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Comment It's simpler than that (Score 1) 123

"The group "seems to have been in existence for just a few months"

You mean, roughly coinciding with HRC's failure to mobilize her base, and dawning recognition that she wasn't simply going to ascend the throne as planned?

Rather than invent a giant Russian hacking cabal, it's simpler to recognize:
- fake bullshittery news has been with us on the internet since...the internet. Election seasons in particular have always been rife with "did you hear" watercooler talk.
- its far easier to blame "them" on the internet than to accept that "Liberalism Ascendant" wasn't perhaps as inevitable as some thought, and a really shitty candidate CAN still lose an "in-the-bag" election
- not every story that HRC (note that all the 'false news' stories are one-sided; apparently nobody spread false tales about Trump? Really?) claims was fake was, ipso facto, fake. We seem to have quickly and conveniently moved on, for example, from what was obviously some serious seizure issues that have been hand-waved away as "fake news"

Comment New things are always worrying (Score 1) 75

I'm a big fan of China in many respects, and I think their central government very often get things right - more so than many in the West. But as many sincere fans, I am not just uncritically accepting everything they do as right. In this case I reserve judgement; many things depend on how this is implemented and how it is used.

In my view, it was always obvious that something like this must turn up at some point. The unregulated internet was a lot of fun in the early years, certainly, but it is no longer all that much fun - there are too many things going on that are anything but fun, quite frankly, with scams, false news, rumour mills, organised crime, bullying, people trafficking etc, and the genuinely good things are sometimes drowning in the effluence. So it has to come to an end in some way or other - things like censorship, lack of anonymity and social credit scores are attempts at hammering out some sort of "law in the Wild West" of the internet. I'm not sure they are all good, but eventually we will settle one something that most people will find acceptable, and which will be reasonably effective.

At then end of the day, the internet is a public space, ultimately paid for by "society": the physical infrastructure etc maybe be owned by companies of various sorts, but at the end of the day, their customers pay for it and it trickles down to us (that is the only part of "trickle down economics" that actually works: all expenses are ultimately paid by those at the bottom of the pyramid game). But that being the case, the rules have to be set in such a way that they are acceptable to most people, and most people prefer there to be limits for what you are allowed to do and say.

Comment Re:People need to chill (Score 1) 226

Really, people need to chill out. When absolutely everything gets you offended, really your offendedness is meaningless.

Yeah, sure, but to be fair, I think the "offence" this time was over the inclusion of a rather non-descript magazine, whose main selling point was the vaguely pornographic pictures, to an audience, whose main interest is somewhat removed from idle chit-chat. Playboy's core customers have always been the stupid rich, who think Las Vegas is an exciting holiday destination, that middle-aged men in glittery suits singing Sinatra songs are the height of cool, and who think that smoking cigars is sophisticated. We'll look at nude photos any ime of the day, but Playboy is or management types in suits. If they wanted to please a crowd of nerds, it might have worked better to include a graphical novel (or whatever the better class of cartoons are called) or a reprint of some of the more interesting comics from a byegone age. My favourites are the early editions of "The Broons" which are written in a very crinkly sort of Scots English.

Comment What utter tripe (Score 1) 307

It is really bizarre, the way fact checking and standing up to liars, fear mongers, hate speech has been twisted around so that it is now called "propaganda" and "censorship". I suppose we are fortunate in some ways - at least Trump's nasal whine doesn't evoke quite the same passion as Hitler, and I don't think they have a master manipulator like Goebbels yet. And unlike in Germany in the thirties, companies are not flocking to him as one; and we now have the internet, so perhaps there is hope that he won't get it all his way. But it is going to be grim for a while.

Comment Re:GB is doing it, China is doing it (Score 1) 75

Over the last 35 years... This demonstrates the strength of authoritarianism... But things are rapidly changing, and beginning to show the downside of authoritarianism.

Funny, I thought the downside of authoritarianism was shown during the period immediately proceeding the 35-year one you mentioned. Did the Chinese (or any other government, for that matter) learn nothing from the Cultural Revolution?

Comment Re:Look up laws on booby traps (Score 1) 223

Hence what I said about "overly literal geeks". You think so long as you can find something that you consider to be logically consistent, that'll work and you are out of trouble. I'm telling you that is NOT how it works in a court. They very much take the "reasonable man" approach and factor in intent. Doesn't matter how clever you think you are, what matters is what the law says and how the judge applies it.

Comment Re:Steve Jobs rather than Tim Cook? (Score 1) 108

To be fair since the release of the original iPhone. What really new technology had came out that really made us excited? The closest I can think of is the 4k tv. And the ultra high resolution displays where Apple introduced on the iPhone 4. Where for the most part is kinda of a yawn.

the MacBook today looks nearly the same as a Powerbook 15 years ago. Sure it may be thinner and lighter and some cosmetics. But there hasn't been a big change in design for a long time.

Much of the advancements in technology had been on the dull side. Better batteries, smaller components, faster networks. Removing the last bits of mechanical parts from computers.

Comment Re:Survey brought to you by (Score 5, Insightful) 108

Well out of the other leaders in the world he seems to be the only one betting a business model on overall cultural progress.

Zuckerberg - A platform where you can gossip and spy on your old high school crushes.
Bezos - A platform that can ship stuff you want to your door.

Musk - Focusing on clean energy, cleaner transportation, and space travel (that isn't so clean), but finding ways to make peoples lives better and push society to the future without it trying to wait for the other companies to change what they are doing only when they find out it is too late.

Comment Re:Those who something, something (Score 0) 514

There is a middle ground. But it is very thin. Being that most muslams are good and decent people who are at risk from discrimination a database can be used to help protect them. That is the middle ground, and that is a bad argument because it is so open to abuse that it will probably make it worse, but if the correct effort was put in place it could work. But as I sated a very thin middle ground to work with.

Comment Re:Bad Headline (Score 4, Insightful) 514

I need to agree. The news loves to take "no comment" as an admission of guilt.
Trump is very anti-journalism I can see things going two ways.
1. Expansion of fake news and more emotional profit driven journalism.
2. A renewed effort into making journalism a trusted source to get information free of trying to push a political bias.

I would love to see #2 but I get the feeling we are just going to get more crap stories trying to get an emotional response vs forcing us to look at what is really said and in context.

Comment Re:Thoughtcrime (Score 1) 404

How about you.....improve the lives for angry young men to combat the radicalisation epidemic?

Indeed. The problem, in practical terms, is that once we have let things slip as far as we have, where we have "angry young men", it becomes very hard, because they will now try their worst to stop you from actually improving things. Like now Daesh and other terrorist organisations are active, they profit from the ineqalities in our society, so they don't want us to fix it; that is one of the major factors in why they direct their attacks against innocent people.

Comment Look up laws on booby traps (Score 5, Insightful) 223

I doubt they'd have a hard time stretching it to over something like this. If you have a device who's only purpose is to destroy something and it goes and destroys something, well you are pretty likely to get in trouble for it.

Remember courts aren't operated by overly literal geeks who think if they can find some explanation, no matter how outlandish or unlikely, it'll be accepted. The law bases a lot around what is reasonable, and around intent. So your attempt at being cute won't work, and you'll be off to jail.

It also may very well be illegal just to have, or be made illegal if not. There are devices that are outlawed purely because they have no legit use. Many states ban burglary tools, which can include things like the cracked ceramic piece of a spark plug (the aluminum oxide ceramic breaks tempered glass easily). If they catch you and can prove intent, then you are in trouble just for having them with the intent to use them illegally.

Oh and don't think they have to read your mind or get a confession to prove intent. They usually just have to show that the circumstances surrounding the situation are enough to lead a reasonable person to believe that you were going to commit a crime.

And a post like this, would count for sure.

Comment These idiots are going to get sued (Score 3, Informative) 223

The problem with a device like this is it is hard to find a substantial legitimate use for it. Given that, they are likely to be targeted for a lawsuit and they are likely to lose that suit.

While it is perfectly ok to sell a device that gets used to commit crimes, you generally have to have a legit reason to be selling it and it can't be something that is totally made up that nobody actually believes. So for example while a crowbar can certainly be used to break in to a house to or attack someone, they are also widely used used to get nails out of things and pry stuck objects apart. As an opposed example a number of companies that sell devices to help you cheat on urine tests have gotten in trouble since their devices had no use other than said cheating.

It is very, very hard to think of a legit use for this and I can't imagine they'll get many legit sales. So it'll probably get them in legal trouble.

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