Would the NSA's massive amount of conversation data be helpful in developing AI? : Futurology →

That awkward moment when your futuristic AI companion/operating system is also a deadly spy.

image

'Fake’ cellphone towers found in U.S. →
Science progresses by exploring the unknown, finding the unexpected, and being challenged by sceptics. The quest for knowledge is a search for things we don’t already know. It is, when all is said and done, an exploration of our ignorance. In the unforgiving post-graduate world where I was expected to apply my knowledge usefully to the satisfaction of my benefactors, I slowly came to realise that education was a form of classical conditioning in the Pavlovian mode; we were its dogs, and both the tricks we were to perform and the rewards we would consequently receive were made abundantly clear to us. It is a principle of democratic governance that the effectiveness of the process depends critically upon the vibrancy of opposition. If in parliament there is no effective opposition, then government tends towards virtual dictatorship, no matter that members were democratically elected in the first place. There is no doubt that science is governed. There are rules, and the rules are enforced.
How Gamma Finfisher was hacked →

Hacking is an offensive tool. In the same way that guerrilla warfare makes it harder to occupy a country, whenever it’s cheaper to attack than to defend it’s harder to maintain illegitimate authority and inequality. So I wrote this to try to make hacking easier and more accessible. And I wanted to show that the Gamma Group hack really was nothing fancy, just standard sqli, and that you do have the ability to go out and take similar action.

Related: Top gov’t spyware company hacked; Gamma’s FinFisher leaked

The maker of secretive FinFisher spyware — sold exclusively to governments and police agencies — has been hacked, revealing its clients, prices and its effectiveness across an unbelievable span of apps, operating systems and more.

The company that makes and sells the world’s most elusive cyber weapon, FinFisher spyware, has been hacked and a 40G file has been dumped on the internet. The slick and highly secret surveillance software can remotely control any computer it infects, copy files, intercept Skype calls, log keystrokes — and now we know it can do much, much more.

[Obama] said “this democracy is ours” and “the Founders trusted us with this awesome authority.” But that’s not how things work. We didn’t intervene in Libya, setting the stage for the attack on the CIA post in Benghazi. We didn’t use a political double standard in ruling on tax-exemption requests from nonprofit organizations. We didn’t try to frighten government whistle-blowers by subpoenaing reporters’ phone records, reading their email, and even naming one journalist (Fox’s James Rosen) as a co-conspirator under the Espionage Act. We didn’t ask the NSA to gather data on us.



We did none of these things. They did. Who are they? The wielders of power and the interests for whom they front.

More and more, people in this culture are able to hide behind comedy and satire to say things we can’t ordinarily say, because it’s all too politically correct.

If I called Nancy Pelosi a cunt—and I’ll go one better, a fucking useless cunt—I can’t really say that. But Bill Maher and Jon Stewart can, and nobody’s going to stop them from working because of it. Bill Maher could call someone a fag and get away with it. He said to Seth MacFarlane this year, “I thought you were going to do the Oscars again. Instead they got a lesbian.” He can say something like that. Is that more or less offensive than Alec Baldwin saying to someone in the street, “You fag”? I don’t get it.

Gary Oldman, Playboy interview, June 25, 2014

In the same interivew, Oldman states, “I’m probably a libertarian if I had to put myself in any category.”

See also: Cartman Shrugged.

Oh look, someone posted another helpful guide to voting at the university.

"The setup depicted here represents someone’s deliberate attempt to cause serious physical harm to a person. That is a criminal act."
"Could it be argued that a reasonable person would not bang his head on a wall that says "bang your head here"? Is this sort of thing common in universities?"
"…glad I looked closer. It was almost invisible head on."
“Were you actually fucking considering smashing your head into a bulletin board?”
"personally I would bang my head on my dorm room wall or better yet, my desk"
"Whoever did this is a psychopath."

Oh look, someone posted another helpful guide to voting at the university.

"The setup depicted here represents someone’s deliberate attempt to cause serious physical harm to a person. That is a criminal act."

"Could it be argued that a reasonable person would not bang his head on a wall that says "bang your head here"? Is this sort of thing common in universities?"

"…glad I looked closer. It was almost invisible head on."

Were you actually fucking considering smashing your head into a bulletin board?”

"personally I would bang my head on my dorm room wall or better yet, my desk"

"Whoever did this is a psychopath."

In the United States and Europe … the birth of the welfare state in the early 20th century was enabled, in part, by a change in the way people understood the concepts of freedom and rights. The classical liberals of the Enlightenment understood freedom as the absence of coercive interference in choosing one’s actions. The classical rights to life, liberty, and property protected the individual against assaults on his life, constraints on his liberty, and the theft or expropriation of his property. In the course of the 19th century, however, intellectuals reconceived freedom as the ability to realize one’s potential, which requires access to certain goods such as food, shelter, education, and insurance against disease. Because the concepts of freedom and rights are connected, this change in the understanding of freedom led these intellectuals to speak of rights to these goods—rights to have them supplied by society if one could not acquire them through his own efforts.

Thanks to Ayn Rand and other libertarian thinkers, the difference between these two conceptions of rights is now widely familiar, and those who support the cause of a truly free society understand that they must oppose any notion of a right to goods provided by others. But there are many other concepts and conceptual frameworks that will also need to change if the cause of a free society is to succeed.