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Comment Re:It just keeps getting worse (Score 1) 415

I don't accept the level of government's (or business's) collection of data on people and invading the privacy of individuals. ... In the end I expect the general public to yawn and go about their daily lives. And nothing will change. So any high and mighty principal of 'changing the world' has failed.

Funny, for someone who supposedly doesn't accept high levels of data collection, you seem to mock anyone else who actually cares.

I'm not mocking 'anyone who actually cares', only you. You really need to work on your reading comprehension.

You said "your own cynicism and willingness to accept a terrible situation as just "business as usual". And my response is I don't accept these data collection policies. Business as usual or otherwise. I also don't accept that this is the only way to deal with unethical activities. The general public cares more about Kanye and Kim than it does this. Most of them don't even know what CALEA is. Or FISA. Or what an NSL is. And then you make the assumption that the only way government surveillance can be reformed is through things like the Manning/Snowden activities. The whole premise of my original post is that the NSA knows Snowden has nothing that will last more than a news cycle and won't be particularly damaging. But they're willing to wring their hands and ask Congress for more money to secure and compartmentalize their data.

They provided information to the public without any specific intent to collaborate with enemies.

Neither actually provided information to the 'public'. Snowden was the closest with the article in the Guardian. Then he proceeded to contact the Chinese government followed by the Russian government. While those governments aren't 'enemies', they aren't exactly friendly either. How will you feel if the classified information that he gave China encourages them to further escalate tensions in the East China Sea? You understand how treaties set the stage for WWI and WWII. What happens if China shoots down a Japanese plane in this new Defense Zone? Or maybe they send fighters to redirect our B52s to one of their bases. Manning gave information to Wikileaks, an organization whose leader had expressed a public agenda to damage the US government. Both Wikileaks and Snowden used 'unreleased' information to attempt to coerce a specific behavior. Not exactly 'releasing to the public'.

Comment Re:It just keeps getting worse (Score 0) 415

The fact that you aren't horrified isn't so much a measure of how unimportant the revelations are so much as your own cynicism and willingness to accept a terrible situation as just "business as usual." Democracies can only die when the people accept oppression as natural and proper.

We have different definitions of oppression. I don't accept the level of government's (or business's) collection of data on people and invading the privacy of individuals. I also don't accept TSA security as anything beyond Security Theatre. I knew that when all the various intelligence and law enforcement agencies got moved under the DHS umbrella that there would be a LOT of data gathering. And no one is capable of coordinating sufficient oversight for an organization that large. Bradley Manning's leaks have been long enough ago that some of the prophecies of doom should have happened. I don't recall anything significantly newsworthy. I don't expect any from Snowden's either. In the end I expect the general public to yawn and go about their daily lives. And nothing will change. So any high and mighty principal of 'changing the world' has failed.

As far as Manning and Snowden;

A man is only as good as his word.

Both men voluntarily swore an oath to the United States. Both men voluntarily violated that oath. They could have found other ways to address their concerns that didn't involve collaborating with people who have sworn an oath to attack the United States. They chose not to because the other path was difficult. They are not heroes, and I have no sympathy for any of the misfortunes that have come from their lack of principals. You can choose to worship them as heroes, but I won't.

Comment Re:It just keeps getting worse (Score 0, Troll) 415

Or it's all just a game. Really, what devastating info has come to light so far? Nothing that any country with their own intelligence agency didn't already know about and likely do as well. It has set up a soap box for political grandstanding, but has it really changed any relationships or policies? The revelation that the NSA has tapped Angela Merkel's cell has turned into a "who hasn't" as 4 other countries have been implicated as well. And this article would be more appropriately titled "NSA prepared to expose hypocrisy of porn browsing religious radicals". Not to downplay the treason of Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning, but it hasn't exactly been the end of the world.

Comment Re:Sweet sweet copyright justice (Score 1) 242

Copyright needs to take into account the type of property being protected. Copyrights should expire at a point where the work is still useful to the public, otherwise it is allowing individuals to take from the public domain and perverting the purpose of copyrights. Does it make sense for software copyrights to have the same duration as movies and books? Patents are only 20 years. As a software developer, my opinion is that 10 or 15 years would be sufficient for software copyright.

As it currently stands, copyright on books and movies will likely never expire in the US. 25 years should be sufficient for their creators to earn a healthy profit. But as long as money talks in Washington we will never see an expiration of copyrights from early 20th century.

Also understand that Slashdot is a diverse community. I personally don't agree with anything that you think 'Slashdot' believes. And I've been here through the discussions of Hurt Locker lawsuits and the Sony rootkits.

Comment Re:Sucks to be them. (Score 1) 1030

If they really wanted to be fair, they'd charge every person hooked to the grid for their share of the fixed costs, PLUS the variable cost of how many kilowatt-hours they use. But in many places this is not currently legal.

Really, because my gas, electric, water, and sewer bills all have a 'customer charge'. The minimum usage on my gas service was $27 a month. I didn't want to pay that to heat water in the summer so I went all electric. My minimum electric is $20 prior to usage. My water utility's minimum is $18 a month, and sewer is $12. Those amounts include customer charge, a fixed portion of the franchise fee (it also has a variable amount), and various taxes and surcharges.

The question is; do customers with grid-tied solar systems increase costs for the utilities. The utilities have to install newer meters to support net metering. But with smart meter legislation and grants, it's questionable how much of that you can attribute to solar. Since the billing process uses whatever the meter shows, there is no additional billing costs unless a customer provides more power than they use. And renewable energy can cause problems balancing the grid due to their variable nature, requiring generating facilities that can change output quickly. But with utilities preferring natural gas plants right now, that's kind of hard to pass off on solar either.

Comment Re:Booze Bus (Score 1) 783

Personally I am mostly OK with this. The next morning when you see the huge line of cars left behind because the drivers were drunk justifies it to me.

I used to be ok with the DUI checkpoints since I rarely drink and never before driving. But then one Friday night about 11pm I ran into one on a interstate highway crossing from Kansas to Missouri. Traffic suddenly went from 70+mph to a dead stop, 3 lanes into 1. It took 2 hours to go 3 miles. You couldn't (legally) turn around and go back to the last exit. I personally had been up since 6am so by the time I got home I may not have been a safe driver, due to my 1 hour drive turning into a 3 hour drive. I have never seen so much extreme road rage like was caused by those frustrated drivers. And when I did finally get to the checkpoint the police had possibly finally realized they created a dangerous situation and were flagging everyone through.

I had always given them the benefit of the doubt that the checkpoints were coordinated by intelligent, competent people. I no longer feel that is the case. I now fully support the people who believe random checkpoints are a violation of the US constitution's 4th amendment. BTW, here they use a breathalyzer and it is 100% voluntary, but if you don't 'volunteer', they can take your driver's license.

Comment Re:what failure? (Score 1) 227

but the only "problem" with Obamacare is that it doesn't have PUBLIC OPTION

I would have said that the problem is that it isn't single payer. We should have just expanded Medicare to cover everyone. But then we'd have spent all this time watching Republicans doing their Gollum impression crying about their "Precious" (money).

Comment Re:Google Play (Score 1) 143

Funny note: cyanogenmod doesn't even come with Google Play.

Now I really want to find some time to get cyanogenmod on my gTab. I'm getting so tired of seeing the constant update of Google apps, and the 20 flavors of Google Play. Even Microsoft saves their updates to one push per month.

Comment Re:Ethanol is a crock nobody wants (Score 1) 330

Cars and trucks generally get driven enough that's not a problem but recreational vehicles may go months -- or occasionally, years -- between uses. I had to spend $600 on a complete carburetor rebuild for my boat last year because it had sat unused for two years and the ethanol had really screwed up the carb.

Prior to having ethanol in the gasoline, I had to rebuild the carbs and remove and clean the gas tank on my motorcycle because I let it set for 10 months and didn't drain the gas. Even with stabilizers, gas doesn't keep well for long periods of time. Ethanol can be a problem to fuel systems over a long period of time, but letting your boat sit unused for 2 years would have been just as likely to have problems on 'pure' gasoline.

As far as getting gas without ethanol, at many stations if you buy premium it has no ethanol. Check with your local station. HyVee actually advertises on their pumps that their premium doesn't have alcohol. I buy premium for my lawn equipment and small engines because I had a lot of trouble with gaskets drying out due to alcohol. On the other hand, my truck has been running 10% ethanol for nearly 12 years with no fuel system problems at all. And before you throw out ethanol entirely, consider what it has replaced. Ethanol has replaced MTBE as an oxygenate in gasoline, and MTBE replaced lead. If you get rid of it, what will you replace it with?

BTW, $600 to rebuild a carb, you got screwed.

Comment Re:But their bid was lower! (Score 1) 227

Revealed: Michelle Obama's Princeton classmate is top executive at firm that that built disastrous Obamacare website after being awarded no-bid $93m contract

That is deceptive. A quick google search tells me Michelle Obama graduated from Princeton in 1981, and Toni Townes-Whitley graduated in 1985. Taken that by itself there wouldn't appear to be anything to indicate they were 'classmates', or even that they had ever met.

They are also both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni, but still no indication that they knew each other. I have no idea how many members that organization has.

And the article you post appears contradictory:

Earlier this month, Washington Examiner reported the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid handed CGI Obamacare account without putting the contract out to competitive tender.

It has since been revealed four companies submitted bids, but only CGI was considered for the $93 million contract.

It wasn't put out for competitive bids, but somehow they received 4?

Comment Re:fair comparison (Score 2) 227

the whole 'Obamacare rollout has been awful' is such a misreported story...making a comparison to a rollout of a similar program from the other party helps frame the issue properly

Take all the politics out of it and tell me if the project is in serious trouble. The federal website has cost ~$175 million and supports 36 states. Total signups are 27,000 during the first month. The 14 states that created their own sites have signed up 79,000. That's an awful lot of money to support less than 1000 unique transactions per day.

I suppose there is always the possibility that the opposition is running a clandestine DDOS, but the information coming out of various investigations is that they created a Rube Goldberg system and nobody wanted to hear that it wasn't going to work. I don't necessarily hold Sebelius responsible for the website's failure, I doubt she was involved other than having her underlings giving her rosy "we'll get it done" reports. But there is definitely a management problem with regards to contractor oversight.

Comment Re:So much for supporting open source.... (Score 1) 74

I have found some very smart folks that refuse to let go and feel there is a need to do everything manually. I have also found smart folks that just want things easy to do so they can get back to doing what they want to do. Tinkerers vs non-tinkerers.

It's a matter of choosing what we want to tinker with. I have two raspberry Pis for pending projects, and itching to grab a BeagleBone. And I'm planning to build a VM host server so I can tinker with HA SQL servers. I also prefer to do all my own auto repairs and DIY jobs around the house. What I don't have interest in is tinkering with is rebuilding my tablet if this bricks it (gTab 2 doesn't appear to be supported yet anyway), and I'm on call 24x7 so I'm not very adventurous with my cell. With a full time+ job I need to be selective on how I commit my time.

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