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Comment Re:Gee, I wonder... (Score 1) 732

Armchair quarterbacking the intelligence agencies is so easy, isn't it? Perhaps you should read more history and some primary sources like Michael Hayden's book for some additional perspective.

The fuck, dude? What are you disputing? And stay classy with the downmods, while you're at it. It's so charming.

Comment Re:Gee, I wonder... (Score 1, Redundant) 732

Let's compare/contrast the historical veracity of information released by Assange/WikiLeaks with that of any US intelligence service, shall we?

Anyone who claims that the Podesta emails were not real is delusional. There's no real dispute over that.

Anyone who believes that Assange isn't biased against Clinton is also delusional. He also shows a disturbingly willful blindness to find any problems with the state of civil liberties and human rights in Russia—which, again, is not really subject to controversy.

Anyone who believes that Assange can be certain about the origin of the Podesta emails doesn't understand chain of custody. His de facto imprisonment in the Peruvian Embassy makes it physically impossible for him to objectively, empirically verify any claims of provenance. If this were evidence for the courts, he wouldn't be allowed to testify as to the provenance of the emails.

Anyone who has examined the pattern of overt and covert activities as already detailed by public domain sources that has been judged with a high or a moderate level to confidence to originate from the Russian state would be foolish to deny that there isn't a strong preponderance of evidence that yes, Russia conducted an anti-Clinton (dis)information campaign.

On the record print and TV interviews with avowed state-paid Russian trolls who profess a strong preference for Trump is probitive of a classic old-school dezinformatsiya effort. It's something that both sides used frequently in the Cold War. RT's overt anti-Clinton editorial slant is obvious, but in itself only contributory, not probitive. Assange's frequent appearances on the channel are evidence of nothing more than a bit of narcissism on his part.

The fact that the APT28 modus operandi is consistent with well-documented spying activities against the Bundestag as well as the TV5 cyber-attack is one plank. The fact that APT28 code was almost exclusively developed in a Russian language build environment, in the Moscow time zone is damning. The fact that that they used of as an URL-obfuscator—and then committed a rooky OPSEC slip-up that allowed investigators to see what other individuals were targeted by the same account—is compelling. The fact that APT28 source has been found in the wild doesn't diminish the likelihood that this particular use of it originated from the Russian state. The use of encryption keys and certs pretty much makes it impossible for third parties to use the software without significant—and obvious—re-engineering. There is no evidence of such changes. In fact, at least one cert used in the Bundestag hacks was re-used in this effort.

The evidence suggesting that Guccifer 2.0 is almost certainly not Romanian, and is probably a Russian speaker, is not probitive, but it's strongly contributory to a conclusion that the account is a sock puppet, probably linked to a Russian source.

The USA intelligence community lacks credibility. It has relied far too much on its own much-sullied authority to make its arguments. But its credibility is laughable, and its patent insincerity and systematic dishonesty is demonstrated by a mountain of evidence. The fact that their assertions are consistent with open-source evidence indicates, however, that they're not lying about everything—this time. That does nothing to diminish the fact that they're driving a clear agenda, possibly because they don't trust Donald Trump and they feel he's compromised, or at least willing to put personal interest before national interest.

Conclusion: It's not necessary to believe the CIA/NSA/FBI to conclude that there is a concerted Russian effort to subvert the integrity of key aspects of American democratic institutions, including the US Presidential election. The Russian state has motive, means, opportunity and there is sufficient evidence to suggest that, in absence of any more compelling explanation, they have probably been at it for quite some time. Did they 'hack the election'? No. Did they sway it? They certainly put a lot of time and resources into the effort. Did they change the outcome? Probably not. The single event that correlates most closely with an actual swing in the electorate is James Comey's letter to Congress concerning the Weiner laptop. Did they help swing it? Almost certainly, yes. There's a compelling argument to be made that if countless sources—with Russian prominent among them—hadn't worked so hard to poison the Clinton well, the Comey announcement wouldn't have been so decisive.

Comment Re:Zuck 2020! (Score 1) 181

As a small government conservative: laws.amendments that restrain the power of government are great! "Centuries of precedent; personal conscience, ethics, tradition" are worthless for protecting us from assholes. Of course, so is the Constitution once there are enough asshole in the SCOTUS.

That last sentence is particularly telling. When you come right down to it, after you've stripped away the puffery and pageantry, laws really are just a set of rules we agree to abide by because the benefit to society is greater when we do. They're really nothing more than articles in the social contract that Hobbes defined way back when.

And as you rightly note, they are designed as asshole repellent. Their purpose is largely not to set norms, but to curb extraordinary, often sociopathic behaviour. Lawless societies, such as remote rural areas in the developing world, are largely peaceful and orderly. Most people don't steal, even when they can. Most people don't fight or kill each other, even though they could. But in those rare cases when someone does transgress, it can cause huge disruptions to the village. A killing can result in reprisals and, often enough, collective punishment, including arson attacks against entire families.

And that's when the rule of law comes into play. Its purpose, to a large degree, is to objectify and depersonalise the process of dealing with situations of injustice or inequity, in order that the effects don't upset the social order.

But it's only one tool among many. Personal conscience, peer pressure, social opprobrium and—yes, tradition—are extremely strong forces when they're brought to bear on non-sociopaths. That's why we have them. And that's why they succeeded in restraining even extremely pathological individuals like Richard Nixon (ultimately, and admittedly with the threat of legal action impending).

The fact that Donald Trump, and his sycophants on this site, don't seem to see the merit of such restraints is not a commentary on the effectiveness of tradition, and abstract social constructions such as ethics and public morality. It's not a commentary on them; it's an indictment of the man himself. This is precisely what people mean when they talk about having a presidential temperament. It's the willingness of the wolf to allow himself to be constrained by sheep.

And I know you're turning your Galtian profile to the sky right now, and laughing in derision at the metaphor. But it worked for a couple of centuries. You can philosophise all you like. It fucking worked. Until now.

What changed? Not the law, not the value of ethics, morals and traditions. What changed was the man in the Oval Office.

Comment Re:Zuck 2020! (Score 0, Flamebait) 181


I don't recall any laws being changed in this regard. Trump is only pushing boundaries that were never really there. If you dislike it, get your Congressional leaders to pass a law against it.

Yes, because the law is the only possible constraint. Ignore centuries of precedent; personal conscience, ethics, tradition and public morality were imaginary all along! It's the law or nothing!

I bet you're a small government conservative, too, aren't you?

Comment Re:Road Hazard (Score 1) 162

You do realize that Germany has no speed limits except 'safe and reasonable'. In fact, driving slower than the existing traffic is what causes many of the crashes on the Autobahn. They have places where it is illegal to stop

You are about 30 years behind the times. While Germany has no universal speed limit and stopping is illegal everywhere on the Autobahn, they have speed restrictions on a growing number of sections. Currently about 35% of the Autobahn system has speed limits, which in practice means that you have unregulated sections interrupted by short stretches limited to 100 or 120 kph. If you care about speed limits, the times when you could dial in cruise control at 170 kph are mostly over. In many places where the highway is damaged, instead of repairing it, they stick an 80 or 100 kph sign on it and call it a day.

In fact accident rates in Germany are now higher than in the neighbouring countries which have universal speed limits, precisely because speed limits in Germany come in short stretches and you end up accelerating and decelerating a lot. A universal speed limit at 130 kph would probably lead to better traffic flow.

Comment Re:Firefox...hmmm (Score 5, Funny) 154

I wouldn't say splitting stuff into different processes is wrecking Firefox.

Every single grizzled, grey-haired veteran of the Browser Wars is putting on his best Comic Book Guy expression right now, and saying, "Multi-process vs multi-threaded, is it? You are discussing the virtues of a multi-process software application from a security perspective? How... interesting."[*]

[*] The decade-long turf-war between supporters of multi-process architectures and adherents of the multi-threaded heresy is legendary, for those who survived it. It consisted largely of a bunch of jaded old fucks warning each succeeding generation of new kids that multi-threaded sounds like a better optimisation, but if you just live with the extra few cycles required to spawn each new process, you get software that's way easier to manage. And successive generations of way-too-fucking-clever comp-sci grads yelling, 'Fine, gramps, but it won't matter how secure your apps are, 'cause no one's gonna buy them!!' and then rage-fragging a few more newbs before going back to coding their magnum opus. Then the SystemD singularity did for the Linux community what Trump did to the electorate, and all the old fucks quietly barred the door to their cabin in the woods, and cleaned their shotgun.[**]

[**] And then Netscap^H^H^H^H^H^HFirefox announces that multi-process is cool and more secure.

Comment Re:Federation (Score 1) 44

If Marlinspike would stop being such a prick, and embrace Federation, this issue would be solved so easily.

Here's a good discussion of his rationale for not federating. I'm not particularly sold on his stance, though I agree that the experience of trying to design by committee is generally only for the masochistic.

But while I was reading his excuses—er, argument—I realised that his entire point boiled down to 'It's hard!' That perfectly fine, as far as it goes. And because I'm not willing to say, 'Fuck you Moxie, I'm going to show you how it's done!' I don't really have a lot of weight to put against that.

But I'm actually a little disappointed to hear this from a developer/designer whom I genuinely admire. There were a couple of times as I read through his objections to federation where I found myself muttering, 'How did you not anticipate that?'

And he may bitch about the fact that IPv6 may be impossibly difficult to roll out universally, but he's drastically undersold what has been achieved on top of a federated system as archaic as IPv4. See, his problem is that he wants homogeneity to reach too high up into the user experience. And in doing so, he's taking away from user choice, as well as leaving the entire system open to physical take-down by governments. That last part kind of matters to journalists like me.

Comment Re:We knew this going in (Score 5, Insightful) 588

Global warming will kill us, but, mass poverty will kill us sooner.

A) No, poverty won't kill us. Income inequity and the gutting of health, education and social services will kill some people—far too many, to be sure— but mostly it will reduce the quality of life for a generation or so. Undesirable? Yes. Deadly? Not for most people.

B) The reason for climate action today is not because it's going to affect us today. It's because every day of delay compounds the problem. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you're the type of person who changes their oil regularly and sticks to the vehicle maintenance schedule, because ignoring things until they become critical is costly and stupid....

C) If I have to carry B)'s analogy any further, there's really no point in even responding.

Not everyone assumes Trump is unalloyed evil. But Breitbart, on the other hand, is deliberately indulging in the kind of corrupt, amoral behaviour you claim that Donald Trump needs to deal with as his first priority.

[editor's note: Here is where the poster loses his shit at the willful blindness of this defender of the indefensible.]

In layman's terms, they fucking lie and lie and lie about climate change, and you can't get that through your fucking head. Instead, you defend the very fucking liars you claim are ruining this globe by pooh-poohing the fact that they fucking lied and claiming that the thing they fucking lied about isn't that big a deal.

Here's the problem with that situation: If you're so fed up with political corruption, why the fuck are you defending the very people who are perpetuating the problem? And don't give me any 'but Hillary' shit. I don't give a flying fuck about Hillary. I don't care if she's the devil. I am specifically concerned that you, sir, are defending liars in your paean to the need to end a culture of corruption. Because I don't fucking get it.

Comment Re:Doubleplusgood! (Score 1) 394

Said in every locker room every day. And not just in the guy's locker room - women are just the same when guys aren't around.

I say this with all the respect this statement deserves: Fuck you it is.

As someone who's spent more time in locker rooms than a lot of you, I have never once in my life heard someone bragging about forcing himself on women, and that 'they let you do it.' And you know what? Even if in some twisted world this actually is the reality, it's still fucking sick. It's describing criminal behaviour. Someone grabs any woman's pussy where I'm in a position to see it, they're going to be physically restrained until the cops come. Not kidding.

If you're cool with someone acting like a total asshole to someone else, then you need to check your attitude, because only an asshole would think that was alright. So fuck you, and fuck your normalisation of criminal behaviour. That's my sister, asshole.

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