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  • Jun 26th, 2015 @ 2:52pm

    (untitled comment)

    It was “likely” that terrorists would stop using phones in favor of mail or courier

    One of the curious "misses" based on this statement is that if indeed the "terrorists" were to start using the snail-mail system instead of phones, active terrorism would take a tremendous slow-down in activity. If all of the various methods of detecting terrorist activity were made public then the terrorists are going to have to start going back to actually meeting with each other to communicate because none of the modern electronic methods are going to be unwatched. Even the meta-data that encrypted emails are passing from a suspected terrorist to someone new would mean that a better watch can be kept on the network of terrorists. Instead, the spooks are way to interested in snooping on everybody instead of slowing down or stopping the terrorists by making it too hard for the plots to develop. /rant

  • Jun 26th, 2015 @ 11:50am

    (untitled comment)

    You got that new title wrong.

    Breaking: NOBODY GOT HURT IN SELF-DRIVING CAR NON-ACCIDENT. Self-driving cars avoid accident, doing exactly what they are programmed to do.

  • Jun 23rd, 2015 @ 10:27am

    (untitled comment)

    Does an alien from the future count as a "person" in the present? Copyright requires that the copyright be held by a person, hence the whole "the ape took the picture" fiasco. An alien from the future is not a person under the legal definition.

  • Jun 15th, 2015 @ 9:46am

    (untitled comment)

    But the CIA had another excuse for not releasing the information, and it's a classic. Yes, the CIA said that United States law forbade the CIA from mailing out "obscene or crime-inciting matter."

    If they can get past the first issue of the "operational file" non-sense, then they can solve the problem of "mailing porn" by just asking for a pickup location and time so that it doesn't have to be mailed. That should generate some interesting new BS out of the CIA.

  • Jun 2nd, 2015 @ 11:36am


    I would go with a loud and fully unqualified "NO". They fully expect that the programs will be re-authorized in some form or fashion very soon, and so nothing will stop "until they are really, really, really, ... sure" that the programs will actually need to be stopped. And even then, there will probably have to be a long drawn out multi-year court battle that no one is allowed to be in except the people with the proper clearances (and that does not include the Senators, the Members of the House of Representatives, reporters - legitimately recognized or not, civil rights groups, or citizens of the US). That will come in maybe the next 5 years or so. Until then expect to continue to foot the bill for some very expensive non-programs. Well, unless they can figure out how to just shift it under some other "program", "authorization", or "organization" that can keep it going somehow and just no longer call it by the existing code name. Just prepare yourself for a LOT more tap dancing.

  • Jun 2nd, 2015 @ 11:28am

    Re: Seriously?

    Didn't you read the book? Ernest Goes to Washington (Well, not exactly)

  • Jun 2nd, 2015 @ 11:11am

    (untitled comment)

    Well, those blasted Senators, they are just starting to listen to their constituents about the massive invasion of privacy that they don't like due to the programs that they let expire that the administration can't say is making us less safe. MR. EARNEST seems to be very good at making long vaguely accusing sentences that don't answer the question but do point the finger somewhere else for letting a very expensive program expire that has no evidence of doing anything.
    An extremely huge piece of the problem is that "supposedly" these programs are protecting us, you know, the citizens of the US. However; us little kiddies are just too untrustworthy to know anything about all of these extremely expensive programs we have to pay for anyway.
    What I get out of that interview is that MR. EARNEST wants all of the 1st graders that are asking him the hard questions to just shut up and pay his expensive salary, BECAUSE, he know's better than us based on the non-existent evidence they can't show us, because, you know it would make us less safe (only they can't say so).

    P.S. Am I getting any good at really long vague sentences that don't really say anything?

  • Apr 23rd, 2015 @ 1:49pm

    Law enforcement agencies are servants of the Citizens and yet are being allowed to hide contracts from the ones they serve?

    One of the problems I see that is not being addressed is that the police departments are agents of the citizens. They are writing contracts that then hide the terms of the contracts from the very ones they represent. Police departments and other law enforcement agencies are not some independent company. They are representatives of the citizens and are writing contracts as their agents. They SHOULD not be allowed to hide the terms of those contracts and their methods from the very citizens they represent.
    How do the citizens start reigning in these rogue agencies that are supposed to protect and preserve and yet seem to be more attack and destroy and hide the methods organizations.

  • Mar 31st, 2015 @ 8:24am

    (untitled comment)

    "I'm a victim", quoth the multi-million dollar company.

    Wow, it used to be that the weak kid on the playground got "bullied". Now, a billion dollar company like Starbucks does something stupid and they "got bullied".

    I feel so sorry for them. Would somebody get the government to throw them a billion dollars so that they feel better?

  • Mar 30th, 2015 @ 9:40am

    They forgot a few other costs

    If they are going to include the cost of the Internet, they are padding the cost. It is what is called a sunk cost. People already have it. They already pay for it. They will have it whether or not they are cord cutters. Since they want to pad costs, they forgot to add in the cost of the TV, the cost of the electricity, the sofa to sit on, the footstool, and the snacks. Oh wait, they forgot the cost of a router, some LAN cables, installation and, oh yeah, a house to keep it all out of the weather, heat and air conditioning, and a bathroom, the water bill, and so on.

    Since the internet connection is already a "done deal", then that cost should be taken out of the calculation. In that case, option A becomes $65 (which is much better than the $210 that Comcast wanted to charge me).

    Option B becomes $48, Option C becomes $40, and Option D becomes $20.

    Most people who are considering cord cutting already have Internet access for other reasons. The cord cutting is just making more use of something they already have, just using is some more at no additional cost.

    When the cost of the Internet service is removed, those cord cutting number look very appealing, especially since most people have a TV (as opposed to a monitor) which already has a tuner built in that the cable companies bypass with their set top box, so get an antenna and use the tuner to get full uncompressed high definition over they air signals for free again (with the already paid for tuner in the TV).

  • Mar 16th, 2015 @ 1:56pm

    (untitled comment)

    So, let's get this straight, the police think it is NOT ok to record them (you know, public servants getting paid with public money) and so arrest people under wire tapping laws, but Hertz thinks it's OK to record voice and video of their paying customers in the car they rented and it's not wire tapping. Boy Hertz in for a surprise when the lawsuits start hitting.

  • Mar 11th, 2015 @ 12:11pm


    Well, Of Course there is, in consideration of me, the tenant, paying you, the landlord, an ungodly amount of money every month to live in your pigsty, you, the benevolent landlord, also get to have all of my current and future copyrights in any creative work that I produce.

  • Mar 3rd, 2015 @ 8:04am

    Stretching Net Neurtality to mean nothing

    Actually, if we take his (really stupid) premise that self-driving cars need an Internet connection to work. It will definitely need Net Neutrality to work. Net Neutrality says that all traffic is created equal. As in all VOIP traffic is treated equal and all video traffic is treated equal and all ad traffic is treated equal. NOBODY (except advertisers maybe) want ad traffic prioritized above VOIP traffic. But EVERYBODY wants VOIP traffic prioritized above streaming movies so that phone calls work.
    If somebody was stupid enough to make a car rely on an Internet connection ALL Internet CAR CONTROL traffic should have equal priority. Which you would want to have a higher profile than advertising traffic. That is what Net Neutrality is about. What we don't want is to have say GM car control network traffic prioritized above Toyota car control network traffic.

  • Feb 27th, 2015 @ 8:55am

    and then there is HIPPA

    Since Superfish intercepted ALL communications that the computers users thought were safely encrypted via SSL (as indicated by the green lock on the browser as users were taught to watch), Superfish could be intercepting Personally Protected Information (PII) that is protected by HIPPA and that protection can't be overridden by a EULA. All they need to do is show that someone was accessing health information or Medicaid information on their computer that was being surreptitiously intercepted and looked at by Superfish to show that they were actively violating HIPPA.

  • Feb 24th, 2015 @ 10:36am

    (untitled comment)

    They don't mean it's a bug in the software, they mean it bugs them that it didn't work.

  • Feb 24th, 2015 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: Too many laws

    Many of these laws are the result of the "must do something" mentality of a nanny state that doesn't feel like dealing with the big issues like the budget problem.
    It's just too easy to spend a lot of money to "save the victims" and "protect the little guy" (you know, from the big faceless corporations that we created).

  • Feb 24th, 2015 @ 9:31am

    A New Mantra in the Net Neutrality War....

    Move along, these are not the facts you are looking for......

  • Feb 24th, 2015 @ 9:30am

    (untitled comment)

    For example, Pai co-wrote an editorial in the Chicago Tribune last week that tries to use Obamacare fears to insist Americans will lose the right to choose their own wireless plans if Title II based rules come to pass:

    Everybody repeat after me: "Conflation is our enemy's best friend".

  • Feb 20th, 2015 @ 8:02am

    And So, the result of all of this not-deliberately breaking the law

    will be nothing, absolutely nothing. The sad state of affairs is that the organizations that were put in place to catch law-breakers, commonly known as criminals, are now so far above the law that anything they do is retroactively OK. As long as they can "claim" it was not deliberate. It's OK for them to be law-breaking criminals, just not anyone they target. That target may not have broken the law (fill in your favorite investigative journalist or their significant other who is traveling through an airport) but they can be hassled into the poor house or even thrown in jail for a while, but since they are not the ones who are supposed to uphold the law, it is bad. If you are supposed to uphold the law, it seems to be OK to break the law, as long as you can issue a press release that basically says "oops", didn't mean it.
    This is a sad sad time.

  • Feb 17th, 2015 @ 8:26am

    (untitled comment)

    A big part of the situation that doesn't really seem to come up in these types of "conversations" is that Google, Apple, and etc. are just preventing the massive scooping up of private citizens emails by encrypting it by default. Since the "terrorists" out there know that this is happening, or at least if I were worried about someone listening in on my conversation, I would encrypt the message before it ever got into an email. Then the provider would encrypt it again "across the wires". The encryption key I used would never be available to anyone else to "provide" to the government. The US Government already tried to make encryption software illegal by declaring it a munition. With open source encryption like OpenSSL and PGP or GPG, the "magic Golden Key" would be discovered and removed.
    This conversation is just about spying on everybody who doesn't care or doesn't know any better. It is not going to stop the determined terrorist who doesn't want their communications read.

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