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Feds Say NSA "Bogeyman" Did Not Find Silk Road's Servers

Kr3m3Puff Re: Or so they say... (142 comments)

The examples from the wiki describe situations where the initial source was legal, but protected. E.g., placing a sting in the path of a suspect on the word of a protected informant, then omiting the reason for their 'luck' in finding the suspect. Or e.g., withholding NSA wiretaps from DEA until the citizen or geography of the source is determined to be foreign (unethical, but not illegal).

Yes, but in this case, mass analysis of Tor traffic by the NSA could have thrown up a suggestion to the FBI "if you want to find the real source of the servers, all you need to do is exploit the CAPTCHA servers". The activities of the NSA don't have to be illegal for the FBI to obfuscate how they got to the final result. I doubt the FBI spent load of time just hacking around. The Government started with the problem "how do we reveal the true source of the Tor anonymized traffic" and fitted the solution to identifying it to some fully legal and totally unnefarious. It is in the Government's best interest to make criminals think they are incompetent.

about two weeks ago
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HTTP 2.0 Will Be a Binary Protocol

Kr3m3Puff Re: Makes sense (566 comments)

Yeah, let's hinder the 99.999% scenario for the benefit of the 0.001% one.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: 2nd Spoken/Written Language For Software Developer?

Kr3m3Puff No practical value... (514 comments)

Personally, if you aren't going to work outside the US, there is no practical value for a programmer, because it would greatly narrow down any other market.

Programming is like Air Traffic Control, for good or bad, everything is in English.

I have spent half my career outside the US (albiet mostly in English speaking countries) and from a development perspective, English is not optional. 99% of documentation is in English. Mastering another programming language would be more practical than another written/spoken language if you are only going to live in the US.

All that being said, the only large scale technical documentation I have seen being regularly translated into another language is Japanese. And increasingly Russian developers, amongst themselves, keep it in Russian.

about 2 years ago
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Adam Lanza Destroyed His Computer Before Rampage

Kr3m3Puff Re:100 more will die today (1719 comments)

Crime has been falling steadily as gun sales have increased steadily. So apparently encouraging more gun ownership has a positive impact on crime. Doing nothing seems like a perfectly valid course of action in the face of the steady fall in crime rates.

Well illegal immigrants in the US have been rising steadily as crime has been falling. Maybe we need more illegal immigrants then? Or maybe it was because of Roe v. Wade and abortion is driving down crime rates?

Correlation is not causation.

about 2 years ago
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UK Bill Again Demands Web Pornography Ban

Kr3m3Puff Private Members Bills... (230 comments)

... especially in the House of Lords mean nothing. They are individual bills introduced by members to usually provoke conversation versus any real intention of becoming law. They get debated and discussed and almost always get struck down. It is a customary process that allows the UK to consider and discuss things that would not be discussed by normal routes. So even mentioning (and mis-characterising it) is just to just sensationalise something that shouldn't be. The fact that the UK Government is actually considering unwarranted surveillance of the Internet in the UK is far more "dangerous" because of the way they are introducing it, via the Queen's Speech, which means it is setting out what the Government supports and actually plans to do over the next 12 months. Usually what is in the Queen's Speech gets banged into Law one way or another.

more than 2 years ago
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US Congressmen: Facebook Evading Privacy Questions

Kr3m3Puff Re:Google Analytics (109 comments)

I thought you were being just paranoid and delusional, but I took a look at his post... All of them are:
  * Google is evil (with a minor in Bing isn't)
  * Linux UI stinks (imply MS is good)
  * Right holders RULE!

I hope he got good money for his soul.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Transitioning From Developer To Executive?

Kr3m3Puff Been There, Done That... (229 comments)

First off, while I don't know exactly your situation, it does seem that you aren't going to be moving as far away as you might have thought. I have gone from "developer" to "architect" over the first 15 years of my career and now I have moved onto what is clearly senior management, but I am part of a large organisation which means that I still am not that close to the top. I would be considered a CTO of a medium sized company though. I have full P&L responsibility for more than one area and am responsible for about 150 people and about £10 million in budget per annum, 1/2 of that being hardware/software. I have been doing the management role for about 2 years now and I can say, for me, I won't go back.

I think my people, mostly, don't think of me as PHB. That is in part by remembering your roots, but more than not it is building up trust that you are going to lead them the right direction and having proper "adult" conversations about risks and issues. As others have said, micro-management, especially in the West, is horrible. You have to delegate and trust your team, no matter how tough that can be at times. Respecting their professionalism, much as you would have expected in their place, is necessary. Do not shy away from tough conversations though. It is much better to be up front about issues and direct than it is to avoid the subject hoping that it just will take care of itself. I have seen many "good" people turned into "bad" because there was a minor issue that festered until it wasn't recoverable anymore.

As far as the Technology, ask a lot of questions. Having a good inbuilt "bullshit" detector is a must for effective Technology management. Don't know every detail, but know when people don't know what they are talking about.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How To Deal With GPL Violations?

Kr3m3Puff Open Source and Free Software... (151 comments)

There is a subtle distinction (not so subtle if you ask rms) in that GPL is a free software license. It is persistent and code released under the GPL is specifically designed to keep it free forever. Commercial organisation (which aren't necessarily evil) have to do a lot of work in order to not run afoul. The OP is suggesting in other points in the thread that he suspects Code Sourcery might have accepted code contributions into the optimised code set. You would have to look at what sort of contribution license and under what guise those code contributions where made, not how those code contributions were released.

That is why, for commercial companies, or even other organisations that want to have an open community, in my opinion need to choose a more commercially friendly license, like the BSD modified license. It doesn't force the "morality" of free software on you like the GPL does. It allows commercial entities to incorporate code in derivative products, but encourages them to contribute back to the original project, instead of feeling "infected" with the GPL. In my opinion, the BSD modified is more free than the "freedom" of the GPL.

more than 2 years ago
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Global Mall Operator Starts Reading License Plates

Kr3m3Puff Not News, Welcome to the UK 2001 (301 comments)

Number plate reading cameras in public car parks have been around in the UK for a number of years and the government hands for even longer. Any time spent in London your vehicle will be scanned both publicly and privately. A visit to almost any airport in the UK will result in that and Heathrow Airport has had the "find my car" stuff for quite a while.

If it is a slippery slope, it is one that is already been in the wild for a long long time. Time to go tilt at some other windmills.

about 3 years ago
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Online Social Security Statement In Limbo

Kr3m3Puff Re:SSA and Web sites don't mix (160 comments)

I remember the first one I got of it... It politely informed me that I a) had fully qualified based on all my contributions over the years and b) the year I was set to be eligible to retire, they would run out of money, but Congress was working on a way to address this, so I shouldn't worry.

I don't think they even read their own forms. *sigh*

more than 3 years ago
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My last airplane flight ...

Kr3m3Puff Landing early... (264 comments)

These days, I think the airlines hedge their bets way too much. I have had short haul flights arrive 15 minutes early. How can that be?

more than 3 years ago
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Cheap GPUs Rendering Strong Passwords Useless

Kr3m3Puff Re:What about salting? (615 comments)

mod parent up... Exactly PBKDF2 combines all the current best practices into something that is difficult for CPU or GPUs to deal with.

An attacker would need access to the hashes, then they would need access to the salt (even if the salt is insecurely stored, it should be kept separate from the hashes, though some idiots do put the salt in the same data store as the hashes) and then they need to determine how many iterations to run (again, usually requires source code level access) and then needs to wait a few decades for most "insecure" passwords and a few centuries for any moderate passwords.

Now in 20 years, that maybe irrelevant, but for now, implementing PBKDF2 would make it very difficult for a long time to come to recover passwords.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple's App Store Accepts 'Gay Cure' App

Kr3m3Puff Re:Amazing. (794 comments)

I just wanted to say thank you. I wish the rest of the world thought like you did.

more than 3 years ago
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If App Store's Trademark Is Generic, So Is Windows'

Kr3m3Puff Re:Generic Trademarks (356 comments)

This reminded me of my good ole days in tech support (actually Apple). A customer called in with a problem and I said "ok, we need to start by closing all your windows" followed with an "OK" and the sound of the phone being set down. As I sat there in silence for a minute or two, he came back and said "OK, I closed them all now". I then said "I did mean all the windows open on your computer" followed with the response of "Ooooooooh, sorry."

True, if someone walked up to me in the street and said "Windows", I wouldn't know if they were talking about a computer or the large glass thing I was standing next to, or my eyes, being the window to my soul and all.

more than 3 years ago
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Is Setting Up an Offshore IT Help Desk Ethical?

Kr3m3Puff Re:Nonsensical... (826 comments)

You are the Devil.

Hmmmm... I thought you were going to spout about relativism there for a second, and then you trounce with a statement that seems to be rather pointless.

Contrary to your assertion that we change to the system, very few systems ever changed from those who did not participate in it. Almost all have changed from within. Even the Nazi's weren't defeated by foreign forces, at the end of the day, the system collapsed from the inside. Being outside the system is generally pointless, while you can warm yourself by the fire of your own ethics.

Also, I didn't comment on the "ethics" of his decision. Many people choose not to participate because of their "ethics" but really that is the lazy way out. It is the most effective way to accomplish nothing.

more than 3 years ago
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Is Setting Up an Offshore IT Help Desk Ethical?

Kr3m3Puff Nonsensical... (826 comments)

I think the gentleman made a bad decision. Either we adapt or fail.

On the other hand, I happen to be a senior IT manager in a company, where I know personally in my department we will be replacing about 30 jobs over the next 12 months that had been outsourced with direct employees of the company. We are learning that it doesn't give us the quality or the flexibility that we were really looking for. In addition, our customers services is going through a process of insourcing large parts of its contact centre, because at the end of the day, direct employees have a greater stake in the satisfaction of the customer and we manage our people better than our partners.

But eliminating yourself from the mix ensures that your views and thoughts will never be heard. If you really wanted to change things, you would jump in with both feet and see where it goes.

more than 3 years ago
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Your Face Will Soon Be In Facebook Ads

Kr3m3Puff RTFA... (344 comments)

If you read the article, this isn't any different then what you see in your news feed, when one of your friends checks in, it is just that Starbuck's is paying for it to appear in the "Sponsored" section as well... They aren't doing anything you haven't already done, other then putting it in a more visible place. And this just isn't Starbucks, it is whomever decides that they want to sponsor something you are already posting on Facebook.

People do really need to get a life...

more than 3 years ago
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The Continued Censorship of Huckleberry Finn

Kr3m3Puff Talk about a one sided article... (1073 comments)

There isn't even an air of unbiased or objective statements. Editing it is, censorship it isn't. In today's society, it is true the words can get in the way of teaching a potentially important book. Words like "injun" and "nigger", especially with young people could totally distract from the larger issue and with the sensitivity schools do have (irrespective of individual teachers) around, good teachers might not take up the book for fear.

I see this as a tool to make a decent and important book be able to be taught in classes. Not some sort of "whitewashing" of history. The book is in the public domain, people will always be free to access the original work and I would think that Mark Twain would be happy, given today's society, of allowing the edits.

more than 3 years ago
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SCO Assets Going To October Auction

Kr3m3Puff Re:First bid! (217 comments)

Unicorn manure is GREAT for growing sweet & sour corn.

Only on /. does this get flagged as "Informative".

about 4 years ago
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Alternatives To Paypal's Virtual Credit Card Service?

Kr3m3Puff Re:A regular bank account? (242 comments)

As far as I know that is pretty much a US-only phenomenon. At least in most of Europe, the notion of "positive credit history" is all but unknown, when applying for a loan it doesn't matter if you've ever had a credit card unless you've failed to pay up. In many European countries many people don't have credit cards at all.

The UK has been starting to introduce a "credit rating" system (thanks to the same companies in the US flogging their wares over here). It isn't as rigorous or specific as the US one and simply rates the risk. It tends to be some financial activity is good (no matter what type) but late payments or defaulted debt is bad. A lot of it has to do with a verifiable history. When I first moved over here from the US, I had a really hard time because I didn't have a previous address. Once I moved about a year in, and had a previous address in the UK, everything got substantially easier. Youth (I think 25) get a high risk rating no matter what.

In the UK they are card happy (whether it be Debit or Credit) and has moved more and more to a cashless and chequeless society, but I had to remind my partner, who is a Brit, that on our recent holiday to Germany, we needed to carry cash with us and pay for things in cash, because lots and lots of places don't take credit cards and in fact, we found places that do take a card, only take one type of Debit card. Not fun if you aren't prepared.

more than 4 years ago

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Cool but Useless Technology

Kr3m3Puff Kr3m3Puff writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I am writing to you from the browser on my Sony Clie. I am connected via my 802.11b hub. Isn't technology great?

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Kr3m3Puff Kr3m3Puff writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I am frustrated at what will ultimately become a political game of "find the scape goat." Once I heard that the information about Nigeria in the President's State of the Union Address was phoney, I knew, as a friend of mine would say, was going to get the "big cannolli."

Basically with Condoleeeeeezzzzzza Rice saying "well, the CIA said it was ok" basically says, "I have no responsability to do my job." Come'on, I have read tons of Tom Clancey. I know that the NSA kicks-butt and takes names and knows shit and doesn't go around blaming other people. Where is Jack Ryan when you need him?

The administration used(abused) their authority and said "We want an excuse with Iraq, find us something" and then put on blinders when the information that arrived wasn't 100% accurate. They wanted a war, and they are more ignorant than I thought if they think someone wouldn't find out about it.

Question is, will it be swept under the rug, or will the American People stand up and make our leaders accountable for their actions?

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