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Comment Re:Stupid people (Score 1) 129

You're sent a document from someone you interact often with. Maybe it's a business that might use odd security measures (like a lawyer, bank, or doctor's office).When you open the document it says:

Click to view document

That's it, no more content.

Now, I wouldn't click on it, you might not either. But there's enough people out there who will follow instructions, or will click on the most obvious button to make an annoying alert go away.

Comment Re:WYGIWYP (Score 0) 96

Believe it or not but the US does have valid national security concerns that need to be dealt with so unfortunately the NSL and FISA programs are needed unless someone can come up with a better way to handle threats to national security.

The Stasi had a huge number of spies watching for dissident activity. A system like that would be more effective at protecting national security than one that focuses on digital communications. These people watched practically everything their neighbors did, and reported it to the state. Stasi agents would enter people's homes at will. Surely, that would make it easier to stop terrorism.


Now do you understand that national security is not the only metric by which we measure a policy?

P.S. and yes, parallel construction. Criminals (a surprising number of whom seem to work in law enforcement) always get greedy.

Comment Budget shenanigans (Score 2) 302

<quote>"In the past three years, the TSA and Congress cut the number of front-line screeners by 4,622 -- or about 10% -- on expectations that an expedited screening program called PreCheck would speed up the lines. However, not enough people enrolled for TSA to realize the anticipated efficiencies."</quote>

So, really, this was just congress cooking the books with the budget by cutting something that would have to be restored. PreCheck (or, rather, the Trusted Traveler programs that give you access to PreCheck) require an in-person interview. Last time I checked, the next available appointment at SFO (the only location for this in the Bay Area) was November! Plenty of people have signed up, but there isn't enough capacity to process the applications.

Congress should have realized that enrolling millions of people in a new program would require significant funding.

Comment Re:Why... (Score 1) 134

The devil is in the details. What is the interest rate on that credit card?

Why, why, why would you ever borrow money on a credit card? I mean, I'll admit I took a balance transfer to fund a move once, but that was $5000 for a 3% up-front payment and no interest for a year (by which time I paid it off). Normal "purchase" interest rates on a credit card are insane. Looking at my cards, the range on purchases is 14-24%! The rates are there basically to punish anyone who tries to use a card as a credit facility rather than paying it off every month.

Some payday operations are legal. Some aren't, a few advertised on TV have recently been found to be illegal, and others have been found to be breaking other laws, like those which prevent them from offering loans to soldiers. None of them should be legal, but even if they are, Google (a private entity) is free to refuse to do business with them. Now, if Google was doing this to lock out competitors that would be different, but Google doesn't compete with payday lenders.

Comment Re:Why do sites need so many trackers? (Score 1) 206

You can make it so a given tracker is enabled only on a specific site. I suppose knowing which sites you've enabled trackers on would allow someone to know which sites you visit, but that only holds if the Ghostery extension uploads your configuration to the Ghostery servers. Do you have any evidence that it does?

Comment Re:Why do sites need so many trackers? (Score 2) 206

[quote]with Ghostery, you have to access their web site to change settings[/quote]

The settings page built-in to the Ghostery extension is not part of their website, just as it isn't for uBlock, Adblock Plus, or any of the other extensions that use the same mechanism for settings.

As for giving them information, even if Ghostery does know what trackers you've blocked (and I'm not sure they do) - which trackers you've blocked doesn't tell them much, certainly not what your interests are. Besides, why wouldn't you just block all the trackers?

Comment Re:Typical conservative machinations (Score 5, Insightful) 84

How's this: Get the BBC to start broadcasting over the internet in the U.S., and *I'll* pay your licence fee for you.

In fact, if iPlayer + Live TV was available for a monthly fee anywhere in the world, I'll bet BBC would be so flush with cash they could abolish the domestic fee.

Comment Re: Was he under oath? (Score 2) 78

Here's a question, if a warrant were required to use a Stingray (it is, in some places) and if the Stringray intercepts everyone's calls, shouldn't the warrant have to cover all of the phones that would be affected? And if that's the case, how could you possibly justify searching the communications of someone you know isn't a suspect?

Imagine if the police said they wanted a copy of every bank statement issued by Bank of America in the last ten years, because they had evidence that the proceeds of a robbery had moved through that bank. Now imagine they wouldn't tell you how long the irrelevant information would be kept or what they would do with it. Of course, in reality, the police don't tell judges that they're using a Stringray, and they certainly don't tell them what extraneous information they'll pick up. They also don't obtain a warrant, but they do get a court order. I wonder if there's even a prohibition against the police department selling the information they collect to a third party.

Unless there are very strict rules about what the police can use the information they captured for and how long they can keep that information, yes, I'd rather let the robber get away. It's only money.

Comment Re:Fuck him (Score 1) 182

He's incorrect in assuming that anything can be done to stop people from using math. Whatsapp is *just* an app, and anyone can write an app that implements this functionality. That means it's impossible to prevent bad elements (terrorists, criminals, whoever the FBI feels like investigating) from using encryption.

Besides, encryption isn't necessarily required for terrorist attacks. The Paris attackers used burner phones, and I doubt the IRA ever used encryption during the Troubles.

Comment Re:Google likes to hose hardware (Score 1) 268

Excellent point. This really does seem like a "vote with your wallet" thing. I've got a Nest cam (purchased when they were still Dropcam). I'll keep it as long as it works, but I'm not going to pay their monthly fee, because I'm not going to pay a company that feels it can just shut it down at any time. I swore off Sony when they took linux support out of the PS3, and I've long since switched from Android to iOS.

Google/Nest shouldn't expect to make much progress in this space, now that people know anything they buy will be abandoned a couple of years later.

Comment Re:wow, they have a real accountable democracy (Score 1) 228

Before taking office, he held a 50% interest in a firm that was a creditor to the Icelandic state. He sold that interest to his wife for $1 to avoid disclosing that interest. The holding was hidden in a Panamanian shell company.

This wasn't a "join checking account". I have no idea why you would think it was.

Comment Re: Doctorow's Law (Score 1) 28

Meanwhile, I'm glad they finally released the update so that I could install it. My iPad kept prompting me to install iOS 9.3 but then told me that it couldn't. Even today, I couldn't use the OTA update mechanism and instead had to plug in the iPad (I almost never connect it to my Mac) and update using iTunes. All because some idiots couldn't remember their iTunes password.

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