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Matt Burns
Works at Jacksonville State University
Attended Jacksonville State University
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One little known fact about 12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte is that he has an excellent singing voice, and at only 6 years old was a backup singer on Milli Vanilli's 1990 hit "Girl You Know It's True".

#LochteLies  
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Such a strange situation. The Turkish military is in the midst a coup and is imposing martial law in order to oust a democratically elected president... who has been growing increasingly authoritarian and anti-democratic, limiting freedom of the press, jailing people for political reasons, and favoring the Muslim religion despite Turkey's strong stance on maintaining a strict separation of church and state instituted by President Atatürk (Turkey's George Washington) a century ago. And apparently it's the fifth time the military has stepped in to protect the people's freedoms since the 70s.

Military law is almost defined by a restriction of individual liberty, but here it seems to be protecting it. And military coups aren't historically known for being pro-democracy, but here re-establishing it seems to be the goal. Let's just hope for the sake of the Turkish people that it remains nonviolent.
Action taken to ‘reinstate constitutional order, human rights and freedoms’, say armed forces
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And now the media is calling it a mutiny, and the US has made a statement that basically throws our support behind the president, even though he's an authoritarian who opposes some of our anti-terrorism efforts.
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It makes sense that real-world crimes like murder and kidnapping don't result in a lot of requests.  But given that credit fraud and identity theft (fraud), cyberbullying and cyberstalking (harassment) some of the most common crimes related to the internet, why are these the least investigated?  And enforcing non-violent infractions of corporate interests is nearly double that of investigating sexual predators?  Come on, police.  Get your priorities straight.
 
For the first time, an ISP reveals why Police demand internet subscriber identities: ordinary file sharing is the most investigated "crime". New article on Privacy News.

While the Police complain about shortage of resources, it turns out the most investigated “crime” on the net is ordinary people sharing music and movies with each other. This is in stark constrast to the everyday area person’s perception of justice, where the distribution monopoly laws command considerably less respect than even speed limits. According to the ISP, the Police are provably spending expensive resources on pointless petty trifles.

“We want to publish these statistics in order to show the Police are violating people’s privacy and spending resources on pointless trifles”, says Jon Karlung, CEO of Bahnhof.

It’s particularly noteworthy that the Police has by far the most requests for ordinary file sharing to this ISP, despite this ISP never releasing such data for ordinary file sharing – you would assume the Police capable of learning. One would then speculate about the frequency with less-conscious ISPs, assuming it to be higher.

So the Police are prioritizing investigations against commercial distribution monopoly violations over pretty much all other crime, and are sending requests per fax. You cannot get a more descriptive picture of the legal digital divide.

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2016/05/first-time-isp-reveals-police-demand-subscriber-data-turns-ordinary-file-sharing-investigated-crime/
While the Police complain about shortage of resources, it turns out the most investigated “crime” on the net is ordinary people sharing music and movies with each other. This is in stark constrast to the everyday area person’s perception of … Continue reading
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Which of these people should use the women's restroom?

My hometown just passed an ordinance requiring people to use the restroom that matches the sex listed on their birth certificate, similar to the law recently passed in North Carolina, and I can't express how disappointed I am with the city council.

Some people are prejudiced against transgendered people, either out of ignorance or intolerance.  There's nothing I can do to reach the latter group, and I can only encourage the former group to educate yourselves about the issue.

But let's set that aside and talk about the logistical realities of these laws.

Which of the individuals in this photo should use the mens' restroom, and which should use the women's restroom?  On the left is a transgender girl, born male.  On the right is model Aydian Dowling, a transgender male (born female) who has appeared on a cover of Men's Health magazine.   These laws would require the man in the photo below to use the women's restroom, and the girl in the photo to use the mens' restroom. 

But unless everyone is required to show their birth certificate before entering the restroom, few people would think to call the police on Mr. Dowling if he walked into the mens' restroom, or on the girl in the photo if she walked into the women's restroom. 

But a tomboyish woman with short hair and wearing a t-shirt and jeans might have the police called on her, and a long-haired teen boy might be accused of being female and barred from entering the men's room.  And neither of these people would be able to prove their birth gender because people don't carry around their birth certificates -- which they shouldn't, because it's all an identity thief would need to open a bank account or take out a loan in your name. 

In fact, this already happens.  A video posted to YouTube in April shows a young woman being accosted by police simply because she didn't look feminine enough for the women's restroom.   https://youtu.be/hVuHAS2CtUM

Supporters of the laws claim they're to protect people.  But who are they actually protecting?  Transgenderism is not new, and transgendered people have been using public restrooms corresponding with the gender they identify with for pretty much all of history.  The first phalloplasty (the surgical construction of a penis) performed on a transgender male occurred in 1915, though the emperor Elagabalus, who ruled the Roman Empire from 218 to 222, reportedly offered vast sums of money to any physician who could equip him with female genitalia.  And yet the sexual assaults that these laws purport to prevent don't happen.  These laws wouldn't do anything to protect non-transgendered people simply because there's nothing to protect them from.

What these laws will do, however, is to put transgendered people at risk.  If the girl in the photo below were your daughter, would you feel comfortable sending her into the mens' restroom?  If you're a woman, would you feel comfortable with the man in the photo walking into the womens' restroom?  If you, as a man, saw him walk into the womens' restroom, what would you do?  At least some men would be willing to use force to protect the women from the "perverted guy" walking into the women's restroom.

That's what these laws will do.  They won't do a thing to prevent assaults on non-transgendered people by transgendered people, because that's a threat that hasn't been proven to exist.  But it would legitimize prejudice against transgendered people and put them at risk.

And if "bathroom monitors" aren't posted at public restrooms to verify people's birth certificates before allowing them into the "correct" restroom, all the laws will accomplish is to reinforce gender stereotypes and prevent women who don't wear "appropriate" amounts of makeup, wear sufficiently feminine clothing, or show some cleavage from using the restroom.
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Like so many things that are leveraged for political means, this is actually not a question of what you think is right, but what is possible... I'll explain:
Imagine a mother out with her wheelchair-bound son, for a day at the local park. The son needs to go pee, and he requires his mother's assistance. Which bathroom should they use? It is literally impossible to enforce a single gender bathroom. So unless you think disabled people shouldn't be able to go to the bathroom in public places, the rest of the conversation is useless.
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This is why you shouldn't listen to (most) politicians when it comes to security.  At best, they have no clue, and at worst they actually prefer that you not have any.  

By the way, if you think this is an isolated incident, don't forget that last year The Washington Post ran an article that included a high resolution photo of the TSA's master keys for all luggage, detailed enough that people were able to make working copies using 3D printers.  https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2015/09/tsa_master_keys.html
 
"Security is starting to become your own responsibility"...read more on our blog: https://goo.gl/6GpblW  #RickFalkvinge #privacy #security
The various branches of the establishment are frequently criticized for not understanding, or even caring about, the critically important fields of privacy and security. In just one image, the New York Post shows just how bad the situation is with … Continue reading
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Behold the rare unbiased article about the Democratic primary.

tl;dr: It's still too close to call.
To watch cable news, one would think that Bernie Sanders is still in the Democratic primary race simply to send a message to Washington, be a thorn in Hi...
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DO NOT BACK THIS PROJECT!!!

I'm all about encryption, but this project is complete crap.  The proposal shows a either a fundamental ignorance of existing encryption standards or else deliberately misrepresents them.  And the description of the product itself is extremely questionable.

At the 1:10 mark of the video, the company compares their new (and proprietary) encryption to AES, but literally every point about AES is wrong.

1)  AES isn't limited to a 256-bit block size, it's defined by it. It's like saying a bicycle is "limited" to having two wheels. There's absolutely no reason someone couldn't develop an AES variant based on the Rijndael cipher that uses larger key sizes.

2)  AES does not have a back door. Certain proprietary implementations of AES might, but AES is an open specification, and open-source implementations don't have backdoors pretty much by definition.

3) AES is not only capable of encrypting documents, as anyone who's ever changed the configuration on their wireless router knows, since AES is the preferred form of encryption for wireless networking (WPA2-AES).

4)  The part about "repetitions"? Every form of encryption will allow for repetition of keys, since the key size determines the maximum number of keys mathematically possible. But AES-256 allows for a maximum of 2^256 possible keys, which translates to roughly 10^77 (a 1 followed by 77 zeroes). That's a pretty big number. In fact, it's almost equal to the number of atoms in the visible universe.

And that's just the problems I spotted on one slide of the video.  I don't know what G+'s maximum post size is, but I'd certainly find out if I tried to point out all of the problems with this pitch.

So yeah, this is not a project you should support.

If you want to encrypt files on your computer, for full-disk encryption I recommend VeraCrypt (https://veracrypt.codeplex.com/), a (mostly) open-source fork of the now defunct but popular and respected TrueCrypt software.  For encrypting individual files, you can just use 7-zip (http://www.7-zip.org/) to archive the files using AES encryption.  For secure cloud storage, (which is primarily what this Kickstarter project aims to provide)I highly recommend SpiderOak (https://goo.gl/8j0FZ7).  To encrypt your internet traffic, you can use a VPN service like Private Internet Access (https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/) or the free Tor software (https://www.torproject.org/), though simply making sure you're using HTTPS connections to websites, which is made considerably easier by using the HTTPS Everywhere browser extension (https://www.eff.org/HTTPS-EVERYWHERE).

And, of course, the best thing you can do to secure your data is to use a good and unique password for each account you have.  A password manager like LastPass (https://lastpass.com/) makes this simple, especially if you have problems remembering multiple passwords.

But whatever you do, avoid this laughable "DataGateKeeper" like the plague.
DataGateKeeper: First Encryption Software Engineered to Defeat Hacking Programs, Granting Impenetrable Data Protection & Cloud Storage
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I'm not even encryption savy and knew this was vaporware watching the video
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Can you take a few seconds to help a couple of students?

A couple of my students are trying to do a project that involves administering an online survey, but neither of them is very active on social media. Please take a few seconds to fill out these short surveys. They will greatly appreciate it!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1rVi-17FrJ7jmw5sumgvCJP7c-SLlyZ5hh6lp8Agf6jQ/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1uRQeMd3VdXVIEQH2hEby3bXRL4MDcxTSTiLiS8GkQMw/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link
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Perhaps they can learn the CS concept of GIGO ;)
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This does a great job highlighting how uninformed Drumpf supporters are. Here are my favorites...

#2 has it backwards, considering Drumpf has actually talked about beefing up slander and libel laws to the point that no one can legally criticize him.

I'm not sure how #7 thinks Clinton would bring that about, since she's nearly as hawkish as the Republican candidates.

I'm not sure #8 is a terribly reliable source concerning Sanders' economic proposals, considering she doesn't even know his name.

I'm confused by #10... Does she think that if Clinton is elected, the number of people who think like her will increase? Or maybe she just thinks that people will start copying Clinton's hairstyle.

#12 might actually be the only person here with a point. If I were gay, is think twice about getting married of Drumpf were elected, too.

#14. What the actual f-ck??? Slavery? Really?

#18 is rehashing the ridiculous 95% tax rate nonsense. All it takes is 15 seconds on Google to disprove it.

#19 thinks immigration will get worse. Not illegal immigration, just immigration in general. Like the immigration that brought his grandparents to this country.

And I wonder if #25 realizes that Italy isn't a fascist state anymore, has open borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino and Vatican City, is a founding member of the EU, and has a universal healthcare system (ranked #2 in the world by the WHO)...


I asked supporters at a Donald Trump rally in Youngstown, Ohio, what would happen if Trump weren't elected and someone like Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, or Bernie Sanders was. Here's what they said.
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Oh yeah, but a lot of them are just wild speculation and opinion. 11 is factually incorrect.
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What?!?  You mean that Muslims aren't as prejudiced against people of other religions as people of other religions are prejudiced against them?  Wow.  Maybe... and this is a radical idea, but... just maybe, some of what the media constantly repeats about Muslims is demonstrably wrong?  Nah.  The media would never show that kind of obvious bias, right?  I mean, just look at their completely unbiased coverage of Donald Drumpf and Hillary Clinton...
Media commentators incurred backlash on Tuesday after expressing surprise that Muslim voters in Michigan supported a Jewish candidate.
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Okay... videos and photos show Bill Clinton visiting polling locations, shaking hands with people at the tables, and taking photos with children.  There are also videos from people in the parking lot who weren't able to get into the voting location to vote because the former president was inside.  But he's claiming he wasn't there to campaign for his wife, and didn't violate any election laws.  Riiiiigggghhhttt...
This is a call for the immediate arrest of President Bill Clinton for clear, knowing and egregious violation of the campaign laws to swing an election in a significant way. It could not be any clearer in the Massachusetts General Laws. "Campaigning within 150 feet of a polling station, or in any way...
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"I did not campaign for that woman" ...
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  • Jacksonville State University
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All of these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain...
Introduction
College instructor, computer geek, cinephile, and future zombie apocalypse survivor
Education
  • Jacksonville State University
    MS: Computer Systems and Software Design
  • Jacksonville State University
    BS: Computer Science: Information Systems
  • Walter H. Wellborn High School
  • Bynum Elementary School
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Benefits for network operators. Deliver the enterprise next-gen desktop in a single device; Drive adoption of 4G handsets, as online apps li

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It is said that those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it. In the case of the copyright industry, they have learned that they ca

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Facebook might just be getting a little bit too big for its boots. As it starts to climb from the 1 billion user mark, with its sights set o

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Just as politicians routinely invite us to "think of the children" when they want to push through some new liberty-reducing law, so the copy

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Covalli's may be small restaurant, but they make up for it in quality. They have excellent food at a great price, and their serving staff is friendly and attentive. Very simply one of the best restaurants in town at any price!
Food: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
Great food at a great price, with excellent service! I recommend La Favorita (a cheesy grilled chicken dish with rice) and the Enchiladas Supreme.
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very GoodService: Excellent
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
A bit hard to find, but worth it. Struts has the best burgers in town, and their beer-battered fries and homemade potato chips are awesome. They specialize in burgers and wings, but they have a little something for everyone. If there's a downside (other than the location), it's that the service can be a bit hit-or-miss depending on the time of day and who's working, but not really any more so than with any other casual dining restaurant.
Food: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Very Good
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
5 reviews
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Mata's isn't very impressive at first glance, but once you taste the pizza you'll be coming back for more. Deep-dish with lots of toppings, covered in cheese and cooked to perfection, this is without a doubt the best pizza in town!
Food: ExcellentDecor: GoodService: Excellent
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
Struts has the best burgers in town, and I love their homemade beer-battered fries! While they specialize in burgers and wings, Struts has a something for just about everyone. The service can be hit-or-miss depending on the time of day and who's working, but no more so than any other casual dining restaurant. By the way, I wouldn't pay much attention to the reviews complaining about it being in a gas station. While they share the building, they're otherwise completely separate, and you'd never know entering from the restaurant parking lot that there's a gas station on the other side. (Besides, the Cockpit is a Jacksonville landmark.)
• • •
Food: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Very Good
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago