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privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029252)

probably he has little privacy ever since the DoJ trial. MS wants every thing he said about killing Bill Gates

It figures. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029253)

I don't doubt that quite a few of those extremely profitable E10k systems from Sun are being used for data mining and other customer tracking activities.

While at the same time, Sun doesn't sell a thing to end users who might be concerned about privacy.

To this point I've never found a pressing need to depend on Sun for my privacy or security, and I hope I never will.

true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029254)

The Intel thing wasn't about privacy, but about copy protection. I'd say he's right. There isn't any on-line privacy. But I'd say we shouldn't just get over it. Quite the opposite.

oops! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029255)

doh#1 for scott mcnealy! that sucks man. watch yer mouth!

Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029256)

I mean...he's right. But what a defeatist attitude. The fact that most of our privacy has been taken away (largely by marketing concerns) isn't any good reason to give away more of it. Or not to try to get some of it back. What an odd thing to say.


Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029257)

Those remarks were taken out of context. Wired gets the yellow journalism award for today.

Besides, Scott is a loose cannon anyway. Anyone who has heard his top-ten lists knows that.

Bottom line: Scott McNeally is not evil.

Reality Check for the Clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029258)

While you people worry about insignificant things like if you are being tracked by cookies, anyone who buys anything via Check or Credit or goes to college is being tracked.

If you want privacy, you better use nothing but cash for transactions, never have items delivered to your home or give your name at a store, and don't give your SSN (for americans) out.

I think the only people really bothered by ID checks on the internet are the pirates.

Even if you don't own a computer, Blockbuster knows what movies you like, the public library knows what books you read, Safeway knows what food you buy, your college gives away what profession/major you are in (colleges sell mailing lists), the credit card companies and banks know
even more.

And anyone can go to the Hall of Records and find out how much you paid for your house.

Like McNealy said, get over it. It's not like people are peeking in your bedroom, or watching you pick your nose.

Did Intel backpeddle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029259)

Apparently the CPU ID is turned off by a Start Menu shortcut:

http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153, 1013772,00.html

Hardly robust, but it indicates that you could disable the ID function in the Linux kernel. (Of course it also indicates that an ActiveX control could easily read the ID for Windows folks.)

Illusions of Comfort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029260)

Really Bad Move (tm). Whether he's right or not is not the point. Even if people have no privacy, they at least want to be able to pretend that they have privacy. This is why people get so freaked out about the pentium III thing. With those chips, they can't pretend. And Good ol' Scotty here is essentially asking them to throw away the teddy-bear comfort they get from imagining they still have some control on their privacy.

People need to feel that they exert some sort of control over their lives. They need to believe that they've got a handle on the elements in their lives. If you tell them to give it up, they'll clutch it even more tightly. The reality of this control is irrelevant - it's the illusion that counts.

Perception is everything. This is why people still use MicroSoft products - they have the illusion of security. They believe that they understand it. They are familiar with Windows. To throw them into new, unfamiliar systems threatens their sense of security. Of course, this is also why linux/*BSD/OSS users are so rabid about their systems. Once you overcome the initial hurdles, you begin to believe that you have got some control over your situation. When you've got the source code for your OS, you know you CAN change something that's bugging you. It's exactly the same sort of teddy-bear comfort that everyone else is clinging to.

Having said that, I'd give up linux and OSS forever if it meant I had true privacy. It'll never happen though.

Scott's comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029261)

We should remeber that Sparc boxes, like most UNIX workstations, have had individual serial numbers for many years, and they ARE used for tracking software licences.

On the other hand, I think he is right in saying this does not compromise you privacy, I also think having software licences tied to processors is a GOOD thing for the OS movement.

The real outcry is because people are worried about not being able to e.g. use thier office WP package on thier home machine (or JAVA compiler, or whatever).

Any move that makes people pay up for commercial software boosts the apeal of OSS.

A Sengan Criticism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029262)

This has nothing to do with the topic of the post... But if I could give Sengan some constructive criticism it would be to try and be less biased when reporting stories. Sengan; I realize you've already tonned down the amount of personal opinion you inject in your reports, but articles like this show that you still have a ways to go.

These arn't editorials, they're news reports.

The 2p of an AC.

SO no SUN exports to the EU soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029263)

As we all know, the EU handles privacy much more carefully than the US does.
There is even the danger of a 'cut-off' of US companies that don't respect the EU's privacy laws, eg from the internet.

So good bye SUN/Europe then...

Damn, you are so smart! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029264)

why do you need money when the best stuff (free software) is...free!

Why, because they used the word "question"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029265)

It was at the JINI launch and concerned privacy on JINI. Yes, it would've been better to quote the question, but what question could you postulate that would change the import or meaning of his remarks?

Will JINI give you a choice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029266)

Sun has said repeatedly the JINI - the universal plug and play that lets all computers and devices using it instantly hook up into ad-hoc networks - is an "ubiquity play". If it succeeds it will be on your desktop, in your cell phone, and on your VCR. Ole' Scotty's not planning to give you much of a choice.

This was not a neutral proclamation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029267)

Scott was not simply a messenger here. He stands to make a fortune off selling info (Sun is moving into the server software business with Netscape's and other software). People complacently assume that everyone regrets the loss of freedom and privacy and therefore misread what is plainly stated. "Get over it" means "I'm ordering you to stop opposing this!"

There are exceptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029268)

You haven't been in Sweden, have you? Here in
Sweden we PUL. In a nutshell, this law makes it
illegal to use personal info such as name, age etc.

For example, say the webmaster for the "Swedish
Radiohead Fan Club" have a list of the band members
on their web page. If he doesn't have permission
from Radiohead, he's just broken the law. In fact,
I've just committed a crime by using the name
Radiohead without permission.

Do you want to know how they plan to uphold this
law. Volounters should report illegal use of
personal info to the police. I think this will be
successfull (NOT!!!).

sengan is best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029269)

imo sengan is best.....

They're lying - sure looks like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029270)

The guy who wrote the story in that link caught them red-handed - Sun, the big supporters of privacy, turning his email into a commodity. And their response is that their privacy policy is not fully implemented yet. But their email harvesting program seems to be doing well, thanks.

Looks like Scott McNealy was just telling it like it is.

Mac Neally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029271)

I hope Mac Neally eats his shit or I will have to boycott Sun and use Lintel.

Privacy is the illusion you create for yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029272)

A couple of thing occured to me...

First, everyone's privacy, legal or ideal, is violated on a daily basis by more entities than you could possibly imagine. That cellular phone
intercept in "Clear and Present Danger" is a little closer to reality than most people would realize (actually, presentation in the movie is a little dated now; I have my own speculations about extra bits of the LEO payloads now floating around and wonder what "peace" dividind they will yield).

Still, if it's any consolation, there are a whole lot of "better things" that have been brought to life by the accumulation of information that might be considered "private" by "reasonable" people. Most of the CS/EE people have the concept of algorithm more important than code pounded into them early on. They also have the concept of speed/space/data tradeoff run over them a couple of times to boot. The tragedy is that most curriculums run students through some sort of bullshit ethics course taught by bunch of liberal arts freaks that tell them that they will be the power the enslaves the world. The would-be makers of the future are ushered out into the world with an unnatural inhibition towards using massive amounts of "private" data to accomplish that which might not happen otherwise.

Fortunatly, there are companies, organizaitons and agencies that completely lack any sort of "ethical" inhibitions by charter (alls' fair in love and war (and business)) that shelter the few free thinkers from the mediocrity of an "ethical" existance. If Americans realized the small proportion of the earth's population that they represent with repsect to the huge amount of the world's material wealth they own, they would realize what precarious position they occupy. Most have a hard time getting past the car work car eat sleep procreate buy cycle, to realize that complete violation of their privacy will be REQUIRED in order to maintain and advance the current status quo.

As for privacy on an OSS fourm... remember your hacker background and remember that information is free and will do as it wants... you're just along for the ride for 80 or so years... a medium though which information moves... to pretend that you can limit or control information is the ultimate arrogance.

He's right, who cares though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029273)

Granted, unless you're either incredibly lazy (like I am) and don't login or you're looking to deliberately elude identification for some criminal reason, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. You're already tracked down to at LEAST your ISP via your IP address and from there it should be fairly trivial with the proper amount of pressure to get any information needed to prosecute criminals and crackers. Most of the time ISPs just give in just to be helpful and will work with you to find the criminal and report him to the proper authorities. There's no way to be completely anonymous if you're using your own account.. you either need to use some public shared kiosk or hack into someone else's account.

there is no privacy - hostids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029274)

Funny about that. If my memory serves me correctly, this is *exactly* what flexlm does. It sends the hostid of the client to the flexlm server for identification. Most licensed commercial unix software uses flexlm as the license manager.

Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029275)

If the marketers can figure out what we want, before we want it, doesn't this make for a more efficient system? If the Coke people knew that I liked Coke, they could send me coupons and not waste their time on died in the wool Pepsi folks. This would make products cheaper and create less waste.

Tennessee too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029276)

When you renew your DL in Tennessee, you have to fill out TWO forms to prevent the state from selling your info. Well, at least they give you the option of stopping it.

Whine whine whine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029277)

People whine too much.

Yup, Privacy and Security go hand in hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029278)

At least in the minds of the customer. Big
Mistake(tm) Scott. You might want to clarify.

Reality Check for the Clueless/libraries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029279)

Librarians are actually quite chary about
giving out patron-related info.

Many of their automated systems cut the link
between patron id and book when the book returns.

Folks serve up subpoenas from time to time to
libraries and get large lawsuits on their hands
from the American Libraries Association.
They are not alone. Many professions (law, medicine) take privacy very seriously.

He's right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029280)

Scott is correct.
He just has more guts(or stupidity) than Intel
to be honest.

The truth is that even without CPU-SN's, there
are other ways to uniquly identify you.
Your ethernet address ...

Just don't buy/use software that uses or transmits
any of these ID's.

What if Bill had said that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029281)

We really are biased here. Lots of people are bending over backwards to rationalize Scott's comments.

Imagine what we'd be saying if Bill had made the comment?

Read the US Constition... EVEN MORE closely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029282)

You'd think the US senators and representatives would have better things to do with their time than spending the better part of half a year debating Clinton's imdescretions

This is a christian nation. Clinton is an anti-christian individual, and therefore he has no right to be the president. Any means necessary are justified to get rid of this criminal. He's destroying the Constitution. He must be got rid of.

There IS NO more important issue in the world today than Clinton's private behavior.

But... He's right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029283)

When your wife gives birth to a child, her name and address are sold to pampers, gerber, you name it, by the Hospital

Everything you buy on a credit card is recorded, permanently.

Ever have a "Wegman's" "Top's" "Krogers'" "Stop 'N Shop" or "Safeway" or any grocery store "shoppers club" card? That correlates everthing you buy with your age group, and your name.

When you buy anything via a catalogue, that's recorded, and the information is sold.

Ever wonder how you end up on mailing lists? Magazines sell your name. You can test this by giving different names to different subscriptions and see who the junk mail is addressed to.

And that's not just the half of it. The phone company publishes CD roms, many stores ask for name and address (last time I was in Toy's R Us THEY did, Radio Shack always did) and getting off a mailing list is best accomplised by MOVING. Sorry, but that's today's modern life. If you haven't figured out your privacy was bought and sold 30 years ago, you're an idiot.

Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029284)

You have to personally protect your privacy. Get used to it. It's your responsibility. Cut up your credit cards, pay cash, get a PO Box, never give out your name and address, get a phone under another name (they never check) to get a "free" unlisted number.

Worked for me.


Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029285)

This was posted in a thread, but applies to the main discussion. Remember the 350 word question that elicited a response from vendors in favor of bundling explorer with windows? "Ever suck a cock you didn't like?" Without knowing what the question was, how can we decide how to view the answer. It's possible that in the context of JINI, privacy actually is a red herring and has no bearing whatsoever. Is the government going to keep tabs on what time you make coffee and toast in the morning? Here is the original post:

Anything could have changed the meaning. I mean, if the reporter was asking ridiculous and annoying questions, he/she could get almost any annoying comment they wanted. Hell, without seeing the actual question we don't even know if it was really related to Jini at all. All we know is that the _reporter_ thought it was.

Imagine: (Completely ficticious)

Reporter: How will Jini help keep marketers from tracking our shopping habits?

Scott: It won't, it isn't about that.

Reporter: But isn't this an important issue?

Scott: It might be, but Jini has nothing to do with that.

Reporter: But isn't privacy on the internet a concern for Sun?

Get over piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029286)

At first I misread the sentence as "Get over piracy" and agreed whole heartidly. Then I reread it and suddenly I disagreed :-)

State selling info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029287)

Illinois DMV sells info as well.
I was shocked a few years ago by all of the
privacy violations we have to endure. Now I'm
just numb. Rules of thumb:

Java, cgi-scripts(oh yes), cookies, may just
be innocent tools, however the only use they
seem to get on the net is to pry, probe
and track. Try adding '/cgi-scripts/' to
your net filter and watch all the crap

He is right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029288)

Like justice, the issue is how much privacy can you afford. But who cares? I don't care if marketing data is collected from my purchases. These people are looking at large numbers, not what individuals are doing. On the other hand, if someone wishes to know about YOU, as an individual, all they need is money to access the databases and records that describe your life. No law is going to stop this from happening.

IMHO, privacy and secrecy are tools of those with something to hide. Numbered Swiss bank accounts are used by the few who deal in corruption and the misuse of power. A Corporation's records describing the toxins they produce and the records of their disposal of these should be made available to the public. I say open the system up to everyone, and shine a light into the dark corners where those with something to hide are allowed to live.

Info wants to be free... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029289)

...but you want privacy at the same time? Huh?

Did the government make Intel change it back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029290)

I heard from a semi reliable source that after Intel said they would have it off by default the government stepped in and told them that they must leave it on. Wish I could confirm that. Can any of you?

"We're the 'Screw' in 'Screw' you." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029291)

oh, i like this one.

-- Zoyd Spodiodi
-- zspod@vork.fork.org

He's right on one scale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029292)

Not exaqctly on the topic of McNealy's remark, but I want to respond to the first part of this comment:
It's like trying to legislate against dope, booze, tobacco, swearing in public, porno, whatever. It's only effective if the targeted act is already considered immoral by a huge majority (like murder)

I disagree completely that legislature should be effective when it's in concert with the moral majority. I beleive that our most basic and fundamental laws, including the protection of privacy, are constitutional and this document is designed precisely to protect the minority from the majority. Even by a majority vote, constitutional law prohibits congress from passing laws which violate personal freedoms. For example, there have been stretches of time in this country's history when the majority beleived that blacks should be surpressed, or that alcohol should be illegal, etc... and it is exactly the constituition which prohibit the legislature of majority morality.

Well, in principle. I mean, there used to be a fourth ammendment concerning search and siezure but now, people are routinely subjected to unconstitutional searches (ever been stopped on your way home at 3:00 am from a long evening of coding and have your car searched, under threat of arrest?) Warrants are a thing of the past.

I suppose McNealy's remarks can be construed as a reflection of disgust at the present state of affairs. But, I wish he had something like, "I will fight with all the strength of Sun Microsystems to protect and regain our customers rights to privacy."

speaking for himself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029293)

In this case, you can bet your ass that Scott McNealy's comments do not reflect the opinions of his employees.

Go to www.sun.com, and search on 'security'. Over 1700 matches.

A good start might be http://www.sun.com/security/ [sun.com] .

Info wants to be free... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029294)

There is no contradiction.

The fact that one wants information which is distributed to be free, says nothing about what information ought to be distributed.

I don't often use the GPL in analogies, but here goes: If you write take GPLed code, it is legal to make modifications and not distibute the source -- as long as you don't distribute the binaries either. If you keep it for your own, private use, you don't have to give anything back to the coding community.

Similarly, I have no problem with saying: "once I've released this bit of information about myself, I no longer have any control over who obtains it -- but there is information I do not release, and it is wrong for someone else to 'dig it up,' as it were."

Read the US Constition... EVEN MORE closely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029295)

Apparently you're unfamiliar with the term "Separation of Church and State"....

What's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029296)

McNealy is 100% correct. In these days of corporate drug testing, data mining, consumer tracking, credit history recording, etc. there simply is no privacy. It's a brave new world - one entirely of our own making. You wanted the convienience and it comes at a price. Get over it.

Frankly, I find his candor refreshing. Any attempt to legislate privacy is simply going to drive the corporate and government anti-privacy activity behind the curtains. There will be no net effect. Instead of being told you didn't get the job because of a posting you made two years ago you'll simply be told that your salary requirements were too high.

A Sengan Praise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029297)

I think the wording of this post was definitely ok. We're (mostly) adults, and can make up our own mind. We won't be influenced by a little comment by Sengan.

Oh sure, like when he accused Intio [slashdot.org] of intentionally violating the GPL and incited a riot? To be fair, Sengan contacted Intio 30 minutes before he put up the article and initiated the feeding frenzy - more than enough time and as always nobody jumped the gun or was the least bit influenced by Sengan *snicker*.

Of course, many of the replies criticizing his decision were edited out. Nothing like revision so as to appear correct even when you aren't. The Updates are still there.

In fact, nobody likes 'bloodless' news, and his comments make the whole thing a bit more lively, especially if they reflect the opinion of the vast majority on /.

Vast majority? You must be referring to this article [slashdot.org].

Of course, since everybody already agreed with him, he just disabled posting, it being unnecessary and all, since we all agreed with him.

Why you people suck up to this jerk-off is beyond me.

HES not right...hes an Ahole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029298)

thats all we need, a stupid ceo of big well respected supposedly enterprise computing company to start saying our privacy doesnt matter and isnt even a CONCERN. Get outa here McNeally, we dont need your kind associated with *nix.

He's a TROLL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029299)

I betcha he just said that to stir up some heated debate. After the flames die down, people will be calm enough to think, but mad enough not to ignore the issue. Then, maybe, somebody can figure out a real solution.

I'm Shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029300)

I (who posted the criticism) am shocked that you folks LIKE biased news-reporting. I mean I'm truly flabergasted, wow. Impartiality is SO important in my view that it can't be understated. You're right that we have the ability to make up our own minds, but only if we have all the facts. Which is something that we can never be sure of with biased reporting such as Sengan's.

I suppose our current tabloid culture is a result of people with your ideas of good journalism.

The 2p of an AC.

Thanks for telling me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029301)

I'm running on Solaris right now. ps -A shows a "mountd", but no "automountd".

Do I have to worry?


Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029302)

Yes. They were too taken out of context.

Can you point me to another account of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029303)

Scott McNealy made these comments to a room full of reporters with no prompting whatsoever, and he has made similiar comments in the past.
I can't find any other account of these statements at this time. Perhaps you can point me to one.

If you can also point me to these 'similar comments in the past', it would be appreciated.

If you can't do the above, you can you at least explain how you _know_ what Mcnealy said, let alone whether it was 'without prompting' to a 'room full of reporters'.

Read the US Constition... EVEN MORE closely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029304)

What makes you say Clinton is anti-Christian?

If Bill Gates has said this.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029305)

all you slashdotter kiddes would be jumping down his throat.

There would be no room for reasonable discussion on this issue here.

Read the US Constition...closely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2029306)

The USA is the most invasive, repellent, obnoxious, onerous and unfair nation-state in the world..... Except for all the other ones.

You think taxes are high? FEH! Try Sweden or France..

The USA is the best nation ever to exist in all of recorded history. Can it be improved? Of course. Almost any failure in our system can be attributed to the failure to live up to its founding ideals. Still, with all its troubles, compare it to any other culture or nation of any time. The USA wins in terms of personal freedom, individual rights, military might, economic prosperity, any way you slice it. Read your history: personal freedom and a government deriving its power from the consent of the governed is far more radical a notion than any tinpot childish Marxist collectivist pabulum.. Scored against history, America is _the_ revolutionary force of the millennium..

If you can find me a nation with an equivalent living standard, lower cost-of-living, lower taxes, more personal freedom, and more opportunity, I would dearly like to see it. I'm quite upset at the wrong things this country does, but I've not been able to find any place which offers a net material improvement.

Arizona (1)

Gleef (86) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029334)

You know, with Intel backpeddling from their serial number issue, Sun just became the biggest target of the Arizona No Serial Number bill. Sun does the same thing with their UltraSparc that Intel was talking about doing with Pentium III.

Also, Intel is a significant player in Arizona, they have plants and a lot of investments there. Now that they've switched positions, they might just want to push for the bill to pass, give Sun something to squirm over. :-)

Disclaimer: I dislike both Intel and Sun. I consider both of them bloated soulless corporate entities. But it can be fun to watch such corporations squabble :-).

Eesh. Scott's got both ankles down his throat. (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029336)

Posted by Jack_The_Dripper:

It isn't just corporate America that takes away your privacy and not just online. The wonderful state, no quotes but much sarcasm, has been selling 'private' information of its citizens for years. This info includes your address and social security number, among other things. They have only now begun to give you a chance not to have your info from the division of motor vehicles sold to private industry, thanks largely in part to state employees who have let this little tidbit slip to the press.

Privacy my ass....................

emigration (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029337)

Posted by Stephen "The Carp" Carpenter:

While I love the ideas that the US gov
was suposedly founded on, the current
state of affairs sickens me (with regrard to
privacy and a great many other things)

I would love to emigrate to a country where
my rights are protected...all I need is a source
of income there.

Anyone in holland or some other freer country
need a skilled PC Tech who uses know windows
but uses linux? :)

Support for sengan (1)

Paul Crowley (837) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029338)

Slashdot makes no pretence of being an impartial news site; it'd be pretty silly to say it shouldn't be so obviously pro-Linux, for example. Slashdot editors posting stories that took their interest and adding comments on what they think isn't being out of line - it's how the site works.

Sometimes I disagree with what sengan writes, but to say that he shouldn't say it is to miss the point of the way that Slashdot works.

yet more support (1)

pohl (872) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029340)

Neutral-bias is way over-rated. As a media consumer, I shop for bias (though not necessarily one that matches my own) because it makes the product more tasty. If slashdot claimed to be "unbiased" on the label, I would expect it in the content -- but then it would probably be way too dry to read. Biased reporting can be respectable journalism too. Just wear it on your sleeve.

Here's the sad part (1)

DaBuzz (878) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029341)

Sun is part of the Online Privacy Alliance ... well, at least they were.

there is no privacy - mac addresses (1)

soellman (993) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029342)

ethernet addresses are basically the same.


Eesh. Scott's got both ankles down his throat. (1)

Drel (1281) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029343)

Scott McNealy's comment, while true, really wasn't smart. He's (unfairly, I think) going to get a lot of flack for stating the obvious.

It constantly amazes me how little personal privacy we have, even in a strictly legal sense. This is especially true for US citizens.

US citizens need to take our national anthem with a grain of salt; when it comes to privacy issues, the USA is -not- the land of the free. Lately, even your grocery purchases may not remain private (with the advent of "discount cards" at chains like Safeway). After all, when one is saving a great deal of money off artificially marked-up prices, one doesn't think about the wealth of information (modern society's most precious commodity) you are giving that store. Thanks, I'd rather have to remember by myself when next to buy toilet paper if it means keeping some semblance of privacy.

The EU has -vastly- superior personal privacy protections (for some information on this, see this link [www2.echo.lu]), hence the nervousness of people in EU member countries about the US's disgustingly lax privacy protections. We should be putting pressure on our lawmakers here in the US to adopt similar laws and privacy protections.

I really hope people in the US wake up and do something before it's too late, and Big Brother (in the form of your friendly mega-corporation, rather than the government) is rifling through everything you have.

Privacy is a software issue (1)

Erik Corry (2020) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029347)

The processor ID doesn't really add much that cookies didn't already give you. If you care about privacy you need control of your software. And we all know that Open Source is the best way to do that.

Defeatism? Another way? (1)

Jefe (2093) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029349)

A lot of comments here have said 'well, he's right, but that's defeatist'. Maybe. I think it's good to see a public figure come out and say what so many people already know: real privacy is over.

What I haven't seen discussed here is the 'third way': reciprocal transparency. Possibly something McNealy had in mind. One defining feature of the privacy we have now is that there's lots of privacy for corporations, police, spys, etc. But we can design our laws and technology so that there is balance. Here in NYC, there are videocameras dotted throughout town, some police owned, some corporate. If that's fair, then surely there should be cameras for the public observing police precints, and wherever video feeds are being monitored. Same principle applies to data. It's gonna flow, but it shouldn't all flow in one direction.

(For a full discussion, see "The Transparent Society" by David Brin.)

PRESS RELEASE: PR Agencies Under Siege (1)

Effugas (2378) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029351)

(SANTA CLARA, DMK): Recent developments in the Technology Industry have lead to heretofore unprecedented mass suicides among once-hopeful Public Relations representatives. Realizing the stocks they foolishly accepted in place of a living wage were tied to the public acumen of individuals shunned as children, agencies everywhere have had to deal with employees plummeting from the roof--a distinct problem for those attempting to dodge their way into the office, though a definite boon to telecommuting stocks.

Recent events have exacerbated this situation. Vice president Seamus McMahon of First Manhattan Consulting Group admitting the true attitude of modern banking with lines such as "You charge them higher fees because you don't want them -- make them know they're not welcome" and "Raise his ATM, credit card and account fees till he leaves" have actually led to people spontaneously combusting on their way to the roof.

But nothing could have prepared the newly-downsized PR agencies for Sun CEO Scott McNealy's comments regarding consumer privacy. Stating that Consumer Privacy was a "Red Herring", that "You[Americans] have no privacy anyway", and that people should "Get Over It", Scott singlehandedly destroyed over three hundred thousand office walls and cubicles when crazed PR workers began pounding their heads into the nearest hard surface in an attempt to conceptualize existance with such little common sense.

McNealy's company, Sun Microsystems, makes serial-numbered computers that are often used as massive servers that store personal information on every individual in America. Popular Wisdom holds that Sun is considering changing it's slogan to "Have a nice day, sucker.", or "We're the 'Screw' in 'Screw' you."

Once you pull the pin, Mr. Grenade is no longer your friend.

Glad you liked :-) (1)

Effugas (2378) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029352)

Thank you for the single, non repeated Ha. I appreciate your Ha, and hope to provide many Ha's in the future.

Once you pull the pin, Mr. Grenade is no longer your friend.

there is no privacy (1)

furball (2853) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029353)

Gee, I guess hostid doesn't do anything like serial numbers on the proposed Pentium III at all.

Read the US Constition...closer (1)

Prothonotar (3324) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029354)

Amendment IV reads:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

And this has traditionally been used to protect privacy. Also, amendment 9 reads:

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Meaning that just because the Constitution does not explicitly declare a right does not mean that there is no right there.

BTW, I think the Senate really does have nothing better to do. The longer the trial goes on, the less they are mucking up stuff and raising taxes so that they can have more stuff to muck up. =)

Aaron Gaudio
"The fool finds ignorance all around him.

right on (1)

spot (3593) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029356)

scott is right. the reaction to the pentium iii id is bogus. we already have ethernet addresses anyway. give up your silly notions of privacy. if you understand the power of freely copied software, then you should grok that databases will trade information about you and know you. at the same time, the right to be anonymous or to use an alias is fundamental. but so is the right to track someone else to discover their true name if you can.

there is no privacy - hostids (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029358)

That's the difference.

The difference is actually that most sun's hardware is server, not PERSONAL computers. Hence the host-id is shared among dozens of users, thus diluting the privacy loss ...

Yay for scott! Privacy is an illusion (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029359)

I've long believed that privacy is a failing concept and that if we were going to successfully move forward, we'd
need to relax about the whole thing.

I really don't mind being seen naked; but I'm still worried about evil orgs. (say, $cienology) compiling personal data about me.

So your argument sucks.

"Security cameras" in the UK (1)

Julian Morrison (5575) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029361)

In the UK you are being filmed nearly everywhere - but the film is being captured by private individuals and companies, and not being correlated or stored. What we do have left to defend against is what the police forces would love most - networking of the video cameras, and automated broadband face-recognition scans for "known criminals". The tech to do these things is imminent, and is a very significant threat; it is ironic but true that without the option of crime, a society has no freedom either.

Read the US Constition...closely (1)

The Mayor (6048) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029362)

Note that there is no explicit right to privacy granted in the US Constitution. Anything not explicitly protected in the Constitution is fair game--Americans, through an oversight of their Founding Fathers, have already given up any right to privacy.

The closest thing America has to a right to privacy is the "pursuit of happiness", given in the *preamble* to the Constitution. Even though it's not an Article, it has allowed some judgements in the court in favor of privacy. However, for the most part, there is no right to privacy in America. Furthermore, unless the US Congress passes an amendment to the Constitution (not likely), the courts will have absolutely no choice but to rule against privacy in lawsuits.

You'd think the US senators and representatives would have better things to do with their time than spending the better part of half a year debating Clinton's imdescretions, and subsequent cover ups, rather than tackling issues like privacy.

Me? I'm afraid I have a defeatist attitude similar to Scott McNealy's. We don't have any privacy. It's not likely to change, either. My solution? I think emigration is looking better and better. Now, I only wish other countries (any other country...) had as flexible immigration laws as the US.


He's right on one scale (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029363)

It's like trying to legislate against dope, booze, tobacco, swearing in public, porno, whatever. It's only effective if the targeted act is already considered immoral by a huge majority (like murder). Big companies will gather data regardless of legislation. All legislation can do is stop companies selling that data to each other. And until privacy legislation is extended to our friends in government, it really doesn't matter a whole lot.

As usual, the crooks and rich will invent false personas, and have privacy of a sort. The punters will lose.


Yes It's There. (1)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029364)

Quoting the article:

"McNealy made the remarks in response to a
question about what privacy safeguards
Sun (SUNW) would be considering for Jini.
The technology is designed to allow various
consumer devices to communicate and
share processing resources with one
another. "

He is right! (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029365)

Having "something to hide" does not mean
you have done something wrong.
If you have nothing to hide, why don't you
take the door off your apartment?

Read the US Constition... EVEN MORE closely (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029366)

I think you missed "sarcasm" from the Greek,
"to rip flesh"

Immigration laws (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029367)

It isn't easu for Americans to get work in
certain other countries, either! This is not
strictly an American weakness. The fact is,
many of our cities are crowded and polluted.
Most people who immigrate do not go to Utah or
Nebraska (sparsely populated). They want to
go to New York, or Dallas, where it's already
very crowded...
Nobody is going to offer me a job and a permanent
visa in Holland, and if they did, I would have
as many problems trying to emigrate to there, as
you are having trying to come here.
So don't blame America! The immigration policies
are a logical, (yet desperate) response to population growth due largely to the very liberal
immigration policies of the past. We are not xenophobic people, but resources are not getting
more abundant.

Don't forget.... (1)

HP LoveJet (8592) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029370)

The job description of CEOs in corporations the size of Sun doesn't entail doing work as we understand it. They don't create; they don't manage; in most cases they don't even set policy.

What they do have to be very good at is exuding confidence, so that customers and shareholders can see a person of substance at the helm that they can have faith in: in the case of established hardware firms, this means having to be seen as a visionary.

I'm not saying that I think this is right, or even that McNealy does. It's simply a fact that has existed in industry since the interbellum, concurrent with the rise of powerful companies not headed by entrepreneurs. Anyway, the point is that being a visionary means having the occasional strongly held opinion, and the substance of that opinion is (with certain limits) not nearly as important as its effect on the perceptual position of Scott McNealy and Sun.

He probably doesn't mean it, and his words will have been mostly forgotten by next month, except by the people who love to chortle over how Ken Olsen said in 1976 that the notion of a computer in the home was preposterous.

agreed (1)

mushroom blue (8836) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029371)

I usually file AC posts under the "Boot to the head" file, but your's was quite appropriate.

Would I love to live in a utopian society where we didn't need barriers to hide whatever it is that we're ashamed of? of course. is that time in the forseeable future (i.e. my children's or great-grandchildren's)? hell no.

I do have things that I'd like to hide. I'm quite paranoid of certain things. I do despise the police (for the fact that some have actually made up reasons to come to my house in order to search it... they didn't get in tho). I don't want everyone to know everything I do.

the U.S. was founded on rights intended to keep our private lives exactly that. Many other countries have lost many of their similar rights (Nippon being the main one in my mind), and I can't stand listening to people of influence attempt to eliminate what I hold dear.

there is a perfect model of what life is without privacy. they are the borg.

"resistance is futile"

sometimes I hate people... (1)

mushroom blue (8836) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029372)

Why can't people in the public eye just shut the hell up sometimes? some of us actually value the little privacy that we still have!

Would I love to live in a utopian society where we didn't need barriers to hide whatever it is that we're ashamed of? of course. is that time in the forseeable future (i.e. my children's or great-grandchildren's)? hell no.

we aren't ready for anything even remotely related to socialism yet. Karl Marx had a great idea, but it wasn't supposed to be this widespread for centuries. He knew that we weren't ready to be "of one consciousness", so why the hell can't we realize this? We are still primitive creatures. We hide behind our "technology" the same way that the caveman used the "unga, I have wheel, so I'm superior" excuse. as a society, we're only barely closer to utopia than our predecessors. so let's just wait a bit on the whole "break down the barriers of security" thing.

I do have things that I'd like to hide. I'm quite paranoid of certain things. I do despise the police (for the fact that some have actually made up reasons to come to my house in order to search it... they didn't get in tho). I don't want everyone to know everything I do.

the U.S. was founded on rights intended to keep our private lives exactly that. Many other countries have lost many of their similar rights (Nippon being the main one in my mind), and I can't stand listening to people of influence attempt to eliminate what I hold dear.

there is a perfect model of what life is without privacy. they are the borg.

"resistance is futile"

Whatever happened to SWAN? (1)

msouth (10321) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029376)

project to build a Secure WAN with cheap boxes between server and web to encrypt/decrypt transmissions (using "fax effect" to spread itself). did it die?

I have no problem giving up privacy (1)

smileyy (11535) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029378)

I have no problem giving up personal privacy (which I will admit is basically a joke) as long as all corporations are likewise forbidden from keeping any secrets. Free information.

I have no problem giving up privacy (1)

smileyy (11535) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029379)

I have no problem giving up personal privacy (which I will admit is basically a joke) as long as all corporations are likewise forbidden from keeping any secrets. Free information.

Privacy? (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029380)

Information is just one aspect of privacy. Here are the locations [mediaeater.com] of some 2,397 PUBLIC surveylance cameras throughout the streets of Manhatten. I imagine other large cities are not far behind.

Whoo... (1)

Amnesiak (12487) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029382)

I don't know how good of a move that was for him. I'd say usually the people that shell out bucks for Sun stuff are usually pretty concerned about the privacy and security of the data that goes on those systems. I'm not saying that i disagree with him though....

Yay for scott! Privacy is an illusion (1)

wahay (12517) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029383)

I've long believed that privacy is a failing concept and that if we were going to successfully move forward, we'd need to relax about the whole thing.

First off, let's look at our terms: There's a difference between the legal conecpt of privacy and the popular notion of it. The legal definition implies doing what you want without other people interfering in it. If you want to drink too much tonite, then it's nobody else's business. The popular notion involves not allowing 'them' to know what's going on beyond the curtain and what you're doing in bed but ashamed of.

The popular notion of privacy is untenable. 'Set information free' is necessary for us to evolve into a more automated world. It's too easy to collect information on people, because that information is so useful. This type of privacy will continue to disintigrate, either grudgingly or with cheers for what we'll be able to do. One way or another, it's going away.

The result of this is that we need to alter our conception of the legal concept of privacy. It's no longer enough to allow people security through ambiguity. 'They' will find out what you are doing one way or another. We need to start seriously evaluating methods of preventing eachother from interfering with our choices even though they know what we are doing. You should be free to eat a big mac, or drink a beer, or buy a copy of Big'uns without fear of reprisal...not because nobody knows, but because people aren't allowed to care.

If we start looking at these kinds of solutions, people will stop worrying about the strawman argument of 'privacy' and start welcoming the change that comes with freedom of information. People without fear aren't afraid to share about themselves. Some even welcome it (ever see JenniCam? [jennicam.org]

Privacy is dead. Long live privacy.

He's right, but... (1)

joshv (13017) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029384)

Recently saw a 60 minutes episode about personal privacy that really brought home the fact that personal privacy is not a technology issue. CPU ids won't effect the current state of affairs one iota.

The 60 min episode presented a family that had been 'checked up' on by an ex-wife. With the family's permission, 60 minutes tried to see what information they could get on the couple. It was amazing. Telephone calls, credit card purchases, credit reports, medical histories - and according to the sources of this info, not one server was hacked, not one security system breached.

All the information was gotten either via legitimate channels (scary what can be had legally) or by tricking people who have legitimate access to the information into giving it up over the phone.

Some of the people that track down this information actually give courses and seminars on how to cold call employers, banks, HMO, etc, and trick them into devulging personal information.

The reason this can happen is because we have very inneffectual laws. Employers don't think to admonish employees to never, under any circumstances give out any personal information over the phone, no matter how sweet the talker on the other end - because there are no consequences for doing so. There need to be very strict guidlines, and punishment needs to be swift and certain.

Another poster hit it right on the head when he said that yes, we have lost control of our personal information, it is out there, more and more people are tracking it, and more and more people have access to it, there is not much we can do about that - what we can do is make sure that those who do have the information are accountable for what they do with it. We need to make sure that they cannot use this information in such a way that it adversely effects our lives.

Scott's defeatist attitude is correct, in a technological perspective, we do need to get use to the fact that more and more people have access to our personal information - but we should never accept the negative consequences of illegal use of this information.


Hall of records (1)

Xiver (13712) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029387)

Where I live you can also find out the SSN of the person(s) buying the house.

Reality Distortion Zone (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029388)

And there is nothing strange about Sun aiming for the corporate market - the consumer market isn't interested in Sun products anyway.

Isn't that a tautology?

Reality Distortion Zone (1)

phred (14852) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029389)

They always talk about the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Zone. The same holds true for Scott McNealy. "Don't Let Technology Divide Us"! Oh really? In his world you have the choice between the frying pan (Microsoft) and the fire (Sun). I have some respect for Sun and even ran a dandy 3/160 box in the past. But Solaris sets no standards for security and Sun's licensing and support are (being polite here) aimed at the corporate market. Remember the 386i? hahahahah

"You have no privacy" is typical cynicism from CEOworld. Well, privacy is eroding, but it's not like the game is over. It does seem like this raises some fundamental issues, though. If the problem is false speech, is the solution to say, "there's no more truth" or to say, "we need more free speech to help reveal the truth." And of course, one possible road to protecting privacy is better security.

How much has Sun contributed to *that* effort?

Immigration laws (1)

kaisyain (15013) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029390)

I heard (don't know if it's true) that the US admits more immigrants each year than all other "western" countries combined.

Granted, I still think our immigration policy is stupid. How many people living in America today would be here if their ancestors had to deal with similar policies?

The EU is not a TRUE privacy advocate (1)

typo (15376) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029391)

I'm a New Zealander that has recently moved to Denmark. So my view is created from personal experience, not an uderstanding of policy.

Yes the EU has 'privacy' laws and does much to regulate and protect the privacy of individauls FROM COMPANIES. However they do not protect the individual from itself.

Hell no, I am constantly shocked at the invasion of privacy by governments themself over here.

Through the multiple government departments and government run institutions, throughout the multiple countries, the multiple governments are able and DO share information on everything from political viewpoints, religious beliefs to doctor's records and bank balances.

Information is regularly shared interdepartmentally in one land, but it is also shared between countries when the forces that be think it is needed.

I don't care if the supermarket knows my spending patterns, hopefully they can use the information to give better service. I already have taken Scott's advice on that one, 'I have gotten over it'

What was the issue? (1)

layne (15501) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029392)

The report gives no detail as to the context of his reaction. Public remarks made in irritation don't allay one's irritation but hold one up to moralizing . . .like this. It's none of my business should Scott McNealy have a bad day and I won't mistake him for the company line.

true (1)

arafel (15551) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029393)

there can be on-line privacy; there /is/, at the moment, simply because the mass of data is far too much for anyone to correlate, even if the agreements between companies were there.

Funny, I just received this letter from sun: (1)

OpperNerd (16084) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029394)


As a subscriber to the Sun Solutions CD you receive quarterly issues of the
CD. This publication on a CD contains applications, demos and information
from companies who create products for the Sun platforms and technologies.
>From time to time you may be sent additional information from Sun or from
our business partners.

Sun Microsystems respects your desire for privacy. This letter is to notify
you that you can "OPT OUT" from receiving additional information while
still maintaining your subscription to the CD.

Please be assured that information that identifies you personally,
including your email address, that you have provided us is only used by a
secure bonded mailhouse and is never sold or shared with any individual or

If you DO NOT wish to be contacted by Sun or its business
partners, please alert us immediately:

EMAIL sunsolcd@sun.com

MAIL Sun Solutions CD
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
901 San Antonio Road
MPK 18-202
Palo Alto, CA 94303

To update existing subscription information or for general questions,

Email us at

If you have any questions, please refer to the Sun Privacy Policy below: --
or see http://www.sun.com/privacy/

Sun.com Privacy Policy
We at Sun are committed to respecting your privacy and recognize your need
for appropriate protection and management of personally identifiable
information you share with us (any information by which you can be
identified, such as name, address, and telephone number). That is why Sun
has established this privacy policy, so that you can understand the care
with which we intend to treat your information.

In general, you can visit sun.com without telling us who you are or
revealing any personal information about yourself. We track the Internet
address of the domains from which people visit us and analyze this data for
trends and statistics, but the individual user remains anonymous.

Some of our Web pages utilize "cookies" so that we can better serve you
with more tailored information when you return to our site. Cookies are
identifiers which a Web site can send to your browser to keep on your
computer to facilitate your next visit to our site. You can set your
browser to notify you when you are sent a cookie, giving you the chance to
decide whether or not to accept it. The information we collect and analyze
is used to improve our service to you.

To protect your privacy, we have adopted the following principles:


We want to give you information about our privacy policy and assure you
that we take reasonable steps to see that it is followed within our company.


There are times when we may collect personal information from you. It is
our intent to inform you before we do that and to tell you what we intend
to do with the information. You will have the option not to provide the
information, and in the future you will be able to "opt out" of certain
uses of the information. If you choose not to provide the information we
request, you can still visit most of the sun.com Web site, but you may be
unable to access certain options, offers, and services.


We do our best to maintain the accuracy of personal information you supply
to us; we are working on tools that will allow you to review and update
your information in the future.


We will take appropriate steps to protect the information you share with
us from unauthorized access or disclosure.


We are committed to privacy and through our membership in the Online
Privacy Alliance, are actively involved in and support current industry
initiatives to preserve individual privacy rights on the Internet. Personal
data privacy is a new and evolving area, and sun.com is evolving to meet
these demands. Mistakes are possible; miscommunication is possible. If you
have any comments or questions regarding our privacy policy, please contact
us at privacy@sun.com. We will address any issue to the best of our

Thank you for your support of these policies and of Sun Microsystems.

No Subject Given (1)

MB (16106) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029395)

I think the comments in the Wired article are probably completely out of context. I was at an event yesterday in Frankfurt, Germany, where McNealy spoke, and he said something almost identical. His point was, why are you worrying about giving up your data into the hands of ISPs, for example, when you already do things like: give your money to a bank without doing an identity check on the person who has your money, or sending an "unencrypted letter in a paper-thin envelope," and putting it in an unlocked mailbox! The point was, that there are alot of other areas where we don't give a second thought to privacy, and don't have any privacy, so it is riduculous to focus on just one aspect of it.
I am not passing judgement on what he said, I just think that article blew it up out of context.


tenchi (90280) | more than 15 years ago | (#2029396)

I rarely post slashdot comments but I felt I should post one for this one...relating to these quotes, esp Mcnealy;'s being taken out of context. I'm glad others picked up on that fairly early too. I hate this kind of journalism!
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