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Comments

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The NSA's New Partner In Spying: Saudi Arabia's Brutal State Police

Sabriel Re:What, no panopticon? (124 comments)

I worked that argument out with a simple question: "Self, if you were a random peasant with a vocal opinion on how things should be run differently, would you last longer in the West or in Saudi Arabia?"

That the NSA is knowingly supplying the torturer doesn't make the torturer less evil, any more than someone else doing the torturing makes the NSA less culpable for their knowing supply.

2 days ago
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UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys

Sabriel Re:Seems appropriate (353 comments)

Good luck with that.

about three weeks ago
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Australian Police Use Telcos For Cell "Tower Dump" of All Connected Users' Data

Sabriel Re:And Chicago is relevant to Australia? (60 comments)

As an Australian, I point out (a) the lack of oversight in both situations, (b) the lack of checks and balances in both situations, (c) the lack of transparency in both situations, and (d) that the phrase "51st state" is not a compliment over here.

NSW Police, Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police all declined to comment.

“It’s another example where [agencies] are collecting the entire haystack in order to find the needle,” Senator Ludlam said in an interview with Fairfax. “What we've seen with other techniques like this is there is no requirement to destroy the material that is collected incidentally after an investigation is complete,” Senator Ludlam said.

The primary thing in common isn't just the outrage they spark, it's the exact same reason it's sparked: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (who will guard the guards themselves).

about three weeks ago
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The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

Sabriel Re:Now is the time fire the experts. (162 comments)

"1) If you think a job is a right, you're wrong." - I don't.
"2) If you think any one company has to create jobs, you're wrong." - I don't.
"3) I, certainly, am not obliged to create a job for you either." - You're not.

"And the guys throwing rocks, they'll be wondering why no employer will touch them in a year's time."

Perhaps I wasn't clear. I wasn't talking about just a few people. I was talking about what happens if national economies based on labour scarcity, already under strain from severe income disparity, run headfirst into automation advancements that make jobs obsolete faster than society can create and fill (because training takes time) new ones. Because what are the odds that governments, being governments, will decide to throw band-aids at the problem for far too long and put their nations at risk of economic collapse before/as they transition to a labour-surplus economy?

"The Luddites may have had cause to be upset, but they were pretty much gone shortly after - because there's only so long you can protest about not having a job before you have to go find another, or before the law steps on you."

Yes, and "the law" didn't bother to check who it stepped on. The original Luddites were "pretty much gone shortly after" because the British government of the day responded with indiscriminate show trials of the guilty and innocent alike, and heavy-handed sentencing including executions and penal transportation. I've noticed that when people make Luddite jokes, they leave out that bit. For some reason it kills the mood.

about three weeks ago
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The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

Sabriel Re:Now is the time fire the experts. (162 comments)

Do you truly believe you would be one of the "successful people" in a society that thinks the solution to poor people is to run them over with tanks?

about three weeks ago
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The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

Sabriel Re:Now is the time fire the experts. (162 comments)

The only consistent, ongoing factor in automation is that it does more, faster, more reliably, cheaper at the expense of staff who did less, slower and less reliably but cost more. Sure, people need jobs - but nobody but the government is obligated to create them.

"Your poverty isn't my problem" is usually where it all goes to hell, yes. Right up until the poor collectively discover that they can still throw rocks.

about three weeks ago
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Consciousness On-Off Switch Discovered Deep In Brain

Sabriel Re:Consciousness (284 comments)

Why do you believe that there must be a religious explanation for a "soul"?

Why do you believe there must not be a religious explanation for a soul?

I don't believe either way. It's not a binary choice, you (should) know.

Ot goes both ways based on current evidence. There is evidence that the soul is a quantum phenomenon that can not be simply created (for varying definitions of simply) and this possibly explains so many things.

Actual evidence? I was under the impression there were only theories, and if I believe anything, it's that scientific evidence proving the existence (or non-existence) of souls should be front-page news. Okay, maybe page two or three, depending on what else happened that day. But major news nonetheless.

I acknowledge its only a possibility and the theory has only a small amount of evidence but you have exactly none to back your statements.

Which statements would those be? I made two. The first was that the previous poster had made a claim that relied on an unsupported assumption; you demanding I provide evidence for someone else's unsubstantiated claim being wrong is a tu quoque fallacy. The second was that it would be no less a major discovery if we found scientific proof that we did have souls (than if we found we didn't); I took it to be self-evident, but feel free to ask a journalist (or priest) their view.

about three weeks ago
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When Beliefs and Facts Collide

Sabriel Re:Not surprising. (725 comments)

You know what's really weird? That so many people without a PhD in climatology think they need to look at the research to know whether the scientists are right or wrong.

http://in.reuters.com/article/...

Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday that efforts to address climate change should focus on engineering methods to adapt to shifting weather patterns and rising sea levels rather than trying to eliminate use of fossil fuels.

Tillerson said humans have long adapted to change, and governments should create policies to cope with the Earth's rising temperatures.

"Changes to weather patterns that move crop production areas around -- we'll adapt to that. It's an engineering problem and it has engineering solutions," Tillerson said in a presentation to the Council on Foreign Relations.

It's so much easier to just follow the money.

about three weeks ago
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Consciousness On-Off Switch Discovered Deep In Brain

Sabriel Re:Consciousness (284 comments)

Why do you believe that consciousness must not emerge from brain activity for there to be a "soul"?
Why do you believe that there must be a religious explanation for a "soul"?

Whether or not there actually is a "soul", your provided definition of it doesn't require either of those to be true.

And it would be no less a major discovery if we found that we did have souls. Or that only some of us did. Or that we only got them at a certain age. Or only under certain conditions. Or that we could create them. Or destroy them.

about three weeks ago
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Amazon Sues After Ex-Worker Takes Google Job

Sabriel Re:Do they own him? (272 comments)

Well, the 13th Amendment of the United States constitution reserves the power to make and keep slaves to the government; combine the latter's oligarchic aspects with the "revolving door" and it's obvious the poor little executives are just confused and forgetting which side of the curtain they're currently on ;p.

about three weeks ago
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Julian Assange Plans Modeling Debut At London Fashion Show

Sabriel Re: and yet (173 comments)

Yes, exactly my point.

about three weeks ago
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Court Allowed NSA To Spy On All But 4 Countries

Sabriel Re:Uh... Yeah? (242 comments)

Heh. All that the "only four other countries exempt" means is that those four countries already have agreements with the US to share stuff their own spies learn.

Me? Spies are going to spy. What matters is the oversight, the checks and balances - or lack thereof.

about a month ago
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Julian Assange Plans Modeling Debut At London Fashion Show

Sabriel Re: and yet (173 comments)

Oh, it's a matter of the risks?

Look at the Wikipedia entry for Hobson's choice: "The phrase is said to originate with Thomas Hobson (1544–1631), a livery stable owner in Cambridge, England. To rotate the use of his horses, he offered customers the choice of either taking the horse in the stall nearest the door or taking none at all."

If it were solely a matter of the risks, the customer obviously also had the choice of stealing a horse. But the desirability of that happening and the likelihood of that working out for the customer is so low that we go ahead and call it a Hobson's choice. Ditto Snowden: the desirability of the remaining alternatives and the likelihood of that working out for him is so low - now that the revocation of his passport has caught up with him and that other countries are demonstrably willing to interfere with even presidential aircraft if they think he's on board - that I'm going to call it in the ballpark. YMMV, and apparently does.

about a month ago
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Julian Assange Plans Modeling Debut At London Fashion Show

Sabriel Re: and yet (173 comments)

While true that any country can grant asylum regardless of the lack of a passport, the person still needs to be able to reach that country. Thus the second half of my original comment:

(perhaps he could still have got himself smuggled out in a diplomatic bag or some other James Bond shenanigans, but considering the Evo Morales grounding incident, that might not have worked out so well)

about a month ago
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Julian Assange Plans Modeling Debut At London Fashion Show

Sabriel Re: and yet (173 comments)

Fair enough. I'll amend: By the fact that the revocation of his passport caught up with him while transiting Russia, Snowden's choice went from "which country do I seek asylum in" to "do I seek asylum in Russia or not at all?"

about a month ago
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Julian Assange Plans Modeling Debut At London Fashion Show

Sabriel Re: and yet (173 comments)

See Hobson's Choice.

By the fact that his passport was revoked while transiting Russia, Snowden's choice went from "which country do I seek asylum in" to "do I seek asylum in Russia or not at all?"

(perhaps he could still have got himself smuggled out in a diplomatic bag or some other James Bond shenanigans, but considering the Evo Morales grounding incident, that might not have worked out so well)

about a month ago
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Want To Resell Your Ebooks? You'd Better Act Fast

Sabriel Re:The right to read. (72 comments)

Ah yes, "customer rights", we have dismissed that claim.

about a month ago
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Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

Sabriel Re:Except, of course, they have to prove you can (560 comments)

The whole premise of "don't talk to the cops" is one of risk management. Don't be confrontational, don't try to outwit them in an argument, don't show off how smart (you think) you are, etc. Be nice, be meek, be quiet. You lose nothing if the cop is a good cop and you reduce the risk of losing everything if the cop is a bad cop. Leave the lion-handling to the experts, i.e. your laywer, who isn't you, who can say things you can't, and who hopefully has many years of experience in knowing how to negotiate with the police.

Obviously (well, hopefully) your kid running away or your house getting burgled are situations where "call the cops" trumps "don't talk to the cops". YMMV.

I've a couple of friends who are cops. It's not (generally) that dangerous physically, compared to some jobs, but it is dangerous mentally - a few years of being a cop and the world starts getting divided into "perp", "vic", "witness", "suspect", etc. And it starts creeping into their social life. It's a monochrome perspective that no amount of increased pay can solve, and I'm very much in favor of giving cops generous leave entitlements instead - indeed, mandating an amount of leave every so often - as much for society's benefit as their own.

about a month ago
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Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

Sabriel Re:Except, of course, they have to prove you can (560 comments)

That sounds like a scenario in which you better make extremely sure of your UPS arrangements.

"Mwuahahaha! Now my criminal empire is secured against all possible government interference!"

*gets jostled by minion, drops IC, watches in horror as the little battery powering it springs loose and bounces across the floor*

"FFFFFFFFFU-"

about a month ago

Submissions

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Google fined for someone else's graffiti

Sabriel Sabriel writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Sabriel (134364) writes "Google's appeal against a 2008 defamatory anonymous posting on Orkut has been denied in Brazil, and Google fined $US8500 ($9100) for the crime of being vandalised. In the words of the judge, Alvimar de Avila, "By making space available on virtual networking sites, in which users can post any type of message without any checks beforehand, with offensive and injurious content, and, in many cases, of unknown origin, [Google] assumes the risk of causing damage [to other people],".

I'd submit a more blunt opinion of this farce, but it might be considered offensive and injurious content... I wonder if he's related to the judge in Italy?"

Link to Original Source
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South Australia outlaws anonymous political speech

Sabriel Sabriel writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Sabriel (134364) writes "If you're online in South Australia and want to comment about the upcoming state election, be prepared to hand over your real name and postcode first — because this month it becomes illegal to do so anonymously (even under a pseudonym). Media organisations must keep your details on file for six months and face "fines of $5000 if they do not hand over this information to the Electoral Commissioner". This abomination was passed with the support of both major parties (Labour and Liberal), and to quote its sponsor, Attorney-General Michael Atkinson, "There is no impinging on freedom of speech, people are free to say what they wish as themselves, not as somebody else." Apparently incapable of targetting a few imposters without resorting to "nuke it from orbit" legislative tactics, it seems he's forgotten that protecting anonymity is important to the democratic process; hopefully both major parties will get a reminder come the polls on March 20."

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