Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Ask Slashdot: Linux Login and Resource Management In a Computer Lab?

ray-auch Re:Technical solution to a social problem. (98 comments)

Seconded. Except >20yrs and HPUX rather than SunOS.

Police ourselves - yeah sure we did. Act like adults ? er, nope. I figured out several ways to crash machines from console, if someone logged in remote and started using all the resource, I'd crash the machine and move to another. X was completely unsecured in those days but they installed a graphical login. Fake login windows, key loggers, fake error windows (make the guy on the better workstation think it's crashed so he moves off it), check.

Best X trick back then was obviously the ability to put up a window on someone else's screen when the tutor was standing behind them, topless or nude pictures were good (bitmap - time before jpeg existed)... I guess the only thing that's changed now is that the available selection and quality of such images has increased a little. Happy days.

3 days ago
top

States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

ray-auch Re:9 States automatically increased (777 comments)

Actually, that is the interesting bit.

Of the 9 states that increased automatically, 8 are in the top half of the growth league - conversely 3 out of 4 of the states that voted an increase are in the bottom half.
(link to chart: http://www.cepr.net/images/sto...)

The thing about that correlation is that there is actually a plausible mechanism for causation - predictability. When a business decides to invest in hiring more people, you want to try and work out the costs, the potential for profit and the risk of failure. If you are hiring at or near minimum wage, then the level of minimum wage comes into that business plan. If any increase is automatic then you can simply add it in to costs (based on inflation assumptions which you need elsewhere anyway) - it will go up, but that can be accounted for. If any increase is _not_ automatic, then it becomes an unknown in your costs, a _risk_, dependent on politicians. Even in states that did _not_ raise it but _might_ have, that unknown, political risk, may have adversely affected investment decisions.

Businesses like a predictable environment more than anything.

If my suggested effect is real, then there is also a flip side - it will work like this in an expanding economy, but if the economy is contracting then having an automatic minimum wage increase could conceivably accelerate firing decisions - minimum wage jobs might be lost faster because of the known future costs.

5 days ago
top

States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

ray-auch Re:Local testing works? (777 comments)

Even when people are supposedly more mobile, moving is a big thing for most people so they do not do it.

Here in the UK we had a 50% tax rate imposed on the very richest a few years ago. There were lots of stories about how this was going to drive away people who were successful abroad but in the end it made very little difference because while these sort of exceeding rich people might threaten to take their family somewhere else, but then when they talk to their wife and she refuses to move more than a 20 minute drive from her family and refuses to move the kids out of school and away from their friends.

as well as moving, people at that level can move their income elsewhere, pension it, or defer it to avoid the tax. Avoidance is not illegal (evasion is).

Key issue with the 50% rate is - did it raise 20% more money than the 40%, for incomes over 100k ? If not, then people _did_ move either themselves or their income, and the country's finances got less benefit.

HMRC reckons the income moved - http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2... - chart on P28 is very interesting, 25% fall in total declared income over 150k, on the introduction of the tax. Other stats: before 50% tax rate 16,000 people with income over £1M, after - 6000. Gradually increased to 10,000 in following years, but that is still 6k people with 1M+ income who went somewhere else (at least 2Bn in tax they would have paid at 40% rate, gone).

5 days ago
top

MicroxWin Creates Linux Distribution That Runs Debian/Ubuntu & Android Apps

ray-auch Re:"here on the Android side" (42 comments)

AC above beat me to it - my thoughts exactly.

Take designed-for-desktop/laptop-mouse+keyboard Linux stuff and bolt it together with designed-for-mobile+touch+one-app-fullscreen Android stuff on the same device.

Nope, can't see what could possibly go wrong, sure it will be entirely intuitive and seamless... after all Win 8 was.

5 days ago
top

Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

ray-auch Re: Black box data streaming (503 comments)

For MH17 it will tell us very little - big bang, plane breaks up, end of recording. Obviously streaming would mean that someone would have the data now, rather than be hiding it, but _who_ would have it ?

  - stream the data to the western world and any release would be an NSA/CIA fabrication according to Russia
  - stream the data to Russia and any release would be a KGB fabrication according to the west

Does that really help ?

For MH370, streaming might tell us what happened, but if we just had streaming location and knew _where_ it happened then we'd get even more info from wreckage and be able (with very high probability) to recover the black boxes anyway.

Look at AF447 - 2+ years to find the crash site, less than 2 days after that to find and retrieve the boxes (IIRC).

about a week ago
top

Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

ray-auch Re:Lies and damn lies (503 comments)

Or not, depending on context. See, stuff like "Russian sources now stating that the rebels do not posses such air defenses" could in fact be perfectly true, to understand just add "now" or "anymore".

"we do not have such air defences now - momma bear took our new toys away because we made big mess with them"

about a week ago
top

Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

ray-auch Re:Black box data streaming (503 comments)

Or why it is still one large black box, but not, say, 20 orange 64GB flash drives, which fall all over the place?

An aircraft costs hundreds of millions and 20 flash drives cost peanuts. And it is not a problem at all to write to several flash drives simultaneously.

There are obviously going to be problems wiring data (or certifying a wireless solution) and, more importantly, power to 20+ disparate locations (you want them spread out, right) on the plane, but the big one, IMO is the survivability standards.

Every "black box" is required to have a certain amount of fire, impact / shock, water-pressure etc. resistance. They are also required to have a ULB (pinger, for underwater location) with 30 days battery life (maybe soon going up to 90). All the casing to do that, and the pinger, and the chassis that is supposed to keep them together under the same test conditions, ends up weighing quite a lot (for an aircraft component). Inside it all, these days, is basically a small flash drive - bit higher than consumer spec for survivability, and hence more expensive, but that is all it is.

20 black boxes to meet current regs is too heavy and too expensive, so your problem is changing the regulations. 20 slightly less survivable black boxes that could therefore be much smaller lighter and cheaper sounds great - except for the risk that you then find them easily but the data hasn't survived.

That brings us to the biggest issue - the current standard black boxes are almost always found, so where exactly is the problem you are trying to solve. Real-time data streaming would solve a problem by eliminating the search for the wreckage entirely - arguably saving a lot of money in some cases. Except that not every insight comes from the black box, investigators conclude a lot directly from the wreckage - so I reckon you need to find it anyway.

Real time _location_ streaming (doesn't take much data) plus fully survivable black box is probably the best compromise, significantly shorten some search times - and that is what is going to happen.

about a week ago
top

CCP Games Explains Why Virtual Reality First Person Shooters Still Don't Work

ray-auch Re:Not if you use the Virtuix Omni (154 comments)

I actually have experienced nausea in non-VR FPS games. Descent and the old Duke Nukem used to give me headaches and nausea on and off.

Descent had that effect on a lot of people, even where other games at the time didn't. I think it was due to the full six degrees of freedom movement plus zero-g and "which way is up" effect. I don't think the sentence in the summary about cockpit games applies - unless you are in zero-g in real life.

about a week ago
top

French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

ray-auch Re:Barbara Streisand award (424 comments)

Full blown Barbara Streisand indeed. They apparently wanted the blog changed because the restaurant name in the title was putting the negative review high in the search results.

So instead, you google it now (il giardino lege cap ferret) and the first search results (at least from UK) are google+ reviews and yelp reviews (mostly 1 star, all since court verdict), and tripadvisor reviews, again with a low score due to whole pile of 1-stars added since the court verdict. Oh, and links to news of the court verdict.

Lawyer-up, load-up, point down, pull trigger.

about two weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

ray-auch Re:Maybe, maybe not. (749 comments)

MS also represents its hosting as being compliant with regional legislation including EU data protection. The onus is on the customer to configure where the data goes to be in compliance, but MS will not break compliance. That includes handing over to law enforcement, where MS requires enough customer contact details to ensure that law enforcement requests are directed to the customer as the data controller, and that is what MS is contractually committed to do (in addition to their responsibilities under EU law). MS can't actually just change the policies because they are written into contracts and those contracts have in turn gone through an approval process from EU regulators. Or rather, they could, but it would open up a whole pile of legal problems this side of the Atlantic.

Someone else on this thread had a good analogy. Saying "the gun I used in the murder is in pants at my son's house so I can't answer the subpoena" is not going to cut it with the courts.

Trouble is it is not a good analogy. MS is not the one accused of the murder. Better analogy is:

- US DOJ suspect the gun is in a safety deposit box in a bank in London
- US DOJ subpoena the US parent bank for "contents of safety deposit boxes 1 through 2000 from your London branch"
- Bank says "our UK subsidiary is not permitted in law to do that just on our instruction"

US DOJ can serve the UK subsidiary in the correct jurisdiction, or request London police to go and open all the boxes (they have form on that), or use existing legal assistance treaties

about two weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

ray-auch Re:Dog carried my homework off to Mexico (749 comments)

In this case, with the e-mails, does it very much depend on what these are needed for. Their content, if provided, may or may not change the course of the trial. It all depends. Not following a judge's ruling is however always a bad idea. Maybe they have something to hide, maybe they do not and the companies' lawyers only want to stretch the trial to make more money, etc.. For the judge and jury will it make no difference if these e-mails are within the US or outside the US. Only their content will be of importance, not their location.

Whatever, when you are obligated by law to produce the information then it means you have to, or a refusal to do so will be used against you. For all it matters could the missing information have been lost. It will not make the judge or the jury happy, and you do want them to vote and rule in your favour, right?

It is not a case against MS for which the emails are needed. The emails are third-party emails, and any case is against that third party - they simply happen to (allegedly) be on servers controlled by MS-Ireland. So, if it is as you say, why don't they simply compel the third-party to hand over the emails or have the refusal used against them ?

Most likely because there is no case and this is a fishing expedition.

about two weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

ray-auch Re:Maybe, maybe not. (749 comments)

The US company can't access the data legally. Legally it can't be shipped out of the EU except under strict safe-harbour exceptions where it is subject to same protection in the foreign safe-harbour.

about two weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

ray-auch Re:Maybe, maybe not. (749 comments)

The data is held by an Irish company. The USA people almost certainly don't have direct access without going through EU people, for precisely this reason.

That or MS has been seriously mis-selling its Irish hosting operations...

about two weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

ray-auch Re:Maybe, maybe not. (749 comments)

Interesting that that argument didn't work for some of those extradited _to_ the US.

One lot were extradite for "wire fraud" in the US. They did nothing _in_ the US but US claimed jurisdiction because some of their communications went _through_ US ("wire fraud" - not a concept that exists over here I think).

They were also investigated in & by the UK law enforcement who did not prosecute because no crime was committed under UK law. Still got sent the the US.

about two weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

ray-auch Re:US Judicial Order vs. EU Law (749 comments)

No the US courts just don't care what the EU laws are. The US courts position is "I have ordered you produce documents. You will do so."

If producing those documents happens to break the law somewhere else you are what the lawyers called "fucked".

This is supposed to be what national subsidiaries are for. Its why there is a McDonalds, and a McDonalds Canada. Ordering McDonalds to surrender McDonalds Canada records doesn't work, its not the same company.

Then ordering MS (US) to surrender the records (of a customer of) MS Ireland doesn't work either. Except that now it does...

about two weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

ray-auch Re:Maybe, maybe not. (749 comments)

But ultimately yes: the USA government has the right to tell a USA corporation to violate the laws of another country.

... and presumably the USA government (or agents thereof) can thus be held on conspiracy charges in those other countries.

Yep, could be. Or maybe we'd get to see how "two-way" our extradition treaties with the US really are...

about two weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

ray-auch Re: Maybe, maybe not. (749 comments)

Someone pointed out that governments don't really matter anymore.

I don't know many corporations with standing armies, navies, air forces, space exploration programs, nuclear arsenals, etc.

Yet.

Corporations already have SWAT teams (some SWAT teams are corporations...). Shipborne mercenaries for piracy (the real type) protection. Private corporate space exploration is starting to take off. Already part way there...

about two weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

ray-auch Re:Banks, etc. (749 comments)

Yes, just get a court order in Ireland, job done. For some reason in this case the DOJ is afraid of that...

about two weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

ray-auch Re:Dog carried my homework off to Mexico (749 comments)

When you are obligated by law to produce the required information then this is how it is. If you have placed the information out of reach for you to get it, or only refuse to get it, then it has got a fair chance to turn into an obstruction of justice and you will find yourself in even more trouble.

The information has not been placed out of reach by MS, it never was in the US. Nor is it MS's information - it is information belonging to one of their customers that happens to be stored on MS servers (that "cloud" thing) - outside of the US.

MS have made a big selling point of their Irish data centre location being in-EU for projects (including government stuff) that have data subject to EU rules where, in law, it may not be sent outside the EU. If MS-Ireland (or whichever MS-co it is) suddenly starts sending data to MS (US) just because head office requested it, then I think a lot of big EU contracts become invalid and/or a lot of big EU projects suddenly become illegal under EU law.

Your problem with posturing about "it is you who will be judged and sentenced by the court" is that it also applies if they do ship their customer's personal data out of the EU in breach of EU laws, it is just that they will then be judged and sentenced by a different court.

Stupid thing is there is a perfectly easy and logical way to do this - simply get a court order (warrant) for the data where it is, in Ireland, from an Irish court. All the EU data protection etc. laws allow for data to be released by court order in the right jurisdiction. So why won't the DOJ do that ?

Couldn't possibly be that they are just on a fishing expedition that they couldn't possibly get past any court where the judge isn't already in their pocket ?

about two weeks ago

Submissions

ray-auch hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

ray-auch has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...