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Comment Is this really good or bad? (Score 3, Interesting) 74

Part of me wants to joke about China continuing to move to its own walled garden to control information flow. But then I think about the abysmal state of the media in the US, how most all major news organizations are now for-profit puppets pushing propaganda designed to enrich their owners, even to the point of demonstrating complicity in what would have been a major scandal (you see proof of election fraud and you fire the people collecting the data proving its occurring? really???), and I wonder if anything of value was lost. Media has gone from the "fourth branch of government", providing a historically critical check and balance, to yet another tool of those pulling the strings behind government. I wonder how many people realize the extent to which worldwide institutions are failing...

Comment Re:Heads will roll (Score 5, Interesting) 154

Historically, nations that follow these sorts of practices become self-limiting in their ability to cause widespread geopolitical problems, at least pushing it out a few generations. Other nations have stunted their technical and scientific growth massively in the past, for reasons which make little sense today, like China destroying the largest navy in the known history of the earth in 1525 and banning construction of ships with more than two masts.

Comment AI suspect, AI run offsite by Corporation? Nope... (Score 3, Interesting) 151

I love how every new cool thing HAS to live offsite in some cloud, i.e. in completely opaque manner by an increasingly remote corporation, that far more often than not views its cool thing as nothing more than yet another vector to collect data about its users and market that data to advertisers and aggregators, since that's becoming more profitable than selling cool things. We're becoming surrounded by untrustworthy devices and platforms funneling away all the data they can. Nobody really cares about knowing what sort of cat pictures we prefer, but the power and control possible by proper analysis of all of this data, even in aggregate, is becoming somewhat alarming. AI may have cool potential (I study it myself), but I'm worried about the modern application and misuse of tools facilitating deeper interactions and the analysis thereof... No major modern corporation (or government) has demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in any traditional sense, and many border on psychopathic...

Comment Re:Yes, good job FCC!!! (Score 4, Insightful) 135

Stingrays, (aka Cell-site simulators, IMSI catchers) also violate these FCC regulations and ARE in WIDE use by law enforcement in the US from the federal level all the way down to small town police departments and many misc. state and federal agencies. And I'd argue that intercepting, monitoring, and recording all cell activity in an area, almost always without a warrant, is a far more egregious crime than just jamming cell devices nearby. But its been made pretty clear the laws no longer apply to those who "enforce them" on the plebes...

Comment Re:Interesting problem... (Score 1) 183

IP is the biggest problem in being to operate even a small scale business without running a loss. UL (, CE) and FCC are relatively modest engineering and financial hurdles, they just require consideration during design and paying certification labs. For a simple product that's under $100k, been there many times, actually kind of fun (other than writing the check.) The problem is if you're making something really simple like an outlet or dimmer, it has to compete against the $10 Chinese devices with X10 or ZigBee support, and it costs YOU that much to have it made there and shipped here, so how do you make any money? You can't with such lower end devices. If you do manage to innovate sufficiently to charge $20, then thanks to IP knock-offs can appear here for $11 before your prototypes arrive you hoped to get certified. Meanwhile the knock-offs with fake UL, CE, and FCC stamps start appearing at WallMart, and when you try and get them to sell yours they inform you they already have a cheaper supplier. Who is a shell company owned by the company you contracted to make yours.

Comment Interesting problem... (Score 2) 183

As a developer of custom hardware and software, I'd LOVE to make products in this space. However:
1) Most people are trained to look for cheapest prices for devices, which are (for the most part) made in third-world sweatshops.
2) To provide a competitive price, you have to manufacture in volume in third-world sweatshops.
3) Due to lack of functioning IP protections in third-world countries, manufacturing there means instantly creating many competitors you cant compete with.
4) If you're willing to give up most of the world markets, you can still only compete against imports by spending lots on lawyers for ITC import games.

In their defense, "cloud" components provide a way to monetize the product in a manner somewhat resistant to third-world knockoffs and late shift runs to your competitors, as well as provide a user-friendly front end that you can tune without requiring the customers to update software, which is always a nightmare. That said, there is NO moral defense against the wholesale "all your data belongs to us, we can sell anything to anyone as long as we anonymize (sic) it" games that are played today. That said, for most modern corporations there are no such thing as morals.

I'm not aware of realistic ways to bring such products to market that are price competitive AND can provide sufficient income stream to recover initial investments, cover ongoing operating costs for a small team, and turn even a modest profit. Not in this world.

Comment Re:Welcome to the 1990s, part 2: (Score 3, Interesting) 140

Heh, THIS.

Anyone involved in the pitching or management of a VC funded startup will tell you - the purpose of the company is NOT to build a company, the purpose of the company is to create an acquisition target.

The VCs will actively pushback against product release, even against investing too much in building product over building hype to improve the value as an acquisition target.

Comment Re:No shit (Score 4, Interesting) 151

Your example is actually incorrect. According to current interpretation of the Commerce Clause, there is no such thing as a local market exempt from federal control, as under the precedent of Wickard v. Filburn; SCOTUS: "[b]ut even if appellee's activity be local and though it may not be regarded as commerce, it may still, whatever its nature, be reached by Congress if it exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce and this irrespective of whether such effect is what might at some earlier time have been defined as 'direct' or 'indirect". And that word "substantial", despite sounding so reasonable, was applied in its initial case to a single farmer who chose to feed his own cows his own grain instead of buying feed, so "substantial" under current precedent has already been scoped down to include things you do on your own land with your own property. I'll state again - the Constitution has been reinterpreted to mean nearly the opposite of what it actually says, in practice. You are free to be a consumer of approved goods you use in approved ways without asking permission, but you have few remaining unencumbered freedoms even on your own land. If you feel otherwise you aren't paying attention.

Comment Re:No shit (Score 1) 151

True, which is why the Constitution (and its Bill of Rights) also enumerates things the entire Government is not allowed to pass laws that infringe upon, which includes states, cities, municipal tax boundaries. Of course, those too have been reinterpreted into near meaninglessness, in most cases by having the evolving official interpretations of their plain English made so narrow and Legalistic that they no longer apply most of not all of the time...

Comment Re:No shit (Score 5, Interesting) 151

I love your comment! You know, that is EXACTLY what the original intent of the US Constitution was - the founders essentially said 'here's a short list of what the Federal government is allowed to do, anything else is up to State legislatures to decide for themselves'. And since then, through a myriad of little cuts, the Constitution has been reinterpreted (as a "living" document) to mean the opposite, and anyone talking about State's Rights is now called a Racist (Because state's rights were cited during slavery debates, therefore all State's Rights are racist, see what they did there?) The Commerce Clause has been interpreted so widely that the Feds can claim authority over almost anything (Wickard v. Filburn: you can't feed your own wheat to your own animals if we tell you not to, as your production of wheat could influence the supply of wheat, which is sold across state boundaries, and therefore we can tell you what to do.) FISA lets our secret tribunals order anyone to do anything without even letting them talk to their own lawyer about it, and thanks to the latest interpretation of the All Writs Act now any court can order anyone to do anything. Welcome to the new definition of "freedom". And pick up that can.

Comment Re:Might not be smart to quit (Score 2) 417

Technically it could be cracked using existing techniques that involve depotting and e-beam probing of its chips, but we all know they aren't interested in the data on THIS phone, they want a skeleton key to crack everybody else's phone, ideally one that returns their handy "plug in cable and instantly download everything of interest" tool that so many LEOs are in love with.

Comment Re:Don't blame every individual (Score 1) 128

If you have honor, and your employer does something deplorable, and its evident that such action is now considered normal, the only honorable reaction is to QUIT THAT JOB. I've done so, others have done so. Anyone still working for the FBI, NSA, or most divisions of the DOJ is demonstrating that they have decided that it is acceptable for the government to routinely commit crimes that were once considered more egregious than the majority of the acts of the criminals they now claim to be pursuing. Anyone still working at those agencies has decided that being part of the machine is more important to them than their honor.

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