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The CIA Does Las Vegas

meta-monkey Re:Does anyone still believe anything they say (116 comments)

He's named some names. Those five innocent American muslims who were spied on, at least one of them illegally. And according to Greenwald there's "more to come."

The general pattern the Snowden leaks have taken is to put something out, let people be outraged, then wait for the PTB to lie "Well, we might have done bad thing X, but we haven't done terrible worse thing Y!" And then release the evidence that they also did terrible thing Y. So my guess is they release evidence that the NSA was illegally spying on innocent Americans, but people will say "Oh, well that's all right because TEH MOOSLEMS!" And then they'll drop the next story, which is that in addition to mulsims, they spied on...I wonder. My guess is Occupy leaders. And then people will say, "Well, they're dissident troublemakers!" And then it'll turn out they were listening to phone calls from congressmen, too.

Just wait. There's more to come...

9 hours ago
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The CIA Does Las Vegas

meta-monkey Re:We need a better "press" 4 collective sensemaki (116 comments)

"Abundance for all" is unlikely. However, "guaranteed subsistence for all" is easily doable. We have more empty, foreclosed on homes than we have homeless people. We're paying farmers not to grow food while people go hungry. We insist everyone have a job in order to have access to food and shelter, yet there are not enough jobs for everyone to do, and a large portion of the jobs we do have are make-work. There is enough for everyone's basic needs to be met but resources are poorly distributed.

Over the last 40 years per capita GDP in the US doubled but real median income has fallen. The American worker is the most productive motherfucker on the planet. They're generating twice as much wealth as they were 40 years ago, and yet they are keeping less of it. Where did that wealth go? If it didn't go to the workers, the only other place it can go is to the owners. The system is designed to concentrate wealth at the top and it's done a very good job of that.

I'm not advocating for a forced redistribution of wealth. I don't know what the answer is. But the problem is pretty easy to spot.

10 hours ago
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Nintendo Posts Yet Another Loss, Despite Mario Kart 8

meta-monkey Re:Continued (dodging Slashdot filter) (180 comments)

As game designers, Nintendo is absolutely willing to be creative and take risks. As a business, they are absolutely not. I did some consulting work for them last summer as they were trying to roll out a new ERP system and data warehouse. Their corporate culture was...unfortunate. Everything was very top-down controlled with every little thing you wanted to do, tiny change you wanted to make, had to be presented with Word documents and screenshots and impact cases and blah blah blah that had to go through four levels of higher-up approval. And they claimed to be doing Agile development! This was their third attempt to get this system off the ground and it failed, too. It could have succeeded, it was almost ready, but Japan corporate refused because it wasn't already perfect. Of course it's impossible to be perfect when the requirements are constantly changing.

Like I said, third attempt, with their third set of contractors. It's kind of like going on a date with a girl and she keeps talking about how shitty her last boyfriend was, and the failed relationship before that and before that and at some point you have to say, "You know what all these relationship horror stories have in common? You." That was the impression I got of Nintendo's corporate culture (from my tiny cube at the bottom of the pile as a coder, subcontracted by the subcontractor of one of the subcontractors subcontracted by the contractor).

Point is, I don't see them making any grand sweeping changes to their business strategy. Game design? Console design? Yes. Business strategy? Nooooo ho ho ho.

10 hours ago
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NASA Tests Microwave Space Drive

meta-monkey Re:Sensationalism at its worst (149 comments)

The big problem I have with their "test" is that they did it at atmospheric pressure. So, they're supposing the force is pushing off quantum vacuum virtual plasma. That's one possibility. The other possibility is it's pushing off THE FREAKING AIR IN THE CHAMBER.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to see a reactionless drive. A reactionless drive could get us to the stars. But it generally involves violating conservation of momentum, and that's unlikely.

11 hours ago
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Senate Bill Would Ban Most Bulk Surveillance

meta-monkey Re:What's the point? (176 comments)

We haven't had an election since the spying scandal broke. We haven't seen what kind of impact candidates' stances on spying will have on their electability. We also haven't seen the resolution of the EFF and ACLU lawsuits now that the leaks have provided standing.

There are four boxes to use in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order. Right now we're still on soap. That's what we're doing right now. Bitching about it on the internet is our duty. We'll find out how well ballot works with regards to this legislation and the 2014 and 2016 elections. Jury is just getting ramped up. Patience. The system is supposed to work slowly.

2 days ago
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Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

meta-monkey Re:Good (223 comments)

They can probably get really good deals on student versions of those products. AutoDesk, certainly, would like as many young people to grow up using their software as possible, so when they're out in industry as adults they can tell their boss to buy big-boy AutoCAD.

about a week ago
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"Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

meta-monkey Re: Watch the F-35 get blown out of the skies (184 comments)

The F-35 is not an air superiority craft. I imagine the F-22s will clear the way, absolutely obliterating anything in front of them. There is nothing today that even approaches the air-to-air lethality of the F-22.

about a week ago
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Two Cities Ask the FCC To Preempt State Laws Banning Municipal Fiber Internet

meta-monkey Re:Bullshit (198 comments)

I live in Florida. Yesterday I had to call the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. All I had to do was wait for the option to press '1' for spanish to expire and I was connected immediately to a real person who answered my slightly complicated question easily, clearly and quickly.

I also own a business (and have owned two) in Florida, and every time I've had to deal with the Florida Department of Revenue (sometimes I got busy and forgot to pay my sales taxes) they have been friendly and helpful.

I wish, wish Cox Cable had the kind of friendly and expedient service Florida's government entities do.

about a week ago
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Dutch Court Says Government Can Receive Bulk Data from NSA

meta-monkey Why do we bother? (109 comments)

Look, just install the telescreens in our homes already. Drop the charade, we all know where it's going. You know we're not going to do anything about it. Let's just cut to the chase and get it over with.

about a week ago
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Exodus Intelligence Details Zero-Day Vulnerabilities In Tails OS

meta-monkey Re:Conspiracy theory (132 comments)

That's a depressingly accurate statement.

about two weeks ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

meta-monkey Okay... (701 comments)

Okay, 3, 2, 1 let's jam.

about two weeks ago
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New York State Proposes Sweeping Bitcoin Regulations

meta-monkey Re:Already covered? (121 comments)

John Corzine lost/misplaced hundreds of millions of dollars

He should check his other trousers.

about two weeks ago
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New York State Proposes Sweeping Bitcoin Regulations

meta-monkey Re:Translation (121 comments)

That's fine. It will never happen, but it would be amazing if you could pay your income taxes with bitcoin. That's how the banks getcha. You have to use their dollars to pay your taxes, and you can't get around that, which means you always have to deal with the bankers, and they always get their taste. If you could remove them from the equation, that would free mankind.

What would actually happen, though, is you'd still have to pay taxes on bitcoins you received as income, just with the value converted to dollars. Still, nice to dream...

about two weeks ago
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UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights

meta-monkey Re:No (261 comments)

I've read A People's History. I never claimed the founders were saints. All I'm saying is that, for the time, the constitution and the bill of rights were pretty damn enlightened. We could do better, but we could certainly do much, much worse.

about two weeks ago
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UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights

meta-monkey Re:No (261 comments)

Yes, yes, we all know, they established an aristocracy and rights were only really for first-class citizens like themselves and not women, the poor and blacks. However, the government has since been modified to include supposedly everyone in the first-class citizen pool.

The founders had a remarkably good set of rules deciding what the government could and could not do to first-class citizens, and that's what we respect them for.

about two weeks ago
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Interviews: Ask Dr. Andy Chun About Artificial Intelligence

meta-monkey Ethics (71 comments)

I'm presupposing it's eventually possible to create a machine that thinks like a man. Is conscious, is self-aware. I doubt we'd get it right first try. Before we got Mr. Data we'd probably get insane intelligences, trapped inside boxes, suffering, and completely at the whim of the man holding the plug.

What are your thoughts on the ethics of doing so, particularly given the iterative steps we'd have to take to get there?

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

meta-monkey Re:More Like Subsidized (533 comments)

Exactly. I think libertarians do not understand evil. They think there is no such thing as evil, just ignorance, and that people are rational, and can be reasoned with. Many can be. But there is such a thing as evil. There are evil, evil people in this world whose capacity for destruction, manipulation and exploitation is held at bay only by the collective power of government by the people. If libertarians want to see what their fantasy wonderland looks like, it was called the gilded age. And hint, libertarians, in a world of masters and slaves, there are few masters, many slaves, and you will likely be one of them.

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

meta-monkey Re:More Like Subsidized (533 comments)

You seem to think that without government authority, power will not be exerted against you, and not against those least able to fend for themselves. This is not the case. Those who have wealth and power will always seek to gain more at the expense of anyone else, and through whatever means they have available. This extends to backroom deals, monopoly power, insider trading, unsafe working conditions and violence. Private police forces and strike breakers.

Government, restrained by a separation of powers with checks and balances over each other, should serve as the check against the power of the wealthy over those who have no wealth and therefore no individual power.

Unfortunately currently the power of government has been bought by the wealthy. What's needed is a restructuring to reduce the influence of money in politics. But the answer is not to remove the power of government. That power vacuum will simply be filled by the power of the wealthy, and the poor and middle class will have no defense against their rapaciousness.

This is the perpetual blind spot that libertarians just don't seem to understand. Without government restraining wealthy sociopaths, they will kill or enslave you, through "legitimate" means or otherwise. You have this fantasy that either you will be in charge or that everybody will just get along, but they won't, because there are evil people in this world who are only restrained by the collective action of government by the people.

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

meta-monkey Re:Silicon Valley is officially old (533 comments)

The problem isn't necessarily the decisions that are made. Those are just a symptom. The problem is with the method by which decisions are made.

about two weeks ago

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