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In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

StevenMaurer Re:About Fucking Time (422 comments)

While starting completely new ones. Hooray!

Indeed, Hooray! (I'm glad you get it - so few kneejerk anti-American morons do.) The US is at its best when it is saving innocent people, like Libyans and Yhazdis, from genocide. It returns us to what is best about this country.

*cough* bullshit *cough*

Yes indeed! Your quote IS bullshit! I'm glad you noticed! You can't claim a policy failed by arbitrarily changing the yardstick. We've never measured by U6. No time to start now.

Hooray though, we added 300,000 jobs in the last quarter. The economy did that in most years of the 1960s, when the population of the United States was significantly less than today. Success!

Yet again, you are completely correct! This is an amazing Success! The economy in the 1960s was aided by the fact that most of the rest of the world was still recovering from WW2, and half of it was under the ideological sway of Communist regimes fundamentally opposed to economic reality. Further, the U.S. had many more controls in place in those days to reduce economic inequality, since people still had a long memory of what Republicans did to cause the Great Depression. Tax rates on corporations in the 1960s reached as high as 90%, with fewer loopholes. This allowed many states to give a free college education to anyone who had the grades to get accepted, no matter what their economic background. All which provided massive demand for U.S. employment.

Alas, we ended all that. Self-defeating "trickle-down" is now more or less a religion (except Jesus and his miracles can't be actually disproven, like all these bullshit Republican economic theories have), so now we're stuck with people voting in Republicans on grandiose promises that this-time-it'll-work-for-sure, the inevitable economic crash, Democrats voted in to fix it, and then Republicans again to punish the Democrats for fixing the Republican mess, because this-time-it'll-work-for-sure.

2 days ago
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Federal Court Nixes Weeks of Warrantless Video Surveillance

StevenMaurer Please proceed... (437 comments)

I find it very amusing to hear from all these one-man Supreme Courts, constitutional scholars all, willing to declare in internet chat-rooms that the President has violated some part of the law, at least in their own mind.

But please, here's your chance. Quote the relevant case law that makes you think you know more than judges who have spent their lives studying this stuff.

3 days ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

StevenMaurer Re:This partisan "report" was released for one rea (769 comments)

If it was intended as some sort of partisan football, it would have been released BEFORE the election, not after.

The Flamebait mod was quite appropriate

about two weeks ago
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FISA Court Extends Section 215 Bulk Surveillance For 90 Days

StevenMaurer Re:Clarification: expires June 2015, law says cour (82 comments)

I believe this refers to "metadata", i.e. who is calling who, rather than the strawman you just constructed to knock down.

There are plenty of reasonable arguments against this. But you should work harder at actually making them

about two weeks ago
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Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

StevenMaurer This isn't writers' faults (368 comments)

Have you ever tried to get science fiction published these days? I have. I've learned that publishers don't want science fiction. They want fantasy childhood adventure stories, with a veneer of unscientific "sci-fi". You can't make it unless good and evil are delineated in clear, bright, lines, and your tv-tropes run thick and hackneyed.

These days, I write only for myself. But everyone I do a reading for says "Boy, that's interesting! Why don't you publish?". Then I explain.

about two weeks ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

StevenMaurer Re:It was an almost impossible case to prosecute (1128 comments)

In addition to there being witnesses (black males and females) who contradicted that statement, the autopsy of Michael Brown clearly contradicted it as well.

You are so completely wrong, it's laughable. First, the forensic evidence said nothing of the sort that you describe. Second, here is a link to video of the instant reaction of two bystanders seeing the event as it happened live. What do they say? "He had his F@^&#ING HANDS UP!"

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

This is a perfect example of cognitive bias in action. You want Wilson to be innocent, so you choose to believe rumors that are flat out untrue.

about three weeks ago
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Former Police Officer Indicted For Teaching How To Pass a Polygraph Test

StevenMaurer Re:Not as simple as teaching how to ... (328 comments)

I read the article you referenced. It's not as you describe it.

Installing secret compartments in vehicles when you know that its purpose is for doing something illegal, is itself illegal. Engaging in a criminal conspiracy to move drugs around the country is also illegal. Basically any time a drug dealer says to you "I need help to deliver this kilo of cocaine", and you say "Sure, as long as you pay me, I'll be happy to help", you're in some rather serious trouble if you get caught. The prosecutors were able to get one of the drug dealers to testify that he knew exactly what he was doing (in exchange for a reduced sentence). And the jury chose to believe the drug dealer.

You make this out as if the DEA somehow can throw people in prison for "doing nothing illegal". But the truth is that this fellow had a trial, a lawyer to defend himself, a judge to ensure that the law was followed, before a jury of his peers, and the jury chose to convict him.

I'm well aware that juries can make mistakes, but this doesn't seem at all like a miscarriage of justice. Not with the facts presented.

about a month ago
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Espionage Campaign Targets Corporate Executives Traveling Abroad

StevenMaurer Re:"Threat actor" - buzzword du jour (101 comments)

Suddenly this is the new thing. You could simply say "the thief" or "the bad guy" or "the spy", but then you wouldn't sound all Matrix.

Lighten up, Slashdot.

That term is commonly used in the security industry, specifically because it is more generic than "virus writer", "thief", "foreign intelligence service", or "disgruntled worker".

about a month ago
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Video Raises Doubts About Attkisson's Claims of Malicious Hacking

StevenMaurer More than a misunderstanding, it's a fake (105 comments)

http://crooksandliars.com/2014...

Attkisson's 'Hack' In a nutshell, Attkisson claims the government hacked her computers in December, 2012 and she reported it to CBS at the time. She claims a PC and her personal Mac were hacked, and the media has accepted this claim with no skepticism. Mediaite went with the assumption that she shot it in December, 2012.

But a sharp-eyed commenter over at Media Matters observed that Attkisson's video was shot during the Valerie Harper debut on Dancing With the Stars in September, 2013. Here's what WiscoJoe observes:

Attkisson shot this video on or sometime after September 16, 2013. The episode of "Dancing with the Stars" that is playing in the background features Valerie Harper dancing a Foxtrot to "Some Kind of Wonderful" and first aired live on the evening of that date.
According to Attkisson's own timeline her computer was 'hacked' in October 2012, she came forward with this allegation in May 2013, but then waited until September 2013 to take video 'evidence.'

Has Ms. Attkisson provided an explanation of when this video was taken or why she waited for a year, and until after she went forward with public allegations, to take video documentation of her computer being 'hacked'? Is this the standard of investigative journalism that she was doing while at CBS? If that's the case it may explain why she no longer works there.

about a month and a half ago
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Boo! The House Majority PAC Is Watching You

StevenMaurer Re:Libertarian leaning Republicans, actually (468 comments)

Where are they? Here on Slashdot. That's what I was saying.

Yes, slashdotters aren't typical Republicans Unlike most Republicans, their hatred of the word "government" isn't just a euphemism for racial bias.They actually believe it.

I would still argue that they're wrong. As organized power is the most effective form of power. you're going to get a government one way or the other. So it might as well be one that is beneficent. But their positions are at least understandable.

about a month and a half ago
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Boo! The House Majority PAC Is Watching You

StevenMaurer Libertarian leaning Republicans, actually (468 comments)

But I agree, there is really no substance to this post. Hell, in many countries, Australia for instance, voting is mandatory. It's a crime not to. (You don't have to vote for anyone, but you must turn your ballot in.)

But heaven forfend that anyone be asked why they didn't vote in an election, that's so.. so... so! A first-world problem to be truly outraged about.

about a month and a half ago
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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

StevenMaurer Re:Let's all do the Chicken Little Dance (495 comments)

Bawk. Bawk. Bawk.
The sky is burning.
Bawk. Bawk. Bawk.
Oh noes. Oh noes
Anything more need to be said?

Yes, there is one more thing that needs to be said: If the scientists who have studied this are even remotely correct, your great grandchildren will look upon your memory in a manner somewhat akin to the way that people speak of southern slave owners, and the way Germans remember the NAZIs

(I remember the days when Slashdot still had intelligent, intellectual, technically minded, conversations. And even when people disagreed, they brought facts to the table, not childishness.)

about a month and a half ago
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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

StevenMaurer Re: I'm sick of this shit. (495 comments)

You're looking for a solution "the political, economic, and technological realities of today"?

Let me quote Albert Einstein for you:

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

about a month and a half ago
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FTC Sues AT&T For Throttling 'Unlimited' Data Plan Customers Up To 90%

StevenMaurer Not true (179 comments)

No matter how "unlimited" a data cap supposedly is, if the bandwidth is limited, then there is only a limited amount of data you will ever be able to pull through it over a monthly period. So therefore it's limited, QED.

To posit an absurd example to prove the point, if AT&T advertised an "unlimited bandwidth" connection that could only download one byte per minute, your effectively monthly data cap would be: 60 (seconds) * 60 (minutes) * 24 (hours) * 31 (days) = 2.67 Mb per month.

Artificially throttling bandwidth is imposing a lower data cap, period.

about 2 months ago
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Study: New Jersey e-Vote Experiment After Sandy a Disaster

StevenMaurer Vote by mail is the best system (77 comments)

Let me leave a part of the remarks of Senator Ron Wyden (D), Oregon here:

Vote by Mail offers additional advantages that may not be readily apparent. For example, on Election Day in 2006, Tillamook County, Oregon, experienced a deluge of 13 inches of rain. Roads were closed, parts of the county became unreachable, and a State of emergency was declared. Even so, 70 percent of the voters in Tillamook County cast their ballots. Vote by Mail ensured that lack of access to polling places because of a natural disaster on Election Day was no impediment to voting.

In vote by mail, you sign your ballot. This is checked against a database of your legal registration by people trained to recognize signatures. The County Clerk will call you up if there is any discrepancy (sometimes people just change the way they sign, sometimes it happens due to strokes). So there is no possibility of voter fraud either.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Make a High-Spec PC Waterproof?

StevenMaurer Headless? (202 comments)

This is the big question. Because, to riff off the 14 years old discussion, wireless has progressed leaps and bounds since then. So simply putting the PC inside a waterproof chest and using a combination of WiFi, Bluetooth, and a few wireless display technologies. This is what is presently on Intel's product roadmap anyway.

Your biggest problem is likely to be the monitor. Every means we have to produce significant amount of light (especially required for outdoor viewing), requires dissipation of heat. That means venting. Which means air holes. Which can get spray in it.

So really the question can't be answered unless you explain the purpose of the PC. Is it there to do things like take measurements? Can it be controlled from a mobile phone? (they're much easier to seal) This is what is needed to know how to give further advice.

about 2 months ago
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

StevenMaurer Here's the TL/DR (289 comments)

  1. Assange has a meeting with a few government officials and Schmidt from google; the meeting is boring from Assange's point of view, and he looks down on Schmidt.
  2. Later, he's publishing a leaks book and tries to give the White House a courtesy call about it. He gets a call back from one of the arrangers of the original meeting, calling to verify that it was actually him, and not someone pulling a hoax. Assange suddenly realizes that the government officials that Schmidt was coming along with might mean he "had been keeping some company that placed him very close to Washington, D.C"
  3. Later, in processing some leaked/hacked emails from a Texas company named Stratfor, he find out that a google employee, Julian Cohen, travels to various governments in turmoil. He went to Egypt, to meet Wael Ghonim, the Google employee who was arrested and imprisoned on political charges. He was also planning to talk to people in Iran. And talk to moderate opposition to Hezbollah. And tried to get Bollywood (Indian) movie producers to put in "anti-extremist content" in their movies. Then went to Ireland for a summit with ex-gang members to try to addresses the causes of extremism. Assange thinks this is a terrible idea: "What could go wrong"? He asks sarcastically
  4. Assange then launches into a screed that could be more or less summarized as "lame-stream media and sheeple are being subjugated". He says he thought Schmidt was a dupe in all this.
  5. Now he concludes that Schmidt is an evil authoritarian, associating himself with prominent "imperialist" politicans like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and other terrible conservative groups like the Bono's ONE Foundation, George Soros, and the Rockefeller foundation.
  6. He doesn't like google talking to high ranking officials in foreign governments, and decries US soft power
  7. He ends with: A “don’t be evil” empire is still an empire.

about 2 months ago
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US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

StevenMaurer Re:What is there to renew? (342 comments)

They're wearing out. Yes. Nuclear warheads have a lifespan, even if they sit around unused. There is a lot of radioactive decay to them.

Not only are the warheads not working, we also have launch facilities that don't secure. The airforce has a silo where they have to prop open a blast door with a crowbar. The weapons maintenance facilities are even in worse shape. The NYT article talks about a Tennessee facility so decrepit, its roof is caving in and they have people wear hard hats to stay relatively safe. Not exactly the place I want spent nuclear materials to be reprocessed in.

Ironically, it is precisely because we're not on hair-trigger alert for nuclear war, that we've let things get so bad. We just kind of forgot about it. But just because we're no longer worried doesn't mean the stuff is safe. We need to spend money to keep it that way.

about 3 months ago

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