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Comment Re:Price has other factors (Score 1) 41

I suspect that sentence was mangled between brain and keyboard, because a hallmark of cheap* phones is that they don't get updates, and the entire point of the sentence is to suggest that Android One devices are superior to regular cheap phones.

* Yeah, OK, let's be honest, almost all Android phones, cheap or not, don't get updated.

Comment Re:Best fucking part (Score 1) 588

So just to be clear, Britain and Sweden are organizing a very public extradition process so that the two nations can cooperate with a secret request by the US to (illegally, in both countries) kidnap Assange, transfer him to Saudi Arabia, and torture him there?

Why bother? Why not just let the US do the kidnapping on British soil?

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 1) 588

Only a total moron would come to the US expecting a fair trial, after literally being called a traitor worthy of the firing squad or life imprisonment by major politicians on broadcast TV. And only a total moron would expect an after the fact pardon either. Heck, only a moron would expect the state to even honor a plea bargain made, if the bargain was made while the State did not actually have Snowden in custody. So I doubt it will come to this. Only way I see Snowden ever returning to US soil is if a very progressive set of politicians take power 20 years from now, and they pardon him before he ever tries to return.

Comment Re:Varied opinions (Score 1) 588

First, I feel that Snowden should actually have his day in court and present his case before anything related to a pardon or commutation is discussed. The American people need to see and hear both his and the government's position and evidence in a more balanced, less sensational environment than the MSM gives us.

The only question that would be debated at trial, or on which any evidence could be presented, is whether or not Snowden stole secrets. The government has overwhelming evidence that he did, including his own repeated admission, to many people, in many forums, many of them recorded and nearly all of them perfectly admissible. There would be no arguments presented as to whether his decision was justified because it was in the public interest, because that has absolutely no bearing on his guilt under the Espionage Act. The only place that would be argued is in his lawyers' appellate pleadings.

So, a trial would do nothing to enable the public to hear the sides. The trial would consist of the government submitting into evidence many pieces of proof of Snowden's act, and Snowden's complete inability to disprove any of it. It's more likely he'd just plead guilty to avoid wasting a court's time -- and making a judge who has to sentence him angry.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 4, Informative) 588

IWould prefer a trial where he would be allowed to make his case. Manning wasn't afforded that opportunity either.

Huh? Manning was convicted - hence there was a trial. What use would another trial be?

Well for one it would be a trial against Snowden, not against Manning. And the request was for "a trial where [the defendant] would be allowed to make his case", not a secret trial by a Mickey Mouse court with a pre-determined outcome.

Under the offense Snowden has been charged with, they could have a fully public and perfectly fair trial but the outcome would be completely known in advance. The Espionage Act includes no provision for justification as a defense, so the only question to be tried is whether or not Snowden stole secrets, and there's absolutely no question that he did. Snowden's only hopes if he were to be tried are (a) that the trial judge would hand down a very light sentence, (b) to have his conviction appealed to the Supreme Court who might find that the Espionage Act's lack of a public interest defense constitutes an unacceptable infringement of freedom of speech or (c) a presidential pardon. (a) is unlikely because you can be sure the government would pick a "good" judge, and (b) is a crapshoot, and one that would leave him rotting in jail for years until SCOTUS ruled, assuming they ruled in his favor.

Snowden's best move is exactly what he's doing, staying away until some president decides to pre-emptively do (c). His current status likely also positions him better to generate ongoing publicity in opposition to government spying since it makes him a more controversial and/or tragic figure.

Comment Re:Your move, Assange.... (Score 1) 588

I think everyone's missing the major loophole here. I'm not sure there even is an extradition request from the US for Assange, but even if there is one, the laws an Australian citizen can be prosecuted for regarding US secrets are dubious.

The actual extradition request that actually matters, the one the UK has agreed to, is to Sweden. Assange doesn't mention that one.

As you point out, it's not offer for a some future negotiation of a treaty. And as others have pointed out, "Clemency" somehow only meaning "pardoning" isn't Assange's escape route either. But it'd be interesting if he was extradited to the US, and then promptly extradited to Sweden.

Comment Re:Sounds familiar (Score 1) 99

It's hard to charge a user for a back-end system.

Said no bank executive, ever.

FWIW, I've heard bank executives say pretty much exactly that. Typically they don't say "charge a customer", they couch it in other terms like "recoup investment", "generate revenues", etc., but they definitely say it, because it's true.

Comment Freedom is cheaper and safer in the long run. (Score 1) 96

So many /. posters won't do this eminently sensible thing. A story comes out about how copyright term extension hurts Americans and lots of people who read /. know that Disney was a big push behind the Sonny Bono Act, but /. won't stop giving Disney their money anytime a Star Wars movie comes out. Paramount alienates their core audience by not only not making more Star Trek TV show episodes but working to restrict or shut down fan-made shows. /. readers won't stop seeing Star Trek movies in the theaters (and probably already paid CBS in anticipation of the next Star Trek TV show). They also won't run free software because it might get in the way of their gaming. And I'd bet most of them own trackers (cell phones, mobile phones) despite the non-freedom and constant tracking. Privacy, security, and not handing over sovereignty to corporations are all things to be given lip service to here but not actually acted on by making wise choices and having the spine to say "no" on principled grounds.

Comment Re:Infrastructure vs Independence (Score 1) 452

You suck at brain-work. You've forgotten about all of the people who live on the east side of the mountain, but used to live on the west side of the mountain.

You've, instead, re-stated my point. The reason that the mountains aren't full of people is exactly because there was fuel to let them continue on to the other side.

No, he's quite right. Most people don't drive through mountain ranges on a regular basis. I don't, and I live in the mountains. And have an electric car.

Of course, if your lifestyle does include driving hundreds of miles on a regular basis, then EVs aren't for you. Not yet, anyway. But that doesn't change the fact that they work very well for lots of other people.

Comment Re:Potential military applications are really scar (Score 3, Funny) 76

George Washington and his patriot army had mad ninja skillz.

They did. The old story goes that Ethan Allen was brought back to England as a prisoner in the Revolutionary War, he was housed with a English merchant who to goad the patriot put a picture of George Washington up in the outhouse. Much to the merchant's chagrin, Allen approved. "Nothing," Allen said, "will make an Englishman shit faster than the sight of George Washington."

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