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Comments

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India Successfully Launches Region-Specific Navigation Satellite

mi Re:Good job, India! (84 comments)

It is not Islam-specific. The equivocal attitude the US displayed during the Kargil conflict — when India was clearly the injured party — is not entirely unlike the attitude displayed this year towards Ukraine (where what few Muslims reside, all strongly resent the invader).

Though Obama (as Clinton back in 1999) talks the talk of supporting the invaded victim, the US would only help with "non-lethal" supplies — and only after a significant delay.

3 days ago
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FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

mi Re:And he is, probably, right (281 comments)

I don't think Apple or Google making phone encryption suck so criminals can find and abuse the law enforcement backdoor would improve public safety.

If it were to suck so badly, yes. But it does not have to...

That said, the paranoid cynic in me suspects, it is — and will be — recoverable already. And the government simply wants us to believe otherwise...

4 days ago
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FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

mi Re:And he is, probably, right (281 comments)

Why would you bring terrorism into this? I made no mention of it... FBI's ability to decrypt private electronics would make it easier for them to prosecute all sorts of criminals — from terrorists to corrupt policemen. At the expense of privacy of the rest of us, of course.

4 days ago
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FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

mi Re:And he is, probably, right (281 comments)

You should be careful about uncritically accepting the way a culture likes to present itself

That's the point. We like to present ourselves as Individuals — and that's why concerns for personal privacy ought to trump those of collective safety, however valid the latter might be.

That we don't always act the way — a significant part of the population thinks, they can force others to be as (and even more) charitable as they are, for example — but that's of no account. Not in this conversation...

4 days ago
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FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

mi Re:those who would trade freedom for security... (281 comments)

In the full quote — in all its different permutations — the given up freedom (liberty) must be essential and the security gained — temporary. With such qualifiers, it becomes a little less obvious, does not it? For example, if the security gained is permanent (as long as device-makers cooperate with authorities), is it worth an essential liberty? Franklin didn't leave any guidance for such case...

I'll take my chance and live life, rather than cower in some hole.

Fortunately, no one — certainly not the FBI — are forcing you into "some hole". Excluded middle much?

That said, I like your spirit, because I too prefer the Individual over Collective...

4 days ago
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Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales

mi Uber, AirBnB are in the same boat (292 comments)

it is just car dealer lobbyist having a stronger voice (and bigger overall wallet) than Tesla

A variety of new businesses offer a new way of doing things — to the chagrin of the incumbents already profiting from the old way.

Nice to see Tesla having full support of /., which Uber and other taxi-replacements, for some reason, do not get...

5 days ago
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FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

mi And he is, probably, right (281 comments)

His blitz continues today with a speech that says encryption will hurt public safety.

I suspect, he is right — it will hurt public safety.

But it will improve individual privacy and America has always valued the cantankerous Individual above the glorious Collective, that other cultures prefer...

5 days ago
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Facebook and Apple Now Pay For Female Employees To Freeze Their Eggs

mi Re:So... (246 comments)

As an added bonus, they can start having babies when they're 45!

The effects on the babies (and mothers) be damned...

Seriously, this is a half-measure. If we really want to help women stay in the workforce, we ought to develop incubators. Facebook and Apple may have the monies to fund the necessary research and pilot programs.

about a week ago
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Companies Genetically Engineer Spider Silk

mi Re:To GMO or not to GMO? (82 comments)

Neither the herbicide, nor the TCDD, nor the pharmaceuticals and metabolites you mention have anything to do with genetic modifications — however despicable they may (or may not) be otherwise.

Off-topic much?

about a week ago
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Companies Genetically Engineer Spider Silk

mi Re:To GMO or not to GMO? (82 comments)

2. Some contaminants do bad things to people, even at levels we can't measure today.

That's certainly true — whether the contaminants are genetically modified, or not...

about a week ago
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ISPs Violating Net Neutrality To Block Encryption

mi Re:Voting for the right people (149 comments)

Do you honestly believe that someone would be allowed to run for president of the USA who wasn't in big media's pocket?

I honestly believe, that if your (cynical) point of view was connected to reality, we wouldn't have seen the sort of media bias on display in the last two elections.

about a week ago
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Companies Genetically Engineer Spider Silk

mi To GMO or not to GMO? (82 comments)

One method is to implant spider genes into silkworms, which then act as spider-silk factories.

There are people out there, who are sincerely concerned about whether vitamin-C they are offered was "genetically modified"... How are you going to sell such GMO silk to them?

about a week ago
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ISPs Violating Net Neutrality To Block Encryption

mi Re:Competition urgently needed (149 comments)

The rest of us believe that telecom is, was, and (for the foreseeable future) always will be a *natural* monopoly

Natural monopoly is a myth. A myth very convenient for and thus perpetuated by the government officials of various levels as it gives them undue power, but a myth nonetheless.

You can't have meaningful competition for building roads and sewers and power grids

Yes, you can. Tokyo has competing subway lines — why can't New York City? Your GPS is likely to show you several options for any route of appreciable lengths — why can't those different roads be privately-owned and compete?

For example, to leave New York you have many options (most of them requiring payment on top of the taxes) — why can't those bridges and tunnels be privately owned and compete with each other? Maybe, their new owners will consider high traffic a profit opportunity, rather than a burdensome nuisance — and seek to attract more drivers by innovation of both toll-collection and road-maintenance... I dunno, it works for supermarkets... Heck, some private (and disgustingly profit-driven) concern may even undertake building a new tunnel (or a bridge)...

it will always be vastly more efficient for a single entity to install and manage that physical data network, at least at the local level

Really? Why not? In the 20ie we had competing telephone companies — each running its own wires to buildings. Today Google is laying down its own fiber — to much rejoicing on this very site — and AT&T is planning its own alternative, despite your claims of it being "inefficient". Various markets have competing coax-cable providers already. The actual cable-laying is just a (small) part of providing Internet service... Though in theory a monopoly ought to be easier — and thus cheaper — to operate (in any market), in practice any benefit is quickly consumed by the inevitable arrogance of such providers and the concomitant drop of quality and rising end-user prices (any wins in the monopoly provider's costs are compensated for by their fattening up the profit-margins).

We should have made this transition decades ago, but for a variety of reasons didn't

Oh, it is not a "variety" of reasons — but a single one: our government followed that myth of "natural monopolies" and granted cable-TV providers monopoly rights in their respective markets. That law was rescinded in the mid-1990ies, but the damage was done...

about a week ago
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ISPs Violating Net Neutrality To Block Encryption

mi Re:Competition urgently needed (149 comments)

Once they have competition, they'll just form a cartel to collectively screw us all over.

Does not happen with restaurateurs, car-makers, nor even the cellular-service providers. Why would it happen with the ISPs?

I don't believe for a moment they're ever going to be anything except for self serving douchebags. Competition won't change that.

People will be looking out for themselves, that much is true. Competition, however, will make providing better service the most profitable course of action.

You guys who think the free market solves problems are pretty fucking deluded.

For all the problems with the free market, nothing humanity has tried works better...

about a week ago
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ISPs Violating Net Neutrality To Block Encryption

mi Voting for the right people (149 comments)

You gotta vote for people who will make it so

Oh, I am voting for such people alright. But the last couple of elections I was overruled by the inane majority, who consider the color of a candidate's skin more important, than his qualifications.

Our "affirmative action" President plays golf with big cable CEO(s), and the rest of his party is in the big media's pocket as well.

Meanwhile, the rank-and-file partisans are encouraged to hate the Kochs brothers...

about a week ago
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ISPs Violating Net Neutrality To Block Encryption

mi Competition urgently needed (149 comments)

As long as the ISPs retain monopoly positions, they will be able to do as they please (or as the NSA pleases to make them do).

And once there is healthy competition among them, there will be no need for the rest of us to legislate every minutiae of their behavior.

about a week ago
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Wind Power is Cheaper than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

mi Who do you price those costs? (4 comments)

The report demonstrates that if you were to take into account mining, pollution, and adverse health impacts of coal and gas, wind power would be the cheapest source of energy, period.

Just how do you do the emphasized part? Are we supposed to trust someone to make an honest, unbiased, and also correct estimate of those costs?

about a week ago
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Google Rejects 58% of "Right To Be Forgotten" Requests

mi There is no "Right to be forgotten" (144 comments)

The right "to be forgotten" does not exist — you have no right to affect the contents of other people's brains, notebooks, and databases.

Sure, Google is a "KKKorporation", but you have no more right to demand, they forget about you, than you can you force your ex to forget the good times you've once had together. And, yes, wiping out individual's memories — selectively — is already possible.

about a week ago
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National Security Letter Issuance Likely Headed To Supreme Court

mi Re:DOJ Oaths (112 comments)

the prohibition on using the same dish for meat and dairy

The point was, there is no such prohibition.

The only thing the scripture actually proscribes is what I quoted: "cooking lamb in the milk of its mother". That's all — all other rules are derived from that. That they have been expanded to cover all dairy and all meat — even those derived from different species — is the phenomenon I used as an illustration.

about a week ago
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National Security Letter Issuance Likely Headed To Supreme Court

mi Re:To paraphrase (112 comments)

What part of "well fucking regulated" don't you understand?

Which part of "petitioning the government for redress of grievances" don't you understand, citizen?

By your own logic, you don't have a right to any other speech — not to advertise anything, not to produce pornography, not to organize boycotts. Not even political campaign speeches are a right under your reading of the Bill of Rights — unless they are addressed to the sitting government as a form of a petition. If, of course, your thinking is self-consistent, and you are reading the First Amendment with the same literal strictness you are applying to the Second.

And by the logic of others of your kind, your Constitutionally-protected speech is limited to the means available in the 18th century too — even if you are merely petitioning the government, you don't have a right to do that via the Internet, TV, or radio.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Obama Administration argues for backdoors in personal electronics

mi mi writes  |  about three weeks ago

mi (197448) writes "

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said on Tuesday that new forms of encryption capable of locking law enforcement officials out of popular electronic devices imperil investigations of kidnappers and sexual predators, putting children at increased risk.

Seriously. Would somebody, please, think of the children?!"
Link to Original Source

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Facebook's Ukrainian office is in Russia. Blocks Ukrainians...

mi mi writes  |  about 2 months ago

mi (197448) writes "Ukrainian media are reporting (link in Ukrainian), that Facebook is getting increasingly heavy-handed blocking Ukrainian bloggers. The likely explanation for the observed phenomenon is that Facebook's Ukrainian office is located in Russia and is headed by a Russian citizen (Catherine Skorobogatov). For example, a post calling on Russian mothers to not let their sons go to war was blocked "Due to multiple complaints". Fed up, Ukrainian users are writing directly to Zukerberg to ask him to replace Catherine with someone, who would not be quite as swayed by the "complaints" generated by Russian bots. The last link (in both Ukrainian and English) is also on Facebook. Will it survive for long?"
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Certified "green" buildings consume more energy than regular structures

mi mi writes  |  about 8 months ago

mi (197448) writes "The "greenness" of a building is measured as EUIs — the higher the number, the more energy the structure is consuming relative to its size. Environmentally-aware construction is supposed to have the LEED-certification by U.S. Green Building Council (a private environment-protection group).

Washington, DC was the first city to mandate LEED-certifications for all new construction in 2010. Today the city-wide average EUI for LEED-certified buildings is 205, whereas the non-certified buildings average 199..."

Link to Original Source
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Lenders look at social media to check on loan-applicants

mi mi writes  |  about 9 months ago

mi (197448) writes "We know about Human Resources departments checking job-applicants online. Well, the lenders are catching up too. Writes Wall Street Journal:

Lending companies are looking at potential problems such as whether applicants put the same job information on their loan application as they posted on LinkedIn, or if they shared on Facebook that they had been let go by an employer. A small business that draws negative reviews on eBay also could undermine its chances of getting more credit, lending companies say.

Myself having neither Facebook, nor Twitter, nor LinkedIn accounts, I am wondering, if I am at a disadvantage — these are the people, who already consider imperfect credit history to be better, than no credit history at all..."
Link to Original Source

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Britney Spears' music used to deter pirates

mi mi writes  |  about a year ago

mi (197448) writes "Blasting Western music seems quite effective against the people, who hate Western culture in general, according to the article in Mirror Online, and Britney Spears' tunes proved to be a great deterrent indeed. Second Officer Rachel from Aberfoyle in Scotland said: “Her songs have been chosen by the security team accompanying our tankers because they thought the pirates would hate them most."

The music is currently used as a second line of defence and is broadcast when initial calls from armed security guards on board fail to deter the pirates. The speakers can be aimed solely at the pirates so as not to disturb the crew. “They’re so effective the ship’s security rarely needs to resort to firing guns," — says Rachel.

Steven Jones, of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, said the US police and military were the first to use music to quell rioters.

Security industry is well aware of the power of music — and is cautious not to exceed humane limits. Justin Bieber, for example, is not used, because officials are wary of violating Geneva Conventions."

Link to Original Source
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NASDAQ shut down earlier today and is struggling to get up

mi mi writes  |  about a year ago

mi (197448) writes "The NASDAQ exchange has abruptly halted all trading in early afternoon today, August 22, 2013. At the time of this writing (15:32) they remain down despite the earlier promises to reopen at 14:45, 15:10, 15:25...

The nature of the problem remains a mystery and may turn out to be anything — from a varmint chewing through some critical wire to the decision to switch to Microsoft back in 2005."
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Companies in China learn to bypass government's firewall

mi mi writes  |  about a year ago

mi (197448) writes "According to the article in South China Morning Post, it is common for corporations in the country to reach out to the "real" Internet by using their own lines out to Hong-Kong. Recently, some luxury hotels started offering the access to guests. Of course, some sort of "communications with the local government" have taken place before this apparent violation of the country's federal law was attempted.

I, for one, can't wait for these folks to start getting a bigger say on how the Internet operates."

Link to Original Source
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Computer keeps sending cops to the same house

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "

Embarrassed cops on Thursday cited a "computer glitch" as the reason police targeted the home of an elderly, law-abiding couple more than 50 times in futile hunts for bad guys. Apparently, the address of Walter and Rose Martin's Brooklyn home was used to test a department-wide computer system in 2002

Police have tried to remove the address from their databases for years, but it keeps popping up... This is the scariest part of the government collecting personal data — they can't expunge it, even if they sincerely try to... And if they are even a bit insincere, they can always explain keeping it by a "computer glitch"."
Link to Original Source

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Leak of Congress' ethics-investigators documents

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "A document describing investigations of the House Ethics committee was accidentally leaked through peer-to-peer software running on a PC of a "junior employee" working from home. Although the employee was quickly fired, the embarrassing details are now well known.
At the time of this typing, no mention of the documents on WikiLeaks. Not yet..."

Link to Original Source
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Nigeria shuts down scam websites

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "Nigeria's anti-corruption police said Friday they had shut down some 800 scam websites and busted 18 syndicates of email fraudsters in a drive to curb cyber-crime the country is notorious for. 18 arrests were made. Maybe, the amount of "From the Desk of Dr. Foo Bar" e-mails will drop for a while."
Link to Original Source
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Plagiarism-detection software find Shakespeare

mi mi writes  |  about 5 years ago

mi writes "Software intended to help essay-graders to detect plagiarism was used to attribute — with high probability — a hitherto unattributed play (The Reign of Edward III) to Shakespeare. It seems, the work was co-authored by Shakespeare and another playwright of the time, Thomas Kyd."
Link to Original Source
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White House admits harvesting e-mail addresses

mi mi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mi writes "After people appeared on Fox News complaining, White House admitted to not be using the Confirmed Opt-In (a.k.a. Double Opt-In) for adding new addresses to their list of subscribers.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs offered the classic spammer-defenses: "we hope they were not too inconvenienced," — and: "we suggest that they unsubscribe from the list by clicking the link at the bottom of the e-mail."

I still remember — in the 1990ies — spammers covering themselves up with something like: "Under Bill S.1618 Title III passed by the 105th U.S. Congress, this letter can not be considered spam..." Now, the most technologically-advanced Administration is sanctioning the spammer's other excuse: "What's the big deal? Just press 'Delete'!""
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Palin's e-mail account broken into

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "A private e-mail account of Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin was broken into and detailed screen-shots published. The publishing site defends the stunningly unethical action with: "It's newsworthy and we will not be taking it down!""
Link to Original Source
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Craigslist forced to reveal a seller's identity

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts has won a judgment compelling CraigsList to reveal the identity of "Daniel", who tried to sell two tickets to the Oscar-ceremony recently. The plaintiff's argument against such sales is scary and can be taken very far very quickly: "If you don't know who's inside the theater, it's very difficult to provide security".

The CraigList's handling of the case may be even scarier, however — instead of fighting tooth-and-nail for the user's privacy, as we expect Google, Yahoo, and AOL, and even credit-card issuers to do, CraigsList simply did not show up in court and lost by default."

Link to Original Source
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Fugitive sues C.C.-issuer for aiding his capture

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "A short article describes attempts by a disbarred lawyer, who pleaded guilty of statutory rape, to sue American Express for violating its pledge "to withhold customer information from third parties". It seems, the man was captured when police obtained information about where his credit card was used.

His crime is repulsive to most, so there will be little sympathy, but the legal implications are interesting. Was AmEx compelled to disclose the information by the authorities, or did it volunteer the information? In the latter case, what will the company do, if the next suspect-on-the-run is accused of, say, copyright violations, or threats against President, or terrorism — will it consider the magnitude of the accusations and the available evidence, or always cooperate with the police?"

Link to Original Source
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France to outlaw "inciting thinness"

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "Yahoo! and others report, that "encouraging severe weight loss" may soon become a crime in France. The National Assembly has already approved the bill. The law would punish "inciting others to deprive themselves of food" to an "excessive" degree with prison time and/or fines, even though the doctors still say, the link between anorexia and media images "remains hazy"."
Link to Original Source
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French gendarmes switching to Linux

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "French paramilitary police will be switching their 70000 desktop computers to Ubuntu "every time they have to replace a desktop". The move is expected to affect 5000-8000 machines in the first year alone. The cost of the OS is cited as only the third of factors:

The first is to diversify suppliers and reduce the force's reliance on one company, the second is to give the gendarmerie mastery of the operating system and the third is cost.
They started migrating away from Microsoft by switching to alternative office and web-browsing software first."

Link to Original Source
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Chinese dissident taken from house- to real arrest

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "Yahoo! is carrying an AP article on the recent arrest of Hu Jia on the charge of "inciting subversion of state power".

Gross violations of Human Rights by Chinese government are nothing new. What's special about this case, is that the victim has spent 223 days under house arrest by the time he was taken away from his home (and newborn daughter). Despite the house arrest, he was able to continue his work, including participating remotely in a European Parliament hearing..."

Link to Original Source
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Amazon fights off a federal customer-list subpoena

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "While prosecuting a tax-evasion case against a used-book seller, federal prosecutors contacted Amazon requesting identities of his customers, so that some of them can become witnesses. The company refused to divulge the customers' identities and the judge agreed:

"The subpoena is troubling because it permits the government to peek into the reading habits of specific individuals without their knowledge or permission. It is an unsettling and un-American scenario to envision federal agents nosing through the reading lists of law-abiding citizens while hunting for evidence against somebody else."


The Feds eventually withdrew the subpoena."

Link to Original Source

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