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Comment What is a wiretap really? (Score 0) 519

Does the eavesdropper actually have to physically tap a copper phone line and attach a listening device for it to be legally considered a wiretap?

I'm gonna guess "no" on that one.

Or how about this: the intelligence agencies are listening to a lot of people, all the time. Completely routine and well within their operational guidelines. Let's say they're listening to the cell phones of government employee X, Y and Z because these were of some interest to the intelligence agency for whatever reason. They might even have gotten a judge to sign off on it, making it totally legit.

One day, candidate Trump calls Y on the phone to discuss spray-on tans. This is not a weird coincidence, since the spooks are actually listening to a huge number of people. One of the spooks finds it interesting that Trump likes "Kinky Bondage Orange Tan", thinks it might be embarrassing and passes it on to DNC. Someone at DNC then passes it on further upstairs.

Few months later, Trump finds out that Obama administration staffers are laughing at his spray tan of choice and accuses Obama of wiretapping him. Obama replies, "Neither I nor anyone in my administration ordered a wiretap on Trump" with a straight face.

Who is right? Was it a wiretap or no? Or is it just a matter of semantics?

Comment Re:What is the surprise exactly? (Score 1) 457

This is why they are not allowed to act inside the US.

Which the CIA neatly sidesteps by having a "domestic agency" attached to an operation.

By domestic agency they mean one clueless newbie FBI agent tagging along with the tough seasoned elite operators of the "real" intelligence agency.

Comment Re:Smart TV is worrisome (Score 3, Insightful) 457

Then don't put it on the network if you're concerned.

Well that kind of defeats the purpose of buying the TV in the first place, I use it to watch Netflix.

I suppose I can disconnect it from my wifi like you said and then get a Chromecast stick or some such plug-in device. But having the feature built-in was a lot more convenient, no need to boot up a second device or use a second remote controller, etc.

Also if my TV is infected, how do I know if it's really disconnected from wifi? I suppose I would have to get a packet analyzer and record all packets for like a week and see if the TV sent anything over the network.

Comment Re:Betcha Trump is going to mad at Assange again (Score 0, Troll) 457

I'll bet serious money this enrages Trump and he threatens to arrest and detain Assange.

Maybe. But at least his first reaction wasn't "Can't we just drone this guy?" *

*by drone she meant killing Assange with a Hellfire air-to-ground missile fired from a Reaper drone. Not referring to a consumer quadcopter drone like the DJI phantom. Quote is by Secretary of State Clinton

Comment Smart TV is worrisome (Score 4, Insightful) 457

3) The CIA could use smart TVs to listen in on conversations that happened around them. One of the most eye-catching programs detailed in the documents is "Weeping Angel." That allows intelligence agencies to install special software that allows TVs to be turned into listening devices -- so that even when they appear to be switched off, they're actually on.

I'm pretty good with Windows and Linux desktops... there are steps I can take to check for spyware/malware and deal with them if found.

But my Samsung TV, I haven't the foggiest idea. I don't know how to type commands into it or even what kind of an OS it runs.

Comment What does the market say? (Score 5, Insightful) 421

If women are really being paid less than men for the same work, wouldn't it make sense financially to hire women only? Even a small company of 50 employees can save a million dollars a year just by hiring women instead of men. As the owner it would go directly into my pocket. Who doesn't like to make an extra million dollars a year?

Employers will go to great lengths to hire the cheapest labor for any given task. They will even violate labor laws and risk prison by hiring illegal aliens, that's how much business owners love to save money (admittedly the risk of prison for hiring illegals was very small in the past, prior to Trump). Therefore if the gender gap is as real as the feminists claim, every CEO should be scouring the earth for all the women they could hire.

Comment Re:Wow I've just had a crazy Idea!! (Score 2) 89

There have been numerous phones in the past with this feature. I've owned several. It is not a panacea; carrying around a charged spare battery and swapping it is not convenient to many people (including me). Studies have shown that only a tiny percentage of swappable-battery phone owners actually carried around a spare.

Comment That's why I never update my phone anymore (Score 1) 49

My iPhone 6 Plus came with iOS 8.0 factory installed. I kept up with the updates until 10 came out, at which point I've refused every update. So my phone sits at 9.35, likely forever.

Reason (aside from avoiding bugs like in this thread topic) is to avoid a bloated OS that eats your battery life and overtaxes the processor/gpu. On a previous Apple device, I noticed that as soon as you got to two OS revisions above what it came with originally, it gets painfully slow. On that particular device it was originally iOS 4, and when i updated it to 6 there was a dramatic slowdown in responsiveness and app loading time. I eventually updated it to 7 to see if that helped, but it did nothing aside from taking up more disk space. It became so unusable, I gave it away for free.

There is a problem with this strategy though. Apple will force you to update. No matter what you do to your phone setting, it will phone home and automatically download the latest update. Disabling "Settings: App Store Auto Update" has no affect on this whatsoever. There is no way to disable this, aside from:

1. Jailbreaking with Cyanogenmod.

2. Block Apple update server from your wifi router (your phone will only attempt to auto-download when on wifi and not when on cellular)

I went with option #2 since I did not want to deal with the hassle of jailbreaking. Simply go to your router config page and block these two URLs:


Comment Re:Isn't it the victim's Echo they want info from? (Score 3, Interesting) 117

Amazon likely doesn't want to reveal what it's recording (everything) and how long it holds onto it (forever).

This, pretty much. People might have second thoughts about buying one if they realized Amazon records *everything*, forever.

I'm far from a legal expert but doesn't the gov't already have the power to subpoena library records to see if a defendant checked out books on poison or bombs?

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