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Berlin's Digital Exiles: Where Tech Activists Go To Escape the NSA

aralin Re:No you don't, you just remember incorrectly (231 comments)

Since US does not exist even those 500 years, let's look at what happened during the 250 that it exists: Continent wide Genocide of Native Americans, Slavery, Apartheid, Kukkluxklan, One major Civil War, Close to 100 covert CIA operations to change regime of other countries, Only country in history that used Nuclear Weapons on civilians. Want something more recent? Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, What about NSA having surveillance system that KGB openly envies? FBI collecting dossier on politicians for blackmail since its inception? Now this gets even better: 25% of world's prisoners or 2.2 million people in prison, that is 0.5 million more than China, which is considered a totalitarian state with repressive regime and has 4 times the population of US. Not just that, but 750,000 of those are usually for low level drug offenses like marihuana, which is safer than alcohol. Prohibition is a matter of policy, not public safety, so you can easily say that those are political prisoners. Still sitting on your high horse?

about two weeks ago
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Black IT Pros On (Lack Of) Racial Diversity In Tech

aralin Re:It's Not Racism In The Tech Industry (458 comments)

Well, there is hiring on merit for sure, but you can look at any major tech company chart and see that asian managers hire asians almost exclusively. We had one Indian VP, who made 20 consecutive hiring decisions and all hires were Indian, even if there would be 50% Indian engineers in the valley, the chance of this happening randomly is 1:1,000,000. The Chinese managers often hire Chinese not based on racism though, but the language difficulty. A lot of the brilliant Chinese engineers I worked with had english difficulties, if interviewed in english you'd think they cannot count to 5, but when later interviewed in Mandarin, they looked like genius. So you can see some amount of racism, but its mixed bag.

And yes, we only had one black guy out of about 100, which is very low. But he was hired definitely on merit. One of the two best engineers we ever hired.

about two weeks ago
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Berlin's Digital Exiles: Where Tech Activists Go To Escape the NSA

aralin Re:No you don't, you just remember incorrectly (231 comments)

France indeed has its hay day in the past, although they made up for it in 16th to 19th century. England ... you should talk to the Irish and Scottish and Welsh citizens. If someone cleans up their act for 50 years, after centuries of horrible repression, I'd say they are not quite reformed yet. US, I think you might check with the immigrants for current situation, check with gays for anything up to 5 years ago and with women and blacks for anything up to 50 years ago. People tend to forget some horrible abuses quite quickly it seems. I should have added Germany, Austria, Japan and China to the mix, but they are sort of obvious.

The point is that you have places like Iceland, Danemark, some countries in Central Europe, like Switzerland and to some extent Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, maybe even Hungary, if you ascribe the communists to Russian influence and many others where things like slavery, oppression, wars of conquest, are simply not on the menu for 500 years or so. There are places where people are kinder and peaceful by nature.

about two weeks ago
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Berlin's Digital Exiles: Where Tech Activists Go To Escape the NSA

aralin Re:Fear of the USA (231 comments)

Exactly this. So now that you have been critical of US, I would advise against traveling anywhere in middle east, Russia or China or to visit any mosque. If you avoid those things, you should be still fine. Otherwise, welcome to the watchlist. It is a select group of fine individuals. Maybe we should make badges for ourselves.

about two weeks ago
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Berlin's Digital Exiles: Where Tech Activists Go To Escape the NSA

aralin Re:No you don't, you just remember incorrectly (231 comments)

Oppression is as much a part of humanity as humanity itself.

You see ... that is the thing.. no. Some countries, like US, England, Spain, France, Russia have a much richer history of oppressing both citizens and other countries than others. It seems to be a trait that concentrates into some tight areas of general assholery.

about two weeks ago
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YouTube Considering an Ad-Free, Subscription-Based Version

aralin Re:How about using this model for all Google servi (225 comments)

Yes. Every online service should have this option. I would even require it by law. I don't mind to pay for my privacy and my time. This was my main gripe with Hulu for example. There has to be price that will make it worth it for them not to show me ads. I want them to take my money, but no... there is no option of that. So I am not customer. No service without this option would have me as a customer.

If you don't pay, you are the product.

about three weeks ago
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Oldest Human Genome Reveals When Our Ancestors Mixed With Neanderthals

aralin Re:One sample (128 comments)

That simply sounds like some journalist does not understand that there could be a world of difference between 1.7% and 1.9% for example and rounds both to 2%.

about 1 month ago
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Oldest Human Genome Reveals When Our Ancestors Mixed With Neanderthals

aralin Re:One sample (128 comments)

But this would show either in the way neanderthal DNA fragments in the present day humans. If these fragmentations occurred at different times, the present day DNA would be fragmented differently in different present day samples. Since that is not the case, either it happened in one period or the second case never merged again with the current lines, rendering that irrelevant to present day humans.

about 1 month ago
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Oldest Human Genome Reveals When Our Ancestors Mixed With Neanderthals

aralin Re:One sample (128 comments)

What you say makes no sense. If there were multiple mixings over large periods (we talk thousands of years) there would be uneven chopping of the DNA. Parts would be chopped more than other parts. Also if there were two mixings, but the two resulting groups never met, as your hypothesis assumes, than the second group that didn't result into modern humans is irrelevant. But good try at sounding smart. :)

about 1 month ago
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Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

aralin Re:Having a Surgeon General would help (384 comments)

And a president's chief of staff is usually the same person that runs his election. The fact that he campaigned on behalf of the president is only a positive, since we are not getting a random person who's views are not known at all. But the fact that NRA cannot have an anti-NRA person even on the position of Surgeon General, where most of doctors are clearly anti-gun with 32,000 gun related deaths. There are other better arguments I could make against him, but that is not the one the opposition is making. They simply say... anti-gun, doctors for america. So much bullshit.

about a month ago
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Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

aralin Re:Having a Surgeon General would help (384 comments)

The only reason why he is "not qualified" is that NRA decided they will "Score" this vote. Congress critters are afraid to tarnish their 100% NRA approved record. *sigh*

about a month ago
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Cisco Exec: Turnover In Engineering No Problem

aralin Re:The essence of enterprise (148 comments)

Whatsapp hired 14 engineers to make the company worth $19B. They were not 14 completely replaceable, run of the mill engineers, they were each unique and probably irreplaceable. The quality of those employees at that concentration, the fact they could be a small agile group, that was the reason they created so much value. If you want to create small predictable progress and run an enterprise with steady churn of cash, you might go the Cisco way, but you will never produce anything great or even just above average.

about a month ago
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FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

aralin Re:Yeah right... (284 comments)

Why is this law breaking man still at large? Will nobody put this criminal behind bars where he belongs? Or are directors of tree letter agencies above the law?

about a month ago
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NSA To Scientists: We Won't Tell You What We've Told You; That's Classified

aralin Re:good summary- "need to know" (106 comments)

If the CIA, NSA and other secret agencies were actually effective at their job and did what they profess to do efficiently and the oversight could just tamper with that efficiency, I might, ... might... buy your argument. But they do not. They are wasting resources, producing no significant results and still want their secrecy. Maybe it is time we tried it differently.

about a month and a half ago
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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

aralin Re:You Forgot One (425 comments)

It works pretty well on garden variety missiles. But Russian's got something quite different. Those things can deploy decoys, multiple warheads, and they fly at speeds that are extremely hard to intercept, From what I know, we are still pretty far off, thankfully. Once some general decides the shield is good enough, than nothing can save us.

about a month and a half ago
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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

aralin Re:You Forgot One (425 comments)

Actually I have heard that. Politicians say stuff, but it is only if people find the general idea acceptable and repeat it themselves when the politician gets a license to act.

As for the particular case, you mentioned, it was actually in response to US actions. First US government announced that they will start modernizing all Nuclear weapons, the Russian's announced the same a week later in response. The mention of Nuclear weapons on Russian side, at least the one I noticed, was in response to growing number of articles and statements advocating conventional war against Russia. They were simply reminding people that Russia is in fact one of the Nuclear powers and it is a Nuclear War that is at stake when attacking Russia. Seemed like a deterrent to me, but there might have been different statement I did not notice.

The anti-missile shield is nowhere close to functional. It might stop single missile by a rogue nation, maybe, but Russian ICBMs are a very different beast. There is no chance now or in reasonably close future this will be a problem. But there were treaties between Russia and US that expressly forbid development and deployment of this technology. Chief among them the one that prevented Cuban Missile Crisis. (Never understood, why that one was not called a Turkey Missile Crisis, since it started by US deploying Nuclear Warheads in Turkey). Anyway.

The chance of US invading Russia is growing though. They do all the steps that seem necessary for it. They got the 15 aircraft carries that can be used as mobile bases for air strikes. They secured full control over the Baltic Sea (to strike at Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg) and they tried through converting Ukraine and Georgia to secure full control over the Black Sea to get striking distance on Moscow. That was temporarily unsuccessful due to the Crimea issue. On top of this you got the shield project. So the moment the shield would be actually working, they might be ready for strike. Also, once you remove Russia's conventional means of defense, you leave them with ONLY the nuclear option. You could argue that with strictly conventional attack Russia might have a problem of using them first. It is a hard choice at that point. Do you let all your people die or do you try to defend conventionally and hope at least some will survive and rebuild... forcing this moral dilemma could be a way to win such strike. Despite what everyone keeps repeating about Putin, he has two soft spots. He is very nationalistic and proud of his people and he is conservative pro-life politician. I don't think he would have it in him to press the red button and start Nuclear War. So he does his very best so he would never get into a situation where he would have to make that impossible choice.

about a month and a half ago
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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

aralin Re:You Forgot One (425 comments)

You know what is in my mind the most telling difference between Russians and Americans? Every single one of my American friends has at one point or another said something to the tune: "Let's nuke them!" in one situation or the other. I've not heard a talk like that from any of the Russians I know. Might be just my own experience, but I have plenty enough friends on both sides for it to count for something.

about a month and a half ago
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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

aralin Re:Incompetent Administration (Thanks GWB) (425 comments)

Uhhh, ok.... Been watching a lot of Russia Today, have we?

Please, RT is pure propaganda, most of this information comes from Reuters, AP and White House press briefings directly. But after you've seen few of these, you just know how to put information in context. If you learn how to translate text to emotionally neutral terms, the facts come out from horse's mouth. All you got to do is listen.

about a month and a half ago
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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

aralin Re:Incompetent Administration (Thanks GWB) (425 comments)

Ok, I was trying to be brief. Yes, right after the coup, it was Arseniy Yatsenyuk who was installed as prime minister. Petro Poroshenko indeed won election that was held in part of the country, which supported him and not in the part where he would lose as there was a civil war going. Hardly a free election. That's like saying that during the US civil war, the US had an election in confederate states and Jefferson Davis was the legitimate president of US. In a word - laughable. Here is the call where Nuland and Pyatt decide on who will be in the Ukraine government: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... They agree to Yatsenyuk, but say Klitschko should stay out of it. That's exactly how it happened. Here is where they admit to finance the opposition to the tune of $5 bln USD - https://www.youtube.com/watch?... check at 7:45

But as I said, the result of this will not be apparent to many people for a while. In 2-5 years the involvement will be clear, probably well documented and in another 20-30 years, US will admit to its role. So far it's just propaganda full steam from all sides. Will be interesting to see how this all turns out.

about a month and a half ago
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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

aralin Re:First to say it (425 comments)

Communism and dictatorship orthogonal to each other. One can exist without the other.

Dictatorship can exist without Communism, yes — Sulla was one example, Pinochet was another. Communism, on the other hand, can not exist without dictatorship — its economic ineptitude is such, that people revolt very quickly unless the Communists manage to gain dictatorial power.

Oh my, were to start. The earliest example of known working communism was 1415 to 1436 in Bohemia - the Husites, early protestants. They withstood and defeated 5 crusades sent against them until they eventually got defeated. There was no dictatorship, the commune was self organized, the military very well run. Everyone contributed to his ability, everyone's needs were met. There were some examples with Vikings and even earlier in other places, but not documented. You are just ignorant of those, only knowing very recent history and only from US perspective.

communism was never reached, never even tried for, in the authoritarian socialist republics. Socialism by itself is thriving and well in Europe in Sweden, Danmark, Finland, France, and others

Your attempts to distinguish between Socialism and Communism are silly — Socialism is nothing but "Communism-lite". Says so in "Das Kapital"...

Those are the countries with some of the highest standards of living.

No, they aren't — their apartments and cars are smaller, and everything (that is not subsidized) is more expensive. And what good they do have, is despite their Socialism, not thanks to it.

You can try to talk to many of the socialist democratic parties throughout Europe. Socialism is quite different from communism, as it rewards contribution. That is a major issue. It simply requires everyone to pitch in and the profits to be shared based on contribution. So it does not clash with free trade, private property, etc. There is some redistributon, aimed at social benefits, but US has taxes too. It just uses them very badly.

As for the standard of living, if you are in the bottom 50%, you will be so much better off in Europe than in US it is almost ridiculous how big the difference is. If you are a child born in the bottom 50% in EU, you got a chance on decent life, any life even the very top, in US you can just dream about it. Your chance is so small as to border on none.

The rest of your comments are similarly misinformed.

Shkolota, my knowledge of history and politics far exceeds yours — and even that of your Kremlin handlers :-)

This is so funny. I am from EU, live in US last 15 years. I've studied 3 view points on history and politics (US, EU, RU), but I've never been to Russia, spent my adult life in US. Hard to imagine how people can even debate with you, when every opinion distinct from yours has to be from agent of Kremlin :) Paranoid much?

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Does Steve Jobs listen to Podcasts?

aralin aralin writes  |  more than 7 years ago

aralin writes "Steve Jobs isn't exactly known for going easy on products he finds difficult to use. He has called iPhone the best iPod ever and others agree. But I find it the worst iPod yet for listening to Podcasts. The problems are plenty, you cannot see the full title of episode before or after selecting it, you cannot see the show notes at all, which would be very useful for the links in them could be instantly looked up. Many popular podcasts like IT Conversations or PodTech use variable Author and Album field for names of their guests and subsections. That clutters the Author and Album lists, prevents you to find your music easily and polutes the Cover Flow view as well. Not to mention it takes me 15 seconds to pause a podcast when someone interrupts me. This all leads me to a question: Do you think that Steve Jobs listens to podcasts on his iPhone?"
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AT&T iPhone Family Plan Rip Off

aralin aralin writes  |  more than 7 years ago

aralin (107264) writes "All AT&T Family Plans list price for first two lines, with additional line for $9.99. Except for iPhone family plans(click Family), where obviously family starts with one person. I do understand the additional data charge of $20 for each phone. But the $9.99 charge for a second phone is quite unprecedented. You can hear Cali Lewis from GeekBrief rave about it and threaten to return her iPhones, until she just accepted the rip off the next day, like many of us. Yes, there is a fine print somewhere, but the way the family plan is presented is at the very least deceptive and sleazy. Par for the course with AT&T."
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aralin aralin writes  |  more than 7 years ago

aralin writes "We all heard the stories of entrepreneurs being denied funding from VC firms for fear that Google will come and eat their lunch. Google enjoys the public image of an agile giant. But does it still hold true? What does the Slashdot crowd think?

Google has been lately very unresponsive to user feedback. Even bugs reported by many different users are not even answered in weeks, much less fixed. New features in many products appear once in a blue moon and are well tested. Case in point being Blogger, just to single out one really rotten apple. So when existing products are neglected in this manner, what is the chance Google will be able to enter new markets and really take a bite of your lunch? Is anybody still afraid? Google will be 10 years old soon, so are they turning into yet another large and slow corporation?"

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