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Comment Re: In other news (Score 1) 118

Have been inside NSA facility, can confirm they are not dumb enough to have webcams, or for that matter non air gapped systems.

How do they share information amongst their computers then? The only thing I can imagine is via sneakernet, but of course malware can and does propagate via USB keys and laptops also, so it seems like even that might not be sufficient.

I suppose printing everything to paper and then typing it all back in on the next computer might be secure (assuming the typist recognizes malware before he types it in ;)), but that doesn't sound very practical.

Comment Re:What does it do most of the time? (Score 4, Insightful) 59

Or am I missing something obvious?

I don't know if it's obvious, but the missing thing is that this won't be the final word in automation of home agriculture.

I remember back when the first PCs came out, and they were rather ridiculous -- the amount of time it required to get them to do anything useful was such that it would almost certainly be easier to accomplish the same task with pen and paper, or with a typewriter.

But a certain type of person was drawn to them anyway, not because they were immediately useful, but because that person wanted explore what was possible and see how much further the ideas could be taken. And now, 40-some years later, we have inexpensive PCs and cell phones that are much more powerful than any other method, to the extent that most people wouldn't even consider handling most problems the "traditional way" as a realistic approach anymore.

Or, as Ben Franklin put it, you might as well ask, "What good is a newborn baby?"

Comment Re:What's the big problem? (Score 1) 501

Hyperbole or not, it appears to offer nothing but hassle to end users, which probably means it's getting unpopular.

Virtually all US credit cards are chip and signature, offering little in improved security. It's slow. Most card readers have a slot but haven't had that feature activated (honestly, the only store around here that allows chip vs swipe is Wal-Mart. Publix, as one major example, doesn't) leading to confusion. The card readers themselves seem to be bug ridden, with some freaking out if you don't insert the card at the exact moment they expect it. Wal-Mart's even, until recently, made a noise like a submarine klaxon when the payment was accepted - someone and completely unnecessarily embarrassing.

Add to that the delays, and you have the least popular technology since GMX.

Comment Terminology (Score 4, Insightful) 67

Can anyone explain why we continue to use the term "ride sharing" when Uber, Lyft, et al, have nothing to do with ride sharing? They're basic car-for-hire services. Ride sharing has always been used to mean "People who share a car to get to a common destination" (eg commuters who work together and live close by saving on gas, that kind of thing), and while Uber started by claiming that this was essentially what they were doing, it became obvious pretty quickly that the service resembles ride sharing in no way whatsoever.

Comment Re:I am with Snowden 100% (Score 1) 160

I agree with most of what you say - though hard evidence is not a bad thing, there was a lot of "He said, she said" stuff before the leak proved the DNC was rotten on this issue - but the Turkey data dump was not a Wikileaks thing, despite early reporting suggesting it was. Snowden's almost certainly talking about the release of private information - credit card numbers, private phone numbers and home addresses of donors - that was also in the leak.

Comment Re:Basic Journalism... (Score 2) 160

What modern-day journalist working for anything resembling a respectable newspaper has published the credit card numbers, home addresses, and private phone numbers of their subjects?

Snowden didn't state specifics, but the scandal around Wikileaks release of the DNC emails has generally focused on two things - the possibility it came from Russia (nothing to do with Wikileaks themselves or editing, so unlikely to have been Snowden's concern), and that it included private information about individual - often blameless - people that could cause them serious harm without having anything to do with holding them to account.

Everyone, to the best of my knowledge, is on board with the idea of Wikileaks leaking an email that says "Hi, DWS here! I need a list of ways in which we can secretly handicap Sander's campaign, but remember guys, technically this is illegal so mum's the word!". Fuck DWS. If she goes to prison over this, then nobody's shedding any tears beyond a few die hard Clinton worshipers.

What we're not on board with is "Oh, Jeff Atl called to donate $100 to the general election fund. Could you handle it? His credit card number is 4111 0291 3839 1212, expires 06/17, CVV 971. Address if you need it is 9821 SE Sunflower Rd, Trenton Gardens, NJ 19281." Even if the full email continues "I let him know that with his donation comes a 30 minute meeting with the Secretary of the Environment so he can deal with that little problem his factory is having with the inspectors", we'd at least expect the credit card details and street part of the address redacted.

Comment Re:A no-brainer... (Score 1) 481

It's not more secure than Windows 7. How can it be more secure if it leaks your information, without your knowledge, to a third party, AND if the software update mechanism is so user hostile (unrequested reboots, machine slowing to a crawl at random times) that the only workaround is to disable updates completely, either at the firewall or via hacks?

I like a lot about Windows 10, but it's less secure, more resource intensive, and less responsive. I'm keeping Windows 7 machines around in my home for a reason.

Comment Re:Naturally they'll investigate to help HRC. (Score 1) 157

They're not prosecuting, they're investigating. And in terms of them being treated equally - they did investigate HRC, but found there wasn't enough wrongdoing to make it worth prosecuting.

And... it's unlikely the FBI will prosecute any of the hackers, albeit this time because the hackers are likely not within any US court's jurisdiction.


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Comment Re:Absurd Pile (Score 1) 1005

*Who's* national security is undermined?

Everyone's. The core principle of NATO is that an attack on any NATO member will be treated as an attack on all NATO members. Thus, traditionally, Russia would be very reluctant to attack any NATO member because it would be guaranteed to bring about a strong counterattack, which at best would be costly to all parties and at worst could escalate into World War 3, which not even Putin wants.

However, if Russia has cause to believe that the USA will not honor its commitments to NATO, that could tempt Russia to try to "take back" one or more of the East European countries it lost after the cold war (similar to the way it "took back" part of the Ukraine in 2014).

By his loose talk, Trump has given Russia (and the world) cause to believe that he might decide not defend all NATO members; that the commitments of the USA might not be honored if Trump is elected.

So let's imagine that Trump is elected, and then Russia bets that Trump won't bother to defend, say, Lithuania, and so Russia sends in their troops to "reclaim" Lithuania.

Now what happens? Either Trump doesn't respond, in which case NATO is exposed a paper tiger, and Russia (and potentially others) now feel free to invade more countries when they want to; or Trump does respond, and now we're involved in a hot war with Russia that could easily turn nuclear.

Either outcome sucks. That's why politics at this level isn't a game, and shouldn't be treated as one. Trump's words have real consequences, even if he thinks he is only joking (or more likely, just isn't thinking at all).

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