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Comment Re:Varied opinions (Score 1) 450

First, I feel that Snowden should actually have his day in court and present his case before anything related to a pardon or commutation is discussed. The American people need to see and hear both his and the government's position and evidence in a more balanced, less sensational environment than the MSM gives us.

The only question that would be debated at trial, or on which any evidence could be presented, is whether or not Snowden stole secrets. The government has overwhelming evidence that he did, including his own repeated admission, to many people, in many forums, many of them recorded and nearly all of them perfectly admissible. There would be no arguments presented as to whether his decision was justified because it was in the public interest, because that has absolutely no bearing on his guilt under the Espionage Act. The only place that would be argued is in his lawyers' appellate pleadings.

So, a trial would do nothing to enable the public to hear the sides. The trial would consist of the government submitting into evidence many pieces of proof of Snowden's act, and Snowden's complete inability to disprove any of it. It's more likely he'd just plead guilty to avoid wasting a court's time -- and making a judge who has to sentence him angry.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 1) 450

IWould prefer a trial where he would be allowed to make his case. Manning wasn't afforded that opportunity either.

Huh? Manning was convicted - hence there was a trial. What use would another trial be?

Well for one it would be a trial against Snowden, not against Manning. And the request was for "a trial where [the defendant] would be allowed to make his case", not a secret trial by a Mickey Mouse court with a pre-determined outcome.

Under the offense Snowden has been charged with, they could have a fully public and perfectly fair trial but the outcome would be completely known in advance. The Espionage Act includes no provision for justification as a defense, so the only question to be tried is whether or not Snowden stole secrets, and there's absolutely no question that he did. Snowden's only hopes if he were to be tried are (a) that the trial judge would hand down a very light sentence, (b) to have his conviction appealed to the Supreme Court who might find that the Espionage Act's lack of a public interest defense constitutes an unacceptable infringement of freedom of speech or (c) a presidential pardon. (a) is unlikely because you can be sure the government would pick a "good" judge, and (b) is a crapshoot, and one that would leave him rotting in jail for years until SCOTUS ruled, assuming they ruled in his favor.

Snowden's best move is exactly what he's doing, staying away until some president decides to pre-emptively do (c). His current status likely also positions him better to generate ongoing publicity in opposition to government spying since it makes him a more controversial and/or tragic figure.

Comment Re:Sounds familiar (Score 1) 65

It's hard to charge a user for a back-end system.

Said no bank executive, ever.

FWIW, I've heard bank executives say pretty much exactly that. Typically they don't say "charge a customer", they couch it in other terms like "recoup investment", "generate revenues", etc., but they definitely say it, because it's true.

Submission + - Online Security: Dumb WhatsApp Scam Spreads Malware - Beware

jamilnaws writes: Dumb WhatsApp Scam Spreads Malware, Touting 'Free Internet' Without Wi-Fi: Beware

A pretty dumb WhatsApp scam is making rounds in chain mail form, promising "free internet" without Wi-Fi on an invite-only basis.

First of all, the scam is quite dumb to begin with because the only way to use WhatsApp without Wi-Fi is to have a cellular data connection and WhatsApp cannot offer data — it's just an app, not a provider.

Secondly, the scam is spreading because it prompts victims to forward the message to 13 friends or five groups on WhatsApp to activate the "free internet."

How It Works

"As usual, the message spreads via WhatsApp groups or comes from a friend who 'recommends' the service — often unaware of it. In this case, you receive a special invitation with a link," explains the WeLiveSecurity blog of antivirus and security firm ESET.

"You can already get Internet Free Without WI-FI with Whatsapp, and it is by means of invitations, here I give you an invitation," reads the poorly written message.

Upon clicking on the included link, users are taken to a website mimicking the WhatsApp domain. It detects the device's language based on the browser settings and invites users to pass along the invitation to more people, ensuring that the scam keeps spreading.

The message also shows fake reviews from fake users, claiming to be incredibly satisfied with this amazing offer. Those users don't even exist, much like this "free internet" invite-only deal. Don't fall for it, or you'll get more than you bargained for — and not in a good way.

Surprise! Malware

After sharing the message with at least 13 people or five groups, users who have fallen victim to this sham end up on various sites where a number of malicious actions can wreak havoc.

According to WeLiveSecurity, such actions range from subscriptions to premium and expensive SMS services to installing third-party apps on the device, of course aiming to generate some money for the scammer on the victims' expense.

Victims will see various offers, but they obviously will not get any "free internet." The only way to use WhatsApp to communicate with people is to have an active internet connection, be it cellular data or Wi-Fi, and the scam does absolutely nothing to change this reality.

At best, victims waste their time and end up disappointed that the magical chain message didn't work. At worst, they end up with malicious software on their phones.

How To Avoid Such Scams

First of all, keep in mind that any message that shows up out of the blue, poorly written and making seemingly attractive promises are most likely fake, part of a scam. Raising awareness regarding these scams plays a crucial role in limiting their damage and slowing their spread rate.

If you've received this "free internet" offer or some other dubious message that looks like a scam, warn the sender and your friends so that they're aware it's a scam. Moreover, reporting the fraud is also important and it's not that big of a hassle — just flag it in your browser as you'd normally report any phishing campaign.

Comment Re:Infrastructure vs Independence (Score 1) 430

You suck at brain-work. You've forgotten about all of the people who live on the east side of the mountain, but used to live on the west side of the mountain.

You've, instead, re-stated my point. The reason that the mountains aren't full of people is exactly because there was fuel to let them continue on to the other side.

No, he's quite right. Most people don't drive through mountain ranges on a regular basis. I don't, and I live in the mountains. And have an electric car.

Of course, if your lifestyle does include driving hundreds of miles on a regular basis, then EVs aren't for you. Not yet, anyway. But that doesn't change the fact that they work very well for lots of other people.

Comment Re:Sounds about right (Score 1) 73

No, of course not. This is the Wikipedia page of Wales. I do not question the existence of Wales.

What exactly is the Wikipedia article supposed to tell me? What I found out after some digging is that 12.5% of the Welsh voted UKIP in the 2016 election. That's about as much as there is to be gleamed from the Wikipedia article concerning the Brexit. And even that was something I only found in one of the links provided in the article.

Comment Re:Learning (Score 1) 191

I looked at the "drones", and it was a really cheap radio controlled airplane, another is a commercial quadcopter.

Yes, if you give them autonomy then poof! They're drones. That's how it works! I have a really cheap radio airplane-cum-drone right here, it's based on an old school Apprentice, before they included a RX with an integrated flight controller. So I integrated a mini Arduino Mega 2560, and a 9DOF board (I forget which one), and a BMP280 which at the time had the sweet spot for price/performance, now I would use a MS6511 or whatever it is.

And dropping the equivalent of a hand grenade. Like World War One biplanes tossing bomblets over the side by hand.

No! It's the opposite of that! You need to be either within sight or spend a few more bucks on a FPV rig (and the transmitters and cameras have both gotten quite cheap for moderate range now) and you can put it exactly where you want it.

Mortars haven't suddenly become useless or anything. That's not the argument. A drone is simply capable of being a new kind of bomb, in addition to the other things that it can be. With clever communications (cellular?) it can put your explosive exactly where you want it, without exposing the person who's placing it.

Comment Re:Swearing (Score 1) 254

Experiments prove that swearing when in pain reduces the pain.

Google Stephen Fry and Brian Blessed video for a pop-science demonstration of such.

And in such instances, "fake" swear words do not have the same effect, even if you know what they stand for...

So... swear words are magic? I don't buy it. They may have an effect in people who normally think and use them, but that certainly can't be true for those who don't.

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