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Schneier Explains How To Protect Yourself From Sony-Style Attacks (You Can't)

quantaman Re:Blameless employees? (255 comments)

it happened to the blameless random employees who were just using their company's email system. Because of that, they've had their most personal conversations -- gossip, medical conditions, love lives -- exposed

If you were using your company's Exchange server for gossiping and thought it was safe (i.e. the IT department would never have access to this, oh no) then you're stupid and deserve whatever fate you get.

I can sympathize with the people whose SS numbers were stolen out of no fault of their own. But Amy Pascal making Obama black jokes on company email was just stupid as hell and she deserves whatever scorn people will heap on her.

People spend a lot of time communicating with co-workers and generally become friends of some kind, it's pretty natural that they'd make jokes. And if your primary form of communication is over email it's natural you'll joke over email as well, it's not stupid as much as human nature.

And I don't see what makes the jokes offensive. Sure in the wrong context they're racist, but there's no reason to think they were using a bad context. This just feels like one of those incidents where a politician says something dumb and everyone wastes a newscycle trying to be offended by it.

3 hours ago
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Denmark Makes Claim To North Pole, Based On Undersea Geography

quantaman Re:Unbelievable! (184 comments)

Well, denmark, for example, is focused on renewables. Doesn't mean they don't want to be the ones pumping up the oil and selling it. You can do other things with oil besides burning it also. I wouldn't put it past the danes to claim it as theirs and then not pump it in the name of protecting the arctic. They just might be altruistic enough.

They're not altruistic enough to leave the current oil in the ground I don't see why this oil would be different.

Sure they may delay a few years, but people tend to be a lot more altruistic when it isn't costing much. The moment I point out you're sitting on a ton of oil is the moment you start to rationalize reasons that pumping oil isn't so bad.

3 days ago
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NASA's $349 Million Empty Tower

quantaman Re:Quoted from TFA (196 comments)

Yeah, it's hard to see why the article frames this as an indictment of NASA's bureaucracy, given the article explicitly says a senator from Mississippi explicitly forbid them from stopping construction. This is just another reflection of how money is more important than reason in Congress these days.

Don't worry. I'm sure congress will do the right thing and point to this wasteful spending as a reason to cut funding to NASA.

3 days ago
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Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

quantaman Re:Move to a gated community (593 comments)

Kinda depends on what/who was there first

No it doesn't. The freeway and the side-streets are public spaces, and no one living on a public street has a right to demand that anyone else not use it as they like, so long as they follow the laws of the road. If you want a private street with no traffic, live in a private neighborhood (gated community), where the builders do spread the community cost among the homeowners. The roads were paid for by taxes collected from everyone. Your taxes don't pay for the roads directly in front of your house, and therefore you have (and rightly so) no right to dictates who can use it. Most of the road-work money comes from gasoline taxes, so its fair game.

It's legal but it's still a bit douchey. This is why cities make horrible convoluted suburbs now, to thwart this exact kind of action.

4 days ago
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Sony Demands Press Destroy Leaked Documents

quantaman Re:If Sony keeps doing it (249 comments)

If Sony keeps doing it, their documents will be forever alive in the form of magnet links, formerly torrent file sharing technology.

They do have the the army of trained lawyers to harass mass audiences, except that newspapers have seen much badder boys coming to them with the threats.

Now, assuming Sony documents will survive, will be available for everyone, and will be commented, how exactly SONY will know which newspaper has caused an actual harm?

I think that their litigation budget will be fully depleted for several years in the future.

Actually they might have the right idea. The info the media will be most interested in is the gossipy Sony exec emails, and those things only really have legs for one news cycle.

So a lawsuit does two things, first it causes a bunch of papers to run things by the lawyers first, this could slow down some of the reporting until the news cycle has finished.

Second it gives them another related bit of news to report about, so the email contents are now part of the previous news cycle and the Sony lawsuit threat is the new news cycle.

4 days ago
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Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

quantaman Re:Comparison equally valid on both sides (873 comments)

So where are all of the officially sanctioned Christian slaves and sex slaves? That's kind of the way these discussions go. On one hand is the active and widespread activity of Isis, al Qaida, and other actors in the Muslim world, and on the other is someone pointing to a Bible verse and says, "See! See! Christians and Jews could do something like that hundreds or thousands of years ago too!" The problem at hand is what they are doing now.

So was the US not practising Christianity in the 1850s? Because there were a lot of slaves with a lot of Christian endorsements of their condition.

So is the problem Islam, or the contemporary expression of Islam in specific regions and among specific populations?

The problem with just blaming Islam as a whole is you blame a whole lot of people with beliefs completely unrelated. It would be like pointing at the Westburo Baptist Church and saying Christians are homophobic.

4 days ago
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Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

quantaman Re:Check your math. (873 comments)

The Iraq war?

The Iraq war what? Do you have any data supporting the claim, that Americans have joined their military because of their Christian beliefs, which compelled them to kill Muslims? Put up or shut up...

I didn't claim that. I claimed that some Americans were joining the military for the same reasons that some Muslims become terrorists, to defend their religion and culture against its perceived enemies.

And yes, this occurs:
Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the United States military by a Michigan company, an ABC News investigation has found.

...

This is hardly the first time something like this has happened. We’ve had soldiers painting Bible verses on turrets of tanks and on bombs on airplanes. We’ve had soldiers handing out Bibles to the locals. The Pentagon and the American government seems to understand that this is very, very bad for American credibility in the Muslim world because it sends the message that this is a religious war of Christianity vs Islam.

And don't forget Ann Coulter

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war.

That sounds a hell of a lot like terrorist ideology to me except she's able to carry out her religious war via army instead of suicide bomber. Don't you think there were a few people who thought like Ann Coulter and joined the military? Enough to rival the number of Muslim terrorists?

I'm not saying Iraq war=terrorism or Drone attacks=terrorism, but I will say that a lot of people who turn to terrorism in the Middle East would be able to fulfil those urges as soldiers in the West.

I said nothing about "preaching". I said, Muslim faithful are compelled — by their religion — to fight for spreading Islam world-wide and to establish a Califate.

There is nothing of the kind in the Bible.

He's fighting and promoting, same way the IRA did.

IRA's fight was purely secular — nothing in Catholicism insists nor mandates the sort of things they've done. Muslims, once again, must fight other religions — in order to remain good Muslims. Because Koran — which they believe to be the word of God verbatim — says so.

Crusades? Residential schools? Inquisitions? The mechanisms are different but Christianity has it's own long history of aggressive attempts to spread the faith.

4 days ago
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Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

quantaman Re:Comparison equally valid on both sides (873 comments)

If you're a religious fanatic in the Middle East and want to kill Christians you become a terrorist. ...

Or, you can join ISIS (the army killing and/or enslaving/raping everyone including Christians).

So there's an equal choice to be had, yet some are choosing to capture and harm non-military forces - those people doing so have been wholly Muslim.

To be fair we are bombing ISIS territories and various Arab nations (via drones) and killing a crapload of non-military forces.

I'm guessing they're able to rationalize attacking our civilians without too much trouble.

I'm not trying to defend them, they're as ridiculous a caricature of villainy as you can get, but they're a product of the east west dynamic much more than a product of Islam.

4 days ago
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Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

quantaman Re:Check your math. (873 comments)

If you're a religious fanatic in the West (or Australia) and want to kill Muslims you join the army.

Citations...

The Iraq war?

I'm not saying they launch terrorist attack from the military. I'm saying that they're motivated by the same clash of civilizations desire to defend their culture and religion. Some might be perfectly good soldiers not doing anything wrong, and some might be responsible for some of the really ugly atrocities that Western militaries sometimes perpetrate.

The US army is steeped in Christianity, if the tables were turned do you think all of those soldiers would be content to stay on the sidelines while a Muslim superpower exerted its will over the West?

I'm not trying to equate soldiers with terrorists, just pointing out why the comparison isn't valid.

The comparison is valid. Those 500K Muslims in Australia — their shops, kindergartens, restaurants, etc. — would've been juicy low-hanging fruits for any Christian terrorist — had there been one among the 14.5 millions...

That's probably because Christianity does not require believers to spread the faith — at the point of a weapon, if necessary. It has happened in the past, but not because anything in the scripture mandates it. Unlike in Koran... So a Christian fanatic, who wishes to live by the word of his god is not compelled to convert or kill anyone. A Muslim fanatic, unfortunately, is...

You think the guy in the Cafe is preaching? He's fighting and promoting, same way the IRA did. And asking why Christian terrorists aren't attacking the West is like asking why Wall Street bankers aren't mugging people at gunpoint. They aren't using those methods because they've got far less costly ways to get what they want.

4 days ago
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Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

quantaman Re:Check your math. (873 comments)

There are about 500,000 Muslims in Australia.

1 of them is committing this crime.

There are 14.5 million Christians in Australia (61% of the population). None of them is committing a crime in the name of his religion.

Because they don't have to.

If you're a religious fanatic in the Middle East and want to kill Christians you become a terrorist.

If you're a religious fanatic in the West (or Australia) and want to kill Muslims you join the army.

I'm not trying to equate soldiers with terrorists, just pointing out why the comparison isn't valid.

You're always going to have a subset of people who will dedicate their lives to fighting and killing whom they perceive to be enemies. If they identify as Christian they simply join a western military and get to fight Muslims without sticking out, if they identify as Muslim they become terrorists because that's the only way to join the war.

4 days ago
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Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

quantaman Re:Don't worry guys... (873 comments)

Islam is a peaceful religion, that's why followers just went out of their way to do this. And in Canada we had two terrorist attacks(one in Quebec), and another on Parliament Hill in two days.

My interpretation is that Islam is just like any other religion. A bunch of people who think their religion wants them to be perfectly nice and peaceful, and a bunch of others who think it demands they cleanse the Earth of non-believers.

If you followed the attacks in Canada you noticed that the attackers were recent converts to Islam. Their attacks weren't motivated by Islam, they were motivated by ISIL's culture of terrorism and enabled by whatever personal demons caused them to jump headlong into a new religion. Islam is just the language that ISIL uses to communicate that culture.

4 days ago
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Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"

quantaman Re:Best Script Ever? (297 comments)

I think it's plausible it's the best script he's ever read.

After all, how often does he get to read the script before it gets rewritten multiple times to appeal to all the target demographics.

about a week ago
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Former iTunes Engineer Tells Court He Worked To Block Competitors

quantaman Re:Wait, what? (161 comments)

The reason for this is fairly simple, I can easily make my Linux boxes work and interact the way I want, but with Apple... not so much.

For someone who uses Linux and OS X, I spend a lot of time using command line in OS X. I have no problems using Unix commands. Some of the options vary with OS X but most of the commands are the same. How is it different for you?

By default OS X groups windows by application, so if I have 5 terminals open (quite common) it's a pain to find the one I want. Similarly the lack of multiple desktops is a pain. I'm sure there's a way to change both these things (I've installed stuff for multiple desktops before) but it's not as easy as I've found in Linux.

Plus the application management systems like ports and fink have fewer packages and aren't as well integrated into the system.

It's not that it's impossible to go outside the box, it's just that the system works best if you stay in the box.

I think that's integral to the Apple philosophy of the walled garden. They figure out what they want the product to do, they figure out the workflows, then they build the product so that the given workflow works really well and seamlessly. If you want to do something a little different it's not great, but it works. If you want to do something real different like play oggs or use a different client then there's a very simple solution, don't bother.

Maybe for the iOS products not their computers.

Then go to the store, but a Toshiba laptop, and install OS X on it.

The garden is more pronounced for their iOS products but the history of Apple is one of rigorously limiting their products to ensure a good user experience.

I don't think the aim is necessarily anti-competitive, I think they're just trying to protect their walled garden. If Realplayer has a buggy client that screws up syncing that's Realplayer's problem, if they have a buggy client that screws up the sync to the iPod that's suddenly Apple's problem. If you want to understand why all the Apple fanboys go around bragging that Apple just works it's because Apple doesn't let them do any of the things that don't work.

Because Apple never promised their customers that they would play RealPlayer's Harmony music. They promised they could play MP3s which are the standard, AAC which is the successor to MP3 and at the time FairPlay which was AAC with their DRM. Nowhere did they promise PlaysForSure or Harmony (AAC with RealPlayer's DRM).

No argument here, but I think the reason they only promised that narrow range is because they thought their user experience would be best with that narrow range.

about a week ago
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Former iTunes Engineer Tells Court He Worked To Block Competitors

quantaman Re:Wait, what? (161 comments)

'intended to block 100% of non-iTunes clients' [...] to improve iTunes, not curb competition.

In what universe does this statement make sense?

In the Apple universe sadly enough.

I'm one of the rare people who finds Linux (and popular Linux Desktop Environments) to be much more user friendly than OS X. The reason for this is fairly simple, I can easily make my Linux boxes work and interact the way I want, but with Apple... not so much.

I think that's integral to the Apple philosophy of the walled garden. They figure out what they want the product to do, they figure out the workflows, then they build the product so that the given workflow works really well and seamlessly. If you want to do something a little different it's not great, but it works. If you want to do something real different like play oggs or use a different client then there's a very simple solution, don't bother.

I don't think the aim is necessarily anti-competitive, I think they're just trying to protect their walled garden. If Realplayer has a buggy client that screws up syncing that's Realplayer's problem, if they have a buggy client that screws up the sync to the iPod that's suddenly Apple's problem. If you want to understand why all the Apple fanboys go around bragging that Apple just works it's because Apple doesn't let them do any of the things that don't work.

about a week ago
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Peru Indignant After Greenpeace Damages Ancient Nazca Site

quantaman Re:oh delicious irony (465 comments)

You're not really defending blatant douche-baggery based on the notion that other people have been douche-bags in the past, are you?

Actually I think he might have a point.

Squatters have started raising pigs on the site of Peru's Nazca lines - the giant designs best seen from an airplane that were mysteriously etched into the desert more than 1,500 years ago.

"We get 120-180 reports or alerts about encroachments every year," Alva said. "For my colleagues in the rest of Latin America, who get two or maybe five cases per year, that figure is unbelievable."

It's not like they unsealed a tomb, careless people have been tromping around these things for millenia from early European explorers to various locals to backpacking douchbags who look up the location on google maps.

And yes it caused damage, but they didn't wreck the figure anymore than any of those previous groups wreaked it. It's like touching a painting in a gallery, your individual poke won't leave a mark, but if a bunch of people do it the painting will be ruined.

I think that's probably the main motivation for the comments, first they're rightfully offended by Greenpeace attempting to expropriate their heritage to try and make a viral video. But moreover they're worried that Greenpeace will inspire copycats to visit the sites, and it won't take a lot of that before you start seeing visible damage.

about a week ago
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Peru Indignant After Greenpeace Damages Ancient Nazca Site

quantaman Re:Despicable Greenpeace (465 comments)

The trashing of the Gulf was an accident and a mistake. This was a malicious ignoring of Peruvian law to access a sacred site to further their own egos. There was no mistake involved here.

Accessing the sacred site and co-opting it for their message was not a mistake.

Damaging the sacred site was a mistake.

I'm not saying they don't deserve criticism. Feeling so entitled that you try to hijack someone else's cultural heritage for your own cause is offensive. Being so careless that you cause permanent damage while doing so is extremely offensive.

But I don't think they ever imagined that they'd damage the site.

about a week ago
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Google Closing Engineering Office In Russia

quantaman Re:so let me get this straight... (157 comments)

So that's the standard now? "At least we're not as bad as Russia?"

No, it's "the US doing bad things doesn't provide license for other countries to do horrible things (or vice versa)"

about a week ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

quantaman Just stop screwing around with the messaging (1042 comments)

Who are the big three actually pushing the anti-vax message?

Wakefield, a disgraced con-artist doctor.

McCarthy, a former playboy model.

Carrey, a formerly big comic actor.

It's not exactly the A-list of public thinkers.

The only reason they're successful is because they're the only ones willing to pull out the rhetorical big guns (think of the children! big bad pharma!), and everyone on the side of science is so damn respectful.

It's time to start calling them out. Wakefield is a fraud who not only experimented on children and fabricated evidence for money but continues to build a career based on lying to keep people away from life-saving medicine.

Carrey and McCarthy are the pinnacle of arrogance and ignorance. So confident in their own brilliance that they're willing to ignore thousands and thousands of scientists who are doing nothing but trying to help people.

Things should be nasty, they should be treated with open and consistent scorn and mockery in the media every time they poke their heads up.

Do that and this anti-vax BS goes away very quickly.

about a week ago
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Google Closing Engineering Office In Russia

quantaman Re:so let me get this straight... (157 comments)

Google is leaving russia due to data security and intrusive legislation that harms the internet, but sees no problem maintaining an office in the United States, where the government has created secret courts to warrantlessly wiretap what ostensibly amounts to the entire country. Google is just fine with a corporate office in a country that uses state sponsored terrorism and maintains a torture prison. Its Fine with opening offices in a country that jailed Chelsea Manning for whistleblowing or rather spreading "false information" and subsequently ensured 2 years of her forcible detention under suicide watch stripped nude and prevented from sleeping. Google has no problem with a country that runs secret torture prisons and "targeted killings." but whenever Russia passes legislation to force Internet sites that store the personal data of Russian citizens to do so inside the country, it closes shop because it doesnt want to maintain a russian datacenter? or rather is it because in America its not a requirement thanks to a rendition network that just takes people and servers regardless of the country.

For every thing Russia does you can pull up something from the US that sounds similarly bad unless you go into some nuanced detail.

But there's one big difference. In the US you have the luxury of this stuff being debated in government, in the media, on talk radio, on the Internet, and in person. Active censorship or oppression of these discussions is extremely rare.

Do you think you could do the same in Russia?

I'm not saying the US is great, it's done, and continues to do, some really awful things. But the worst things done by the US government are absolutely routine in Russia.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Ogg/Linux Friendly Portable Music Players

quantaman quantaman writes  |  more than 5 years ago

quantaman (517394) writes "I'm looking for a good portable music player to use for runs to/from work. There are two absolute requirements 1) it will work under Linux, and 2) it can play ogg, also since it's for running I suspect a flash based player is highly advisable. I was wondering what has worked for other people with similar requirements?

For Linux I've heard that specific support isn't really necessary beyond it showing up as a USB drive, however the Linux category on the wikipedia comparison page must be referring to something. I've also heard advice like getting an iPod + Rockbox, however there are possible downsides with putting on a 3rd party OS (ie warranty issues, a UI not quite made for the hardware), as well I'd much rather support a company who supports ogg and Linux out of the box. One popular choice for ogg/Linux seems to be iRiver, however I don't know if this is the only choice and this page seems to suggest it's Linux and ogg support isn't that great after all.

As well there's also the criteria of durability, sound quality (do the different players have differences that people besides audiophiles would care about?), size, and cost.

I know slashdot has covered this subject in the past but I'm sure things have changed since 2002."

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