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Chilling Effects DMCA Archive Censors Itself

ratboy666 Re:Not always Free Speech (88 comments)

What is an "illegal download", allo? That would be child porn, and "hate speech" in my jurisdiction.

about three weeks ago

UK Government Department Still Runs VME Operating System Installed In 1974

ratboy666 Re:It is called good coding. (189 comments)

In the Apollo timeframe, a "supercomputer" would be a CDC 6600 (1964).

3 MFLOPS and up to 10 million instructions per second, 60 bit word size, 262144 words of main memory (~3 million 6 bit characters) -- yes, your smartphone is more powerful. This was STILL the most powerful mainframe in 1969.

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?

ratboy666 Re:It freakin' works fine (928 comments)

The init system launches the X server. I guess because /etc/inittab has instructions on setting "targets" for systemd.

about 3 months ago

A Smart Electric Bike: Taking the Copenhagen Wheel Out For a Spin

ratboy666 Re:Could be good if just for legal mumbo jumbo (136 comments)

What "sneak"?

Electric drive systems are usually rated by power (in Watts). The motor is usually 90% efficient.

Common power limits in various jurisdictions are 250W, 500W and 1000W.

For your reference, 500W is around 1/2 horsepower (0.68). That is enough to propel a rider at 20mph. However, getting to that speed costs power.

Yes, most ebikes are made in China. At the end of 2013, an estimated 181 million ebikes were on in use in China, with sales of 37 million units.

This Copenhagen Wheel? Will be a small blip in the market.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?

ratboy666 Re:It freakin' works fine (928 comments)

"Learn something new"...

I have a tablet computer. Using Fedora on it. Mostly all right. Some frustrating bits. The dpi setting is dead wrong. Would have been a simple fix in the "old" init system. I would have simply added dpi correction before the X server came up.

Now, I am *just* an old-time Unix user. And, I do have other things to do... So, I posted a question to Fedora support. The response? Um... zero.

Sure, it's in the init.... somewhere. I really don't want to "learn" a new init system. Why should I want to? So, I applied corrections to my most-used applications instead.

Pulseaudio? works fine, sure. Except that the last time I tried it with something other than Gnome, my xbell no longer sounded.

So, use Gnome. Gnome needs systemd.

So, use systemd.

I am sure my dpi issues will be sorted. Hopefully before I retire this tablet - but I doubt it.

The best thing about systemd? It does start processes and reaps. On Fedora, it respects "service" and "chkconfig"

The logs are larger, which concerns me -- this is a SSD based tablet. All of the logging in my programs was broken by it. It only took 2 days to fix.

about 3 months ago

Check Out the Source Code For the Xerox Alto

ratboy666 Re:CP/M needs to buried ... (71 comments)

You are comparing CP/M-80 with Apple DOS? Remembering that CP/M-80 was available, um, 3 years before the Apple computer?

CP/M-80 was portable, with instructions on how to add a BIOS and relocate the OS -- didn't this take until Apple DOS 3.2? Oh, a separate BIOS was never done so the only computer it would work on was the Apple ][?

And, it was somehow CP/M-80s fault that Microsoft used it as a model?

about 3 months ago

Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour

ratboy666 Re:$3500 fine? (286 comments)

You are, of course, a moron.

I simply cannot charge $1.21 per hour for my time as an employee. Indeed, I would have to contract at that rate. But, of course, I still need credentials. How can I pay for post-secondary at that rate? I can't.

I need to immigrate to India. And, go to college in India to make this work. But, I *still* cannot compete, not being Indian (ref Infosys).

about 3 months ago

BBC Takes a Stand For the Public's Right To Remember Redacted Links

ratboy666 Re:Article or link - ??? (113 comments)

Please describe how "stop words" would do this.

Google would have to detect queries with certain specified characteristics and NOT display certain relevant results

So, the comlaint would have to specify WHAT (the page), and WHY (the search criteria). Of course, that is in context of the search criteria of today.

This would have to work for FUTURE queries as well. And, future query mechanisms. To stay within the spirit of this law, the only reliable solution is to remove the page from the index. After all, this is supposed to allow "forgetting" the information. Google has no control of the source -- in this case, this is the BBC. Google is responding to a "right to forget". And, yes, the page is forgotten. That would be the spirit of this law. If the BBC has an issue with that, they should take it up with the EU.

An association is outdated if the information itself isn't? The association is the result of a search -- Google doesn't store all possible associations!

about 3 months ago

Head of MS Research On Special Projects, Google X and Win 9

ratboy666 Re:Question... (71 comments)


See mommy? I want to play too!

about 9 months ago

Hulu Blocks VPN Users

ratboy666 Re:If Netflix is in Canada, why isn't Hulu? (259 comments)


Hulu is a consortium that OWNs the copyright to the material. Are you missing this point for some reason?

If the consortium members have "licensed" away their OWN rights -- would be shortsighted of them.

As to your supposed "GAS" (golden age of streaming). Um. You do realize that broadband is better in a lot of other non-US places, right?

I personally don't care. Hey, I like "Bones" and it is available on Netflix. Happy enough to give them my money. And, it's commercial-free. If Hulu doesn't want my viewership (I live in Canada, and we do have Ford, Apple, and Coke here, too), I'll be happy to give my custom to Netflix. Suck it.

But, tell LG about it, ok (for example)? I mean, it COMES with a HULU app. That is completely useless to me. I don't even know HOW TO REMOVE THAT SUCKER. Even though LG is forced to produce Bilingual packaging for my region, they do not bother to remove features that CANNOT be used. Is this an attempt by a Korean company to somehow make me envy USAians? Or is is this ADVERTISING BY FUCKING HULU. So, it doesn't work. About the only thing ADVERTISING HULU and then not making it available will do is encourage me to use something like a VPS just to sneak a peak at (whatever the hell it is that I'm missing). Again, SUCK IT.


Your truly,
A Canuck.
With an LG TV
And no interest in HULU

about 9 months ago

Aereo To SCOTUS: Shut Us Down and You Shut Down Cloud Storage

ratboy666 Re:Prediction (342 comments)

The law says that? Interesting. Can you reference the law?

about 9 months ago

Aereo To SCOTUS: Shut Us Down and You Shut Down Cloud Storage

ratboy666 Re:Prediction (342 comments)

Prostitution is illegal? In the USA, I guess. And, not all over the USA, either. And, not where I live, either.

So, not that obvious.

Still, Renting some electronics? Recording a TV show? Acting as an agent for someone? Putting all of these together? Is the connection you are attempting with prostitution that it is considered a crime to provide pleasure for money?

about 9 months ago

Aereo To SCOTUS: Shut Us Down and You Shut Down Cloud Storage

ratboy666 Re:Prediction (342 comments)

What a strange thing! I guess I am allowed to time-shift broadcast TV, and I am allowed to space-shift broadcast TV. I can rent an antenna, and I can rent a VCR (PVR).

I cannot retransmit (time or space shifted or not) a broadcast to other parties (which is the difference here CATV rebroadcast to all CATV clients).

Now I have to read the arguments! About the only thing left is having an agent do the time or space shifting for me! And, of course, I can't really figure out is why the AGENT is in court for this. If my neighbour asks me to rent her some roofspace and rent her an antenna AND a VCR and then asks me to record a TV show... for which I may charge a bit for the service. And the TV network comes after someone, why would that be me? I would be inclined to laugh.

I think my lawyer would have a good laugh too. We refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram.

I guess I am not allowed to sell my labour freely in the USA. Now I REALLY have to follow this. I am personally guilty of renting antennas, and PVR (equivalent) to provide people with recordings. I never pressed a "record" button -- my customer went on-line to a web page and selected the recording themselves (using MythTV 10 years ago). I would deliver the recorded program(s) via disk drives or flash drives.

After all, if I have multiple tuners and I am not using them all, why CAN'T I RENT THEM OUT.

The only problem would have been an event like the "Superbowl" where I would have needed to have ALL my tuners capturing the same content. Instead of being efficient, you know, and sharing... Because WHERE the bits come from is important in Copyright law. See http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/entry...

As long as Aereo uses an antenna and receiver PER USER, the bits should be the right colour. And subject to the users rights. Including time and space shifting. Aereo wouldn't be rebroadcasting. IF Aereo IS IN THE WRONG then the question is why. As far as I can tell, they are not even being an agent for the user. They are simply renting an antenna and receiver. The actual Copyright material is NOT being shared, from Aereo's perspective. And yes, cloud storage would be at risk. For example, I quite enjoy using Kobo. I may purchase a book from Kobo WHICH IS Copyrighted. Of course. I then download to my reading device. The bits have the right colour at Kobo's end, and they have the right colour at my end. I should be able to do with those bits ANYTHING that Copyright law permits me to. And I do. There is no DRM in OTA broadcast, and typically there is DRM in Kobo electronic books. If *I* turn around and share the book, Kobo wouldn't be legally liable. The author would come after me for that. So why is Aereo being attacked here?

If the bits are simply coloured "copyrighted" and it IS authorized to the user, what else should Aereo do? Simply, Kobo is selling access to authorized bits as well, and would be AT THE SAME RISK. And, it goes deeper. Since Copyright is automatically assigned on creation, you would have NO IDEA what is ok to look at, here or touch.

Colour me completely confused.

about 9 months ago

How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

ratboy666 Re:It doesn't. (582 comments)


Yes, I am in violent agreement with you. I think that this is such an important point that I wanted to (re) emphasize it. You know the drill: tell them what you're going to tell them; tell them; tell them what you've told them...

about 10 months ago

How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

ratboy666 Re:It doesn't. (582 comments)

This myth gets trotted out again. It is arguably easier to find exploits without source. The source distracts from the discovery of an exploit. The binary simply is. The black-hat is looking for a way to subvert a system. Typically she is not interested in the documented (by source or documentation) functionality. That simply distracts from the issue which is finding out what the software actually does, especially in edge circumstances.

This is what fuzzers do. Typically not aware of the utility of the program, they simply inject tons of junk until something breaks.

Source availability tends to benefit people auditing and repairing more than black-hats.

Yes, it took years for heartbleed to surface. If heartbleed (or a defect like it), was discovered due to a code audit, that speaks to the superiority of open source over closed source. If this defect is found by fuzzing or binary analysis, it is much harder to repair, as users are now at the mercy of the holder of the source. Build a matrix of Open/Closed Source vs. Bug found in Source, Bug by fuzzing/binary analysis.

Bug found in source vs Closed Source is not applicable, giving three element. Found in source vs. Open Source (where the bug will be repaired in the source by anyone). Bug found by fuzzing... where the bug will be repaired in the source by anyone (Open Source) or the Vendor (Closed Source).

The question then is (as I started the article): Is it easier to find bugs by source inspection? Assume big threats will HAVE the source anyway. If it was easy to find by inspection, it would be easy to fix (for examples: OpenBSD continously audits, and security has been a priority at Microsoft for the past decade). Fuzzing and binary analysis is still the preferred (quickest) method, giving the edge to Open Source. The reason is simple -- the black-hat cares about what is actually happening, and not what the source says is happening.

about 10 months ago

The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

ratboy666 Re:Blame GNOME 3 (693 comments)

I have been using Gnome 3.10 (Fedora 20) on an Acer Iconia W700. This has no keyboard when I use it as a tablet. It does have multi-touch, and gyro/magnetic/ambient light/etc sensor.

Tried XFCE (my usual desktop for the past decade) -- it doesn't do well with the 192dpi display. I then decided to try Gnome 3, because of all the complaints (it forces tablet view on users).

- No keyboard means typing to find an application doesn't work. Adding the "Applications Menu" and "Places" Gnome Shell extensions solves this.

- The default on-screen keyboard doesn't support function keys, esc key, control keys. Solution: add florence

- Without a keyboard, yumex is not usable. Can't enter password to activate stuff.

- Can't activate the bottom panel reliably. Using "Frippery bottom panel" helps out (gnome shell extension). Tapping the "!" at the bottom right then does the job. The "Hi, Jack" extension almost works, but isn't reliable enough.

- Rotation doesn't work. I had to put a script on the desktop to activate rotation.

- No multi-touch support in Gnome 3 (really strange, I have a python program that demonstrates multi-touch).

- And now for the cake - Focus is very strange. I can launch a new application but the old application still has some focus! Nasty bug that in interacting with user input.

I would prefer to stay with Fedora. Is there any DE that supports touch better on Fedora? Or do I go with Ubuntu and Unity? Are improvements coming in Gnome 3.12 or 3.14?

Given that your Gnome 3 experience has been much more positive, what is your advice?

about 10 months ago

Toward Better Programming

ratboy666 Re:We Choose Framentation Over Consolidation. (391 comments)

I've been programming professionally for 35 years. And, I have come to the conclusion that the languages, libraries and MOST of the tools are utterly irrelevant.

Clear thought is important. And, to support this: Source control is important. On-line editing with macros are important. Literate programming is important (DE Knuth -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...). Garbage collection is (reasonably) important. Illustrations are important. Documentation rendering is important.

Hell, most of my programs are 90% documentation. Bugs? Very rare.

The SINGLE most important tool that has advanced things for me in the past 20 years? Web Browsers (HTML). Makes reading programs as literary works accessible. My programs, anyway.

Past 30 years? Literate Programming (with TDD)

Past 35 years? Scheme.

I expect my programs to be read. As literary works. That's how I write them. Most is prose, with some magic formulas. Fully cross-referenced for your browsing pleasure. With side notes and illustrations. And even audio commentary and video snippets.

These days, I see a lot of code that CANNOT be read without using an "IDE". The brain (my brain, anyway) cannot keep the required number of methods and members. Discussing the program becomes... impossible. And that which cannot be discussed and reasoned about cannot be reliable. Illustrations and diagrams need to be generated, and references from the code to those are needed.

So, invert it and make the diagram and documentation primary, and the code itself secondary to that. In other words, Knuth's Literate Programming.

about 10 months ago

DirectX 12 Promises Lower-level Hardware Access On Multiple Platforms

ratboy666 Re:A reaction? (107 comments)

Dump Windows for Linux. Pretty dumb reason. In fact, not a reason. And, it won't save you money. Back in 2008/9 a Linux netbook was 50ish dollars cheaper. Now, you can't get one (easily). If you have a need for Linux (I do, it runs the applications I want), you will typically get the machine with Windows, and then replace it with Linux. Microsoft gets money, and has one less customer to support.

about 10 months ago

Bitcoin's Software Gets Security Fixes, New Features

ratboy666 Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (173 comments)

But... I assume you are in the US or Canada. Didn't your currency just get a bug fix update for anti counterfeiting? An update to the US $100 bill was released October 2013. Obviously, you can't trust that yet -- give it a few years.

As to being "regulated" by government, -- what is that, exactly? BTC is one possible crypto-currency, so it is of interest what you think this "regulation" should look like.

about 10 months ago

Is Analog the Fix For Cyber Terrorism?

ratboy666 Re:This is very, very old (245 comments)

Way to shunt blame!

I design code, your "EEs" design electrical hardware. I have been delivered hardware without such safeties. I could simply refuse to deliver code for the platform -- it will simply be offshored.

Just costs me work.

about 10 months ago



Canadian INSITE Decision

ratboy666 ratboy666 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ratboy666 writes "The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Government has limits based on the constitution. Scientific evidence of harm outweighing the expectation of a law can overturn the law. This will have repercussions in many areas: Prostitution, Safe Drug Injection sites, and even, possibly, helmet laws and punishments for unauthorized file sharing.

Link to Original Source



Consistent Flamebait Mod

ratboy666 ratboy666 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Every time I mention that Apple has always produced sub-standard hardware, I get moderated "flamebait". Every frickin time.

The truth of the assertion isn't called into question -- but still some feel the urge to comment on how these design points are POSITIVE in some way.

I need to rant now.

My first exposure to Apple hardware was the Apple ][, and we released commercial software/hardware in 1978 based on that platform. For post-production of Sesame Street. The cheapness of the hardware allowed an interesting trick; recording a time sync signal onto a video tape using the cassette i/o sub-system. The hardware WAS cheap; early floppies required careful speed matching (we had very early units - within the first 100 produced).

It worked, but it wasn't anything great. Cheap computing for the masses.

Later, after Apple had produced the Mac for a few years (1988 - 1989), we thought that we could sell scanning as a service for insurance companies. Scan the contents of warehouses full of old life insurance policies (especially whole-life) to laser disc. OCR and annotate the policies for easy searching. Our first client INSISTED on Macintosh computers "because everyone knows they are better". At the time, we were using PC Unlimited systems (now Dell), and $100 ethernet adapters, in a Novel network. It worked. Discussing our needs with Apple -- the "Apple expert" insisted that serial networking (appletalk?) would be sufficient for our needs. I purchased a bunch of Macs, scanners, and magneto-optical drives (for mastering).

The results?

1 - Viruses. From commercial software programs.
2 - The need to rebuild the desktop every week or so.
3 - Lack of shielding in SCSI cables results in data loss.
4 - Lack of power supply shielding results in data loss.
5 - Appletalk is NOT sufficient.

On the whole a MISERABLE experience. Upgraded the equipment to ethernet, at a cost of close to $1000 per machine. (standard "ISA" interfaces don't work).

Of course there are no "interrupt" or "dma" issues -- the machine doesn't use fancy hardware like that anyway. Overpriced crap.

Gave me a negative view of Apple that persists to this day. The hardware STILL overheats, and is, in general, overpriced and substandard.

But, everytime I mention it in a comment, I get some frickin Mac fanboy modding me down.

Flamebait my ass.

End of Rant.

PS. I am certainly not a "fanboy" for the Intel camp either. Indeed, I prefer Sparc, PowerPC and MIPS over Intel IA.

But my pizza box Sparc can be used as a hammer to destroy most Macs (and other) PCs and will still boot and run happily after the experience. Really. I have just had the WORST experience with Macs. I imagine that there have been PC brands with equally bad engineering out there. But they are long gone (say, Sanyo MBC550?). Why does Apple survive?

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