No, News Corp has been doing this for years. The reason is Murdoch thinks Google and Google News specifically is killing the news industry, and that the iPad will save it (or at least he thought that a few years ago). It's pure inter-corporate warfare being played out through manipulation of public opinion. The WSJ in particular are experts at it.
I like the idea of moving as much decision making as possible to the phone, but I don't want a whitelist. That would require me to make the effort to whitelist people, plus having the prescient power of anticipating which strangers I want to hear from (e.g. whoever found my dog and called the number on her collar). I'm ok with getting a call from a stranger, as long as their "return address" isn't forged. If the return address is correct, and they are annoying, I can blacklist 'em. Allowing strangers to call me is the best default. Not perfect (it's easy to imagine some failure scenarios), but best.
This just removes the fig leaf.
.. Anyone who's serious about security wouldn't rely on the ISP being on their side-- one would already be using strong encryption etc. for all communication if one were actually concerned about security.
This really is the best way to look at things.
If people want "privacy laws" then those laws shouldn't be about what's not allowed to happen; the laws need to be about what is required to happen (the goal being to encourage common sense practices, because nobody can protect your privacy for you.). Make it so that businesses and people can't access government's network services without going through a darknet, for example. Do not allow any plaintext email communication with the government. Put into "REAL ID" that the issuing authority also has to sign the identified person's key and include the fingerprint on the ID card. Don't allow government money to be spent on computers containing any software which can't be audited and maintained. And so on.
Don't make anyone protect their privacy overall, but do make it so that they have to pay lip service to common sense in any interaction with government (and then let convenience and economy of scale take it from there; lazy people will then do the right thing). Or, just don't have privacy laws since, obviously, we don't really care. Pick one or the other.
I don't think you're scaring anyone. People could do it, and fear wouldn't stop them.
Laziness and apathy, on the other hand...
Is that a problem?
Anyone without a red flag is pretty damn suspicious. Step one in being discreet is to get your red flag immedi-- wait.. in the average amount of time. (But not too average!)
Clarke did very little writing on robot brains.
Um, I'll have to assume that you weren't around for April, 1968, when the leading AI in popular culture for a long, long, time was introduced in a Kubrick and Clarke screenplay and what probably should have been attributed as a Clarke and Kubrick novel. And a key element of that screenplay was a priority conflict in the AI.
Well, you've just given up the argument, and have basically agreed that strong AI is impossible
Not at all. Strong AI is not necessary to the argument. It is perfectly possible for an unconscious machine not considered "strong AI" to act upon Asimov's Laws. They're just rules for a program to act upon.
In addition, it is not necessary for Artificial General Intelligence to be conscious.
Mind is a phenomenon of healthy living brain and is seen no where else.
We have a lot to learn of consciousness yet. But what we have learned so far seems to indicate that consciousness is a story that the brain tells itself, and is not particularly related to how the brain actually works. Descartes self-referential attempt aside, it would be difficult for any of us to actually prove that we are conscious.
You're approaching it from an anthropomorphic perspective. It's not necessary for a robot to "understand" abstractions any more than they are required to understand mathematics in order to add two numbers. They just apply rules as programmed.
Today, computers can classify people in moving video and apply rules to their actions such as not to approach them. Tomorrow, those rules will be more complex. That is all.
Agreed that a Robot is no more a colleague than a screwdriver.
I think you're wrong about Asimov, though. It's obvious that to write about theoretical concerns of future technology, the author must proceed without knowing how to actually implement the technology, but may be able to say that it's theoretically possible. There is no shortage of good, predictive science fiction written when we had no idea how to achieve the technology portrayed. For example, Clarke's orbital satellites were steam-powered. Steam is indeed an efficient way to harness solar power if you have a good way to radiate the waste heat, but we ended up using photovoltaic. But Clarke was on solid ground regarding the theoretical possibility of such things.
I understand why people do it; I just think the costs outweigh the relatively minor benefits. (And yes, I realize other people weigh things differently) Having a mailreader on your desktop(s) isn't a big deal. The only time it matters much, is when it's someone else's desktop, since a lot of mail clients make the initial setup somewhat of a pain in the ass. (And I get how a layman might not remember whether their server uses starttls vs ssl; I'll admit there are barriers to fast setup, where you want to ask your friend, "Hey, can I use your machine to check my email real quick?") But while maybe some people were having to borrow other peoples' PCs a lot more around the turn of the century, nowdays nearly everyone carries one in their pocket.
And across from the relatively minor benefit of webmail, is the cost: it means you can't do encryption sanely, for example. And since it doesn't have a standard interface, now Google is proposing a proprietary one, to try to do some of the things that you could do with IMAP. That's just going to lock people into gmail specifically. I get why they are doing that, but from a user's PoV, this is wastful and harmful.
Just Say No. Now that you have a smartphone, perhaps webmail is obsolete and it's time to start phasing it out. Whereever you go, there you are.
Premature optimization is the root of all evil. -- D.E. Knuth