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Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website

mendax Re:H1-B and outsource are responsible for this (210 comments)

The contractors governments often do business off-shore the work and that is one of the reasons why the projects are so shitty. But there are other reasons. Government agencies don't operate in the same way businesses do. For example, the requirements documents are NEVER frozen. Some reptilian politician gets a burr up his ass, writes some new regulations, and *POOF* the requirements have to be changed and any code already written has to be either dumped or changed to reflect it. Also, when the law changes, as happens way too often, the same problems occur. Every coder here knows what happens in these situations!

about two weeks ago
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Why the Public Library Beats Amazon

mendax Re:Libraries are one thing Amazon is not (165 comments)

The fact that the public library is an actual place is important. Libraries are not just places to get information. They are sometimes positioned to be social centers of communities, places for those without Internet access to get that access, a quiet place to avoid the hustle and bustle of life, a place to meet friends, a place to hold a meeting, a place to do homework and study, and so on and so on. Libraries have long since been simply a place to get the latest novel or some old classic.

about three weeks ago
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I'd most like to (personally) explore:

mendax Re:Jungles, but I'm too scared (246 comments)

In the UK there is pretty much nothing that can hurt you by way of flora and fawna (bee stings and bramble prickles aside).

I seem to recall running into (literally) some poison ivy (or something resembling it) in the remains of Sherwood Forest off the A1 (I think) on a visit to the UK many years ago. I didn't think it grew in the UK but my skin said otherwise. It's a bit worse than having to deal with bramble prickles.

about three weeks ago
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Russia Cracks Down On Public Wi-Fi; Oracle Blocks Java Downloads In Russia

mendax Embargo emshmargo (254 comments)

It would be interesting if this "embargo" lasts any length of time. Given the importance of Java in today's IT world, it would be interesting if our colleagues in St. Petersburg would produce another clean-room implementation of Java. But it'll never happen. All trade embargoes are leaky. Consider, for example, Kim Jong-il, the North Korean un-leader, and the iMac on his desk. That certainly wasn't bought at the local Pyongyang Apple store

about three weeks ago
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Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

mendax Re:Nobody kills Java (371 comments)

I think the problem is Oracle isn't innovating, isn't advancing the technology, some aspects of it are essentially dead, the Java Community Process is largely ignored ..

And Sun was innovating the Java platform? How long did it take them to implement closures and lambda expressions? When did Microsoft implement them in C#? Groovy, the scripting language that was intended to be a "groovier Java" had them from the beginning. I was at the Java One when Sun announced that they would be added in Java 7. Well, that didn't happen. Java 7 was simply lame.

about three weeks ago
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Google Spots Explicit Images of a Child In Man's Email, Tips Off Police

mendax Re:Amazing Technology (790 comments)

It knows it's evil stuff because it matches one of the MD5 tags. They don't have to look at it. I suspect that it's more of an automated process they have which spots these things and sends off info to the DOJ that then looks at it. Why do law enforcement's job more than is necessary?

about a month ago
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Google Spots Explicit Images of a Child In Man's Email, Tips Off Police

mendax Re:Amazing Technology (790 comments)

RTFA....

The Google rep said:

Since 2008, we’ve used 'hashing' technology to tag known child sexual abuse images, allowing us to identify duplicate images which may exist elsewhere. ...

We’re in the business of making information widely available, but there’s certain 'information' that should never be created or found. We can do a lot to ensure it’s not available online—and that when people try to share this disgusting content they are caught and prosecuted.

The U.S. Justice Department is almost certainly giving Google the MD5 tags of the images they have in their child pornography database and those of new images that are discovered by law enforcement, and Google is using them to identify such images in web pages they index and in the e-mails and report it to law enforcement. They do maintain one, you know.

about a month ago
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Poetry For Sysadmins: Shall I Compare Thee To a Lumbering Bear?

mendax Haiku (31 comments)

I think changing the messages produced by 404 pages so that they produce haiku similar o that produced by BeOS its NetPositive browser runs into a problem would be funny, especially if the sysadmin doesn't know about it!

about a month ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

mendax More Star Trek (701 comments)

Ah, here's another one for those Klingonophiles among us:

GhoS!

about a month and a half ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

mendax The Elevator (701 comments)

"Good for you, you've decided to clean the elevator!" You have to be of a certain age to know the hilarious movie that came from.

about a month and a half ago
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Why the FCC Is Likely To Ignore Net Neutrality Comments and Listen To ISPs

mendax Who Needs an Article to Tell Me This? (140 comments)

The government is corrupt, morally bankrupt, and will do what those with the most money want them to do. As someone suggested above, if the EFF was the NRA of Internet it would be a different matter. But, in the end, since this really is an issue of two conflicting corporate interests, and one of these interests just happens to mirror that of the people.

Frankly, I think net neutrality will win out in the marketplace because of the things some companies, e.g., Google, are doing to let their users know that the ISP's are throttling them. The ISP's can't prevent them from doing this and ISP's customers can choose another ISP that doesn't do it, or at least offers better performance. Another possibility is that the content providers the ISP's are throttling will eventually become ISP's themselves, especially Google.

about a month and a half ago
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How a Supercomputer Beat the Scrap Heap and Lived On To Retire In Africa

mendax Re:Nice (145 comments)

Hmmm... maybe not ALL but several. They ran at 3 mips and there is an emulator.

about a month and a half ago
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How a Supercomputer Beat the Scrap Heap and Lived On To Retire In Africa

mendax Re:Really now (145 comments)

While reading this a thought occurred to me. Assuming that our African friends are ingenious in their use of this computing power and do a lot of good with it, in a few years perhaps more decommissioned government supercomputers, like the one that replaced Ranger which is 20 times faster, will head in their direction and bless other African universities. African universities are full of very clever, brilliant people who will make use of this gift, and likely do it in ways that will surprise us.

about a month and a half ago
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How a Supercomputer Beat the Scrap Heap and Lived On To Retire In Africa

mendax Re:Really now (145 comments)

Do those countries really have the resources to invest in that research?

When I came across this article I immediately called my dad, a person who has lived and taught in Africa and maintains an interest interest in the place. His thoughts were along the line of what projects do they have which demand supercomputing power. My response was, "If you build it, the demand will come." These computers are going to be placed in an academic environment, where brilliant people who have not had access to such computing power are now, all of a sudden, going to have it. The ideas will come forward quickly enough. Give our friends in Africa a few years and they may surprise us with their ingenuity.

about a month and a half ago
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Scientists Have Developed a Material So Dark That You Can't See It

mendax Not dark enough (238 comments)

My evil black cat is far darker than that. She is a sink of evil, absorbing all light in a room. If she were much blacker I'd suspect I'd have a tame black hole living with me before, jumping up onto my bed, waking me up to be petted, and then proceeding to try to bite me. Things just don't get blacker than that!

about 1 month ago
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Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

mendax Re:This post is an advert (231 comments)

I don't know what you're doing. I tried several times without success. soylentnews.com was always replaced with slashdot.org.

D'oh! I'm an idiot. It helps if the href contains an "http://" as part of the URL. Ok. No more conspiracy theories now, at least not on this issue.

about 2 months ago
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Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

mendax This post is an advert (231 comments)

This article is good reading in itself but it wound up being an advert for the poster's product. I wonder how much Dice got paid to post this "story"? Is it any wonder I spend more time over at soylentnews.org, the name of which I was going to bury in a link but couldn't because the link gets replaced with "slashdot.org"?

about 2 months ago
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I suffer from jet lag ...

mendax The cure for jet lag (163 comments)

Jet lag has always been bad for me because I can't sleep on airliners unless I'm sick. A trip back from New York with newly emergent mononucleosis and a trip back from London with a bad cold caught in Paris taught me these facts. But I found a sure fire way of sleeping on airliners: cold pills and booze. A dose of over-the-counter anti-histamines and two extra-strong screwdrivers did the trick and I slept for six hours on a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles.

about 2 months ago
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Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

mendax Re:Dead on arrival (345 comments)

Oh, I've experienced it. But on a bike that high torque is going to leave you on your ass and your bike bent up as you pop a wheelie using all that torque. I'll stick with gasoline and pistons.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Why Movie Streaming Services Are Unsatisfying — and Will Stay So

mendax mendax writes  |  about 5 months ago

mendax (114116) writes "A New York Times op-ed reports:

A team of web designers recently released an astonishingly innovative app for streaming movies online. The program, Popcorn Time, worked a bit like Netflix, except it had one unusual, killer feature. It was full of movies you’d want to watch.

When you loaded Popcorn Time, you were presented with a menu of recent Hollywood releases: “American Hustle,” “Gravity,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “12 Years A Slave” and hundreds of other acclaimed films were all right there, available for instant streaming at the click of a button.

If Popcorn Time sounds too good to be true, that’s because it was. The app was illegal — a well-designed, easy-to-use interface for the movie-pirating services that have long ruled the Internet’s underbelly. Shortly after the app went public, its creators faced a barrage of legal notices, and they pulled it down.

But like Napster in the late 1990s, Popcorn Time offered a glimpse of what seemed like the future, a model for how painless it should be to stream movies and TV shows online. The app also highlighted something we’ve all felt when settling in for a night with today’s popular streaming services, whether Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Hulu, or Google or Microsoft’s media stores: They just aren’t good enough."

Link to Original Source
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Apparent Theft at Mt. Gox Shakes Bitcoin World

mendax mendax writes  |  about 6 months ago

mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting that Mt. Gox, the most prominent Bitcoin exchange, 'appeared to be on the verge of collapse late Monday, raising questions about the future of a volatile marketplace.'

'On Monday night, a number of leading Bitcoin companies jointly announced that Mt. Gox, the largest exchange for most of Bitcoin’s existence, was planning to file for bankruptcy after months of technological problems and what appeared to have been a major theft. A document circulating widely in the Bitcoin world said the company had lost 744,000 Bitcoins in a theft that had gone unnoticed for years. That would be about 6 percent of the 12.4 million Bitcoins in circulation.'

Maybe the U.S. Dollar isn't so bad after all."

Link to Original Source
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Spying by N.S.A. Ally Ensnared U.S. Law Firm

mendax mendax writes  |  about 7 months ago

mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting that '[t]he list of those caught up in the global surveillance net cast by the National Security Agency and its overseas partners, from social media users to foreign heads of state, now includes another entry: American lawyers.

'A top-secret document, obtained by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden, shows that an American law firm was monitored while representing a foreign government in trade disputes with the United States. The disclosure offers a rare glimpse of a specific instance in which Americans were ensnared by the eavesdroppers, and is of particular interest because lawyers in the United States with clients overseas have expressed growing concern that their confidential communications could be compromised by such surveillance.

'The government of Indonesia had retained the law firm for help in trade talks, according to the February 2013 document. It reports that the N.S.A.’s Australian counterpart, the Australian Signals Directorate, notified the agency that it was conducting surveillance of the talks, including communications between Indonesian officials and the American law firm, and offered to share the information.'"

Link to Original Source
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Snowden Used Low-Cost Tool to Best N.S.A.

mendax mendax writes  |  about 7 months ago

mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting, 'Intelligence officials investigating how Edward J. Snowden gained access to a huge trove of the country’s most highly classified documents say they have determined that he used inexpensive and widely available software to “scrape” the National Security Agency’s networks, and kept at it even after he was briefly challenged by agency officials.

Using “web crawler” software designed to search, index and back up a website, Mr. Snowden “scraped data out of our systems” while he went about his day job, according to a senior intelligence official. “We do not believe this was an individual sitting at a machine and downloading this much material in sequence,” the official said. The process, he added, was “quite automated.”

The findings are striking because the N.S.A.’s mission includes protecting the nation’s most sensitive military and intelligence computer systems from cyber attacks, especially the sophisticated attacks that emanate from Russia and China. Mr. Snowden’s “insider attack,” by contrast, was hardly sophisticated and should have been easily detected, investigators found.'"

Link to Original Source
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Warrantless Surveillance Challenged by Defendant

mendax mendax writes  |  about 7 months ago

mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting that a "Colorado resident charged with terrorism-related offenses challenged the constitutionality on Wednesday of a 2008 law allowing the National Security Agency to conduct a sweeping program of surveillance without warrants on American soil. The challenge — the first of its kind — could lead to a Supreme Court test of the program.

"At the same time, a Federal District Court judge in Illinois ordered the government to show a defense lawyer classified materials related to the national security surveillance of his client. No defense lawyer has apparently ever been allowed to see such materials since the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was enacted in 1978.

"Together, the two actions are significant developments in efforts to obtain more judicial review of the legality of surveillance conducted on domestic soil for national security purposes amid continuing fallout from leaks about N.S.A. wiretapping by Edward J. Snowden, a former agency contractor.""

Link to Original Source
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Russia Plans to Extend Edward Snowden's Asylum

mendax mendax writes  |  about 7 months ago

mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting, "Russia plans to extend its offer of asylum to Edward J. Snowden beyond August, a Russian lawmaker said Friday at the World Economic Forum.... The lawmaker, Aleksei K. Pushkov, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in Russia’s lower house of Parliament, hinted during a panel discussion that the extension of temporary refugee status for Mr. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, might be indefinite. “He will not be sent out of Russia,” Mr. Pushkov said. “It will be up to Snowden.”"
Link to Original Source
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Russia Issues Travel Warning to Its Citizens About United States and Extradition

mendax mendax writes  |  1 year,7 hours

mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times reports that the Russian government is warning its citizens to not travel to countries that have an extradition treaty with the United States, noting that "detentions of Russian citizens in various countries, at the request of American law enforcement, have become more frequent." The article reports the Russian foreign ministry as saying,"Experience shows that the judicial proceedings against those who were in fact kidnapped and taken to the U.S. are of a biased character, based on shaky evidence, and clearly tilted toward conviction.""
Link to Original Source
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Warrantless Cellphone Tracking Is Upheld

mendax mendax writes  |  about a year ago

mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting, "In a significant victory for law enforcement, a federal appeals court on Tuesday said that government authorities could extract historical location data directly from telecommunications carriers without a search warrant. The closely watched case, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, is the first ruling that squarely addresses the constitutionality of warrantless searches of historical location data stored by cellphone service providers. Ruling 2 to 1, the court said a warrantless search was 'not per se unconstitutional' because location data was 'clearly a business record' and therefore not protected by the Fourth Amendment.'" The article pointed out that this went squarely against a New Jersey Supreme Court opinion rendered earlier this month but noted that the state court's ruling was based upon the text of the state's constitution, not that of the federal constitution."
Link to Original Source

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