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Comment Re:Weirdly specific statement (Score 1) 28

The significance of this is Elon Musk, who is the self-driving Uber of dot.com billionaires and is the hero of our times.

Well, I knew Steve Jobs well enough, and have met a few civilian astronauts and a bunch of other rich people. None of the others seem to have done so much for the long-term future of the human race as Musk has in leading the path to more affordable spaceflight.

Comment Re:Clean OS install (Score 1) 328

I use optical media for installs, too.

Mostly because they're a more convenient (and better supported than USB sticks) way to build a system onto a fresh(ly wiped) machine.

Also because they're an easy way to insure I didn't accidentally carry over any data from the pre-wipe configuration or the machine I used to download, or got hit with a "catch the machine before it updates" attack while net-loading or updating from the distribution version to the latest bugfixes. (I go to the net for the initial update through an external firewall machine with tight reach-out-only rules.)

Yes, it's not a defence against some of the NSA or "remote-administration feature" style of attacks, through the BIOS, drive firmware, CPU-vendor silicon "management engines", persistent threat malware on the download machine, etc. But it's a start. (Also: If those are any good they keep hiding, so at least they stay out of my way while I'm trying to get some work done. B-b )

Comment Re:Never that specific program (Score 1) 305

Don't forget to take the platter out and smash it up whichever way you want. If the NSA can get the data off a drive that's being zeroed several times and platter smashed up, they deserve a trophy.

Grind it into dust.

Smashing the platter helps some. But taking it out of the drive just saves them a step.

When a surface has been overwritten a couple times you're not going to have much luck trying to read it with the ordinary heads, even with tweaked signal and head-positioning electronics.

But a scanning magnetic-force microscope makes the last several layers of writing visible to the naked eye (observing the false-color image on a monitor or printed page).

Comment Re:Too secure for insecure? (Score 0) 305

Hillary did do something wrong but the punishment for it would never be jail time. People keep focusing on this shouting lock her up. The worst she would have endured if she was a normal member of the state department would be a removal from her job and revocation of any security clearance.

And revocation of retirement benefits. And a felony conviction, with the resulting future denial of a number of civil rights (such as the right to posses a gun) and - yes - federal prison time.

Are you saying that the government would never enforce some of the more severe portions of the law? They seem to enforce it just fine when dealing with low-level functionaries (or even high-level officials who happen to be conservative.)

There is entirely too much corruption throughout our government.

Yep.

We need to fix campaign finance in a big way.

Yes - by completely repealing any campaign finance legislation at any level.

Buying advertisement is political speech. That, even more than any other forms of speech, is precisely one of the rights that is recognized and protected by the First Amendment. (It just happens purchasing advertisements enables the "speaker" to talk to more people than he can by standing on a soapbox in the park.)

Campaign financing laws are bait-and-switch. They claim to level the playing field, blocking the deep-pocket guys and the incumbents from having an advantage over the ordinary citizens and upstart challengers. But they actually penalize the grass-roots organizers and challengers by imposing complex red tape and arcane limits and requirements with draconian penalties for non-compliance (which incumbents' and professional lobbying organizations already know how to handle - or have the financial backing to challenge in court).

They're incumbent protection laws. Which is exactly what you should expect them to be. They were written by incumbents.

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