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Comment Re:Wholly Delusion Batman! (Score 1) 217

Anyone who watched the process KNEW full well that there was massive collusion by the DNC and Media to INSTALL Hillary as the candidate. In the first election, she won 6 straight coin tosses to take Iowa. That was day 1. So did Russia fix all of the coin tosses, card flips, and dice rolls of which Hillary won 100% of the "tie breakers"?

I couldn't agree more! Why don't people ever even type "Iowa coin toss" into Snopes before they start talking shit about conspiracies? I mean, sheesh, people! How many conspiracies do we have to confront before everyone realises that my conspiracy is the real one, and all the other ones are just phantasmagorical fever dreams?

... Right?

Comment Re:... move to a shared, distributed database ... (Score 2) 108

unless, of course, you manage to get a majority of the people to record it incorrectly... but gee, that's impossible, right?

Nothing's impossible. However, the relevant question would be, is it harder to subvert a blockchain-based system (where you need subvert "a majority of the people") than the current system (where you need to subvert only one person, as long as it is the right person)?

Comment A future countermeasure for "active shooters"? (Score 2) 113

It seems like a co-ordinated swarm of drones would be a good way to neutralize someone who has decided to go on a shooting spree. They could either attack the shooter or simply swarm around him so that he can't see where he is going, and shooting at them wouldn't be particularly effective since they are small, fast, and there are so many of them.

Well, someday, maybe.

Comment Re:What do you want to be ? (Score 1) 104

One use case, imagine I'm a US company and I ship worldwide. A customer wants to buy $5000 of product. I ship the product. They contact their credit card company and say it was a fraudulent charge and they issue a chargeback. My company is out of $5000 and there is not much recourse

If I'm not mistaken, the flip side of this is if you take the customer's Bitcoins and decide not to ship their product. What recourse would your customer have then?

Comment Re:Gee, I wonder... (Score 1) 732

Armchair quarterbacking the intelligence agencies is so easy, isn't it? Perhaps you should read more history and some primary sources like Michael Hayden's book for some additional perspective.

The fuck, dude? What are you disputing? And stay classy with the downmods, while you're at it. It's so charming.

Comment Re:Gee, I wonder... (Score 1, Redundant) 732

Let's compare/contrast the historical veracity of information released by Assange/WikiLeaks with that of any US intelligence service, shall we?

Anyone who claims that the Podesta emails were not real is delusional. There's no real dispute over that.

Anyone who believes that Assange isn't biased against Clinton is also delusional. He also shows a disturbingly willful blindness to find any problems with the state of civil liberties and human rights in Russia—which, again, is not really subject to controversy.

Anyone who believes that Assange can be certain about the origin of the Podesta emails doesn't understand chain of custody. His de facto imprisonment in the Peruvian Embassy makes it physically impossible for him to objectively, empirically verify any claims of provenance. If this were evidence for the courts, he wouldn't be allowed to testify as to the provenance of the emails.

Anyone who has examined the pattern of overt and covert activities as already detailed by public domain sources that has been judged with a high or a moderate level to confidence to originate from the Russian state would be foolish to deny that there isn't a strong preponderance of evidence that yes, Russia conducted an anti-Clinton (dis)information campaign.

On the record print and TV interviews with avowed state-paid Russian trolls who profess a strong preference for Trump is probitive of a classic old-school dezinformatsiya effort. It's something that both sides used frequently in the Cold War. RT's overt anti-Clinton editorial slant is obvious, but in itself only contributory, not probitive. Assange's frequent appearances on the channel are evidence of nothing more than a bit of narcissism on his part.

The fact that the APT28 modus operandi is consistent with well-documented spying activities against the Bundestag as well as the TV5 cyber-attack is one plank. The fact that APT28 code was almost exclusively developed in a Russian language build environment, in the Moscow time zone is damning. The fact that that they used of as an URL-obfuscator—and then committed a rooky OPSEC slip-up that allowed investigators to see what other individuals were targeted by the same account—is compelling. The fact that APT28 source has been found in the wild doesn't diminish the likelihood that this particular use of it originated from the Russian state. The use of encryption keys and certs pretty much makes it impossible for third parties to use the software without significant—and obvious—re-engineering. There is no evidence of such changes. In fact, at least one cert used in the Bundestag hacks was re-used in this effort.

The evidence suggesting that Guccifer 2.0 is almost certainly not Romanian, and is probably a Russian speaker, is not probitive, but it's strongly contributory to a conclusion that the account is a sock puppet, probably linked to a Russian source.

The USA intelligence community lacks credibility. It has relied far too much on its own much-sullied authority to make its arguments. But its credibility is laughable, and its patent insincerity and systematic dishonesty is demonstrated by a mountain of evidence. The fact that their assertions are consistent with open-source evidence indicates, however, that they're not lying about everything—this time. That does nothing to diminish the fact that they're driving a clear agenda, possibly because they don't trust Donald Trump and they feel he's compromised, or at least willing to put personal interest before national interest.

Conclusion: It's not necessary to believe the CIA/NSA/FBI to conclude that there is a concerted Russian effort to subvert the integrity of key aspects of American democratic institutions, including the US Presidential election. The Russian state has motive, means, opportunity and there is sufficient evidence to suggest that, in absence of any more compelling explanation, they have probably been at it for quite some time. Did they 'hack the election'? No. Did they sway it? They certainly put a lot of time and resources into the effort. Did they change the outcome? Probably not. The single event that correlates most closely with an actual swing in the electorate is James Comey's letter to Congress concerning the Weiner laptop. Did they help swing it? Almost certainly, yes. There's a compelling argument to be made that if countless sources—with Russian prominent among them—hadn't worked so hard to poison the Clinton well, the Comey announcement wouldn't have been so decisive.

Comment Re:Zuck 2020! (Score 1) 181

As a small government conservative: laws.amendments that restrain the power of government are great! "Centuries of precedent; personal conscience, ethics, tradition" are worthless for protecting us from assholes. Of course, so is the Constitution once there are enough asshole in the SCOTUS.

That last sentence is particularly telling. When you come right down to it, after you've stripped away the puffery and pageantry, laws really are just a set of rules we agree to abide by because the benefit to society is greater when we do. They're really nothing more than articles in the social contract that Hobbes defined way back when.

And as you rightly note, they are designed as asshole repellent. Their purpose is largely not to set norms, but to curb extraordinary, often sociopathic behaviour. Lawless societies, such as remote rural areas in the developing world, are largely peaceful and orderly. Most people don't steal, even when they can. Most people don't fight or kill each other, even though they could. But in those rare cases when someone does transgress, it can cause huge disruptions to the village. A killing can result in reprisals and, often enough, collective punishment, including arson attacks against entire families.

And that's when the rule of law comes into play. Its purpose, to a large degree, is to objectify and depersonalise the process of dealing with situations of injustice or inequity, in order that the effects don't upset the social order.

But it's only one tool among many. Personal conscience, peer pressure, social opprobrium and—yes, tradition—are extremely strong forces when they're brought to bear on non-sociopaths. That's why we have them. And that's why they succeeded in restraining even extremely pathological individuals like Richard Nixon (ultimately, and admittedly with the threat of legal action impending).

The fact that Donald Trump, and his sycophants on this site, don't seem to see the merit of such restraints is not a commentary on the effectiveness of tradition, and abstract social constructions such as ethics and public morality. It's not a commentary on them; it's an indictment of the man himself. This is precisely what people mean when they talk about having a presidential temperament. It's the willingness of the wolf to allow himself to be constrained by sheep.

And I know you're turning your Galtian profile to the sky right now, and laughing in derision at the metaphor. But it worked for a couple of centuries. You can philosophise all you like. It fucking worked. Until now.

What changed? Not the law, not the value of ethics, morals and traditions. What changed was the man in the Oval Office.

Comment Re:Not sure what they're talking about (Score 3, Funny) 190

I was at Best Buy last week; all of the TVs there looked awesome. I'm sure some of them looked slightly better than others, but really, who cares? At this point the quality of your viewing experience will be determined almost exclusively by the creative content of the programming you chose to watch, not by any limitations of the display technology. Adam Sandler movies will continue to suck no matter how large the contrast ratio gets.

Comment Re: Guess I just never paid attention (Score 3, Insightful) 201

For products where your relationship with the producer ends at the point of purchase (and you don't much care whether or not you will continue to be able to buy that product in the future), that makes sense.

For a lot of the more complex products (in particular cars, software, computers), however, the value of your purchase will depend strongly on its manufacturer's continued ability to exist and support that product.

i.e. if you bought a Pebble watch last month, you're probably not too happy that Pebble called it quits this month, since that means you won't be getting much in the way of support or updates in the future, and your watch might stop working entirely.

Comment Re:Zuck 2020! (Score 0, Flamebait) 181


I don't recall any laws being changed in this regard. Trump is only pushing boundaries that were never really there. If you dislike it, get your Congressional leaders to pass a law against it.

Yes, because the law is the only possible constraint. Ignore centuries of precedent; personal conscience, ethics, tradition and public morality were imaginary all along! It's the law or nothing!

I bet you're a small government conservative, too, aren't you?

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