Wishful thinking doesn’t work
Nov 20th, 2014 by Ken Hagler

Sen­ate Votes to Main­tain the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Sur­veil­lance State. Last night the U.S. Sen­ate could not muster the 60 votes that would have allowed debate and a vote on the USA FREEDOM Act to pro­ceed. For most pri­va­cy and lib­er­ty advo­cates, the USA FREEDOM Act was a first step toward rein­ing in the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency’s (NSA) per­va­sive spy­ing on inno­cent Amer­i­can cit­i­zens. [Hit & Run]

I’m a bit puz­zled as to why peo­ple think this would have made a dif­fer­ence. Con­gress already vot­ed against the NSA’s mass sur­veil­lance back in 2003 when it was called Total Infor­ma­tion Aware­ness. Are we sup­posed to believe that if this act had passed, the NSA would sud­den­ly say, “Well, gosh, this time they real­ly meant it, I guess we’d bet­ter stop?”

The only way to stop the NSA is to destroy the NSA.

Clueless Cable Company
Nov 1st, 2014 by Ken Hagler

Yes­ter­day around noon I signed out of my com­pa­ny VPN and fired up my VOIP soft­ware for a tele­phone meet­ing, only to find that the soft­ware (Jit­si) was unable to log in to my SIP account. A quick hard­ware check showed that no cables were loose and the indi­ca­tor lights on my cable modem and router showed nor­mal oper­a­tion, so I launched Safari think­ing I’d check my router’s admin con­sole to see if I could find the prob­lem.

Instead, I got a “notice” from Time Warn­er Cable telling me they were plan­ning to improve the speed of their ser­vice in the near future. I had to acknowl­edge the notice, and after a lengthy pause (to make sure I saw it, appar­ent­ly), it dis­ap­peared and every­thing was work­ing nor­mal­ly again. The morons had actu­al­ly high­jacked my Inter­net con­nec­tion just for that! I’m quite cer­tain this was their idea of a sen­si­ble response to the impend­ing arrival of Google Fiber in my area.

Clear­ly cable com­pa­nies have no idea how to han­dle com­pe­ti­tion when they can’t just bribe politi­cians to give them a monop­oly. I’m cer­tain­ly sign­ing up for Google Fiber the moment I can do so, and while it’s cer­tain­ly nice that their ser­vice is much faster than what I get from Time Warn­er Cable, the fact is that I would still switch even if their ser­vice was the same speed, just to get away from a com­pa­ny run by idiots who think that inter­fer­ing with my con­nec­tiv­i­ty like that was a good idea.

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