I recently installed the latest version of Linux Mint (17.2) on the Swambo's laptop. The only questions the installation wizard asked were: password to connect to the wi-fi, time zone, keyboard, how should the disk be set up, and setting up one user (w/password). No personal information was required. Nor was there any activation required. Install, reboot, login, and use the computer. Took about half hour.
I should mention that while the installation was going on I could surf the Internet from the live DVD.
Anyone who was used online reviews knows not to rely too much on a specific review but to rely more on overall trend and general credibility of the reviews. These loons either are shakedown artists or totally incompetent.
Until encryption is not a pain, relatively fewer people are going to use encryption consistently on emails or text messages. Encrypted drives, that is much easier. However, wiretapping is, by definition, intercepting communications of the target not poking around on a drive.
Bruce made a throwaway comment that NSA should be spying on foreign governments and leaders. Obviously, more effort should be put on enemies and major rivals than others. What is not wanted is the NSA spying on Americans in America.
I am not be surprised at the amount of useful intelligence that could be gleaned from social media sites. To expect your average ISIS dim bulb not to post actionable intelligence on a social media site is ludicrous. If they will post very personal details why would anyone expect them not post something juicier.
Whether the story referenced is true, plausible but not proven would be my verdict.
Agreed with the strong possibility of reasonable doubt in many cases.
A comment on the Simpson case; when I heard how the LAPD handle evidence - no proper chain of custody - I could not see how any competent jury would convict him. In fact, if Ito had a pair he would have slammed the DA's and the LAPD.
I suspect with the newer languages being developed (Go, Julia, and Rust for example) Java in particular and to a lesser extent C/C++ may see declining use anyway. When Java's APIs are being aggressively litigated many smaller developer houses and solo developers may not pay up and look for some other language.
The book "Statistics Done Wrong" by Alex Reinhart (No Starch Press) covers this (without any math). All too often studies are designed without considering the sample size required to reduce false positive and negative rates to a small number and the fact that most papers do not publish the full statistical treatment.
The study mimics, deliberately, the fact that too many medical studies are done using excessively small sample sizes. This means there is a tendency for false positive and negatives. Also, they are chastising the numerical illiteracy of the press who do not even try to understand statistics.
There is a little appreciated point about this debate: many chemicals in food have what chemists call stereoisomers. They have the same chemical components but in 3-d the structures are either left or right handed. This handedness may or may not be important; Thalidomide is a drug where one stereoisomer causes birth defects and the other is a useful drug. However this does not necessarily have anything to do with artificial or natural.
Sony's problems reflect badly on the movie industry to a degree but the movie industry has an image problem from before. Hollywood accounting is well known. Disney is in the movie/entertainment industry and I doubt they are clean.