876 posts • joined Monday 22nd October 2007 16:07 GMT
Slow down kids,
big brother is doing it all for your own good.
And the secrecy is just because you are too stupid to recognize a good idea when you see it. Combine your stupidity with that democracy thing and there is a real danger that your stupid and uninformed opinion might make a difference. So you see, it's only for your best if you know nothing at all. Go back to reading fiction. It's the same stories but you will be much more relaxed.
"Private property is a natural right"
Just like your natural right on the air you breathe. In space.
Microsoft [...] is supplying only what is ordered by a judge, according to laws of USA.
FALSE. NSA and co. explicitly intercept the data outside the US borders to circumvent US law and to avoid legal review of their actions.
The NSA claims that interception occurs outside the US to maintain a superficial semblance of legality. But I wouldn't be surprised if that is another white lie. It would be a lot cheaper and easier to tap the cables right in front of the US telecom buildings as opposed to some elaborate underwater tapping or having some daily petabyte data-transfer from the friends in GB.
It's just a tool...
for those in power to control and supervise the people. The people should be the ultimate source of power in a democracy, so there should be nothing to worry, right? Except, that the people are not informed and the authorities show great willingness to use all tools at hand to manipulate public opinion. The elected government and the unelected members of the administration create secret tools to control their populace when really the populace should control them.
As TJ1 helpfully posted in an earlier forum, the "Reexam - Final Rejection" from the USPTO is available online (here, reexamination number 90/012,332). The 60 page document rejects all claims in Apple's patent quite thoroughly based on prior art and obviousness.
But I guess in the legal world it's no big deal to shuffle around a cool few hundred million based on a patent that may or may probably not stand the test of time? Nuts!
Re: "FLUCK YOU, AMERICA!!!"
Up-vote for being gratuitously abusive, demeaning and idiotic. Two can play that game (see story).
To be fair...
Schmidt doesn't ruin his great renown as a writer. He just continues doing what he has been payed for all along.
Management-speak vs. Newspeak
Plusgood: better plausible deniability. The Eigenvalue of all bullet points would be "proactively leverage collaborative information to cognitive processes, Integrate SIGINT agility of the mission and Align business engagement”. Is waterboarding part of that mission? Depends who is asking.
Took a long time...
It is quite normal that nimble young companies innovate and big old companies follow. But in computers, Wintel managed to lock the market down for decades and destroyed the competition before they could get a foothold. Somehow they missed the threat from really small computers (call them smartphones if you wish) and now there are quite some competitors in software and hardware. Even better, it became obvious that a manageable investment is sufficient to enter the strongly commoditized market.
Expect the new normal with several healthy competitors on the hardware and software side and many small companies trying to get a foothold (witness all those Chinese hardware manufacturers and the flavors of linux-based OSs).
"it felt like it would slip out of my hand"
It clearly needs a handle. Or a proper Telefonhoerer (didn't find a proper English word for it).
Ever been close to a Heli?
If this thing wants to lift, it needs to push a lot of air. If it manages doing so with those small rotors, what will be the required minimum distance to keep people from being blown over? Is the ground effect better or worse with many small propellers as compared to one, and how will this affect lift and controllability?
Count me as sceptic.
Thanks, TJ1, for linking the patent office page.
The "Reexam final rejection" document does raise the hope that the software patent nonsense can be stopped within the existing system. The lengthy document contains much legalese, but the bottom line is: You can't patent obvious things. Of course identifying the previous art that makes something legally obvious must be a devilish amount of work. Good to know that those poor lawyers doing the nasty legwork are well payed and are therefore properly compensated for their pointless suffering :).
I find it interesting that only a handful of references (mostly patents) are sufficient to blow away all of apples multi-touch and scrolling claims. And the document shows some annoyance with the Apple lawyers. E.g., when they claim that a previous patent did not claim a touch sensitive display and they point out the words "touch-sensitive display" in the abstract.
So down from a cool billion to a few hundred millions ... enough to keep the circus running for a few more years.
Re: Copyright and Patents both have positive feedback mechanisms
Democracy is meant to safeguard society from the feedback loops you mention. If the cost becomes too large, then society can rewrite the rules. It just takes time for the process to work, so be patient.
A company patenting bouncing images an the like is making a joke of the patent system. The patent system is meant to reward innovation to make it worthwhile the effort. Clearly the programming efforts of Apple have been worthwhile and have been rewarded greatly (to the tune of 100 billion $). It's hard to see why such programming work should be rewarded with an extended monopoly.
The patent system should reward investments that cannot be recovered without the protection of the patent law. It should not invite companies to gamble in a high-stakes game of courtroom poker. The patent system in the US should be fixed. But the billion-dollar question is whether the law-making politicians can remain independent arbiters when they rely on financial benefactors to win elections.
Think about the children!
Clearly we have to ban encryption to protect the weakest in our society. The police?!
Re: economics in two pages never really works
A down-vote for gerryg for the bad example of MMR. But the first paragraph of his post contains some good points.
All patent / copyright protection create a cost to society to reward an individual (or company). The fundamental question whether an activity deserves an award is often discussed, but the size of the reward seems to be horribly unflexible with the current system. Does the author of some code solving a particular mathematical (economic, accounting, SCADA ...) problem deserve the same level of exclusivity as the inventor of the blue LED? One may have involved a person, a computer, and some time (and rather little risk of failure if the problem was well defined) -- the other involved years of research, a significant research facility, and a large risk of failure (ask all the others who didn't manage to get their LED working).
A bit fishy...
The claimed speed advantage versus the Galaxy S4 looks very fishy. My S3 (yes, I am a cheap bastard) starts the browser about ... instantaneously (newly booted phone, so it was not cached). How you can shave off half a second from that is hard to imagine.
Or is the S4 so much slower than the S3?
Eventually, this laundry list will meet the democratic process in the (non-?) ratifying countries. I hope.
The government of the USA is incapable of controlling one of it's own agencies ...
The more fundamental question question is whether democracy still works as intended. Obama promised great transparency and reforms before being elected but didn't follow through on any of it. Is he just a weak president? Or is there a systemic problem that the president just really control the bureaucracy anymore? Or did someone dig up enough dirt to keep him quiet? Nice ground for conspiracy theories.
Will future elected governments be able to fulfill the will of the electorate?
Tizen increasingly seems to be a Samsung driven development, so is that their plan B just in case Android moves in an unexpected direction? So far, only dedicated efforts by a single company were successful in the OS market (Windows, iOS, Android, maybe even count Symbian), so will Samsung slowly take it over?
"... there aren't the words to describe what's really going on in QM"
Wrong, there is a whole language to describe what's going on in QM. There are words for QM particles that can be observed, there are words to describe the interactions between QM particles, there are words describing the properties of QM particles, ...
It's simply a specialized language. And it describes observations that usually require more than a pair of glasses. But in the end, QM is not more strange than classical mechanics. (Would you believe that a feather falls as fast as an iron ball? Newton made those crazy claims and people believe him.)
If you really think about it, it makes kind of sense that matter comes in discrete 'quantized' blocks. Apples come in quantized units. Newton spent too much time thinking about planets and completely overlooked the tiny apple quanta.
Re: Well, they're right about the flying pigs.
The Russians and Chinese probably have all documents because they found many less-principled administrators who chose to sell to the highest bidder instead of going public.
Let's face it, the NSA messed it up badly. Snowden is just bringing the bad news.
"the fugitive leaker would most likely never return to the US"
There was a time when a leaker would flee to / stay in the Land of the Free (US) and rely on the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech. Daniel Ellsberg is the best example. Now the US readied the tools of an oppressive regime (boundless spying and uncompromising prosecution of all enemies of the state) and Snowden went to Russia.
It's a brave new world.
Re: Oh dear
Nothing desperate about climate science, but it's a reminder that the climate models are quite imperfect and can not yet model all relevant factors that influence the climate. Indeed, it appears that the human activities change so many aspect of our atmosphere that the climate cannot be easily extrapolated from the analysis of historic information (i.e., measurements from a few centuries and longer time-scale data from ice-cores, etc.).
The fact that we humans rapidly change the atmospheric composition and thereby change the climate is not in question and is only denied by people who are too lazy to inform themselves. Unfortunately, it became quite hard to sift the information from all the sensational claims made by the climate change deniers and climate change scaremongers.
Malaria vaccine versus connectivity
I go for the malaria vaccine and while we are at it, Bill, please cure cancer and give me unlimited clean energy.
Being important does not equate being realistic. And having connectivity can make all the difference to figure out how to treat that kid's diarrhea.
"no shortage of young men willing to go into [the drug trade]"
It's capitalism 1-01: The price adjusts to balance supply and demand.
Capitalism, aka 'free pursuit of happiness'. You want to fight it? Talk to somebody from the Soviet Union, they gave up fighting after some 70 years.
Comparing Apple / Google with NSA is misleading
Apple and Google are companies and offer a product for a price. The contractual agreement between the company and you is your only interaction and anything beyond the mutually agreed service/use is a breach of contract that can be contested in court.
NSA is a government agency. There is no contract and there is not even any public information of what they do. There is no legal recourse against their actions, there is no accountability among their employees. You have no legal recourse against them if they misuse your data, kill your career with it, or destroy your computer when installing their secret surveillance software. There is a big big difference between dealing with a company and dealing with your government. One can destroy the life of millions (just remember your history classes), the other is just a business vehicle.
The argument that Google prepared (intellectually) the ground for the NSA may be true, but thats about the limit of the comparison.
Let me get this straight
The spooks were allowed to secretly spy with the explicit job to catch terrorists. They misused that freedom to spy on all and sundry. An upright citizen from the land of the free saw this misuse of authority and revealed it. As a result, the spooks' work got harder. Sounds like some heads should roll: Who authorized the excessive spying? Who allowed the system to grow to ridiculous proportions without checks and balances -- causing the public outrage driving the whole affair? Who neglected the security of the whole thing to a point that a single sysadmin can bring down the whole thing? There is a lot of blame to go around, but none of it belongs to Mr Snowden.
Re: Difference between a good haircut and a bad one??
Reminds me of the good old times -- getting a free haircut sponsored by friends who get to choose the hairstyle. Now I gotta pay and I still don't have any say (one too many Y chromosomes).
Re: Still not "secure"
Moores law will soon run into the ground and that statement will be true for CPU and GPU processors alike. So brute-force cracking of encryption may get very hard in the near future. The big question is whether human ingenuity can come up with fundamentally new ideas on improving computers beyond Moores law.
This surely is about fashion and not about security. And people are willing to suffer for fashion, so a plastic-lined jacket might succeed if advertised properly (BTW, good job, Shaun Nichols).
Concerning the Pictures from the firing range, is that a stainless-steel torso wearing the suit? Talk about bullet-proof!
Thumbs up (and wallet out)
I hope they make it easy enough so a noob like me can run his own secure email.
Re: Total, complete & utter bullshit.
It's not bullshit if the process is not adiabatic.
Let me translate adiabatic: an the adiabatic system is always in its equilibrium. If the hot sample cols adiabatically (== slowly), then it will be at equilibrium when reaching, say, 20 degrees and it obviously can't cool faster than another sample that started at equilibrium at 20 degrees.
If the cooling is not adiabatic, then all kinds of funny things can happen: One sample might go below 0 degrees without crystallizing (supercooled liquid), or a supercooled surface layer might slow down the evaporative cooling process, ... I didn't read up on it so I can't give you anything beyond generalities.
The most important quality of a living organism is the ability for self-replication. There are lots of complex systems out there -- just because you cant understand it doesn't make it alive.
I'd claim the thing is more like a quantum system than a living system: You cannot make exact predictions, but you can surely determine the probabilistic behavior.
Honorary German citizen
Congratulations, Jack Clark, you just won a honorary German citizenship with the sentence:
"Instead of fighting these non-determinisms and rigidly dictating the behavior of distributed systems, the community has instead created a fleet of tools to coerce this randomness into some semblance of order, and in doing so has figured out a way to turn the randomness and confusion that lurks deep within any large sophisticated data center from a barely seen cloud-downing beast into an asset that focuses apps to be stronger, healthier, and more productive."
Now if you can move the verb to the end of the sentence, you will get a medal for style. But that would be seriously advanced German writership and should not be attempted lightly.
A close collaboration might bring some short-term benefits, but would probably destroy a lot of future innovation. If you have the market sewn up, why innovate? OTOH, if you have to gain an edge over a very competitive rival, then innovation is your only chance.
Keep those companies at each other's throat (preferably using their products and not their lawyers) -- so we get better technology tomorrow. Monopolies are bad for innovation.
Rumors of a 삼성 - Google break-up...
I don't see if there is actual hard evidence for a break between good and Samsung. In my impression, Samsung is very pragmatic and will simply produce and sell what the customers demand. No need to break up if there is money to be made. The duplication of functionality is probably to cover their behinds just in case Android moves in an unexpected direction.
For Google, it's harder to tell what they want out of their runaway success. Is Android still a tool to ensure open mobile access (to Google search) for everybody, or do they want to build a bright new world, following the lead of Apple. Open seems to be more successful gauging from the apple-google fight so far.
Re: Absolute Cluetard
The NSA and Co. activities are more like wrapping yourself in saran foil in the attempt to isolate yourself from every potential germ out there. The washing hands analogy would be more akin to having a police with reasonable - and limited - powers.
Most things work as advertised
Some companies sell you dishwasher-safe knifes, buy those if you want to throw them into a dishwasher. It all depends on the type of materials (steel, aluminum, wood, plastic, ceramic) used in the blade and handle.
I use both types, rather cheap dishwasher-safe knives (need multiple because they are always dirty and in the dishwasher) and better knifes that get hand-washed and are always ready for use.
Definitely get a steel rod to regularly hone the edge.
Replacing trust with security
The NSA proved that we cannot trust those in power to show restraint with surveillance. In the 20th century (and due to the absence of things like the cold war or other fundamental threats), terrorism seems to be the catch-all excuse for warrantless, all-encompassing surveillance.
So we need technological tools to re-create privacy. This is a good thing, even if some bad people will use it for bad purposes. To restrict the freedom of all for a small incremental 'common good' is not reasonable: we must be allowed to meet privately and communicate even if some use this freedom for nefarious purpose. It shouldn't matter whether a communication occurs online or in person.
I thoroughly welcome things like dark mail, let's hope it will create a new balance between government and citizens.
jake: "fairly common knowledge for about a quarter decade"
What the h*ll does the knowledge of somebody else have to do with my understanding of what's right or wrong? It was common knowledge among select groups that the Nazi Germans gassed the jews. It was common knowledge that the Stasi spied and suppressed dissidents.
Please turn on your brain before spewing Meta-arguments.
"They're gathering so much noise and garbage"
And in that garbage they will have enough inconvenient or incriminating stuff to ruin the career of an inconvenient politician, to incriminate and blackmail any businessman or to embarrass any annoying citizen. All of this without apparent transparency, oversight, or democratic checks and balances. Just taking some email/call/text snippets out of context may be enough to make you look thoroughly bad (and maybe unfit for a job). Even worse, once they have you hacked they can add that little extra to make you look positively criminal.
It does sound quite scary to me -- the tools are reminiscent of communist Russia or Nazi Germany. In those societies, the limitless spying was used systematically to suppress political dissent. In the US we don't hear about systematic suppression but once the tools are in place, somebody will find a use for them.
Privacy without anonymity???
Privacy without anonymity relies on the benign intentions of the data-collecting agency. History shows that even the best intentions have a limited lifetime. So forget about privacy without anonymity.
Some hacker has to post the software mod to make the iron play online radio, to remote control the kettle to prepare a cuppa from my desk, ...
Great stuff waiting to happen!
So what does the Bundesnachrichtendienst do, then?
The Bundesnachrichtendienst does what its name describes: Collecting news. The service was actually described as "newspaper clipping service" in the not-so-distant past. I am sure that they did expand their act a bit since then, nobody is immune against mission-creep. But the combination of German morals (nobody loves this undemocratic institution, it just has too many historic connotations) with the general boringness of German administration work (rules, rules, rules -- don't touch that pen unless you read the 20 page regulation on legitimate use), it makes me hopeful that the Bundesnachrichtendienst is still quite tame.
They seem to have outsourced the more demanding jobs anyways: recent exposures of German spying software showed that they rely on commercial software of questionable quality.
It's actually easier to understand why the NSA would want to spy on the head of a state as opposed to spying on the whole populace. But they managed to be indiscreet about it -- if Snowden had documents about it, then the better part of the US security services and administration might have access. Nobody wants their dirty laundry thus widely disseminated.
Even 'if it can be expected' that the US spies on the rest of the world, they managed to really mess it up by creating such a large and all-encompassing system, that all kinds of sensitive information seem to be floating around. (If Snowden had access to presentation slides advertising those great information gathering tools, then there must be a lot of people for whom the data was advertised.)
The NSA clearly overstepped the boundaries of reasonable actions and they might loose a lot of access due to it in the near future.
Surface RT doing well?
"[...] revenue increase [...] attributed to Surface, and particularly to the 32GB model of the ARM-powered Surface RT [...]"
No shit Sherlock. They just wrote off USD 1 billion on their surface inventory. If they can't create at least a superficial appearance of success after this write-off, then Ballmer should be fired again!
"This is for life, this is for your grandchildren"
It was a definite eye-opener for me, when my grandma told me about 'how it really was' back in the times; your grandparents were no chaste angels 80 years ago, neither were your parents (exceptions do exist). Gives a somewhat relaxed point of view that cannot be obtained by any quantity of sex-education.
Not that this can - in any way - excuse the horribly actions of the boy.
W3C should stay out of the DRM business and instead focus on maintaining open internet standards. If companies insist on DRM, then they should carry the burden to convince their customers that DRM is in their best interest and they should carry the burden of developing a convincing solution.
Companies want to wall off their portions of the internet? No need to offer standardized fences.
- On the matter of shooting down Amazon delivery drones with shotguns
- OHM MY GOD! Move over graphene, here comes '100% PERFECT' stanene
- Lightning strikes USB bosses: Next-gen jacks will be REVERSIBLE
- Google's new cloud CRUSHES Amazon in RAM battle
- Beijing leans on Microsoft to maintain Windows XP support