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Comment Re:Lini batteries (Score 1) 50

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!

Strat

Comment Re:Lini batteries (Score 2) 50

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?

https://unitednuclear.com/

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.

https://media.giphy.com/media/...

Strat

Comment Re:Internet access in Cuba (Score 1) 63

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.

Strat

Comment Re:Internet access in Cuba (Score -1, Flamebait) 63

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."

Better?

Strat

Comment Re:Top priority? Always? (Score 1) 121

If your companies top priority is to keep data secure, they how/why did you get hacked. They always say that, but clearly that is not the Top Priority

I see you're doing your part by not using dangerous apostrophes where they are needed!

Implicit in any company's statement that security is their top priority is the large bundle of compromises that don't go away whether or not that is your top priority. They could make the data perfectly secure by disconnecting the servers and putting them in a bank vault. They could make sure the data can't be breached by simply destroying all of it. See?

Security can be your Top Priority, but it has to be done in the context of things like still making it available to users across the internet. Doing it while not going bankrupt. Making the service competitively priced so that it can actually be afforded and put to work.

They could have said that the system could only be used on equipment they ship to their clients, connected to the back end through a hardware-based dedicated VPN with biometrics, dongles, and constant nagging by three-factor comms surrounding every time someone hits the enter key ... and of course nobody could or would want to use the system or pay the monthly fee needed to keep something like that alive.

They may very well put security at a higher priority than chipping away at a long list of UX updates, performance under load, documentation, multi-language support, and a thousand other things. Doesn't mean that doing so means they'll be perfect in their security results. Ever run a business like that? No? Give it a whirl. Make security your top priority, and then start paying attention to what that decision means in real life - including in your ability to get and retain customers during that balancing act.

Comment Re:Internet access in Cuba (Score 2) 63

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?

Strat

Comment Re:Seems like a good thing to me... (Score 1) 172

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?

Example: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new...

Example: http://www.khou.com/news/local...

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.

Strat

Comment Re:Huge numbers! (Score 1) 264

What? Tens of millions of people routinely bitch, in public with their names attached, about every possible person, agency, posture, act, policy and purpose of government across the spectrum from the local PTA to city, county, state, federal, and international governance. There is nothing "brave" about parroting a lazy meme about freeing Snowden from prosecution for some very cut and dry real crimes. Your sense of drama is wildly disconnected from reality. Show me a single person, ever, who has been put into any sort of legal jeopardy for saying out loud, "Snowden should be pardoned." A single example. Specifically.

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.

Strat

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.

Strat

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