This never would have happened if they'd used proper enterprise storage. Trusting in these newfangled startups just puts customers at risk! That's what I don't use cloud computing.
5591 posts • joined 31 May 2010
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VMware doesn't have to make the hardware, just rebadge Supermicro nodes.
You're absolutely, 100% right. I got StorSimple and StoreVirtual mixed up. Sorry, I've been working with startups all day that are building StorSimple competitors and the dang thing stuck in my mind.
Why the heck does everyone have to name everything so bloody similar? Maybe we should start naming the next generation of products in Klingon, I think we're running out of horrible manglings of English.
From the article: "the tidbit that is most likely at the core of MARVIN – VSAN – is the political equivalent of a live wire."
So yes, confusing. And highly, highly political, and you sir have struck to the heart of it. Also remember that EMC has ScaleIO, and Cisco is buying up array vendors. Add in FlexPod, and the fact that other converged competitors (Nutanix, SimpliVity, Maxta, etc) all run on VMware (as at least one of the options) and you get a glimpse of the politics.
Now go beyond storage. Pivotal makes what amounts to wickedawesome orchestration software. In some senses that competes directly with VMware's own offerings in the area. And EMC? Where are they? They can't sell "just storage" for more than another 5-10 years, so they have to have strategic moves beyond the creation of the EMC federation.
EMC federation companies cooperate and compete, even as they own bits of eachother. Nutanix, SimpliVity, Maxta and so forth are official partners of EMC federation companies, as well as vicious competitors.
Dell has launched a tight tie-up with Nutanix, but is also "100% committed to VSAN". Supermicro makes Nutanix's hardware, which Dell will be selling for several months until they get their own nodes done, at which point Nutanix will still sell Supermicro-sourced nodes. Meanwhile, Supermicro looks to be at the core of MARVIN, and has several "VSAN ready nodes" on the VSAN list, as do Dell, HP and so forth.
And what about HP? They have StorSimple and Lefthand and are trying to make a go of all sorts of things. They sell VSAN nodes and VMware, but also crank out 3PAR and are a leading force behind Openstack. They are looking to become a major cloud provider via Openstack.
"Complicated" doesn't even begin to cover it. These companies are big enough to be competing internally. When you start to try to pick out the complex interrelationships even amongst members of allied companies like the EMC federation it gets hard. Try to look at alliances of convenience like VCE and you'll go mad.
Wheeee...this is what I do for a living now! (It's still better than troubleshooting Xerox printers.)
"Oh, my day-job is much more enjoyable.
It's the abject poverty for the other 15 hours a day that's stressful!"
Rule of acquisition number 125: You can't make a deal if you're dead.
The stress of the day job damned near killed me. Writing is a cathartic release.
Writing doesn't pay nearly as well as systems administration. From experience, however, there's less stress sin the writing. I'll take navigating PRs over troubleshooting printers any day of the week.
Depends on what you define as "a toy", I suppose. "Able to handle 125 VDI instances per node without complaint" seems reasonable to me. Alternately "200+VMs across 4 nodes that run a mix of workloads ranging from Exchange to SQL to VDI to image render engines" seems not toy-like to me.
Now, to be perfectly honest, I haven't run Maxta against those controllers. Maybe Maxta would run like a dog on them too. I do know that I don't need hardware controllers to run Maxta, and it does a damned fine job using AHCI SATA 7200 rpm spindles + SSDs. It handles all the I/O I want to throw at it on a per-node basis right up to the point that I run out of RAM.
Now, it's obviously an open question how each of these will behave when we start talking about setups that run $25K+ per node just for the hardware. I can't answer that. But I do know that Maxta runs real-world production workloads just fine on some rather weedy hardware using configs that VMware officially pooh-poohs for their own offering.
It's all about what you're optimizing for. Are you optimizing for IOmeter and SPC-2 benchmarks, or for workloads that are ridiculously latency sensitive that only 0.000002% of the world actually employ? Or are you optimizing for the kinds of workloads (and disk/CPU/RAM balances) utilized by 80% of the world's businesses?
So yeah, some of this shouldn't have made it onto the HCL...but there are things that got pulled from the HCL (or never made it on) that also raise huge questions about what the merry hob VSAN is doing that it can't get workable performance out of the same hardware that is used by Nutanix (certain LSI controllers), or Maxta (AHCI).
It makes me ask uncomfortable questions. Like "is the only thing that VSAN has to offer a series of high benchmarks, and even then only when used on the absolute best of the best hardware"? How does VSAN work with the kinds of hardware normal people and mundane businesses can actually afford, or already have to hand?
If asking those questions, instead of blindly lapping up marketing tripe and praising a solution that is twice as expensive as others competing offerings is "not understanding storage basis" I'm remarkably cool with that.
"How many IOPS do you need" is just as important a question as "how many IOPS can this solution deliver." And what's really of interest is the lovely question "why can X deliver Y IOPS on Z hardware, but W cannot?"
And, quite frankly, I don't care who gets upset when I ask those questions.
What I fail to understand is why VSAN is so sensitive. Maxta runs like greased lightning on even marginal hardware.
Things which are ass are bad. Sorry, it's the 90s slang that got bred into me. You'll just have to cope.
As to your magical woo-woo crystals sending you a positive vibe about Windows 9...what proof you have? Vista/7 are ages behind us. The brass involved all got shuffled or canned. "Microsoft" isn't a person, it's people, and there's no reason to believe any previous patterns will hold.
Microsoft has been getting more self-insulated and subject to corporate hubris, not less. That says to me that the chances of them "not getting it" for Windows 9 are rather high.
Re: History repeating
Windows 7 was accepted because it was less ass than Vista.
Windows 8 has "one OS' worth of experience" over Windows 7 and it is significantly more ass than either 7 or Vista.
There is no reason to expect Microsoft will "get it right" with Windows 9. They either will, or they won't. But their corporate hubris is powerful, and it may crowd out the sort of thinking required to make an OS that will be widely accepted. Only time will tell.
Suffice it to say that you're a better person than I.
Re: Potty Trouble is
The Sept 11 attacks don't even count as a skirmish. A couple thousand people died. Minor infrastructure damage. The difference between that and a nuke is something you are obviously completely incapable of comprehending.
Yes, the Sept 11th attacks didn't catalyze the west to retribution, because they weren't that big a fucking deal. Americans were shocked out of their belief that their vaunted exceptionalism protected them from the consequences of their own foreign policy hitting them on their soil. That's unfortunate - and it really sucks for the families of those killed - but it is not even remotely, not even within several orders of magnitude - close to a nuclear attack.
America got pushed into the dirt by the nerd they were busy bullying. The rest of the world pretty much said "saw that coming" and went on their merry. American then killed one million people in Iraq in retribution - a nation that had nothing at all to do with the Sept 11 attacks - and got bogged downing in Afghanistan getting it's ass handed to it by a bunch of cave-dwelling lunatics. (To be fair, we ALL got our asses handed to us in Afghanistan, including Canada. Mind you, at least some of our war dead are because the Americans decided to bomb us.)
When America actually identified the people responsible - the whackos in Afghanistan - for Sept 11th, her allies rallied to her side and we marched on the people responsible. We did it according to the rules of war because the act in question - the Sept 11th incident - did not in any way warrant an abrogation of the various treaties that determine those rules of war. Put simple: Sept 11th wasn't a big enough deal to warrant tearing down hundreds of years of international agreements about conduct during a war. The threat was not big enough.
Nuke a city, and that changes. In an instant the threat moves into the realm of "absolutely must be terminated at all costs." With a nuclear attack - and only an attack of that scale - would western nations be willing to switch from "defensive aggression" to "conquer with an eye to eradication."
If you cannot see the difference between the two levels of incident, there is something very wrong with you.
Re: Potty Trouble is
How do you get it 50 miles up without an AEGIS cruiser picking it off?
Re: Meanwhile, elsewhere .... and in Fabless Labs with Comfy Slabs and Inviting Beds
"The bottom line, T_P, is that the masses don’t get to decide, but are fed and watered and sprinkled with the fairy dust that is called democracy and fairly elected representation, to deliver to them the illusion and delusion that they do. "
You're at least partly right, alien man. But the key to understanding here isn't that the illuminati are running the world, or that each nation is a dictatorship. It's far simpler - and more terrifying - than that.
The truth of the matter is: noone's in charge. That's sort of the point. Yes, the masses are malleable; anyone who knows a damned thing about group dynamics knows just how vulnerable we are to psychological manipulation, even when we know we're being played.
This is offset to some extent by genetic factors: we're not all equally vulnerable, and some of us are more genetically inclined towards risk aversion and hatred of change. It's also offset to some extent because there are multiple parties all pulling us in various different directions, so in some small ways the various powermongers cancel eachother out.
There's also the part where the real power is exercised not by the elected official, but by the civil servant, the appointed judge and other elements of the bureaucracy that we don't directly select.
Despite all that, we do select our leaders, and our leaders ultimately select the bureaucracy. If - and I realise the unlikeliness of this - we could all come together and elect a completely new group of politicians with a mandate to clean house we could in fact force radical change. Not bloody likely, but the possibility exists. If something truly horrible were to happen we may just exercise that option.
What are the alternatives? Abject submission? At least the illusion of control over our government gives some hope that if someone were to seize the reigns outright we might fight back.
If we simply roll over and let a corporatocracy take over, or a dictator, or even an insane machine...we lose the illusion, and with it, hope.
I don't know about you, but I'd rather live in a worth with hope than without. Even if that hope is ultimately an illusion.
But me, I don't buy the illuminati theory. The more time I spend with people who are worth millions and billions of dollars the more I realise that most of them have outrageous egos. They won't work together. Not to rule us, not for any reason. They could - the technology and the science exist to allow the well resourced to dominate us utterly - but their own raw ambition and fractious nature will keep them fighting eachother instead of coalescing into the super secret boogyman of peasant-squishing doom.
Unless, of course, that's just what they want us to believe... :)
Re: Paul Crawford Cryptome
Okay TeeCee, who is qualified to lead us as a benevolent dictator? McCarthy? Bush the lesser? Gandhi? Kofi Annan? Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi? Tony Abbot? What about Matt Bryant? You? Personally, I vote Elon Musk.
How are we to decide upon who's magnanimity we are to rest our future? In whose hands do we balance between liberty and security if not those of the people who must live with the consequences?
Re: Erm, no
I'd say "how the state uses dragnet surveillance to monitor everyone, everywhere and ultimately is allowing entire nations to sleepwalk into McCarty's wet dream of suppressing dissent almost before it happens" is both something that is important forever and must be published. Not only is it relevant today, but our descendants will need to know exactly how the fuck we let it get to this point, why we let the coming dark era of state terror (in the name of "protection") ever happen, and how they can prevent that from ever happening again.
We study the Nazi rise to power for a reason: this cannot be allowed to happen again. Our descendants will study the mistakes we are making today for the exact same reason.
Re: Potty Trouble is
Absolutely correct, but the ability to stuff up O2's network is not on the same scale as a nuclear attack, and you fucking know it.
Worst case scenario, a few people die because they can't reach 911 and a small hit to the economy as corporate chaos reigns for a few hours. That's not even on the same level of risk or threat as millions dead and tens of millions more dying horribly and overwhelming the medical systems of entire nations.
I am entirely willing to risk some spotty teenager stuffing up the phone network in order to know what my government is up to. Quite frankly, I think someone has to stuff up the phone network from time to time so that we don't get complacent about technological security, and pay the coppers to protect critical infrastructure. (See: asshats attaching SCADA systems on the interbutts without UTMs in the middle.)
Liberty isn't an acceptable price to pay for the illusion of security.
There is, of course, a balance. We shouldn't make fissionable material available to anyone who asks. We shouldn't be selling strychnine or TNT to those who don't have a damned good reason to use it, and preferably licensing and safety training. Guns should require licensing and safety training to acquire and guns that have no purpose other than war (such as full auto rifles, rocket launchers, etc) absolutely shouldn't be allowed in the hands of civilians. (Or even Police!)
It is a question of risk management. Public safety is important, at a large enough level. By the same token, civil liberties are not "mere conveniences," but of fundamental importance. That means we must find a balance.
Absolute security is impossible. So is absolute liberty. So we must take a pragmatic approach to finding the balance. Restricting the availability of fissionable material is not a major restriction on liberty: it's dangerous even to those who know what they are doing, and there are very few legitimate uses for such material in the civilian sphere. By restricting the availability of fissionable material we gain a huge amount of security, and we do so by giving up virtually nothing.
This story changes dramatically when we talk about government surveillance. Knowing that you are watched at all times is a massive psychological burden. It absolutely changes what you are willing to say or do. Anyone with even the most basic understanding of history lives in fear because we know that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and those in power do not tolerate dissent.
So allowing our government to surveil us - and more horribly, allowing them to do so utilizing unknown methods at unknown times, with unknown capabilities - places the entire citizenry on the defensive against their own government, even if we aren't rounding up jews in the streets quite yet. It becomes an exercise in terror by the state when suddenly those who are rounded up using these secretive powers are tried in secret courts and given unknown sentences, especially when combined with laws that allow the police to pick up anyone they want and detain them without arrest (or the right to call family/employer/etc) for 30 day. Or 90 days. Or more!
The "security" purchased here is minimal, but the loss of liberty is profound. In the name of "protecting" us, the government has created an environment in which the only thing that prevents them from rounding up every political dissenter and "dissapearing" them is the magnanimity of those currently in power.
And those currently in power have absolutely no moral qualms about sending UAVs to kill people. By the thousands, if necessary. Death by robot without trial, a judgement made at the executive level, in secret. The claim is that they are killing to protect us, but there's no way to be sure. It is one more example of "the citizenry are allowed to exist and go about their lives only because the state chooses to allow them to."
Do you not understand the difference? One thing - restricting access to fissionable materials - is clearly a very minor loss of liberty for a very clear security benefit. The other amount to the use of secrecy and murder-without-trial by the state to generate terror amongst the citizenry in order to keep them in line out of fear. That is the exact opposite of liberty.
And Obama is one of the good guys.
If McCarthy or Hoover were alive today with the sort of power now held by the American government that society - all our societies - would be much, much darker.
So who's next? Every 2 years congress shuffles. Every 4 years the executive does. If we give up the liberty of "knowing what the hell our government is up to, why it is up to that and how it is accomplishing that" then we are handing a cowed and defeated citizenry to the next group of power hungry narcissists that happen to buy their way into the beltway.
What would you call an Islamic nation with that kind of control over it's people?
Now, imagine that the next president - and most of the next Congress - were ultra-right-wing fundamentalist Christians. How is that any different?
We probably shouldn't tell the people the exact model number and firmware of the devices used by the NSA to scan the stream for keywords. We probably shouldn't tell the citizenry the details of how the FBI pull up phone records at a moment's notice.
We absolutely should tell the people that it is being done, why, and with a general idea of how. That way the people can have an informed discussion about the risks, pressure their representatives to set limits, create oversight and demand adequate transparency. We can build a society where we are all aware of the compromise between liberty and security, and where we don't have to live in fear of the government listening to everything we say, where dissent isn't suppressed and the ghost og McCarthy will never again be allowed to haunt us.
If the risk taken for that level of liberty is that some spotty teenager might be able to down the cell network for a few hours, so be it. We'll figure out how he did it and prevent him from doing it again.
But I, for one, do not acknowledge the "right" of the state to incite terror amongst it's subjects in an effort to cow them into submission. I will not allow my nation the ability to spy on me without a warrant in the name of protecting me.
If you cannot understand the difference between the levels of risk discussed then quite frankly you shouldn't be allowed anywhere near government. Or computers, for that matter. Your ability to understand the basic concepts of risk management are at best compromised...but in reality, damned near non-existent.
"Well, isn't that exactly the stance of the US establishment (NSA, Pentagon, etc.)? In which case why are you worried about them being harmed? "
I'm not. I give negative fucks about the USA. But I recognize their right to defend their national interests as is defined in international law.
Similarly, I give zero fucks about Matt Bryant, and if a rock from space burrowed it's way through the atmosphere and struck him dead, I would laugh uproariously and then continue about my day. But I recognize his rights as defined under the UDHR.
As much as I wish both parties would evaporate into a cloud of "no longer present on Earth" in short order, that doesn't mean I would either act to make that occur or encourage others to do so. They have rights that are defined in international law, and as much as I dislike the entities involved, if those rights are to apply to any of us, they must apply to all of us.
Re: Potty Trouble is
"The argument that a jihadi wouldn't risk bringing the ire of the rest of the world down on Islam simply doesn't work when discussing people for whom a martyr's death is not merely a price to pay but a goal in itself."
I never said that you would have trouble finding jihadis willing to blow themselves up. You seem to be conflating the willingness to die of footsoldiers with the willingness to sacrifice their entire cause.
A jihadi believes that if he dies, he goes to heaven, but as a general rule they are fighting to spread the influence of their culture and religion throughout the world. That is what is worth dying for, and why they're getting into heaven.
If Jihadis nuke a western city then I fucking promise you that all our treaties and social progressiveness, the Geneva convention and the laws of war will amount to nothing. The world will unite as it never has before and expunge those fuckers from the planet. We may not wipe out Islam in it's entirety, but we absolutely would wipe out every single fundamentalist Islamic on the face of the Earth. Every single last fucking one of them.
Understand that there are tens of millions of westerners ready to pick up the sword right now, today and make that happen. And we haven't even had a nuclear incident. If a fundamentalist Islamic group nuked New York, or London, Tokyo or Seoul the public's tone would change from conciliatory to "bloody vengeance" in less time than it takes to flip a transistor.
Remember: 50% of the UK wants to bring back the death penalty. 50%! The numbers in Canada, NZ, Oz and so forth are not that different. We're willing to compromise our morals for petty crimes of passion.
8 million dead in an instant, 25 million more slowly dying of radiation poisoning and the economy collapsed to the point that an entire nation has suddenly hit an additional 15% unemployment?
Yes, we'd kill for that. We'd kill hundreds of millions to avenge that. We would kill and kill and kill some more until the threat posed by those who believe the same as the bastards who used the nuke was 100% completely eliminated. We might even be willing to live in Matt's desired dystopia of zero civil liberties. All given up in exchange for the illusion of freedom.
But do not kid yourself - any of you - into thinking that we westerners are so much more highly "evolved" than the same nutjobs murdering women for going to school. Push us far enough and we are every bit as savage and brutal as they are.
So I stick by what I said:
You can find an infinite number of peckerheads willing to blow up a nuke in the middle of downtown New York, but the kind of people who can actually get hold of the good to make it happen are absolutely not crazy enough to actually do it. They know that they will gain nothing and lose everything.
For those who want to die, there are any number of methods available, ones that don't involve everything they believe in being expunged from the earth in an act of overwhelming vengeance.
I think it falls somewhere between "material classified for the hell of it" and "material classified for a good reason." At the time the facility was set up there was probably a good reason to classify that particular aspect of it's operation.
"Tapping all fibre pipes for the purpose of dragnet surveillance" was not going to come as a shock to nation-states or terrorists, but the ability to do so was rare and incredibly expensive. That meant that taking out that facility could have severely crippled UK intelligence gathering capability and hence would have been a priority target for many groups.
Today, everyone knows about the fibre tapping, and we've moved from "difficult and expensive" to "mundane and industrialized." You don't need a footbal feild full of servers to tap the stream and nose out juicy bits of data any more. You can do that in a half rack, and stream the bits you want to store to storage located at ???.
Today's spies don't have to worry about building mega-facilities to tap fibre. "Distance to storage" and "amount of signal interference" are of greater concern than "physical space to store compute" or "availability of electricity and cooling." You can park a sub on top of a fibre pipe and get all the juicy goodies you want, or send a squad with truck out into the hills.
So, what does the information released by The Register really do? That base was already a generic "UK military be here" target long ago. It was long suspected of doing SIGINT work, and after Snowden, anyone who actually cared to try to pin down the locations where this was taking place would have added A and B and said "oh, there's one."
Maybe it causes the UK to beef up security a little, or add a few more keywords to their SIGINT search filters. It doesn't make the facility more or less of a target because the period during which taking that place out would have truly made the UK vulnerable has already passed.
Now, it's existence and purpose are a footnote in history. Interesting not because of what it does, but because of the political machinations that allowed it to exist in the first place. That means revealing it's existence doesn't compromise operational security, but it does call into question the actions of politicians and spooks, and may embarrass some people.
To be honest, when I first read it, I was shocked and upset. I circled that one a few times, and eventually sat down with some veteran local journalists and several members of the Canadian military to ask them their opinions.
We had a spirited debate about the topic, but the general consensus - which I supported - was that the public interest in the information that El Reg revealed outweighed the potential risks. We looked at it from a lot of angles, but it basically boiled down to "this information was already out there for those who were interested in seeking it out." That means that nation-states, terrorists and so forth could have found the info with minor effort long before that article was published.
What's more, the article didn't reveal sorted details. A Google Maps image and and a "you are here, doing this" is highly embarrassing, but after hours of gnawing on it, none of us could find a way that this would compromise an individual or the UK's national security, especially given that the info was already out there, if you cared to look.
So, that specific incident was a case of "I think the other journalists called it wrong by withholding this info, and El Reg called it right." These are bound to happen, and maybe - just maybe - Cryptome has made a similar call here.
That said, Cryptome is making a huge bugaboo out of this info by saying "it can stop a war". Any information that can do that is highly sensitive. More so than "oh, look, here's the physical location of a data processing center that snoops traffic in the middle east, but which wasn't a surprise to anyone who cared to rub 12 neurons together."
So either Cryptome is talking up muchos big time unwarranted hype...or they're playing a game of international chicken that is orders of magnitude more dangerous than the article El Reg spat out. There isn't enough information at this juncture to know which.
Re: Erm, no
"A list of informants names and addresses could still put them in danger many decades in the future, so should never be published."
"Proof that the NSA was spying on the leaders of friendly nations would still be relevant for as long as people identify with those nations - which is longer than the nation itself continues to exist."
Maybe, but people need to know the harm their governments have done if we are to learn from the mistakes of the past and correct them. Would you prefer the Germans covered up WWII, denied the holocaust and the existence of the Nazi party?
"If proof was published showing that the French secret service had detailed knowledge of everything most US citizens were doing last decade, would they be happy about it?"
No. And they'd demand reparations, or at the very least promises it wouldn't happen again, with some form of monitoring that would ensure this. International policy regarding privacy might very well move forward at that point,and we might see positive social change.
We need to know the ills our governments have done in our name so that we can prevent them from being repeated.
Re: "Freedom isnt free..."
"Government surveillance is exactly the price we have to pay for freedom"
Bullshit. A false sense of security and freedom are not the same thing. In fact, they're generally antonyms. Also: there is no perfect security, even if every one of us were monitored all the time.
As for your "there is no such thing as freedom - get used to it" line...if that were the world we lived in, where there was truly no hope of ever pushing back the darkness and rekindling the light of civilization...then I wouldn't be here, typing on a forum.
This Frenchman will never collaborate with the Reich.
Re: Very strange behavior out of Cryptome
The insanity could be a form of warrant canary.
Re: Trouble is
"perhaps I could interest you with the mathematics of designing H-bomb warheads that can fit into a MIRV....."
It's been 50 years. Do you honestly think that The Register's readers couldn't build a relevant miniaturized implosion core if we wanted to? I personally don't know the math off the top of my head, but I know enough to know what questions to ask and where to find the answers. The rest is learning and simulating. That can be done on Amazon these days.
No, civilians - and for that matter most nations - don't have nukes because they simply have no use for nukes. Nukes are great for establishing you as a sovereign power, but they suffer from three fatal flaws.
1) They're outrageously expensive.
2) They're absolutely useless unless you have multiple launch systems that can participate in MAD.
3) Unless you have the conventional resources of a nation-state you can't defend them against the current signatory powers of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty who will take your toys away from you.
Even a "terrorist" has no use for a nuke. Let's say some crazy ISIS Jihadi blows up New York. They don't gain anything by this. They don't fracture the USA, sow terror or otherwise do anything but kill a few infidels. What they absolutely will do is cause the entire rest of the world to unite against Islam, get the entire middle east turned into a sheet of glass in retaliation and trigger an anti-religious genocide the likes of which this world has never seen.
They know it. We know it.
Even if you were completely batshit crazy and wanted to wipe out a city or two...you don't need a a MIRV to do that. You can pack relevant "kaboom" onto trucks or boats and get things into the city in far more mundane ways.
If you're really smart you wouldn't even use a nuke; every major city in the world has radiometric sensors so good luck with a nuke. If you want an earth-shattering kaboom go with fuel air bombs. Pretty much untracable, and from they pack the punch of a small nuke. (Especially since you need to detonate the nuke somewhere around 1700 ft in order to actually make use of the plasma shockwave.)
Of course, MOABs are flash-and-gone. If you had access to fissionable material - which to make your fusion MIRVs you'd need - then why not just build a dirty bomb? If you're truly nuts and want to kill a lot of people in a horrible fashion that's pretty much the worst possible way. Or you could poison water supplies. Or...
*shrug* I could do this all day. The last time I played this game I think I hit 83 different designs before I ran out of ideas. My point is this: the overwhelming majority of people, including "terrorists" have no use or desire for weapons of mass destruction. Unless you are already a powerful nation-state, they don't offer the individual or the organization any value, and cost them rather a lot.
There are always crazies, like those wackos that murdered cops in Nevada a few weeks back, or folks like McVeigh. It is for this reason that we control access to the kinds of materials necessary to make the really neat toys. That's part of the "eternal vigilance" price of freedom.
But you can't control knowledge. The genie, once out of the bottle, doesn't go back in. There are literally millions of people on this planet that could build you a basic gun-type fission bomb from memory. Hundreds of thousands that could design you a fusion bomb with a little effort. Any wacko at any time can kidnap and torture these people until they give up the how.
But he can't do a damned thing unless he can get the fissionable material. Or a metric tonne of Strychnine. Or...
People who have the resources to get WMDs have thus far been reluctant to actually use them. That limits the terrorists to small-scale attacks that at best wipe out a few city blocks or a subway station.
If you want to fret about something, freak out about the concept of "designer DNA". This is a thing that you can do, if you have the right equipment. The skillset and knowledge are about where nuclear weapons were in the late 50s.
Give it 60 years, and there will be millions of individuals capable of designing "printing" DNA, then injecting it into a bacterial host of their choice. How do you control that? The raw resources required to do this are impossible restrict and the fundamental knowledge is already in the public domain. All that is required is commoditisation of the technology, something that is already being worked on.
The true "threat" to our individual and national security is not going to come from the sharing of government secrets, because the technologies the government developed were developed under the watchful eye of true paranoids. They worked out how to control those kinds of technologies long before we proles ever heard of them.
The "threat" techs are those coming out of the commercial and academic sectors, where they go through layers of peer review and even commercialization before the paranoids ever get involved and go "hey, wait, this could go really badly."
A terrorist with a nuke will only get himself and his entire religion wiped off the face of the Earth. A lone nutjob isn't going to get the material to ever build one...but both of them could be building designer plagues within the next 50 years and we'd not only be unable to figure out who unleashed them, we might not be able to contain them.
Re: Something to think about
I just had to upvote you for the link. That's the best summary of the events and players I've seen so far. Thanks for sharing.
If the only thing you care about is yourself, and fuck everyone else (alive now or those who are to come) then you are a sociopath. At which point, I have no respect for you, or your opinions. Questioning the state bears risks, yes, but freedom isn't free.
Some things absolutely are worth dying* for.
I would say that "our fundamental, inalienable rights as defined under the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights" defines what I would die for. What I wouldn't die for is "the state". Neither mine, nor that rather evil behemoth to the south of us are worth anything close to that kind of sacrifice.
Ultimately, that's what it comes down to, isn't it? What would you die for? Would you die to protect the "right" of someone else to hold power over yourself and others? Be that a religious leader, a dictator or a plutocracy? Would you die so that the rich can stay rich and the poor can be kept poor? Would you die so that those who have a dissenting opinion are denied the right to voice it?
Would you die to protect civil liberties? The rights earned in blood by our ancestors? Would you die to protect your family? What about your neighbour's family? Your sibling's family?
Or would you do everything you can - sacrifice anyone and anything - to cling to one more second of life? What is the measure of you, man?
*Or being surprised by what you can live through.
"You mean journalists who have willingly blasted their own countries' policies under pain of pain or worse?"
So your view on life is "never question the state"? Are you a Cardassian, by any chance? Obsidian Order?
Every nation has the right to defend it's own interests. That's pretty much the defining characteristic of sovereignty. How those nations go about it determines the character of the society they will create and nurture.
I'm not at all okay with the society the powers that be want to create in the US, but I recognize the right of the US to defend it's own national security, to the extent that those rights are recognized in international law.
Where I differ from the ultraconservatives is that I believe that "the people" are citizens of the state, not subjects. That is to say, I believe that the citizens rule the government, they are not ruled by their government. I believe that citizens have an innate, inalienable right to know what the government is up to and doing in their name. They do not have to merely "shut up and do as they're told" by the state.
In my world view people like Snowden are necessary and good...within certain bounds. I.E. that when they disclose "top secret" information it is done with some forethought and consideration of the fullness of consequences, preferably by having multiple someones take a go at the ethics of the whistleblowing.
I am emphatically against the willy-nilly spraying of national secrets to and fro. There are absolutely some things that must remain secret, at least for the duration during which they have a real world operational impact on the legitimate national security interests of a sovereign state.
"The fact that we are spying on you" and "here's a basic idea of how we're spying on you" are not legitimate secrets for a nation to keep from it's people. Revealing these secrets won't present an impact on ongoing operations, though they might cause some embarrassment to politicians who must now answer tough questions.
Good. It will hopefully lead to more oversight, transparency and accountability. Maybe even a push to develop new technologies that better enable targeted (as opposed to dragnet) spying.
"These are the exact details, including model numbers and firmware revisions of the tools we are using to spy on you" absolutely would be a breach of national security for any nation. With that information the bad guys could find a way around the existing programs. They might even be able to identify informants and off them. That's a no-no.
Similarly, the kinds of details that could "prevent a war" usually mean putting feild assets - human beings serving as spies or informants - in the direct line of fire by outing them. That doesn't serve the state or the people. It's just malicious and legitimately could be viewed as helping the enemy.
I don't personally view the USA as an ally. I think that they are a malicious nation with hostile intent towards my own nation, and every other nation on Earth. I will continue to strongly encourage other nations to seek economic and military independence from that particular foreign power, and especially the sociopaths that run the joint.
...but regardless of my feelings towards the nation, it does have the right to protect it's own national security. The right of the citizens to know what's up with the spooks is not absolute, and has to be balanced against the right of state to keep things secret in order to find out where the bad guys are.
I had thought that Snowden's approach to how and the reporters involved leaked only specific documents was judicious, and helped to maintain a balance that the powers that be in the USA obviously can't maintain on their own.
From what the article says, Cryptome's planned actions are too far towards the other side. Too much disclosure in the name of the citizen's rights to peek under the covers.
I seek a balance between the competing requirements of a complicated and messy reality. If that sometimes means getting an upvote from someone like Bryant...well...
If Cryptome release information so sensitive that internationally renowned journalists refused to release it because they are "paranoid about site access" then, to be blunt, they deserve to be locked away for a long, long time. I can think of no ethical or logical contortions that justify that rationale.
Hmm. Moral ambiguity engaged.
I personally view Snowden as a hero, not a traitor. I had viewed Cryptome as the same. The in both cases is largely the same: no "core dumping of material that could get other people killed" style leaks. Effort went into classifying the data into stuff that was important enough to tell, but wouldn't compromise lives.
In Snowden's case, he seemed to put the effort into classification and giving his thoughts and opinions on the information he purloined, but then he gave it to a third party, so that multiple individuals could do an ethics pass, in recognition that his own ethics were insufficient to such a task. That, to me, is an important differentiator here: it said to me that Snowden wasn't out to "harm" the USA, but legitimately felt he was "doing the right thing".
From the sounds of it, Cryptome may be about to end that. If this article is right, Cryptome is intent on releasing data others had looked at and said "no, this isn't something that should be released, it will legitimately put US national security (and potentially human beings) in jeopardy".
These "others" who passed an eye over this data and withheld it are not individuals deeply embedded in the "classify everything" culture of spies and embarrassed politicians. They were withheld by journalists; ones well known for a deep and abiding belief that the people "have a right to know what their government is doing in their name."
If journalists who believe deeply in freedom of speech, governmental transparency and accountability have looked at these documents and said "no, don't release these" then by what ethical standard does Cyrptome believe it should do so?
I'm not fond of the NSA. I think Alexander and Clapper are both sociopaths and traitors to their own people. But this...
...something about this doesn't smell right at all. It doesn't seem like the Cryptome of old. It certainly doesn't seem kosher, based on the limited amount of information available.
Unless that "war" they are trying to prevent is with Russia (or China?) and they've brought in a number of high ranking military and political experts that can say with high levels of confidence "yes, releasing this information that is obviously damaging to US national security and operational assets in the feild will prevent this otherwise inevitable war" then I am rather less than okay with this.
"Your governments are spying on you and here's how" strikes me as something we should all know. The vague and fuzzy details of this we've been given so far don't directly place people in danger. But from the sounds of it, there is real, honest-to-goodness dangerous info under discussion here. Might just be the bridge too far.
Re: The EFF is a joke
EFF NSA is a joke. They have no clue and they don't represent the interest of the populace.
Re: Im all for bashing the NSA
If the CDC spent their time developing weaponised Ebola but never bothered to develop a cure, or even to let other government agencies know the potential danger of the weapons being developed then sure, it's exactly the same.
Re: Daniel " the US government wasn't hoarding vast amounts of zero-day security flaws"
"Now if the head of the NSA department that collects these sorts of things said that (under oath and connected to a polygraph) I might believe them."
I'd only even consider believing him if the polygraph was a brand new model he couldn't have had a chance to learn how to beat, and he was made aware that with any "lie" detected by the detected by the device he would be covered in petrol and set on fire, to die screaming in unendurable agony.
Even then, however, I would still have trouble believing him. Sociopaths are pretty good at defeating lie detectors.
Re: Can't see the gray area here
Non compete agreements can't be enforced here, so let the poxy whoresons add whatever clauses they like. I'll tell 'em "up the jacksie" and be off on my merry.
Re: Top boffinry by the sound of it
Sure I can. These things + Maxta = bye bye SAN. No need for the storage area network OR the arrays that live on it.
Thanks for finally adding encryption in flight, Microsoft. Unfortunately, your solution is still not proof against NSLs, and thus not secure.
I'll continue using Sync.com.
Re: If you could buy elections Ross Perot would have won
Yep, you're full bore crazy. You're just actually making stuff up, attributing it to me and then rebutting your own bullshit.
My entire family - parents, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc - are shrinks or sociologists. Some clinical, some research. I have not only read various papers on the subjects under discussion, I've helped design experiments. I've spent a lifetime immersed in this. Dinner discussions with enough PhDs to start a post secondary institution are perfectly normal, and virtually all of them study these exact topics professionally.
You believe that people "can make up their own minds", based on nothing. All you have to offer to this conversation is assertion, vitriol and hatred. So you know what, I'm out.
Re: If you could buy elections Ross Perot would have won
"So while most people are too stupid to see through this, nevertheless you are immune and your own support for curtailing free speech through the use of oppressive campaign laws cannot possibly be the product of the same types of forces?"
No, I am not immune. Science tells me that I am not immune, and to believe otherwise would be an indication of severe narcissism.
Spending money isn't free speech. Oh, I realise that you Americans think it is, but you're wrong.
I'm pretty sure all campaign laws that exist in the USA are the result of exactly the same sort of money-buys-influence, screw-the-actual-voters approach to politics that has rotted that nation to the core. That's why laws about how the voting process works - including campaign contribution limitations - should ideally be determined outside of the voting process itself. Regulatory capture is a thing; you can't expect people who depend on getting elected to be able to properly set up regulations that ensure elections are as fair and impartial as possible. That's asking the fox to write the rules about who gets to guard the henhouse, and when.
Consider instead evidence-based legislation in this matter. I.E. the practical application of science to solve a problem.
"If you really take your own assertion seriously you should right now be disappearing "through the looking glass"-style into an MC Escher engraving depicting the Cretan Liar paradox."
"Why do I think it is a left-right issue? Because you seem to want to use that (dubious, exaggerated, hyperbolic) assertion as an excuse to make people you disagree with shut up,"
How on earth did you come to that conclusion? Nowhere here are my views on what the rules for voting, campaign contributions, etc listed. I certainly don't believe that anyone should be prevented from speaking their piece.
"by preventing them using money to reach an audience."
No. I want to see "he who has the most money wins" removed from the equation. This is handled in rational countries by providing a fixed amount of funding to all political parties from state coffers and disallowing private campaign contributions. Numerous studies have proven this to be a far cheaper and fairer way to run political campaigns.
Yes, taxpayer money ends up going towards running political campaigns, but every party gets an equal amount to make their case. That means it really does boil down to the strength of the message. Additionally, I would personally make lying on the campaign trail a crime. Honest mistakes are one thing, but purposefully misleading people is another.
" Which is typically a left-wing preoccupation."
In case it has slipped your notice, I have repeatedly stated that everyone participates in this tomfoolery. Additionally, there are more political divisions than merely "left" and "right". At least, there are in civilised countries.
""The poor still don't all vote for us, in spite of the welfare state! They must be indoctrinated by the Fox. Let's do something about it". No, they hate you. "But we keep offering them more and more money for doing nothing!". That's why they hate you."
And now you're just spouting your own bizzare strawman propaganda. Have you tried taking your meds?
""Manipulate" is just a pejorative term for "persuade". Hyperbole."
Incorrect. Persuasion is the application of logic to appeal to the rational mind. Manipulation is taking advantage of emotion - typically as part of group dynamics, rather than individually - to get someone to act in a manner that is counter to their own interests and/or counter to logic and rational thinking. Our species is exceptionally vulnerable to emotional manipulation and when used in non-political contexts the exact same practices and techniques are considered crimes. In many cases they are considered forms of psychological abuse.
Intent matters. Someone who is persuaded is left feeling like they had a say in reaching that decision, that they are satisfied with the decision made and that a level of trust exists between them and the persuader. Manipulation leaves the individual feeling dirty or used. The equivalent of "buyer's remorse" sets in almost immediately.
Truthfulness and transparency of the process and arguments also plays a part.
And if you have a problem with that assessment, don't take it up with me. Take that up with Robin Dreeke, head of behavioral analysis at the FBI.
" it isn't decades - it's millennia - the earliest extant academic work on the subject is 2400 years old. But pretend it is a new problem and you can pretend new measures are needed."
Actual science on the matter - very specifically the use of double-blind studies into group dynamics - only really began in the early 1900s. The early results of which were used most effectively by the Nazi party of Germany to win over a significant chunk of the German populace. They went on to win an election against what were considered to be very long odds.
There is a difference between philosophers writing down their thoughts on a topic and actual science.
"control is an exaggeration. They attempt to persuade them to vote in particular ways."
Incorrect. It is entirely possible to control people through manipulation of their emotions. That isn't persuasion. It isn't appealing to rational, conscious thought. It's grabbing someone by the instincts, and leading them around. This covers all sorts of topics ranging from "think of the children" to "save the pandas" to "don't tread on me".
"ommercial advertising however distasteful is trying to sell stuff not control the vote. Conflating two things only related by their methods not their objectives to make the problem look bigger. Hyperbole."
Who is conflating anything? I only mentioned that both practices employ the same techniques and the same people. Money flows from both the advertising sector and the political campaign sector into the same research. The results of that research benefit both practices. They share techniques. More importantly, it means the research going into "how to manipulate and control entire nations worth of people" is funded by coffers much - much - larger than those of mere political donations. It's relevant information to the discussion.
As for your summary, let me pick some nits of my own.
"Everyone uses what they know of human nature to persuade others to do what they want, and have done since time immemorial. "
Wrong. Sociopaths use what they know of human nature to manipulate others. Humans with a conscience and some form of empathy use logic to attempt to persuade others. Those who seek to manipulate rely on the emotive arguments to convince people to do things that are not in their best interest. Those who persuade rely on logic and truth to convince people to do something that is in their own interest.
Sociopaths only make up about 10% of the population.
"Advertisers try to get you to buy stuff. Politicians try to get you to vote for them. Kids try to get out of doing their homework/get you to lend them twenty to go to the cinema."
Interestingly enough, you have indeed struck upon something here, however unintentionally. All of your examples are of individuals using emotion - and more often than not falsehoods - to get someone to do something that not in their best interests. You don't even have an example in your summary of someone using truth and logic to get someone to something that is in their own interests.
To me, this speaks volumes not only of how you view the world, but how you treat others and the level to which you are capable of dehumanizing others.
"This sometimes works, even though people know that is what they are doing"
This almost always works, when the craft is employed by a skilled practitioner. This is because our species is exceptionally vulnerable to emotional and instinctual manipulation. Rational thought and logic are still relatively new evolutionary adaptations and they can be easily overridden by emotion.
"and they do since they do it themselves."
Actually, research shows that about 90% of people generally refrain from manipulating others once into adulthood*. Empathy is something we develop as part of regular socialization. Part of this empathy is that we consciously avoid both attempting to convince people to do things that are not in their best interest and using people's emotions and instincts against them.
And none of this is a "left" or "right" issue. There are sociopaths on both sides of that particular divide, gleefully ready to manipulate others without remorse. You seem perfectly okay with this. Frankly, that makes me not at all okay with you.
*The exception to this is child rearing; especially at a young age, children only respond to emotional triggers, not logical ones. By age six or so they are generally able to respond to logic most of the time, but will still remain vulnerable to emotive manipulation for the rest of their lives.
Re: If you could buy elections Ross Perot would have won
How the hell does "everyone, from politicians to advertising companies uses decades of research into psychology, psychiatry and social dynamics to ensure that they control how people vote, even when people are aware of the means employed to manipulate them" turn into a "left versus right" issue?
What the fucking fuck?
You clearly are an uninformed rube if you managed to somehow turn that into something partisan.
Population of India: 1.237 billion (2012)
Population of China: 1.351 billion (2012)
"overwhelm [India] with sheer numbers" ? Wha?
You don't need ICBMs for Pakistan. Any medium range missiles will do, and India has plenty of them with proven reputations. They can buy those openly from allied nations. ICBMs are a different matter entirely.
How do you expect India to fund all that? Hmm? Long term, you need things like "a space program" to drive innovation and economic development in a country that has three times the population of the USA crammed into that itty bitty little nation.
And look, already foreign nations are booking passage on Indian rockets! I'd say India's space program is doing it's job*.
*The other job, of course, being to let China know in no uncertain terms that it has the ability to put nuclear warheads wherever it wants on this Earth, and China is not going to push India around. There's a lot of tension between those two nations, and showing that particular capability is very important.
Re: No E-Voting cannot be democratic
Canada still uses paper ballots. I hope we will continue to do so forever.
"Of course he does, once he has served his jail term for treason etc"
He's not the one that should be in jail for treason. start with Bush the lesser, Obama, Alexander, Clapper and work your way down.
Re: Aren't you guys forgetting something ?
"It's National Security, man. They don't need a warrant"
Got the problem in one.
Re: The Question Is
If the legal authorities for my jurisdiction came to fetch me, I would go with them peaceably...or at worst, I would sit on the floor and make the bastards carry my fat ass everywhere they wanted me to be.
If authorities from another jurisdiction attempt to remove me by force against my will, I will fight them to the bitter end. I can't understand why that would be different for anyone else?
My local plod have the right to detain or arrest me, and to force me to comply with the use of force. They absolutely will use such force, if they deem it necessary. (They usually do.) If I am murdered by a local police officer for "resisting arrest", it won't even make the paper. It's just business as usual. If I want to change the system, the only real chance I have is to take those police to court for harassment and brutality.
If, however, $nation sends a spook after me, two things are going to occur. A) I will be made dead, and there is zero possibility of not being made dead. B) If the fact of someone who is not an authorized local plod murdering me gets out, then there is a chance - however slim - that my country will investigate my murder and relations with the offending nation in question.
That, to me, says that "if someone who does not identify themselves as a legitimate legal authority for your current jurisdiction attempts to harm or abduct you, then you fight back with everything you have. Make damned sure that video and audio of the incident are being streamed to as many different servers in as many different nations as is possible, from as many devices as possible. Ensure that you specify in your will how to access those recordings...or better yet, set up a spook canary that will automatically release the info upon your death."
Paranoid? Sure. And unless you record everything 24/7, the evil spook boogeyman that comes to get you will probably off you before you even know they're there. That doesn't stop me from setting the damned thing up...if only because it's the only thing that I - as a prole - can do. If the social stigma for my minor act of defiance is to labelled a tinfoil hatter...so be it.
Re: Can't wait
You get free speech. In case you missed it, your government rescinded it. Even talking about a "right" to free speech makes you a terrorist. Now turn yourself in, prole.
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