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Science By Democracy Doesn't Work

garry_g As expected ... (497 comments)

... only scientifically challenged (read: morons) would vote on whether scientific results are true. Why don't they let SCIENTISTS vote on the issue? Oh, right, because 97% of the scientists stating the climate change is true would overrule the 3% that say it isn't ...

about two weeks ago

To Avoid Detection, Terrorists Made Messages Seem Like Spam

garry_g Overreach of Surveillance reduces chances ... (110 comments)

Given the fact that France has had one of the most extensive data retension programs since 2006 and were still unable to prevent the terrorist attack should give a clue to politicians and police ...
I believe the contrary is true: By relying on being able to prevent attacks through data retention (which by definition will create floods of data hard or impossible to interpret) and expecting to catch anybody before the fact, police have obviously reduced their work on surveillance of suspects as well as regular police work ... All three terrorists (much like the 9/11 ones) were on watch lists and known, yet they were able to buy guns and plan this whole ordeal. Good job, politicians! Fund the police instead of keeping tabs on all of your country's inhabitants and cutting in to their private lifes ...
Even if you had 100% surveillance of ALL the people, including the contents of ALL the communication, any person just slightly intelligent and versed in computers will be able to hide their communication from the state. Also, who ever called for checking every single letter mailed through the postal service? Or listening in to every person-to-person talk? Just because technology makes listening in on people possibly doesn't mean it should be done, or would be helpful to prevent crimes ...

about two weeks ago

HOA Orders TARDIS Removed From In Front of Parrish Home

garry_g Re:Conform or be expelled (320 comments)

actually, in this case, it's smaller on the inside as there is so much less there to fill the inside ...

about three weeks ago

US CTO Tries To Wean the White House Off Floppy Disks

garry_g OTOH - Floppies are safe! (252 comments)

After all, hardly any computers comes with floppy drives anymore ... so unauthorized access is almost completely prevented, better than any software encryption ... :)

about a month ago

Netflix Cracks Down On VPN and Proxy "Pirates"

garry_g Re:Cat and mouse... (437 comments)

Netflix is obligated to do this to maintain its licensing agreements with the Media Mafia.

Yeah, I understand that. What I don't understand is why the big media conglomerates put such baffling restrictions into their licenses in the first place.

Easy. Because the Media Mafia extorts as much money out of their victims as they can. For some countries, license prices are a lot lower than for others ... not exactly comparable, but look at the price per click/view that Google/Youtube pays for US access to e.g. music videos, and look at what Germany's representatives would like to have for accesses ... IIRC it was well beyond 10x the amount ... and more than Google actually makes from advertisement ... which leads to a whole lot of media on youtube not being viewable in Germany ... the big problem is that the value of money isn't proportional to the currency exchange rates ... and this is more than obvious for digital goods...

Btw, it's not only limited to the availability as such - some features are just not available ... e.g., try to find original US soundtracks on streaming Amazon media in Germany - while they have a pretty decent library, only a small percentage is available with the original soundtrack. While I assume not too many people actually want the English track, it SHOULDN'T cost more to make it available, as for sure all of the movies and series available are also available in the US and UK, so they must have that part. Anyway, as German translations very often suck (at least if you can speak English natively), I'm not going to pay for a service that doesn't provide me with what I want or need ...

But, as one poster said - back to Torrents ... if you can't get enough of my money fairly, forget about getting any ...

about a month ago

Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

garry_g At least at the right places ... (398 comments)

At least they decided to put them where they really belong ... in Germany, it appears as if a large amount of mobile speed checks (and in part, permanent also) are done at places which guarantee for a good income - revenue from most tickets (unless the drivers are so much over that it's something like a felony, requiring prosecution through the state) goes to the communities/cities, and is usually a calculated part of the yearly budget. Often, they are placed in school zones for a short time, before moving them off to places like two-lane out/inbound streets or ones that have an illogically low speed limit that doesn't really belong there ... especially if the places have a low accident rate to begin with.
Of course, being caught is still the main fault of the driver, not the speed camera.

about 3 months ago

Bangladesh Considers Building World's 5th-largest Data Center In Earthquake Zone

garry_g What could go wrong? (65 comments)

Seriously ... ?!

about 4 months ago

Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?

garry_g Re:atheists (534 comments)

I believe what you are trying to do is move science into the same uncertainty as faith is, as you can't do it the other way around.

Anyway, sciences work completely differently ...

Faith takes an assumption, and even without proof and even under objective contradiction, sticks with the assumption, arguing away contradiction (which doesn't go away by that)

Science takes an assumption and researches whether the assumption is correct. If there are valid contradiction, the assumption is either dropped or corrected, then repeats from the beginning, until proof is found that the assumption is correct. But even then, new findings may raise new contradictions, at which real scientist will not hesitate to start the whole cycle again.

I reckon the latter is a whole lot more sensible ...

about 4 months ago

Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?

garry_g Of course ... (534 comments)

... for one, the question should also include whether religions are even suited for modern life and scientific advances. Religions mostly still operate on century and millennia old superstition and mysticism, and most (albeit shrinking number of) people will still gladly accept everything thanks to childhood teaching when everything is unquestionably accepted from parents and authority figures.

Anyway, religious leaders (which may or may not "coincide" with political leadership as well) will find a way to lie around contradictions between scientific facts and religious texts. Anything to continue their hold on people's minds, souls and money ... even if 100% exact proof against religious beliefs were presented, people will still cling to their faith and will try to argue why the proof is wrong. Look e.g. at evolution of species ... e.g. the Bible doesn't say species evolve, still people believe in creation by God. It's a choose and pick situation, where some passages of scriptures will be taken literally, while others are chosen not to be ...

about 4 months ago

Airbus Patents Windowless Cockpit That Would Increase Pilots' Field of View

garry_g What could possibly go wrong here? (468 comments)

After all, Windows is so old school ...

about 7 months ago

Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

garry_g Re:Faith in God (299 comments)

What, wasn't their faith in god strong enough? It works wonders for children without vaccinations...

In some cases, even religious people will trust science ... (though not enough if other persons are affected)

about 7 months ago

German Authorities Lack Evidence To Prosecute Anyone For NSA Spying

garry_g Typical ... (107 comments)

Of course, supposedly no hard evidence or witnesses.

The general attorney is part of the ministry of justice ... Merkel and other leading politicians have made it clear they do not see any reason to prosecute the U.S. for the privacy invasion the NSA has committed ... now, the general attorney decides there's not enough evidence. Go figure.

All lying bastards ... too bad the general public does not understand (or care) what most politicians are doing ...

about 8 months ago

German Court Rules That You Can't Keep Compromising Photos After a Break-Up

garry_g Typical of German authorities ... *sigh* (334 comments)

Unless some A**hole posts private pictures after a break-up (or even during a relationship - most likely causing a break-up) - how is anybody going to prove somebody still has any pictures, or from the other side, prove that they deleted compromising pictures?

How long will it be until legislators, courts, etc. arrive in the 21st century? Or the late 20th, for that matter ... that would already be an improvement ...

about 8 months ago

Botched Executions Put Lethal Injections Under New Scrutiny

garry_g Botched Executions ... (483 comments)

... Put Death Sentence Under New Scrutiny

There, I fixed it.

It is appalling that a supposedly progressive, modern society needs a revenge-based law.

about 8 months ago

Adobe Creative Cloud Services Offline (Again?)

garry_g Only could be worse ... (164 comments)

... if Adobe had started following the suite of App-Developers in the mobile arena ... requiring in-app purchases to use features ... ;)

Ultimately, customers are at fault - they shouldn't have renewed any services with Adobe that require the online connection ... but companies will keep on abusing customers as long as they keep buying their products ...

about 9 months ago

Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

garry_g Re:While it SHOULD all be taught ... (431 comments)

Hm ... I don't think is about handwriting, but SPELLING and punctuation ... which is still needed on the computer, too ...

about 10 months ago

Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

garry_g Figures ... (431 comments)

After the alteration of the writing rules several years ago (adapting spelling and punctuation rules to the stupidity of the people), I reckon this is just the inevitable next step ... going back several centuries to pre-Duden-times, the results should be clear - uncertainty when reading a text as to what the writer actually meant in some cases, and the helpless anger of people that still follow the rules and figuratively hurt when reading wrong spellings (like they're/their/there in English) ...
Why is it so hard to either teach children correctly, or fail them if they don't learn? Of course, with the trends like "no kid left behind" or contra-productive financing decisions (reducing financing for schools that have too few kid finish successfully) seem to favor this ...
Of course, kid failing in school have multiple reasons ... while sometimes teachers may be at least part of the problem, a most likely larger problem is the home of the kids ... parents that don't care about their children, and/or because they themselves are schooled below average.

about 10 months ago

Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

garry_g Inevitable Star Trek Reference ... (351 comments)

... look like it's time to put a Prime Directive into effect ... only observe them, protected by a cloaking shield ... do not make contact until they have developed warp drive ...

about 10 months ago

Creationists Demand Equal Airtime With 'Cosmos'

garry_g That should be quick ... (667 comments)

When providing scientific proof of God, the show should be over quickly ...
Sure, you can prove that certain events have happened in one way or another (e.g. great flood, Sodom & Gomorrah, ...), saying those are acts of God is more to the point of man of the day being unable to distinguish natural phenomena from said acts ... just as nowadays' technical advances would be seen by a 19th century person ...
Also, seeing what havoc religion creates on the grand scale (not talking about the personal level - rather what is caused by the conflicts between people of different faith), earth might be better off without it ...
As for the personal level - speaking of the relation between the individual and the church and/or state - at least some religions seem to be focused in keeping people at bay ... succumbing to authority, letting them do with you more less how they desire, and not doing much about it ... plus, states more or less enforces that image ... even in countries that say they've separated church and state, the ties are still there ...
Don't get me wrong - there's a lot of good things being done by religious people. But that's just that: the PEOPLE are the ones doing the good things!

about 10 months ago

Elon Musk Addresses New Jersey's Tesla Store Ban

garry_g Looking back at history ... (229 comments)

... maybe he should have called his company "Edison" ... maybe that way, he'd be facing less problems ...
(check out the history of Edison and Tesla ... Edison was in part responsible for Tesla's failure in the end, even though Tesla had far more impressive inventions ... though many falsely aren't attributed to him ...)

about a year ago



Open Source alternative to Dropbox?

garry_g garry_g writes  |  more than 3 years ago

garry_g (106621) writes "While "the cloud" may be one of the major buzzwords of the Internet industry, anybody concerned with security and privacy will most likely not touch it with a 10-foot pole. While I am guilty of using Dropbox for occasional data storage or quick picture snaps with my Android phone, I do watch out not to store anything important on there (or inciminating), no matter what the "privacy policy" may be.
As someone that has been running his personal mail server and MTA for years, stores Firefox profile information not on either Xmarks or FF Sync public server but my own, I was wondering: what useful alternative is there to Dropbox on the FOSS market, which will allow access by both windows/linux boxes, but also mobile devices (specifically Android). I know there are frontend addons for Windows (and linux tools of course) e.g. for SVN, but most likely no implementations for mobile use as far as I can tell...
And, of course, the backend should run on a Linux box ;)"

Which Firewall for XP?

garry_g garry_g writes  |  more than 5 years ago

garry_g (106621) writes "Going through my bi-yearly Windows re-install, I was wondering what Firewall solutions could be recommended ... for the last couple years, I've been using the free Ashampoo Firewall, which has served me (and my requirements) pretty well, especially with being able to control which applications are allowed to connect out. Anyway, being a *ix-guy in heart, I miss the configurability of stuff like iptables. I.e., allowing not only whether an app can connect to a server at all, but rather allowing it on a destination IP range/network. Any suggestions? Freeware/open source preferred, but if quality and abilities warrant it, a commercial solution is also acceptable ..."

0-day exploit on Linux systems?

garry_g garry_g writes  |  more than 6 years ago

garry_g (106621) writes "As of this morning around 2AM GMT, IDS, Firewalls and trusty DenyHosts have been running like crazy with a large-scale distributed SSH attack across our networks (/16, /19, several /24), albeit only the IPv4 part of it ...

It is centrally controlled, as one can see from the nice alphabetically increasing usernames attempted ...

Dec 27 10:55:50 mx sshd[7301]: Invalid user rhiannon from ::ffff:
Dec 27 10:58:58 mx sshd[7447]: Invalid user rhodes from ::ffff:
Dec 27 11:01:35 mx sshd[7687]: Invalid user rhona from ::ffff:
Dec 27 11:03:49 mx sshd[7770]: Invalid user rhonda from ::ffff:
Dec 27 11:05:34 mx sshd[7994]: Invalid user rhonda from ::ffff:
Dec 27 11:06:17 mx sshd[8019]: Invalid user rhoslyn from ::ffff:
Dec 27 11:08:03 mx sshd[8096]: Invalid user rhoslyn from ::ffff:
Dec 27 11:08:56 mx sshd[8154]: Invalid user rhoswen from ::ffff:
Dec 27 11:12:37 mx sshd[8347]: Invalid user rhys from ::ffff:

Now, I'm pretty much used to zombie (D)DoS/Scan/Spam from Windows machines, but what I'm worrying about is the large number (if not all) of the initiating hosts are Linux based. Though only conducting some random probes to some of the machines attempting logins, of which some weren't scannable, the ones I could reach had at least SSH ports open, others were listed by NMAP with a whole variety of open ports. No definite ID on the systems I attempted to identify with NMAP, though the list always had Linux systems in it ...

Are we at the dawn of a wide-spread 0day exploit for Linux systems? Are Botnets moving from Windows to Linux?"

Notorious german (C)/Trademark lawyer sentenced

garry_g garry_g writes  |  more than 7 years ago

garry_g (106621) writes "The infamous german lawyer Günther Freiherr von Gravenreuth, known since the times of C64 and other home computers for his dubious legal procedings against minors, has been sentenced to jail time without probation by a german court.

In 2006, he sued the german news magazine "TAZ" for UCE mails he was receiving — in fact, the mails in question were double-opt-in requests. The first court confirmed his claims and forbid the magazine to send any further mails (this court decision was later overturned by the next court); also, they had to cover court and lawyer cost of approx. $750, which they paid. Shortly after, Gravenreuth seized their main domain, taz.de, advertised that act on his homepage, and tried to auction it off, claiming he never received the payment.

In a court-ordered search, documents were found at his office that proved he had received the money after all. In court, Gravenreuth claimed his written statement of not having received the payment were based on both the "chaos" in his office as well as insufficient knowledge of legal procedings (!)

Gravenreuth earned his reputation with German Computer enthusiasts' in the early 80s by countless dubious cases in which he "supposedly" tricked children and teenagers in sending out copied games and programs in reply to letters written by a "poor young girl" looking for some programs. Once the victims did, he followed up with a bill and threat to sue for copyright violations.

In other cases, he (ab)used the German legal system with cease-and-desist orders (with attached bills) for abhorent amounts of money, based on him being the legal defender for trade mark owners, e.g. when he went against the "Rainbow BBS", claiming they could be mistaken as operated by Rainbow Arts.

In newer history, he had already been sentenced for 60 cases of document forgery, which was the basis for the sentence being without parole. To quote the judge: "Public has to be defended from you".

Here's the article from the TAZ magazine, german only, though."

garry_g garry_g writes  |  more than 7 years ago

garry_g (106621) writes "After running Windows on my workplace boxes for way too long due to certain requirements (Lotus Notes, M$ Office, and the likes), I just got my brand new notebook, which — with a Core2 Duo Processor & 2Gig of ram — I would like to run with Linux as my primary OS. Most Windows requirements I have should be more than covered by installing VMWare, XP & the required apps in the VM. I plan on adding a small (30G) partition for the cases in which I would require to run some high-performance native Windows apps (I know, it's an oxymoron) or something requiring large amounts of memory.

Anyway, I already gave SuSE Enterprise Desktop 10 a try, which seems to have some quirks with the new HW (Dell Latitude D520). Before I go through half a dozen of Distros (Debian, Ubuntu, OpenSuSE,...) — what's your opinion on a decent Linux Distribution for a Notebook?

Please note, I've been using Unix/Linux since something like 1988 (obviously not Linux then, but since Kernel 0.99PL12), so I'm not afraid of getting my hands dirty from some low-level configs and stuff ... :) So it doesn't have to be a polished End-User-Only distribution ..."


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