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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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