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Comment The Vote Numbers were different than listed (Score 3, Informative) 547

The vote numbers the author listed are incorrect. It was 215 to 200. No democrats voted for it (like in the Senate) and a number of Republicans voted against it (just 7 more an it would have been killed). If the Senate vote had come after the House vote, it would have been killed for sure. Still want to know why it wasn't filibustered in the Senate. Here's the roll call for these numbers:


Comment Re:cash is getting controlled (Score 2) 270

Seems like we are on a path toward no anonymity financial transactions. Cash is slowly being squeezed with some of the 1% of the 1% talking of phasing it out. Lots of talk of getting rid of big bills because of the possibility of negative interest rates, crime (which is real, the world money supply of $100 bills has gone up massively over the last 20 years and its nearly all off-shore and is sourced through banks along the internal edges of the U.S. border). I would argue keeping our ability to have private transaction - however the world seems racing towards a place where anonymity is exterminated. Nice article regarding the trouble you can get into when withdrawing large amounts of cash in the U.S.:


Comment This suits Intel to an extent (Score 2) 419

Intel has been going along with what Microsoft has been doing here (Microsoft not building drivers for the last 2 gens of Intel x64 chips). AMD wrote Windows 7 drivers for their new Zen Ryzen architecture that just came out, specifically because Microsoft wouldn't - so AMD's customers could use Windows 7. Typical morally bankrupt choice by Microsoft executives, again...seems built into the corporate culture...and Intel wasn't writing drivers for Kaby Lake (and Skylake was a pain to get Win 7 to work on) so they were going along.

Makes me want to get an AMD system and use one of the non Microsoft update services (http://www.wsusoffline.net/), (http://www.autopatcher.net/forum/) just to give Microsoft the finger - although Linux with a Windows VM (for any Win32 have to have's) is probably the best way to give them the finger.

Comment Re:They have to protect the British Government (Score 1) 102

On the one hand you're correct, it appears the British vacuum up whatever the NSA / FBI don't already of U.S. citizen communications etc. and then pass that information back to each other - that is their five eyes partnership, getting around any legal monitoring your own citizen laws (violating the spirit / intent of such laws though).

However this just looks like the Judges are limited by the way the law was written that they are having to use - which says the whole thing has to happen on U.S. soil - when a good chunk didn't, cause the bad guys are remote. This is an instance of the law needing to be rewritten, slightly, to handle this. The likelihood of that seems fair to none, but that is the result of our corrupted political system and a separate, but related topic. JMHO...

Comment Assurances from U.S. officials (Score 5, Informative) 36

Because prior assurrances from U.S. officials, whether to foreign governments (Germany and spying on their Chancellor) or their own citizens, have turned out to be so trustworthy. Give me a break. E.U. officials should assume when it comes to privacy related commitments like this, they cannot trust anything the U.S. government says.

Comment Use a burner phone going out of country every time (Score 2) 627

The new administration is going to go for mass/personal surveillance even more than the prior administration (which was terrible) - count on these guys making a copy of every bit of personal data and messaging on that phone.

I'd get a burner phone with very limited personal data on it and use that for international traveling unless you don't mind the govt getting a copy of everything on your daily driver phone and saving it forever to be possibly used against you when the time comes (and the tyrant is right, we can elect anyone). JMHO....

Comment Re:Well, no shit! (Score 4, Interesting) 328

So well said. At this point other than 2 flavors of performance reduced (by form) Macbook Airs (Macbook and Macbook Pro) and the iMac (a laptop in a monitor), it appears their entire desktop line is dead and just waiting to be retired. Driving a Mac Pro as well (2012), but am coming around to the conclusion that I will probably be forced to replace it with a PC cause Apple has been choosing to abandon the PC market. JMHO....

Comment Solid fuel expertise is good for ICBM's (Score 1) 107

While solid fuel is not normally considered a good propellant for commercial launch operations, it is very good in case you ever have to field your own ICBM's. With The Donald talking about shaking things up with our allies (saying Japan and South Korea should have their own nukes), this is good expertise to have experience with.

Comment Always good to remember with Microsoft / Skype (Score 1) 177

Don't believe Microsoft ever swore off this:


With the new administration getting appointments with folks who support mass surveillance and a CIC who stated he wanted to be able to spy on his political enemies, you have to wonder who will be in his crosshairs over the next 4 years. Things in this area are probably not going to get better. Best to assume any Skype communication will be stored by government forever, for future use and decide if you want to use this product from this company - whatever the "features" are.

Comment Why'd it just do that & bad luck (Score 1) 143

I believe scraping the locks is considered a sign of bad luck for the ship. You really don't want a warship that has intermittent power.

Brings to mind an old story I heard from some airline pilots as FMS Flight Management Systems (very non user friendly) were integrated into airliners. Previously if something went wrong on an aircraft in flight one or both of the pilots would say something to the effect of "Oh $^it we've got to.....", but now its "Why'd it just do that?"

Sounds like it applies to the Zumwalt as well. Hopefully they're not running Windows on it.

Comment I wouldn't be too suprised (Score 3, Insightful) 277

Microsoft probably works with every government they sell their software into as far as spying on their citizens etc. (it only makes business sense since these guys control market access and Microsoft has never been a company to quibble over morals) - so I'm sure Microsoft and Mr. Putin's Russia were great partners up till now.

Now Putin may be wary that Microsoft gives preferential treatment to the NSA (since we know they worked closely with them before thanks to Snowden) etc. or he may just be doing this for domestic consumption (he appears to do alot of this) since their economy is in a tailspin.

Comment Make backup images & new VM's now (Score 1) 405

If you're running Windows 7 & 8.x and you have kept Microsoft's backported Win 10 monitoring updates out etc., be sure and backup your machines drives with a good imaging utility now - before we see what happens in October (so you have control and can restore).

If you're wanting to setup new Windows VM's, move to 8.x (supposedly security updates through 2023, at least before all this) or do fresh installs of 7, do them now (and make backup images) before October while you still have access to the hotfix's, remember Microsoft is going to gradually roll old hotfixes into the big update blobs and presumably they'll go away.

Long term though - the writing has been on the wall since 10 came out - Microsoft is a tyrant and you need to make a plan to move off of them if you don't want your PC (and all your data and communications on it) to be Microsoft's 8itch. Moving to a multiboot Linux and Windows setup - planning on a Windows VM in Linux for most Windows only needs with direct booting for games.

Comment Incorrect, other PC OS's aren't like this (Score 1) 275

While Microsoft's PR group would agree with what you said, if you look at most other PC OS's it doesn't work this way. Over on Apple in Mac OS X, they separate their security updates out from their other patches (and they don't have back ported data monitoring patches from Windows 10 in there). Over in OS X there isn't data monitoring to begin with. And the stuff that goes up to the cloud can be turned off with 2 checkboxes. Over in Linux you can do whatever you want.

The other side of this is that Microsoft will still have to test each fix individually prior to them going into a monthly lump - this is why they got rid of the service pack because of the double testing - in the end there will be little reduction in testing costs.

This is all about turning personal PC's into Microsoft's data monitoring tool which is worth alot of money to Microsoft for each personal PC every year - giving them control over your PC's data like an Android smartphone. As someone else noted the user data monitoring in Windows 10 and backported to Windows 7 & 8 in prior hotfixes (which could be avoided) is worth alot of money every year and after the October takeover Microsoft is gradually going to roll in the old hotfixes into the monthly updates over time and eliminate them. Microsoft's recent history requires no paranoia at all - they actively choose this for their customers:


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