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Submission + - Think Tanks: How a Bill [Gates Agenda] Becomes a Law

theodp writes: The NY Times' Eric Lipton was just awarded a 2015 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting that shed light on how foreign powers buy influence at think tanks. So, it probably bears mentioning that Microsoft's 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy to increase K-12 CS education and the number of H-1B visas — which is on the verge of being codified into laws by the President and lawmakers — was hatched at an influential Microsoft and Gates Foundation-backed think tank mentioned in Lipton's reporting, the Brookings Institution. In 2012, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings hosted a forum on STEM education and immigration reforms, where fabricating a crisis was discussed as a strategy to succeed with Microsoft's agenda where earlier lobbying attempts by Bill Gates and Microsoft had failed. "So, Brad [Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith]," asked the Brookings Institution's Darrell West at the event, "you're the only [one] who mentioned this topic of making the problem bigger. So, we galvanize action by really producing a crisis, I take it?" "Yeah," Smith replied (video). And, with the help of nonprofit organizations like and that were founded shortly thereafter, a national K-12 CS and tech immigration crisis was indeed created. Last December, as Microsoft-backed 'taught President Obama to code' at a White House event to kick off the nations's Hour of Code (as a top Microsoft lobbyist looked on), Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was also in D.C. publicly lobbying for high-skilled immigration and privately meeting with White House officials on undisclosed matters. And that, kids, is How a Bill [Gates Agenda] Becomes a Law!

Comment The K government is already planning to help (Score 1) 240

From the BBC:

"HMP Grampian will also have a dedicated unit for training prisoners for a return to work when they are released. The unit will include a telephone marketing centre."

The only problem I see that being in prison already makes trying to sign you up for a scam less of a risk for the operator, but I digress :)

Comment EU companies may break the law by using US ISPs (Score 2) 115

EU Data Protection laws require a company to protect the privacy of the people it receives email from. Now the fallacy of the Safe Harbor agreement has become clear, using US providers means knowingly placing privacy in jeopardy.

Silicon Valley has a MASSIVE problem on its hands in this context: even if a US company WANTED to protect client information (and let's be honest, lots of them actually do), they are legally not in a position to do so. The biggest problem is that this is a legal issue, and that will take at least a decade to fix...

Comment Re:England + "Math" = Insult! (Score 1) 112

Lets put some electricity through someone's head and see what happens, or, drink a Red Bull for the same effect.

Not *quite* the same effect - it depends if your specific brain makeup is susceptible to stimulants, for the same reason that speed, sorry, Ritalin doesn't work for everyone either. Cranial stimulation is a further development of neurofeedback, where instead of just waiting for a brain region to do its thing, they take the next step and actually prod it into action.

I wonder how much treatment is needed to "set" the trained brain switching behaviour. Standard neurofeedback is quite quickly visible as beneficial once you've hit the right spot, but to really lock in the new behaviour takes 20+ sessions - it's a bit like training muscles.

I guess using a bigger battery won't help :)

Comment Re:It's true -- but only root can read them though (Score 1) 341

If the attacker is already root, they have access to everything on your system anyway.

Not quite. Root access means a compromised single host. Access to a list of WiFi passwords means compromising all the WiFi networks the machine in question has been given access to, so you'd still want that encrypted.

Comment Re:I think they understimate the cloud (Score 2) 292

Yawn. Yet another tech answer to what isn't a tech problem to start with. I suspect there will be gazillions more coming your way over the next few months because all the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs want to milk that market before people realise they've been had: IT IS NOT A TECHNICAL PROBLEM.

For a US based company it is 100% pointless to install any defence mechanism if some random official can walk in and ask for corporate data - the owner has to offer the data., unlocked.

For any organisation outside the US, it should simply ask the question: what are the chances that a US based organisation will NOT have a backdoor in its technology if such can be legally prescribed? As you have seen with Lavabit and Silent Circle, there are in principle only two ways forward: comply, or close shop. I leave you to note the clear risk in using security products from those who provide security products who have not closed down yet. Note: I'm not stating that all US sourced security products HAVE been provided with a backdoor, merely that it is legally possible to force the suppliers to implement them.

Eventually, someone will realise the real risk to the US economy: it's a profound lack of trust. This will take decades to fix, mainly because it involves a fight to either repeal those emergency laws or introduce some independent transparency and supervision. Meanwhile, whole swaths of Silicon Valley people will continue to sell what is at best privacy theatre, but which also risks becoming nothing more than security theatre as well.

Because backdoors and security do not combine very well.

Comment Re:First always on wifi, now force fed cloud print (Score 1) 135

Funny, that was about the first thing I thought too.

Wrt your other complaints I could, of course, observe that other platforms offer a much finer granulation of access control, even AFTER installation, but we still have to acknowledge that being asked is better than not being asked at all, as was the case before..

Comment Wrong country.. (Score 1) 168

I gather from your use of the "K-12" term that you're in the US (keep that in mind when you ask such questions).

Your challenge is that you're up against several decades of brainwashing to make you (and parents) believe that your privacy isn't worth anything that that it's somehow bad to insist that the state and companies respect the rights they signed up to when they accepted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 (actually there's also such a thing as the right of the child, but both Somalia and the US declined to underwrite that - don't know enough about that to draw a conclusion).

You see, this is the origin of the term "free" in "free" services - all you need to give up is some privacy. So it's not free, you pay with your privacy. What is interesting is that the worst offenders have managed to turn the debate on its head.

You don't have to defend your right to privacy. It's yours, and it's supposedly inalienable. Those who want to invade your privacy have to explain themselves.

Bonus argument for parents: personal details on sites tend to be one programming mistake away from disclosure. Your guiding principle for providing anything to a 3rd party on the Internet is that it is equivalent to giving it to your worst enemy. What's worse, the Internet doesn't forget - this means you're giving information to enemies you haven't even made yet..

Comment Re:None of them (Score 2) 391

The OP is right insofar that a browser is only one part of the chain of events that ties an identity (and associated habits) to you. Even when you use something Firefox or Opera in so-called "private" mode, your traffic still originates from the same point, creating a common item between things that happen (and BTW, you should set your browser to be something else than the default "OS + browser ID").

The expensive way to address that is to route your traffic via some privacy proxy. The expensive way to do this (used by most VIPs and privacy conscious celebrities) is to use specialist companies which map this traffic via VPNs to any part of the planet. The cheap way to do this is by using Tor, but it would be decent of you to then keep your Internet use as much as possible to text as other people are paying.

Comment And this is NEWS? (Score 1) 193

Since RFIDs landed in passports it's been a fairly badly held secret that the only thing that limits the range of such devices is the quality of the antenna and the transceiver.

The only reason those terminals work on proximity is because they use crap aerials. All it takes is a larger aerial and you can get up to max 10 meter range (beyond that the S/N ratio becomes an issue).

The only real question is why card companies are pretending they don't know this.

When have you ever known a card company to limit its opportunity to get you into interest paying debt? Why else do you think they put a payment limit on NFC transactions?

Submission + - A perspective: developers vs. Microsoft (

jeditobe writes: Most people understand that Windows is used by a variety of people who have a variety of needs, ranging from corporate server to workstation to POS terminals to home PC and beyond. Most people accept that whenever Microsoft updates Windows, it has to balance the competing requirements to find some kind of workable compromise. There is however another set of competing requirements that many do not really register, even those that call themselves power users or are IT admins. It is a conflict between developers/programmers and Microsoft itself

Submission + - Android kernel GPL violation continues to unfold (

An anonymous reader writes: Prominent GPL violator, Chad Goodman, of Anthrax Kernels has published a new manifesto defending his shady practice of distributing Android kernels without sharing source.

Comment Re:...Evidon, who also owns Rapleaf? (Score 1) 78

Sadly, what you have done is not enough.

You missed Google fonts. Practically EVERY Wordpress template contains them as it's one of the few resources available to create a better design without having to license fonts for download. Google doesn't do that out of the gentleness of their non-existing hearts: every time you load a Wordpress page which uses Google fonts you create a hit on their fonts API.

Granted, if you nuke cookies they will not have a fully accurate lock on you as a person, but that's where geolocation comes in - Google does not HAVE to be accurate, all they need is a reasonable approximation. In principle we should ALL use the web via proxy, but it's ridiculous that I have to defend what is my RIGHT because setups like Google are allowed to break the law with impunity (at least in Europe)?

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