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Mozilla's 2013 Report: Revenue Up 1% To $314M; 90% From Google

Bob9113 Pi Hundred Million! (147 comments)

Pi hundred million. Nothing more to say, but I'm guessing if I don't add more I will run into the lameness filter.

2 days ago
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Greenwald Advises Market-Based Solution To Mass Surveillance

Bob9113 Pray to God and Row Toward Shore (145 comments)

There's a religious refrain, "Pray to God but row toward shore." It means you should ask for God's help, but that doesn't mean you should just sit there in the boat and wait to be saved.

From the Cryptome PDF:
Yesterday the USA Freedom Act was blocked in the Senate as it failed to garner the 60 votes required to move forward. Presumably the bill would have imposed limits on NSA surveillance. Careful scrutiny of the billâ(TM)s text however reveals yet another mere gesture of reform, one that would codify and entrench existing surveillance capabilities rather than eliminate them.

We didn't really lose anything. The government chose not to pass a platitude. That's probably not going to change until we manage to fix the twin problem of fear and hatred, being stoked by those who gain from emotionalism.

In the meantime, we need to row toward shore. Keep working on all the cryptography solutions you have time to help with. If you have an interest in meme propagation on social media or propaganda, see if you can figure out some ways to weaken the grip of emotionalism. I am, and it's fun.

Sometimes your nation calls on you for service. Sometimes you have to know what it needs even if it doesn't know how to ask.

2 days ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

Bob9113 I Tried To Skeptic The Review (541 comments)

I saw this yesterday and tried, so hard, to be the skeptic poking holes in a feminist's overreaction -- and failed. This thing is just awful. The best I could come up with was, "Well, there are valuable people on software development teams who do design. I value them immensely, because I can't do it."

Well, sure, and maybe they should also put out a book titled, "I can be a game designer." But that's not the title, and (I can tell you from personal experience) women make fine software engineers. Some great, some awful, most somewhere in between -- just like guys. If they want to make a book with a title about Barbie being a software engineer, they should just tell that story.

3 days ago
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81% of Tor Users Can Be De-anonymized By Analysing Router Information

Bob9113 Re:So don't use Tor at home? (136 comments)

>> when you want to do something without being watched, you use TOR with clean hardware and connectivity.

> So what is clean? I can only think of an Ubuntu VM, default install with maybe one or two addons in Firefox to delete cookies. Nothing that changes or adds fonts...

That's a fairly good version. I think it's about how extreme you want to go and how secure you feel you need to be. You could grab a fresh laptop off Craig's List and only use it for a few days. You could get a Raspberry Pi with no writable storage and change the MAC address every time you power it up. Or, at the other end of the spectrum, you could just have one laptop that you only use for your alternate persona, and always use it for that, if what you need is pseudonymity instead of anonymity (that's the most aggressive thing I do, actually, being one of those people who doesn't actually have anything to hide, but still believes in privacy as a matter of principle).

And, of course, every step you take is a good one. It all helps to confound those who would violate what I believe are inalienable rights.

4 days ago
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Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?

Bob9113 Re:Can government solve government problems? (135 comments)

Frequency allocations, overseen by the FCC, are a government protected monopoly.

Frequency competition has the most clear natural limits on competition of any of the carriage technologies you mention, but they exist for all of them. If more than one carrier uses the same slice of spectrum, they all degrade. Laissez-faire does a horrible job of maximizing production with wireless spectrum. Easements for wires and the natural barrier to entry of sinking new cables create a similar problem with wired carriage.

The FCC is not creating fiat carriage monopolies, they are managing natural limitations to carriage competition.

It is worth noting that there are genuine fiat monopolies at the local and state levels, but those are almost always created by the corporations through lobbying, partnerships, or collusion, not by the unaided whim of a bureaucrat.

about a week ago
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FCC Says Net Neutrality Decision Delay Is About Courts, Not Politics

Bob9113 Re:Nov 25 or 26?, or Dec 19, 22, or 23? (60 comments)

which form of Net Neutrality? A) protocol neutral? B) endpoint neutral?

Both -- the carrier should not make prioritization decisions for me. My network and software should handle that, since my ISP can't know which packets are highest priority to me.

I am convinced that government regulators will find a third definition for Net Neutrality

That is a good reason to be eternally vigilant of the FCC, and the Internet is worth our effort. It is not a good reason to abdicate the decision to the ISPs, whose financial interests and both naturally- and regulatory- limited competition ensures a market-inefficient solution. The ISPs have the privilege of operating the carriage of our network for a profit. If they don't want that privilege, they can sell their gear and rights-of-way to a competitor. Both Google and municipal operations are wiping the floor with the incumbents everywhere they pop up.

about a week ago
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FCC Says Net Neutrality Decision Delay Is About Courts, Not Politics

Bob9113 Re:Nov 25 or 26?, or Dec 19, 22, or 23? (60 comments)

As to the will of the people--we're talking net neutrality. People support it because they like the word "Neutral."

There may be some like that, but people like me, who have been working on the Internet since before hypertext, support it because the idea of letting ISPs make deals for fast lanes is about as stupid as allowing the electric company make deals with companies to cut off electricity to their competitors.

about a week ago
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FCC Says Net Neutrality Decision Delay Is About Courts, Not Politics

Bob9113 Nov 25 or 26?, or Dec 19, 22, or 23? (60 comments)

The best days to announce things like, "We've decided to completely ignore the will of the people and do what the guys with wheelbarrows full of money tell us to" are the days right before Thanksgiving and right before Christmas. My bet is on Nov. 25, leaving a day to get home to family, but Nov 26, or Dec 19, 22, or 23 would not surprise me.

We can also say with some certainty when they won't announce; Dec 2, 9, or 16 -- Tuesdays during full work weeks -- are extremely unlikely.

about a week ago
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81% of Tor Users Can Be De-anonymized By Analysing Router Information

Bob9113 Re:So don't use Tor at home? (136 comments)

Basically what they are saying is that you should not use Tor at home or at work, but in other places, where you don't do your normal browsing.

Close, but not quite ideal. You should use TOR at home to do strictly legitimate things, to create the haystack in which the needles can be hidden. Then, when you want to do something without being watched, you use TOR with clean hardware and connectivity. Also, when travelling to your clean connectivity, leave your cell phone and other tracking devices at home, and do it somewhere with lots of other people.

about a week ago
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How To End Online Harassment

Bob9113 Sufficient & Necessary (827 comments)

'With Gamergate, it's not enough to ignore the trolls.'

It may not be sufficient, and if you have good ideas to add please do. But an effective solution to any problem must be both sufficient and necessary. And in this case, ignoring the trolls is necessary, even if you do not find it to be sufficient.

Trolls gain steam from attention. Any strategy for shutting down trolls must include ignoring them. There may be additional tactics that are worth employing, like advocating courtesy in Internet communications, but "don't feed the trolls" is a required part of the solution.

about two weeks ago
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Net Neutrality Alone Won't Solve ISP Throttling Abuse, Here's Why

Bob9113 Re:Bullshit (200 comments)

That it is realistic to have highways wide enough that there will never be congestion?

Obviously not, and you can't possibly think I do think that. So I can only conclude that your question is not sincere, but meant to be dismissive. That is neither mature nor productive.

In a real internet (in fact on the internet for its entire existence), the network is managed.

The provider should be managing the allocation of data based on the subscribers' contracts, not on who they are connecting to, the content of the packets, what port it is on, what protocol it is using, or anything else. People who need high speed should order high speed packages. People who need low latency should pay for low latency. People who need both should pay for both.

Different data has different priorities, it just does.

Of course it does, but the ISP cannot know which data has what priority based on the port, protocol, endpoints, or packet content. Only the end user can determine those things, and the ISP making contradictory decisions is a breach of the data carriage obligation under which we have granted them privileges like rights-of-way and protection from liability for the data they transport.

about two weeks ago
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Net Neutrality Alone Won't Solve ISP Throttling Abuse, Here's Why

Bob9113 Bullshit (200 comments)

Email and web traffic can tolerate significantly higher latencies, for example.

Bullshit. You don't know which of my traffic is higher priority. The end user can and should have network management tools, but the ISP better damned well not decide that my kids watching Nemo in HD is more important than my rsync transfer of a log file telling me why the master server just barfed. That is my choice, not the ISP's.

Similarly, almost everyone agrees that ISPs have some responsibility to control network performance in a manner that guarantees the best service for the most number of people,

Bullshit. Just, bullshit. Citation needed. No, people who understand networks do not believe that the pipeline providers should be doing traffic prioritization based on endpoints.

or that prioritizes certain traffic over others in the event of an emergency.

Vague fear mongering. What if the network companies prioritize the wrong things in their search for a little more revenue and something bad happens to the children? THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

These are all issues that a careful set of regulations could preserve while still mandating neutral traffic treatment in the majority of cases, but it's a level of nuance that most discussions of the topic don't touch. The larger and more serious problem with net neutrality as its often defined, however, is that it typically deals only with the "last mile," or the types and nature of the filtering an ISP can apply to your personal connection.

I don't know if this is intentional or not, but throwing piles of vaguely related and confusing facts at a story then saying, "Therefore, we shouldn't regulate now!" is a standard tactic from the Koch plalybook. Shove it.

The public, including tens of thousands of network administrators, have spoken without equivocation: We want net neutrality. Period. When the ISPs come up with better regulation, they can propose it, and we will consider it. Until then, we will not move an inch on our demand for Net Neutrality. It has worked since the first day of the Internet. It is why the Internet made so many people, including the ISPs, rich. If they don't like it, they can GTFO or DIAF.

about two weeks ago
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The Effect of Programming Language On Software Quality

Bob9113 Emacs! (217 comments)

I don't care what they say, software written with Emacs is way better than software writen with Vi!

about three weeks ago
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Online Payment Firm Stripe Boots 3D Gun Designer Cody Wilson's Companies

Bob9113 Re:It's just business - nothing personal (353 comments)

Why should [Stripe] be forced to pick a side?

The reality is they probably were. Agreed it is probably not Stripe's choice -- but if it is, I feel that all payment processors have a duty to not pick and choose the businesses they will cut off. Trade and the economy are too important to allow payment gateways to act as a choke point for morality enforcement. If the business is illegal, it should be shut down. If it is not, all businesses should have equal right and opportunity to engage in trade.

Privately operated toll bridges shouldn't be allowed to ban FedEx trucks, electric companies shouldn't be allowed to refuse service to stores that sell cigarettes, ISPs shouldn't be allowed to throttle content providers who don't pay extra, and payment processors shouldn't be allowed to enforce morality.

But, again, I think this was more likely DOJ or ATF bullying, not Stripe's choice.

about three weeks ago
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Pianist Asks Washington Post To Remove Review Under "Right To Be Forgotten"

Bob9113 Libel Could Work That Way, Too (257 comments)

It's also a truly fascinating, troubling demonstration of how the ruling could work.

Yes, but not of how it does work. Libel law could work exactly the same way, but it doesn't.

It is important to find cases where this ruling does cause problems, so we can amend or reverse it. Pointing out cases where it could result in legally enforced removal of information that is in the public interest, but almost certainly won't, is crying wolf and is harmful to the goal of reforming the ruling.

about three weeks ago
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Is Public Debate of Trade Agreements Against the Public Interest?

Bob9113 Simply Protecting the Proletariat (219 comments)

According to New Zealand's current Trade Minister, Tim Groser, full disclosure of what is being discussed would likely lead to "public debate on an ill-informed basis before the deal has been done."

I do not understand the lack of clarity in his speech. He could simply have said, "The proletariat are too ignorant for their own good, and must be protected from their stupidity by the aristocracy, like dogs or goats."

about three weeks ago
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Tim Cook: "I'm Proud To Be Gay"

Bob9113 Re:News for Nerds? (764 comments)

But considering just how straight white male oriented the tech industry is

You mean demographic-wise or acceptance-wise? If the former, maybe, I haven't really taken a statistical sample. But if you mean the latter, where have you been working? I mean, when I was working in NYC and SF, and even Seattle, I suppose it would be expected that most of my fellow geeks didn't care about sexual orientation and were vocally pro gay rights, but even now in Phoenix almost all of my geek friends feel the same. I've always assumed it was a natural result of being future-oriented and of geekiness being an outsider culture. If your geek friends are homophobes, they'd strike me as statistically rare. Maybe you just need new friends.

about three weeks ago
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New Crash Test Dummies Reflect Rising American Bodyweight

Bob9113 Re:What about the "old normal"? (144 comments)

What happens when we start tuning our restraint systems for the obese? Will they continue to function properly for trim people, will they work less effectively, or might they actually become harmful, like airbags for kids?

Perhaps there will be restraint system option packages. The Kid-Size, Fit-Size, Fun-Size, and Super-Size. Of course, then there might be size inflation like women's dresses, so eventually fit people will be driving size zero cars and slender people won't be able to buy off-the-rack at all.

about three weeks ago
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Verizon Launches Tech News Site That Bans Stories On US Spying

Bob9113 Net Neutrality Case-In-Point (145 comments)

In exchange for the major corporate backing, tech reporters at SugarString are expressly forbidden from writing about American spying or net neutrality around the world, two of the biggest issues in tech and politics today.

You gotta admire the chutzpah. Even as they are saying to the FCC that they can be trusted with the authority to be the gatekeepers of the Internet, they put on a public display of their intent to inhibit public policy debate on the very issue of Net Neutrality itself.

The extraordinary lack of self-consciousness is difficult to fathom. It rises to the level of, "Let them eat cake."

about three weeks ago
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Debate Over Systemd Exposes the Two Factions Tugging At Modern-day Linux

Bob9113 Re:Server On The Desktop (863 comments)

My personal choice now is Gentoo. Maybe it would be good for you, maybe not.

Others who have similar tastes to mine have recommended Gentoo. I'll probably give it a try. Thanks for the getting started tips!

about a month ago

Submissions

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Obama Posts Net Neutrality Petition

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  4 days ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "President Obama has posted a petition for net neutrality, targeted at the FCC. The page reads: Stand up for net neutrality President Obama is taking a stand to keep the internet open and free. Add your name to tell the FCC you support the President's plan to protect net neutrality."
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GamerGate May Have Been an Op

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about 2 months ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "Casey Johnston at Ars Technica has a story on GamerGate: "A set of IRC logs released Saturday appear to show that a handful of 4chan users were ultimately behind #GamerGate, the supposedly grass-roots movement aimed at exposing ethical lapses in gaming journalism. The logs show a small group of users orchestrating a "hashtag campaign" to perpetuate misogynistic attacks by wrapping them in a debate about ethics in gaming journalism....""
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Electric Neutrality: An Alternative Perspective on Net Neutrality

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about 6 months ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "I have been trying to frame Net Neutrality to explain it to a broader audience. I have been comparing it to the shipping carrier networks, but that works best with people who already understand common carrier and how it relates to physical carriage. A couple days ago, I thought of a different service to compare it to, and it is proving much easier to explain to people who are less familiar with limited competition networks. I created a YouTube video that explores how electricity network neutrality is critical to protecting the free market in electric appliances."
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May 15 FCC Protest to Support Net Neutrality

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about 6 months ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "On Thursday, May 15, hundreds will rally outside the Federal Communications Commission’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., to protest Chairman Wheeler’s proposal that has the potential to stop the flow of a free and open Internet. On this same day, thousands of activists, organizations and companies will take action online to save the Internet. “Chairman Wheeler is feeling the grassroots pressure against his pay-for-prioritization proposal. But he still isn’t giving Internet users the Net Neutrality protections they demand,” said Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron. “He needs to abandon the flimsy and failed legal approach of his predecessors and reclassify Internet service providers as the common carriers they are. If preventing fast and slow lanes on the Internet is the goal, reclassification is the way forward.""
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NSA Tampers With US Made Routers Before Export

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about 6 months ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "According to Glenn Greenwald, reporting at The Guardian: 'A June 2010 report from the head of the NSA's Access and Target Development department is shockingly explicit. The NSA routinely receives – or intercepts – routers, servers, and other computer network devices being exported from the US before they are delivered to the international customers. The agency then implants backdoor surveillance tools, repackages the devices with a factory seal, and sends them on. The NSA thus gains access to entire networks and all their users. The document gleefully observes that some "SIGINT tradecraft is very hands-on (literally!)".'"
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Final Surge Needed for Net Neutrality Petition

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about 6 months ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "We need one more big surge of traffic, ideally starting Monday or Tuesday morning at around 10 AM Eastern, to get the Net Neutrality petition to 100k votes on time. I've been tracking the vote rate and it runs fastest on Tuesday, during the work day. We will get the most traction if as many people as possible promote the petition on their social network channels starting early this week. Please consider raising the issue and the petition on your social network channels to help generate the final surge in traffic we need to hit 100k signatures. The petition may not have as much legal authority as we would like, but at least it is a potent rhetorical device for Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn, the two FCC commissioners who are already raising opposition to allowing a fast lane."
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New White House Petition for Net Neutrality

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about 7 months ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "On the heels of yesterday's FCC bombshell, there is a new petition on the White House petition site titled, "Maintain true net neutrality to protect the freedom of information in the United States." The body reads: "True net neutrality means the free exchange of information between people and organizations. Information is key to a society's well being. One of the most effective tactics of an invading military is to inhibit the flow of information in a population; this includes which information is shared and by who. Today we see this war being waged on American citizens. Recently the FCC has moved to redefine "net neutrality" to mean that corporations and organizations can pay to have their information heard, or worse, the message of their competitors silenced. We as a nation must settle for nothing less than complete neutrality in our communication channels. This is not a request, but a demand by the citizens of this nation. No bandwidth modifications of information based on content or its source.""
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RNC Calls For Halt To Unconstitutional Surveillance

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about 10 months ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "According to an article on Ars Technica, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has passed a resolution that "encourages Republican lawmakers to immediately take action to halt current unconstitutional surveillance programs and provide a full public accounting of the NSA's data collection programs." The resolution, according to Time, was approved by an overwhelming majority voice vote at the Republican National Committee's Winter Meeting General Session, going on this week in Washington, DC."
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The Patent Problem Is Bigger Than Trolls

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  1 year,22 days

Bob9113 (14996) writes "Ars Technica reports the following: "Canada-based telecom Nortel went bankrupt in 2009 and sold its biggest asset--a portfolio of more than 6,000 patents covering 4G wireless innovations and a range of technologies--at an auction in 2011. Google bid for the patents, but didn't get them. Instead, they went to a group of competitors--Microsoft, Apple, RIM, Ericsson, and Sony--operating under the name "Rockstar Bidco." The companies together bid the shocking sum of $4.5 billion. This afternoon, that stockpile was finally used for what pretty much everyone suspected it would be used for--launching an all-out patent attack on Google and Android. The smartphone patent wars have been underway for a few years now, and the eight lawsuits filed in federal court today by Rockstar Consortium mean that the conflict just hit DEFCON 1.""
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Defense Distributed Liberator Takedown

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "The top of the download page for the 3D model files of the Liberator — the 3D printable handgun from Defense Distributed — now bears the following notice: "DEFCAD files are being removed from public access at the request of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls. Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information." There are no links on the page to download the .stl model files. The Wikipedia page for Defense Distributed suggests that the model files can still be found on torrent sites, though torrenting those files may have significant legal implications."
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Khanna Axed Over Copyright Memo

Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  about 2 years ago

Bob9113 (14996) writes "Ars Technica reports that Derek Khanna is getting axed over his memo detailing the conflict between laissez-faire-oriented free market ideals and the regulatory monopoly that is copyright.
"The Republican Study Committee, a caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives, has told staffer Derek Khanna that he will be out of a job when Congress re-convenes in January. The incoming chairman of the RSC, Steve Scalise (R-LA) was approached by several Republican members of Congress who were upset about a memo Khanna wrote advocating reform of copyright law. They asked that Khanna not be retained, and Scalise agreed to their request.""

Link to Original Source
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Bob9113 Bob9113 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Bob9113 writes "Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, posted the following. Doing what you believe is right, what your customers believe is right, in the face of impossible odds — that is honor. The following is copied verbatim.

Digg This: 09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0

by Kevin Rose at 9pm, May 1st, 2007 in Digg Website

Today was an insane day. And as the founder of Digg, I just wanted to post my thoughts...

In building and shaping the site I've always tried to stay as hands on as possible. We've always given site moderation (digging/burying) power to the community. Occasionally we step in to remove stories that violate our terms of use (eg. linking to pornography, illegal downloads, racial hate sites, etc.). So today was a difficult day for us. We had to decide whether to remove stories containing a single code based on a cease and desist declaration. We had to make a call, and in our desire to avoid a scenario where Digg would be interrupted or shut down, we decided to comply and remove the stories with the code.

But now, after seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you've made it clear. You'd rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won't delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be.

If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying.

Digg on,

Kevin"

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