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Comments

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Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

linuxrocks123 Re:Stop being so impatient.... (219 comments)

I see an easy way around that problem: give police officers special IR or radio remotes that they can point at a self-driving car to tell it to stop. Specially mark self-driving cars that recognize those remotes. Let the driver (maybe) have a way to override the stop signals just in case those remotes fall into the wrong hands, depending on how likely that seems to occur.

9 hours ago
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Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

linuxrocks123 Re:Sigh (333 comments)

Insider trading is not legal for Congress:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsal...

Yes, yes, the article is about rolling back parts of the STOCK Act. But look at the bottom: insider trading is still illegal for Congress under the reformed law.

4 days ago
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TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

linuxrocks123 Re:Truly the best scams (247 comments)

I understand your parents' perspective. They are scammers impersonating a well-known company with a reputation to protect. Banks send out notices warning about email scams; I don't know if they do anything further, but I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't at least forward reports to the police. Personally, that's what I think Microsoft should have done in that situation. Even if the police do nothing, at least they're doing their part reporting it.

4 days ago
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Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

linuxrocks123 Re:If systemd is deemed going against unix philoso (810 comments)

/etc/rc.d/rc.S on my Slackware system is 400 lines of bash. That doesn't look too complex to me.

As long as people don't start depending on systemD, I have no problem. It's like ALSA versus PulseAudio: you want to run that on your system, fine, but I'll stick with ALSA kthx please don't rip out support for it.

5 days ago
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Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

linuxrocks123 Re:Slackware Forever (Me Too!) (810 comments)

Lol. I used SLAMD64, too. Good distro. I actually upgraded from it to the AMD64 version of Slackware when it came out without having to reinstall. Good times.

5 days ago
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It's Dumb To Tell Kids They're Smart

linuxrocks123 Re:They always told me I was so smart... (243 comments)

phantomfive is being a douchebag.

I've never considered intelligence a liability, so I'm curious why you do. Could you elaborate on specifically why you think this, give some examples, etc.?

about a week ago
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33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

linuxrocks123 Re:The real crime here (460 comments)

> If someone created that commercial movie, of course, they're are going to want to sell it. Who else, besides the owner, should have a right to sell movie tickets or DVDs for that movie? Pirates? Consumers? Who's being silly now?

Still you :)

The donut analogy fails because other people can sell donuts that look and taste exactly like the donut shop owner's donuts. This is normal competition and is a good thing. If the donut owner has some patented formula where only he can sell specific types of donuts, that's a statutory monopoloy again, but it's a patent monopoly, so let's focus on copyright.

As far as "who else should have the rights?", let's start with noting that, in the absence of copyright, everyone would have the rights to create and sell copies of the work. For works that are sufficiently old, this is what happens, with the result that you can pick up the complete works of Shakespeare for $3.99 off Amazon (fake example don't ask me for a link). All of society benefits from these lower prices, much more than societies benefit from cheap donuts because donuts are bad for you and lead to obesity and other health problems.

Of course, the problem with zero copyright is that the creators don't get paid and, therefore, many people who would create copyrighted works if they could monopolize the sales of them will instead choose not to create copyrighted works. There are a number of ways to resolve this. One way would be just having the government directly pay people to write books, paint artwork, and make movies. There are problems with that. Another way is copyright. There are also problems with that.

All in all, I think giving copyright owners some type of time-limited monopoly over their works is a good idea. So, to answer, "Who should have the rights?", I'd answer, "the creator only for about 20 years, and then everyone". It's not that copyright is bad -- it's a creative solution to a real problem. The issue is that right now, copyright lasts for 70 years past the death of the author. That's too damn long: most copyrighted works make a lot of money at first, and then revenue goes way down, so, pretty soon after the work is released, we could expire copyright on it and the creators wouldn't lose much, but society would gain quite a bit. 20 years is plenty of time for Marvel to recoup its costs for all their big-budget movies about buff men with giant, magical hammers.

But, like I said before, my opinions on copyright aren't really relevant to whether copyright is a monopoly. It is, and it is so described. This is true no matter what you think of it.

---linuxrocks123

about a week ago
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33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

linuxrocks123 Re:The real crime here (460 comments)

It's often possible to get a judge to pierce through shams like that. Not saying it was in that case. But sometimes.

about a week ago
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33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

linuxrocks123 Re:The real crime here (460 comments)

The monopoly is that only you get to sell that particular movie. So, you have a monopoly on the market for that individual movie.

People with all sorts of different views on copyright refer to the construct as a statutory monopoly. Stop being silly.

about a week ago
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Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

linuxrocks123 Re:Who said racism is dead? (541 comments)

> In the UK you would end up in jail for the stuff they say.

Then shame on the UK.

about a week ago
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Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

linuxrocks123 Re:Too much good content is deleted at Wikipedia. (239 comments)

Yes, deletionists are asshats.

One thing you can do is use the Wayback Machine to get the text of deleted articles. I learned about that trick on Wikipedia itself. Why can't they just include the page history of deleted pages well that's a really good question.

Deletionpedia is the protest response against deletionist asshats, but it's just getting started. It would be nice if an administrator leaked the text of all previously deleted articles to Deletionpedia. They actually KEEP THE DELETED ARTICLES ON WIKIPEDIA'S SERVERS and just DON'T LET ANYBODY LOOK AT THEM except the Anointed Ones. It's not even a disk space issue why they delete stuff. There's no justification at all; it's pure Vogonism.

So, come on, inclusionist administrators: which one of you would like to be the Internet's Prometheus? It wouldn't even be copyright infringement because the creators of the content licensed it CC to put it in Wikipedia to begin with. WE ALL own those deleted articles, not the tyrant bureaucrats at the Wikimedia Foundation. You'd be like Edward Snowden except you'd just be perma-banned from Wikipedia instead of your home country. Have some balls. Get 15 minutes of fame. BRING LIGHT TO THE WORLD.

If someone wants to kickstart a campaign to bribe an administrator into leaking all deleted articles to Deletionpedia, I'll put up $100. Maybe more. I'm not kidding. THIS IS THE GOOD FIGHT.

---linuxrocks123

about two weeks ago
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Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?

linuxrocks123 Re:Why such paranoia ? (299 comments)

I think stomache acid probably destroys SD cards. Also, I think it would probably be poisonous; heavy metals and all...

Better is to just let them delete the video. They're probably stupid enough not to do it right, so you can undelete it later. I said something like this very recently in another thread, actually, about the guy where the NY cops actually did delete his video.

about two weeks ago
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$125,000 Settlement Given To Man Arrested for Photographing NYPD

linuxrocks123 Phone Pictures (231 comments)

I'm going to go WAAAAY out on a limb here and speculate that these bullying asshole police officers weren't tech-savvy enough to know how to permanently delete stuff from a cell phone. Most likely, a simple FAT file system undeletion utility could have brought back all those pictures, or at least most of them. Does anyone know if the victim here did anything to try to get those photos undeleted?

about two weeks ago
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Getting IT Talent In Government Will Take Culture Change, Says Google Engineer

linuxrocks123 Re:Engineers do dress well (166 comments)

Of course the Federal Reserve is a government agency. Congress created it. Congress can shut it down if it wants. It's not "accountable" because being accountable means, "politicians can fuck with it". And whoever the current President is would have a strong temptation to force the Federal Reserve to enact an inflationary monetary policy just before an election, because such a policy would cause a temporary increase in economic growth, and the negative effects of the inflation would not be felt until some time later. So, it's done exactly like the Supreme Court*: the President appoints the Board of the Federal Reserve System, the Senate confirms the appointments, and, afterwards, the President can't fire or control the appointed official. Are you going to claim the Supreme Court isn't part of our government?

*Except that Congress can't fire a Supreme Court justice but could completely rewrite the Federal Reserve Act and fire whoever they wanted at any time.

about two weeks ago
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Getting IT Talent In Government Will Take Culture Change, Says Google Engineer

linuxrocks123 Re:Engineers do dress well (166 comments)

Weimar Republic was a special case. Punitive measures put on Germany (reparations) gave the Weimar Republic fewer options than the US would have. The US has the options of the following:

1. Telling foreign creditors to get stuffed.
2. Declaring all bond debt null and void.
3. Declaring SOME bond debt (say, those bonds held by rich people -- not saying I support this, just that it's an option) null and void.
4. Many other "creative" options I haven't even thought of.

The Weimar Republic could do none of this. It was a weak, unpopular, unstable government that was also under the boot of foreign oppressors. A US federal government bankruptcy would look much different.

And you don't have to go to precious metals anyway. Corporate stocks, real estate, and inflation-adjusted bonds also track inflation.

about two weeks ago
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The FBI Is Infecting Tor Users With Malware With Drive-By Downloads

linuxrocks123 Re:Looks like a fairly simple hack they did. (182 comments)

The way around this is Whonix. You can't be totally sure there are no zero-days in your web browser, so you browse in a VM that's only connected to the Internet through ANOTHER VM and THAT VM is running Tor. So, the VM the web browser is running in doesn't know your MAC address and doesn't know your IP and has no way to get it.

Then, when you're done, you reset the entire VM to a known state ("snapshot") so that any virus they managed to installed can't stick around and probe for ways out of the VM jail.

This isn't perfect. Nothing is. They could find a 0-day in the Tor project software, or they could find a way to break out of the VM after they compromised Firefox, but this is still REALLY good protection.

And I have no problem with the FBI using malware to catch bad guys. Like others have said, the problem is (was?) with the Tor Browser, not with the FBI. They're just doing their job, and I applaud them for using all tools they have available.

Now, they "blew their cover" with this tool by using it, so this particular vulnerability won't ever work again. I hope it was worth it.

The endgame, of course, is going to be that the FBI doesn't have tools like this. Whonix, software like Whonix, and just plain better security practices in coding will make exploits like this rarer and rarer. Is that a good thing? I guess we'll see. If organized crime starts flourishing because of Internet anonymity, then I guess it's not a good thing. If not, it probably is. But, as long as law enforcement has a tool, it's their job to use it.

about three weeks ago
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UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

linuxrocks123 Re:Legitimate concerns (282 comments)

You're surprised about this?

This is Google being Not Evil by not censoring people. Hate speech isn't illegal in the US. It's protected political speech, the kind most protected by the First Amendment. Google could remove it anyway, but Google is one of the few corporations out there with brass balls and a willingness to stand up for its users.

You must not be from the US. If you were, you'd know there was not and could never be such a law here.

about a month ago
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UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

linuxrocks123 Re:Legitimate concerns (282 comments)

Are you an American? Please say no.

I think it's a testament to how great we are that the American Nazi Party can field a candidate for President if they want.

I also think it's a very, very good thing they would lose horribly.

No one should not be able to run for office just because of what they think. No one should not be allowed to express their thoughts just because of what they think. Everyone has equal rights. Even the asshats.

It's not like extremist groups don't run for office in Europe. They just use dog whistles instead. Are you going to erode your democracy further by trying to ban political groups that look-nativist-but-aren't-explicitly-nativist-but-we-don't-like-them-so-let's-ban-them? How would you make sure giving the current government the power to ban rival parties from elections wouldn't be abused?

I have an idea, how about you not let the current government ban political parties, but have a direct vote on the matter instead?

Wait...

about a month ago
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UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

linuxrocks123 Re:Legitimate concerns (282 comments)

I'm almost a free speech absolutist. Like, really really close. Look at my posting history here and on SoylentNews especially if you don't believe me.

And I disagree with you here.

Yes, the people panicking are partly to blame. But, so is the guy who falsely shouted fire in a crowded theater. In a civil suit, both would be liable for damages to the people trampled. And that's the right result.

People are responsible for being dumbasses. But people are also responsible for manipulating other people to do harm, even if the people they manipulate are dumbasses.

about a month ago
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UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

linuxrocks123 Re:Legitimate concerns (282 comments)

Oh geez.

Shouting "Kill the Jews!": protected speech unless they're seriously inciting imminent murder. Stupid and horrible, yes. Protected speech, yes.

Attacking a nearby synagogue: that would fall under assault and arresting people who are using violence is totally okay.

Speech doesn't hurt people. Violence does. Ban violence, not speech.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Horrid Ruling in Oracle v. Google: APIs Are Copyrightable

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  about 4 months ago

linuxrocks123 (905424) writes "This is an absolutely horrible ruling. If APIs are copyrightable, every Windows program could be held to infringe Microsoft's copyright. Every program written in Java needs permission from Oracle to be distributed. Video game console emulators are right out. And you can kiss things like third-party printer cartridges goodbye.

The only way it could be worse would be if they ruled that what Google did isn't fair use as a matter of law. If you read the decision, they almost did that, but didn't. I hope this is reheard en-banc or the Supreme Court takes the case. This is a nightmare.

I have very little respect for the Federal Circuit. They seem to cause many more problems than they solve. And, here, they took Ninth Circuit precedent and twisted it to say the opposite of what it meant. The Ninth Circuit gives interoperability concerns serious consideration; this decision gives them much less consideration than they deserve.

For Google's particular case, there looks to me to be an easy way out. All Google has to do is distribute its work under the GPL, since Java, including the APIs in question, is under the GPL anyway. The "Classpath exception" was Sun's explicit consent to use the APIs in Java without needing the work to be GPL as well. So, as long as Google distributes its work as a "modified version of OpenJDK", they should be good. I'm not sure why they haven't done this already, or didn't do it to begin with, actually. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I can't see what.

But this goes way beyond Android and Java. This ruling, if it's not overturned, could chill software development, promote extreme forms of vendor lock-in, and otherwise cause mayhem and misery."

Link to Original Source
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An OSS Solution to the Cold Boot Attack

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

linuxrocks123 writes "I am a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and I've solved the cold boot attack, discussed on Slashdot back when the original paper on it was published. There have been some other attempts at solving this, but as far as I can tell, mine is the only one currently available with actual working code, OSS or otherwise. It comes with a small performance price (read the paper), but I've been using this on my machines for months and I really haven't noticed a significant slowdown in system performance. Get the code and paper from the university. Instructions for using the code on my blog."
Link to Original Source
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An OSS Solution to the Cold Boot Attack

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

linuxrocks123 writes "I am a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I wanted to keep this secret until I published this paper (it's just a tech report right now), but it got rejected once and I want people to be able to use this as soon as possible.

I've solved the cold boot attack, discussed here back when the original paper on it was published. There have been some other attempts at solving this, but as far as I can tell, mine is the only one currently available with actual working code, OSS or otherwise. It comes with a small performance price (read the paper), but I've been using this on my machines for months and I really haven't noticed a significant slowdown in system performance. Get the code and paper here. Instructions for using the code here."

Link to Original Source
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GPF Comics Seized by Copyright Gestapo

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

linuxrocks123 (905424) writes "In a move that would make GPF Comics villain Trudy Truehart proud, US Immigation and Customs Enforcement has apparently seized my favorite webcomic's domain name. A visit to http://gpf-comics.com/ currently shows that stupid "Domain Seized" template with the eagle in the middle looking like it's about to bite your face off. It's all speculation at this point as to why this was done: maybe it's a mistake, or maybe newspaper comic book artists just don't like competition. I assume we'll have more details — and a rehosted domain for GPF Comics — as this story develops."
Link to Original Source
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linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

linuxrocks123 writes "It looks like Dell is joining Microsoft and Novell in their Linux patent pact. Dell is selling SuSE on servers, backed by Microsoft's Linux patent certificates. No response from Red Hat yet, but Dell claims to still be selling Red Hat servers despite the deal."

Journals

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Okay, people, this is starting to get scary.

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

A recent Slashdot article about CIA reclassification prompted a lot of comments suggesting that a majority of Slashdot posters may have some sort of mental illness. Like, maybe, paranoid schizophrenia. The idea seems to be that all large corporations and governments are absolutely and intractably evil. They think every other law is unconstitutional and that the Bill of Rights is meaningless today. Oh yeah, and China is going to kill the U.S. economy because it holds some U.S. bonds. That's another good one.

Of course, this isn't true; the government does some good things, businesses are subject to a LOT more regulation than they would like (and thus aren't in control of the government), free speech still exists in the U.S. (Why else is Michael Moore not in jail?), the Supreme Court still finds laws unconstitutional from time to time, and the worst China can do is stop buying our bonds, which would have a barely noticeable impact on the U.S. economy (China can't "call in our debt." Bonds don't work that way).

Posters also commonly conjure up images of a mythical medieval era, where kings reigned viciously over their subjects, but "things were done differently" with regard to the law, the principles of which were somehow nobler. They'll talk about some ancient legal principle (usually one that has become irrelevant to modern practice) or the wording on a subpoena and build an entire story out of it. I've seen this on Groklaw too, where it's even more scary. They're history is often wrong, and I don't know why they bring this up on a technology site. Perhaps it's another sign of a widespread delusion among the afflicted posters.

This isn't to say that these posters are stupid. Many intelligent people are also insane, and those skilled in mathematics seem particularly prone to mental illness (consider Cantor's fate). It's just a little scary to find that many in this crowd think so irrationally. I often find that the Wall Street Journal's arguments are orders of magnitude more well thought-out even when I don't agree with them.

Any comments from other posters noticing this bizarre phenomenon are welcome. Rants from those posters afflicted with some form of mental illness are also welcome, though not necessarily encouraged.

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GCC Port to the CLR

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

http://gcc-cil.blogspot.com/

I am VERY interested in this project. I think it's the coolest thing since Linux itself (and from my Slashdot username, you can see that that's saying something :).

I can't get it to work, though. Does anyone know if it supports languages other than C (I LOVE C++ so much it's not funny)? Would it be possible to call other languages, such as, for example, Java, from it (I like Java's built-in library for some things).

I don't have much compiler experience, but I think this project has much potential. The creator seems finished with it, though, so I think it's up to us to extend it. It would be a real shame if the code ends up going nowhere because it's so incomplete that the GCC developers have no use for it.

By the way, I don't have bad karma anymore, which is a Good Thing since posting at zero was really starting to get annoying. Whoever modded my recent comments up, thank you.

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I have bad karma now...

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

As of this posting, my third and second most recent comments were moderated from 1 to 0. I think arminw did it since I listed him as a foe for a while because I didn't want to listen to his lunatic, anarchist ranting. He's not my foe anymore because most of his posts don't seem to have much to do with politics and he seems otherwise sane and worth reading.

Still, with only a cumulative -2 moderation, probably because of that as*hole arminw, I have bad karma. Whatever. I deleted the +1 karma bonus modifier from my preferences to weed out karma whores.

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