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Comment Re:The Cloud Is Wonderful (Score 3, Informative) 465

I had the same problem as this guy at some point-- my homepage hosted on google pages was disabled because of some unspecified terms of service violation. I couldn't even fix the issue because they wouldn't tell me what the violation was about. And no luck contacting a real person.

After that I moved my homepage to a machine I control (danielpovey.com)

Comment Re:About time (Score 2) 135

[I understand compression algorithms and watch Silicon Valley].

After reading their blurb, it looks like the middle-out thing was a bit of a joke Their use of the term 'middle-out' is not unreasonable but refers to something much more specific, and less fundamental, than what seemed to be depicted in the TV show. Their 'middle' is the just the place where two squares of the image meet.

Comment Deeper problem (Score 3, Insightful) 609

I think people in this thread are missing the deepest problem with Tyson's idea.

The problem is that science, if done well, can tell us what the observable consequences of our actions might be, but it will never tell us what outcomes we should value. For instance, do we value equality or progress? Do we value the happiness of animals as much as that of humans? Do we value freedom or security? The answers to none of these questions are self-evident (and saying that they are self-evident does not make it so).

These are all the province of moral philosophy, and that field gives no easy answers.

Dan

Comment Re:This was preventable Chancellor Merkel (Score 1) 693

Not really. The UK still had to allow freedom of movement to other EU passport holders. Schengen was more about visas for visitors from outside the EU.

There was a large net migration from the rest of the EU to the UK, likely thanks to the UK's relatively open economy and the status of English as the international lingua franca. The UK was not prepared to accept this influx very gracefully (e.g. it failed to adequately reform the planning permission process for new housing).

I actually left the UK about 15 years ago, partly due to a feeling that the UK was "full up", with housing costs consuming a way disproportionate share of living expenses. Since then it's got way worse. Immigration was definitely a real issue. It could have been dealt with better. If they had allowed a greater supply of new housing the strains probably would have been a lot less.

Comment Re:Stop providing services (Score 1) 207

You say:

look at how many actual deaths that have been prevented by the abusive monitoring that is currently in place

How exactly do you expect that number to be provided? When the security services disrupt plots, or arrest individuals who were interested in carrying out plots, they don't have the capability to simulate an alternate universe in which they did not take those actions. Our government is powerful, but not that powerful. Consider also that surveillance has an effect even if no actual plots are disrupted, as long as the targets are aware of it; because it forces them to change their behavior and switch to smaller-scale, less ambitious plans that would be harder to disrupt.

Comment Re:If shove came to push... (Score 5, Interesting) 412

I'll probably get modded down for saying this, but I know people who have worked with the NSA, and these people have always been very impressed with how seriously NSA employees take the legislative limits on what they can do.

NSA people work in big office buildings, in a corporate-like environment; they're tightly controlled. It's not like the CIA used to be where you were in a field office somewhere and your superiors weren't always 100% sure what you were doing.

Comment Re:Odd bedfellows. (Score 1) 96

You are right, I think it is an American problem (I'm British, living in the USA). A lot of US prosecutors are quite conservative people who tend to interpret the laws way beyond their intended meaning-- for instance, charging kids who sext images of themselves with laws intended to be used against child pornographers.

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