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How PR Subverts Wikipedia

grouchyDude Re:Internet democracy (219 comments)

The bible seems to have been written starting around 1500 BC (the first books of the Old Testament) with later stuff coming ... uh .. later. Since the Ancient Greek civilization dates back to something like 6,000BC I don't really see any substantive inconsistency here.

about 9 months ago

Confessions of a Cyber Warrior

grouchyDude Re:saber rallying (213 comments)

I am amazed by how utterly paranoid and cynical US citizens have become about their own government, except for the few that are 100% the opposite and equally polarized. While there no doubt the US government has made some bad calls, and maybe even some very bad ones, that's still a far cry from the utter cynicism one often sees here and elsewhere that ignores that many people in government might be attempting to do the right thing, even if they sometimes fail.

1 year,22 days

Debian Says Remove Unofficial Repository From Your Sources

grouchyDude Re:Why not... (159 comments)

It's the "role" of the Debian (community) to do the best thing for their users, both for the sake of the people at stake and for the heath and promotion of Debian (and UNIX) as a whole. Doing the "right" thing usually involves difficult compromises and judgement calls, and sticking to a strictly hard-line set of ideals is rarely compatible with the messy real world we all live in... that is my experience running a couple of organizations: people make mistakes and their organizations, or superiors, or "family" often need to clean up after/for them, even if it's not technically their job to do so, for the benefit of all concerned.

I think the fight over the name, which caused the name change, was a mistake with consequences that could have been predicted. Even if it's the fault of the sysadmins who messed with their systems, finding a non-intrusive way to help them from getting nailed is in everybody's long term interest (except maybe Microsoft or other non-Linux vendors... and even they want a health Internet). In the worst-case scenario that this domains gets acquired by bad people and users get burned by this, it will make UNIX/Deb look bad, cause harm to various individuals, and potentially even lead to more spam or malware.

about a year ago

Universities Hold Transcripts Hostage Over Loans

grouchyDude Seems fair to me. The sense of entitlement is odd. (541 comments)

Seems pretty fair to me: you pay to get a set of services including a transcript, and they are withheld if you don't pay. I think that same rules apply at the Supermarket or the gas station.

The strange thing here is the sense of entitlement that people have regarding their debts. Now, the tuition prices at many US schools to seem crazily high, but the correct solution there is to go to a cheaper school. Of course, education is probably one area where it is definitely not a god idea to focus on the short-term cheap deal, but you do need to keep in mind that the price you pay actually has to be paid, even if a loan is involved.

more than 2 years ago

Students Create Thought-Controlled Prosthetic Arm

grouchyDude A joke, right? (50 comments)

This is not serious or credible. Building prosthetic devices is a serious challenge with a lot of ergonomic issues. This project and the reportage like some kids building a lego robot and expecting it to revolutionize the automobile industry. Great, they controlled some simple pneumatic with an alpha wave reader: yawn.

How about Dean Kamen's TED talk as a reference point for what's really needed and where this game is at:

more than 3 years ago

Is Attending a CS Conference Worth the Time?

grouchyDude Not all conferences are equal (244 comments)

Some conferences are good, and some are mostly unfiltered junk. The junk conferences tend to have worse networking, less interesting content, and generally much less value. Good conferences are very important venues for scientific exchange, networking and hunting down new ideas and trends

Low quality conferences can either been more social, local events, or even money grabs by the organizers. I believe CCSC is a local "unfiltered" conference that is a social event, but not a really high-value scientific exchange meeting. Such lower profile meetings can be a useful warmup to bigger events.

more than 3 years ago

Microsoft Helps Adobe Block PDF Zero-Day Exploit

grouchyDude Re:Its not zero day ... (93 comments)

Only in the USA. Everywhere else (even Canada) it means real cheese sliced into ... slices.

more than 3 years ago

Preventing Networked Gizmo Use During Exams?

grouchyDude Easy - no crap allowed (870 comments)

Just say no devices at all. It fair, even-handed and realistic. Make an exam that doesn't put such a premium on mindless calculations (for example allow them to submit an expression such as 112*121/11 instead of computing the result). More emphasis on brain and mind, less on fingers.

Oh, and the can use their mind as a dictionary too.


more than 3 years ago

First Malicious iPhone Worm In the Wild

grouchyDude Re:Passwd is not the solution (135 comments)

OK smartie, here's what I was referring to:

"The supplied UNIX passwd command in BSD Subsystem is broken for firmware 1.1.3 and 1.1.4.
Attempting to change the password under firmware 1.1.3 or 1.1.4 will result in your device continuously rebooting.
(The reboot fix involves holding both the Power button and the 'Home' button down for at least 30 seconds, then [upon seeing a triangle icon], plugging the device into iTunes for restoration.)"


For newer (current) firmwares it fixed, but some people still run the old stuff.

more than 4 years ago

G-WAN, Another Free Web Server

grouchyDude Re:Spite? (217 comments)

MS has a lot of good developers (whatever you may think or their products or policies). Maybe he figures it will hurt them (aesthetically) to look at something lame?

more than 4 years ago

Network Security While Traveling?

grouchyDude It's not the network, it's the keystrokes! (312 comments)

I think SLL encryption as used by most serious places will be sufficient. The Royal Bank of Canada had a bad certificate for their main investment site for a while, but barring such foolishness the SSL and attention to warnings will probably be fine in terms of the actual network traffic. I think the biggest risk, however, is that there could be a key logger at a public site and these are easy to find and install, and a pain to circumvent unless you have control of some key parts of the process.

more than 4 years ago

Network Security While Traveling?

grouchyDude Re:Encrypt your netbook, park data in the cloud (312 comments)

If you are really hard core, as a backup in case of theft you can mail yourself an encrypted USB key at a hotel/hostel/post office you are willing to put on your itinerary, but getting the timing right will be tricky unless you have somebody stateside to send it.

more than 4 years ago

Network Security While Traveling?

grouchyDude Re:dm-crypt (312 comments)

Great idea if you don't do much. If you have multiple banks or other equivalently-important accounts then it's very tricky. If you use long secure non-algorithmic passwords and won't be able to visit the bank to re-init them, the keeping them recorded in encrypted form would be my choice. That way if you can't recall them all, or briefly forget one, you can recover them so long as you remember at least the master password.

more than 4 years ago

First Malicious iPhone Worm In the Wild

grouchyDude Passwd is not the solution (135 comments)

One reason why people might still be using the original password, and why this is all a hassle, is that the normal UNIX passwd program cannot be used on the iPhone.

I believe one needs to manually edit a file called /etc/master.passwd

more than 4 years ago

Hulu Blocks International Access Via Witopia

grouchyDude Brought to you by the people who made the DMCA (256 comments)

Hulu: brought to you by the same people who thought up the DMCA. Big media conglomerates that would love to kill user-generated content, and who have a system that directly competes with YouTube. Even if it's free now, as soon as they have a hammerlock on things (again) the price will go up. Oh, and the content, even if it's fun, is to a large extent likely to reduce your creativity, productivity and emotional linkage to your community.

In your own best interest, you should try to get your self and your community blocked by Hulu. It's evil.

more than 4 years ago

iPhone As a PC Game Controller

grouchyDude who cares (54 comments)

this is significant news? sheesh!

more than 4 years ago

Five Questions With Michael Widenius

grouchyDude Re:English is Author's Second Language? (71 comments)

Not a good enough excuse for a pointless article with little information. Hardly seems to justify promotion to the front page.

more than 5 years ago

How Do I Manage Seasoned Programmers?

grouchyDude Re:Don't be a douche (551 comments)

If you are serious about underperforming just enough to look better than your associates, than you still deserve to be fired. I expect people I work with, or who work for me (or for whom I work) to act as a mutually-supportive team, perform well, and provide their best effort. Not everybody is equally good, what you are describing is dishonest and I would not hesitate for a second to fire such a person.

In addition, my experience is that is many cases people who think they can bullshit their way through a report and look good are often detected doing that, but for one reason or another it's not worth calling their bluff (yet).

more than 5 years ago



isohunt torrent site defeated by MPAA

grouchyDude grouchyDude writes  |  about 9 months ago

grouchyDude (322842) writes "The isohunt web site used to index BitTorrent content seems to be doomed to shut down after losing a legal battle with the MPAA. This is a consequence of a legal ruling back in March, but now it seems over due to a lost appeal reported by Wired. The Canadian operator Gary Fung posted a goodbye message on the sire and has also agreed to pay $110 million. MPAA Chris Dodd said it "sends a strong message." The message might be "you can make enough running a site like this to pay a $110M" fine, or it might be "even a public index isn't safe from big company legal action, no matter what the law used to say.""
Link to Original Source

Canada plans removal of protections for fish habitats: scientists p.o.'d

grouchyDude grouchyDude writes  |  more than 2 years ago

grouchyDude writes "A senior Canadian government biologist has leaked proposed changes that would weaken Canada's protection for fish habitats, and thus the environment in general. Over 600 (real) scientists, many with very senior academic credentials, have signed a petition to complain about what they refer to as a highly destructive planned policy. The government responded that existing policies "do not reflect the priorities of Canadians" (what baloney!), but the suspicion is that this is one step in clearing environmental obstacles to the oil sands pipeline. This has gotten very little press and warrants real attention before it's too late."
Link to Original Source

Canadian gets jail time for recording movies

grouchyDude grouchyDude writes  |  more than 4 years ago

grouchyDude (322842) writes "A Canadian man was sentenced to serve hard time for recording a couple of movies with a video camera and uploading them to a free movie sharing site. He is supposed to be the first sentenced to jail in Canada for this kind of thing, and is being paraded as an example for North America. In fact, at least one government official has claimed he is one of the biggest pirates of this kind in the world. Apparently this official hasn't been to China recently (or Chile, or Brazil, of Greece, or any subway station outside the USA and Canada). It's sad to think this guy will be in jail beside actual violent criminals for uploading a few movies."
Link to Original Source

McGraw-Hill CEO lets slip Apple tablet info

grouchyDude grouchyDude writes  |  more than 4 years ago

grouchyDude (322842) writes "In a CNBC interview, the CEO of McGraw-Hill, the publishing conglomerate, let slip a bunch of details about the imminent Apple tablet. The mentions they have been working closely with Apple, and that is runs the iPhone OS (which is, of course, a UNIX variant not so different from OS X). The interview has been picked up by several sites and provoked some chatter."
Link to Original Source

Bell Canada starts hijacking domain lookup failure

grouchyDude grouchyDude writes  |  about 5 years ago

grouchyDude (322842) writes "Bell Canada via their Sympatico ISP arm has started hijacking DNS lookup failures to redirect to their own "service". Presumably the intent here it to allow them to push advertising and links to people who mistype a domain name. This kind of interference and information harvesting seems inconsistent with the obligation of a common carrier. More serious than the annoying advertising, the by returning their page they fail to return an NXDOMAIN failure message, needed by various types of software including spam detection and other utilities. Oh and they provide a cookie-based opt out, which is of course useless for any automated tool (such as spam detection) since the cookie mechanism they use depends on on returning an NXDOMAIN error: whose lam-brained idea was that? You can comment on this service at the following link [ ]"

Montreal makes top city in list for Monopoly

grouchyDude grouchyDude writes  |  more than 5 years ago

grouchyDude (322842) writes "In the new version of the Hasbro Monopoly (known as "MONOPOLY Here and Now"), the Atlantic City street names that defined the game have been replaced by the names of major international cities. Picking the cities was, of course, tricky and an internet poll involving millions of respondents was used. Of course, in classic Monopoly the best property has always Boardwalk. In this new edition, the city of Montreal, Canada occupies that spot with New York way down the list. Some of the other cities that made it onto the board are a bit surprising.

As a kid, my own strategy for playing Monopoly was always to buy cheap properties first, but winning was contingent on getting some of the big expensive ones like Boardwalk. I presume this is a universal truth."

Link to Original Source

Software-only unlock for iPhone released

grouchyDude grouchyDude writes  |  more than 6 years ago

grouchyDude (322842) writes "After weeks of false starts and bogus claims, a real software only unlock for the iPhone has been released into the wild (for free), according to several reports including this one and other more direct sources that don't want to be slashdotted. This makes SIM unlocking far more accessible than the tricky hardware unlock that was released a few weeks ago. The software unlock was announced for sale, based on more-or-less open development work. Within a day if the first commercial packages being distributed, a free public solution turned up. It's not clear if the public solution is a hacked version of the commercial solution, or vice-versa, or if both solutions both simple feed of the same pool of knowledge. At any rate, the solution is out there on many web sites."

CBC promises lots more robots in our future

grouchyDude grouchyDude writes  |  about 7 years ago

grouchyDude writes "CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, has a feature on consumer robots on their on-line edition today. It includes articles discussing the destiny and state of consumer robotics, as well as the need for investment in robotics research and the robotics industry to stay in competition. Their listing of both consumer robots and fictional robots is quite incomplete, but they get to most of the important ideas and issues in the multiple parts of the feature. It also covers bit on robot lore (i.e. notable robots from fiction) as well as a popular robotics quiz."

grouchyDude grouchyDude writes  |  more than 7 years ago

grouchyDude (322842) writes "Trandy Trower, the head of Microsoft's robotics software group pitches Microsoft Robotics studio to
a group of robotics specialists, and announced veruon 1.5 beta. It was
reported that his pitch was not that well
recieved and he got a fairly spirited rebuttal which included support for an
open source robotics development system. Tandy suggested that Microsoft was not looking to own the
nascent robotics software market, but rather was interested in doing something good for the community.
Concerns that came up included the fear that microsoft's entry into the robotics software
field would kill off smaller players."


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