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david amick
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DevOps and Life Engineer
DevOps and Life Engineer

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One of the main reasons America fought to gain it's independence from Britain was because if a person spoke out against their government they would be imprisoned or worse.

To prevent the same thing from happening in America, the founders created Freedom of Speech.

Freedom of Speech is great, but in a government that in the name of protecting it's people builds 'backdoors' and collects endless databases of it's peoples' private photos, communications, internet activity, and locations, the right alone to speak out against the government will not protect it's people from corruption in that government.

Today, Freedom of Speech must include the ability to have a voice anonymously, and the ability to encrypt writings and evidence to protect them from a potentially corrupt government or government official's interference.

If we let the three letter agencies/terrorists take away our ability to hide information from our government, we will have lost our actual Freedom of Speech.
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Awesome
Thesis Defense: Supersonic Retropropulsion for Mars EDL
by +Max Fagin
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Hear it directly from the horses mouth, not what the news says.

If you haven't yet watched this, you very much should.

It's both revealing and sane.
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This article saved my butt tonight when I accidentally removed an lvm logical volume too soon.
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VERY well said Tim, this is precisely why so many people do not feel online 'piracy' is actually 'piracy'.
Before Solving a Problem, Make Sure You've Got the Right Problem

I was pleased to see the measured tone of the White House response to the citizen petition about #SOPA and #PIPA

https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#/!/response/combating-online-piracy-while-protecting-open-and-innovative-internet

and yet I found myself profoundly disturbed by something that seems to me to go to the root of the problem in Washington: the failure to correctly diagnose the problem we are trying to solve, but instead to accept, seemingly uncritically, the claims of various interest groups. The offending paragraph is as follows:

"Let us be clear—online piracy is a real problem that harms the American economy, and threatens jobs for significant numbers of middle class workers and hurts some of our nation's most creative and innovative companies and entrepreneurs. It harms everyone from struggling artists to production crews, and from startup social media companies to large movie studios. While we are strongly committed to the vigorous enforcement of intellectual property rights, existing tools are not strong enough to root out the worst online pirates beyond our borders."

In the entire discussion, I've seen no discussion of credible evidence of this economic harm. There's no question in my mind that piracy exists, that people around the world are enjoying creative content without paying for it, and even that some criminals are profiting by redistributing it. But is there actual economic harm?

In my experience at O'Reilly, the losses due to piracy are far outweighed by the benefits of the free flow of information, which makes the world richer, and develops new markets for legitimate content. Most of the people who are downloading unauthorized copies of O'Reilly books would never have paid us for them anyway; meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of others are buying content from us, many of them in countries that we were never able to do business with when our products were not available in digital form.

History shows us, again and again, that frontiers are lawless places, but that as they get richer and more settled, they join in the rule of law. American publishing, now the largest publishing industry in the world, began with piracy. (I have a post coming on that subject on Monday.)

Congress (and the White House) need to spend time thinking hard about how best to grow our economy - and that means being careful not to close off the frontier, or to harm those trying to settle it, in order to protect those who want to remain safe at home. British publishers could have come to America in the 19th century; they chose not to, and as a result, we grew our own indigenous publishing industry, which relied at first, in no small part, on pirating British and European works.

If the goal is really to support jobs and the American economy, internet "protectionism" is not the way to do it.

It is said (though I've not found the source) that Einstein once remarked that if given 60 minutes to save the world, he would spend 55 of them defining the problem. And defining the problem means collecting and studying real evidence, not the overblown claims of an industry that has fought the introduction of every new technology that has turned out, in the end, to grow their business rather than threaten it.

P.S. If Congress and the White House really want to fight pirates who are hurting the economy, they should be working to rein in patent trolls. There, the evidence of economic harm is clear, in multi-billion dollar transfers of wealth from companies building real products to those who have learned how to work the patent system while producing no value for consumers.

P. P.S. See also my previous piece on the subject of doing an independent investigation of the facts rather than just listening to the appeals of lobbyists, https://plus.google.com/107033731246200681024/posts/5Xd3VjFR8gx
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For the FIRST time in the history of Google, I'm upset with them. They tricked me into SPAMMING my friends.

I got the "People you might know" email from them and figured I would take the time to add some more friends. From the way they presented it, I thought to myself 'oh cool, all these people have created google+ accounts, I'll add them.' - There was even one in there for the company email address I work for and I thought 'Oh cool! My boss created a google+ account for the business!' So I added all these people to my google+ circles.

I then logged into my work's email account to take care of customer support to find an email saying "David Amick added you and invited you to join google+". ---WTF??!! I DID NOT intend to send a bunch of my friends invites to google+ or fill up their inboxes with such crapy unwanted emails! If they wanted to join google+, I'm sure they would do it on their own! There was no confirmation saying 'do you want to invite these people to google+?' There was no message saying 'this will send people who don't already have google+ an invite.' - NOTHING, just drag and drop.

Needless to say this REALLY upset me. You really let me down this time google. I trusted you, because you have never done this kind of thing before. You have never before crossed this line. Are you getting too big? Is there too much money behind you? Or have the people in charge grown a little GREEDY?

My apologies to all who don't have google plus yet who received this stupid email. I have sent google feedback on the situation.
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