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Dutch Court Says Government Can Receive Bulk Data from NSA

gstoddart Re:Seems a bit odd... (66 comments)

So, it's legal for Americans to spy on the Dutch? Who knew!

If it's legal for the US to spy on Dutch citizens, then isn't it also legal for the Dutch citizens to spy on and hack into Americans?

Because, clearly, if it's legal for the US to do the same to external entities, the reverse must be true, right?

23 minutes ago
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Dutch Court Says Government Can Receive Bulk Data from NSA

gstoddart Re:Let's sell child porn to The Netherlands (66 comments)

"No crime happened here, within our jurisdiction," they'd say.

Which would seem to invalidate pretty much any extradition treaty, wouldn't it?

If you can commit what would be a crime in another country, and there's no law against it, you can't be extradited.

Clearly, nobody could be extradited from the US to the Netherlands for this, so why should anybody ever be extradited to the US for anything? If the stuff America does is outside of everyone else's law, then obviously, anything you do from outside the US to the US is clearly legal, right?

Oh, wait, this only gets applied to governments when they skirt around their own laws, not to the rest of us.

Such bullshit.

about half an hour ago
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Empathy For Virtual Characters Studied With FMRI Brain Imaging

gstoddart Re:fMRI? (17 comments)

It's not dead, it's pining for the fjords.

43 minutes ago
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Dutch Court Says Government Can Receive Bulk Data from NSA

gstoddart Re:Bright side (66 comments)

Hmmm, because of the rendering, I thought you'd replied to me, but I see you were replying to an AC.

Still, my point stands.

1 hour ago
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Dutch Court Says Government Can Receive Bulk Data from NSA

gstoddart Re:Bright side (66 comments)

Yeah. You just keep telling yourself that your government would never do anything like this, that it's just an American thing.

Oh, you misunderstand me.

My government is part of the 5 eyes, and is guilty of this exact same kind of reciprocal arrangement.

I think it's all pathetic. But I also think it's being largely driven by the US, because since 9/11 it has become increasingly the case where the US will do anything for their own security. And I have great fears that they're the ones creating the global surveillance state.

But, make no mistake about it, I believe all governments participating in this are undermining rights and freedoms, including my own. The rest of the world hasn't consented to this, it's being done to us by secret treaties, and bypassing our own courts.

The problem is FAR too many people are saying "well, it's OK, as long as they're doing it for our security".

Sooner or later, with this level of widespread surveillance, we'll all be fucked. Because secret agencies will know every damned thing about you, and sooner or later, my worst tin-foil hat fears will come to be normal.

I don't think America is the only one doing this. But I do lay the blame squarely at the feet of the US for feeling it's their right to spy on every goddamned person on the planet.

When did the security of the US trump the rights of everyone else? Who the hell agreed to that?

Papers please, comrade. If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

1 hour ago
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Dutch Court Says Government Can Receive Bulk Data from NSA

gstoddart Re:At least they're open about it. (66 comments)

Voting? Don't make me { laugh | cry }.

"There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury and ammo. Please use in that order."

So, what box are we up to now again?

1 hour ago
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Dutch Court Says Government Can Receive Bulk Data from NSA

gstoddart Just wow. (66 comments)

I love how pretty much every country has come to the same conclusion: We can bypass our own laws if we have someone else do it for us.

They've all decided, well, we can't spy on our own people, but if the Americans do it for us it's all good.

Essentially reciprocity means that any laws which are intended to protect you will be bypassed as people get other actors to do it for them.

So, it's illegal for the Dutch to spy on their own people, probably illegal when the US spies on the Dutch, but since they've already for the information, why not?

Pathetic. Free societies aren't maintained by using loopholes to get around laws intended to control how your citizens get spied on.

What horsehit.

When governments are getting the take from the blanket surveillance the Americans (and really, the rest of the world), they have very little incentive to actually stop the surveillance in the first place.

Some days it seems like the US has more or less subverted the privacy and rights of everyone on the planet, and every other government is deciding the information sharing is too valuable to recognize they're just lying to us and doing it anyway.

At this point, I don't believe any elected official, or member of any of these state security entities deserves any privacy rights at all. Because they've all decided we don't.

The dystopian future is alive and well, and getting worse every day.

1 hour ago
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The Psychology of Phishing

gstoddart Re:well (86 comments)

It's not hard not to get phished if you critically evaluate claims and requests as your SOP.

Of course, the problem with this is, anybody who does that more or less gets called a bit of a paranoid loon now and then. :-P

Not everybody understands that a certain level of paranoia is actually required to survive the internet and other scams.

Sometimes people look at you like you're over-reacting, right up until they realize they've given their credit card information to someone who was lying to them.

2 hours ago
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The Psychology of Phishing

gstoddart Re:well (86 comments)

How did you know that others didn't click on it and then not mention it to anyone?

The company I work for does periodic in-house phishing/spam tests.

If you fail and click the link, you get sent for extra security training. They know, because they're the ones who own the machines you went to.

I gather a surprising amount of people actually fall for them. I find myself looking at "1 in 5800" and thinking "wow, you have some good training".

When my parents got on the interwebs, in so uncertain terms, I sat them down and had "the talk": The internet is a dark and scary place, and not something you just trust. I explained phishing and spam, as well as how to spot fake telemarketers and scams.

My parents have learned to be wary and a little skeptical when someone initiates contact with them, and know to ask for proof. On many occasions they've spotted stuff, though I still worry they might miss something.

But, I still remain amazed at how many people who work in technology fields still blindly click stuff. I expect senior citizens and the like to be less aware of this stuff, but if you've worked in technology for any period of time, you should know better.

2 hours ago
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Internet Explorer Vulnerabilities Increase 100%

gstoddart Re:A rule of thumb.. (57 comments)

Well, around 80% of the time at least. ;-)

2 hours ago
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Internet Explorer Vulnerabilities Increase 100%

gstoddart Re:New Microsoft CEO (57 comments)

Does anyone think there's any chance that the next IE version will simply switch to Blink or WebKit

Microsoft switch IE to use components written by someone else?

I place the likelihood of that as pretty small.

Microsoft have always had a huge case of "Not Invented Here", and I don't see that changing.

2 hours ago
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'Optical Fiber' Made Out of Thin Air

gstoddart Re:But... (104 comments)

Our new Monster Cable Air ionizes the air around the signal ensuring maximal defrobulation of the signal flux and maximal polarization in the near infra-red spectrum, guaranteeing a smooth, minty taste.

When connect to your tube amplifier, this provides a sound which is spunkier and enhanced in the pink spectrum, causing women to swoon. Achieve smooth bass response like never before.

For only eleventy zillion dollars, you too can get the most out of your sound system. :-P

Either this stuff is real, with real benefits, or it's hype. Either way, someone will use it for marketing complete crap.

yesterday
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Autonomous Sea-Robot Survives Massive Typhoon

gstoddart Re:Is this an achievement? (46 comments)

If the water is deep enough and the USV can dive deep enough, its trivial to wait it out. A submarine for instance has little fear of a hurricane unless its stuck trying to get out of port because they waited too long.

Except, the difference in this case is this thing is at the surface.

Which means it couldn't dive to wait it out.

It's submerged, but only a little, and it has a mast sticking out of the water.

So, how trivial is it to ride this out when you're barely under the water? It seems less so.

yesterday
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Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims

gstoddart Re:ads (155 comments)

Don't suppose you also sell tinfoil hats that could protect me from the NSA's mind-reading rays?

The problem is, the current version of the rays can penetrate tin-foil.

What you need is a layer of pudding between your head and the tinfoil, chocolate works best. You'll need to shave your head first to be ensured of it working.

yesterday
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Autonomous Sea-Robot Survives Massive Typhoon

gstoddart Re:Is this an achievement? (46 comments)

Well, James Gosling was mentioned, so that's pretty impressive, right?

You know, I've been trying to figure out WTF that mention was all about.

So far, I've got nothing other than it serves as a very oblique reference to 2011.

As 'news' reporting, I rank that right up there with "in 1984, the same year Sally Baker showed me her underwear, there was a chemical leak in Bhopal India".

It's just spurious junk.

Slashdot continues to decline, and the 'editors' continue to be a joke.

yesterday
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Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims

gstoddart Re:ads (155 comments)

Why would they refuse it?

Greedy. Corporate. Assholes.

yesterday
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Why Are the World's Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?

gstoddart Re:The problem is... (187 comments)

So the only thing destroying live smallpox samples does is reduce the chances of a catastrophic screw-up.

You seem to underestimate the historical tendency of crazy tyrants to decide "if I can't win, everybody dies".

WTF do you think "mutually assured destruction" was all about? The premise that nobody would actually be crazy enough to destroy the entire world.

I think you attribute too much rationality to geopolitics. Now think of North Korea, and tell me just how much rationality you see.

yesterday
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Why Are the World's Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?

gstoddart Re:The problem is... (187 comments)

Don't forget the goofy comic relief character. There's always one of those.

Oh, and you need the military guy (or the guys in dark suits and sunglasses) in charge of making the weaponized version just in case, and who demonstrate that the good guys are sometimes crazy delusional bastards, and that morality is a grey area (especially when you think you're defending your country).

There needs to be the greedy capitalist only interested in profit, even if that means some loss of life.

You may also need a puppy to complete this trope. Or some other foil which has natural immunity that everybody needs to capture first.

You might also need Steven Seagal just in case things get testy, but if he's the sherrif you're covered.

yesterday
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Why Are the World's Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?

gstoddart Re:The problem is... (187 comments)

If we voluntarily destroy all our samples, and some other nation doesn't, then there will be that much less smallpox. This is a valuable goal in itself, even if it doesn't mean that the virus has been completely eradicated.

Except that governments have essentially stated that they're not willing to get rid of their stuff, in case someone else uses it.

So, lots of research is conducted under the guise "well, we can find a cure in case someone else does it". The problem is, that same research can be used to make the weapons in the first place.

You're saying the GPs argument doesn't make sense, but in fact governments have been using it for decades.

It's real, and it's happening right now. If you don't think that's true, then you're somewhat out of touch.

yesterday
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Researchers Design Bot To Conduct National Security Clearance Interviews

gstoddart Good luck with that ... (99 comments)

The researchers were hoping to leverage the power of presence: the idea that people recognize another sentient being in the environment, and are more responsive as a result. ...

The interviewer isnâ(TM)t quite a sentient AI; it relies on a dialogue tree similar to telephone customer service: tell the computer all the simple things, then press 0 for a human to explain the story behind your streaking arrest.

>
In other words, it won't understand you, has a limited set of responses it knows how to deal with, and will piss people off.

And some fed (who had to wait around for your interview and strap you into the electrodes anyway) will come back to an apoplectic interviewee who is tired of the stupid machine because it doesn't understand nuance, inflection, or anything else. Which is precisely why trained humans do this job.

Tell you what though, I hear they have this really cool program which pretends to be a 13 year old speaking his non native language.

I just don't see this being anything more than a gimmick to get funding, and will never actually amount to anything in the near term.

yesterday

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