Uriel-238’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Aug 23rd, 2016 @ 11:52am

    "way worse than trump"

    Extraordinary claims continue to require extraordinary evidence.

    Do elaborate and be specific.

    (There are things that we can expect Hillary to do that is different from what we can expect Trump to do. But how do you measure which is worse?)

  • Aug 22nd, 2016 @ 4:45pm

    A higher standard.

    In the political culture I want, representatives and officials would be held to higher standards than the rest of us. Their extensive teams of staffers would be used to assure that everything they say before the House (or on the stand) would hold up to scrutiny when our fact-checking institutions confirmed their data points in active hopes of a blunder that can be used to scorn them as idiots or deceptive.

    So that like John Kyl's infamous Over 90% of Planned Parenthood is abortions line that Stephen Colbert turned into the #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement, any wrongful data would be cause for scrutiny of an official's bias or competence, and a field day for news and comedians.

    For now lying on the floor is expected, and people are eager to believe what confirms their biases, rather than know the truth, and our reps are allowed to capitalize on this (to the point of being allowed to perjur with impunity). And amazingly, Trump supporters, even commenters on this sight, seem to overlook the degree to which he lies.

  • Aug 20th, 2016 @ 1:13pm

    "[Toeing] the leftist line"

    Be careful that you don't generalize people based on one or two points of disagreements. I don't see you calling out the US conservative right whose bedfellowing with the Religious Right as turned the GOP platform in to a white Christian males club.

    I know that not all conservatives are like that, but you apparently don't have the perspective you are calling for.

    Two-edged swords and all that.

  • Aug 19th, 2016 @ 11:59pm

    Re: Two years?

    That sounds conspicuously untrue. A two-year old zero-day vulnerability is very much no longer zero day.

    I'd expect in most cases that it would be discovered independently by other interested parties, white hat or otherwise.

  • Aug 19th, 2016 @ 6:52pm

    So what is our scenario for an agency going rogue?

    What does it look like when our branches of government decide the NSA has gone rogue and is operating not in the best interests of the United States, neither its people nor the government system that runs them?

    I must only assume the NSA has dirt on everyone in office and that's why they are silent from one end to the next.

    This is ridiculous.

  • Aug 18th, 2016 @ 1:54pm

    The problem with president idiots...

    ...is that they become puppets for the ones who can manipulate them.

    So expect the next Halliburton to do really well while we torture and merc and war-profiteer through the next decade.

  • Aug 18th, 2016 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Oooh! Oooh! Let me try!

    Oh so major church-endorse military or espionage campaigns that massacre people don't count because...?



  • Aug 18th, 2016 @ 1:48pm


    No. If a [Hindu] Kills a Hindu in the name of Hinduism, then you have a situation where an extremist or secular individual or group did something out of the norm. But if thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions of [Hindus] kill other [Hindus] and/or people of other religions, then you have a problem with the basic religious [belief] of [Hinduism] that has now become the root of the problem. You are completely wrong on this.

    Whatever standard you apply to one religion or ideology, you have to apply to them all. It eventually leads to thought-crime, which is messy. Or you can come to realize that human beings are capable of filtering out what really doesn't suit them in their faith, as many do with Christianity and Judaism.

  • Aug 18th, 2016 @ 1:18pm

    Oooh! Oooh! Let me try!

    Does it matter where or the situation? If [you're] drone striking civilians, then [you're] drone striking civilians. A quick google search reveals thousands of Afghani Muslims losing their lives in the name of a multiple-Christian-church endorsed jus bellum military campaign starting as early as 2003 and continuing through 2016 Aside from the occasional extremist, which admittedly [does] exist, lets see a modern civilian massacre campaign exceeding all the gun deaths in the US, sanctioned by the local political party or state, by a Muslim enacted on a Christian populace.

    Did I do it right?

  • Aug 18th, 2016 @ 6:19am

    "Destroy the Middle East"

    The reason we (as a people aspiring to civilization, not specifically the US) avoid such general sweeps as locking them in their sandbox of misery is that most of the people there don't agree with the premise behind terrorist extremism. Most of them, by far, want to be industrialized and have liberties and have nothing to do with war.

    Our own officials like to send our troops to unnecessary war, but they don't like to go, themselves.

    Punishing the Muslim world is punishing a lot of innocent people for the will of a few extremists and radical leaders. Our moral responsibility is to remove radical individuals from power with the least amount of collateral damage.

    Sadly, our officials agree with you, in painting progress as the massacre of huge numbers of innocent civilians.

  • Aug 17th, 2016 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Trump is a non factor.

    As much as I want to believe it (The Cracked version of the fake candidacy hypothesis is a must-watch). Michael Moore can stretch the facts to bend to a hypothesis. He's not a reliable opinion.

    But man, I do wish it were so.

  • Aug 17th, 2016 @ 1:38pm

    It's probably going to go down the way it did with guns...

    Assuming that any given thing Trump says turns into actual policy (no guarantees, except the Trump guarantee)...

    He'll probably push to pass regulations on who can use the internet.

    And thus only people who use the internet without state permission will become criminal.

    So we'll have a lot more criminals using the internet. Will we have a lot of criminals using the internet who are criminal for reasons other than using the internet? Hard to say.

    Then we'll get to the point that we realize those who are determined to be law abiding are at yet another disadvantage to those who are willing to break the law. And that this is not a good state of affairs.

  • Aug 17th, 2016 @ 6:18am

    It would be nice to see a meta-ruling emerge from this...

    ...which limits how law enforcement and the Department of Justice can approach the use of new technologies, (e.g. No parallel construction. Only publicly known and approved means of detection are admissible in court.)

    If our police had any intention to actually detect culprits of known crimes, this would be a plausible approach (much like the assumption that the enemy knows your crypto, but not the operational key). But their intent has been for some time to bring down suspects regardless of their relationship to unsolved crimes, and often to pin crimes on innocent suspects through obfuscation and deception, rather than seek out a provable culprit.

    This is why the Gotham PD would be exemplary in the US as an honest precinct, rather than (as the Batman comics might suggest) a nexus of corruption and malicious practices.

  • Aug 17th, 2016 @ 12:47am

    ""have them get it out of their system on this guy"

    People who have to get it out of their system are not professional enough to be law enforcement officers.

    Or, for that matter, responsible enough to drive a motor vehicle on public streets.

    Rational conduct in the face of crisis is expected of every adult US citizen. Why should law enforcement officers with the power of authority and physical force be exempt?

  • Aug 16th, 2016 @ 12:15pm

    It seems we've completely forgotten the Enlightenment.

    Nothing about us without us... ?

    I suppose it means whatever policies they implement will be unenforcable and entirely circumventable.

  • Aug 15th, 2016 @ 1:23pm

    Soundblaster woes

    I have a mid-high-end Soundblaster audio card

    Well there's your problem right there.

    It comes from growing up on the Audigy technology and being something of an audiophile.

    Right now I need to solve the problem so I can hold onto a Recon3D for a little bit longer.

    If you can recommend a worthwhile sound card for

  • Aug 15th, 2016 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: "...Everything done was performed lawfully."

    Very true. I wasn't really being comprehensive. Asset forfeiture here in the US has turned our entire police force into highway robbers, all under the color of law.

    Why do we tell our children it is virtuous to respect the law when this is what is done according to law? Then again, why do we tell our children to act ethically when the way people get ahead in our society is by taking advantage of those who act ethically?

  • Aug 15th, 2016 @ 12:57pm

    We did this with laptops and USB to eliminate the optical drive.

    Let me first disclose that I abhor the 3.5mm stereo audio jack. I have a mid-high-end Soundblaster audio card in my desktop system that I have to fight with every time I insert my headphones.*

    Similarly, I've been watching mp3 players and before that cassette tape players fail consistently due to that stupid audio jack. They just don't last. During the semi-user-serviceable 90s, I'd be able to open up the unit and repair it. But not so, now. Creative labs customer service has become rather irate with me for daring to suggest I might service my own devices rather than paying for their outrageous repair fees.

    But yes, right now it's the only standard we have.

    If Apple was really interested in minimizing phone thickness, they could feature multiple lightning ports and (as Anon Coward suggested) a lightning to 2.5 or 3.5 adapter.

    Someone, probably someone in China, will make one anyway, much like the lightning-to-USB ports.

    In my fantasy world this would push more people toward Android since Apple users look more and more like rich abused cultists. The higher and higher Apple builds its garden walls, the less nice they are to those trapped inside.

    * I tried adding a leave-in extension but it automatically cuts out the speakers when even the extension is in, and I don't know how to turn that feature off, and govern the volumes by soft mixer controls. Not for want of looking.

  • Aug 15th, 2016 @ 12:11pm

    "...Everything done was performed lawfully."

    Ever since extrajudicial detention and torture by the CIA and US Army was declared legal by the White House council (per secret interpretation of current law, which informed executive policy) the notion that agent action or agency policy is legal can no longer be inferred to mean that the action or policy is:

    ~ necessary
    ~ reasonable
    ~ effective
    ~ proper
    ~ enacted in good faith

    These don't automatically follow at all. (Logically they never did, but the attempt here is to imply it.)

    Essentially, the appeal to legality is similar to the common argument regarding speech, that its legality might confer upon it propriety or other virtues. It doesn't.

    An agent is empowered to do his or her job, and may have considerable legal lattitude for situational judgement. That the agency must resort to an appeal to legality to justify their action implies there was no other cause, certainly none just or reasonable, for the agents to resort to such measures. In other words, the acting agents were insufficiently constrained by oversight, or were too incompetent to do their jobs

    Or they were acting in vested malice or to a cause other than the good of the people of the United States.

  • Aug 13th, 2016 @ 5:03pm

    I suspect French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve represents the opinion of France...

    ...about as much as Obama (or Clinton, or Trump) represents the opinion of the US.

    Cazeneuve wants backdoored encryption because he's in a bourgeois position. And he probably wants it for the proletariat only, not his fellow elites.

    As he's French, he should be aware of Napoleonic Law.

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