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* Posts by John Smith 19

9492 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

When to say those three little words: 'I am quitting'

John Smith 19
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Re: Its possible to quit anytime- IF....

"....You're debt free. No credit card debt. no student loans, no car loans, no mortgage (debt = slavery)...

........You're talented. Talent equals natural ability times work put in. So in theory anyone can have talent....

.............You've no family, wife or kids ... Its still possible, but its more difficult..."

"So you never wanted a regular type life?"

"This regular type life, is that your life?"

Mine's the one with a copy of "Heat" on DVD in the pocket.

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John Smith 19
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He's smart, knows his subject and is not shy about telling you he does.

Which I suspect makes him about as easy for you to deal with as some of you are to deal with by your respective managements.

You would, perhaps prefer a "smoother," more self effacing presentation? More British self deprecation?

Guess what, so would your management.

But you tell it like it is and your PHB starts blubbing ("Why is the nasty man being so horrid to me?")

So if you agree with what he says, but don't like how he says it, perhaps you might ask yourself if your way is any better?

On the whole I rather like his approach.

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NSA PRISM snoop-gate: Won't someone think of the children, wails Apple

John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: And I say

"Down with those Alzheimer's terrorists! Those who have nothing to hide, have... what... I forgot..."

That's very insensitive and disrespectful to a particularly vulnerable group of society.

Amusing, certainly, but insensitive.

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John Smith 19
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Re: I am not a terrorist

You are however an idiot.

I'll let the other posters explain why.

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John Smith 19
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Childcatcher

Re: Really?

"Apple is going with "Won't somebody think of the children?"."

Yup.

Hey, their customers bought the iWhatever off them. It was 2x or 3x more expensive than an equivalent device to do the same thing.

Why shouldn't they swallow that line?

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SCO vs. IBM battle resumes over ownership of Unix

John Smith 19
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Joke

I wonder if you could start a kicksterter project

To hire a hitman to take all of this scum out.

I am of course joking.

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Don't wait to check your parachute until you're out of the plane

John Smith 19
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Sounds like good advice.

IRL how many follow it?

Or even think they should follow it?

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Nearly-transparent screen adds solar charge to phones

John Smith 19
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Happy

License it to Apple and their fortune is made.

The perfect posing tech for the perfect possers phone.

Because who doesn't like to sip coffee in a pavement cafe in the south of France?

And for the rest of us?

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BBC's Digital Moneypit Initiative known to be 'pile of dung' for years

John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: Top & tail

"That automation will usually include some time before and after the program to ensure the top and tail aren't crunched. The BBC storage is therefore a constant size since material is kept for a week in its entirety, unless a programme stream wants to put it on its own podcast. The heavy lifting is done by external internet delivery systems."

I'm guessing the whole programme stream is assembled from lots of different sources (all the pre-recorded standard bits + actual programme itself) under computer control through a very detailed computerized schedule. Does the meta data for the schedule contain the actual start time for the program?

IOW, any chance of an upgrade to the back end production SW that snips off all the irritating crap?

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US Supremes: Human genes can't be patented

John Smith 19
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Re: Hmmm

" but I know that's a re-coding of the original DNA with some bits deleted. So it surely ought to be as un-patentable as the original human gene."

I think you're presuming that working out which bits to delete is obvious.

While molecular biology sort of looks like computer programming verifying what is and is not doing something within the gene is not obvious.

There is no DNA version of GDB.

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John Smith 19
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Michael Crighton's last hurrah? For those of you who have not read "Next"

Part of the theme of the novel is if a corporation owns the patent on a gene a researcher found in your body do they pay you for it?

Or do they (in effect) own you?

The answer (now) is they don't.

Thumbs up for a unanimous and sensible verdict.

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Confidence in US Congress sinks to lowest level ever recorded

John Smith 19
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Might I suggest that "Approval" does not *necessarily* mean agreement?

The US people approve of people who are committed enough to their country to defend it.

That does not necessarily mean they agree who it's being used to defend the country from

Of course there is that little exchange in "Watchmen"

"We're the last line of defense"

"Who from?"

"Themselves."

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John Smith 19
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Re: So much needs changing but the ones that can change it...won't.

"Basically you do the job for the love of your country and to make it better."

A noble and beautiful idea.

Lets go back to the 19th century, when only the hereditary rich could afford to take up an MP ship.

You do realize that in the US (which this story is about) virtually all Senators and Congressmen are millionaires (or in some cases billionaires)?

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John Smith 19
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Re: History repeats

"With the military at 70+% approval ratings, in a country consciously modeled on the Roman Republic (thanks Thomas Jefferson!), what would happen in the U.S. if a general or admiral stood up and said "Like you, I'm tired of endless crisis, what this country needs is leadership, let me move us forward together?" Particularly with the backing of the trustworthy military?"

Never seen Seven Days in May?

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John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: Binary human

"It seems the end point of a mature democracy when there is no charismatic savior type figure running is a close to 50/50 split of political philosophy even if much of it is of the bumper sticker variety. One doesn't need even an intro course in physics to know that when two opposing forces are equal or close to equal, there is very little movement. When no one gets what they want it is easy to point to the other side as being obstructionist."

Interesting theory.

So how do you explain the British result of a coalition under a first-past-the-post system?

Or are you talking solely about the American experience?

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John Smith 19
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Meh

USians. Might I suggest....

Robert Heinlein's only non fiction work Take back your government

Forget about the big picture. If you can win in one district or state you start to show an alternative.

The trick is if you do to make the work of the candidate you got elected effective once they get there.

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Surprise! Intel smartphone trounces ARM in power trials

John Smith 19
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Meh

Intels problem is they are used to living on processor pricing for Server/desktop

So how do you sell an instruction set compatible processor (because that's the core feature people buy Intel for) at 1/10 (or less) than what you pay for a desktop/laptop/server processor without people feeling they are being ripped off?

As a designer you with an Intel processor you cannot.

a) Change foundries. Don't like the shipping delays for your order? SFW.

b) Insert other chips into their processor carrier. Get your own.

c) Add ASIC functions to their silicon. You are joking.

So you pay for more board space, more devices, more assembly and test costs.

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John Smith 19
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Meh

"secret" benchmark *proves* Intel is superior.

I don't think so.

Exact screen sizes make a difference for a start, backlight brightness as well (and wheather it auto adjusts).

And it's a good point about amps. AFAIK all mobile batteries are proprietary to their phones. So the mfg can set the voltage to whatever they like.

So 1/2 the amps at 2x the voltage = same power level.

Not really a level playing field, is it?

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Not just telcos, THOUSANDS of companies share data with US spies

John Smith 19
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"given documents granting him or her immunity from all civil prosecutions.. information sharing."

So is is illegal if it was anyone else who they were sharing the data with.

And remember FISA makes a bigshow of demonstrating that it's only foreigners who are to be spied on?

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Badger bloodbath brouhaha brings 'bodge' bumpkin bank burgle bluster

John Smith 19
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IT Angle

I thought NFU ran their systems on a mainframe running a non standard 4GL

Not quite the usual skillset of the average badger tree hugger.*

*Hug a badger. If you're hard enough.

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REVEALED: The gizmo leaker Snowden used to smuggle out NSA files

John Smith 19
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WTF?

"“Systems administrators.." "..low level, typically have the highest access to systems and data,"

Manage the data sure.

Read the data. Why?

And thumb drives? I thought the NSA had a "Body cavity searches will continue to be conducted at random until further notice" policy.

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Facebook turns on frigid Swedish ice-maidens in new data centre

John Smith 19
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Re: it's turtles, all the way down ..

I think the take away from this is

Simply everybody's doing cocaine. *

*With apologies to Murray Lachlan Young.

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Boffins read memory bits with light

John Smith 19
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Boffin

Re: Long term reliability problems?

Depends on the clock frequency.

1Mhz That' 100 million seconds or about 3 yrs continuous operation.

1Ghz (reasonably high performance phone) 100 000 secs a bit over 1 day.

Of course if you run slow and switch in between the game changes totally.

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Thanks, NSA: Amazon sales of Orwell's 1984 rise 9,500%

John Smith 19
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Happy

Re: Next we find out that the NSA recently bought all rights to "1984"

"Cunning bastards are running a false flag operation to jack up their return on investment!!"

Posted like a true "Marketing Hack."

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John Smith 19
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Re: Apathy tends to rule these days...

"He seemed to be resigned to the fact that "we know it has been happening for years anyway, and I've got nothing to hide"."

Apathy is the great friend of all authoritarian groups, whatever "political" view they spout.

" and I've got nothing to hide". "

Funny how people say that until you ask them to give you their bank account # & PIN, social security or NI # etc.

And of the kicker

Until The State decides you do.

And if they are not smart enough to realize that they are pretty dumb.

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BBC lied to Parliament about doomed £100m IT monster, thunder MPs

John Smith 19
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Do you want all your broadcasting created and deliverd by Messrs R Murdoch & R Branson?

That does not sound much fun to me.

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Patch Tuesday: And EVERY version of IE needs fixing AGAIN

John Smith 19
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Meh

I thought some of those versions were *complete* re-writes from the ground up.

So either a) A faulty software design was re-implemented and perpetuated the vulnerability.

b) Some coder did a copy and paste job on development.

But b could never happen. Do we not have the word of the Turkey Dancer himself on the matter?

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What did the Lehman Brothers implosion look like to a techie?

John Smith 19
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Happy

A thought on proof reading.

How about you feed the article to some kind of text to speech program and see how it sounds. Human's seem pretty good at visual error correction but aural glitches seem to stand out more.

Shorting the stock of the company you're contracted to. Have to remember that one.

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KEEP CALM and Carry On: PRISM itself is not a big deal

John Smith 19
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Big Brother

"It's all legal."

So was the Enabling Act.

What it enabled, less so.

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We're losing the battle with a government seduced by surveillance

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

People were quoting Franklin in their signatures post 9/7, but how about Edmund Burke

"For evil to triumph it is only necessary that good men do nothing"

Anyone remember that?

I've found that once you've convinced people they are powerless, and any effort they make is pointless and they should not even try, that you can make them do anything you like.

So when someone tells you "Nothings going to change, give up, this is the way it is" take a close look at why they say this and what their agenda is.

Because they damm sure have one.

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John Smith 19
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Gimp

Meet the "Coalition of the willing."

Unelected Intelligence bureaucrats. More data -> more budgets -> more power.

Authoritarian politicians. More data -> few leaks to pesky journalists + more dirt leverage against opponents. BTW their party is irrelevant Authoritarianism is a state of mind not party.

Political staffers. New laws -> Recognition by their bosses. How many laws do you think are actually written by actual members of the Legislature? 363 pages of legalese in 6 weeks. Who are you kidding?

Suppliers Surveillance software and hardware and support systems. More data -> more licenses to collect it + more hardware installed to collect it + more storage to store it.

The stockholders of the above companies (probably including some of those politicians, bureaucrats and staffers). Because what's good for business is probably good for America.

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John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: You should expect this from a "liberal" government more than any other

"Reconciling reality with the liberal worldview is hard, isn't it?"

You appear to believe this was instigated by the Obama administration?

You're either very ignorant of recent American history or just stupid.

I only have 1 entry on my "ignore" filter currently but this topic has already unearthed 2 more candidates.

Care to share a few more pearls of wisdom?

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John Smith 19
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Re: Well said.

Historic note.

The term "terrorist" originally comes from the French revolution and the time "The Terror."

So Robespierre would probably count as the first "Terrorist."

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John Smith 19
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Re: Time to pack up and leave

"Time to pack up and leave the USA. Time to find some remote out of the way place outside the USA and its co conspirators and find some remote cabin in the woods. Maybe make take up a hobby like making little wood boxes ;)"

So you've just given in.

The number of places that is a viable option for is falling.

And those places will probably not give you the kind of lifestyle you are used to.

Sooner or later there will be no place you can sit this one out.

What will you do then?

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John Smith 19
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Big Brother

Re: False positives

" 'false positives' with surveillance on this scale must make it all but useless for preventive action, surely? "

Not at all.

If your goal is to frighten the populace with both the threat of a terrorist attack and the threat of indefinite detention without trial (like the 100+ inmates of Guantanamo Bay who are "cleared" but have still not been released) this is not a problem.

It's a feature, not a bug.

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US chief spook: Look, we only want to spy on 6.66 BEELLLION of you

John Smith 19
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Big Brother

"..only give agents access to their data when "lawfully required to do so""

Those of you familiar with the series "Yes Minister" will recognize that he's not said when that is.

The answer is "all the time."

Remember Americans they only spying on every one else to make you feel safer

You do feel safer, don't you?

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Author Iain (M) Banks falls to cancer at 59

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Did not see this one coming

But then I guess neither did he.

<sigh>

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NSA Prism: Why I'm boycotting US cloud tech - and you should too

John Smith 19
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Happy

Re: Don Jefe Canadians are viewed by the world as timid and weak?

"IIRC, those "meek" Canadians are the only country to have invaded the US and burnt the White House to the ground (in 1814, with a little help from the even more "meek" British)!"

Yes. But "Red Dawn" would not have been much fun if the invaders were from Canada, would it?

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John Smith 19
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Meh

@Matt Bryant

<badly formatted rant>

And your point?

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John Smith 19
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Unhappy

"No US legal attack surface?"

That's critical.

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John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Re: Naive

<general comment on US foreign policy>

<No surprise blah blah>

Cynicism is the easiest political doctrine to adopt. It's an attitude the people who do this rely

upon. Cynicism, apathy, inertia.

At present the United States is not China.

But with enough people like you it can become like china.

A poor copy, an ineffective ( but very expensive) tyranny.

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John Smith 19
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Meh

Spy on 100 % to catch the maybe 0.001% who are doing anything.

Does anything seem wrong about this?

It looks more like a case of "Because we can" rather than "need" WTF "need" means.

Yes you should be paranoid.

Understand this. Corporations are sociopaths. They have no legally obligation to a "social conscience," or indeed any behavior, just to a) Maximize return to stockholders b)Obey the host country's laws (or rather not get caught breaking them).

That's it. Sorry, everything else is Marketing BS. The sooner every one understands those 2 points the sooner you can start figuring out how to deal with them.

I'd suggest end to end encryption. If it's on a server you do not directly control, and it's important to you (or your business), it should be unreadable.

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John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Re: Good op-ed, but unfortunately Canada is probably part of the system.

"Financially, it's a good deal, but that doesn't mean it comes for free."

The word you're looking for is complimentary

You're right. It's not free.

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John Smith 19
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Happy

Re: Canadians

"And real bacon."

And a substantially lower murder rate.

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John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: You're late to the party

"The best answer, of course, is to utterly destroy terrorism at its source, so that we can have both safety and liberty with no problems."

You're either very ignorant of what terrorism is or you're very stupid.

Keep posting and I'll make up my own mind.

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John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: @AC

"It has been going on for ages and no one really seemed to care, and now all of a sudden it becomes an outrage?"

You've said that a couple of times now.

So do you care or not?

The fact that this seems to have p**sed off quite a lot of people may just mean that there is a shot at doing something about it, either by getting the Legislature to reign in the USA PATRIOT act or by walking away from US based companies and their just-copy-everything-to-the-USG "data protection" BS.

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Leaked Obama brief reveals US cyber defense, offense policy

John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: Coincidences

"Funny, these things are leaked to the press right before the US negotiates at the highest level with the chinese about these things."

Here's the thing.

If you're going to play the "moral high ground" card in international affairs ("We don't do this sort of thing, that's only authoritarian Godless Commies (TM) that do this sort of thing") you'd better either a) Not be doing them

b)Not leave the evidence around for someone to find.

Otherwise be honest and admit it. The US is no better in this regard than China.

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Obama weighs in on NSA surveillance imbroglio

John Smith 19
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Boffin

Re: HA! Good to know Congress can work together.

"I'd like to know if we as the public in the form of the Justice System can make use of this data in tracking the location and whereabouts of any individual involved in a criminal case or suspected criminal case. Such as seeing what congressional members make use of scandalous clubs or bathrooms. ha!"

Something like this hace been covered by El Reg and IIRC the Supreme Court ruled sticking a GPS tracker on a car did need a court order as your location is a private matter.

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John Smith 19
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Coat

""That so many politicians have been allowed themselves to be duped by the fear of terrorists."

There, fixed that for you.

My jacket's the one with a copy of "Enemy of the State" in.

The real question is:

IRL who is the real "Thomas Bryan Reynolds" ?

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John Smith 19
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IT Angle

Re: We didn't LOSE Korea.

"How about 50% of a win..."

And don't they also make 90-95% of all the RAM as well?

A lot computers would look a bit empty with out those modules inside.

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