will anyone in the US/Five-Eyes nations be able to appreciably change things until spying on domestic populations by their respective domestic governments in those nations is halted/brought under control. That, by far, is the most immediate and proximate threat, and the most likely to directly and negatively affect the average person in those nations as they try to change the status quo. It is domestic spying that supports companies like Cellebrite, after all, as there logically must be orders of magnitude more cases of the US and other Five-Eyes nations wanting/requesting tools for their domestic use than there are opportunities for use against foreign targets of interest.

Regaining control over Western domestic governments and their intelligence agencies will go far towards being able to control such State sponsored hacking operations as those you refer to and, I would argue, a necessary prerequisite for any meaningful change to occur.


Comment Re:anonymity (Score 1) 200

...US agencies have failed to identify terrorists because big data obstructed a proper investigation.

Sorry, wrong.

US intel agencies both intentionally and knowingly ignore terrorist intel they have and intentionally and knowingly have not and are not truly trying to utilize or effectively collect and analyze data/intel for use against foreign terror threats. Terrorist attacks give them the perfect scare tactic to convince people to allow them more power and control. The entire manner, types, technologies, architectures, and methods used are only truly suited best for only one thing: domestic data collection, surveillance, and monitoring of the US population and assisting allies to do the same with theirs while helping with US surveillance. The entire system as a whole is poorly suited for anything else other than domestic surveillance and data mining/advanced analysis.


Comment Re:Pot meet Kettle (Score 3, Interesting) 69

Am curious how they feel when it happens to them.

i'm sure mossad will ensure we never know.

If the hacker(s) is/are smart the first thing he/they did was set up multiple deadman caches of the data that would automatically splash the data all over the web and physically send multiple copies of the data by multiple means/routes to multiple news/press/media outlets across the world if anything happened to them, as insurance against any possible reprisals/arrests/etc. I would, and I'm no uber-1337 h4x0r. Just in no hurry to find out if there's an afterlife or if my cellmate's name would actually be 'Bubba'. :)


Comment Re: Rich People Diet (Score 1) 176

But it shows how urban planning has been co-opted by merchants who push no car urban villages.

This is the exact opposite. People are expected to own a car or use (the often totally absent or severely limited) public transportation. Sidewalks are typically only found on the residential blocks and apartment complexes themselves, and even then are often absent or only partial in coverage. And due to 'no-fault' insurance laws and the inability to legally purchase auto insurance across State lines, just keeping insurance coverage current can rival housing costs as a percentage of personal expenses even with a relatively clean driving record.

One pretty much has to be employed full-time at above-minimum-wage or otherwise have significant money available to own and legally drive (liability/collision insurance is mandatory) in Michigan, even if the vehicle is owned free and clear. It causes many to drive without coverage or go without transportation, especially the less economically secure portion of the population. It's not much better elsewhere in the US, in some places it's even worse.


Comment Re:No shit Sherlock (Score 1) 389

Anybody not wiping their device clean before sending for repair deserves what happens to their data.

And how do you do that with a computer with solder-in SSD (e.g, MBAir)?

A 3/8" drill, duh! :)

What's that in metric?

About 30-40 EUR at the local hardware store?


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