top Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government
...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.
top Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?
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?
top Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor
i wonder if there is a "tin foil hat" for too much methane
That would be the
top Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google
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!
"Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'. Ya gotta have somethin', if ya wanna be with me!"
top Illinois University Restricts Access To Social Media, Online Political Content
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?"
top The Billion-Dollar Website
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.
top The Billion-Dollar Website
> 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.
top US Army To Transport American Ebola Victim To Atlanta Hospital From Liberia
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...
about a month and a half ago
top Journalist Sues NSA For Keeping Keith Alexander's Financial History Secret
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.
about a month and a half ago
top Airbnb Partners With Cities For Disaster Preparedness
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?
about a month and a half ago
top Airbnb Partners With Cities For Disaster Preparedness
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
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.
about a month and a half ago
top When Spies and Crime-Fighters Squabble Over How They Spy On You
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.
top Activist Group Sues US Border Agency Over New, Vast Intelligence System
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.
top French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review
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!
top Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills
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?
top Privacy Oversight Board Gives NSA Surveillance a Pass
Why do you think it is sudden? Congress, with the courts approval, have been infringing on Constitutional rights since the Constitution was written. They make exceptions all the time: when you can speak (no "fire" in a crowded theater); when you can assemble (Sorry "Occupy", move along... move along...); which guns you're allowed to buy (all without infringing on your right to keep & bear!); and when a warrant is required to execute you (Drone, zooooom, boom!).
The ends justify the means in each of those cases, so it does now too, and will again in the future.
All that shows is that we're not the 'land of the free and the home of the brave,' and never have been. Of course, things like slavery made that obvious anyway. Our government is and always was full of freedom-hating scumbags.
Nothing is ever perfect. The US Constitution sets the standard, or the bar against which the government must constantly be measured against and corrected when government strays/errs.
Through the history of the US, it has been both closer to that ideal and farther away, and in different areas and in different ways to different people at different times. Since government size has expanded so greatly since the 1920s, likewise so has its' power and control over ever more aspects of our lives and control of ever more US business, health, resource, & economic infrastructure. That expands the severity and scope of such bad government behavior.
We are in yet another moment in US history where we must decide how far we allow government power to reach, how many of our choices it can eliminate/control, and how much monitoring & control over our speech and communications it can be allowed to achieve.
Remember; If the capability exists, it will be misused regardless of any laws or oversight put in place. It's human nature, and especially human political nature.
top That Toy Is Now a Drone
Note that the amendment does not presume to be granting the right to keep and bear arms. It acknowledges the right as pre-existing, and explicitly prohibits the government from infringing it.
NO, it doesn't, and had NEVER been interpreted that way until the 1970s/80s.
Learn some damn history before talking about it.
It is YOU who needs to learn some history.
The Rights outlined in the US Constitution are the Rights every person is born with as they are the rights of "Nature and Nature's God" (as described by the founders).
Every person has a natural right to protect themselves. Every person has a right to voice their opinion. The US Constitution merely highlights and emphasizes what the Founders considered some of the most important of these rights in order to emphasize that the government may not infringe upon them.
The Constitution incorporates a negative list of Rights, that is, it is a non-exclusive list of some of the natural individual Rights that every person is born with that the government may not infringe upon.
It is always disturbing when the ignorant speak out with such vehemence and confidence upon matters in which they have no clue. Such public ignorance is what allows tyranny to take root.
Please, for all our sakes and for your own, educate yourself rather than parroting partisan political talking points.
top Larry Page: Healthcare Data Mining Could Save 100,000 Lives a Year
I would *presume* that any large-scale collection and analysis of medical information will eventually be abused by someone.
That still leaves the question of whether its a reasonable tradeoff.
Data is power. The more data that is collected about people, the easier they are to control. Just look at every single authoritarian police state and how they always gather as much data on people as possible. It's a means of control.
I don't know about you, but I don't feel like I have any surplus freedom. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact.
A free and open society is not without risks and responsibilities for the individuals in it. Data collection and mining to the extent that people like Larry Page desire is incompatible with a free and open society. He's just trying to convince people that the freedom you have is not that important, heck you barely use it and "look! ooooh, shiny!".
Every nation that became an authoritarian state that arose from within, started with convincing the people the freedoms they were losing were for the "greater good".
I'll take my chances with a free and open society where so much data about me is not collected & mined, and in the control of others with power over me who do not necessarily have my personal best interests in mind, thanks anyway Mr. Page.
top Supreme Court Rules Cell Phones Can't Be Searched Without a Warrant
As far as we know at this time, subject to further revelations/leaks which may challenge this, FBI, NSA, etc. are searching communications, not data stored on cellphones.
top UK Man Sentenced To 16 Months For Exporting 'E-Waste' Despite 91% Reuse
Hmm, I just now replaced a TV that was15 years old, only replaced because it was breaking down. (I still have it though, it's too heavy to drag down to the recyclers)
Remember several decades back when there were still television repair shops, so you'd go to have it fixed, replace the picture tubes, tune the chokes, etc?
There's a perfectly functional Sanyo TV, matching DVD player, and VHS tape deck from 2002 sitting in my entertainment center.
Right next to a 1970s Lafayette Electronics (remember their electronics kits and Ham/CB radios?) analog stereo receiver, the kind with slide-rule AM/FM dial for the tuner portion, and an analog signal-strength/FM-stereo-signal-centering meter. That powers two pairs of 12"-woofer Rat-Shack "Optimus" speakers from the early 1980s. Still sounds great, and easily powerful/loud enough to rattle the windows and bring the local constabulary.
I also feed video/audio to the system from my 2001 and 2006 PCs, as well as my SGI Octane system from ~1998.
My cellphone is a 'soapbar' style basic LG from 2005.
*I* and people like me who do not throw money at them every other year for the latest "Oooh, shiny!" are their enemy and their target. Africa just has a higher proportion who don't (and/or can't afford to) buy their products according to an "optimum upgrade schedule" designed to maximize their profits.
The e-waste angle is just another tool being (mis-)used to "nudge" people to keep paying them over and over, and not repair, reuse, and/or re-sell their products.
A *government* tool that would not exist, or at least not in a form that would allow the corrupt politicians to use in this way, if we did not allow governments to grow large enough to have so much power and control over everything and everybody's life that holding those in government accountable becomes impossible as a practical, peaceful matter. We've seen this recently with the DoJ, IRS, NSA, GCHQ, etc etc.