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The Executive Order That Redefines Data Collection

BlueStrat Re:collection = collection plus action (126 comments)

The recursive expansion will keep it tied up in court forever.

...It's authoritarians all the way down.

Strat

about three weeks ago
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Mark Zuckerberg Throws Pal Joe Green Under the Tech Immigration Bus

BlueStrat Re:silly child. If you ask your parents. (261 comments)

They will gladly tell you that insurance rates have been going up for decades, and having to choose new doctors is something all grownups have to do on a regular basis.

And in addition, if they've paid any attention, they will also tell him that the rates have increased both before and after the passage of the ACA because of government.

I dunno about *your* parents, but mine saw the same doctor for decades, until he retired. Because government made it more attractive for him to retire rather than to keep his practice open.

But hey, let's give government even more of people's hard-earned money and even more control over everything!

"Thank you Sir, may I have another?"

"Idiocracy" was a documentary. Slashdot posters prove it every day.

Strat

about a month ago
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Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

BlueStrat Re:Wake me when chimpanzees invent smelting (224 comments)

Unfortunately people on this planet have used the excuse of a "lack of resources" to justify some of the most amoral and unspeakable actions. We shouldn't be motivated to leave this rock simply because we need more "resources" but because we would like to participate in a meaningful way with the universe.

"...because we would like to participate in a meaningful way with the universe"

The universe does not care and is not capable of judging our intentions or how "meaningful" (what's the measurement criteria? who decides what's meaningful?) our actions are

Stop anthropomorphizing.

You are correct that many conflicts result from competition for resources. The universe has almost infinite resources, so having cheap & plentiful resources available would tend to greatly mitigate resource-driven human conflicts.

At the very least, it will drive the conflicts away from the planet.

Strat

about a month ago
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Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

BlueStrat Re:Wake me when chimpanzees invent smelting (224 comments)

{Wake me when chimpanzees invent smelting} ... and cast weapons made of metal from molds that they manufactured themselves, just so they can kill more effectively.

Hard to tell what point(s) you're attempting to make here.

So, is killing efficiency your yardstick?

I don't see how efficiency relates. Heck, there are species of marine life who eat the egg-clusters and hatchlings of their competitors, and that's upwards of tens of thousands or more.

Or is it the use of tools to kill?

Chimps and other apes will often pick up a branch to swing at another when they are angry/aggressive. Other examples of tool-use by apes is abundant. Google will supply you with examples.

Seems in that regard the only difference is the level of sophistication of the tools/weapons related to the differing complex intellectual levels of the two species.

No doubt if apes had a similar size brain and intellectual capability as humans, the technical level of their weapons would rise as well.

Many people like to attribute some sort of "perfect moral innocence" to animals while humans are somehow forever separate from animals and that all human effects upon animals are "unnatural" and inherently bad and wrong. They also tend to decry human behaviors that have roots in our animal nature as somehow evil and unnatural.

It's an emotional response motivated by compassion and I appreciate that. However, humans are just as natural on Earth as deer or whales. Everything will always effect everything else, and species will go extinct and new species arise as long as life exists.

Since our self-awareness and intelligence and ability to control our environment allows us to avoid natural systems of regulation, we must consciously choose to find a balance between not causing undue harm to animals and nature while not placing undue limitations on the advancement of humanity towards moving outwards into space.

Earth is not a perpetual-motion machine, and we need to leave the cradle. Humanity cannot afford to hunker down, slow progress, and ration out ever-dwindling resources. That's a recipe for extinction.

Balance is the key.

Balance will not be found at the extremes.

Strat

about a month ago
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NSW Police Named as FinFisher Spyware Users

BlueStrat Re:Is Australia different? (73 comments)

In Australia aren't the people allowed to know what their police force's "operational capability" is?

Nobody expects the "operational capabilities" of the Australian Inquisition!

Strat

about a month ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

BlueStrat Maybe MS Should Ask... (419 comments)

...Who is John Galt?

Along with many other US companies and businesses as the US becomes an ever-more hostile and expensive place to base your business in.

Maybe MS will join the "inversion"-stampede of businesses fleeing the US for friendlier locales.

Once again the US government loads up the trusty foot-gun with its' hubris.

Strat

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

BlueStrat Re:Good Analog Oscilloscopes (635 comments)

My Tektronix 453 is still going strong after being retired from use in avionics testing/troubleshooting/repair. As is the old black-Bakelite Simpson analog-meter VOM.

Another "old" technology I use regularly are vacuum-tube guitar amplifiers like the ones I play through, repair, and design & build. Nearly all the major guitar amplifier makers' current lines of flagship pro- and semi-pro-level guitar amps are tube-based designs.

Many of the most sought-after and expensive studio microphones are also vacuum-tube based (integral pre/buffer amp).

There are actually more vacuum tubes being produced currently than were being produced 30 years ago.

Audiophiles also tend to prefer tube-based amplifiers.

I hope relations between the US and Russia don't deteriorate too badly. Russia is a major manufacturer and exporter of vacuum tubes, as is China. Chinese tubes in general are not as high a quality generally speaking though, in my personal experience.

Oh, and the PC I posted this with is circa 2000 with a CRT monitor.

Do I win an internets?

Strat

about 2 months ago
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Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

BlueStrat Re:all of the heat missing? (273 comments)

i wonder if there is a "tin foil hat" for too much methane

That would be the refried-bean beret.

Strat

about 2 months ago
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Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

BlueStrat Re:I seem to remember... (275 comments)

when they're giving something away at zero, presumably that's a at a loss. but I'm not a MBA, so who's to say?

Who's to say??

Why, that would obviously be Billy Preston, of course!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

"Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'. Ya gotta have somethin', if ya wanna be with me!"

Strat

about 2 months ago
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Illinois University Restricts Access To Social Media, Online Political Content

BlueStrat Re:You cannot be surprised? (130 comments)

In the age of the internet, if you have to pay someone to sit you in a room and teach you like a trained monkey you have serious problems that go way beyond education.

I went to college to meet chicks.

"If you want to to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library." - Frank Zappa

"Where's the college library?"

Strat

about 2 months ago
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The Billion-Dollar Website

BlueStrat Re:Technical People (194 comments)

You are continuing to conflate Medicaid with the ACA

And you seem to be denying that Medicaid is part and parcel of ACA and where those who can't afford the higher costs of ACA insurers end up.

The issues you pretend to understand around Medicaid do not have any relevance to how the VA hospitals are run

They are both ran by government bureaucracies. Government bureaucracies are infamous for waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption. They are no exception and neither is the ACA.

Trying to suggest that the VA hospitals are a model for how the ACA will work suggests you are not honest.

Trying to suggest I am not honest because I see and recognize universal patterns of bad behaviors and poor results from government programs suggests you are defending a political partisan ideology rather than trying to solve real problems.

Strat

about 2 months ago
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The Billion-Dollar Website

BlueStrat Re:Technical People (194 comments)

> since no doctors take medicaid now (Many are no longer accepting obamacare at all),

That makes no sense whatsoever. Medicare is not Obamacare (or the Affordable Care Act to name it properly). Medicare predates the ACA by many years. No one goes to the doctor with an obamacare. They go to the doctor with an insurance plan. The doctor has no way to differentiate that plan obtained through an ACA exchange from any other plan obtained through an employer sponsored plan. They look the same to the doctor. You don't get a card that says Obamacare on it. Mine says Bluecross/Blueshield.

That's for people like you who can afford to purchase insurance. Guess what card poor people and the working-poor whose employer has dropped providing health insurance and opts to pay the penalty instead carry under ACA/Obamacare?

That's right, Medicare/Medicaid.

I'll give you three guesses on what type of new patients GP doctors (the ones that haven't yet joined the increasing numbers of doctors who are retiring early to avoid this train wreck) are increasingly refusing to take on.

If you want to see how well health care is going to be run in the US under the ACA, just look at the VA and the recent news stories concerning it.

Strat

about 2 months ago
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US Army To Transport American Ebola Victim To Atlanta Hospital From Liberia

BlueStrat Re:Why do you think that (409 comments)

And how easy it is to make the ignorant fearful.
And therefore, how easy it is to make the ignorant violent.

And how easy it is to simply label anyone who disagrees with you as ignorant so that they and their point of view can be marginalized and summarily dismissed without further consideration.

Just ignore the history of government screw-ups regarding dangerous things like radioactive materials, nerve agents, or even nuclear warheads that were all in the hands of "experts".

Geez! Just the thought of bringing an infected and still-living Ebola victim to a large US city is enough to make blood shoot out of your eyes!...Oh, wait...

Strat

about 3 months ago
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Journalist Sues NSA For Keeping Keith Alexander's Financial History Secret

BlueStrat Re:If true. If. (200 comments)

So the REAL question is what WILL stop it. Saying that "This one is a bad person and did nothing to change it" doesn't work. Saying "The previous one did nothing to change it" doesn't work.
Voting for "The other party" doesn't work.

No, I do not have the answer, because if I did I would be giving it.

What must be done to change the status-quo with minimal violence or bloodshed is to unite people under common values, such as the massive & ongoing civil rights violations/infringements that most people agree are wrong, regardless of what political stripe they self-identify as.

Likewise, the militarization of domestic police forces and their gradual shift from a community law enforcement role to more resemble a national occupation force complete with armored vehicles and heavy crew-served weapons.

Start focusing on what we have in common, not what divides us. Despite what those with power would like you to believe, we have much more in common than we have differences. Those commonalities are also those of a much more fundamental and essential nature than our differences.

Extremely few on any side of the political spectrum in the US (barring government & MIC) wants an Orwellian surveillance//security/police state.

I'd have no problem at all standing side by side in public protests and demonstrations with almost anyone from TEA Party member to PETA and/or LGBT activist and beyond who also was willing to postpone our arguments for our common interests in a free and open society without mass domestic surveillance & data analysis and a militarized police force performing military-occupation and wealth-confiscation roles more than any sort of community-based & controlled "officer of the peace" roles.

Look, people, yes we have beefs over stuff *BUT*, unless we unite and curb government power and size, it won't matter because very soon none of us will have any choices about anything nor any meaningful rights at all.

Strat

about 3 months ago
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Airbnb Partners With Cities For Disaster Preparedness

BlueStrat Re:Third Amendment Violations, dead ahead (55 comments)

The fiction that our second amendment rights are "under assault" is a kind of strange delusion bordering on mass hysteria that has no relationship to reality. Across the country gun rights are soundly trumping any attempt at sensible gun safety regulation.

Michael Bloomberg, is that you?

Strat

about 3 months ago
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Airbnb Partners With Cities For Disaster Preparedness

BlueStrat O RLY? (55 comments)

Today, city officials in San Francisco and Portland announced a partnership with peer-to-peer lodging service Airbnb to work out some disaster-preparedness plans ahead of time.

As opposed to trying to shut them down, along with the various ride-sharing services, as we've seen them try in recent times? Ride-sharing could work the same way in transporting disaster victims/refugees.

I wonder what other services the government might want to shut down that could be helpful in a disaster ::cough::quadcopter drones::cough::?

Good to see at least some in government aren't totally blinded by monied interests intent on stifling the advance of technology to preserve obsolete businesses and business models.

Strat

about 3 months ago
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When Spies and Crime-Fighters Squabble Over How They Spy On You

BlueStrat Re:What's it going to take? (120 comments)

The Constitution starts to become a little like the Bible: Once a pretty good idea, born out of its time and back then a great set of rules to live by to ensure that everyone can survive and thrive.

It's just that times change, stuff gets invented and certain things ain't as simple as they used to be, while others got way simpler. Plus in both cases people who kept reading the stuff over and over trying hard to find loopholes and, of course, finding them to subvert the original idea.

In other words, rules and regulations have to keep up with time. Else they become a relic and a tool for mocking them.

Except that the US Constitution is based on a set of basic and nearly-timeless principles of human nature and how they interact with and within governments that have proved themselves over history spanning from biblical times until the 1700s when it was written.

Human nature and the nature of government corruption and politicians' lust for ever-more power & control have not changed since the 1700s.

There is already a process included in the Constitution for any necessary modifications. That's what the Amendment process is. It's slow and difficult, and requires an overwhelming majority of people to approve for good reason. If it can be changed by whatever short-term political winds that blow, then it become useless as a standard and/or as protection against government oppression of citizens.

Strat

about 3 months ago
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Activist Group Sues US Border Agency Over New, Vast Intelligence System

BlueStrat Re:Why oppose this? (83 comments)

The government has every right to determine whom and what is coming into the United States.

The notion of governments having rights is doubly complex.

The Federal government in the case of the US has no rights, it has duties & obligations, and powers granted by the governed specifically to carry out those duties & obligations, and only those duties & obligations included specifically in the US Constitution.

It also includes a list of specific restrictions upon what powers the government may or may not exercise and how in areas that were felt to be particularly critical to creating and maintaining a society designed for maximum individual freedom, general order & prosperity, personal responsibility, and the protection of private property rights.

In my nearly 6 decades of experiencing firsthand the changes and the impact they had at the time that many younger people here only read about in wikipedia, I've seen and continue to see more than a correlative relationship between the trend away from the restrictions on government power from the early 1900s up to current times and it's resultant explosion of government spending/debt, abuse/abridgment of civil rights, the surveillance state, and the overall general trend of decline of the US domestically, socially, and internationally in nearly every way.

Government is in some ways similar to a nuclear fission reactor-based national power grid. You only place enough fissionable material in each reaction vessel of a number of reactors to achieve critical-but-stable output to power a limited area, you don't try to place all the fissionable material in one reactor at once to avoid the costs of building multiple reactors. Well, you'd only do it once, and very, very briefly at any rate, heh!

Once government power exceeds "critical mass" and the chain reaction of growth of power cascades, an authoritarian government is the inevitable outcome. I believe there's still time to at least avert the worst scenarios, but not much time. And the longer we delay, the worse things will become and the more people that will suffer.

Strat

about 3 months ago
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French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

BlueStrat Re:Barbara Streisand award (424 comments)

What you can do is write a review that is so incredible positive, that the irony is so obvious that nobody will miss it. I don't have the time, and don't have the inspiration and my ironic food dictionary is offline at the moment. So if anyone can think of a review of Il Giardino [tripadvisor.fr] that will make me really curious - go ahead and make my day! ;-)

Uh, this is the interwebs where there exists a near-singularity composed entirely of missed obvious sarcasm & irony. It's similar to Relativity theory regarding the increase of energy required as a mass is accelerated to a significant fraction of C. The amount of irony and obviousness required would approach infinity and might even cause a tear in the very fabric of the Multiverse itself.

Besides, this is France we're discussing. If the review causes the French restaurant to be swamped with too many customers in the judgment of the restaurant and the court, you might get sued for damages because of a *good* review!

Strat

about 3 months ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

BlueStrat Re:Last century stuff (753 comments)

tracked? no one cares about your beer, pizza, gamer video card, lap dance and dime bag purchases

What about that AR-15 bought from a friend? Or what about those electrical/electronic parts you ordered that could either become the heart of an IED timer/detonator device or fix the controls on grandma's hobby-ceramics firing-kiln in her garage that she's been after you to fix, after some nutcase phones in a bomb threat?

Or what about bus/train/plane tickets to a city where an anti-government protest is scheduled, coupled with your purchase of spray paint and other sign-making supplies?

If all such data is so uninteresting and worthless, why is it authoritarian governments historically make such a priority out of obtaining as much as possible from everyone they can force to comply?

Strat

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Apple Patent May Pose iPhone Privacy Threat

BlueStrat BlueStrat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

BlueStrat (756137) writes "MacWorld reports that Apple has submitted a patent application for remotely and stealthily activating features like the camera as well as using other features remotely without giving any visual or audible indication to attempt to identify users by voice and even heartbeat. Even the accelerometer, combined with other features, are envisioned as being used to identify if the phone is traveling, in which direction, how fast, and even the type of transport (train, plane, car, etc). The concept is said to be aimed at recovering stolen iPhones, but the possibility exists for many other more-invasive uses to which these features could be put, particularly by domestic intelligence, security, drug enforcement, and local/state law enforcement agencies.

From the MacWorld article regarding hacking/jailbreaking/etc prevention possibilities:

"While the proposed system could appeal to businesses concerned about securing data that workers access on their iPhones, it could also potentially be used by Apple to prevent so-called jailbreaking, which lets users load unauthorized software onto the phone. The patent application says that ways the technology would determine if an unauthorized user had the phone include identifying activities such as hacking, jailbreaking, unlocking, removing the SIM card and moving a predetermined distance from a synced device""

Link to Original Source
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Legal Threats From A Company On A Forum?

BlueStrat BlueStrat writes  |  more than 5 years ago

BlueStrat (756137) writes "A company or business owner threatening lawsuits against posters to an online 3rd-party community forum doesn't seem like a productive marketing move. I recently came across a possible example that got really, really ugly!

Being a builder of custom vacuum-tube musical instrument amplifiers, I frequent many online forums and specific tech sites. During a typical browse today, I came across this forum thread in Harmony-Central http://acapella.harmony-central.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2232581.

Apparently, the owner of Sozo capacitors http://www.sozoamplification.com/ a maker of "boutique" tube-amp capacitors got into a flame-war with some of the denizens. Accusations of re-labeling of other manufacturers' parts were followed by legal threats to the posters. Which, being the 'net, naturally escalated to profanity and beyond.

Even if this fellow from Sozo was totally legitimate and his companies' products were everything he claimed and more, is it worth this kind of display in defense of your company & products?

Strat"

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