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Comment test run (Score 1) 197

Which manufacturing capacity does ISIS have left? Which engineers have not yet run away from the sinking ship?

Someone is using ISIS as a test run for their latest toy, and it's not the Russians (they would test by themselves). Expect the US or some of its allies to use weaponized small drones in the next war against the next terrorists, the result of "years of military research".

Comment Re:Compromise (Score 3, Informative) 111

Different problem.

Yes, the provider could initiate a man-in-the-middle attack against all users from the start. However, let us assume that he didn't do that, for various reasons that are for a seperate discussion.

In such a scenario, Alice conversation with Bob is secure. It requires only the initial secure key exchange. Once that is complete, they are fine.

But with the backdoor of silent key-renegotiation, the provider can at any time decide that now they want to eavesdrop into this or that conversation. Say, because a government agency asked them nicely, or a FB employee looked up that woman he met last night in the database and found her WhatsApp number...

It is a different scenario with different ramifications.

Comment missing the point (Score 4, Informative) 111

He is missing the point.

The article is not speaking about an encryption flaw or anything like that, but about a backdoor - a feature that allows Facebook, without any code changes on your device or other intrusion - to eavesdrop on any conversation you are having.

A good encryption would be impenetrable even to the vendor. It should not allow the keys to be changed underneath you. It should not warn you afterwards about this fact, and only if you have a special option enabled, but it should tell you before it does a key change, and require your consent.

Comment Re:Open Research Problem (Score 1) 67

It is not the same problem, though. A self-driving car needs to navigate from A to B by itself. The Tesla autopilot is closer to an airplane autopilot and requires a human driver at the wheel ready to take over, so if it can cover 90% of the drive, it's absolutely fine.

For example, my current way to work is largely freeways and if my car could manage that part by itself, which by time takes the largest part, I'd be happy to manually drive the first and last few km. While a completely autonomous car would be cute, I'd be happy to take a 90% solution.

Comment Re:Has anyone bothered to ask why they want the li (Score 2) 858

With the current state of our politics I'm not so sure we deserve to be great anymore.

Newsflash: You never did.

Greatness isn't deserved, it just happens, often as an accident of history. In the case of the USA, because Europe tore itself apart in two wars that a) destroyed its industrial base b) either killed or drove away a lot of its most capable scientists and engineers, many to the USA and c) make the transition from colonial empires times to modern times more rough, so places like the British Empire simply disintegrated and still haven't recovered.

The USA is the big winner of WW2 and was coasting on that for a long time, but that time is coming to an end. Now you are having the tough transition period. Tech and media kept you up after the industrial base went away to China, but now that is failing, too. There's great tech coming out of Europe and Asia now, and Hollywood is losing its grip on the media/culture market because they are greedy fuckers and only re-re-re-hash the same old ideas. Meanwhile China and India are creating their own movie industries, and even the believed-to-be-almost-dead european cinema is picking up again. Heck, there are really good SciFi movies coming out of Russia right now.

Trump is calling back to a time with ignorance to history. The circumstances that made America great have changed.

Comment Re:4 years from now (Score 2) 858

Never underestimate the power of the status quo. In the end, the government is run by the people working in the various government offices, departments and such. The boss at the top makes big waves, but underneath, the ocean is calm.

The same was thought about Bush Jr. - he would destroy the USA, drive it against the wall, etc. etc. - in the end, he was a terrible president but the boat didn't sink.

Comment Re:Be careful how hard you squeeze (Score 1) 324

But you're arguing for placing pre-emptive barriers on what you think are "the right level of local". I'm saying, if you have open trade borders and price in the cost of externalities (like a carbon tax), then the market will work itself out in terms of where the "right level of local source" is.

That's exactly what I'm saying. That distance and cost of transportation should matter more. The only reason we have global trade at this scale is that a log of the costs are outsourced and externalised. The economic impact of global trade is incredible, easily dwarves private cars, for example.

I don't know if I buy that. Employment participation rates vary from decade to decade.

You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts. When my father finished schools, company representatives were waiting in front of the schools to catch young men (mostly, at that time) immediately and offer them contracts. We were literally importing foreign workers because we didn't have enough people to fill all the available jobs.

but that's not full employment.

That's semantics. Nobody cares how many people have a job or not. What matters is if those who are looking for a job can find one or not. Employment as a percentage of population makes no sense at all (children, pensioners, etc.).

And I don't think impeding progress Luddite-style is the answer. Nor do I think impeding progress "anti-trade" style is the answer either.

We know that globalisation isn't the answer, either.

But here's the thing: The more self-sufficient you are, as a country or continent or just ill-defined local region, the less you will be dragged down when some men in suits made a bad gamble at the casino called stock exchange, which by all rights should have zero effect on the real economy.

what if every city was to produce their own crops of every type instead of importing/exporting from other areas? Would that be more or less efficient?

Once you price in long-distance trade at something resembling the real cost to the planet, local crops are suddenly a lot more efficient. Ignore money and prices for the moment, argue just with natural resources, working time, etc. - things that are real. Now explain me how eating meat from cows bred in South America on wheat brought in from Russia can by any means you choose be more efficient than meat from local cows fed local wheat.

Expand that idea to a global scale and you have your answer to why shipping from China or Brazil for certain things can be better.

For certain things, sure.

For everything? Not without a distortion factor, which is the monetary system.

Comment home cinema (Score 1) 341

The main reason left to go to a cinema is that the screen is bigger and the sound system is fantastic. Everything else you can have at home.

With a good home cinema setup, you can come close, and you have none of the expensive popcorn, queues, guy next to you getting on your nerves, obnoxious advertisement and other bullshit. Plus you can pause the movie to get a drink from the kitchen and cuddle your cats while watching.

Cinema is on the way out. Once Hollywood understood the lesson that the music industry had to understand, things will get better.

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