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Comment Re:r u srs (Score 1) 519

There is a big difference between waging war against military targets, making a great effort to target them intelligently to minimize civilian casualties...and deliberately targeting civilians.

A distinction that is unfortunately lost when you're on the receiving end.
If someone kills your family do you think it'll really matter to you if the killer then shouts "Yay!" or "Oops, my bad!".
Either way you're likely to support any political party, army or terrorist group that promises revenge.

Comment Re:I talked to a doctor about this one (Score 1) 345

There's another problem, which you could call 'Life finds a way'.

Penicillin was discovered in 1943 but it was only 3 years before the first resistance was observed. The same thing has happened to nearly every antibiotic developed since then, with resistance usually appearing within a few years - a constant game of whack-a-mole.

It takes 10 years and a billion dollars to bring a new drug to market, there is little profit incentive to develop a product which has a potentially short and unquantifiable lifetime.

Comment Shock, Horror! (Score 2) 109

Looks like someone has just discovered EXIF / IPTC / XMP!

This is a known issue, most social sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, strip all data, though they may use the title and copyright fields for naming the photo.
And the more specialized photo sharing sites like Flickr and 500px give you various levels of control over the privacy of photo metadata.

Comment Re: Censoring speech... (Score 2) 585

Insightful? Good grief! Let's unpack this tight little knot of hate.

In the US we already have less than 90% of the crime being perpetrated by less than 10% of the population.

Nope. In fact the maybe 70% of americans have broken some law that could land them in jail.

I can see why they might be upset with a 1% bump

I see what you did there, implying that the 1% would be added to the 10% of criminals, and not to the general, law-abiding population. Kinda cheap.

nearly made entirely of Muslim males from shit holes and failed states in the Middle East, in their teens and twenties,

Nope. 51% of the Syrian refugees are women, which is pretty much what you'd expect.

who are particularly notorious for their bad behavior.

Not sure if this refers to muslims, people from the Middle East, or males in their teens and twenties. Which makes this statement either islamophobic, racist, or just plain bigotted. Take your pick.

Comment Re:Governments = Evil. (Score 4, Insightful) 109

however in a free market capitalism monopolies are temporary and their existence depends on them providing a good enough product / service in the most cost effective way possible.

...or product dumping, price fixing, dividing markets, buying up competitors etc. etc.

In the real world businesses hate competition, and will do anything legal to prevent it.

Comment Good news. (Score 1) 80

Before the advent of digital communications, if the government wanted to covertly know what you were up to, they would have to break into and bug your home, tamper with your telephone, physically follow you around. It was difficult and expensive, so out of necessity limited to the most interesting targets. Yes the definition of 'interesting' varied from country to country and time to time, from criminals to political dissidents to inconvenient minorities, but the majority of people were generally safe from being watched.

Now, and for the first time in history, it has became economically possible to surveil the large majority of the population. And governments around the world have gleefully taken advantage of this, expanding the definition of 'interesting' to cover, literally, everyone; metadata is scooped up en masse, and communication content is available at the press of a button - constrained only by self imposed and often flimsy legal limits.

But, post Snowden, with the increasing implementation of end to end and zero knowledge encryption, the pendulum is starting to swing back again. Unless they force manufacturers to backdoor every phone and computer, governments will have to go back to the old ways of doing things, by physically hacking individual devices.

The article doesn't seem to indicate an increase in surveillance powers, but rather a realization by the security services that the glory days of embarrassingly easy mass snooping are beginning to end, and now they're going to have to actually work for their information.

If this gets us back to an era limited, targeted and suspicion led surveillance then this is a good thing, no?

Comment Re:What do you expect? (Score 3, Insightful) 253

This is sort of like the Chinese complaining that counterintelligence focuses on them as being in a group that provides possible spies for China.

Replace 'Chinese' with 'Asian-Americans' and you get an analogy a bit closer to the truth. And maybe then you'll see how disturbing that is, especially considering america's fairly recent history in that regard.

What do you expect? Should counterintelligence focus on Swedes instead?

No, but perhaps they should focus on white christians, whose extremists have killed twice as many in terror attacks in the US since 9/11. I'm not sure how compliant Christian churches would be with a little 'common sense' surveillance on their premises to weed out the extremists in their midst.

Comment Re:Sounds like a problem... (Score 1) 507

If by 'full capitalist' you mean 'free market', how does that fit in with getting rid of insurance? There will always be a demand for health insurance of some kind to pool risk, simply because on an individual basis it's impossible to financially plan in advance for risks of accidents and random illness. And even if you're lucky enough to have a long, healthy life, there's still no way to know if at the end you're going to be taken out quickly (and cheaply) by a stroke or heart attack, or die slowly and expensively of cancer, dementia etc.

Comment Re:Sounds like a problem... (Score 1) 507

That would be fraud, which is in the purview of the government to prosecute. Prevention of such a calamity is in the purview of the private sector, where private ratings agencies would conduct audits on the financial solvency of insurance companies.

If we replace the term 'private insurance companies' with 'banks' we can see just how disastrously naive that notion can be.

Comment Re:Careful you don't run afoul (Score 2) 299

what obscenely high murder rates? your popular perception has little to do with reality. rates are down, and have been going down for years. crime, including homicide, in the US is at quite possibly the lowest point in the country's entire history.

Nearly but not quite - according to FBI uniform crime reporting data, the preliminary figures for 2012 homicides are around 4.2 per 100,000, which almost matches the lowest figures recorded - 4.0 in the late 1950's. While definitely trending in the right direction, it is still "obscenely" high compared to other comparable western democracies - which vary around 1 per 100,000.
Just as an example, the last time the UK homicide rate was as high as it is currently in the USA was at the end of the 17th century.

Comment Re:Damn those redditors are stupid (Score 1) 205

They cry about their precious "Net Neutrality" even as this bill unconditionally outlaws...

1) Data retention mandates.
2) New surveillance powers, claims, etc.
3) Any new intelligence community moves into further "securing the net" (think about that recent controversy over the NSA secretly claiming to "invade private networks")
4) New powers to seize domain names or any thing else Hollywood wants

Yeah, what a trade off. Give me some of that DoJDHSDoD Internet love any day so long as Verizon has to be 100% "fair and neutral..."

How does it outlaw these things? Except maybe for 1) above, these are precisely the activities that various federal agencies have carried out without seeking legislative approval (NSA wiretaps, FBI domain seizures....)

Comment Where went wrong? (Score 5, Insightful) 395

I thought that we invaded Iraq to make us safer. I thought the war in Afghanistan would make us safer. They told us that all this war, imprisonment without trial, assassination, torture, mass surveillance, nude scans and enhanced pat downs would make us safer.
And yet now, after more than ten years of this, we've reached the stage that we're considering placing surface to fucking air missiles on top of people's houses in the middle of London.
What the hell happened? Are we losing this 'war on terror'?

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