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Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

Wootery Re:Whatever you may think ... (445 comments)

I thought it was an unchecked memcpy that was at fault, but you're not the only one I've seen mention memory-management weirdness. Would using ordinary malloc/free have prevented this?

about a week ago
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Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

Wootery Re:Whatever you may think ... (445 comments)

"Well shit, fuck me for trying. If you think you can do better - please do."

I, for one, would welcome new safe-programming-language-using overlords.

Apparently crypto in Ada need not be any slower than crypto in C. The programming language is just one piece of the puzzle of course (it wouldn't fix the lack of serious code scrutiny), but it would be a much more appropriate choice than C.

(I don't mean to trivialise the OpenSSL project, but if a safer alternative did exist, I'd be all for it.)

I'm surprised I haven't yet heard whether today's static-analysis/dynamic-analysis tools would have caught the Heartbleed bug.

about a week ago
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Google Chrome Flaw Sets Your PC's Mic Live

Wootery Re:How conveeeenient! (152 comments)

What the NSA does with itself in the privacy of the its comically failed oversight process, is its own business.

about a week ago
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OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

Wootery Re:Are people not allowed to have opinions? (1482 comments)

No matter what he believes, he can be tolerant of what you believe in.

Let's be clear here, as you appear to have forgotten the significance of his actions: the man donated money to try to deny gays their equal rights. That's what a thousand dollars against gay marriage actually signifies. 'He can still be tolerant' doesn't even enter the equation - we know for a fact he is not!

Let's imagine a brief conversation:

Gay man: I hope to marry my long-term boyfriend just as soon as it's legal. We can hardly wait.

Eich: Yeah? I really hope the government continues to deny you two the right to marry.

Gay man: Oh, but you respect what we believe in, right?

Eich: Yeah, sure, I just advocate a law which doesn't.

...

No, Eich is not 'tolerant of what others believe'. Whether a gay couple wish to get married does not affect him in the slightest, yet he wants government policy to forbid them from doing so.

It is not a 'bigoted opinion' or 'bigoted cause' because no matter what he believes in he can be willing to tolerate your difference of opinion.

No. Not in any even vaguely meaningful sense. If neither personal belief nor personal action can qualify one as a bigot, what on Earth can? This is surely exactly analogous to saying a man who donates money to revoke the ability for black people to get married isn't necessarily a racist, no?

Being tolerant to the intolerant may be the harder path, but it is the path to a civil society.

Ah, the Paradox of Tolerance. (Which only applies if you concede that Eich is intolerant.) I agree on some level - where do we draw the line between an unusual opinion and one which ought to be punished? - but I'll shed no tears for Eich, and I would have no problem with, say, a neo-Nazi being passed-over for CEO.

about two weeks ago
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Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?

Wootery Re:Where do you draw the line? (645 comments)

Wootery says with a hint of disdain.

Wootery can see it comes off that way, but 'planned obsolescence' really is the correct term.

I hoped Depending on how you look at it would clarify that I'm not set against payware closed-source software.

their free email goes down for an hour

GMail (and co) isn't free. You pay in privacy for directed-advertising, rather than money, and as Eben Moglen has persuasively argued, the price of privacy should not be treated as transactional, but rather as ecological: Google now knows not only intimate details about you, but also about everyone with whom you communicate via email.

about two weeks ago
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Elite Violinists Can't Distinguish Between a Stradivarius and a Modern Violin

Wootery Re:Moo (469 comments)

They even trump holistic healers and political/religious leaders/zealots.

I don't think that's necessary the same crowd as the audiophiles and wine-tasters...

(Granted it's a similar form of bullshit: the kind which, in a happier alternate universe, is illegal by means of false-advertising law.)

about two weeks ago
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Why There Are So Few ISP Start-Ups In the U.S.

Wootery Re:Different views on a free market (223 comments)

This seems the right way to run things: require that innovation go through the 'proper route' of becoming an industry standard.

about two weeks ago
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Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

Wootery Re:software (169 comments)

This depends on just how far we run with just for the sake of it.

They both have perfect/near-perfect X11 backward compatibility. Not quite the same as demanding that all that business-critical COBOL be rewritten in Scala.

(Apparently Ubuntu had hopes to phase out the X11 compatibility, though.)

about two weeks ago
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Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?

Wootery Re:Complete access and indefinite support for free (645 comments)

Proprietary software can be done right, with minimal effort to support it for decades.

(Emphasis mine)

Citation needed. Even if the software is near-perfect, you'll still need to have people on-staff who are familiar with the decades-old software. This alone surely makes it non-easy.

about two weeks ago
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Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?

Wootery Re:Where do you draw the line? (645 comments)

Not to mention it opposes Microsoft's business-model of planned obsolescence.

Depending on how you look at it, this can be either:

  • * They want to force people to buy their new offerings (Windows 8.1, or at least 7)
  • * They don't want to support their old products indefinitely

In addition, it would help the Wine and ReactOS projects enormously (indeed, it would render ReactOS rather pointless), and would harm Microsoft's 'lock-in'. A Free-and-Open-Source fork of Windows could do violence to Microsoft's prospects.

(I guess in doing so it might take away one reason to move to Linux, and so perhaps drive custom to Microsoft's ecosystems, but ultimately I doubt it would play out in MS's favour.)

It would be interesting to see how many new exploits could be uncovered by making the source public, though - a high-profile, real-world test of 'more eyeballs'/security-through-obscurity.

about two weeks ago
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Slashdot Asks: Will You Need the Windows XP Black Market?

Wootery Re:NO (245 comments)

The Internet agrees with this explanation.

about two weeks ago
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Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

Wootery Re:software (169 comments)

There's little point throwing away decades of refined code just for the sake of it.

I agree, but who's saying otherwise?

about two weeks ago
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Why There Are So Few ISP Start-Ups In the U.S.

Wootery Re:Different views on a free market (223 comments)

This immediatly spurred innovation and we now have much better 4G coverage, with some other providers opting for WiMax.

Were these technologies legally forbidden from being deployed? If so, the old regulations certainly were holding back the new technologies, but it doesn't mean that enforcing standards is always a bad idea. Rather, it means you should keep your laws up to date.

about two weeks ago
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"Nearly Unbreakable" Encryption Scheme Inspired By Human Biology

Wootery Re:Nearly Unbreakable (179 comments)

Then it wouldn't be encryption. It would be hashing.

about two weeks ago
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"Nearly Unbreakable" Encryption Scheme Inspired By Human Biology

Wootery Re:Nearly Unbreakable (179 comments)

There's always going to be some idiot out there making a bigger bullet.

Pretty sure cracking cryptographic algorithms isn't an idiot's game.

about two weeks ago
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Senate Report Says CIA Misled Government About Interrogation Methods

Wootery Re:So Arrest Them (207 comments)

These two crappy articles say you're right. I'm not convinced they knew what they were doing.

"It was intense going through it," said the 18-year-old high school student who played the waterboarding victim. He asked not to be named.

Given that he'd supposedly just been subjected to drowning torture, that he described it as 'intense' seems rather... odd. The people Hitchens went to, actually knew what they were doing.

Would they volunteer, say, for a blowtorch on the balls?

Well put. Idiotic students trivialising the matter just makes it seem they're pushing for a broader understanding of 'torture', rather than convincing anyone that waterboarding is torture.

about two weeks ago
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Senate Report Says CIA Misled Government About Interrogation Methods

Wootery Re:So Arrest Them (207 comments)

Let's see: Jesse Ventura, a Navy SEAL, was waterboarded, and says it's definitely torture. Apparently the SEALs used to use waterboarding in their counter-interrogation training, but stopped as the inability of anyone to tolerate it was damaging morale. The linked article says the mean-time-to-failure was 14 seconds.

Hitchens was waterboarded, and said it's definitely torture.

Rather uniquely, Oliver North claims to have been waterboarded and says it's not torture. Personally I'd like him to spend a few seconds at the hands of the guys Hitchens went to. I suspect he'd change his mind rather quickly.

Sean Hannity volunteered to be waterboarded, but backed-out. He maintains it's not torture, and points to North.

about two weeks ago

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