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Woz Compares the Cloud and PRISM To Communist Russia 549

Posted by timothy
from the privacy-and-private-are-not-unrelated dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Some journalists ran into Steve Wozniak at the airport and asked him about iOS 7 and PRISM, where he made an interesting comparison about how the US is becoming what it once feared most. In communist Russia 'you couldn't own anything, and now in the digital world you hardly own anything anymore (YouTube video). You've got subscritpions and you already said ok, ok, agree and you agree that every right in the world belongs to them and you got no rights and anything you put in the cloud, you don't even know,' says Woz. 'Ownership was what made America different than Russia.'"
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Woz Compares the Cloud and PRISM To Communist Russia

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13, 2013 @05:42PM (#44001285)
    In Communist Ammerica the Russians own you!
    • by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @06:09PM (#44001557) Journal

      Given the ruthless efficiency with which the PRISM system collected communications, I'd compare it more closely to the former East German (DDR) Stasi [wikipedia.org]

      • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @06:39PM (#44001851)

        Given the ruthless efficiency with which the PRISM system collected communications, I'd compare it more closely to the former East German (DDR) Stasi [wikipedia.org]

        Technically, if you believe the NSA has no direct access, the ISPs and Telcos actually collected the information and sent the NSA copies. [ So when James Clapper, was asked, "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?" and he responded, "No" he wasn't technically lying to Congress... ]

        • by suutar (1860506)
          I'd think that the NSA asking for the data to be sent to them would qualify as "collecting". So the question is do they send a new request every three months when their warrant renews or are the telecoms just sending it out of the goodness of their hearts at this point? (Google's statements seem to indicate the NSA is asking, but of course, everything is subject to interpretation...)
          • Quoth James Clapper, director of national intelligence: "This has to do with of course somewhat of a semantic, perhaps some would say too cute by half. But it is—there are honest differences on the semantics of what—when someone says 'collection' to me, that has a specific meaning, which may have a different meaning to him."

            He also characterized denying 'collection' as "I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner by saying 'no,'"

            • by Patch86 (1465427) on Friday June 14, 2013 @03:54AM (#44004787)

              If the responder (James Clapper) had wanted to answer the question in the "most truthful" manner, he could have answered with more words than "no". Such as "No, but we didn't need to collect it because we have been provided with massive quantities of data simply by asking companies to provide it to us".

              What Mr Clapper did there was what we like to call "lying by omission". By answering a question in such a way as to deliberately misunderstand what is being asked of you and therefore deliberately not providing the information expected, you are lying. It doesn't matter if you did so by saying as few words as possible.

              There is no other way to interpret his answer other than that he was deliberately attempting to not tell Congress what Congress wanted him to tell them.

        • by BlueStrat (756137) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @07:54PM (#44002379)

          Technically, if you believe the NSA has no direct access,...

          You mean, exist in a reality where there are no secret NSA rooms mirroring all the data from major carriers?

          http://yro.slashdot.org/story/07/11/09/2040206/ex-att-tech-says-nsa-monitors-all-web-traffic [slashdot.org]

          No. Clapper is a lying POS that needs to spend many decades (his remaining life) inside a super-max cell.

          And he's far from the only one in this government (from both political parties) that belongs in a prison cell for the rest of their lives, and many executed for their crimes against all US citizens of all political/religious/ideological stripes and the betrayal of their Oaths of Office to protect and defend the US Constitution that have been highlighted by the string of scandals and revelations of late, and their outright lies under oath in response to questions.

          This is not a (R) or (D) issue. They don't even bother keeping promises to their own Party's constituents unless it fits their agendas. They lie and betray everyone while defying and destroying the Rule of Law and constantly seeking to further restrict and redefine individual liberty and Constitutional Rights.

          They see themselves as our masters and ALL of us as serfs. History demonstrates repeatedly that this is what happens when a government and those running it gain too much power relative to the people.

          The current US government no longer operates with the will of the governed as expressed by the restrictions placed upon it, and therefor is no longer a legitimate government.

          Strat

          • The current US government no longer operates with the will of the governed as expressed by the restrictions placed upon it, and therefor is no longer a legitimate government.

            This is not intended as a troll, but as a serious question...

            What are the pro-gun ownership people doing about it? Isn't that the main argument that people in the US use to reserve the right to own a wide variety of military weaponry?

            Or have I misunderstood the gun control debate? (Note: I don't live in the US.)

            • by BlueStrat (756137)

              The current US government no longer operates with the will of the governed as expressed by the restrictions placed upon it, and therefor is no longer a legitimate government.

              This is not intended as a troll, but as a serious question...

              What are the pro-gun ownership people doing about it? Isn't that the main argument that people in the US use to reserve the right to own a wide variety of military weaponry?

              Or have I misunderstood the gun control debate? (Note: I don't live in the US.)

              Turning to the 2A is the last resort. Contrary to how media has portrayed gun owners as a bunch of dangerous hicks just looking to shoot somebody, in actuality there are vanishingly few like that. They tend to quickly end up in prison or as testaments to Darwin. We will try to work through the system as much and as far as possible befor

        • by bkmoore (1910118) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @11:24PM (#44003773)

          ....I'd compare it more closely to the former East German (DDR) Stasi [wikipedia.org]

          Technically, if you believe the NSA has no direct access, the ISPs and Telcos actually collected the information and sent the NSA copies....

          The STASI did not have enough agents to spy on the East German population. That is why they relied on "Unofficial Colleges (IM)" or informants to do most of the eavesdropping for them. What the NSA and the ISPs/Telcos do in tandem is not very different than the old STASI / IM system. The only difference is the STASI had to rely on the technology of the day; typewriters, microphones, and tape recorders. The NSA system is digital and automated.

          With enough AI, the NSA could easily achieve a kind of automated super-spy system that records each and every criminal action by anyone who posts online information, uses the telephone, etc. Remove that mattress label, mention it on the phone, or post it on /. and get a letter from law enforcement asking to pay a fine. Or they could wait until you get caught for something big and tack on every little "crime" you have ever inadvertently committed, such as eating an illegal lobster, and yes there is a federal law against that.

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @07:17PM (#44002119) Journal

        Given the ruthless efficiency with which the PRISM system collected communications, I'd compare it more closely to the former East German (DDR) Stasi [wikipedia.org]

        The Stasi were more competent than average; but what arguably makes the 'in capitalist America' system cleverer is how it can function as a (relatively) inexpensive appendage of free market incentives that already exist.

        So much useful data gets generated, and sometimes compiled, purely for the convenience of self-sustaining private sector actors(the phone company routing calls to the correct cell and billing you, your credit card issuer keeping accounts in order, your ISP shepherding the little packets about, advertising weasels scrutinising your behavior to try to sell you stuff, Everything Facebook, people 'checking in' to random shit on foursquare, etc, etc.) You don't need to bother with the (impressive; but rather unsustainably expensive) 'more than 10% of the population acting as at least part-time informants' business. You just copy the data that the private sector generates automatically!

        Now, copying, storage, and analysis aren't free, by any means; but it's a hell of a lot cheaper than having to gather the data yourself and then pay for storage and analysis. Plus(solving a second problem that commies always had trouble with) your intelligence apparatus doubles as your consumer-goods R&D and focus grouping apparatus, since large parts of it are shared between marketing weasels and spooks, so you don't run into those embarrassing bare shelves and unfashionable lifestyles...

    • Re:FIrst Post Maybe? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mike Frett (2811077) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @06:28PM (#44001735)

      Communism in it's purist form as visioned by Karl Marx has never been implemented; he never really explained it either. But the way I read it, everyone would be equal; no rich, no poor and we all share things -- kind of like Open Source. It's actually not a bad thing if you like the Star Trek way of working not for money, but to better Humanity. It goes back to our Cave Man roots in a way.

      But society has beat it into all of your heads that it's evil and wrong, which in the way the Soviet Union had implemented it -- It is. But like I said, it's never been implemented in it's true form and the Rich and Poor are too dug in to ever enact it. It's unfortunate because I wouldn't mind being truly equal and working to better ourselves instead of money.

      • by Tokolosh (1256448)

        There is a difference between sharing and collaborating voluntarily, and "sharing" while looking into the barrel of a gun. In the voluntary case, you have the option of removing yourself from the group. Churches and their schisms are an example.

        • while looking into the barrel of a gun

          A libertarian term of art, more commonly phrased as "men with guns".

          In the voluntary case, you have the option of removing yourself from the group. Churches and their schisms are an example.

          By your reasoning about freedom, any country that allows you to leave is free.

      • Communism in it's purist form as visioned by Karl Marx has never been implemented; he never really explained it either.

        Marxism is not the only form of communism, and Marx was an authoritarian. It's well explained here [google.com].

        In the 19th century there was a big rivalry between the Marxist communists and the anarchist communists, as exemplified by Bakunin [wikipedia.org]. He and other anarchists hated Marx's "dictatorship of the proletariat", which Marx never precisely defined, but in which the word "dictatorship" was accurately used. As Bakunin said:

        They [the Marxists] maintain that only a dictatorship—their dictatorship, of course—can create the will of the people, while our answer to this is: No dictatorship can have any other aim but that of self-perpetuation, and it can beget only slavery in the people tolerating it; freedom can be created only by freedom, that is, by a universal rebellion on the part of the people and free organization of the toiling masses from the bottom up.

        I'm no political extremist, but I've always thought that if I were to become one I'd be an anarch

      • Re:FIrst Post Maybe? (Score:5, Informative)

        by funkboy (71672) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:03PM (#44003313) Homepage

        Communism in it's purist form as visioned by Karl Marx has never been implemented; he never really explained it either. But the way I read it, everyone would be equal; no rich, no poor and we all share things -- kind of like Open Source. It's actually not a bad thing if you like the Star Trek way of working not for money, but to better Humanity. It goes back to our Cave Man roots in a way.

        Actually the closest implementation to Marx's vision was the Paris Commune [wikipedia.org] that formed in the power vacuum of the early 1870s after the Prussians captured Napoleon III. After losing what was basically a mini-civil war to the Versailles government forces, everyone that was running the Commune was lined up against a wall & executed.

      • Re:FIrst Post Maybe? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Baloroth (2370816) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @11:17PM (#44003725)

        But society has beat it into all of your heads that it's evil and wrong, which in the way the Soviet Union had implemented it -- It is.

        No, it's wrong in the way Marx himself envisioned it. I've read a bit of his work. He openly stated that his Communism would only work if it was implemented across the entire world, and only by force. That's right: he both knew and embraced the fact that the Communist Revolution would be violent. This is why all the serious attempts at his vision have, in fact, been violent: it's an inherent part of the system. Not only that, but since it has to operate world-wide, it must spread itself, again by force if necessary. That is why the US was so scared of Communism: because Communism, as Marx envisioned it, cannot survive unless it destroys its enemies. It's also why the USSR, and other Communist nations, have sought to conquer or convert others. It's inherent in the system. Marxist Communism sought to destroy all other forms of government and social order.

        And if you don't believe me, let me quote the Communist Manifesto [marxists.org]:

        The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.

        Any system of government that seeks to force itself upon the world, whether other countries want it or not, is evil and wrong.

        • Re:FIrst Post Maybe? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by femtobyte (710429) on Friday June 14, 2013 @12:33AM (#44004009)

          Regardless of what Marx wrote, the development of Marxist ideology under the Soviet government strongly and officially diverged on this point. A key tenet advanced by Stalin was Socialism in One Country [wikipedia.org]: that, rather than seeking global domination and revolution, the USSR should work towards making itself into a model Socialist paradise; once its own working class enjoyed a utopian life ahead of the rest of the world, then workers in all other countries would rise up to gain the same paradise for themselves. Of course, the USSR ran into a few problems before completing its internal transition to the happiest, wealthiest, most productive place in the world... but, in the meantime, the official state doctrine was not the "original" Marxist stance of necessary global revolution, despite endless fearmongering propaganda in the West that the Ruskies were just itching to swarm over the border and eat your babies.

          • despite endless fearmongering propaganda in the West that the Ruskies were just itching to swarm over the border and eat your babies.

            The Soviets invaded and annexed Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. The Soviets invaded and annexed part of Finland. The Soviets invaded and annexed part of Poland.

            Eat babies? No. But the Soviets deliberately created a famine in Ukraine that killed 7 million people, men, women, and children, including babies.

            After the invasion of Poland, the Soviets massacred the Polish army's officers and police officers in the Katyan Forest massacre - est. 22,000 dead

            Swarming over the border with the Red Army might have b

      • And you never will. Just like libertarianism* and every other utopian vision, it relies on a perfection of the human spirit that is not possible. * libertarianism - def. That enjoyable, but brief, period between the end of powerful government and the start of strong men and corporations realizing they have no more authority over them strong enough to pay attention to.
  • by CodeHxr (2471822) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @05:44PM (#44001297)
    Please come with us into the black van. NOW! *whack to head, covered with black bag*
    • Please come with us into the black van. NOW! *whack to head, covered with black bag*

      Dear PTB:

      DO NOT FUCK with the Woz. You cannot even begin to comprehend the forces you are dealing with.

      That is, unless you want all of nerd-dom to come down on your ass like fucking Mjölnir.

  • by intermodal (534361) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @05:46PM (#44001321) Homepage Journal

    I'm not surprised to see that Woz has his head on straight enough to see that we've become what we feared. I can only hope that, despite the odds being against it, my countrymen will listen to this wise man. But history tells me that they'll ignore it, just like anything else they don't want to hear.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Black Parrot (19622)

      I suspect that the USSR was never so different from the way we were then as the propagandists would have us believe. Rigged elections? Media that didn't inform the public what was going on? Warfare and bullying as a way of achieving the top dog's "national" goals?

      • by perpenso (1613749) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @06:08PM (#44001547)

        I suspect that the USSR was never so different from the way we were then as the propagandists would have us believe.

        The people I know who lived under the Soviet regime vehemently disagree with such revisionism. For all its flaws and mistakes the U.S. was nothing like the Soviets, not even close, not even now.

        • by timeOday (582209)
          I certainly agree with your point. But if the former Soviets you know don't live there anymore, it is a self-selected sample of people who disliked it enough to leave.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13, 2013 @06:37PM (#44001833)

          > The people I know who lived under the Soviet regime vehemently disagree with such revisionism.

          I was raised in Soviet Union and live in Russia. And I must say that Black Parrot is quite right.

          Emigration from Soviet Union and from Russia was/is driven by various factors. People who emigrate tend to rationalize their choices, sometimes in really twisted way. Well, you really need to find a way to tell yourself that the leaving of your fatherland was justified, to live in peace with yourself. If you want to learn something about Soviet Regime, I'm afraid that an average Soviet (and Russian) emigrant is a wrong person to rely on.

          I'm no apologist of USSR, but I must say that you western people have a really bizzare view of it that hasn't got much to do with reality.

        • by MacTO (1161105) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @07:07PM (#44002049)

          I agree with what you say, however the propaganda of America about American's greatness and the propaganda of America about the Soviet Union's tyranny were also far from the truth. The two nations were closer than the American government would ever admit to, although nowhere near as close as the paranoid elements of society would claim.

          The sad reality is that both nations were stuck in a paranoid mentality during the cold war. This resulted in a reduction of civil liberties. The situation was far worse under the Soviet regime, but the American government often committed acts that it claimed were the domain of communists and that had no place in their own free society.

          We see something similar happening today, only in the name of terrorism.

        • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @07:13PM (#44002095)

          For all its flaws and mistakes the U.S. was nothing like the Soviets, not even close, not even now.

          Can you provide an example of something that the Soviets did that the United States has not done?

          While you're formulating your answer, consider that the United States is the only country to nuke another country. We used our own prisoners and citizens as guinnea pigs to conduct experiments in nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare. We engaged in propaganda in the extreme, rewriting our pledge of allegiance to include "under god" and printed the same on our money as a propaganda war against "godless communism." We engaged in witch hunts, like McCarthy appearing before Congress to say he "held in his hands" a list of known communist co-conspirators. We publicly executed Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953, and it wasn't until just a few years ago, in 2008, that the transcripts from a court case widely panned at the time as a "witch hunt" revealed major inconsistencies in the testimony of key witnesses against them. That same year, the government continued to trumpet that a 98 year old man, on his deathbed, recanted and said that the Rosenbergs were spies... but the press quietly buried what he said right after: That the principle charge against them, the reason they were executed -- passing secrets about how to build the atom bomb, they were innocent of. They had only passed on low value information that was already duplicated elsewhere... mostly hand-drawn sketches.

          So I'm not sure your claim that the USSR and the USA were significantly different in their propaganda campaigns... In fact, I would argue they were more or less the same, both in substance and quantity. But I'd be happy to entertain any significant act that you feel the USSR undertook that didn't have a parallel from the USA.

          • by perpenso (1613749) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @08:54PM (#44002851)

            For all its flaws and mistakes the U.S. was nothing like the Soviets, not even close, not even now.

            Can you provide an example of something that the Soviets did that the United States has not done?

            Read up on the Stalin era. Even later Soviet leaders were disgusted.

            While you're formulating your answer, consider that the United States is the only country to nuke another country.

            And in the odd perverse mathematics of war may have saved lives compared to blockade and starvation or invasion and mass casualties by conventional weapons. The simple fact was that Truman was expecting 500,000 American dead and 5 million Japanese dead if the war continued through conventional means. The atomic bombings were a tragedy, the problem is that the other options may have been far worse. A classic negative-negative decision, all your likely options are bad.

            The casualties from mass fire bombings in Tokyo were comparable to an atomic bombing. Read Eugene Sledge's "With The Old Breed" for an account of the fighting on Okinawa. President Truman had such accounts in his mind when he made the decision. Also note that civilian casualties on Okinawa were comparable to an atomic bombing. I realize it is popular today to say that Japan was going to surrender anyway but the historical facts are that the surrender after the atomic bombings and after the emperor's decision nearly failed when a military coup was attempted. The plotter's had to "rescue" the emperor from the bad advice his ministers were providing and prevent his surrender message from going out. We have no idea what would have happened without the atomic bombings, imminent surrender is hardly a foregone conclusion. Again, Truman faced a negative-negative decision, he had no good option, rather one option that may produce fewer casualties (military and civilian) than the others.

            We used our own prisoners and citizens as guinnea pigs to conduct experiments in nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare.

            Agreed, terrible.

            We engaged in propaganda in the extreme, rewriting our pledge of allegiance to include "under god" and printed the same on our money as a propaganda war against "godless communism."

            Seriously? This is some great and terrible crime?

            We engaged in witch hunts, like McCarthy appearing before Congress to say he "held in his hands" a list of known communist co-conspirators.

            McCarthy was a buffoon. The anti-communist witch hunts wrong. But you are making my point for me. These witch hunts were nothing like those under the Soviets. Read up on Soviet gulags.

            We publicly executed Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953, and it wasn't until just a few years ago, in 2008, that the transcripts from a court case widely panned at the time as a "witch hunt" revealed major inconsistencies in the testimony of key witnesses against them.

            Decoded 1944 Soviet cables confirmed Julius worked for the Soviets. Nikita Khrushchev wrote in his memoirs that they helped accelerate the Soviet atomic bomb program. Various Soviet officials eventually confirmed that Julius was a wartime spy.

            They had only passed on low value information that was already duplicated elsewhere... mostly hand-drawn sketches.

            Primary source or merely a secondary confirmatory source, large contribution or small contribution, its still wartime espionage. Was the penalty excessive, perhaps, but executing a wartime spy is hardly in the same category as executing those who disagree with a government policy, as we saw in large scale during the Stalin era. Again, you are merely confirming the US and Soviet governments were nothing alike. No one is claiming the US government was without flaws and mistakes, just nowhere near the Soviet level. Enlightened leaders like Mikhail Gorbachev were the exception not the rule.

          • by Ihlosi (895663)
            Can you provide an example of something that the Soviets did that the United States has not done?

            Shoot people attempting to leave the country.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        I suspect that the USSR was never so different from the way we were then as the propagandists would have us believe. Rigged elections? Media that didn't inform the public what was going on? Warfare and bullying as a way of achieving the top dog's "national" goals?

        Not back then, no, but certainly now. Vietnam and Korea were really part of the cold war, Eisenhower won by a landslide, Kennedy won the states you'd expect him to, as did Nixon in the 1960 election, and if the media had been a propaganda machine y

      • by avgjoe62 (558860) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @06:37PM (#44001829)
        When I worked in the Pentagon, there was a display case containing three pieces of the Berlin Wall. I never paid much attention to it - it was just something I passed by while walking to and from the office.

        But one day I took some time and looked at the pieces. They were covered with graffiti. I distinctly remember a "Kilroy-was-here" and a lot of so-and-so loves so-and-so bullshit on the wall. Almost drowned out was the name of a young man on the top of one of the pieces, with his date of birth and the date of his death written below. And right below that was the phrase "Endlich frei" (Finally free). This young man was seventeen years old when he was shot for trying to leave East Berlin and travel to West Berlin.

        There was a quantifiable difference in the ways the US and the USSR treated their citizens. And while that gap may be narrowing the fact that we are reading about this in the newspapers and debating this is a good thing. I remember a saying that was said during the aftermath of WWII - "If you want to know what atrocities the Russians committed, look in the graves. If you want to know what atrocities the Nazis committed, look at the receipts. If you want to know what atrocities the Americans committed, look in the newspapers."

        Let's hope that always stays true.

      • I suspect that the USSR was never so different from the way we were then as the propagandists would have us believe. Rigged elections? Media that didn't inform the public what was going on? Warfare and bullying as a way of achieving the top dog's "national" goals?

        The Russians, to their great credit, have made the old Soviet archives available to varying degrees over time. (Sometime more open, sometimes less open.) Although it was known before, the record has become ever clearer. Stalin, who lived into the 1950s, was a monster of epic proportions. After Stalin died, the Soviet state continued to be a police state, even if it relaxed somewhat at first, and more gradually over time. But it was, from start to finish, a totalitarian regime. It simply transformed fr

  • We need laws that prohibit circumventing the law via technological means. DRM should not be able to take away rights like fair use or resale.

    • But what if they then circumvent those laws? Maybe an anti-anti-circumvention law circumvention law is in order...

    • The cloud may be an end run around DRM issues.

      I use two cloud services-- Apple's and Amazon's-- strictly for the purpose of syncing my computer, my kindle, my tablet and so on. It is very convenient to use the device best suited for my purposes at the time, and not worry about getting the data onto the device, and off it.

      But even though they are often on the same LAN, exchanging a piece of data, no matter how trivial, somehow involves a sever half way across the continent, recording data for the NSA's pleas

      • Sure it would, but by providing you with this option the manufacturers would be renouncing some of their power over you, and so there is no motive for them to provide such solutions. At least until someone outside their club starts doing that.
      • But even though they are often on the same LAN, exchanging a piece of data, no matter how trivial, somehow involves a sever half way across the continent, recording data for the NSA's pleasure, or rechecking a license, Why? Wouldn't it be a lot simpler if everyone could run their own server, dispensing documents as they pleased?

        Easier for us; not easier (nor profitable) for the oligarchs who live for power and control.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        My data stays on my own private network (unless I've been rooted). I can synch my own data, I don't need the Cloud Boys to do it for me and have the NSA hoover up everything I have (not that they couldn't if they wanted to but it would actually take effort, unlike when you use cloud services).

  • by aitikin (909209) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @05:46PM (#44001329)
    In Soviet Russia...
  • digital take over (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theatrecade (1080063) <theatrecade@gmail.com> on Thursday June 13, 2013 @05:48PM (#44001339) Homepage
    I agree with Woz. Nobody owns anything. Everything digitally is licensed. Even when you hold a physical copy in your hands it's on loan for 60$. You ever actually read a EULA? With the NSA spying on you on everything not only don't you own anything nothing is private anymore.. welcome to the new America! Welcome to the New World... I hope you enjoy your stay and by the way ignore that 4th amendment only the 2nd one kinda counts....
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I agree with Woz. Nobody owns anything. Everything digitally is licensed. Even when you hold a physical copy in your hands it's on loan for 60$. You ever actually read a EULA? With the NSA spying on you on everything not only don't you own anything nothing is private anymore.. welcome to the new America! Welcome to the New World... I hope you enjoy your stay and by the way ignore that 4th amendment only the 2nd one kinda counts....

      And I'm going to have to disagree here. One might be able to argue that we don't 'own' enough in the digital realm vice it being licensed, but isn't that at least in part what is supposed to be so great about Linux and related bits?

      In any case the comparison to Soviet Russia immediately falls on its face. I own my house, I own my business, I own my car and dozens of other things. It is annoying when people try and make comparisons between things when very superficially they are similar but they aren't even

      • If you consider "owning" as being able other people to use it, maybe what is lost is what makes Linux great indeed. But it is lost just for us, the common people, corporations and the government still have this right,

        On the other hand, if you consider "owning" as being able to do whatever you wish with it, whenever you want, losing that has nothing to do with open source or Linux. It actually goes against what makes it great and the idea that made it come to be.
      • Re:digital take over (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13, 2013 @06:12PM (#44001581)
        Actually Russians in Soviet Russia could own a house and almost every other thing anybody could own in the West. Communism was/is about the ownerships of means of production (factories, land) and not pencils or cars. http://www.historians.org/projects/giroundtable/RussianAlly/RussianAlly9.htm [historians.org]
      • You also own the hardware that the software runs on, which isn't a lot of comfort. It's a pity that the common sense displayed by the old Borland company didn't carry forward.

        Additionally, Borland was known for its practical and creative approach towards software piracy and intellectual property (IP), introducing its "Borland no-nonsense license agreement". This allowed the developer/user to utilize its products "just like a book"; he or she was allowed to make multiple copies of a program, as long as only one copy was in use at any point in time. -- Borland [wikipedia.org]

  • Concept of Ownership (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @05:55PM (#44001415)

    Ownership follows power. If you don't have more brute force strength than the next domestic house ape, you own nothing. Scribbles on a piece of paper like the constitution are not power.

  • by Zeio (325157) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @05:58PM (#44001449)

    This is nothing new.

    We live in a oligarchical collectivist police state where a banking cabal, central governments, the military industrial complex and megacorps control everything.

    The little guy, the small business, freedom, liberty. Gone.

    Welcome to wage slavery, plebeians. And you voted your captors in.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Welcome to wage slavery, plebeians. And you voted your captors in.

      Of course they did. If they hadn't, the other bad guys would have gotten in.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      I've always heard that, but I've never truly believed it. I think the corruptible are drawn to power. Being power hungry must be a form of mental illness; I mean, who in their right mind would want to be President?

  • by perpenso (1613749) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @06:01PM (#44001483)
    The microcomputer revolution that Woz was a significant contributor to was in part a movement against the "cloud" of that day, remote minicomputers and mainframes where your software and your data lived. One of the goals of the microcomputer revolution was to have your software and your data on your computer on your desk.

    If we were to have a second revolution in the spirit of the preceding perhaps we would have our own "cloud" servers hosted on our own IP address at home, offering ubiquitous access to all of our computers and devices and syncing between them. Again, all your data being hosted on your server on your desk (or in the corner or the closet).
    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreedomBox [wikipedia.org]
      "FreedomBox is a community project to develop, design and promote[1] personal servers running free software for distributed social networking, email and audio/video communications.[2] "

      I'm not convinced that by itself is enough though. Encryption can be broken and the metadata remains short of anonymizing systems. And laws can just be passed to require registration etc..

      Ultimately, the answer to one way surveillance may be more like David Brin's "Transparent Society" w

  • It's like the "Electronic Plantation" that Jello Biafra once hollered about
  • by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @06:09PM (#44001553)
    He's right.

    That there aren't millions of people storming the halls of government with torches and pitchforks is more telling than anything else of how oppressed the USA has become.
    • Re:And... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @06:24PM (#44001681) Homepage Journal

      He's right.

      Of course he is; he's "The Wizard of Woz." ... and I say that as a fairly ardent Apple Hater.

      That there aren't millions of people storming the halls of government with torches and pitchforks is more telling than anything else of how oppressed the USA has become.

      Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but as "storming the halls of government" would require the resources to make a 2000 mile journey (one way), as well as very likely costing me my source of income, my home, my family... not really feasible.

      Now, you coastal folks who can hop on a train and be to DC in a couple hours? YOU have less excuse.

  • ...everything's pretty familiar, actually. No humorous inversions of American society to be found.
  • "You've got subscriptions and you already said ok, ok, agree and you agree that every right in the world belongs to them and you got no rights and anything you put in my butt, you don't even know,' says Woz. "

  • by some old guy (674482) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @07:00PM (#44002003)

    The old Party oligarchs in Russia gave up on the disfunctional Marxist police state in favor of an overtly fascist police state so they could 1) become as wealthy as Western oligarchs, 2) flaunt it like Western oligarchs, and 3) give the masses a few more consumer shinies to keep them fairly passive, all with a nice facade of democracy.

    Yeltsin set the stage, and Putin has made it a tour de force in how to re-brand oppression. "There is no such thing as a former Chekist", as Uncle Boris likes to say.

    Russian has become more like the USA, and the USA becomes more like Russia.

    New World Order, anyone?

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin

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