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Comment Geoblock my house (Score 2) 143

I think the FAA has greatly underestimated the chaos that will ensue when the air is full of drones that can buzz your house and invade your privacy. So why not allow individual property owners to have their property geoblocked up to a certain altitude, say 500 feet. I can have my phone listed in the federal Do-Not-Call Registry. Why not have a federal geoblock registry to keep the pesky things away?

Comment Acer Aspire Cloudbook, $151 (Score 3, Informative) 187

I bought 3 of these. 1.6 GHz Braswell Celeron N3050 processor, actually better than the new version that recently replaced it.

2GB DDR3 RAM, Ok that's just barely enough but it does work ok
32GB flash memory
This machine is totally silent, fanless and no hard drive. Well built with a good Intel 802.11ac wireless chip.

This was Microsoft's attempt to compete in the education market against Chromebooks. It failed because even 32 bit Windows 10 is too bulky to run well on this machine. I replaced Windows with 64 bit Ubuntu Linux using the XFCE desktop. I don't know if Unity will run on this machine but I don't like Unity anyway.

It's best to install Linux with the UEFI boot left in place. Ubuntu works ok with UEFI... you just have to follow the online instructions.

Comment Just a little math problem (Score 1) 497

From the last sentence of the intro: "At the rate of 20 to 50 total Mars trips, it will take anywhere from 40 to 100 years to achieve a fully self-sustaining civilization with one million people on Mars."

What Musk actually said was that, with 100 people per vehicle, it would take 10,000 vehicle trips to move the 1 million people to Mars. Since Mars and Earth are in the proper launch window about every 2 years, there would be 20 to 50 launch windows in the 40-100 year period he is modeling. If you want to do 10,000 vehicle trips in 20 windows (40 years) you would need an average of 500 vehicles, all launching at roughly the same time at each launch window (this explains Musk's reference to the video sequence from Battlestar Galactica when all the shipsgo to light speed at once). If you had more vehicles or more passengers per vehicle, it could be done in fewer launch windows. The math is obvious but the intro seems to make it as confusing as possible.

Comment Re:They are talking about new laws. (Score 3, Insightful) 367

And what has happened since then? 20 years ago we had not had a major terrorist attack that killed 3000 people in New York. Since then we have had the Patriot Act and secret FISA courts. Politicians are afraid to stand up for civil liberties because they will be branded as "soft on terrorism". It's going to take courage and effort by all of us to stop the gradual removal of our privacy.

Comment They are talking about new laws. (Score 5, Insightful) 367

The "adult conversation" the FBI says it's planning is a call for criminalization of any encryption that the FBI can't break. They want a back door and if you won't give it to them, they will put you in jail. Or use the powers of the NDAA to hold you without trial or "rendition" you to a country like Egypt where you can be tortured without anyone noticing.

This is an FBI which not only has broken the law regarding surveillance of US citizens, but then lied about it to Congress. The FBI may be correct that some terrorists will succeed because their communications are encrypted. That is better than living under an FBI shadow government that thinks it is above the law. We don't have to speculate about the intent of the FBI. We already know they broke the law and lied to Congress. And still have not been prosecuted for it.

Comment Re: Except he wasn't (Score 5, Interesting) 236

The attempts to smear Snowden continue to this day. Within days of the leaks becoming public, all the news outlets were telling us that he was a college dropout and that his girlfriend was a poledancer. They didn't mention that the NSA was paying him $200,000 per year and that his girlfriend was a ballet dancer who did pole dancing as part of performance with an acrobatic troupe in Hawaii.

Snowden should get the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his defense of the Constitutional protection of the 4th Amendment.

Comment Except he wasn't (Score 5, Interesting) 236

Snowden worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, a contractor to the NSA, at the time he leaked classified documents. Since he was NOT a government employee, he is not covered by the court decision mentioned in the article. Of course, Judicial Watch knows that.

And if Snowden HAD been a government employee, he would have been covered by the Federal Whistleblower law and would not be at risk of prosecution for the leaks, since he proved that the US government was breaking the law.

Comment Re:Google Voice (Score 1) 46

My cell phone is an 8 year old Motorola flip phone. But even if I had a new iPhone or Android, I wouldn't be able to run my favorite version of Linux on it. Also, for anyone signing up for Social Security, a cell phone has a screen and keyboard that are too small and too limited in performance. And too expensive.

Comment Re:Google Voice (Score 2) 46

No, you just have to have some other number in order to sign up for a google voice number. It could be a friend's cell number or a POTS number, or a VOIP number. They do this to prevent someone from hogging a huge quantity of Google Voice numbers.

The verification can be by text or it can be verbal. They robocall your phone and tell you verbally the two digit code to enter into your computer.

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