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Comment Re:Why? "Signal not an option for many people"... (Score 1) 69

The story may be different if Signal was a federated protocol with entirely decentralized servers (like email).

However, it's not, and there's a single point of failure that can be blocked.

WhatsApp became popular and widespread before many repressive governments realized what it could do, so they can't block it without widespread outcry.

Not so with Signal, which is blocked, and therefore not an option.

Submission + - President Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning's Sentence 1

bbsguru writes: From NBC News:
President Obama has commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence officer, who is serving 35 years for giving classified information to Wikileaks.

The decision, made in the last days of his presidency, means that Manning can be freed May 17, seven years into her sentence.

More than 117,000 people signed a petition asking Obama to cut short the sentence. Fugitive leaker Edward Snowden said in a tweet that if Obama could only free one person, it should be Manning.

Submission + - After MuckRock FOIA suit, CIA puts declassified database online (

v3rgEz writes: For the first time ever, the CIA has posted its database of declassified documents online for anyone to view. The publication of the approximately 12 million pages of historical documents was in response to a lawsuit by FOIA site MuckRock, which had won a court order for the documents to be put on the Internet. Previously, the documents had been technically public, but only accessible to those willing to drive to a few federal facilities, where usage was closely monitored via CCTV. You can search the database here.

Submission + - Obama commutes Chelsea Manning sentence (

techtech writes: President Barack Obama has commuted Chelsea Manning's sentence for leaking documents to Wikileaks in 2010.
The 29-year-old transgender US Army private, born Bradley Manning, will be freed on 17 May instead of her scheduled 2045 release.
She was sentenced to 35 years in 2013 for her role in leaking diplomatic cables to the anti-secrecy group.
The leak was one of the largest breaches of classified material in US history.

Submission + - FTC Dismantles Two Huge Robocall Organizations

Trailrunner7 writes: Continuing its campaign against phone fraud operations, the FTC has dismantled two major robocall organizations that the commission alleges were making hundreds of millions of calls over the course of several years to consumers who were on the Do Not Call registry.

The FTC filed complaints against two separate groups of defendants, the leaders of which have both been involved in previous legal actions for robocalling operations. The defendants each controlled several different corporate entities that were involved in selling home security systems, extended auto warranties, and other products through repeated automated phone calls. Many of the calls were to numbers on the DNC list, a violation of the telemarketing regulations.

The two main defendants in the complaints are Justin Ramsey and Aaron Michael Jones, and in separate actions, they and many of their co-defendants have agreed to court-ordered bans on robocall activities and financial settlements. The FTC alleges that Ramsey directed an operation that made millions of robocalls a month.

Comment When they support Apple TV... I may think of it. (Score 1) 114

Dear Amazon: You support practically every major device.

The Apple TV fits my family's use case the best. I want you to take my money, but I'm only going to do it if I can actually use Amazon Video with it.

Even if it's a "crippled" version which doesn't allow on-device purchasing and rentals.

But there's no point in paying for a service I can't use on my device.

At the end of the day, I only have so many HDMI ports on my TV, and my family doesn't want to deal with the added complexity of an HDMI switch and yet another device.

Comment Re:Which one? (Score 1) 296

All excellent points, and we could no doubt discuss how humans would fare in the midst of a Shoggoth feeding event.

Who is to say it's a feeding event that humans need to fear? We don't know a lot about Shoggoths; for all we know, they are more interested in vivisection than feeding.

Or, for that matter, they may just want to kill us and move on. We certainly have no issues with killing mice & insects, with no thought to eating them.

I think we can both agree that a human interaction with a Shoggoth will not end well for the human.

The question is: How big will the mess be?

Comment Re:Which one? (Score 1) 296

I'm not sure I agree.

During William Dyer's expedition in 1931, the Shoggoths didn't appear to cause any injury to anybody on the expedition -- though in fairness, the survivors high-tailed it away as soon as they started hearing the Shoggoths coming. On the other hand, something even older than the Shoggoths nearly exterminated the entire expedition.

It's also not clear that Shoggoths are of extra-terrestrial origin; they may have originated on Earth.

Comment Re:Road Hazard (Score 2, Insightful) 162

If everyone else on the road is going 5-10 over the speed limit

What heavenly part of the world are you driving in?

My local observation is that there are always a significant minority drivers who insiste on driving 5-10 MPH below the speed limit, and get road-ragey at anybody passing them.

Comment Re:Coming soon to a US city near you... (Score 3, Interesting) 166

Depends on your geography.

Some cities get inversions, which bottles up all of the cities pollution for weeks.

In my hometown, I've seen it so bad visibility was 10 ft/3 meters and you could taste the air.

Even in a deep red state, people can care a lot about clean air.

Especially when it prevents you from driving.

Comment Re:What's the game about anyway? (Score 3, Informative) 221

No. It's fairly normal Mario game. The only "twist" is that you don't have much of a speed control.

There are "pause" tiles, and tiles which move you backwards. Otherwise, Mario walks to the right constantly.

It's a "one button" game -- the player can jump. It's a fun game, but you can't go backwards and get every coin, kill every enemy, destroy every block, and find every secret in one playthrough.

It's a godsend for gamers who only have one thumb free. (feeding a newborn baby can get... dull.)

It's well made -- easily up to Nintendo's normal standards of excellence. The interaction to "sign up" or "log in" to a Nintendo account is shockingly well done: It's hard to describe, but you know how many games make you switch to your mobile browser, sign up for an online account, go to your email, get the validation code, go back to the web page, validate, and finally go back to the app and log in (again). Nintendo went way above and beyond, and made the process the most smooth, fluid experience I've ever seen on any platform.

I love it, and spent the $10 in-app-purchase on it.

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