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Aaron Swartz and MIT: The Inside Story

Mathinker Re:Schwartz was a massive asshole. (106 comments)

Whatever. It's actually refreshing to see fanboism for something like JSTOR. Since I got distracted, I suppose this thread is dead anyhow...

about two weeks ago
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Aaron Swartz and MIT: The Inside Story

Mathinker Re:Schwartz was a massive asshole. (106 comments)

> One factor that made Aaron Swartz's behavior so reprehensible was that he _kept doing it_, apparently at full capacity,
> despite the obvious consequences to JSTOR and to MIT.

If you read JSTOR's own account, available on their website, Swartz continued to download between September and January, but without them noticing it. Somehow that makes me believe that he modified his behavior (including throttled bandwidth) so that only a new kind of analysis on JSTOR's part (probably statistical) gave him away.

> But I do believe that was already planned when Aaron got caught.

Obviously I cannot refute this, nor can you back this up with hard evidence.

> JSTOR is a library service, a non-profit. They'll do what they can _afford_ to do to make the information available.

They continued to pursue Swartz in January not because his downloading was costing them too much money, but because they feared that what he would do with the documents would cost them their goodwill with their upstream publishing partners. They could well have been correct (no one can know exactly what Swartz's long-term plans were). It seems pretty obvious to me that JSTOR, albeit a non-profit, was also an ossified bureaucracy, and whatever changes have happened since the incident are due to their management suddenly understanding that the way things "worked" ten years ago was no longer exactly what their users (or society) expected now (e.g., when they were founded, 99.9% of anyone looking for academic papers through the net were anyway academics/geeks --- now, I expect that a good segment of the general browsing population is also interested).

about three weeks ago
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Aaron Swartz and MIT: The Inside Story

Mathinker Re:Schwartz was a massive asshole. (106 comments)

> If you persist in this belief that committing a DDOS or other disabling attacks is OK

Judging from your Slashdot ID, both you, and I, then, have participated in many actions which you seem to consider DDoS attacks --- namely, Slashdottings. I wonder if you'd be OK, then, that you should be charged with felonies for each and every one of those actions? Oh, I forgot --- you don't have to worry --- you're not someone who has a public presence so that convicting you could be politically worthwhile.

As for JSTOR, I find it telling that somehow, suddenly, they decided that it wouldn't ruin their business model if they made access free to the 6% of their database which anyway was in the public domain. They're not Elsevier, for sure, but it sure seems that Swartz did accomplish forcing JSTOR to reconsider what might be better for society, yet still OK to enable their non-profit business to continue running.

about three weeks ago
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Technocrat James Schlesinger Is Dead At 85

Mathinker Nobel != technocatic (33 comments)

Steven Chu was just recently in that post, and he is a Nobel laureate. Could this mean that "technocratic" has nothing to do with anything (except, possibly, someone on the net trying to get more page views)?

about three weeks ago
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Florida Judge Rules IP Address Can't Identify a BitTorrent Pirate

Mathinker Re:GeoLocation is not evidence (158 comments)

This depends, they might have some kind of contract with local government which obligates them to provide service. In that case not servicing prime numbered addresses would probably not be a crime, but would be actionable in a civil suit.

about three weeks ago
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Florida Judge Rules IP Address Can't Identify a BitTorrent Pirate

Mathinker Re:GeoLocation is not evidence (158 comments)

> because they don't need to 'justify it'.

This isn't exact true, all hell would break loose if they decided they "just" didn't want customers with Latino family names, for example...

about a month ago
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Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework

Mathinker Re:Do you know how to teach your chidren ? (278 comments)

> Those who wrote math text and teach math are not math experts. They are teaching experts. Their math may not be right.

This makes no sense to me. Please explain. Do you actually believe it's better to more skillfully teach wrong facts compared to less skillfully teach correct facts? Or were you talking about things like, we would only confuse second graders with negative numbers, so when teaching them, we'll just implicitly assume that negative numbers don't exist.

about a month ago
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Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework

Mathinker Re:I'm gonna go and call BS (278 comments)

> At primary school we didn't even have a library

Holy shit. That has to be the only room in my primary school which I still remember --- and I can't begin to think about how much I learned from books I found there (including one on introductory electronics with explanations of resistors, capacitors and inductors!). I'm not sure, however, if the copy of Asimov's "Realm of Algebra" which really kickstarted my math knowledge came from that library or the public library, though...

about a month ago
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Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework

Mathinker Re: Confused Parents (278 comments)

I think he meant it with regards to wisnoskij's post --- as in it would be completely retarded to mark as wrong a student who prefered, for example, the OLIF method, even though said student always got the correct answer using his method.

Personally, I had never heard of "foil" as being any kind of theorem whatsoever in math, BTW. Did I miss something? I can see that other kinds of theorems apply to prove that it gives the correct answer, though...

about a month ago
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Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework

Mathinker Re:Confused Parents (278 comments)

OK, being pedantic about syntax I can understand, a necessary tool for acquiring knowledge is an ability to learn and use a shared language of concepts for the purpose of communication.

But being pedantic about methods? This just seems to be a symptom reflecting the failings of the education system. I can see only two justifications for this: either the teacher has such a limited grasp of the material that they cannot understand any deviation from the "method" (or the same thing in a different "dimension", possibly they feel they have a lack of authority and cannot allow students any freedom for fear of losing the minimum amount of control necessary to do their job), or it is to give the message (either implicitly or explicitly) to the student that the purpose of the education system is indoctrination, rather than the inculcation of knowledge and the tools necessary for self-education.

I am just thankful that I didn't have your math teachers, while growing up... although I do remember having to explain, to one of my teachers, my personal method of long multiplication which minimized and postponed the necessity for remembering carries until the final summation step, by doubling the number of rows before that step.

about a month ago
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NSA and GHCQ Employing Shills To Poison Web Forum Discourse

Mathinker Re:I wonder (347 comments)

US and UK government agencies... ripping? Impossible, we all know they're in the pocket of the copyright maximalists...

about 2 months ago
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Copyright Ruling On Publishing Calculated Results: Common Sense Breaks Out

Mathinker Re:Average (54 comments)

I smell comments about a certain-greek-letter distribution... lurking...

about 2 months ago
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CERN Wants a New Particle Collider Three Times Larger Than the LHC

Mathinker Re:LHC didn't destroy the Unvierse? (238 comments)

Thanks for the link. The page source is hilarious, looks like the "great lazer eyed bunny" is a much bigger threat!

about 2 months ago
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CowboyNeal Locked In Basement For Opposing Slashdot Beta

Mathinker Re:AltSlashdot is coming (23 comments)

I think you wanted to reply to the GP, hey, I'm just "tech support"...

about 2 months ago
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New Zealand Spy Agency Deleted Evidence About Its Illegal Spying On Kim Dotcom

Mathinker Re:All gone (222 comments)

And when this happens "on a computer", it should be considered to be the same as physical destruction? I'm all for not making new law for "on a computer", but, well, I don't think that's a good idea (since in many cases the computer user is not the only one controlling his computer --- segue to NSA from GCSB).

about 2 months ago
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New Zealand Spy Agency Deleted Evidence About Its Illegal Spying On Kim Dotcom

Mathinker Re:Fuck Beta! (222 comments)

I looked at it when Technocrat closed down, but it was/got, well, too weird even for me... Even Technocrat was a bit ingrown, kuro5hin was too much like that.

OTOH, it's been a looooong while. Maybe I should give it a second look.

about 2 months ago
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CowboyNeal Locked In Basement For Opposing Slashdot Beta

Mathinker Re:AltSlashdot is coming (23 comments)

> So, how do we copy over all of the users and their howevermanydigits user IDs?

This could be enabled by having interested Slashdotters post SHA1 hashes of long (>= 20 char) strings of their choice in their profile Bio (assuming beta still has that function) and then prompting for the original strings upon registration to the new site. Even non-technical readers could be guided to use any of the many online SHA1 hash generators (of course, that being not very secure --- or, the new site could just offer up a client-side web page to compute the hashes).

about 2 months ago
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Fire Destroys Iron Mountain Data Warehouse, Argentina's Bank Records Lost

Mathinker Re:Classic Slashdot (463 comments)

> Am I just missing something, or is that feature unavailable in beta?

I couldn't even figure out how to get a permalink to a comment... ugh.

about 2 months ago
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Fire Destroys Iron Mountain Data Warehouse, Argentina's Bank Records Lost

Mathinker Re:I will leave (463 comments)

> I would prefer that firefox shows the "302 Found" webpage instead of redirecting me, always, even for non slashdot pages.

There are multiple extensions for that, IIRC.

about 2 months ago
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Fire Destroys Iron Mountain Data Warehouse, Argentina's Bank Records Lost

Mathinker Re:Classic Slashdot (463 comments)

Mad Scientist's Club FTW!

Wow, this stuff got republished in 2001-2002? I loved reading it when I was a kid, but can't imagine enjoying it that much if I read it now, nor that my own children would be at all interested. Some things just have to be experienced at the right age and in the right context, I think.

Well, well, maybe this comment does have something to do with the new beta (omega?) design, after all...

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Intrusion at Fedora infrastructure, no damage done

Mathinker Mathinker writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Mathinker (909784) writes "From www.h-online.com :

The Fedora Project has confirmed that there was an intrusion into its infrastructure on the 22nd, but investigations have shown "no impact on product integrity".

The mailing list announcement (Coral Cache URL) makes one think it wasn't a very professional job, the first action which was taken by the intruder set off an email notification."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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I am NOT anonymous

Mathinker Mathinker writes  |  more than 2 years ago

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2319574&cid=36745572

% echo -n "I am Mathinker, my salt is UAeqTvlu" | md5sum
efb98ed34ba58ecd29b07b1909d21da3 -

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No, I'm not mathinker@twitter, either

Mathinker Mathinker writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I actually use the moniker "mathinker" in very few places.

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2008: Linux privilege escalation bugs

Mathinker Mathinker writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Just want to store this research somewhere where I can link to it easily. (Original post).

If one analyzes the 10 Linux privilege escalation bugs reported for 2008 at Secunia one finds:

Of those, 5 were in proprietary software packages for Linux: Acrobat Reader, MaxDB, Avaya, SSH Tectia Client, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Not interesting for ordinary desktop users.

Of the other 5, 1 was in KDE, so that wouldn't affect 100% of Linux users, let's be generous (the most popular free distros use Gnome) and say that's 50% of users.

Of the other 4, 1 seems to work on general Linux systems (sys_remap_file_pages() bug).

Of the other 3, 1 requires the USBLCD driver to be used or only gives group privilege escalation, 1 requires Intel G33 series or newer chipset, and 1 requires that the kernel is running as VMI guest on a x86 system. How many boxes does that cover? Not many, except perhaps for the Intel chipsets --- let's say another 50% (because I have no idea what market share Intel has).

So that's something like 2, maybe 2.5 bugs in all of 2008. Is that "many"? Matter of opinion.

So, in summary, between 10% and 25% of the reported bugs were really mainstream.

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Mathinker Mathinker writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Just in case you wondered.

I'm not studying to be a CFA either... nor am I mathinker@rareaviation.com

In fact, if a "mathinker" is trying to sell or buy from you, it's not me...

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