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Ask Slashdot: A Cheap, DIY Home Security and Surveillance System?

jerryasher In fact, you want them to steal your server (508 comments)

My server is a very nice case mod with transparent panels and blue glowing lights that sits on a shelf next to my flat screen TV. It's so cool. It screams steal me! On top of it I leave several DVDs of porn each in their own DVD jewel box wrapper with all the porn photos on them.

Of course, there are three other IP cameras pointed at this wonderfully blue glowing empty box too, each camera with motion detection and set to email pictures to my gmail account and ftp video to an external host.

more than 2 years ago

New York Times Hacked?

jerryasher Used the unique address I gave to the NY Times (103 comments)

I got the email too, and it used the unique email address I gave to the NY Times, so either they were breached or some company they gave my data to was breached.

Joe Katz on twitter says the same thing:

"Joe Katz @joekatz 1h
@NYTPRGUY thing is, I got a "subscription cancelled" message sent to an email alias that only @NYTimes has for me. Was your list hacked?"

So remember folks when you outsource your IT and marketing and provide them your customer data, you are opening your customers up to their low security practices.

about 3 years ago

How Can I Justify Using Red Hat When CentOS Exists?

jerryasher Ask the CIO: will we be opensourcing our software? (666 comments)

I've been on many projects that opted for Centos over Red Hat, and some in which the CIOs demanded Red Hat over Centos. All on various perceptions of what free means and what paid for means. Sort of a Rorschach test.

If you feel strongly about this, you might ask the CIO if you folks will be open sourcing the software you write, and if not, why not.

more than 3 years ago

Do Developers Really Need a Second Monitor?

jerryasher Re:LCD Monitors bad. ASR-33 the best web developme (1002 comments)

Have you ever tried to use butterflies?

Well, not successfully. I travel back in time looking for the right butterfly, but I am colorblind, and I think I've been squashing moths.

more than 3 years ago

Do Developers Really Need a Second Monitor?

jerryasher LCD Monitors bad. ASR-33 the best web development (1002 comments)

You use an LCD Screen! Poofta!

I develop HTML5 based robotic heart surgery machines running on top of jQuery beneath AJAX served by node.js off of an Amazon mounted Rackspace Cloud written in Clojure, and I've had it with LCD Screens, CRTs, and so-called editors.

On even days I punch my code into an ASR-33, and on odd days, I just toggle the code directly into the main memory. And on transcendental days, I use very fine magnets and rearrange the domains on the hard drive.

So don't you get all hoity toity to me about your ability to code with only one screen! You're a bloody wanker is what you are!

more than 3 years ago

Tynt Insight Is Watching You Cut and Paste

jerryasher Browser extension to crapflood Tynt (495 comments)

I like this idea. If you visit a site using tynt, then you have a browser extension that crapfloods tynt with random quotes, probably taken from the site's privacy page.

about 5 years ago

Tynt Insight Is Watching You Cut and Paste

jerryasher Re:Kind of One Sided Review of the Service (495 comments)


I always attribute what I copy and paste. Frequently I copy more than one section out of an article separating each section within the quote with ellipses. What tynt does is add the URL to each and every copy/paste meaning I need to go back and find their little turds and delete them. Annoying. I'll do it myself thanks, and I do.

Adding that attribution doesn't mean the user will keep it there. So the site owner does little to nothing to help ensure his URL is attributed correctly by forcing tynt on us. But the site owner does annoy the good guys by doing that.

You don't need a server side round trip along with full text and IP address to add a URL to a block of text. Wired, if they were wired and not tired, could write that piece of javascript themselves, instead of opting all of their customers into tynt and privacy invasion.

about 5 years ago

Android Phone Demand Up 250%, iPhone Down

jerryasher Wired: Decision on iPhone DMCA exception is near (445 comments)


overlooked and lurking behind this gadget envy is an important regulatory decision -- one expected in weeks on whether to authorize an iPhone jailbreak.

Apple said sanctioning an iPhone operating system hack would gut its business model. That plan has given way to more than 2 billion app downloads, in addition to an expected and much-rumored iPhone-like tablet.

"This would severely limit our ability to continue what we are doing as well as innovate for the future," Greg Joswiak, an Apple marketing czar, recently told regulators considering the jailbreaking proposal before the U.S. Copyright Office.

At stake for Apple is the very closed business model the Cupertino, California-based electronics concern has enjoyed since 2007, when the iPhone debuted.

The proposal, brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, would pave the way for third-party apps on the iPhone -- hence turning the iPhone into a blank slate to run whatever its owner wishes. That would be a huge financial blow, as Apple earns 30 percent for every App sold from its proprietary iTunes store, Joswiak said.

The proposed hack is part of the exemption process under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. Every three years, the Librarian of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office entertain proposals for exemptions to copyright law.

about 5 years ago

Making Sense of the Cellphone Landscape

jerryasher What's the value of an unlocked US cellphone? (185 comments)

Is there something I don't understand? I don't think unlocking a US cellphone has any additional value than an unlocked US cellphone. The phone's most value is on its original network and it's almost worthless on any other network.

All GSM is not equal. Unlock a T-Mobile cellphone and move it to AT&T and you get a degraded EDGE speed. And I assume that's true in reverse. An unlocked AT&T cellphone presumably has poor speed on T-Mobiles network.

All CDMA is not equal. A Verizon phone cannot necessarily be switched to Sprint -- my experience is that Sprint has to support that phone explicitly in its own network, including a possible new firmware load. And presumably vice versa.

And of course a GSM phone cannot be activated on a CDMA network or vice-versa.

So even if you can unlock your phone, there doesn't seem to be ANY interoperability with respect to carriers. Your unlocked phone has the most value on the network it came from, and almost no value on any other network.

So what's the point of unlocking it?

Please feel free to correct me and point out all the things I don't understand about cellphones. Cause I don't get it, and I assume it's due to my ignorance.

more than 5 years ago

For Some Medical Workers, a Flu Shot Or Possible Job Loss

jerryasher No "truly" mandatory vaccines since WW I (541 comments)

From Penn's Center for Bioethics:


Today, the term "mandate" is imprecise when applied to immunization. The last time the U.S. required vaccination without exception--a true mandate--was during World War I.1 Today, processes in place in the vast majority of states provide parents with significant latitude regarding whether to vaccinate their children.

Mandatory vaccination programs should be reserved for the most severe of disease outbreaks, and only after the designated State or Federal official has declared a state of emergency.

more than 5 years ago

FBI Investigates Liberator of Court Records

jerryasher Re:What's wrong with this picture? PERL is! (445 comments)

Aaron Swartz is a brilliant developer who knows just about any language worth knowing.

I want to know why the fuckface chose PERL. That's what really annoys me about this.

more than 5 years ago

Palm Pre Is Out, Time For Discussion

jerryasher Re:So the Pre 1.0 makes me appreciate my Treo 755p (283 comments)

"Did it ever occur to you that perhaps the Pre just has a really crappy touchscreen?"

So actually I did. Next time I post at slashdot I'll write a ph.d length dissertation.

I ruled out that the Pre has a crappy touchscreen because:
  a) all of the reviewers (wsj, nytimes, and many many more) all said the touchscreen was great even in comparison to the iPhone
  b) the palms and treos had touchscreens that needed calibration and the pre somehow doesn't need calibration (and maybe it does...)
  c) palm has long been known for their touchscreens of one sort or another, hard to believe they can't do a touchscreen right.
  d) palm recently hired 200 apple engineers, hard to believe they can't do a touchscreen right

By the way, it's pretty obvious to someone who has used a palm pilot or treo and then the pre that all the pre apps were designed from day one to use a touchscreen too.

more than 5 years ago

Palm Pre Is Out, Time For Discussion

jerryasher The Pre PIM is Palm PIM 1995 (283 comments)

Basically Palm has punted on the PIM. One complaint about the Treo and later Palms was the PIM never advanced past what it was in 1997. But on the Pre they've dumbed it down even further and gotten rid of categories and search.

So while I might keep notes or web clippings in a memo (best restaurants, best bars, all npr stations in the nearby states, lan settings for home and work, ...) now such long collections of notes are horrible to browse through or find.

It is in some sense a Google/Facebook phone, but they haven't embraced all the Google Apps yet (no google tasks, no google voice, no google reader)...

more than 5 years ago

Palm Pre Is Out, Time For Discussion

jerryasher So the Pre 1.0 makes me appreciate my Treo 755p (283 comments)

Weird because while I love my Treo I hate my Treo, but using version 1.0 of web os makes me appreciate my Treo much more.

So yeah yeah yeah, Pre is great. But here is where I think it sucks compared to my Treo.

The calendar program is puny and worthless in comparison to the Treo + Agendus. It's very hard to visualize what is happening a month at a time on the Pre. On the Treo + Agendus, there are icons for birthday cakes, and icons for dentist appointments and all sorts of very useful 16x16 icons that help a great deal visualizing what's going on a month at a time.

The memos and tasks are truly worthless. Very hard to make detailed notes. No way to categorize or organize the notes. I have over 200 notes on the Treo and they are simple to find and all are searchable. None are searchable on the Pre and there is not even a way to categorize them.

Touchscreens are for noobs. All this time I've wondered what the iPhone crowd was crowing about with their touchscreens, but today, on the Pre, I really miss the fidelity and precision of a stylus and a 5 way navigation button the stylus lets me precisely hit exactly the point on the screen I am looking for and the nav button lets me precisely scroll up and down the number of items I desire. Exactly. Each time. Repeatedly.

The software is at a very simple and unsophisticated level. Websites constantly need to be zoomed and the browser doesn't remember that I've zoomed this website the last three times I've been to it, and so does not automatically zoom it the next time. Compare to Firefox.

And webos is slow. The whole thing feels slow compared, yes, to the PalmOS on the Treo 755p EVEN with it's white screens of death. It's frustrating and may go back to the store within the 30 day period while I wait for webos 2.0.

And I fear that contrary to what Palm has been saying, the problems will be firmware related and not an easy download. And frankly, the Treo experience is that Palm will release one new set of firmware, maybe two, and then consider the phone dead and push people to get the next one.

So we'll see. I think the hope of the phone is:
  * a firmware upgrade from palm
  * release of mojo sdk and native apps from long time palm developers

Ya know, just because the iPhone only has one button doesn't mean Apple was right to go that route. Apple loved their one button mouse for a decade when everyone else knew how stupid that was. 5 way nav buttons and a stylus isn't such a horrible klugey interface as much as forcing touchscreen for everything is.

more than 5 years ago

Pirate Bay To Offer VPN For $7 a Month

jerryasher Re:False sense of security (461 comments)

Everyone is ragging on the OP for cites and saying it can't be true because it would break laws. (As if that means much these days....)

But Bruce Schneier discusses such reasoning in a column yesterday:

It's Time to Drop the 'Expectation of Privacy' Test
Commentary by Bruce Schneier

In the United States, the concept of "expectation of privacy" matters because it's the constitutional test, based on the Fourth Amendment, that governs when and how the government can invade your privacy.

Based on the 1967 Katz v. United States Supreme Court decision, this test actually has two parts. First, the government's action can't contravene an individual's subjective expectation of privacy; and second, that expectation of privacy must be one that society in general recognizes as reasonable. That second part isn't based on anything like polling data; it is more of a normative idea of what level of privacy people should be allowed to expect, given the competing importance of personal privacy on one hand and the government's interest in public safety on the other.

The problem is, in today's information society, that definition test will rapidly leave us with no privacy at all.

In Katz, the Court ruled that the police could not eavesdrop on a phone call without a warrant: Katz expected his phone conversations to be private and this expectation resulted from a reasonable balance between personal privacy and societal security. Given NSA's large-scale warrantless eavesdropping, and the previous administration's continual insistence that it was necessary to keep America safe from terrorism, is it still reasonable to expect that our phone conversations are private?

Between the NSA's massive internet eavesdropping program and Gmail's content-dependent advertising, does anyone actually expect their e-mail to be private? Between calls for ISPs to retain user data and companies serving content-dependent web ads, does anyone expect their web browsing to be private? Between the various computer-infecting malware, and world governments increasingly demanding to see laptop data at borders, hard drives are barely private. I certainly don't believe that my SMSes, any of my telephone data, or anything I say on LiveJournal or Facebook -- regardless of the privacy settings -- is private.

Aerial surveillance, data mining, automatic face recognition, terahertz radar that can "see" through walls, wholesale surveillance, brain scans, RFID, "life recorders" that save everything: Even if society still has some small expectation of digital privacy, that will change as these and other technologies become ubiquitous. In short, the problem with a normative expectation of privacy is that it changes with perceived threats, technology and large-scale abuses.

Clearly, something has to change if we are to be left with any privacy at all...

More at the link.

more than 5 years ago

Is Open Source Software a Race To Zero?

jerryasher You sell it as service, but it's much more.... (729 comments)

You raise an interesting point, and I think there is a bit of truth that this may incentivise bad behavior.

But done right, and your service is much more than bug fixing. It's market research as you interact with customers and find out there current problem and their future needs. It's customer maintenance since each time you interact with your customer you are selling them again on why your company is the smartest, friendliest, easiest to work with, thus keeping them from buying competing products. It's customer tutorials as you explain how to setup the normal installation, and how to use, and why and when to use advanced features the customer isn't even aware of.

All of this can be used to help your customer understand the value that your company's support provides.

(Caveat: I just pulled this response out of my butt. I think it's truthy good, but ymmv.)

more than 6 years ago



Apture captures each of your selections

jerryasher jerryasher writes  |  about 5 years ago

jerryasher (151512) writes "Like Tynt Insight, Apture is another VC funded, browser breaking, privacy intrusion that captures each of your selections and sends it to their servers. And again, no opt out is possible.

It is currently in use at "select blogs" at the New York Times (and many other sites), and the Times says: "Apture allows readers to dig deeper into a subject without ever leaving the page. In a blog post like this, when you see a hyperlink with a small icon next to it, click on that link. You’ll instantly see related videos, maps, documents, photos, New York Times topic pages and other content, all while staying on the same page." In introducing Apture, The Times fails to mention how each and everyone one of your selections is then sent to www.apture.com, or how to just say no and opt out. You can see it at Dot Earth. Just make a selection, or doubleclick a word, and watch the roundtrip in the status bar.

There are two issues: One is breaking the browser which I think is ugly and disrespectful but I think the New York Times has the power and right to do that. Two is sending each of my selections off to a third company, which I think is an invasion of privacy that should require disclosure and opt-out. Adblock, NoScript, and Ghostery should kill Apture's scripts dead for slashdotters using Firefox, but what about Chrome/Safari/IE users and the rest of the world?"

Tynt Insight is watching you cut and paste

jerryasher jerryasher writes  |  about 5 years ago

jerryasher (151512) writes "In recent weeks I've noticed that when I copy and paste text from Wired and other websites, the pasted text has had the url of the original website appended to it. Cool, and utterly annoying, and how do I make that stop? Tynt Insight is a piece of Javascript that sends what you copy to Tynt's webservers and adds the backlinks. Tynt calls that a service for the site owner, many people call that a privacy invasion..

Worse, there are some reports that it sends not just what you copy, but everything you select..

And Tynt provides no opt outs. Not cookie based, not IP based, but stop it you creeps angry phone call based.

It ain't a pure useful service, and it ain't a pure privacy invasion. But I sure wish they'd go away and have had the decency to never start up in the first place. I block it on Firefox with Ghostery."

Link to Original Source

NASA confirms Russia wins control of the ISS

jerryasher jerryasher writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jerryasher (151512) writes "In a leaked memo, NASA Administrator Mike Griffin discusses "the jihad" to prematurely terminate the Shuttle and what that means for the International Space Station. One implication: there may come a long interval when only our Russian Allies are aboard the Space Station. Add that bit of irony to your new cold war kit and then wonder why Griffin discusses why we wouldn't sabotage the Space Station, and how and why the memo got leaked in the first place."

Paul Krugman 1978: TheTheory of Interstellar Trade

jerryasher jerryasher writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jerryasher (151512) writes "Paul Krugman, writes at his New York Times blog about his early papers: Thirty years ago I was an oppressed assistant professor, caught up in the academic rat race. To cheer myself up I wrote — well, see for yourself. Joshua Gans of the University of Melbourne scanned a copy of the thing I wrote — back then academics did their work with typewriters, abacuses, and stone axes — and was good enough to send me a copy. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Theory of Interstellar Trade. Abstract: This paper extends interplanetary trade theory to an interstellar setting. It is chiefly concerned with the following question: how should interest rates on goods in transit be computed when the goods travel at close to the speed of light? This is a problem because the time taken in transit will appear less to an observer traveling with the goods than to a stationary observer. A solution is derived from economic theory, and two useless but true theorems are proved."
Link to Original Source

char *speelCheck(char *myPogrom)

jerryasher jerryasher writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Jerry Asher (151512) writes "Not all of my coworkers are careful about spelling errors. Sometimes this causes real embarrassment as spelling errors creep into software interfaces. Does anyone know of spell checkers for programming languages? I don't want a text spell checker, I want a programming language aware spell checker. A spell checker that I can pass all of my code through and will flag spelling errors in function names, variable names, and comments, but will ignore language keywords, language constructs and expressions, and various programming styles (camel code, or underscores, or ...) I want a spell checker that knows that void *functionSigniture(char *myRoutine) contains one spelling error. Does anyone have such a thing for Java or C++? Are there any eclipse plugins that do this?"

jerryasher jerryasher writes  |  more than 8 years ago

jerryasher (151512) writes "Here is a great Open Source endorsement from the final voted on draft of a report from Secretary of Education Margaret Spelling's Commission on the Future of Higher Education. The commission encourages the creation of incentives to promote the development of open-source and open-content projects at universities and colleges across the United States, enabling the open sharing of educational materials from a variety of institutions, disciplines, and educational perspectives. Such a portal could stimulate innovation, and serve as the leading resource for teaching and learning. New initiatives such as OpenCourseWare, the Open Learning Initiative, the Sakai Project, and the Google Book project hold out the potential of providing universal access both to general knowledge and to higher education.

But this endorsement never made it into the report. After the vote to accept the draft with just minor wordsmithing done, Microsoft got into the act by emailing each member demanding a change, removing the word "open."

Eventually, in the nature of "compromise" the commission members, including University Presidents, Professors, and Corporate Leaders caved."


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