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Comments

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How Much Data Plan Bandwidth Is Wasted By DRM?

PhilHibbs Re:BENNETT!!! (194 comments)

If you don't have the ability to read, don't ask people to stop writing.

yesterday
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5-Year Suspended Sentence For S. Africa's First Online Pirate

PhilHibbs Re:Go after the people who write the software (45 comments)

There should be no analogies, as comparing software to the real world means you're profoundly ignorant to begin with.

Software is real. It's part of the world. Same as the internet - it isn't a "cyberspace", it's people sitting at keyboards, and servers in real places, with actual cables between. And laws apply to those people, servers, cables, and software. And analogies apply equally well and equally badly between software and the rest of the world as they do between other parts of the rest of the world. Some analogies are useful, some less so. Just because it's "software" doesn't make it, and the processes that produce it, magically immune to logical, ethical, and legal analysis.

about a week ago
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5-Year Suspended Sentence For S. Africa's First Online Pirate

PhilHibbs Re:Bad Summary (45 comments)

The torrent is the movie. It's just heavily compressed, using a compression algorithm that involves a look-up to a different location.

about a week ago
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How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

PhilHibbs Re:Original premise is false (582 comments)

I was probably over-optimistic when I said "finding bugs like this is easy to automate". What this would probably need is runtime access checking turned on, and a test case that has mismatched lengths. The latter would require the tester to implement what I call C4 tests, or "comprehensive corner case coverage".

about a week ago
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How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

PhilHibbs Re:Original premise is false (582 comments)

Not true. Writing code is very hard to automate. Finding bugs like this is easy to automate. In fact, the OpenSSL team specifically turned off all the memory overrun checks on all platforms, because some platforms have performance problems with them. So, the automated checks should have spotted this problem (at run time, rather than compile time, but there are other tools for that), but they were turned off.

about a week ago
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

PhilHibbs Re:And they've already stopped (631 comments)

And, do it with your real login.

Priceless.

about two weeks ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

PhilHibbs Re:Bloody Idiot (588 comments)

I watched that Penn and Teller piece with the glass wall, and although it's entertaining, it's statistically misleading, which is unforgiveable in that context.

They knocked over a single pin and said that that was representative of any potential link with autism. They then went on to throw balls to represent all the different diseases that vaccines protect against. But the "cost" of all vaccines was only counted once. The "benefit" of vaccine protection was counted dozens of times.

The implication is that that one pin being knocked over is the only thing that can happen for all of the vaccines against the diseases that they mentioned. Maybe that is statistically representative, I'd like to know. I am pro-vaccine, but I'm also pro-telling-it-straight, which they did not.

about two weeks ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

PhilHibbs Re:The vessel matters (588 comments)

If taking faith out of the equation, namely the belief that "all deaths are bad", the picture becomes less clear.

Is culling of the herd necessarily a bad thing for humanity in the long perspective?

Faith is not necessary in order to hold all human life to be precious. As an agnositc-almost-atheist (in that you cannot prove a negative) I am actually rather offended at the suggestion.

about two weeks ago
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US Takes Out Gang That Used Zeus Malware To Steal Millions

PhilHibbs Re:US Communist Regime at work (38 comments)

Be as disgusted as you like, but it won't change.

That's what the Romans believed.

about two weeks ago
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Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

PhilHibbs Re:Sloppy code (446 comments)

If some software that is released has problems, people should point it out. If a development process is flawed, people should point it out. If you work in open source software, specifically in security software, you should be prepared for people to criticize both your code and your development and testing safeguards. Maybe billrp could do better. Maybe (unlikely) I could do better. Maybe a hundred people on Slashdot could do better. But do we really want a hundred different open source SSL implementations all written by unknown people? That would not help the situation at all. Maybe all we need is one competing implementation by a different team with different methods, and maybe enough people saying "OpenSSL is not up to the job" might just inspire someone to build that team.

Free and open criticism is vital in security software. Nobody should ever be told to shut up about this kind of thing.

about two weeks ago
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Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

PhilHibbs Re:He's sorry now ... (446 comments)

https://www.openssl.org/source...

If you never agreed to that license, you're violating their copyright.

You're only violating their copyright if you distribute it. If I legally acquire a copy of a piece of software, I can use it without agreeing to any other stipulations. Depending on jurisdiction, of course, different legal systems may rule in different ways on that point. And I'm not sure what the jurisdiction that this guy lives in has said about it.

The GPL has a specific clause pointing this out, and it's there because the authors of the GPL believe that they have no authority to prevent you from using their software. I agree with them. It always amuses me when GPL'd software contains a clickthrough insisting that you press an "Agree" button, when the licence specifically says that no such agreement is necessary.

about two weeks ago
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Judge (Tech) Advice By Results

PhilHibbs Re:Too long, didn't read. (162 comments)

Bennett-bashing seems to be popular round here, but I usually find his articles to be interesting. This one is excellent.

about two weeks ago
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I prefer my peppers ...

PhilHibbs Re:Depends on the dish (285 comments)

Same here. I love sweet peppers, which are pretty much zero on the scale if you remove the seeds, and I certainly use more of those than hot peppers, but I like jalapenos as well, and plenty of finely chopped scotch bonnets in a chilli.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Ships Surface Pro 2 Tablets With Wrong, Slower Processor

PhilHibbs Re:wooo 300mhz Woo (147 comments)

Are you implying that a 23% boost in CPU speed is irrelevant?

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Moving From Tech Support To Development?

PhilHibbs Re: Java (133 comments)

Minecraft runs pretty well.

about 1 month ago
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AWS Urges Devs To Scrub Secret Keys From GitHub

PhilHibbs Re:Opensource and web services keys (109 comments)

Closed source applications that access web services have to ship with a key as well. The only difference is how easy it is to access the key. It's the same issue as DVD players. Eventually someone cracked a key, because the DVD player has to be able to read the key.

about 1 month ago
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Interviews: Ask J. Michael Straczynski What You Will

PhilHibbs Re: Pleeeeeeeease? (276 comments)

I could see that Crusade was going to suck right from the start. It had a Technomage in it.

about a month ago
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Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

PhilHibbs Re:Ridiculous. (914 comments)

My mum watches a lot of real crime documentary programmes, and there was one where the detective (Joe Kenda), on seeing that the obvious culprit had killed himself, said "Well, good for you. You just saved the taxpayer a lot of money." I agree with him. I'm not in favour of capital punishment, but if someone who has committed a heinous crime wants to end their own life, that's fine by me.

about a month ago
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Why Did New Zealand's Moas Go Extinct?

PhilHibbs Re:A new Study? (180 comments)

"Moa had evolved itself into a corner and was going to go extinct anyway"
wow, that a pretty ignorant statement.

I said, there was a credible theory that said that. Turns out it was probably wrong. However, it happens all the time. Pretty much every species that has ever gone extinct has done so because it couldn't adapt to changing circumstances. Some new predator arrives that you can't defend against, some big prey you rely on is out-competed by something that you can't hunt, some volcano goes off and kills off the vegetation that you eat. The longer your lifespan, and the more specialised you are in what you do, the more likely it is that you will go extinct. Evolution is blind and occasionally goes down dead ends. Why is it ignorant to say that? I'm not an evolutionary biologist, but I have a broad scientific education. I may be wrong on a few details but I'm pretty sure that the basic gist is valid.

Also, learn to grammar proper!

about a month ago

Submissions

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UK company creates free energy

PhilHibbs PhilHibbs writes  |  more than 6 years ago

PhilHibbs writes "The Daily Mail and Wired Blog Gadget Lab are reporting on an apparent free-energy device from British company Ecowatts. Scientists are "still not clear about the science involved here, because the physics and chemistry are very different-to everything that has gone before", but independent tests carried out by Jim Lyons at the University of York "were getting 150 to 200 per cent more energy out than we put in, without trying too hard." It "involves passing an electrical current through a mixture of water, potassium carbonate (otherwise known as potash) and a secret liquid catalyst, based on chrome." So, stick that in your pipe and... get hot water out of it, I suppose. Maybe."

Journals

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"Why have you made me a Foe?"

PhilHibbs PhilHibbs writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Because your comments contain something that I object to. Not the content, I'm happy to read your differing opinions, but something in the structure of the comment. Most likely, your comments contain a "sig" that is not removed by the "Disable Sigs" checkbox. If you insist on overriding my preferences and adding a sig to the body of your comments, or you indulge in any other formatting tricks that spoil the slashdot experience, then you are my foe.

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Which? on CD copying (story submission)

PhilHibbs PhilHibbs writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Computing Which?, an entirely independent UK consumer magazine, is running a report on Apple, Sony etc.'s confusing stance on copyright. "Rip, mix, burn", but "The products that we produce ... are licenced to use for material for which [the consumer] holds the copyright". The article advocates the explicit legalisation of personal CD copying. (Can anyone work out what the BPI are saying in the last paragraph?)

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