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Comments

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Australian Senate Introduces Laws To Allow Total Internet Surveillance

jez9999 Re:There is no political solution. (210 comments)

I'd argue that it might be able possible to build peer-to-peer systems instead of centralized ones that use our desktops (because making phones part of the peer-to-peer network is a drain on battery power) and end-to-end encryption, but it would be very hard and there's very little funding or interest in it.

Freenet?

5 days ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

jez9999 Re:Emma Watson is full of it (590 comments)

If they were, what else would explain (at least a closer) 50/50 split of male and female people in high powered jobs?

Higher desire to drop out of a job and raise a family. More ambition to do stuff that doesn't require dedicating your whole life to it to be successful. More desire to do "social" jobs like teaching or nursing and not "unsociable" jobs like CEO or garbage collection.

5 days ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

jez9999 Re:Emma Watson is full of it (590 comments)

FYI, the debate is about turning "vast majority" to "all" and removing the "nearly".

So you admit that it's all about tinkering round the edges, not achieving some paradigm shift or anything major, then. Frankly, not really UN material.

You know, otherwise it's like having:
Right to self-determination on most cases.
Right to liberty, usually.
Right to due process of law, for the vast majority.
Right to freedom of movement, in almost all circumstances.
Right to freedom of thought, except when it's inconvenient. ...

In practice, that's pretty much all anyone gets.

5 days ago
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Russia Pledges To Go To the Moon

jez9999 Re:Lil' Putin (197 comments)

Why did I read the Putin lines in a George W Bush voice?

5 days ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

jez9999 Emma Watson is full of it (590 comments)

She basically claimed to the UN that there no countries in the world where women had equal opportunities (not OUTCOMES, OPPORTUNITIES). She must have missed pretty much the whole western world where the vast majority of women nearly always get equal or preferential treatment.

5 days ago
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Users Report Warping of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus

jez9999 Re:Third option (420 comments)

Hilarious. So people pay way over-the-odds for an Apple phone because it's so thin it could look like a credit card, only to cover it with a thick wrapper because the damn thing's too thin.

about a week ago
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Scotland Votes No To Independence

jez9999 Re:A glorious victory for all (474 comments)

There is another name: Great Britain, or GB. Feel free to call us that. :-) Yeah, technically it doesn't include Northern Ireland but we might as well expand the definition to include them. Why not?

Often when we compete in sporting events, we call our team "team GB".

about two weeks ago
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Scotland Votes No To Independence

jez9999 Re:Everyone loses (474 comments)

Heh, "As an American" I find you utterly hypocritical. Abraham Lincoln set the military on Southern states that wanted to secede and I bet Obama would too if any state did today. And you have the gall to complain about countries not allowing self-determination?

about two weeks ago
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Scotland Votes No To Independence

jez9999 Re:Everyone loses (474 comments)

The Tories fucked up pretty bad, and will probably continue to fuck it up for union.

Which is why people need to vote UKIP. Hopefully UKIP is about to get its first elected MP in the commons, and long may their rise continue. They don't hate Scotland and are a grassroots party so will hopefully engage with a lot of voters from all over the UK. I think they would actually institute proper constitutional reform too.

about two weeks ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

jez9999 Re:This isn't scaremongering. (494 comments)

As an English guy, you really have little idea (it seems) of the reasons why Scotland might wish to go independent.

I agree on that, mainly because I don't think there are any good ones.

* getting rid of the tories (Scotland has not voted for a Tory government in the last 20 years but has suffered many years of their policies)

Well they don't just afflict Scotland and it's not fair to judge the entire rest of the UK as if we all support the Tories, but whatever, I'm done arguing about this. I would just make a passing comment, though. Without one of those evil Tories, David Cameron, Scotland wouldn't be having an independence referendum. No, really - he had absolutely no requirement to hold one. Really quite ironic. He should probably be on the new Scottish flag. :-)

about two weeks ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

jez9999 Re:Not going to be as rosy as the YES! campaign sa (494 comments)

No, not really. Anyway, why would Cameron care about looking like a tyrant to the Scots? The Tories basically have no presence in Scotland anyway, and nothing to lose. Nevertheless, there are myriad ways he could have set up the referendum to as to make it very hard for the SNP to win; requiring a 75% vote in favour for example, or allowing Scots currently resident in England to vote - or even allowing the whole UK to vote. Why he decided to set up a referendum extremely favourable to the independence campaigners is anyone's guess.

about two weeks ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

jez9999 Re:FUD from start to finish... (494 comments)

Yeah, I won't. Otherwise then you might have to tackle Normandy, Berry, Foix, the part of the Basque region and Catalonia that are in France and wonder how you would feel if they voted to break away from your Glorieux Pays.

about two weeks ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

jez9999 Re:This isn't scaremongering. (494 comments)

I live in England NOW. I'm not a complete tosser who's sold his soul to the Americans and The Daily Show and Jon Stewart.

about two weeks ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

jez9999 Re:This isn't scaremongering. (494 comments)

I don't see what the beef over immigration is -- it actually works both ways. There are about 1 million Britons living in Spain right now under the same rules.

England is one of the most densely-populated countries in the world. Part of the beef over immigration is that we need to build 100,000s of new houses every year because there are more and more and more people, and some of us would actually quite like to stop before we get to the stage of sea-to-sea housing developments.

about two weeks ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

jez9999 Re:The opinion of an ignorant (494 comments)

Evidence, please, that they "get screwed" on a regular basis? There was the Thatcher era, where they got hurt because anywhere that had powerful industrial unions did (not just Scotland, by any means). Apart from that, for the past few hundred years of union, Scotland seems to have done pretty damn well out of union.

about two weeks ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

jez9999 Re:This isn't scaremongering. (494 comments)

Um yeah, but surely with their Washington DC overlords like every other US state? How is that any more "acceptable" than London being overlords of Scotland?

about two weeks ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

jez9999 Re:This isn't scaremongering. (494 comments)

I suspect the way things might go is like this - if there's a yes vote, the complications of cleaving the UK in two will soak up all spare Parliamentary time and political capacity for the next few years and push out an EU in/out referendum by some time. By this point the English will have realised that Scotland is desperately trying to get back in and being a part of the EU is a significant bargaining tool with the new iScotland. Seeing the effects of not being in the EU first hand will change a lot of minds, especially once the serious debates start going.

Then again, Scotland by that point will probably be in such a state that they would be a net recipient from the EU - meaning that unless the rUK pulls out, their EU contributions will be going to fund an independent Scotland that recently told the rUK to go fuck itself. Sounds like the best argument yet for leaving the EU. :-)

about two weeks ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

jez9999 Re: Not going to be as rosy as the YES! campaign s (494 comments)

Tell that to Abraham Lincoln. He set the military on a bunch of US states that wanted self-determination. Or are the US schools painting Lincoln as an evil tyrant these days?

about two weeks ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

jez9999 Re:This isn't scaremongering. (494 comments)

Which makes it all the more hilarious that the Scottish Greens are supporting independence. Scotland's #1 economic crutch is basically going to be "drill, baby, drill!" How exactly does that fit their agenda again...? I guess all the million and one wind turbines will make up for it.

about two weeks ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

jez9999 Re:Take the long view (494 comments)

Any voter should consider the probable situation twenty or fourty years from now, not whatever happens in a year or two.

What, you mean when they're on their deathbed? Yeah, that'll be really useful for them during the bulk of their lives.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: Is HTTPS snooping becoming more acceptable?

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jez9999 writes "I recently worked for a relatively large company that imposed so-called transparent HTTPS proxying on their network. In practice, what this means is that they allow you to use HTTPS through their network, but it must be proxied through their server and their server must be trusted as a root CA. They were using the Cisco IronPort device to do this. The "transparency" seems to come from the fact that they tend to install their root CA into Internet Explorer's certificate store, so IE won't actually warn you that your HTTPS traffic may be being snooped on (nor will any other browser that uses IE's cert store, like Chrome). Is this a reasonable policy? Is it worth leaving a job over? Should it even be legal? It seems to me rather mad to go to huge effort to create a secure channel of communication for important data like online banking, transactions, and passwords, and then to just effectively hand over the keys to your employer. Or am I overreacting?"
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Ask Slashdot: Transparent HTTPS proxying - acceptable or abominable?

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jez9999 writes "I recently worked for a relatively large company that imposed so-called transparent HTTPS proxying on their network. In practice, what this means is that they allow you to use HTTPS through their network, but it must be proxied through their server and their server must be trusted as a root CA. They were using the Cisco IronPort device to do this. The "transparency" seems to come from the fact that they tend to install their root CA into Internet Explorer's certificate store, so IE won't actually warn you that your HTTPS traffic may be being snooped on (nor will any other browser that uses IE's cert store, like Chrome). Is this a reasonable policy? Is it worth leaving a job over? Should it even be legal? It seems to me rather mad to go to huge effort to create a secure channel of communication for important data like online banking, transactions, and passwords, and then to just effectively hand over the keys to your employer. Or am I overreacting?"
Link to Original Source
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The ISP that pledges to put your privacy first

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jez9999 (618189) writes "Nicholas Merrill is planning to revolutionize online privacy by launching a non-profit ISP that would do everything it could to protect users' privacy via mobile connections, and landline connections from $20 a month.

The ISP would try to challenge any orders from the government for data disclosure that were questionable in court; that is, if they even have the capability to release the private information requested. "The idea that we are working on is to not be capable of complying" with requests from the FBI for stored e-mail and similar demands, Merrill says."

Link to Original Source
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Home automation comes one step closer

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jez9999 (618189) writes "When Bill Gates unveiled his $100m networked mansion in the mid-90s, it barely seemed believable that mere plebs of more moderate financial standing might too one day use computers to adjust the ambient temperature of their living rooms and queue Chris Rea on the Jacuzzi stereo when they were driving home from the golf course. We still can't. But we are getting very close, thanks to technology from a company called Intamac, says one Inquirer article."
Link to Original Source
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Scientists show off 'acoustic cloak' blueprint

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jez9999 (618189) writes "A Spanish team of scientists have unveiled designs for an 'acoustic cloak'. The technology, outlined in the New Journal of Physics, could be used to build sound-proof homes, advanced concert halls or stealth warships.

The cloak uses so-called "sonic crystals". These artificial composites — also known as "meta-materials" — can be engineered to produce specific acoustical effects.

Noisy neighbours could be a thing of the past, if you have enough money to afford this!"
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Giant trees proposed to clear excess CO2

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jez9999 (618189) writes "Wallace Broecker, the scientist who coined the term "global warming" in the 1970s, has proposed a radical solution to the problem of climate change. He advocated millions of "carbon scrubbers" — giant artificial trees to pull CO2 from the air. He did, however, admit that such a project faced an uphill struggle, as the political will to implement it would likely be lacking."
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UK considers harsh punishment of music downloads

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jez9999 (618189) writes "The UK government is considering banning people who they detect illegally downloading copyrighted music and movies from using the internet. They would require ISPs to try and detect, and then report, such activity to them.

The system would operate under a 'three strikes' rule, where users are twice warned, and then banned on the third infringement, from accessing the internet."
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UK Professor argues for teaching of creationism

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jez9999 (618189) writes "Head of science at London's Institute of Education Professor Michael Reiss argues that there is an educational value in comparing creationist ideas with scientific theories like Darwin's theory of evolution because they demonstrate how science, unlike religious beliefs, can be tested. He said: "The number of Muslim students has grown considerably in the last 10 to 20 years and a higher proportion of Muslim families do not accept evolutionary theory compared with Christian families. "That's one reason why it's more of an issue in [UK] schools." "By not dismissing their beliefs, we can ensure that these students learn what evolutionary theory really says — and give everyone the understanding to respect the views of others," he added."
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UK Lords committee blasts 'e-crime'

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jez9999 (618189) writes "A House of Lords report says that the government must do more to protect internet users from the threat of 'e-crime'.

The report claims that the internet is now "the playground of criminals", and that UK internet users are now more scared of internet crime than burglary. It suggests a wide range of security measures that the government should take to increase the confidence of internet users, including making 'software firms' (BBC Radio 5 Live used the term 'ISPs') compensate users for 'e-fraud'."

Link to Original Source
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Bible-based actionfigures set to hit US toy market

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jez9999 (618189) writes "From the middle of August, Wal-Mart, the biggest toy retailer in the US, will for the first time stock a full line of faith-based toys. The dolls will go under the brand name, 'Tales of Glory'. The company behind the dolls, One2believe, hope that such figures as Goliath and Samson will help to make their dolls competetive in the notoriously difficult-to-crack US toy market."
Link to Original Source
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jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

jez9999 writes "BBC News reports that the [UK] government has announced plans to make the possession of downloaded violent porn images punishable by three years in prison. It follows a campaign by Berkshire woman Liz Longhurst whose daughter Jane, a Brighton schoolteacher, was killed by Graham Coutts. It's already an offence in the UK to publish or distribute such material. Although violent porn will not appeal to many, nevertheless it is between consenting adults."

Journals

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This is how I've felt about UX 'design' for ages now.

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

I just had to highlight this post I came across; it pretty much pretty hit the nail on the head with what pisses me off about the whole UX thing:

If I have to guess what to do, the GUI lost its purpose. May as well just go back to DOS

The purpose of the GUI is to keep UX designers employed. The year 24-bit color becomes standard, XP's Fisher-price look is "needed" to make that boring and stodgy NT/2K look go away. The year 3d graphics appears on commodity hardware, Aero is "needed" to make that "childish" XP look go away. The year touchscreens come out, Metro is "needed" to make that "distracting" 3D glossy look go away.

Same sorta deal with Firefox - a few years ago, a browser with lots of options and user control was a good thing. Now it's "distracting" and even the status bar and the name of the communications protocol in the title bar needs to go away to make it "clean".

It's not UX design, it's fashion design. Bunch of artistes wanking away on Photoshop trying to out-trendify each other. It's an utter waste of computing resources, and I'm sick of it.

Exactly. Everyone involved in app development needs to read this and decide whether they want to hire ANYONE who is a self-professed "UX person".

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Why corporations act in evil ways

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I often wonder why companies, even ones that are already rich, continue to do evil things such as help out the Chinese government with their suppression of their own people. The answer is that, no matter how rich a company/corporation currently is, they always want more money. It's like food to them; if they don't keep getting more in, the shareholders will punish the company's board; it feels, to them, like the company is 'starving'. It's no good for them to just make one big ton of money (Microsoft) and be happy with that - they must keep on getting more, always, for eternity. Food to humans is a good analogy. So, just as humans have to eat to survive, they companies/corporations have to eat (money) to survive, and try to survive they will. They'll even keep on eating if they're fat (have loads of money alredy), just like humans... unfortunately, companies don't even have the desire to slim again, like humans often do. To a company, getting as fat as possible is, and always will be, the ultimate goal - the point of its existance. This explains their neverending lust for profit, despite any consequences.

"To a person, animal flesh is food (vegetarians excepted). To a corporation, money is food, and like people, a corporation will do just about anything to ensure a consistent supply of food (money)."

This excellent summing up was written by user 'mcrbids' - thanks!

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My advice to programmers

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 10 years ago

If there is one thing I would recommend to all newbie or learning programmers, it's this: before you delve into learning the details of a language or API or whatever, read a quick tutorial or overview first. If I had realised this a long time ago, I would've saved myself a lot of time.

There are several reasons for this.
Firstly, you may not like the language that you've decided to learn. Reading a short tutorial about it will let you see quickly whether you want to go further into investigating the language or not.
Secondly, learning a language by reading something like a reference book is a really good way to make you hate the language. Or get bored too quickly to learn it properly, and give up.
Thirdly, it's not really *necessary* to know *everything* about a language before you start to program in it. I'm sure there are people out there who would disagree with me on that, but as long as you know the fundamentals of a language, I think it's better to start going and learn as you create your first few projects, than to read through a detailed book that will probably be a very dry read if you aren't doing much coding using the stuff you're reading about.

My personal experience has taught me this. Maybe it's just my way of learning, I don't know, but I have had a lot more success learning stuff through first reading short and concise tutorials such as 'Learning Perl' (Schwartz & Christiansen) and 'theForger's Win32 API tutorial' (theForger :-) ), and have more quickly picked up and become proficient in the languages (or whatever) I have used this technique with, than the ones where I have started out trying to learn *everything* about the subject before I used it; for example, I am unable to read through from start to finish and appreciate a book such as, say, 'The C Programming Language' (Kernighan & Ritchie) or 'Programming Windows' (Petzold), yet I have both books sitting on my windowsill. Why?

Well, partly because I accidentally bought several such books with the intention of reading through them non-stop, and then realised partway through that I was getting so bored I wasn't really learning anything. And partly because what I now use them for is *reference* books.

It may sound obvious, but it's quite easy to 'bite off more than you can chew' and try to learn too much before you start with a language or API or whatever. Get into the habit of starting with short and concise tutorials, and reading into certain aspects that you need to know in a more detailed way, when you need to know them. Had I had this advice available to me when I first started to learn programming, I would have saved myself a lot of time and boredom. :-)

I wish all new/learning programmers could be given this advice somehow when they start to learn something new. I'd like to stop others making the same mistakes that I did. I don't often say a lot of long-winded preachy stuff, but this is one of the few things that I've really learnt to be useful, and thought that sharing it would be beneficial to all programmers. So please, if you know any struggling new programmers, no matter what language (or whatever) they're learning, try giving them the gist of this advice! It may well help.

Plus, when recommending books, make two distinct categories of books. Tutorials, and reference books. It's pretty much impossible to have something that is both, and I've frequently had inappropriate reference books recommended to me that haven't done much other than waste my time/money, as they were FAR too detailed when I knew too little about the given subject - it's these kind of recommendations that make me think that this advice, though it may seem obvious, needs to be more widely accepted and adopted. Advanced programmers tend to recommend stuff that would now be appropriate for them to read; not necessarily what would be appropriate for someone new to the subject, or indeed them - when they were new to the subject - to read.

Comments are welcome.

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