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Comment Additional ID Check (Score 1) 400

I was on a list. I don't know what list. Or why. Or how I got added. Or how I (eventually) got removed (I think the latter has something to do with a review process that my senator's staff helped initiate.)

For me it took the form of an additional ID check. When flying, I was not permitted to print boarding passes in advance or check in at a kiosk in the airport - I received a non-specific error message if I tried either of those things and was told to check in with an agent. Then, when I would check in with an airline agent, when they pulled up my reservation they would see some kind of flag on the record which required them to take my photo ID and go into the back room and make a phone call before I could be cleared for boarding. Sometimes it took 5 minutes, sometimes it took 45 minutes -- I missed a couple of flights because of delays due to this before I realized it was happening every time and I needed to allow extra time for it.

The odd (and to me, stupid) thing about it is that I never received any additional screening at the security checkpoints as a result of this list. You would think that if I was suspected of being a risk in any way they would have done at least that (not that I'm sorry they didn't, it's just that there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to their system and it was completely opaque. A couple of the check-in agents admitted to me unofficially that it was a TSA thing but they were forbidden from saying anything officially.

Comment Re:Do you _really_ need to be list to be watched? (Score 2) 400

If you are on a list, then there is a trail of it.

Yes, but not one that you can access or prove that you're on. When I got put on a list that required additional ID checks every time I checked in for a flight there was no way to verify officially that I was on the list or determine what list I was on or challenge my inclusion on the list.

Even the aide from my U.S. Senator's staff (I live in a small state and our elected officials usually try to be helpful with constituents' complaints) who was assigned to help me with the matter could not get verification that I was on a list.

Eventually I got taken off of it (I think -- at any rate I no longer get consistently stopped before check-in and required to undergo additional checks) but there was never any explanation how or what or why.

Comment It was all over for them when I bought one. (Score 1) 80

I admit it. I killed this phone. I'm the commercial kiss-of-death and when I bought one back in January the Fire Phone's fate was sealed.

I just needed a cheap unlocked multi-band GSM phone that I could activate while traveling in Europe. Once I turned off the battery-eating perspective-tracking feature and side-loaded the Google Play store so I could get Google Maps and a few other necessities it wasn't a bad phone -- a little on the chunky side, but a nice enough screen and decent build quality. I'm sure history will record my purchase as the death blow, but the way it came from the factory (with gimmicky battery-killing features of dubious utility turned on and lock-in to Amazon's second-rate app store) surely didn't do it any favors.

Comment Missing Critical Information (Score 5, Interesting) 499

It's a shame that the summary and the article omit the most important information needed to judge whether this is reasonable or not -- details and evidence in support of the characterization of the groups Barr belonged as "linked" to the group responsible for the armored car robbery & murder. What does "linked" mean in this context: members in common? command structure? who knows? The article doesn't say, and without that information none of us can have a really informed opinion on the topic.

Since there's not much to discuss from TFA, I'm going to tell you a little story from back when I was in school, because it's conceivably relevant (but then, as I've said, we don't really have the details we need to know..

Annnnyyyyway.. Once upon a time, long ago (but still some years after this woman was in school) I was a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. During the time I was on campus there were a group of chuckleheads who fancied themselves the vanguard of the socialist revolution that was sure to sweep the country Real Soon Now (tm). They were the scourge of all of the small clubs on campus because of a trick that they pulled, over and over, quite successfully until the other student groups learned to defend themselves against it.

Here's what would happen.. A small, inoffensive campus group having little or nothing to do with the main goals of the revolutionary organization in question would have a meeting at the beginning of the year to welcome new members and to elect leadership positions for the coming school year. Let's imagine we're talking about the Campus Knitting Society.. Well, a group like that might have 8-10 members who attended meetings regularly, and a few more who would drop in when their schedules allowed. The Revolutionary Chuckleheads League (not their real name) would descend en masse on the Campus Knitting Society the week that group was electing new officers and since a lot of groups had open membership the RCL would nominate its own slate of officers and take over the Campus Knitting Society. They'd use the small budgetary stipend the group got from the student government activities fund to print up flyers and the next thing you'd know, every kiosk on campus would be covered with fluorescent orange flyers saying "U of M Campus Knitting Society DEMANDS AN END TO US IMPERIALISM" and "U of M Campus Society Says: Free Mumia!". Then the Revolutionary Chuckleheads League would abandon the burned-out husk of the club they'd taken over and move on to play the same trick on some other organization. The shellshocked original club members, if they weren't completely soured by the experience, might form a new club to replace the one that had been stolen from them, which is why from time to time you'd see flyers pop up on campus saying things like "First Meeting Sunday Night: Michigan Knitting Club (NOT THE Revolutionary Chuckleheads League)"

So.. I've got no idea from the article what Barr's politics were at the time, what they are now, and what her level of involvement with the banned group might be. But it wouldn't surprise me if there were a lot of people that I went to school with who belonged to perfectly harmless clubs who could conceivably fall afoul of the same shadow that blighted Barr's career just because they belonged to a club that got infiltrated and taken over by a group of radicals whose interests were only tangentially related to the club's original goals. I don't think that happens very often, but I would like for the government to have a higher standard than "affiliated" or at the very least to make clear what they mean by that.

Comment Re:OpenSSL (Score 1) 77

Does anyone outside of the vanishingly small and shrinking circle of OpenSSL developers know what that number means or why they persist on inflicting whatever stupid, parochial numbering convention it's the fault of on everyone?

Yes, why can't they use alphabetically-sequenced Alliterative Animal names, or maybe choose selections in no particular sequence from an unordered set such as large cat species?

Sure, they could be clearer, but they're very far from the worst version naming out there.. Count your blessings.

Comment Re:Guess the Party (Score 4, Informative) 370

Lieberman is a Democrat. Just saying, if he was a Republican, all the trolls woulld be out about "OMG Republicans are teh evil."

He once was a Democrat but the last time he ran for office he was defeated in his party's primaries by a candidate that Connecticut Democrats apparently felt better reflected the values of their party. Subsequently Lieberman ran, and was re-elected as, an independent.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 51

Why? Why can't I expect a book on a piece of software that has to do with editing and mixing audio to teach me those things? That's like saying you can't expect a book on Windows to actually teach you how to use Windows.

It's more like expecting a book on Microsoft Word to teach you how to write.

Comment The Cynical Take.. (Score 4, Insightful) 84

Services like Spotify already exist and are hugely popular in the UK meaning BT will have to go the extra mile to convince users they have a service worth using."

Let's hope they don't simply find it easier to degrade the quality of competing services. I get nervous (and cynical) when my ISP wants to sell me anything other than a pipe for bits.

Comment Re:wonder what the story is here (Score 5, Informative) 538

By railroading this guy, what the Muskegon County Prosecutor is actually doing is weakening the severity of real child abuse in the public's mind by diluting it with dumb but ultimately harmless comedy.

Gee, I wonder why he would possibly want to do that....

Without knowing the particulars of this particular case, I still feel free to speculate that it's because the Muskegon County Prosecutor, a man named Tony Tague, is a self-promoting sleaze who loves nothing better than to get his name in the papers.

I grew up in Muskegon County. Tague became prosecutor about the time I left to go to college, 20 years ago or so, and during that time he has repeatedly shown a penchant for pushing the envelope and excersising his considerable prosecutorial discretion to criminalize behavior in any case where he can whip up public outrage -- the first one I can remember was when he elected to prosecute a pregnant drug addict for delivery of cocaine to a minor -- her unborn child.

His "family values" and "tough on crime" posturing resonate with a certain portion of the local electorate but I wouldn't describe the area as particularly prudish or inordinately socially conservative. It's less that the community is really up in arms about such things and more that Tague loves the publicity such cases bring and has been successful throughout his career in exploiting such cases to mobilize a certain segment of the electorate. Besides the sleaziness of such tactics, it's also pretty hard on the individuals who are singled out to advance his political career.

Comment If you say so.. (Score 1, Redundant) 204

new technological advances, enabling systems and cost considerations WILL change the entertainment industry as we know it within 5 years.

Well, OK, if some guy with a Wordpress blog says so, I'm convinced!

Being less snide -- I wish these pioneers godspeed; I'd be happy to see big changes. I'm just not sure it'll happen as easily or as quickly as the write-up asserts.


Assange Could Face Execution Or Guantanamo Bay 973

An anonymous reader writes "WikiLeaker-in-chief Julian Assange faces the real danger of being executed or languishing in the US prison camp at Guantánamo Bay if, as a result of his extradition to Sweden, he ends up in the hands of the Americans, his lawyers argue. In a skeleton summary of Assange's defence, posted online, Assange's lawyers argue that it is likely that the US would seek his extradition 'and/or illegal rendition' from Sweden. In the United States 'there will be a real risk of him being detained at Guantánamo Bay or elsewhere,' his lawyers write."

Comment Re:Bad GUI and no CLI: way too common (Score 2, Interesting) 617

AIX's SMIT did this, or rather it wrote the commands that it executed to achieve what you asked it to do. This meant that you could learn: look at what it did and find out about which CLI commands to run.

It's been years since I administered an AIX machine but my recollection is that the CLI command strings it came up with were generally amusingly-specific unique-to-AIX commands with very long names like resizepartitionandinstallbootblock or something like that. They were generally specialty scripts built to parallel SMIT menu choices and you'd never wind up guessing the command without SMIT telling you what to use, but having the command-line version was nice because you could do something by menus in SMIT on one machine and then use the command-line equivalents to automate the same operations on dozens of other hosts.

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