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FSF Responds To Microsoft's Privacy and Encryption Announcement

Dan Ost Re:Predictable (174 comments)

How do they know the code they've been given is the actual code used to generate the shipped binaries?

Can those Enterprise partners compile the code they've been given in order to compare the binaries with the binaries that MS ships?

about 4 months ago
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FSF Responds To Microsoft's Privacy and Encryption Announcement

Dan Ost Re:Predictable (174 comments)

I pay my taxes because I benefit from things like roads and schools and fire departments and such.

Do you get zero benefit from the things your taxes pay for?

about 4 months ago
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Linux 3.13 Kernel To Bring Major Feature Improvements

Dan Ost Re:Security fix backports (190 comments)

Some Linux distributors, instead of providing a new kernel that may break old applications or devices, instead backport security fixes to an old kernel.

Why does Linus allow kernel updates that break applications and drivers?

Because he has decided that those updates improve the kernel somehow. That's his job: to improve the kernel.

If some applications get broken when the kernel is improved, it's the application developer's job to fix them.

This is as it should be. Any other model ties the hands of the kernel developers and then they can't do their job.

about 5 months ago
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UK Cryptographers Call For UK and US To Out Weakened Products

Dan Ost Re:Likely outcome (105 comments)

We have to assume everything up to this point is compromised and start pretty much from scratch. Replace AES with TwoFish, re-design all the lower level protocols, increase all key lengths, remove any ability to downgrade security and mercilessly cut off clients that don't upgrade when an issue is found.

I don't think any of that is strictly necessary. Verify the math and inspect the implementations, but there's no need to throw it all away. Some amount of paranoia is justified, but throwing it all away goes too far.

The whole trusted certificate system has to be replaced as well, which is going to be hard.

I agree there are serious issues with the current system, but I am at a loss to come up with what would replace it.

about 7 months ago
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Are the NIST Standard Elliptic Curves Back-doored?

Dan Ost Re:Meta review (366 comments)

Because the designers of the Linux random number generator code designed things such that if RdRand is compromised, it doesn't reduce the strength of the random number generated. However, if it is not compromised, then the randomness is stronger.

Why should we give up a potential benefit if there is no possible harm?

about 7 months ago
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Apple Unveils iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S

Dan Ost Re:A Sensor to unlock with Fingerprint? (773 comments)

But for security purposes using it to unlock your phone or identify you to the device as the current user is pretty sweet

Sure, unless you're wearing gloves, or when you have wrinkled fingers from swiming or bathing, or you have grease on your fingers from eating, or you have a job where you have to wash your hands a lot (doctor, nurse, new parent, etc).

about 7 months ago
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Subversion 1.8 Released But Will You Still Use Git?

Dan Ost Re:GIT sucks on windows (378 comments)

Rebasing is extremely handy when you have multiple branches being developed. Whenever a branch is merged, you rebase the other branches so that the merged feature gets pulled into each branch.

about 10 months ago
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'Smart Gun' Firm Wants You To Fund Its Prototype

Dan Ost Re:I'm looking forward to this development (558 comments)

Then you haven't thought things through.

"Locks" like what is being suggested here is simply another point of failure on a system that is optimized to have as few failure points as possible. No one that knows anything about guns will willingly buy this.

about a year ago
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Microsoft Developer Explains Why Windows Kernel Development Falls Behind

Dan Ost Re:Not sure about this (347 comments)

There are people who get just as much satisfaction out of improving existing code as "feature" programmers get out of creating new features, both in the open source community and working for business.

If you identify the missing 10% and make it visible to those people, unless your process makes contributing painful or your code base is painful to work through, chances are someone will be willing to work on it, especially if they are directly impacted by it.

As an open source project, the best thing you can do to encourage people to help with the code is to make your codebase clean and readable and let people know what the issues are.

about a year ago
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Hanford Nuclear Waste Vitrification Plant "Too Dangerous"

Dan Ost Re:Greed (292 comments)

They do.

France can't turn down their nuclear stations without raising the cost of operation of them. So they have a surplus of night time energy that they have to sell at a loss.

This seems suspicious to me. Can you provide a link that explains this in useful detail?

about a year ago
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Is Bitcoin Mining a Real-World Environmental Problem?

Dan Ost Re:I guess it depends (595 comments)

I think the term you're looking for is "opportunity cost".

1 year,4 days
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Ask Slashdot: Mac To Linux Return Flow?

Dan Ost Re:Windows 7 (965 comments)

I've been a happy user of FVWM for the last decade or so. The man page can be a bit daunting, but once you get a feel for configuring it (assuming you don't like one of the pre-packaged themes), it's kind of fun to mess with it.

about a year ago
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Canonical Announces Mir: A New Display Server Not On X11 Or Wayland

Dan Ost Re:Canonical swirling down to irrelevance. (354 comments)

Gentoo doesn't use systemd (unless you choose to). I think it defaults ot openrc (which may or may not be better, I suppose...works well enough for me).

about a year ago
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Using Technology To Make Guns Safer

Dan Ost Re:Lousy ideas (1013 comments)

And what happens to your children or wife while you're cowering under your bed?

I will not depend on the kindness of someone who has already violated the sanctity of my house to protect the safety of my family.

about a year ago
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JPL Employee's Firing Wasn't Due To Intelligent Design Advocacy, Says Judge

Dan Ost Re:First (477 comments)

When did the lack of religion become a religion?

I think you misunderstand what atheism is.

Complete this sentence: Theism is to Atheism what Religion is to _______?

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: The Search For the Ultimate Engineer's Pen

Dan Ost Re:why ink? (712 comments)

For my pencil needs, I've settled on 0.3mm using 2B lead.

For my pen needs, I've put a fine blue fisher space pen refill in an Embassy Pen and love it. I've used space pen refills in various bodies for years now and absolutely love them.

about a year and a half ago
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Apple CEO Tim Cook Apologizes For Maps App, Recommends Alternatives

Dan Ost Re:Bye Apple (451 comments)

A lot of momentum, sure, but also a lot of inertia...when things start going wrong, it can be hard to change course.

about a year and a half ago
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Debian Changes Default Desktop From GNOME To XFCE

Dan Ost Re:old schuul (328 comments)

FVWM has been my WM for almost a decade, but I'm willing to give these new DE's a try.

about a year and a half ago

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