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Comments

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BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

BitterOak Re:So if I... (362 comments)

...have to VPN in to the work network to deal with switches or to check the status of an outage, I'm automatically assumed to be a pirate? Seems like the BBC is looking to piss off every IT department in the UK.

I'm sure VPNs at your place of work will be exempted from any new legislation. After all, they're never going to pass a law which will inconvenience banks and large corporations. It will be dedicated VPN services that will come under attack.

about a week ago
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Tox, a Skype Replacement Built On 'Privacy First'

BitterOak Re:Key exchange (174 comments)

And how do you exchange key? Do they plan a web of trust à la GPG?

A better approach would be to generate a random session key and each user's client would display some sort of hash (it doesn't need to be really long: 6 or 8 digits would suffice) of that key. Assuming the two parties know each other and recognize each other's voice and/or face, one of them can read the hash to the other. If there's a MITM attack, they won't match. As I said, the hash doesn't need to be long, since one mismatch would indicate trouble.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

BitterOak Re:various card games (382 comments)

maybe you should check out boardgamegeek. catan was a great game in its days, but it has been surpassed

It's been surpassed largely by its own expansion modules. My sister's family just got Explorers & Pirates last Christmas and they've been playing almost non-stop ever since.

about three weeks ago
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Ross Ulbricht Faces New Drug Charges

BitterOak Re:TOR (102 comments)

He also can't disprove any allegations relating to what he's done over the Internet because he's purposefully removed all traces.

He doesn't have to disprove anything. In America it's up to the prosecution to prove that he did what they accused; it's not up to him to prove his innocence.

about three weeks ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

BitterOak Re:Why Java? PASCAL is THE learning language (511 comments)

I really wish the academic world would go back to the actual proper learning languages, such as PASCAL. In my university, the introductory course for programming is C++ (as a freshman.) C++ has little 'English logic.' However, if you know English, you should be able to read PASCAL code much better than C/Java code. PASCAL is closer to pseudocode, which is (usually) the first assignment in these classes. Why would you jump from pseudocode to a 'stricter language' like Java? What does /. think?

If you want a more English-like language more closely tied to pseudo-code than C++ or Java, why not a language like Ruby or Python? At least that way students could learn object oriented programming as well. Pascal really doesn't have a niche anymore. It was a good teaching language in it's day. As a more up-to-date Algol it was a good language for teaching structured programming, but by today's standards, it's structures are not as flexible as they need to be, and classic Pascal is not object oriented. (There may be object-oriented versions of Pascal now, but that's not the original language any more than C++ is C.) Ruby and Python are both very easy to start programming in (one line "Hello World" programs) and scale well to more sophisticated projects. And they both remain very close to pseudo-code type designs at each step of the way.

about three weeks ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

BitterOak Performance improvements have helped it survive. (511 comments)

One of the main reasons Java may be "cooler" today than when it was first introduced is performance.

In the early days of Java, it's VM architecture meant that it was significantly behind fully compiled languages like C/C++ in terms of performance. People were supposed to sacrifice speed for portability. Even for non-speed critical applications, slower languages were thought to be "less cool". Real men used C, and real, real men still coded in assembly language.

But the VM technology in Java has gotten so sophisticated that it isn't significantly behind languages like C/C++ in terms of performance, and that can't be ignored. This is allowing some of the advantages of Java over C/C++ such as garbage collection, dynamic class loading, a certain degree of reflection, various safety systems, etc., to win over some programmers. Java may well be cooler today than it was 10 years ago, because it's really grown up and become a fairly useful language.

about three weeks ago
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For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

BitterOak Re:Okay... and? (316 comments)

RTFA.

-Microsoft develops product in U.S, generating tax credit for R&D.

And paying salaries to U.S. employees who pay income tax on it and spend their money in the US, thereby also paying US sales taxes.

-Microsoft shifts ownership, or "Profit Rights" of product off-shore, to say....The Bahamas.

Which only makes sense, since the US is one of the few countries in the world to tax people's oversea earnings. Only makes sense then that people and companies would move those profits offshore. If tax policies in the US were more reasonable, Microsoft wouldn't have to do that.

-Microsoft Bahamas subsidiary sells U.S developed product to Americans.

On which those Americans pay sales tax.

-Microsoft Bahamas claims all profit. Microsoft America gets all Tax Credits.

But as you said in your first part: the tax credits are for R&D, not for making profits!

about three weeks ago
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For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

BitterOak Re:Okay... and? (316 comments)

without US political and military might, Microsoft wouldn't be nearly as safe doing business abroad as they are now.

i don't know exactly how much they should owe for this service, but it's stupid to say it's nothing.

By your logic everyone in the world should pay taxes to the US for keeping the world a safe place to do business.

about three weeks ago
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For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

BitterOak Re:Okay... and? (316 comments)

because they don't pay tax on it there either.

But shouldn't that be up to the foreign countries where the money is earned? If a country doesn't want to tax earnings in its borders, that's their business. It doesn't mean the US or any other country should have a claim on it.

about three weeks ago
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It's Dumb To Tell Kids They're Smart

BitterOak Re:Definition of Irony (243 comments)

Trying to tell other people they are wrong all the time is a liability. Telling people, "I am smarter than you, so you are wrong" is a liability [...] If you're so smart, you should have figured this out by now.

You literally just did this with your own post. You told the parent he was wrong, and then implied it was because he wasn't smart enough.

WHOOOOSH!

about three weeks ago
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BBC and FACT Shut Down Doctor Who Fansite

BitterOak Re:So much for fair use (186 comments)

Fair Dealing is like fair use, but much more restrictive.

Maybe so, but even under the US Fair Use doctrine, I don't think you can offer full episodes of a TV show without permission of the copyright holder.

about three weeks ago
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Type 225 Words per Minute with a Stenographic Keyboard (Video)

BitterOak Re:Now this is funny. (109 comments)

I'm sure all you're saying is true, but I'm not sure he's marketing solely to court reporters. I think the idea is that it will be a keyboard that anyone who does a lot of typing (secretaries, journalists, writers, coders, etc.) might be interested in using to increase their typing speed, even if they don't reach 225 wpm. Many people would be happy to increase their typing speed from 75 wpm to say 150 wpm.

about a month ago
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Floridian (and Southern) Governmental Regulations Are Unfriendly To Solar Power

BitterOak Re: Translated into English (306 comments)

At the same time, they sure do like the granted right-of-way that allows their grid to exist.

As does the vast majority of the population. Imagine how much your utilities would cost if the utility companies had to pay rent to each property owner that their wires, pipes, cables, etc., crossed.

about a month ago
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Floridian (and Southern) Governmental Regulations Are Unfriendly To Solar Power

BitterOak Re: Translated into English (306 comments)

While that's true for lots of the objections raised, it isn't true for all of them. This, for example:

When Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., installed solar panels a few years ago, for example, the local utility, Dominion Virginia Power, threatened legal action. The utility said that only it could sell electricity in its service area.

Government-created incumbent monopolies seem to be playing their part as well.

The keyword there is sell. They're not objecting to her generating solar power for her own use, they only object to her selling it to others. That's what a monopoly means.

about a month ago
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Justin.tv Shuts Down Amid Reports Google Is Acquiring Twitch

BitterOak Re:Where to go now? Livestream, UStream? (56 comments)

vaughnlive.tv and ivlog.tv are better than either of those. Vaughnlive.tv has an interface most like Justin.tv, while ivlog.tv is more like the now defunct blogtv.

about a month ago
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The FBI Is Infecting Tor Users With Malware With Drive-By Downloads

BitterOak Re:Looks like a fairly simple hack they did. (182 comments)

In a nutshell, they simply had any computer that contacted the web site send back the computer's real IP address and its MAC address. The actual security of the Tor wasn't affected.

Ummm, the whole purpose of Tor is to make it impossible for the web host to determine your real IP address, so if it is so easy to get the browser to send that information back to the server then they've COMPLETELY disabled the security of the Tor network, so I really don't understand your statement that the "security of Tor wasn't affected."

about a month and a half ago
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The FBI Is Infecting Tor Users With Malware With Drive-By Downloads

BitterOak The problem here isn't the FBI. (182 comments)

I know this won't be a popular position here, but the problem here isn't with what the FBI is doing, but rather the fact that they can do it. The problem is with the technology: it just isn't as secure as it's supposed to be. When a hacker finds a vulnerability in a security system, most people on Slashdot say don't blame the hacker, but rather fix the underlying vulnerabilities in the system. Instead of pointing the finger at the FBI for using vulnerabilities in TOR, web browsers, and/or operating systems, we should be glad that they're making this public, so the vulnerabilities can be fixed. After all, if the FBI can do this, so can criminals, governments hostile to free speech, and many other malicious parties. Let's learn from what the FBI is doing and harden the systems, to make legitimate users of Tor and similar services safer.

about a month and a half ago
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Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

BitterOak Clearly you're not Canadian. (502 comments)

The parent post was clearly not written by a Canadian, as any good Canadian knows that Tim Horton's does NOT serve poutine. Otherwise though, your post is spot on.

about a month and a half ago
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Point-of-Sale System Bought On eBay Yields Treasure Trove of Private Data

BitterOak Re:I hope this surprises no one,.. (68 comments)

A restaurant supply reclamation company should surely have the expertise and the responsibility, no?

Responsibility to do what? It's not their data nor their customers data on the stuff they're selling. They're just a buyer and seller of goods. As long as the equipment is not stolen and is in good working order when supplied to their customers they've met their responsibility. I'm not aware they have any responsibility to the former owners or their employees at all. Correct me if I'm wrong, though, I'm not a lawyer.

about 2 months ago
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Point-of-Sale System Bought On eBay Yields Treasure Trove of Private Data

BitterOak Re:I hope this surprises no one,.. (68 comments)

When someone goes out of business and liquidates (is forced to liquidate) their capital assets, they're not going to give a crap about what data might be left on these devices.

And even if they do give a crap, they might not be able to do anything about it. It is not uncommon in bankruptcy or liquidation proceedings for property to be seized immediately in order to prevent the (former) owners from carting off all the valuable goods and hiding them, possibly selling them off at a much later time. Businesses can be locked up and chains put on the doors to prevent the owners from looting the place before their inventory can be assessed. This could very well prevent even a security conscious business from deleting private data from systems before they're taken and sold off.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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DHS reading your Tweets and Facebook postings.

BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  more than 2 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "Apparently, the DHS is reading your Tweets and looking at your Facebook wall. This may seem reasonable if they're trying to prevent a terrorist attack, but apparently, they're more interested in whether or not you are criticizing them!"
Link to Original Source
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Judge affirms students' right to post online pics.

BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  about 3 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "An Indiana judge issued a summary judgment affirming that when public schools punish students for their Facebook pics, they may be violating the First Ammendment.

This case concerns two Indiana teenage girls that posted some pics on Facebook that featured some pornographic candies that were taken at a sleepover (not at school). The judge here questioned the constitutionality of the school district's policy that actions by students in or out of school are punishable if they bring "dishonor" to the school.

The school district indicated it would likely appeal the ruling which enjoins them from punishing the students by barring them from extracurricular activities."

Link to Original Source
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Canadian songwriters propose $10/mo Internet fee.

BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  more than 3 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "According to this story, Canadian songwriters are proposing a $10 fee to be added to monthly ISP bills, giving users a license to download music using peer-to-peer file sharing technologies for free, without fear of reprisal. The money collected would be distributed to members of a Canadian association of songwriters (SOCAN). The story doesn't make clear whether the license would apply only to Canadian music, or how musicians in other nations would be compensated otherwise."
Link to Original Source
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Public employee to face hearing over personal blog

BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  more than 3 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "In another attack on online freedom of speech, Michigan deputy attorney general Andrew Shirvell is facing a disciplinary hearing over a personal blog he created on personal time using personal resources. In the blog (which unfortunately seems now to be invitation only) he is critical of University of Michigan student body president Chris Armstrong for a variety of peculiar reasons including "promoting a homosexual lifestyle". Although rather childish, his blog is not related in any way to his job with the state, and in fact, he doesn't mention his employer anywhere on his blog. Should civil servants give up their First Amendment rights as a condition of employment?"
Link to Original Source
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Criminal libel charges laid for criticizing police

BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  more than 3 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "A Calgary man is facing criminal charges of libel for criticizing police. According to the story the RCMP have filed five charges against John Kelly for claiming on his website that Calgary police officers engaged in perjury, corruption, and obstruction of justice. What makes the story unusual is that the charges are criminal and not civil. Even in Canada, which has much less free speech protection than the United States, it is extremely rare for people to be charged criminally with libel. It is almost always matter for civil courts."
Link to Original Source
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BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  more than 7 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "Four high school students were arrested in Toronto Friday, charged with assaulting police and obstruction, during a protest over the suspension of students for posting derogatory comments about the vice principal on their private Facebook pages. 60 students showed up for the protest, and only four were charged with any wrong doing. This story raises interesting questions. I'm sure no one condones disorderly conduct at a protest, but should public schools have the right to suspend students over online speech? The article doesn't make it clear whether or not the student used school computers to post the comments."

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