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Comments

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HR Chief: Google Sexual, Racial Diversity "Not Where We Want to Be"

silanea Re:Who gives a shit? (593 comments)

The problem with this idea is that if your competitor doesn't have a quota system, and they *do* just hire whoever is best, then statistically speaking they are likely to be hiring slightly better people than you and out innovate and out compete you.

Interesting aspect, that did not even occur to me. Thanks for pointing this out, I do not think I ever read this argument in a discussion on this issue.

The even larger problem, as I see it, is that being hired because of a quota is the ultimate stigma: "Look at her, she only got this job because of her tits." No-one takes the quota employee seriously - even when they actually are the best.

about 2 months ago
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German Intelligence Agency Planning To Follow Big NSA Brother On Shoestring

silanea Re:The difference with the USA (80 comments)

...is that Germany is much closer to being a true and functioning democracy. [...] as soon as a left-leaning government comes into power.

That is, I am afraid, a very naive view. Our social democrats, the SPD, - I assume that is what you meant with left-leaning - have earned themselves the nickname "Verräterpartei" ("traitors' party") amongst those who care about civil rights for the strong discrepancy between their election pledges and their actual voting in parliament. The party's functionaries usually state afterwards that they agreed to rights-infringing laws "mit Bauchschmerzen" ("with bellyache"); that phrase has become a meme over here. A lot of the draconian post-9/11 legislation was rushed through parliament under a social democrat government by then-minister for the interior Otto Schily, which is why the laws are known as the "Otto-Katalog" ("Otto catalogue" obviously, which is a play on German mail-order company Otto).

The actual left-leaning party, the LINKE or Linkspartei, unfortunately is lingering somewhere between 5 and 10% in elections and is politically isolated from all major parties including the SPD. They along with the German Pirate Party are amongst the very few parties over here that actually care about civil rights, but they still do not reach a critical mass of voters. So we Germans have to look to the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe for protecting us from an ever-growing "security" complex.

about 2 months ago
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Firefox 29: Redesign

silanea Re:did you checked the video? (688 comments)

[...] With all respect, it didn't really have other uses anymore, except [...] Some extensions would display things there [...]

Well, thank you very much for spelling out the very reason this change is a disaster. My browser toolbar is becoming more crowded by the week, and my extensions have lost the ability to display any text in the UI but are limited to one or a handful of icons. NoScript has been significantly impaired by this.

I am all for sleek sexy interfaces and killing old cruft and clutter. But "UX" has become a term non grata around the office of late thanks to all the morons who use it as an excuse for taking away control from the user.

about 2 months ago
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$42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

silanea Re:Obamacare exists because... (288 comments)

Could you define "not uncommon" please? Daily? Monthly? She saw this herself, or 'heard about it'? And the ambulance crews just waved them onboard, like wide-eyed innocents who could be duped that way? [...]

Some input from a medic from Munich, southern Germany. Depending on which part of town you get assigned to you the number of frequent flyers varies considerably. From experience - no statistics to back that up, sorry - our gold card members are most frequent

  1. in the poorest quarters where half the calls turn out to be drunks, junkies (who usually did not intend to see us) and socially isolated, but not necessarily homeless people looking for someone to talk to, and
  2. in the older, still not so fully urbanized incorporated villages where elderly people of modest wealth abound who cannot properly care for themselves anymore, whose children have moved too far away to provide constant care but who are too proud to move into a dedicated care facility.

What keeps amazing me is that in spite of my - and other medics' - prediction after the banking crisis and the ensuing wave of unemployment the number of FFs type a seems to be more or less constant but type b has been climbing steadily. So this is only partly an issue of poverty. It has more to do with social isolation, with the increasing difficulty of maintaining a robust social network (not Facebook, the family-and-friends variety) that can catch people when they face difficult phases in their life so that they do not hit rock bottom.

Medical care has long transitioned into social care that along the way can also give you a pill or sew up a cut.

And as to whether the medics are duped: Someone wants to see a doctor, you take them to a doctor. That is what the law says. That is what our job description says. We try to avoid it, believe me. We sweet-talk, we bribe, we threaten. But if the patient is adamant, there is no way we are going to assume the legal risk of refusing transportation. The ER staff is not naive, they know their devoted customers. They will make them go through hell, put them through every annoying and time-consuming test they can think of. But guess what: Because of this practice with increasing regularity they actually find a legitimate medical issue that had gone undiagnosed by doctors who just saw the addict or the annoying elderly or the lonesome hypochondriac and treated that instead of the complaints and symptoms.

In medicine there is no easy answer, no magical solution.

about 3 months ago
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Heartbleed Sparks 'Responsible' Disclosure Debate

silanea Issue? (188 comments)

What exactly is the issue here? Maybe I misread TFS and the linked articles, but as I understand the chief complaint - apart from Google's delay in reporting to OpenSSL - is that some large commercial entities did not receive a notification before public disclosure. I did not dig all too deep into the whole issue, but as far as I can tell OpenSSL issued their advisory in lieu with a patched version. What more do they expect? And why should "Cisco[,] Juniper[,] Amazon Web Services, Twitter, Yahoo, Tumblr and GoDaddy" get a heads-up on the public disclosure? I did not get a heads-up either. Neither did the dozens or so websites not named above that I use. Neither did the governmental agency I serve with. Nor the bank whose online-banking portal I use. Are we all second-class citizens? Does our security matter less simply because we provide services to fewer people, or bring lower or no value to the exchange?

A bug was reported, a fix was issued, recommendations for threat mitigation were published. There will need to be consequences for the FLOSS development model to reduce the risk for future issues of the sort, but beyond that I do not quite understand the fuss. Can someone enlighten me please?

about 3 months ago
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Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?

silanea Re:Complete access and indefinite support for free (650 comments)

Supporting consumer grade software that is sold for ~$100 a time indefinitely, including providing full internal technical details to arbitrary additional parties, is a "pretty easy barrier"?

It is the other way around: Once a company deems a product uneconomical - subject to mandatory or voluntary warranty that is priced into the product anyways - to support they could simply release their internal documentation, source code, diagrams etc. to the public and be free of any further liability regarding bugs, future incompatibilities etc. That would be a fair compromise considering that IT is one of the very few industries that get away with delivering faulty, unstable and insecure products as the accepted norm. If houses or clothes or refrigerators were produced like software...

about 4 months ago
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Russian State TV Anchor: Russia Could Turn US To "Radioactive Ash"

silanea Re:And the US could turn Russia into vapor (878 comments)

...thereby making their money about as valuable as toilet paper with everyone else wanting to get rid of it ASAP. Which is pretty much the scenario they were facing to begin with.

about 4 months ago
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German Court Forbids Resale of Valve Games

silanea Regional Court (261 comments)

This is a decision by a regional court. They universally suck at rulings regarding any technology invented after 1900. A state court recently held a domain registrar responsible for copyright infringement. And nevermind the treasure trove of truly grotesque copyright-related rulings coming out of the city-state of Hamburg - they are legendary here in Germany, similar to patent cases in Texas.

This is bound to be appealed, and our higher courts usually fare better when it comes to dealing with Das Internet.

about 6 months ago
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Reason To Hope Carriers Won't Win the War On Netflix

silanea Re:Sure, Netflix is safe, what about the rest? (213 comments)

Considering that they are doing their best to kill fixed lines and go all IP I do not see that happening. They might very well be tempted to somehow degrade experience for any VoIP service but their own, but then we are back at the Netflix situation.

But I am sure you could fix all that, end world hunger and save the whales with a custom hosts file...

about 6 months ago
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Crowdsourced Finnish Copyright Initiative Meets Signature Requirement

silanea Re:U.S., cough, international pressure much? (166 comments)

The subtle point of the Initiative that seems to be lost on you is that there exists a whole spectrum of possible implementations of copyright law in between the quasi-Hitlerian approach taken by Hollywood and the rest of the high-volume industry and the free-for-all approach envisioned by fourteen year olds in the comment section on TPB. Making sure artists are compensated for their work is one thing. Very few people seriously argue against that. But allowing the monopolisation of culture for the lifetime of several generations? Bankrupting or imprisoning people for sharing a few songs or films? We treat arsonists, drunk drivers and drug dealers less harshly than the punishments some of the high-profile filesharing cases resulted in.

1 year,6 days
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Breaking Up With MakerBot

silanea Re:Yeah, geez, ya figure? (185 comments)

Good catch. I added the quoted parenthesis as an afterthought after writing the sentence and apparently did not pay as much attention during proof-reading as I should have. I probably should lay off posting after the third beer. :-)

1 year,25 days
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Breaking Up With MakerBot

silanea Re:Yeah, geez, ya figure? (185 comments)

The whole notion is dumb. It's hit the peak now, it's downhill from here. [...] Then you get people comparing home 3D printing to word processing, as if they still don't get that you can't compare information processing to handling matter. It's not the same, and never will be.

I kindly disagree. Today's machines indeed are only really useful for a limited audience, but once the complexity of use - both in software and hardware - decreases sufficiently their usefulness will expand to fields not even thought of today. I am looking forward to using the 3D equivalent of facsimiles of historical material in history classes. Just consider the possibilities: Instead of showing a picture of a Stone Age arrowhead or a Pope's seal - or, looking at other subjects, molecules, DNA, bacteria, organs... - I could pass around a life-size replica. Not just one taken from the limited collection my school has seen fit to purchase, but one chosen specifically to fit into my topic.

Similarly we are currently evaluating different 3D printing options for the volunteer emergency service I am a member of for producing scaled models of damaged buildings, vehicle wrecks etc. for strategic training. It would open up scenarios currently infeasable to simulate with our hand-built models.

It still is a long way off. But so were ubiquous cheap colour print-outs just 20 years ago.

1 year,26 days
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Creationist Bets $10k In Proposed Literal Interpretation of Genesis Debate

silanea Re:Three letters.. (1121 comments)

Or maybe god is not evil, but he's doing whatever he's doing to prevent even greater suffering. Maybe man's believe in god (tenuous as it is) is the only thing keeping unspeakable evil from reining down on earth and whatever cruel acts we see in god are actually part of his efforts to save us from the greater evil.

Looking at the atrocities committed in the name of religion, I for one would rather take my chances with that other evil.

about a year ago
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Creationist Bets $10k In Proposed Literal Interpretation of Genesis Debate

silanea Re:Triceratops (1121 comments)

[...] what's the significance of that?

And why the hell is Richard Attenborough suddenly buying up Central American islands?

about a year ago
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Mobile Phone Use Patterns Identify Individuals Better Than Fingerprints

silanea Re:Profound implications! (88 comments)

The issue is not that they can tell which phone number you use, obviously. As I see it there are three problems with this kind of tracking technology:

Firstly they could potentially track you across devices based on your behaviour. Think "disposable" phones. Sure, here in the Western world those are mostly used by criminals, so being able to track them may appear to be a good thing. But such technology usually ends up in the hands of repressive regimes.

Secondly, mass surveillance is not just about you as an individual. By looking at where you go when and how long you stay there and correlating this with who else goes there at the same time one can make deductions about social networks within society without ever looking at one person up close. We already have a rampant practice of police doing what is in German called "Funkzellenabfrage": they request the names of every person logged into one specific radio cell at a given time. Essentially hundreds or thousands of people are made into suspects based on one point of data and consequently investigated, often to the point of harassment.

And, even more importantly, algorithms can tell when you deviate from your regular pattern. This is the Next Big Thing in the security theatre. And I for one do enough "random" stuff to be worried that I may in the future find myself singled out by law enforcement based on what some computer says. Geo-caching alone should make my movements stand out quite a bit from the general population. Just look at the abundance of issues with existing "dumb" solutions like the US no-fly list or the European anti-terror watch lists.

about a year ago
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Will Donglegate Affect Your Decision To Attend PyCon?

silanea Re:What the hell (759 comments)

Feminism is not sexism at its finest - it's the logical and expected reaction of rational people who despise sexism against anyone. [...]

You should really look up "feminism" in a dictionary. You will find that it does not mean what you think it does.

about a year ago
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Will Donglegate Affect Your Decision To Attend PyCon?

silanea Re:What the hell (759 comments)

[...] I seriously hope that the organizers simply would have told these guys in a sincere and compassionate way "you're in public, and your behaviour reflects on the community. This is a family-friendly event and a common problem but we need to change the geek culture. Your sexual innuendos are not in keeping with the environment we're trying to foster at this event and they contradict the code of conduct. Please stop yourselves, and stop your friends. Spread the word.

Leaving aside the, frankly, rather stupid stereotype you keep playing* there: This is precisely what went down. The woman reported them to staff, they were taken aside, they apologised. But oh, Missus Mighty Righteous could not leave it at that. No, she had to go nuclear on the two of them.

This has nothing to do with sexism, we agree on that. This is one person being an asshole.

* I do not know what the proper terminology for that is, but it is not all that different from sexism. Or racism, for that matter. "The geeks" are about as sexually inexperienced as "the women" are incapable of programming or "the blacks" are prone to stealing. I consider myself part of "the geek community", and so far I have seen a level of sexism on par with that in politics, business, academia and the Scouts but not exceeding it. It may well be more visible here, just as public name-calling probably is more rampant on FOSS mailing lists than in corporate boardrooms, due to the specific communicative culture and conventions. But that in and of itself does not mean it is worse than elsewhere.

about a year ago
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Jedi May Be Allowed To Perform Marriage Ceremonies In Scotland

silanea Re:I think it's disrespectful (196 comments)

[...] rather the fact that it started by definition it was made up. [...]

And that sets Jediism apart from other religions because...?

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Mac To Linux Return Flow?

silanea Re:since you asked... (965 comments)

You also get emotional when the OS deliberately breaks things. The Windows installer still overwrites existing boot sectors without asking for confirmation. The people who sign off on something like this should be publicly burned at the stake.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Nikon's Image Authentication Insecure

silanea silanea writes  |  more than 3 years ago

silanea (1241518) writes "Elcomsoft claims to have broken Nikon's Image Authentication system which — apparently only in theory — ensures that a photograph is authentic and not tampered with through a digital signature. They were able to extract the signing key from a camera and use it to have a modified image pass the software verification, rendering the rather expensive feature mostly marketed to law enforcement all but useless. So far Nikon has not given a statement.

Canon's competing system was cracked by the same company last December."

Link to Original Source

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