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Comment Re:Wrong decision (Score 1) 84

"Are you implying that pointing out a blatant misrepresentation counts as drinking koolaid?"

The expression comes from cult leaders who gave their followers poison. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drinking_the_Kool-Aid.

The implication is that you believe so much in the leader's vision, that you'll drink poison if they command you, I think does compare to believing in Google's vision so much that you'll sacrifice your privacy for their free, convenient apps.

Comment Re:Confused (Score 1) 189

"so I'm not sure just how well this actually will scale in the real world. Still, 6.2km is a useful distance for some limited applications."

FTA, there's another innovation not in the Slashdot headline or summary, except to say " the teams had slightly different set-ups and results."

One of those results seems to be that the team from China's method allows for quantum repeaters which can relay entangled particles:

"...it would allow for the creation of quantum repeaters, to propel the signal further along the network..."

"Now say Bob repeats the process with Daisy, who is 100 kilometres to his right (with another Charlie between them). At this stage, Bob has two particles, one entangled with Alice’s and the other with Daisy’s. If Bob now does a Bell State measurement on his two particles, he effectively entangles Alice’s particle with Daisy’s — stretching teleportation a full 200 kilometres."

“You can scale the whole thing up and can go, in theory, to arbitrarily long distances,” says Tittel.

Comment TV? Or video device? (Score 1) 207

62 percent of consumers plan to buy a consumer electronics viewing device in the next 12 months; 33 percent plan to buy a smartphone, and 29 percent plan to buy a TV. "Consumers are showing a strong preference for 4K,"

Did they just include mobile phones in their 4K penetration data? If so, it seems somewhat misleading.

I would certainly like more pixels in my mobile phone and computer screen. 4K TV? Not so much.

Comment Re:Into a few hands, like cloudflare? (Score 3, Informative) 87

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing: that's rich coming from Cloudflare - the company that single-handedly decides you can't access vast swathes of the internet if you're connecting from a TOR exit node.

That company does more than all the others put together to make my internet browsing experience completely miserable...

Comment Former CIA Officer: President Obama Should Pardon (Score 5, Interesting) 278

Former CIA Officer: President Obama Should Pardon Edward Snowden

Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations and is the author of 12 novels, including The Detachment
                       

                        He let Americans evaluate omniscient domestic surveillance for themselves
                       

                               

This week, Edward Snowden, multiple human rights and civil rights groups, and a broad array of American citizens asked President Obama to exercise his Constitutional power to pardon Snowden. As a former CIA officer, I wholeheartedly support a full presidential pardon for this brave whistleblower.

All nations require some secrecy. But in a democracy, where the government is accountable to the people, transparency should be the default; secrecy, the exception. And this is especially true regarding the implementation of an unprecedented system of domestic bulk surveillance, a mere precursor of which Senator Frank Church warned 40 years ago could lead to the eradication of privacy and the imposition of “total tyranny.”

That today we are engaged in a meaningful debate about whether such a system is desirable is almost entirely due to the conscience, courage and conviction of one man: Edward Snowden. Without Snowden, the American people could not balance for themselves the risks, costs and benefits of omniscient domestic surveillance. Because of him, we can.

For this service, the government has charged Snowden under the World War I-era Espionage Act. Yet Snowden did not sell information secretly to any enemy of America. Instead, he shared it openly through the press with the American people.

For this service, Snowden has been accused of having “blood on his hands“—the same evidence-free cliché trotted out every time a whistleblower reveals corruption, criminality or anything else the government would prefer to hide. That this charge is being aired by the very people responsible for wars that have led to thousands of dead American servicemen and servicewomen; hundreds of thousands burned, blinded, brain-damaged, crippled, maimed and traumatized; and hundreds of thousands of innocent foreigners killed, is more than ironic. It’s also a form of psychological projection, or propaganda, intended to distract from where true responsibility for bloodshed lies.

And for this service, the usual suspects have claimed Snowden has caused “grave damage to national security.” As always, the charge is backed by nothing but air, and ignores—in fact, is intended to distract from—the real damage caused by metastasizing governmental secrecy. This includes not only disastrous government mistakes and cover-ups (see the Bay of Pigs, the “missile gap,” the Gulf of Tonkin, Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, etc.), but also the ongoing strangulation of democracy itself. The nation is not made more secure, but is instead more fragile, when the government knows more and more about the people and the people know less and less about the government.

Even well-meaning media personalities fret over questions like: “But what would happen if every top-secret cleared intelligence employee decided what secret information to unilaterally declassify?” In fact, whistleblowing is extraordinarily rare, in part because of the draconian penalties the government metes out to punish it. What’s rampant—and real—is over-classification. An insistence on discussing a fantasy hypothetical of radical transparency, when the world we actually live in is one of radical secrecy, seems a strange way to frame a debate.

If leaks really are so terrible that the government conflates them with espionage (and even with terrorism), why isn’t the government prosecuting the thousands of leaks that insiders dole out to favored reporters every day? It’s almost as though leaking isn’t really the problem, but rather the nature of leaks—with leaks that assist favored government narratives encouraged, and ones that challenge those narratives prosecuted.

It’s important to understand that Snowden violated no “oath” of secrecy—because there is no such oath. The only oath is the oath to defend the Constitution. With regard to secrecy, there is only an NDA. So anyone who suggests that Snowden violated an “oath” of secrecy is either ignorant or lying. Faced with a choice between an oath on the one hand, and an NDA on the other, Snowden chose the oath—the real oath, the only oath—and alerted the American people to what the government was concealing from us.

In other words, Snowden followed his conscience. Authoritarians might condemn such a choice. Americans should celebrate it. After all, in his seminal essay “Civil Disobedience,” Henry David Thoreau wrote, “It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right.” And indeed, if people were intended to only and always obey the law, why would we have been given the power—and burden—of conscience? Similarly, if the president were intended always to hew to the law even at the expense of justice, why would the founders have vested the office of the president with the power of pardon?

Without question, history will vindicate Edward Snowden as it has Daniel Ellsberg. President Obama has a chance to be on the right side of that history. In doing so, he would do his legacy, and his country, a great service.

Comment Re:Analysis of the videos (Score 3, Informative) 251

Somebody crashed planes into the buildings.

But it seems that people believe they had secret agents install some super-resillient, ultra-compact, undetectable explosives which would not detonate when a 250,000 lb aircraft hit it at 400 miles an hour, nor from the fire from 10,000 gallons of aviation fuel, but would be wired for a controlled demolition so as to flatten buildings which contained people who were evacuated except for people already dying from smoke and fire?

Whatever.

Comment Re:Analysis of the videos (Score 4, Insightful) 251

"You certainly would not expect it to collapse in a tidy heap at the speed of gravity where the entire building becomes... "

And I know a guy who doesn't wear a seatbelt because he thinks his arms can keep his face from going through the windshield in a car accident.

Your intuition about physical processes is meaningless when dealing with materials and processes at these scales.

Without getting into the stupidity, the utter, mindblowing, holy-crap stupidity of the idea that hundreds of people sitting in offices throughout the WTC wouldn't say "HEY, you had a maintinence guy deliver a giant package and install it in the HVAC two months ago? me too! Maybe it was so that when the guberment crashed the jets into the building, it would make sure that the evacuated buildings blooo flat down! As opposd to havign the tops slide off or sides crumble like they were supposed to!"

Comment Re:Refunds? (Score 1) 341

A couple weeks ago I was in a Wells Fargo to deposit a check (I hate going to banks for numerous reasons). It wasn't busy and I overheard a teller dealing with a client next to me.

The client spoke broken English and I heard the teller explaining to him that he was being charged a fee because the balance in his checking account was below the required minimum. No compassion. No effort to try to mitigate the fee or move him into a no-fee account. The individual was sheepish and thanked the teller and just left.

Frankly I wish banks were required to insist on individuals to keep open a no-fee checking account in order to open any other accounts with them. And if they don't offer no-feee checking, they should refer the individual to a competitor or a credit union (and be obligated to tell the individual that a credit union can offer all the benefits to an individual with low income that a bank could).

Bastards.

Comment Refunds? (Score 2) 341

The bank agreed to pay $185 million in fines, along with $5 million to refund customers.

So they created millions of fake accounts and charged them fees ... and now they're required to only refund $5million to customers? Is each account only going to be refunded $5, or am I missing something here.

If this was an individual and not a bank, he (or she) would be going to jail. This sounds like a collaborative effort. Why isn't a racketeering investigation taking place?

Comment Google (Score 4, Interesting) 180

I went with the iPhone because I didn't have to root my phone to control the communications of my own apps, and I didn't want to lock more of my life into my gmail account... that and the camera/microphone/battery life etc. I was surprised by the added stability and how I didn't feel the need to root the phone at all.

Android phones are practically subsidized by Google and most are additionally subsidized by a carrier who couldn't give a damn if you have updates or not.

On my iPhone I use offline maps, a domestic hosted mail and calendar server and duckduckgo. No Google apps, and minimal contact with the app store. It's a boring, reliable, very functional phone.

With Android, for even these basic features I would send 100% of my data to the U.S. where I have no control nor rights. Last I used Android it was difficult to *not* sync it with Google, even with your own calendaring/mail solution. Unless I go with Cyanogenmod or similar... which is a wicked time-burner.

The price difference is worth it to me. Time and privacy are expensive.

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