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Comment Re:Block on the phone. (Score 2) 72

I like the idea of moving as much decision making as possible to the phone, but I don't want a whitelist. That would require me to make the effort to whitelist people, plus having the prescient power of anticipating which strangers I want to hear from (e.g. whoever found my dog and called the number on her collar). I'm ok with getting a call from a stranger, as long as their "return address" isn't forged. If the return address is correct, and they are annoying, I can blacklist 'em. Allowing strangers to call me is the best default. Not perfect (it's easy to imagine some failure scenarios), but best.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 391

This just removes the fig leaf. .. Anyone who's serious about security wouldn't rely on the ISP being on their side-- one would already be using strong encryption etc. for all communication if one were actually concerned about security.

This really is the best way to look at things.

If people want "privacy laws" then those laws shouldn't be about what's not allowed to happen; the laws need to be about what is required to happen (the goal being to encourage common sense practices, because nobody can protect your privacy for you.). Make it so that businesses and people can't access government's network services without going through a darknet, for example. Do not allow any plaintext email communication with the government. Put into "REAL ID" that the issuing authority also has to sign the identified person's key and include the fingerprint on the ID card. Don't allow government money to be spent on computers containing any software which can't be audited and maintained. And so on.

Don't make anyone protect their privacy overall, but do make it so that they have to pay lip service to common sense in any interaction with government (and then let convenience and economy of scale take it from there; lazy people will then do the right thing). Or, just don't have privacy laws since, obviously, we don't really care. Pick one or the other.

Comment Re:Conflict of interest (Score 1) 234

So basically all the money the government has collected as fines and penalties is distributed evenly to all taxpayers. That money was collected as compensation for crimes against society, and this way it gets distributed back to society.

Even your seventh-grade Social Studies teacher wouldn't buy that as having any chance of happening. An empiricist would say that you're being farmed for tax money to be distributed to political cronies for favor and power and that this recalibration is a response to simmering unrest which is building due to the abuse.

They have the right idea in Britain - there they climb the pole, throw an old tire around the red light camera, fill it full of diesel fuel, and light it up. At least some of their citizens realize that red light cameras haven't really ever been about safety, except on the overt marketing literature.

Comment Re:Sunk cost fallacy (Score 1) 201

How does forcing them to use a different communication medium stop them from spreading ideas you disagree with?

If all the newspapers and TV stations in the world refuse to run a news story, then it'll prevent the story from spreading. It doesn't entirely stop it, obviously. Even before the Internet, there would have still been word of mouth. Still, it prevents it from spreading to the extent that it would have otherwise.

It seems to me that giving them the allure of being the 'stuff THEY don't want you to see' only helps promote it, instead.

You're conflating two things. You're talking about something like the Streisand Effect, where trying to hide information paradoxically causes it to spread. That can happen, although if reputable sources of information refuse to acknowledge it, it might still be relegated to the status of rumor. I'm talking about a different thing, which is more about whether credence and credibility are given to speech. Racism, for example, isn't a secret that people are curious about. No one is sitting at home thinking, "I heard something about this white supremacism. No one has ever been willing to advocate lynching, so the idea is so much more alluring now!"

It's more like, there are various people who are racist to varying degrees and in different ways. That's already in their lives. If the people around you who are credible members of the group you perceive as belonging to are all lynching people, talking about lynching, and advocating lynching, then there's a much greater chance that you'll end up lynching someone. If the suggestion of lynching elicits a response of "Hell no. That's fucked up. What's wrong with you?!" then you're less likely to lynch anyone. That's just how people work. If services like Twitter promote and amplify hate-speech, you're going to end up with more people thinking it's a normal and acceptable thing. If Twitter bans it and sends the message that it's unacceptable, then its prevalence lessens.

And yes, I know there will still be some backlash. There are white supremacists who are going to be irate any time you imply that white supremacy is not acceptable. There are some occasional assholes who will say the exact thing that that they think will be most offensive and get them the most attention. However, ultimately most people will generally adopt the social mores of whatever group they perceive themselves to be a part of. A responsible member of society tries to avoid and discourage horrible behavior and speech in order to encourage better social mores.

Comment Re:KeePass FTW! (Score 2) 126

Having to manually lookup the site in your manager, copy the password and paste it in the form is too cumbersome.

Right, so most users without an intergrated password manager will just use an easy-to-guess password.

LastPass isn't perfect, but as a system it improves overall web security to a large extent by enabling people to use very-high-entropy passwords.

People who want to copy and paste from Keepass (I do for very high security sites) should keep on doing that. But, for Pete's sake, I hope you're not using the totally insecure X11 clipboard.

Comment Re:So? (Score 1) 114

Can you actually still do anything, or have all useful features been removed?

I was going to ask which features had been removed this iteration! Restricting users options seems to be an ongoing trend with the Gnome.

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