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Comment Re:The Peoples Plane!! (Score 1) 151

Communism seems like a good idea in theory. However human instinct comes into play.

Same can be said of literally every governmental or economic structure. They're all based on everyone adhering to some idealized psychology that always has exceptions. Capitalism is based on the ideas that people will act rationally, in their own self-interest. This is great for selfish bastards, and selfish bastards tend to rise to the top in that system. Look at Washington and Wall Street, and tell me whether you think it's a good plan to put selfish bastards in charge.

Comment Re:Why would Putin fear Clinton? (Score 1) 763

You assume a modest lifestyle. Knowing he had such a bankroll and spending $1M more a year than his income would explain turning $150M into $100M over 50 years. You can not demonstrate business failure by accumulated wealth.

I don't care if his results are due to irresponsible business decisions or an extravagant, indulgent lifestyle. Neither of those are traits I want in a politician with the keys to my tax dollars.

You keep making this argument that he might be the great businessman he claims to be (except no one can ever know, because you need all kind of financial reports that he's not legally required to release), but that he's just really irresponsible in his personal life. You're not helping.

Comment Re:Cheesy 80's movie excuse (Score 1) 763

Snowden's data dump has been released piecemeal because Snowden and whats his name the journalist (Glen Greenwald?) knew that if all of it was released at once it would cause worldwide upheaval and the fall of multiple governments.

Snowden's data were released piecemeal because the public has a short attention span. If you tell them a shocking story today, there will be great outrage, it will be talked about on the Sunday talk shows, and then people move on to next week's outrage. To effect actual change, you need a drumbeat of outrage that burns for months without being so predictable to induce fatigue. The extended trickle has the side benefit of providing the reporters with a consistent stream of page views and repeat visitors.

What has changed since Snowden released the data he had? Pretty much nothing (in the US.)

Well, the PATRIOT act bulk metadata collection program ended. Of course, NSA has said it was ending anyway, and they didn't really need it, having already taken up a different strategy under different authority to get mostly the same information. Oh, and there's a 'public privacy advocate' supposed to argue against the NSA when they go before the FISC - a sort of public defender in the otherwise one-sided, kangaroo court.

Comment Re: Cheesy 80's movie excuse (Score 1) 763

An empty ballot is not an effective message. The least interested people will see "Winner took 51% of electoral college." Slightly more interest is required to get people to pay attention to "Winner took 51% of the popular vote." And we've all learned that electoral college is such that the winner can have a minority of the popular vote. Much more attention is required to get to the percentage of "undervotes." An actual vote for a 3rd party takes voting percentage away from the major candidates. "Winning" with 40% of the popular vote would be a pretty serious message.

Comment Re:How to escape being compelled to decrypt your d (Score 1) 314

Maybe if they see that they can't force you to supply a password, they won't "keep in you jail for a while."
Please help refine this by pointing out shortcomings of this scheme.

You overestimate the stupidity of law enforcement. No one will believe you have data that you can not access or can not get access to.

You underestimate the patience of law enforcement. If they get to the point where they feel the need to compel you to divulge your encryption key, they'll get a court order. The current record for detention for refusing to comply with a court order is 14 years. Most people don't hold out that long. They start getting worried that their boss will fire them, or at least stop paying them, after a month or two. If you legitimately can't decrypt the data they want, then the court order is as good as a life sentence ("Life" sentences average about 8 years served).

Comment Re:Encryption (Score 2) 314

In the UK they can detain you for hours on a whim.

Hours, you say... Whole hours and more than one of them? What a terrible inconvenience: that would probably go right through tea.

The US, outside of border crossings, can generally detain people for 2 days without specifying charges, although any detention without charges carries risk of civil retribution. If you decline to provide encryption keys, you may be held for months Not proven for years, yet, but 'contempt of court' is generally used to lock people up until they do what the judge asks (current record is 14 years). I see no reason why they wouldn't hold border-crossers, already subject to substantial rights exceptions, in just the same way. Contempt of court requires a judge's order, so ICE would have to go to a judge (presumably FISA) and explain why decrypting that specific device is an interest of justice/security, but I don't think anyone believes that would be very difficult.

Comment Re:Encryption (Score 1) 314

Constitutional rights belong to citizens, not the turf. If the person is a US citizen, the US government is required to respect his rights whether he's on US soil or not.

At least for the bill of rights, constitutional rights belong to "the people" or anyone who happens to be interacting with the state or the courts. You don't have to be a citizen to earn your rights, you get them just for being human.

The bill of rights limits the government's power to exercise its authority over humans. There's some exception when the state interacts with foreigners on foreign soil, mostly because the government doesn't technically have any authority or jurisdiction in that space. eg, "extraordinary rendition" is basically kidnapping and CIA operatives have prosecuted for it.

Comment Re:Encryption (Score 1) 314

That's not what he's saying. You must have a phone for business. Fine. We all get that. It doesn't have to be your phone. Even if your employer offers you perks in exchange for using a device you own. you always have the choice to buy and carry a second, personal phone for personal use, for things you don't want subject to corporate search, or for things you don't want to carry through border crossings.

We expect this behavior of our public officials: of course they conduct business using only 'official' devices, accounts, and servers, and of course they never use those devices for campaigning or personal business. Sure it's inconvenient, maybe even expensive, to carry two or three phones, but if your life spans multiple privacy domains, maybe that expense is justified.

Comment Re:Questionable (Score 5, Insightful) 128

Public support for nationalizing airport security in 2001 was based on the claim that private airport 'rent-a-cops' were inherently underpaid, under-trained, and effectively responsible to no one. Nationalizing airport security was based on the notion that making those people Federal Officers at higher salaries would attract higher quality workers, subject them to rigorous and closely supervised training programs, and make their leadership directly answerable to national security leadership.

Turns out that the government hasn't made them "officers," in the sense of secret service or FBI, doesn't actually pay them any better, and is really struggling to train them faster than they quit. They do seem to have better documentation of their failures, so I guess that's a win of sorts. The "small government" party, who controlled the presidency, senate, and house at the time, forgot that they don't believe in nationalizing private industries, and now they have a fine demonstration of why.

Comment Re:Impressive (Score 1) 106

What are the odds such different technologies would cost exactly the same to the consumer?

The price is not a function of costs, as you mistakenly believe, but of the balance between supply and demand.

Price is a function of supply and demand, so if you artificially restrict the supply, then you can raise price arbitrarily high without affecting the cost. This is how you profit. In an actual, free market, a large difference between market price and cost of service should attract new businesses until the market price is close to the cost of service. This is known as an efficient market. The US telecom market is horribly inefficient, as witnessed by cable providers gross profit margin of 97%.

Comment Re:My tax dude is more efficient than my doctor (Score 1) 325

To be fair, the tax code is a complex document with some 4000 pages of specific and detailed rules. By comparison, the human body is a construction of some 40 trillion cells, the functions and rules for which science is still trying to work out.

Tax accountancy is not brain surgery.

Comment Re:My PCP has a "scribe!" (Score 1) 325

My doctor types in what I am there fore, print outs the prescriptions (so they are readable) and papers for the insurance. If he would have a scribe, I would ask that scribe to leave.

If you imagine that your records are only seen by people who are in the room at the time the diagnosis is presented to you, then either you have a very small, backwards and inefficient doctor, or you're very naive. The part of his office that collects payments from the insurance company and matches them with payments will see your name, diagnosis, and treatments. The part of the insurance company that receives your paperwork will see your name, diagnosis, and treatments. If you're happy to pay your doctor $150/hour to fill out insurance forms for you, good on you, I guess. I'd rather pay the $150/hr doc for medical care and let a $20/hr transcriptionist do the paperwork.

Comment Re:Most "automation" isn't, just like this. (Score 5, Insightful) 325

So, the US spends 18% of its GDP on healthcare, but that only covers part of the population. Meanwhile those countries who only spend 6-9% of GDP on healthcare manage to cover everyone. So, that 18-6 cost disparity is actually understated

This is your argument that quality of care in the US is actually the best in the world?

I'm not really sure I care that a US millionaire can get outstanding care, if he can only do so at the cost of forcing the rest of the country to get 3rd-world quality care. I'm sure appropriately rich people in those other countries also get better than local average care. It's ridiculous to compare the quality of care available to the few Americans who can afford it to the quality of care available to an average 'socialized' medicine citizen.

Comment Re:Bull Stuff (Score 2) 325

I didn't ask for it, I want the gov't the H out of the healthcare inner workings. I'm just fine with written paper records, and see no advantage to having them in a computer - just lots of disadvantages including malware such as ransomware as well as data entry errors, which had me supposedly taking a drug I've never heard the name of before, as well as the wrong dosage of a drug that I am taking.

Believe it or not, de facto standardization of medical records to meet government/medicare rules is a big benefit to healthcare providers. For a while, every insurance company had different forms that had to be filled out, often by the patient, in order to get reimbursed. Better doctors/hospitals employed people whose only job was to learn the differences between Blue Cross and Cigna forms and language and to either fill out or help their patients fill out those forms. Spend your 15 minutes in the exam room, then go spend 30 minutes with the billing specialist.

You might think there would be some natural pressure to open standards in diagnostic descriptions. You would be forgetting that insurance companies have a vested interest in not paying claims. If they can get you to fill out the form wrong, or to claim treatment for a diagnosis that isn't covered, then they're perfectly justified in denying. If you don't like it, you can go somewhere else - that's also in the company interest, as only ~5% of their customers actually file claims. Fewer claims, more profit.

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