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Comments

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Facebook To Buy WhatsApp

melikamp soylentnews (199 comments)

In other news, soylentnews.org is up and running!

about 8 months ago
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Healthcare Organizations Under Siege From Cyberattacks, Study Says

melikamp Re:Why is C# .Net used for medical devices? (61 comments)

From time to time I see posts for medical device coding jobs on craigslist and the like. Quite commonly they require one to have experience with C# .Net. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Heart disease runs in my family. If I get a pacemaker, is it going to be running Microsoft Windows?

This is yet another symptom of a very common disease: enter computers, and all of the sudden medical professionals simply ignore patient privacy and security. May be it's for the lack of understanding on the part of individual doctors, but then where are their governing bodies looking? They are selling us out. They must be corrupt three times over.

Last time I went to a doctor for a regular checkup, I almost asked her: are my responses private? [Yes, I assume] Then why the bloody hell are you typing them into a Windoze? You are sharing them with Microsoft and its affiliates as you are typing them in front of me, so where do they go when I am not looking? I didn't confront her, though, opting instead to be very discrete about my medical condition.

about 8 months ago
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N. Korea Could Face Prosecution For 'Crimes Against Humanity'

melikamp Re:Elephant in the room (325 comments)

And i bet that that don't even qualifies as the tip of the iceberg.

I agree completely. We get closer to the iceberg if we consider the invasion and the ongoing occupation of Iraq, which is a war of aggression and a war crime, and carries with it a tremendous toll on the civilian population.

If UN is going to police the world, they should start with interstate conflicts, and the rogue state number one, instead of meddling with the internal affairs of a state so week that it will collapse on it own without humanitarian help.

about 8 months ago
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Silk Road's Ross Ulbricht's Next Court Date Set For November

melikamp paste this to cut the BETA (77 comments)

Please post this to new articles if it hasn't been posted yet. (Copy-paste the html from here so links don't get mangled!)

On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design. Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.

If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this in a new tab. After seeing that, click here to return to classic Slashdot.

We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott

Moderators - only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
Commentors - only discuss Beta
http://slashdot.org/recent - Vote up the Fuck Beta stories

Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.

-----=====##### LINKS #####=====-----

Discussion of Beta: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&id=56395415
Discussion of where to go if Beta goes live: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&type=submission&id=3321441
Alternative Slashdot: http://altslashdot.org (thanks Okian Warrior (537106))

about 9 months ago
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California Bill Proposes Mandatory Kill-Switch On Phones and Tablets

melikamp Re:What could go wrong? (341 comments)

People who rely on spy-phones for organizing protests have it coming anyway.

about 9 months ago
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Edward Snowden and the Death of Nuance

melikamp Re:hero (388 comments)

Snowden has demonstrated that a traitor can be a hero

No, he demonstrated that a hero will be called a traitor by the actual traitors he exposed.

traitor (noun) One who violates his allegiance and betrays his/her country; one guilty of treason; one who, in breach of trust, delivers his country to an enemy, or yields up any fort or place intrusted to his defense, or surrenders an army or body of troops to the enemy, unless when vanquished; also, one who takes arms and levies war against his country; or one who aids an enemy in conquering his country.

When did he betray USA? When he exposed massive surveillance, which is almost certainly unconstitutional? When he exposed the fact that NSA is operating without any practical oversight? Or the fact that most (if not all) of the Congress has no right to know whether they are being spied on? Or the fact that the highest NSA officials lied, and continue to lie under oath? He broke a low, granted. That makes him a criminal, not automatically a traitor. And in this instance, it also makes him a hero, since the law he broke is oppressive and should have never been on the books.

about 9 months ago
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Journal of Cosmology Contributor Sues NASA To Investigate Mars "Donut"

melikamp Re:Best quote of the petition (140 comments)

evolution of DNA predates Earth by 6 billion years

This fascinating article makes it look quite possible, if not plausible. Seriously good read, and I am not a biologist.

about 9 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?

melikamp Re:Civil Vigilante (822 comments)

We need to be careful not to praise the acts only because the results were good.

In this case, however, the laws he broke are oppressive: something you forgot to mention. The reason he cannot return is because USA does not have sufficient whistle-blowing protections. Should a citizen be able to report an illegal activity and a gross abuse of power, regardless of the classification of relevant documents? In a democratic society, it should be the citizen's duty, and an activity protected by the law. So we need to be careful to give Snowden praise he deserves for bringing our attention both to the illegal activities, and to the sad state of our legal system.

about 9 months ago
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Cameron's IP Advisor: Throw Persistent Copyright Infringers In Jail

melikamp Re:How about jail for copyright enforcers? (263 comments)

Thanks! Indeed, it's almost word for word:

1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.

2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.

But unlike UDHR, this is merely lip service. They give it with one hand, and with the other hand they take it away completely. If a state gives out exclusive distribution rights, then third parties have the right to censor any kind of sharing (3a). Anything but pure flattery can be construed as disrespecting someone's reputation (3a). Anything at all can and have been construed as threatening national security: in particular, any kind of political speech (3b). Sadly, this document does nothing to protect the right to freedom of expression.

about 9 months ago
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Cameron's IP Advisor: Throw Persistent Copyright Infringers In Jail

melikamp How about jail for copyright enforcers? (263 comments)

UDHR article 19:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Since enforcing copyright against people who share information online non-commercially is clearly a violation of a human right according to UDHR, to which UK is a signatory, how about throwing copyright enforcers in jail instead? How long is the public going to put up with this oppression?

about 9 months ago
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Adware Vendors Buying Chrome Extensions, Injecting Ads

melikamp Re:I had a couple offers (194 comments)

AdblockPlus already sold out to advertizers.

about 9 months ago
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Wikimedia Community Debates H.264 Support On Wikipedia Sites.

melikamp Re:Stand their ground (247 comments)

Please, stop spreading the myth of "standard codec" and "quality". Anything will be a standard if it is crammed down the people's throats. As for quality, please. All Web video is shit. Talking about the differences in "quality" between mp4, theora, and webm is like talking about the shades of dung. 5 minute videos of cats playing piano and girls masturbating produce exactly the same effect, no matter the codec. On a smartphone screen too. Give me a break. Feeding the patent mafia, who are basically censoring Wikipedia for millions of users, is a much bigger issue than any subjective difference in video quality. Think it through. Thanks to patents, copyrights, and non-free software, many spy-phone users can't see the videos at all, and you keep talking about a marginal improvement in "quality"?

about 9 months ago
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Phil Zimmerman Launching Secure "Blackphone"

melikamp Re:Tracking? (156 comments)

If this device is fully free and open, then it can obviously spoof every one of its IDs, and provide a strong defense against location tracking (although not perfect, if one wants to jump from tower to tower while keeping the IP connection intact). The problem, as you can see, is not just with the device, but with the cellular providers, who forbid anonymous users. So if this phone can use the cellular network in USA, then it automatically will have to be non-free, and the whole thing is a scam. In particular, their claims of privacy and security would be straight-up lies. If it does not, however, use the towers (wifi only), then it has a chance of being true to its claimed purpose.

about 9 months ago
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Phil Zimmerman Launching Secure "Blackphone"

melikamp Re:Almost. there. (156 comments)

and ... open source... so useful parts can be reviewed and ported to populars android mods

This is not the main reason why it should be open source, nor is "open source" enough, unless we are using a definition compatible with the free software definition. In fact, both hardware and software should be free, documented, and open in order to justify the basic security and privacy claims the manufacturer is making.

As for "open source", the freedom to distribute modified copies (which is not clearly implied) is paramount to anything aspiring to be secure. If a bug is discovered, and a patch is available, the software will remain insecure if the authorized distributor refuses to apply the patch. Free software does not have this problem.

As for the order of your list, all the things you named are very useful indeed, but they are not worth crap unless the entire thing is free software, and the hardware is open and certified by third parties without special interests. One binary blob makes all security and privacy claims a lie, plain and simple. Not an honest mistake, not a misunderstanding: these people surely understand security, so when they start selling "secure" binary blobs, they will be lying through their teeth.

about 9 months ago
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Phil Zimmerman Launching Secure "Blackphone"

melikamp Re:bork bork bork (156 comments)

I dunno about voice calls, but messaging, at least, can be Torified, and that would be a much tougher nut to crack.

about 9 months ago
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Irish Politician Calls For Crackdown On Open Source Internet Browsers

melikamp Re:Good luck with that, King Canute (335 comments)

Oh, he understands everything. He just hates that people are free to express themselves in ways not approved by the ruling elite.

about 9 months ago
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Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.

melikamp You forgot (1009 comments)

+ 10% more pink on everything. Can't go wrong with pink.

about 10 months ago
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Hubble Telescope Snaps Images of Tarantula Nebula

melikamp Source link (32 comments)

http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2014/02/image/

Stop with space.com slashvertisements already, it's nauseating.

space.com are leeches who are not competent enough to link to the frigging Hubble site. You know, the very minimum of what one can do to credit the work of the people who actually built the space telescope, took these amazing pictures, processed them, and brought them to the masses.

about 10 months ago

Submissions

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Slackware 13.37 Released

melikamp melikamp writes  |  more than 3 years ago

melikamp (631205) writes "A year long wait is over: Slackware 13.37 has been released. Slackware 13.37 uses the 2.6.37.6 Linux kernel, and also ships with 2.6.38.4 kernel for those who want to run the latest. The long-awaited Firefox 4.0 web browser is included, the X Window System has been upgraded and includes the open source nouveau driver for nVidia cards. Slackware is the oldest GNU/Linux distribution currently maintained. Its ongoing development is funded by the proceeds from the Slackware Store."
Link to Original Source
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Poll: What is your Web browser's home page?

melikamp melikamp writes  |  more than 5 years ago

melikamp (631205) writes "What is your Web browser's home page?

0. Blank
1. Owned by Google
2. Owned by Microsoft/Yahoo
3. Owned by Apple
4. Free OS-related
5. Other OS-related
6. Other work-related
7. Other school-related
8. Your personal Web page
9. about:robots
10. CowboyNeal's private FTP server"
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What is the cheapest wall-sized computer screen?

melikamp melikamp writes  |  more than 5 years ago

melikamp (631205) writes "Ever since ENIAC flipped its first bit, a man wished for a wall-sized computer screen (let's not dwell on why). Not one of those puny 60 inch monitors, but a real monster that looks like a fancy wall until it comes on. Think Fahrenheit 451. So let us hear it. Start with more affordable consumer devices, but do not be afraid to thrown in an experimental, one of a kind installation."
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melikamp melikamp writes  |  more than 7 years ago

melikamp (631205) writes "A four-year-old hugged his teachers aide and was put into in-school suspension, according to the father. But La Vega school administrators have a different story. Damarcus Blackwell's four-year-old son was lining-up to get on the bus after school last month, when he was accused of rubbing his face in the chest of a female employee. The prinicipal of La Vega Primary School sent a letter to the Blackwells that said the pre-kindergartener demonstrated "inappropriate physical behavior interpreted as sexual contact and/or sexual harassment." [Verbatim from prisonplanet.com]"

Journals

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ARM Technology

melikamp melikamp writes  |  more than 7 years ago

In related news, Dialog Solutions, Inc., released a report stating that "the market of interpersonal conversations requires stronger Analog Rights Management protections". Dialog Solutions aspires to be the world's leader in producing professional quality dialogs, polylogs, and solitary musings which can be used for both commercial and entertainment purposes.

The demand for their products, however, has been allegedly hurt by the rampant piracy. "What is to stop people from taking the fruits of our hard work and using it in their private conversations?" said Gill Bates, the chief of marketing, "Without any kind of copy protection in place, anyone is free to talk about anything they want with their collegues and friends without paying us a dime. Not only it hurts our bottom line, but it also lowers the overall quality of conversations."

The report goes on to further indicate that without an effective copy protection scheme the culture and society as we know it might come to an abrupt end. "If no one can benefit financially from producing a conversation, then who is going to talk?", it states, "It may seem that the economy is thriving in spite of the conversation piracy, but in fact the pirates are only re-using the intellectual property of others. If the content creators cannot get paid, then the primary source of conversations will dry out."

In order to combat piracy and recover the slipping-away market, Dialog Solutions proposed to implement the system of Analog Rights Management along with the Trusted Thinking Platform. This technology would allow the interlocutor to be absolutely certain that he or she is always using genuine, properly licensed dialog lines, while at the same time ensuring that the content creators are receiving their due payments. To thwart piracy, the Trusted Thinking Platform would have to be implemented somewhere in between the memory region and the speech apparatus, in order to authenticate everything that's coming out a person's mouth and to ascertain that the user has a proper license for the spoken content.

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The Mass-Man In American Politics

melikamp melikamp writes  |  more than 7 years ago

It has been suggested by many people in this forum that America is asleep, so to speak, oblivious to the fact that the President and the government are fighting a war which, if continued, will only exacerbate the global conflict. More is assumed. America is oblivious, they say, to the apparent collusion among the two parties, the three branches of the government, and the heads of the biggest corporations; oblivious also to the apparent attack on civil liberties, such as the right of habeas corpus and right to privacy, and the ongoing efforts to reshape the political structure into something very much resembling a police state (Indeed, DavidTC argued rather conclusively for the latter in a recent discussion). To sum it up, it is implied that the State is waging a war on American people, and that the people are too dim or too unconcerned to realize that.

I would like to offer a different explanation for the direction taken by our political vessel--one inspired by the ideas of Ortega y Gasset; specifically, by his analysis of the source of the political power in Revolt of the Masses. There he identifies a certain type of man--a "mass-man" he calls him, who comes into the spotlight on the political arena most visibly in Russia after the Communist revolution. Those who are unfamiliar with Ortega might be able to relate to this idea by remembering what Nietzsche said about a member of the herd: this special kind of man is the one who values above all the security, both material and spiritual, granted to him by the massive herd of like-minded individuals. But Ortega goes on to specify other qualities: a mass-man is a man of craft, an educated man who is extremely proud of his abilities in his narrow field of expertise. The trouble is, the mass-man is also arrogant enough to presume that he is well qualified and suitably equipped for governing the state. Yet, according to Ortega, governing the state requires considerable skill; it takes an expert governor to stir a ship that is a country, and a mass-man is taking on himself more than he can bear when he aspires to take a shot at plotting the political course.

As for the source of power, it always lies within the general population. The people choose where to bestow their power, and virtually nothing can be done (in terms of governing) if they opt to withhold it. Iraq provides a great demonstration of this concept: the American army remains the uncontested raw power in that region, yet the people just cannot be governed since they already decided to bestow the political power onto a local authority.

Now put these two together and consider what happens when the herd becomes large and its political voice can no longer be ignored. Naturally, Ortega argues, it invests the power into the kind of government that protects the herd. But what is "protecting the herd" if not getting rid of the wolves? Anyone whose stance is incompatible with that of a mass-man, anyone whose political voice strays away from the choir thus becomes the enemy of the state. And what kind of state is most efficient in exercising this kind of control over the minorities? Ortega draws his grand conclusion: the totalitarian government and the police state never have their roots in the soul of a dictator; on the contrary, the said dictator conveniently arises to answer the call of a mass-man.

Now ask again: is America really asleep? Or is the mass-man finally awake and is flexing his muscles? In my opinion, all signs point to the latter. The populace is far from being fooled. Bush, for example, was re-elected exactly because he had shown that he has what it takes to be a dictator, not in spite of it. The mass-man has no fear of a police state: he craves it; it protects him from everyone who is not a mass-man. Take a look at the legislation: do you believe for a moment that the Patriot Act will be used for jailing blue-collar workers who spend their life watching TV? White-collar workers watching TV? The wealthy elite who support the State (and so indirectly--the mass-man)? No. Criminals? May be. Exceptions are possible, but they are all freak accidents. This kind of legislation adds no utility for criminal cases, since criminals can be tried in court and convicted by the law anyway. The troublesome thing about the police-state-enabling legislation like the Patriot Act is that it might (and probably will) be used to get rid of dissidents. "But isn't the dictator himself the primary beneficiary of such acts", one might ask, "as they allow him to stay in power?" But they don't--the source of the political power is not in concentration camps or the gallows, it's in the will of the general populace. In Soviet Union, for example, the basic structure of the government and the key people in it were unshaken by the torrent of Perestroyka and the following period of unprecedented political freedom. I happened to be there, and guess who was complaining the most? Stalinists--the mass-men who suddenly realized the the herd is no longer tended and the extremists are free to express their opinions.

As we continue down this path, we can see that the collusion of the branches of the government in USA is due to the fact that the political process is becoming more streamlined. What need is there checks and balances when the only item on the agenda is to appease the herd? The very nature of the mass-man ensures that the herd speaks in a single voice, informing everyone of its latest desire. The most efficient government, from the herd's point of view, is the one that carries out the orders without much ado. Sure enough, the results are bound to be chaotic. Are you wondering if Bush and his team are insane? Many agree that the mistakes they have made are as numerous as they are damaging. It seems especially puzzling because it can be argued that these mistakes are damaging for everyone in the USA. The war in Iraq, for example, the way it is conducted, will likely cause tremendous grief to all Americans, including the mass-man, and yet the government shows no sign of repenting. It seems like the power has been usurped by some kind of irrational, emotive amateur. Everyone points at Bush. Really? If his incompetence is so obvious, why isn't the Congress stopping him? Are Corporations to blame? Are they really so short-sighted as to believe that burning Iraq to the ground and alienating the rest of the region will improve anyone's economy? There is, however, an emotive, arrogant amateur right under our nose, one who finally succeeded in electing a President who will listen to his voice. This amateur is, of course, the mass-man. The mass-man is never a statesman. He is a garbageman, a factory worker, a businessman, a housewife, a teacher, a writer, a programmer, a biology professor, etc., yet he is convinced that he is wise enough to govern the state, and now the state is finally falling under his control.

If this analysis is correct, what are our options? Impeach the President? But... He is doing his job rather well! And I say that even though I believe that we would all benefit if the entire PNAC was abducted by aliens tomorrow. We would like to see Bush go, but that will fix nothing, for the mass-man will just replace him with another puppet. No, our only hope is to disperse the herd. It will get harder as it grows larger, since its power and its arrogance grow together with its ability to shut out everyone else. May be we reached the point of no return already, and so we'll have to live through the dark ages of a totalitarian state, waiting for the herd to drive itself off the cliff (it always does in the end). When the state is finally in ruins, the mass-man will naturally loose his confidence (which means, he will cease to be a mass-man) and people will be able to find a competent ruler. For now it looks grim, and whatever our options are, I cannot advise a course of action. I am not a statesman.

Note. If you can discuss Revolt of the Masses without using sexist language, give yourself a star.

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