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Comment Re:Left-wing? (Score 1) 101

Political leaders of any stripe can almost always be classified as "elites". It's practically a prerequisite for the job. Even Che Guevara, whose father was the great-grandson of one of the richest men in South America at the time, and whose fully blue-blooded mother (of Spanish nobility) was the granddaughter of a wealthy landowner, was an elite.

Comment Re:Oh puh-leeze (Score 1) 165

There certainly is a popular feeling of distrust towards everything the government does here in the US; hell, that's American as apple pie.

The problem is, is that much of the information that gets disseminated to us by private entities like the ones you mentioned originates from US government sources. Especially so if that information is related to foreign affairs. These private entities, be it Fox News or MSNBC, are wholly dependant on the government for information on these topics. They can certainly add their own spin and view on the matter, but there's only so far you can take a piece of information. In the end, a lot of it comes out the same across networks.

Remember, most US news agencies no longer maintain foreign bureaus. They have no real foreign correspondents. The owners of these agencies decided, quite rightly so, that dedicating those kinds of resources towards reporting on foreign matters was not at all cost-effective. There was simply too little genuine interest in the public for things happening on the other side of the world. I believe the only US news agency that still has foreign bureaus and correspondents is CNN.

So, don't dismiss the possibility that the media is an excellent avenue for the government to use in order to shape public opinion.

Comment Re:Are VPN user's being sued? (Score 1) 254

There are multiple VPN providers that advertise their services as a way to use BitTorrent anonymously. While that may seem like a meaningless marketing gimmick, it lets you know about how the service owners intend their product to be used. There are many VPN providers that will actually block BitTorrent traffic, namely because of the subpoenas they may have received in the past in response to filesharing. Plenty of people use VPN in order to circumvent harsh government censorship and control, as opposed to downloading crappy music or movies. So, don't expect all VPN providers to tolerate your use of their services for filesharing purposes.

Depending on the service and various time-variant factors, you can expect speeds to be fairly satisfactory. I wouldn't expect speeds in the 1.0+ MB/s range or anything. Perhaps someone can offer experience contrary to that.

In regards to industry lawyers getting your info from VPN providers: sure, that's still a possibility. That's why it is important to see what country the VPN is based in, as laws regarding the matter differ from place to place. Also, these providers prominently advertise their policy in regards to logging user information. Some will say they keep no logs; a more believable pitch is that they keep logs only for one or more days. Whether you believe any of that or not is up to you, but without logs, there wouldn't be anything connecting you to what you were doing.

Comment Re:Tin foil hats (Score 5, Informative) 160

I like to reward folks for being funny.

While that's very considerate of you, a funny post marked as 'Informative' is more than likely to get subsequently modded down; messages with comedic substance tend to come across as wholly incorrect assertions when read from sources being represented as useful information.


Submission + - black holes may mature early in galaxy evolution (

masterwit writes: From Scientific American: "An accidental find in a star-forming dwarf galaxy shows that black holes may mature early in galaxy evolution" also "if giant black holes in star-forming dwarf galaxies prove to be common—that is, if Henize 2-10 is not an outlier but a representative of a larger population—they may have much to tell about the formation of primordial black holes and galaxies in the early universe" I personally do not come from a large point of knowledge here, but I found this read very interesting and thought someone else would share my sentiment.

Submission + - Apple Kicks in a Penny to Medicare on Jobs' Behalf

theodp writes: While hailed as admirable, there's also a troubling aspect to Steve Jobs' much-hyped $1 annual salary. In an event at Stanford's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital attended by liver transplant recipient Jobs, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had this to say about the Apple CEO: 'And what I like about Steve is, because he is a wealthy man, we all know that and that helped him get the transplant. But he doesn't want that, that only wealthy people can get the transplant and have a plane waiting to take him anywhere he needs to go. He wants every human being, if you have no money at all or if you're the richest person in the world, everyone ought to have the right to get immediately a transplant.' But liver transplant costs are steep, although one way to fund them is Medicare. Unfortunately, using a rate of 1.45% would mean that Apple has kicked in a total of 13 cents in Medicare taxes on the $1 salary Jobs has been paid since 1998 (OK, add another 78 cents for 13 years of FICA contributions). And that kind of inequality, some might argue, is messed-up. Not to single out Jobs — the ranks of the ballyhooed $1 Executive Club include Larry Ellison, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt. But the fact is, writes Chrystia Freeland in The Rise of the New Global Elite, someone will have to pay for America's social safety net. 'Inevitably,' she adds, 'a lot of that money will have to come from the wealthy — after all, as the bank robbers say, that's where the money is.'

Submission + - Twitter Fights US Court For WikiLeaks Details (

An anonymous reader writes: Micro-blogging site Twitter is opposing an order from a US court, to reveal the account details of supporters of WikiLeaks. Twitter has called on Facebook and Google to reveal whether they also received similar court orders.

As part of the US government’s investigation into WikiLeaks, a court ordered Twitter, in mid-December, to give details of accounts owned by supporters of the whistle-blower site. Twitter has protested against the subpoena and informed the individuals whose account information has been requested, while raising the possibility that other social networking players have received similar orders.

Records required for criminal investigation
The US Department of Justice obtained a subpoena for the micro-blogging site on 14 December, requesting records going back to 1 November 2009, that are “relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.” Among those targeted are WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Dutch hacker Rop Gonggrijp (whose name is misspelled in the subpoena) and Bradley Manning, the US Army intelligence analyst suspected of leaking documents to WikiLeaks.


Submission + - Internet Indentity System for America ( 1

masterwit writes: From the article: "President Obama is planning to hand the U.S. Commerce Department authority over a forthcoming cybersecurity effort to create an Internet ID for Americans, a White House official said here today...." The real question is this even possible? And how are we to know that this data will remain secure? I mean what could possibly go wrong?

Comment Missing the point (Score 1) 987

While the assistance with the bail is neat, the real story here is that Michael Moore has said he will be lending support in regards to the online availability of the WikiLeaks content.

If he follows through on that promise, then I believe that will be very beneficial for WikiLeaks, as they're starting to need help in this area (given that their service is getting cut by all these different institutions).

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