Error27 (100234) writes "Last month Wikileaks leaked a draft of the Trans Pacific Partnership treaty. Here is Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren's response to the leaked documents. She points out that there several troubling issues with the trade agreement. It locks countries into extremely long copyright terms. It limits fair use. It includes DRM provisions which would make it illegal to unlock your cell phone. These laws come from the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which Americans already rejected." top
Error27 (100234) writes "Edward Snowden has four laptops full of secret data. There is an implied threat that if he gets hit by a bus, the data will be released. Let's assume the laptops hold very sensitive data including SSL private keys and password files. What are the implications from an IT perspective?" top
Error27 writes "Gizmodo has a writeup on the Neuros OSD media center. They encourage hacking and are offering several hacking bounties. It looks pretty awesome except it doesn't have internal storage or wifi. At this point, only 200 beta units are available from Think Geek. More info available at the Neuros wiki."
Most people say Vista is crap but I always figured that's because they were jealous of Bill Gate's billions. It turns out they were right!
Vista is horrible. The UAC dialogues do pop up all the time. You click on about any button and the screen flickers and goes dark except for the UAC dialogue.
The dialogues are stupid too. So far I've only seen the one where if you click on a button and it asks you "Did you just click on a button? Press cancel if this program started automatically." It's every third button that generates this dialogue. This is on a brand new Vaio without anything extra installed.
Vista automatically updates which is good, but then it also automatically reboots your computer when it finishes!
Also when you uninstall the AOL tool bar that makes Vista reboot. It doesn't ask you. It just reboots. You think probably I'm lying, but I'm not.
You know how all windows computers seem to have an expired copy of Norton on them? I always thought that was because idiots downloaded the trial version. I was wrong, they install nine almost expired applications including Norton at the factory.
I recently got to use Excel to do some data entry at a non-profit. Excel 2003 sucks.
1) Only one undo. 2) I accidentally modified a cell and entered something invalid. It wouldn't let me quit until the problem was fixed. I couldn't undo it because of problem #1. I had to hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and revert to the last saved version. 3) You can't put tabs into their own window. I ended up copying stuff into notepad then opening the other tab and copying it there. Twice as much work. 4) The presentation is so easy to screw up and so pointless. For example cut and paste removes the borders and formating. When I first got this document half the little boxes were missing a border and there were mixed up fonts all over.
I could go on. It's just a mess. Basically the message for Microsoft is that, "Hey you guys suck. Not just a little bit, a lot. I mean really really suck."
I get a lot of spam from people claiming to be Washington Mutual Bank. I think the way to stop this kind of spam is through email servers automatically signing things.
Basically each TLD would have a very secret key. When you register your domain name they would sign your public key. Then when you would set up your email server to sign every outgoing email. Your email server would also send a signed copy of its public key with each email.
Then say I recieve your email. My email client would verify that the TLD had signed your public key and that the email had originated from you and that you are Washington-Mutual-Bank.com.
The previous paragraph illustrates a flaw in my plan. You could just register a legit sounding domain name and send spam from that... But overall I think it's a good plan. It wouldn't cure the problem, but it would certainly help.
[I've left out a bunch of implementation details on purpose, but it would be simple enough to implement this.]
There are two problems with software patent. First, they violate First Amendment free speech rights. Second, Free Software programmers have no money to buy them. I think that both of these can be dealt with and that the Free Software Community should embrace software patents.
The issue of violating the first amendment rights is a big issue. Fortunately, with patents covering GPL code would only stop non-free software from being published. Many people in the free software community view non-free software as unethical, and with software patents, it could also be illegal. A second justification is that it's better to oppress your competition than be the victim. The doctrine of preemption applies here. A third justification is that software patents are not morally wrong, it's not like you're doing anything illegal.
The problem of not having money is just a matter of perspective. If you buy a software patent, then you can sue people with it down the line and recoup your investment. There are people who would be willing to buy your patents.
If I remember correctly, it costs around $10K to buy a patent. I would be willing to sell a patent to someone else for $15K. That person could then wait for 5-7 years and then start licensing the patent for non-free software or suing people who refuse to license.
In fact, here is my plan. I'm going to open my software up so that anyone can patent any aspect of it if they pay me $5K. They would have to take care of all the patent paper work and they wouldn't be able to sue anyone over GPL licensed software but otherwise, they'd be free to sue anyone they wanted.
In the coming years, Microsoft will use patents to try slow Free Software development. They will succeed. Fortunately, the Free Software community can fight Microsofts assault by selling patent rights to lawyers.
I've been working on a p2p system on and off for the last couple years.
I think this is the first time I ever mentioned it online and that was over 2 years ago. At the time I was trying to figure out how to have private networks... It turns out the answer is not too difficult.
1) Each network has a password. 2) Take the password and your IP address and hash them. 3) Send the hash to the other people in the network. 4) The other people know the password and they know your IP address. They hash them and compare it with the hash that you sent. If it matches then you are accepted in the network.
Of course, that doesn't deal with the case where your ISP is listenning to your traffic. Your ISP can just test all the words in the dictionary until they get one that leads to the hash you sent. But I can accept that for now, I guess.
Any way... I had hoped to get a text based demo version ready and submit a paper for CodeCon, but I won't be able to make it in time.